Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On empaths controlling/manipulating sociopaths (part 1)

A reader writes:
Hello, m.e.,

I've been reading about sociopathy for many years now but only recently came across your site. I am an empath. In fact, I am perhaps a bit "more" empathetic than most empaths would be.

I believe I have developed a method for controlling, even manipulating, sociopaths: that is, beating them at their own game. I will not post my entire story yet because 1) I remain, and probably always will remain, unconvinced that you are a sociopath until I can observe you in person (this is my skeptical nature) and 2) I'm not sure that you would be interested in hearing many of the details. You'll have to respond to let me know.

The story, in brief: about six years ago I discovered the sociopathic nature of a male friend very close to me. In short, he briefly successfully conned me out of hundreds of dollars (not that serious, but unpleasant) to fund an affair (he had another long term girlfriend then) I had no idea he was having. Even though he was able to guilt me into not accusing him of failing to repay me, I quickly became very suspicious. I began to notice an almost inhuman detachment in his facial expressions. When he smiled, I would often notice that the smile was emotionally vacant. This may sound strange, but the smile felt subtly slower to me. I am very adept at picking up facial cues and intuitively knowing what people around me are thinking, how they're feeling - even what their true intentions are. It is nearly at the level of a psychic ability (though I am a strict materialist and do not believe in that). My Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ (the same as Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, and supposedly/theoretically Jesus Christ) and is often attributed an uncanny ability to see straight through to what people are thinking/feeling.

Back to the story, I began researching sociopathy and similar disorders online. I was completely certain that what I had on my hands was a full blown sociopath - and certainly one of the more impulse controlling varieties (a college grad and actually quite motivated and hard working). At this point, I became really excited. I could not wait to see what I could do to him - in short, to see if I could actually beat him at his own game. (This statement may give you the impression that I might be a sociopath. I am not. I sometimes cry during those infomercials about feeding African children and so forth. I could not list the number of times I've cried on someone else's behalf.)

40 comments:

  1. You have got to be kidding me,..right?

    Tink :)

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  2. This kind of thing always amuses me. “I can’t wait to play mind games with him/send him into warzones by preying on his greed/tear his life to pieces/manipulate him like he’s a pawn on a chessboard/lie to him like there’s no tomorrow/drench him in gasoline and light his fire/fill in the blank amoral behavior, BUT I AM NOT A SOCIOPATH!!!” The sincerity cracks me up, it really does. Maybe the people who come here and leave these types of comments aren’t sociopaths. But does that really matter? Actions speak louder than words, do they not? Do you think the guy who's dancing akimbo because he's ablaze thanks to your lit match really cares if you cry at movies? Really?

    So this story by yet another person who thinks and acts like a would be sociopath but swears to high heaven that he is not one ought to be amusing.

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    Replies
    1. Just as amusing as your post. As I like to say, "word's of a true sociopath". I believe you can be an empathy yet choose to mess with people, in these situation I assume an empathy would only mess with people who've messed with them, which is the same in my case. If I consider the person to be 'good' nurtured, I wouldn't mess with them, they don't deserve it. As the old saying goes 'What goes around comes around'

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  3. Sounds a little like BPD.

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  4. I have a feeling this post is not based on a "real" communication. It seems like a construction with some humor thrown in. I'm probably wrong though. But it is a good topic either way imo.

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  5. I'm at a loss for words.

    That is not empathetic behavior.

    You've dehumanized him.

    Sociopath or not, he has thoughts and feelings, just like you do. You eagerly attempted to violate him anyway, in a way you'd hate to be violated yourself. It sounds like you were just waiting for an excuse--the excuse being more important than ethics or morality.

    "Hey, yeah!! Finally someone I can justify FUCKING OVER!"

    Ha, yeah, so much for morality. So much for ethical behavior. So much for caring about how others feel, yeah? Ha!

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    Replies
    1. Yessss..I'm what they call an empath and even though I been messed over by a few socios I still find some kind of mercy on them whether I try or not its something that supposed to come naturally.

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  6. Im liking this story..

    please m.e, carry on...


    You naysayers just shut up for two damn seconds.....

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  7. An empath scorned is not one to be messed with.
    There is a certain line, if crossed, where we can become quite heartless too..The V for vendetta usually stems from hurt feelings to get back at someone who thinks they are smarter than you. And yes Birdick, smarter being a relative term here...
    Sooo..Does that make us sociopaths?
    Doubt it...
    Two wrongs dont make a right, but it sure as shit makes it even..

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    Replies
    1. Yup you def came across a sociopath... How do I know??? Cause your projecting him!!!

