S1 EP19 – Why Some People Experience Empathy and Others Don’t

Episode Summary

With all the challenges we have today, being able to experience empathy for ourselves and others is vital. When you are capable of empathy, you can’t hurt others, animals or our planet. Discover why some people are empathic and others are not.


Hi everyone dr. Margaret Paul here with the inner bonding podcast. So today I want to talk about why some people have empathy and others don’t seem to have any empathy. This is a really, really important topic right now, because with all that’s going on in our country and our world, empathy is so vitally important empathy for ourselves, for each other, for animals, for the planet.

It’s just so vital to have empathy. So I would like to have a discussion here with you about what’s in the way for people of being able to have empathy. So I want to share a little bit about, about my own experience with it. I think, I think that most kids are born with empathy. I certainly was. And for some reason I did not turn it off.

Like some people do, I could feel into everybody I could feel into my parents’ pain. Other people that I didn’t know. I, I remember this one time when I was, I was probably about three and there were some kids who were torturing a snail and the snail was like curling up and, and I just could feel what was happening with the snail. And it was so confusing to me that they couldn’t, that, that they were getting pleasure out of this.

And I just, I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t feel what I could feel. So I do think that some people are born with more of a capacity to feel empathy than others. I think everybody is capable of it, but some people are capable of deeper empathy than others. And I was certainly one of those people. I remember being in kindergarten. I couldn’t wait to go to kindergarten because I didn’t like being in my house. And I remember the first day and I was so excited to be there, but there was this little girl that was crying for her mom and I could feel her pain.

And I was just appalled that there were kids making fun of her. And, and I, I just couldn’t, I just couldn’t understand when, when we are sensitive and we are empathic, we don’t really know that other people might not be feeling the same thing as we are. And, and, and the same thing with my parents, my parents were not at all in pathic, and it was incredibly confusing for me because I could, I could feel their pain and I wanted to always do something about their pain, but they never seemed to be able to feel anything that was going on for me.

And it took me years to understand that were narcissist. Both of them were narcissist. They had shut that down, shut down their ability. They could open it up here and there, not very often with me, with my kids, they seem to be able to do that better, but not at all with me when I was growing up. So of course it was very confusing to me. And what I’ve come to understand is that I think everyone’s capable of empathy, but only when your heart is open and your heart is open only when love is your highest priority.

So I think that because of what people go through, some people close their hearts down really early in life. And, and I’ve questioned, you know, why isn’t love our highest priority, why isn’t love the highest priority of some people and what is more important to them, then love being their priority. And so what I’ve learned over the years is that for many people having control over feeling safe is what’s more important.

And this is the, this is what the, our ego wounded self wants more than anything. This is the agenda of our ego wound itself is to have control over feeling safe. Now, of course, we all want to feel safe, but, but what many people don’t understand or have never learned is that we acquire much more of a deep sense of safety. When we are connected with our inner knowing our intuition, our higher knowing this lets us know much more about what’s safe for us, then our ego wound itself.

But the ego one itself thinks that by trying to have control over everything, it can keep us safe. And of course, this was decided very, very early in life. Many of us did decide that. I mean, I certainly decided to try and have control over being safe, but I, I did it by being a caretaker. And some people do it by being more narcissistic. The, the, the people who, who, who choose to try and help have control over being safe, they don’t want to get hurt.

They don’t want to get rejected. I didn’t either. Of course, nobody wants to be hurt or rejected, but my way of dealing with it was to try and take care of everybody and make everybody happy and, and take care of their feelings since I could feel their pain. Part of the motivation is, is that I didn’t, I didn’t want to be feeling all their pain. And so I, I did what I could to make people happy, but some people choose the other side of the wounded self coin, which is to become more narcissistic.

And I think this happens mostly because they, they see their parents. And very often one parent is more narcissistic and one is more of a caretaker. And the people who choose the more narcissistic end are choosing the narcissistic parent as their role model or, or their grandparent as a role model. I don’t know where I got my caretaking because actually nobody in my family was much of a caretaker, but that is what I, that is what I adopted.

