Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sociopathic traits: lack of guilt

I thought that this was an interesting comment from a fairly recent post:
People that think they have traits they could use to label themselves as sociopaths. Most aren't, so sorry! Go get another label, that one is full. Having those traits, and having them in a pathological level are not the same cup of tea. Get over it! This is one of the things money won't get you.

When doing that trait test, reading "lack of remorse" - imagine your best at lacking remorse, the true best you can. And that's not it, is that point that you can no longer have imagination to take it to the next level. After, do the same to every other trait.

But there has to be something wrong with people that wish they were sociopaths. And here is the bullseye - maybe some people are ready to take themselves as socio's but not as anything else.

This is the kind of people I think hangs around here, in very general alineas, and they are only bringing more fuss to a matter that is allready hard to deal with or understand even from a MD's skills.
I wanted to address just one aspect of this comment -- the guiltlessness. The commentator suggests that to test whether you are a sociopath, think of your most remorseless moment, then imagine something that you can't even imagine because you're not a sociopath and that's still not even close to how sociopaths actually feel about guilt.

I wonder if this is really true. I know that a lot of people think that lack of guilt or remorse is a key identifying trait in a sociopath, but I think this is a trait that many (if not most) sociopaths would not self-identify with, but rather one that third party observers blithely claim to have observed in sociopaths with little to no evidence supporting it.

Here's how I think this myth got started. Take a typical situation you might encounter in a prison setting: convicted sociopath criminal justifies some reprehensible act he did by blaming his behavior on the victim: "she had it coming." The sociopath does not seem to feel guilt for something he should clearly be feeling remorse, does not even understand why he should feel guilt for that behavior. Ergo, sociopaths do not feel guilt.

Really? Why would a sociopath even bother to justify his behavior ("she had it coming") if he was incapable of feeling anything even resembling regret?

What is really happening? I think that sociopaths believe that they feel "guilt" or "remorse" over some things, just not for what people expect them to feel guilt or remorse. In the example above, I think the sociopath was simply expressing that the action was warranted ("she had it coming"), so there was nothing to feel guilty about. Sociopaths do not necessarily value (or are even aware of) society's rules or moral standards and they feel little to no cognitive dissonance for violating these standards. They may, however, feel cognitive dissonance, or regret, over violating one of their own beliefs about who they are, or what type of world they live in. Sociopaths may feel this cognitive dissonance less frequently than normal people because it is so easy for them to justify their own behavior ex post facto and most "successful" sociopaths would have enough control and foresight to typically avoid breaking their own rules. But feeling it at inappropriate times (and rarely), does not mean that they cannot "feel" it.

So do sociopaths feel guilt? I think a lot of sociopaths would say that they do, or at least have. Do they feel guilt every time society thinks they should? No, not necessarily. People need to understand that lack of "conscience" or "empathy" does not necessarily equate with an inability to feel remorse. But bonus points for anyone who identifies when "lack of guilt" was first used by the psychological community to demonize us further.


  1. I don't like to hurt my "family" (unless I think they deserve it), but I had never really thought about it as guilt, rather attributing it to a rational desire to keep my toys in good working order.

    Maybe I'm just so used to rejecting external morality that the very idea of external guilt is alien to me. Maybe that's the difference. Empaths feel guilt coming from the outside, the fear or the fact that they're being judged for their wrongdoing, until it infects them and begins self-reinforcement. Sociopath guilt is born internally of a break in personal philosophy, and that's where it stays.

    It's an interesting idea, anyway. I'd need to see more research on the subject to make any definitive decision.

  2. You make an apt distinction, PS. I think that in this case certain terms need to be defined, such as "guilt" and "regret."

    It seems to me that everyone is capable of feeling "regret" (intellectual frustration for having made a mistake), but not everyone is capable of of feeling "guilt" (emotional result of having realized one's mistake; what most closely resembles remorse). On this scheme, it appears to be more of a causal effect rather than a homogeneous emotional result of an action.

    "Guilt," of course can be brought upon by several factors both internal and social. It depends primarily on the importance one places upon one's conceptions of "acceptable" and "unacceptable" thoughts/behaviour.

    For example, forgetting my keys will result in me feeling "regret" for having wasted time and therefore becoming late for a meeting, not necessarily because I fear judgment from others, but possibly from my own personal standard of being punctual by nature. One the other hand, one might experience this along with "guilt" for having disappointed others for being late.

  3. Using your definitions, I would say I am occasionally regretful, and rarely if ever guilty.

    The clarity of your distinction is quite pleasing, no one. Seems like you've put quite a bit of thought into this. You certainly got that point across much more eloquently than I. :D

  4. I can relate to the "they had it coming" lack of remorse. For me, it's like handing out justice.
    If I do something that hurts someone that I feel had it coming to them, I feel no remorse. I did what I set out to do.
    If I hurt someone without meaning to, I feel no remorse either because I did not intend to do it.

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  6. From what I can tell, "guilt" in "empaths" appears to be a result of that empathy. They hurt someone and they see, or imagine they see, that person's wound and because they feel the emotions of people they see this causes them to feel some of that pain and bam, they get what they label guilt. Even worse, since imagined emotions in others cause them to feel that imagined emotion themselves even if they can't see the person in pain, the knowledge they are in pain is enough to trigger that empathetic response and therefore guilt.

    An "aspie" will not realise they hurt someone because they lack the ability to easily see other's emotions, so do not get guilty until their actions are pointed out to them. At which point, the guilt hits them.

    By contract, a "socio" will know they hurt someone but since they can't feel that person's pain they can't feel guilt. However, since they know they hurt someone some will have learned to appear guilty at the right moments to score the social points and keep the game going. Others haven't learnt this, so take what seems like an easier option: Justify the action, or attempt to transfer the blame to another party.

    Of course a combination of all of those is the best act, "I feel so bad for *action*...I mean, at the time it seemed the right thing and it's *other person*'s fault for being so *character flaw* in the first place, but still doesn't make me feel better...". It scores pity points and the "honesty and self-conflict" of it all gets people on their side...

    1. You are spot on target ...I know someone who does this exactly as you have described. Now I know that my suspicion that she is a sociopath is correct. I had thought that perhaps I was judging her too harshly. Thank you for dispelling my doubts. I just wanted to say that I have read a lot here about enjoying causing others pain. That is not the same as just using them for your own benefit and not recognizing their pain. That's something else called sadism. You have to be an empath to experience other people's feelings. Hence you have to be an empath to enjoy experiencing their pain. It's the dark side of being an empath. Granted, it's an acquired taste not that many empath's share. But it is separate and distinct from sociopathy. It's a delicacy you have to feel to enjoy. Sorry kids.

