I’ve written about empathy before – the consequences of having no empathy and why empathy is the ultimate game changer. Empathy is the ultimate game changer because the level of happiness, understanding, fulfillment, security, appreciation and CONNECTION that you feel in your relationships will always be directly linked to the level of empathy that both you and the other person have.

Same goes for the relationship that you have with yourself. The level of self esteem, gratitude, love, connectedness, relationship luck and confidence that you feel is 100% of the time, linked to the level of empathy that you have for yourself.

& if you have no empathy for yourself, you’ll keep chasing after the love, acceptance and validation of those that cannot empathize with you either (but that you somehow, despite their disconnectivity, continue to have an abundance of empathy for). 

Friendsh*ts and relationsh*ts are always built upon a foundation of empathetic bankruptcy. 

Where there is no empathy, there is no connection, depth or understanding.

Okay so CLEARLY, empathy is an integral in having a healthy relationship, but what do you do when you’re in a relationship with someone that has no empathy?

How do you deal?

Is it even POSSIBLE to date (or have any kind of relationship with) someone that has no empathy?

#help.

Wikipedia defines empathy as “the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other being’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.”

In the past, I would always overly empathize (read: people-pleasing-doormat myself) with others, but continued to find myself in relationsh*ts where the other person had zero empathy for me.

WHY?

As I always say, we will only tolerate relationships with people that treat us no worse than we treat ourselves and you can’t give a dollar that you don’t have. I didn’t have any true empathy to give others because I had no empathy for myself. The “empathy” that I felt for others was nothing more than me feeling for them, making it all about me needing to “be good enough” & “save the day,” and then tying my worth to impossibility of ever being able to do so.

 Empathy is when you feel with someone, not for someone. 

I used to find myself in relationsh*ts and friendsh*ts where I felt more alone, judged and misunderstood than if I were to be physically alone in a jail cell. This is because there was no empathy.

If you’re involved in a relationship where you feel as though there’s no empathy and you notice yourself tying your worth to the fact that the person who you always emotionally cater to has no empathy for you, here’s what you need to know:

  • Just like you can’t be a millionaire and claim poverty when it suits you, you cannot be selectively empathetic. You can’t. I used to get down on myself because I would struggle so hard to extract one DROP of empathy from someone and that would literally JUMP at a mere text message and cancel all of their plans to go help out to the cousin of the sister of the uncle of the brother of their friend/acquaintance/coworker, whatever.. that “needed” them. They would volunteer, play Bingo with their grandmother, rescue animals, be a shoulder to cry on, etc., for others but have no empathy for me – the one person that got a f*cking PhD in seeing everything from their point of view. This is what I’ve learned about that scenario: The reason that some people seem to “withhold”/have no empathy for you and so readily give it out to others isn’t because you’re not good enough. They do this because as long as they can prove to you that they have the capacity to “empathize” with others, they can keep you in a state of fear-based hopefulness that one day, if you’re “good enough,” they will do the same for you. This is what makes you oversee red flags and stay in relationsh*ts way past their expiration date. Your constantly trying to “be better” for them. What I learned and what you need to know: These people aren’t truly empathizing because selective empathy is impossible. They have no empathy for themselves and therefore give out selective validation wrapped in a cloak of pseudo “empathy.” This disintegrates the self worth of other person so that the un-empathetic can weaken them enough to ultimately push their agenda further along and get what they want.
  • Empathy is the most vulnerable decision you can make. If someone can’t be vulnerable, they have no empathy to give. In order to connect and empathize with you, they will have to be vulnerable enough to connect with something within themselves that can feel, remember and recognize what you’re going through.
  • Just like empathy cannot be selective, it also can’t be conditional. There can’t be conditions on empathy and if anyone tries to do so with you, it’s not empathy it’s “let’s see how far I can push my agenda and how desperate you are for my validation/approval.”
  • Judgement and empathy cannot coexist. To judge is to pedestal yourself while failing to see the very connectedness that empathy is defined by. The connectedness that we all share as spiritual beings having a human experience.

