EQI - Emotional Intelligence - header image


Caring vs. Control

People Who Aren't Cared About Don't Care

They Don't Care How Much You Know Until...

Spanish vs. English

Caring, Regret, Change

Caring vs Knowledge

Caring At Work

Other Core Topics

Respect | Empathy
Caring | Listening

Free EQ for Everybody Book

Caring vs. Control

One thing I've clearly noticed in my travels is the contrast between caring and control. An example of this was in Tallin, Estonia in 2007 where I was once talking with a few young people. They were all students either in high school or university. They were sitting around smoking, drinking and talking in a park - just "hanging out."

While we were talking they saw a police officer in the distance. They quickly started putting out their cigarettes and hiding their beer. They told me that there was a new law which prohibited drinking and smoking in the parks in the center of town. They said the law was designed to create a better image of the city for the tourists.

I knew some of the people in the group. Some had come from broken homes. One student's father had killed himself. Another student's father was an alcoholic. I knew that these young people needed someone to care about them, someone to listen to them, get to know them and take an interest in them. Normally this would be the job of their parents. But I knew their parents hadn't been able to do that job as well as needed, for one reason or another. I also knew the police officer who they were afraid of had the power to control them by putting them in jail for breaking the new law. And I knew it was not his job to care about them. That is not what society pays police officers to do. At least not at this point in history.

I wonder what the world would be like if we had more roaming social workers who would stop by and have a chat with young people like this -- who would take time and get to know them and their needs. The students told me they had nowhere central to just hang out with and talk to their friends like they had been doing. They said especially in the winter, when it was bitter cold, they needed a warm, dry place to just meet and socialize but they only had the parks. Now they were afraid to meet there in some of those parks most convenient to them.

I also wonder what the world would be like if we simply had more people who cared about us and fewer people who controlled us.

S. Hein

People Who Aren't Cared About Don't Care

A friend said this as we walked through a city in former Yugoslavia as he looked at all the broken glass and trash.

Later I searched his words on Google, thinking it was a famous quote. But to my surprise, these words could be found nowhere else when this page was created.

I then searched these similar words "People who don't feel cared about..." and found these results, among others.....

- Remember, people who don't feel cared about don't care about others. You have the power to renew these students' faith in the system and.. (US Committee hearing transcript)

- Research confirms that people who don't feel cared about as individuals at work are more likely to be disengaged, distrust their bosses, and display less than trustworthy behaviors.. (success.bz)

Spanish vs. English

An interesting cultural note is that in Spanish there doesn't seem to be a word for "caring".

In my four years of living in South America I never found anyone who could translate the concept of caring as used in the expression "to care about" someone. If they wanted to say "I don't care", they would say, "No me importa". Obviously, this means more literally, "It isn't important to me."

This is interesting, though, because it helps us see the close relationship between feeling cared about by someone and feeling important to them. If someone doesn't care how you feel, it seems fair to say you can't be very important to them. Or, to put it another way, if your feelings are not important to them, then *you* are not important to them.

In Spanish there is another translation of caring which is "cuidar." That means something like "to take care of". For example you might say to someone, "Cuidate" which means something like "Take care of yourself." Or if you wanted to say "My mother takes care of me" you would say "mi madre me cuida". But this is more like she "protects me" or she "keeps me safe". It still is not the same as the English expression to care about someone or to care how someone feels.


Knowing vs. Caring

Years ago I heard something on which I have never forgotten. It went something like this:

Kids don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

From my work in youth suicide prevention, I think we can also say:

Suicidal youth don't care how much you know until they know how much you care

When you are in physical pain, you might be more concerned with a doctor's knowledge so you will feel confident he or she will know how to stop the pain. But people in extreme emotional pain, people who are suicidal for emotional reasons, want to know someone cares about them. In other words, they want to feel cared about. They want to feel important. They want, and need, to feel understood.

These feelings -- caring, importance, understanding -- only come with human connections. When the human connections aren't there, there is no convincing reason for them to want to stay alive. This reminds one of the saying: You can't heal an emotional wound with logic.

The importance of caring also applies to the very young. A baby, for example, can't even understand the words you are saying. But a baby, just like a child, or a teenager, can feel how you are feeling. And they can sense when they feel cared about, safe, afraid or loved.

When we do feel cared about, a strong connection is made through which knowledge can be transferred smoothly. This is why teachers who care about their students produce not only better academic results, but also more empathetic and humane adults.

