Friday, February 5, 2010

House: Remorse



Thanks to a reader for flagging this for me, a recent episode of "House" features a sociopath. Worth watching, although (spoiler alert) I think the ending is a little too neatly packaged and happy.

104 comments:

  1. I saw that episode, and recognise it for the indulgent rubbish it is. It is quite awful, really- I mean, treatable psycopathy as a symptom of Wilson's disease? No.

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  2. I wonder, if Wilson's was suggested near the beginning of the episode, then why not test for it, treat it, and spend the next forty minutes either twiddling their thumbs, or give her a more plausible amount of time to recover and rearrange her brain?

    Oh, right...

    And for those of you playing at home: Lupis!

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  3. Regardless of the flawed plot, the acting does point something out: many sociopaths are horrible, horrible people. More so than the average bunch. I donʻt care about genetics or their painful childhoods; the end result is that they just seem to inflict pain on people.

    that guy, the husband, would have been happy to lie to himself his whole life, that his wife loved him when they both knew he didnʻt. He liked the comfort of living in the "matrix", even if it was completely fake.

    There are no winners for empaths who come into close contact with socios, inside or outside of knowing and accepting that they are just a bunch of lies. Whether they realize it or not, they are doomed. Just knowing is painful enough.

    Stupid House. That lady was so typical...so hollow and cruel. Yet armed with charm, to intelligently ruin whomever she wants. FUCK sociopathy.

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  4. What I liked about Valerie: her quick thinking, the fact that she had contingency plans, how she struck back at 13 for her needless meddling, the way she dropped her mask when she realized it was in her best interest to do so, how she made good use of the advantage of being good looking, and how she read the people around her like open books, House included. How many times has House been read so thoroughly by the mystery patient of the week that he’s been left speechless?

    What I didn’t like: Valerie did not seem to take any pleasure from acting on her plans. Granted, she was in the hospital trying to figure out what was wrong with her, so that may have in fact been a deliberate creative choice by the actor/writers/director/whoever. And there wasn’t much room for it in the script anyway, but still. Of course I also hated the artificially “happy” ending as well. It reminded me of the ending for 1956 movie, ‘The Bad Seed’, the kind designed to make the audience feel better. Absurd. Finally, 13 was a pain in the ass! Her actions were obviously supposed to act as a kind of foil to Valerie, thus providing conflict. Still, moral outrage, both in fiction and in “real” life is annoying to me. Valerie let her off really easy.

    Btw, this episode puts one online rumor about House to rest: he is not a sociopath. The script goes thru great pains to demonstrate House’s ability to feel remorse and to compare that to Valerie’s inability to.

    All in all, it wasn’t a bad episode in my view.

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  5. Exactly spot on anon.

    This is the lesson to learn imo. The goal of the S is to fuck up the machinery of the N. They do it with charm and also with intelligence, using intelligence to create pity and just overall doubt, and that's even with people who know what they are. Even if in the end if all they end up doing is making one a little more colder, distrusting and maybe even a little hateful, this is the victory. This is were they can even in that victory point to you and say, see, you are just like me.

    Sociopaths are poison to empaths. They are lies.

    Sociopaths are no hearted analysts. They are always analyzing behavior to exploit it. To get things, to cause pain and watch the N get in a tizzy, just because they can. The way to stop that is to give them nothing to analyze by getting away.

    The S always wins if you play the game.

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  6. Actually it may or may not be the goal, but it is the effect either way.

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  7. A more realistic ending though I suppose way too long, would have been for the S to try and play 13 with this whole idea she is now feeling something after being copper chelated, as the S getting rid of her husband seemed to have had some slight convincing on 13 in that context and may have been an angle to exploit. Maybe try to gain sympathy with her in that she is the one who at first recognized her, knows that she is a lie(ar), and maybe could understand that with all this new weird feeling thing, brought about by her doctoring, she is now feeling guilty and weird and could use some compassion.

    That's TV for you though.

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  8. The rational behind my last post being that the husband at this point was "damaged goods". Keeping him around would require her to deal with a lot of sloppiness and uncertainty. Plus, she could simply find someone else richer and less of a hassle. On the other hand, you have someone, 13, who spotted her out instantly. 13 owned her. This I'm sure does not at all sit well with an S. The pleasure and challenge to be had with fooling her and getting in any licks would be something an S lives for I imagine.

    The whole thing was unrealistic of course, but could have been better.

    The S was a good actress and very hot imo.

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  9. "How many times has House been read so thoroughly by the mystery patient of the week that he’s been left speechless"

    Another possible explanation for his behavior, which imo was not really speechlessness, but rather an instant breaking off from engagement, releasing the intercom button, is in realizing that he is engaging with something unlike himself, who hasn't the whole picture, and there would be no point in continuing the discussion. He left the sociopath.

    He is a pretty annoying character.

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  10. “On the other hand, you have someone, 13, who spotted her out instantly. 13 owned her. This I'm sure does not at all sit well with an S. The pleasure and challenge to be had with fooling her and getting in any licks would be something an S lives for I imagine.”

    I don't know about all that. Here's what I do know. As I watched the episode (I saw it when it originally aired) I kept thinking how furious I would be if I’d been in Valerie’s shoes. (Is that empathy? Who knew I could do that?) If I strategize, set up and succeed in pulling off a long term plan to accomplish a self chosen goal, only to have all of that jeopardized by someone who was not personally involved, someone who decided to interfere because of their “moral qualms”… I can’t imagine how enraged I would be. Someone like 13 would have to suffer. I would see to it. But it’s only TV and like I said, the conflict between 13 and Valerie made for semi-decent drama. Not the best mind you. But meh, it was good enough for government work.

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  11. Yeah it made for good drama. I think my better ending and the way you felt were kind of similar, lol.

    To take it all the way, it would be cool if she were to fool her a little and then for 13 to catch on and set her up for prison. I mean it would only make sense for the ownage to continue. Now that would be a happy ending ;)

    I think S's do well with the anger and fear emotions. Don't you guys have like a suppressed core of rage in the subconscious or something like that?

