Friday, June 15, 2012

Selectively caring more

I thought this was a very interesting comment left on this post about empathy and becoming sensitized to certain things, among others:


I used be able to watch videos/view images of the goriest and most explicit nature: brain avulsions, total dismemberment, horrific murders. In fact, I craved viewing them. There was something in there that was fascinating to me. This was when I was much younger. As I got older, these pictures began to bother me. Not because I felt guilt or empathy, but because I had suffered accidents/injuries of my own, and they served to remind me of them. Now I avoid them, for the most part, because in each body I see the inevitability of my own mortality, and I always end up relating them to my own situation. 

The same holds true for emotional pain: just yesterday a girl related a story about a woman who's mother was killed by a distracted drive. I laughed when I heard the specifics; it sounded like such a glorious explosion of metal. Everyone else was horrified, and some were holding back tears, but I couldn't stop grinning--I had such fun recreating the scene in my mind. I couldn't empathize. But if another person's emotional pain reminds me of the few, and I mean 2-3, things left from childhood that are still painful to me, I am distracted and lost in my own pain. This gives the appearance of empathizing; it's not. I don't cry for the other person; I cry for myself. 

That erroneous conclusion ("They're crying while I'm crying; they must understand me!") is what, I think, leads empaths, especially those with emotional ties to the sociopath, to insist that they're "not that bad" or that "there's really deep feelings in there." Perhaps. But those deep feelings will always be self-centered. If a sociopath cries because you're breaking up with them, it's not because they've suddenly grown a heart to pine after you with. It's because they've lost control, because their plans have been ruined, and they're thinking about how the break-up will fuck things over. 

I realize they are interesting, and perhaps very fine distinctions to make, but I think that they are actually legitimate distinctions to make between a sensitivity (or lack of sensitivity to things) and the general skill of empathy.  A good example, perhaps, is the one of the typical empath who becomes desensitized to things like violence in times of war.  According to wikipedia, horses, who have a natural fear of unpredictable movement, become desensitized to accept the fluttering skirt of a lady's riding habit.  We sensitize guide dogs to certain human concerns like automobile traffic. 

Everyone can learn to care more or less about a particular thing. It's not that sociopaths are just constantly choosing not to care.  I believe that they are partly incapable of caring, and even more simply unaware of what and when they should be caring.  Once you direct their attention to it or something else happens to make them aware of the seriousness of something (e.g. growing older and having more a sense of one's own mortality), it gets easier to understand why everyone else is upset.  But this does not mean that the sociopath will ever vicariously feel what the other person is feeling.  

211 comments:

  1. Isnt this what empathy is? Feeling someone's pain off a memory of your own previous pain?

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    1. Apparently that's not enough. Talking to a very empathic friend, it seems the extra dimension is the ability to feel uncomfortable about the other person's pain, and to feel compelled to do something about it to make it better.

      Although Jose makes some good points below about how we can be taught to empathise more with people close to us or like us in some way, what I found interesting about my friend is that she feels this compulsion even for people she dislikes and barely knows.

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    2. I think you have to have empathy for yourself, first. Maybe you get it from a mother's mirroring. Where this may fit in with woman who are attracted to sociopaths(again and again) is that they were not mirrored, as children. The sociopath is a wonderful mirror, the best you can find lol Perhaps, it is the first time the woman was mirrored. All humans need it, as it turns on parts of the brain, from what I have read.

      This may be why so many woman lose everything, their money, standing, and even lives, to a sociopath. I think the mirroring may be that powerful.

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    3. I think you have to have empathy for yourself, first.

      I have repeatedly read this statement from you and it
      is entirely WRONG! WRONG! I was raised in a cave by
      wolves without a mother and I have empathy for others. Expand on your statement

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    4. LOL Well, this is from study of Dr Alice Miller and my own experience, which I count more important than any study. As I have more empathy for myself, I have more empathy for the people in my life.

      There is one friend who I am helping her with b/f. At one point, I wanted to say"STOP telling me about every little detail". Then, I pulled back, and realized how much I need people, sometimes. Then, I extended a hand to her, which she really appreciated. This was a direct result of my empathy for myself.

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    5. monica

      I think the word is "respect" not empathy. Empathy
      is "what" you feel inside, immediately when hearing
      of tragic and then you have real emotion and help if
      needed in wanting to show compassion to them; to
      help them carry their burden. "Respect can only be
      shown to others - if you have respect for yourself.
      But I'm sure you will embrace Dr. Miller and your
      experiences, so, I'm not wasting my time.

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    6. I think I get empathy and respect confused.

      I'm not sure I can tell the difference.

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    7. Empathy is: "projected understanding of emotions and
      similar circumstances."

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    8. But... doesn't that require respect?

      The understanding of emotions doesn't necessarily imply that that you share those feelings. To me, I'd have to have some respect for that person/creature/object in order to want to understand their emotions. Or at least respect for the idea of wanting to understand.