Article by a Substitute Teacher

The Importance of Caring
By Ms. Chrysler

Everyone from Teddy Roosevelt to John C. Maxwell has been attributed with coining the phrase "People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. " It’s been repeated often enough to become a well-known truism, especially in education. After working in a high school classroom for over two months, I now realize why it’s so often said.

A couple of weeks ago, I finished my stint as a high school teacher and lived to tell about it. In retrospect, it seems a surreal experience. Did I really teach high school for over two months? Me?

Well, yes, I did, as the pictures found here will confirm.

I learned a heck of a lot—about teaching, myself, and the kids. I learned how much I don’t know and that teaching is hard work. It also had rewarding moments.

Here are a few memories that stand out:

The girl who entered my classroom every day downcast and complaining about a variety of physical ailments. I learned that her mother had had a massive heart attack a year ago and her father lives in a nearby town with his girlfriend. My student has no contact with her father; she said they don’t get along. After several conversations, I learned that she was worried that her mom would have another heart attack and that there would be no one left to care for her and her younger brother. I spent a lot of time trying to encourage her.

The Latino student who continually paid me compliments. One day he told me that I had “nicely shaped eyebrows.” That was a first for me. “Uh . . . . thank you,” I replied. He asked, “Do you wax them?” “No.” “Oh, I get mine waxed at such-and-such place,” he offered. (I’ve since learned about the male eyebrow grooming ritual called “manscaping.”). Another day he remarked on the color of my shirt and that it looked nice on me. (No, he wasn’t another Eddie Haskell—that was an entirely different student.).

When he didn’t come to class one day, I made sure to ask him where he was when I saw him again. “Well, I’m not going to lie to you, Ms. Chrysler. I was with my girlfriend. She was having an ultrasound.” “Oh, I see,” I said as I thought about what to say next. “Yeah, she’s pregnant,” he added, “But I’m gonna stick with her through this thing.”

We had a talk about responsibility and I tried to encourage him by saying that, although life was going to be hard for awhile, he could get through this. He held out his clenched hand to knock his knuckles against mine and said, “Ms. Chrysler, you’re LE-GIT.” I have to admit that his friendly demeanor was a welcome change from some of the more surly students, even if I did have to tell him to ‘clean up your language’ one too many times. The last day of class, he extended the ultimate compliment: “Ms. Chrysler, I probably shouldn’t say this, but . . . you’re a BADASS!” High praise indeed.

The young Latino in my Sales & Marketing class who was barely passing, although it wasn’t for lack of effort. I could tell that he wanted to do well. I had been instructed to give him verbal directions when assigning projects, since he couldn’t read as well as most of the others. A week before graduation, I learned that his father was dying of a brain tumor and that he and his brother would miss school that week. However, he very much wanted to graduate. After consulting with his counselor, I excused him from the final project and exam. He squeaked by and was able to graduate just days after his father passed away. I was touched when he came to class that week and asked me to sign his annual. He told me that he wanted to be an auto mechanic and open his own shop one day. My heart ached for him. I hope he achieves his dream.

It is true—kids really don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.


Originally found on runningtheraceblog.com. As of June 2012 link broken.

Caring At Work

Excerpts from:
Winning at Working: The Whole Person

by Nan Russell

Henry Ford is reported to have quipped, "Why is it that I always get the whole person when what I really want is a pair of hands?" The 21st century version doesn't sound quite like that, but its essence prevails in plenty of workplaces.

The functional equivalent of Ford's thinking is housed in statements from supervisors, managers, and coworkers like: "What do you mean her kid is sick again, and I have to do her work?" "I know he's having a rough time at home, but he has to leave it at the door." Or "I'm sorry his father died and he needs more time off to travel to the funeral, but what am I suppose to do about the policy?"

It may seem like the right approach is to distance ourselves at work; to hire the "hands" or the "heads" or the "voices" to do what needs to be done and keep the "real" person out of the mix. But keeping people's emotions, feelings, thoughts, weekend happenings, families, and interests away from the workplace is a bad business decision.

You see, people work for people, not for companies. We all need a connection to the whole, to be appreciated, or to know someone cares about us as a unique person. That's true at work too. Research confirms that people who don't feel cared about as individuals at work are more likely to be disengaged, distrust their bosses, and display less than trustworthy behaviors.

When supervisors and managers see the whole person, they engage them. They build loyal, enthusiastic work groups. Engaged teams are more creative, resourceful and productive, producing quality results again and again. You know those engaging bosses. These are the people you want to work for, people you'd follow to the next company, and people who bring out the best in you. They value you as a person, not a position.


