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starkid
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22 May 2021, 2:46 pm

There are a LOT of threads about empathy on this forum, and after reading them for years I've noticed that many people seem either worried that they don't have empathy or eager to state that they do have empathy.

But lacking empathy isn't inherently negative.

I get the impression that people think lacking empathy means being an inhuman monster who might become a murderer.

But it can also be related to disinterest in other people. And someone who has no interest in other people has little or no reason to harm other people.

In contrast, the people who do hurt other people are generally very interested in other people. They like to see others in pain, they like to express dominance over other people, they are curious about how people react when provoked, etc.

Frankly the stereotypical unempathetic autistic person who pays no attention to others seems safer to me and preferable in many cases. And I bet those of you who've been bullied, harassed, etc. can appreciate how nice it can be to be around people who have no interest in you.

And ultimately lacking empathy is just lacking certain thoughts and feelings; it doesn't seriously hurt anyone. What matters much more is how people actually behave.



Jiheisho
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22 May 2021, 3:01 pm

Well, people confuse empathy with kindness. Those are not the same. Empathy is simply being able to understand someone else's feelings You can then use that understanding to manipulate and deceive them--not the definition of kindness.



Joe90
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22 May 2021, 3:25 pm

The thing that actually gets me about this empathy crap is that if an autistic decides to intentionally hurt other people or provoke other people just to see a reaction or whatever, they'll still be told they're "lacking empathy". That's what gets me. Often empathy on autism forums is described as "malicious behaviour", such as bullying, provoking, teasing, hurting, abusing and even murdering. So if I became a bad person tomorrow I'll suddenly have empathy.

I have an interest in other people. I have empathy then, or will someone still come along and deny that I have any empathy at all just because I'm on the stupid autism spectrum?


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funeralxempire
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22 May 2021, 4:08 pm

Empathy can be used for good or for bad.

If you know that behaving a certain way will cause someone to become antagonized one form of empathy allows you to understand that in advance, another form encourages you to decide against the behaviour.

If you decide to pester someone you're probably relying upon empathy to understand what's effective.


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CollegeGirlAnon
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22 May 2021, 5:43 pm

I don’t have much emotional empathy but I have cognitive empathy (so I can think through why a person may be feeling a certain way).

I do think that emotional empathy can be good, but you should not allow it to cloud your judgement.

Cognitive empathy can be used for manipulative purposes, but also for good as well.


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Edna3362
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22 May 2021, 7:42 pm

I already concluded that having empathy, cognitive or otherwise, does not make a better person... Or a better human.

Just 'literate'.
And empathy cannot stand by itself without social skills.


Empathy without social skills it's like being able to read. But that is all.
It doesn't necessarily express the knowledge or awareness of said literacy in a practical or even behavioral manner -- either for benevolent or malicious reasons.


So what if this someone knows what that other person thinks or feels and knows what that other person want, if this someone have no clue what to do with it?
... Or worse, cannot/unable act upon it regardless the intention?


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Joe90
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23 May 2021, 1:36 am

Does this answer your skewed view on empathy?

https://takecasper.com/2020/06/empathy-1/


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Technic1
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24 May 2021, 4:42 am

These are the synonyms of sympathy/empathy.

Identification with or understanding of the emotional state of another person.

understanding
compassion
affinity appreciation
rapport
sympathy
commiseration
feeling
identification
recognition
apprehension

cognizance
communion
conception
concord
consciousness
insight

I can’t separate the rest of the words (or put commas in)

pity, responsiveness apperception assimilation awareness cognition comprehension concern mindfulness perceptiveness regard thoughtfulness acquaintance enlightenment familiarity intuition knowing knowingness receptiveness receptivity warmth fellow feeling cottoning to being on same wavelength awareness of the feelings of others sensibility care consideration sensitiveness patience delicacy kindliness sensitivity unity soft skills finer feelings togetherness involvement relationship good vibes sympathetic cord bond of sympathy



Last edited by Technic1 on 24 May 2021, 5:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

Technic1
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24 May 2021, 4:47 am

Do people with empathy feel bad or laugh and feel superior???



autisticelders
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24 May 2021, 4:56 am

Starkid, good question, interesting discussion. thank you



Technic1
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24 May 2021, 7:35 am

Going by a doctors standards anyone who lacks one of these things is a bad person, a psychopath or evil?



Joe90
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24 May 2021, 11:00 am

I've often provoked before just to see the reaction. I done it to my brother a lot as kids, and I also done it to my cat, just so I can hear her meow. So I have empathy then. Horray.




-----------------SARCASM ALERT-----------------

Today I stole from a vulnerable elderly lady just to see her upset and frightened, so that's a good boost for my ego.
Then I made fun of my disabled neighbour and called him weird and retarded, just to hurt his feelings because I don't care about his feelings because I have empathy.
Oh, and I bullied my colleague today, because I'm higher in the social pecking order than she is so that makes it OK. I called her a fat b***h and seeing her upset made me laugh.
So does this mean I have empathy???

I suppose because I don't actually have the heart to do any of that, I lack empathy. :roll:


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Joe90
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25 May 2021, 2:36 am

Funny how as soon as I post in this thread it dies, it's like people already see me coming. :lol:


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funeralxempire
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25 May 2021, 2:38 am

Joe90 wrote:
Funny how as soon as I post in this thread it dies, it's like people already see me coming. :lol:


I feel like the ability to kill a thread is proof that you're a a face.

The best I can do is refuse to participate.


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Joe90
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25 May 2021, 5:53 am

funeralxempire wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Funny how as soon as I post in this thread it dies, it's like people already see me coming. :lol:


I feel like the ability to kill a thread is proof that you're a a face.

The best I can do is refuse to participate.


What's a a face?


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kraftiekortie
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25 May 2021, 6:40 am

He means you’re well-known. Meant as a compliment.

In the 60s, a “face” was British slang for a “cool, hip, mod” person.

Empathy is only good. There might be “empathy” technically under the definition...but if it’s used for bad purposes, then it ceases to be “empathy.”

One of The Who’s first recordings was called “I’m the Face.”