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Is your dog a narcissist or an angel?

Is your dog a narcissist or an angel?

And one tip on how to feel better about shoddy customer service

I will probably get a bit of flack from my team, as well as from some of you, for not writing about "health issues” but let me try to satisfy as many of you as possible.

As my life progresses, I have become increasingly aware that health, well-being, and life in general, are much better when we learn how to properly communicate and interact with others.

This is why I feel compelled to share a few words with you on the topic of empathy.

Perhaps we can blame nature and the process of evolution for turning us into the self-centred beings we are today through our inherent desire for self-preservation. I can't help noticing the glaring contrast between the nature of humans and the nature of dogs, who selflessly focus on their people's well-being. There are always exceptions, as my team member Christina claims her dog is a narcissist! 😂

But I trust you know what I mean about dogs in general.

So, how can we all follow our dogs’ lead and become more caring towards one another? There are many opportunities, let me give you some examples:

If an airline or a bank leaves us on hold for over an hour, we shouldn't take our anger out on the person on the other end of the line. They just work there and have no control over the call centre's wait times or any staffing issues.

It makes a massive difference to these often victimized employees if we express our empathy and perhaps mention that they should not take complaints about unreasonable customer service wait times personally. They deserve our compassion, as they are just trying to put food on the table and are bound by insensitive corporate policies.

We must remember that companies that treat their customers poorly treat their employees even worse. The only way we can change this is to carefully consider what companies we deal with if we have a choice.

Another area to be aware of is group interactions amongst friends or team members and within families. They are a little more complicated, but the same rule of thumb can be applied. When something upsets us, we should try our best to take a deep breath and ask ourselves one crucial question:

"How would I feel if I was in the other person's shoes?"

If you see a person with an aggressive dog on leash, think about what it must be like to live with a dog who has behavioural issues. Let them know that you understand their situation and ask if there is anything you can do to help, they may be pleasantly surprised by your offer of support.

The last example I can think of is when a friend shares a concern they have. Instead of responding with the usual, "it will be okay" or "there are worse things happening to others," ask if there is anything else they wanted to share, and tell them that you understand their feelings.

Taking this approach toward our fellow humans is not easy and it requires practice, but it is worth trying. Knowing that others see you and care about you can transform lives and our world.  

There is great power in showing empathy and care for others the way that dogs do.

PS: I am sure that even Christina's dog does.😉🐾. Here is his “mugshot”


Black kleinspitz dog Magnus

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

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