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Do Empaths have an Empathy Switch? I say YES!

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posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 07:56 AM
I came across an article at the BBC which states that psychopaths may have an empathy switch in the brain that can be switched on and off at will. This makes sense to me. After all, they do have an excellent understanding of empathy and how to manipulate it in other people.

Placed in a brain scanner, psychopathic criminals watched videos of one person hurting another and were asked to empathise with the individual in pain. Only when asked to imagine how the pain receiver felt did the area of the brain related to pain light up. Scientists, reporting in Brain, say their research explains how psychopaths can be both callous and charming. The team proposes that with the right training, it could be possible to help psychopaths activate their "empathy switch", which could bring them a step closer to rehabilitation.

I would snowball that idea and say that everyone has an empathy switch.

I know every situation is different but what I'm talking about is general society's blind eye.

How else would you explan why otherwise kind caring people could just turn up the TV if they here someone screaming next door. I'm not talking about the woman that keeps going back to a bad relationship but the woman with children that never leaves? Why not turn the TV down and keep a record? I mean, you would only be wasting time watching TV anyway. I'm not saying stick your nose in and make things worse but nothing? Come on.

Ever walked past a child that is afraid of the perants and suddenly you have became very interested in the window displays?

Looking back, was that person in the gutter really drunk? If you had approahed and found out yes they were drunk what ill would come of it? And if they were not?...

I agree, that little old lady crossing on the corner whilst you were on your way to work probably was ok. I mean, you must have wondered later in the day, right?

So my questions. Who here can switch off thier empathy at will? Is it easy? Do you ever regret it? Do you do it because it is the only way you can cope metally? Do you do it as self preservation? To pevent empathy burnout? Because you just don't care?

posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 08:51 AM
I can't turn off my empathy switch all the way. I've never been able to do that.

If I can do something about the situation, I will. But, if I can't, I will feel sadness for the person. I can't not feel what someone else would be feeling in an unfortunate situation.

I have personally been in that situation where the woman who lived above me was in a bad relationship and would get beaten. I called the cops every time it would happen until finally they arrested the guy.

I don't look the other way when I see a child who is neglected by their parents. I can't exactly do anything about it, but I feel for them.

I don't pretend like there's nothing wrong. I know there's something wrong, and if I can do something about it, I will.

I can't do something about every situation, but I can feel for them.
edit on 11-8-2013 by Quyll because: addition

posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 11:36 AM
S&F.... I myself am very much the empath, as well as being HSP, right-brained and INFJ so if I have a switch it surely shorted out long ago, lol.... Not sure as to which of these traits begets or trumps the other [ although I do have a theory] but overall its very exhausting.

posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 11:46 AM
If everyone is different, how do you realise what they perceieve, and importantly, how they perceive things?

I'm guessing that "empaths" only can reciprocate when all actions are converted to a certainty - thus at a moment of "silence" between two individuals, and the connecting bridge being an absolute - i.e. what they have in common.

In this sense, you probably just need to be able to cognitivley recognise "silence" and also recognise where "you" exist, and where any other sense or other perceptions differ from you, along common lines, thus consequate "them".

posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by Onami

I think the empathy switch is reason. When being empathetic becomes futile, say running into a burning building to save a goldfish, reason will say it is not a good idea to do so. But there are those who will resort to irrationality, and will be over powered by their empathy, become psychopaths in some sort of way, and run into a burning building to save a goldfish.

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