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Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby MalvaBlue » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:54 pm

^ Or maybe you find it upsetting to feel reduced to personality characteristics that doesn't play well with the person you want to be and the standards you have for yourself ?

Also possibly INTJ makes more sense for you than INFJ ?
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby Quoth » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:40 am

What characteristics would these be?

And perhaps you would care the explain how this makes either the claim to be an empath or the description or a child as a narcissist any less unfeasible.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby SOTS » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:54 am

These endless debates about "empathy", who is an "empath" and what empathy is are the very definition of psychobabble. There is no such thing an "empath" and there is no clear definition of the word.

Reading this thread, and previous threads on this topic, got me wondering who in the heck came up with this stupid term. It really seemed to take off around the time of the equally idiotic "new age" movement but it predates that. While I'm loathe to quote some globalist propaganda site, it's late and this result of a quick Google search gives some background:

The English word “empathy” came into being only about a century ago as a translation for the German psychological term Einfühlung, literally meaning “feeling-in.” English-speaking psychologists suggested a handful of other translations for the word, including “animation,” “play,” “aesthetic sympathy,” and “semblance.” But in 1908 two psychologists from Cornell and the University of Cambridge suggested “empathy” for Einfühlung, drawing on the Greek “em” for “in” and “pathos” for “feeling,” and it stuck.

At the time the term was coined, empathy was not primarily a means to feel another person’s emotion, but the very opposite: To have empathy, in the early 1900s, was to enliven an object, or to project one’s own imagined feelings onto the world. Some of the earliest psychology experiments on empathy focused on “kinaesthetic empathy,” a bodily feeling or movement that produced a sense of merging with an object. One subject imagining a bunch of grapes felt “a cool, juicy feeling all over.” The arts critics of the 1920s claimed that with empathy, audience members could feel as if they were carrying out the abstract movements of new modern dance.

By mid-century, empathy’s definition began to shift as some psychologists turned their attention to the science of social relations. In 1948, the experimental psychologist Rosalind Dymond Cartwright, in collaboration with her sociologist mentor, Leonard Cottrell, conducted some of the first tests measuring interpersonal empathy. In the process, she deliberately rejected empathy’s early meaning of imaginative projection, and instead emphasized interpersonal connection as the core of the concept.


https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... hy/409912/

IOW, different people, over a century, have given this word the definition they felt like giving it and Cartwright completely changed the original meaning. This calling people "empaths" has as much meaning as calling someone an indigo child (new age BS). In fact, it's latest "definition" is now getting attached to and claimed by the obnoxious social justice warriors who claim anyone who disagrees with their cultural Marxist nonsense "lacks empathy". Nauseating.

I say this as someone who would be considered empathetic (I guess). I don't eat animals because I think violence against other living beings is wrong. I rarely kill bugs unless there is no other choice and they're causing harm (fleas, carpenter ants, for example), and still I'll put ants outside when possible. I have a mouse problem in my house but feed them until I can catch them and put them outside. I would never kill a mouse. I've rescued more animals than I can count. I've helped out bums and people I had no connection to. Helped people I'm connected to but didn't much like. Does this make me an "empath"? No, I'm a human being with characteristics, among them sympathy, compassion, consideration for others. I'm no more an empath (ill defined word) than I am an intuitpath because I'm intuitive. FFS, people, this is absurd to classify some humans like this. It's meaningless. You cannot define a human being by one personality characteristic. Some people are sensitive toward others (as, I think, Quoth pointed out) and THAT'S IT. Some are more sensitive than others. My own extends, mainly, to innocents. It doesn't apply to the vicious and malevolent.

I think the fixation on this term has to do with pwPDs being defined as lacking empathy (an ill defined term!). What it boils down to is some people care about others and some don't. Some also care for non humans and some don't. Some delight in harming others or just don't give a sh!t when they do. The former make the world a more tolerable place and the latter cause misery. This is not rocket science or some great mystery and it's over complicating things to carry on about "empaths" like they're some unique species.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby Holodeck » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:53 am

I'm not an "empath" or NPD. I thought about OP's question for a while. No clue if this answer is correct, but I imagine if someone were highly sensitive all the time, they probably would feel the need to get away from the person who's having a hard time. They may want to help. Perhaps since they can't, they get away so they can get some breathing room from the intense bad state that they were feeling.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby xdude » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:08 pm

Just a 90 degree thought...

