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Old 10-06-2019, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
5,671 posts, read 4,326,991 times
Reputation: 2610

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So I'm writing this. Yesterday my car hit a, maybe, what could have been as high as a 6 inch high rock in the middle of the road and I got a flat tire. I drove to someone's house and asked to use their phone. They were busy and I was having trouble typing in the 16 digit code for triple A and their phone screen kept turning black halfway after I'd type in a number and I wasn't sure I'd have all the knowledge they'd need anyway, so I just decided to walk the 2.5 miles to my house and let her get on with her day. My vehicle wasn't blocking her driveway.

I didn't tell her to call anyone about the rock to get it removed, because I didn't think of it. I do have a pretty strong conscience and empathy, but it's very much a slow-moving, philosophical kind of empathy. I have, more or less, zero rapidly-reacting instincts that tell me "Go help that person in danger!" It's more like "I should help that person in danger because, despite the fact that I'm not really in the mood to do so right now, that would make me something less of an a-hole."

There are some very sound reasons why I've never considered becoming a firefighter.

So, because of me, some other cars probably got flat tires too, unless someone else called about the rock very quickly after I saw it. I definitely think I need to mark this as something important, so I made this thread.

I'd like to figure out how to feel guilt in this situation so I experience the negative feedback that could make it less likely for it to happen again, but I'm not sure how yet. I may figure it out eventually, or not.

This is one of the first times I've wondered if I might actually described as a kind of proto-psychopath or sociopath, not someone who will turn into one eventually, but rather someone who has the kind of mind that might have resulted in them becoming a real psychopath or sociopath under different circumstances.

There are definitely philosophical reasons to have empathy for others...unemotional empathy, but still empathy. I think, usually, reason points to desiring to assist other life forms. I'm not sure you need emotional drives to have that goal. I think anyone who contemplates the world enough will just naturally acknowledge that as the most sensible route. I don't like pain. You don't like pain either. I'm not so different than you, so therefore any rational being will want to assist other life and any desire not to will probably come from some kind of emotional or impulse driven bias, or a simple lack of thought.

I don't think it's autism. I have no trouble whatsoever understanding facial expressions and finished writing a multi-page long poem that I've gotten nothing but positive feedback on, so it's pretty clear I understand the sorts of social subtleties that autistic people have trouble with. I also love sarcasm, which autistic people have trouble catching.

There's another word for people who don't understand their emotions...but I do understand my emotions very well. I've talked to one of these people briefly and he just says he can't really tell when he feels certain ways so he just keeps going until he erupts due to the feelings he doesn't know he's feeling building up. I do understand my emotions though, I think. I write poetry about them. They are very vivid in my mind.

But I definitely would like to feel some guilt, if possible. I don't think being insulted will accomplish that. It probably would feel negative if I weren't expecting it, but I am now, so my mind is almost certainly going to go into a detached kind of "they're just words" mode. You could call me a baby-rapist and my mind will just remain in chillaxed mode, calm as ever now. If you do toss in some insults I promise I won't inform the moderators, but I would avoid doing that because they might see it and give you an infraction even if it goes unreported and I wouldn't want you to get into trouble.

So, again, I want to figure out how to feel some guilt and I can't afford a psychologist right now.
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:04 PM
 
Location: on the wind
22,888 posts, read 18,183,801 times
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Not quite sure I understand what you are hoping for, but suspect it isn't guilt, it is a sense of sympathy or altruism. You seem to wish for a higher sense of thoughtfulness, mindfulness for others. If you felt this more easily, it might have occurred to you to report the hazardous rock so others wouldn't suffer the same tire damage you did. It is understandably harder to feel this way towards strangers you will never meet. It is easier to feel it towards people you are close to (family, friends).

Feeling guilty is a reaction after you do something (or don't do something). A sense of sympathy affects what you do before you do it.

OTOH, maybe you could have taken action for yourself and for all those other people right at the time. Picking up the rock and moving it off the road. But that would require more of that thinking in the moment, not realizing that was an option hours later.

Last edited by Parnassia; 10-06-2019 at 03:14 PM..
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Germany
716 posts, read 420,407 times
Reputation: 1884
What is the difference between helping others because of reason and helping others because of empathy?

Guilt to me is a rather useless emotion. The useful thing to do is learn from your mistakes, and start accepting yourself. Whatever happened, happened. Your past doesn't define who you are going to be. You do.

You say you think "I should help this person because that would make me less of an a**hole."
But not helping a person doesn't necessarily mean you are an a**hole. Every person has their own problems, and it is nice to have people helping us, but not everyone can be there for others when they need it.

