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Whale_Tuune
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14 Jul 2020, 8:52 am

I believe it's true that as people on the spectrum we frequently need help improving theory of mind and ability to empathize with others (though we frequently possess a desire to help/have sympathy.)

Are there any good ways of improving our empathy for others?


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Edna3362
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14 Jul 2020, 4:20 pm

Able to read is one thing.

Able to predict and express that one can read is another.


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that1weirdgrrrl
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17 Jul 2020, 7:52 pm

I once read an article that cited increased empathy and emotional intelligence in those who read more fiction stories.


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17 Jul 2020, 7:58 pm

Reading about the experiences and struggles of other people, people who are not like me, helped me with this. Like autobiographies, I read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (not condoning her politics btw) about a Muslim woman who lived in Somalia, then Ethiopia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and finally the Netherlands, an life completely removed from my own, and it was a fascinating read. Getting involved in social justice also helps.



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18 Jul 2020, 3:38 am

Whale_Tuune wrote:
I believe it's true that as people on the spectrum we frequently need help improving theory of mind and ability to empathize with others (though we frequently possess a desire to help/have sympathy.)

Are there any good ways of improving our empathy for others?


My current theory is that improving your gut microbiome, eating healthy, exercising can make utilize use the empathy part of our brain to a greater extent than we normally do. Also reading fiction and novels. Try reading Russian classical books like Chekhov or Dostoevsky. And petting dogs. Also listening to music. Looking at fashion magazines. Looking at Art and reading about art. Listening to slam poetry. Playing music. Are some of the non-standard ways, I think. Anything that improves your creativity. Everything in the brain is connected. So empathy, being not a logical thing, can tie to any of the things I mentioned, and one string can pull another in your brain.



quite an extreme
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28 Jul 2020, 6:01 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
I believe it's true that as people on the spectrum we frequently need help improving theory of mind and ability to empathize with others (though we frequently possess a desire to help/have sympathy.)

Are there any good ways of improving our empathy for others?

There is a way to improve but it's a long way to go. Your brain is able to learn and adds additional neurons in regions that you are using a lot. For this is the only way is just learning by doing. It's quite like learning a new language. It takes a lot of time until you are good at it and there is no magic pill for doing this. But you are quite young and everyone is able to improve at least a little bit.
Start to watch other people more carefully in real life as well as in TV and videos. Try to guess how they may feel. Ask yourself why they behave and move just as they do. Imagine you being yourself in their positions. Try to guess their feelings and to develop the same feelings. (Once this helps you to improve a bit as well as I did let me know please.) If it comes to faces spot the point between the eyes at the root of the noses. That's where you get the best overall impression of the emotions of the faces. Try eye contact once you are talking. Keep a good mood towards the others because their empathy tells them how you feel and they assume you feeling that way towards them. Don't stare in just one eye but look to the other as well after few seconds.
Once you have problems with recognizing emotions in language try audiobooks and listen what the reader tells how something is said. In case of written language try to read loudly or try to imagine the voice of the writer.
Good luck with this.

Btw: Never start negative ways of thinking. You may train your brain to become this way more and more as well. All kind of positive thinking is like fighting the evil and ensures you a much more positive life.


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quite an extreme
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29 Jul 2020, 1:52 am

quite an extreme wrote:
Once you have problems with recognizing emotions in language try audiobooks and listen what the reader tells how something is said. In case of written language try to read loudly or try to imagine the voice of the writer.

There is verbal a bit more. You have to care how the high of the voice during a sentence changes regarding the emotions of the one who speaks, as well as the speed and loudness. If somebody stops he or she may be just thinking (the tone remains or lowers at the end of the last sentence) or expect you to respond if the tone raised in the end of the last sentence. People expect you to follow their thoughts btw. It's a problem once you are unable to recognize typical phrases who have a specific indirect meaning. You have to learn and to remember them or you may seem to be very naive. But I guess most people here are able to learn this.


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fegejej905
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10 Aug 2020, 2:16 pm

I have problem withh it(



quite an extreme
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10 Aug 2020, 3:02 pm

fegejej905 wrote:
I have problem withh it(

Oh a new one! 8O Welcome here! :) Many people here have a problem with it even that all people here are quite different. Hope it helps you a bit to improve a little bit. :wink:


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10 Aug 2020, 6:03 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
I believe it's true that as people on the spectrum we frequently need help improving theory of mind and ability to empathize with others (though we frequently possess a desire to help/have sympathy.)

Are there any good ways of improving our empathy for others?

You could practice by having empathy for yourself. Treat yourself as a loving friend. Then you have more to give from.



idntonkw
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11 Aug 2020, 12:24 am

Whale_Tuune wrote:
I believe it's true that as people on the spectrum we frequently need help improving theory of mind and ability to empathize with others (though we frequently possess a desire to help/have sympathy.)

Are there any good ways of improving our empathy for others?


I think slam poetry online, reading fiction and classic literature, and listening to music can help - all non standard things that deal with emotion and stories - artistic things.. but they won't help a lot.. to improve it significantly so that other people can see a difference in you - I don't know how you would do it.

What helps too is being stretched, exercised, well fed, and not irritated as a result.. when you eat well and work out, you get happier and have more happiness to give to people..



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11 Aug 2020, 11:27 pm

Read books bY Charles Dickens


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Citymale
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11 Aug 2020, 11:50 pm

Also, I think this may have to be taught explicitly by an NT woman explaining a situation from life to you and helping you empathize and talk/act correctly in that situation. I had an English as a Second Language teacher like that in middle school who did something similar. She would describe a hypothetical situation from life and ask how you would react and then give feedback on your reaction and describe a better way to react in that situation!



quite an extreme
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12 Aug 2020, 2:41 am

For deep empathy you need to be able to develop feelings the same way that other people do. This has nothing to do with compassion nor just right social behaviour which is trivial. Reading books may tell you about the way of thinking of others but doesn't cause you the same feelings especicially if you are unable to generate the same emotions. Emotional connections and the feeling of deep empathy aren't just a rational thing. People get each other better the more their brains are the same way. :roll: Once you are very different you have trouble with that and for this with them. People realize quite well how others feel and also feel about them. That's nothing you'll learn just from reading.


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Edna3362
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12 Aug 2020, 10:39 am

quite an extreme wrote:
For deep empathy you need to be able to develop feelings the same way that other people do. This has nothing to do with compassion nor just right social behaviour which is trivial. Reading books may tell you about the way of thinking of others but doesn't cause you the same feelings especicially if you are unable to generate the same emotions. Emotional connections and the feeling of deep empathy aren't just a rational thing. People get each other better the more their brains are the same way. :roll: Once you are very different you have trouble with that and for this with them. People realize quite well how others feel and also feel about them. That's nothing you'll learn just from reading.

From such point and route of learning empathy, one had to start discerning projection from empathy. :o

Failing this, is one of the main reasons why NTs failed a lot of NDs.
By falling short into projection instead of proceeding towards other levels of empathy.

Because the former is easier and comfortable.
If anything, it's why most people fail another.


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quite an extreme
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12 Aug 2020, 1:09 pm

Edna3362 wrote:
From such point and route of learning empathy, one had to start discerning projection from empathy. :o

What do you mean with 'projection'?