I recently saw this quote on Pinterest-
“One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient”. (Charles M. Blow, journalist)
Have you experienced a significant relationship with someone who lacked empathy and made little effort to understand you? This can happen, even with those we should feel deeply loved by; parents, siblings, and even spouses. In our naivete, we think if we share a bed or a bloodline with someone, their coldheartedness should not even be possible.
What is the wise way to handle this situation, particularly if exiting the relationship isn’t an option? Go on pretending everything is fine or bring it out into the light? How do you have a relationship with someone who cannot make themselves value you to the degree that the very nature of your relationship demands?
It has taken me many years to come to terms with this. My conclusion is that people who struggle with a lack of empathy are usually driven by self-absorption and not by maliciousness. Simply put, you are dealing with a very selfish person, but not one whose mission is to hurt you. The wisest way, as much as is humanly possible, is not to take their emotional neglect personally.
I know. . . A very tall order. God help us.