HYPERVIGILANCE- something to think about.
If you have c-PTSD due to childhood trauma inflicted by mentally ill, substance abusing parents and you're trapped in that chaotic/abusive situation for years, you very quickly learn how to read people. You become empathetic as a means of survival, I have to know how to read your mind/feelings essentially, to come away from the situation/interaction without being harmed. It's not a lack of ability rather it's hyper awareness & hyper vigilance of others very subtle body language that many (including the other person) may not even notice. Facial expressions, tone of voice & posture. I can recognize and "take in" empathy. It's not due to lack of ability at all, it's a TRUST issue. Even many monster parents have moments of empathy, love & kindness. It's the inability to trust that the empathy we're picking up on won't, with the flip of a switch, be turned off and become something completely different. Because that is what we've experienced.