Okay, so the person that you’re in a relationship with has no empathy. How do you deal? Can it ever work?

Understand and accept that without the other person being able to put themselves in your shoes, feel with you and see themselves within you and your experience, a deep, genuine and mutual connection in which you feel safe, secure and understood cannot ever exist.

Yes, this can be very painful to acknowledge and accept but I promise you, the pain you that feel in that acceptance will be short-lived and will ultimately translate into a lifetime of (finally!!) feeling valid, understood, respected and cared for – from yourself first and foremost.

Accepting people for who they are is scary as f*ck. It’s scary because the moment that you stop fighting it, tying your worth to it, and trying to make sense out of nonsense, you have to do the one thing that you’ve been avoiding at all costs: accept YOU for who you’ve become.

If you find that you keep getting involved with people who have no empathy, the best thing you can do is start to work on empathizing with and building empathy for yourself. And the only way to do that is through vulnerability.

Consistently strive to be the adult that your younger self needed and didn’t have. 

Lastly, if you’re involved with someone that has no empathy, let go of the expectation that they’ll one day “magically empathize” for someone better. Let go of ALL expectations and remember – once you know that they have no empathy, if you keep re-engaging, that’s not them hurting you, that’s you continuing to immerse your head in the toilet and then cry because you’re sick and smelly. Keep your boundaries in tact and understand that you wouldn’t be in this situation if you had more empathy for yourself.

People that have no empathy are all about themselves and this is why they’re so impactful on you and your emotions. Because they withhold from you and keep you in the emotional desert, when they do give you a little drop, you overvalue it and mistake it for a gallon. It’s just a dirty drop and just because they appear to give gallons to others, that doesn’t mean your worth a drop (or that the gallons they’re giving aren’t contaminated).

love, love, LOVE you all x

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24 comments

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LOVE it! I was ALL ABOUT them dirty drops, girl! Bahahahaha! I was filthy! But I’m clean and fresh now, and he’s still DIRTY, in EVERY way. What a LOSER! Thank you for EVERYTHING! Love you! -Diane

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LOL! 🙂 Thanks sister! Love u xx

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Love love love you girl…I tell everybody about you. You help me alot you have no idea.

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Thanks Gem! I’m happy to have helped 🙂 XOXO

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DIANE V,
ME too…I was so filthy..I am clean now. We go girl!

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YAY GEM! Gotta wash that man right outta our lives! Lol ❤️🙏🏽❤️

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You are both making me LOL! Love you! XOXO

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🙂 WOO HOO! XOXO

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This is resonating. I had a fwb that i was not expecting to be my man, but i do have an expectation that when someone engages and says they will be somewhere, they will. Well, he stood me up… i did not get mad, i disappeared. Then ran into him amd he had the gaul to blame me for not getting an invite day of, and that he should be pittied because he was studying. For a few moments, i thought, if i were prettier and thinner then he would not have done those things, which may or may not be true, but if it were, it was just another way he is a jackass. Thinking bad thoughts about an ass is the same as overindulging in candy and wondering why i feel gross. I did nothing at all to deserve being stood up and i don’t need to add disappointing myself to his grotesque behavior. I erased his number when he stood me up and did not approach him when i saw him. For a moment i thought i should be sweet, or tell him off…but being sweet would have told him it was ok. And telling him was wasted breath on an unempathetic jerk.

