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sunshinescj
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27 Mar 2014, 7:31 pm

Hi this is my first real post on here so here goes... Fist off i'm almost positive i'm an Aspie ( aspie score: 155) but anyway i'm in highschool so friendship are really important I have a couple of really good friends who accept me as I am but I find myself really confused with what to do when they are upset i kind of find myself sitting there like a sad little puppy just being there waiting and hoping they'll feel better. I know I should probably ask them about whatever the problem is and try to help but it just doesn't feel natural to my I stutter and freeze up it comes out all wrong. Any helpful ideas advice stories



Willard
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27 Mar 2014, 8:00 pm

Nope, that's the clinical definition of Lack of Empathy, which is one of our primary handicaps.

I can't usually tell what others are thinking or feeling unless they tell me, even after I know, I am clueless as to what to do about it - and even if I know what a normal person would do under those circumstances, I don't know how to do it - to my brain it feels completely alien and unnatural, so I stand there, feeling useless and stupid.

Welcome to Autism. There is no cure.



KAS
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27 Mar 2014, 9:15 pm

Being overwhelmed by our own response to our friends being upset is not a lack of empathy but can be a shutting down because we feel their pain too intensely for our own ability to cope. You can make a note, hey, I see you are upset, I care, what can I do? And then let them vent. As a beloved friend of mine once said, "I do not need to understand to know this is important to you and to care". I had been talking nonstop about one of my passions, and was way over his head, but because I loved it, he valued hearing about it. I miss him.

Sometimes, letting the upset or excited person talk, and caring, is enough. Sometimes it is everything. Sometimes we have to state our inner being because our body language fails to communicate it.

Like tonight I was embarrassed and sat smiling like an idiot as my beloved husband scolded me because I failed to tell him I had forgotten to do something. He was ticked. It happens. My face does that. I cannot stop it. And when my friends hurt, I can sit there blank faced like a rock carving, all the while caring so much it hurts and totally unable to show them what is inside me.


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Taylor1002
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28 Mar 2014, 4:33 pm

You could also tell them that you'll do your best to be there for them, and be as supportive as you can if they need you again. It helps to have a friend who you can vent to when you're upset.



sunshinescj
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28 Mar 2014, 5:07 pm

Thanks for the replies I'll put your advice to use



em_tsuj
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30 Mar 2014, 1:43 am

I just listen. If they cry, I offer a tissue. If we are close enough, I can touch them or offer a hug. I offer to help. I sometimes call to check on them. This is stuff I have learned slowly over time. I still shut down when it comes to death. I think, when in doubt, ask. Say something like, "I care about you. Is there anything I can do to help?" That would make me feel better if a friend asked me that when I was upset.



rebecca1220
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05 Apr 2014, 3:39 am

I find it difficult to. Like I ask hem why they are upst but if I'm not that close to them I find it hard to respond when they tell me. And I find it hard if they cry. If I'm closer to them It is a bit easier.
And yes, I don't think it is lack of empathy, just not knowing how to respond even if you really care inside.

Xx