On the limits of empathy

We all want to be understood. We want someone there for us to give us a pat on the back and tell us, "I know what you're going through. I feel for you."That's possible to have with people, but don't expect it all the time. So, don't get too upset if you're not being understood. Empathy is imperfect. Here are two main reasons to remember...

On vulnerability

Being vulnerable is about being unfiltered in the expression of your feelings and thoughts. When you're sad, when you're happy, when you have a burning thought, you express it. However, being vulnerable doesn't mean being an asshole who spews out profanities or crude comments or viciousness. Being vulnerable, or true unfiltered expression, is calm because your feelings and thoughts flow cleanly out. There's no mental acrobatics required...

On using simple language in conversation

We use language to communicate our ideas and feelings to another person. Whether I'm trying to explain the concept of a flying car (an idea) or how groggy I feel in the morning (a feeling), the goal is to transfer what's going inside you and put it inside someone else. You want them to understand the idea you have or feel the feeling you felt; language is the bridge away from loneliness. When language succeeds...