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Kathy Marshack News

15 Reasons Why Self-Compassion Is Better than Self-Confidence

Monday, April 23, 2018


While this has some merit, if you want long-term benefits, you’ll fare better cultivating self compassion. The more you develop it, the happier you’ll be. Here are 15 reasons why…“Fake it ‘til you make it.” Have you been given that bit of advice, when you weren’t feeling so confident? While it may have some short-term merit, if you want long-term benefits, you’ll do better with cultivating self compassion.

When you’re self-confident, you may start believing your own hubris, until it turns into overconfidence, which can lead to terrible life choices and decisions. Self-compassion, on the other hand, doesn’t have a downside. The more you develop it, the happier you’ll be. Here are 15 reasons why self-compassion is better:

  1. Self-compassion encourages you to acknowledge your flaws and limitations.
  2. Self-compassion allows you to see yourself more objectively.
  3. Self-compassion keeps it real; you don’t have to fake it or pretend.
  4. Self-compassion makes feedback easier to take, because you know you’re not perfect, and you don’t have to be.
  5. Self-compassion makes you more accepting of yourself and others – you don’t need to play the blame game any more.
  6. Self-compassion makes self-forgiveness possible, so you can quit ruminating about negative things.
  7. Self-compassion makes you more open to learning and improving, because you know you don’t know everything. 
  8. Self-compassion allows you to hear the critic in your head and treat it as a friend who is trying to keep you safe.
  9. Self-compassion makes it easier to empathize with others.
  10. Self-compassion makes you less critical, because you focus on the positive.
  11. Self-compassion makes you more caring and supportive.
  12. Self-compassion allows you to treat yourself with the same kindness you show a loved one.
  13. Self-compassion allows you to be patient with yourself, as you strive to do better.
  14. Self-compassion makes you more resilient.
  15. Self-compassion helps you be more tolerant of yourself and others.

Of all these benefits, I think fine-tuning your empathy is the most remarkable benefit of all. The average person has abundant empathy, and they’re EmD-4 on my EmD scale. (Learn more about this scale in my new book, “WHEN EMPATHY FAILS”) Because of their heightened sensitivity to others, Em-D-4s respond with care, tenderness, and nurturing—sometimes too much. Setting and keeping boundaries is not easy for many them. They react as if another person’s suffering is something they should personally take on and fix.

Those who develop Radiant Empathy (EmD-5 – the highest level of empathy) become more resilient. They don’t make codependent-style mistakes, because they’re good at reading others’ intentions and feelings while, at the same time, holding constant an awareness of themselves as separate from others. EmD-5s can detach from the games others play yet keep constant in their love—for themselves—and others. What a wonderful byproduct of self-compassion.

If you want to stay up-to-date on the best ways to increase your empathy and become an EmD-5, please sign up for my Enriching Your Life newsletter. It’s delivered to your inbox twice a month. You’re going to love it!

My Book, “WHEN EMPATHY FAILS: How to stop those hell-bent on destroying you” is Available!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


WHEN EMPATHY FAILS: How to stop those hell-bent on destroying youWhat do these all have in common…narcissists, sociopaths, addicts, brain injured, autistics, a vengeful ex, corrupt city officials and greedy neighbors, bullies, stalkers, fake news mongers? Some people are upset that I include autistics and the brain injured in the same list as sociopaths and narcissists. But I do so only because they all lack some level of empathy. I ought to know. I’ve endured a 12-year perfect storm of a high conflict divorce, lawsuits, assaults, cyberstalking, false arrests, predatory prosecution, and the loss of my daughters to parental alienation. Throughout all these experiences I’ve noticed a common theme, namely people with Empathy Dysfunction (EmD).

The increasing prevalence of Empathy Dysfunction helps explain societal and family decay today. On the other hand, empathic acts are the stitches that hold the fabric of all relationships together. As neuroscientists map the human brain, we see the numerous connections that must be made to activate empathy. It’s a complex system that requires the brain to connect Emotional Empathy and Cognitive Empathy, and multiple transitions between the two. If one part of this amazingly intricate and complicated connection of circuits doesn’t work correctly, the system malfunctions. When the brain is damaged, whether through a war or sports injury, substance abuse, or congenital brain disorder, Empathy Dysfunction occurs. Empathy Dysfunction is so prevalent it's no longer if you meet someone with EmD, but when...

