brief thoughts on empathy and communication
Real quick because I’m not sure I have fully formed opinions yet, but I’ve made a few observations recently that are gnawing at me.
In a completely unscientific and non-exhaustive poll of folks at RC, I’ve noticed that when I say, “How’s it going for you?” the men respond by telling me about their projects. The women, on the other hand, respond by first telling me how they feel about their projects. At the core we are talking about the same thing: programming. But the women are doing it differently. By responding to my question with a feelings statement, the speaker is essentially activating the empathy part of my brain, which quite literally makes me care about what she’s telling me.
So if the speaker is talking to me about, say, Haskell – a topic about which I know nothing and have no extant intrinsic motivation toward – I find I’m more inclined to experience actual interest if I’ve been hooked by good ol’ communality.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I think that’s ok. It’s possible there’s a takeaway here for men – begin your project dump with a feelings statement and try to scatter them throughout – but it’s also possible my sample size is hilarious and I’m only seeing what I want to see because I talk primarily in feelings.