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  12. Now that would be a happy ending ;)

    Aka, the ubiquitous “Hollywood ending”. Which is fine. It makes people who are wedded to their morality, their naivety and their vacuous middle class “values” (read, childish fantasies) feel better about living in a world where none of that holds sway. The credits roll, the TV is turned off or the movie theatre is left and you have to live in a society where the “Hollywood ending” rarely happens. Just ask those parents we were discussing in the other thread, the ones from that Zack documentary. Now multiply that story by several billion and voila, you have the modern world. But like I said, the "Hollywood ending" is fine, it’s all good. Why not give them their “happing endings”? Let them eat cake!

    As far as what “you guys” have… I neither know nor care about anyone else’s “core”. I can tell you about me though and I can say that I don’t believe I have a rage filled core. It feels more like an empty space than it does anger.

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  13. I've read that before... a feeling of emptiness versus rage. Perhaps because the rage is suppressed it is not felt (but dished out?). Maybe not.

    It is a very dishonest world. But I think the S with the characteristics of uncontrollable dishonesty ... lying, stealing and cheating, makes it much worse.

    Is it possible that it is the S that really causes a lot of this, the way of the world? Maybe not. But the s's have no real check to stop them from doing things like harming other humans beyond what benefits them in a best case scenario. Some may argue, well you N's wage war and kill other humans on a vast scale in the name of this that and the other. N's kill based on delusions and an S simply may do it with a clear head based on logic. S don't follow sheep mentality. But aren't some wars necessary and don't you sometimes have to kill to protect yourself/people, because they may kill you/self defense? Is it the S's in the world that are really the generators of senseless wars (many famous warmongers and genocidal leaders have been suspected as s/ps).

    Is it possible that what the S sees is a product of his kinds handiwork? Maybe not, but I wonder between the damage they do directly and indirectly through the damaged people they often leave behind, how much dishonesty out there is as a result of S.

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  14. There is a distinct difference between a Psychopath and a sociopath.

    Tink :)

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  15. And what is that distinct difference?

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  16. There seems to be a lot of controversy in this area. Some say that when we say sociopathy we really mean psychopathy. Some suggest the difference is S and P have differing amounts of genetic influence and that there are different S's. Some say s's bond with like "families" and will respect rules and feel remorse for example within it. P's may be more organized, affluent, planning, wickedly bent. I'm talking about people who lie cheat and steal as a significant part of their personality, have no remorse, guilt, little conscience, empathy etc. and with it likely having a strong genetic role.

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  17. Aspie, let me put it this way. If a doctor had two patients who both suffered from diabetes, one patient type 1 and the other type 2,(obviously type 1 is the more severe). The two individuals condition may derive from the same form, however their individual diagnosis' are treated differently, because there is a distinct difference. Does that make sense?

    Tink :)

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  18. I don't think so. Type 2 diabetes is reversible for many to the point of not needing insulin. It's pretty much a lifestyle disease, in many cases just a severe case of insulin resistance, one that can in most cases be remedied by attention to diet and activity levels. I'm not saying always.
    Type one is due to destruction of beta cells on the pancreas, often happening at a young age and has no "cure", though it can be managed through technology, (some suggest radical lifestyle changes).

    S and P are neither curable or manageable as far as anyone knows. And S and P does not want a cure unlike those with diabetes. There is no way to approach them. And the amounts of genetics suspected in "S" is controversial and debatable. Many S come from abusive homes. Probably because they have more likely hood of having P and S's in the family. You likely can take an "N", put him in the most abusive terrible environment, and he will develop issues, but he will develop a conscience, empathy etc. though affected through abuse. If you took a "potential" S, put him in an environment far less troublesome, you yield something the screwed up N would likely find alien.

    I think if you wanted to choose what to call yourself, you would choose P, though it does have that nasty serial killer stigma. It is the P's that are charming, cunning organized, etc. The S's are considered disorganized and basically out of control chaotic etc. And this doesn't appear to describe many of the posters here.

    The idea of a strong environmental influence I think is very attractive to some, including the S and his would be victims. The S likes it because it affirms his conviction on the stupidity of humanity and brings him victims, the N likes it because it allows her/him to play role of rescuer and sits well with certain religious and philosophical ideas imo.

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  19. I didn't like the storybook ending, but by treating Valerie’s lack of feeling and conscience as a symptom of another curable disorder, the writers sidestep the issue of a psychopath’s rights. Boring House, pandering to dull normal intellects.

    Here’s what I don’t get. Valerie’s behavior is no different than that of many women who find themselves rich but otherwise unappealing men to provide them a comfortable life, then grow bored and grab a little fun on the side. But it’s as if her lack of conscience and feelings make it worse somehow. Why?

    It’s as if there is this assumption that those with a conscience can’t always help themselves and those without always can. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

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  20. It makes it much worse because it is unchangeable. We know the S/P cannot change him/her self. The S will likely almost always do this kind of behavior. Which is to go for whatever they want without considering others rights. I mean, they are lying S's. Many people with conscience will not engage in this behavior. Maybe it is looked at as less bad because an N may feel a little remorse in spite of their behavior. An N may be rehabilitatable. It happens all the time. People can grow and learn and other things that likely sound like nonsense to an S ears.

    An s and p are hopelessly out for themselves, and all else is just a means for their ends.

    They are dangerous for the overwhelming majority, who are far more complex than a robot set on get.

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  21. LOL robot set on get, that’s funny. I think your description of sociopaths applies to the stupid ones. The smart ones don’t get caught, the nice ones stay within the law.

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  22. Ok Aspie, you took the example literally lol. I wasn't referring to the "actual" dietary/insulin requirement/intake regarding diabetes as such. Maybe it wasn't the best example. I assume everybody can think outside of a box. My apologies.
    I will spell it out for you.
    A psychopath has many merging similarities with a sociopath. However a psychopath understands and can explain emotions such as love/empathy. (Without feeling it).
    Thats the difference.

    Tink :)

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  23. Wait a second, i just bothered to read the last few posts,

    Aspie said...." I think if you wanted to choose what to call yourself, you would choose p, though it does have that nasty serial killer stigma".