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  8. peter, you just explained why you and daftny or whatever he is calling himself now, got into that cat and mouse game a while ago.

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  9. I think this empath thing vs the S can only end bad. I can only speak for myself. For my lost friend and myself, I offer this:

    What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight,
    Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find
    Strength in what remains behind...

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  10. however which way you spin it, it can feel good to hurt those who hurt you.

    although, empaths must recognize that, ultimately, the person they are exacting revenge on may not really give a shit, AT ALL.

    me, i know i got even, and it brings me joy.

    aside from that bit of dirt, i am glad i stay away - out of love i stay away; donʻt need to enable someoneʻs sociopathy just so i can selfishly benefit from it in any way. donʻt need to go further down the rabbit hole; it was (85%) fun while it lasted and i guess the rest are just scars (literal ones). I wasnʻt satisfied with that number, so i moved on to more normal guys - they are a lot more giving. the only risk is to exercise caution to not to take advantage of them - after a socio taught you the methods for HOW easy it is after all.

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  11. The way i view empathy is like this....i feel it at times. I can certainly put myself in another less fortunate persons position and think, wow that sucks, id hate that to be me. Which i guess is what empathy is. Sympathy is different though isn't it? Or is that the same difference?

    I tend to be choosy who i feel empathy for. Complete tragic circumstances, yeah, id feel real bad for a person. Random stupid shit, like losing a purse, well no.
    If someone had what was coming to them after being awful to another person, id laugh my socks off. Revenge is sweet and best served ICE cold. I thought sally made a great comment :) If something bad happens to someone who didn't deserve it, again i would feel empathy. I wouldn't slap any collective moral label on it though.

    Tink :)

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  12. "So this story by yet another person who thinks and acts like a would be sociopath but swears to high heaven that he is not one ought to be amusing."

    uck...nothing easier to do and less sincere than mirroring Daniel :o)
    No...good people may sometimes do brutal things. Good people sometimes kill people, torture even. Motivation really is key, and the law itself implicitly acknowledges this. It's just that, in law, it's very hard to know what motivated someone in their crimes. If we could perfectly know, the sentence could and would be cut to fit each person individually. But we can't, and it is for this reason actions have to speak louder than words. But not Daniels glib self serving mixture of rhetorical fallacy and specious pseudo intellectual mirroring tactics.

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  13. You'll never win, darling. He's always one step ahead of you.
    Whilst I agree that empaths have an amazing ability to be attune to another person's thoughts and feelings, I would say empaths are too warm-hearted to do what you think it is you're doing.



    See what I did there? I paid you a compliment. Nice, wasn't it. You like that.

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  14. I see obsession here under the guise of beating someone at their own game.
    Very interesting m.e., thanks.
    I'm looking forward to the next installment. :)

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  15. Anon aka Hater:

    Don’t hate the mirror. The mirror only reflects what is placed in front of it.

    “Good people”… isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron? A fantastical one at that? You probably meant average people.

    Motivation is key is it? Key to what, maintaining the pretense that a conscience automatically bestows some kind of real and tangible virtue?

    Glib? Yeah, sure, why not? Self serving? Probably. Fallacious and specious/pseudo-intellectual reasoning? That Hater is all on you, as almost your entire comment aptly demonstrates. What does knowing someone’s motivation have to do with whether or not justice is actually revenge in practice? Person A does something harmful and illegal to Person B and Person B wants Person A to suffer. Person B will make Person A hurt by himself, or he’ll get the community to do it for him. You can call that justice if you like. I call it revenge. Revenge is the more realistic term. Justice is the airy fairy term, the storybook idea children believe in to help them sleep at night. Take a good look at the prison population in America if you want to see “justice” in action. No, the only real difference between justice and revenge is the former is on behalf of the community while the latter is usually but not always undertaken by an individual, which means it is really about power, as always.

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  16. Nah, the difference was in the motives. Our anonymous reader wanted to fuck someone over, for the sake of fucking someone over. He was eager for it.

    I wanted Daft to shut the fuck up and stop talking to me, escalating things until he obliged. When he did, I came home and backed off.

    Big difference.

    In retrospect, I suppose I could have just asked him to. But I really don't work that way. I don't ask people for anything. I just make them do it, one way or another.

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  17. Daniel, I agree with you. Justice is just revenge by the people, and it's usually pretty cruel and unusual. A thief doesn't deserve to be raped repeatedly for years on end. If that jived with society's moral standards, that would be their sentence. It's not, but judges are happy to condemn people to that fate, and people are happy to turn a blind eye and justify it by saying, "He shouldn't have done the crime."

