A Course in Forgiveness by Gerald Crawford

We offer you a full day forgiveness course in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Kimberley, Johannesburg and Stellenbosch. Develop gratitude with grace and change your life with a universal truth.

Category: Self-awareness

We have a lack of compassion in our world that is linked to emotional detachment

Lack of compassion: Hardhearted, unfeeling, devoid of feeling for others, merciless, unmerciful, having or showing no mercy and unsympathetic.

There is a direct link between a lack of Compassion and Emotional Detachment Disorder. 

Compassion is defined as a feeling of concern for the suffering of others (rather than experiencing distress in the face of the suffering of others.) Qualities of compassion are patience and wisdom; kindness and perseverance; warmth and resolve.

People lack normal empathy, or the ability to feel what others are feeling, when something has gone wrong in their brains. It might be the result of a genetic defect, or physical damage due to trauma, or a response to their environment.


In psychology, emotional detachment is the avoidance of emotional connections. It may be a temporary reaction to highly emotional circumstances or a chronic condition such as a depersonalization disorder.  As such it is a deliberate mental attitude which avoids engaging the emotions of others.

Emotions are part of the very thing that makes us human. We feel so much that when that feeling is missing it can be very hard to connect with others. Being able to feel the same things is an important part of empathizing and communicating with each other. Emotional detachment disorder has two meanings. The first is when someone avoids situations which may cause anxiety or overwhelming feelings as a way of coping. The second, it’s simply a way that some people maintain personal boundaries by setting themselves apart psychically when dealing with an emotionally demanding situation.

There are multiple different types of detachment, but emotional detachment is a purely mental disorder. A common misconception is that those with emotional detachment disorder are incapable of expressing and interpreting feelings when the truth is that they simply struggle to so they choose the easier path of avoiding it instead. Essentially, by not feeling, a person removes themselves from the situation, a protective measure that is usually learned from a traumatic experience.

When we are children, adults are seen as “all powerful” because they are in charge. If there is an abusive situation or one where the parent themselves cannot healthily express emotions they may also be a distant or disciplinary figure. A common example of this is in boys who cry. They are often censured and told that such expressions of emotion are unsightly and unacceptable, causing the boy to learn that he should not behave this way even if it is a healthy and normal expression of emotion.

In severe cases, patients can develop personality issues such as multiple personality disorder in an attempt to cope with their emotions by assigning them to “someone else.”

People with EDD usually have a strict upbringing with parents who are very restrictive and controlling. They will have dealt with extremes from their parent figures – alternatively being loved and then punished with extremes. There may have also been threats of abandonment, and some minor infractions that would have been ignored by peer parents could have elicited either severe punishment or abuse leading to a feeling that they were at fault specifically.

This would cause a child to start believing that their feelings were dangerous since the feelings of their parent are so unpredictable and so likely to mean punishment. This would lead to a gradual withdrawal from emotions since their emotional needs were likely not being met. The child would choose to break the emotional cycle by using the only power they had over the situation – withdrawing their emotions in an attempt to prevent future abuse.

Another cause of emotional detachment is high anxiety situations. Because anxiety is often linked to feelings of overwhelming situations that give similar feelings within the body create the same “shut off” response in an attempt for the psyche to save itself.

We offer you a full day forgiveness course in South Africa in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Kimberley, Johannesburg and Stellenbosch. Develop gratitude with grace and change your life with a universal truth.

Many people deal with crippling anxiety, but not everyone experiences emotional detachment disorder.

Self-awareness

Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.

It is not to be confused with consciousness in the sense of qualia. 

Self-awareness is understanding your own strengths and weaknesses (internal self-awareness), as well as how you affect others and are perceived by them (external self-awareness).

When you’re self-aware, you’re typically able to make smarter decisions and handle feedback and constructive criticism, because you have a healthy and positive sense of who you are. Also, to the self-aware, the constructive criticism you receive may sting, but it isn’t a huge blow to your sense of self.

People believe they’re more self-aware than they really are. Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist, executive coach and author of the book Insight, explained to Harvard Business Review: “‘According to our research with thousands of people from all around the world, 95 percent of people believe that they’re self-aware, but only about 10 to 15 percent really are.’”

One way to cultivate self-awareness is by being open to feedback, Gourani says. “Feedback is not easy to a lot of people, and it is an essential component of change. You have blind spots and it is like ‘you’ve got broccoli in your teeth …’ You need people to tell you that, because you can’t see it.” Eurich says it’s helpful to check in with a core group of trusted people (three to five people at different levels at work) you depend on for feedback and criticism. She dubs these people “your loving critics.” So when you receive feedback or criticism from an unknown source or one you may not trust, you can check in with your loving critics.

The truth is, the higher you go in the corporate ladder, the less self-aware you tend to become. Perception and how you come across to others has to be something you own, whether you agree with it or not.

Another way for leaders to cultivate self-awareness is to practice a technique called a “pre-mortem,” or anticipating unexpected outcomes. In other words, write down the opposite of what you think is going to happen, so you’re considering all the factors. Also, if you’re trying to cultivate self-awareness in others, there’s nothing better than good old-fashioned constructive feedback that is “timely, specific and future-oriented,” Eurich said. In other words, set your expectations of what you would like to see in the future.


Seeking Awakening of Self-awareness.

Awakening is a moment of deep, deep insight. A moment of drastically expanded awareness. A moment of boundless presence. One can’t do anything to produce this moment, but one can increase awareness, one can expand presence.

Cultivating one’s awareness does not guarantee that awakening will happen, not even a little, but it does create an environment that is more conducive to awakening.

We offer you a full day forgiveness course. Develop gratitude with grace and change your life with a universal truth.