Saturday, May 12, 2012

Are sociopaths better than empaths?

I don't actually think that sociopaths are superior to empaths.  Unlike some (most?) people, I haven't formed a mental hierarchy of types of humans from sociopaths down to aspies, or empaths down to sociopaths, or any other sort of arrangement based on value to society or dominance or anything else.  We're different, yes, and some of those differences are strengths and some of them are weaknesses and some of them are strengths in one situation and weaknesses in another.

When I studied music seriously, I spent a lot of time practicing orchestral excerpts.  Excerpts are specific to a particular instrument, e.g. french horn or flute.  They are passages from the standard repertoire that either feature the instrument prominently or are particularly challenging to play.

In music there are basically two types of technical difficulty: (1) idiomatic but intricate passages and (2) deceptively simple passages that, due to the inherent weaknesses of the instrument, are still quite challenging.  The former are passages that play to the strengths or unique features of the instrument, for instance double or multiple stopping on a string instrument, glissandos on a harp, diatonic runs in the key of a woodwind instrument.  These passages showcase the instrument at its very best and can make even an average player look like a superstar.  The latter are passages that often were written by a composer without considering the particular difficulties of the instrument.  They may require awkward alternate fingering to be performed successfully.  They may be in a bad range of the instrument or require complicated breathing or sticking.  They are not a vehicle for showing off, rather they are an attempt to mask the awkwardness created by vulnerabilities of the instrument.

I have intentionally avoided using the word "flaw" to describe the instruments.  The truth is that no instrument is perfect.  Instrument designers have improved upon the originals and they continue to make small improvements, but inherent in the idea of there being a "better" range, there must be a worse range.  To make one passage easier to play, you must consequently make another hypothetical passage harder.  There's nothing to be sad about.  But when it comes to empaths talking about how sociopaths are an evolutionary mistake or sociopaths talking about how empaths are idiots it sometimes reminds me of how trombonists try to argue that their instrument is the best because they can tune to the exact pitch or string instruments arguing their instrument is the best because they can sustain a note for forever.  I find those sorts of arguments to be quaint and in a way that reflects a particularly small view of the world.

47 comments:

  1. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    (genuinely cries)

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    1. feel sorry for me yet?

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  2. There is a flaw in your argument (and i'm not even a sociopath , i'm the aspie-girl-married-to-one)
    We live in the world. There is no other world (or piece of music). And this world is designed to be played with an acoustic guitar. that's NTs, they're born with an acoustic guitar . I'd say aspies are harps, they can approximate the sound but will sound strange and funny, even if they believe they're just more delicate . Sociopaths are born with electric guitars , top notch gibsons. Most people have no concept of what an electric guitar , wonder how the hell this person can sustain a note and tweak it in such an impressive manner, and the sociopath is all like "hey, I don't know , I have the same guitar as you , I guess I'm just more talented !" . Cheaters!! :D

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    1. And how's your life with a sociopath going?

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    2. I've described it in the comment I made on "envying the sociopath ?". (it's one of the few last comments ). It's lasted 7 years , so I guess I'm fine with it!

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  3. Offtopic: Can someone explain the main differences between sociopaths and psychopaths, how can you recognise which one a particular person is? I searched for it, but failed to find any good answers.

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    1. Sociopath = lazy, more spontanious, less organised psychopath. Psychopath is more likely to fit in the society, I noticed that myself.

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    2. Thank you mee, im curious, is it possible for a person to change from sociopath to psychopath or vise versa?

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    3. There isn't one. Srsly.

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  4. It doesn't matter who is the coolest, we all die eventually. Also personality doesn't make one better then another. However emphats might be better when us because they can stand boredom :)
    In addition, I noticed that all sociopaths have many things in common, isn't it dull?

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    1. List what all sociopaths have in common, in your opinion. Thanks!

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Sociopaths have much more similarities than emphats. Mainly all the things, that gives the label fits for all socios, we have different personalities, but still, we manipulate people, have shallow emotions and so on.

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  5. Thank you, ME. I honestly find this to be a fascinating, true to life comparison. People are people, no worse or better, necessarily, just different. Advantages or disadvantages of empathy are situational, not absolute. Personally, working as a nurse, a lack of empathy allows me to do the right thing for the patient, even if it hurts them. It allows me to stay cool and calm (and make calculated decisions) whilst my empathetic colleagues are screaming and flapping.
    On the other hand, I can't really feel for or bond to people like my husband, an empath, does. The only friends I have are people I find useful at the moment. I will never have that deep, meaningful connection with anyone, really. Some would say that's a serious disadvantage.

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    1. How did you get married, green eyes?

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    2. At a beautiful mountaintop lookout by a celebrant who was an old patient of mine, and the few family that I can tolerate around. Very private, lovely affair.

      If you want to know why, then it was because my husband was the only man I ever met that made me feel anything positive. Everything was more fun with him. He knew what I was, but loved me and did everything to understand me, rather than judge or try to change me. He really is an exceptional man that tries to better the lives of all he touches. When you get someone like that, you hold on to him.

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    3. Hold on to them...Or figure that they are a gullible ignoramus and use them 'till they figure it out and throw it in their face when they do... coming from the general Sociopath perspective. Blah.

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    4. That is wonderful green eyes!

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    5. Anonymous, I like that you didn't try to twist green eyes' words to make her sound stupid. Seems like most on this site are trying too damn hard to sound like they don't care a whit ("blah") even as they labor intensely to prove they're the cleverest of all.

