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Yigeren
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21 Dec 2015, 2:59 pm

I believe I have Asperger's myself, so I'm certainly not putting Aspies down when I say they have trouble with empathy. I've always had trouble with empathy and people have often been angry with me as a result. I didn't realize Iwas being insensitive most of the time and thought that perhaps they were overreacting.

It wasn't until very recently that I realized they were right about me. I have been confused for years as to why I can seem to be so callous and abrasive to most people, yet at the same time be more compassionate than most people, and more sensitive. I cry when watching tv, reading the news, reading books. I always want to help people or animals in pain. I have very deep and strong emotions.

So I did some research about empathy and discovered my difficulties with cognitive empathy. I have extreme difficulty putting myself in another's shoes. Unless I have experienced it before in some way, I often can't put myself in someone else's place. If I'm having trouble I can imagine their point of view if I go somewhere quiet and lie down with no distractions for awhile. It takes a lot of effort. That's why I often realize I did something really mean after I've gone to bed and start thinking about the day. Then I feel terrible!

That isn't to say that there aren't some Aspies that totally lack empathy. I'm sure there are some that do. Everyone is different. But total lack of emotional empathy and sympathy, along with the ability and desire to charm and manipulate others are the hallmarks of sociopathy, not autism spectrum disorders. In fact, I tend to be most wary of those that are especially charming, as it is a facade and means they are hiding something or up to no good in most cases.



Boo Radley
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21 Dec 2015, 3:54 pm

Not sure if any other aspies feel this way but here are my issues with empathy:

1) I have empathy but it is delayed.

Ex. A I may have to get a cue from someone that I should help them with something (like carrying a heavy bag).

Ex. B I may say something in conversation only to realize later that it could have hurt someone's feelings. So, it's not that I can't empathize but it does take me a big longer to register things. I feel bad once I know I've offended a person.

2) I have trouble expressing my feelings of empathy. If a friend has someone dear to them pass away I know what words to say and I know (from enough experience) that I probably should say something. However, I feel a bit fake when I am comforting someone and I don't necessarily connect with a feeling about what I am saying. I get very uncomfortable in those situations and wish I could handle them better.

It's weird cause I'll cry like a baby watching a sad movie on TV but I almost disconnect when it comes to some real world situations.



wilburforce
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21 Dec 2015, 4:14 pm

UrchinStar47 wrote:
wilburforce wrote:
UrchinStar47 wrote:
wilburforce wrote:
The conclusion one should come to when studying the reality of psychopaths and sociopaths is not that they are detestable--it's that they are dangerous.

That is obvious.


Apparently not to you, but that has been my entire point with everything I have said on this thread.

Where did I imply that they should be trusted? Tell me, because if I did, it is a significant miscommunication on my part.

wilburforce wrote:
They are dangerous and not to be trusted, because they have absolutely no reason or motivation to ever be trustworthy or decent to anyone if it doesn't serve themselves directly.

That's a pretty big if right there.

One other thing, why would you consider conscience to be so significant in protecting you from others? After all, regret comes after the deed.


Because most people who have some amount of foresight and impulse control--like most human beings, that is--can know before they do something if it would make them feel really awful to do it, and so they can decide not to do it. That is why most of us don't go around stealing and attacking others and setting fires and whatnot--because we know we will feel bad afterwards, and we don't want to feel bad. If you have a conscience yourself, this should not be a difficult concept to understand. And I said you didn't seem to understand that I was saying that they are not trustworthy is because you said I said they were detestable, when that was obviously not what I said or what my point was. I thought you must have missed my very obvious point, that sociopaths and psychopaths are not trustworthy, because you completely misrepresented my intentions with my comments (to express that sociopaths and psychopaths are not trustworthy because they don't have a functioning conscience).



wilburforce
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21 Dec 2015, 4:21 pm

Boo Radley wrote:
Not sure if any other aspies feel this way but here are my issues with empathy:

1) I have empathy but it is delayed.

Ex. A I may have to get a cue from someone that I should help them with something (like carrying a heavy bag).

Ex. B I may say something in conversation only to realize later that it could have hurt someone's feelings. So, it's not that I can't empathize but it does take me a big longer to register things. I feel bad once I know I've offended a person.

2) I have trouble expressing my feelings of empathy. If a friend has someone dear to them pass away I know what words to say and I know (from enough experience) that I probably should say something. However, I feel a bit fake when I am comforting someone and I don't necessarily connect with a feeling about what I am saying. I get very uncomfortable in those situations and wish I could handle them better.

It's weird cause I'll cry like a baby watching a sad movie on TV but I almost disconnect when it comes to some real world situations.


I know exactly what you mean, and I often feel exactly the same way--I want to comfort others when I know they are upset or experiencing something negative, but I feel awkward when I do because I feel like I'm not doing it right or my that my gestures seem fake because of my awkwardness. I often feel powerful emotional empathy, but I have difficulty expressing it in a way that makes sense to other people and that gets in the way of connecting with them and comforting them.