    So long as the judge doesn't read off, "You are sentenced to 4 years of rape, torture, slavery, fear of death, and lifelong discrimination."

    The mental gymnastics involved in all that are really crazy.

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  18. The revenge motive is ubiquitous to all humans and as old as the hills. It's built right into our social instinct that in certain situations if someone does harm to you it is justified that you will do harm back to that person and more so.
    In the instinctual opinion of most people, it is acceptable to take revenge against someone who abused them or of someone they care about, or even someone they observed abusing other people.
    This isn't a sociopathic trait, what a stupid idea.
    Also Pan, you didn't stalk and abuse Daft because you wanted him off your back. You did it because by chance you got hold of his personal details and for no other reason than vindictiveness and opportunism you decided to bully and intimidate the individual. Very unpleasant little man.

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  19. Oh really?
    Tell me, what did I have for breakfast this morning, and why?

    Better yet, why don't you tell me why I agreed with Daniel Birdick just now? Really, use that all knowing brain of yours to figure that out, and get back to me.

    You can't even figure out something that simple, let alone what could motivate me to pour so much time and energy into shutting someone up.

    Miss Cleo, your ignorance and presumptuousness make you pretty unpleasant, yourself.

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  20. You know what, I'm the same. I get my kicks usually from drawing people in and then dropping them from the greatest height possible. But more often than not, I do it only if I feel they deserved it. Sometimes my motives are a bit skewed, but at the time they seem very clear to me. What you've done, anonymous reader, sounds very much like what someone else suggested - BPD.
    ME actually has a very interesting article on here about the links with BPD and sociopathy. Worth a read. Sociopaths often date BPD women - seems they're both intrinsically attracted to each-other.
    But yeah, what this person is doing is very difficult for me to understand. If I get a BPD girlfriend who pisses me off, would I react by suddenly cutting my wrists if they threatened to leave, or crying for no fucking reason? Therefore "beating [them] and [their] own game?" No I fucking wouldn't. I'd be far more inventive and only ever this sadistic if I had been truly wronged in some way.
    Also - crying at African children infomercials? How fucking generic. You make me sick.

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  21. You know, it just occurred to me that having a functioning and “healthy” conscience predisposes normals to have to find a way to reconcile their moral sense with their basic thirst for vengeance. (I know, it should have occurred to me earlier. Even I'm not perfect!) That has to be the reason for the mental gymnastics PP. We all try to avoid cognitive dissonance and their way of doing that when it comes to their perfectly natural desire to strike back regardless of the cost is to, in part, dress it up and call it justice. From there, they then get to go on fantastical intellectual adventures known as moral conundrums which in turn provides them with all sorts of opportunities to experience drama, angst and woe. It must be like living with a soap opera writer inside your own brain. I even imagine it's fun sometimes. Sure it is a kind of delusion, but it makes sense given that they have to wrestle with a conscience and moral emotions.

    "Also - crying at African children infomercials? How fucking generic. You make me sick."

    LMAO! Luv it. Maybe Aspie was right. Maybe this is a set-up. If ME is trying his/her hand at fiction, I say keep going.

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  22. Daniel,
    Arguably, a society cannot function without some sort of "social contract" a shared moral code will do. In literate societies, a set of legal codes is often the result of the attempt to hammer out a social contract.

    "Justice" is supposed to be a uniform set of consequences for transgressing the shared moral or legal code, and is meant to function either as a deterrent or else as a way to just stop the transgressor from transgressing.

    Conscience is actually taught. Babies don't have them. Those who internalize the shared moral code have an easier time "coloring inside the lines", so to speak. People who keep the social contract keep the society healthier. The capacity for moral reasoning is also useful for members of societies.

    Of course, people with consciences often act against the urgings of their conscience. The "moral emotion", as you call it, can help them to stick more closely to the moral code the next time.

    And, yes, even people with consciences are capable of dehuminizing people and other intellectual delusions to get around the demands of their own moral code.

    The reason that those with consciences are often so frightened to hear of people without them is that it would seem that there is nothing AT ALL to hold the conscienceless back from any kind of activity, whether benign or decidedly anti-social. And no hope that the conscience will prod them to get back on the straight and narrow after they do transgress.

    m.e's current correspondant MIGHT have a conscience and the capacity for empathy, but seems to be displaying a reduced capacity for moral reasoning with regard to someone who has wronged him.

    You are exactly right that crying for televised orphans will not right any wrongs. Only if you resolve to "go and sin no more" (and keep that promise) do you stop damaging people and the society at large.

    Empathy and conscience function in individuals to help hold societies together.

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  23. For the most part Lurker, I agree with you.

