Dr. Joseph Burgo, Ph. D., Author at OC87 Recovery Diaries googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(true);

Dr. Joseph Burgo, Ph. D.

Joseph Burgo is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the author of both self-help books and novels. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic and other major publications; a recognized expert on narcissism, he is frequently quoted in USA Today, Glamour, The Huffington Post and other major news outlets. He writes a blog on the topic of “Shame” for Psychology Today.

The Downside of Empathy

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During a recent dinner with my twenty-two year old son Paul, we had a discussion about the sort of experiences that make life feel meaningful. “My friends are the most important thing,” he said. “More than anything, I want them to know they can always turn to me and that I’ll always be there for them.”

Of my three children, Paul reminds me the most of myself, especially the way I was at his age, especially when he utters sentiments such as this one. He reminds me of myself when he focuses so intently on what other people need and making sure he gives it to them. We both have a tendency to over-give; we both find it difficult to ask for what we want.  (more…)