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Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby shanzeek » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:54 pm

Common sense tells me that, if there is such a thing as a lack of empathy, then there should be increased empathy found in individuals as well.
You all are now starting to sound very similar to those holier than thou people, just more in a holier than empaths kind of way, but suit yourself.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby Hebi » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:36 am

shanzeek wrote:Common sense tells me that, if there is such a thing as a lack of empathy, then there should be increased empathy found in individuals as well.
You all are now starting to sound very similar to those holier than thou people, just more in a holier than empaths kind of way, but suit yourself.


I totally think empaths exist. Im just skeptical that someone with increased empathy would be antagonizing others in this setting. Honestly, I didn’t even read everything that was written, but my comment, was mostly referring to whoever it was that said her kid was a total awesome empath, and some other kid was a horrible bad narcissist. I don’t feel a true empath would speak that way, because they would be able to empathize with both sides, dude to their increased empathy.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts

Postby Quoth » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:59 pm

shanzeek wrote:Common sense tells me that, if there is such a thing as a lack of empathy, then there should be increased empathy found in individuals as well.
You all are now starting to sound very similar to those holier than thou people, just more in a holier than empaths kind of way, but suit yourself.


Well by that logic the existence of the physically disabled should infer the existence of supermen or superwomen. The simple reality is that we are restricted by the bounds of our own biology. Psychopathy for instance is a neurophysiological deficit in both affective and conative function. It's the emotional equivalent to a learning difficulty and one remarkable consistent with the results of traumatic frontal brain injury. Most of the PDs were formed by abuse at the hands of pwPDs, the perspective of psychotraumatology everyone who is abused develops a relationship to the behaviours of the abuser.

Yes there will be people with a greater innate ability for affective empathy which we refer to as HSPs equally there are people who are physically better designed to be long distance runners or swimmers. Like any other function I would expect it can be trained, just as an athlete can train to increase their abilities, but hypersensitivity/hypervigilence are not empathy, in fact they tend to suppress empathy. It's also worth bearing in mind that it is impulsivity not callousness that is counter trait of sensitivity.

The existence of 'empaths' isn't really the primary issue in this thread though. It's the idea that more empathy equals good person while less empathy equals bad person. It's a type of splitting. If you remember that empathy, like intelligence, is useless without application the whole discussion becomes irrelevant.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby shanzeek » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:56 am

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.


It's the idea that more empathy equals good person while less empathy equals bad person.



I don't think there's anyone around here trying to disprove this (is there?), I think we all agree on this, at least.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby HislilPrincess » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:28 am

I think it would be fair to say there is no such thing as a super human, each and everyone one of us has a breaking point. Empaths are no different, they get fed up and turn off their empathy if they feel they don't want to deal . People can be very taxing and needy to the point one can tire of rushing to those needs. A person can only help people so much, listen to a person so much before they need to shut it down and focus on themselves or other things. Everyone needs a break from people, even empaths.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby MalvaBlue » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:11 am

Quoth wrote: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 was referring to NPD people since it's a NPD forum but without particularly singling you out.

Quoth wrote:I think you're attempting to use an ad hominem to remove or discredit opposition


I did no such thing ...

Quoth wrote:In fact by your own definition it's a learn't behaviour from a difficult relationship.


That's not exactly what I said.

Quoth wrote:The only question would be whether it was the result of deliberate manipulation or self-delusion.


Manipulation, delusion, suspect behavior ... you're using this semantic field a lot ! Again it seems to me that it's saying more about your own fears than about me as a person.

Quoth wrote: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.


Narcissists also possess personality traits. Being an empath has to do with perceiving/intuiting people's emotions accurately, whether they act on this basis wisely is more a matter of mental health. At the other end of the spectrum, I assume you would find hard analytical skills.

Quoth wrote: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.


:lol: That's not how it happened though. For starters, the label is part of the OP. At some point, you jumped on the bandwagon. I'm more interested in the mechanism behind an emotional reaction to a specific label than in the label itself.

