I think that my dad has limited empathy. Which is different to no empathy at all.
I reckon he is capable of understanding that someone else can feel something, but… he seems not to appreciate that what the other person might feel would be different from what he would feel under the same circumstances.
This makes him very easy to be with if you have the same thoughts and feelings on something; and very difficult if you do not.
I am pretty certain he has this limited-empathy condition, because I’m pretty certain I had it (inheretidly) until I was about 35.
I can almost recall the moment I realised other people thought differently to me. It was quite shocking to discover. I still find it a surprise when faced with it.
The unusual thing is that both my dad and I will confess to feeling a multitude of different things/opinions in relation to the one subject or topic. It’s curious that the empathy doesn’t naturally follow.
I hypothesise that any attempt at empathy from a multipersonality starting position is too confusing. And so the empathy window is narrowed or limited at some point during maturity, just to make sense of things.