- This topic has 16 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 4 months ago by Anonymous.
April 27, 2018 at 6:52 am #204525
I recently joined this forum and I’ve noticed you have much knowledge about people. I’d like to know how you think about this:
My dad is never angry with me, I can do whatever I want. If I ask something he will help me, if I need something (that I can’t do myself) he will help me. He makes good food for me and washes my clothes. He’s always happy, he is high on life. He does nothing wrong and is very smart.
But when I confront him with something that I don’t like, he doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t show any emotions.
Also, when I feel sad or I’m having any kind of emotional trouble, he doesn’t say anything. No sign of emotion -> few seconds of silence -> he changes the subject.
He never asks how I’m doing, he never asks how school is, he never asks where I’m going.
I was wondering if he cares about me… What do you think?April 27, 2018 at 7:34 am #204531AnonymousGuest
Your question is: does your father care about you.
Let’s look for the answer in your original post on this thread:
“He makes good food for me”- he cares that you eat good food.
“and washes my clothes”- he cares that you wear clean clothes.
“If I ask him to help me, if I need something ..he will help me”- you mean if you need something practical, such as to fix a belonging that is broken, correct?- is so, he cares that your item is not broken.
“when I confront him with something that I don’t like, he doesn’t say anything”- he doesn’t care that you don’t like something.
“when I feel sad or I’m having any kind of emotional trouble, he doesn’t say anything”- he doesn’t care that you are sad and he doesn’t care that you are experiencing emotional trouble.
“He never asks how I’m doing, he never asks how school is, he never asks where I’m going”- he doesn’t care how you are doing, how school is, or where you are going.
In summary: he cares that you eat good food, that your clothes are clean, that your belongings are not broken, but he does not care that you don’t like something, that you feel sad, that you experience any emotional trouble, how you are doing, how your school experience is, or where you are going.
Beyond your question, you wrote about your father that he “is never angry with me… He’s always happy, he is high on life.. He doesn’t show any emotions… few seconds of silence -> he changes the subject”
Reads to me that he is able to maintain his high-on-life mental state by staying away from unpleasant emotions. So when you express trouble to him, he changes the subject. He cares about his peace-of-mind and that is his priority, not your emotional well-being.
I suppose it is nothing personal, on his part, that he is like he is with everyone. Problem is a child needs emotional support, emotional reaction, concern, acknowledgment. And so, it is very personal, for you.
anitaApril 27, 2018 at 7:47 am #204533
Hmm… I think you’re right about the fact that his peace-of-mind state is his number one priority.
Altough, when my steph mom lived with us, all he did was care about her emotional wellbeing. He talked to her for hours and hours to solve her troubles.
What would you do? Accept him the way he treats me and try to not care about it?April 27, 2018 at 8:40 am #204555AnonymousGuest
Before attempting to answer your question,
Tell me a bit more about the kinds of problems he talked to her about, did he show concern on his face, with her, did he express empathy for her?
What about his interactions with other people, with your brother, with others- is he more like he was with his wife or is he more like he is with you?
anitaApril 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm #204577PhoebeParticipant
Your father definitely cares about you. You need to realize that some people dont know how to process emotions, or even how to show they care. Some people in life don’t know how to ask others how their life is going; you must have had a good mother (or another adult) because you noticed this behaviour and you have realized it does not feel good. You are capable of showing emotion and being the father you never had.
Forgive your father because he was never given the chance that you were given that is, to realize just how to care and show others empathy. Your father is telling you that he is incapable of helping you in those areas of your life and you will learn that this is alright. Nobody is perfect. Realizing our parents aren’t perfect is hard but necessary. It might help to see it as a type of handicap that was imposed on him when he was a child by his father. What is important is it seems he has good intentions and does not seem abusive.
Do you want to feel better about your father? I had two that were pure evil. My real father left my mother before I was born and I never met him and my step father murdered my mother.
Trust me when I say your father is doing the best he can. 🙂April 30, 2018 at 8:39 am #204917
To answer your question Anita: my stephmom was an alcoholic and she had many troubles in her past. They were talking about those troubles to help her let go of her alcoholism. There was empathy on his face for sure.
