Apathy and empathy are two words that refer to how humans interact with each other. Relationships are based on which approach is taken – whether the relationship will be weak because of lack of understanding – or strong because of understanding the feelings of others and acting accordingly.
Both apathy and empathy can be taken to the extreme and become hurtful. It’s easy to see how apathy can hurt others, but too much empathy can also be detrimental. For example, if you feel guilty for what you have compared to others, you’re seen to be empathetic.
But, if you begin to give away everything you’ve worked for or been given, you could become destitute and needy just like the people you compared yourself to. That doesn’t help anyone.
Being apathetic towards others means that you have a lack of interest in their well-being. You are very much in tune to your own needs and wants, but you lack the enthusiasm to help others.
One reason for apathy is that you feel powerless to make changes. You may shut people out of your life because you see emotions as too difficult or hurtful. Cutting emotional ties with others because you no longer care is a decision an individual makes.
In some ways, apathy is like a band aid on a cut. It keeps people (germs) from getting inside the cut or pain and helps it heal. This type of apathy can be good for some people who have experienced psychological trauma.
It helps them heal and recover in their own time. Someone who is apathetic tends to be numb to any type of emotions. While empathy allows a person to feel and connect with others, apathy is when all connections are severed.
Apathy and empathy can be carried from one extreme to another. Using emotional intelligence, an individual can decide when the best time to be empathetic is – and when to be apathetic.
Those with too much empathy in their personality can become overwhelmed with other people’s feelings. Negative effects such as anxiety and depression can occur when empathy takes over and causes suffering.
Protecting yourself from toxic people and avoiding negativity in your life might seem like apathy, but it could also save you from some of the trauma that comes from being too empathetic.
A good balance of empathy and apathy is necessary to keep on an even keel. Empathy will allow you to connect with others on a deeper level and that can be a good tool to build a lasting relationship.
Apathy can also be good when it helps an individual go on with his own life rather than become mired in the emotions of others. The ability to discern if you’re being empathetic or apathetic is necessary for a balanced personality.