Aspies have low empathy - true or false?

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trappedinhell
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30 Dec 2011, 8:11 am

Well said. Socials skills and empathy are completely different things.

it is like saying that spies have empathy for the people they spy on. No, they have skills for gaining information about the enemy, and forming alliances where it suits them. Different thing.



fraac
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30 Dec 2011, 8:14 am

Joe, people repeat what they're told without thinking about it. When someone says NTs have empathy it's a lie to control people and maintain a particular social structure. When someone in the minority group repeats it, the lie succeeds. Most autistics are not very bright to fall for this.



Asp-Z
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30 Dec 2011, 8:19 am

Joe90, calm down, breathe...

You are right, though - NTs don't usually have empathy for most people themselves.



Dillogic
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30 Dec 2011, 8:24 am

Which is why empathy doesn't mean nice, caring, and whatever.

"NTs" will treat the "weak" member of the species as dirt; typical group bullying behavior that's a survival mechanism for the group.

It's nothing to do with empathy.



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30 Dec 2011, 8:38 am

I think we’ve fallen into the trap here of thinking all NTs are the same; whereas in fact, like Aspies some can show extreme empathy, while others can be cold and heartless. I think personally, social skills aside, NTs and Aspies have more or less equal degrees of empathy and that like with autism there is a spectrum along which everyone falls. I don’t know whether or not we are allowed to promote other websites but I’ve found this blog amazingly refreshing when it comes to the subject of Autism and Empathy.

:arrow: Autism and Empathy



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30 Dec 2011, 10:43 am

The rumors that Aspies don't have empathy probably exist because most NTs have higher standards of living, so an Aspie not caring about an NTs high standard of living could be perceived as having no empathy. NTs try to act like they have empathy for strangers, so that they can maintain their high standards of living. They will analyse strangers quickly and then decide whether or not being nice to this person will improve their social status in any way (like if the stranger tells other people that this person was nice), and plus they have too short of memory spans to have real empathy. An NT is the kind of person who will make a dramatic outburst at a sad occurrence, feel that their work is done, and then go off and get ice-cream and talk basic NT BS to other NTs and then return to the scene of the sad occurrence later to claim praise for their empathy act.



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30 Dec 2011, 12:08 pm

This is Partially true. SOme are as rough as a rock.....and others on the polar opposite of the scale. I have days when I'm too empathetic.


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30 Dec 2011, 12:10 pm

As for empathy for strangers, I don't have any because ..DUHH I don't know them :P

You know how they act, and stuff and or just plain don't know them.


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TheSunAlsoRises
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30 Dec 2011, 12:30 pm

byakuugan wrote:
The rumors that Aspies don't have empathy probably exist because most NTs have higher standards of living, so an Aspie not caring about an NTs high standard of living could be perceived as having no empathy. NTs try to act like they have empathy for strangers, so that they can maintain their high standards of living. They will analyse strangers quickly and then decide whether or not being nice to this person will improve their social status in any way (like if the stranger tells other people that this person was nice), and plus they have too short of memory spans to have real empathy. An NT is the kind of person who will make a dramatic outburst at a sad occurrence, feel that their work is done, and then go off and get ice-cream and talk basic NT BS to other NTs and then return to the scene of the sad occurrence later to claim praise for their empathy act.


I think it has something to do with a large number of toddlers and children ignoring the presence of adults in favor of exploring their own inner social world. Once the children and toddlers decided to respond and initiate contact to the outside social world; it was deemed insufficient or lacking compared to typically developing toddlers and children.

I have theories. One day, i might want to explore those theories. I'm a bit more cautious to what i write, now.

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seekingtruth
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30 Dec 2011, 12:32 pm

Asp-Z wrote:
What type of empathy are you talking about? Most Aspies seem to have bad cognitive empathy - so they don't know what other people are thinking - but they often have good emotional empathy - so they feel their emotions and want to help people, though they'll have no idea how and will often have a hard time showing it. See here.

I personally am the other way around; I know what people are thinking, and can usually tell what they're feeling on a logical level, but I don't feel their emotions. But then, I very rarely feel my own emotions either. I seem to be in the minority, though.


I'm very much like what you've described.

I seem to not have the math and scientific detail ability that a lot of Aspie's have, very confused and overwhelmed in those areas. But when it comes to people situations, I can see what's going on in a clear, puzzle like way. Pretty much how I've seen people here describe their ability to 'see' mathmatics and the like so clearly, see the connections quickly and easily. That's how I see human interractions, like a map that I can see all angles shown to me clearly and obviously and know easily what turn they should take etc.

