Thursday, March 3, 2011

Empathy and self control

This is an interesting article about a study that suggests that the ability to empathize might actually decrease one's ability to exercise self control:
More and more research sug­gests that our brains have dif­fi­culty dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing between observ­ing an action and actu­ally par­tic­i­pat­ing in it. Empa­thy, for exam­ple, seems to hinge in part on our abil­ity to “take on” another’s emo­tions through vic­ar­i­ous expe­ri­ence. I always think of this when watch­ing a come­dian fall flat. I can feel the embar­rass­ment as if I’m stand­ing there on stage look­ing at a room full of blank stares.

A study in the jour­nal Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence inves­ti­gated this dynamic, but from a dif­fer­ent angle: researchers wanted to know if observ­ing some­one else exert self-control boosts or reduces one’s own self-control. Par­tic­i­pants were asked to either take on the per­spec­tive of some­one exert­ing self-control, or merely read about some­one exert­ing self-control. They were also asked to take on the per­spec­tive or read about some­one not exert­ing self-control.

The results: par­tic­i­pants who took on the per­spec­tive of some­one exert­ing self-control were unable to exer­cise as much self-control them­selves; those who merely read about some­one exert­ing self-control didn’t expe­ri­ence the energy drain. In other words, get­ting into the shoes of some­one mak­ing the effort wore par­tic­i­pants out as if they were doing it themselves.

On the flip side, par­tic­i­pants who read about some­one exert­ing self-control expe­ri­enced a boost in their own self-control, com­pared to those who read about some­one not exert­ing self-control. Read­ing resulted in a con­ta­gious effect rather than a vic­ar­i­ous one.

The dif­fer­ence between these results boils down to degrees of psy­cho­log­i­cal sep­a­ra­tion. Tak­ing on per­spec­tive reduces psy­cho­log­i­cal sep­a­ra­tion, and the more that gap closes the greater the vic­ar­i­ous effect. Read­ing about some­thing pro­vides more of an oppor­tu­nity to increase psy­cho­log­i­cal sep­a­ra­tion, which reduces the chances of vic­ar­i­ous effect.

196 comments:

  1. Nine days in a row of shit posts. Your on a roll.

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    1. This seems a bit harsh - particularly from someone who is unable to distinguish between 'your' and "you're"!

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  2. http://www.kovideo.net/i-don-t-care-video-apocalyptica-152423.html

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  3. Do you really need studies and fancy jargon for this? The difference in trying to sort out a basket of mixed fruit compared to sorting a basket of bananas is kind of a linear logic don't you think?

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  4. it's actually a good post. i like it.

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  5. emotional spungeMarch 3, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    Here is the end of the article left out by ME:

    The implications of these find ings are very prac ti cal. For instance, if a group of peo ple are work ing on a project, and cer tain mem bers are exert ing an espe­cially high degree of effort, this study sug gests that other peo ple in the group will expe ri ence vic ar i ous energy deple tion. An entire group’s energy could be affected by the exer tion of one or two members.

    Another exam ple, men tioned by the study authors, are sit u a tions involv ing police offi cers, hos pi tal staff and other emer gency work ers, whose abil ity to main tain self-control is essen tial to their jobs. It’s easy to see that if they expe ri­ence vic ar i ous deple tion, any thing from small break downs to cat a strophic out­comes could result.

    All of this leads me to believe that “self-control” is at least half mis nomer. Social influ ences seem to affect us more than we know. On the other hand, reg u lat ing psy cho log i cal distance–not some thing eas ily done–is a gen uine appli ca tion of self-control. If the pen du lum swings too far in either direc tion, we either become wishy washy emo tional sponges, or hard ened crustaceans.

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  6. On topic

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGRN39oifsE

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  7. I'm staying with the man i know best right now, and that's me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPNsTJ_oZyA&feature=relmfu

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  8. how do you figure this video on this topic? i'm curious.

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  9. never mind, asked too quickly before seeing the end of the video.. that short attention span, i suppose.

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  10. "that other people in the group will experience vicarious energy depletion?"

    meaning they become like, free riders?

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  11. whats with the "psy­cho­log­i­cal sep­a­ra­tion" and the "vic­ar­i­ous"? and so on.

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  12. yes, free riders... lol.

    anon here is my favorite ted bundy video saying he loves his family. you're staying with him? how long?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm3m733Hyak&feature=related

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  13. psycholgical separation... can't or won't relate to the the feeling the other person is experiencing

    vicariously living... feeding on the experience of the other (eg. moms and dads wanting their children to do everything they were not able to).. millions of people watching survivor are vicariously living on their couches

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  14. no i mean the - - - that we see in between each syllable.

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  15. I've never had any doubt that empathy lessens self control, not the opposite. It does other things that are also needed in society, but that is not to say that empathy is the only good and that everybody should have empathy. I really believe it's proven beyond any doubt that we need both the empathy many and the non-empathic few.

    I'd be interested in knowing how many study subjects participated in this experiment?

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  16. What was the definition of the 'self control' being measured? In social dynamics isn't it well known that deference is just as easily accorded to the louder voice, or the intensity of eye contact. Any relationship to dominance theory?

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  17. in more than one occasion at work i ended up being the only one standing up trying to protect the rights of the other workers who were not doing so well. in all those cases this was high empathy leading to loss of self-control. it was self-damaging because i was not a part of this group of workers, i was doing well.

    i did not particularly care for them as individuals, i was just offended in the name of humanity i thought. not so sure anymore, i may have been reacting to how i would feel at the moment had i been the one hearing the shit. maybe i was reacting to the domineering dad at home in a safe environment knowing for sure i would not get physically beat (overlooking the possibility of losing my job).

    the question is if it is not for daring empaths would there ever be protection of the weak by a strong party? should the weak be left alone to fight for themselves?

    do sociopaths hate the weak to a point that they would sympathize with mass murderers?

    and what is with empaths sacrificing themselves for no good of the self but for a bunch of losers? after all, this is one life, should the strong empath throw it away for the weak?

