Saturday, April 12, 2014

Road rage

A funny thing happened to me while I was travelling. I had gotten a car and was having a few problems with local drivers. I had grown up and learned to drive in a place where everyone quickly becomes an expertly efficient driver, or faces very stiff social sanctions, including possibly death. This place had no such rule of the jungle. Everyone, including their cars, was fat and bloated from years of complacency.

I got stuck out on the road during their rush hour, which seemed odd given the size of this place. There was something about their driving that suggested that they were not used to traffic, that maybe it had sprouted up only in the past 5 to 10 years and not everyone had learned to adapt. I was headed south on a broad, multiple lane boulevard and came upon a backed-up the intersection of another large boulevard with highway entrances. I waited in line for two lights, passing the time reading comments from the blog on my smart phone. During the green light that should have allowed me to cross, someone cut into my lane, slowing me down enough to keep me from proceeding through the intersection. I didn’t really mind. I had nothing to do, nowhere to go, and I was entertaining myself with my music and reading material.

Cross traffic took their turn, but quickly became backed up in the intersection. Cars just kept coming even though there was no way for them to clear the intersection in time. When the light turned green for me again, there was a car completely blocking not just my lane, but the lane next to me. I wondered at the driver's stupidity and waited for social sanctions in the form of honking, yelling, and fist shaking, but they never came. Was that my role as the driver closest to her, best informed as to the problem? I let out a few beeps in quick succession, heard a longer one from a few cars back in response, but nothing else. But when I looked at her, I didn’t feel like doing anything more. Both hands were on the wheel at 10 and 2, fists clenched to the point of whiteness. She purposefully avoided eye contact, staring ahead as if realizing she was about to endure the worst 1 minute of her day. She was so rigidly focused on enduring her fate that she didn’t even attempt to move one lane over, which if maneuvered correctly could free up at least one lane of traffic. I felt badly for her.

We waited that light out, staring at her. When she finally cleared the intersection and cross traffic picked up again, I was determined not to let the same situation happen again. I creeped further into the intersection myself, rolled down the window and gave various gestures and commands meant to dissuade others from enter the intersection unless they could safely clear it. When the light turned green, I sped off, taking back roads the rest of the way.

I had a small crisis of identity. Had I just empathized with that woman? Was I finally tapping into that piece of humanity that I lacked? Looking at her, clearly in a state of nervous discomfort, I myself felt nauseated and uncomfortable. Was that me mirroring her own emotions, or was that the heat, the humidity, and my food not agreeing with me? Twenty minutes later I determined affirmatively that it was the food, but for those twenty minutes I had a very Grinch moment of wondering whether my heart was growing three sizes. It wasn't at all unpleasant.

Moral of the story is that road rage kills, kids.

UPDATE: Interestingly, since this post was initially published, research has shown that sociopaths actually can feel empathy in certain situations when their attention is drawn to the task of trying to imagine what it might be like to be that person.  

119 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are going through a bit of a revolution of the mind lately, M.E. Or at least a lot of self-questioning. You're getting to that age where mortality becomes more real, perhaps, and it's all like, "What the fuck am I doing with my life? Who am I?"

    Or perhaps I'm just projecting.

    But I think it's good that you are not so rigid in yourself as a lot of sociopaths are. At least enough to have the courage to ask say stuff like, "Had I just empathized with that woman? .... It wasn't at all unpleasant."

    For better or for worse, though, is not for me to judge. Either way I'd say it's brave.

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    1. Medusa you fat cunt. When are you going to leave this place and never come back?

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  2. Pissing Off The BeepersMarch 19, 2011 at 6:22 AM

    I just kicked my dog.

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  3. “Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all. For now you are traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be.” Meg Cabot

    Agreed Medusa. The bravest act I believe anyone in this community can do is to shift one's distain of into a pure and fierce admiration.

    Not self-acceptance. Not finding a label that is the precise fit. Not blaming the world for its filth and disfunction. Not striking back from the pain and loneliness. The true super human abilities are in a certain flexibility and resiliency. Mercurial at its best.

    Shock jocking the inner killer into a Witness.

    Road rage kills . . . what wants to die!

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  4. I nearly went over the edge yesterday. My aunt and her guy friend were in the kitchen talking, her friend is a 40 something year old low life who never dated, he lives with his dog. He is very cynical and sensitive so not many people argue with him, but he isn't ruthless, I don't know him much to talk to and I haven't tried to make friendship with him. I don't like how he leaves his dog with my aunt in a house that i have to live in so I don't approve of him.

    I asked my aunt why there was no bottled water in the fridge, he was sitting there and i said it in a domineering tone. I told her she better buy some clean water for the house. I anticipated that he was going to say something, he did and he said "just drink the tap water, all water is the same" I burst out laughing in his face which must have made him feel like a fool, and i said "you are nearly as closed minded as her" pointing at my aunt, he looked like he wanted an argument, but he clearly fucked with the wrong person, he told me to get a grip and that you breath in chemicals every day that damage your health, so water wont make a difference.

