They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. I think this is mostly poetic hyperbole. I do believe that eyes are the windows to the emotions, or lack thereof.
Recently I’ve received a lot of mail inquiring about the capacity for empathy in Borderline Personality Disorder. This is a subject I find fascinating. So what is Empathy? Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being.
Borderlines are often credited with being hypersensitive and with having the ability to be keenly aware of another person’s emotional state. Unfortunately we also have a tendency to personalize the emotions we read in other people and project what they are feeling onto ourselves. So I guess that makes us very perceptive but leaves something to be desired in our interpretation.
Before I begin though, I’d like you to take this test.
It’s called Reading the Mind in the Eyes’. It measures the capacity to discriminate the mental state of others from expressions in the eye region of the face.
It’s hypothesized that those with Borderline Personality Disorder have an advantage in reading the expressions displayed on a person’s face. The average score for a typically empathic person (Non-BPD) on this test is 26.2.
I scored 31. Not perfect, but above average.
So tell me. How do you Score?