      There are several avenues for empathy, it seems.

      As to definitions, the 'offical' ones vary and seem to cover both:

      freedictionary:

      1. Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.
      2. The attribution of one's own feelings to an object.

      1. the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelings See also identification
      2. the attribution to an object, such as a work of art, of one's own emotional or intellectual feelings about it

      the power of entering into another’s personality and imaginatively experiencing his feelings.


      wiktionary:

      1. the intellectual identification of the thoughts, feelings, or state of another person
      2. capacity to understand another person's point of view or the result of such understanding
      3. (parapsychology, science fiction) a paranormal ability to psychically read another person's emotions

      wikipedia:

      Empathy is the capacity to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient being.

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    9. ^I do not have to respect an individual to have empathy for them and there have been times that I surprised myself when they were deplorable: I in turn felt surprised and better about myself.

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    10. I think respect and empathy are two different things--very different. I felt empathy for this girl, as I had recently needed someone to be kind to me when I was needy. The person was and I appreciated it, a great deal. I realized she was needy and needed kindness. That was empathy, on my part.

      Respect would come into play, in a different way, imo.

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    11. That sounds more like a trade (based on respect for her having empathy for you first) than any kind of innate empathy.

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  2. I get irritated and angry when people cry.

    Gore videos do nothing for me. I don't have any fantasies of being some freak chopping up little girls in my basement. I like watching footage of shootings and riots. I love seeing everyone milling about business as usual then all of a sudden everything bursts into chaos.

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    1. I do too, especially when it is that random black woman being overly dramatic, flailing her arms around before collapsing even more dramatically to the floor.

      I am in a business that involves being surrounded by people crying all-the-time. Now instead of getting angry it makes me chuckle or smile. It sounds so fake and funny when they make those sounds.

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  3. Of course people learn empathy: It’s just a question of education in moral codes; moral rules tell us who should we empathize with and who shouldn’t we empathize with: a moral code based on universal human rights prescribes empathy should be exercised on all kinds of people; a moral code based on group identity will prohibit empathy with anyone not belonging to the group. As easy as that. Individual variations are not that meaningful when social trends are clearly determined; they start being taken under consideration when social trends get confused, but the important thing is not what people “declare” they do, but what the actually do, which is often quite different. Without a clear social prescription, most people just can’t tell who they empathize with and under which circumstances. Their accounting on particular cases is meaningless.

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    1. And what about apathic people?

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    2. Who care how they feel? ~

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    3. I actually agree with you here Jose. And your comment is actually relevant! Congrats. I knew you had it in you.

      I've always said that empathy is 100% a learned behaviour, although the imperative to learn it is not, in terms of survival of the species as a group.

      It's an action more than anything. Not a feeling. There are 'feelings' that may or may not accompany it, but like love, it is not a feeling in a of itself.

      And if you break it down enough, the 'feelings' people may have may merely stem from what they have learned, as the body (feelings) and the mind (education, thought) cannot be completely compartmentalized. Perhaps those who get strong 'feelings' that accompany empathy are less capable of compartmentalizing than those without strong feelings.

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    4. Medusa, I disagree with you that empathy is an entirely learnt ability (it's definitely not a behaviour!). I think it’s similar to speech: languages are learnt and are more or less different from each other, but the ability to speak is innate and present in (almost) all humans. Of course, there are people who can’t develop speech, as there are people who can’t develop empathy, but in the first case the consequences are more disastrous.

      So, what came first, the chicken or the egg? The ability to empathize or moral codes (which first appeared in the form of religion)? I incline to say empathy.

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    5. Whenever a tobacco vending machine says “thank you” it is empathising with the client. Empathy is by no means something difficult, we empathize easily with people we don’t know, using ready-made formulations. A common knowledge of what is considered nice and what could be called nasty is enough. We call that civility. It is a very simple building, standing on the simplest conception of how human emotions work.

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    6. Cock Boy for JoseJune 15, 2012 at 2:40 AM

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    7. Alia,

      The ability to speak is not innate, the ability to make noises with the mouth is.

      The ability to make noises with the mouth is NOT to language as the survival of the group/species is to empathy.

      But instead:

      The need to communicate (survive) is to language as the need for group/species survival is to empathy.

      The ability to makes noises with the mouth = trivia, not relevant

      The need to communicate = indirectly innate, mostly because:
      The need for survival = innate

      Language = learned
      Empathy = learned

      Language and empathy are both tools to use to communicate and survive. If you still disagree, then you must believe that animals empathize as well. And it follows that you must think that government is also a form of empathy. And war.

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    8. Okay, I think both you and José need a reminder of what empathy means. Here’s the Oxford Dictionary definition:

      noun
      the ability to understand and share the feelings of another

      How the fuck can government or war be a form of empathy? I don’t see any logic in your last paragraph.

