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Lone Replicant
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11 Jun 2019, 2:12 am

In researches or in the mainstream media, they always show Aspies as individuals with little or no empathy, while making it appear that neurotypicals would give their own arm to save a stranger in any part of the world. But from my life experience, this is far from true. I, in particular, realize that in large part of neurotypical empathy almost always comes a huge portion of hypocrisy. And no matter how "cold" our empathy may seem, it always comes with genuine parts of truth.


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AprilR
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11 Jun 2019, 3:10 am

Empathy has its limits even for nt's. Beside there are types of empathy, like cognitive empathy that neurotypicals have more. It's the ability to recognize what someone's feeling i think, but it doesn't mean they're more caring or "good" people.
Judging neurotypicals as better people because they have something autistics don't have from birth is unfair and in fact a perfect example of "lack of empathy" towards autistic people. So it's always funny to me whenever people say that because? They're literally contradicting themselves.



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11 Jun 2019, 3:33 am

AprilR wrote:
Empathy has its limits even for nt's. Beside there are types of empathy, like cognitive empathy that neurotypicals have more. It's the ability to recognize what someone's feeling i think, but it doesn't mean they're more caring or "good" people.
Judging neurotypicals as better people because they have something autistics don't have from birth is unfair and in fact a perfect example of "lack of empathy" towards autistic people. So it's always funny to me whenever people say that because? They're literally contradicting themselves.



I agree in the main, I think that Allistics don't always get to know autistics in depth. If they would delve deeper than the superficial, initial contact, they would discover depths of feeling and concern that would give them a much more accurate impression. I am allistic and have found that my autistic friends don't pick up on my facial expressions or moods but if they sense through my words that something is amiss in my life then their reaction of concern and caring is so much more intense than allistics. It's about learning each others coding in a sense.


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Fnord
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11 Jun 2019, 11:38 am

Lone Replicant wrote:
In researches or in the mainstream media, they always show Aspies as individuals with little or no empathy, while making it appear that neurotypicals would give their own arm to save a stranger in any part of the world. But from my life experience, this is far from true. I, in particular, realize that in large part of neurotypical empathy almost always comes a huge portion of hypocrisy. And no matter how "cold" our empathy may seem, it always comes with genuine parts of truth.
While I do experience empathy, I often ask questions to see if my empathy is appropriate or misplaced. Then people seem to react as if I am being as un-empathetic as possible -- as if I should just jump right in an start expressing sympathy for whoever is upset.

At least I'm not getting slapped what a harassment suit.


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11 Jun 2019, 12:05 pm

I care a lot about other people's feelings. Like now at work our supervisor has told us to clean every bus (or as many buses as we can during our shift), even if they have recently been cleaned, because we have an inspection day this week. One of us cleaners doesn't speak good English (she just sweeps the bus floors), but she had cleaned a few buses last week. When I happen to be cleaning a bus she had recently cleaned, she asks me if it is clean, like she may be offended that I'm cleaning the buses she cleaned because she's not good enough or something. But when I try to explain to her that it's just what our supervisor has asked us to do regardless of if it's been recently cleaned, but she doesn't understand. I told one or two other co-workers that I don't want her to feel undermined, but they just shrug and say "don't worry about her". But I just don't feel comfortable if I am making someone else feel uncomfortable. I wish I could disconnect myself from the emotions of others, but I can't. It seems that some NTs can just get on with tasks and not consider others so much. Having too much empathy can be a pain sometimes.


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magz
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11 Jun 2019, 2:16 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I care a lot about other people's feelings. Like now at work our supervisor has told us to clean every bus (or as many buses as we can during our shift), even if they have recently been cleaned, because we have an inspection day this week. One of us cleaners doesn't speak good English (she just sweeps the bus floors), but she had cleaned a few buses last week. When I happen to be cleaning a bus she had recently cleaned, she asks me if it is clean, like she may be offended that I'm cleaning the buses she cleaned because she's not good enough or something. But when I try to explain to her that it's just what our supervisor has asked us to do regardless of if it's been recently cleaned, but she doesn't understand. I told one or two other co-workers that I don't want her to feel undermined, but they just shrug and say "don't worry about her". But I just don't feel comfortable if I am making someone else feel uncomfortable. I wish I could disconnect myself from the emotions of others, but I can't. It seems that some NTs can just get on with tasks and not consider others so much. Having too much empathy can be a pain sometimes.

I relate to the story very much. I do care for other people a lot. Just... not the way some expect. Like I don't recognize pecking orders.


