Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sociopaths and animals (part 1)

A reader asks:
Dear ME,

After reading your website, I've come to believe that I'm possibly a mild sociopath. Not only is my world view and general behavior in many ways consistent with a sociopath but my childhood and teen years definitely have featured the kind of social rejection consistent with the development of this disorder. However one thing keeps on bugging me. A commonly described characteristic of sociopaths is cruelty to animals. But I have never been cruel to animals. In fact, I feel a profound love for animals of all kinds, even going out of my way to kill many species of bugs. In my childhood, I bought a pet snake, because I thought it would be cool but ended up in tears when I first watched my snake constrict a baby mouse. Indeed, seeing animals in pain or seeing people behave cruelly towards them has always been upsetting to me.

Is it even possible for an actual sociopath to feel this kind of strong connection to animals? Let me reiterate that my feelings towards humans are almost completely opposite: I'm a total misanthrope and have no faith at all in human nature. My theory for this dissonance is that, while humans have always treated me like shit, even though I've been nothing but kind to them, animals have always reciprocated my friendliness. One recent anecdote serves as a kind of mise en abyme for my entire relationship with animals. A girl I'd been hooking up with had inexplicably broken things off with me. I left her residence in tears, and collapsed in the woods outside her house. It was cold and I was sobbing in the darkness when I heard something coming towards me. One of the cats that lived at her house had followed me and rubbed it's face affectionately against my body, purring as it nuzzled back and forth. The cat was there to comfort me when the human had broken my heart. And that pretty much encapsulates my relationship with animals throughout life.

37 comments:

  1. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, love and acceptance is a core need of all emotionally healthy human beings. It is understandable that if one has had repeated bad experiences with humans that possibly the person would transfer the need for love and acceptance to animals. I have seen this alot with people who are possibly a bit different in some way and have been made to feel unaccepted. I knew a woman who had horses and made her whole life about the horses. Each horse had their own persona similar to human beings. This woman had little need for humans except in a practical sense. I would think that this would be a defense mechanism for survival and would not necessarily be pathological unless this aspect of the person's life causes them discomfort or grief. I would think that the strong caring that the reader expressed towards animals is a form of empathy and for that reason, it would be my guess that the reader is not sociopathic. If a sociopath is indifferent towards people than I do not see that they would be any different towards animals. Am I making sense here, socios? Do you feel any different toward animals vs humans?
    Zan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, very much so, I feel more like an animal than I ever did feeling like a human. I cry when that particular animal is not there to do what I ask it, and my love for the creature is reciprocated. but for humans it is not the case. I understand the rules of animals more so than man, I understand the rules of nature as well, so yes sociopaths depending upon who you talk to will most likely have more in common with wolves than with a human man.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  2. that sounds more borderline than antisocial.
    Crying after a snake kills a mouse? Compassionate, maybe, but it's still a complete overreaction

    ReplyDelete
  3. You aren't a sociopath; you are emo.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Was going to write something long and smart here but I see Ryan already made the point, emo.

    ReplyDelete
  5. One word: Really?

    How did you ever equate misanthropy to sociopathy? It's like whasdasghgasdkljasfiaogdkfjaswhat

    M.E., sometimes you sadden me. I think I automatically gained depression after reading this. Bravo, M.E., bravo.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hahaha. Poor kid.

    Advice: stick with the animals. The people will destroy you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. HI EVRY1, EVRY1 TREATS ME LIKE SHIT SO I HATE HUMANS AND LOVE ANIMALS AND BTW IM NOT A HUMAN IM A SOCIOPATH SO HAHAHAHA FUCK ALL U HUMANS AND FUCK EVRYTHING ELSE IM NOT!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Peter, come on...

    You're doing worse than beating a dead horse. You're beating a dead emo.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, 2... was that fake empathy? Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  10. C'mon, give me a break. I blame the booze. Again. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anon: "Wow, 2... was that fake empathy? Good job!"

    Thank you. I get my shits and giggles from pretending to be human and being emotionally melodramatic.

    Peter: "C'mon, give me a break. I blame the booze. Again. :)"

    So this is like drunk dialing meets the Internet?

    Lulz.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My father, who wasn't a sociopath, didn't believe that dogs were for companionship. He trained German Sheppards to protect our house when he traveled. He grew up on a farm in Europe so to him animals represented food and had some domestic function. When he was a kid he killed a turnkey playing stickball. The turkey was dinner that night. When he told me the story I was mortified that he ate the turkey and didn't bury it in the garden. He couldn't understand why I was so emotional about the story and what he did. To him the animal meant survival and it just so happen it was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and its life was destined for the dinner table anyway. If I want to eat a turkey, which is rare, I just go to the shop rite and buy a frozen one.

