When I was very young I was EXTREMELY empathic. I was also very into fantasy and sci-fi literature. I encountered, in one story (I actually forget the specific one) where the main character was a young man who needed to do some very hard things, and basically how he got through it was to completely discard all of his emotions.
It struck me, due to how much I hated my empathy that was a FANTASTIC idea, and I spent probably about 10 years working on that. I worked off and on, sort of whenever my empathy bothered me, to completely seal that sort of thing off so that it couldn't bother me. My last really 'intense' empathic experience was from a friend of mine.
We were riding in the car, a couple months after his mother died. A song came on the radio that I had never heard before, and for no reason I felt complete despair and actually started crying on the spot. He was concerned and asked what was wrong. I didn't know, just said that song was making me cry for no reason. Turns out it was a song his mother used to sing to him.
Yeah...kept working on killing my empathy and haven't had any 'problems' with it for a few years now.
However, my mother's commented, at least once, that she noticed the change...and I don't think it pleases her.
LONG LIVE THE COMMUNITY!!!