Why should I feel embarrassed? aspie logic

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RSwriter3
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10 Feb 2014, 6:31 pm

My neurotypical friend often tells me that I'm being rude or mean in my Facebook statuses. She tells me that she is embarrassed for me. I dont understand how that works! Like, how can she be embarrassed about it when it isnt even her problem? She told me it's secondhand embarrassment but it still doesnt make sense to me.

I rarely get embarrassed about anything. I certainly dont get embarrassed about what people think of my Facebook statuses. I dont care what people think - usually. I go by the saying, "be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind."

My friend told me my logic is not logical. I told her I cant think like a neurotypical person! My friend says "normal logic" can be learned, and that I'm just being stubborn. She doesnt get that it's impossible to change the way your mind works! She's asking me to think like a neurotypical when I'm not one.

This is so frustrating. What should I tell my friend that will make her understand?



ASPartOfMe
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10 Feb 2014, 8:56 pm

Neurotypicals have a different type of empathy and can feel "secondhand" embarrassment as well as secondhand pain, secondhand happiness etc.

As far as your friend as you said ""be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." If she will not accept you as you are, she is no friend.

That being said what do you put as your facebook status?


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Norny
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10 Feb 2014, 9:31 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Neurotypicals have a different type of empathy and can feel "secondhand" embarrassment as well as secondhand pain, secondhand happiness etc.

As far as your friend as you said ""be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." If she will not accept you as you are, she is no friend.

That being said what do you put as your facebook status?


I agree with this.

Unless the Facebook status is absolutely deplorable (such as a direct attack against someone), there is no reason she should feel embarrassed by you. If I was your friend, I wouldn't feel embarrassed even in that situation because it wouldn't be my problem. I honestly don't see how it could damage her, nor do I get this 'secondhand' empathy.


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10 Feb 2014, 10:18 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Neurotypicals have a different type of empathy and can feel "secondhand" embarrassment as well as secondhand pain, secondhand happiness etc.



That is NOT EMPATHY - that is SYMPATHY and autistic people are as capable of that as anybody. EMPATHY is a social skill by which you determine another person's emotional state by observing nonverbal signals, and automatically know what the appropriate response is.

Resonating with another person's emotional state - feeling compassion or pity or even embarrassment for someone else is SYMPATHY.

That said, it is also possible to experience a hypersensitive sympathy, for someone you perceive as having done something embarrassing, when in fact neither they, nor anyone else who saw it took any particular notice. It sounds to me like that's what's happening here, because if anything you were doing was actually as offensive as she thinks it is, nearly everybody on your 'Friend' list would have un-friended you by now.

Of course, you could ask people when you post your status if they find it offensive. I think if you were p*ssing people on Facebook off, they would tell you directly, or just disconnect from you.



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10 Feb 2014, 10:19 pm

Norny wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Neurotypicals have a different type of empathy and can feel "secondhand" embarrassment as well as secondhand pain, secondhand happiness etc.

As far as your friend as you said ""be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." If she will not accept you as you are, she is no friend.

That being said what do you put as your facebook status?


I agree with this.

Unless the Facebook status is absolutely deplorable (such as a direct attack against someone), there is no reason she should feel embarrassed by you. If I was your friend, I wouldn't feel embarrassed even in that situation because it wouldn't be my problem. I honestly don't see how it could damage her, nor do I get this 'secondhand' empathy.


Second empathy. People feel that. I hear people saying or writing "I feel happy for you" or "I feel terrible for you" all the time


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10 Feb 2014, 10:35 pm

I think more than half of the words my mother says is embarrassing. For me, I relate to a time when I said something like that and the way people responded was negative (teasing, ignoring, getting angry) and I get an almost flashback of that time when someone else does it. Especially when said person reminds me of me when I had untreated ADHD.

Through my Facebook status updates I go on a many manic rant and later on I do regret it and am embarrassed about it. I don't want people thinking the worst of me and maybe at times I feel same way about embarrassing parents or friends. There is someone on my FB that I feel that way about. It reminds me of a time where my social skills were less developed.


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10 Feb 2014, 10:50 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Norny wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Neurotypicals have a different type of empathy and can feel "secondhand" embarrassment as well as secondhand pain, secondhand happiness etc.

As far as your friend as you said ""be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." If she will not accept you as you are, she is no friend.

That being said what do you put as your facebook status?


I agree with this.

Unless the Facebook status is absolutely deplorable (such as a direct attack against someone), there is no reason she should feel embarrassed by you. If I was your friend, I wouldn't feel embarrassed even in that situation because it wouldn't be my problem. I honestly don't see how it could damage her, nor do I get this 'secondhand' empathy.


Second empathy. People feel that. I hear people saying or writing "I feel happy for you" or "I feel terrible for you" all the time


How does one tell the difference between feeling embarrassed at oneself and feeling embarrassed for someone else?