    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  13. i avoid eating anything that sheds, shits, stinks, pukes, or makes noise.

    ReplyDelete
  14. To all the people calling me emos: Please. An emo is someone who wallows in their misery. I rarely cry and only posted this example because it was important to the example. I don't focus on my sadness and I have plenty of "fake" friends and a vibrant social life full of mostly worthless people I can't rely on. You can be a misanthrope and pretend not to be. That is why I thought I might have been a sociopath.

    To the guy who says BPD. I've always feared that and it may be the case. BPD is a lot less sexy than ASD but sometimes you have to face facts.

    I have a lot in common with the common sociopath. I'm easily charming, I hide who I am, I can see the world as nothing but a series of inputs and outputs. That;s why I thought I might have been one.

    Thanks to the people who tried to offer helpful responses.

    AO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see why you hate people!!!

      Delete
    2. Hun no u r not a sociopath, however i think you should see someone for a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum disorders. People on the spectrum struggle with human relationships and emotions. You seem very intelligent so google aspergers or high func autism. Good luck with it all.

      Delete
  15. you might be a secret schizoid

    ReplyDelete
  16. being "charming" (i.e. manipulative) may be a trait of psychopathy, but there is substantial overlap between the cluster B personality disorders. A psychopath however, would not actively hate other people - they would be more likely to see them as tools, or feel nothing for them. Hatred, and the other possibly excessive negative emotions you feel are related to the other cluster B disorders, especially BPD. The fact that you are more manipulative, and more adapted to society does not mean you have stopped being that way - merely that you have developed better coping mechanisms. Remember too, that if you feel nothing a lot of the time, this could also be a symptom of depression, borderline personality disorder, or even an illness related to schizophrenia (though maybe unlikely).

    If you think you are a psychopath, you should review some symptoms you may have mistaken for psychopathy that may have in fact been due to BPD:
    Both sufferers can react with inappropriate anger to certain situations
    Both are impulsive (though borderlines may do things like this to self harm)
    Both can "feel nothing" - though to a psychopath this is emotional shallowness, whereas to a BPD sufferer, this is "dissociation" (a defense mechanism)
    Both lack regard for social norms
    Both feel limited empathy: psychopaths for everyone, borderlines for anyone they dislike (in your case: everyone)
    "Borderline"s can overeact to happiness, and become overly friendly, or accomodating. Psychopaths outwardly appear to act this way, when in fact they feel nothing about the matter.
    Both can lie easily, from practice - psychopaths must lie to cover their lack of empathy, BPD-afflicted people, their pain.

    ReplyDelete
  17. There's no shame in being emo! Not to say you are or you aren't.

    I don't know you except for what you revealed, but it sounds to me you are NOT a sociopath. I don't think a true sociopath would feel such compassion for animals. I also get the impression that you want to love humans, you are in touch with a degree of natural compassion for them, but these feelings have been somewhat stifled due to the fact that you have been hurt, repeatedly, by human beings. Perhaps you have come to feel bitter, and are trying to freeze your heart as a defense mechanism against the pain. But why did that pain arise in the first place? Because of your initial desire to connect and bond with humans... your desire for love. These desires were not reciprocated, in fact you got the opposite of what you wanted on many occassions. So in reaction, perhaps you are trying to shut out your desire for love. But it's there, and you are still in touch with it.

    I think you are an empath who has tried to make yourself a sociopath, with limited success, as a defense mechanism from pain. This is a shitty choice to make... I recommend against it. Read self-help books, get some therapy, and perhaps most importantly, find yourself a better community of people. Not everyone is a callous asshole. I used to be surrounded by not so nice people, and it's easy to think that all humans are like this. I'm now surrounded by truly good, kind, friendly people. I hang out with many vegans and lefty-progressives and activists, so they tend to be above average in compassion and kindness. Getting involved in such communities I guarantee you will find nicer people!

    You love animals... you should go vegan (doesn't make sense to love animals and NOT be vegan) and start hanging out with other vegans. Not to say all vegans (or all leftists or all activists) are wonderful people, but I have found they are more likely to be so, although there are still assholes here and there.

    You should also look into the BPD (borderline) thing. Because if you do indeed have BPD then even if you are surrounded by loving, kind people you will still feel rejected and hurt quite often, due to your own misperceptions.

    Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi, you are not a sociopath. There is no other way to put it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. U are not a sociopat, you can feel strong emotions. I would rather go for the "emotionally unstable" label. You are just deeply hurt and resentful, but still capable of feeling something. Maybe you are asocial, but not antisocial. That's a big difference.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is a ridiculous blog. The sociopaths are not the problem - it's those idiots who want to be sociopaths. Sociopaths are the clearest formation of 'evil'- they are simply inhuman. And I mean that because - until you have known someone whose life has been taken by a ruthless animal- you have no idea the weight of what it means to be a sociopath. HA there's no sociopathic spectrum. Most of you were alienated, and it pissed you off, so you created the frankly embarrassing delusion that you are 'special' in your social awkwardness. This is a mensa-esque website created for someone who isn't intelligent enough - or deep enough - to get into the intellectually ego driven clique. You infuriate me, because sociopaths should NEVER be admired, emulated, romanticized, or etc because of the countless small and big evils they have committed against human kind. That's why sociopaths never get out of prison/mental hospitals, you can't 'save' them - they're inhuman. A fact demonstrated by your continual sick admiration, emulation, romanticification, of sociopaths - those are all intrinsically empathic gestures. Ah. And you can't be 'mildly sociopathic'. Have you seen the bodies? Read the notes that cannibals wrote to their adolescent victims' parents - describing in detail how he ate their children? Maybe cannibalism or mutilation isn't every sociopaths fetish - but every sociopath does feel the same about it.

    There is no pride in claiming to have the same mind as those disgusting monsters. And you are a humiliating representation of a normal human being - but you are one. You won't understand any of this until you've met the true, true, emptiness behind a sociopathic face - and so you may never realize it. Ah - you admireres are such a humiliation.

    I don't want anything to do with sociopaths that isn't clinical research. But I want just a little bit less to do with people idiotic and shallow enough to romanticize the soulless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. you are a really stupid asshole. you are why people romanticize sociopaths. Because they kill people like you. I'm glad. Noone else can bring themselves to do it. Humans are disgusting and cancerous on the earth and you are the reason. arrogant f**ks like you. Being inhuman is a blessing.

      Delete
  21. I agree that some true sociopaths can "supposedly" love animals...I have seen it. But, the reason their love is so "supposedly" intense for their animals is the control they can exude over the animal and they, I feel, help the sociopath keep their big time sicko sense of some kind of control! I knew a socipath who so loved his dog and a neighbor told me, after the fact, that it was the meanest dog he had ever known! Socipaths are true predators to all whom they meet and to those they just randomly play with out in the world. They can con their own parole agents. Glib, superficial, ooze such intense sincerity....all lies, a facade. Their lives are a continual, long drawn out pathetic movie that never stops as they do not have "feelings" as most humans to focus their minds on. So, they are continually acting and upping their game as they become more learned in their game of deception through people who don't even know they are being played. Great observers, so they can seem normal. Far from it! They love the sympathy card. Could say more but I get such a sick feeling when I think of these predators and the lives they mess with and usually get away with it. They must WIN, at all costs. Winning is destruction - phenomonaly sick players. Women beware. Go with your gut, always.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Eeeeeks! I really believe that my gf is a full blown sociopath! Her life is a constant contradiction mixed with hypocrisy .....She told me she has cancer and had me drive her to a few(phony ) Dr. appointments. Everytime we showed up to these appointments the nurses/doctors and receptionists were CLUELESS(kinda like I was at the time) . She claims to be ex military/army as well. I believed that she was (until the contradictions began)....First she claimed to be in for 14 years, then 12 years....She also claimed to have been raped by an Afghani and impregnated .......Well, her pregnancy test came back negative. .......The breast cancer exam (that she finally took for certain) came back negative as well. I spoke to her grandmother on the phone and she was under the impression(via my gf) that she had the surgery(mastectomy )....Her poor grandmother thought she was suffering:( She has cheated on me(through texting other women ) and maybe more, lol who knows lol. When caught she swore they were simply friends of hers(even though I had read the texts)....Yes, I went through her phone do to suspicion ....I could go on and on about the lies and strange stories that this girl tells me. The last load of crap she spewed involved a contusion on her face. She arrived home with this huge contusion on her right cheek. She claimed it was work related. Upon talking to her boss a few days later, he informed me that she claimed to have been at a charity bbq boxing match lol. Just another lie she told me. I know I am a FOOL to still be with her. I do not feel the love for her that I once did. I find myself wondering WHO THE HECK SHE IS? Who is this person that sleeps beside me at night. She is not physically or verbally abusive towards me. She is good to my dogs and seems to always ne consumed with pleasing me, but the stories and lies that she tells have diminished this "relationship"...I have sunk to a new very low level and I am making my plan of escape! Everytime I try to break up with her, she attempts suicide. She had attempted this twice. She was diagnosed as bipolar a few years ago and is taking medication for this, but the meds do not seem to hangs the fact that she lies. When she is off of her meds there is no difference in her behavior. The only thing I can do os to leave her. She is also very selfish.....Continuing to ask me to be her wife and spend our lives together. How can I commit to her on that level after all the crap she had told me. I never know what's true or false....There are usually many contradictions surrounding her stories. I realize my post will be subject to criticism from people on this site. She is also on SSI and during a heated yelling match one day she threatened to tell SSI that I was stealing from her. I drive this person to all of her dr. appointments(amongst giving her a place to live and food on the table)....Im not doomed, just needed to vent and maybe get some other views from fellow readers/or sociopaths....