You did what you thought of at the moment. You asked for help, you tried not to be a burden to others. You took note that your car wasn't gonna be a problem for others. Congratulations - you are a thoughtful person.
You can't do anything about the fact that you didn't think about telling someone to remove that rock. But if it's on your mind until now, guess what? That is guilt.
You can either forget about it cause it's not your fault that a rock like that was on the street, or if it is still troubling you, you can call someone to have it removed.

Don't judge yourself too much. You are not an a**hole. You are just a person.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:45 AM
 
7,569 posts, read 4,115,387 times
Reputation: 6925
Do you think that maybe somebody else saw the rock but didn't bother to do anything about it? Later, it affected you.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:39 AM
 
13,262 posts, read 7,939,780 times
Reputation: 30752
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
So I'm writing this. Yesterday my car hit a, maybe, what could have been as high as a 6 inch high rock in the middle of the road and I got a flat tire. I drove to someone's house and asked to use their phone. They were busy and I was having trouble typing in the 16 digit code for triple A and their phone screen kept turning black halfway after I'd type in a number and I wasn't sure I'd have all the knowledge they'd need anyway, so I just decided to walk the 2.5 miles to my house and let her get on with her day. My vehicle wasn't blocking her driveway.

I didn't tell her to call anyone about the rock to get it removed, because I didn't think of it. I do have a pretty strong conscience and empathy, but it's very much a slow-moving, philosophical kind of empathy. I have, more or less, zero rapidly-reacting instincts that tell me "Go help that person in danger!" It's more like "I should help that person in danger because, despite the fact that I'm not really in the mood to do so right now, that would make me something less of an a-hole."

There are some very sound reasons why I've never considered becoming a firefighter.

So, because of me, some other cars probably got flat tires too, unless someone else called about the rock very quickly after I saw it. I definitely think I need to mark this as something important, so I made this thread.

I'd like to figure out how to feel guilt in this situation so I experience the negative feedback that could make it less likely for it to happen again, but I'm not sure how yet. I may figure it out eventually, or not.

This is one of the first times I've wondered if I might actually described as a kind of proto-psychopath or sociopath, not someone who will turn into one eventually, but rather someone who has the kind of mind that might have resulted in them becoming a real psychopath or sociopath under different circumstances.

There are definitely philosophical reasons to have empathy for others...unemotional empathy, but still empathy. I think, usually, reason points to desiring to assist other life forms. I'm not sure you need emotional drives to have that goal. I think anyone who contemplates the world enough will just naturally acknowledge that as the most sensible route. I don't like pain. You don't like pain either. I'm not so different than you, so therefore any rational being will want to assist other life and any desire not to will probably come from some kind of emotional or impulse driven bias, or a simple lack of thought.

I don't think it's autism. I have no trouble whatsoever understanding facial expressions and finished writing a multi-page long poem that I've gotten nothing but positive feedback on, so it's pretty clear I understand the sorts of social subtleties that autistic people have trouble with. I also love sarcasm, which autistic people have trouble catching.

There's another word for people who don't understand their emotions...but I do understand my emotions very well. I've talked to one of these people briefly and he just says he can't really tell when he feels certain ways so he just keeps going until he erupts due to the feelings he doesn't know he's feeling building up. I do understand my emotions though, I think. I write poetry about them. They are very vivid in my mind.

But I definitely would like to feel some guilt, if possible. I don't think being insulted will accomplish that. It probably would feel negative if I weren't expecting it, but I am now, so my mind is almost certainly going to go into a detached kind of "they're just words" mode. You could call me a baby-rapist and my mind will just remain in chillaxed mode, calm as ever now. If you do toss in some insults I promise I won't inform the moderators, but I would avoid doing that because they might see it and give you an infraction even if it goes unreported and I wouldn't want you to get into trouble.

So, again, I want to figure out how to feel some guilt and I can't afford a psychologist right now.
Seems like, to me, that you DID feel a certain amount of guilt...or you do feel a certain amount of guilt. You see the need for "I coulda shoulda done this..." You say you didn't do anything about the rock because you didn't think about it.


I bet most of us have "been there, done that" in similar situations. I know I have. But let's consider the circumstances that you were under. You were feeling some stress. You just had a flat tire. You were apparently a little flustered, not being able to put in the correct 16 digit code. You had other things on your mind, and you were probably dealing with an over load of adrenaline.