I think the question can be asked from a completely different point of view. If you know someone who seemingly lacks empathy, ask, how much time does this person spend angry, raging, that others are not giving them what they want? Then focus on how much time they spend miserable, by choice, that others aren't doing what they want. Look close. How long are they happy for even if they get what they want. Then you can ask, is that how I want to live?

This takes empathy completely out of the picture, and focuses on the question of is life enjoyable (i.e., is this what you want for your life) to live without any concern for what others want, only what I want?

p.s. Yes, some are seemingly happy focusing on what they want, and only that, at least for a time, but ask, how well do you know them? Dig deep. You may find it's not all rainbows and sunshine.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby MalvaBlue » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:43 pm

Quoth wrote:And perhaps you would care the explain how this makes either the claim to be an empath or the description or a child as a narcissist any less unfeasible.


This part of the exchange looked like a digression to me.

The crux being that, in essence and unwittingly, empaths make certain PDs look bad. Threads after threads, this is what some forum users seem to be defending against. By negating the existence of a thing or disqualifying its raison d'être, you successfully distract yourself from (not just looking but) feeling bad. You choose your image over your pain so to speak.

Quoth wrote:What characteristics would these be?


Interpersonal exploitativeness, manipulativeness would be the trigger points. They don't even have to be spoken of, and in fact, here, they weren't. But the existence of empaths implies that, because for boundaries to be crossed ( or violated ), someone has to cross them.

Empaths are people who have been trained to scan the minutiae of their closed ones' feelings, by either have been made to feel responsible for them early on (and it might overlap with codependency ), or because they grew up in an environment where feelings where emphasized.

It's not synonymous with HSP, codependent person or person with borderline disorder. HSP get overwhelmed by a variety of stimuli, not just emotional, although they may have in common the need to retreat to make sense of the cacophony. Codependents are attracted to a set of issues, and sometimes but not always are narcissists in their own right. BPD involves wildly swinging emotions, which empath does not. You cannot be an empath and a narcissist at the same time, that's antithetical, but you can be a narcissist with good insight into people's emotional motivations.

It can feel more like a burden than a gift, until you learn how to set boundaries properly, that is. And even then, it is merely an asset just as many other end-of-the-spectrum personality traits positively honed. Ex: I see some talented therapists as successful (former) empaths.

So nothing esoteric or complicated.

I personally don't care that empath is not an academic term, it's pointy and fills a gap: it gives a signifier to the sign - even though the alleged pomposity of the signifier does a disservice to the sign.

Although I can see why, if you've never experienced being highly attuned to fellow people's emotions, you might be tempted to think it's just a farce, yet I'm sure you can relate to how unpleasant it feels to be told "you don't exist".
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby Quoth » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:28 am

MalvaBlue wrote:This part of the exchange looked like a digression to me.

The crux being that, in essence and unwittingly, empaths make certain PDs look bad. Threads after threads, this is what some forum users seem to be defending against. By negating the existence of a thing or disqualifying its raison d'être, you successfully distract yourself from (not just looking but) feeling bad. You choose your image over your pain so to speak.


The claim that empaths exist is the core of this disagreement. A lie is still a lie irrespective of who tells it or why.

You say they exist, I say they don't.
Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat
Prove it.

Interpersonal exploitativeness, manipulativeness would be the trigger points. They don't even have to be spoken of, and in fact, here, they weren't. But the existence of empaths implies that, because for boundaries to be crossed ( or violated ), someone has to cross them.
I'm not saying I can't display those behaviours as does everyone else for that matter. However if you are under the impression that those two are pathologically linked to my disorder, I am afraid you are mistaken

Empaths are people who have been trained to scan the minutiae of their closed ones' feelings, by either have been made to feel responsible for them early on (and it might overlap with codependency ), or because they grew up in an environment where feelings where emphasized.
This sounds like emotional hyper-reactivity to me(also known as emotional hypersensitivity, or archaically emotional fragility), which is a maladaptive coping mechanism from living in stressful environments. It has precisely nothing to do with empathy and everything to do with anxiety. To be fair to them it isn't their fault, just the result of living in an environment which damaged or impaired development of their emotional skill set.

However as above, if this is the definition of "empath", prove it. Thus far it seems like you've found a label for yourself to "choose your image over your pain so to speak".

It's not synonymous with HSP, codependent person or person with borderline disorder.
this much I agree with, though it is commonly associated with all three.

HSP get overwhelmed by a variety of stimuli, not just emotional, although they may have in common the need to retreat to make sense of the cacophony.
agreed

Codependents are attracted to a set of issues, and sometimes but not always are narcissists in their own right.
obviously not, it's a term originating from the enabling behaviour of the partners of those with substance abuse disorders.

