08182017Headline:

Social behavior is innate. Kids don’t learn it in school.

How can empathy be innate AND learned by watching/modeling others? If it is through watching others, then school would be a great place to teach/learn it. I agree with you, it isn't. You have had various posts regarding nature trumping nurture across the board. Stating that "But empathy is, in fact, simply a result of decent parenting very early in life for neurotypical kids, because they are hard-wired to learn empathy just by watching the reaction of adults." If it is truly innate, then modeling isn't necessary. It would spontaneously originate with all NTs. It absolutely doesn't. Ability to read social cues, however can be a large product of wiring. Autism is a spectrum. It is not all or nothing, black and white. My understanding of "no capacity for empathy" sounds more like a diagnostic criteria for a sociopath. Many sociopaths are charismatic and manipulative and popular.

Yesterday you also did a blame the parents thing regarding juvanie delenquancy. I don't what is going on in your life right now, maybe it is that you have had some large parenting issue that you feel the need to take responsibility for, or are rushed to crank out posts given that, naturally, your focus was on your seminar last week. I don't know, but this closed mindedness doesn't seem like you. Forthright and brash yes, but you really seem to enjoy the dialogue with your readership. You don't seem willing to consider any other viewpoint or research. I hope everything is okay. If you really want to point to research (most of it outdated and contested) 'proving' lack of empathy, it is out there. But there is much more, newer, research disproving it. Also, how you using the seemingly contradictory arguments of a version of 'refrigerator mother' and innate wiring baffles me.

You seem to be ignoring the fact that introverts often care very, very deeply about people and their needs. Often to the detriment of themselves. i think Mother Teresa was an INFP. She gave everything she had to others. That isn't feasible for everyone. Introverts have to conserve their energy or they will be of no use to anyone.The extroverted types that you mention care about appearances. Naturally that colors how one manifests one's empathy. Caring that everyone is having fun at a party seems more superficial than understanding why someone would make a different, equally valid choice. Empathy is about understanding other people, wanting to make them happy can be a part of it, but it is by no means the whole picture.

As I said before, it is a numbers game. You state that 'thinking outside the box" precludes being popular. I tend to agree. But how can someone who can't think outside the box actually empathize with someone who has a radically different history? My mother is a popular ESFJ. She has a great deal of sympathy for people she can identify with. But she really, really sucks at understanding, or even trying to understand things that challenge her belief system. She does care deeply what other people think and how she looks to others and thinks that other people should too. That if they did they would 'fit in' and be happy. That isn't the recipe for happiness across the board. I have read that George W Bush is an ESFJ. Not exactly the poster child for empathy.

My Aspie husband has lifelong friends and is highly regarded a 'good guy.' However, he makes some jaw-dropping social blunders by not realizing how someone else might interpret something. He is devastated when it is pointed out to him. Truly crest-fallen. I assume you have read "look me in the eye"

ugh, I have to get back to my regularly scheduled life and will continue later, if I have the energy and haven't been blocked

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