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Posts by Shirin Shoai

How to Listen to Yourself During Stressful Times

Listening to ourselves can be harder than it sounds. When we’re having a rough time, we want support from someone who will hear us out, validate our feelings, and offer empathy, perspective, or assistance. We want someone who’s available for us. Yet finding that availability within ourselves, for ourselves, can be elusive. Often, what we…

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Humanity Needs Empathy Now More Than Ever

What would the world look like without empathy? In a recent LA Times piece, Yale psychologist Paul Bloom opined that empathy is an overrated emotion, one that leads us into all manner of irrational choices and that ultimately leads to burnout. The capacity to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, he argues, is nothing more…

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Working While Outraged

It’s only been two weeks, y’all. For me, at this point, the intensity of my own outrage is in conflict with my rationalization that we’re in a very long game. To be honest, it’s draining. Even though I’m talking about the Trumpocalypse (and yes, assuming that most readers here share my political leanings), “outrage” may…

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Why is it So Hard to Receive Support?

Letting others in is an ongoing process. As a therapist, I offer support for a living—yet taking in care from others is another story. I remember the a-ha moment when I first understood the reciprocal nature of support. Several years ago I attended a powerful community-based grief ritual. At the start of the intimate weekend,…

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You Will Be OK.

“My grandma said, ‘Nothing real can be threatened.’” — Beyonce, Lemonade I can hold a lengthy process for my clients, but in my own life, I’m impatient. Always have been. As a Sagittarius-Dragon-INFJ-Enneagram 4, I’m a hardcore truth-seeker, wired for the long game. And I do love plumbing our individual and collective psychological depths—but at…

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