In the example the OP gave, in what way is the friend embarrassed? Is she embarrassed because people know that they are friends and thus assume that she is also 'rude'? If that's true I see that as being embarrassed not for the person, but you are embarrassed yourself, because of possible repercussions. If she was embarrassed for the person.. I don't really get how that works. I've never felt that. Am I evil? >.>

I've noticed overall that my 'empathy' seems to be sort of narcissistic/selfish. I don't want to explain it as it would hijack the thread, but thought I'd state it anyway. It's an area that confuses me greatly.


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10 Feb 2014, 11:26 pm

Norny wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Norny wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Neurotypicals have a different type of empathy and can feel "secondhand" embarrassment as well as secondhand pain, secondhand happiness etc.

As far as your friend as you said ""be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." If she will not accept you as you are, she is no friend.

That being said what do you put as your facebook status?


I agree with this.

Unless the Facebook status is absolutely deplorable (such as a direct attack against someone), there is no reason she should feel embarrassed by you. If I was your friend, I wouldn't feel embarrassed even in that situation because it wouldn't be my problem. I honestly don't see how it could damage her, nor do I get this 'secondhand' empathy.


How wold I know? The OP would have to ask her friend

Second empathy. People feel that. I hear people saying or writing "I feel happy for you" or "I feel terrible for you" all the time


How does one tell the difference between feeling embarrassed at oneself and feeling embarrassed for someone else?

In the example the OP gave, in what way is the friend embarrassed? Is she embarrassed because people know that they are friends and thus assume that she is also 'rude'? If that's true I see that as being embarrassed not for the person, but you are embarrassed yourself, because of possible repercussions. If she was embarrassed for the person.. I don't really get how that works. I've never felt that. Am I evil? >.>

I've noticed overall that my 'empathy' seems to be sort of narcissistic/selfish. I don't want to explain it as it would hijack the thread, but thought I'd state it anyway. It's an area that confuses me greatly.


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10 Feb 2014, 11:29 pm

My NT friends feel embarrassed for me, too, though they don't say it. They like me and don't want me to be hurt, and so don't want me to make a fool out of myself. I understand it perfectly, cause I do feel embarrassed on other people's behalfs, e.g. my dad, when he is saying something that bores other people, and don't want people to perceive them as silly/boring. I also feel embarrassed on others' behalf when I share some similarities with them, because it occurs to me, what if it happened to me? It's sorta like my second self is being embarrassed, even if I'm not close to them. Don't know if this is sympathy or empathy. It's funny the more introverted I become, the more I feel like an NT.



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11 Feb 2014, 4:51 am

Villette wrote:
My NT friends feel embarrassed for me, too, though they don't say it. They like me and don't want me to be hurt, and so don't want me to make a fool out of myself.


This is a good explaination.

"be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - I don't agree with this 100%. It is arrogant. It says, "my opinion is more important than yours and I will bulldose over you if you are more sensitive than me."



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11 Feb 2014, 5:40 am

@ASPartOfMe - I'm sort of confused, I think we are having a misunderstanding of some kind. >.>

I'm assuming in your latest post you wrote 'How wold I know? The OP would have to ask her friend'. Looking back, my first post in which I quoted you was laid out horribly.

I said: 'Unless the Facebook status is absolutely deplorable (such as a direct attack against someone), there is no reason she should feel embarrassed by you. If I was your friend, I wouldn't feel embarrassed even in that situation because it wouldn't be my problem. I honestly don't see how it could damage her, nor do I get this 'secondhand' empathy.'

My intentions were to direct that towards the OP, while including what you had posted as a part of mine because I agreed with it. It doesn't make sense to me that the OP's friend would 'mind' so much about the Facebook statuses, and that's what I thought you were saying. The 'secondhand' empathy you mentioned I understand what you were referring to, but what I don't understand is how a friend could be 'embarrassed for' the OP. That confuses me.

Also just before I was informed that '>.>' apparently means annoyed, so I'm sorry if that makes me come across the wrong way. I use it as a sort of curious/playful face, similar to XD.


hurtloam wrote:
"be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - I don't agree with this 100%. It is arrogant. It says, "my opinion is more important than yours and I will bulldose over you if you are more sensitive than me."


It is a contextual saying in that it depends completely on what was said or what was acted out. I don't think any quote similar to this applies 100% of the time. In my opinion, it gets even more complicated than that as just because someone is sensitive, it shouldn't be expected that you always have to cater for them. It's all in moderation I guess. Not all people are compatible with one another etc.. goes on and on.


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11 Feb 2014, 8:59 am

I don't really feel embarrassment (brief moments here and there but I get over it really quickly) but have felt embarrassed for others..oddly.

This is because I am not sensitive or judgmental about myself when I make a mistake. Too err is part of my learning curve in life and sometimes oopsies happen!