Phoebe: I can understand why you say that, it might be possible that his childhood experiences haven’t learned him to show empathy. Altough, with my stephmom it didn’t seem like he had any troubles expressing compassion. Maybe his love for her made him a different person?
If what you say about your parents is true, I am lucky with a father like mine… I’m sorry to hear that, my father is probably doing better than most dads 🙂
Thank you for you answers, I’ll try to continue accepting him the way he is.
RegiApril 30, 2018 at 9:23 am #204925AnonymousGuest
Adult children sure do their very best to accept their parents the way they are (your last line), put a lot of effort to understand their parents’ childhood, their parents’ difficulties, their parents’ feelings, reaching out to the parent, again and again, asking, listening.
But many parents do not make that kind of effort, not even close, as you described about your father: “He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t show any emotions… silence.. he changes the subject. He never asks”.
What I found out is that this is often the case because parents have to earn others’ attention and love but their children’s love is guaranteed to them. A parent’s emotional investment in one’s child is not required because a child, minor or adult, is there for the parent, forgiving anything, accepting everything.
anitaMay 1, 2018 at 5:03 am #205031
Maybe it’s because I don’t have children but I don’t understand, what has this guaranteed love to do with emotional investment? You mean that their investment doesn’t change the amount of love they get in return, so they don’t feel urged to invest since there is nothing to gain?
RegiMay 1, 2018 at 5:26 am #205039AnonymousGuest
A parent knows that a child will follow them (much like a fawn follows its mother deer into the forest, anywhere she goes), no matter what. As a matter of fact, the more rejecting a parent, the more desperately the child follows, looking for attention, for acknowledgment.
On the other hand, more often than not, if a person rejects a neighbor, a boyfriend/girlfriend, that person will reject in return. So the person invests in the other, tries to be nice, attentive.
And so, often, a parent will be nice to everyone else, to strangers in the street, but not to their own children.
Does this make sense to you, did you witness this yourself in other people, perhaps?
anitaMay 1, 2018 at 5:47 am #205049
My mom for example, when I have a problem she honestly cares about that, and she gives the best advice she can offer me. But as you say, her empathy level won’t be influenced by the amount of things I do for her.
When my parents were divorcing I supported both of them trying to give advice and help when they felt bad. I liked doing this, but again this didn’t influence the way they treated me. When I was talking to my mom all night to convince her she would do fine on her own, she would say put your shoes on the shelf in the middle of the conversation :p
My dad also will never be able to show empathy, he never has. I can’t change that as his child, you’re right about that.
RegiMay 1, 2018 at 6:33 am #205059AnonymousGuest
I don’t understand what you mean by “My dad also will never be able to show empathy, he never has”- because you wrote earlier: “There was empathy on his face for sure” regarding his wife, your step mother. So when you wrote that he will never be able to show empathy, you mean, show empathy to you, specifically, correct?
But if he is able to show empathy for the step mother, then he is able to show empathy. In this case he is able to show empathy for you too, is he not?
anitaMay 1, 2018 at 9:26 am #205097
Yes how I said it wasn’t correct, I meant towards me. He might feel empathy towards but he won’t show it. Perhaps because he doesn’t know how to.
I also know that he rarely says his opinion out loud.
RegiMay 1, 2018 at 10:05 am #205113AnonymousGuest
You wrote that he doesn’t know how to show his empathy- but you wrote that he showed it toward your step mother.
When you feel empathy, do you show it, does it show on your face, in your voice… is it something you try to do, to have it shown or does it happen automatically, naturally?
anitaMay 1, 2018 at 12:10 pm #205153
Depends, mostly I show empathy on purpose. Depends on the situation and the person. The more I actually care, the more automatically I will show empathy.
Good question, I’ve never thought about that 🙂
How does this work with you?
RegiMay 2, 2018 at 4:45 am #205209AnonymousGuest
My voice gets softer when I am talking to a person to whom I feel empathy. My eyes are looking at the person (not away), my facial features alert. I am facing the person, attentive to the person (not walking away, not busy doing anything other than attending to the person).
Sometimes I don’t feel empathy, but determined to act empathetically, I do.
Which brings me back to your father (he is in the title of your thread). I suppose he too, if he didn’t feel empathy, could intend to and determine too act empathetically toward you.