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21 Dec 2015, 4:24 pm

I think your conscience is developed over time. Children don't always link how their behaviour affects others. They sometimes do not see how it matters if someone's feelings are hurt because they are still alive and we all die one day, the all is fair attitude. The attitude of there's no good or bad, there just is what'a good for me, what's good for most . Also it could be suppressed. Soldiers in war must suppress their conscience else they wouldn't be able to kill.



UrchinStar47
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23 Dec 2015, 5:07 pm

wilburforce wrote:
Because most people who have some amount of foresight and impulse control--like most human beings, that is--can know before they do something if it would make them feel really awful to do it, and so they can decide not to do it. That is why most of us don't go around stealing and attacking others and setting fires and whatnot--because we know we will feel bad afterwards, and we don't want to feel bad. If you have a conscience yourself, this should not be a difficult concept to understand.

The regular person will go do all of those things if someone convinces them to do so (though that someone is usually a sociopath of some kind). If you think otherwise you haven't been paying much attention in history classes.

wilburforce wrote:
And I said you didn't seem to understand that I was saying that they are not trustworthy is because you said I said they were detestable, when that was obviously not what I said or what my point was. I thought you must have missed my very obvious point, that sociopaths and psychopaths are not trustworthy, because you completely misrepresented my intentions with my comments (to express that sociopaths and psychopaths are not trustworthy because they don't have a functioning conscience).

No, I was just guessing. I didn't know what the problem was that you had with my post. I guessed wrong, probably due to being around NTs too much...



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23 Dec 2015, 6:12 pm

Boo Radley wrote:
Not sure if any other aspies feel this way but here are my issues with empathy:

1) I have empathy but it is delayed.

Ex. A I may have to get a cue from someone that I should help them with something (like carrying a heavy bag).

Ex. B I may say something in conversation only to realize later that it could have hurt someone's feelings. So, it's not that I can't empathize but it does take me a big longer to register things. I feel bad once I know I've offended a person.

2) I have trouble expressing my feelings of empathy. If a friend has someone dear to them pass away I know what words to say and I know (from enough experience) that I probably should say something. However, I feel a bit fake when I am comforting someone and I don't necessarily connect with a feeling about what I am saying. I get very uncomfortable in those situations and wish I could handle them better.

It's weird cause I'll cry like a baby watching a sad movie on TV but I almost disconnect when it comes to some real world situations.

This describes me perfectly. I have had to ask friends to please not expect me to take a hint. Please just tell me what it is you want. Sadly, I think that this is almost as challenging for them as 'getting' the hint is to me. :?



nerdygirl
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23 Dec 2015, 6:46 pm

Starfoxx wrote:
I think your conscience is developed over time. Children don't always link how their behaviour affects others. They sometimes do not see how it matters if someone's feelings are hurt because they are still alive and we all die one day, the all is fair attitude. The attitude of there's no good or bad, there just is what'a good for me, what's good for most . Also it could be suppressed. Soldiers in war must suppress their conscience else they wouldn't be able to kill.


It doesn't take too long before most kids realize that other people do hurt (and animals as well.) Most two year-olds can learn not to pull the cat's tail and how to pet gently. And they don't learn not to do it because they necessarily know how the animal is feeling, but because they are TOLD the animal will hurt. They know "hurt". They know "boo-boos."

One of the signs of sociopathy/psychopathy is a lack of empathy towards animals in childhood, from what I understand. I would think this, too, would help differentiate between a sociopath and someone who is autistic, as many autistic people relate well to animals.

The sociopath I lived with pulled wings off of flies and legs off spiders, etc. long past elementary school. I am glad I have blocked out of my memory whatever he did to that mouse.



wilburforce
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24 Dec 2015, 12:40 am

UrchinStar47 wrote:
wilburforce wrote:
Because most people who have some amount of foresight and impulse control--like most human beings, that is--can know before they do something if it would make them feel really awful to do it, and so they can decide not to do it. That is why most of us don't go around stealing and attacking others and setting fires and whatnot--because we know we will feel bad afterwards, and we don't want to feel bad. If you have a conscience yourself, this should not be a difficult concept to understand.

The regular person will go do all of those things if someone convinces them to do so (though that someone is usually a sociopath of some kind). If you think otherwise you haven't been paying much attention in history classes.

wilburforce wrote:
And I said you didn't seem to understand that I was saying that they are not trustworthy is because you said I said they were detestable, when that was obviously not what I said or what my point was. I thought you must have missed my very obvious point, that sociopaths and psychopaths are not trustworthy, because you completely misrepresented my intentions with my comments (to express that sociopaths and psychopaths are not trustworthy because they don't have a functioning conscience).

No, I was just guessing. I didn't know what the problem was that you had with my post. I guessed wrong, probably due to being around NTs too much...


Then I guess I cannot mentalise being the regular person, because being that suggestible so that other people's influence could overpower the voice of one's own conscience is foreign to me. I have never been particularly impressionable in this way so it is hard for me to understand.



CelticMagician
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24 Dec 2015, 1:46 pm

This is a rather sensitive topic overall because of how society tends to view neurodivergents as a whole.