On the other hand, other people are very sensitive so I don't always know what to say or do in certain instances. For example I once said to someone on a forum that I live in Buxton with Lamas when they asked me to tell them a little about myself (it was a home study thing). Now that is the name of the place I lived in but they thought I meant that I lived in Buxton and kept lamas as pets. In this instance I felt embarrassed for them and didn't know how to reply when they asked me about the Lamas that I kept. It was on a public board and I felt uncomfortable correcting. It was not my mistake it was theirs but I was worried they would feel embarrassed if I said anything so just went quiet instead.

People can be really down on themselves for getting things wrong :(

I don't mind, I find it funny sometimes (if the consequences were not severe and no real harm was done) when I make a boo boo :lol: I have a warped sense of humour!

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11 Feb 2014, 11:19 am

I don't understand the concept of feeling embarrassed for others. It's not your issue so why be embarrassed for them. Is it like feeling sorry for someone? I have felt sorry for others because I wouldn't want that happening to me so I feel sorry for them because I couldn't imagine that happening to me. People see someone do something they would be embarrassed about if they did it themselves so they feel embarrassed for them?


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11 Feb 2014, 11:42 am

League_Girl wrote:
I don't understand the concept of feeling embarrassed for others. It's not your issue so why be embarrassed for them.

This is known as "extreme empathy" and I have suffered from it all my life; a lot of people with AS have it. I have always hated watching TV show involving farce or stereotyped sitcoms, as I can usually predict what faux-pas the characters are going to make and can imagine myself doing the same thing, even if in RL I probably would not.

My take on it is that EE is a side-effect of the analytical thinking that makes many people with AS good scientists. We simply cannot turn off the analytical part of the brain, it just does its thing automatically. Whenever I hear the words to a song, images of the scene being sung about just pop into my head unbidden and I can't turn it off. Pre-diagnosis, I used to ask people if it happened to them and they said, no and they thought it was weird; as a child I thought it happened to everyone :)



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11 Feb 2014, 11:54 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:

Quote:
If she will not accept you as you are, she is no friend.

That being said what do you put as your facebook status?


I will tell you what I posted as my status:
i really dont give a **** what sorority or fraternity you got into. these statuses people post in all caps proclaiming their allegiance to some combination of greek letters are seriously annoying me. there isnt any greek life at my school, and i wouldnt join if there was. please please stop bragging about your initiation into some meaningless organization. there are better ways to waste time on facebook. besides, they're all going to forget about you as soon as you graduate anyway.

I was just expressing my opinion, but several people took offense to it and commented on my status telling me why I was being mean and rude. My friend private-messaged me to tell me she was embarrassed. Her actual words were: "To be honest, the secondhand embarrassment I get from watching you post these rude statuses is getting a bit overwhelming. But carry on as you wish, just don't expect people to want to be your friend afterward."

She then tried to make me understand why it was embarrassing, explaining that I should be embarrassed even if I wasnt. She was trying to help me, as a friend. She knows I have Aspergers and I think she thinks it is a bad thing that I need to overcome. She says my logic is flawed because of it and that I need to learn how to think like 'normal people.'

I try to embrace my Aspergers. I know it will always be a part of my identity so I shouldnt fight it. I tell myself that it is a blessing and a curse at the same time. My friend disagrees, and that is the root of the problem.



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11 Feb 2014, 12:24 pm

RSwriter3 wrote:
I will tell you what I posted as my status:
i really dont give a **** what sorority or fraternity you got into. these statuses people post in all caps proclaiming their allegiance to some combination of greek letters are seriously annoying me. there isnt any greek life at my school, and i wouldnt join if there was. please please stop bragging about your initiation into some meaningless organization. there are better ways to waste time on facebook. besides, they're all going to forget about you as soon as you graduate anyway.

I was just expressing my opinion, but several people took offense to it and commented on my status telling me why I was being mean and rude. My friend private-messaged me to tell me she was embarrassed. Her actual words were: "To be honest, the secondhand embarrassment I get from watching you post these rude statuses is getting a bit overwhelming. But carry on as you wish, just don't expect people to want to be your friend afterward."


I frequently have urges to type stuff like that, but I don't because I know it will be received negatively so I keep it to myself. Here are some reasons why:

+ I can choose not to read what they have written
+ No one wants to be told that something they're interested in is meaningless/pointless
+ A public attack isn't socially accepatable

I know it's probably not what you want to hear, but the language you used is incredibly intense and that's why they took offense. You began with an obscenity followed by somewhat bleak descriptions of how their behaviour affects you, which radiated arrogance in that it showed you considered your opinion to be more valid than theirs. For them, the organization isn't meaningless, nor is it a waste of time to post about on Facebook. I know it's the truth, but no one wants to be told that they're going to be forgotten. Essentially you are attacking them unnecessarily, as you could express your opinion and get the same point across without being aggressive.

I'll also have to disagree with your friend being 'the root of the problem'. Unless you don't want to have friends, or at least have an incredibly difficult time finding them later in life, you're going to have to take their advice. I say this because it's obvious that what you're doing isn't working in terms of the social environment. Ultimately, the decision is up to you whether or not you are fine with the responses you receive.


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