Quoth wrote:Equally if you're not happy with other people questioning your labels, then perhaps you should not be doing it to others.


I'm always happy discussing labels in general, but I can't remember having question anyone's label in particular.

... I did question your MBTI typing ! But it seems like it was for the best. So you're welcome :-)
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby Hebi » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:29 pm

Pangloss wrote:I beg to differ. My son, for example, is an empath from a very young age. He absolutely cannot tolerate any killing, even small insects. He would fight off kids he saw stomping on spiders or centipedes. I can't kill the ants crawling around the apartment without upsetting him. When he made the association between meat and animals from about age 5, he refused to eat any identifiable animal parts, including fish or chicken. I had to give him meat in a form that he didn't recognize, eg steak, sausage. He cries when he watches a sad or moving film. He likes giving change to the homeless.

He became best friends with a narcissistic boy and really suffered, eg he did many things against his own wishes to accommodate this friend, he was the punching bag for anything that went wrong.

I tried talking to the similarly narcissistic mom of his friend but she only took offense and devalued my son.

He finally distanced himself after a year when they went to separate classes and is now really happy with his current best friend, an intelligent, kind and good hearted boy whom I suspect is also empathetic.

Meanwhile, his ex best friend tried to find other best friends but they lasted at most a month - normal kids just don't like/get along with self-centred kids. My son still hangs out with this ex best friend, but he leaves whenever he misbehaves. He understands and appreciates the true friendship he has with his current best friend, they are really happy hanging out together and confide 100% in eachother, support each other, etc.

So it is completely untrue that empaths do not exist. My son is definitely one by nature/nurture, and he tolerated abusive behavior from a narcissistic friend who "chose" him, longer than many normal kids would, and too long for his own good. He now understands the difference between a balanced 2-way friendship and a 1-way friendship.



This is the specific quote I’m personally talking about shanzeek.

Although Pangloss doesn’t do a good job of trying to disprove anything, I think it actually kind of provesmy point. They do declare themselves(on the first page) as well as their child an empath, while citing all of the “good” qualities of an empath, and then mention the “narcissist child” as being “bad” and possessing “bad” qualities. They then claim their son’s new and “good” friend an empath. The only thing I’m really arguing here, is that particular way of thinking is not indicative of an empath at all. Or, I guess it could be indicative of an empath, one that’s worse than the people they devalue, because if you can readily feel another’s feelings, and you STILL choose to make them feel bad, then in my personal opinion, you are definitely of less virtue than the person who does not even possess the same tools as you do when evaluating a mindful response.

I think, that Pangloss is a lot more codependent than empath, because they seem to reason that the “bad” kid is responsible for the feelings of their son, when we actually all have our own responsibility in how others treat us and how we feel. Ugh, I’m feeling really frustrated.

This is the reason I frequently attempt to fake it until I make it in real life, because even though I try to make good decisions, as do others, people would look down on me, or people like me, just because they don’t seem to really understand what possession of empathy, and a lack of it, means for an individual. So, instead I over exaggerate an emotional response and mimic the other person, because I don’t want to be thought of as less than by some “empath” like Pangloss here.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby shanzeek » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:10 pm

Hebi wrote:

This is the specific quote I’m personally talking about shanzeek.

Although Pangloss doesn’t do a good job of trying to disprove anything, I think it actually kind of provesmy point. They do declare themselves(on the first page) as well as their child an empath, while citing all of the “good” qualities of an empath, and then mention the “narcissist child” as being “bad” and possessing “bad” qualities. They then claim their son’s new and “good” friend an empath. The only thing I’m really arguing here, is that particular way of thinking is not indicative of an empath at all. Or, I guess it could be indicative of an empath, one that’s worse than the people they devalue, because if you can readily feel another’s feelings, and you STILL choose to make them feel bad, then in my personal opinion, you are definitely of less virtue than the person who does not even possess the same tools as you do when evaluating a mindful response.

