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Featured How Do I Get Rid Of My Uncontrollable Empathy For Inanimate Objects???

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by AuBurney Tuckerson, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. AuBurney Tuckerson

    AuBurney Tuckerson GigglesTheAutisticHyena

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    It sucks! I can't even eat a brownie without feeling bad and wanting to cry! My stupid mind just keeps thinking "you're hurting that poor brownie" when I'm trying to ignore it and think "it's just food". I need help! On the internet, people claim it's an autism thing, but no one says how to get rid of this feeling. I don't want this to stop me from eating!
     
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  2. Darwin

    Darwin Active Member

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    Remember that what makes a brownie a brownie is that its constituents are arranged and put together to make a brownie. Eating a brownie changes nothing other than separating its material and adding some of them to your body cells, unchanged or changed.

    Similar things happen all the time. When breathing air, much of the molecular oxygen (O₂) you breath is dissociated into 2 oxygen atoms to be incorporated with other atoms. It’s the same thing as eating, digesting and, therefore, dissociating brownies except for that brownies are large enough in size to be seen by our naked eyes.

    It is natural and happens all the time.

    Also, remember that brownies are not living beings; they have no feelings. They never complained, and will never do.


    I suppose that another reason for why you feel this way is because autistics like routines and hate changes like changing a brownie into small pieces or even eat it. Couldn’t it be that you feel this way because eating a brownie makes an actual change (although, subtle) in the world after eating it? The brownie is no longer there after you ate it; that’s the difference. And we don’t like changes.
    If so, remind yourself that you ate brownies before and nothing weird happened except for that it tasted good!

    When having such thoughts, always remind yourself that, although the situations of eating or "hurting" a brownie and actually hurting a living being are somewhat similar (which is probably why you empathize with brownies,) brownies do not feel anything, so you don’t actually hurt it. Why? Because it doesn’t have a nervous system; it doesn’t feel pain; it doesn’t respond saying “ouch!”

    I know for sure that you know all of that already, but what works for me is always reminding myself of the same logical reason why it’s different, so this same idea "stucks" in my brain and is retrieved automatically whenever I have thoughts like those. That’s my point.

    Hope it helps!
     
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  3. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    Why were you feeling depressed when you were eating, what trauma had you experienced in some way, if you haven’t felt traumatised about eating before what is different this time ?
     
  4. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    They like being eaten!
     
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  5. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You may be more sensitive to your natural environment, to everything around you in general. You are not alone in feeling this, often feel this way about plants, rocks, stones, shells, trees, old boots, fabric, sweaters, the list goes on and on.

    This from a website: "I used to think I was alone in this unusual habit. Then I went online."

    ....It's a behaviour that many adults (and children) with autism report - feeling sorry for things and getting upset if an object is seen to be left out, uncared for or simply discarded.

    According to some sources, this could be linked to a number of things including personification (a form of Synaesthesia) where a personality or emotion is attributed to an object, OCD or as a result of excess of sensitivity or a projection of feelings that can't be given to a human being devoted to other things.

    Other theories range from simply having an overactive imagination to an evolutionary result of times past when most people 'owned' nothing so longed for things around them.

    Another raises a point I hadn't even considered - that I am simply projecting my own emotions onto the things around me.........

    As one contributor on Quora put it, "I’d be so sad to be the last one picked. I’m not feeling for the cupcake. I’m feeling for myself."

    With no official "medical diagnosis" or term, for now I'll just comfort myself in that I'm not the only one feeling this way.
     
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  6. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    This will be hard for you to read, but one way to get rid of empathy for inanimate objects is a form of desensitization therapy. You choose some objects, maybe ten, that in your heart you know you can destroy without much loss. Then rank them. Which will be most heart-breaking to destroy, and which least? Maybe least upsetting is a paper clip or a Kleenex, and most upsetting is a stuffed toy or a book.

    One at a time, maybe one a day or a week, you must destroy each item on the list, starting with the least upsetting.

    While you may be shocked by this suggestion, by the time you finish the "most upsetting" item, you should be entirely free of your discomfort and unreasonable empathy for things that have no feelings.

    If it helps, you can remind yourself that an inanimate object has no central nervous system or higher mental function; so the empathy is entirely for your own sense of loss, since the inanimate object can't feel a thing.
     
