I'm angry at my boyfriend for being overly empathetic to the point of depressing himself (or so I suspect).
I will preface by saying I am aware that I'm an incredibly selfish and unempathetic individual and, no, being that way doesn't bother me.
He's always saying how concerned he is for his friends/family and making fusses over it. He wants to help them any way he can, even when, in my opinion, it's a completely ridiculous gesture and will not actually do anything but stress him out more. I find this very frustrating because:
>I can't relate, I obviously don't feel this way about my friends/family
>it just leaves him stressed out and depressed
This is even more frustrating because I cannot help him. I cannot emphasize with his feelings, so I can't even understand him if he were to tell me how he feels.
He has not been eating lately and in general acting depressed, and it annoys me. It kind of disgusts me, even against logic it's like my natural inclination is to think less of him for it.
I am finding myself blaming him for this, too. Even though logically the reason for my anger is probably my own lack of empathy, I'm mad at him for having it. I find myself disliking his friends and family, disliking him for caring about them, etc. I try not to express this openly, as I understand they are important to him and even though it makes no sense to me I am trying to respect that.
I want to be in a relationship with him. I just don't know what to do. How should I be helping him? My first instinct is to just shut myself off to him so I don't have to bother with this, but I know if I do that there is no point to sustaining a relationship. What do 'normal' people do in these situations?
Normal people have useless feelings
Find someone else like yourself
You listen to him. Maybe offer him your affection as comfort. If you can't do that, or it feels tedious, you probably need to break up and find someone more compatible. I know you want to make this work, but it doesn't sound likely.
But if you're willing to make an effort and you already do at least realize his family is important to him, you can give it the old college try. And you can always talk to him about this, too.
Like "as far as empathy goes, we're polar opposites. So if there's anything I need do as far as comforting you, please tell me."
Okay though guy.
If you are incredibly selfish and can't feel empathy, and the idea of somebody being concerned about their loved ones disgusts you, then why do you have any desire to be in a relationship? Those things KINDA YA KNOW require empathy, girlfriend. I think you should break up with him and get therapy. No advice will get through to you because of your insanely dysfunctional perspective. Although if this guy is willing to be with a mentally ill sociopath who treats him like shit he is likely overly sensitive and has some major self esteem issues. So yeah give the poor guy a break and tell him you're sorry that you've treated him so awful and given him such a traumatic relationship, and you both get some help. I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm serious.
I mean if I was dating a sociopathic freak I would probably be in a shit mood constantly too. He probably composites for the lack of love and care you give him by relying on his friends and family. The fact that they're all he has, and his girlfriend treats him like shit probably makes him cling to them more than usual and worry about them more, knowim you don't support him or care about his feelings and are a selfish bitch. Just break up with him, you sound like a terrible person
I don't plan to have children because I do acknowledge I'd be too selfish/unempathetic to healthily raise one. But I have no desire to kill myself.
I don't really think I'd get along with someone like me. I've considered this at length (because it seems like an easy solution) but I think putting two of us together would have no attraction or pull, because we're only focused on ourselves and have no reason to acknowledge the other person. Though I've never found anyone who openly admitted to feeling the way I do (or lack there of?), I figure they're out there.
I try to help him physically but I can't really force myself to feel things I don't feel. Just like he can't force himself to stop being empathetic/stressed/whatever.
Thank you for your advice. I think it will be tedious no matter what, but I will try. He is fairly aware we're polar opposites empathy wise (which is why I don't try to just fake sympathy all the time, he would call me out on it). But sometimes he doesn't believe it, or can't wrap his head around it (like how I have trouble dealing with his empathy, he can't fathom someone can just not care about their peers).
I think I will try to be more affectionate/open to helping him in a comforting way, like you've said. I think it's kind of hard for me to know how to do this, but I get the idea that it's more of a general/constant thing over some random gesture I could mimic.
I have been very self absorbed in past relationships, I truly don't want to ruin this one that way. Especially if the same problem is going to keep coming up.
Look, I hate to say it, but you are what you are, and he is what he is, and it's clear that there's a deep incompatibility here. I don't think people can really change, the way you'd need to to make this relationship work in the long run.
The kids of resentments you're talking about are just going to build up over time, and get worse and worse. You're going to start fucking with him in all sorts of passive-aggressive ways, probably without even consciously meaning to. This is going to be one of those mutually destructive relationships, where you're actively making each other into worse people. that's the opposite of how it's supposed to be.
There's nothing WRONG with you, I've met many people like you, it doesn't have to be a bad thing and you shouldn't try to force yourself to change, because it just won't work. But you and your boyfriend are trying to mix oil and water.
