Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Aspie Challenge #7



Contrary to popular myth, I do not lack empathy. It’s you who fails to recognise my way of experiencing and expressing it.

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

12 thoughts on “Aspie Challenge #7

  1. How could anyone think you lack empathy?

    • Ignoring for the moment the virtual world of the blogosphere, how do you recognise when one is expressing empathy with you? For example, you’ve just received some wonderful news: you tell someone the good news. How do you know they share your joy? Or how about after receiving some very sad news: how do you know someone feels for you?

      • I will use an extreme
        If I told you I have just lost my dear mother and you laughed, it would be hard to convince me you are empathetic.
        If I said I got the job I have been dreaming about, which I have always told you about, and you act uninterested, I would think you don’t share in my joys. So it is visual cues, manner of speech or gestures

        • Precisely. I don’t have body language or vocalisation which varies with emotion. I have to act out what I believe are the appropriate mannerisms for a particular situation otherwise others think I’m disinterested or have no empathy. If I forget to act or get it wrong, then I can appear heartless or worse. A good example of how the empathy of an autistic person is misunderstood can be seen in this post: Reaction Fail

          • I have had no experience, in person, with an aspie. I think an encounter would leave me either confused or enraged. But now that you say it, maybe I could be sympathetic if I met an aspie

            • What you say might be your reaction is something Aspies and other autistics face on a daily basis. It was why I was assaulted several times in my teens. Admittedly assaults are rare, but other forms of angry response can be just as hurtful to the recipient.

  2., thank you for posting this. I was diagnosed later in life but my son was diagnosed in the 80’s before google. Not much info then and most of it was wrong. But no way can I understand who came up with the “lack of compassion” tag. I was a bleeding heart hippie and my son always demonstrated compassion appropriately (before being old enough to learn how to fake it). Looking forward to reading your posts

  3. Reblogged this on Me & My Aspie Hubby and commented:

    My husband who has Asperger Syndrome DOES have empathy, despite he doesn’t say sweet words to show his empathy and he doesn’t show it in his face (since he has a poker face). Basically, he almost never shows it with words such as: ˝Oh you poor thing˝, ˝I hope you get well soon˝, etc. He shows his empathy with actions and never brags about it (I am just his eye witness).

    My husband, despite he is not a rich man, has helped countless friends just so they didn’t go down the drain.

    He sometimes gives money to a homeless person spontaneously (not big money, it’s only enough for the homeless person to buy a proper meal) he bumps into on the streets. He always says this sentence before he gives the money, ˝If it´s not offensive to you, please take this.˝ He says that sentence because the homeless person doesn’t beg, so he is not sure if it would be offensive or not.

    He gives used stuff (but still in good condition) to some homeless people that can be useful for them. He sometimes buys new stuff for them too (such as a cheap small radio, etc – my husband gives a small radio to homeless guys who don´t have a dog, just so they don´t feel too lonely).

    He sometimes even hand-make stuff for them (such as a hand-made mini heater to keep them warm in the cruel winter).

    So yeah, just because an Aspie like my husband often fails to show empathy with their words or face, that doesn’t mean they don´t have it, and really, that doesn’t mean they don´t have compassion.

  4. Hi, Barry, I am not sure if you can know if I don´t tell you. But I re-blogged this post. I am glad to find this post of yours. 🙂

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