BPD involves wildly swinging emotions, which empath does not.
It doesn't actually. PwBPD are almost exclusively externally triggered it's one of the primary means by which they are distinguished from people with disorders like ultra rapid cycling bi-polar who do have wildly swinging emotions. It's their bizarre cognitive style which means they operate on their own emotional logic which causes the triggers to appear nonsensical. Also not all pwBPD, or any other form of emotional dysregulation, will aggressively display the fact.

You cannot be an empath and a narcissist at the same time, that's antithetical, but you can be a narcissist with good insight into people's emotional motivations.
This is dependent on your definition of empath, which I don't accept at this time. Narcissists do display emotional hyper-reactivity, albeit in different ways.

So nothing esoteric or complicated.

:lol: I beg to differ...
http://indigochildren.com/empath-an-ind ... ren-trait/
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/dp3j ... ic-new-age
http://in5d.com/the-indigo-list-of-how- ... an-empath/
https://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/07 ... -children/
Etc...

I personally don't care that empath is not an academic term, it's pointy and fills a gap: it gives a signifier to the sign - even though the alleged pomposity of the signifier does a disservice to the sign.
Ah so you pulled it from where the sun shineth not. I see.

Although I can see why, if you've never experienced being highly attuned to fellow people's emotions, you might be tempted to think it's just a farce, yet I'm sure you can relate to how unpleasant it feels to be told "you don't exist".
oh, sweet irony...
If your identity is intrinsically linked to a label (and a grandiose one at that) then something is most definitely up.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby MalvaBlue » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:37 am

Quoth wrote:I'm not saying I can't display those behaviours as does everyone else for that matter. However if you are under the impression that those two are pathologically linked to my disorder, I am afraid you are mistaken


I think they are a bit, but that is not the point I was making. The point I was making is that even if you don't stand accused of anything, your guard is always up. ( And by you, I don't mean you personally )

Quoth wrote:This sounds like emotional hyper-reactivity to me(also known as emotional hypersensitivity, or archaically emotional fragility), which is a maladaptive coping mechanism from living in stressful environments. It has precisely nothing to do with empathy and everything to do with anxiety.


It's a personality trait so it can be both healthy and unhealthy.

Quoth wrote:However as above, if this is the definition of "empath", prove it.


I voiced an opinion, if I get a point across it's cherry on the cake but not necessary.

Quoth wrote:It doesn't actually. PwBPD are almost exclusively externally triggered it's one of the primary means by which they are distinguished from people with disorders like ultra rapid cycling bi-polar who do have wildly swinging emotions. It's their bizarre cognitive style which means they operate on their own emotional logic which causes the triggers to appear nonsensical.


BPDs have swinging emotions: I love you (ecstasy) - I hate you (anger).

Quoth wrote:Narcissists do display emotional hyper-reactivity, albeit in different ways.


Yes.



Yeah those people are nuts ... But I mean you can't help that from happening. No matter what you stand for, there are always going to be people rallying for the wrong reason.

Quoth wrote:Ah so you pulled it from where the sun shineth not. I see.


Kind of. It's the result of a combination of intellectual creativity and observation :)

Quoth wrote:oh, sweet irony...
If your identity is intrinsically linked to a label (and a grandiose one at that) then something is most definitely up.


:lol: ... If you're going to project, you could at least be a little creative about it !
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby Quoth » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:13 am

MalvaBlue wrote:
Quoth wrote:I'm not saying I can't display those behaviours as does everyone else for that matter. However if you are under the impression that those two are pathologically linked to my disorder, I am afraid you are mistaken


I think they are a bit, but that is not the point I was making. The point I was making is that even if you don't stand accused of anything, your guard is always up. ( And by you, I don't mean you personally )
C-PTSD and clinical depression? Again prove it.
You mean we're displaying emotional hyper reactivity...like an empath. If not me personally, then other abuse survivors?

I think you're attempting to use an ad hominem to remove or discredit opposition to your own foundationless piece of internal fiction.

Quoth wrote:This sounds like emotional hyper-reactivity to me(also known as emotional hypersensitivity, or archaically emotional fragility), which is a maladaptive coping mechanism from living in stressful environments. It has precisely nothing to do with empathy and everything to do with anxiety.


It's a personality trait so it can be both healthy and unhealthy.
Emotional fragility, or any other form of emotional dysregulation, is not a personality trait. In fact by your own definition it's a learn't behaviour from a difficult relationship.

Quoth wrote:However as above, if this is the definition of "empath", prove it.


