When you care about a guy deeply, you’re more likely to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their shortcomings. Because of this, noticing the signs that they lack empathy can be difficult. However, it’s important that you acknowledge this issue so that you can confront it. Otherwise, you’re going to continue to be in a toxic and ultimately unfulfilling relationship.
What is empathy and why is it important in relationships?
Empathy is all about being able to relate to and understand other people’s emotions and experiences. In essence, it’s about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to gain perspective on their feelings and reactions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s incredibly important in relationships and a lack of empathy can cause serious problems.
According to verywell mind, a person’s level of empathy or lack thereof largely comes down to genetics and socialization, but life experiences can also influence this trait’s development. While empathy can be learned and developed, it’s important that you recognize its absence in your relationship so that the issue can be confronted and hopefully solved.
Signs he has a lack of empathy
- He thinks the bad things that happen to you are your own fault. An empathetic person can understand that sometimes the world is unjust and that sometimes bad things happen to good people. It’s the luck of the draw, so to speak, and it sucks. Most people can relate to that. If he can’t, it’s a problem.
- He regularly accuses you of being “too sensitive” or “overreacting.” This is one of the biggest signs he has a lack of empathy for you. Otherwise, he would sympathize when you’re feeling hurt and upset and attempt to comfort you. When a guy writes off your feelings as overreactions, he’s refusing to acknowledge or validate your emotions as real. That’s incredibly upsetting.
- He never understands where you’re coming from. One of the major ways we connect with people is by relating to their experiences and either commiserating along with them or celebrating with them. However, whenever you share something about your life, good or bad, you get a blank spot in return. That, or he simply just doesn’t want to discuss it because he doesn’t see it as important or memorable.
- He has no patience when you get upset or angry. When you care about someone, it hurts to see them upset or angry. You want to know what’s made them feel that way so that you can help solve the problem. However, one of the biggest signs of a lack of empathy is when, instead of trying to get to the bottom of your emotions, he seems irritated or annoyed by them. It’s like the fact that you have emotions is inconvenient.
- He’s not interested in hearing your opinions on anything. When he’s having drama at work or considering making a big decision, he doesn’t ask your opinion because he doesn’t want to hear it. He doesn’t care what you think. He believes his logical approach to everything in life is the only way to be, and he doesn’t want his decision clouded with your emotions.
- He holds a grudge and never forgives even the smallest things. When someone has a lack of empathy, one of the biggest signs is the long list of grudges they hold. No matter how small of a slight it was or how long ago it happened, he simply won’t let it go. In fact, he’ll maintain and strong and unwavering distaste for the “guilty” person who dared to cross him. It’s exhausting.
- He’s extremely critical of you and other people. He doesn’t agree with any of your decisions and he sees all of your flaws and imperfections as issues with your character rather than results of your experiences and upbringing. He simply can’t bring himself to understand where you’re coming from and why you are where you are in life, and that’s sad.
- He does whatever he wants without considering how it will affect you. Your emotions are yours to deal with when it comes to a person who lacks empathy. This means even if you get upset about something he says or does, he will never accept responsibility for it. Instead, he will expect you to just get over it without issue.
How to deal with a guy who doesn’t care about your feelings
- Leave the relationship. This is undoubtedly the best course of action. However, when you’ve been with someone a long time or are extremely invested in the relationship, it’s easier said than done. If you don’t feel like you can break things off or you simply don’t want to give up yet, you’ll need to take action to protect yourself.
- Don’t take it personally. First and foremost, the behaviors a guy exhibits that lack empathy are not signs for you to get down on yourself. You are not responsible for his actions. It’s important that you’re able to separate yourself from his toxic habits and not allow them to erode your self-worth.
- Establish boundaries and don’t let him cross them. Maybe you decide that you don’t talk to him about the things that are closest to your heart at the moment until he changes his ways. Perhaps you decide to leave the room rather than engage in an argument when he accuses you of being dramatic or over-the-top. Whatever boundaries you can set for your own peace of mind, do so.
- Tell him how you feel and how his behavior affects you. Before you can deal with his lack of empathy, you must communicate the signs you’ve noticed and your concerns about them. Chances are, he’ll be defensive and dismissive at first and won’t want to hear you out. However, if he cares about the relationship, he will have to deal with it.
- Encourage him to seek therapy. This can be a difficult suggestion to make, especially when you’re sure you’ll be met by resistance. However, it could be helpful in allowing him to confront the issues which are creating the problem and allow him to flourish not just in your relationship, but in all of the relationships in his life. If he refuses and does nothing to correct his behavior, that should be the end of things between you.
- Talk to a therapist yourself. Dealing with a partner who lacks empathy can be challenging and disheartening, to say the least. It’s worth talking to a professional counselor yourself to air your concerns and have them validated. you can also learn coping techniques to get you through the struggles you’re experiencing.