    I was eating an orange and his dog was walking around at my feet, i picked off a lump of the orange, threw it and smacked it off the head of the dog and it ran under the table, I was furious because this idiot answered me back in my own home, I told him he better not leave his dog in my house if he wants to see it again. He already thinks i abuse the dog because it runs for cover when I'm around.

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  5. wow adam. you hit a dog on the head with a piece of orange! damn you are one bad muthafucka!

    all of the real psychos on this blog sound like they've been involved some serious and crazy shit. throwing an orange at a dogs head ain't that big a deal.

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  6. It's not about the dog, it's about asserting control, now the guy is terrified.

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  7. If the guy is really terrified by that, he's got more problems than you do.

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    1. People like you both are blind. Your planet is cold and dirty. Only pain around. It's sad. Sad that you cannot feel joy, love... always controling. Why don't you kill yourself? I don't get it. Are you able to feel physical pain, or not even that?

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  8. sounds like a very boring part of an episode of dexter

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  9. Lol, medusa all courageous on the Internet.

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  10. Libya is about to get leveled.

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  11. another road rage story.

    Imagine two lanes in the same direction, and a huge truck on the left lane, first at the stop sign waiting to turn right, his blinker on. I am approaching to the stop sign on the right lane. The truck will need more space than a normal car, so I stop leaving about two car distance in front of me to facilitate his right turn.

    The road rage bimbo behind me gets pissed, makes an accelerated move, passes me from the right on the dirt, and goes to the truck's blind spot, right next to his cabin and stops.

    That's when the truck starts his right turn, unaware that she is there, squeezing her car like a little piece of trash while she is screaming and trying to move onto her right, to the passenger seat, to escape her death.

    I watched this in slow motion with no sorrow for her car or her experience. I questioned momentarily if I set her up and then let that thought go away, she was fully responsible for her action. Dumb driver.

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  12. It was you being disgusted by her behavior and how it wasted your time. If it was empathy you would have tried to help her out.

    I would have made it even more awkward by more honking and yelling.

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  13. It was you being disgusted by her behavior and how it wasted your time. If it was empathy you would have tried to help her.

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  14. Friggin noobs. I rob banks every day and I'm 6 ft 2 and 300 pounds of solid muscle, fucking noobs.

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  15. Empathy doesn't always result in or even require action, anon.

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  16. Wow, I don't know, M.E., if that was empathy. The way you describe it sounds very much like I've read other people describe it... generally non-psychopathic people, but some sociopaths and AsPDers can have such experiences too.

    Maybe it's just one of those things that happens when one focuses on a specific topic for a very long time, which you have (2 years, right?).

    I guess you were bound to experience it SOMETIME. Maybe it'll happen for me too?

    But you write it wasn't nice?

    So does this mean you're not really interested in developing normal people's emotion range?

    Or did you find that 'human quality' in it that makes normal people state with such conviction that they'd never want to be without their emotions - the same way that many of us states that we'd never want to be without our clarity and ability to stay calm?

    Please do address these questions in a blog somehow. I'm absolutely sure it will be of worth, and to both groups of the human species!


    When I started reading today's article I was amused, because I kept thinking about the traffic in the other end of the spectrum, namely one where the conditions you were taught to write under is the norm about how people drive (I'm talking about a visit to Northern Europe where traffic is very orderly, and sanctions for blowing the horn extensively most certainly WILL happen).

    What I found funny was the fact that people get just as upset and angry and 'road raged'. It doesn't matter that they behave well like kinder garden sheep, the driving rage phenomena is apparently the same everywhere.

    But then I reached the part with your empathy experience, and it just ... well, leaves me puzzled. I wish I could say something that might help you find out what it really was - also because I'm very curious myself and would like to understand.

    I hope you'll elaborate a bit once you've thought it through some more and maybe looked up possible explanations.

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  17. Oh, I overlooked the "It wasn't at all unpleasant" part.

    Okay. I see. Interesting.

    Thanks for sharing, M.E.!

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  18. I guess you were bound to experience it SOMETIME. Maybe it'll happen for me too?

    But you write it wasn't nice?


    I think you misread the penultimate sentence of the post. Re-read.

    Unless he meant that feeling Grinchy was the pleasant part, not the strange empathy feelings.

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  19. Ah, nevermind then.

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  20. Cod:

    "Friggin noobs. I rob banks every day and I'm 6 ft 2 and 300 pounds of solid muscle, fucking noobs."

    Every day? Yeah, right!.. Pfh...

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  21. I wish I could say something that might help you find out what it really was...

    Pretty simple: it was empathy, by definition. Doesn't matter how it came about, or what route his mind took to get there.

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. Shallow empathy is a trait of psychopathy, it means you can empathise but you don't care either way, it never said no empathy, we aren't aliens.

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  24. Medusa:

    "Pretty simple: it was empathy, by definition. Doesn't matter how it came about, or what route his mind took to get there."

    Hm, yeah maybe. I don't know, how can you tell?

