Schizophrenia.com

How do you become more empathetic?

I dont feel emotions and cant handle them well. A few years ago two of my friends fought together while I was with them. I just stayed in the car watching them fight instead of separating them. I dont talk to one of those friends anymore due to other issues like smoking weed, he’s the one who started the fight and talking ■■■■ about the other.

The other friend was bleeding from his nose and got mad at me and yelled why I didnt separate them. I didnt know how to handle the situation so I called a third friend who came fast with his car, then we all went to the pharmacy to treat my friend except for the one who started the fight.

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The friend who got mad at me still dont call me but we have been talking on video chat group, my other friends invited him to the group video call. He started to talk to me again but I still feel distant from him and that he’s mad at me. He still doesnt call me, its my other friends who call me and add him in the video call.

Interesting story but I don’t think I have an answer to your question. I don’t know if you can learn empathy at this stage in your life. Maybe you learn it to some extent as a child but I don’t think it is learned as an adult. I think that you either have empathy or you don’t. I suppose you could try the “fake it til you make it” approach.

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I am afraid something similar will happen if that friend ever sees the other again, we all live close by. Also I fought by text with the friend who caused the fight with my other friend, I am afraid of seeing him again, I dont want to fight with him.

Maybe try imagining yourself in the situation you are trying to feel empathy for. For example, imagine if you were the one in the fight and was relying on your friend to break it up.

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Its too hard for me to be in other’s shoes. I cant see other’s perspectives and cant feel what others feel.

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Its much easier for me to be a bit empathetic here on the forum than in real life. Even on the forum I am just a tiny bit empathetic I find.

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I suppose you can imagine yourself being empathic to yourself and how you like to be treated in the mind, and practice it to others when the situation comes up.

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I dont know if I should continue hanging out with my friends if I cant be empathetic or handle such situations. Its better for me to only keep them as online friends on video call and not hangout with them.

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Well, I wouldn’t stop hanging out with your friends just because you don’t think you are empathetic enough. It’s probably good for you to hang out with friends once in awhile

You seemed to be empathetic with Zannah when she posted about whether or not her posts were interesting.

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Yea on the forum but in real life when it gets too emotional like fights I struggle.

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I can see “freezing up” when things get too emotional.

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My brother lacks empathy.
He once told me that he was more caring of a person than me.

What a joke!

He suffers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Not saying that you are a Narcissist @Aziz

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Yea exactly how I feel when things get too emotional like fights.

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I think in my case my lack of empathy is from a lack of emotions, apathy, negative symptoms. I think I have a bit of empathy but much lower than the normal level.

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I think that it is normal for many people to freeze up in stressful situation. Your fight or flight instincts kick in and you lose a lot of your higher functionality.

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Based off your posts on here id say you’re a good guy Aziz. You’re not perfect, none of us are. I think you could possibly learn to be more empathetic, it will be hard since you’re a full grown adult, but it could be possible.

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Maybe just learn to be more attentive. Like if people are fighting think, how can I help? that sort of stuff.
I’ve been called careless but Id say its more my inattentiveness.
I can put myself in other peoples shoes and relate to them well.

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I agree with @TheCanuk, judging from your posts you seem to have empathy for others.
Separating two people who are fighting is generally not asked for by most people.
Usually there is kind of an unspoken rule that says you should stay out of the the fight and let the people fighting handle themselves and the choices they make.
It might be a little different with family. Different rules may or may not apply.
I think the guy who’s whining about you not dividing them sounds like a chickenshit.
He’s a grown man, he needs to handle himself like an adult.

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i have a hard time with empathy too… I can simulate it a bit though but still it’s really hard for me to empathize.

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