General Do men with ptsd want your empathy?

Never_falter2

MyPTSD Pro
Okay. I see. But I still think many men don’t want that kind of empathy that you understand they are feeling terrible (if they are)... and i think it is actually hard to understand what kind of terrible a person with ptsd feels, like watchful-terrible, hopeless-terrible, stressed-terrible?
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
I just re read this and I thought this is girl talk and I didn’t even think of that before when I posted. It says a lot about me psychologically. Now I’m a little? annoyed. So is it implicit that women want your empathy? So that would mean men who want your empathy are more like women?
Like a forgone conclusion about the sexes which is (you guessed it) sexist. Which sucks because I think it’s a valid question.
 

Never_falter2

MyPTSD Pro
I just re read this and I thought this is girl talk and I didn’t even think of that before when I posted. It says a lot about me psychologically. Now I’m a little? annoyed. So is it implicit that women want your empathy? So that would mean men who want your empathy are more like women?
Like a forgone conclusion about the sexes which is (you guessed it) sexist. Which sucks because I think it’s a valid question.

I don’t know. No, I don’t think that all women or all women with ptsd want your empathy. I think it depends... I guess the women with ptsd on this site could say more about women with ptsd wanting/not wanting empathy... I think in maybe even in most cases they don’t.

I just thought of men (in this case) because on another thread I wrote about how empathy is not always good. For example I notice that my vet is not feeling well (ptsd, is in pain whatever)... does he want my empathy? Well, I think he often doesn’t. So my empathy is often only making me feel worse and is to good for anything. I think Allen’s to a lot of women.

Perhaps there is a men who made a similar experience in his relationship with a woman. Who knows?
 

Innordinate

MyPTSD Pro
empathy in english is being able to understand other people's feelings like they were your own.
Sympathy is basically feeling bad about someones misfortune etc

Men in general, are brought up to be tough and expect toughness from others.
yes, in general
Vet says it’s okay and he can cope. It’s okay like it is.
might catch some flak for this but:

it's ok, because he doesnt want sympathy or pity.
its ok, because there's nothing you or he can do anyways so it just has to be ok.

also agree that my disorder shouldnt prevent ppl i care about not enjoying themselves just because i cant partake in stuff. And if you make plans to do something I can't and then say you won't go once you realize I can't, or its obvious you want to go but won't because of me..... well, thats showing sympathy and/or pity, not empathy and no thanks. I'm not going to be the one who brings you or everyone else around me down. nope.

does that not make sense to you?

im trying to figure out if your troubled by his seemingly lack of wanting empathy, or if it's just a philosophical thing you wonder about. If you think it's an inherent flaw or if you're just trying to figure out how to show him empathy he'll accept.





But I still think many men don’t want that kind of empathy that you understand they are feeling terrible (if they are)
not true. Again, i think almost everyone wants that. But if you point it out to them in obvious ways, that you understand they're feeling terrible and feel bad for that, it's moving away from empathy into sympathy and I don't think many people (including women) want that most of the time.

and i think it is actually hard to understand what kind of terrible a person with ptsd feels, like watchful-terrible, hopeless-terrible, stressed-terrible?
yeah, for sure.


something that might help: google or search up "the difference between empathy and sympathy" and then click images.
 
Even after reading all the great posts, this one is hard for me. I think for me maybe more understanding than empathy. I remember one time in a very heated discussion with my wife I said " I wish I just lost a leg or something else physical that you or someone else could see". I also have a few other invisible medical issues to boot. It changed the whole nature of the discussion. I didn't want sympathy, or empathy or pity, I wanted an understanding. Like if I say I can't do something we planned, it's not because I'm "lazy, not interested, didn't want to , so on and so on". It's because I'm in a place that I can't/shouldn't do something due to my PTSD/other conditions. i definitely didn't want empathy at the time. Possibly because I don't want my wife (or others) empathy because I don't want them to feel how I do. I was in a very dark deep place at the time and I would not wish that on anyone. I empathise with anyone who has been there because I know how bad I felt. Although I don't use them too much I do have a couple of PTSD mentors I reach out to occasionally, because I know they have been there, and I know they will provide advice from their own point of view and what worked for them. I changed my view in that I am not on a path to recovery, but a path to self awareness, So I can identify my feelings/reactions etc. sooner and out tools to use to make it out safely.
 

Never_falter2

MyPTSD Pro
it's ok, because he doesnt want sympathy or pity.
its ok, because there's nothing you or he can do anyways so it just has to be ok.

also agree that my disorder shouldnt prevent ppl i care about not enjoying themselves just because i cant partake in stuff. And if you make plans to do something I can't and then say you won't go once you realize I can't, or its obvious you want to go but won't because of me..... well, thats showing sympathy and/or pity, not empathy and no thanks. I'm not going to be the one who brings you or everyone else around me down. nope.

does that not make sense to you?

im trying to figure out if your troubled by his seemingly lack of wanting empathy, or if it's just a philosophical thing you wonder about. If you think it's an inherent flaw or if you're just trying to figure out how to show him empathy he'll accept.

I see what you are saying and actually @Sweetpea76 and @Freida have been telling me: it’s better everybody but the Vet having fun than nobody having fun... but otoh it makes me angry some people even don’t try to find something that he can enjoy too and in fact don’t even notice he ain’t enjoying himself sitting at home all alone while everybody else is having fun and that my vet is not voicing that and demanding that his needs must be met and they must be more empathetic with him. No, he is not the kind of guy who is enjoying this, being left out and all alone - he sort of pretends but as a matter of fact he is very social but just cannot do certain things.