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  25. Anon 12:16:

    "Shallow empathy is a trait of psychopathy, it means you can empathise but you don't care either way, it never said no empathy, we aren't aliens."

    Well said. Exactly how I see it.

    But... I'm sure you also know we're different in between, yes? Some have an easier time with empathy than others, just a fact.

    I know I know how to have sympathy. But I also know there's a difference, but can't quite put my finger on what it is. I have to take those people's words for it who knows both emotions/feelings on a daily basis (or frequent basis anyway).

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  26. Also, you just displayed a bit of that rigidity I mentioned in my first comment.

    If something looks like empathy, or anything that a sociopath is not supposed to experience, you (not specifically 'you' in particular) are wanting to find an explanation around it to keep the status quo, and find a way to define the experience without using the word 'empathy', or anything that might take you outside of what you thought you were, or used to be, or want to be, or want to remain in, or whatever. Fitting experiences into a pre-defined scope, like an outline in permanent marker.

    Becoming your diagnosis.

    Such rigidity, of course, is not limited to sociopaths. Empaths can be the same.

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  27. Zhawq I'm surprised you bothered to write a reply to cod gamer, considering it quite obviously isn't serious.

    Unless you are also joking, in which case you should make it more clear.

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  28. I feel small amouts of empathy sometimes, but it isn't enough to make me want to help out.

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  29. empathy w no action okMarch 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    If the woman was a socio she could have been pretending to be frustrated while deliberately doing so and entertaining herself. In that sense ME was assuming what a normal person would be feeling in her case, and call that empathy.

    So, without empathy you are at 50-50, with empathy you are at 50-50 in terms of knowing what the other is really feeling. But that 50-50 assumes people are equally likely to have a mask or not in a situation, and that, of course, is not true.

    In my family, every individual has a different chance of lying at any moment, and that realization only came to me after many many years because I only gave them the truth, and assumed they were doing the same. Now, I try not to give them any information because I saw proof that they were not believing my truth (I tend to be the one living with totally different ethics, and adventures, and away from them most of the time).

    So, overall it's ok for me to assume people are at 50-50 in general.

    Where does that leave ME? Was he empathizing? Or, was he just caring for the discomfort that he assumed she must be having?

    And, yes, just because I empathize does not mean I'll move my finger for the person. Depends on the priorities at the moment.

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  30. I don't know, how can you tell?

    Logic. As in, N = N.

    as if realizing she was about to endure the worst 1 minute of her day... I felt badly for her.

    =

    (from wiki) Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another semi-sentient being.

    Not more complicated than that.

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  31. Was he empathizing?

    =

    Or, was he just caring for the discomfort that he assumed she must be having?

    Again, both questions are the same question. N = N.

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  32. Doesn't matter if what you think the other person is feeling is correct or not. If you feel badly for another, even if that other person is not really feeling badly, it still counts.

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  33. If it helps.... when I'm in a similar situation as you were and someone doesn't have the judgement to not block an intersection, mostly what I feel is annoyance at their lack of foresight. They /should/ feel uncomfortable because they did something rather dumb, though ultimately innocuous.

    Such new experience is curious and certainly something to take note of.

    I guess a question to ask yourself would be... have you ever felt the way that you believe that woman was feeling? That slight embarrassment, praying for the light to change so you can turn down a road and remove yourself from the presence of anyone that may have seen your momentary humiliation? If not, that it may have been sympathy, but you can't truly have empathy for someone unless you have experienced the feeling they are having and connect with them on a level of shared emotion (discomfort).

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  34. Note: Sympathy and empathy are different things.

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  35. From wiki:

    Although empathy and sympathy are often used interchangeably, a subtle variation in ordinary usage can be detected. To empathize is to respond to another's perceived emotional state by experiencing feelings of a similar sort. Sympathy not only includes empathizing, but also entails having a positive regard or a non-fleeting concern for the other person.

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  36. Okay. I got it wrong I can sympathise perfectly but I have no empathy. I wasn't sure what empathy meant.

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  37. This is a better explanation of the distinction:

    Sympathy and empathy are both acts of feeling, but with sympathy you feel for the person; you’re sorry for them or pity them, but you don’t specifically understand what they’re feeling. Sometimes we’re left with little choice but to feel sympathetic because we really can’t understand the plight or predicament of someone else. It takes imagination, work, or possibly a similar experience to get to empathy.

    Empathy can best be described as feeling with the person. Notice the distinction between for and with. To an extent you are placing yourself in that person’s place, have a good sense of what they feel, and understand their feelings to a degree. It may be impossible to be fully empathetic because each individual's reactions, thoughts and feelings to tragedy are going to be unique. Yet the idea of empathy implies a much more active process. Instead of feeling sorry for, you’re sorry with and have clothed yourself in the mantle of someone else’s emotional reactions.

    It is fairly easy to feel sympathetic to someone else’s difficulties. We can definitely pity others who have lost a loved one, undergone significant trauma, or faced terribly difficult times. Those of us who watched the terror of the 9/11 attacks could certainly sympathize, but could we empathize? Actually, many of us could, though few of us can lay claim to really knowing what it might be like to either be in that attack or lose loved ones in it.

