When empathy is not your friend

Empathy doesn’t serve you. Or your friend. (Photo by Sydney Sims)

Empathy is never your friend. Not if you’re wanting to have your dream life, including a loving relationship with your dream partner.

Society heralds being empathetic as something positive. Empathy, we are told, is the ability to feel and understand the feelings of another. Sounds harmless enough. It may even be beneficial to our friends and loved ones to be empathetic. Especially when they’re feeling sad.

But is it really?

When you’re feeling what another is feeling, you’re giving control of your life to another person. If that person is feeling negative, now both of you are inviting more experiences of the kind that had your friend feel negative emotion in the first place. That’s not helpful. For either of you.


Because all that you want, including another person feeling better, is only available to you when you are in a happy place, appreciating all that life is giving you and enjoying the process of your own becoming. When you focus on another person’s negative condition, and because of that, you match their negative feeling experience, you are closing yourself off from your ability to receive what you’re wanting. That’s why you feel bad when you do that.

Your friend feels better, yes. That’s because he or she has cut herself off from his or her power by focusing on the negative aspects of a situation. So when you join them in that perspective, of course they’re going to feel better. You’re the only friend they have at that moment. They’re using you to fill the void they created by cutting themselves off from their higher self. So now you both are cut off and the only company you have is each other, both of whom are powerless.

It’s far better to relate to your friend from your only place of power: your connection with yourself. You know you’re connected with yourself when you feel good. Period. When you hold your own happiness firmly in the face of your friend who is struggling, you have a better chance of lifting them to where you are. And feeling happy is always better-feeling than any negative emotion.

If you want to have empathy, then empathize with your friends positive perspectives, even if they’re absent right now. Remind them how great they are, how great life is, how this immediate situation that has them feeling negative is temporary. This is the best medicine. For everyone.


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