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  18. do sociopaths hate the weak to a point that they would sympathize with mass murderers?

    Narcissists look up to all powerful figures, so it could be a serial murderer.

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  19. Saddams idol was josef stalin.

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  20. Do sociopaths who appear to 'live' as a different persona for a time maintain a mental separation?

    I'm guessing yes, because cracks sometimes appear that wouldn't if they modified their inner feelings to match their emotional expressions instead of creating affective displays without actually feeling them - cracks that allow their authentic energy to leak out.

    The emotional labour required while maintaining a mental separation is also likely to be less than dissolving it. It's like the difference between surface and deep acting.

    Personally, I adore deep acting in line with my core values, because it narrows my world while simultaneously expanding it. It's a heady escape in crises where I use it.

    However it sometimes takes hours to modify my inner feelings to be my own again, and emotionally fatigues me, which isn't ideal. But then I've always experienced emotional contagion intensely.

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  21. notme, what does this video make you think?
    http://www.youtube.com/user/samvaknin#p/u/0/-xGo3qc9Q1A

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  22. The social and physical helplessness of the human child makes for the necessity of a form of (‘primary’) narcissism which will not be of interest to us today: namely that healthy yet excessive self-regard of ‘his majesty the baby’ (Freud) tolerated and encouraged by the loving parent. Too great an absence of loving attachment – too great an absence or disturbance of the child’s recognition of himself in the mirror of his objects’ gaze – and there arises the need to defend against this recognition, or against the feelings of anger which might, if expressed, damage the attachment relationship. We therefore see arising the needs to internalise prohibitions against self-expression, or to manage intolerable ambivalence through splitting the world into good and bad objects, or to destroy our capacity to know of our own emotional vulnerability.

    It is at this juncture that ‘secondary narcissism’ is understood to come on the scene. To defend against the perceived unavailability of others’ loving acceptance, the narcissistic individual attempts to become her own ‘good breast’, i.e. to use the self as a surrogate for a secure base (Jeremy Holmes). Correlatively she may enviously denigrate the importance to her of others (Heinz Kohut). Self-soothing behaviours (drug use, self harm, promiscuous sex) take the place of loving relationships; others are treated un-empathically as means to ends rather than as ends in themselves.


    for more (for Gag the intelligent and Res, not for UKan or Note):
    http://clinicalphilosophy.blogspot.com/2011/02/narcissism-of-private-linguist-and.html

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  23. Sea bitch you are not a sociopath, give up the act, you are too much of a deep thinker, if we all had ourselves figured out as much as you do we wouldn't be causing mayhem.

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  24. As we might expect, narcissism takes several different forms. To take two examples: The thin-skinned or hyper-vigilant narcissist is shy and self-centred in their sensitivity to rejection or criticism. The thick-skinned or oblivious narcissist by contrast has little feeling for others and show arrogant self-serving ruthlessness.

    I am a narcissist and don;t hurt my feelings.

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  25. The psychological narcissist attempts to nourish themselves with their own love - yet love must always come from without for it to be psychologically transformative or nourishing.

    More generally, the procedures of the philosophical narcissist reveal - in the very asking of his questions - his arrogation to his own mind of functions that can only be performed by socially and materially embedded discursive practices.

    'I know what 'real' means all right' he says; 'What I want to know though is whether these [points to some trees which might normally function rather nicely as paradigms of 'real trees'] are real.' The narcissism consists in the tacit belief that one could, purely from within oneself, hold onto a meaning for the word 'real' despite its decontextualisation.

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  26. It seems empathy works both ways. Person to person experiences where an empathic response is in direct correlation to the situation results in feeling what the other person feels, or increases the ability to experience what another person feels. This by definition is what empathy is, feeling for or what another person feels or experiences; having a mind set that produces a relatable sensation. This forces an empath to experience both their own feelings and someone else's.

    Distancing from a situation removes the emotional connection to another person allowing someone to focus solely on their own experience and reaction.

    In a sociopath I imagine this means that all experiences are felt from a distanced perspective. The emotional exertion is not felt and therefore does not produce any vicarious effects.

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  27. I reckon I'm the best here at psychological abuse.

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  28. Don't use my fucking name. Make one for yourself instead you nobody.

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  29. Sea bitch stop taking lines from peoples sites.

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  30. I'm half aspie half socio I'm also a nigger

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  31. Mixin,

    "not so sure anymore, i may have been reacting to how i would feel at the moment had i been the one hearing the shit."

    I am absolutely certain, what when people react like you did in the situation you describe, there's always an underlying motive which is 'selfish'. Not that they - or you - think it is selfish, people typically think it is not. But if you investigate ir closely enough, it is always selfish in one way or another.

    By standing up for others you always get something out of it, if nothing else a feeling of having a superior sense of justice and being more humane than most.

    Whether that is the reason for people's tendency to apply empathy to others' actions and reactions I'll not say. I do think there'e more to it than that. But in part, there's no doubt that this plays a role too.


    Anon 7:18 AM:

    "do sociopaths hate the weak to a point that they would sympathize with mass murderers?"

    This is not entirely uncommon for a certain group of Antisocial Personality Disordered Sociopaths. But it usually subsides and fades as they grow into adulthood.

    "Narcissists look up to all powerful figures, so it could be a serial murderer."

    For as far as you think of Sociopaths as merely Murderers this would apply to them and serial murderers as well.

    But it's very over simplified way of looking at things, as I'm sure you can see. There's more to being a Sociopath than having a taste for murder.


    Sea Witch:

    "I adore deep acting in line with my core values, because it narrows my world while simultaneously expanding it."