But there isn't emotion attached to it. It's all clearly cause and effect, scientific but instead of numbers it's life. If that makes sense, hard to explain.

So I see a big picture and just instintively know where a person should turn and aren't bothered with the details because I already know the answer so it seems tedious to look at the details, too slow and time consuming for me.

I don't know if I'm describing this right. Basically how a lot of you see instant connections with numbers and other detailed scientific things, I see that way with human life movement, I see the connections like a quickly solved puzzle regarding human action.


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Joe90
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30 Dec 2011, 12:34 pm

Can'tExplain - I wasn't aiming it at you, I was just aiming it at the fact.


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30 Dec 2011, 12:38 pm

seekingtruth wrote:
Asp-Z wrote:
What type of empathy are you talking about? Most Aspies seem to have bad cognitive empathy - so they don't know what other people are thinking - but they often have good emotional empathy - so they feel their emotions and want to help people, though they'll have no idea how and will often have a hard time showing it. See here.

I personally am the other way around; I know what people are thinking, and can usually tell what they're feeling on a logical level, but I don't feel their emotions. But then, I very rarely feel my own emotions either. I seem to be in the minority, though.


I'm very much like what you've described.

I seem to not have the math and scientific detail ability that a lot of Aspie's have, very confused and overwhelmed in those areas. But when it comes to people situations, I can see what's going on in a clear, puzzle like way. Pretty much how I've seen people here describe their ability to 'see' mathmatics and the like so clearly, see the connections quickly and easily. That's how I see human interractions, like a map that I can see all angles shown to me clearly and obviously and know easily what turn they should take etc.

But there isn't emotion attached to it. It's all clearly cause and effect, scientific but instead of numbers it's life. If that makes sense, hard to explain.

So I see a big picture and just instintively know where a person should turn and aren't bothered with the details because I already know the answer so it seems tedious to look at the details, too slow and time consuming for me.

I don't know if I'm describing this right. Basically how a lot of you see instant connections with numbers and other detailed scientific things, I see that way with human life movement, I see the connections like a quickly solved puzzle regarding human action.


Yep, I get basically the same. It's good - peoples' brains are basically complex computers, but the human thought process is actually surprisingly basic, and manipulating it is often really rather easy (if unethical, but who cares about that?) which is very helpful in the real world, trust me. Knowing maths theory is one thing, but people theory is what most successful people are basically experts in.



ral31
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30 Dec 2011, 12:43 pm

Empathy is the ability to recognize and feel what another being is feeling.
Having an ability does not equal using it or using it wisely.
All sorts of things affect whether or not the ability is applied, especially group dynamics (e.g.-creating solidarity by picking on an obvious outsider.)


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TheSunAlsoRises
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30 Dec 2011, 12:50 pm

Asp-Z wrote:
seekingtruth wrote:
Asp-Z wrote:
What type of empathy are you talking about? Most Aspies seem to have bad cognitive empathy - so they don't know what other people are thinking - but they often have good emotional empathy - so they feel their emotions and want to help people, though they'll have no idea how and will often have a hard time showing it. See here.

I personally am the other way around; I know what people are thinking, and can usually tell what they're feeling on a logical level, but I don't feel their emotions. But then, I very rarely feel my own emotions either. I seem to be in the minority, though.


I'm very much like what you've described.

I seem to not have the math and scientific detail ability that a lot of Aspie's have, very confused and overwhelmed in those areas. But when it comes to people situations, I can see what's going on in a clear, puzzle like way. Pretty much how I've seen people here describe their ability to 'see' mathmatics and the like so clearly, see the connections quickly and easily. That's how I see human interractions, like a map that I can see all angles shown to me clearly and obviously and know easily what turn they should take etc.

But there isn't emotion attached to it. It's all clearly cause and effect, scientific but instead of numbers it's life. If that makes sense, hard to explain.

So I see a big picture and just instintively know where a person should turn and aren't bothered with the details because I already know the answer so it seems tedious to look at the details, too slow and time consuming for me.

I don't know if I'm describing this right. Basically how a lot of you see instant connections with numbers and other detailed scientific things, I see that way with human life movement, I see the connections like a quickly solved puzzle regarding human action.


Yep, I get basically the same. It's good - peoples' brains are basically complex computers, but the human thought process is actually surprisingly basic, and manipulating it is often really rather easy (if unethical, but who cares about that?) which is very helpful in the real world, trust me. Knowing maths theory is one thing, but people theory is what most successful people are basically experts in.


