Brought to you by Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Empathy is a natural trait in all human beings. However, if it is not developed through the proper social interaction, it will be not become fully developed. All humans have mirror neurons in their brain. They begin having an impact on our brain (to include personality development) from early infancy. These special brain cells play a critical role in our ability to properly socialize to include acquire languages, self and group identification, and other social skills.
Look at the brain as a multitude of competing parts. They are activated and strengthened through use. When an infant or young child is inadequately or improperly socialized, these parts of the brain fail to adequately develop. When a child is not properly socialized, specific empathy-related areas, which are located in the inferior temporal lobes of the brain, are never fully developed. Thus, repeated use of any part of the brain produces mastery; disuse begets inadequacy. This is the difference between someone who becomes highly empathetic later in life or becomes rather psychopathic or sociopathic.
An example of this can be also found in level of nurturing that a child receives during the first few years. It was discovered at the University of Wisconsin, Madison that when a rat pup is properly nurtured by its mother, there is a higher level of level of oxytocin in its cerebral fluid. When this occurs it tends to have a higher stress tolerance and a lower fight/flight trigger later in life.
Nurturing, to include making an effort, to teach manners is a great way to activate and develop the empathy areas of the brain. When it is done at an early age, it also helps promote stress tolerance later in life. Nurturing and adequate social content with others (both child and adult) is therefore necessary if the child’s brain is to have the right attributes, which will help them interact socially in a more functional way. A failure to do so will create an empathetic defect that may in the extreme sociopathic outcome. As success in business is directly related to an ability to perceive the needs of others, a lack of empathy skills (which is directly related to proper neurological development) can predict future successes in business – and any other relationship.
Keywords: Psychotherapy, psychology, manners, human relationships, counseling, crime
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