  7. Here is a recent example that comes to mind.
    I teasingly called an friend of mine a "jealous whore" and thought nothing more of it. I tease with female friends and call them "bitch" or "whore" as easily as calling them "girl" or whatever.
    About 20 minutes later, when we were alone in the car as I was driving her home, she burst out telling me how I had hurt her feelings by calling her a whore.
    I laughed and explained the context I had said it in, just as I did above.
    I feel no remorse for having said it, but she really internalized it. I view that as her problem, not mine.

  8. This is a fictional example of a scenario wherein a person may or may not feel remorse and/or guilt.
    Say you decided to cut the brake lines on someone's car. The car crashes. The driver is badly injured or killed as well as people in another car that was struck by the car with no brakes. The investigation of the accident traces the cutting of the brake lines back to you.
    Do you feel remorse or guilt for having killed or injured the driver of the car with no brakes?
    Do you feel remorse or guilt for having injured others? Do you feel any guilt or remorse for having not thought the plan through thoroughly enough to foresee this might happen?
    Do you feel any guilt or remorse that you were charged with the crime because you were careless in covering your tracks?
    There are lots of variables for "feeling" in this scenario.

  9. I think it comes down to a more basic instinct then anything else, the need for self preservation is strong in anyone not just "sociopaths" if faced with a situation where in the blame can be met out to someone else, most would take it, I mean who wants to get into trouble for whats happened regardless of guilt or remorse felt ? thank the heavens for high priced attorneys.

    However I do agree with no one's assessment of the situation for the most part, "remorse" "guilt" generally indicates that acceptance of wrong doing on the part of the person committing said wrong doings, the traits of the socio don't allow those feelings from an external source or even I think from an internal point, most would agree to the grandiose self worth factor, its the easiest trait to slide into, and, if you have that self worth why would anything you do actually be wrong in your own eyes ? not saying one cannot make mistakes of course that is a given, it is whether or not it is recognized as a mistake grand enough to commit a feeling too, regret I feel falls into that category as well, that being said of course, if everything I do is perfect then I don't make mistakes, even the mistakes I make I believe were cognitive decisions made without my input so as to avoid mistakes, the empirical nature of a sociopath allows for decisions on the fly as it were, to observe and emulate ( a socios moto )

    I don't think that the words "ah crap I should not of done that because of this and that" qualifies as regret more of a passing judgment on ones self, a socio will just learn from that deviation of the plan and adjust in the future, the thought of regret is nothing more then a passing burp in the brain.

    If I forget my keys I don't feel bad about it I just turn around and get them if I am close enough if not and I am going to be late I just come up with some reason as to why, outlandish enough that it wouldn't happen all the time but not so that it couldn't happen.

  10. @Aerianne I would suspect a socio in today's world would be smart enough to realize that the any crime the commit could lead to charges.

    I would never cut the brakes of any ones car myself, majority of the time I don't like to get my hands dirty on big problems, I like to move someone else like a chess piece into doing that kind of work so that if it comes to a trial there is always reasonable doubt, also If it came back to me, internally I would feel no guilt or remorse as its something I have chosen to do and if I choose to do it that means they have offended me in some way or done harm to someone that belongs to me, externally, well always innocent until proven guilty so yes I believe I would be somewhat grief stricken.

  11. Yes, Some Other, but can you imagine, for the sake of the story, that you had not foreseen an innocent being killed. That raises the questions of feeling, remorse, regret, and guilt.

  12. The act in question really is a harmful act is it not ? if you cut someones brakes what are you expecting to happen ? To not hurt injure maime alter disfigure abuse afflict blemish bruise damage disable and or kill the victim of your brake cutting ?

  13. I cant believe that retarded comment was made into a article.
    I dont feel guilt. I know another person who doesnt either. I dont think it's odd, or isolated to sociopaths. I think the furthest that direction I could go is shame, and Ive felt that when I screwed up in my business doing something stupid and lost a lot of money.

  14. Maybe "shame" is the key difference here.

    "guilt" = means well, you are guilty of doing something. It's not really a feeling. You can be guilty of committing a crime, whether you are caught or not. Doesn't mean you automatically feel "remorse" or "shame".

    "remorse" = happens perhaps when you are caught, or when your actions have consequences that you didn't forsee or expect.

    "shame" = is a feeling. Feeling bad for having done something, whether you were caught or not. If not caught, the shame comes from the inside, for having sinned against personal integrity. If caught, shame comes from external sources as well. Having wronged someone, and feeling bad for it. Empathy.

    Or something like that.

  15. For instance.

    I am "guilty" for having contacted my ex's ex. Doesn't automatically mean that I feel "remorse" or "shame".

    Did I feel "remorse"? For a little while I did, because it made him go away for good, which I was sad about and didn't really want, even though that was exactly what I was trying to do by telling him. I don't really feel it anymore, because if I didn't do what I did, I wouldn't have a new friend, nor would I have had quite the breakdown that I needed to have.

    "Shame"? Yes, I do feel shame over the whole thing, though it's all but faded by now. It is not like me to betray someone, and I don't like the fact that I couldn't trust myself. The last bit is the most important — betraying myself.

  16. I meant I feel shame when I violate my own rules, and end up somewhere I knew I would if I violated them, if that makes sense.

  17. That makes sense UKan. I feel that form of shame in the rare occasions that I happen to violate my own rules. When I interact with certain people, and later down the line they were more trouble than it was worth, I feel shame. Shame on myself for making a bad judgment. I learn, take notes, make sure it never happens again, and move on. In that sense, it's more of a,"I should have been smarter than that" logical way of feeling shame. Guilt...I truly cannot relate to that...

  18. My ex-therapist did a whole session explaining his version of the differences in all these things, and how it relates to me. According to him (and I have no way to verify any of this as being accurate):

    Guilt is an internal feeling of having violated one's moral principles; one would feel guilt even if one weren't caught, and it's directed inward.

    Remorse is expressing that guilt and taking responsibility for the action; it's directed outward.

    Shame is feeling bad, not about the action per se, but about yourself. "How could I be so dumb?" etc. It's related to humiliation, but is caused by one's own actions rather than another's.

    Regret is simply acknowledging that there were consequences you don't like or didn't expect.

    I don't feel guilt, and therefore can't do remorse with any honesty. I do feel shame when I violate my own rules or handle something so badly that it's a cluster. I regret a lot of things.

