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Old 07-23-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
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lack of empathy

I consider myself to be a caring person, I love my girls with all my heart and do everything I can for them, I love my pets and treat them as humans. I live in Colorado and the shooting at the theater was tragic, however I feel nothing. So many people around me are so sad and talking about it and posting online about it crying. I feel like I have a lot of emotion and the way I feel about my family just not people I don't know.

My Mother in law called me and mention ed it and all I said it was awful but I don't swell on such things because life goes in one direction and that's forward. She got real quiet and changed the topic. I guess since it didn't affect me or anyone in my life I don't swell on it like other people.

Is there something wrong with me?

 
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:07 PM   #2
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Re: lack of empathy

Join 90% of the population. It is very difficult to place ourselves in a situation like this one when the people are all strangers. You can acknowledge how awful it was, and regret the death toll, but feeling someone else's pain at a distance is really not common at all. Your best bet here is to can the comments about you, and just acknowledge that it is a tragedy. I think your MIL's discomfort was you making it all about you in a fairly self centred way. Sera

 
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:14 AM   #3
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Cool Re: lack of empathy

Hey Flutterbye- There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, or where you're coming from!
When my best friend drowned to death 5 years back, I remember everyone was so overcome with emotion instantly, yet me and my other friend who were the closest to him couldn't even cry for 3 days, and even than sometimes it felt like you had to because everyone else was. This created mass amounts of shame and guilt in my life, until one night I just simply broke down and cried like a baby in my brother's arms like I've never cried before. I've realized everybody deals with pain, tradgedy etc... in very different ways, some of us repress our emotions and than it comes out in extreme fashion( I fall into this category) others go into extreme denial if the reality of the situation to the point where they actually tell themselves whatever they need to in order to not acknowledge the pain- science now knows this can occur on such a complex level that trauma patient's brains can actually produce mass amounts of amnesia which essentially wipes out the memories of the whole ordeal or creates blurs so as to only recall aspects of the events.. None of this makes anybody good nor bad, it's simply human nature. Truth is we are always being overwhelmed with sadness and tragedy at every angle, the media has a way of projecting this very powerfully, and sometimes it's ok to not read into these matters to deeply, it doesn't mean you don't care or lack empathy, I really believe it's because somewhere in the back of your mind you know it's only a matter of time before you hear of the next great tragedy, and somewhere on a subconscious level you realize if you let these events overwhelm you with sadness it may render you ineffective to be strong for your children, may lead to depression etc... It's a survival tactic.
This doesn't mean we bury our heads in the sand, and live in denial of what's out there, rather it means we look for every opportunity to be consciously aware of what's happening but remain strong to carry on, accept them as tragic.. but like you said realize life is meant to be lived in forward momentum... It's not selfish, It's all we can do at the end of the day.

 
Old 08-21-2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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Re: lack of empathy

There is a tragedy happening somewhere at any given moment and it would ruin your life if you felt sad every time one occurred. Sometimes a news story makes me feel sad, sometimes it doesn't. And the stories that seem to make the country sad, aren't usually the stories that really get me.

I feel sorry for anyone caught in a crazy shooting, but how much of my attention should I give to such events, being that they are a tiny fraction of the violent deaths that occur in this country?

If someone wants to talk about a tragedy that I don't particularly care about, I would probably just focus on listening to and showing compassion for them.

 
Old 09-22-2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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Re: lack of empathy

hi there am the kinder the same but never feel any campassion ever since i was a kid dont know how 2 so dont think anything wrong with u thats just the way some humans are

 
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