    LOL im hoping i read that wrong Aspie. Its not nice to randomly call someone a pyscho, and you call yourself an empath :)

    Tink.

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  24. Right tink, but many who consider themselves "s" can explain emotions etc without feeling them etc. So there is no difference or we are using the wrong terminology. As your post suggest, no one likes the psychopath term (neither the psycho nor the love fraud crowd) so we just call it all S.

    To me and others it really doesn't matter what we call it. It's lying, stealing and cheating and no remorse. It's really TMI already :)

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  25. Personally, I think that distinction is BS. An s or p both lack moral emotions and both can explain them in detail and manipulate them. The only real and trivial distinction is how they may have come to be and that the P is generally smarter, more organized, fearless and other unimportant things.

    Google's dictionary says they are the same and for all practical purposes I think they are though I think the more accurate term for many would be P.

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  26. I should really most any emotion, be it love, empathy etc. They can understand them and explain them and play them. This is how function.

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  27. This guy, who seems to be somewhat of an expert, states that sociopathy and psychopathy are the exact same thing.

    http://www.askdrrobert.dr-robert.com/darktriad.html

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  28. Interesting page that I'm sure has been posted before:

    http://www.lovefraud.com/01_whatsaSociopath/psychopath_or_sociopath.html

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  29. 30 posts including this one, 17 posts are all yours Aspie lol, thats over half, (if i counted correctly). Do you like to confer with only yourself?

    Tink ;)

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  30. Aspie, no one can manipulate you without your participation. If you pay attention there are always signs.

    But to look at it from a different perspective, there are people out there who are really aggressive when they want or need something, and will corner you and get hostile if you don't put out. It's usually a situation where they perceive you have something they want and they simply won't accept a polite no or an 'I don't know'. They just won't back off.

    Someone who is being that aggressive and disrespectful deserves, in my opinion, every lie and piece of bullshit they get, and if I can make it entertaining for me so much the better. :)

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  31. http://www.askdrrobert.dr-robert.com/darktriad.html

    i like this definition.

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  32. "Someone who is being that aggressive and disrespectful deserves, in my opinion, every lie and piece of bullshit they get, and if I can make it entertaining for me so much the better"

    I suppose but that sounds like something different. Sorry about all the posts. I get carried away, lol.

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  33. Why is everyone in such a tizzy about sociopaths? I mean really, what's the big deal? The biggest difference between an empath and a sociopath is control and a genuine sense of responsibility.

    Empaths wander through life without taking responsibility for their actions, always blaming the rotten things they do on their emotions, which somehow makes it all OK. Yet when empaths are hurt by others, it's the other person's fault. In almost every situation, an empath has some easy route to escape personal responsibility, and in the rare situations when they try to be responsible, there are hordes of idiotic zealots trying to convince them it's not their fault. Can you believe empaths have the nerve to call us incapable of taking responsibility?

    Yes, it's OK for an empath to hurt some and help others because the unquestionable emotions told them to. Well guess what? I hurt and help people, too, but I decide who gets hurt and who gets my aid, so that it always works out to an advantage. I don't see what's wrong with that, since I don't have the luxury of being blinded and guided by impulses that make all the tough decisions for me. You high and mighty types might try to say that if you had this level of control, you'd refrain from hurting anyone, but do you know where you'd be then? Dead or homeless. Anything that helps you hurts someone else, robs them of an opportunity or flat out takes something from them. Whether you "earned" a job replacing someone else, or you made claimed a best friend that could've been someone else's, you're hurting someone. The difference between you and me is that the balance of hurt and help is left up to me to decide.

    I think I'm a pretty fair judge. I wouldn't screw up a healthy marriage. I wouldn't rip off a prudent businessman. It's only when people are holding on to things that aren't real, whether it's false happiness or ego, that I swoop in and take what I want. Also, I won't try to destroy someone's life unless they've offended me and they've got a glaring weakness. Really, if you're going to be a prick or try to take something from someone, be smart enough to figure out who you're dealing with beforehand. If you don't, you have to take responsibility for your mistakes, and I'd take responsibility for screwing you out of whatever I want. Yes, I'd be responsible for my happiness, and you'd be responsible for your misery. If the situations were reversed, I'd do the same, and then I'd absolve myself by coming to teach you a lesson.

    Personal responsibility. Learn it. Love it. Take control.

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  34. I suppose but that sounds like something different.

    I am betting the other party wouldn't agree.

    Anyway, I never feel the other person owes me honesty. I would like it, but if I don't get it and feel I'm being played, I may feel hurt or disappointed but I'll move on and let it go. What's the point of hanging on to feelings of hurt and betrayal, and getting bitter? People offer what they offer. Why get worked up over what you think should be or should have been? I don't get that. What should be exists only in the mind.

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  35. "Empaths wander through life without taking responsibility for their actions, always blaming the rotten things they do on their emotions, which somehow makes it all OK"

    I think that is a generalization. Emotions are a part of us that is consulted along with logic and everything else. It is not always ok to do something rotten. It is not always ok to hurt others because the emotions said do it (emotions don't tell us anything... its a complex). In fact, in addition to knowing we have done something "wrong", we have built in guilt that really drives the point home. Emotions are a part of us, the way we process and the way we were born. I think sometimes if anything empaths can go overboard in feeling bad for what they have done, and it can be destructive. And in this case it can be useful to see that maybe the emotions did play a strong role in a certain case as well as other things, and it is ok to forgive yourself especially if you learn from it and go in the directions of not doing certain rotten things.

    I don't believe you are hurting anyone by taking a job. Hurt to me implies some element of personal unfairness. If you get a job then you got it fair and square. You are not taking advantage of anyones good or bad nature to get it. Getting a job and taking advantage of Julie's narcissism and taking all her money and mindfucking her are completely different things imo.

    I agree though personal responsibility is an important thing.

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  36. "What's the point of hanging on to feelings of hurt and betrayal, and getting bitter? People offer what they offer. Why get worked up over what you think should be or should have been? I don't get that. What should be exists only in the mind"

    I agree.

