How empathy can compel you to become a storyteller

Empathy turned Jennifer Lawrence into an actress. During a 2018 60 Minutes segment, Jennifer Lawrence revealed that she had no formal acting training and relies solely on empathy:

During the interview, she further revealed that sensing another’s feelings and letting go of her own identity comes easily to her, allows her to focus, and is tremendously rewarding.

Jennifer Lawrence (from 60 Minutes transcript): … That’s what I crave —that really getting lost into something, being almost possessed by another emotion. That’s the adrenaline rush, that’s the high that I can’t live without.

Lawrence described herself as a poor student, a misfit, and hyperactive in a traditional school setting.

The 60 Minutes segment is just as much a testament to parents who were able to step back and get to know their unconventional child and let her become who she was meant to be.

Unfortunately, so many children’s talents are wasted and their spirits crushed by school systems that subscribe to one size fits all.

But I digress.

Empathy can seem like such a hindrance. It can hurt to constantly sense others’ pain and many other emotions through their body language, facial expression, and notes in their voice.

Writing enables me to release many of those feelings by telling others’ stories. When I write, the characters appear in my thoughts and, at times, acting out premises results in their dialogue. When I get into flow, I experience a rush as well.

Did empathy turn you into a writer or another type of storyteller?




Filed under Writing and Social Media

3 responses to “How empathy can compel you to become a storyteller

  1. I love this. I’m very empathetic and I think it’s made me better when I was a case manager, a teacher, and even now as a face painter and tutor. But I love the idea of turning that ability into story telling. I’m pretty comfortable talking about myself – I’m going to try this. 💗

    I saw your video on Twitter – thanks for your openness. I’ve been wondering if my issues with regulating my blood sugar and trying to get myself to exercise are affecting my bipolar.

    • Regular exercise has so many benefits for someone with bipolar. It can regulate sleep, lifts one’s mood from mild depression, help with concentration etc. But the timing is critical. Not close enough to bedtime that it wakes one up too much. And overexercising can promote hypomania. Blood sugar is so tricky. Intense emotions can affect it. The timing of food and the mix of protein can affect it. It can change so much throughout the day. I have read from good sources that it’s a good idea to eat at least 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up…. Those with bipolar have shaky circadian rhythms and routines, timing of activities, pretty much everything you do has to be assessed as to whether it’s helping or hurting. I can’t avoid persistent depression without exercising. Have fun w the story telling!

      • Thank you for all of that information!! I’ll start working on that. I’ve got an appointment with an endocrinologist coming up to try to help with the sugar. But I’ve been striving to balance it with more protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies. Sleep is a challenge, but I’m going to give my CPAP machine a shot again. Anyway – thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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