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Discussion Starter #1
ive read alot of threads on here and it doesnt seem like you guys lack empathy..in fact, many of you seem to care too much about others feelings and their lives...my problem is this, i have a few SA issues BUT i think what may be the cause of alot of my actions(isolation/introversion) is that in many cases i truly do NOT care what other people are up to, what they have done during the day etc etc...i hate to sound like a jerk but when many people start going off on what they have been doing, my brain starts to shut down ..i have to start thinking about something else immediately.....i guess that would definitely hurt my relationships because lets face it, in order to make a relationship last, you have to genuinely be interested in other peoples lives....now, this is where drugs come in, i can have a few shots of vodka or something else, and i suddenly develop some empathy towards people...nothing else really helps or makes me care about others.....

is anyone else like this???do you lack empathy??if so, how do you treat this problem???is this lack of empathy a symptom of SA or something else??
 

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Hiding in my basement
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i lack empathy for all but the few i care about. As far as SA goes, if you spend your life isolated from people I think it makes it hardered to care, especially when your wrapped up in your own problems. or just a way to numb down the brain from all of the terribleness in the world that involve people. as far as treating the problem.....you could always do what everyone else does and pretend to give a s***.
 

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I cant say that I never feel sympathetic/empathetic to ppl all the time. But you raise a very good point here. I might be over doing it so often that it gets me in situations I wouldn't have put myself in if I didn't empathize so much on how other ppl think. But that is really part of SA. Caring so much of what others view of you, whether its a good thing or bad.

I hate to say it, but it actually might be 'safer' for one, to think for their own in this life. But that's really for your own good in a way. Not saying it's a bad thing, though. It would help to get over things easier instead of dwelling. But then again, it could be bad like as you say, in hurting your relationships with others.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
glarmph-ahh, i already pretend to care about people and their lives...i have to pretend though about 90% of the time which isnt cool....there is a part of that cares but such a small part...

h4hope-sure, having no empathy is good to a point but you cant sustain relationships like this...it would almost be like living a lie...i see people that quickly rush over to a feriends/neighbors house to see what they are doing whereas in my case, i dont care what they are doing...what causes this lack of empathy is what i want to know....how can you be pro-social when you realy dont care within??
 

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I don't know, belfort.
Its weird cuz I met sociable ppl who really didn't give a damn about others yet remain popular and very well respected (for some reason).
For your situation, I guess maybe it's just a lack of interest you can't connect with?
I mean, I don't go out of my way to check on what neighbors are doing either... Or stay for the silly work parties that are hosted at jobs...

I reach out to those I really can empathize with where they are in poor situations, since I myself lead quite a tough life (financially and physically). But like I said, it could reach a down fall. Example: After I helped one person with money, another friend came by to ask some from me. Can you believe that? It's like giving some pidgins some bread and more come by.
Now I am much more careful with who I help out with or socialize with because of that.
 

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is anyone else like this???do you lack empathy??if so, how do you treat this problem???is this lack of empathy a symptom of SA or something else??
I have just the opposite problem. I often have too much empathy. To the point to where if something bad happens to someone who I hate, I still feel bad for them. I can't make myself be callous even if I want to. It may not sound like it but this can be a problem. I'm so sensitive that it often makes absolutely no sense why I'm crying about something. I can't go to the movies because I get so involved I'll sometimes tear up for no apparent reason.
 

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I have just the opposite problem. I often have too much empathy. To the point to where if something bad happens to someone who I hate, I still feel bad for them. I can't make myself be callous even if I want to. It may not sound like it but this can be a problem. I'm so sensitive that it often makes absolutely no sense why I'm crying about something. I can't go to the movies because I get so involved I'll sometimes tear up for no apparent reason.
I am like this as well. I am way too considerate of others feelings even if they are mean to me.
 

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Like the OP pointed out, many of us let too much empathy cloud our judgement.

However, every now and again I zone out whilst people are talking. This usually happens at the most inappropriate times...

e.g. a nice girl meets me, and starts talking about her day at the hairdressor.. she soon becomes angry at my lack of response and storms off.

LOL.. goood times, good times...
 

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Like the OP pointed out, many of us let too much empathy cloud our judgement.

However, every now and again I zone out whilst people are talking. This usually happens at the most inappropriate times...

e.g. a nice girl meets me, and starts talking about her day at the hairdressor.. she soon becomes angry at my lack of response and storms off.

LOL.. goood times, good times...
That happens to me too, just say you had lack of sleep and ask them to kindly repeat it :D
 

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I grew up reading books when I wasn't in the sort-of socializers of school and sports. You have to understand that you are emotionally stunted. I didn't realize until I was 21 how stunted I was. Basically, at 21 I stopped being self-centered and realized the reason I couldn't sit through a conversation with somebody (as the listener) was because I hadn't gained the maturity/adulthood to care about this person.
If you call somebody your friend, you should make an effort to care - period.
 

