Top 10 Things I really wish people would understand about autism
1. Autism is CLEARLY an autosomal recessive genetic trait that is not effected by gender, class or race. (meaning black women are just as likely to be autistic as white boys people!) This also means autism doesn’t just magically go away at age 18; it is forever. Negative symptoms of Autism can get better or worse by learning coping strategies or getting more overwhelmed physically and mentally.
2. There is no way vaccines could cause autism; even if autism wasn’t a genetic trait, which it is!
3. Being autistic means you are smarter, have an overall higher cognition level of most things/a higher I.Q. ,not lower compared to most people.
Autistic people tend to be far more creative, intelligent, strong willed and honest then the average person.
4. If a person cannot speak this doesn’t mean that person can’t hear you, understand you, or that they are incompetent or unintelligent.
5. Being “socially stupid” does not mean that you are stupid at everything else.
6. Some Autistic kids really need home school and some really need the push for more social interaction in public school.
7. The main “problem for autistic people” isn’t “behavior issues” it’s communication issues and having a nervous system that makes the person 10 times more sensitive then the average person which is mentally and physically overwhelming.
8. Because autistic people are so overly sensitive to everything, people need to realize things that are just a little harmful for all people like :
are horrible for autistic people and can cause them to be so overwhelmed they cannot speak/ are in extreme discomfort daily.
Because autistic people are so overly sensitive to everything, people need to realize things that are just a little
good for all people like:
building ramps instead of stairs to houses, living in a clean, quiet, peaceful environment. Using pet therapy, swimming therapy, occupational therapy, seeing a councilor once in awhile, brushing therapy, weight therapy, having a very comfortable bed, eating and exercising correctly, being your own best advocate
can REALLY help any autistic person be so much happier, healthier and independent.
10. Sometimes a parent and autistic child can do everything right and an autistic child will still not be able to be independent, safe alone, will still be in agony and cannot speak. Until we recognize that the main problem for Autistic people is a hyperactive nervous system and address this scientifically there will be little hope of change for these people.
You can choose to be a white person and be offended by black slurs (words from iDubbbz lol)
You cannot censor someone and tell them they can’t say just cause YOU think it’s offensive
If we should censor EVERY WORD that at least 1 person would get offended by, almost all words in the dictionary would get censored. Do you know how idiotic that is?
Labeling someone as racist, sexist, ableist or anti-semitic because they simply said something is so discriminating, especially when all they want to do is make people laugh.
Something that is offensive TO YOU, is not offensive to everyone else, and it does not make you SMARTER to be offended by useless shit.
Infact, you would be smarter if you knew the fucking difference between a joke and fact.
I once got told off by this person for using the words ‘’psychopathic’’ and ‘’insane’’, as they started to make long rants on their tumblr basically making me look like a person that hates disabled people and thinks they are insane.
Literally, if I was ableist, I wouldn’t love my paralyzed little sister who has never been able to talk or walk or live a normal life cause she is permanently brain damaged. I love her with all my heart and always have and always will.
If I was racist for using slurs, I wouldn’t have a group of black friends and a asian boyfriend.
You cannot label a person as something unless you know them.
Just like how you CANNOT label Pewdiepie as anti-semitic for a joke. Literally, his JEWISH FRIEND H3H3 came out and said he is NOT a anti-semite, shouldn’t that say something in itself?
Literally, we live in a world where hypersensativity is accepted, and that’s not okay, censorship should NEVER be okay.
And also, people give children SO LITTLE CREDIT, people are making children look retarded in all honestly.
Cause they say that children ‘’cannot tell the difference between a joke and facts’’ but when I was a child, I KNEW THE DIFFERENCE
STOP LABELING PEOPLE AND STOP CENSORING EVERYTHING, CAUSE YOU ARE NOT ‘’FIGHITING FOR EQUALITY’’, YOU ARE REMOVING FREEDOM AND CREATING MORE INEQUALITY.
does matt murdock really have a lot of girlfriends? im not familiar with the comics im sorry
Matt is almost always dating someone. He is gifted/cursed with the romantic double-whammy of being very attractive and falling in love easily, and so usually doesn’t stay single for long. Below is a quick summary of everyone he has dated (based on our definition of the term). We’ll let you be the judge of whether or not it constitutes “a lot”.
