Empathy is not just looking at things from other’s perspective, it is being the other and feeling what he feels. Sometimes it becomes a challenge for the empaths because of the inability to detach and support with compassion. How you deal with others also reflects how you treat your own self.
When one has low self-love and self-awareness they also tend to go low on their empathy scores. Understand that there is a huge difference between empathy and sympathy just like it is between pity and compassion. The “s” in sympathy is the separation that one knows and feels. “I feel for you” is sympathy but “I feel with you” is empathy.
Empathy is a major component in emotional quotient and it is important for us to be high on empathy scores if we want to build strong relationships in the world and even with ourselves. We can boost our empathy with self-reflection, shadow work, feedbacks from our trusted core circle and working on self and social awareness and management. Emotional Intelligence is an area which needs to be worked upon.
We all are wired to connect with each other and having empathy is the way that allows us to understand the other person at an emotional level. However the Information Age is seeing a huge decline in the empathy aspect. People are less expressive and have little or no patience for others. Everything seems cut to the chase and there is zero tolerance for emotions when it comes to others.
Biologically empathy is a natural way of living in the society but now being social is being “online” hence the kineasthetic aspect of connecting with others is missing big time. The mirror neutrons are fired when we are in an emotionally charged up environment. “Monkey see , monkey do” is applicable to us humans too. A part of our brain starts creating neural pathway and feel similar emotions as those around us. Owing to this group energies and the company we keep play a major role in our life.
Sara Konrath, a researcher at the U-M Institute for Social Research did a large meta-analysis between the period 1979 to 2009 and found a 40% decline in young adults. Growing emphasis on self, social media, hyper-competitive atmosphere, expectations of success, and a social environment that doesn’t believe in slowing down or listening to others, or showing sympathy to others are some reasons for the decline.
Signs to look out for:
❌Lack of emotional control
❌Can’t handle emotional situations / and others’ feelings
❌Critical and blaming others
❌Never admit they are wrong or sorry
❌Argumentative/ aggressive attitude
❌Not listening to others’ perspectives or views
❌Fail to understand where the other person is coming from
❌ Difficulty in maintaining relationships
Communicating with them can be painful and they can come across as being insensitive or selfish or uncaring or inconsiderate. The interaction leaves one with negative feelings – disappointed or frustrated or angry for not being understood. The only thing in our control is how we choose to respond.
✅By not getting disturbed by their critical or judgmental remarks
✅Managing our expectations
✅Don’t seek emotional validation from them
✅Avoiding emotional based rationale
✅If possible, maintain distance / set healthy boundaries
✅Don’t take it personally – Work on your self-esteem
✅Work on yourself in handling such individuals. Just walk away if need be.
✅Practice “Ho’oponopono” in case of hurt.
✅Invest and nurture healthy relationships
Some individuals completely lack empathy which is rare and psychologists call this a disorder that is linked to narcissistic or anti-social personalities.
Don’t let others’ lack or low empathy refrain you from connecting with others. For people who are low or lack it is a great challenge for them to connect.
Infographic Cr: Malminder Gill MNCIP
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