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Emotional Empathy

Shawn Ellis

Shawn Ellis

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Jun 1, 2020
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Is it possible to learn emotional empathy and feel a connection with others?
 
PerpetuallyStuck

PerpetuallyStuck

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May 20, 2020
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546
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I think so. I mean, if you were in an accident or something alongside other people, you'd all have experienced the same situation, and surely you'd feel bad for yourself and the others for what you'd been through.
 
shayshere

shayshere

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Joined
Mar 10, 2020
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EU
My guess is that depends on the person. I don't think learning emotional empathy would be possible for me, or for people who are wired the same way I am. Who knows, maybe it could be possible somehow in the future, but I doubt if everyone would even be willing to learn, or to put effort in learning it.
 
P

pigeons

Active member
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
37
Feeling bad even though im cold is confusing i care and dont care my heads all messed i miss not feeling bad
 
K

karl7

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
536
yeah its definitely possible to learn empathy
 
wraziel

wraziel

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Feb 12, 2020
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271
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Chile
Yes. I'm so empathic with the friendly people of this forum.
 
Z

Zoe1

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Jul 8, 2019
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10,734
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Nowhere
some people find that a pet
will help them to love and be loved

:grouphug: 🐢💜
 
W

WhySoSerious

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Oct 16, 2019
Messages
163
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UK
This is a really interesting question. If you look at many ASPD people they can LOOK LIKE they have empathy when actually they don't FEEL it. Much of this is about mimicking/copying the emotional responses of others in situations and then reciting it back to the person they are "empathising" with. Much in the same way that some autistic people mask their own emotions and mirror the feelings of others to get into friendships (particularly females with autism which is very different to the male presentation).

There is not a huge amount of evidence that ASPD individuals can "learn" empathy which is why they are generally not treated within mainstream MH services. I guess you can begin the process by asking people how another person may feel in a situation (mentalising) but most of the time people without empathy know what they SHOULD feel but simply don't.

Empathy is a pro-social emotion. The function is to bring us closer to other people so that we can feel part of a group and the subsequent "holding" and security that brings us. That is effective if we want social contacts. The problem comes when the non-empathic individual doesn't actually care for others socially or emotionally. There is no drive for them to feel empathy because it is redundant.
 
J

Jomp

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Jul 25, 2020
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Any idiot can understand empathy; we do it all of the time when we react to fear; we imagine something happening to us and we imagine how it would feel and we make a decision to avoid it. That's empathy.

However, that doesn't mean you'll give a shit about anyone else though. That's not empathy; it's the application of empathy. For that, you'll need to care enough about someone for it to have an effect.

For example: right now, thousands of little kids covered in flies are dying in Africa from bad water.Do we care? Not really; not until someone puts an advert with sad music on TV. For empathy to have an effect it needs a trigger, and that trigger needs to be important to you in some way.

You don't mention whether this is new or you've always been like it. I'm guessing new, as there's some compelling event that brought you here. People who've not been doing this ever don't see it as a problem, unless there's something that makes it that way.

Do you care about anything? If not, then I'd imagine there's some more significant issue behind it, such as depression or some form of anxiety; those conditions make people self-focused and less able to genuinely take care of others.
 
W

WhySoSerious

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Oct 16, 2019
Messages
163
Location
UK
Any idiot can understand empathy; we do it all of the time when we react to fear; we imagine something happening to us and we imagine how it would feel and we make a decision to avoid it. That's empathy.

However, that doesn't mean you'll give a shit about anyone else though. That's not empathy; it's the application of empathy. For that, you'll need to care enough about someone for it to have an effect.

For example: right now, thousands of little kids covered in flies are dying in Africa from bad water.Do we care? Not really; not until someone puts an advert with sad music on TV. For empathy to have an effect it needs a trigger, and that trigger needs to be important to you in some way.

You don't mention whether this is new or you've always been like it. I'm guessing new, as there's some compelling event that brought you here. People who've not been doing this ever don't see it as a problem, unless there's something that makes it that way.