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Thank you so much sharing! I’m glad that it resonated with you! XO

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You’re the best Natasha! Since I’ve came across your enriched knowledge of PMS, it’s made me a stronger woman who lost her self-worth. Reading your articles has empowered me. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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It takes one to know one GG! You are amazing and stronger than you even know 🙂 That makes me so happy to hear; I’m happy that the posts have helped! Thanks sister! XOXO

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Still cant read the font! Your articles are so amazing, but after my kast response on the font you said you woukd get it changed 🙁

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Hi Linda! Thank you so much! I’ve done my best and unfortunately cannot currently alter the font. There should be a setting on your computer where you can enlarge the size of the text 🙂 xoxo

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Natasha, you’re blogs have saved me so much. I just got out of a relationship with an emotionally unavailable man. I know it’s the right thing to do but as you say, I’m addicted to the idea of being in a relationship with him. And yes dating other guys just make me miss him (or the man he promised me he would be) even more. What’s sad is that if he calls me now, I will go back, but of course he hasn’t. I can’t stop thinking about him. I want to touch his face, hug him, and fall asleep next to him. And it hurts so much knowing that he probably thinks I’m crazy if he’s thinking about me at all and probably has moved on already. Is it bad for contemplating contacting him again after 60 days?

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Hi Yoyonez! I’m happy that the posts have helped 🙂 What you are feeling is totally normal and you’re not alone. I would refrain from contact. I know it’s hard xoxo

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I can definitely relate to this post. It’s almost like I was trying to pull teeth from my ex just to give me empathy. Sometimes I found myself lacking empathy when it came to my ex because I felt they were a attention whore. Everytime drama corrupts my ex’s life, it would corrupt mine as well. Most times my ex would attract drama and I was collateral damage. But I lacked empathy because I didn’t want to ignite my ex’s already inflated ego. So I didn’t react to whenever my ex had issues going on. In turn my ex started lacking sympathy for me. It was the most annoyingest relationsh*t ever. I’m so much happier because now I don’t have to pretend not to care. I am typically a very empathetic person, but not when I feel that I’m contributing to a person’s drama filled life full of ego inflation and attention seeking. I can’t see myself being empathetic towards those type of behaviors. Wonderful and brilliant post Natasha!!!! 😀

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Thank you so much for sharing this sis! You are brilliant and the level of self awareness that you have will take you to the highest of heights. I never thought of it that way! Loved this, love YOU and so PROUD of you. Get it girl! XX

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My mind is exploding every time I read a different post from you on empathy. I wish I had found your blog much earlier because it would have saved a lot of self doubt and me feeling like I was crazy when dealing with my ex. So many things are coming together and starting to make sense now. I know I am an empath and after realizing that I’ve started to come to terms that the ex was in was taking advantage of that quality in me. Your example of the drop in a bucket was perfect. His bucket was overflowing and mine had a hole in it. I would almost be out of water and start to have doubts but right before that happened he would add a drop and I would excuse everything (lesson learned). I need to be a little more aware and love myself more instead of giving it all away. Sanity restored.

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Yes! You go girl. Thanks so much J 🙂 I’m happy it helped! xoxo

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Sooooooo glad I found this!! It was right on time and gave confirmation and a diagnosis to what I’ve somehow known all along without knowing what to call it! Thanks for offering this path to freedom!

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Thanks Jaybeau! I’m so happy it served you 🙂 XOXO

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Hi Natasha,

This post on empathy really touched a nerve with me EVERYTHING you said is true. What I have also found is some emotionally Unavailable men lack empathy for the ones that love them because to these men you do not deserve the compassion. The cousin of the friend/acquaintance/coworker etc is a truly innocent person that did not ask for their predicament. However, you (the girlfriend) did by constantly re-engaging with them when they have either said/shown you in the past your (in)significance in their lives. In his way of thinking you should have known better. Another universal truth is most people do not feel sorry for others if they think they brought the problem on themselves.

“Once upon a time, a woman was picking up firewood. She came upon a poisonous snake frozen in the snow. She took the snake home and nursed it back to health. One day the snake bit her on the cheek. As she lay dying, she asked the snake, “Why have you done this to me?” And the snake answered, “Look, bitch, you knew I was a snake.”

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Happy that the post helped!! 🙂 Thanks TavaMac! XOX

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