Have you ever...

  • Been victimized, swindled or lied to by your best friend?
  • Loaned money to loved ones who squandered the gift and never paid you back?
  • Had to fight unscrupulous prosecutors for your freedom?
  • Been forced to defend yourself from your vengeful ex or your ungrateful children?
  • Bumped into a beguiling, but shifty, stranger?
  • Felt someone following you?

If so, you've crossed paths with someone operating with Empathy Dysfunction (EmD). My new book, “WHEN EMPATHY FAILS,” helps you not only understand why this is happening, but how to protect yourself from those hell-bent on destroying you. 

What will you find inside “WHEN EMPATHY FAILS”?

  • Hard-learned lessons on how to stand up for yourself when dealing with people who literally couldn’t care less about you.
  • A way to identify those with a dysfunctional lack of empathy using the new Empathy Dysfunction Scale (EmD Scale), so you can shield yourself from the destruction they leave in their wake.
  • Clues you should never ignore for your own safety - like a rotten neighbor, friends who start believing the nasty gossip spread by your ex-partner, or a nagging feeling you're being watched. Pay attention, it may be because "they" really are out to get you.
  • Warrior training to protect yourself from dangerous people. If you've been hurt just once, or maybe too many times to count by a person with EmD, apply the warrior training in this book, increase your own empathy to a higher level, and reclaim the beautiful life you are meant to live.
  • Seven life-preserving tips that will protect you and enhance your own level of empathy.

The truth is, sometimes, people are out to get you: Be prepared. Use “WHEN EMPATHY FAILS” to help you navigate the unruly world of Empathy Dysfunction. If you haven’t done so already, please download a free sample chapter. I’m pleased to announce that you can now order the entire book on Amazon in paperback or kindle edition. And after reading it, please be sure to go back to Amazon and leave a review. I’d appreciate it!

Work with Toxic People? Here's How to Cope

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


If you work with a toxic person, someone who is abusive, controlling, or try to cause you harm, find out how to cope with their behavior and what steps you can take to minimize their bullying.Do you have any toxic people in your life? People who are abusive, controlling, or try to cause you harm? Generally, you can get rid of this negativity by cutting toxic friends, family members, and acquaintances out of your life or at least drastically reducing contact with them.

But when you work with toxic people, the solution to your problem isn’t that easy. You have to work with them whether you want to or not. So how can you cope?

Here are some ways to protect yourself from a toxic workmate:

  • Assess if the person truly is toxic. Are they abusive or just difficult? Are they absorbed in themselves to the detriment of others, or are they just overcompensating? It’s worth considering because sometimes people who are not truly toxic can be won over by kindness and compassion and become less difficult. Behind their annoying behaviors, there may be feelings of inadequacy, vulnerability, or a longing for attention and personal connections.

  • Don’t take to heart what toxic people say to you or about you. Words can hurt, especially when we’re barraged with subtle digs all day long. It's easy to withdraw into yourself, feeling hurt and rejected. Then you replay, rehash, and relive the experience over and over again. Don’t do that. Don’t absorb what toxic people say and let it reach you emotionally. Stay calm and rational. Doing so will help you diffuse the situation, rather than providing the bully with the reaction they hoped for.

  • Improve your emotional intelligence (EQ). This may sound counterintuitive because the toxic person should be the one working on their EQ! But really, people with a high EQ can neutralize the effect of toxic people. They stay aware of their emotions and remain calm and objective. They establish clear boundaries and decide when they have to put up with a toxic person and when they don’t. They can keep an emotional distance from the person without becoming cold and uncaring. People with a high EQ also understand that holding a grudge doesn’t do them any good, so they have an easier time letting things go that bring them stress.

  • Continue to do your best work. Rudeness in the workplace is known to stifle creativity, problem-solving, and efficiency. Counteract the inclination to lay low at work by continuing to put your best foot forward. In addition to helping you be your best self, this also casts doubt on any negative things your toxic workmate says about you.

