You’d think that everyone has at least a little bit of empathy, right? Contrary to this popular belief, I’ve discovered that this is not so. Some people have no empathy at all, while others display a limited measure of empathy. That’s why Empathy Dysfunction (EmD), although it isn’t a household term, is so important to understand. It explains so much about the state we’re in these days.I’ve spent over 40 years observing and treating people with a variety of problems, such as narcissists, sociopaths, autistics, alcoholics, and the brain-injured. What do they all have in common? Empathy Dysfunction (EmD). The one constant I’ve discovered among all of these is that their problem with empathy causes the greatest damage to their relationships.
These are a few examples of Empathy Dysfunction (EmD):
- Your wallet is stolen by someone who looked you in the eye.
- Your good friend lies to you repeatedly.
- Your loved ones accuses you of interfering when you try to rescue them from their harmful choices
- Your heart breaks when your children turn against you.
Empathy Dysfunction (EmD) also explains most of the problems we experience in our NT/AS relationships. As far as I am concerned it’s the most important factor. Once you have mastered the mysteries of your Aspie loved ones Empathy Dysfunction (EmD), you stand a much better chance of surviving and even enlivening your relationship.
It’s not that I have a cure for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Far from it. But I do get it. I get that they don’t get us. They don’t think like us. They don’t think about us. They don’t plan their lives around their relationships. They don’t know themselves in relation to us.
It’s such a conundrum, isn’t it? We spend every waking moment considering others. It’s not that we’re self-serving martyrs. Rather it’s just natural to think about the thoughts of others, to consider how they may feel about our actions, and to get why others think the way they do even if we disagree. That’s empathy. We have it. They don’t.
It’s freeing to have this realization, so that you’re never again stuck in the despair of wondering what’s going on, or if you’re loved, or if you’re wasting your time seeking to be understood from an Aspie who doesn’t seek understanding at all.
I have a lot to say about Empathy Dysfunction (EmD), because I’ve just finished writing a book about it. It’s entitled “WHEN EMPATHY FAILS: How to stop those hell-bent on destroying you.” Download your free copy of the first chapter, “No One Calls Me Mom”. Of course not all of our Aspies are hell-bent on destroying us, but it feels like it some days, doesn’t it?