I, you know, like I said, both my parents were narcissist, so I’m not sure how, how I got that. Very often, narcissists choose caretakers and caretakers choose narcissist in relationships because the narcissist want what the caretakers offer. That’s their supply. They want the attention. They want the love, the kindness, the caring that the, that the nurses that the caretakers are offering the narcissist and the caretakers are attracted to narcissists because they’re often very charming.

They know how to pull you in. Plus as caretakers, we can feel their pain. We can feel the pain of their, of their soul, their, their inner child. And, and we want to do something about it. We want to help them. We want to fix them. Narcissist often become fixers. And of course, that’s what I did much earlier in my life. Before I understand that caretaking is just another form of control, giving myself up to try and get love is a form of and troll.

But right now, beginning to take a look at this, this whole issue of our ability to feel empathy is so, so vital. Like I said, we would not have racism, right? Sexism or Homer or homophobia or cruelty to animals or, or destroying our planet. If everybody was capable of feeling empathy of everybody, Joe’s love and chose to keep their hearts open, to compassion and empathy.

You know, when, when we feel the pain of people, even if people we don’t know, like I can feel the pain of the planet, I can feel the pain of the people. I don’t know. I can feel the plane of animals, the pain of animals. I can feel the pain of our planet, of the trees, of the soil. At times, it’s challenging to be able to feel that much, but I actually wouldn’t have it any other way, because when you can feel this, you just can’t hurt others.

You can’t hurt the planet. You can’t hurt animals. And of course, so much of this is going on. Now, people hurting people, people hurting people of other races, of other sexual orientations of, of other genders, people hurting animals for on factory farms. The, the cruelty to animals is just unbelievably appalling, hurting the planet, cutting down the trees, which is a big issue regarding global warming.

The trees serve such an important purpose for us. The trees are carbon negative and they pull carbon out of the atmosphere as does healthy soil. But the factory farms destroy the soil, cut the trees for the farms and destroy the soil, but with monocropping and that soil and, and those factory farms are carbon positive. And that’s a huge source of global warming. So if these people had empathy for the animals and empathy for the land, for the soil, for the planet, they just couldn’t do that.

They just would be incapable of it, the harm of doing the harm that they’re doing, but they’re, they’re coming from fear. They’re coming from greed. They want safety. And to them, safety is accumulating more and more and more, and having control over more and more. And so that fear and that greed motivates them to destroy the planet, to hurt people, to, to produce the, the non-foods, the ultra processed foods that are hurting people.

It’s coming from people who, who don’t love themselves, that they don’t have empathy from themselves for themselves. They’re cut off their heart is closed. And then they project that self-loathing out onto other people with no caring at all, for the effect that it has. And that’s just unbelievably heartbreaking to me. Now, lots of times people say, it’s your background, but I’ve worked with many clients who have been horribly abused as children who are capable of empathy.

They did not choose the narcissistic route. They did not choose to completely close their hearts down. They chose the more caretaking route, which is not great for them either, but it does allow them to keep their heart open enough to have empathy. And I’ve had clients who were raised in privilege homes who don’t have empathy at all. They were not abused, but they, they made have the, most of them did have narcissistic role models.

And they chose that as, as who they chose to be. That’s the only way that I can see to explain this well, that’s one of the ways, the other way that I, I think of it has to do with like soul age. We think of some people as having old souls and other people, having young souls, and I can feel almost right away energetically when I meet people, those that are capable of empathy and those that are not.

And invariably, the ones that are capable of empathy, that, that have made the choice to keep their heart open enough, to feel empathy. They have a kind of old soul quality. So I don’t really know what the truth is, but I have a feeling that since I do believe in reincarnation, that those people who have had many, many, many lifetimes, those are the people that have kind of earned the ability to feel compassion and to feel empathy.

And those people who are younger souls, who haven’t been around that long on the planet, have a much harder time keeping their heart open. They come from from a lot more fear.

So I have compassion for people even who, who can’t feel empathy, but, but it, it certainly worries me with what’s going on today regarding the lack of empathy that’s being shown on our planet. The bottom line, however, is that we all have the freewill to choose our intention. We get to choose to control in the face of our fear, or we can choose to love, even in the face of our fear.