I think, that Pangloss is a lot more codependent than empath, because they seem to reason that the “bad” kid is responsible for the feelings of their son, when we actually all have our own responsibility in how others treat us and how we feel. Ugh, I’m feeling really frustrated.

This is the reason I frequently attempt to fake it until I make it in real life, because even though I try to make good decisions, as do others, people would look down on me, or people like me, just because they don’t seem to really understand what possession of empathy, and a lack of it, means for an individual. So, instead I over exaggerate an emotional response and mimic the other person, because I don’t want to be thought of as less than by some “empath” like Pangloss here.



I do understand what you mean here and partially agree, but I can also see how Pangloss' maternal instinct and protective nature might have shut her empathy down while talking about this other boy. I do agree that talking about narcissism in relation to a little boy is pretty insensitive.

I possess empathy, but I don't think it has anything to do with doing the right thing, doing the right thing is in my case almost always a consious choice, a decision-making process rather than acting on some emotion I pick up.
One of my close friends lacks empathy, she's INTJ but not disordered in any way as far as I know, and she's one of the most moral people I know, so I never connect empathy with being good/bad.

Btw, do you think all BPDs lack affective empathy? Another friend is a borderline, and she has these weird switches from completely shutting it down to wanting to save the world and all homeless people, I get very confused sometimes. :lol:
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby Hebi » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:00 pm

shanzeek wrote:
I do understand what you mean here and partially agree, but I can also see how Pangloss' maternal instinct and protective nature might have shut her empathy down while talking about this other boy. I do agree that talking about narcissism in relation to a little boy is pretty insensitive.

I possess empathy, but I don't think it has anything to do with doing the right thing, doing the right thing is in my case almost always a consious choice, a decision-making process rather than acting on some emotion I pick up.
One of my close friends lacks empathy, she's INTJ but not disordered in any way as far as I know, and she's one of the most moral people I know, so I never connect empathy with being good/bad.

Btw, do you think all BPDs lack affective empathy? Another friend is a borderline, and she has these weird switches from completely shutting it down to wanting to save the world and all homeless people, I get very confused sometimes. :lol:


Ok, that’s valid. I know that when my animals are involved, I can become overprotective and have tunnel vision.

I’m not sure about all BPDs... it’s hard to say. I think I can kind of relate to what you’re saying about your friend. I swear that I have experienced empathy before, but it’s kind of like trying to recall a memory that you’re not sure happened. When I was a kid, I used to be very concerned with the underdogs, those that are down and out, the helpless, less fortunate, I used to cry at all of the commercials of hungry kids and abused animals, but now, it’s hard to say if it was empathy or maybe I was just projecting my own feelings? I don’t know. I do still empathize with animals, I think. Probably because they are incapable of doing the things I’m afraid of people doing.

I know lack of empathy is common in pwBPD, I think it’s a defense mechanism and probably a part of why we can “split” so easily. If you can put yourself into another person’s perspective, that wouldn’t allow you to make them all good or bad, which means we wouldn’t be able to protect ourselves through that black and white thinking?

I think Quoth responded to something SixOClock wrote in the BPD forum. We had mentioned C-PTSD and Quoth mentioned that C-PTSD can cause a lack of empathy as well. I’ve been told I might have that because of some supposed “trauma” I’ve experienced, so it could be that as well? Or BPD, who knows.
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Re: Do empaths have empathy when it counts?

Postby shanzeek » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:46 pm

Hebi wrote:
I think Quoth responded to something SixOClock wrote in the BPD forum. We had mentioned C-PTSD and Quoth mentioned that C-PTSD can cause a lack of empathy as well. I’ve been told I might have that because of some supposed “trauma” I’ve experienced, so it could be that as well? Or BPD, who knows.


Is this trauma in relation to what you wrote in another topic about being engaged to an older guy or is it something from early childhood?
I read your topic about maladaptive daydreaming and Quoth was also mentioning it in another topic here (he said it's a defense mechanism trauma survivors often use), so there might be a connection between the two. I think Quoth can tell us more about it, I know very little about the whole thing.
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