- Mais qu'est ce qui ne tourne pas rond chez toi ?
- Comment ça?
- Tu dis avoir besoin d'amour , de quelqu'un d'attentionné, quelqu'un capable d'accepter tes défauts, ton côté instable, bancale, impulsif, hypersensible, caractériel, quelqu'un capable de t'aimer pour ce que tu es vraiment et toi, tu fais quoi?
Tu deviens invivable, jamais contente, t'as l'impression d'être étouffée, rien n'est jamais assez bien. T'arrives même pas à rendre l'autre heureux avec tes conneries.
Quand est ce que tu vas enfin comprendre que l'on peut vraiment t'aimer? Quand est ce que tu vas enfin t'ouvrir au Bonheur et surtout y croire ?
C'est pas compliqué , merde ! Regarde la chance que tu as. Combien serait déjà parti au vu de tes réactions? Et lui, lui, il est là, il reste, il s'accroche, il se bat.
Alors cesse de jouer ta petite gamine capricieuse et apprends toi aussi à te remettre en question.
Alors d'accord je peux comprendre que tu ne t'aimes pas mais laisses les autres t'aimer. C'est comme si tu cherchais constamment à ce que l'on te déteste .
T'es vraiment contradictoire comme fille.
Je sais que ton enfance ne t'as pas montré le meilleur d'une histoire d'amour mais oublie, je t'assure que toi tu peux faire mieux.
Je ne te demande pas de changer en un jour, mais petit à petit, et tu verras que même toi tu te sentiras mieux et plus légère.
J'ai compris ton besoin d'indépendance et ce besoin que tu as de te retrouver seule parfois mais soit plus diplomate quand tu t'adresses aux gens qui tiennent à toi. Je veux pas que tu finisses toute seule car je sais que tes Démons referont surface.
Bats toi et crois en toi , comme les autres, comme lui le fait pour toi.
Matt Murdock is an autistic, manic-depressive, disabled superhero with sensory processing disorder and i will fight the Whole World About All Of It
some facts tho, like, canon facts gathered from comics and show:
matt murdock sleeps under a thick heavy blanket
matt murdock sleeps with silk sheets because “cotton feels like sandpaper on [his] skin”
matt murdock is generally very sensitive to texture and feel of clothing and fabric and can’t life comfortably in ones that are Wrong
matt murdock is very sensitive to taste and texture of food and can’t comfortably eat things that are Wrong (oysters)
“What I wasn’t taking into account was maybe my greatest weakness: sensory overload.”
in fact let me just quote that whole section
“For me, it’s not just about warmer weather or navigating traffic. Because of my hypersenses, everything out here is new to me. But the human brain, no matter how smart, can only process so much data at any given time. The more there is to learn, the more difficult it is to maintain your normal level of concentration.” –matt on the difficulties of moving to a new city
incidentally i’m like 900% sure this is a big piece of why matt continues to use a cane even after his identity is revealed (so that he doesn’t have to devote so much of his energy and concentration to orientation and mobility)
matt murdock gets sound and smell sensitive migraines
matt murdock hates crowds
matt murdock has frequently gone manic in response to traumatic events in his life and has stayed manic for months on end
matt murdock is known to both himself and his friends as someone who struggles with severe depressive episodes and self-destructive behavior
matt murdock literally word-for-word canonically describes himself as having depression. he uses the word depression to describe his experiences. i’m not gonna put the panels in here because they stress me out.