    He said socios typically don't feel guilt or remorse, and some feel no shame, but anyone is capable of regret.

    As I said, I don't know if these are correct, but they made enough sense to give us a working vocabulary.

  19. Gabriel:

    How long did your therapy last? I'm surprised that sociopath's even go to therapy sessions. Were you a child, and forced, or were you seeking answers on your own.

    This is actually applying to all the sociopaths here. How long does a therapy session last for you guys? And were you forced, or voluntarily decided to get the therapy. Were you all diagnosed, or atleast given a warning, that you have a disorder in the earlier years, I know, a mouthful. I missed out yesterday.

  20. btw, I know this may be hard to believe, but someone jacked my name, and is making some random off comments, mainly towards Postmodern. I'm letting you know it wasn't me. It only happened once, yesterday I think, but it wasn't me.

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  22. Jesse:

    "How long does a therapy session last for you guys?"

    I went to 3 sessions when I was quite young. Each one was about an hour and a half.

    "And were you forced, or voluntarily decided to get the therapy."


    "Were you all diagnosed, or atleast given a warning, that you have a disorder in the earlier years"

    No. I lied my way into a clean slate. The most they thought was that I was a little angry, which was normal for a child in a broken home, I guess.

    I know it wasn't you, Jesse. My stalker's not very good at playing pretend.

  23. I endured an involuntary barrage of testing, both psychological and IQ, when I was five.

    I was an inpatient for five days, several years ago. It was voluntary -- in that involuntary sort of way where you're allowed to go in voluntarily, or be forced to. The shrink there wasn't one you could just smooze into thinking it was all a big misunderstanding.

    I've been seen, tested and retested by a clinical psychologist, three psychiatrists, two clinical social workers, and one therapist specializing in "problem" populations. Those were all voluntary. If you added it all up, I've probably been in about 200 hrs or more of therapy of various kinds.

  24. I also heard a rumor that real sociopaths wouldn't know they are one. Isn't the basis of sociopathy being aware of what you are doing, and if you are aware, why woudn't you already know what you are.

    I am not a fan of you guys, but even I think the story on this post, about the sociopaths here being wannabes, is unjust. I have written on other blogs with "sociopaths, and I must say the most intelligent ones are here. Even in writing I can tell one's education, awareness, and experience. It is obvious in ME's writings, Daniel's, UKan's Gabriel's, yours Postmodern, and even that new female talking about her sister. That isn't something a person could make up without experiencing it and feeling it.

    Sociopathy is a craze lately, but only to those who are cowards trying to give the image of being tough. I learned that sociopathy isn't about being tough as it is about REALLY understanding people, and being logical. People at my school today were making comments about their being sociopaths, bragging. Not one of them could master mind the downfall of a man's marriage over a years span of time, or mentally destroy someone with words. I'm beginning to understand why most of you hate regular people so much.

    I couldn't imagine living a life as hollow as yours seems through my eyes, I love having the ability to relate, and feel, and experience true emotions, even the bad, but I can imagine living in a world with less idiots. Maybe it's just the age group I'm surrounded by.

    Sorry for rambling. And I'm glad you knew it wasn't me XD.

  25. Gabriel:

    Damn. That's intense. Did any of it do much for your understanding or growth?

  26. @Jesse,

    Well, it wasn't for growth. But the voluntary therapy was for understanding. Not understanding myself, so much as understanding regular people. Since I was raised in a socio family, I didn't have enough in-depth understanding of empaths.

    People say socios in therapy is a bad thing, supposedly because we learn how to better manipulate people. I could already manipulate. What I wanted was to understand non-socios better, so that I'd have a better chance at being successful in a world dominated by empaths.

    What did I learn about myself from all these shrinks? Well, as one shrink said, "You are remarkably high-functioning for such a markedly disordered individual." Uh, thanks?

  27. Um, yeah...what kind of comment is that?

    What is the difference between high functioning and low functioning? Or successful and not, well, not is in prison, so scratch that, lol.

  28. Gabriel: My mail client ate your last email. Resend, if you wouldn't mind.

    Jesse: I figure the difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is fairly intuitive. Low-functioning ones tend to be in prison or otherwise not getting anywhere in their lives. Living from victim to victim, burning bridges, drifting from town to town.

    High-functioning implies a greater degree of self-control and planning. Long-term usable people, mostly stable living conditions, etc.

  29. Oh, wow, I didn't realize there was that much of a difference. I figured high functioning was moving from town to town, and living victim from victim. Wouldn't you have to anyway? Isn't that the soul purpose of the sociopath's living, is victims?

  30. I also heard a rumor that real sociopaths wouldn't know they are one. Isn't the basis of sociopathy being aware of what you are doing, and if you are aware, why woudn't you already know what you are.

    You may be thinking of narcissists.

    I think socios are generally self-aware, in that they at least know that they are different, even if they have not yet found a name for it.

  31. Isn't the basis of sociopathy being aware of what you are doing

    Oh, and I'd think yes. Interesting way to frame it.

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  33. I don’t know ME. This “critique” from yet another anonymoose seems incoherent to me.

    Having those traits, and having them in a pathological level are not the same cup of tea… When doing that trait test, reading "lack of remorse" - imagine your best at lacking remorse, the true best you can. And that's not it, is that point that you can no longer have imagination to take it to the next level.

    To use It's (anonymoose’s) example, what exactly does it mean to pathologically lack remorse? What’s the real world difference between pathological remorselessness verses… I don’t know, normative remorselessness? I mean, is there really such a thing as normative remorselessness in this context? It’s distinctions are very fuzzy and very nebulous.

    Then there is the ‘No True Scotsman’ish fallacy that It makes. This one is real popular here. We should rechristen it for this blog alone. We’ll call it the ‘No True Sociopath’ fallacy. No True Sociopath (NTS) would feel normative remorse. No, the mythical sociopath’s remorselessness is beyond imagination, whatever that means. Since the ‘diagnosis’ is largely in the eye of the beholder (the particular psychologist), we can’t really be certain what constitutes a bona fide psycho/sociopath. Not yet anyway. We’ll have to wait till more research is done on so called successful sociopaths for that. And that is what makes these types of comments fallacious. People who leave the NTS type comments have a highly individualized picture in their minds of what a ‘true sociopath’ is which they then use to compare to others to make unofficial diagnoses. When someone challenges the unspoken diagnosis, they invariably respond with ‘no true sociopath’ would… fill in the blank.

