Category Archives: psychology

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.)

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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 | 2 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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Five Ways to Make Work Matter Again – Without Changing Jobs

Finding fulfilling work isn’t always about making a drastic career change. In this article for the Wall Street Journal, I suggest five ways to make your existing job more meaningful and stimulating – with a little help from John Maynard Keynes, E. F. Schumacher and  Brené Brown.

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Valentine’s Day Video: The Six Varieties of Love

The Ancient Greeks would have considered us modern creatures incredibly unsophisticated in the way we talk about love. We tend to use a single word to cover so many different kinds of relationships and emotions. On Valentine’s Day you may well whisper ‘I love you’ to your soulmate over a candlelit meal, but then the […]

Also posted in family, history, love, philosophy, videos | 1 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.

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