matt murdock (on the show) is a massive fidgeter. he fidgets extensively with the handle of his cane and continues to make those same gestures even when he’s not holding the cane
matt murdock (on the show) uses a script to describe difficult situations, even if that script is not 100% appropriate for the situation (he uses the same script of “world on fire” to describe his supersenses to both foggy and claire, even though it’s not suited to foggy; consistently says “i’m blind” as an excuse for superhero behavior things even though it doesn’t fit the scenario- although lbr nondisabled people are so awkward about disability he probably does this because it works 99% of the time. still a script tho)
fisk on the show is So autistic-coded that many many of the things that are like “you’re like me, daredevil” that fisk says/does/the parallels between fisk and matt are actually autistic-coded things
when in college, matt wears huge ear protectors and a dust mask to sleep in to mitigate the sensory input of trying to sleep in a room shared with another living person (who is the ever-loud, ever-smelly foggy nelson)
matt murdock has super extreme empathy levels for the people in hell’s kitchen, but only hell’s kitchen- which helps to explain why he’s pretty chill with crime as long as it happens outside his neighborhood
matt murdock develops extremely close, strong connections with a very limited number of people
even though matt murdock cares So Deeply about the people in his life, he is truly terrible at spoken, neurotypical communication
matt murdock’s emotionality is Off given his circumstances and the traditional/typical neurotypical response to those situations. foggy comments on this when matt is happy-go-lucky after tragedy, and he’s so known for it that they literally call him the man without fear (it’s not that matt has no fear- it’s that matt presents fear differently, responds to fear differently)
matt murdock has developed specific coping mechanisms and behaviors to respond to certain sensory input:
“Three-hundred-some pulse rates just doubled. I can’t unhear them, so I use one of my mental exercises. I picture all those hearts as instruments in a giant orchestra.”
it’s kind of hard to make distinctions between the things matt does because he’s blind (textured suits, specifically organized desk, routines, etc) and things that he does specifically because he’s neurodivergent, and i know folks are going to challenge me on that, because how dare i headcanon a character as autistic. especially how dare i claim a character can be disabled and also mentally ill and neurodivergent
but i think this difficulty of distinction makes sense, a) because supersenses, and who says that supersenses can’t also be described as sensory processing disorder and in terms of neurodivergence and b) intersectionality of experience; because guess what people can be autistic and blind and you can’t always separate out specific elements of why people respond to their world in certain ways because brains are fucking complicated
We are still in the “gotta be as vague as possible” stage of Defenders interviews, but regardless, this is a good one. The topics the showrunners vaguely touch upon here are exciting, and we’re so hyped up about this show that really, that’s all we need. Thanks to @PageMurdock on Twitter for sending us this one!
“It’s very much a New York story. It’s easiest to talk about it as if it’s a story of New York because it’s street level. It’s never an option for us in these shows to do the Defenders in space,” said Ramirez. “The challenge here is we’ve got four really powerful people teaming together and so we need to come up with something that’s worthy of their fists and fury. I think we did, I think we absolutely did. It’s really hard, though. They’re so powerful when all four of them are together. You’re like, who is a challenge?”
First of all, we’d watch the heck out of the Defenders in space.
It’s clear that the stakes in this series would be the fate of New York City. Any one of these guys has what it takes to engage in some planet-saving if put to the test, but that’s not what street-level stories tend to be about. These shows have been NYC-focused from the beginning– a huge deal was made about them being filmed entirely in the city back when arrangements were first being made for Daredevil Season 1– and we know already that the Hand have their sights set on taking over New York. Yes, the world later (if they’re anything like the Hand in the comics), but they have to start small. They’re still building their power base, after all.
On the subject of power and Ramirez’s comment about building a threat big enough to challenge our heroes, let’s do a little math. Matt + Jessica + Luke + Danny= a whole lot of butt-kicking– certainly enough to take on the Hand. That’s a total of two-and-a-half people with super strength, two with enhanced durability, three with varying degrees of rapid healing, one-and-a-half with hypersenses (Danny can heighten his awareness, but not to Matt’s level), and a cumulatively ridiculous amount of martial arts training (plus the rest of Danny’s Swiss Army Knife-esque assortment of powers). We don’t know how powerful Elektra will become once she reaches her potential as the Black Sky, but will she be able to take on all four of them at once? We’re almost positive that Sigourney Weaver’s character is tied to the Hand, and we have some thoughts about who she might be and whether or not she’s playing a fighter– but either way, she’s presumably going to be making up the power differential.
“One of the things that made the Defenders so unique was, at the end, nobody needs to put on a costume that has a D on it. Nobody needs to have a building that has a big D on it. At the end, provided that they succeed and who knows whether or not they will, they can just tell each other to go… ‘Yeah, I’m not seeing you anymore. And I cleaned that up.’ That’s the fun of being able to take those characters."
