What do I mean by ‘I do have empathy?’

One of my friends is very interested in how I see the world. She genuinely wants to know what it is like thinking like me. So I tried to illustrate this with the following example:

“Remember when both our dogs died at almost the same time? I was really upset by my dog dying. But really, I cannot understand why you would be upset. I really understand MY grief, for MY dog. But I cannot seem to link that to YOUR grief, about YOUR dog.”

That may sound harsh, but it is the only way I can explain it. It’s not that I am unemotional. I do have emotions, very strong ones even when it comes to members of my ‘inner circle’ (i.e. close relatives and 2 friends), but when you’re not inside that circle, I am quite distant; I cannot display or feel the same emotions. That is perhaps why I am quite good in emotional things. I don’t mind funerals, or hospitals, or anything that is normally considered ’emotionally draining’. So I can deliver eulogies without crying, organise wakes, and try to comfort people around me who are sad or upset (although I am a bit like Sheldon Cooper in Big Bang Theory…. “There, there, do you want a hot beverage?” in the consolation department.)

So what I want to get across here is not that I don’t have empathy. It is just that I have limited empathy. That sometimes offends friends and family, but I cannot help it…it is really a “It’s not you, it’s me” kind of thing. But not to worry: I was trained very well by my mum to fake caring…and I will if I think it will make you feel better. 😉

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1 Response to What do I mean by ‘I do have empathy?’

  1. B5rb says:

    Mooi mens ben jij toch 🙂

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