    So we’ve got fuzzy distinctions and a logical fallacy in this featured comment. In other words, without further clarification, on the face of it, It's comments are full of FAIL.

  34. @Jesse,

    The level of functioning that a shrink uses is called a GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) and is based on a list of typical life scenarios, and how well the client functions within them. It's the fifth of five axes listed on the formal diagnosis.

    It ranges from a low of 0 to a high of 100, with very few people really expected to be at either extreme. Most "normal" people are above 70 or so, to the best of my recollection.

    It was expected for me to have a GAF below 30, based on test scores and structured interviews, but it's generally been in the mid-60s, just shy of "normal" ... well, except for that one time leading up to my brief cuckoo's nest experience.

  35. @Daniel,

    That struck me as well, that the naysayers (always anonymous for some reason) seem to think that all sociopaths must have all traits currently associated with sociopathy. We constantly read, "I thought sociopaths didn't [or couldn't] ...," as if we were all the same. If we aren't, then as you say, we're not True Scotsmen.

    The DSM lists 9 major traits, I believe, but one only has to show any 3 to be diagnosed with ASPD. I'm no math whiz, but I think that means any one of us can be free from 6 major traits and still be diagnosed as sociopaths.

    Maybe it is fashionable nowadays to claim sociopathy. I wouldn't know. But it's not really something I either want or don't want to be. It's just something I am. I'm also short, which pisses me off a whole lot more, but is also unchangeable.

    I have to wonder what the point of the naysayers is. What possible difference could it make to him/her how I label myself? If it bothers him/her, why come here?

  36. People don't like it when others appear to be "special snowflakes".

    It threatens their self-worth.

  37. I have to admit, I am guilty of this, "no true sociopath" schtick. I can't speak for others, but in my defense it is because I obviously don't know anything about them, you guys. I just hear what everyone else says, the written documents, and hear say, and based my information on that. I guess we completely forget that socipaths are still humans, and even though they can't relate to us normal people, the do relate in a human way, just a different level. I have to remind myself all the time that sociopaths are humans. So many out there don't think they are.

    I'm starting to feel like a real ass for my past comments...

  38. Jesse, what's important is that you've found a place where you can learn and that you have the willingness to do so.

  39. Gabriel, I have never understood any of it. I hear about the popularity of labeling yourself a sociopath, but since my circle of acquaintances is comprised of legal adults, I never run into this kind of bizarre phenomenon. I can only assume angsty suburban youth types do this sort of thing. Why would the label be popular or unpopular?

    The same thing with the No True Sociopath champions. Why bother coming on here to brandish that fallacy around like we’ve never heard it before? That’s like me going to a fundie Xtian site and challenging all of them to a verbal dual about the uselessness of their gawd and the futility of their faith. Granted, that could be an amusing diversion, but beyond that, why should I care what they believe? Likewise, why should the NTS champs care? What difference does it make to them how someone else may or may not be deluding themselves?

    Maybe Medusa is right. Maybe it’s that “but if you are a sociopath you’re special and I don’t like that!” thing. If that’s true then it’s stupid. It’s all stupid. In fact, it’s like imagining how stupid I can be and then realizing that my imagination doesn’t do that kind of stupidity justice. It’s the next level of stupid, pathological stupid, to stupidity and beyond stupid.

    Having gotten that rant out of the way, I don’t think of myself as a sociopath anyway. I have never been diagnosed as such and I never will be. I’m just colder than most, that’s all.

    Btw Gabriel, you are a welcome voice in this comment section. You have shared some good stuff here.

  40. I guess you're right Aerianne.

    I still have permission to be here, right? lol

  41. Awww Jesse! Dude, your comments so often make me wanna make fun of you! I hardly ever rag on normals like I have you. But dammit, you sound so disgustingly earnest that it makes me wanna puke! (That wasn’t me ragging on you. That was me joking around with you, just in case there’s any doubt.) I will practice some impulse control here and refrain from turning your name into something amusing. Instead, I’ll just echo Aerianne and congratulate you for expanding your intellectual, and potentially moral, horizons.

  42. Um....thanks?

    Oh, and thank you, for sure, for not changing my name into something odd.

  43. You're welcome Jesse.

    Before I get out of here, riddle me this. What does guilt feel like to you? I don't know why, but I find it fascinating to hear about people's experience of guilt. I guess it's because it's a complex emotional experience that is alien to me. How can you tell the difference between the feelings of guilt, remorse and shame?

  44. Daniel,

    Hell, I wouldn't mind them coming on here and challenging my beliefs, even if just as a diversion. But this "You're not real" stuff is such a waste of keystrokes.

    Does that mean that all we have to do is simultaneously renounce all claims to the label to be free from them? Works for me. How's this:

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a sociopath or anything related thereunto. I was just lying so that everyone on the internet would think I'm special, because everyone loves sociopaths. So those who sought to melt my special snowflake can find some other forum to troll, now that you've stolen my sunshine.

  45. Gabriel, that would be such a powerful way to dis-arm them! I love that!

  46. Gabriel,

    I agree about the utility of challenging ideas. I do the whole ‘Spartan Meritocracy’ thing in my mind. My beliefs have to survive challenges from other beliefs in order to continue serving me. If they can’t, I discard them. And I have actually had a few useful debates here. Not so much anymore, but yeah, it's possible. It’s just that the NTS thing is so bereft of insight and imagination.

    As for your last two sentences, you know, I don’t think trolls would know what to do with an obviously facile admission like that. You’d take away their reason for being. I’ve tried that a couple of times here and I noticed that I got zero response from said trolls. I’ll have to keep that tactic in mind.

  47. When I feel guilt, it stays with me for a long time. It weighs heavy on my shoulders and mind, and depending on what I did, and even heart. It usually has to do with when I do something I know I shouldn't have done, but did anyway, then after I already did it, I become overwhelmed with guilt. Shame is more of an embarassment for me. I can feel shame for a mistake that made me look stupid (get a lot of shame here), and that usually comes after guilt. Shame with me though only occurs when I am called out with my regretful mistake. It's kind of related to a bad rep. Mainly personal damage. Remorse is something I actually can't relate to that much. I know what it means, it's a deeper feeling of guilt, but I have never reached that point. The most guilt I have ever experienced was when I was a dog, and cheated on my ex and disrespected some women. I feel shame for others knowing I did that, and called me out for it. I don't feel any remorse for it though. What I did was wrong, but not enough for me to punish myself for it with constant misery and regret. I still feel guilty though, mainly because I am embarassed to have been in that situation. That's where shame comes in. All terms are almost interchangable...