    Sympathy expressed to a person in grief suggests that person is alone in their grief. Empathy suggests you’re in it with them, you can imagine what it is to be in their shoes, and you are together with them in emotional turmoil and loss. Even the best people in the world may have a hard time expressing true empathy.

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  38. I left out some bits of that I probably shouldn't have, but you can go read it yourselves.

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  39. @Medusa... yes, this was exactly what I was getting at. Without real shared emotional experience, it may not be empathy at all, but sympathy. Still an interesting experience, but from a socio point of view, probably not something to worry too much about.

    Speaking of odd projection though, as someone that tends to feel too much, I sort of hope it's not empathy. I wouldn't wish empathy on anyone. At least not the way I experience it.

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  40. Hahahhahahaahahahahahahaha guyMarch 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    HahahhahahahahhahahahahhhahahahahahahhahahahhhahHhHahahahah

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  41. I wouldn't wish empathy on anyone.

    Well, you are BPD so of course you'd say that :)

    Everything in moderation. Ideally.

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  42. That was me. In case that wasn't obvious.

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  43. Empathy and guilt are useless emotions, they only do you harm. Sympathy is the ability to read without feeling. I think that's were they got the term "they know the words but not the music"

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  44. I would argue that the psychopaths ability to hone in on weaknesses is credit to our ability of great sympathy.

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  45. Adam you wouldn't have a place to live if your Aunt didn't have empathy. She had to feel for you to give you a place to live.
    And it's not your home it's her's.
    And stop throwing oranges around her house.

    ME would not have had anything to comment about if the feeling he was having wasn't one he was familiar with. So I'd say it was a sort of empathy.

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  46. Lol she was going out with her friends last night and I walked into the room were they were, I had a peice of paper in my hand and she asked what it was for, I had wrote down "release program" on the page and a field for her signature ha ha. I told her she could only go out if she signed it LMAO, it started off as a joke but I got more into it and actually tried to get her to sign it. I have a weird sense of humour.

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  47. Hm...

    You know what, I'm not sure if I can sympathize with someone.

    It's all wrapped up in the possibility of deceit turning into self-deceit. I emulated people who were sympathizing with others=, to see their facial reactions, body language, and sometimes the physically ill looks that they give when they are.

    I know I can damn well fake it too, as I've had to in most cases. However, when you do something for many years, it stops being something premeditated and becomes something reflexive.

    I can't remember anything from my youth where I felt genuine sympathy for someone. One of my earlier memories was my friend fatally splitting his head open at a playground. I mean, yes, I was a kid, but I didn't feel any anguish about the ordeal, and I thought all the blood looked pretty damn cool, but I had no idea what his family was going through. TO this day, I can't sympathize with someone genuinely about the death of a loved one, even though I've lost family and friends.

    So why would I genuinely sympathize with someone who had a shitty day in traffic, or broke up with their boyfriend/girlfriend?

    I don't think I would. Yes, I can conjure the, "That sucks" response, but to feel it? I don't think so.

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  48. Empathy and guilt are useless emotions, they only do you harm.

    You are adorable, but deluded.

    1. Empathy is not an emotion. It's an action.

    2. Without empathy, all of humankind would have destroyed itself long ago and you wouldn't even be around to say stupid stuff like this.

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  49. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGGAOig2unc

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  50. That's quite possibly the worst rap song I've ever heard. At least I know where Rebecca Black got her inspiration from.

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  51. However, when you do something for many years, it stops being something premeditated and becomes something reflexive.

    I just would like to go off of this excerpt and point out that this is also the case with empathy. It's a learned behavior, as I've said many times before. This 'reflexiveness' with regards to empathy is why people are often deluded into thinking that empathy is a born quality, or somehow innate. It's only the desire for survival that's innate, and it's from that survival instinct that empathy is created, as a survival tool.

    Some people find loopholes around that, obviously. Such a need to find loopholes is a survival tool in and of itself.

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  52. Let me try and articulate it in a way less vague, hopefully.

    You're a politician, and some weeping mother comes towards you after a speech and is having a fit, she just learned her son died in the war. It's your duty as a representative of your country to console her, and do your best to seem sympathetic or empathetic, but two minutes later, she's gone, and you never see her again, nor even heard how he died or what type of man he was. The whole situation was a nuisance, and the only thing you could benefit from it was a few choice photographs being taken of you being strong and supportive for her before she dashed off.

    That's not something premeditated, just something you had to learn to do for the position you've been put in. I can't expect every person who is NT would give a crap about this woman. Would you? She's weeping mom #2134.

    I have to be convincing, to try and look like I really do care, if I want to sell it. That means going the whole nine yards. I don't have to stop and pull out a clip board with check boxes to pick and choose the tools I need, I just go with what's worked before, and what I think will work this time. While it's happening, I'm doing my best sell the part, and when it's done and I'm out of sight, I either think, "We'll that went well," or "Thank god that fucking thing's over." There's no lingering feelings, and none while it's happening.

