In Nonviolent Communication community, we describe empathy as a cup. Maybe only with a concept of container, we might be able to tell if our empathy level is either high or low.
When empathy cup is low, it indicates high level of self-disconnection and high possibilities of passing our judgements and blames to the others via both energy and interpersonal communications.
There are many things that affect our empathy level. But rarely we talk about loneliness and how it affects empathy in every one of us.
Dr. Vivek Murthy talks about the epidemic of loneliness in the US in his book, Together, and how it affects our heart, blood pressure, longevity, social life and overall wellbeing.
He defines loneliness as “missing the feeling of closeness, trust, and the affection of genuine friends, loved ones, and community”. These are essential feelings that both consistently fill up our daily empathy cup when we experience them or deplete it when we don’t.
Low empathy is one of the main reasons that we disconnect from each other. Supporting ourselves with self-empathy through self-connection is just as important as seeking or building a community of belonging.