(*Ahem* Matt needs a costume with a D on it…) We’ve wondered for a while now how Marvel picked this name for this team– if they just spun the big roulette wheel of superhero groups and landed on “Defenders”– because these guys bear almost no resemblance to the 616 Defenders team. However, this quote brings up one similarity that had not occurred to us. The Defenders in the comics are, famously, a “non-team”. They’re a group of heroes who occasionally get together when the need arises. It would make perfect sense for this to be the nature of this version of the Defenders as well. This is not going to be a big, official team like the Avengers. Matt doesn’t do well on permanent teams for a variety of reasons, Jessica is a bit of a loner, and frankly, we’re hoping for a Heroes for Hire-esque Luke and Danny partnership eventually. These four are going to be drawn together to face a shared threat and will likely leave the experience as friends, but yes– they’re not going to then set up a headquarters and start doing press tours.
"The tone question is probably one of the most challenging and most exciting parts of this project because we get to overlap the four tones of the four shows and get to see what it looks like when a bit of a 'Daredevil tone’ overlaps into a Jessica story and vice versa, or what happens when Luke Cage is suddenly in a scenario that feels kind of like it would have happened on Daredevil instead,” said Ramirez. “The tone has really just been about organically blending those all together so that it feels like they’re all cohesive and all of a piece. And of course, we’re improvising to a certain degree. We’re writing these things, and there certainly is a plan in place, and Marvel and Netflix and Jeph Loeb have all had very smart framework for what everything kind of looks like.”
It sounds like tonally, this show is going to surpass all of our wildest hopes and dreams. A while back, someone pointed out that the Daredevil theme pops up at various points in the Luke Cage score, and we freaked out about it. We love how individualized and unique every aspect of each show as been– to the point where you’re not just getting a character, but a whole character-styled world– so we’re thrilled about the way they’re describing this aspect of the team-up. A true blending of these four (or maybe five, depending on the Punisher) different worlds has the potential to be really, really cool.
“…And what are those pairings like? What is Matt like when he’s talking to Danny? What is Jessica like when she has to re-encounter Luke? Or meet a blind attorney who for some reason has the ability to be able to do things that make no sense at all, and who can call bulls**t on anybody that’s in that group? So, that’s really the challenge and the fun.“
We’re excited about every single word of this quote. The character interactions in this show are going to be just as much fun as the butt-kicking, if not moreso.
The secret identity factor is something we’re really hyped up about in particular, given all of the fun tension it brings with it. First of all, will Danny have a secret identity? He tried to have one for a while in the comics, but it always felt a bit forced, so we wouldn’t be surprised if they did away with it in the show. This will leave us with Matt, and all of his wild secret identity shenanigans. Will the others find out who he is? Will he tell them? Will they figure it out on their own? Either way, we can’t wait. This show is going to be an unbelievable amount of fun.
“The Devil in Cell Block D” is Daredevil vol. 2 #82-87. It’s the first story arc of Ed Brubaker’s run, and it deals with Matt’s traumatic time in jail after getting publicly accused of being Daredevil.
That’s the short, spoiler-free version. For a more thorough description of this story arc, spoilers and all, click the link…
now that the TV side of MCU is really expanding, any thoughts on matt's interactions with other heroes? street-level to avengers on up, though i'd love it if you covered spider-man (he does call him the avenger he's closest with). :D?
Oh man! Great question. Where do we even begin?
First of all, we’re super excited about all of the heroes Matt is going to be interacting with in the upcoming shows. It’s been almost three years since this team-up was first announced, and we still can’t quite believe it’s happening. There is a lot of material we hope the showrunners will draw on, since so many of these characters are people Matt’s had a lot of history with in the comics.
Elektra’s origin story has gone through a number of different variations over the years, presumably because Frank Miller could not make up his mind. However, here is a quick breakdown of what sent her down the path toward becoming the awesome ninja assassin she is today.
AKA Why You Should Always Tell Your Best Friend Your Secret Identity
Matt Murdock has never been great at keeping his biggest secret. He told Karen Page he was Daredevil within the first five years of the comic’s publication. The Kingpin found out within the first twenty. Ben Urich and Milla Donovan both figured it out on their own, but were met with barely any resistance when they confronted Matt about it. Elektra Natchios found out (about Matt’s hypersenses, anyway) within five minutes of meeting him. But it took poor Foggy 347 issues (over thirty years-worth of comics) to learn that his best friend was a superhero.
