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I recently wrote a few posts...

I recently wrote a few posts...

  • 09 December, 2023
  • Emily Kimelman

About men telling women to smile. This might surprise you, but some men were outraged. 😂 I know, SHOCKING.

Another not surprising thing, a lot of women commented with their own stories. One shared how a toll booth operator wouldn’t let her pass until she smiled…on her way home from a funeral. 👀

Another posted about the time her daughter was pressured into smiling at her cancer treatment…a medical professional pressured a daughter into smiling at her mother’s cancer treatment. WTAF? 🤯

A male commentator noted that it was “hard to keep up”. This amused and saddened me because all you need to do to “keep up” on what’s appropriate to say to other humans is use empathy to imagine how the person feels.

If a person is not smiling, you can use empathy to deduce they do not want to smile.

There are a million reasons a person may not have a smile on their face. But rest assured, none of those reasons are because they need a stranger to tell them what to do with their face.

How can you be so sure? Because you’ve never needed a stranger to tell you what to do with your face. And it's hard to imagine a person who would need a stranger to tell them what to do with their face.

See, empathy is a combination of using your personal experiences in combination with your imagination to put yourself in another person’s shoes. This makes “keeping up” much easier.

When I told the commentator about the magic of empathy and how you can use it to figure out how to act, he told me he agreed with me 100% except I needed to chill out by 40%.

As you can imagine, this did not go well for him.

Telling a person how much emotion she should experience is something empathy could have steered this man away from. It’s not often that being told to “calm down” has the intended effect. And no one likes it.

Especially women talking about the trials and tribulations of navigating a world designed by and for men. There is generational trauma bubbling up from that pit of despair. And it does not want to calm the f*%k down.

But instead of using the empathy I’d so kindly explained to him, this commenter called it “womansplaining” and then ran face first into my words. They were not kind.

You don’t alway have to use empathy, sometimes you can just tell people to go f*&k themselves. But if you’re trying to “keep up” and not inadvertently insult someone, empathy is the key. 


What’s the best and most fun way to build empathy? Reading fiction, of course! It’s true. Science and me agree. We do that a lot. 😂

When you read my Sydney Rye Mysteries, not only will you be building empathy, you’ll also be releasing some of the rage you feel about navigating a world designed for and by men. Which is annoying AF no matter your gender. Because it’s fucking exhausting. And exhausting shit is annoying.

When you read the Sydney Rye Mysteries, you get to see all that annoying shit run right into Sydney Rye’s fist. And it’s satisfying. So satisfying. While also, through the magic of fiction, helping you build empathy.

I know, you’re thinking the Sydney Rye Mysteries sound like a miracle. I agree! Though, admittedly science and I do part company on this point. 😂

But if you want to build empathy and virtually experience kicking ass, I suggest my Sydney Rye Mysteries.

Sydney Rye and her dog, Blue, exact justice with a vengeance. The dog doesn’t die, but the bad guys do. And it’s awesome.

Start the Sydney Rye Mysteries today.

📚 Pay what you want for the first 8 Sydney Rye Mysteries in ebook or digital audiobook. Save 40% on paperbacks:
emilykimelman.com/SR18

📚 Continue the adventure with books 9-12: 
emilykimelman.com/SR912

📚 Catch up with books 13-15:
emilykimelman.com/SR1315

📘 Read Relentless, Sydney Mysteries Book 16: 
emilykimelman.com/RL

📗 Download the newest release, Jagged Truth, Sydney Rye Mysteries Book 17:
emilykimelman.com/JT

📗 Be Ready for next year with Brutal Mercy, Sydney Rye Mysteries Book 18:
emilykimelman.com/BM

And next time you’re not sure whether to tell someone to smile, just use your empathy. Remember we are all humans, that our value does not rest in any one facet of our identities but in all of our unique imperfectness, and act accordingly.

Emily

P.S. The irony of a woman explaining empathy to a man and him calling it “womansplaining” is...just...😂 🚩

P.P.S. The dog doesn't die, but the bad guys do.

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