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I have this problem too.

In my case, I kind of just hate small talk. I think every day conversation is boring. When someone at work starts talking about their kids, what they did over the weekend, or what they had for lunch that day I kind of just find myself wondering why the **** they're talking. It just seems like a waste of time to me and I just feign interest and listen just to be polite. It's not because I'm self-centered though, because I never talk about things like that either. I can't see why anyone would feel the need to talk just for the sake of talking. As if silence were deadly or something.

However, when those same people have some actual thoughts to express about something deep I listen and cherish the conversation. I like discussions (like this). To me, it just seems that most of the things people say are meaningless. I can only empathize with people insofar as I can identify with them. It just seems like real conversation is rare in most settings.
 

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I definitely have a problem empathizing with people that I perceive to have a better life than me, or at least not suffering in some way comparable. Sadly it seems like this is the majority of people out there. I saw a mentally retarded kid the other day I felt very sorry for him. Now if there's a guy i know who has a family and kids, seems for the most part able to be happy and normal, I wouldn't feel very sorry if something bad happened to him like he lost his job - because I'd get fired in a heartbeat to have what he has.

A lot of the time I feel like I'm acting trying to feel sorry for someone to look nice, because I often suspect this person doesn't really know suffering like I do. This would be more like the conversation he's describing. Honestly I don't have a problem with how I see empathy I think It's completely fair to perceive it in the way I do, where people who don't need your sympathy shouldn't get it; however you should still try to be nice even though it feels unnatural or unfair.

I do know not physically being able to connect with people or have empathy with others might be asperger's syndrome and not social anxiety if you're suspecting you don't feel any emotion towards others.
 

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I certainly don't lack empathy, and I just can't understand people who do.
 

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I also lack empathy, for the most part I really really do not care what other people have to say. It's just that I don't know, small talk isn't my thing and neither isn't long conversations so I can't help it. I like talking to my friends, but even then sometimes I just want them to shut the f*** up. Someone crying or, someone dying or someone who looks real sad I never have the urge to care. For me it's like I don't care, shiz happens and deal with it. I never tell people when I am going through tough times and I don't expect them or want them to feel sorry for me either. The other time a friend of one of my friends died in car accident and I was like I really don't care but if I must I will say I am sorry for him dieing even though I do not care.
 

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I lack empathy in the sense that I cannot feel what another might be feeling. It also rarely occurs to me to think about others in my life. But I do experience much compassion for others, even love. The times I come close to empathising are when I interact with people online who have suffered similar to me.

I am diagnosed with Asperger's. There are a number of conditions that can affect empathy. I do not consider how to deal with the above issue because it's always been with me. I am, however, lucky that I possess large amounts of compassion. Most people cannot tell the difference until they become closer to me.
 

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I hope I do not lack empathy, my views on everything from politics to personal life are all based on making a strenuous effort to value others equally to myself.

Indeed, though I feel arrogant suggesting this, I think I may suffer from the problem of "too much" empathy, which others have mentioned here. When I have had internet friends I have spent entire MSN conversations sympathising with lucky, happy, healthy people with brilliant lives while I sit here trapped in a metaphorical prison with walls formed of an array of mental and physical health conditions. And there I am, sympathising with X because she broke up with Y, in the full knowledge that I will never be lucky enough to find myself in a situation where I am able to experience that problem. This tends to result in people using me as some sort of vent for all their minor and insignificant problems which they think are the end of the world, while they remain ignorant of my own suffering which I would feel bad complaining to them about...but as someone else mentioned, I find it very hard to be callous when people have problems of any sort.
 

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I'm the opposite: too empathetic. Half of my depression comes from the fact that other people, and animals, suffer. I can't operate normally because I can't shake the knowledge that somewhere, every moment, there are children, animals, people being abused, people murdering, people being plain old *******s... it's kind of tough to go about your daily business thinking about things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ok, so for someone with aspergers, they lack empathy, how is this treated exactly or is there eveen a treatment for it??
 

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I do not know why lack of interest in others and lack of empathy is suspected to be AS-related in this case. There are other possibilties. However, assuming it is due to AS, treatment might involve determining whether there are any conditions contributing to the low/zero empathy such as depression or trauma. I have not heard of any therapy for AS that enables you to become more empathetic. However, an AS-literate therapist might be able to help you access whatever might be there through treating any co-morbid conditions and guiding you in figuring out relationships. The lack of empathy, if present, is usually innate.

Many with AS are caring, compassionate, and sensitive but cannot read others' emotions very well or experience what they might be feeling. They have to figure things out cognitively rather than intuitively. Sometimes there is the motivation to do this, but sometimes there is not; for example, if the interest in others just happens to not be there. Some with AS claim to feel everything and become overwhelmed by empathising with others' emotions.
 
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