How to Deal with People Who Lack Empathy
They jump fast into criticizing others without putting themselves in other people’s shoes.
They seem to be cold or just out of touch for people that are suffering or are less fortunate.
They believe 100% in the rightness of their own ideas and/or beliefs, and judge anyone who does not hold their beliefs as wrong, ignorant or stupid.
They have trouble feeling happy for others.
They have trouble making or keeping friends.
They have trouble getting along with family members.
They feel entitled to receiving favors and use you to serve their needs without showing appreciation. They will even get offended if they don’t get their way.
In a group setting, they will talk a lot about themselves and their lives without really caring about what other people share.
They do or say something that hurts a friend or a loved one, and tend to blame his/her actions on them. They truly believe that the fault is in the person receiving the hurt because they reacted poorly, were rude or were oversensitive.
The truth is that without empathy, it is hard to connect with others and create deep emotional connections. This can cause problems in relationships, as people aren’t felt seen or heard.
Why Some People Lack Empathy
Empathy is an innate and learned skill that is shaped by how we are wired when we are born, and our own environment and life experiences. To experience empathy to some extent, it means that we have to get in touch with our emotions.
Many people who lack empathy were raised in families who avoided getting in touch with their feelings and even condemned others for feeling their emotions. People in that environment have learned to shut down their feelings early in their lives to such a degree that they closed off their hearts and struggle to connect to their own feelings. An inability to connect to their feelings positions them to have difficulty relating to other people’s feelings.
They are probably not even aware that such disconnection is like a defense mechanism from their ego because if they empathize, they need to relate, get in touch with their feelings and feel the pain.
In most cases, developing and cultivating empathy is possible only if the individuals are willing to change how they relate with others. People who want to change are in for a journey of self-discovery and take important steps to consciously retrain their brains and alter their behavioral preference. Human’s are fortunate to have a high degree of brain neuroplasticity, allowing us to create new brain patterns.
As a result, these people end up lacking self-compassion, self-love and are disconnected from their authentic self and divine connection to source
However, there are other cases in which lack of empathy is associated to severe disorders such as narcissism, anti-social personality disorders, and psychopathy. In these cases, these individuals are most helped by seeking advice and guidance from a professional who specializes in these disorders.
I know how difficult it can be to deal with people who lack empathy when you are a sensitive and caring person. When you try to express your feelings, instead of compassion and understanding, you get anger or judgment back. This can cause a great deal of stress when you need support the most.
It’s painful because sometimes we can get stuck in a vicious cycle where the more someone doesn’t understand you, the more you feel hurt, and the more you want them to understand your feelings. It’s almost as if you are pleading for validation.