    I like this line. It expresses well how I've used to do things myself, especially in those year where I was under so much scrutiny I could hardly fart without becoming subject to study and in-depth research. - That's the waay things are where I live. If you're 'different', and you commit an excessively violent crime (somebody dies), and you receive the label 'psychopath', then you're forever under the watch from the ever present Eye of Big Brother, and more.

    Funny thing is, it all started with too much 'watching' and too strict 'MUST's, whereas allowed and permitted activities were always within the boundaries and of such nature that just did not appeal to me, ... made and geared to fit the mainstream. Never for the few extreme individuals who needed more than that to thrive.

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  32. And I can't remember, did you ever claim to be a sociopath Sea Witch?

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  33. I forgot to add, that these are the circumstances we grow up with, and they are not ideal for making a possible development of an ability to 'respect' others, when from the beginning you do not have a natuall capacity for what we usually call 'empathy.

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  34. YouTube.com/zhawq ... Lady gaga? Srsly?

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  35. Sea Witch at 8:13am:

    Begone, imposter!

    Misanthrope at 8:35am:

    Nope.

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  36. This article is like Pseudo Science garbage. I honestly believe that a bunch of sociopaths in white coats came up with this and even they don't believe it as they're just collecting a paycheck. I think everyone's different, and I think an attempt to define everything from the ground up is centered around someone WITH empathy because their entire existence is NOTHING without consumption of information, neither true nor false, in order to "feel" secure.
    I appreciate science, but other than medical it's simply a waste of time on humans as they are all insane. I would digress that a better starting point of psychological study would be those self aware vs those who are not, because I find most humans are simply ignorant of the fact that they are completely nuts (as per their definition, not mine) or otherwise can't accept that as reality despite knowing all one has to do is pick up a history book to prove it.

    I say this not because I'm a sociopath, but because I don't need what everyone else needs apparently. If I was upset that none of you made any sense I would probably be guilty of a few killing sprees by now.

    wv: habitia

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  37. was anybody here felt loved by one of his/her parents? Could you please try to describe how you know that? my sibling believes my parents did not love any of their children. but also adds that she is having a hard time feeling her daughter is really her child, suggesting she is also failing in love. how does a normal person love? i did read the art of loving but that also sounds like some idealized version of love. what is love, damn it.

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  38. hsocios in hibernation?March 3, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    is march when socios hibernate?

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  39. I am struggling with identifying if someone I know is a sociopath. He definitely possesses so many of the listed traits, from constant lying, manipulation,impulsiveness, and a parasitic life style. And many of his actions seem cold and unfeeling, and he tends to write people off, having no contact with anyone from his childhood or college years. However, I have seen him embarrassed and I have seen him moved to tears on occasion when confronted in a vulnerable, non-threatening way, with the pain he has inflicted on another. I know it could be reasoned he was only acting in order to get some kind of pay-off (via manipulation, however, in the situations I'm referring to, there was no payoff to be had. Is this even possible for a sociopath? Have any of you experienced feeling embarrassed or any kind of remorse? I do know he struggles deeply with insecurity and he will react in extreme ways (something comparable to an adult having a tantrum)when he feels attacked by someone, or as a tool to deflect when he doesn't want to be wrong. But I'm just wondering if perhaps he is just so crippled by insecurity that he is driven to these sociopathic type behaviors to do things that give him a sense of power in order to cope. Could it be just a behavior and not true sociopathic condition?

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  40. Amon 8:40 PM:

    "YouTube.com/zhawq ... Lady gaga? Srsly?"

    Come again?


    What's Love:

    "was anybody here felt loved by one of his/her parents?"

    No. Well, I felt love from my step father, but I've never felt love to any caretaker myself. I've never really felt love per se.


    Outoutic:

    "The psychological narcissist attempts to nourish themselves with their own love - yet love must always come from without for it to be psychologically transformative or nourishing."

    To have self esteem, self confidence, to lie yourself, is that a form of love? If so, then it's nourishing.


    MJLife,

    Your friend could be a "low-level" sociopath. He's not a psychopath, unless it was purely play acting, of course.

    But it's a just a guess. You can't really diagnose somebody over the Internet, and more and more non-sociopaths/psychopaths act in ways that can seem sociopathic/psychopathic. It's kind of 'in' to be cold hearted in some circles. That's another thing to take into consideration.: What kind of people is he socializing with? See what I mean? You can't get the answer here, pal.

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  41. visgu, i saw the video. what about it?

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  42. notme, did you have any sense of questioning yourself to be a narcissist? I only ask you because you did say you are not a sociopath. I am trying to understand if it is normal to relate to some parts of the video as if he's talking about me.

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  43. MJLife
    The guy sounds more like a narcissist. Narcissist have all of the socio traits but they can also feel shame and cry. Read all of the stuff posted today on narcissist, do they apply? Watch the videos too, Vaknin guy really knows what he is talking about, although folks here don't respect him. Folks here don't respect anyone, so, ignore them, decide for yourself after watching. You may actually realize you are the narcissist yourself, which is a good thing.

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  44. 'I am absolutely certain, what when people react like you did in the situation you describe, there's always an underlying motive which is 'selfish'. Not that they - or you - think it is selfish, people typically think it is not. But if you investigate ir closely enough, it is always selfish in one way or another.'

    it's as selfish as feeding yourself or going to sleep at night. the question isn't really relevant

    the article chimes with my own experience with empathy. i guess it's about sensory overload.

    visgu. are you saying i'm heavily narcissistic? possibly a bit, yeah, dunno. but something has to explain my rampant love/hate relationships with the ones i've met. ;)

    i didn't listen to sam properly, i've been in a daze today. a serious daze.

    why do you say that? i can't be bothered to think, so oblige me.

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  45. i am not really making any claims, i was just curious if you thought so about yourself, looks like you didn't.

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  46. zhawq, thanks for answering the love question. i am sorry you did not feel loved. i still hope someone here will attempt to tell us what it feels to be loved by a parent. at times it sounds like adam's aunt really loves him, but adam is so far from believing that. I am curious how many true loves I failed to feel.

