I feel like Im the only nd person with low empathy.

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Empathy?
Hyperempathy 18%  18%  [ 4 ]
Hypoempathy 59%  59%  [ 13 ]
Normal Empathy 23%  23%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 22

vividgroovy
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24 Nov 2021, 7:13 am

I guess I have selective empathy.

If a customer at work wants a product and we're out of it, I usually feel badly for them. However, sometimes they'll be talking about the weather or whatever and then suddenly, they'll mention that they have a severely devastating life problem. I know I'm expected to say something to show that I care. I care enough to not want to hurt their feelings by not responding. But I don't necessarily feel what they're feeling.

I've also encountered the idea floating around the internet that people who “lack empathy” (don't care about the proper things in the proper order) are bad people, the cause all of society's problems, etc., etc. I've been trying to tell myself lately that the people who hold these opinions really have no say in my life, but it has upset me to some degree, especially since they are on the same geeky escapist fantasy discussion groups that I am and ostensibly care about the same things I do. i.e., “Well, yes, I'm a fan of [fantasy thing], but obviously, I care more about [extremely serious real-world issue] because I have empathy!”



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24 Nov 2021, 7:22 am

vividgroovy wrote:
I

I've also encountered the idea floating around the internet that people who “lack empathy” (don't care about the proper things in the proper order) are bad people, the cause all of society's problems, etc., etc. I


I think that this idea is ridiculous. :? Some of my favorite people have low empathy. Empathy does not = morality in my eyes. As I've seen a few other people mention here, some of the most empathetic people out there will use their "abilities" to take advantage of or manipulate others. Not to say that ALL of those with high empathy do this.


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IsabellaLinton
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24 Nov 2021, 8:42 am

The worst is when you're low on empathy so you ask others to give you some space, but you get shamed for it.


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themightysun
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24 Nov 2021, 8:48 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Point number one: autistics are SUPPOSED to lack "empathy". Its supposed to be a diagnostic trait. So you complaining about how everyone thinks one thing, when in fact the stereotype is the opposite.

Point number two: Be aware that "empathy" is one thing, and "sympathy" is another. In general lay conversation folks use the two terms interchangeably. But shrinks use the words to mean two different things. "Empathy" means sensing what others are feeling. Sympathy is having similar feelings. Autistics can have sympathy for the suffering of others. But they lack theory of mind so they often fail to empathize with folks.


Aw, now I wish I could change my vote. I was one of the few that said "hyper". I too often use them interchangeably and so was thinking about all the times I've felt really bad for people, including strangers. But I have an extremely hard time picturing how someone would feel in a situation without some strong similarities to an experience I know (ie, different intensity of experience, etc). So I guess I clinically lack empathy, but I have a big heart. That's interesting.



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25 Nov 2021, 4:54 am

Flown wrote:
vividgroovy wrote:
I

I've also encountered the idea floating around the internet that people who “lack empathy” (don't care about the proper things in the proper order) are bad people, the cause all of society's problems, etc., etc. I


I think that this idea is ridiculous. :? Some of my favorite people have low empathy. Empathy does not = morality in my eyes. As I've seen a few other people mention here, some of the most empathetic people out there will use their "abilities" to take advantage of or manipulate others. Not to say that ALL of those with high empathy do this.


Its' a spectrum. e.g.

--------------------------------------------------------me-------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------↓----------------------------------------------------------------
hardwired predator----------anti-social --------------asocial------------pro-social-----------------bleeding heart
0% empathy---------------callousness--------------50/50 selective empathy------------------100% empathy
psychopath---------------- sociopath-----------------autistic---------average person----------------empath
examples---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(hannibal lecter) --------- ted bundy --------------bill gates----------( al bundy )------------------ghandi
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Everybody falls somewhere on the spectrum...there is no good or bad, just nature, biology and social adaption. genetic predisposition and environment shape the development (or non-development in adverse conditions) of empathy.


