I snuck a peek at the comment page recently. I see a lot of dialogue between empaths and sociopaths, which to me is really groundbreaking. Where have you ever seen this done outside of clinics where specialists being the only ones interacting? So I want to feed this discussion some food for thought.
Since I know M.E. best I'll talk about myself. I've always loved myself. Yes, people would call it narcissistic. I do believe I'm the greatest person who's lived. Sometimes I've gotten a little god complex. That's just how I am, and I'm not really going to apologize for it. I wake up everyday and I feel like I'm amazing. I channel this energy to focusing on being the best in anything I take part in. I don't try to be the best. I am the best. In doing so I will do everything and find a way to get there. This is my way of making who I am positive.
I can manipulate people. More than that, I do manipulate people. Everyday, every week, every month, and every year. The medical community calls this 'superficial charm.' But charm to me can't be defined as superficial. Either you are charming or you're not. People like charming people -- that's why they give them things so selflessly. When you have the power to persuade people to do and give you what you want it's easy to abuse it. For empath readers I want you to imagine what it's like to have everyone love you right off the bat, and want to do things you want them to do. Would you manipulate people to give you money? Would you manipulate people into sleeping with you under false pretenses? Would you honestly tell me you wouldn't get tempted to justify reasons to fuck them over? Most people would. You make up excuses. "Oh well I heard they stole from so and so," or, "He's there with someone I don't like," or, "Well I'll try to make it up to them." You will find ways of demonizing the people you victimize until they seem like the worst people you're ever met. You don't feel guilt, just justification. The positive side is people can channel this feeling into businesses to sell products, make effective advertising, diplomacy, intelligence, etc.
I am emotionally shallow. The commenters are completely correct. I'm not emotionless. I don't walk around with a exoskeleton under my skin saying, "You will be terminated." I feel what I make myself feel, when I'm supposed to feel it. Sometimes I can't. I can't feel for other people. I don't get excited with people, or feel someone's pain when they cry. I get angry at them because I can't understand. A less extreme example of this: recently someone close to me had their identity stolen and bank account wiped out, and their rent was due the next day. The bank wouldn't refund it till they investigated for few months. The person was crying and looked at me for comfort, and I thought, "What do they want from me? I hope they won't ask me for money." After a while I asked what they wanted me to say. The person looked at me like I was retarded, and I got angry. I told them, "Just get it done and don't worry about things you can't change." The person got angry and left.
What I lack in my own capacity for emotion I make up for in manipulating others'. When I was younger I abused the hell out of this. I could make people happy, excited, sad, depressed, disturbed, hurt etc. It was fun. It still is sometimes, but I don't abuse it that much any more. I cut people into pieces with things I've said. I would save things I knew they were insecure about and cut them deeply with is when I didn't get what I wanted. One person told me that they would rather have me hit them then tell them the things I said. A emotional bully, I guess you can call me. I admit that I did it. I didn't know I was doing it till I took more time to learn about who I was and why I do what I do. Now I use it sparingly.
Sociopaths have a lot of power over people, like it or not. Denying that power exists doesn't improve the life of either side of the fence. I denied it and I was out of control. What I realized is that by acknowledging who I was, and wielding that power for what was effective and not just destructive, I could become more powerful. To have true power you need to have control over yourself first. People trying to change that power instead of focusing it will only meet in failure.
I think it's important for sociopaths to accept themselves the way they are, and not try to change. There isn't a 'cure' for sociopathy because there's no way to change someone's complete identity. Change who they are: their tendencies, their motives, their behaviors, and even their feelings. Is it possible? Perhaps, but is that the kind of power you want substituted for natural human behaviour?