    However, people of the spectrum are varied, even common labels aren't 100% the same. So while at most my genuine sympathy composes of, "Wow, yeah that does suck" from an observational point of view, another person might feel that anguish to some limited extent.

    Sadness is something I've never felt through experience, but apparently others in the spectrum have. Perhaps sympathy is just another thing that others are "blessed" enough to know.

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  53. I can feel. Its just at a different frequency. More primal. The guilt is missing. I love to break rules. Fun. I do care for loved one's betterment. I feel a maternal nurturance mixed with an amoral deep understanding. Relationships are essential, the one's I let in, and I am the one most people come to for an unique opinion with a lack of judgement. Pain, loss and death are natural. So I do not find them a tragedy. Yet I do grieve.

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  54. I like to build up people, or, their betterment, Soulful. But I don't give a crap when I see them get knocked down usually.

    I think it's me more being prideful and enjoying my own capabilities than genuinely caring about the person.

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  55. When you are a parent you develop different neurological resources. If you don't care you have more problems down the road.

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  56. I'll have to take your word for it. I haven't lost anything that caused me true grievance.

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  57. Perhaps you experience something other than grief?

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  58. Like the anger at the loss of a possession?

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  59. I am very possessive. Being territorial is an expression of love for me. I'm am not very jealous of envious. I find those functions limiting. Being possessive is like breathing.

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  60. It depends. I've moved so many times, and had to give up so many friends, objects, places of living, that it's really hard for me to get too attached to any one thing. I more get angry when someone/thing encroaches on me, more than the actual loss, you know?

    But sometimes it does happen. I had a hat I bought a while ago that I really liked, and when I got drunk on St. Patrick's day I lost it. I was angry about that. Did I grieve? *chuckles* No, but I liked that damn hat...

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  61. The only time i can remember feeling sad is when my Budgerigar died, I got over it in like 10 minutes. I do have self pity though, i like to give myself a huge hug when I'm wronged.

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  62. Medusa, ... and others,

    "Doesn't matter if what you think the other person is feeling is correct or not. If you feel badly for another, even if that other person is not really feeling badly, it still counts."

    But is that not pity?


    "Although empathy and sympathy are often used interchangeably, a subtle variation in ordinary usage can be detected. To empathize is to respond to another's perceived emotional state by experiencing feelings of a similar sort. Sympathy not only includes empathizing, but also entails having a positive regard or a non-fleeting concern for the other person."


    This is what I call Sympathy:

    When I quite plainly cannot feel what another is feeling, but I choose to believe them because I know them well enough to see they're being honest about what they say they experience/d. But it also takes for me to have decided I like them on some level, which almost always includes respect.


    I thought that was what sympathy meant. I think there're a variety of definitions, I've seen it with several terms on Wiki.

    Again, about Empathy. I 'think' I sometimes feel ... maybe that. I'll try to explain:

    Sometimes, if I see a person experiencing something I recognize as something that I myself associate with discomfort, I can get this short sense of ... how to say it ... an image of something like that which I am witnessing, that I have felt myself once.
    Of course, it lasts only an instant, but it's enough for me to think to myself: "I think I know some of what they may be feeling!" And I've also went as far as to think: "I wouldn't want to experience that!", and thereby actually sticking with that emotion a little longer.

    I'm not lying or bragging or trying to sound like a saint, but I sometimes do this voluntarily, because I WANT to know what others feel, I want it badly enough to be willing to go through what they go through - or so I think at this point. I may change my mind if I eventually get to feel what others feel, of course. But at this point I'm just very, very curious.

    What M.E. writes about it not being all unpleasant, I've thought about that since I read it.

    It touched with some resonance in me, and I found out what it was: I have frightened many people over the years, sometime on a longterm basis, which can be very stressful and create unpleasant changes in the individual - both for them and for others, aesthetically and in every way.

    Yet, I have also experienced fear from time to time - especially when I was younger. And it was THAT I recognized in M.E.'s words. To me fear is not a one sided unpleasant feeling. I'll go as far as to say that I've sought up situations that would trigger fear responses in me, because of the good sides of what that feeling brought with it.


    I haven't succeeded in creating such a possibility of experiencing empathy, but what M.E. wrote COULD be the first clue to a way of doing it. That's why it's interesting to me and ... yes, fascinating.

    I've read a lot of M.E.'s articles by now and have become accustomed to seeing like pretty much the same kind of person like I am. So to suddenly hear he has cracked the Empathy puzzle is news that hit home on my widescreen, I assure you!

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  63. Medusa:

    "Sympathy and empathy are both acts of feeling, but with sympathy you feel for the person; you’re sorry for them or pity them, but you don’t specifically understand what they’re feeling. Sometimes we’re left with little choice but to feel sympathetic because we really can’t understand the plight or predicament of someone else."

    That's it! I know this feeling!! That is how I feel when I feel sympathy or empathy. This is good.

