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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Moves Past Hardships Of Life Without Shedding A Tear

DEAR ABBY: I don't sympathize or empathize with others. When people are sad or upset over deaths, failed relationships, etc., my reaction is annoyance at the person because I feel I'm being forced to offer an emotion I don't genuinely feel. I have experienced all of these things in my own life, but I have never shed tears about them or let them cripple me. I view these things as part of life and move on.

As I get older, it is getting harder and harder for me to fake these emotions. My wife was in tears for a couple of days because someone she knew died. I tried to pretend to empathize with her, but I found myself getting annoyed by what I thought was her overreaction. Someone she knew died; it happens to all of us. Let's move on. Is something wrong with me? -- MOVING ON IN TENNESSEE

DEAR MOVING ON: Some people live the veneer of life; others live the hardwood. It appears you are among the former and insulated against painful emotions. However, I'm cautioning you to be patient and show respect for the feelings of others who have more emotional depth, or you may be spending a lot of time alone in the future.

Read more in: Mental Health