Obsessive empathy for inanimate objects

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warmhearteddad
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08 Aug 2010, 6:01 pm

my daughter does this kind of thing all the time, and she's on the spectrum.

On the other hand I used to do it too and as far as i know i'm NT.



KissOfMarmaladeSky
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25 Aug 2010, 4:02 pm

I feel empathy for manga characters, especially misunderstood ones. I don't know why...



OddFiction
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25 Aug 2010, 5:33 pm

Eep. I do this. Not so much now as in years past...
Likely because I have [insane number] pets that have helped fill this need...

Surprising to me that this is a common Aspie thing.
I was under the impression that this was one of the things that made me less Aspie.
I need to stop looking at medical diagnosis sites... they really don't have a clue do they?



glider18
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28 Aug 2010, 10:10 pm

Geez---this fits me perfectly. I know that inanimate objects don't have feelings, but yet I feel they do. I have been this way since I was a child. I am embarrassed to admit to you all---but I am a grown adult, and I still feel this way with inanimate objects. I even get things out of the garbage my wife throws away that I feel sorry for. I could go on here, but I don't want to. Some things are too painful to talk about. But I am just telling you, yes, I am this way. I didn't outgrow it. It can be painful.


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05 Sep 2012, 12:53 am

I have empathy for my stuffed animals and die cast Cars, too - I can relate to them and talk to them in ways that I was never able to with real people.


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Heidi80
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05 Sep 2012, 4:43 am

Nerddette wrote:
My 12yo son, David, has Aspergers. He also has OCD tendencies (like bookmarking every webpage exactly 6 times and taking a certain number of steps when he walks).

He told me last night that he feels emotion for inanimate objects. Some examples he gave include:

* If he drops a food wrapper he thinks the wrapper will be upset if he doesn't put it in the bin.

* If a choc chip falls off his biscuit then he will put it back with it's "friends".

* He sometimes feels sorry for food when he eats it.

* He is obsessive about his stuffed animals - if they fall off the bed he apologises to them.

I've never noticed these things (except the last one, which I just thought was sweet) and as far as I know none of these things has impacted on his daily life (he certainly eats enough food!).

Do you think these are Aspergers traits, or OCD traits?

Do you think they could cause concern in the future?

Has anyone else had their Aspie do similar things?

Nerddette

It's much easier to have empathy for stuffed animals than people, because they are more predictablie. Besides, you can use the empathy for inanimate object to help him learn empathy for people (ie. "If you think your teddy bear gets upset when he falls out of bed, how do you think your brother feels when you yell at him" and so on).



arithmancer
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05 Sep 2012, 12:30 pm

warmhearteddad wrote:
my daughter does this kind of thing all the time, and she's on the spectrum.

On the other hand I used to do it too and as far as i know i'm NT.


Heh. Me too, and I am pretty sure I am NT. I think it has to do with imagination, which is a trait AS 10 yo (also has this tendency towards some objects) shares with my younger (NT) self. I find my own experience with this helps me deal with it, by the way. Telling him things don't really have feelings, etc. is far less effective than discussing these feelings, or even offering a different perspective on these objects' feelings. (E. g. does a piece of paper dislike having drawings drawn on it, or school projects made out of it, preferring to stay pristine? Or does it appreciate being beautified? It's almost a coded discussion of the worth of my son's creative endeavors, and getting him to think differently, is like teaching him positive self-talk.)



Elysia
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08 Aug 2015, 12:03 pm

The part about the stuffed animals falling off the bed and apologizing to them is me! :D
I have Aspergers and for as long as I can remember my teddies have always been my friends, I've always loved them. I'll give some other examples of myself too:

If I see something like a leaf by itself, I will go and find another leaf to place next to it so it's not on "its own"

I feel mean when I sit on a chair or walk on something as I'm slightly chubby I feel as if "I'm too heavy for it and causing it pain"

Seeing an empty crisp packet or litter that has a picture of something cute on it, I pick it up and put it in my bag so it's not lonely and can stay with me at my house

If I drop something on the floor I pick it up and apologize to it

There are a lot, but these are some of them. I've been like this ever since I was a child and still am at almost 22. I think though that it's probably a lot worse now. Which people usually say it's "a phase you grow out of" but not for me, it's only gotten worse.



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14 Sep 2018, 3:49 pm

my best friends are inanimate objects. I found at a goodwill store in the 2000s, a yellow arm with red-fingernail-polish-painted fingernails on its hand, reaching forlornly out from a pile of junque, I pulled it out and rescued it from almost certain destruction. I gave it a bath and since then, I keep it on a nice soft pillow.



mrspock
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20 Sep 2018, 11:48 am

Nerddette wrote:
My 12yo son, David, has Aspergers. He also has OCD tendencies (like bookmarking every webpage exactly 6 times and taking a certain number of steps when he walks).

He told me last night that he feels emotion for inanimate objects. Some examples he gave include:

* If he drops a food wrapper he thinks the wrapper will be upset if he doesn't put it in the bin.

* If a choc chip falls off his biscuit then he will put it back with it's "friends".

* He sometimes feels sorry for food when he eats it.

* He is obsessive about his stuffed animals - if they fall off the bed he apologises to them.

I've never noticed these things (except the last one, which I just thought was sweet) and as far as I know none of these things has impacted on his daily life (he certainly eats enough food!).

Do you think these are Aspergers traits, or OCD traits?

Do you think they could cause concern in the future?

Has anyone else had their Aspie do similar things?

Nerddette


Its common for children to anthropomorpise toys and feel emotions toward them. I don't think its just an Aspie thing. Feeling sorry for food he has eaten though? Never had that.


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mrspock
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20 Sep 2018, 11:50 am

auntblabby wrote:
my best friends are inanimate objects. I found at a goodwill store in the 2000s, a yellow arm with red-fingernail-polish-painted fingernails on its hand, reaching forlornly out from a pile of junque, I pulled it out and rescued it from almost certain destruction. I gave it a bath and since then, I keep it on a nice soft pillow.


This post is so strange I had to read it twice. BTW I'm pretty sure if you were trying for a Hand of Glory you have to use a chopped off hand of a thief.


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auntblabby
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20 Sep 2018, 8:41 pm

mrspock wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
my best friends are inanimate objects. I found at a goodwill store in the 2000s, a yellow arm with red-fingernail-polish-painted fingernails on its hand, reaching forlornly out from a pile of junque, I pulled it out and rescued it from almost certain destruction. I gave it a bath and since then, I keep it on a nice soft pillow.


This post is so strange I had to read it twice. BTW I'm pretty sure if you were trying for a Hand of Glory you have to use a chopped off hand of a thief.

:huh: :scratch: not a "hand of glory" but one of those meowing back scratchers that has a reed attached to a sliding piston inside a yellow plastic tube or cylinder that if you angle it in either direction, makes gravity move the piston back and forth, causing air to flow through a bi-directional reed inside said piston, to make a meowing sound. it has a feminine type of fake hand attacked to it, with a slight curve, and red-painted fingernails on the fingers, so one can scratch one's itchy back with it.



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22 Sep 2018, 10:12 am

I remember really loving a stuffed toy Siamese cat and was sad when I lost it. I have had a love for that breed of cat as far back as I could remember.