    Thanks for the link. I'm keeping it. - I'll not comment on the rest of of the text, for I know how it will sound if I do. But it's good to have it, because I honestly am interested in this. - I don't like the notion that something should be completely closed land to me, I can't make myself believe it. And so, I'll get there too... in my own good time, and people can call me what they like in the meantime. ;)

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  64. Adam, I understand you throwing the orange peel at the dog. It was hungry and the man was starving it. Next time try not to hit the doggie in the face. Also, make sure to wash the chemicals off the peel before throwing it. The dog appreciated this. He's fucking starving!

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  65. Notable:

    "So why would I genuinely sympathize with someone who had a shitty day in traffic, or broke up with their boyfriend/girlfriend?"

    To me it's very simple, and I'd also say life would be difficult without some display of sympathy: It's an act of will. You have a choice here, opposite with Empathy - if I've understood it correctly, and I actually think I have.
    Why sympathy? Because it's good to have allies, or friends, of family. At least when you live in a city.
    I think, if I lived in a the woods, I'd have sympathy with a fe animals I'd somehow get to know and recognize. Okay, maybe far fetched, it's so hard to talk about feelings - and I keep feeling very stupid when I do.

    Anyway:

    Medusa:

    "1. Empathy is not an emotion. It's an action.

    2. Without empathy, all of humankind would have destroyed itself long ago and you wouldn't even be around to say stupid stuff like this."

    This is the exact opposite of the descriptions I've seen most places and heard from most people. I think Empathy is the one with the emotional involvement, and sympathy is the one where you can chose to be involved or not.

    "However, when you do something for many years, it stops being something premeditated and becomes something reflexive."

    True. Like habit, programming and robotics.


    "This 'reflexiveness' with regards to empathy is why people are often deluded into thinking that empathy is a born quality, or somehow innate."

    I think there's a lot of discussions about this. I haven't formed an opinion, for I have nothing to base it on. I've no siblings and no children (none living with me or that I know, anyway), and I've not studied this aspect of being human.

    "Some people find loopholes around that, obviously. Such a need to find loopholes is a survival tool in and of itself."

    Okay, you said it yourself. ;)


    Soulful:

    "Yet I do grieve."

    Oh. Another one I also don't have - along with the sadness Noatble mentions.

    Look, I don't care if people think I'm limited or text book or whatever.

    I know I have capacity for lots of feelings, and strong ones too. No one will ever convince me differently - maybe on an intellectual level, that I can walk the distance and see that from an NT perspective I look as if I have limited range of feeliongs and those I have are shallow.

    To me, personally, it is different though. In short you can say: I KNOW differently - no matter what the scans show! Feelings are more than a flat line on a monitor!!

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  66. Reading these definitions I myself have posted I think I pretty much really do lack empathy. Except when it comes to animals.

    I am good in walking in another's shoes, but there is no emotion attached.

    Otherwise, I guess I can feel sympathy. But to feel what someone else is feeling takes conscious work for me, and is something that has never really occurred to me to do (or I've been uninterested in doing it) until fairly recently.

    In love relationships I tend to get sympathy and empathy confused. I feel for the other, but it has always turned out to be pity. It feels like love sometimes, but it's not.

    I chaulk this up to intimacy issues, though, and not some sort of PD (though I guess all PDs stem from intimacy issues). A learned response to experiences in my childhood and youth, my relationship with my parents, my innate tendencies, and my bloodline.

    Or something. I'm not completely sure about any of this.

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  67. my guess is you are a narcissist medusa. have you considered that? although i have to admit, i don't know too many narcissists who like animals

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  68. Being realistic, people should't worry about psychopaths, there aren't that many of them. Men and women who get into trouble every week aren't the ones that should be seen as dangerous, it's the quiet and groomed ones you need to watch, as they know how to blend in.

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  69. Anon, yes. I was fairly convinced I was one when I first arrived here. Partially because the dude I was dating had projection problems.

    I have strong narc tendencies, but not NPD. I'm very self-involved in a private way, and it's never had malignant effects on others. No one has ever called me a narcissist in real life or told me that I was too self-involved or anything of that manner.

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  70. I usually score a 'moderate' on that personality disorder test thing for narcissism. Never 'high' or 'very high'.

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  71. I've decided to collect my thoughts and settle down, I'm not a loose cannon but I find it hard to take disagreement and I'm going to have to if i want to acheive wealth and what not.

    I will always have the easier road than most because fabricating my past or acheivments is always an option. I have talent of promoting my self, I take the best pictures, wear good clothes and say all the right things but I'm constantly changeing my mind about what I want to do, I want people to bend over for me without lifting a finger, well some do but not on a mass scale.

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  72. I'd say I have a case of arrested development. Stuck emotionally in my late teen years until recently, where you always think you are right about everything, your way is the right way, and you have all kinds of existential crises and that sorta shit.

    Not arrested at age 3 or 6 like ASPD/BPD/NPD.

    Lack of intimacy and limited relationship experience with and interest in others is the cause and the effect.

