Am I the only who feels so unattached to peoples emotions?

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TigerFire
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17 Apr 2006, 10:50 am

I mean yes I have compassion to other people but I didn't feel anything from them. I feel so unattached that to make me realize that there are actually people around me that I have to either give hugs to shake hands. I mean here on this forum I can't see people's faces or body language to know how to respond. That was my problem with talking to my ex fiance over the phone but I couldn't see her face to know if she's telling me the truth, if she's upset, if she's happy or excited. I basically don't know of how to recact to people. I take everything seriously because there's no way I can tell if anyone is telling a joke without an LOL or some smiley. I have to know everything about a person so that I can know that person is actually real. I know when I get to know that someone I get emotionally attached. I tend to mimic other people's behaviors or emotions. Is this an AS thing? Or am I just going crazy?


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Sundy
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17 Apr 2006, 11:25 am

First of all, I think most of us with AS are crazy to begin with... :) Just kidding.

It is an AS thing not to be in touch with other's emotions. Even if I understand another's emotion I don't know how to react to it. I can't read it very well and being a female, I think there is even more pressure to react and show and care for other's emotions because I'm supposed to be an emotional creature. What I have been trying to do is get photos of the few people I'm close to that capture a true emotion so I can refer to it later. Then I try to get a few scripted responses to the emotion on the faces. That way I get a sense of connection and I make the other people feel better. That is the goal of reading emotions, to make other people feel better. And it's supposed to make you feel better (who knows why). Try to get yourself a few stock responsed to some standard emotions. This might help and you'll get better with practice. It just can be so exhausting sometimes. And all you want to do is just be close to somebody!! !



TigerFire
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17 Apr 2006, 11:33 am

Sundy thanks you don't know how that really means to me.


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Bland
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17 Apr 2006, 1:13 pm

Doesn't it suck to have to do all of that? I hate it. My husband thought that I wasn't "normal" when we first were married but I never have been so why did he expect me to be? He misread everything about what I was thinking or feeling because he was expecting me to act like a typical woman but I didn't. I guess I have been able to "normalize" my behavior and respond in a certain way even when I don't want to because it feels like I'm faking it. I would have totally rejected learning to respond appropriately when I was younger because I would have considered it phony and believed that people should just accept me as I was. Now I realize that people are not going to accept you if you don't follow social norms to some degree and it's really like learning a second language. You wouldn't go to another country and demand that the natives understand you even though you refuse to speak their language! (of course, only in America does this actually happen!) You are much further along than I since you are willing and wanting to try. Good luck to you.


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17 Apr 2006, 2:18 pm

No, You're not alone.

"Attachment disorder" is one of the diagnoses I considered before AS came into the frame.

I'm not emotionless, but have them at different levels and attached to different things, sufficient to mark me out from the norm.

Not perhaps as well as some, I've learnt to simulate a more "normal" response in order to avoid negative reactions from others, but the perceptive ones can still spot the delay as I "calculate". It's proven fatal in the field of girlfrends, where committment and reliability and thoughtful concern hasn't been enough.



drummer_girl
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18 Apr 2006, 6:58 pm

i havent a clue how to respond to emotions unless people make is vocally clear . ie crying when sad. laughing when theyve said a joke. same online i need a smiley or a LOL after the things they typed to make me realise what they are feeling or trying to put across. i dont get hidden meanings hidden emotions i cannot read between lines like im told to. i take everything exactly how it is said or typed



TigerFire
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18 Apr 2006, 7:06 pm

drummer_girl wrote:
i havent a clue how to respond to emotions unless people make is vocally clear . ie crying when sad. laughing when theyve said a joke. same online i need a smiley or a LOL after the things they typed to make me realise what they are feeling or trying to put across. i dont get hidden meanings hidden emotions i cannot read between lines like im told to. i take everything exactly how it is said or typed


I take correction as online as harsh cruelity. Sometimes I take some people's posts here like sarcasm. I take critism as attacks to my self and so I defend my self by sarcasm.


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drummer_girl
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18 Apr 2006, 7:16 pm

im exactly the same. i hate being critisised and i cant take critisism i lash out back at them. like of they say my drumming os out of time for example i shall tell them to listen better or to eff off. or if somebody says that i smell (example) id say back your just smelling yurself and blaming it on me im not smelly cos if i was id smell it myself.



hale_bopp
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18 Apr 2006, 8:52 pm

I'm pretty unattached to people's emotions.



Aeturnus
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19 Apr 2006, 2:41 am

TigerFire wrote:
I mean yes I have compassion to other people but I didn't feel anything from them. I feel so unattached that to make me realize that there are actually people around me that I have to either give hugs to shake hands. I mean here on this forum I can't see people's faces or body language to know how to respond. That was my problem with talking to my ex fiance over the phone but I couldn't see her face to know if she's telling me the truth, if she's upset, if she's happy or excited. I basically don't know of how to recact to people. I take everything seriously because there's no way I can tell if anyone is telling a joke without an LOL or some smiley. I have to know everything about a person so that I can know that person is actually real. I know when I get to know that someone I get emotionally attached. I tend to mimic other people's behaviors or emotions. Is this an AS thing? Or am I just going crazy?