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  37. "I am betting the other party wouldn't agree".

    It's nothing I would do. But I can't really feel much sympathy for some jerk, unless the actions against were way out of proportion.

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  38. Aspie, what does guilt feel like?
    Do you question how you could have been so bad? Do you condemn yourself for being so bad? Do you wish you hadn't been so bad?

    When I do something "bad" I accept it as a personal choice. I did it because I wanted to. I didn't do it because I was bad. My action wasn't bad. It was what I wanted to do. I don't try to explain it away. I don't try to rationalize it. It was me. My choice. My desire.

    But you... you and others like you... you can't do that, can you?

    No, I think you'll only feel guiltier and guiltier as you come closer to that realization, until you wind up bitter and depressed or rationalize it away by saying, "I wasn't thinking clearly," or some other excuse.

    Aspie, you have no idea what personal responsibility is.

    Also, what the hell is personal unfairness?

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  39. "Aspie, you have no idea what personal responsibility is."

    I suppose I don't. Not in the way you are speaking.

    Putting aside for a moment that we think the way we do mostly because of our wiring and both believe we are right because we are right within our context (what does this mean?)...

    Sometimes, as an example, I disobey my conscience or am not very in touch with my feelings or concern for others. This can happen for many reasons like a situation that comes on suddenly, or getting too attached to something because it brings joy or even just having too much damn coffee or whatever. Then, later, I'll think (imo emotions have a strong logic component) about what happened and realize that what I did was bad and I feel bad. Guilt to me is a feeling that I did something wrong against a set of rules I have like for example to treat everyone fairly... don't yell at people who are just trying to help but I am in a bad mood etc.

    The hell of personal unfairness is when you are tormenting someone and getting pleasure out of it. They did nothing to you.

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  40. I should say tormenting someone for pleasure who has not done anything wrong to you personally.

    Different from getting a job.

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  41. In a sense, yes, I made a choice and did it. But my choice went against my conscience. Conscience is a sense of right and wrong. When I go against it, I feel bad. Sometimes very bad sometimes just a little depending. It's just something that is there, sue me. But even logically the bad choice often makes no sense. If we all had bad attitudes to people who were nice to us the world would really suck.

    No where in that am I not taking responsibility for my actions. I will apologize and try to make ammends. For, if for example, I'm hyped up on coffee and being an asshole, I need to apologize to those people.

    I suppose this all sounds like blaming everything but myself, but myself is my emotions, my logic, my psychophysical physiological being.

    You S's I believe are low on certain stress hormones. Stress hormones play a role in behavior.

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  42. I of course agree 110% with Billy’s take on responsibility. I think that the notion of people with little to no conscience being unable to take responsibility stems from the notion that being able to respond is connected to guilt/remorse/shame/empathy. If one does not feel the requisite guilt/remorse/shame/empathy when doing something “wrong”, then one is thought of as irresponsible. It is the same thing with the “lack of insight” motif. It is believed that one must lack insight if they are unable to feel horribly about something they have done “wrong”. That is patently false. Lack of guilt does not necessarily equate with lack of insight. The only way it could is if there was something there to have insight into and when it comes to morality, there is no “there” there. The only place morality exists is in the human brain along with other various and sundry delusions.

    I think the ultimate in taking responsibility is in complete self honesty about one’s motives. I say I did this/that/thus/so because I wanted to, plain and simple, without equivocation or justification. Other people are free to label my actions as immoral or wicked or bad. That’s their business and their prerogative. But their moral outrage has nothing to do with me or with reality at large.

    I need to apologize to those people.

    You don't need to do anything but die when your time comes. Death is the only thing any of us have to do. Everything else is negotiable.

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  43. One last thing... Paying very close attention to people and closely observing people's behavior to me seems an invasion of privacy to start off. Looking for people with weaknesses (often times there in the first place because they have been abused in the past possibly by s or victim of one) seems like hunting for hurt humans. This is not even in the rules of the conscience. It is way beyond anything I would consider in my baddest darkest self. I just can't relate at all.

    And maybe to S I seem like one who can't deal with reality and face the "truth" and do what he wants... a freaking crybaby coward who can't say, that's right, I did what I did because I wanted to and that is all. What of it? I can't accept responsibility so I have to blame my emotions or whatever these other nonsensical imaginations we blame.

    We are just different and that is all there is to it.
    Feels like deja vu.

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  44. Well I need to apologize Daniel, or want to anyway, as I feel it is the right thing to do, and it makes me feel better.

    We all die.

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  45. I've never thought of S as evading responsibility. They do what they do and are fine with it. I think the surprise or concern for N's is that what S does doesn't seem wrong to them and that they do it in the first place.

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  46. 13 should have ended up in a mental institution, after Valerie ruined everything in the genius way that S's can.

    That would have been a MUCH more realistic ending, albeit a bit exaggerated for TV's sake.

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  47. Well I need to apologize Daniel, or want to anyway, as I feel it is the right thing to do, and it makes me feel better.

    I hope you don’t apologize when no one expects it. everyone is allowed to have a bad day now and then and even be an occasional asshole. if you’re apologizing for things really only you perceive to have done wrong, people might stop taking you seriously and assume you are subordinate to them. do you feel subordinate to others, aspie?

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  48. I've probably done that before. I may have missed a time I should have. I was just giving an example.

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  49. Zoe.. have you ever regretted something you have done, felt guilty about it and apologized for it?

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  50. I don't have to hunt for weakness, Aspie. People advertise their weaknesses all the time. I can't ignore it any more than you can tune out the following word: hello. Did you catch that? Yeah, I thought so.

    Here's one that stood out to me just now:
    "The hell of personal unfairness is when you are tormenting someone and getting pleasure out of it. They did nothing to you."

    What does this have to do with a discussion about taking control of your life? Read through the comments again, and replace your earlier reference to "personal unfairness" with your new definition of it. Then ask yourself how well it addresses the comment you were replying to.

    I have a feeling you do this pretty often, even if it's only in your own mind. That can be used against you in many ways.

