Lack of Compassion (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

At some point in our lives, we have all interacted with people who appear to lack empathy. I understand how those experiences can leave us feeling frustrated, unsettled, angry, disappointed, and even betrayed, especially when we are in need of assistance.

It's even more difficult and painful if you're in a relationship with someone who can't put themselves in your shoes. Especially when we consider some of these people to be friends, or even worse, when they are family members and we must communicate with them on a regular basis.

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In this article, I will discuss the signs that someone lacks empathy, why some people appear to lack it, and how to deal with them so that you are not as frustrated and disappointed and can live a happier life.

What Is Empathy, Exactly?

Empathy is defined as follows by Dictionary.com:

psychological identification with or vicarious experience of another's feelings, thoughts, or attitudes

The term is derived from the Greek word “empatheia,” which means physical affection or passion.

(((Instant Book Preview of Against Empathy)))

Empathy is defined as follows by PsychologyToday.com:

the experience of comprehending another person's thoughts, feelings, and condition from their perspective rather than your own You try to put yourself in their shoes to understand how they feel or what they are going through.

  • They go on to say that empathy promotes prosocial (helping) behaviors that come from within rather than being forced, allowing us to be more compassionate.
  • In other words, empathy is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of another person, both emotionally and intellectually.
  • Empathy is also one of the defining characteristics and foundational components of emotional intelligence.
  • True compassion entails not only feeling another's pain but also being moved to assist in its alleviation — Goleman, Daniel
  • Signs That Someone Isn't Empathetic.

Despite the fact that humans are social creatures by nature, empathy does not come naturally to all of us. Some people are more sensitive than others. Some people suffer from Empathy Deficit Disorder in more severe cases (EDD).

According to Douglas LaBier, Ph.D., a business psychologist, psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and Director of the Center for Progressive Development in Washington, DC,

Empathy Deficit Disorder is a common but underdiagnosed condition. Indeed, our increasingly polarized social and political culture over the last few years demonstrates that EDD is more severe than ever. It has far-reaching implications for both individual and societal mental health.

He explains that when you have EDD, you are unable to step outside of yourself and tune in to what other people are feeling, thinking, and believing, especially those who feel, think, and believe differently than you. As a result, it is a source of personal conflict, communication breakdown in intimate relationships, and adversarial attitudes – including hatred – toward groups of people who hold beliefs, traditions, or ways of life that differ from your own.

Here are some tell-tale signs that someone close to you lacks empathy:

  • They criticize others without first putting themselves in other people's shoes.
  • They appear to be cold or simply unconcerned about those who are suffering or less fortunate.
  • They are adamant about the correctness of their own ideas and/or beliefs, and consider anyone who disagrees with them to be wrong, ignorant, or stupid.
  • They have a difficult time feeling happy for others.
  • They have difficulty making and maintaining friendships.
  • They have a difficult time getting along with family members.
  • They believe they are entitled to favors and use you to meet their needs without showing gratitude. If they do not get their way, they will become offended.

In a group setting, they will talk about themselves and their lives without regard for what others have to say.

They do or say something hurtful to a friend or loved one and then blame it on them. They truly believe that the person receiving the hurt is to blame because they reacted poorly, were rude, or were overly sensitive.

The truth is that it is difficult to form deep emotional connections with others without empathy.

Why Do Some People Have a Lack of Empathy?

Empathy is both an innate and learned skill that is shaped by how we are wired at birth, as well as our own environment and life experiences. To some extent, experiencing empathy requires us to connect with our emotions.

People who lack empathy were most likely raised in families that discouraged them from expressing their emotions and even condemned others for doing so. Some people have learned to shut down their feelings so early in life that they have closed off their hearts and can't even feel their own feelings – let alone relate to or feel other people's feelings.

As a result, these people lack self-compassion and self-love, and they are cut off from their authentic self and divine connection to source. They are probably unaware that such disconnection serves as a defense mechanism for their ego, because in order to empathize, they must relate, connect with their feelings, and feel the pain.

In most cases, developing and cultivating empathy is only possible if people are willing to change their interactions with others and consciously choose to retrain their brains. We can create new brain patterns because of our brain's neuroplasticity.

However, in some cases, a lack of empathy is linked to serious disorders such as narcissism, anti-social personality disorder, and psychopathy. Individuals in these situations should seek professional assistance if they are willing to do so.

How to Deal with People Who Aren't Empathetic

I understand how difficult it is to deal with people who lack empathy when you are sensitive and caring. When you try to express your feelings, you are met with anger or judgment instead of compassion and understanding.

It's painful because we can sometimes get caught in a vicious cycle in which the more someone doesn't understand you, the more hurt you feel, and the more you want them to understand your feelings. It's almost as if you're pleading for approval.

Here's the deal:

Most of the time, talking with these people will lead nowhere and leave you completely depleted.

Here are some simple steps to dealing with people who lack empathy:

1. Don't take their rage or criticism personally

You can get off the emotional roller coaster by doing so. It isn't about you. Remind yourself that it is they who have difficulty connecting emotionally with others on a deeper level. Nothing is wrong with you!

2. Do not try to persuade them of your feelings

It is a waste of your time and energy to try to instill empathy or insights in them. This will only fuel their rage and condemnation.

3. Discuss Facts with Them

Instead of telling them how you feel or how something they did or said made you feel, tell them what you think and what you know. It is easier for them to communicate in this manner because they will not feel blamed or shamed.

4. If you don't live with this person, try to avoid their company

You don't have to break up with your friend or stop visiting your family member, but you do need to set some boundaries and be mindful of how you interact with them. To avoid arguments, keep the connection superficial, and don't expect depth or understanding.

5. Develop or nurture relationships with people you trust

Spend time with people you trust and who make you feel safe so that you can share your inner world and emotions with them. These are people who may have demonstrated empathy in the past.

6. Understand that your value and worth are not dependent on their approval and opinion of you

Our self-worth should never be determined by the approval or validation of others. Here's a step-by-step guide to recognizing your true worth: How to Increase Self-Esteem (A Guide to Realize Your Hidden Power)

7. Perform Loving Acts on Yourself

Offer yourself kindness and practice self-love activities such as eating healthy, getting enough rest, pursuing your dreams, working on yourself, developing a spiritual life, and surrounding yourself with loving and positive people.

Here's a list of 50 Small Things You Can Do Every Day to Really Love Yourself to get you started.

8. Seek Professional Assistance If You Are Feeling Overwhelmed

Find a compassionate and caring therapist or life coach who can be there for you and offer advice during difficult times. Unfortunately, our friends and family are not always able to provide all of the emotional support that we require.

If the person with whom you are dealing shows a willingness to change and become more empathetic and caring, you have a real opportunity to strengthen your relationship with them.

Final Thoughts

Some people lack empathy for a variety of reasons. Dealing with these people is difficult and can leave you frustrated and disappointed. But if you follow my advice, you'll realize that you can't change someone, but you can change your attitude toward them.

Remember, you can't save everyone, but you can love yourself enough not to let people who lack empathy dominate you. Set boundaries for yourself and do what makes you happy. Finally, if you are feeling overwhelmed, don't be afraid to seek professional assistance.

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