Showing empathy in relationships

Page 1 of 2 [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

beezy
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 1 Jan 2012
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 59
Location: Leeds, UK

30 Jan 2012, 7:31 pm

I'm aware lacking empathy for others is part of Aspergers syndrome. I've been accused of it myself a few times and reading some of the posts in this section it seems like an obstacle for a lot of aspies have in getting into a relationship.

For the ones who do manage - what's your secret if you have empathy problems?

Do your partners have a way of not confusing your behavior with a lack of interest in them?

It must be difficult to reassure them all the time, and it must be hard for them to not get insecure about the situation.



Grisha
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2009
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,336
Location: LA-ish

30 Jan 2012, 7:42 pm

Unlike sympathy and compassion, empathy is a skill, not a virtue - a skill which, by definition, many people on the spectrum are poor at.

I am really not aware of any way to make oneself more "NT" in this regard, personally I feel the best substitute is to make the other person aware of your deficit and ask them to verbalize things they normally wouldn't feel the need to do.

It's NOT easy though, many NT's simply cannot accept the fact that someone could possibly be that clueless...



OneStepBeyond
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jun 2010
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,309

30 Jan 2012, 7:46 pm

hmm



hale_bopp
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Nov 2004
Gender: Female
Posts: 17,774
Location: None

30 Jan 2012, 7:49 pm

It seems to be a problem with me in terms of the person having a lot more empathy than me or a lot less.



Grisha
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2009
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,336
Location: LA-ish

30 Jan 2012, 8:05 pm

OneStepBeyond wrote:
hmm


Phffft...



Henbane
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Apr 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,071
Location: Nevada

30 Jan 2012, 8:14 pm

Grisha wrote:
OneStepBeyond wrote:
hmm


Phffft...


Erm...



nick007
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 May 2010
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 22,771
Location: was Louisiana but now Vermont

30 Jan 2012, 8:29 pm

I compensate for my lack of empathy with the direct approach of discussing feelings. I tell my partner how I feel about things & I ask her how she feels a lot. My analytical ability works a lot better when I discuss things with someone so I'm able to be very supportive despite majorly lacking in empathy thou I'm not supportive in the typical NT way; I'm more logical about it. I really need a partner to be supportive of rite now


_________________
But I don't want to go among mad people, Alice remarked.
Oh, you can't help that, said the Cat: we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
How do you know I'm mad? said Alice.
You must be, said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.


RosieLea
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Posts: 34
Location: Ohio

30 Jan 2012, 10:38 pm

My bf and I talk a lot. He is fully aware of my empathy issues and promises me he's okay with it. Whenever he is having emotional issues that I don't get (most of them) I'm kind of like, "I don't know why you feel this way, but what can I do to make it better?"

He has anxiety issues, so I often don't understand why he freaks out over something. I try to talk him down with logic when I can (that rarely works) and when I can't I just give him a hug or something...or try to distract him by flashing my boobs. :) He gets over it on his own, and at least I'm there for him physically even if I'd rather be watching TV.

The bothersome thing is that sometimes I get stressed out over not being able to fix whatever's wrong, and then we're both in a bad mood.



fraac
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,865

30 Jan 2012, 10:44 pm

Take MDMA with people you care about so the feelings become familiar. Being in love feels the same, and by then you should be used to it.



The-Raven
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 762

31 Jan 2012, 3:55 am

What i do is to lie. when my mum says some whinging rubbish that I want to respond with harsh advice, instead I stop myself and say 'oh poor you, that is awful' or something similar, this works on the whole.

It does require effort though and often harsh advice will slip out despite my best efforts.

However most people are happy with fake cliche lines of sympathy/empathy, after all its what most NTs churn out!!



tronist
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 309

31 Jan 2012, 4:27 am

fraac wrote:
Take MDMA with people you care about so the feelings become familiar. Being in love feels the same, and by then you should be used to it.
the healing qualities of ecstasy! lolz

i wonder if this actually would work though! XD



fraac
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,865

31 Jan 2012, 6:34 am

tronist wrote:
fraac wrote:
Take MDMA with people you care about so the feelings become familiar. Being in love feels the same, and by then you should be used to it.
the healing qualities of ecstasy! lolz

i wonder if this actually would work though! XD


I don't say things that aren't based on experience.



izzeme
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Apr 2011
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,686

31 Jan 2012, 6:36 am

i use my (aspie) eye for detail and change for empathy; once i know a person better, i have established some kind of 'behavorial baseline', if i then see them behaving differently, i know something is wrong, and i use a combination of memory of such changes (in the same or other persons) and the direct question "anything wrong?" to figure out what is actually the matter, after which i can use my training in showing emotions to force visible empathy.

no, i do not fake it, i do feel empathy for my friends, all i have to force is the outward appearance of it.



lostmyself
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 4 Dec 2011
Age: 34
Gender: Female
Posts: 368

31 Jan 2012, 7:26 am

Empathy is hard. It takes me a lot of thinking to conclude how someone's feeling and what I should say or should've said. It is a bit easier for me to empathize in a relationship than with other people. I don't really understand why though. I cope by being supportive of them and being demonstrative of my feelings instead of hoping that they'll understand that I like them.



DamienScott
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 3 Apr 2010
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 74

31 Jan 2012, 7:43 am

I don't have that bad of probelm with empathy myself. I can understand when people are upset and genuinely feel for them. My problem is that sometimes I don't know what to say to them other than the generic stuff or giving constructive criticism. In my last relationship I truely empathized with her until I got fed up with being walked all over. I started turning on my "I don't give a FUUUUUU~~" and made the last 2 of the 5 years even worse.


_________________
My Aspie score: 117 of 200
My neurotypical score: 110 of 200
Too weird to be normal, too normal to be weird?

How do you save the world when the world doesn't want to be saved?