    Is there another way to explain what you meant, maybe? I'd like to understand what you meant the first time you said it.

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  51. That actress is too ugly to be a believable sociopath. Disappointing!

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  52. Hi Billy.

    I'm sometimes sloppy with words. No big mystical mystery. I think it not nice to take advantage of peoples hello weaknesses, often to get something you want and that will probably end up hurting them. Contrasting that with getting a job which imo is a fair non hurting thing.

    Did anyone think it was funny when 13 broke her arm?

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  53. Looking at it again, Billy, I believe I was just kind of responding to your somewhat angry wording of that question, in an aspie way but clumsily even so.

    Are you saying that personal responsibility means never having to say you're sorry and never making a mistake?

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  54. Personal responsibility has nothing to do with saying you're sorry, and everything to do with how you deal with your mistakes.

    You still haven't answered that question.

    What is personal unfairness?

    I'm done replying unless it gets answered.

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  55. Aspie said...."i disobey my conscience or am not very in touch with my feelings or concern for others"

    Yet you call me a psycho? Are you sure about that?...LOL.

    Tink :)

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  56. Zoe.. have you ever regretted something you have done, felt guilty about it and apologized for it?

    If I make a mistake and regret doing something, I apologize for it. Not out of guilt or conscience, but out of fairness, or accountability. I don’t apologize to make myself feel better, or expect the other person to make me feel better. That would cheapen it.

    I’ve felt guilt for not living up to the expectations of others, and for distancing myself from certain individuals, including recently some family members. But it was either that or seethe with resentment until the end of time.

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  57. Zoe said..."Not out of guilt or conscience, but out of fairness, or accountability"

    Sounds like another way of saying a conscience to me. A sense of right and wrong, a sense of fairness, whatever.

    You apologize because this is the fair thing to do. To be unfair trips something... call it a feeling or sense of unfairness, uneasiness, dissonance, guilt, wrongness or just logically thinking hey that is not cool or whatever and that can only be "corrected" or alleviated or be accounted for by doing what is fair. You attain equilibrium or attain fairness. I call it feeling better. Just different words imo.

    I was explaining a conscience in a very clinical and mechanical way, and from the point of view of a breach as opposed to a seamless interaction, because I was explaining it to some people who have no experience with it.

    You feel guilt as you say. According to the docs and self described S's, S's never ever feel guilt (the topic usually angers them) so I don't think you can be halfway there or whatever you said one time if I remember correctly.

    The situation you described where you have felt guilt I think is a challenge that many people have. Things are not so black and white for many. There are conflicts and mixed loyalties and feelings and emotions etc.

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  58. Just to clarify..

    You're not apologizing primarily imo to be forgiven necessarily, though that you be nice because it would at a minimum put you on better terms and it would indicate that they are ok with it, you are apologizing because you were unfair, as determined by your sense of unfairness, which perhaps if not heeded, might yield guilt. Even if they spit in your face you did the fair thing and it makes sense. (not to say that getting spit on would not hurt a little).

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  59. That should read "...though that would be nice because ..."

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  60. S's never ever feel guilt (the topic usually angers them)…

    Funny you bring that up, because anger is exactly what I feel half of the time when someone confronts me with something they say I’ve done wrong. I realized this when I was sorting thru what exactly it was I felt when in those moral situations where I’m the supposed culprit. The other half of the time, I feel nothing at all. It’s funny because I do understand that from their point of view, they truly believe I have done something bad and that they have every right to feel whatever negative feeling they feel as a result. From my point of view however, I either do not care one way or the other or I feel they are imposing on me, hence the anger.

    That does not make me pathological of course. Merely different.

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  61. I think this episode of house (don't like the show generally because it's unrealistic in a bad way) would have been really funny in a perverse fantasy sort of way, not in a real way, if after 13 snaps valeries arm in half, she then proceeds to do the chelation and as a complication, valeries head blows up into a ball or something like that. Then 13 explains to valerie sympathetically and emotionally that we had a complication with the chelation and her head has swelled to many times its normal size. 13 then suggests an experimental procedure to fix it, lol. Not with 13 intentionally doing anything bad just circumstances. Just seems like something that would be funny.

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  62. I should say "because imo the show is unrealistic in a bad way".

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  63. In the house episode, house mentions that some people can sense S's. Is that reference based on this?:

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a904137269&db=all

    I remember the one time I caught the S i knew looking at me in a very different way. I had to look down and felt chilled. I had sort of snuck up on him unintentially and established eye contact from a further distance than I usually do, though I often don't establish eye contact in the normal way in any case. After, I immediately said bye, left his presence and then ended up screwing him up a little. Of course, I wasn't aware of the concept of S or anything, being very naive in general in a way.

    I remember the look. It wasn't just a stare or piercing eyes. He looked different, ugly. His skin looked pocked and dry. It makes me wonder if in mirroring back to me whatever he thought was appropriate that the perception actually affected the way he looked. I thought he was very cute. Though I know taste in people varies, even so, I found it odd others didn't appear to find him good looking. I don't know.

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  64. Sounds like another way of saying a conscience to me. A sense of right and wrong, a sense of fairness, whatever.

    It depends. Let me reword it. If it’s work related, I apologize because it’s the sporting thing to do. I like to compete fairly. Letting others take the blame for my mistakes would be cheating. Is that conscience?

    Sometimes owning up to mistakes and apologizing is also strategic. It can be a powerful move. You get more respect, and are seen as less perfect and therefore less threatening.

    On a personal level, it is about conscience. But I own my conscience, it doesn’t own me.

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  65. You feel guilt as you say. According to the docs and self described S's, S's never ever feel guilt (the topic usually angers them) so I don't think you can be halfway there or whatever you said one time if I remember correctly.

    point taken. but I meant halfway in terms of manipulation, logic, awareness. and also by default, since the empath umbrella doesn’t quite fit.

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  66. The situation you described where you have felt guilt I think is a challenge that many people have. Things are not so black and white for many. There are conflicts and mixed loyalties and feelings and emotions etc.

