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Toxic Empathy - The Death of Truth and Resilience

Toxic empathy has created a generation of highly sensitive people, which probably started with the feedback sandwich technique in corporations, and we didn't even notice it. This is when the "Oh, how shall I put this without offending someone?" started to creep into organisations. Today, you cannot say anything to anybody because they get offended. It is a political tactic (getting offended) to shut people up because we are no longer equipped to handle the truth. This ability has been taken away from us by being coddled for decades. This is a society that is shaped by women, where men lost their voices and are cast aside. It is a fatherless society without personal responsibility and consequences. A fatherless society is a weak society. 


I have to say that toxic empathy is caused by women. So much so that we want even men to behave like women. We have created a society where everyone is too nice to tell the truth, and it does not serve anyone well. Everyone affirms each other in a very feminine, empathetic way. Unfortunately, this is making people feel weak and worse every day. Nobody is willing to have hard conversations, challenge others, and say, "Maybe you are not as good as you think." People easily get offended and aren't prepared to hear and then handle the truth. Why? Because mothers have protected their kids from everything! 


They fought their battles on the playground or stopped their kids from going out because "someone said something to them that hurt their feelings." Today, 20-year-old university students take their mothers to meetings with the principals. Last week, I spoke to a mother whose son wants to work, but she said, "I don't want him because maybe it will impact his studies." You cannot prepare kids like that for life! Life is like a fighting arena where you will get punched. You cannot blame the game when you get beaten up! This is the game, so you better equip yourself well to get somewhere. 


Look at social media. It is all about affirming one's weaknesses, how poor and unfortunate one is, how bad one has it, and so on. How is that narrative supposed to help anybody? Mothers did this, and now we must live with the consequences. They have created a problem for the education system, workplace, and most importantly, their kids. Well done! 


The school system introduced rewards for just showing up. They then enter the workforce, and reality slaps them in the face because, at work, you actually need to produce something to be recognised and rewarded. But because they have not been taught about personal responsibilities and consequences, they quit. It is not the job, lovelies; it is you! Or your mother, but now the workforce, and you must deal with the consequences. 


Organisations are struggling with Gen Z and Millennials and are tone-deaf to their potential. Yes, their potential is extraordinary! However, these two generations and Alpha must also realise that part of their struggles can be traced back to their upbringing. They were not provided with the tools they needed to manage reality. 


The reality is this. These are the things I can guarantee you in life: Most people are not nice. Many will want to hurt you, many will step over you if needed, and some will throw you under the bus. The truth will hurt, but it is your best friend. People will say things that you don't like, and they will personally attack you sometimes. You will be harassed, discriminated against, and bullied at some point. People will let you down, your heart will break, you will lose family members and friends as you grow older and change, and there will be times when you must walk alone. And when you think life is okay, illness will strike, your partner will leave you, or you financially crumble. This is the arena of life, and you have a choice: You fight (overcome the obstacles) or sit in your basement, stay in bed and be sorry for yourself. That's it. Life is not always nice, but it is always fair in the long run. For it to be able to show this, you must play the game. Life will never be fair to those who don't play.


Now, here is a question for you on this Sunday morning: When you are down on your luck, lying in bed feeling depressed or sorry for yourself, what type of friends and family do you want to have around you? The one that reaffirms your misfortunes and keeps you there, or the one that says, "Shit happens, let's get back up. How do we do that?" 


I know which one I would want to have. 


The problems corporations and the younger generations face today stem from their upbringing. Organisations spend more time addressing these related problems than doing the actual work. Maybe it is time for younger people who struggle to look at work as real life rather than view it as the enemy that removes the protective cocoons, making them feel uncomfortable. Maybe it is time to look at their upbringing vs what life is all about and realise that their toolbox is empty. That is the problem, not the environment. You cannot get through life if your feelings are hurt because I told you that you are stupid. As simple as that. 


PS: I know extraordinary young people who are so well-equipped to face life! But their mothers did not protect them to their detriment. They were taught well. 


PPS: Where does that overprotection come from? Just look at the number of children women have today compared to in the past, and you will understand it. If you have one or two instead of ten, they will become very precious, and all your attention will go towards that one or two. Too much of anything can make you sick. There are pros and cons to everything! 



Exciting news! My second book, "Blind Leading the Disengaged - From Kindergarten to Employee Experience," is dropping in May! It's a treasure trove of solutions and cool ideas to shake up your people management game. But before we get there, let's chat about where we're at now—The Corporate Kindergarten, as I spilt the beans in my first book. Check it out, and let's transform your workplace from a daycare to an awesome employee experience hub!:




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