You're not going crazy. Many of us have problems with empathy, and it is probably related to having AS.

I have a unique knack for telling someone's emotions by their tone of voice alone. I am so sensitive to vocal tones, that I can sense someone's mood as soon as he / she speaks. I don't need to look at faces. I don't need to see body language. I can notice the slightest inflection or deflection of voice tone that even the person speaking doesn't notice. I also tend to get to know people's natural tone after spending some time with them, and can easily judge a mood change days later. I can become very agitated if vocal tones reach emotional heights if I am like personally involved, so much so that I will have to leave the room to keep composure.

If someone is serious or telling a joke is somewhat different. There have been times when I've misjudged this, but in my experiences ... most people who tell jokes tend to throw up a smiley face that is apart from their typical personality.

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19 Apr 2006, 2:48 am

Bland wrote:
Doesn't it suck to have to do all of that? I hate it. My husband thought that I wasn't "normal" when we first were married but I never have been so why did he expect me to be? He misread everything about what I was thinking or feeling because he was expecting me to act like a typical woman but I didn't. I guess I have been able to "normalize" my behavior and respond in a certain way even when I don't want to because it feels like I'm faking it. I would have totally rejected learning to respond appropriately when I was younger because I would have considered it phony and believed that people should just accept me as I was. Now I realize that people are not going to accept you if you don't follow social norms to some degree and it's really like learning a second language. You wouldn't go to another country and demand that the natives understand you even though you refuse to speak their language! (of course, only in America does this actually happen!) You are much further along than I since you are willing and wanting to try. Good luck to you.


I'm not female, but I will say that I have never had to do anything of that nature. I'm not sure if it's a female or a male thing, but having a sense of humor might help, regardless.

Like, I tend to have a sense of humor in many conversations. It sort of comes natural for me. At times, it comes off as inappropriate, but not usually. It's not something that someone can force into a conversation. There are also times when I am downright serious, like when I get involved in certain personal discussions. Having some sense of humor, I believe, can really be a positive factor.

- Ray M -



Aeturnus
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19 Apr 2006, 2:54 am

drummer_girl wrote:
i havent a clue how to respond to emotions unless people make is vocally clear . ie crying when sad. laughing when theyve said a joke. same online i need a smiley or a LOL after the things they typed to make me realise what they are feeling or trying to put across. i dont get hidden meanings hidden emotions i cannot read between lines like im told to. i take everything exactly how it is said or typed


I don't know for sure, but online communication? I doubt if NTs are able to get emotions from written words. It is a whole different experience. How is even an NT supposed to get emotion from written words? Words don't have emotion, and besides ... there are these unwritten rules of etiquette called Netiquette. If you scream, then you are expected to use capital letters, and so forth. These are ways to express emotion.

- Ray M -



workinprogress
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19 Apr 2006, 9:17 pm

Bland wrote:
Doesn't it suck to have to do all of that? I hate it. My husband thought that I wasn't "normal" when we first were married but I never have been so why did he expect me to be? He misread everything about what I was thinking or feeling because he was expecting me to act like a typical woman but I didn't. I guess I have been able to "normalize" my behavior and respond in a certain way even when I don't want to because it feels like I'm faking it. I would have totally rejected learning to respond appropriately when I was younger because I would have considered it phony and believed that people should just accept me as I was. Now I realize that people are not going to accept you if you don't follow social norms to some degree and it's really like learning a second language.


I agree - it's a lot of work. I think it's been one of my "obsessive interests", so I put a lot of energy into reading/analyzing other peoples' voices, nonverbals, word choice, faces, etc... I seem to do pretty well at recognizing what a person is feeling and giving a "normal" response. But I have noticed that if I'm really stressed out or tired one day, I start being totally unaware of others' feelings, and soemtimes will realize with a thump that I must appear very insensitive to the other person. I've talked with an NT about this, and she said (not that she speaks for all NTs, but it's one view) that empathy just happens for her, she doesn't have to think about it. For me, I seem to be able to feel empathy if the other person is feeling something I've felt in my life. If what they feel is outside my range of experience, I feel in the dark. And certain emotions I can't read very well - like humor given with a straight face or by someone I don't know very well.

There is something weird about feeling shut off from others' feelings unless I make a conscious effort. But on some days, it is kind of nice - makes it easier to not have someone else's mood spoil my day.



anandamide
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19 Apr 2006, 11:00 pm

What exactly does lack of empathy mean anyway? I have great empathy, but somehow it does not translate into my being able to connect with other people or maintain very many personal relationships. I lack the shared empathy that operates in friendships and other social relationships. This does not mean I don't feel for other people or have a lack of caring about other people's feelings.



Bland
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19 Apr 2006, 11:03 pm

I fear that I don't care enough to have relationships with others if I have to try so hard to understand and be understood but then again, I have a large family and it's hard enough just trying to get it right with them!


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cruimh_shionnachain
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30 Aug 2006, 3:31 pm

I have little or no compassion for people, even my family, but what is odd is that I get sudden rushes of affection for inanimate objects, like pillows, books, or strangest of all, my tennis racket, although I never play it.


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