    I no longer have the guilt. In trying to work through it I went trolling about on the internet for information, justification, something to help me figure it out, and found this site. I read something ME posted about how you can go from empath to sociopath, or from guilt to no guilt (or something like that anyway), and knew as soon as I read it that I could do it. I just had never thought of doing it. Feelings are something I’ve always worked through, even guilt, but in this case the guilt was like a mouse wheel, pointless, going nowhere, with no way out other than to jump off. I just had never thought of jumping off before.

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  67. I remember the look. It wasn't just a stare or piercing eyes. He looked different, ugly. His skin looked pocked and dry. It makes me wonder if in mirroring back to me whatever he thought was appropriate that the perception actually affected the way he looked. I thought he was very cute. Though I know taste in people varies, even so, I found it odd others didn't appear to find him good looking. I don't know.

    is it possible that you saw something in him, or picked up on something, that just then changed your perception of him, and made him look different, rather than him changing or mirroring anything back? When I read people (and I can’t help that) sometimes it’s like getting two different sets of signals, one superimposed on the other. Sometimes one is clearer, sometimes the other. Depending on me, where I’m at. The interpretations also are subjective, so “piercing eyes” to me may look different to someone else. So, I’m wondering maybe you saw that time something in him that the others see and which may be the reason they don’t find him attractive.

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  68. I see. I was going to ask you further about that and if going full on if possible was something you wanted. That's interesting. I find this subject endlessly fascinating.

    What in his post convinced you?
    Do you think that you are now a sociopath? Do you believe you were always close to being one?

    How do you see people that are more empathetic, have a conscience, feel guilt and this whole mindset? Do you think this is all just a creation of control conditioning and is all a false delusion?

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  69. What I meant by mirroring back was, I believe he was generally behaving (before the day when I saw him in this different way) in a way that I liked. He was mirroring back qualities that I found attractive based probably on his knowledge of human behavior and just reading me (though I think he stumbled all over the place because I would just basically give him moral lectures when he would say something highly emotive or to try and get me to steal with him for example lol). I suspect that he did like me, as much as S's do, whatever that is.

    So I'm wondering if in doing that either that mirroring kind of created a beauty in my mind.. like filling in the deficient space sort of or if he was able to project a slight change of physiology to me. Maybe becoming a mirror involves that. When I saw him in this different way, with this billion mile gaze, that I felt I should not be seeing, I felt like, ok, nice crocodile, I'm just gonna more real slow out here now, sorry, lol.

    When I saw him later he looked more normal so perhaps it was just a part of what I saw, part of the trauma of the moment lol. Never thought at the time that he could be different than me or that such a difference could be so common.

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  70. It's funny. I've read recently in a few places that people with AS or AS symptoms tend to attract S and abusive people because they are socially retarded and often have low self esteem because of this and perhaps may seem strange in some ways. And it seems to be really be true. I currently know 3 S's not including the above one, guaranteed S's no doubt and have had substantial contact with all three. I'm gonna feel a little weird when/if I see them again, lol.

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  71. Actually, remembering back, before I saw this look from him (I mean literally 5 seconds before I saw this look) I was thinking about how our relationship had lost something and was not going to be. I was getting up to say bye anyway, not forever, but to say bye with this thought in my head. Perhaps he could see this in some way and this was an expression that occurred as a result of it. Or I just caught him off guard because my behavior was sort of self-ish. Or maybe it was all the pot, lol.

    But anyway, regarding your subordination question, sometimes I feel like that, I think this can come about as a survival strategy used in perceived brutal environments, but not necessarily where you are a pushover. I feel less like that lately.

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  72. What in his post convinced you?
    Do you think that you are now a sociopath? Do you believe you were always close to being one?


    Lol. i‘ve always thought of it as “awareness”. if that makes me a sociopath, fine. but since I’m capable of feeling guilt technically i’m not one. and the feeling is still there. I’m just not engaging it. it’s like going to a different room in your house after you’ve spent too much time in the same room. I could go back to it, but why? I’ve done my time.

    it wasn’t about being convinced as much as something clicking. and I’m not sure it’s the same thing although ME's post made me realize if I couldn’t resolve it I could just walk away from it. that’s pretty much all there was to it.

    in terms of what I want and going full on, no it’s not something I’ve aspired to, and it wouldn’t fit. i read people like an empath not like a sociopath, but empath is used here to mean emo types so that leaves me with sociopath as the next best fit. Is it something you are aspiring to?

    How do you see people that are more empathetic, have a conscience, feel guilt and this whole mindset? Do you think this is all just a creation of control conditioning and is all a false delusion?

    good questions, but I’ll have to leave them and your other posts (interesting observations) for next time ...

    goodnight. :)

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  73. hi zoe... im sorry - if i could ask... what was the metaphysical subject you were interested in before you had issues? what were the initials of it?

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  74. "i read people like an empath not like a sociopath, but empath is used here to mean emo types so that leaves me with sociopath as the next best fit. Is it something you are aspiring to?


    what is emo? is emo something particularly not fashionable?

    no, i dont want that.... though all my best friends seem to be like this lol

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  75. i love this song:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zHd5zAtD3A

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  76. How do you see people that are more empathetic, have a conscience, feel guilt and this whole mindset? Do you think this is all just a creation of control conditioning is all a false delusion?

    i’m tempted to say yes, but probably most people are hardwired to be emotional, feel guilt and be ruled by conscience, and society plays to the majority. i’m not sure you can change the wiring.

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  77. So I'm wondering if in doing that either that mirroring kind of created a beauty in my mind.. like filling in the deficient space sort of or if he was able to project a slight change of physiology to me. maybe becoming a mirror involves that. when I saw him in this different way, with this billion mile gaze, that I felt I should not be seeing, I felt like, ok, nice crocodile, I'm just gonna more real slow out here now, sorry, lol.

    do you think it’s possible you read him and mirrored something back that triggered the billion mile gaze? that’s a great description by the way. maybe he picked up on it, that you could see through him. why did you feel you shouldn’t be seeing it? was it an angry look?

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  78. what was the metaphysical subject you were interested in before you had issues. what were the initials of it?

