Empathy begins at home.

Down the Rabbit Hole


I know that for a very long time I’ve had issues empathizing with others on a one to one basis (with a few rare exceptions like my children). It’s not that I like seeing others in pain or want to hurt them (I don’t, at all), more that I have had so much trouble connecting to my emotions, especially tender or vulnerable feelings, that this avoidance extends to everyone else. I’ve always felt empathy when it’s “safe” though–therefore I can cry for a character in a movie or novel, or even a TV commercial. I can get quite upset reading a news story about someone who’s been abused, especially if it’s an animal or a child.

But when it comes to real life people, I just can’t allow myself to get that close. I hold everyone at arm’s length. It’s too dangerous to let them in, because they might stir…

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  1. Thanks for reblogging. 🙂

  2. An interesting article. I would add only that the very opposite — heightened empathy — can, also, occur. Those who have suffered, themselves, can understand suffering in a unique way. ❤

    1. This makes a lot of sense as well.

  3. sharonp1us

    I’m reading “So You’ve Been Publically Shamed”, which has profound thoughts on the damage of shaming (which is what narcissists do). In extreme cases, murderers, they describe themselves as already being dead–stuffed with straw, before they break. Learning to feel is devasting when all you’ve experienced is humiliation, but while it’s turning on the ability to love, imagine, and be spontaneous; it’s also training on a strong thoughtful parent. It’s very awkward to grow. Like any parent, the challenge is to teach the inner child to mature with love.

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