To ME, it seems that the mere fact that you're concerned about your lack of guilt...is an indication that you're capable of feeling guilt. lol


I think you should probably lighten up on yourself. You were dealing with unusual circumstances at the time. Seems like, to me, this is one of those "Don't beat yourself up over this" kind of things. I would bet, should another "opportunity" exactly like the flat -tire- because -of -a- rock occurrence should occur, you will be more likely to move the rock because it'll be a "been there done that" situation.


I think you should lighten up on yourself.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:53 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
5,671 posts, read 4,326,991 times
Reputation: 2610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
Not quite sure I understand what you are hoping for, but suspect it isn't guilt, it is a sense of sympathy or altruism. You seem to wish for a higher sense of thoughtfulness, mindfulness for others. If you felt this more easily, it might have occurred to you to report the hazardous rock so others wouldn't suffer the same tire damage you did. It is understandably harder to feel this way towards strangers you will never meet. It is easier to feel it towards people you are close to (family, friends).

Feeling guilty is a reaction after you do something (or don't do something). A sense of sympathy affects what you do before you do it.

OTOH, maybe you could have taken action for yourself and for all those other people right at the time. Picking up the rock and moving it off the road. But that would require more of that thinking in the moment, not realizing that was an option hours later.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gohangr View Post
What is the difference between helping others because of reason and helping others because of empathy?

Guilt to me is a rather useless emotion. The useful thing to do is learn from your mistakes, and start accepting yourself. Whatever happened, happened. Your past doesn't define who you are going to be. You do.

You say you think "I should help this person because that would make me less of an a**hole."
But not helping a person doesn't necessarily mean you are an a**hole. Every person has their own problems, and it is nice to have people helping us, but not everyone can be there for others when they need it.

You did what you thought of at the moment. You asked for help, you tried not to be a burden to others. You took note that your car wasn't gonna be a problem for others. Congratulations - you are a thoughtful person.
You can't do anything about the fact that you didn't think about telling someone to remove that rock. But if it's on your mind until now, guess what? That is guilt.
You can either forget about it cause it's not your fault that a rock like that was on the street, or if it is still troubling you, you can call someone to have it removed.

Don't judge yourself too much. You are not an a**hole. You are just a person.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elyn02 View Post
Do you think that maybe somebody else saw the rock but didn't bother to do anything about it? Later, it affected you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
Seems like, to me, that you DID feel a certain amount of guilt...or you do feel a certain amount of guilt. You see the need for "I coulda shoulda done this..." You say you didn't do anything about the rock because you didn't think about it.


I bet most of us have "been there, done that" in similar situations. I know I have. But let's consider the circumstances that you were under. You were feeling some stress. You just had a flat tire. You were apparently a little flustered, not being able to put in the correct 16 digit code. You had other things on your mind, and you were probably dealing with an over load of adrenaline.


To ME, it seems that the mere fact that you're concerned about your lack of guilt...is an indication that you're capable of feeling guilt. lol


I think you should probably lighten up on yourself. You were dealing with unusual circumstances at the time. Seems like, to me, this is one of those "Don't beat yourself up over this" kind of things. I would bet, should another "opportunity" exactly like the flat -tire- because -of -a- rock occurrence should occur, you will be more likely to move the rock because it'll be a "been there done that" situation.


I think you should lighten up on yourself.
My biggest fear is that someday I'm just going to kind of...slip away and let someone die or become severely injured because I didn't act fast enough.

You four have the fast-instincts to want to rush to the aid of people who are harmed. I do not.
Now, on the bright side, I never experience the sorts of emotional pain you're trying to help me deal with If I accidently blow up a nuclear power plant, I'll feel just fine about myself. If any of you would feel negative emotions watching a relative die, you probably have a stronger empathetic emotional attachment to your fellow human beings than me...because I bet I wouldn't unless I actually tried to.

I don't really expect much. I was just wondering if anyone had an idea.

I have a conscience and a sense of empathy already. What I want to feel more of is the pain of guilt. Come to think of it...the laypersons of Citi-data aren't likely to know that though...so this thread was probably a mistake to make. Oh well.

Last edited by Clintone; 10-13-2019 at 04:07 AM..
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:53 AM
 
7,569 posts, read 4,115,387 times
Reputation: 6925
Did somebody leave that rock before you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
My biggest fear is that someday I'm just going to kind of...slip away and let someone die or become severely injured because I didn't act fast enough.
I am not perfect so it is very possible that something I do could harm another person. The good thing is that you do fear, so you are quite normal in my opinion. Try identifying the cause of that fear exactly when you feel it. It is okay if you think about it later. Just do something about it when you realize what is causing it. For example, if you drive down the street and then realize you left the stove on, turn around and check it. Writing a post about it shows that you worry. That should stop. The number one reason for this is that it is a sign that you don't know what is within your control and what isn't.