  • Keep your interactions with the toxic person to a minimum. Engage with them as little as possible, and they may move on to someone or something else. Speak in a neutral voice. Keep your responses short and unemotional. Stay on topics that are boring or inconsequential. Don’t engage when they taunt you or make eye contact. Avoid sharing personal information with them and don’t ask them anything personal. Make yourself seem as uninterested in them and as uninteresting to them as possible.

  • Document everything.
    Make sure to keep a record of toxic behavior. Write down what happened, when it happened, who witnessed it, etc. Keep emails, notes, and even voicemails. If things reach a point a point where you need to bring the problem to the attention of your employer, Human Resources, or beyond, this ensures you have the necessary information to make your case.

  • Focus on yourself. You can be happy if you keep your focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. You can’t control your workmate or make them change their personality. But you can continue to work becoming the best possible version of yourself. And remember, sometimes they healthiest choice is to walk away. You can work elsewhere!

Toxic people in the workplace often have severe Empathy Dysfunction (EmD). This is characterized by an “all-about-me” attitude and is manifested in thoughtless, self-absorbed behavior. The result is contemptible harm to those around them. My upcoming book, “When Empathy Fails – How to stop those hell-bent on destroying you,” delves into Empathy Disorders and offers advice on how you can protect yourself from people who can’t or won’t demonstrate empathy. You can read the first chapter here.

Are you in a position of leadership and see signs of toxic behavior in your business? Or are you on the receiving end of this type of demoralizing behavior and want it to stop? Many have found that consulting with a trained therapist and business coach has helped them find positive solutions. Please contact my office in Jantzen Beach to schedule an appointment or take advantage of online therapy.

My New Book Introduces You to the Empathy Scale (EmD Scale)

Monday, February 12, 2018


Over a decade ago, it felt like my life turned into a nightmare of intrigue not unlike a Hollywood crime mystery script. I felt like Julia Roberts in the movie “The Pelican Brief,” wondering how she’d gotten herself into such a mess, being forced to learn on the fly how to protect herself from a group of unscrupulous conspirators.

In my case, it wasn’t a fictional plot. It is a true crime story about a suburban mom in the eye of a perfect storm of greedy neighborhood bullies wrongfully enlisting the aid of pawns — several of them elected — in judicial, legal, and law enforcement systems.

My decade from hell began with a sad, but not uncommon, divorce story. My scorned husband used parental alienation to harm me. His efforts were effective. Neither of my daughters has spoken to me for years. Following the divorce, I was besieged by a host of unethical and absolutely selfish power brokers, who stirred up a hateful and destructive mob.

Sadly, my daughters are also among those who were victimized by the perfect storm of dangerous players in our lives. In turn, my two girls victimized me. That’s why the first chapter of my new book is entitled: “No One Calls Me Mom Anymore.” You can read chapter one for free by downloading a copy here.

For years, I’ve puzzled over what toxic people have in common. It finally occurred to me that all of them have one thing in common: deficiency in empathy to some degree or another. This was my “Eureka” moment! It made everything clear.

Next, I had the revelation that I could categorize empathy dysfunction into various levels of empathy (or non-empathy). My hunches and hard work had begun to take shape and culminated in my designing the Empathy Dysfunction Scale (EmD).

I’ve already introduced you to EmD-5 Radiant Empathy, in an earlier blog post that described it as “the ability to care for the feelings and thoughts of others without any need for reciprocity. It takes a lifetime to develop Radiant Empathy because it’s the combination of a healthy brain and life experience.”

My new book, When Empathy Fails – How to stop those hell-bent on destroying you clearly defines the six levels of empathy, from EmD-0 to EmD-5. (It will soon be available in Kindle and print editions on Amazon. Sign up for my newsletter, so you’re notified right away.)

The most important thing I want you to take away from reading Chapter One “No One Calls MeMom Anymore,” is how to spot people with Empathy Dysfunction, and then stop them dead in their tracks, using the tools that worked for me — before they damage you or your loved ones.

Eventually, I came out on the other side of it all, triumphant and at peace. So can you. Be sure to download your free chapter today. After you read it, please visit my Facebook page and tell me what you think.



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