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  47. I am obviously the most badass sociopath in here. Don't fuck with me, bitches.

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  48. "I think everyone's different, and I think an attempt to define everything from the ground up is centered around someone WITH empathy because their entire existence is NOTHING without consumption of information, neither true nor false, in order to "feel" secure."

    What do you guys think of this statement? ~ who do you think this is? ;) I say it's interesting.

    Zhawgs, statement about the 'labelled' being cast under the ever present Eye of Big Brother suddenly brings to mind, the image of 'whiny' lions after a failed buffalo herd stalking.

    I'm pondering the points on narcissism from Knally and SeaWitch, outoutic's was pretty compelling too.

    I know of nourishment by things such as knowledge, healthy environments and activites but I can't confidently say I know what 'nourishing' love is.

    I'd go with, a guy with,.. 'a short fuse' or 'an axe to grind' or 'a chip on his shoulder' about MJLife's friend.

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  49. tell me, is it narcissistic to not want to change who i am? in which case, yes i am. is it narcissistic that I think i'm a pretty cool person and that anyone who doesn't like me is automatically a prick in my eyes and that anyone who does has great taste! then yes I am.

    in which case we all are here.
    so, narc me up.

    i'll be that for today.

    whatever i am, i need help sometimes! but, i'm not in therapy right now and this is all i've got.

    on a lighter note, i had a nice pub meal today. first meal in two days. and it was good.

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  50. not sure what the relevance of the blog post is to psychopathy, interesting as it was.
    it seemed to imply that there was a correlation between being self control and lack of empathy. whereas most [low-functioning?] psychopaths lack self control.

    @what's love
    i know my parents love me and always have, but i can't say i feel their love.

    @knallype
    it's true i have a strong narc streak, and thati have compartmentalised a lot. i have wondered if that is the basis of 'who i am' rather than anything e.g. genetic. however, all my earliest memories and anecdotes from my parents attest to showing the signs pretty young of being... emotionally different.

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  51. 'Gag the intelligent' hehe. i like it.

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  52. notme - if you just had your first meal in 2 days then you are not a narcissist :)

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  53. oops! link didn't work as I wanted

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  54. just watched the vaknin video. no denying it struck home a bit. made me think especially of one relationship where i ended up saying "i wish you could be as considerate and loving towards me as i am towards you, because i deserve it". that was when i was less self aware. i am constantly aware of small signs from other people and am aware of all the little actions i can do to be considerate. normal people are not and it is unfair to expect them to be.

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  55. lol Res. does sickness count?

    well i don't wanna be one anyway! :P

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  56. haha sorry - if you were sick then you are excused. i presumed it was an eating disorder / body dysmorphia reason why you hadn't been eating.

    i thought you wanted to be one for a week, just to try ;)

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  57. This Comments SectionMarch 3, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    did I died?

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  58. EXTREME PSYCHOPATHMarch 3, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    i'm a twisted, maniacle psychopath who sits in his home all day crafting weapons and explosives and thinking of ways thati can use them to kill people. and then i go out and use them to kill people an i laugh about it the next day while im sitting at home making more weapons and watching videos of rapes and torture murders that i have committed. then i go and eat my breakfest as if nothing happened.

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  59. Watching Vaknin I realize I got a pretty bad rap wrt parents. He says most people leave the narcissist but a cerebral male (the smartest man on earth) and a somatic female (the prettiest woman on earth) narcissist apparently make a couple and they play well into sadistic-masochistic scene as well. Their children pretty much raised as narcissists, as extensions of parents not like love objects. So, imagine how the offspring is this prettiest and smartest of all in these narcissists' eyes, while both know well that their true self is nowhere the imaginary adorable selves. As a child you basically are fucked up for life, no one is ever good enough for you, life is never as good as you deserve. Yikes.... I just want to hide out on an island and find me an octopus.

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  60. notme, yes indeed you fit the description with not intending to make any changes in who you are. your best bet than is indeed love yourself and eliminate all insecurities and shame, become a socio if you can. you are at home among the socios because they don't give a damn and that sort of person gives you the least shame to fuck over. you'd feel awful if you were fucking up the good guys, right? plus, who wants a good guy when you have a fun socio and are a narcissist.

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  61. Make sure he's generous to you (and your children?) and be clear to him that you are not just a tool or toy unless thats what you are into.

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  62. Can it be said that Snow White, Cinderella, Alice and Dorothy all exhibit or are based on Borderline traits?

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  63. Doesn't this have to do with self-manipulation.

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  64. 'you'd feel awful if you were fucking up the good guys, right?'

    yeah that makes me feel bad. and it's not even rewarding. i like a challenge. cos i'm a fool.

    'your best bet than is indeed love yourself and eliminate all insecurities and shame, become a socio if you can.'

    is there a pill for that? :)

    thanks Anon. i'll think about that.

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  65. It's actually the opposite of a narcissist to not want to change, they are chameleons, they have the most gloomiest outlook out of all PDs that's why people call them vampIres, they drain you emotionally. A narc will change themselves if it gets them admiration, they don't care about sentiments.

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  66. Res. Men can be somatic narcissists also.

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  67. Narcissists have an extremely short fuse, but they only use rage on the weak.

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  68. SlipknotSocio666March 3, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Petty fools I am the real socio I am sacrificing a goat as we speak Muhahaha

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  69. what's with this moron xxx666?

    The switch between cerebral and somatic narcissism is amazing to watch. I actually know a man who does that. The downs and ups in his body are unbelievable. Vaknin's own story of that switch is also amazing. But these types find working on the body too much work and eventually settle with their cerebral self and get out of shape.

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  70. Dunno what that means, but did you just describe Christian Bale in "The Machinist"?

