When someone does something nice for you, the urge of reciprocity, as a human being, kicks in. You feel like you need and want to give back in return. You are well aware that you don’t have to, yet you feel compelled to reciprocate. But what if you keep giving and the other person rarely gives back, or if they do, you wish they never did? Likewise, observing someone else’s pain can evoke feelings of sadness or even pain in you. Now how do you feel if someone witnesses your pain and hurt and feels nothing? If you are going or have gone through this experience, don’t beat yourself up! It’s not you, it’s them. They have EDD (Empathy Deficit Disorder). Continue being you, and don’t stop giving to others. Trust that there are many, many people out there who do not have EDD (sigh of relief….. 🙂 ). Just cut EDD people out of your life, if you can.
Author and owner of this blog: Queen of Wands , link below: http://jeanniealogy.com/index.php/about-her
What is EDD and how do you know someone has it?
Some people brighten up your life, some others darken it. Some would go the extra mile to make you smile, others could care less if you cried or laughed….or were run over by a bus! Some relationships enrich you and some others drain you and make you feel less-than. If you find yourself dealing with people who don’t take your emotions and feelings into consideration and don’t seem to be able to put themselves in your shoes, you are most definitely dealing with people who lack empathy, i.e. those with EDD, Empathy Deficit Disorder.
It’s true that humans are wired up a certain way. Some of our most predominant attributes are a blessing or curse of nature bestowed upon us. However, our families and the way we were brought up also play a major role in how we develop those blessings or curses of nature. Empathy is one of them. Let’s call it a blessing. Some people are by nature very empathetic, and some aren’t. Whatever the level of empathy of a given person, it is to a great extent shaped by the ennvironement they grew up in. People with no empathy at all were obviously born with EDD.
However, people with low empathy were most probably raised in families who were not in touch with their feelings or perhaps even condemned such displays. This can go as far as gradually learning to shut down their feelings as they grow up, to such a degree that they close off their hearts to even themselves.
EDD people, whether born with this disorder or acquired through their upbringing, can simply not relate to or feel other people’s feelings. They just don’t pay attention to other people’s feelings and emotions because they are too focused on themselves to care about what is happening to others. Even if you tell them how your are feeling, they will still show little to no interest. This attribute in them makes them very untrusting individuals over time. Empathatic people develop trust by connecting to others through feelings and emotions. If no such connection is made, there will be no trust. Thus EDD people are almost always very skeptical and untrusting. This leads to more doubt and skepticism in them, and the vicious circle continues. Here’s how it goes: EDD= no interest in feelings + no connection to feelings + no compassion towards others….which will lead to doubt, skepticism and lack of trust. You still want to stick around them? Well good luck! My advice, however, would be to:
1. Avoid dealing with them!
you absolutely don’t have to be around an EDD person, don’t be
around them. Remove yourself from their surroundings. Any contact
with them will damage you, especially if they are family or extended
family. The closer your relationship to them, the more it will hurt
you to be around them. My advice is to run away from them as speedily
as you possibly can. Save yourself.
And if for some unfortunate reason you HAVE to deal with them, my next advice would be:
(Reminder: the post you are reading is written by author/blog owner: http://jeanniealogy.com/index.php/about-he
2. Don’t take it personally.
By doing this, you can get off the emotional roller coaster. It’s not about you. Remind yourself that they are the ones that have a problem connecting emotionally with others. There’s nothing wrong with you! It would be like showing Monet’s Sea Roses painting to a blind person and expecting them to see it and enjoy the beauty of it. Or like wondering why a deaf person is not enjoying Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata! (with all due respect to the deaf and the blind). Do you see what I mean? Don’t do this to yourself!
These people are simply disconnected. None of their wires connects to feelings. That’s where their disconnection is. It’s as if they had a hole in their soul. Now some people might be partly so. EDD, like all other disorders, comes in different intensities. Regardless of the intensity or stage of EDD, I strongly recommend that you:
3. Reduce your talks to facts with them.
Instead of talking to them about how you feel, or how something they did or said made you feel, talk about facts and what you think. It’s easier to communicate this way because they don’t know how to feel blame, shame, guilt or even joy. They’re stoic. They’re blank faces. And if you expect them to, it will only frustrate and drain you further. Stick to facts, and for love of sanity:
4. Do not try to make them understand your feelings.
If you are trying to instill empathy in an EDD person, good luck! It would be a total waste of time and energy. It will harm and damage you, plus it will make them more angry and impatient with you.
And if you are among the lucky ones who don’t live or have to deal with them, do something more drastic such as:
5. Cut them out of your life.
Cut them off if you can. This world is full of people. Some you were born in a family with, some become family, some are friends, some are co-workers and some are just out there dealing with you (pick your scenario). But no one, I repeat: no one is so essential to your life that you have to let them stick around and slight and hurt you all they can, just because they can’t feel it themselves!
Remember: if you cut off an EDD, the EDD himself/herself won’t suffer. They won’t even care! So why wait? Cut them off. But if you have to work or somehow deal with them, if there is absolutely a must, apply number 2, 3, and 4.
And if you are among the unfortunate who have had to deal with such people in the past and are now careful with and afraid of and guarded against other people, remind yourself to:
6. Nurture relationships with people who do have empathy.
There are many people with empathy out there. Don’t lose hope. Not everyone is there to hurt and slight you. When you do get to know empathetic people, spend time with them, trust them and let them make you feel safe so that you can feel comfortable sharing your inner world and your feelings with them. Allow them. Simply allow them. Let them in. Also let them share their feelings with you. Don’t let your past experiences with an EDD person prevent you from trusting and connecting with others. It is neither fair to you nor the new people you are connecting with.