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25 Nov 2021, 6:12 am

theprisoner wrote:
Flown wrote:
vividgroovy wrote:
I

I've also encountered the idea floating around the internet that people who “lack empathy” (don't care about the proper things in the proper order) are bad people, the cause all of society's problems, etc., etc. I


I think that this idea is ridiculous. :? Some of my favorite people have low empathy. Empathy does not = morality in my eyes. As I've seen a few other people mention here, some of the most empathetic people out there will use their "abilities" to take advantage of or manipulate others. Not to say that ALL of those with high empathy do this.


Its' a spectrum. e.g.

--------------------------------------------------------me-------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------↓----------------------------------------------------------------
hardwired predator----------anti-social --------------asocial------------pro-social-----------------bleeding heart
0% empathy---------------callousness--------------50/50 selective empathy------------------100% empathy
psychopath---------------- sociopath-----------------autistic---------average person----------------empath
examples---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(hannibal lecter) --------- ted bundy --------------bill gates----------( al bundy )------------------ghandi
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Everybody falls somewhere on the spectrum...there is no good or bad, just nature, biology and social adaption. genetic predisposition and environment shape the development (or non-development in adverse conditions) of empathy.


I concur with your point :) Although I don't know that I'd place Ghandi at that end of the spectrum (he was, afterall, a sexual predator and a racist).


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AprilR
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25 Nov 2021, 9:59 am

Its selective with me also. I feel a lot of empathy for people who ridicule themselves, hate themselves and who have been mistreated by others. I don't feel much empathy for people who have very different problems from me. And i don't believe they have empathy for people like me either.



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25 Nov 2021, 12:42 pm

AprilR wrote:
Its selective with me also. I feel a lot of empathy for people who ridicule themselves, hate themselves and who have been mistreated by others. I don't feel much empathy for people who have very different problems from me. And i don't believe they have empathy for people like me either.


The average person doesn't feel empathy easily for those who haven't experienced the same as them. That is a fact that every person with any neurological disorders and mental health issues can tell you. Some people (Aspie/ND or NT) are more empathetic than others, either by nature or just faking it.


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theprisoner
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25 Nov 2021, 12:50 pm

Flown wrote:
I concur with your point :) Although I don't know that I'd place Ghandi at that end of the spectrum (he was, afterall, a sexual predator and a racist).


Its hard to think of celebrity empaths, i think being famous and empath may be incompatible.


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30 Nov 2021, 12:44 pm

Empathy standards - autistic Vs NT:-

NT1: *Impulsively makes fun of another person (NT or not) for something they cannot help*
NT2: That's mean - how would you like to be made fun of like that for something you can't help?
NT1: I wouldn't
NT2: Then why are you making fun of them?
NT1: Because it isn't me who's suffering, so I don't care
*Still gets put down to empathy on NT1's part.*

However...

Aspie: *Impulsively makes fun of another person (NT or not) for something they cannot help*
NT: That's mean - how would you like to be made fun of like that for something you can't help?
Aspie: I wouldn't
NT: Then why are you making fun of them?
Aspie: Because it isn't me who's suffering, so I don't care
*Gets put down for lacking empathy for not respecting the person's feelings, even though Aspie knows what he/she's doing*

It's what I see between the lines whenever someone here describes Aspie Vs NT empathy to me.


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30 Nov 2021, 1:55 pm

Yeah I only realised that I lack empathy a couple of years ago. It just goes to show you the kind of people I've associated with in my life as lacking empathy was never an issue.

I only realised because I was in a situation where I would just say what I thought to people's faces with no real concern about how I made them feel. I would absolutely lambast them. Not even for fun but just because I thought that was what was needed at the time.

My bosses at work would actively encourage me to do it as well so I just carried on.

I sat down one day and reviewed my own actions. I think I saw it somewhere or read it or maybe it was just one of those epiphany moments where I realised that what I was doing was completely lacking in any kind of empathy or consideration for how the other person felt.

I'm making it My business these days to be kind. I reckon it doesn't matter if I lack empathy just as long as i use kind words to say to people.

