People in general tend to reject what they do not personally understand. People tend to fear what they don’t understand, and will jump straight to having to dismiss, reject, scoff etc. I realise empathy is not common.
It’s where people are at in emotional development.
Some people confuse sympathy, with empathy. But, there are huge differences.
As with most things in life, people only understand what they personally have experienced.
I see this more and more, with regard to all the life experiences I have endured. I understand abuse, complex trauma, abusers, more than your average person will understand.
I also understand empathy and how not to confuse that with other types of thinking. I see a lot of cognitive distortions, being confused as empathy and compassion. Like minimizing abuse. Like ignoring abuse. Like cheap grace. None of these types of thinking are empathy…. but people will delude themselves that they are.
Empathy, is about putting yourself in the shoes of someone else, and imagine all the emotions they are experiencing. And actually feel it. To have already suffered so deeply, tends to help some people with empathy, where suffering is occurring.
Empathy is an uncommon virtue and strength. It requires boundaries, or it can overwhelm the empathic person.