TELECONFERENCE: Can “Aspies” Be Kind Without Empathy?
An International Support Group facilitated by Dr. Marshack. This Teleconference is only for members of Meetup. Click here for membership details and to register for this call.
Topic: TELECONFERENCE: Can Aspies Be Kind Without Empathy?
When: Thursday, January 21st, 1 pm PST
The simple answer is “Yes,” or course. However, the motivation is different than with NTs. People on the Spectrum need to be taught etiquette and rules, or what I call Rules of Engagement (ROE). Whereas, NTs develop a kind heart as a result of deeply caring for the feelings of others.
Looking at this another way, the Golden Rule is just a rule to our “Aspies.” It might be a rule they believe in — and will hold us to that rule for their benefit. However, to NTs the Golden Rule is a necessary part of any relationship because it moves the relationship forward.
Further, the Golden Rule is flexible, isn’t it? We don’t always treat others as we wish they would treat us. Rather we NTs make discriminations about what we might say or do, based on whether it is true, and necessary, and kind. These decisions require the use of empathy, to read the subtle people cues that are occurring at the very moment of the interaction.
It’s not always kind to just blurt things out, is it? Even if you mean well, some comments are better left unsaid. For “Aspies,” this axiom is a mystery.
Since this is such a complex topic, I waited until a few weeks into the New Year to schedule it. However, I think empathy is one of the main reasons we run into snags with our “Aspies.” Once you get it that they can be kind, given the right Rules of Engagement, then it is much easier to navigate our relationship. But it’s important for you to understand that you can have empathy, or you can be kind, but empathic kindness? — well that is very special.