Topic: How to Deal With Alexithymia

English Alexithymia Forum > Personal Experience

How to Deal With Alexithymia
18.05.2014 by TheHumbleman

Hey guys, I'm back again but with more help this time. If any of you have already read my stuff, then you already know me so that's good. But if not then... . It's a bit long, but the intro is all you really need to know about me for now.

So the purpose of THIS post is basically going to be a series of "classes" that are designed to help people who suffer from the same thing that brought you here in the first place. I can't guarantee this is 100% fix to everything and everyone but hey, some help is better than none. I'll start with some of my own stuff, and then I'll come up with new topics whenever I come across something that someone said on this site and stuff (You might get a shoutout :P). So yeah, hopefully this will be helpful in just give you better incite.

22.05.2014 _T('by') TheHumbleman

Ahhh yes, the telltale sign of someone who has something like Alexithymia - Not understanding how people feel or why. Well good news - I myself do not have much empathy, but I sure do understand it, so you're in luck if you need help with that.

Empathy (rather, a lack of) is something that definitely separates us from normal people. In general, we do not understand, we cannot comprehend, and we cannot figure out why certain things make people feel/act in certain way. But trust me when I tell you that normal people are indeed sensitive (no offense... Okay maybe a little). Just about everything you say and do for or to someone affects them in someway. It's very difficult to say how, but it's true. And also, certain things you do can be repeated in the same way, but have different outcomes. Mind-blowing isn't it? It all depends on a thing called "context", or the mood of the current setting.

Saying things in the right context is very important to understand. You don't want to be that awkward person who tries to be sweet but ends up making it really awkward, do you? Context is tricky and means a lot.
Something to understand, people DO feel certain ways about certain things, whether you understand why or not. They just do, so be considerate and understand that you should not trample someone over something they think just because you don't understand. ALWAYS be accepting of someone's personal problems, or at least, never put them down (unless it's very much deserved because they did something bad intentionally and did not feel bad about it)

Example(s) of Don'ts for Contexts -
- A funeral is not a place to be humorous. People feel sad, so any kind of joke will most likely give off a mood of "This is not the place for that *Slightly angry face*".
- You don't make religion jokes in the middle of a church. This will ALWAYS offend people because church is definitely not a place to make a joke about whatever god(s) the church (or other place of worship) worship.
- Don't ever try to be romantic OR sweet when making a very obscure or even somewhat gross comparison. If you try to compare someone by calling them a rose that also resembles pig hooves, it's not going to go over well and you will NOT being able to get out of that situation.
- Don't go into the science behind how someone's attempt at being funny, and telling why they're joke is "incorrect". This sucks the fun, as well as the point, of telling the joke and makes you seem like a killjoy (Being a killjoy is almost always a bad thing). Regardless of what kind of joke it is, the person telling the joke either knows why their joke is incorrect or OUTRAGEOUSLY implausible (which is usually where the humor comes from) or they DON'T know but they still find it funny. Generally if someone tells a good joke, just laugh.

Again, saying the right thing at the right time is very important. This is not something I can teach to help someone become a master though; you have to figure it all out on your own. You'll hopefully and eventually be able to sense the mood before you say something and after you say it after a good bit of experience. WATCH TV. TV shows generally have unrealistic events BUUT sitcoms usually provide obvious scenarios where someone either says something that is obviously correct to say in the scenario OR incorrect. These are excellent "simulations" of the real world. So pay attention (but don't be a copycat. Be original)

Another thing about empathy you need to understand is other people DO FEEL. Like they actually have defined and understandable emotions whenever you say of do something that they notice. For instance, if you punch someone IT WIIIILL HURT. If you tell your parents you don't love them THEY WILL FEEL PAIN, even if they hide it (people hide things sometime. Just understand that what you say to one normal person will generally cause the SAME emotion in another normal person). So if you tell someone that they suck at a particular game, it will cause the same feeling if you tell someone else who sucks at a particular job. I know, knowing exactly what they feel is hard, but all you really need to know is that if you say something hurtful, it WILL cause them emotional pain and if you say something nice, they PROBABLY will have a happy feel on the inside. (I say probably because of the context. If it's someone who's a douche and "knows" he's better, he won't care and will be slightly offended unless you're starstruck by him in which case it will feed his ego. If you tell a girl who you're friends with that she looks nice on a particular day, it will generally make her feel good about herself. If you try to tell someone they're good at something when then feel down about themselves, it will generally make the feel better).

For me, going back to the "punching someone" example and without thinking that other people feel, if I were to punch someone and they acted like if didn't hurt then *I* take it as if it didn't really hurt them. So then I make SURE it hurts them the next time I punch them. But the odds are is that even if they hide that pain really well, it did indeed hurt them. Like most of us, I cannot mentally figure out that of someone does not react to something, it must not be affecting them because that's how *I* personally operate. But trust me when I say that it DOES affect them and that YOU are NOT the ONLY person who's mind is a thing, and that EVERYONE has their own mind that works DIFFERENTLY from yours. How do I know this? Because there are people WITHOUT alexithymia and therefore minds can work differently and your mind is not the only mind that everyone has.

The point of that is to understand that people have different wants and desires other than yours. If you someone wants to take you to the park and you don't understand why they would want to or why you should go, know that THEY, the OTHER person who is not you, feels AND understands that they want to go to the park. If you say that you don't want to and say that you don't understand why you should go, it will register in the other person's mind that you don't care or even understand how they feel. You may have to bend to the other person's needs and wants. You MAY have to go to the park with them even though you don't want to or understand why you HAD to go. It makes the other person happy when you agree to sacrifice your own needs and wants to give them your time. Making people happy IS a VERY GOOD THING. You don't have to make EVERYONE happy, but you just have to make PEOPLE happy. (Don't ALWAYS be submissive and always do what they want, just so you know. If you can make someone happy by going to the park every now and again, they will most likely respect your decision to not go they next time they ask). Again, you're NOT the only person who "feels" the way you do. You may not understand how/why another person feels the way they do, but you should NEVER be the person who ALWAYS ONLY does what YOU want to do. Give other people your time, and you can bring them closer to you. If you always act on what you want, you will push them away. Give other people your time every now and again. It shows you aren't so self-centered that you only think about yourself. (People WANT to be thought of by other people in ways like bending to what they want because it hurts them when you don't). Also, don't be a huge grumpy pants if you end up having to go to the park. Don't be all "Uuuggghh this is so dumb why did I have to go I'm not having fun you shouldn't have brought me *Wine wine complain complain*". Yeeeaaahh if you do that it will only hurt the other person. You don't WANT to hurt people who WANT to spend THEIR time with YOU and have FUN. You're there, you're doing stuff, you might as well try to make it fun for yourself. If you fixate on how fun it ISN'T, you're likely just hurting yourself and making things less fun. AND you shouldn't ever deprive someone else the opportunity to be happy just because you're not happy. That's just not cool (or nice).

So there's definitely more stuff about empathy, but hopefully you have learned enough to at least avoid hurting people and make them at least a little bit happy. By saying that, I don't mean that there is SOOOO much more to learn about empathy that these are just very basic things. No, these are definitely some of the most important and most affective parts. There are just still things out there that can't really be taught and have to be experienced in whatever context they appear in. With that I think that's the end of this lesson. I will return eventually with another (these take time to write you know!). So you, if this helped you're welcome and go practice being an empathetic person. If not.. Well... Go do more research if you're still interested. GOODBYE.