    Lol if by issues you mean the manic episode, i was playing around with psychic stuff with some other people. but in general it’s… where am I? is this real? am I really here? I think I am here. but why am I here? and what is here? what am i? … that sort of thing.

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  79. what is emo? is emo something particularly not fashionable?

    it’s an unflattering term for emotional types, but some may like it.

    empath implies being able to read, or being in tune with, the feelings of others. when you’re having a conversation and the other person is continuously talking or continuously thinking about what they’re going to say next, they’re not hearing you. same thing for emotions. someone who is occupied with their own feelings, or busy emoting, isn’t going to pick up on the emotions of others. that’s emo. you have to separate from your own emotions to be able to read others emotionally. so actually that would make the sociopaths empaths.

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  80. Hi Zoe. Thanks for all the responses.

    "why did you feel you shouldn’t be seeing it? was it an angry look?"

    It was not really an angry look. It was something I've never seen before. It looked purely devoid of emotion. It was a kind of an emotionless super mad dogging. It chilled me.... created deep fear. It was all very fast. I responded by not looking at him while I said bye, but I shot him a fast look in the last moment he was still in eyeshot (this all took place in maybe 2.5 seconds)) and he was looking down with a look that said, uh huh.

    I liken it to a crocodile because a croc doesn't really look angry. But if you were near one you might be scared anyway because they look creepy and you know on many levels that a croc can grab you quickly with the strongest jaws and destroy you. I felt like I was seeing that. I'm thinking that he would not want me to see this because I'd imagine he'd have to know it would create a new image of him for me that may not work for him in the most favorable way. And that's what happened.

    "do you think it’s possible you read him and mirrored something back that triggered the billion mile gaze?"

    I suppose. Maybe what I was thinking set it off or put me in a direction of action that put me briefly a step ahead of him. Again, I felt as if I caught him looking at me in a way perhaps he had done before but I just never registered it because he was too fast. I don't know. Scary though, lol.


    "what was the metaphysical subject you were interested in before you had issues. what were the initials of it?"

    Oh ok. That sounds like the start of the "marijuana paranoias". I messed around with the psychic stuff when I was very young.


    "empath implies being able to read, or being in tune with, the feelings of others. when you’re having a conversation and the other person is continuously talking or continuously thinking about what they’re going to say next, they’re not hearing you. same thing for emotions. someone who is occupied with their own feelings, or busy emoting, isn’t going to pick up on the emotions of others. that’s emo. you have to separate from your own emotions to be able to read others emotionally. so actually that would make the sociopaths empaths"


    But aren't S's really just brilliant reverse engineers as opposed to truly empathic? Empaths are sensitive to emotional energy and are operating from a base of compassion. I think there are similarities but the S see's people I think more as objects to possibly exploit. An S may feed on energy. An E will guide it in the spirit of love. This is a vast difference imo.

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  81. regarding the "look", this is not exactly it but it does give some of the flavor

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  82. yikes aspie, post a warning next time! no offense to Courtney, I’ve had my bad days too (but luckily no paparazzi around to turn them into a Kodak moment). must suck to be famous sometimes. so it’s kind of a drugged out look?

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  83. it's a piercing dead eye look..
    reading around, some describe it as the eyes being out of sync with the face and it doesn't look natural... it looks creepy

    on the whole though it's more of an experience than something that can be shown via a photo

    another quirk I've seen described is that when challenged and they need to compose something their eyes will dart back and forth very rapidly in short paths and then set straight as they deliver

    this I think is accurate

    sorry about the pic
    poor her huh?

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  84. another quirk I've seen described is that when challenged and they need to compose something their eyes will dart back and forth very rapidly in short paths and then set straight as they deliver

    lol. the only time i’ve ever seen this was with a classmate and i was told he had a neurological condition.

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  85. here are the piercing looks i’ve known. i wonder if the one you describe is a variety of the second or third one…

    someone i work with has a similar look that bores right through you, but in his case, it’s not a dead look as much as hollow. it pulls at you so that it’s hard to look away. the impression is of being observed but there is no real contact. this person always has this look. it’s disconcerting, but not invasive, and there is an empty or lonely quality to it.

    then there is the piercing look that leaps out at you, grabs you and makes contact, momentarily paralyzing you before it subsides, like a jolt of electricity or an over eager Labrador retriever. compelling.

    there is also the run-of-the-mill piercing look that’s predatory. it’s dead, flat, fixated on its target. the individual i’m thinking of was manipulative, calculating, and emotionally cold. he was a freeloader who took advantage of all his friends, and was more narcissist than sociopath. or a really dumb sociopath. he had this huge ego, and was in love with his mental abilities and would always brag about them.

    i was spooked only once by someone’s eyes. it was on a coffee date. he seemed a bit off, but was more awkward than anything, and his eyes for the most part were normal. they were not piercing or frozen, but a little lonely and desperate. as i was listening to him talk, the eyes changed. for a moment, not more than a few seconds, i had the impression that someone else was there observing us, another presence. an unpleasant one, cynical and sardonic, amused by the exchange, sitting back and watching the whole thing from a distance. it saw that I saw it, looked amused, then was gone. what was spooky about it was that the person sitting across from me gave no indication at all, verbal or nonverbal, that he was aware of this exchange. he talked right through it. the lack of any acknowledgement made it very creepy. split personality maybe? i didn’t care to find out.

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  86. and one more.. the writhing fear and anger that glares out at you when the (narcissist?) mask slips. what’s with that?

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  87. My memory on this all is a little hazy, but the look I saw was more like a combo of 1 and 2, which I only saw once for about 1 second. I don't understand your second post/question.

    In any case, I honestly harbor no ill will towards him. He was cool and did seem to have a certain sense of ethics... maybe that is the ethics of logic - not dictated group morality (though I believe there is possibly a core which is not dictated in the normal sense).

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  88. I don't understand your second post/question.

    i meant what's with all the fear. sorry it was rhetorical

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  89. Zoe said "i meant what's with all the fear. sorry it was rhetorical"

    Oh ok, lol.

