You Got Empathy??????????

When I had been in the car business about three months, my boss called me into his office for a chat He was explaining to me my strong side as well as my weak.

One of my weak points was that I believed everything the customer told me.

He was right of course but that soon would give way to what all my buddies said. If a customer’s lips are moving, they are lying. You see I just wasn’t accustomed to people lying to me when the truth would work better. Well that is for another days blog.

What I wanted to write about today was the thing that was my strong suit. He said that I had a strong warped sense of empathy.

I had no idea at the time what empathy meant. I guess he could tell by the look on my face. He explained the word in car business terms.

“You have a strong sense of how people think. You understand their problems and their fears. Yet you still could give a crap less.”

Well it took me a while to figure out if I had received a compliment or an insult.

Still I went home and looked the word up. It has stuck with me for all these thirty plus years.

It finally came to me one day that we all suffer from warped empathy at times.

Allow me to give you an example. As southerners, we can’t just say hello.

We say, How are you today or how are you doing? Both these are a question yet we expect to be lied to each time we ask the question. In fact, if the person doesn’t lie to us we are insulted.

Allow me to give you an example. I will use my own self in the first example.

I am on an elevator and the door opens. A nice attractive looking woman gets on with me. It is only she and I on the elevator.

I say, “How are you today.”

No that is not true either. I am southern so it sounds more like this, “How R U today?”

The lady looks at me and smiles. I assume she is going to say fine thank you.

She doesn’t in stead she speaks the truth.

“I just left the doctors office and I have a strange skin disease. The doctor can’t tell me exactly what it is or if I am contagious. All I know is that I am itching something terrible between my shoulder blades. Would you mind scratching back there for me?”

I would think she had lost her mind. In all reality, she had simply answered a question that I just ask.

I am sure someone reading this would say. I would be happy if she told me that. I would offer to pray for her. My question for you is this. Would you pray for her before or after you scratched her back?

Now let us take one more case. This one want need any scratching.

You are a woman, your elevator door opens, and there is a small very old man on a cane. A real grandfather type.

You being the southern belle you are. “How are you today, sir?”

He smiles, “Not to good young lady. I am suffering from Alzheimer’s and I just found out that I have contacted a sexual transmitted diseases. I am afraid I will forget to tell my wife when I get home. Would you be so kind as to write me a note explaining everything to her and then pen it to my shirt? That way she will see it when I get home.

Ha, what can I say? You ask him how he was doing. Should everyone lie to make your day better?

In short, if you don’t want to know, don’t ask.

It just isn’t everyone else’s job to lie in order for you to feel friendly.

Empathy
2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner ; also : the capacity for this

You got empathy??????????????
ggs

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2 Comments on “You Got Empathy??????????”

  1. Davis Says:

    so let me get this straight — people buying cars are the liars? I’m sure that’s not what you meant, and enjoyed your post despite this confusion

  2. gary Simmons Says:

    Yes my friend. Don’t be confussed. In my thirty plus years in the car business I have been lied to on a daily bases.

    I have been lied to by pregnant women and grandmothers.

    I have been lied to by preachers and priest.

    If I had a quarter for ever lie I have been told I could retire.

    In fact I may just write on this in this subject in the near future.


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