    I tend to score highest on 'avoidant'.

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  73. Wtf

    According to the Mach-IV scale I am a Machiavellian.

    I think it's wrong.

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  74. It's probably because you've spent too much time around here :)

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  75. I got 87/100. It's not a great test though.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Well is there a better one?

    I got 60/100.

    Too high

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  77. So what do you think your diagnoses is, Medusa?

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  78. I'm pretty positive I have an extreme case of NPD and I'm so paranoid that my paranoia could be seen as a personality disorder, paranoia could be positive but it makes me fear people are scheming against me. It's all about asserting mass image control idk, sort of like what dictators do, then again I am a mini dictator.

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  79. Medusa = Passive aggressive personality disorder with schizoid and narcissistic traits?

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  80. "but it makes me fear people are scheming against me."

    We are (: hehehehehehehe mwa hahahahahaha MWA HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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  81. I am with you. I don't know myself as well. I'm just starting to see things more clearly. It's confusing. I am fucked right now, like so many people here have stated. I don't care for feeling sorry for myself. Things have changed recently. I feel like the self portrait of Kramer: "hideous, yet I can't look away"

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  82. You probably are you fucker.

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  83. Who gives a fuck if you are, Jackoff at 7:51

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  84. What PD tests do you guys use? Not that I really need one having been clinically diagnosed, but I'm always curious.

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  85. Who are you addressing , Adam?

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  86. I have also been clinically diagnosed. I'm sure something has gone awry since then.

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  87. booooooring. I don't know what happened to the interesting guys but all of you suck.

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  88. Nice to see you back UKan.

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  89. I gotta get going. Have a gn, yous.

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  90. where the fuck is ukan?

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  91. sounds like denial or ptsdMarch 19, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    One of my earlier memories was my friend fatally splitting his head open at a playground. I mean, yes, I was a kid, but I didn't feel any anguish about the ordeal, and I thought all the blood looked pretty damn cool... TO this day, I can't sympathize with someone genuinely about the death of a loved one, even though I've lost family and friends.

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  92. No diagnosis. Nor do I want one.

    I ain't so passive aggresive these days, just aggresssive. active aggresive

    I think I just went lesbian tonight. Justs cuz it's new territory.

    I;m sortta drunks, ii don't relaly drink.

    I'm doing a quasi impression of TNP now.

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  93. Damn I had a fun Saturday night. First time in ages since I've gotten high, and weed is still disappointing, but the party wasn't, haha! God, I felt like a kid again tonight.

    I just about choked from laughter when someone said Medusa was passive aggressive. I was like, where the passive at, yo?

    PTSD, oh, that would be convenient. Man, have you ever seen that before, all that blood? You wouldn't think a little kid would be carrying all that much. Blood has only weirded me out once, and it wasn't the blood per se. My hands were covered in my own blood, and I can kind of flipping out from what happened, and I guess I spaced out, because when I snapped out of it, my hands were already caked.

    Speaking of wild night, hahaha!

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  94. shut up you faggot.

    ReplyDelete
  95. 1:

    "Zhawq I'm surprised you bothered to write a reply to cod gamer, considering it quite obviously isn't serious.

    Unless you are also joking, in which case you should make it more clear."

    Actually I replied because I hoped to take others like him up front, hoping they'd see it wouldn't work and then decide to go elsewhere with their idiocy.

    That said, it wasn't the smartest thing to leave such a statement on a public forum, and I'm going to delete it when I've posted this.


    Medusa:

    "I tend to score highest on 'avoidant'."

    but:

    "I ain't so passive aggresive these days, just aggresssive. active aggresive"

    Erhh... You making fun with us, Medusa? ;D

    ReplyDelete
  96. Medusa,

    you made a post at 12:23 - I couldn't see who it was addressed to, but nobody answered, and since I was pretty much the one who had an exchange with you before that, I'll take it as if it was meant for me.

    You wrote:

    "Also, you just displayed a bit of that rigidity I mentioned in my first comment."

    Okay, I guess after reading the rest of my posts (if indeed you have done that) you'll not be inclined to see it quite this way anymore. Or?

    I've always had an opposition towards status quo, I think it's unhealthy and it represents everything I do not go well with. It is the truly deadly aspect in life, at least as much so as are the opposite extremes (put in plur because chaos has endless variety whereas status quo is just that: Stagnation, stillness, non-motion aka non-life).

    I've been researching my diagnosis this last half year - something I now wish I'd done when I first got it at 18 yr. Then again, I'd probably not been ready to see things from the neurotypical perspective.

    The thing is, that now I am beginning to understand WHY they see me as shallow, flat affective, etc.

    It still doesn't mean I think the same about myself, but at least it's also not me holding on to status quo. I never did, I just didn't understand and was very oppositional towards a society that had a notion that sat so wrong with me.

    No, I'm definitely not rigid at all. I'm among the open regulars frequenting this blog.

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  97. Haven

    My results tend to vary quite a bit on this thing every time I take it.