I was like a f*****g monster when I look back. I mean these weren't particularly nice people who I was dealing with anyway but I've also learnt that two bads don't make a good.



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30 Nov 2021, 2:39 pm

Quote:
I sat down one day and reviewed my own actions


A lot of NT people who have caused grief for another person probably have never done that before.

Quote:
I think I saw it somewhere or read it or maybe it was just one of those epiphany moments where I realised that what I was doing was completely lacking in any kind of empathy or consideration for how the other person felt.


So when an NT inconsiderably calls an Aspie "you're weird!" (which is probably what we've all been called at some point in our lives) to their face without considering how we feel, it's still empathy? But when an Aspie does it, it's lacking empathy.

Quote:
I was like a f*****g monster when I look back. I mean these weren't particularly nice people who I was dealing with anyway but I've also learnt that two bads don't make a good.


Well if they weren't nice people then maybe they deserved what you said to them (whatever it was). I bet what you did was nothing compared to how many spectrumers here have had abuse from family, schoolfriends, colleagues and neighbours. Loads of spectrumers here have been through hell and back with nasty, inconsiderate, insensitive, sh***y people who just don't understand anything.

When I was at high school a lot of the other girls literally ignored me like I didn't exist, and they didn't seem to care at all (even though I was always nice and pleasant and showed interest in having friendships with them). They were just engrossed in themselves and each other and only spoke to me if they wanted a piece of my snack.
They weren't really bad kids either, they just couldn't understand how it felt to be me, while I spent my whole life understanding NTs and yet I'm the one that lacks empathy just because I'm labelled with a sh***y autism disorder.

f*****g does my head in.


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GhostBoy_Kas
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01 Dec 2021, 11:56 am

I feel like I should elaborate more, what I mean by empathy is if someone your close to (or not) is sad, you also feel sad or at least bad for them. I do not have that, (most likely due to alexithymia) I was really just asking because I see a lot of other ND people posting about how they are only hyperempathetic (not just on tumblr, on tiktok, instagram, even some other ND forums) and I was curious if I was the only one, and if I wasnt, what other peoples experiences are. An example is if my close friend is upset because someone they knew passed away, I can kinda understand why it would be upsetting (after trying to figure out how close they were, were they a good person, etc) but I dont upset, I just dont feel strongly even when something that should make me feel upset or angry happens to people close to me.


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Joe90
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01 Dec 2021, 12:17 pm

GhostBoy_Kas wrote:
I feel like I should elaborate more, what I mean by empathy is if someone your close to (or not) is sad, you also feel sad or at least bad for them. I do not have that, (most likely due to alexithymia) I was really just asking because I see a lot of other ND people posting about how they are only hyperempathetic (not just on tumblr, on tiktok, instagram, even some other ND forums) and I was curious if I was the only one, and if I wasnt, what other peoples experiences are. An example is if my close friend is upset because someone they knew passed away, I can kinda understand why it would be upsetting (after trying to figure out how close they were, were they a good person, etc) but I dont upset, I just dont feel strongly even when something that should make me feel upset or angry happens to people close to me.


It's probably not due to your autism though. A lot of males don't feel other's emotions so strongly as women do. But if you recognise and understand their emotion, or at least care about them, then that still is empathy.


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Gym Nerd
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02 Dec 2021, 9:24 pm

Going off the results so far, it would seem that most respondents feel they have a lack of empathy. I think there's probably a selection bias at play here; people that have lots of empathy feel the desire to defend themselves, whereas those who experience a lack of empathy don't feel an equal desire to shout and bring attention to their deficit.



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31 Dec 2021, 6:31 pm

About 50% of people on the spectrum also have Alexithymia, which is an inability to connect with their own emotions. There have been numerous studies on this recently.

Also, look into the difference between cognitive and affective empathy. ASD is related to deficits in cognitive empathy, not affective. But if you cannot understand what a person is going through, it is difficult to react appropriately. If you’re young, this will become easier with wider life experience.