Let them eat cake!
This was the alleged response Marie Antoinette gave when told the French peasants were revolting because they had no bread to eat and were starving to death. In other words, let them do whatever they like, as long as it doesn’t interfere with what I’m doing. This same disregard for another person’s predicament or feelings brings to mind a conversation I had with a woman that had positioned herself between a man she desired and his longtime mate.
Me: How did you let him know you were interested in something more than a friendship with him?
Her: We were at a convention and a guy was hitting on me at the bar one night. I asked him if he would pretend to be my boyfriend, and he did.
Me: And that’s it?
Her: Yeah. It put the idea in his head and it let him know I was interested. I kind of flirted with him a little too.
Me: He lives with his girlfriend and I happen to know he’s in love with her and has been for many years. Did it bother you that he was in a long term relationship?
Her: Not really. In the beginning I just pretended it was for sex, but later I fell in love with him and hated watching him go home to her at night after he had been with me.
Me: Did you ever think about how she might feel knowing he was coming home at night with your funk on his dick?
Her: You don’t have to put it like that! No, I never thought about her except to wish she’d go away so he and I could be together full time.
For tiny split seconds I could actually see the sociopath peeking out of this girl. I could hear the resounding, “Let them eat cake!” How else would I perceive what she was doing when I knew it was wrong and people were being hurt by her actions? I certainly wasn’t going to sugarcoat my reaction to her. She didn’t give a fig about this other woman, and in fact, I don’t believe she gave much thought to the man she was claiming to be in love with either. This was all about her and what she wanted.
The behavior that made Marie Antoinette think it’s okay to shut the door on her countrymen when they starving to death simply because they were inconvenient, is the same behavior that made this woman think she was justified in fucking a man that was in a committed relationship and then feeling betrayed when he went home to his girlfriend at night.
It’s that same disconnect.
It’s lack of empathy for another human being.
You can’t learn how to have empathy. You either have it, or you don’t. If a person doesn’t have empathy then it’s a good bet they are a sociopath, or about as close to one as a person can get.
A great rule to make with yourself is that once you realize the person you’re spending time with lacks empathy for others is bid them adieu, even if they make you feel like a million bucks. Trust me, you’ll only be treated well until they tire of you. They’ll move on to their next victim and you, my friend, will eat cake.