From http://superperformance.com/wholeperson.php


Caring, Regret, Change

Last night I was teasing my partner. I wanted to feel superior to her; to show her that I could do something better than she could. I forgot, though, about her feelings.

She told me that she didn't like the teasing because it added to her belief that she was bad at everything and can't do anything well. I felt a little defensive and thought, "I was just teasing." I told her that I just wanted to show off how good I was at it, but that didn't make her feel much better. She repeated that she still didn't like it. Then she walked away.

A few minutes later I asked her how she was feeling. She said she was feeling a little self-destructive. I offered her a hug, but she was reluctant to accept it. I could see she felt very bad. I apologized again for teasing her earlier. This time I felt less defensive and felt more sincere regret and empathy.

This morning I apologized again to her because I still felt bad about what I did. She seemed to accept my apology, saying, "It's ok." This reminds me now of one of my best teachers (not of the school type) who used to say, "It's ok, best friend."

I am also reminded of the power of a sincere apology. And I think of the very important difference between the words and the feeling. I think of how teachers in a school might insist that one child apologize to another, yet the first one feels neither regret nor empathy. This is a good example that you can force behavior, but not the underlying feelings.

This simple truth, that you can force behavior but not feelings, is the basis of many social problems. It is so simple, yet it is so often overlooked, forgotten, or never realized.

Throughout our lives people want us to behave a certain way. They use many tactics, strategies and methods to get us to do so. The overwhelming emphasis in psychology has been on behavior. Behavior modification. Behavior control. Behavioral therapy. Conditioning. Punishment and rewards.

Behavior is easier to see, measure, and quantify. One person's behavior serves another. The behavior of the worker serves the employer. The behavior of the citizens serves therulers and politicians. The behavior of the slave serves the needs and desires of the master.

An important question to always remember to ask ourselves is: Does the master care about how the slave feels? Does the boss care how the worker feels? Does the teacher care how the student feels? Does the parent care how the child or teen feels?

Getting back to apologies and forgiveness, it is much easier for a teacher to get one child to apologize to another, than for her to get the child to really feel regret and remorse for their action. In other words, it is easier to force the behavior the teacher wants than to force the feelings. We might say then that in general it is easier to force behavior than feelings. We might also say it is easier to control behavior than feelings.

Since it is natural for most humans to do what is easier and quicker, it makes sense that so much of human history and human interaction is based on behavior control. But what then of feelings? What happens when the feelings don't match the behavior?

What happens is that our
emotional needs get neglected on a massive scale. When needs are not met, problems follow just as surely as water flows downhill.

Our feelings are indicators of the state of our emotional needs. When an emotional need is unmet, our bodies send us a signal, just as when we are hungry, our bodies alert us. When emotional needs are unmet we feel dissatisfied, frustrated, discontent. When our emotional needs are met, satisfied or filled, we feel content, satisfied, good.

As a way of summarizing, here are some points to remember:

1. Sincere apologies are very powerful.

2. Sincere apologies arise from sincere feelings.

3. While behavior can be forced, sincere feelings, and therefore, sincerity itself, cannot.

4. When behavior is controlled without regard for the underlying feelings, emotional needs get neglected.

5. When emotional needs are not met, personal and social problems quickly follow.

Caring vs Knowledge

Today when I was thinking about how I could best help an online friend of mine, I remembered this..."People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."

I have discussed this above, but here are more thoughts on this idea.

I might have a lot of knowledge, but if people don't feel cared about, they may not be open to my knowledge, even knowledge which could help them, or even save their lives, if not lot of money or suffering.

Let's say you take your laptop to someone who is a computer genius. He knows how to fix anything, so you ask him if he can help you get rid of a virus. He says yes, then he takes your laptop out of your hands and walks away. You try to follow him and he says, "Wait a few minutes. This won't take long." Then you say, "But I would like to see how you do it so I can learn, and also I don't feel comfortable when someone
works on my laptop and I can't see what is happening. I'm afraid something could accidently get erased, for example."

Then he tells you, "Don't worry. I won't erase anything. I know what I'm doing." Then he walks away, goes down the hall and enters a room and closes the door.

How would you feel? And what is more important to you at that moment? How much he knows about computers, or how much he cares about how you feel?

S. Hein
June 3, 2013





xx caring4, caring2b etc unfin