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I Don’t Feel Empathy for Others

19 February, 2017
Q I no longer feel empathy for others. I feel numb inside. I can't laugh or cry; I've lost my friends and my family finds me rude. I hate myself.



As Salam ‘Alaikum,

Were you the type of person before who had a lot of empathy for people? If so, you could be burned out which is a protection mechanism.

In our current world with so much to empathize with, it is easy to overload ourselves. I personally refuse to watch people shot or hurt on the news or in movies because I do not feel that is a normal thing to see. I do not want to be desensitized to violent death. I also filter the news I watch.

Some people feel more than others and can be something of a lightning rod for other people’s emotions. If such a person is not careful, he/she can go into an emotional comma and not feel anything or become numb.

What you can do to regain your emotional health boils down to “think happy thoughts:”

1. Surround yourself with beauty

This can be with plants, flowers, light and calming colors like blue, green, and white, or with pleasant smells.

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Read books and watch films that remind you of the beauty around you, the hope and love that always exists.

2. Surround yourself with love

Yes, it may sound a cliché, but love does have the power to heal anything. This can be a pet kitten, friends, family or anyone who is willing to join your circle. You can explain to your family and friends what is going on with you and in sha’ Allah they will be more than happy to help. You can also do something kind for someone else. Giving love and kindness is healing in itself.

3. Avoid looking at or hearing about ugliness

Such as killing, death, lack of compassion, greed, or envy.

4. Read Qur’an when you wake up and before you sleep

This can be as little as one page.

5. Do dhikr

When you feel that way, even if it all the time, remember Allah (swt). Say, for example, 33 times Subhanallah, Hamdulillah, La ilaha Illallah.

6. Give your prayer importance

Don’t just rush through them.

7. Talk to Allah (swt)

It is one of the easiest things to do, but many times we forget to do it. Tell Him how you feel and ask Him to take this burden from you.

Hope this helps,


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