Have you ever held back from saying what you really thought at work because you didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings? Have you seen something that needed improvement but didn’t tell the person, figuring they would realize and fix it on their own?
If you said yes to either of these questions, you may be exhibiting Ruinous Empathy. But don’t despair! So many of us have made these mistakes. We care about the people we work with, and we don’t want to hurt their feelings. Sometimes we aren’t sure our perspective is right, and we don’t want to be arrogant or tell people what to do. So rest assured that you’re not alone. Here’s a story from Candor trainer Joe Dunn about a time when he behaved with Ruinous Empathy.
If you’ve noticed that you sometimes do this, you’re on the right track! Knowing is half the battle. Next, read our advice for stopping your Ruinous Empathy when you know you’re being “too nice.”