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Have you ever felt anxious being around other people? For some, the feelings of social anxiety can be so intense that someone can feel totally paralyzed just to be out in public. Could social anxiety’s hidden link to empathy give us a greater understanding into the lives of those affected?
Social Anxiety can often be an extremely confusing, challenging and even interesting experience for many. Fear is the primary feeling generally attributed to social anxiety, and those who experience it often can’t seem to discover the origin of the social anxiety within themselves.
All logic can seem to fail in the face of social anxiety. The feelings associated may not seem to go away even with common treatments & healing techniques. Social anxiety overtime can turn into stories of being judged, not belonging or feeling so alienated that you look at Earth as the furthest thing from being at home.
A new Scientific Study recently released published on PubMed shows that people with social phobias and anxieties are hypersensitive to other peoples states of mind. People who are more socially anxious are able to discern the mental states of people much more accurately.
BACKGROUND: Individuals with social phobia (SP) show sensitivity and attentiveness to other peoples states of mind. Although cognitive processes in SP have been extensively studied, these individuals social cognition characteristics have never been examined before. We hypothesized that high socially anxious individuals (HSA) may exhibit elevated mentalizing and empathic abilities.
METHODS: Empathy was assessed using self-rating scales in HSA individuals (n=21) and low socially anxious (LSA) individuals (n=22), based on their score on the Liebowitz social anxiety scale. A computerized task was used to assess the ability to judge first and second order affective vs. cognitive mental state attributions.
RESULTS: HSA individuals exhibited elevated affective empathy tendencies. However, controlling for the general anxiety variable revealed that social anxiety was related to cognitive empathy measures, rather than affective empathy. In addition, compared with LSA participants, HSA participants exhibited higher accuracy levels on the affective mental state attribution conditions, but were less accurate than LSA individuals on the parallel cognitive mental state attribution conditions.
LIMITATIONS: Additional research with larger samples and clinically diagnosed individuals is required.
CONCLUSIONS: Results support the hypothesis that high socially anxious individuals may demonstrate a unique social-cognitive abilities profile with elevated cognitive empathy tendencies and high accuracy in affective mental state attributions.
I am of the opinion that people who are empaths have both a hyper awareness of the emotions of others and can read those emotions via body language etc
originally posted by: rukia
I think it's what causes the social anxiety in the first place =X
originally posted by: FlyersFan
I am of the opinion that people who are empaths have both a hyper awareness of the emotions of others and can read those emotions via body language etc ... but also I know that we all vibrate at certain frequencies and I really do think that some people are sensitive to the frequencies that others vibrate at.
originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: FlyersFan
I researched Wikipedia on "Empath" and Empathy, etc.
It really isn't clear to me that its ever been proven that emotional empathy really exists. We've all had sympathetic feelings for people in certain situations, but that's sort of like cognitive empathy; its a feeling that wells up from within based upon our ability to reflect upon and understand how someone in pain might feel.
But emotional empathy seems to imply that some people can read or pick up vibes of emotional states of other people in proximity to the "reader" or the empath. I'm not sure that's ever been proven to be true. I've always put emotional empathy/empath types in the same category as "telepaths" and there's no scientific proof of telepathy that I'm aware of.
Maybe someday they can actually prove it.