Nobody can stop us from our freewill to choose our intention, which means that we all have access to being able to feel empathy and compassion. If that’s important to you, because compassion especially is not something that we generate. It’s something we open to compassion is spirit.

Love is spirit. Peace is spirit. And so w we don’t actually generate these. We open to them. And like I said, we all have, have the freewill to open at any time open to learning about loving ourselves. And of course, this is, this is the basis of inner money is our intention that at any given moment, we can either choose the intention to learn about loving ourselves and sharing our love with others.

Or we can choose the intention to protect against pain with various forms of controlling behavior. And that’s where we are when we are lacking compassion and lacking empathy, we have shut that down. We have chosen the intention to protect against pain and to control our heart is closed when we do that. And those are the times when we lack empathy. Now, now we can all go to that. I mean, all of us can go into our wound itself.

When, when we’re scared, we get triggered into our fight or flight or freeze mechanism, which is instinctual, and we can go there. And at those times, we’re not going to feel our empathy. We’re not going to feel our compassion. And so it becomes all the more important to be learning, to, to create what we call an inner bonding, the loving adult and, and the loving adult is who we are when we’re truly open to learning about loving ourselves and sharing our love with others.

And when we’re connected with our higher source of love and truth and wisdom and compassion, and the six steps of inner bonding are so powerful for developing the loving adult. One of the things that’s important to realize is that we have what’s called neuroplasticity, which means that the brain heals, it learns, it changes. It creates new neural pathways. And what I found over the years of, of, of practicing inner bonding and working with so many thousands of clients who practice inner bonding consistently is that we develop new neural pathways in the higher brain for the loving adult, which means that more and more of the time, we are able to stay in a loving adult state, even when we get scared, which means that more and more of the time, we keep our heart open to love and more and more of the time we can feel empathy and we can feel compassion so that we don’t have to get triggered into that instinctual fight flight or freeze response, which can be a very, very dangerous response.

We see this a lot with the shootings that are going on, where a cop might say, well, I, I was afraid for my life now. I don’t know how often they’re saying that as an excuse or whether they were actually triggered into that lower brain, the amygdala, the lizard brain, the reptilian that just automatically reacts, but we don’t want to be automatically reacting. We cannot afford to be automatically reacting, especially the police who have a gun in their hands.

We cannot be automated exactly. Reacting into that fight flight or freeze into that lizard brain. We need to be able to have a loving adult. We need to be able to have developed those neural pathways in the higher brain. So I really want to encourage all of you to bring the six steps of inner bonding into your life on a consistent basis. Now, more than ever, it is important to develop our higher brain to develop the loving adult state so that we don’t get triggered into fear.

We don’t get triggered into reactivity. We don’t get triggered into anger. We can rewire our brains and be able to stay in a loving adult state, even when we’re scared, but people are not going to do that. If control is more important to them, I’ve worked with clients who, even though they know in her bonding, they won’t practice it. They’re resistant. They’re resistant to love because control is more important and they never do reach a place where they’re able to be empathic.

Some of these were even empathic as children, and they remember shutting that down at a certain age because control became more important to them and then love, and they are completely resistant to love. They just don’t want to give up their illusion of control with key, which keeps the heart closed and creates an inability to feel empathy. So I hope you can start to see how very, very important it is to learn and practice the six steps of inner bonding to develop your higher brain, to develop the neural pathways for the loving adult, so that we don’t end up being reactive in, in angry ways that are harmful to other people and harmful to our planet.

I encourage you to go to inner bonding.com to download our free seven day inner bonding course, if you don’t know inner bonding to take advantage of the many thousands of articles and the free help that’s on the website. And if you can to take our courses such as our love yourself course, our self quest course so many ways of learning inner bonding. And of course we have many very, were very well trained.

I work with people on phones, Skype, and zoom. I teach workshops and intensives, and my facilitators are fantastic. And we have a wonderful facilitator training program. For those of you that are interested in learning to help people develop that loving adult learning to help people with the inner bonding process. I can’t think of anything more worthwhile than learning to develop that loving adult state at this point, so that we can truly be empathic and compassionate human beings with everyone, with animals and with our planet blessings, to all of you.

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