Being an empathetic person doesn’t mean you can be empathetic with the caveat of ‘I’m only going to be empathetic towards nice people.’ Unfortunately, you must understand, that even assholes need love too.

Oftentimes, when we run into someone in the store who is rude or doesn’t thank us or smile when we acknowledge them or do something nice for them, we may instantly think negatively of that person. But the thing is, that person is human, and they are probably going through something too.

The thing is – underneath the mask we wear in front of society, we are a human that is dealing with real issues, struggles, hardships, and more. And while things may not be hard for us right now, if someone is rude to you, or ignores you, they may not be having it so easy. In fact, that cashier who was rude, and smug at the store today, well, her father may have passed away.

And that jerk who pulled out in front of you and had the audacity to honk at you and scream F-U as he drove by, well, he just had to file bankruptcy after his company went under, and he had to take a job at Best Buy to struggle to get by.

The thing is- we can’t always expect everyone is hunky-dory, and we all have bad days that make us want to withdraw and act a little less than nice. It doesn’t mean we are bad or horrible people. While it isn’t the best way to handle our pain, we are all human, and many of us are just reacting to the world around us.

And we must understand that. You can’t just empathize as you so choose, and you must open your heart to the struggles of EVERYONE. We are all burying our pain and struggling to make it through the day, and we are doing the best we can. Before you wish doom on the next person to run into you and call you names in the store, remember their pain. Perhaps, if you approach them with kindness, when everyone else cussed them back, you will be the one who changes their day, their month, and perhaps, even their life.

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