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  71. I love these 12 year old Emo sluts I'm 55 I
    Lost 15 pounds grew my fringe and bought a
    Pair of vans, I just tell them my wrinkles are bad acne scars, I shout it out of my van.

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  72. what's love at 9:53am:

    I believe a major contributor to feeling loved by your parents is to feel consistently validated for being yourself.

    In a perfect world positive and negative emotional experiences would be accepted as facts, and the behaviour stemming from them would be addressed with logic, not the emotional experiences themselves (e.g. trying to talk a child out of their feelings by ordering them to feel differently or denying their perception of reality or minimising their feelings and so on.)

    On the contrary feeling consistently invalidated for being yourself by your parents is to *feel* unloved.

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  73. Badass SociopathMarch 3, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    My eyes are as cold as a Russian winter night.

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  74. is it at all possible that a child who witnesses both fighting/abuse/back stabbing and also loving times between parents would fail to feel loved and see his parents as mere actors faking love occasionally? Would this then suggest that you can love a parent no more than the love the parents show for each other?

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  75. I was consistently validated as the cerebral child but in a way it was used to pump my parents' ego and mostly in public. At home I felt no particular love, actually just the opposite, I was mostly suggested to go to my room to study (which I loved by the way because of avoiding all the chaos and fighting). When both parents are narcissist a child becomes a competitor for narcissistic supply, so neither really cares much for the child, validation is more like their self-validation. Sorry, that idea did not help in my case, Sea Witch.

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  76. i never saw an ounce of love between them. not one iota. if they had a peck on the cheek it was too weird and I found it repugnant! they just fought, and then he left for about a year. came back, they fought, he left and so on and so on.
    yeah, explains a lot doesn't it.

    so, is that healthy? :P

    lol, i used to hate my dad. i used to crawl into bed with my mum cos i was scared. I'd fall asleep between them and my dad would carry me back to my room and i'd wake up in my bed. Yeah, i hated him. :)
    he was like the irritating enemy...

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  77. Your parents were narcissistic not narcissists.

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  78. I'm such an Internet predator ahahaha

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  79. notme, why do you think you rmom put up with him? did she retaliate with every chance she got, as in bitching behind him to everyone how awful he is and stuff? SOmetimes passive aggressive mothers are worse than these domineering fathers in terms of how they affect your life. why wouldn't she fight for herself, why would she position herself as the sweet little one and him evil all the time? I'm just making it up, your story may have been different.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I've been thinking of becoming a pimp.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Because women are weak and maschoistic.

    ReplyDelete
  82. well, he was physically abusive with her and she definately fought back like any self-respecting person would.
    He was so absent 99% of our lives that we got on well without him. I didn't like the scheming she seemed to do behind his back, like when she told us she was gonna divorce him and suddenly I was meant to shut him out of my life financially. (she hadn't discussed divorce with him, just us). But, she wasn't bad-mouthing him really. I think she tried to avoid that. i honestly think she did the best she could. And i'm her worst critic. Of course, my memory sucks, i don't remember everything. She appeared passive, very gentle, I can't imagine she was being cruel about him. But as you say, these things can be quietly insidious. who knows.

    i actually love him so much more than i love my mum. how funny is that.

    ReplyDelete
  83. btw, my mum married my dad to get out of her country, fully intending to divorce him very quickly. why she didn't, i don't know. Its no wonder i perceived her as questionable role-model material very early on. I guess i was just sick of the farce.

    but, life is never ideal. blah blah...she did what she could.

    ReplyDelete
  84. You can always spot those narcs, they are the ones who say I have narcissistic personality in group talks, leaving out disorder.

    ReplyDelete
  85. "You can always spot those narcs, they are the ones who say I have narcissistic personality in group talks, leaving out disorder."

    Hehe, well are you a narcissistic personality, Anon? I'm not, but just out of curiosity?

    ReplyDelete
  86. Anyone ever get really numb from too much stimuli?

    ReplyDelete
  87. Wonderful article and posts.

    Part of my attraction to Sociopath World is to understand how others function with an lack of empathy. I agree with the premise that the lower the empathy, the higher the focus. In emergency situations I find myself the least empathic and the most highly aware. I am at my best.

    I view empathy as a "personal process" (as in feelings) and a lack of empathy as a "transpersonal process" (as in awareness) Which is why socio minds make for a great Buddhist.

    In regards to love, if one has a lack of feeling at a personal level, best to jump to a transpersonal understanding, where love remains a binding agent. This process rewrites history and thus brings about stability. Self-control is a benefit of pure awareness.

    Unless of course you really don't care and just want to follow every impulse, end the search.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Now I wonder if my mother's family environment was a little like yours notme. I was too young understand but I do remember my late grandfather being somewhat of a mystery as he was hardly around and not living in the same house. No one talked or asked much about this. And my late grandmother could be like your mum, being the one who takes care of everything (8 children) mostly on her own. Outwardly she was gentle with us and I only have fond memories of her. But the cracks showed in the children. My mum for one, being closest for me to observe. Her side of the family seems to be 'richer' PD wise compared to my father's (eg. holding grudges to the grave, victim complex and masters of guilt projection).

    ReplyDelete
  89. Soulful,

    do please elaborate your views on love for the rest of us.

    ReplyDelete
  90. What aspect do you want me to elaborate on? Love is ruthless. Do you want me to explain.

    ReplyDelete
  91. This?

    if one has a lack of feeling at a personal level, best to jump to a transpersonal understanding, where love remains a binding agent. This process rewrites history and thus brings about stability. Self-control is a benefit of pure awareness.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Gag,

    Feelings are an overlay of reality. Example: the cat is dead. Any feelings over the cat's death is a malleable overlay. Yet the observer sees itself as separate from the cat.

    Pure awareness senses everything as life. No separation. An easy concept for right brain dominate people. You, the cat, its death, as one. Pure awareness "transends" the personal.