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  7. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    i’d be careful with the desensitisation therapy, I don’t know if the human brain is complex enough that you could alter one area of the brain without altering the rest of it ,there is a theory that people who abuse animals are much more likely to abuse humans ,I’m not saying everyone! but I’m Saying a large percentage.
    Could??? the human brain be altered to the detriment of the person and all living creatures ,if !?they started desensitisation therapy, do we know exactly how to alter the brain so that we don’t suffer from violent psychosis .
     
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  8. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    I don't usually feel empathy for something that's not alive except for toys and stuffed animals.
    I feel bad and guilty for letting my toy collections just sit around instead of being played with.

    I think I've watched the Toy Story movies too much. And then there's that Rudolph Christmas special where the king of Misfit Toys said, "No toy is truly happy, unless it is loved by a child".

    But maybe brownies and other foods do like to be eaten. Maybe they enjoy the pleasure they give people when they are consumed.:yum:
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  9. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    This is a well established therapy in the field of anxiety treatment. The OP can see a therapist about this if they want, or they can do it at home.

    It's ridiculous to think that someone who has gradually trained themselves to destroy a book or stuffed toy for the sake of anxiety management, will then become a serial killer or psychopath. I reject that idea as there is no basis for it in psychology.
     
  10. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    But if they destroyed a series of books surely they WOULD then be a Serial killer! ?!?!?
     
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  11. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    l have to say my car is a guy and l usually like to name the car. And after a series of accidents and my car kept me alive, l actually couldn't trash it because l seriously thought it saved my life which l know is totally craycray but l loved that car because it was the start of freedom from ex. So l donated it and prayed it didnt get broken down for its parts. Like l actually assigned feelings to it. Do not call the medical authorities. Yes, l know this is totally flawed thinking. But l have seen shows where guys have relationships with their cars. Nope, no relationships, l didn't kiss my car however these guys did that AND much more, l won't get into the sticky details.
     
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  12. Noba Loney

    Noba Loney New Member

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    No idea.

    Do you know this song (by Godley & Creme)?

     
  13. HidinginPlainSight

    HidinginPlainSight Well-Known Member

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    What you are feeling is not empathy. Empathy is the ability to feel the appropriate emotion within the context of a frame of reference.

    In this case, the brownie has no frame of reference as it has no emotions. You literally can't feel empathy for a brownie.
     
  14. Noba Loney

    Noba Loney New Member

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    This assumes that empathising relies on the experience of the person being empathised with, but it doesn't and can't because you never have access to that. It's always a matter of projecting what you imagine their experience is so if you assign subjectivity to an object you could 'empathise' with that just the same.
     
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  15. HidinginPlainSight

    HidinginPlainSight Well-Known Member

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    Emapthy is actually the ability to share in the emotions within the appropriate frame of reference. You can't share the emotions of a brownie and the brownie has no frame of reference.
     
  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Ironic to recall that this subject was what would eventually lead me to discover being on the spectrum of autism. Having watched a National Geographic tv series called "Taboo" several years ago.

    Reminds me an episode of a man who had a real love affair with his Volkswagen Beetle. Or the woman who had such an intense "relationship" with anything relative to the Berlin Wall. Or the guy whose significant other was an anatomically-correct life-sized doll who also had this neurological condition called "Aspergers Syndrome". A condition I had never heard of before, let alone understand much of anything relative to autism.

    Taboo
     
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  17. Noba Loney

    Noba Loney New Member

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    So you believe there is some extra-sensory mechanism by which you can feel what someone else is feeling? Perhaps, but you can never know that. It's always something you do and something you experience.

    You project in imagination (or mirror neurons reflect) what you suppose the other person is experiencing and 'empathise' with that projection. Just as you can do this with a character in a film, you could do it with a chocolate brownie. It's no different in that in neither case does it rely on the empthee's actual experience.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  18. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can understand liking and caring about a volkswagen beetle, I felt in a similar way about my jeep.
     
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  19. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My car- my "baby". ;)
     
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  20. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Cried when I had to drive onto a towing platform to take it to the garage. Also cried when I heard that the guy I sold the jeep to, had totaled it.

    Don't feel the same way at all about the car I have now, although it's immaculate all the time. It does look from a certain angle like darth vader's helmet, so there's no real beauty to it. I grew up at a time when cars were all different shapes and sizes and some were quite beautiful.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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