How can I show my friends that I care and that I’m empathetic when I’m unable to show it visibly?
I think you can go a long way with variations on the phrase ‘That really sucks, and I’m sorry that happened to you.’
I tend to show it by giving people things, usually things I have made. Even if it is only a quick origami boat or bird. I don’t know if it works, but it is the way I show I care.
"Do you know the 5 Love Languages? Here they are:
l. Words of affirmation – using words to build up the other person. “Thanks for
taking out the garbage.” Not – “It’s about time you took the garbage out. The
flies were going to carry it out for you.”
Gifts – a gift says, “He was thinking about me. Look what he got for me.”
Acts of Service – Doing something for your spouse that you know they would
like. Cooking a meal, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, are all acts of service.
Quality time – by which I mean, giving your spouse your undivided attention.
Taking a walk together or sitting on the couch with the TV off – talking and
Physical touch – holding hands, hugging, kissing, sexual intercourse, are all
expressions of love."
Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_Love_Languages
Aspies are particularly good at acts of service and gifts, imo.
I was having lunch in the staff room today and one of my colleagues was talking about really stressful situation she had just been in. I didn’t say anything, but when she expressed interest in the fact that we were all eating desserts, I gave her my spare. She wasn’t expecting it and it made her really happy. Didn’t have to say a word about the actual stressful thing.
I think I’m ‘acts of service’ too.
I posted this question on our social media, and here are the responses we got:
“My favorite way is to make things for my friends. I also tell them in writing a lot (writing is easier than talking for me, though I am verbal)” - Facebook user Jolene Meurer
“Tell them. Your friends will understand. Ignore ignorant people.” - Facebook user Anna Bluston
“Writing notes has been helpful to me, I also try to make cards for them that reflect how well I know them. I’ve also sent gifts that are helpful to friends in a particular situation. Feedback has been positive. I may not have the standard words, but I can always offer to listen.” - Instagram account Educationonthemoon
“Write a note, make a card or do something kind for them. Ask if you can help them with something. If saying I love you is too awkward, you can send a text or message. I❤U!” - Instagram account autisticaplanet
“This is a wonderful question! Fortunately, there are many ways to show we care about someone, even if outward empathy isn’t our strong-suit. We can engage in activities they enjoy, we can actively listen to them, and we can actually say, “I’m not sure how to show you that I care about you right now, and I want you to know that I do.” You can even say, “I want to support you and show you love right now, how can I do that?” There are so many options to try. ” - Instagram account neurodiverserelationships