    Example: My parents didn't love me. (personal and I am separate) v.s I am part of a long body of genetics (transpersonal and I am not separate)

    Love is kinda like a unified field theory. And can move us around like pawns. So ruthless.

    Eliminating separateness takes care of victim mentality. Creates space and again self-control.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Gag,
    And your words on the subject?

    ReplyDelete
  94. The closest thing to this for me is an idealised concept of love, so is that similar to the detachment you are talking about? I have no idea of love that nourishes except for pets. Do you?

    ReplyDelete
  95. Love is idealised because to it is hard to grasp. Yes idealization is a form of detachment. And detachment is an aspect of self-control.

    Love that nourishes can be found in any strong interest or obsession, hobby, art form or possession which inspires and challenges.

    Pet are great. Humans are animals too.

    ReplyDelete
  96. This stupid bitch doesn't know who she is dealing with, i asked her to drive to the store for me yesterday to get me things, she refused and i snapped, i degraded her slowly, told her she looks like dirt and that she is obese, i said she has no idea what I'm capable of, i told her she can back talk any person she wants but if it's ME then she is in a world of trouble, I'm furious right now so I'm going to break something or hurt her precious pet. What really flipped me off was when she said i need to be put in a mental asylum, i looked the bitch dead in the eye and said, you better stop before you die.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Thank you, Soulfulpath. And what is self love?

    ReplyDelete
  98. Human love is too complex for me. I can see it in very simplistic terms like emotional leverage. When you combine that with empathy real or fake it gets fuzzier because of the peculiarities and 'history' of the participants. It's easier for me to understand situations which can manifest 'love' that serves the aspirations and needs of that situation rather than a universal idea of love. Does that make sense?

    ReplyDelete
  99. Hey welcome GagReflex twin @1:10!

    ReplyDelete
  100. Adam you are my idol.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Self love is closer to self respect than self preservation.
    It's an awareness of the complexities and multiplicities of self without rejection.

    Or perhaps it's when you own all your projections and self destruct. KaBoom!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Go with the emotional leverage take on love. It applies.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Adam, what has her pet got to do with it? Someone I know constantly tells his brother(my friend) that he has an unhealthy relationship with his dog.. because he treats it like a human, and puts it before other humans. I told my friend that his bro is jealous because he has no close relationships, and that if he minds their relationship to get a pet of his own. But no, all the brother wants is to show how he hates to see others loving each other. This friend of mine has barely any human friends he can count on. His brother (same upbringing) is jealous, that's all. And give a dog a bone once in a while, Adam

    ReplyDelete
  104. What is wrong with you that you should be put in a mental asylum, Adam?

    ReplyDelete
  105. I'm indifferent to both children and animals, i never give them any of my attention, i just think they are boring, we have seen them hundreds of times and they aren't much different, I don't treat animals any different than humans, i victimize both. If you think I'm an asshole then so be it, but i bet most of you wish you had that kind of apathy.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I don't know, she just said it. I'm actually very very confused right now. I am usually in charge, and now people are hinting that there is some kind of power play. I am unaware. -This is infuriating me because I can usually feel my way around. But now I can feel something brewing. It is a stench that is making me want to get a job and leave this house once and for all. I need to break away from under my aunt's large ankle-strappy shoes, with the foot fat hanging over the top of shoe.

    ReplyDelete
  107. At 1:27


    I scream and intimidate when I'm furious, I told her yesterday while arguing that one day I'd be the president and I'd execute her and her family when i got elected (I would)

    ReplyDelete
  108. If you are going to insult me, make it funny, you fool.

    ReplyDelete
  109. People with apathy don't FEEL! Stupid twin. Imbecile troll.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I'm making a list like Stalin did, I'm burning all you fuckers.

    ReplyDelete
  111. @1:37
    Oh .. Execution for the good of the nation as a whole. Yes, absolutely, Adam. You are my hero too!

    ReplyDelete
  112. Yes, Lists are good . ......

    ReplyDelete
  113. Adam whose model of leadership would make you the most vicious and cunning leader?

    ReplyDelete
  114. And who would you appoint as your second/s in command?

    ReplyDelete
  115. Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?

    ReplyDelete
  116. Someone more steely than I. People want my blood as it is. When I am assassinated, there must be a plan in place......

    ReplyDelete
  117. You've made my shitlist.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Noooooo!

    Do take over stupid twin.. We 're All ears for your horseshit

    ReplyDelete
  119. I beg your pardon Your highnesses. Please go on.

    ReplyDelete
  120. I haver aunt face down on the floor, every time you use my name I slap her.

    ReplyDelete
  121. A PATHY! ..not apathy.

    ReplyDelete
  122. What is your Aunt's name, Adam. have you even given her a name?

    ReplyDelete
  123. I can't breath. (Strangulation noises)

    ReplyDelete
  124. Stalin , you stupid imbecile!!! He said Stalin, you twit/twat

    ReplyDelete
  125. It is sarcasm (horseshit)

    ReplyDelete
  126. Imbecility city.
    Dumb blog.
    Going to love fraud where they are smarter

    ReplyDelete
  127. Why do people act so irrational and stupid when they are in love?

    ReplyDelete
  128. Wet, do you mean them or you?

    ReplyDelete
  129. My goodness, am I correct in assuming that this is a blog where people who wish they were sociopaths but are just little men and women with self esteem issues come to gather together and assure each other that they are not losers,but are actually something "quite special"? This is hilarious. there should be a medical name for people like you, who wish so badly they had a certain disorder. I doubt an actual sociopath would even consider joining some "look at us, we're sociopaths!" club. It would go against their nature. But this is an interesting hobby,I must say. Commenting on here , trying to out-sociopath each other. Pathetic and yet so thoroughly hilarious at the same time. I've never seen anything like it. Carry on, all you aspiring Norman Bates'.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Soulfulpath said...

    Pets are great. Humans are animals too.

