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naturalplastic
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02 Aug 2021, 2:27 am

The way one book I have describes it: empathy and sympathy are two different things.

Aspies and auties can have tons of sympathy (ie concern) for others. But they lack the ability correctly figure out what others are feeling. Basically lack of theory of mind (or theory of heart?).



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02 Aug 2021, 2:59 am

I find the notion of "Theory of Mind" to be rather ambiguous and vague. I haven't read anything about Theory of Mind that really clarifies what it means, and I contest that if there isn't a clear identification of it, it shouldn't be used as a diagnosis criteria.

I feel the same about Empathy. I work for a therapuetic organization, and I find it kinda frustrating that Therapists in my organization have no set definition of empathy that is consistent. I see myself as incredibly empathetic, and have been told as much, but I score low on most tests that are supposed to help identify empathetic behavior.

I am not bothered by it, I just find it really odd and frustratingly inconsistent that this criteria point is seemingly so arbitrary.

I should note that my experience in working with a therapuetic organization seems to indicate that while empathy may not be something a person possesses, it is something you can mimic and learn to replicate. Which again calls into question it's significance as a diagnostic criteria, but it is good to know that you can at the very least learn the socially functional equivalent of it if you find that you do not possess the inherent quality.



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02 Aug 2021, 3:37 am

Something Profound wrote:
I contest that if there isn't a clear identification of it, it shouldn't be used as a diagnosis criteria.

It isn't used that way as far as I know, not in any formal diagnostic criteria. Maybe a few quacks use it to dismiss people.



cyberdad
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02 Aug 2021, 3:56 am

So not wanting to state the obvious but empathy is a form of emotional intelligence or EQ.

To succeed in society and be successful you need IQ but EQ is actually more important.

Being able to read other people's feelings and responding appropriately in social settings when applying what you learned is more important in NT land than how much you can remember.

It's also really important in developing a relationship with an NT



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02 Aug 2021, 4:46 am

cyberdad wrote:
So not wanting to state the obvious but empathy is a form of emotional intelligence or EQ.

To succeed in society and be successful you need IQ but EQ is actually more important.

Being able to read other people's feelings and responding appropriately in social settings when applying what you learned is more important in NT land than how much you can remember.

It's also really important in developing a relationship with an NT


While good input, I feel the need to say that having "emotional intelligence" is a pretty nebulous goal post that seems to shift from NT to NT. I can recognize emotions, and know how to respond to them most of the time, and in some cases I am more adept at doing so than many NT people seem to be, but the issue seems to be that these terms... "Emotional Intelligence," "Theory of Mind," "Empathy," and so on, are just ways for NT's to use to distinguish how they can categorize, and in a sense otherize people who do not meet the criteria on terms that don't really seem to have set criteria.

I guess what I am trying to say is that these terms are subjective...they seem to revolve around the person who is observing, and no two observers have the same idea. And if that is true (Which seems to most certainly be the case), then is it really fair to hold ASD people to a standard that can't be upheld by NT people?

Mind you, I am not angry or resentful on this issue. I just am a bit irked that there seems to be a double standard at play, and one which poses a pretty obvious problem. I am irked because it seems pretty obvious in clear circumstances, but it is accepted that these terms apply as things NT people have but ASD people lack... without giving a good justification.

But perhaps I am being to much of a stickler on this point and am not communicating well on what I am meaning to say (as if that isn't a common issue here...)



starkid
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03 Aug 2021, 1:20 am

cyberdad wrote:
So not wanting to state the obvious but empathy is a form of emotional intelligence or EQ.

What you say is not "obvious." EQ is a pop psychology theory, not a fact.

Quote:
To succeed in society and be successful you need IQ but EQ is actually more important.

It's actually debatable that IQ and EQ are not separate things.

Quote:
Being able to read other people's feelings and responding appropriately in social settings when applying what you learned is more important in NT land than how much you can remember.

That's not empathy though. Sociopaths can read people's feelings and fake appropriate social behavior, but they certainly lack empathy.



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03 Aug 2021, 1:44 am

Autistics don't lack empathy. I'm starting to see here on WP that people here understand NTs perspectives more than NTs understand our perspectives. In fact people here are too empathetic sometimes, and don't think about themselves enough. So saying autistics lack empathy is a bit like saying dyslexic people have a low IQ.