I voiced an opinion, if I get a point across it's cherry on the cake but not necessary.
You're attempting to present an opinion as fact. I could declare myself a pink unicorn, it wouldn't make it any more or less true. The only question would be whether it was the result of deliberate manipulation or self-delusion.

Quoth wrote:It doesn't actually. PwBPD are almost exclusively externally triggered it's one of the primary means by which they are distinguished from people with disorders like ultra rapid cycling bi-polar who do have wildly swinging emotions. It's their bizarre cognitive style which means they operate on their own emotional logic which causes the triggers to appear nonsensical.


BPDs have swinging emotions: I love you (ecstasy) - I hate you (anger).
:roll: Borderlines are triggered.

Borderlines do seem to associate from one unpleasant thought to the next, evoking a succession of intense affective states connected only by the private experiences of the person. For example, a new acquaintance might be looked at admiringly until it is discovered that he or she has a particular mannerism that re- sembles someone in the past with whom the borderline has unresolved issues. Aware- ness of this similarity may bring to mind morbid memories so intense that the acquain- tance becomes a lightning rod for the negative emotions that he or she has unwittingly evoked. To the outside observer, the sequence of emotions seems discontinuous and ir- rational. In fact, the stream of consciousness simply flows with its own logic, derived from the unique life history of the individual.


From Personality Disorders in Modern Life by Millon et al. Page 504.

However this has nothing to do with the issue in this thread.

Quoth wrote:Ah so you pulled it from where the sun shineth not. I see.


Kind of. It's the result of a combination of intellectual creativity and observation :)



Yeah those people are nuts ... But I mean you can't help that from happening. No matter what you stand for, there are always going to be people rallying for the wrong reason.
The links represent a combination of those people's "intellectual creativity and observation", you may have couched your piece of fiction in more normative language but it is no less lacking in foundation. If anything their position is relatively consistent across multiple 'sources' where as yours is not.

Quoth wrote:oh, sweet irony...
If your identity is intrinsically linked to a label (and a grandiose one at that) then something is most definitely up.


:lol: ... If you're going to project, you could at least be a little creative about it !

Project how?

You've created a pretentious label (by your own admission) for yourself which essentially grants 'special powers' with absolutely no basis in reality outside of your own internal experience.

Explain to me how this is any different than a narcissists declaration of 'hyperintelligence' or being a 'special person' based on their own internal experience.

This is a label which you say yourself is upsetting to people with PDs and yet you come to declare it on a forum for people who are aware they have NPD and are trying to come to terms with their condition. Which is decidedly suspect behaviour.

Couple this with the likelihood that the person with whom you were in a relationship was not diagnosed with NPD (a fact which is certainly true for pangloss and her cronies) it would mean than this claim is fictitious construct from start to finish.

Equally if you're not happy with other people questioning your labels, then perhaps you should not be doing it to others.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby Hebi » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:21 pm

I think a true “empath” would get burnt out trying to deal with someone else’s problems or depression, because they would be sponging up that energy and feeling the depression with the other person. Some people seem to think “empath” is synonymous with “good person” and “narcissist” or really just “lack of empathy” is synonymous with “bad person.” These people are, quite frankly, total idiots.

I lack empathy. It is really difficult for me to connect with others and how they’re feeling. But, I try. My friend’s SO died, and I googled how to comfort them, because maybe I don’t know what to say or how they feel, but I know they feel bad and in this situation I should do something since they are my friend. I volunteer, not because I empathize with the people in the situation, but because I’m capable, and honestly it makes me feel virtuous to do so. Regardless of how much I feel for others, or my capacity to do so, I still know intellectually how to make a “good” decision or a “bad” one. Lack of empathy has nothing to do with your ability to make good decisions, it just makes it easier to make bad ones if you choose to do so.

An “empath” is equally capable of hurting others. They might not choose to do so in situations where they would see the suffering of the other, because making them feel bad, would make them feel bad. I’m skeptical of self proclaimed “empaths” that seem to be self righteous and have no capacity to empathize with others in different situations, such as pwPDs. A true “empath” would be influenced by the feelings and desires of someone with a PD, as they would be easily influenced by everyone’s feelings and desires, it isn’t selective, and a true “empath” would likely get totally overwhelmed trying to understand where everyone was trying to come from on this thread. I believe “empath” is more commonly, a term used by smug individuals, to proclaim their superiority and higher than thou attitudes, which would be quite contrary to a true empath as I don’t see them doing that in this setting, where it could potentially antagonize this sort of response.

But, whatever.
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