    I'm not sure if that was clear enough for you, now that I was asked it is hard to describe. Was that your point?

  48. How does guilt feel?

    Wow. Hmm, it's like shame, regret and sadness. It eats away at you from the inside. Now, I'd say that their is BEING guilty of something and there is also FEELING guilty about something. Being guilty of something simply means that you did it. But feeling guilty is an entity unto itself. It's a cringing sort of feeling. But instead of cringing at others (which I'm sure you are familiar with) it is a cringing at one's own actions, or even feelings.

    Hmm, I don't know if anyone else can explain it in a clearer fashion, but I took a stab at it.

  49. Yeah, I tried and think I failed. It's hard to explain. Just figured everyone would know the feeling. Hard to explain to those that have no clue.

  50. It would seem that trying to describe how an emotion feels, especially to someone who can't relate, is like trying to describe a color, a smell, a taste or any other sensory experience. About the best one can do is try to find something to compare it to. And while I truly do appreciate the effort, I still don't really relate to the feeling you describe.

    But this "guilt" thing sounds pretty uncomfortable, and I don't think I mind being without it. I haven't needed it so far to know when I've done something immoral, illegal, or stupid. If it's intended to punish yourself so that you don't do it again, it doesn't seem to work very well for a lot of people.

  51. @Gabriel I think I agree with you on that later factoid, being I don't think I would want it, it seems society is more then willing to punish everyone for their actions regardless of emotion, why add to the weight of that by punishing yourself, I wonder if it's something that can be trained out of you from a young age, if one does not get raised with a moral compass do they feel guilt over what others perceive as wrong doings ?

  52. Maybe guilt was invented by religious leaders to attempt to keep people in their control.
    As Gabriel's shrink described guilt, I don't feel it. I don't do things against my personal moral code. I may do something that is against a moral code I once held for myself, but if I decide to do something then it's because I decided to update my code.

  53. Thanks Jesse. Is this feeling physical? When you say you feel it in your shoulders. Were you being literal?

    It’s so interesting to me that people believe they shouldn’t have done something they did. It’s also nonsensical. What good is it to believe that you shouldn’t have done something if you did it? Believing in the ‘shouldn’t have’ part doesn’t change the past. It can’t. Literally. So what good is it then? Same thing with punishing yourself. That is so fascinating! What does that entail? Do you beat yourself with your own thoughts? Is that what it means to punish yourself for doing something you ‘know’ is wrong? I never learned to punish myself for so called moral infractions. I do tend to beat up on myself verbally when I behave in ways I consider stupid though.


    Good distinction there. I was thinking about that myself when I read through some of the previous comments. But still, being guilty? I never think of myself, my being, as guilty. Being is being. It’s neither guilty nor innocent. It simply is. I know of course that other people can call me guilty and that’s their prerogative. What other people call me is irrelevant to me, however. I just can’t take the guilt label to heart. But my assumption is most other people do.

  54. Sometimes I find myself in situations where there's no good direction to go, where either choice is a violation of one or more of my personal codes. When that happens, I don't feel guilty. I feel angry.

  55. I agree Gabriel. I imagine it's like trying to describe sex to a virgin. Still, the alienness of it intrigues me.

    SOM and Aerianne, I believe that moral emotions are innate, including the capacity to generate guilt. Society and family surely mold those emotions around specific taboos, expectations, and so on, but still, I think the rudimentary ability to feel those things are inherited. It wouldn't be something you could train yourself to feel or not feel when you got older. At least, not entirely and not without some significant compartmentalization and fancy mental footwork. Dehumanization apparently works really well in getting normals to kill, maim, enslave and torture other humans without worrying about guilt.

  56. "kill, maim, enslave and torture"

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

  57. Yes, Gabriel, those are situations of demand, not choice, and I think the thing about guilt is feeling that you had a choice.

  58. Gabriel,

    One or more your personal codes? Do you use these codes to behave in ways others find moral? If so, how do they work in someone without the requisite moral emotions that motivate that kind of behavior and why?

  59. If they had no choice, they should have no guilt.

  60. I do not believe that moral emotions are innate.

  61. Also, I have never experienced anything close to regret. It's pointless.

    This thing with the ex veered close to it, but still, no cigar.

  62. "kill, maim, enslave and torture"

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    Now that should go on a t-shirt. Aerianne is backed up on the t-shirt orders I hear, but she's really gotta add that one to the request list.

  63. I used to know the kids that run Threadless, I could probably set you up a special Sociopathic Deep Thoughts section.

  64. I've always refused to feel guilty. Growing up I was called "rebellious". As an adult, one of the nicer sounding things I've been called is an "ethical consequentialist".

  65. Medusa, what's the alternative explanation?

    Again, the underlying cognitive mechanics would almost certainly have to be there from the beginning in order for society at large to be able to condition those emotions to be triggered at particular points. There is scant evidence for the blank slate theory of development.

  66. Medusa, that's brilliant! With all the socio-wanna-be's there is a sure market!

  67. Aerianne, if I were to attempt to behave in an consistently moral fashion, I would definitely adopt an ethical consequentialist philosophy. It seems much more workable than the 'Platonic Ideal' school of morality.

  68. Daniel,

    Some of my internal rules mirror general morality, though the purpose of having those codes is to stay out of more trouble than I could tolerate, not to avoid a feeling or divine judgment or anything like that. My explanation of the distinction may not be clear, but let's say a moral person believes XYZ is inherently wrong, and to do it makes them feel bad. I don't do XYZ simply because it's an adopted or learned rule designed to keep me from going to prison for the rest of my life.

    I've been told that I'm permanently in the moral development stage of a toddler (first stage), which is to say that my innate morals are based solely on whether I'm likely to get caught and punished in some way I can't tolerate.


    I love "ethical consequentialist". Can I use it?

  69. Daniel, look at any 4 year old, for instance.

    All 4 year olds are solipsists.

    They have to be taught, over and over and over again, to SHARE and to remember that other people exist just as much as they do. That throwing rocks at someone's head might hurt the other person as much as throwing rocks at their own head, and that they should care about other people's heads.

    It's one of the hardest jobs a parent has in raising their children.

  70. This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. Another example.

    When I was, oh, maybe in junior high, I didn't know that it was an understood rule of good manners to offer to help with the dishes when you go to someone else's house for dinner. (My parents were not social so there was no opportunity for me to have learned this.)