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  6. Fascinating piece, ME.

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  7. Its all just HBD to the extent its genetic, the destructive 'antisocial' factor 2 traits being products of environment.

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  8. What is the meaning of HBD? English is not my mother tongue.

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    1. Human biodiversity, for example studies of race and gender.

      The psychiatric attitude leads to selectivity in what's studied, as well as value judgements when compared to what is 'neurotypical', rather than the way people normally think about phenotypes and the factors involved in their expression.

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  9. How To Heal a PDMay 12, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    This is obviously for people who think out of the box. If you are in the shrink box, don't bother replying.

    In order to heal a PD, you must touch the ground. I will come back and explain more, later.

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    1. We will wait for you and try not to think in the meanwhile, master.

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    2. Lol It's not like that.I am just trying to think about a way to make myself clear.

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    3. It isn't with sex and laughing? That's healing.

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    4. How To Heal a PDMay 12, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      You have to feel and know from your own gut.If you need a shrink to tell you, you are already lost. Do you get this? If you have abdicated yourself to a shrink, you are lost. You are money for a shrink, but you are lost.

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    5. My shrink followed the teachings of Alfred Adler, MD
      and brought about healing and insight to his patients. I never thought of my time and effort as
      "losing, anything." I'm sorry that you didn't have
      a positive experience with your shrink?

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    6. If you had not been shut down, you would have access to your feelings. Hence, you would be normal. The question is how to get back to that connection. The route is through the emotions, not the intellect.

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    7. ^I would think that emotions are felt and dealt with
      in therapy. And why do promote only one way - your
      way for success?

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    8. How To Heal a PDMay 13, 2012 at 3:30 AM

      Well, I do not mean to be officious or pedantic. I look for a true way of healing as I have yet to find one, although I have spent a lifetime trying. It is with that spirit that I explore these things, not with an arrogance to tell anyone what to do. I explore these things to save my own life, as life without a modicum of sanity is barely life at all.

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    9. ^Now, I know that "healing a pd" is monica....

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  10. "They are looking for someone to make choices for them."

    Goes anyone know what is the context for this twitter quote?

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    1. Well.. it went further than that of course. It was taken from a discussion on martyr/co-dependant/ victim types, who are attracted to bad boys, cold and sadistic types.

      I think.

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    2. Oh. Ok. Makes sense. Thanks.

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    3. Codps are attracted to borderlines

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  11. Another excellent post.

    One thought there seems to be socios are not as complex as an instrument but they can still create good sound. Empaths on the other hand when performing (as opposed to crying/whining) can make incredible productions but often are weakened and can't perform. Hmmmm. Surely some truth to this.

    There is another implication here that I am curious to hear more on. Steadily we're hearing sociopaths are the ones getting bored. Is that true, meaning do we all agree that empaths are less-bored than sociopaths?

    How big is this difference in your opinion, ME? I mean, are sociopaths bored all the time? Is the difference akin to the testosterone/horniness difference between males and females, for example?

    I am not a sociopath but the biggest reason I am not around people as much as they would like me to is that they bore me to death after a certain amount of time or frequency. I mean how long can you listen to some socio bragging about the easy money he's made, or some narcissist whining and crying how s/he deserves better than what life has dealt, or some NT talking about some mundane daily event? I pay attention while with these people, never tune out, but choose to leave faster than they'd like, and often may never come back to the same story.

    I actually started telling people that we already covered that when they bring up the same shit. Heck, they may as well be the ones bored, unable to repeat the same childish bs one more time. But then I decided that is far too much truth, and said act like a socio, say 'that's a great story and I just remembered I need to feed the dog. See you later.' WHo said you cannot learn kindness from a socio?

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    1. LOL Sceli. I told me ex mal narc he was so "fucking boring" and he started emailing me in capital letters saying that I should start fucking everything that moves if I find him so boring lol. I was lmao. I didn't know it was so horrible to say it. But I hae to say, when a different kind of empathy challeged man said he would get bored (someone more like me, I think) I was depressed.

      Everyone is bored and boring, and if you can't admit it to yourself, then you are delusional.

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    2. How do these freakn shrinks do it all day? oh yeah, they're getting paid lol

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  12. here is how a 14 year old socio boy deals with a sibling rivalry (9 yr old girl)

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  13. Empaths are the future of mankind and sociopaths are a genetic dead end. There was a time - likely in the last ice age - where this was probably nearly opposite.

    In the near future all sociopaths and psychopaths will be identified and institutionalized from a young age - until a cure is found. (and yes there are ways to develop a real cure)

    Fear not this social advance as sociopaths and psychopaths will be treated with the same respect and compassion with which the most vulnerable of our society now are in civilized societies - if it was in our nature to efficiently and dispassionately eliminate you we already would have done so.

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  14. What about those highly sensitive and intelligent empaths, who had to with sociopaths, picked them apart mentally, studied them, tried aspects of sociopathy (an empath can do that because he can get rid of some brainfunctionality for a while, while a sociopath cannot try out empath brainfunctionality).
    And so he can learn to be in sociopath mode when it is advantageous (for example with 95% of people), and in empath mode with a few selected humans, like family, close friends, and when alone? Best of both worlds? Also, there is no boredom, if you are highly emotional and highly attached, you cannot really be bored.

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