If someone displays these 11 behaviors, they lack emotional depth

by Lachlan Brown | February 4, 2024, 12:03 pm

Ever started a chat, hoping for a deep heart-to-heart, but ended up with just small talk instead?

That’s what it feels like when you’re with someone who lacks emotional depth.

Emotional depth is all about understanding and dealing with complex feelings – yours and others’.

It’s what makes our relationships rich and conversations real.

But, some people are more into keeping things light and breezy. They steer clear of the emotional deep end. Sounds familiar?

Let’s dive into the 10 tell-tale behaviors that signal a lack of emotional depth.

1. They Avoid Serious Conversations

When it comes to deep, meaningful conversations, people lacking emotional depth are like fish out of water.

They might be champions of small talk or casual chit-chat, but when the conversation starts to take a serious turn, they’re quick to change the subject or make a swift exit.

They prefer topics that are light and breezy, avoiding anything that probes too deep.

They might even make a joke or two to lighten the mood.

2. They Struggle to Express Their Feelings

Another red flag is difficulty in expressing emotions. Now, we’re not just talking about saying “I love you” or “I’m sorry”.

People lacking emotional depth often struggle to identify and articulate their feelings beyond the basic happy, sad, or angry.

It’s like their emotional vocabulary is limited. If you find someone frequently resorting to phrases like “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” when asked about how they feel, it could be because they lack emotional depth.

After all, understanding our own emotions is the first step towards understanding others’. 

3. They Don’t have Much Empathy

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is like fuel for emotional depth.

Without it, we’re running on empty.

A classic sign of someone lacking emotional depth is their struggle to show genuine empathy.

I once had a friend who, whenever I shared something personal or emotional with him, would quickly brush it off or change the subject.

He never really acknowledged my feelings or tried to understand what I was going through.

Instead, he’d immediately jump into a different topic or start talking about his own experiences. It was like talking to a wall. 

4. They’re Not into Self-Reflection

Self-reflection, the act of thinking about our own actions, motivations, and feelings, is a key component of emotional depth.

But those lacking it often avoid self-reflection like the plague.

They’re not very keen on understanding why they feel a certain way or why they acted in a particular manner.

People who self-reflect are more productive, more willing to learn, and less stressed.

So if someone you know seems to be allergic to introspection, it could be an indication of their lack of emotional depth. 

5. They Rarely Show Genuine Vulnerability

Opening up and showing our true selves, flaws and all, is a sign of emotional depth.

It shows that we trust others enough to let them see our vulnerability.

However, those lacking emotional depth tend to keep their guard up.

They rarely reveal their true feelings or share personal experiences that might expose their weaknesses.

It’s like they’re wearing an emotional armor that they’re afraid to take off. This can make them seem distant and unrelatable.

It’s a bit sad, really, because vulnerability is what connects us to others on a deeper level.

So, if you notice someone who’s always putting up a strong front and never letting their guard down, chances are they might be lacking in emotional depth.

6. They Often Miss Emotional Cues

People with emotional depth have a keen sense of understanding others’ feelings.

They’re good at picking up on subtle hints, like a change in tone or body language.

However, those lacking in emotional depth often miss these emotional cues.

I remember a time when a friend was going through a rough patch. It was clear from her tone and body language that she was upset.

But another friend of ours simply couldn’t pick up on it.

Despite her quietness and downcast eyes, he kept joking around and changing the topic, completely missing her emotional state.

If you observe someone consistently failing to read or respond to these emotional cues, it could suggest their lack of emotional depth. 

7. They Can’t Handle Your Pain

Some people can’t handle other people’s pain.

When you’re hurting, they might offer a quick “I’m sorry” or maybe even a hug.

But when it comes to really sitting with you in your pain, listening to your fears and wiping your tears, they’re nowhere to be found.

It’s not necessarily that they don’t care, but more that they don’t know how to deal with these intense emotions.

They might even dismiss or minimize your pain, not out of cruelty, but out of their own discomfort.

If you’ve ever been with someone like this in your darkest hour, you’ve likely experienced first-hand the frustration and loneliness that comes from their lack of emotional depth.

It’s a tough pill to swallow but recognizing this behavior can save us a lot of future heartache.

8. They’re Not Big on Apologies

Apologizing requires recognizing and acknowledging one’s own mistakes, which calls for a certain level of emotional depth.

Those lacking it often struggle to say “I’m sorry” and mean it.

Instead, they might deflect blame or make excuses for their actions.

People who apologize are more likely to be trusted and forgiven by others.

If there’s someone in your life who seems to have an allergy to apologies, it could be a sign of their lack of emotional depth.

Keep this little nugget in mind next time you’re dealing with a stubborn non-apologizer. 

9. They Tend to be Self-Centered

One behavior I’ve noticed in people lacking emotional depth is their tendency to be self-centered.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we all have our moments of self-absorption.

But with these folks, it’s a consistent pattern. It’s like they’re stuck in their own world, often talking about themselves and rarely showing genuine interest in others.

I had a colleague once who could turn any conversation into a monologue about herself.

Whether it was a team meeting or a casual lunch chat, she’d somehow always steer the conversation back to her experiences and achievements.

It was quite exhausting, to be honest.

10. They’re Quick to Judge

We all judge from time to time. But those lacking emotional depth take it to a whole new level.

They’re quick to form opinions, often without taking the time to understand the full story.

Their judgments are often based on surface-level information, without considering the emotions or experiences of others.

It’s like they’re watching a movie with only half the screen visible.

And the truth is, it can be really hurtful being on the receiving end of such judgments.

So if someone is always quick to make snap judgments without trying to empathize, it could be a sign of their lack of emotional depth.

11. They Avoid Emotional Commitment

Last but not least, people lacking emotional depth often shy away from emotional commitment.

Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a close friendship, or even a family bond, they struggle to fully commit themselves emotionally.

They might be physically present but emotionally distant, always keeping a safe distance from deep emotional connections.

It’s like they’ve built an emotional fortress around themselves and they’re not letting anyone in.

It’s a hard truth to accept, especially when you care about this person.

But recognizing this behavior can help us understand them better and manage our expectations accordingly.

So there you have it! Ten behaviors that might indicate a lack of emotional depth.

Remember, we all have our moments of emotional shallowness; it’s part of being human.

But if these behaviors are a consistent pattern in someone you know, it could be a sign that they’re paddling in the shallow end of the emotional pool.

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