    I agree with most of what you have said about the social contract and its communal utility. I would add to your definition of justice the hunger for payback. I would suggest that it is this hunger that ultimately drives the punitive nature of justice. Like PP said, justice is revenge by the people, for the people (a phrase I enjoyed, btw). It gets dressed up with legal philosophy and moral grandstanding to help square one’s drive for revenge with one’s sense of right and wrong.

    And the nature of conscience… well I agree with you here. Again, I would add based on what I have read to date that most people are born with innate moral emotions. The details about what triggers those emotions however are supplied by the society a child is born into. In this sense then, conscience is both innate and taught. To use this worn out analogy again, most people are born with the 88 requisite piano keys but one’s particular society and family of origin provides the sheet music.

    I even agree with you, partly, about why normals are frightened of the conscienceless. What indeed is to stop someone like M.E. from murdering anyone he/she chooses if conscience doesn’t hold him/her back or if he/she doesn’t care about the consequences? That is perfectly understandable, albeit a mite short sighted.

    My main point in originally responding in this thread was and still is that it is unconsciously hypocritical and delusional to truly believe that a conscience somehow imparts something to you that elevates you, or that it is somehow intrinsically meaningful. This false faith creates all kinds of obvious contradictions between belief and behavior, as the post demonstrates. Those contradictions point to the illusory quality of the ideals held, like justice, as well the lie of moral superiority. Justice and morality are useful illusions as you have pointed out, but they are illusions just the same. Utility does not equal real.

    I am not saying that wanting to strike back at someone who hurts you is bad. I am not even saying that hypocrisy or mass delusion is bad. Nothing is bad or good but thinking makes it so, to paraphrase the Bard. It all simple is. I am just calling it like I see it.

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  24. Lurker, you just described the justice system, not justice itself. Justice is an ideal that the justice system was created to serve, but justice is frighteningly subjective, which is why the justice system needed to be created.

    The justice doled out by the justice system will never be perfect, because there is no universal sense of justice. It's different for everyone, and no individual's opinion on the matter is any more meaningful than any other.

    I don't really have a problem with that. As long as I know the rules and the consequences, I'm good; however, I am bothered by the hypocrisy of the justice system and how delusional its proponents are. They willfully ignore the reality of their brand of justice, with such a silly rationalization as, "Do the crime, do the time."

    What the fuck is that?
    They make it sound like prison is a hotel stay, or just like sitting in time out for a while. The justice our governments adhere to isn't justice at all. It's revenge for some, and it's taking out the trash for others. Cause a problem, get out of my sight, don't care what happens to you, yeah yeah getting raped every night? Oh well, too bad, you shouldn't have stolen that watch.

    But what would have happened if you raped someone who stole your watch? What would the justice system then do to you? Now, what if someone stole your watch, and you beat them and raped them every day for, say, 6 months?

    Fuck these people, they're all insane. I can't stand society and their views on justice and morality. They're so fucking selfish, blind, and dumb, it pisses me off even thinking about it.

    Come to think of it, fuck you guys, too.

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  25. To be honest Peter Pan I don't think I'd be incredibly phased by prison. Like hospital, it would be a hinderance, sure, but it wouldn't deter me from living my life afterwards. I don't see how putting someone in a room for a few years can stop someone from doing something. Makes no sense to me.

    Also, this watch analogy - if someone stole my watch I'm more likely to sleep with their wife / set fire to their car / emotionally rip them to tatters. Bringing rape into this isn't cool. Just because I'm a sociopath doesn't mean I am also a sexual predator.

    Are you having an adolescent day, Peter Pan? Crank up some Avenged Sevenfold. Fuck your mother and father, YOU DON'T CARE HOW LOUD THAT SHIT IS.

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  26. Come on, man, get your head out of your ass. I'm talking about unethical prison conditions that the justice system turns a blind eye to, and the pathetic excuses they and their supporters use to justify their indifference. If this shit were happening out in the real world in response to crimes, they'd punish the offenders severely and everyone would hate them. But OK, I get it. You're a super badass sociopath, and nothing scares or bothers you. Cheers?

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  27. Peter Pan and Daniel Birdick: two sides of the same coin.

    but on the more tasteful subject, yes you don't have to be a sociopath to want revenge. sorta like that song goes, 'when a woman's fed up'...if you hurt someone, more than likely they will react like an over emotional scorned ex girlfriend and exact revenge in the form of slashed tires, keyed car, sleeping with your best friend, making your life a living hell...it's human nature

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  28. I got revenge of sorts on my sociopath ex who cheated on me and made sure I knew it..Destroyed me for a bit...then she did it again in another way..

