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13 Characteristics of People Who Lack Empathy & Suck Your Energy Out

characteristics of people who lack empathy

You feel oceans apart with the person you’re chatting with. Something is missing. It could be they display characteristics of people who lack empathy.

Think everyone has empathy? That isn’t always the case. In fact, there are quite a few people who completely missed the info session on being empathetic and show characteristics of people who lack empathy.

Instead of listening or supporting you when you need someone, they suck the energy right out of you. They don’t listen, and it almost feels like they don’t care. This is because they’re not putting themselves in your shoes.

Empathy is an extremely powerful force. It allows us to understand how the people around us feel and think. You want to surround yourself with empathetic people. So, let’s look at the signs of people who lack empathy, that way, you can stay far away from them. [Read: Why empathy is so important for a successful relationship]

How to tell the characteristics of people who lack empathy

Some people just get you. You can tell them anything and they understand what you feel and how you think. Those are pretty special friendships. Hold on to them because they’re not easy to find.

In fact, you probably encounter people whom you don’t click with at all. They don’t understand how you feel, you can’t connect with them, and they always talk about themselves. A couple of people probably popped into your head just now.

Well, those people most likely lack empathy. If that’s the case, you don’t need to hang around with them. They’ll only make your life darker. And who wants to hang out in the dark? Exactly.

The signs are there. You just need to make note of these 13 characteristics of people who lack empathy.

#1 You feel something is off. When you talk to them about things going on in your life, you don’t get the response you were looking for. In other words, they don’t seem to show any signs of empathy towards you. Whether it’s good news or bad, you feel disconnected from them emotionally. And that’s because you are. [Read: How to recognize the emotionally unstable people in your life]

#2 They get into many arguments. When people have empathy, they’re able to process information by understanding the other person’s perspective. So, they’re less likely to get into arguments. If they lack empathy though, you’ll notice they’re constantly getting into arguments with everyone they encounter. This is because they don’t understand other people’s feelings. [Read: Understanding how people use emotional manipulation]

#3 They don’t understand emotion. They know that everyone is emotional, but they don’t understand how emotion works. For example, they may cheat on their partner, but they don’t understand why their partner would be angry or hurt by their actions. In addition, just the thought of emotions exhausts them.

#4 They think people are too sensitive. They may crack jokes that are extremely hurtful or really inappropriate, but they don’t see it like that. Instead, they view people as being overly sensitive. This isn’t because of their ego, this is because they don’t understand the effect their words emotionally have on others. So, they just label everyone as “overly sensitive.” [Read: How to quickly spot narcissistic traits in a relationship]

#5 They’re self-absorbed. Not only do they lack the emotional capability to understand your problems, but they also don’t want to understand what you’re going through. Your issues mean nothing to them. Usually, people who lack empathy are self-absorbed, focusing on their own issues. This is also the reason why you feel disconnected from them.

#6 They’re insecure. This is somewhat ironic, you would never think someone who lacks empathy would be insecure, but it’s true. People who don’t understand basic emotions are usually very insecure. Why? They cannot connect with other people and misinterpret everything. So, they connect this with their self-worth. [Read: The 20 signs of insecurity people can’t hide]

#7 They have trouble making friends. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. People who usually have many friends or at least a couple of close friends are those who can emotionally connect. However, if this person doesn’t have many friends and shows other signs on this list, well, there’s a reason why.

#8 They’re judgemental. Well, when you don’t understand the feelings of another person, it’s easy to point the finger and judge. This is a common characteristic. When they don’t understand someone, they simply judge them because it’s easier than trying to understand.

#9 They don’t want to understand your point of view. Or anyone else’s point of view as a matter of fact. People who lack empathy will defend their opinion until death and will also ignore your point of view. They don’t want to hear what you’re saying, they don’t care. Plus, they can’t understand anyway.

#10 It’s never their fault. Even when they f*ck up, it’s never their fault. There’s always someone or something who did something to them. It’s like whatever they did, it was done because they had no choice. This lack of responsibility is because they cannot emotionally understand their actions. [Read: 15 signs you have shitty friends and need to get new ones]

#11 They’re selfish. What can I say? This isn’t something that should surprise you. A lack of empathy is commonly connected with selfishness. People who are selfish usually only care for themselves. Which makes perfect sense. I mean, they don’t understand you or how you’re feeling so they cannot emotionally invest in you. [Read: How to stop selfish people in their tracks – before they hurt you]

#12 They can’t handle emotional situations. When they are placed in an emotional situation, they may not have a handle on what’s going on. They’ll often avoid the situation as much as possible because they cannot process their emotions properly to handle it.

#13 They have outbursts. You wouldn’t think this when someone lacks empathy, but it’s common for them to have emotional outbursts. Why? They don’t understand their emotions. So, they may have unexpected outbursts that are seen as uncontrollable and unexplainable.

[Read: What to do if someone you know doesn’t have empathy]

Are you surrounded by those who have characteristics of people who lack empathy? It’s more common than you think. Recognize the signs and surround yourself with empathetic friends and family.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic
A serial dater, Natasha Ivanovic knows a thing or two about men and the dating scene. Much of her writing is inspired by her encounters with men - and for good ...
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