Confusing lack of empathy (1 Viewer)

feral wanderer

Pilgrim
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
109
Hometown
Pullman,WA
I'm really good at putting on a show of who I am for people. Part is from hitchhiking and lying all the time to anyone picking me up (don't know why I do that but I do) part is my mom is intensely social so I have that gene, sort of.

I can fake being philosophical and religious because I used to be, I can fit in with really angry mean people because I'm an outcast, but when I'm not trying to put on a show and work my way into a group I alienate myself from most people around me. Or the more I open up to people the less they understand me/agree with me and my emotions (especially women).

So I'm not good at being myself because I don't fully know who I am. But no matter where I am, 99% of the time I feel little to no connection to who or what I'm connecting with

Last winter was a terrible emotional/mental ride that combined a manipulative woman, very big emotionality over the Earth and it's destruction, and a lack of purpose in life, and after all that I don't feel much at all about those issues. That's partway good but also probably bad - acceptance of a lonely future is good but I've found myself almost instantly alienating women a lot of the time which is bad, not caring about the planet isn't exactly good, but the only other option is infinite anger and sadness and I'm not doing that again.

This is maybe too confusing to follow, maybe not, but anyone with any thoughts or comments, I want to hear what this makes you think.
 
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mono

Lurker
Joined
Jul 3, 2018
Messages
28
Hometown
World 2-1, Mushroom Kingdom
without intending to sound cliché, you'll probably "learn to feel again" eventually - it's pretty normal to become hardened to shit after a bad episode.

it's good enough that you're aware of the negative aspects because a lot of people aren't and end up staying that way forever. having the self-awareness to have clocked that you're alienating people and not giving a fuck about important shit means that you haven't completely cast off caring

a good start might be to try and lock down exactly which aspects of how you're acting are alienating people the most and working backwards from there; re-jigging puzzle pieces one at a time without falling back into being upset or angry. sorry for not being able to be more specific or helpful, this sort of thing is really difficult to properly conceptualize since it can be so different for everyone - the endpoint of it is that you're not wrong to be angry or upset about things (and in many cases people really ought to be way more angry), but it isn't healthy to constantly feel it, so eventually combining the two approaches will probably work out best
 
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feral wanderer

feral wanderer

Pilgrim
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
109
Hometown
Pullman,WA
without intending to sound cliché, you'll probably "learn to feel again" eventually - it's pretty normal to become hardened to shit after a bad episode.

it's good enough that you're aware of the negative aspects because a lot of people aren't and end up staying that way forever. having the self-awareness to have clocked that you're alienating people and not giving a fuck about important shit means that you haven't completely cast off caring

a good start might be to try and lock down exactly which aspects of how you're acting are alienating people the most and working backwards from there; re-jigging puzzle pieces one at a time without falling back into being upset or angry. sorry for not being able to be more specific or helpful, this sort of thing is really difficult to properly conceptualize since it can be so different for everyone - the endpoint of it is that you're not wrong to be angry or upset about things (and in many cases people really ought to be way more angry), but it isn't healthy to constantly feel it, so eventually combining the two approaches will probably work out best
thanks, I makes some sense
 

IVth

Rambler
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
57
Hometown
suburbs
I can relate. The only thing that really seems to help me is trying to live in the moment for what it is, and not over intellectualizing. I dont know if i believe in an ego anymore, im just looking at it all as one giant flux of matter. I think often times people believe what suits their immediate needs. The world is incredibly fucked but if you let your anger consume you entirely then they win. Feelings arent facts. Ive tried traveling and ive tried being a professional and the grass is always greener on the other side. I know what you mean about being a social chameleon, and how confusing it can be. Whats been working for me is honestly not really associating too heavily with anyone, staying sober for the most part, and writing short stories and songs. That said, im living at home right now so life is very easy. I think a lot of the pissing contests that go on in the street are just arbitrary ego fueled bullshit. im sure there are a lot of people on here that can relate to the existential anguish regarding whats going on with this planet. Personally i find peace in the tao te ching. Im sorry if i havent directly addressed the things your experiencing, its heavy stuff and the fact that you are reflecting on all of this now will likely serve you later on. you are not alone.
 

salxtina

Rambler
Joined
Jun 17, 2015
Messages
281
Hometown
Holyoke, MA
Hi - The defaulting to a kind of 'acting'/lying while hitchhiking makes sense, sometimes I don't want to actually tell strangers my exact destination, sometimes it's simply that I just put up a more 'extroverted'/outgoing persona to make drivers feel reassured or less awkward, sometimes I've pretended that people I'm checking in with are meeting me closer/sooner than they are to curtail sketchiness...

As far as empathy goes, I've kept saying, not feeling much emotional empathy *can* be okay, we can still choose to treat people fairly even if we don't *feel much* about it... and god knows I've seen enough high-empathy people be aggressive and abusive -
but also! We can tell I think, when a lack of feeling/motivation, IS a sign of damage, a sign that we need to heal or change something.

And honestly - I look in awe, of how healthy and well-adaptive a lot of the shit I did was that I got attacked for. It's like when we're young kids, if we learn that yelling for attention when we need food / medical help / something doesn't get us any help, it can make the most sense to just stop. Doing healthy, adaptive things only makes sense *in context.* In the context of other people showing us respect, in the context of being able to communicate with people, in the context of sustaining lives worth living.

I'm sorry about the emotional manipulation. We deserve better. We deserve cultures that don't normalize it.

I don't know. I'll, uh, let you know if I figure it out.
And that's the other thing, right, it's not always "figuring something out." We're not depressed or unmotivated because we're delusional about what's happening. And a lot of what's out there is "help" that wants to assume that we're hurt because of "errors in our thinking," like what do professionals always say when someone gets really overwhelmed by things and kills themself, they say, he died "while the balance of his mind was disturbed." Nah, the balance of power is disturbed, the balance of the seasons is disturbed, the balance of co2 levels in the ocean is disturbed, we know wtf is going on.

So then it's a crapshoot - once we know that we're not just trying to correct errors in our thoughts/feelings - whether we can actually find/salvage new things that we can build from - a lot of it seems, to me, to be just absurd dumb luck...
 
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