    I was devastated and if only she could understand how she hurt me, blah blah..

    SO she hurt me and I blew up her house..and made sure to hurt her in ways she can't and won't ever forget.

    I felt justified and I still do. As I had to burn the bridge or we would keep getting back together and repeating these horrible patterns.

    I'm not proud of my behaviour and wish I was enlightened and secure enough to simply walk away knowing she is unhappy and will always be.

    Bragging about my ability to hurt her so much would be pathetic.

    Socoipaths who do not intentionally do damage or do damage in ways that are really just part of their persona and who have hurt themselves terribly in the process, deserve sympathy and even empathy.

    It's always best if possible to rise above it all and walk away.

    I was not able to. But it doesn't make me feel good.

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  29. I was so excited to read your article! I am dating a guy right now that I just found out was a clinical psychopath. I am the same in reading peoples true feelings. This could end up being a long story so in short I wondered the same thing can I manipulate him? Yesterday I did and it worked!! I would love to speak with you about this. And if you would like to test your theory (if u haven't already) I have one. I dont want to leave any personal information here so if u get this comment please respond with a way to contact you.

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    Replies
    1. Please I would love to speak with you over email. I'm in a similar situation and am just about at my wits end. Please help?

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    2. email me too please!!! i am an empath as well! well im just finding out i am help! just got out of a relationship with a sociopath i think but it seemed he had my same ability really freakky!! please help!!!

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    3. I'm alive right now only because he is currently in prison. I had no choice but to try and beat him at his own game, as he finally found a torture I could not endure. The past few months of assumed safety and freedom have been some of the best months in my whole 40+ years.....even with PTSD so severe I am unable to function without being on something.
      I came across this site because he managed to get a message to me from prison and I can feel myself slipping. I have been to doctors, therapists, domestic violence counselors and cried on the violent crime victims hotline countless times. Understanding, comfort, support, effective advice.....haven't found it, other than forums such as this.
      The message he got to me of course has me in a tailspin, and I need some kind of support. Support from someone who is aware of the darker facts of life, such as the fact that restraining orders don't work, or the fact that the indifference of witnesses is more painful and terrifying to experience than the horror that they are witnessing.
      Does that make sense? I know, I need help. Soon.

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  30. Ok for the reader above me, while I'm commenting. You're dating a Psychopath? And you sound so bubbly as if you're shopping for a new pair of shoes at the galleria. This is downright sickening. I am a BPD and Bipolar. And attracted to a guy I suspect is a Sociopath. He has no reaction for anything. I wonder as to why he is avoiding any communication. Well I am not interested in talking to him anymore just interested in why he is so angry that his personal business has been broadcasted. Called me a bitch and many other names to mention. I am shocked maybe because people KNOW the truth.

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  31. Email me this story. I'm invovoled with a sociopath & have no choice but to beat him at his game.

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  32. I am highly Empathetic. I attract Sociopaths like a moth to a flame (3 in a row now) Of course, I was chalking it up to bad luck until the last one who just threw me for an emotional loop. I started researching personality disorders and came across Sociopath. BANG ON! Not only did his behavior FINALLY make sense, I realize I had already dated 2 others. Well one for sure, the other is more narcissist and egotistical than Socio. Anyway, my point that I'm about to make is in reference to wanting to harm a Sociopath while still remaining an Empath. As I once stated to my ex Sociopath "I'm a lover, not a fighter...but I'll crack your teeth!" Since they have beaten me emotionally (where it hurts me most) I want to beat them physically (which is the only real pain they are capable of feeling). Being hurt emotionally by them are open wounds that are taking forever to heal. At least a one time ass whooping they will heal from and probably just pick up and keep on keeping on. It's the satisfaction of wanting them to feel even a morsel of the pain they've caused me. As well, it's justice baby. Why should they get away with their destructive ways? It'd be one thing if they had to live with the guilt, but that's nit what happens is it? So set the bastards on fire :)

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  33. it's not because you're 'empaths' or some bullshit - it's the ESTP/INFJ dynamics where opposites attract because they benefit from eachother (NOT JUST "SOCIOPATHS" SUCKING THE EMOTIONS OUT OF "EMPATHS"); but quid quo pro where you get someone capable to do your dirty work. your subconcious uses cognitive functions that are conscious to 'sociopaths' and vice versa. and it's not a personality disorder; it's a 'soldier ant' or what you could call it.

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  34. oh - and you're not 'empaths' - that's just your brain not using the part of the brain using logic that makes you incapable of seeing how things: de facto work - and you're insecure like wtf so you make up crap like you're 'empaths' or can see ghosts - and so on - to compansate for a weak ego.

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