writing

Empathitication

Yes, that is a word that I just made up. I just Googled it, to check if it was a certified Oxford English Dictionary definition, but nothing came up. This proves that I am creative and willing to put my entire (fictional) writing career on the line for one, tiny, little made up word.

Empathetication is, simply, trying to empathise with someone you have no connection to, and ending up acting ridiculously pathetic in the process. This can come about in a number of ways:

A – Seeing someone on the street that you know; who is either much prettier, much nicer, or much more popular than you. As you walk past them, you can’t help but wonder what their life is like. What it’s like to be in their shoes. Well-liked, beautiful, kind to everyone even when they’re in excruciating pain. What they eat for breakfast. Kind of like looking up to a celebrity, although you’re sure that everyone else is far too wrapped up in their own lives to think about a person that isn’t internationally famous. Which is why you hang your head in shame, and go back to thinking about what you’re inevitably going to be late for.

B – When it gets closer to Christmas, a lot more of the various ‘Help for Africa/Syria/Sudan’ adverts seem to pop up onto television. People can be a lot more charitable around the festive season, it’s undeniable, but it always ends up in that awkward silence and stilted conversation around the sofa as it goes on, and the inevitable three minutes afterward. After a few of these come up, you might start to feel really guilty. Like, stupidly guilty, because you’re sitting in front of a flat screen television whilst people are dying. That coffee table cost at least £150. How many starving children could that money have saved? You can’t even imagine what it must be like to be in that situation, and it’s strangely uncomfortable to think about it, because all you’ve ever known is safety in a first world country. It just doesn’t feel right, to try and empathise, because you’ll never know what it’s like. The most you can do is text the number and give £3 a month, but not before thoroughly searching the company online in case Ewan McGregor is trying to scam you.

C – Being a Disney Princess, being stuck in a tower and forced to marry a prince before your next birthday sounds like a barrel of laughs to some (yes, before you question my obvious choice of film, I did just watch Aladdin, and for the first time too. It was sufficiently painful but Robin Williams was pretty great, not going to lie), but it must be a hell of a life to live. Although, it does open up some interesting opportunities, even though most of the male Disney characters aren’t good looking, and unfortunately I don’t think that Rapunzel is gay. Still, we can all kind of empathise with the sidekicks and the talking animals, or maybe the more angsty main characters. Although, this is Disney. What are you even thinking? It would be horrific. You can’t even swear.

D – This one is perhaps is a little more specific to me, but I have the habit of buying books and reading autobiographies about people that are complete opposites to me. For example, I’m currently reading Making It Up As I Go Along, by Marian Keyes. Marian Keyes is incredibly attractive for a 53 year old, as well as being very Irish and a very good writer. I’m pretty average at best, more English than any other ethnicity and my writing isn’t that great. So, reading this book is an experience. I’m enjoying it immensely, but I don’t really understand her as a person. I try to put myself in her shoes, and I can in some cases – she’s a feminist (hooray!) – but mostly, I fall short. She’s just in a different league to me, she’s Middlesex cricket team and I’m Worcestershire, constantly falling short of promotion. I’ll stop with the sport analogies now, but I hope this instance of Empathetication comes across in at least a semi-coherent manner.

There are more, but I’ll leave it at 4, because I’m an immature child at heart and I got the D I wanted. Also, 4’s a very nice number. Not as good as 3, but I thought up that cricket analogy and I needed to include it somehow. I’m a slave to the two sports that I bother following (the other being cycling, if you were interested, mostly for the drama).

Still. If I sound more like a vlogger than a blogger here, I apologise, I’ve been watching youtube videos all day, and I feel like I’ve taken on the voice of a vlogger somewhat.

But that’s another post entirely. I’ll leave this one here, in the knowledge that I’ve successfully imparted this new word on the world.

(P.S. I did give up on NaNoWriMo this year. It was too much hassle, and my story idea was a pile of shite.)

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