New month! May the Fourth be with you all.
It's hard sometimes to empathize. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose everyone I love to death. It's one of those things that I always separate in my mind as something that happens to other people and not something that could happen to me. Sure, it's not likely at all, but it could still happen.
It's interesting what we compartmentalize about ourselves that doesn't apply to anyone else. We distance ourselves from horrific events, pick at our own imperfections, overestimate our abilities, play down our talents, and feel out of place. The truth is, our perspective makes us think all these things, and they usually aren't anywhere near actuality.
You finally finish that painting or that story that has overtaken your head for the last several months. All of a sudden, you feel like it's all a piece of junk and you want to throw it out. Maybe all the shame you feel is just in your own head. But what if it's actually really bad? asks the voice in the back of your head. Listen to what other people say about it. If you really want to know, ask people for their honest opinions, and assure them as well as yourself that you won't be hurt by a negative response. They aren't disrespecting you, they may just not like what you've done with one particular project.
Have you ever been part of a raffle with a lot of other people and won? It may just be a T-shirt or a chance to get out of class to help with something, but the feeling of being selected out of the many is sometimes more satisfactory than the prize itself. There's something about breaking the empathy gap between you and the world that makes you feel greater emotions, whether anger, sadness, or complete elation.
It's the same feeling as that cliche movie moment-
Guy: I love you.
Girl: Why me? I'm just this ugly mess of emotions.
Guy: No, you're beautiful.
Girl: But you could have chosen anyone!
Guy: That includes you. I think you're the best one.
With this empathy gap, sometimes pride soon follows. Failure is for other people. Success is guaranteed because I'm good at what I do. My perfect record determines my entire future. It's great that you have self confidence, but as soon as you let it take over and expect what you do halfheartedly to be your best, you get into trouble. Of course, in real life, these words may be twisted and implied, but everyone's heard them before.
Don't pick on yourself because you're the only one who sees some of your faults. Most people are too busy feeling insecure and awkward to worry about if your socks don't match or you said something you didn't mean. The empathy gap isn't always bad, but the more you notice it, the better it will be.