    My friend's Mom thought I was rude because of this. My friend told me she was mad. I was all like "huh?" Okay.

    Now I feel something like "guilt" if I don't offer to help with the dishes.

    Well, not so much anymore. But I do it anyway.

  72. Gabriel, you certainly may use "ethical consequentialist". I recommend a t-shirt for you also, lol.

  73. (Damn, this place is so addicting!) Medusa, you didn't feel guilt about the dishes, but you were shamed.

  74. Everyone is born a sociopath.

    But just like all you "successful" sociopaths out there, everyone had to figure out some passable way to get along, and agree on some basic rules, in order to keep from performing self-holocausts, living in anarchy, living Mad Max existences (which actually sounds great to me) and the like.

  75. Yes Aerianne, I was shamed. Exactly.

  76. Medusa, the examples you give are unwarranted generalizations. Google behavioral genetics to get a sense of what I am talking about. There is a robust body of empirical results that demonstrate that personality traits, including those associated with morality, are genetically inherited. Those inherited traits (dispositions) in turn are shaped by what I think of as the totality of one's environment. (I say totality to distinguish it from simply parenting.)

  77. Daniel. Without having yet googled that (which I will in a sec), I am just going to make the uninformed sweeping statement that the only genetically-inherited behavior is the instinct for survival and immortality. Filtered through whatever body you have.

  78. Aerianne, that Platonic Ideal thing was my way of talking about the view that morality must exist in some special state that is totally objective to all possible systems of consciousness. Or it is rooted in Gawd's magnificence. Since there is scant evidence for this existence of any kind of Platonic realm or for Gawd, most intellectual types figure that morality is a useless red herring.

    If you google Platonic Ideal and morality, you may or may not find much.

    Au revoir ladies and gents. The vampire must hunt. ;-)

  79. heh, a society of google bots :) where would we be without a dear giver of information.

  80. bah "shame" on my misuse of words.our dear giver of information

  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

  82. Aww, I missed the party. Daniel and Gabriel once again sum up the lion's share of my views, though, which saves me some effort.

    This sociopath t-shirt idea is taking hold, though. They'll go nicely with our hats.

  83. heh, a society of google bots :) where would we be without a dear giver of information.

    As far as I'm concerned, Google is the closest thing we have to an immortal, omniscient, and omnipotent God if not only for the fact that it even tells you why your poop is green.

  84. bahah yes well I do love me some google, type in a bunch of non-sensical letters and numbers and it still knows you really wanted to find that crotch shot of megan fox!

    let us pray.

    Our google who art in the interwebs,
    plentty of O's be in thy name.
    Thy information come.
    Thy content be served
    on windows as it is on mac's.
    Give us this day our daily RSS,
    and forgive us our trespasses (yahoo and bing),
    as we forgive those who fake celeb images,
    and lead us not into ask.com,
    but deliver us from microsoft.
    For thine is the interwebs,
    and the population, and the money,
    for ever and ever.

  85. In my Psychology of Children and Adolescents class, they claimed that morality -- as opposed to simple conditioned behavior -- is a multi-step process. It takes into account both of the points that have been made here. At birth, there must be the capacity to develop a moral compass, and not all people have that.

    While children are still in the concrete stage of understanding, moral norms are taught, generally using punishment and reward, as conditioned behavior, since they are incapable of grasping concepts like sharing, empathy, etc., despite the assumptions and best efforts of parents.

    Then, as the child matures, he/she develops the capacity for abstract thought and is able to generalize the lessons learned into broader, deeper concepts. At that point of moral development, the typical child internalizes the moral norms into a moral compass, but external control is still important while they learn self-control.

    One is considered morally mature in psychological terms when one is driven solely by an internal locus of control and by internalized morals that correspond for the most part to societal or even idealized norms. Not many people reach what is considered the highest level of moral maturity. Most people are in the middle, where their locus of control is primarily but not solely external (fear of the consequences), but where they also feel at least some internal pressure or punishment for transgressions (guilt).

    Some -- most notably our recidivist prisoners -- are stuck in the beginning of the first stage, and seem incapable of learning from past mistakes, no matter how many times they are punished.

    I'm not entirely convinced that I, or anyone with a similar experience, am even on this developmental scale. Since I do have an internalized code of behavior, such as they are, and since I do hold myself accountable for obeying them, I see it as a parallel, albeit divergent, path. As to when or why my path veered off, I could only speculate.

    While right and wrong aren't the driving concepts, but rather avoidance of punishment, my locus of control is still primarily internal, in that I control myself. And while my code doesn't necessarily overlap with societal norms, it is still internalized. It may not be the fabled moral compass, but it's a tool that has served me adequately.

    I'm told that the gap between the paths has to do with decisions for which I have no internal rule. Those on the standard moral path would use their legendary moral compass to point the way, whereas I'd be more likely to assume that where there is no enforcement, there is no law, and do whatever I pleased. Only then would I find out what the consequences are, if they couldn't be logically deduced.

  86. This comment has been removed by the author.

  87. Medusa said:
    I think socios are generally self-aware, in that they at least know that they are different, even if they have not yet found a name for it.

    PS said:
    Low-functioning ones tend to be in prison or otherwise not getting anywhere in their lives. Living from victim to victim, burning bridges, drifting from town to town.
    These individuals aggravate me. They are the fuel for the “I dated a sociopath and he is evil and so are you” group of lovelies that occasionally visit here, which just always makes for thrilling conversation. More importantly, of course, because they are less covert in their sociopathy, they are often identified, and all of their traits – both the socio ones and the low-functioning ones – are connected with sociopaths in general. (It seems that I need a ven diagram here.)
    High-functioning implies a greater degree of self-control and planning. Long-term usable people, mostly stable living conditions, etc.
    I think that this distinction is important and would prefer more diverse language than “High-Functioning” and “Low Functioning” Sociopaths.

    I am not now, nor have I ever b=en, a sociopath or anything related thereunto. I was just lying so that everyone on the internet would think I'm special, because everyone loves sociopaths. So those who sought to melt my special snowflake can find some other forum to troll, now that you've stolen my sunshine.
    Gabriel, this is to me what kittens wearing oversized boots are to others. Good work, sir.

    Aerianne said:
    The concept of the method was that a child should be held accountable for their choice of actions by teaching them that there are logical consequences for actions.
    Interesting! I think that in a previous post looking at how to raise a P/S from a parent’s perspective, this method (maybe taken a step farther) was suggested as a useful tool. I believe it was based on the idea that a P/S child can’t understand/doesn’t care that to hit someone hurts them, but they could learn that to hit someone meant that they would lose their recess or get detention.

