Empathy: The One Thing That Sets Us Apart
There are two species of human beings
“We are not born with empathy. We learn it.” — Adam Smith
The first time I heard this quote, what struck me about it was how true it is! Empathy has become an essential topic of conversation in today’s society. Research shows many different types of personalities, but we are all human beings who share 99% of our DNA at the end of the day. But, if there were one difference between us all, it would be empathy.
I know this might be controversial, but people who do not empathize are different kinds of human beings. In a way, they are another species.
The other species
People who are not empathetic don’t feel emotions to other people’s feelings, they do not have social cues and adjust their behavior to match others in the room, nor can they understand another person’s point of view, so sometimes being selfish seems appropriate because there is no way for them to see things from anyone else’s perspective but their own.
Non-empaths lack an understanding of how someone might feel, which often leads them to do something harmful or inappropriate without regard for other human beings around them. They live life by focusing on their own needs and wants, often isolating them from society.
Non-empaths do not understand other people’s feelings because they do not feel them themselves. They can act in selfish or even cruel ways without feeling an ounce of guilt, remorse, or shame afterward.
There’s a lot of debate about whether we’re born with empathy or if it’s something we learn. Some of us are born with the ability for it, while others do not. We may use or not use empathy in our encounters. This implies that we can either use it or turn it off. It is possible to be empathic; this does not mean that you will all the time.
But non-empaths don’t have that option. They can’t turn it on like you and me because they do not have it. That’s because they didn’t have the capacity for it when they were born, or they never learned it or destroyed it over time.
As I mentioned before, all human beings on this planet share 99.9% of our DNA. The “five races” are a social construct rather than a biological reality. But I say that non-empaths are a different species because when you analyze them, that’s precisely what they are. They have a different make-up, process the world differently, and do not feel emotions the way we as empaths do.
This is not meant to be offensive in any way! I’m stating facts. And when you think about it this way, it’s pretty sad.
What is the difference between a psychopath and a non-empath?
One difference between psychopaths and non-empaths is that psychopaths lack empathy, but they can still feel other emotions. They often know how to mimic or fake feelings to get what they want from someone else, while non-empaths do not understand the concept of feeling emotions for others.
Another critical difference between psychopaths and non-empaths is that psychopaths are often very charming and manipulative. They know how to read people and use their weaknesses against them. Non-empaths, on the other hand, often come across as cold, uncaring, and uninterested in anyone else but themselves. They cannot read others.
Suppose someone doesn’t feel emotions for others and lacks insight into how their behavior affects those around them. In that case, it’s safe to say that they are non-empathic. And if this sounds like someone you know, I’m sorry to tell you that they have probably always been this way. If only there were some empathy pill we could give these people to turn on whatever switch is needed in their brain.
We mustn’t expect too much from non-empaths because they will never understand our feelings or perspectives in the same way we do theirs. Nonempaths make up a different species on this earth, and we need to learn how to live with them despite their differences.
Empathy is one of those traits that set us apart from species. Empathy is an integral part of our lives. It’s what makes us human and sets us apart from other species on this earth. Empathy is essential for relationships, both personal and professional ones.
We are destroying our empathy
In the digital age is hard to develop empathy. When you spend time watching countless acts of violence in front of a screen, you desensitize yourself from it. You don’t feel the pain of others because you’re so used to seeing it. You normalize violence. We’ve become numb to what’s happening in the world, which is dangerous.
It’s the empathy we’re losing and our sense of connection with each other. We are all part of one human race, and when we lose empathy, we lose a piece of ourselves. We lose our connection to each other, and eventually, we lose our humanity.
But there is hope!
There are ways for us to rebuild our empathy. We can start by spending time with people face-to-face rather than online. We can try to understand different points of view and be more open-minded about things. And lastly, we can focus on our own emotions and try to be more aware of how we’re feeling to understand others better.
It’s time to start understanding each other more and develop our empathy skills to live in a world where we feel connected. Let’s work together to create a society that understands the importance of empathy!
This article was first published in Bottomline Conversations.