It’s difficult to make excuses for Matt here, beyond acknowledging his inherent secret-keeping tendencies, as well as the fact that he latches very tightly and trustingly to the women he dates
to a degree that he apparently doesn’t apply to his best friend. From a narrative standpoint, there’s a fun element of dramatic irony inherent in secret identities, so the lineup of Daredevil writers who chose to keep Foggy in the dark most likely did so to keep this fundamental aspect of superhero comics alive for at least one character. After all, you need someone to be confused about Matt’s strange disappearances, and his ability to get into the office without coming through the front door.
Of course, the barrier Matt created by hiding a major part of himself from Foggy did not in any way lessen the depth of their relationship. They spent those 346 issues before Foggy’s revelation developing one of the richest friendships in all of comics. They shared all kinds of crazy experiences. They sat together at Jack Murdock’s last fight, they lost the law office and put it back together again, they mourned friends, they helped each other through the bad moments and celebrated the good, they had some really huge fights, they dealt with all kinds of Daredevil-related shenanigans (DD was very much a presence in Foggy’s life, even before he knew who he really was), and they ultimately became vital forces in each others’ worlds, reliant on each other while bringing out the best in each other.
One of the greatest triumphs of the Netflix show is the fact that it was able to recreate this over the course of only thirteen hours. Matt and Foggy’s friendship is treated by the writers and actors with an amount of respect and dedication that surpassed the wildest dreams of the DD nerds who run this blog. And so, when Foggy finds out about Matt’s vigilante activities (before practically anyone else!) at the end of episode 9, the moment is as immensely powerful as it rightfully deserves to be. And the fact that they included this huge development in their relationship so soon is exciting, because the show is now fully equipped to explore all the wonderful complications of Foggy sharing Matt’s big secret.
We’ve been thinking about this a lot, since it’s a memorable character moment for Matt. There are several possible explanations for his answer here:
1. He is playing along with Elektra’s attempts at making small talk to blend in, and is intentionally giving an answer that is at odds with the fancy setting– either as a joke or just to be obstinate.
2. This is a little meta reference to Matt’s music preferences in the 2003 Daredevil movie.
3. MCU Matt Murdock genuinely does not love jazz (That’s okay, MCU Matt. We still like you). His being “more accustomed” to mainstream, less complex music connects to some other establishing character moments from this season, such as Matt’s assertion to Karen that he doesn’t drink anything that isn’t served at Josie’s, and that he’s “always felt more comfortable with the cheap stuff”. The intended contrast here is clear– Matt’s poor upbringing (and Karen’s, for that matter) exists at odds with Elektra’s wealthy one, and even though he tries to exist in her world, it will never be fully natural for him.
In the comics Matt has always had rich tastes due to the requirements of his hypersenses– and we’ve even seen that a bit in the show, with his preference for silk sheets. But the MCU, in general, places an emphasis on Matt’s low income over the pickiness of his senses– which is an interesting choice, and a neat variation on his character.
I would like to know what you think about that scene in Dogs to a Gunfight where Matt loses his senses for a while? I know that's not the best way to describe it, it has another name, I know, I just can't remember right now, but you're the experts, so I would like to know your opinion about it :) (wait, is it sensory overload? haha) I love your blog!
That is one of our favorite scenes in the entire show, and we’ve been meaning to do a post about it, so thank you!
Here we have Matt suffering from the effects of what must be a pretty serious concussion, thanks to Frank shooting him in the head at close range. Considering how powerful that impact must have been, and the fact that this can’t be Matt’s first concussion, he actually gets off pretty light. But this is a superhero story, where injuries are never as severe as they would be in real life, so we’re willing to let that slide.
Concussions are always nasty business, and have a whole range of side effects (here are some complete lists: [X][X][X]), but what makes it a particularly interesting/terrible injury for Matt to sustain is that so many of the symptoms are sensory-based. Having a concussion impedes balance and motor skills, causes intense headaches and ringing in the ears, increases noise sensitivity, and generally messes with mental functions. For Matt, whose mental willpower and sensory processing are so fragile anyway, this is disastrous. There are a number of instances in the comics in which we see concussions turn his life into a nightmare.