    Re: Guilt
    I believe there was an earlier article on the prosthetic moral compass. I certainly have a look at my actions through the lens of one of my empaths to determine whether or not it falls within empath-acceptable behaviors. If it doesn’t, I think “My empath wouldn’t like that.” This allows me to identify when I (maybe) would feel guilt if I were a neurotypical, and to try to keep most of my actions in the empath-approved realm. (I’m assuming the benefits of appearing to operate as an empath are obvious and don’t need enumerating.)

    While I don’t feel anything like what Jesse was describing as guilt, I do think that that I have some slight negative feeling at these occasions. Of course, that could just be a mild concern that my behavior will out me or possibly just my expectation of a negative reaction, and it never happens when I consider myself justified in whatever I’ve done.

  88. @Gabriel: So to some extent the moral concepts of society are taught as a baby, enforced as an adolescent and then by adulthood we should "normally" have that concept of a moral compass so that if we come unto a situation where in we do not know the precise right and wrong we could make an informed moral decision based on the conditioning of our parents and society, sound almost kinda it ?

    Of course that leaves us with the sociopaths with regards the situation where one does not know the precise right/wrong response I now wonder whether its the idea that one is always right (for me anyways) until proven other wise that leaves the decision making inherently lopsided to whatever goal they may be trying to obtain.

    From what you said previously it seems a logical compass is something in place of our moral compass, in that we can logically deduce that an action made in public that is wrong will produce negative results so either wait till no one is looking.

    You said As to when or why my path veered off, I could only speculate. would you speculate with me ? the idea that a sociopaths brain develops differently due to the environmental and chemical differences interests me to no end.

    Do you think maybe at childhood it was less understanding on our own part of the situations where we are taught right and wrong that causes the leaving of the development scale all together or the fact that one is not taught correctly, I was always taught to think for myself as a child, my parents never said these are the guidelines to which you must think and act in society, the only time I was punished was when I wronged them, for instance at high school I broke a fellow class mates face, fractured cheek bone shattered nose, I didn't feel any sort of rush or high or and wrong or right feelings, I was kicked out of school, my parents simply asked why I fought the kid, then proceeded to nod and say "well if you think it was the right move".

    That is simply one extreme case where in I assume from what my wife says about our future kids is that other parents would punish the child in some way shape or form ?

  89. @S.O.M. -

    It would be impossible for me to tease out which was the determining factor for me, since my family was socio as well. While I don't think that it's genetically determined, it makes sense that genetics would perhaps set the stage. Then, in my case, being raised by socios would seal the deal on an environmental level.

    We had rules, but they weren't about morality. I don't think I ever heard the word "share" until I went to school. There were a lot of things other children would have been punished for that I wasn't, so that's similar to what you spoke of. But I could easily have been literally killed had I broken any of my parents' rules, so it's not like I didn't learn about rules and self-control. I was unpleasant at the time, but it has been helpful for me in the long run.

    There were a lot of things that I knew on an intellectual level that I should have punished my own children for. But I just couldn't work up the motivation for it, since their misdeeds meant nothing to me. I'd tell them that it was wrong, and that someday that sort of behavior could have bad consequences, but I certainly didn't impose any. They aren't lawless hellions, so they must have managed to learn something. My point here is that they were raised in a sociopathic environment, but still developed morality (and empathy), so some of it must have come from other sources, and/or been innately enabled to some degree.

    I've often been curious about having an fMRI, to see if portions of my brain simply didn't function according to original design specifications.

  90. "I've often been curious about having an fMRI, to see if portions of my brain simply didn't function according to original design specifications."

    I've participated in a few studies at the local research hospital, and I was put in an fMRI. I was never informed of any oddity, but I imagine that's sort of the point. I should see if I can find the first one, as it was related to reactions to facial expressions in the amygdala and similar areas. I'm curious if my brain activity was normal, or if there was some point of interest in it.

  91. I believe there was an earlier article on the prosthetic moral compass. I certainly have a look at my actions through the lens of one of my empaths to determine whether or not it falls within empath-acceptable behaviors. If it doesn’t, I think “My empath wouldn’t like that.” This allows me to identify when I (maybe) would feel guilt if I were a neurotypical, and to try to keep most of my actions in the empath-approved realm.

    This is also how I go about things. And I'm not a sociopath.

    I consider myself to be a bit of a socially late-bloomer because of this.

  92. Thank you M.E. for this debate and thank you very much Gabriel, for explaining it in such a clear way.

    The poster from the post

  93. But I just couldn't work up the motivation for it, since their misdeeds meant nothing to me.

    Do they at least clean up after themselves and practice proper personal hygiene?

    I don't imagine I would care if my non-existent children were to bully/manipulate other kids as long as they were smart enough about it not to get caught, but arbitrary obedience to me would be a must, likely because it's how I was raised myself.

  94. 'no-one' earlier was accurate in his delineation of regret and guilt. i have very rarely experienced regret but am utterly incapable of feeling guilt. i am not an impulsive actor, so whatever i do i will not be remorseful over.

    i should add that i have a heavily developed morality grounded outside of personal preferences, so one won't see me go about killing people or stealing shit... but in the realm of interpersonal interaction, if one pisses me off significantly, i need a good reason not to ruin people. i've been doing it when provoked since i was four; gave someone an emotional breakdown in preschool because they kept trying to be my friend despite my rejection.

  95. i've been doing it when provoked since i was four; gave someone an emotional breakdown in preschool because they kept trying to be my friend despite my rejection

    Oh, childhood memories. I remember being a part of an experiment around this age as an attempt to correct this type of behaviour (which I exhibited even when unprovoked). Its only helped to make me more passive aggressive and evasive as a result; experiment fail.

  96. Yeah, No One, kids are a lot smarter than people want to give them credit for being. I can see how that would have been a fail.

  97. I feel very sorry for all of your "friends", Aerianne. You hurt so many without comprehending that it is YOUR lack of instinct/feelings which cause this. It's not an inadequacy of others, the defunct lies within you. All the same, I realize you will never truly comprehend this, so wonder why I even bothered to post :( I guess it's for other people to see. Do society a favor and torch yourself if you get the chance.

  98. You should probably post that on a more recent thread if you want a response. Not many people read these old posts.

  99. A true sociopath will never recognize they are indeed a sociopath. They don't have the ability to see this trait in themselves.