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cyberdad
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03 Aug 2021, 1:45 am

No EQ is a real psychometric
http://www.psychometriclab.com/adminsda ... %20HID.pdf

I find AQ which is an offshoot of EQ more important in the workforce
https://www.forbes.com/sites/chriswestf ... 3271b7400b



cyberdad
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03 Aug 2021, 1:47 am

Joe90 wrote:
So saying autistics lack empathy is a bit like saying dyslexic people have a low IQ.


They don't lack empathy, but sometimes they can appear to struggle to show this trait to NTs.



cyberdad
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03 Aug 2021, 1:50 am

Something Profound wrote:
I can recognize emotions, and know how to respond to them most of the time, and in some cases I am more adept at doing so than many NT people seem to be, but the issue seems to be that these terms... "Emotional Intelligence," "Theory of Mind," "Empathy," and so on, are just ways for NT's to use to distinguish how they can categorize, and in a sense otherize people who do not meet the criteria on terms that don't really seem to have set criteria.


I know this is true, my post was more directed to selling the idea that empathy is useful to have to the OP



starkid
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03 Aug 2021, 2:53 am

cyberdad wrote:
I know this is true, my post was more directed to selling the idea that empathy is useful to have to the OP

You don't have to sell it to me; it's obvious that it's useful. But the usefulness has nothing to do with the point of this thread: even though empathy is useful, lacking it is not terrible.



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03 Aug 2021, 3:43 am

starkid wrote:
But the usefulness has nothing to do with the point of this thread: even though empathy is useful, lacking it is not terrible.


Not having empathy is a subjective matter to both the person experiencing the "lack of empathy" and the subjective interpretation of the people around them.

A quick cursory glance at most of the relationship threads on WP and it becomes apparent that autistic people want to be understood emotionally. I an sure the intention is to interact with fellow members who can empathise with what they are going through.



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03 Aug 2021, 4:19 am

I have a question about empathy if anyone will actually read and take the time to respond:

Suppose you break both your legs. Time goes on, you heal and recover. Later, you hear someone else has broken both of their legs. Simply by your own experience, it seems you'd be able to empathize with them ('put yourself in their shoes' as you yourself have been there).

Now, regardless of how you feel about this other person, you can empathize because you yourself have experienced it. Others may feel bad for the person, but you yourself actually know what breaking both legs entails. Maybe the person is your archenemy and you have no sympathy for them, but you can empathize since you've been there.

Isn't this a form of empathy? Maybe not intuitive empathy, or 'feeling their pain' by proxy. But based on your own experience, you know what they're experiencing since you've been in the same situation. Regardless of sympathy or lack thereof.

We talk about empathy as if it's simply an emotion or a state of being where an empath somehow, like a sponge, simply knows and feels how someone else is feeling. To me, empathy can be deduced by having experienced the same king of situation as someone else. Those who haven't been is said situation can feel sorry or worried, but the person who has been there actually knows. How is this not a form of empathy? We always equate empathy with intense sympathy for some reason. Wouldn't relatability lead to intellectual empathy?



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03 Aug 2021, 4:49 am

kraftiekortie wrote:

One of The Who’s first recordings was called “I’m the Face.”



Was that recorded as the Who or as the High numbers?


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StrayCat81
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03 Aug 2021, 7:26 am

starkid wrote:
Feeling other people's emotions is what I was thinking of. That can actually be a negative thing if you start feeling other people's unpleasant emotions. Considering all the miserable people in the world, I'm glad I don't have much of that kind of empathy.

So this. But not only miserable people, empathy is also very dangerous, because humans constantly try to abuse it and control you with it. While luckily it's easy to detect, damage is still done regardless, since they will ruin your mood. But yeah, it's one of the reasons I avoid humans like a plague...

On the bright side, empathy makes hanging out with nonhuman animals fun. They tend to be easy to please, and due to empathy, their pleasure is my pleasure :3



cyberdad
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03 Aug 2021, 4:43 pm

StrayCat81 wrote:
empathy is also very dangerous, because humans constantly try to abuse it and control you with it.


Thanks for this comment. I can see how vulnerability can lead to manipulation so it makes sense that one can develop paranoia and anxiety over an NTs intentions.

In a weird sense NTs are also fixed in their ways, their models they use to predict behaviour is based on their experiences with other NTs. So I can see how they might use the innocence of an autistic person's perception of empathy to gain some type of advantage since they detect an inability to read emotion/intent.