    I guess if you mean why do people react with fear to this "S stare", for myself, I think part of it may be an instinctual reaction (which could suggest there are "different" people at core) as this all happened rapidly, faster than touching a burning stove perhaps. As well, it just didn't look right... it didn't look like any expression I'd see before with a human. And it felt like I was seeing something I should not have and there could be trouble. I was certain he could see me seeing it. I sure my eyes probably popped a little as I met this gaze and he could see fear as I averted his eyes and looked down.

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  90. actually I was referring to the narcissist’s fear, but fear in general is fascinating. i wonder how/if S’s perceive it differently from N’s?

    maybe in that stare you detected something dangerous within his core, or maybe you caught him when his mind was on something else? did you ever ask him about it? lol, lots of questions.

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  91. Well from what's avail online it appears s feels fear but they react differently to it or experience it differently. It's empowering I think is what I read (ps/s are described as fearless).

    No, I never asked him about it. I just thought it an odd thing at the time but did not think he was possibly different than me. I think I was more just disappointed than anything else.

    I think if it is true that S's just create identities like chameleons, then maybe I saw his neutral identity. Basically just this present calculating being.
    I don't know.

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  92. Well from what's avail online it appears s feels fear but they react differently to it or experience it differently. It's empowering I think is what I read (ps/s are described as fearless).

    i think it can feel empowering because all the senses are engaged and you’re in a highly alert, highly focused state. doesn’t this just tie back into awareness? if you’re worrying all the time, you’re living in your head too much and not able to assess what is actually going on.

    most people i think anticipate danger too much instead of dealing with it when it confronts them, which isn’t very productive. you end up living in a state of constant fear or stress. it’s not even possible to anticipate every possible thing that can go wrong so if you rely on scripted plans of action, the action taken probably won’t be the best one. all the worrying may also blow the anticipated danger out of proportion and predispose you to panic when the danger actually does arrive. keeping a clear mind and focusing on the moment allows assessment of all options. it’s about giving up the illusion of control for greater awareness and trust in your instincts.

    I think if it is true that S's just create identities like chameleons, then maybe I saw his neutral identity. Basically just this present calculating being.
    I don't know.


    shouldn’t everyone be like that, aspie? present calculating beings instead of the usual norm state of cloudy eyed zombies sleepwalking their way from one thing to the next.

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  93. Hi Zoe.

    Do you think that everyone who experiences a sudden and significant increase in their level of awareness and in the strength of their faculties and various skills is on the road so to speak to "sociopathy"?

    Is sociopathy just freely being whatever it is that you are?

    As one way of looking at it, do you think that at least partially that AS and S are in a way both reactions to abuse? The first closes down while the latter attack head on?

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  94. Ok, I re-read the thread. Please ignore my questions above.

    Thanks for the conversation Zoe.

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  95. Thanks for the conversation Zoe.

    you’re welcome, aspie, and thank you.

    but why ignore the questions you just posted? they’re pretty good ones. maybe you could repost them in the moral nihilists page?

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  96. this might be a long one...i just discovered this site, and i find it fascinating! had to find a more current thread to post on...

    this popped up on a search i did about how to develop a sense of self. i've suffered from severe depression since i was 13 and suspect that i also have borderline personality disorder - quite possibly on the opposite side of spectrum from sociopathy marked as it is by extreme emotional reactivity. sweet irony!

    more irony is that i also exhibit some of the signs of asperger's - inability to "read" social situations, highly analytical - but am by no means diagnosable as such. i like to call my social retardation, "asperber's lite". on one hand i'm highly analytical (science degree and all) and on the other i'm overly emotional.

    ok, question 1: many of the self-described sociopaths here describe an emptiness. how might this differ (or be the same) as the empty, hollow feeling i have when depressed? when depressed, i feel completely disconnected from my emotions and from other people. i suffer so greatly that suicide seems like a viable option. how do you, the sociopaths, think this is the same or different from your own state of disconnection?

    -Laine

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  97. you didn't think that was it, did you?

    @zoe per valerie's behavior as compared to other gold diggers - it wasn't just the gold digging, afterall this sort of behavior is all over tv without accusations of sociopathology. but when tied together with the manipulation of the co-worker...well then it gets a little creepy.

    i am distrubed by the pro-S group saying (in effect) "logic is better than emotion" and the anti-S group claiming (in effect) emotional superiority. as animals gifted by both capacities by millions of years of evolution, i believe we are at our best when we use both of those capacities. i often come from the other side in being overly emotional, and i'll tell you in complete honesty that that's a terrible way to be. on a survival stradegy alone it's maladaptive.

    cognitive behavioral therapy is all about recognizing emotions and dealing with them. often this means recognizing that an emotion is not rational and then learning to let go of it. @zoe - deciding to release irrational guilt in no way makes a sociopath; it makes an emotionally healthy adult.

    -Laine

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  98. on to personal responsibility...

    saying "i did it 'cuz i wanted to' is not taking responsibility and shows profound lack of introspection. non-human animals pretty much do everything "'cuz they want to." introspection and responsibility only begin when we question WHY we wanted to do something.

    say i cheat on my husband. sure, i did it because i wanted to, but that doesn't begin to explain the situation. was i bored and just needed a pop of excitement? did he cheat on me so i decided to hurt him in kind? is our sex life unsatisfying? has my husband been in a coma for several years? i would not feel the same in each of these situations, and my motivations behind my behavior would also inform what i would do about it.

    @daniel per "only place morality exists is in the human brain" - it seems you quite readily dismiss what only exists in the brain, but it exists there for a good reason. millions of years of evolution gave "morality" or "ethics" because it helped us survive. of course, being capable of reason as well as emotions, humans are free to create new moral or ethical structures (and we do all the time). but have no doubt that natural selection will guarantee that what we choose helps us survive. what we choose may seem random, but the results will not be.

    -Laine

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  99. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to kiwifar.ms drama: https://archive.is/M2tXa) that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/ too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!

    Goddamn ME refused to reconnect the blog to the forum so we SC goers will just have to spam advertisements for the forum in the comments section. ;)

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