[From Daredevil vol. 1 #155 by Roger McKenzie, Frank Robbins, and Bob Sharen. Matt experiences intense headaches and disorientation, then a severe personality shift and irritability, then beats up Captain America, Beast, and Hercules(!) before falling into a coma.]
[From Daredevil vol. 2 #26 by Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, and Matt Hollingsworth. A less severe situation than the one above, but still quite serious. Matt loses control of his senses to an almost debilitating degree.]
In the show we see much of the same thing. Matt experiences memory loss and disorientation (he forgets an earlier conversation with Foggy about Karen), suffers from ringing in his ears, then loses control of his hearing altogether, which becomes extra sensitive before shutting down entirely, sending him into partial sensory deprivation.
One of our greatest wishes for Season 2, since it never came up last year, was some acknowledgement of how fragile Matt’s hypersenses are, and so we cannot overstress how grateful we are for this scene– which does just that. As we’ve said before, Matt’s ability to function relies entirely on his ability to filter the massive amount of sensory information he receives, to a degree where he can tell what’s going on around him without becoming overwhelmed. He spends every moment of his life maintaining that balance, and any disruption is a huge deal.
What makes this scene work so well is that it not only depicts the degree to which Matt’s hypersenses can be damaged by something as common as a concussion– it also portrays just how horrific that experience is for Matt. This scene is, in our opinion, the only time in the show when we are truly inside Matt’s head, in spite of the visuals. We experience firsthand his disorientation and pain (kudos on the ear-piercing sound effects) as his hearing starts to fluctuate, then the slow-motion panic when he knocks the glass off the counter, and then the horror of the silence afterward. He then backs against the wall– either from pure disorientation, to have something solid and grounding to touch, or to feel vibrations and assure himself that he actually is making noise. The prolonged shot we then have of him soundlessly screaming is about as powerful as you can get, because it emphasizes in a visceral way how traumatic this all is. He is suddenly down another sense, and he has no idea if he will ever be able to hear again. The timelessness of the moment adds to its power. We– and probably Matt, at this point– can’t tell how long it lasts. He could be sitting there for hours, rethinking his entire life to include only taste, smell, and touch.
Our only complaint is that these symptoms don’t last longer. His hearing becomes extra sensitive once more later in the episode, during his fight with Frank, but after that he seems, miraculously, to be fine. Just imagine if Matt had struggled with disorientation and regulating his senses for the rest of the season. But again, we can’t complain too much. This scene, as short as it is, is a gift, and we’re grateful for it.
reading through some of the replies on the ask about whether or not matt is autistic and one of them says that matt is hyper empathetic as a symptom of autism (i tink this one got lost in the notes)? but this actually makes me curious because i was wondering how much you think matt empathizes/where he draws the line? he doesn't seem to know when to stop
I can’t speak to this as a symptom or aspect of autism because I have absolutely no authority to do so, but yeah, from a strict character analysis point of view, I think Matt is simultaneously hyper-empathetic and not very empathetic at all. The problem is that “empathy” can be defined in three different ways:
1. caring about other people (which if we’re splitting hairs is technically sympathy)
2. feeling other people’s pain as if it were your own
3. understanding other people and what they want and need.
I don’t think anyone would argue that Matt doesn’t care about people. He loves fiercely (Foggy, Jack, Claire, Karen, the people of Hell’s Kitchen) and often long after he should stop (Stick, arguably Elektra). He hates injustice and suffering and risked his life as a child to save a stranger. Matt is absolutely empathetic in the first sense.
As far as feeling other people’s pain goes, this is where I think the hyper-empathy kicks in. He repeatedly talks about hearing people suffering and being unable to turn a deaf ear to it - when he hears someone screaming or crying, he needs to intervene. There’s no conscious decision-making step in between - he hears the scream and he’s in action. His reaction is as instinctive as if he were the one being hurt. He also overidentifies with Frank - who, as much as the show humanizes him, is a mass murderer - to the point that he tanks their case. You said that he doesn’t know where to stop and I think that’s exactly right. He doesn’t have clear boundaries between the other person’s pain and his own, which isn’t that surprising when you think of how invasive other people’s suffering must be to him. I keep coming back to the way he says “You’re afraid” to Claire after he throws the guy off her roof in 102. He says it so plainly, like he’s describing an observable fact, and to him he is, because they’re both intimately aware that she’s afraid. The sounds and smells of other people’s emotions are pushing on his walls all the time, so how can he separate himself from them? And would he even want to? Because if he shuts himself off, doesn’t he just become Stick?
