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Empathy, Emotional Intelligence, & Self-Awareness

In psychology, there is a philosophy known as Tabula Rasa. Tabula Rasa is translated to mean "blank slate." This concept is in reference to our own sense of right and wrong.

While the large majority of us (about 95-99%) are born with the capacity to experience the vast spectrum of human emotions, we are not built with an innate capacity to distinguish what we are feeling at any given time, or for that matter, how to appropriately respond to that emotion.

We are, however, able to distinguish what is pleasurable to us versus what is undesirable to us.

An infant can tell you, it is more comfortable to be warm and fed, rather than cold and hungry, simply through its reaction to the differing circumstances. An infant will, similarly, cry as its reaction to being uncomfortable, angry, sad, hungry, tired, and any other negative or undesirable circumstances.

The problem is that if we are not appropriately taught as children or subsequently learn how to manage these emotions in a functional way, we could become adults who emotionally react inappropriately without considering the facts of a situation.

Emotional intelligence, then, is the ability to discern what an individual or the self is feeling and the capacity to understand how to respond appropriately and effectively to that emotion.

Emotional intelligence is a lifelong pursuit as new experiences can present new emotions, and therefore, new avenues to appropriately respond to those emotions. As we learn ourselves and we better understand our emotions, it becomes more manageable to appropriately and effectively respond to undesirable events. This consequently leads to us meeting our higher order needs. This is the essence of self-awareness.

Empathy is the alternate side of the "Emotional intelligence coin." Empathy is our ability to discern how another person feels given the cues of a social situation and our knowledge of how we should appropriately respond to the situation and that person's emotions. The problem is that if self-awareness is lacking, it makes it very easy to respond to the needs of others to our own detriment. We may have loads of empathy but little self-awareness to know how to protect ourselves from the residual effects of another's poor circumstance.

Through self-awareness, our empathy actually becomes more efficient. Self-awareness allows us to give more of ourselves to others.

Take Aways:

1) Lacking empathy or emotional intelligence keeps us stuck in our same-old, harmful, and self-defeating patterns.

2) As Self-Awareness increases so does Emotional Intelligence & Empathy

3) Emotional Intelligence & Empathy are critical for supporting ourselves and our relationships in a fulfilling and nurturing way.

A licensed therapist can help work with you to improve in emotional intelligence, strengthen empathy, increase your level of self-awareness, and improve the overall quality of your relationships.

To book our counseling and coaching services visit:


About Sam Nabil

Sam Nabil is the founder of Naya Clinics and is a Cincinnati therapist and a Cincinnati Marriage Counselor.

Sam offers therapy in Cincinnati and Cincinnati Marriage Counseling for adults suffering from relationship challenges, life transitions and anxiety.

Sam was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English And Cornell university , Yahoo News, USA Today,,

Naya Clinics is a top-rated Marriage Counseling, therapy and Life coaching practice.

Naya Clinics offers Marriage Counselors near me, individual therapy near me, and life coaching near me in various locations across the USA and the world.

Naya Clinics and Services are offered in


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