A lack of empathy can translate to many things. To some, it means you don’t care and don’t want to try to while to you it just means you don’t care about a specific occasion or event. But you do care, sorta. Just not in the way the other person wants you to.
The problem with people is that they don’t want to look someone in the eye and tell them they understand when they don’t. It’s understandable. For example, your co-worker has just spilled a long personal story to you about the possibility of her having cancer. You don’t know her, she’s new. She doesn’t that this is not what you do. You look around nervously, biting your lip and trying to look at your watch to find the time. She keeps talking, you try to nod your head without seeming ignorant. Because its rude to let the other person know that you don’t care at all. It’s almost standoffish. No one wants that on their resume. So you force yourself through it, knowing doing it is like one checkmark on your list to being kind each day.
You might be reading this thinking: “I’m perfectly fine and don’t need to think about things like feelings.” Maybe you are. Maybe you’re the quiet, unobserving type who does nod but much to the surprise of the other person offers advice as well. Maybe not good advice, since you don’t always know the whole story but it’s something to contribute.
Probably true, but nothing to you can mean so much to someone else.