How To Have Less Empathy (So You Can Take Care Of Yourself Too)

Updated on December 16, 2022 by

Man Hugging Woman And Is Exhausted From Being Too Empathetic

// We recommend helpful products in our articles. Read our full disclosure here.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful!

It's good to KNOW.

Subscribe to our newsletter for fresh, life-improving topics.

If you suffer from over-empathy, you’re not alone. Many people report that they are overly sensitive to the pain and feelings of others. Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with this condition. Regardless of the source of your over-empathy, there are tools to help you learn to have less empathy in different situations. Here are a few of them.


Recognize when you’re acting in an over-empathic way


Recognizing is the first step in dealing with anything. If you’re constantly worried about other people’s feelings or letting others decide on your behalf, you’re probably an over-empathetic person. If you’re constantly trying to avoid disappointing or upsetting them, that’s also not a good idea. Instead, try to make yourself a priority and make sure to make every decision yourself. If you want to improve your relationship with your loved ones, you should make them your partner, not your source of obsession.


Be aware of the impact of your empathy on others


If you don’t see the boundaries properly, you will eventually push them. As a result, you can become overbearing to others and will often ignore or dismiss your own needs.

Also, don’t try to desperately improve your relationships with people who have low or no empathy towards you because you may end up worse off.


Don’t expect other people to change you


It’s not easy for people with high empathy to change. But, there are ways to deal with this issue. If you’re struggling with a relationship where your over-emphatic behavior is impacting your relationship, try not to force your partner to change you. Only you can change your thoughts, actions and behavior. If you can’t change yourself, it might be helpful to seek professional help from someone who understands your psychological struggles – they can help you to become less empathetic over time.


Take care of yourself too


It’s important to maintain a healthy level of self-care. Empathy is a wonderful trait and, if not too overbearing, should be nurtured. Yet it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, especially if you’re tired and want to have less empathy. Be aware of your limitations. Be aware of your emotions and your feelings. Strive to understand and care for your own situation too.




To have less empathy, you need to have a healthy balance. It’s not a bad thing to be kind, but over-empathy can be exhausting and challenging to manage.

Editor-in-chief and co-authors at

"We love to research, examine, analyze, and present to you the best ideas that make life better. You can learn about our editorial standards here."

woman holding a cup of tea

Finding Gratitude After Surviving Trauma

Gratitude can be incredibly helpful to the process of healing.
woman confidence art pictures

Self-Confidence: How to Stop Thinking About The Opinions of Others?

Once you know how to feel confident, people around will feel it subconsciously.
5 Signs You Desperately Need More Self Love + What To Do About It

5 Signs You Desperately Need More Self Love + What To Do About It

Sometimes, it’s your own self you have trouble being friends with.
journal for therapy at home practice

How To Journal For Therapy At Home

These easy journal for therapy techniques will help you to self-soothe and destress.
upset black man doing mindfulness activities

Calming Mindfulness Script For Anxiety + FREE Printable

Read this to relieve anxiety and float with your feelings until they simply pass.
young person meditating on a mat

Why And How To Meditate: Meditation Guide For Beginners + FREE Printable Meditation Tracker

My life has changed significantly when I started meditating daily.
feeling sad after a failure art photo

How to Quickly Rebuild Your Self-Confidence After a Failure + FREE Confidence Exercise Printable

When your confidence takes a hit, here's how to get it back fast.
art photo that ilustrates a person feeling unwanted

How to Cope When You’re Feeling Unwanted

When you're feeling unwanted, everything around may seem gray.
6 Healthy Ways To Deal With Uncertainty About The Future

6 Healthy Ways To Deal With Uncertainty About The Future

Uncertainty is inevitable, but it's also manageable.
sad girl

How To Feel Grateful When Life Gets Hard

This crazy technique helps me to go through hard times easier.
art photo losing weight is not a solution to every problem

Here’s Why Losing Weight Is Not a Magic Pill To ALL Of Your Problems

Why we need to build weight loss stories on the RIGHT reasons.
unhappy woman at her job

What To Do When You Hate Your Job, But Can’t Quit It

When you hate your job, but can't change the situation, change the way you look at it.

Read More

Mental Health