2009/4/8 Sai Emrys <[log in to unmask]>

> On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 3:50 AM, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I'm not sure where I would fit here. I personally think I'm rather
> > empathetic, meaning that I "feel with" people. Body language to me is
> just
> > like another one of those around 5000 languages I don't understand.
> I suspect what you have is what I call *sympathy* - i.e. caring about
> others' emotions - but not *empathy* - i.e. directly mirroring /
> knowing others' emotions.
> The two are quite distinct.

I must say the distinction eludes me. You can't sympathise with someone else
unless you know their emotions. Of course I see it when somebody is
sad/happy/preoccupied etc. (you can't miss tears, smiles, etc.). It's the
small (at least to me) distinctions that often accompany spoken language
that completely escape me. People around me seem to understand them
immediately. To me they are just not there.

> FWIW, I know people diagnosed as Asperger's who nevertheless have
> plenty of desire to be social and all that. They just, natively, kinda
> suck at it and have to learn it explicitly (how to recognize certain
> emotions, how to emote correctly, what scripts to follow, etc).
Strong emotions I recognise without a problem, and I've never had to learn
them. It's the small distinctions that I don't get. As for how to emote
correctly, I do it my way, and have no idea whether it's right or not. But I
don't expect others to adapt their communication patterns just to please me,
so I don't know why I should adapt mine to please them.

As I said, I've never been diagnosed as Asperger's, and according to my
husband I am not. But that's just an informal diagnosis. I might have a mild
form of it without knowing.
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.