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11 Signs Of Lack Of Empathy And How To Overcome In These Toxic Relationships

Lacking empathy is not normal and it is toxic to be around people who lack empathy. In this article, I’ll explain why some people lack empathy, the 11 signs of lack of empathy, and what you can do to overcome these toxic relationships.

Why Do People Lack Empathy In Others?

Everyone has a different level of empathy, and some people may be more empathetic than others. However, it is abnormal to lack empathy in others and can be a sign of a more serious problem. So if someone is consistently indifferent and unresponsive to others, it could be a sign of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Below, are 5 reasons why some people lack empathy more than others. For more discussion, see my article, Human Indifference Is Soaring Because Of These Five Unique Reasons.

  1. Human Biases.
  2. Tendency To Blame The Victim.
  3. When We Are In A Fearful Environment.
  4. Mental Illness, Narcissism, Drug Abuse = Extreme Indifference.
  5. Psychic Numbing.

Human Indifference Is Soaring Because Of These Five Unique Reasons.

Some people have a natural ability to feel for others, while some are somewhat indifferent to others’ struggles. However, having absolute human indifference to others’ pain isn’t normal and could indicate a deeper issue. So if someone is consistently indifferent and unresponsive to others, it is likely there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Click here to explore the 5 unique reasons for human indifference.

The 11 Signs of Lack of Empathy.

Miranda Priestly - Signs Of Lack Of Empathy
Miranda Priestly Lacking Empathy

There are several signs that someone may lack empathy in others. Namely, these signs include an inability to recognize or understand the emotions of others and an unwillingness to consider the feelings of others. Also these signs include difficulty in expressing empathy, and an inability to communicate effectively. Lastly, these signs include a lack of understanding of social cues, an inability to accept responsibility for their actions, and an unwillingness to compromise. To explain further, see the following list of 11 signs of lack of empathy in others.

1. Do Not Understand The Feelings Of Others.

People that lack empathy often do not understand the feelings of others and have difficulty sympathizing with them. Additionally, they may not recognize when someone is feeling hurt or upset. Additionally, they may not be able to respond to their emotions in a meaningful way. 

“Did You Fall Down And Smack Your Little Head On The Pavement?”

Miranda Priestly

2. Insensitive In Action And Words.

Says or does things that are insensitive or hurtful without even realizing it. Also, they may not take into consideration the emotions of others or think twice about how their words or actions could affect someone. 

3. Judgmental And Unforgiving.

Overly judgmental of others and not take into consideration how their judgments could be hurtful. Also, they may also be less inclined to be understanding of different points of view and lifestyles. Lastly, they are inclined to not forgive others for making mistakes.

4. Calling Others Insensitive.

Quick to call others insensitive or uncaring. Whereas they go without recognizing that they themselves may be the ones lacking empathy. 

5. Difficulty Making Eye Contact.

Have difficulty making eye contact with others as it can be difficult for them to be emotionally present in the conversation. 

6. Not Able To Put Themselves In Another’s Shoes.

People with a lack of empathy may not be able to put themselves in another person’s shoes. Moreover, they have difficulty understanding their emotions or perspective. As an example, you will see them have unusual responses to grief or not able to share in others’ happiness. Basically, they react awkwardly to emotion.

7. Lack Close Relationships.

People with a lack of empathy may have difficulty forming close relationships. This is because it can be difficult for them to be intimate with others on an emotional level. 

8. Unwillingness To Listen.

People with a lack of empathy may be unwilling to listen to others. Moreover, they may be more focused on their own opinions and feelings. Also, they usually have a strong set of irrefutable personal beliefs, and tend toward being egotistical. 

9. Avoids Meaningful Conversations.

They avoid conversations that are meaningful or require empathy. Further, it can be difficult for them to relate to others in an emotionally meaningful way. 

10. Blames The Victim.

Quick to blame the victim or make excuses for the perpetrator, without recognizing the emotions of the victim. 

11. Unable To Cope With Emotions.

People with a lack of empathy may have difficulty coping with their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Hence, this can make it difficult for them to be emotionally present or connected with others. Also, they tend to be inpatient with others when it comes to emotions.

For more information on the barriers to having more empathy, see Healthline’s Can ADHD Affect Empathy?, Learning-Mind’s 7 Signs of People Who Lack Empathy & Examples of Their Behavior, and MantraCare’s Lack Of Empathy.

“Oh God. Get away from her, she’s useless. And unattractive.”

Miranda Priestly

12 Ways To Respond To Someone Who Is Narcissistic And Lacks Empathy.

Responding to someone who is narcissistic and has signs of lack of empathy can be difficult. However, it is important to remember that the person may not be aware of the harm they are causing. Hence, it is best to be patient and understanding, and to try to express empathy and understanding. Also, it is also important to set boundaries and to ensure that the person is not taking advantage of you or others. Additionally, it can be helpful to remind the person of the importance of being considerate of others, and to provide support and understanding.

So with patience and understanding, it is possible to overcome these toxic relationships. To detail, see Unvarnished Facts’ article on Dealing With A Narcissist to discover 12 ways you can respond to someone who is a narcissist and lacks empathy.

Dealing With A Narcissist: Best Ways That Will Handle A Stuck Up Perspective.

Many relationships are troubled due to one of the partners being narcissistic. In these situations, a lack of empathy exists where a partner’s whole perspective is completely stuck on themselves. Further, the relationship becomes very limited. It is a case, where all the attention in the relationship is focused on one person, or if not, conflict occurs. If this describes a relationship that you are in at home, work or school, there is hope. Click here to explore what a narcissist is and 12 tips when dealing with a narcissist.

“When I look into the mirror, it just tells me something I already know. I’m so cool! Honey, baby, can’t you see? Girl, I’m so cool. Ain’t nobody bad like me?”

Cool, Song Lyrics From Morris Day And The Time.

For more on how to respond to people who lack empathy, see VeryWellMind’s What to Do If You or a Loved One Lack Empathy, LifeHack’s Why Some People Have a Lack of Empathy (And How to Deal with Them), and SkillPath’s Dealing With People Who Lack Empathy and Don’t Know It.

For more informative stories from Unvarnished Facts on helping people, click here. Also, for more on empathy see our article, Why Is Empathy Important? 5 Unexpected Benefits That Will Make Life Better.

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