When does taking action become a problem? When trying to control things that are out of our control or when you can't reasonably go back and correct it. So if you had driven a good distance away and then realized it, I wouldn't turn around. I won't give an exact amount of distance because that is the variance between us.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
5,671 posts, read 4,326,991 times
Reputation: 2610
Quote:
Originally Posted by elyn02 View Post
Did somebody leave that rock before you?



I am not perfect so it is very possible that something I do could harm another person. The good thing is that you do fear, so you are quite normal in my opinion. Try identifying the cause of that fear exactly when you feel it. It is okay if you think about it later. Just do something about it when you realize what is causing it. For example, if you drive down the street and then realize you left the stove on, turn around and check it. Writing a post about it shows that you worry. That should stop. The number one reason for this is that it is a sign that you don't know what is within your control and what isn't.

When does taking action become a problem? When trying to control things that are out of our control or when you can't reasonably go back and correct it. So if you had driven a good distance away and then realized it, I wouldn't turn around. I won't give an exact amount of distance because that is the variance between us.
#1. I usually do know the causes of my fear.

#2. Me posting this thread may seem to imply that I was worrying. Actually, a major reason I made this thread was as a form of entertainment. I like telling things about myself. Another important reason I made this thread was to, kind of, mark the situation I talked about in my mind so that I remember it as important, because it didn't bother me as much as I'd like. If you want to imagine my mentality accurately, imagine me typing everything on this thread in a 100% positive mood. Getting an answer to my question was only a minor reason for making this. Mostly I just figured, "I better make a big deal about this to, kind of, remind myself not to do that again."

#3. The type of "worrying" I'm doing is not unpleasant to me. There are no unpleasant feelings associated with it. Even when I described my "worst fear" don't imagine that as anything unpleasant to me. It's not. It is my worst fear...in the sense that it would be a terrible fate, but not anything that bothers me now.

#4. I doubt this is out of my control. I can change my mentality, once I figure out how, so I behave better next time...which is why I was interested in hearing ideas about experiencing a stronger, more painful, sense of guilt.

I appreciate your comments...but this is not that big of a deal anyway. I'm not dangerous. I'll figure something out.

I think, if you really do want to understand how my brain works, for whatever bizarre reason, I think you could probably imagine yourself, but without the ability to experience strong emotional bonds to other people, and with all the "higher" forms of discomfort - guilt, loneliness, shame, many forms of sadness...just gone or reduced dramatically. My primary negative feelings are basically just the more animal-like ones: fear, anxiety, hunger, pain, etc. We probably share most of the same positive emotions though.

I probably perceive most people...family members included, the same way you think about people you've met once. It's important to note that you probably have empathy for those people, or could in certain circumstances. For example, if a wizard gave you a button and told you, "I can either give you a very painful shock, or 10,000 other people you've never met the same painful shock" even though you have no emotional attachments to them, there's a good chance you'd gladly accept the pain yourself to prevent many other people from experiencing harm...and that's how most of my empathy works. No strong emotional bonds, but empathy nonetheless. That's how I see all my relatives. That's why I'd like to learn to experience more guilt. That's the motivation. Don't think of anything unpleasant being the motivation. It's more of an abstract desire...a similar desire as you might have to preserve those 10,000 people you've never met from experiencing pain.

Last edited by Clintone; 10-13-2019 at 09:32 PM..
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Old 10-14-2019, 02:01 AM
 
7,569 posts, read 4,115,387 times
Reputation: 6925
I think we are similar in many ways. Motivation comes from conflict, but it doesn't have to be negative feelings, such as fear, worry, and anger, which are actually the last feelings people feel after they ignored some initial feelings. But it is still conflict nonetheless. A comment as simple as "People should be..." or "I should be..." brings about conflict, and therefore, motivation.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
5,671 posts, read 4,326,991 times
Reputation: 2610
Quote:
Originally Posted by elyn02 View Post
I think we are similar in many ways. Motivation comes from conflict, but it doesn't have to be negative feelings, such as fear, worry, and anger, which are actually the last feelings people feel after they ignored some initial feelings. But it is still conflict nonetheless. A comment as simple as "People should be..." or "I should be..." brings about conflict, and therefore, motivation.
I agree with that.
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