  100. i am schizophrenic, and there have been speculations (from my shrink) that i am also sociopathic. i got on this website because i identify with most if not all of the traits of sociopathy, save for complete lack of empathy and guilt. i feel less guilt...more like in the sense of oh shit now i look like a bad person more so than oh no i hurt them. i have to make myself feel sorry about it, but then i do feel somewhat guilty. but not quite guilty enough somehow. as for empathy, some people have called me an "empath", meaning i can empathize with others on a very deep level. for example, say someone is sad because they just got dumped. i would empathize because i know that sucks and i would not wanna be in their position. i feel bad for them and understand where theyre coming from. but i also dont really care too much, as bad as that may sound. i mean i do! im not a terrible person, but i can only channel the feelings of others and feel for them. i cant directly feel like deeply sorry for them themselves. if that makes sense. i guess i was just like wondering if any of you could maybe relate what i said to some feelings you have? because it confuses me. i scored high enough to be classified as a sociopath, but i feel like the empathy/guilt part is the only weird thing, and i feel like its important. but i almost feel as though i force myself sometimes. i dont know. sorry for the wall o' text. any suggests would be appreciated.

  101. Every time I feel guilt I get a huge boner, so I delibrately seek out the experiance. I guess Im not sociopath, just a pervert.

  102. I'm an empath and I don't feel guilt from the outside. I feel It because I myself can imagine others' pain. My idea of right and wrong is not tied to what others think of me, but how I feel about my actions. I don't care about society's rules. I have my own beliefs, that fuel what will make me guilty.

    1. For example if I called my bestfriend fat, if she wasn't bothered, I wouldn't feel guilty. If it hurt her feelings, then it would make me guilty, because I care about her, if I hurt her d-bag ex-boyfriend's feelings I however wouldn't feel guilty.

  103. Thank you everyone. I have carefully read over these posts and information that everyone has so kindly posted, I find every ones squabbling slighting amusing. I am relived to assume that I am not some sociopath or psychopath....choose what you will. I have been doing multiple research to figure out why I have been struggling to not look down on people (Scares me sometimes when I find myself viewing people as nothing but bugs), difficulty of understanding peoples feelings, lack of keeping friends (not that I am some mean, bullying, or rude person, I just don't bother to make friends or keep them. Made a friend because they had a talent that I was interested in and we get along just fine), and expendable personalities. Not sure if I just have some superiority complex or something. I am also religious and don't steal or lie because it is against my morals but I can do either without hesitation. I saw Hallie NewCHEM's post about empathy and did a little research on that, but it still sounds off, Not that I expect it to be dead on because I know that it will vary person to person. Thanks for the information and amusement ;)

    Please post any good information you many have or suggestions.*Also don't suggest counseling, that really doesn't work for me.*

  104. I have never felt guilt or felt sorry for my "wrong" actions, i.e. breaking the law, hurting others, etc. I feel bad when I get caught because it is somewhat embarrassing yet comical and enraging all at once to get caught and the consequence is usually jail which blows. I think that I wish I had the ability to "feel" guilt and remorse. Although this may be more of a burden than a blessing. Who is to say for certain? I am trying to live my life differently now, and be a productive member of society instead of a criminal, but deep down when I look back at my past actions I still don't truly care about the things I did wrong that society things I should feel bad about. Also, I remember a teacher in 5th grade trying to teach us (the students) about "empathy." I didn't really get it then, and I don't get it now. (I'm 28/female). I wish I could feel and understand what others are feeling so I could have a real human connection with people. I do have the ability to feel sympathy (take pity on, feel sorry for) others at times but that is different. Is there any way to develop these traits and learn how to actually FEEL emotions fully. I struggle with this FEELING thing all around and have since I was a kid. I don't feel much other than nothing (numb/apathetic), a little bit of an elevated mood or slightly down, irritated, etc. I'm not a compulsive liar and never have had this trait, also I'm not one of those people who has parasitic relationships. I prefer to be alone most of the time but do enjoy being with friends, dates, etc, for short periods of time and when it is necessary for work, day to day, etc. People are drawn to me romantically but I could take them or leave them as I know how disposable and easily replacable they are. I always am the one to end romantic relationships. I don't truly trust anyone, never have don't think I ever will, probably since I'm not truly trustworthy myself. Anyway, is there any "help" out there? Not that I feel like I absolutely need it. It's worth a shot. Since my norm compared to societies norm is quite different and I'm trying to take a new approach to life I figure it's a question worth asking. I see a counselor who has said she sees signs of a.s.p.d. as well as p.t.s.d. in me but we haven't really "worked" on it. I don't even know if it is possible to really work on personality disorders in therapy or if she is just fishing for a diagnosis so my insurance will continue to pay for me to visit her. I would like to be more "normal" or at least I think I would like to try it out. Thanks for letting me post.

  105. My boyfriend and I (been together about 5 month) were talking today about how he had had an STD and he told me the story about how the girl he had slept with called him to tell him that she found out she had Chlamydia and that there was a good chance she had passed it to him. He then told me about when he went to get the test the doctor told him he would need to insert a cotton swab in his urethra, at this point my boyfriend started laughing because he then told the doctor he wouldn't do it and if there wasn't another way then he would be on his way. Luckily there was another way but it would take a week to get the results. A week later he learned he had contracted Chlamydia and got the necessary treatment. After his story I asked him if he knew ahead of time about the second option and he said no but that he assumed there was. I then asked him "what would you have done if getting the swab was the only option?". He then got serious and said "I would have not got the test" I asked so you would have just knowingly given every girl you slept with Chlamydia?". He then said "well I didn't have any symptom's". I said "but you DID end up having Chlamydia and the girl that gave it to you told you she probably gave it to you". He then got very serious and even a little angry and said "but I didn't have any symptom's". He also seemed annoyed that I didn't accept his logic behind hypothetically not getting the test if the swab was the only option. I kept pushing and asked "what about all the girls you slept with? You would sleep with them knowing that you could be giving them an STD? An STD that could take away there ability to have children if its left untreated." He then looked at me and shrugged his shoulders and said that it wouldn't really be his fault it they didn't choose to get tested annually. I then dropped the subject and stopped talking because he just couldn't grasp how F'ed up it would be to sleep with someone knowing there was even the slightest possibility of giving them an STD.
    Now I had always noticed that he seemed to be a bit selfish and there have been other situations where I have noticed he doesn't really seem to care or even notice his actions having a negative consequences on someone else. Could he possibly be a sociopath? Or is he just a selfish person? Are there different degrees of severity with this disorder?


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