On the other hand, we have understanding other people, and that’s where I think he really falls down on the job. It’s very easy for Matt to know, clinically, what someone else is feeling, but very difficult for him to know how to fix it when the problem isn’t something he can punch. He stands guard on the roof of Foggy’s hospital and hypersenses him when what Foggy actually wants is a visit from his best friend. (He also frequently acts like he and Foggy are the same person - when leaving N&M, when negotiating with the broker, when talking to Wesley and taking Healy’s case - and then Foggy has to be like “No, actually, I have a different opinion because I’m a separate human, remember?”) He tries to convince Frank and Elektra to operate by his values and can’t seem to figure out why his arguments are falling on deaf ears, especially with Frank, when the problem is that his priorities and goals and ethics simply aren’t theirs. I think it’s noteworthy that aside from one hug, he offers Claire very little comfort after she’s been beaten (and rather thoughtlessly asks her to save the life of the man who did it a few episodes later). He’s incapable of predicting how Fisk will behave and his attempt to “get inside his head” by visiting Vanessa is laughably incompetent. He has NO IDEA that Karen isn’t the person he’s imagined she is. It’s actually remarkable that he’s so good at both arguing before a jury and flirting, because he’s really bad at reading people beyond their physical reactions. (Or, rather, he operates so instinctually that he’s good at figuring out what people will do based on their own instincts, but doesn’t know how to allow for interventions from ego and super-ego.)
I have to mention Foggy here, of course, because Foggy is the CHAMP at this last category of empathy. (Claire is the champ at the first category - sympathy - which makes sense given her job. But she’s very good at caring about others and behaving accordingly without utterly destroying herself in the process, even when the people she’s caring about and for are dangerous or potential emotional vortexes.) Foggy is the Murdock-whisperer. He gives Karen a safe place to be vulnerable without prying, and is the first one to notice that she’s acting strangely. (It’s worth noting that she turns to him for a hug and not Matt within hours of knowing them.) He coaxes Brett via Bess and their shared history, and charms Claire when she is in NO mood. He talks down gang members by figuring out their priorities instead of appealing to their moral fiber. Even something as basic as “Elena needs clean water, I will provide clean water” comes from a place of being able to figure out other people and what they need from him.
So while Matt has these deep, emotional connections to the world around him and would die for a stranger…well, they usually are strangers. Unlike Foggy, who can reel off the bio of everyone in Josie’s and has random people greet him by name on the street, Matt doesn’t seem to have those personal ties. His intense feelings are often one-sided because he doesn’t know how to make them reciprocal. It’s part of why Foggy was such a boon to him, because he gets swept up in Foggy’s genuine relationships with other people and actually talks to humans, and it’s a big part of why I’m looking forward to Defenders, where he’ll presumably make interesting connections without Foggy there to ease the way.
And because he’s so strong on the second type of empathy and so weak on the third, it interferes with a lot of his interpersonal relationships, especially with Foggy and Claire. They say “okay but be more rational about this” and he’s like “but people are SCREAMING” and they’re like “right but still” and he’s like “…but people are SCREAMING.” They can’t hear what he can, and he can’t explain to them what it’s like for him and the compulsion he feels in a way they can understand, because to him, “But I heard sirens and it’s bad” says it all. Even with Foggy, who he knows better than anyone (“You want to say something. Your breathing changes when you’re about to.”) he can’t provide any better explanation after a year of trying than “But I gotta” and “You’re not my real mom!” which is…unhelpful, let’s say? (Foggy isn’t listening here either, to be fair, and being the Murdock-whisperer, he should really be better at this.) But yeah, that’s part of the not knowing when to stop thing - other people’s concepts of what would be a rational degree to immerse himself in this mean nothing to him.
ANYWAY tl;dr, yes, Matt is very empathetic but only by certain definitions, and he really needs a little Foggy voice in his ear helping him navigate social situations. Also, Claire is the best one.