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monty
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12 May 2009, 1:56 pm

According to this, the point is not that auties don't feel empathy - it is that they have too much empathy and are too sensitive, and wall themselves off as a protective mechanism. Interesting.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and- ... sm-theory/



Llixgrjb
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12 May 2009, 3:21 pm

Thanks for that article. The seemingly uncontested fact that people with Austism/Asperger's were unfeeling robots just didn't didn't fit with the rest of the known traits. It makes sense that the hypersensitivity to outside stimuli would also mean hypersensitivity to others' feelings.

A true lack of empathy would classify you as someone with antisocial personality disorder; someone along the lines of a Manson, a Dahmer, or a Soros. If autistics were really as apathetic as popularly claimed, wouldn't we find more of the high-functioning ones in death row or the The Federal Reserve Board of Governors?



protest_the_hero
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12 May 2009, 4:25 pm

I guess when you get used to the overload it get rid of so much of the awkwardness and confusion it causes. Tuning it down makes us more NT.



subliculous
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12 May 2009, 4:30 pm

well of course. i was just thinking this the other day. it's a defense/surivival mechanism. shutting down.



fiddlerpianist
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12 May 2009, 4:44 pm

Wow, this makes so much sense. The "lack of empathy" trait was a big one that I really didn't associate with much. I think I was trying to "find" it in myself, where I do that. The best I could come up with was having difficulty relating to certain feelings that people have that I didn't know they had... but in my case I wonder now if I was just being a "dumb male." :)

I cannot stand seeing homeless people on the street, not because I have no feelings for them, but rather because every time I walk by one of them, I feel my heart starting to break. Something really big wells up inside, and yet I ultimately find it easier all around to just keep walking and put on a complete blank face. I will probably always feel this way.



TobyZ
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12 May 2009, 5:07 pm

it's not new, this now private story discussed it previously. http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic ... f_empathy_

But it only suggests 20% of Aspies are this way.



richardbenson
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12 May 2009, 6:39 pm

thats right. also i love this topic



ZEGH8578
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12 May 2009, 6:44 pm

i can aggree to that. "lack of empathy" sounds too abrupt. i cant CONNECT with people, but i do feel empathy for people. hell watching adults cry their eyes out over war-victims, for example, gets me all queasy.


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Zoonic
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12 May 2009, 6:55 pm

People call me emo. I know for a fact that I am overempathic and hypersensitive to emotions. I've met aspies who seemed to be emotionally disabled but these were too low functioning and with too low intelligence to ever become a serial-killer of some sort. Still, to me they seemed to be emotionally numb, unlike myself who can smell the feelings of others a mile away.



protest_the_hero
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12 May 2009, 7:15 pm

I always had sensitivity to others' emotions. I just didn't always know how to react because of other social deficits.



DeaconBlues
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12 May 2009, 8:44 pm

In the most recent edition of White Wolf's World of Darkness role-playing system, there is a Flaw called "Behavior Blind". A character with Behavior Blind has great difficulty picking up on the subtleties of social interaction, which can place one at a severe disadvantage in, say, the Vampire: the Requiem game in this system (in which, among other things, centuries-old vampires while away their unlives playing politics). One of the effects of Behavior Blind is that while the character can still have the skill of Empathy, he/she will be at -3 on all such rolls (that is, any attempt at using Empathy to persuade someone of something, or guess at their motivations, would require three more successful rolls against the Empathy skill than a normal character).

Sounds kind of like what we're talking about here - the Empathy is there, we just aren't getting enough successes on our rolls...


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Danielismyname
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12 May 2009, 8:52 pm

I don't have empathy. I've found that most people with AS don't even know what empathy is, and that they confuse it with care and compassion.

It doesn't "jive" with the "intense world theory", as that's to do with sensory sensitivities that are there in Autistic Disorder, and to a lesser extent, AS.



pandd
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12 May 2009, 9:23 pm

Danielismyname wrote:
It doesn't "jive" with the "intense world theory",

I agree.

Emotion dysregulation might co-occur along-side dysregulation of externally generated neuro-stimulus, but positing avoidance of emotional over-load stemming from excessive receptive empathy, is not suggested or supported by the "intense world theory" so far as I can see.



ASS-P
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12 May 2009, 9:39 pm

...Maybe :lol: . That's nice to think :D . ! !! !! !! !!



Kaysea
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12 May 2009, 10:20 pm

I'm glad it's not just me. Actually, the article read quite a lot like a conversation that I had outside a party last weekend with a fellow aspie.

I've also noticed that this sort of thing has a lot to do with my eye contact issues... I just get TOO much information about a person by looking him/her in the eye for very long.

Now this really has me thinking...

A) I tend to feel others' pain physically, as my own pain
B) I have recently realized that I experience "emotions" almost entirely as physical sensations.

Thus, it may very well be that I actually OVER empathize with people, while, at the same time, only recognizing the intense physiological response, and not processing it as a mental/emotional phenomenon, per se.