Empathy is a very interesting subject. I shall explore this in depth another time, but I think some people don't have it. Either they have it and don't understand it or they do have it and recognise it. Or even some recognise it's there but cannot think of it. I guess that sometimes happens. We don't always know how someone else is feeling or we'll be very clever at solving life's mysteries about why someone did this. Also I believe that empathy has been confused with sympathy and also with telepathy. It doesn't mean that those things are the same because they're not. At times people can't find the right words to describe something as intricate as emotions so they end up saying the wrong words. Is it out of pressure to say something? That's when it becomes misleading and this is when people fall out and argue. Always hear anyone complain "That isn't what I meant!" or others being defensive? It's not always (but in some cases it is) about them avoiding the issue. It could be because they didn't explain it very well as they couldn't find the appropriate words. Using words inicates that people are not able to combine their instincts and feelings well enough with complex language. For instance, people say "I love you" when they mean it or they do not. The human brain calculates and deducts the words to use. Some people have a talent.
People don't say what they mean. They act on it and they can't distinguish words and phrases. I've noticed that language is a tool and not an instinct otherwise there wouldn't be defined languages. We learn that as we grow up. Also languages change over lands and time. New words appear. New meanings to words disappear and alter. Certain swear words in the modern English language were once normal words but became twisted and fouled upon over the centuries. Things like that occur mainly because of disputes and warfare. A lot of well known profanities of the English language were, once upon a time, regular Anglo-Saxon words that became swear words since the Norman conquest.
In that sense, people will have a difficult time finding the words. They can't express verbally how they feel. People often go blank in situations. No one knows what to say to someone they don't know how to communicate with. This is a definate sign that either people haven't the ability to combine language and feeling or there are not enough words in the dictionary.
This is why we have problems knowing how the other half is thinking. Or why we feel upset when they don't talk. Some people may not want to because they cannot. It should be considered natural for this to happen instead of a negative moment.
Just quickly, I want to say a special goodbye to someone.
It came as a shock to me when I heard that you were sick. I didn't know. This made me feel quite sad but I assumed that you'll get better as I only hear stories of survivors. So far the only people I knew personally who has had this terminal illness, cancer, all died. Yet, others manage to pull through. I was very upset when my dad passed away many years ago, as he was unable to fight this illness anylonger. You attended the funeral and was good to me. You got on well with my partner. You're a family friend and I've known you since I was about seven years old. You used to be really nice to me when I was a child. Since leaving home I grew distant from relatives, and I suppose from my old friends including friends of the family, for reasons I won't go into. I recently discovered you passed away several weeks ago. Nobody ever told me that until the other day and it shocked me. I have been grieving. I sent your daughters "Sympathy" cards but they must be wondering why on earth I never contacted them before about this. That's because no one said anything to me about it. I live so far away from you all and I haven't seen them for years. I didn't know about it. So sorry I didn't make it to your funeral and I'm finding it impossible to describe how I feel. I'll remember you well, and I miss you.
For Steve, who was an old friend, passed away in August 2010.