I don't fully know why I want one, to be honest. I guess it is easier. It gives me something to do. And I do believe I like him, just not this aspect. I've put effort into it and I don't really want to throw it away.
He tells me I am a good girlfriend and very generous (to him), so I don't think I'm really abusive. I'm sure I've had my moments, but I think you're exaggerating a little. I don't know. I'm willing to believe I'm not fully self aware, most people probably aren't, but I don't think it's that bad.
I have also thought at length if I am a sociopath, and I really doubt that I am. Therapy is expensive and I don't really have time for it.
See above for most of this post. But I do wonder if you have a point with maybe he relies more on friends/family where I'm not emotionally available. I've never thought of that. I don't know, I think I should be allowed to have relationships. I'm not willing to become a hermit because I might feel different from the average person.
I don't understand. In what way?
Do you even feel anything towards the guy? If you lack empathy and resent him for his personal problems, why be with him in the first place? You say being with him gives you something to do, but that is not why you get into relationships. I'm thinking that you should express how you feel to him--about your lack of care or love--and tell him you dislike him for caring too much for his peers. Be real with yourself and your boyfriend. If you want to find something to do, instead of using people, find a hobby or something. You are entitled to be in a relationship of course, however, relationships DO require some sense of compassion for them to work out at all for the long term. If you are the type of person that lacks this, and are more cerebral than you are emotional, there is no point in even being in one.
I see what you're saying, and I will keep it in mind, but I would like to try more first.
I do think I have feelings for him, otherwise there would be no reason to continue a relationship (like you've said). I could just go start a different relationship and it wouldn't matter, if I felt absolutely nothing. I would miss him, I would not want him to be with someone else. I would be angry he wasn't mine anymore.
If he broke up with me I think I would deal with it better, but I don't think it's worth me throwing him away just because. I posted here because I wanted to try to help him and be in a relationship with him, despite my struggles.
Why? I mean I get it, I'm not a good shoulder to cry on, but why would that destroy him? I am trying to help him without being fully insincere and I've held back from being destructive out of respect for him.
I don't understand what's so evil or psychopathic about me that people here are trying to say. I think I'm trying to be pretty accommodating, all things considered.
No. You say that you resent him for him caring too much for his peers. That's how you feel and you say you are disgusted by it even. If you want to help him out of his depressive rut despite not feeling much at all for him or his situation, you're going to have to put forth some kind of emotion. If you want a different perspective: If I had a girlfriend who was incredibly down I would try talking to her about it and try to cheer her up as much as I could. It wouldn't even have to be much. Just saying "I'm here for you whenever you want to talk" or get her off from thinking about it by taking her somewhere nice and having fun. You will obviously have to fake it if you tried to listen to his problems and be reassuring. You would be putting on a mask that isn't you if you tried that and that's not good for you or for him.
I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying you can't expect to help him and be sincere about it at the same time if you feel this way. What I really think you should do is open up how you feel about how he's feeling. Tell him that you do not care. Tell him what you've been saying on this board. You should be honest with your indifference.
OP. I relate to you a lot. It sounds exactly like you're describing me in your post as that would sound like how I would feel in your situation. I can also very easily imagine me abusing my dominance in a relationship with such a sensitive person. And the fact that I'm like you doesn't make either of us less fucked up.
I'm also not the kind to know how to respond to this, but laughter is the best medicine, and when I'm down, my friends always cheer me up with their good mood and jokes.
I understand that this is only treating the symptoms and not the problem. If you want to treat the problem, how concerned your boyfriend gets, I think that you should talk about it with him, why he gets so concerned that is and why he can't just let his family and friends be.
In regards to you being angry, I think it's understandable. If he's constantly mopey because of how worried he is, I'd want to throttle him. Anyone who does that actually. But this one is on you I think. Try thinking about why it is you're so emotionally distant to begin with and work through it. And of course, make sure you don't lose your shit over your boyfriend being human, it will inevitable make it worse.
For people saying that OP is a psychopath, please learn what words mean before you use them. A proper psychopath wouldn't be asking for help cheering their SO up on 4chan.
Empathy-deficient person here.
You'll never quite understand emotionally-driven/empathetic people. I'm probably telling you what you already know, but the fact stands. That said, you're either going to have to learn how to communicate with such people and not resent them, or date someone more like yourself.
I can picture the burden of having to constantly "carry" or dealing with him after his downs over the most meaningless shit.
But besides that i think you kynda need help or work something on yourself because you have a problem
No one should be in a relationship with you or anyone else that doesn't have empathy.
You will just end up causing them pain.
I know you don't care, this is more for normal people that would consider it.
Ugh my dad is like this it and I don't understand it at all.
You're not weird OP. That behavior is annoying to people close that person.
To friends and extended family, though, they love it. Go figure