the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Having a skewed sense of empathy means your social skills are somewhat stunted. You can’t read a room so everything is based on experience. You can’t really find sense in social cues, so you have to really learn and find a method to the madness that is human communication.
When you’re me, you have a harder time with empathy because being borderline means that your internal emotional intensity has no middle ground. It’s always at the extremes of the spectrum, like if a shower only had scalding or freezing water.
In the digital age, that becomes more difficult because reading the nuances of a text message is infinitely more difficult than reading that of a human face. You have to really know a person in order to understand their text messaging style, but that’s just a peril of living in a millennial age. Trying to figure out what an emoji means to one person is one thing, but a series of emojis with no context is just plain confusing.
Is this piece about communication or empathy? Maybe both. We’re all so self-absorbed that it’s difficult to say that we can empathise with others. It’s all about me, we’re all given a voice, a say, the right to free speech – but apparently, that’s dehumanised us to an extent as well. We’re so obsessed with me me me and championing causes that make us look good on social media, that there comes a question: do we really care?
Empathy always has to be genuine and always has to come from a place of understanding. Saying “I’m sorry, is there anything I can do for you?” is different from “Oh, I’m so sorry”. Claims to sympathy are interesting because some people seem to want to bring the topic back to them at the end. So they’re not genuine. I’ve met a lot of disingenuous people in the last 24 years of my life, and heard about a lot more of them so I’ve become somewhat misanthropic.
That being said, with my skewered empathic senses – does that make me more genuine?