    Paranoid: Moderate
    Schizoid: High
    Schizotypal: High
    Antisocial: Moderate
    Borderline: Moderate
    Histrionic: Moderate
    Narcissistic: High
    Avoidant: High
    Dependent: Moderate
    Obsessive-Compulsive: High

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  98. You may have felt empathy before you compartmentalized it. You had more important things to worry about--like getting through traffic. Most of us do it on a daily basis. It just doesn't make sense to waste time or energy feeling sorry for people who choose their own paths through life. It's not necessarily a psychopathic trait, either. It's a trait of people smart enough to avoid wasting their lives handing food out to the homeless, etc. Sounds healthy enough to me.

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  99. If I see suffering on tv or hear about a tragic event like a tornado I put myself in their shoes and actually feel very sad. When I am in the presence of someone feeling down or sad I either do not feel this or won't allow the feeling to take over because it wouldn't be helpful. Its only when I'm removed from the situation that I really let the emotions hit me. I'm really bad at consoling but I am always willing to help, I just thinka situation with 2 emotional people never turns out well. I should say also I do not enjoy the feeling or idea of someone consoling me probably why I don't do it.

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  100. This is important: When you are a victim of someone's road
    rage, DON'T engage them, ignore them as best you can, or
    shrugg your shoulders and say,"What did I do? Usually, they
    will just curse you out or ignore you. A few ARE spoiling for a fight
    to prove their "manhood," but generally the anger dissipates
    quickly.
    By no means should you react to provacations. That might
    result in someone's death, for nothing really.

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  101. M.E. - for what it is worth, we are not the same throughout our lives. I heard a psychiatrist discuss psychopathy on the radio. He said that many people who would receive the diagnosis at an early age, would decades later not have received them.

    I myself remember a colder self that grew warmer as I grew older. Not just colder in a bit chillier way, but in a total lack of respect for other peoples emotions, lack of respect of laws and rules in general, and total diconnection from those around me. The only thing that really satisfied me was my own power that I could execute on those around me, and the thrills of playing with risk and the breaking of norms.

    It might seem strange coming from an empath, but I believe that for at least myself, there are many parts of me that can emerge under different conditions. I believe no person is static, even if al speaks for the opposite.

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    Replies
    1. I firmly believe that diagnosing on Axis II under the age of 25 is not very accurate. Many people forget to take into account our psychosocial stages (Erikson) of development and I feel that should be the first consideration.

      But what I feel what so many on this blog don't understand is that a Personality Disorder is defined as that part of a personality that is really "over the top". It's so much more prominent than "I feel no empathy sometimes" or "I have paranoid thoughts some days". It's that aspect of the personality that is dominant all the time. It pervades the entire thought process and dictates every behavior. And when you meet someone with that diagnosis you know it right away.

      MelissaR

      Delete
    2. They nixed the axis system in the DSM 5, but in the 4th edition, axis II consisted of personality disorders along with retardation. I could never figure out why they put personality disorders in that category.

      Delete
  102. Psychologists are taught to turn off feelings of empathy. Maybe they should study themselves... jk :)

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    Replies
    1. No. They're taught to model or reflect back what the patient is doing. If you don't like what you see in the mirror...

      Delete
    2. You're talking about clinical psychologists. I was talking more about research psychologists, especially Ph.D.'s, not so much Psy.D.'s. Ph.D.'s are taught to shut off emotion for research.

      Delete
    3. That sockpuppet theme topic got me thinking some more. Uber-Psychopaths, the worst of the worst..what are those things? Answer: "sockpuppet-people" run by an invisible red hand, zodiac Scorpio folks with antisocial leanings. Anyone having studied true crime books looking for birth dates of the worst specimens know I´m right. Super-psychopaths. This should become a new topic some day..

      Delete
    4. Why would empathy be needed for research in any field? Research is compiling and analyzing data (sitting at a computer), reading, and applying critical thinking skills. Empathy is just not a factor in that context.

      Delete
    5. They are taught this way because the field doesn't want the researchers own biases and emotions interfering with the results of the research. Also, a lot of research deals with extremely emotional issues such as child abuse so it's important that researcher don't respond to the stimuli the way others would.

      Delete
  103. https://www.facebook.com/barbie.corpse this person is a fucking sociopath

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  104. We are water. I feel empathy when the water thaws.

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  105. And I don't know if I like that.... I think I like it where I am ice crystals from space.

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  106. I'm an empath. But I am also a lefty. Interestingly, I don't do *everything* left handed. I write left handed, throw left handed, swing a bat left handed, but I kick with my right foot and play tennis right handed.

    Turns out, that's normal. Most left-handed people are not full lefties. Same could be true of sociopaths, seeing as being one seems to have to do with how your brain is wired (rather than how you were raised). It could be that it's more normal to have a mixed bag of traits and tendencies, rather than being a fully empathetic or non-empathetic person. We just notice when someone is far away from the median and then give that a label.

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  107. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to kiwifar.ms drama: https://archive.is/M2tXa) that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/ too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!

    ReplyDelete

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