I usually don’t bother trying to be empathetic with most people. Just not worth the hassle of finding a socially acceptable way to express, “I guess I don’t want you dead in a ditch, but remind me why I’m still listening to you? You haven’t said anything in the past 5 minutes that reminds me.”
But there’s also a class of friend I will work hard to find emotions for. It’s pretty rare, but there are at least a few girls I’ve met in the past several years that seem to share some common traits. They’re no-nonsense, down-to-earth, emotionally-driven, but willing to see the best in people. Generally also goths grown up. I don’t know why, but . Possibly because they won’t waste my time telling me boring stories, or looking for me to solve their problems, or wanting someone that’s sunshine and rainbows to tell them everything is ok. They’re alright with me being supportive in my own rather negative way. (i.e. They’re ok with “Awww, I’m sorry. That sucks. If you lose it there’s a great bell tower a few blocks from high-powered rifle shop X” instead of, “So sad! Kittens and rainbows!”)
I vaguely wish I knew how to find more people like that. I enjoy hanging around them, and find them far more supportive–in their own way–than the sunshine and puppies crowd.