Category Archives: psychology

Why The Empathy Critics Are Wrong: Empathy Doesn’t Break Democracy, It Makes It

You can always tell when a new idea is becoming popular – people start critiquing it. That’s certainly the case when it comes to empathy, a concept that is getting more public attention today than at any point in its history (the frequency of Google searches for the word ‘empathy’ has more than doubled in […]

Also posted in emotions, empathy, ethics, history, literature, philosophy, politics, public policy | 3 Comments

6 Ways to Teach Yourself Empathy

‘Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’ wrote George Bernard Shaw, ‘they might have different tastes’. This and other ideas for teaching yourself empathy appear in this new article in Readers Digest magazine. You’ll also find some advice from one of my heroes, the American oral historian Studs Terkel, […]

Also posted in emotions, empathy, empathy library, empathy through conversation, empathy through experience | Leave a comment

Empathy and Happiness: The 3 Minute Pitch

Want to put empathy to work in your relationships? How can empathy boost personal wellbeing? Find out in this three-minute video below, based on my new book Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution. (Sorry, the video doesn’t work on some phones – you’ll need to look at it on a laptop or desktop.)

Also posted in conversation, empathy, empathy through conversation, family | 1 Comment

TED Talk: How to Start an Empathy Revolution

My new talk from TEDx Athens has just gone online – How to Start an Empathy Revolution. From human libraries to babies teaching empathy, here are the ingredients for transforming empathy into a force for social change. I hope you enjoy it! Please share with friends, family, colleagues and strangers. The talk is based on my […]

Also posted in conversation, emotions, empathy, empathy through conversation, empathy through education, empathy through experience, ethics, history, peace building, politics, science, videos | 3 Comments

Have you tried the six varieties of love?

We’re all pretty sophisticated when it comes to ordering a cup of coffee – do you want a latte, a cappuccino, a mocha or maybe a double espresso? But we are incredibly crude in the way we talk about love, using a single word to describe so many kinds of relationship. Those clever Ancient Greeks, […]

Also posted in emotions, family, history, love, philosophy, religion | Leave a comment

17 Ways to Seize the Day

I’ve just finished writing a new book on empathy, due out early next year, provisionally titled Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution. In my effort to get the manuscript in on time, I’ve been neglecting answering emails and dealing with bills, and my study is piled with bits of paper that I’ve been meaning to file […]

Also posted in conversation, creativity, emotions, empathy, family, love, mental health, money, philosophy, senses | 1 Comment

Have we all been duped by the Myers-Briggs test?

INFP? ISTJ? You’ve probably taken a personality test at some point. But here’s the bad news: even the most popular tests, such as Myers-Briggs (MBTI), are not to be trusted. Retake a Myers-Briggs test after just a five week gap and there is a 50% chance you’ll be put into a different personality category. In this […]

Also posted in emotions, mental health, science, work | 1 Comment

Four Ways to Rethink ‘Having It All’ (Without Leaning In)

Here’s an article I just wrote for the Wall Street Journal on the dilemmas of balancing work and family life. Is Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, author of Leaning In, right to think that women can ‘have it all’ if only they really believe in themselves? My approach is not to answer the question ‘Is it possible […]

Also posted in belief, family, history, money, politics, public policy, simple living, travel, work | Leave a comment

The Human Zoo: The tyranny of group-don’t-think

There’s a fascinating new BBC Radio 4 series called The Human Zoo, looking at the ins and outs of who we really are – are we led by the head or the heart? what are the quirks and qualities that drive human behaviour? Episode 4 focuses on why human beings find it so difficult to admit when […]

Also posted in belief, creativity, emotions, ethics, podcasts, science, work | 2 Comments

Who Are You Trying to Impress? How to Escape Status Anxiety

In the eighteenth century, the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau warned against ‘the universal desire for reputation’. And yet so often we seek to be admired by others, pursuing careers and lifestyles that offer the lures of social status. In this article in Psychology Today magazine, I put the idea of status under the spotlight, and ask whether […]

Also posted in emotions, ethics, money, philosophy, work | Leave a comment
  • Welcome to OUTROSPECTION, my blog on empathy and the art of living. You'll find articles, interviews and news on the fundamental questions of how to live, with an emphasis on outrospection, which is about discovering who we are by stepping outside ourselves and exploring the lives of other people and cultures.


  • New Outrospection blog articles

  • Sign up to receive weekly email notification of new postings.

  • Upcoming events and talks

  • Topics

  • Archives

  • Meta