Do you care about anything? If not, then I'd imagine there's some more significant issue behind it, such as depression or some form of anxiety; those conditions make people self-focused and less able to genuinely take care of others.
I disagree that "every idiot" can understand empathy. There are actually many people out there that simply don't register with it because its not something that they have ever felt. Others can mimick it to a high level and get by pretending.

I do agree however that if someone wants to fee empathy or closeness that its unlikely they have an innate inability to feel it at a deep level. Most non-empathisers simply don't care to even ask the question because it has no baring on their lives and needs.
 
J

Jomp

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Jul 25, 2020
Messages
72
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UK
I disagree that "every idiot" can understand empathy. There are actually many people out there that simply don't register with it because its not something that they have ever felt. Others can mimick it to a high level and get by pretending.
Everyone gets empathy, if you consider that empathy is the ability to envision someone else's plight happening to us. If you're standing on a train platform and someone jumps onto the tracks, you'll instinctively move backwards because you apply what you see to yourself.

What people think empathy is, is applying that empathy to demonstrate a level of care for others. That's the bit that some need to mimic, because it doesn't trigger a desire in them to help. They feel for themselves, not the other person.

I do agree however that if someone wants to fee empathy or closeness that its unlikely they have an innate inability to feel it at a deep level. Most non-empathisers simply don't care to even ask the question because it has no baring on their lives and needs.
Not showing empathy to others is a severe disability. Empathy is involved in every interaction we have and to not apply that empathy to others has obvious and constant consequences. Not the big stuff, just the day to day stuff.

Walking away from other people when they're talking, facetious comments, giving and removing attention from someone when it suits, inconsistent behaviours, lack of loyalty, switching allegiances. All of these things have a basis in a lack of empathy towards others.

Personally, i wish I had some genuine care for others, as it would make my demonstrations of empathy to others natural, instead of awkward and sporadic, as it is now.

I don't want to care for others, but i do want to be able to put empathy on auto-pilot, instead of it being clumsy and fleeting.
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Jul 31, 2020
Messages
64
Location
Canada
I wonder if perhaps there is some hormonal dysregulation in people who don't experience the feelings of empathy, compassion etc. Only recently I've been trying to learn a little about how hormones basically govern so many processes in the body. Like, one example is we think of people who eat too much (such a common issue) as greedy, but the hormone argument says they simply feel hungry because of insulin and other hormones like ghrelin. Perhaps this is slowly becoming more commonly accepted as a hypothesis or theory. Anyway, I was just wondering if this could also explain antisocial behavior sometimes, if there is a lack of the "love" hormone oxytocin, it would make sense that someone does not have those prosocial feelings.
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
172
Location
Glasgow
Is it possible to learn emotional empathy and feel a connection with others?
I can not stand humans, company or otherwise. But i have four pets whom i love unconditionally so i would say yes its possible
 
J

Jomp

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Jul 25, 2020
Messages
72
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UK
I can not stand humans, company or otherwise. But i have four pets whom i love unconditionally so i would say yes its possible
And yet, you spend time creating an account and commenting on posts from other people. My guess is that you do like people but find it difficult to deal with them face to face.

Animals are easy. You could rape a chicken in front of your dog and, apart from wanting to eat the chicken, the dog wouldn't give a monkey's.

I only mention it because you seem keen to share and offer help to others. What is it about "humans" that you don't like?
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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Jul 16, 2020
Messages
172
Location
Glasgow
And yet, you spend time creating an account and commenting on posts from other people. My guess is that you do like people but find it difficult to deal with them face to face.

Animals are easy. You could rape a chicken in front of your dog and, apart from wanting to eat the chicken, the dog wouldn't give a monkey's.

I only mention it because you seem keen to share and offer help to others. What is it about "humans" that you don't like?
Wow ok your brutal. I have no time for normal humans doing the 2 and a half kids house and dog thing. I do have time for humans that are struggling with life or need a bit of help. And i live with 4 little animals that i dote on and would never chage rhem for a a human
 
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