    March 4, 2011 12:54 AM

    ReplyDelete
  131. gimme divorce, gimme gimme gimmeMarch 4, 2011 at 5:22 AM

    my mom played that 'i'll divorce' game behind my dad to actually try to get me and my siblings more needy and clinging to her. did not work with me. i said i loved my dad more whenever asked. he may have been an ass but he at least was the honest one, not a liar. she is seventy five and still says she wants a divorce. the other day she said she always dreamt when I was a kid that I would take care of her one day. she is completely incapable of living on her own, it'll be interesting to see what happens to her if my dad passes away first. she'll reach the state she always wanted... she still debates plastic surgery to get rid of her wrinkles. total bullshit, head to toe. i just put on a mask and dream along, let her have her cloud 9.

    ReplyDelete
  132. ME
    There is always a random fall out in life, don't buy these were shitty posts argument. Keep at it, one a day is good practice. At this point you may actually share what have you been feeling lately. You were on a high for a while, and then a fall. How are you handling the fall, tell people you don't give a damn if that's the case and carry on as you were set out to.
    I like my socio family here, want to see it alive even though lifeless at times.

    Give me today's post, ME, chirp chirp chirp....

    ReplyDelete
  133. othing you say is ever funny funny bit. so shut your fucking trap.

    ReplyDelete
  134. “My mind is like a calculating machine.”

    (Adolf Hitler)

    I always think of myself as a machine. I say to myself things like "You have an amazing brain" or "You are not functioning today, your efficiency is low". I measure things, I constantly compare performance. I am acutely aware of time and how it is utilized. There is a meter in my head, it ticks and tocks, a metronome of self-reproach and grandiose assertions. I talk to myself in third person singular. It lends objectivity to what I think, as though it comes from an external source, from someone else. That low is my self-esteem that, to be trusted, I have to disguise myself, to hide myself from myself. It is the pernicious and all-pervasive art of unbeing.

    I like to think about myself in terms of automata. There is something so aesthetically compelling in their precision, in their impartiality, in their harmonious embodiment of the abstract. Machines are so powerful and so emotionless, not prone to be hurting weaklings like me. Machines don't bleed. Often I find myself agonizing over the destruction of a laptop in a movie, as its owner is blown to smithereens as well. Machines are my folk and kin. They are my family. They allow me the tranquil luxury of unbeing.

    And then there is data. My childhood dream of unlimited access to information has come true and I am the happiest for it. I have been blessed by the Internet. Information was power and not only figuratively.

    Information was the dream, reality the nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Wet said
    Why do people act so irrational and stupid when they are in love?

    Because they are on drugs. And the drug is in their own heads.

    http://www.helenfisher.com/articles.html

    ReplyDelete
  136. Instead of trying to figure out S/P. they should figure out and distroy this (drug) form of love.

    Doesn't benifit anyone and leads to a false existance.

    ReplyDelete
  137. drug form of love... lust... better than hard drugs or alcohol, assuming you don't catch a disease or a baby... socios give the best lust, thank you guys, your services will not go unnoticed... notme and i appreciate the attention, A LOT....

    ReplyDelete
  138. "socios give the best lust, thank you guys, your services will not go unnoticed . . ."

    That was the funniest and most jugular honest comment I have read in a while.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Just a thought: To be a pimp/madam with socios as my agents of commerce. One would make a bloody fortune. Now that would make for wonderful reality TV drama.

    ReplyDelete
  140. tik

    Interesting question. I like what you did there.

    Both

    ReplyDelete
  141. Soulfulpath

    This is a nice website, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Soulfulpath

    How long have you wanted to gain greater control over your emotions and feelings?

    ReplyDelete
  143. My whole life. The real game.

    It's more fun when self-knowledge is to be understood and played as a chess game. I look at it not as much as control as gaining flexibility and resiliency. Control is overrated at times. I do not fear reactive emotions or anger tantrums, they have their purpose.

    Everything stems on the reduction of anxiety. Which has nothing to do with emotions and feelings.

    Its about being at peace with the chaos, especially when you see more than others can and playing the field of possibility. I read pieces of this logic all over this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  144. SoulfulPath

    I think logic and rational thinking is very important to you because it give you a sense of stability, trust, safety and predictability. I think you feel a cycle in your degree of the need for emotional control. Try this exercise, close your eyes, deep breathing, then think of the time when you feel the most anxiety, stress, lack of control, and fear. Its important to raise the chaos out on to the surface so you can deal with it on a conscious level.

    ReplyDelete
  145. i have the highest anxiety when i first wake up, for no good reason but the sheer horror of being less than perfect, fitting for a narc, right?

    anyhow.. I have a question, soulful path. how do i get myself to stop sharing what i see with people? it's as if i want to talk about everything i learn to the rest of humanity, it's as if that's my mission in life, teaching all i now as soon as i know. help me get that burden off my shoulders. is it the narcissist in me who needs that? do you also preach in real life as much as you do here?

    ReplyDelete
  146. hmmm. when i read what i wrote about i realized this may have come across as if i am slighting you, soulful path. not at all. i really enjoy reading what you write. maybe shouldn't have called that preaching, not my native tongue. people call me preaching sometimes though, the nut heads maybe, who knows, most say they like my stories but occasionally one calls it preaching.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Wet- Thank you for your comment and very specific exercise. I agree expanding a sensation which is unconscious is the first step to dissolving a sensation in the conscious mind.

    Preachy- Advice can be pushed or handed. It's hard to shift our behaviors. Find playful things to lower your anxieties. See Wet.

    I wanted to be a nun when I was young. I found sex so that was not an option. Now perhaps I will start a cult.

    ReplyDelete
  148. a cult suggests followers, as in enslaving yourself to followers. leaders are the true slaves.

    ReplyDelete
  149. at least you're not bored

    ReplyDelete
  150. I wanted to be a nun when I was young. I found sex so that was not an option. Now perhaps I will start a cult.