    ReplyDelete
  23. She has borderline personality most likely, due to her constant suicide attempts which are often used as security measures when fear of abandonment is present .

    ReplyDelete
  24. I believe we all express our condition differently. I mostly choose not to play mind games with people unless challenged. Then I am the master and I always win. The reason I choose not to play with MOST people is because I do not consider them to be worth my time.

    Besides, if I try to indulge in gaining power over others, would I not be admitting initial powerlessness to those I wish to gain power over?

    Why waste my time? Especially when people are more than willing to give me their power since I am attractive, highly intelligent, very sexual, magnetic, and make my living in the entertainment industry.

    I do not have to play games to get my way because most people want to be manipulated. It's rather pathetic actually. All I do is look deeply into their tortured souls and they just know that I understand them better than anybody else could. The fools.

    People do not interest me for very long and I certainly feel no empathy for them; however, I love my pets.

    I am currently involved with a narcissist and he is way too easy to mind fuck(it seems I cannot help myself). I am quickly becoming bored. However, I am never bored with my pets. I understand and relate to animals, domestic and wild.

    Mess with my pets, I will find a way to make your life a living hell. Who knows? I might even maim or kill you.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. your inflated sense of self is hilarious. the fact that you have such pomp over the internet is just pathetic, considering it's most likely all lies.

      Delete
    2. You are a charmer aren't you thing is you will still end up as dust just like us all.

      Delete
    3. im diagnosed with aspd and I still have feeling towards animals, I don't like seeing dogs abused or any other animal for that matter I have two dogs and treat them great.. but on the flip side I had a snake in elementary school and still have one now.. and back then and still today I enjoy watching it kill the mouse, to make it worse I use to hope the snake didn't eat it or wasn't hungry just so I could grab the mouse by the tail and smash it on the ground to kill it or shoot it with a bb gun

      Delete
    4. I like you and I too would destroy anyone who hurt my pets. Christ people are boring and stupid. Most and always eventually. I only can love animals. Always been that way. Looking at people murdered or whatever and I feel nothing, don't care. Seeing a hurt animal even in a movie where I know it's not that real and I have to smoke a cigarette and think about how sickening people are. If this weren't a board I would expand.

      Delete
  25. It could maybe just be a lot of coping mechanisms. I grew up with a single mom that ignored me and my relationship with my father has always been close to nonexistent. He was a heroine addict, abusive, and a stalker. My mom, though, would have outbursts. Always blaming me for a bad day at work, being angry with me for not doing well in school, all while neglecting to spend time with me. I learned to make myself scarce when she showed signs of an outburst. I hid food in my room so I didn't have to go downstairs and get screamed at for wanting food. I always had a cat that comforted me. I learned to lie about the truth according to what I thought she would believe so she would like me more. Later, I learned to do this with teachers, other students, even friends and the school psychologists. I do it currently at work with my boss and I know it's a direct result of how I was raised. Though, it took me a long time to realize this. She always looked like a saint compared to my dad. Coping mechanisms can maybe be linked to or mistaken for mental disorders. I remember I once saw a therapist that picked up on how I analyzed what the right thing to say was. But I picked up on that and altered my responses slightly. I was probably 9 or 10. Background has little, if anything, to do with being a sociopath, but could influence other aspects of a person's behavior and point towards one disorder or another.

    ReplyDelete

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies

.

Comments are unmoderated. Blog owner is not responsible for third party content. By leaving comments on the blog, commenters give license to the blog owner to reprint attributed comments in any form.