Friday, August 6, 2010

The Link Between Empathy and ASMR

I’ve read posts on various forums and so on that talk about how emotional response can cause an ASMR event. They talked about how from personal experience, when they felt empathy for someone or something, or when it was felt by someone else they could sense it, and that started it off.

I didn’t think that this occurred with me… until the other night.

I was watching TV, and saw a retrospective of an athlete’s career. How he rose from being just another name to being a champion. You know those sorts of of montages they show reflecting on someone’s greatest moments and achievements.

It’s something that guys know all too well, and it’s one moment that it’s okay for a man to cry – so they say; when the sport’s on, and something like this occurs. To us it’s a thing of beauty that not many women understand – and yet they’re supposed to be the sensitive, emotional ones. Go figure.

But instead of bringing a tear to my eye, this TV segment started to give me the head tingles as I watched. It was almost as though I was sharing the elation that this man experienced, and revelled in the sensations that were going wild, as I got that familiar tingling on my scalp and down my back.

It was then that I knew what those posters on the forums and so on had been talking about. It is some sort of empathy from watching a person fight and struggle up through the ranks. And it also helps a lot to hear the commentators go wild as they celebrate alongside, just going mad, shouting things like “I don’t believe it! He’s done it! He’s the new champion!” until they go hoarse and red in the face. You get the idea, I think.

And the great thing about this empathy-inspired ASMR, is that I can trigger it just by thinking about it, by thinking back to it and just playing it out in my mind. And this is great for exercising my Type A ASMR which I’ve been developing more and more over time. Type A means you don’t need an external source for it to trigger ASMR, whereas Type B you do - like watching TV or listening to the radio. I’m a bit of both.

So this is actually quite a breakthrough for me as I understand now, and I do experience it. I didn’t think I had any empathy for people, but maybe sometimes I do – perhaps when it’s someone who deserves it when a good thing happens.


  1. Hey.. ya I have been looking at this site time to time since June. Anyways not important I broke my heel been busy and I came back today and noticed this. I would like to say that I think Head Tingles can be triggered by any emotion. I get mine through empathy, but I also get mine through extreme anger. it is very strong but unlike others where it is relaxing and feels good this "anger trigger" makes it feel like my scalp is going to cave into my head. You should look into this. anyways thats all

    From: T.H.

  2. Well T.H., it's interesting what you've brought up, and I will ask around. I don't recall ever getting the sensation when angry. Usually we associate it with more positive emotions and a state of calm.

    Are you completely sure it's the same sort of tingling sensation? Many people mistake ASMR for other things like goosebumps, or pins and needles, for instance.

  3. Hi, I get asmr very intensely through empathy, but also when I'm faced with confrontation. I work in a challenging job where hostility towards workers is common - I find when I'm in a situation of threat or hostility I get asmr very strongly and it helps me keep calm and level headed. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has experienced this?

  4. Very interesting. I also get the asmr feeling when i'm exercising and think about fighting. I did a lot of combat sports growing up and I had a sort of berserking episode during a wrestling match. It was kind of like going into a trance and the rest of the world seems to fall away. The feeling is like asmr but the tingling doesn't have the usual pleasurable element to it. I'm really curious about this. I think there is more to asmr that watching videos and relaxing. I know it comes off sounding corny as hell, but this is a real thing i've experienced and i'm so curious if other asmr people have gotten this.


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