He just doesn’t want to feel that everybody had to do *this boring old thing* because of him when they could have done *that exiting thing* that triggers him.

When we go places he hates because they trigger him, I always take pictures on my cellphone and he always wants to see the pictures. I realize he would have love to go there too. He always says he is fine with seeing the pictures but I know it isn’t true.

Yep and he doesn’t like that kind of empathy... or if you ask him if he is okay, how he is doing. He sometimes just doesn’t like that kind of question.

(What I was wring was mostly about Pre corona btw)

Yep, I would like to show homeopathy in a way he accepts but it’s also a philosophical thing I wonder about both.
 

Never_falter2

MyPTSD Pro
Even after reading all the great posts, this one is hard for me. I think for me maybe more understanding than empathy. I remember one time in a very heated discussion with my wife I said " I wish I just lost a leg or something else physical that you or someone else could see". I also have a few other invisible medical issues to boot. It changed the whole nature of the discussion. I didn't want sympathy, or empathy or pity, I wanted an understanding. Like if I say I can't do something we planned, it's not because I'm "lazy, not interested, didn't want to , so on and so on". It's because I'm in a place that I can't/shouldn't do something due to my PTSD/other conditions. i definitely didn't want empathy at the time. Possibly because I don't want my wife (or others) empathy because I don't want them to feel how I do. I was in a very dark deep place at the time and I would not wish that on anyone. I empathise with anyone who has been there because I know how bad I felt. Although I don't use them too much I do have a couple of PTSD mentors I reach out to occasionally, because I know they have been there, and I know they will provide advice from their own point of view and what worked for them. I changed my view in that I am not on a path to recovery, but a path to self awareness, So I can identify my feelings/reactions etc. sooner and out tools to use to make it out safely.

Thanks for sharing.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
I don’t know. No, I don’t think that all women or all women with ptsd want your empathy. I think it depends... I guess the women with ptsd on this site could say more about women with ptsd wanting/not wanting empathy... I think in maybe even in most cases they don’t.

I just thought of men (in this case) because on another thread I wrote about how empathy is not always good. For example I notice that my vet is not feeling well (ptsd, is in pain whatever)... does he want my empathy? Well, I think he often doesn’t. So my empathy is often only making me feel worse and is to good for anything. I think Allen’s to a lot of women.

Perhaps there is a men who made a similar experience in his relationship with a woman. Who knows?
Thanks, I have a hard time with this because I actually have to deal with those feelings instead of just “getting angry “. I want your empathy if it comes with your love. I never feel bad about why a woman loves me. If it means she doesn’t love me because I’m like that then no. So I guess it depends. As long as she loves me then there must be something good about me. Women soothe me. I’m not sure how it is for other men or most men. It gets more complicated depending on the situation.
 

Innordinate

MyPTSD Pro
Yep and he doesn’t like that kind of empathy...
I think you're definitely confusing empathy and sympathy.
Taking pictures of what he's missing, though he might want to see them, is not empathy.


him if he is okay, how he is doing.
Does anyone like these questions?
I despise these questions.
They aren't asked out of empathy either.

I think this is hard to explain with the language barrier. Unfortunately, the only language i know fluently is english so I'm going to try to explain what I think without using the term empathy because I'm pretty sure it's not the english word you're meaning here.

Your vet sounds a bit like me- with what kind of emotions i will share with people and what kind of emotions i want them to share with me.

It's a very small list.

What I have a hard time with is someone who tries to verbally acknowledge my mental health (weakness) or point out, make me aware they're aware of my limitations. (on purpose or not)

What I do like, is when someone does or doesn't do something quietly, without making it obvious they're doing it because of my limitations.

I think your vet (and possibly quite a few men and women) are the same

Does that make better sense?

ETA: it sounds like your vet is also very protective of your feelings. Thats a kind of empathy (english definition) he shows you i think.
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
I despise these questions.
They aren't asked out of empathy either.

I’d like to challenge this notion here, since we’re in the supporter section. These are questions that are typically asked of loved ones in all kinds of healthy relationships. If somebody knows their spouse, child, sibling... whatever... is doing poorly it is second nature to check on them. It is not a pity party. It is a loving act of concern.
 

Never_falter2

MyPTSD Pro
I think you're definitely confusing empathy and sympathy.
Taking pictures of what he's missing, though he might want to see them, is not empathy.

What I do like, is when someone does or doesn't do something quietly, without making it obvious they're doing it because of my limitations.

I think your vet (and possibly quite a few men and women) are the same

Does that make better sense?

Not sure if you got what I was trying to say. My vet doesn’t want people to be empathetic and doesn’t want them to do something quietly because they noticed his limitations. He would hate, hate, hate that - at least if he knew the reason that they did it because of his limitations - because he is like that. Maybe it has nothing to do with ptsd or him being a man, maybe he is the exception from the rule. I dunno but that’s the thing he hates most on this world.

But if he cannot go to a place he wants the others to have fun and take pictures or bring him something, like some popcorn or whatever... and I mean of course he is sad that he could not go there and only has a picture or popcorn or whatever... and he tries to hide it but I notice it but what should I do?

I mean he doesn’t want empathy, he obviously wants people to go places, enjoy themselves and bring him a picture... and, yes, I am sad he has just the picture but what am I supposed to do? Should I feel guilty for doing exactly what he asks me to do?

As for asking him how he is feeling I used to do that for a while (when he was feeling suicidal) out of genuine concern because I was worried for him but after a while he was feeling better and he didn’t want me to ask him that often. Then I stopped asking him.
 
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