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Lone Replicant
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11 Jun 2019, 3:11 pm

Fnord wrote:
Lone Replicant wrote:
In researches or in the mainstream media, they always show Aspies as individuals with little or no empathy, while making it appear that neurotypicals would give their own arm to save a stranger in any part of the world. But from my life experience, this is far from true. I, in particular, realize that in large part of neurotypical empathy almost always comes a huge portion of hypocrisy. And no matter how "cold" our empathy may seem, it always comes with genuine parts of truth.
While I do experience empathy, I often ask questions to see if my empathy is appropriate or misplaced. Then people seem to react as if I am being as un-empathetic as possible -- as if I should just jump right in an start expressing sympathy for whoever is upset.

At least I'm not getting slapped what a harassment suit.

I believe that much of our "confusion" about empathy is not our fault, but largely because of the NT concept of empathy. Our empathy is much purer, while theirs is filled with ulterior motives. I am not saying that we are saints, but the difference between Aspie sincerity and Neurotipical sincerity is blatant. I'll try to illustrate better how I see neurotypical empathy: There's a video on the internet (actually there's a lot like this one) where a girl gets slapped in the middle of a crowd. She falls and tries to get up but they hit her again and she falls again. They throw a flammable liquid and set it on fire. The crowd makes a circle and many start making videos with cell phones. Nobody helps. The fire diminishes and the girl is still very much alive. A man approaches and I think he will help the girl. He plays more flammable liquid and a strong flame appears. The audience screams with satisfaction. Nobody does ANYTHING to help the girl. Nobody was sure if she had done anything wrong, but as most said she did, then lynching her became not only acceptable but also the right thing to do. For me that's the real face of neurotypical empathy.


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Teach51
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11 Jun 2019, 5:27 pm

I think perhaps empathy and compassion are being confused here. Empathy is the ability to "put yourself in someone's shoes", feel what they are feeling in certain emotional situations. Identifying with their pain and recognising how it may feel, perhaps because you have experienced the same loss or pain.
Empathy is a sensitivity to another's emotions, interpreting them and processing them.


I think autistic people feel great compassion which is more of a subjective emotional experience. but empathy is difficult for them as far as I understand.


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kraftiekortie
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11 Jun 2019, 5:29 pm

Empathy is sometimes "learned" within people with autism.

To some NT's, empathy comes naturally. By no means ALL NT's, though.....



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11 Jun 2019, 5:40 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Empathy is sometimes "learned" within people with autism.

To some NT's, empathy comes naturally. By no means ALL NT's, though.....



Yes, absolutely. Not a very kind and compassionate world we live in. A large proportion of empathy is manipulative and self-serving even fake. Perhaps aspies are more sincere than most NT's.


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11 Jun 2019, 5:44 pm

I am not sure what empathy is as I marry it to sympathy which I do have.
I am a sort of person who feels for others but if an event happens I stand back and let others rush in. I do not know why I do this as I naturally do it. I seem to freeze somehow.


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Lone Replicant
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11 Jun 2019, 6:14 pm

I don't know how someone with the ability to put themselves in each other's shoes may not feel compassion for each other. For me empathy is synonymous of compassion. If it isn't, it should be.


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Fnord
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11 Jun 2019, 7:47 pm

Lone Replicant wrote:
I don't know how someone with the ability to put themselves in each other's shoes may not feel compassion for each other. For me empathy is synonymous of compassion. If it isn't, it should be.
It's best to follow a more objective definition.

Empathy ... enables us to perceive the emotions of others, resonate with them emotionally and cognitively, to take in the perspective of others, and to distinguish between our own and others' emotions.

(Source:
U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.)

To add expectations of 'Compassion', 'Love', or 'Intimacy' is presumptuous.


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12 Jun 2019, 12:51 am

I was born with a kind of "surplus" of empathy, and emotion and feeling in general. That's gradually got squashed and exploited. Now I know to only truly open to those who I'm close with, but I struggle to do that.



magz
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12 Jun 2019, 2:47 am

Empathy - as ability to feel what others feel - can be very troublesome when paired with low emotional intelligence.
I've come across it - a person unable to deal with children because every time a child started crying because of everyday childish distresses, all that person felt was overwhelming distress. So, instead of an adult helping and calming the child, the effect was a double meltdown.
That's "too much empathy" - tendency to feel more emotions from others than one can process.

As Aspies are not reknown for emotional intelligence, it is possible that lower cognitive empathy is actually helping to survive.


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