I have some people in my life who do not have empathy. At least that is the way it seems to me. Perhaps they just don't take time to think before they speak. Perhaps their life experiences are not such that they can imagine what life is like for those of us who are weak or in pain. Or perhaps I just expect too much from them.
The thing I am learning is detachment with love. The first part of that was what I worked on first--detachment. Detachment has some very unloving characteristics. It made me want to flee, to avoid, to escape. There is a certain amount of wisdom in getting away from the source of hurt. Many divorces are justified that way. When someone hurts me, it is not unreasonable to avoid them.
The next part was harder. How to still love the people who say and do hurtful, selfish things? How to love and share life with people who feel or express very little empathy? The first part of that is my own neediness. I have to find strength in myself and in my faith in God and from supportive friends to not need the people who cannot give me support to do that. I need to find my own serenity and not blame them for their mistakes. If I need something from them, I need to make them aware.
The second part of the detachment with love is what I struggle with now. To accept that sometimes I will hear callous, wounding things from people I love. I am learning to consider the source and to pray about the hurts and embrace that person with my love. I am learning that sometimes there is wisdom behind the painful thing I hear. Sometimes there is a message for me and getting hurt and stuck in the remarks of another hurting person as though what they said was a fact, is the wrong course of action. In my detachment with love I am learning to let it go. I forgive them in my heart and kick out the spirit of un-forgiveness that is finding roots in me. I need to accept that I am a beloved daughter of God and the unkind or thoughtless or selfish remarks of others do not change that.