Interesting. I can use both logic and feeling. BUT, i originally started off in the ARTS and progressed to the SCIENCES.

TheSunAlsoRises



seekingtruth
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30 Dec 2011, 1:19 pm

TheSunAlsoRises wrote:
Asp-Z wrote:
seekingtruth wrote:
Asp-Z wrote:
What type of empathy are you talking about? Most Aspies seem to have bad cognitive empathy - so they don't know what other people are thinking - but they often have good emotional empathy - so they feel their emotions and want to help people, though they'll have no idea how and will often have a hard time showing it. See here.

I personally am the other way around; I know what people are thinking, and can usually tell what they're feeling on a logical level, but I don't feel their emotions. But then, I very rarely feel my own emotions either. I seem to be in the minority, though.


I'm very much like what you've described.

I seem to not have the math and scientific detail ability that a lot of Aspie's have, very confused and overwhelmed in those areas. But when it comes to people situations, I can see what's going on in a clear, puzzle like way. Pretty much how I've seen people here describe their ability to 'see' mathmatics and the like so clearly, see the connections quickly and easily. That's how I see human interractions, like a map that I can see all angles shown to me clearly and obviously and know easily what turn they should take etc.

But there isn't emotion attached to it. It's all clearly cause and effect, scientific but instead of numbers it's life. If that makes sense, hard to explain.

So I see a big picture and just instintively know where a person should turn and aren't bothered with the details because I already know the answer so it seems tedious to look at the details, too slow and time consuming for me.

I don't know if I'm describing this right. Basically how a lot of you see instant connections with numbers and other detailed scientific things, I see that way with human life movement, I see the connections like a quickly solved puzzle regarding human action.


Yep, I get basically the same. It's good - peoples' brains are basically complex computers, but the human thought process is actually surprisingly basic, and manipulating it is often really rather easy (if unethical, but who cares about that?) which is very helpful in the real world, trust me. Knowing maths theory is one thing, but people theory is what most successful people are basically experts in.


Interesting. I can use both logic and feeling. BUT, i originally started off in the ARTS and progressed to the SCIENCES.

TheSunAlsoRises


Nice to hear I'm not completely alone in this. It's been scary and lonely thinking I'm so 'odd' this way. Odd in the real world and then again feeling odd in this forum as I don't have the math type connections that other's have.

I see where 'people puzzle' skills are very helpful in the real world, but it seems rare so I've so often wondered what the hell is wrong with me. It's made me at times want to just completely stay away from people because it's so clear that my thought process is so different and I feel so unrelatable.

Yep, very easy to manipulate, which is pretty much what I did as a child, was always teacher's pet, they all loved me. But unfortunately I could 'fake it' so well, or I guess you could say one step ahead enough that I never got any help that I really could have used, you know?

Then as an adult I had mad selling skills because of my ability to manipulate. But then my spirituality kicked in, it was where I could 'fit in' and feel like I was 'at home' with my ease in the big picture world. And that's when I became a Buddhist - best thing that's ever happened to me. BUT now my ethics are heightened with my teaching and now I can't be in sales anymore because I feel all too clearly how wrong it is to manipulate, and trust me to be good in sales you have to manipulate. So tapping into ethics has destroyed my career ability.

I have absolutely no shyness and love to speak in groups, only class I liked in high school was speach class. So I'm sure I don't have social anxiety disorders, but because I know I am so 'out of the box' on how I relate and see peoples actions, it gets exhausting to 'pretend' to be on their more down to earth level and because of that I have to gear up to be in social situations. And then I crash and have several days where I have to be alone to 'regroup'. It's exhausting to slow it down and think superficaially, but to fit in I have to do it.


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Looks like I'm most likely and Aspie myself, must be why I can understand my beautiful Aspie son so well.
Your Aspie score: 168 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie


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30 Dec 2011, 1:21 pm

I'm not particularly "empathetic." I don't "get" most people's problems, and, even if I do, I can't muster enough energy to generate an emotional response.

That doesn't mean I don't "care," however.

I make a choice to "care" based on the reasoning that the world is better when people are nice to one another and attempt to alleviate suffering. Starving people in Africa is wrong. It needs to be fixed. Period. Just because I don't leak water out of my eyes and make a stupid face in response to some clutz slipping on the ice doesn't make me "mean" or "bad."

BTW, most people only have "empathy" towards people who are exactly like them and have the same opinions and lifestyle. It's human nature.

Anyway, the great thing about being human is I can make a conscious choice on how to feel and what actions to take based on how I choose to perceive situations. Hooray for existentialism.


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