However, in my experience, the key difference between someone who is a sociopath and someone who is not; is that a sociopath is deliberately manipulative without any regard to the consequence of the person involved. I distinctly disagree with the notion that those with AS are automatically sociopaths. The diagnosis for the latter is far more complicated than what the article has presented here. While it is true that those with AS can be capable of sociopathy, it is often times usually not the case as socio and psychopathy can generally go undetected for extended periods of time, and those who are predisposed to these conditions are often deemed "socially acceptable."

I've had the unfortunate experience to have had to deal with such people first-hand in my lifetime; and let me tell you, sociopaths do blind-side you easily by manipulating your trust or other "weaknesses" that they can find while also turning things around on you personally if you call them out on it. In terms of the Aspie front in regards to this, I can't say too much on a personal level seeing as I have NLD and not AS, but a very close friend of mine does and I can tell you right now; though he does have trouble with empathy to a large degree, he doesn't go out of his way to manipulate people to his whims. In fact, I have shared some of my emotional states with him before (just as a general letting him know sort of thing in case he was worrying about me); and I could tell that he was trying his best to understand what I was talking about even though he couldn't quite pinpoint it himself; and that, to me, is the key difference here.

In short; having AS doesn't predispose anyone to having psychopathy or sociopathy, though some Aspies may indeed be psycho and socoiopaths; however, as a whole psychopaths and sociopaths are generally accepted in society and are usually deemed dangerous because of the negative impact they have on others through manipulation and other means, without any form of remorse or regard to the other party(ies) involved on an intentional level.



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24 Dec 2015, 2:17 pm

UrchinStar47 wrote:
wilburforce wrote:
Because most people who have some amount of foresight and impulse control--like most human beings, that is--can know before they do something if it would make them feel really awful to do it, and so they can decide not to do it. That is why most of us don't go around stealing and attacking others and setting fires and whatnot--because we know we will feel bad afterwards, and we don't want to feel bad. If you have a conscience yourself, this should not be a difficult concept to understand.

The regular person will go do all of those things if someone convinces them to do so (though that someone is usually a sociopath of some kind). If you think otherwise you haven't been paying much attention in history classes.


If someone took my children and threatened to hurt them, I would probably do anything to keep them from being harmed even if it meant going into a bank and robbing it because it was what I had to do to keep my kids from being hurt.

Even reading the book written by Michelle Knight about her kidnapping and being held prisoner in Ariel Castro's home for 11 years, she was forced to do things in his home that involved his crimes or else he would torture her.


I have heard many cases where normal people did things that were bad because they were forced to by bad guys and this one woman in the 1970's (I forget her name) got kidnapped and she started to join in their crimes because she feared them and she didn't want to get hurt so she joined in their crimes to keep safe. She suffered Stockholm syndrome and I do believe it's a real thing now, it's not where you get kidnapped and then fall in love with your kidnapper and have a romantic relationship with them like I have seen in The World is not Enough or Beauty and the Beast. That's not how it is in the real world.

There is such thing as manipulation so that is how they get a normal person to do terrible things.


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24 Dec 2015, 2:27 pm

The article I previously posted about how sociopaths target emapths, it explains how sociopaths can manipulate and use apaths to help them target the empath. Apaths are average people, not out to hurt anyone. Sometimes they get involved in fear of their own safety. Sometimes they are fooled. There could be many reasons that an apath would do what a sociopath wants.

Sociopaths are extremely good at lying, and it is hard to find the cracks in the facade. In the scenarios described in the article, apaths are both victims and accomplices of the sociopath at the same time. Sometimes unknowingly!



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24 Dec 2015, 8:16 pm

Great post!

Unfortunate_Aspie_ wrote:
NerdyAnimeGirl wrote:
I disagree with people who hate on so-called 'sociopaths'.
Just because someone doesn't empathize about the things society expects them to,
doesn't mean they can't feel empathy for things they care about.

Are you kidding me? Sociopaths are nigh evil incarnate. They manipulate and twist and connive for their own means 1000xs worse than your average NT and don't feel any obligation to others or social ties like NTs usually do, they care about themselves and their goals only.
One of the defining characteristics of a psycho or sociopaths is that they lack empathy. They don't feel it nor do they act on empathy.
They are almost the exact opposite of Aspies in a way. Aspie couldn't manipulate themselves out of a wet paperbag, but sociopaths are NOTORIOUSLY good at screwing with people in ways that are very very detrimental to the other persons around them.
Hence, why people hate them. Also, they feel no remorse or shame about what they've done as long as they've gotten what they want to matter the cost to other people.
Aspies may be UNAWARE, but aren't conscious-less. Sociopaths are harmful. Aspies... while they can be mostly are totally harmless and if anything more likely BE abused than to be the abusers.
Sociopaths are often abusers of some kind.



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24 Dec 2015, 9:07 pm

nerdygirl wrote:
cathylynn wrote:
i was engaged to a sociopath for three years. the idea that anyone, much less an aspie, could stay ahead of someone free of the burden of conscience is far-fetched. i'm lucky i got out of that alive.


Believe me, I understand.



+2 :(


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