Weaponized Empathy

People like it when you pretend to be interested in them.

They’re starved for human contact, and once a connection is established, they’ll open up and offer just about anything to keep it alive, even if only for a few more minutes, as long as they never find out you don’t really care.

Before that inevitability, I’ve gotten clothes, weeks worth of homemade frozen dinners, a couple of suits, cash, plane tickets… all because I smiled and asked how they were doing, and then kept quiet, so they just kept talking, unburdening themselves. Sometimes I’d nod or make comforting sounds.

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