    L
    O
    L
    !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anNnYDD7Gac

    ReplyDelete
  151. Preachy you are intense. I think I can be like that. I got dumped for it recently. It's stylistic. I like you. I'm sorry it doesn't seem that way. I hate mornings. The absolute worst is the very moment I open my eyes. If the alarm doesn't tell me I am late, I just want to not face the day. All year long, pretty much.

    Narc??????????? ....really?

    ReplyDelete
  152. i used to wish i was not born, that life and people could never be good enough. used to go to bed giving grace that i had a great life and am now ready not to wake up in the morning.

    not any more.. i now look forward to the days and nights, and only wish to achieve a good relationship, feeling i have achieved all else already. i pray to meet the person who is worth the effort, till than being single is pretty awesome.

    yes, good energy, a lot of narc element in these thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  153. what does intense exactly mean?

    ReplyDelete
  154. Preachy, Who the fuck are you talking to? Is is me?

    ReplyDelete
  155. I think that Good Energy might mean that being "intense" means that when one is excited about something, others can get overwhelmed and want to keep a distance. I have been that way, and I also notice that when I see it in others, I want to tell them to take a hot bath and a glass of wine before I can listen to their point of view. Also, intensity is contagious. It winds me up too much, so I need to disengage to take care of the way it affects me.
    It is also mesmerizing and forceful, though. People are attracted to charisma (a form of intensity, IMO) Charisma is good, but too much can make people around me tired, annoyed, overwhelmed... I am afraid of being too intense. I sometimes need to keep my own intensity in check so I can be heard by people I care about. I get embarrassed when I realize I am too "intense".

    ReplyDelete
  156. yes, with that explanation i totally agree that i am too intense. to the point i don't want to talk to people because i can tell i stay focused longer, approach the issues both broader and deeper, and surely overwhelm them. i can see they get overwhelmed, but more importantly i get bored of them, and turn to books and documentaries instead.

    what to do? try to be less interested? try to not understand fully? try to not care?

    ReplyDelete
  157. Well said, anon 6:54

    try to stay focused on what the other person is saying. Try to understand where they are "coming from". If you aren't sure, then ask. Most people are happy to tell you what they mean. Because most people want to be understood.

    Does that help, Preachy?

    ReplyDelete
  158. Res at 2:34 said:
    "i thought you wanted to be one for a week, just to try ;)"

    What kind of nonsense is this stupidity? Don't even try to suggest that (fuckin socio manipulator, Res!) to a person trying to be healthy.

    fasts only make you want to eat more after the starvation. Try more protein if you want to lose excess pounds.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Impostor Soulfulpath @8:30pm!

    I curse you with positive affirmations!

    I pray all your toast comes out burnt for an eternity!

    And I turn you into a stag to have my hounds tear you to threads!

    ReplyDelete
  160. Res, the attack was not from me. i had to get offline after 7:26, apparently some copy cat took over both soulfulpath and me as preachy.

    actually i agree with the copycat soulfulpath, it is always best if you want to stay around people to pay attention to them, except when do i get to express myself? i always make sure to not take the floor more than my share (ok, it won't be mathematical share because some morons just can't open their mouths and they just sit there and listen, so i'll be happily take the floor for their share too, i got things to say after all, otherwise another moron who has shit to tell takes the whole space).

    ReplyDelete
  161. It seems rather obvious to me that of course empathizing will lessen your self control. Who came up with the idea that it would be any other way? Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

    Oh, there's a link. Okay, I'll take a look.

    (I really like that you always link to your sources. It's one of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog, M.E.!)

    ReplyDelete
  162. next time you want to find the article just google one of the sentences, in case you have a hard time seeing the link.

    ReplyDelete
  163. I am not convinced that conclusion he states is the shown.
    It seems if you are very rigid in your opinions and don't let things like environment, facts or questionings your own opinion you make decisions more easily and experience less stress. Ignorance is indeed bliss as it resists stress from cognitive dissonance and doubt. This would also explain how empathy could cause more stress. The more new information you process and have to integrate into your thinking the more "stress" you may experience. If you simply accept only one view and by default disregard all others and any conflicting information then you will not run into any cognitive stress. This is why it has been shown that rigidly religious people are on average more happy than those that don't claim to already know all they need to know. The more dogmatic the persons thinking the happier that person claims to be.
    Being logical and thinking critically can cause more stress verse dogmatic thinking too. If you ever met a person that could not be swayed of their own beliefs regardless of facts or its validity then you might notice that they also don't worry much except when confronted by other views.
    To the point about reading about self control verses being told to act as if you were the person that actually has more self control could be simple integration. If you are allowed to integrate by you own choosing and in your own manner with what ever cognitive structure you already possess verses force to integrate, to fit the mold or group, it will be smoother and cause much less stress. That is not news. Actors that have to play a role are not as "comfortable" nor is it as natural as the person that they are trying to portray and so is more stressful for the actor. And it makes sense.
    I can't help but suspect that the research may more aptly tests being forced to pretend to act a certain way verse allowing you to motivate yourself to do it. Hence only those that artificially made themselves pretend like they were the one doing something they don't naturally do experienced stress.
    I hate to say it but I think the researchers are really "begging the question". But I would have to see that raw data to decide.
    It just as likely easily mean what I stated. Only people who try to force themselves to exert a high degree of effort and self-control in order to mimic those that do by choice, would expe­ri­ence vic­ar­i­ous energy deple­tion. Those that don't force themselves wouldn't. It would also explain why people who were allowed to act as they normally would and only given information not only didn't experience the energy depletion but actually showed signs of integrating the information. Again I would have to see the raw data.
    The research may simply show that people respond better when they are allowed to learn on their own and at their own pace verses being expected to mimic others actions, regardless of being in a group or not. It may simply come down to choice verse imposition.

    ReplyDelete
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