On one of the recent videos Richard pointed out that Americans view empathy and compassion as virtually the same thing and then he went on to clarify the distinction between them and the importance that we realize that distinction. I found that very helpful in my understanding of narcissism as I paired that knowledge with "cold empathy" as noted by Sam Vaknin. I'm now under the belief that the "experts" have it all wrong,... it seems to me that while the DSM and trained professionals are claiming that narcissists lack empathy, or lack the ability to feel it to the same degree as neurotypicals thats not the case at all. They do understand empathy, they feed off knowing how they make others feel, so they NEED to be able to feel empathy. What they lack is Compassion. They do not feel any distress when seeing others in pain (emotional, physical, or psychological). This makes much more sense to me given my experience.
Empathy vs. Compassion
- Posts : 9
Join date : 2016-10-11
- Post n°2
For years, this caused cognitive dissonance for me, as i KNEW my partner didn't lack "empathy". It's unfortunate that we don't use all our words, for instance, there are many types of love, and they used to have names. It cheapens love, tossing the word around so casually. My partner didn't respect or understand the type of love i gave, e.g., never forgave me for not being jealous or possessive, never more than when i expressed wanting the best for them, even if that didn't include me. Machiavelli had empathy. My partner was also capable of empathy, which would be withdrawn as punishment. They admitted this. I no longer believe my partner has Asperger Syndrome--in any event, it proved impossible for me to tease the Asperger from the narcissism, although, typing this now, i see that the deliberate withdrawl of empathy, as punishment, was one tell. This is the second NARC to present itself to me under the cloak of Asperger. It was intensely confusing, and i spent so much time and energy trying to rationalize this. I'm exhausted.