      My analogy with speech was to make you understand that the ability for certain things, like the ability to use a language, or to sing in tune, can’t be learnt. It’s simply there, because of the way the brain is wired. So is empathy. There are neurocircuits in the brain designed for it. An animal can’t develop speech no matter how hard you try to teach it, because it misses the brain wiring for it. Also, like everything else, empathy needs external stimuli to fully develop. That’s the part you perceive as “being learnt”.

      The whole thing with the purpose of empathy is irrelevant. Of course I agree with you it that it was selected because it made the species more successful, but this only proves that it has biological bases and it’s not artificial, or learned. Which is exactly my point.

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    9. Whenever a tobacco vending machine says “thank you” it is empathising with the client.

      Read the fucking definition of empathy, José, and see how bullshitty that affirmation is.

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    10. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another

      I see nothing to preclude having learned this ability. People do this in the theater all the time.

      How the fuck can government or war be a form of empathy?

      Governments define, translate into concrete terms, enact, and enforce social/group mores. If religion does it, as you say, then why not government? They both make the rules and moral/ethical frameworks. Both based on the common goal of morals/group survival and cohesion. Government is just secular religion; in place of faith there's reason (or at least an attempt at it). After all, it wasn't that long ago that the line between government and the church was nonexistent, and to this day remains fuzzy.

      My analogy with speech was to make you understand that the ability for certain things, like the ability to use a language, or to sing in tune, can’t be learnt. It’s simply there, because of the way the brain is wired.

      See, I disagree with this basic premise. You are saying the ability to use (i.e. learn) a language is innate, yes? The ability. Not the language itself. If you are are using this as an correct analogy, then this would imply that the ability to (learn to) be empathetic is innate. The ability. Not the empathy itself.

      Otherwise empathy would have to be a quality. It's not. It's an action, or reaction. In other words, 'ability' is to 'learning language' as 'empathy' is to... what exactly? Empathizing? Isn't that redundant?

      "Because the way the brain is wired" is a weak argument to me.

      In nature, some things are learned. A bird teaches her chick to fly. A bear teacher her cub to fish. A lion teaches the pride who's the new playboy in town. They are not born knowing this stuff; otherwise why would they need to be taught? Why are all children basically severe narcissists when viewed from an adult empathetic standard? Why do we need to remind them over and over for years to 'share'? To not throw hard things at people? To not cry and have a tantrum if their desires are not instantly gratified?

      Why do non-empathetic parents end up with non-empathetic kids? Would you really blame it all on DNA or brain wiring (nature), as if environment (nurture) has no say?

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    11. Empathy lies in the action, not in the feeling; let alone in the genetic disposition to learn it…

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    12. Ok, this is going to be hard. The ability to sing is NOT singing. The ability to understand and share feelings of another is NOT understanding and sharing the feelings of another. This is not truly relevant to my point, but I need to correct faulty logic.

      I didn’t give you the definition as an argument that empathy isn’t 100% learnt, but as an argument that it’s not an action, reaction or behaviour, as you keep saying.

      Governments define, translate into concrete terms, enact, and enforce social/group mores. If religion does it, as you say, then why not government?

      When did I say religion was a form of empathy? I meant that it was a product of a community of people that could empathize, feel together shit, consider the same stuff good or bad.

      The ability. Not the empathy itself.

      Empathy is the ability. See definition.

      Otherwise empathy would have to be a quality. It's not. It's an action, or reaction.

      No, it’s an ability. See definition.

      In other words, 'ability' is to 'learning language' as 'empathy' is to... what exactly? Empathizing? Isn't that redundant?

      The analogy with language isn’t perfect, it’s something I cooked up in 3 minutes to prove the point that empathizing itself is something naturally developed in humans since, well, pre-humans, which has both environmental and neurobiological components. Read some articles if brain wiring is too vague for you; start by googling empathy, neurological basis or empathy, mirror neurons. Speech is similar in this way. Man’s ability to articulate and understand words wasn’t taught by anyone, it just developed, as did his ability to understand feelings.

      And if you really want to dissect the analogy thing and kill it dead, you could think along the lines that people empathize (understand and share the feelings of each other) in different ways and measures, just as they speak in different languages, depending on how they’re taught. And, similarly to how languages evolve and differentiate under various external conditions, so do people’s ways of understanding and sharing certain feelings with each other. But their ability and inclination to speak, just as empathy, are common, and biologically there. I know it’s a long stretch to consider the analogy perfect, but I think you’re smart enough to grasp the general idea.

      Oh, and one can say that birds are taught to fly, but one can also say they are born to fly.

      Would you really blame it [empathizing?] all on DNA or brain wiring (nature), as if environment (nurture) has no say?

      No. That would be as foolish as blaming it all on the environment and external stimuli.

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    13. [...] that empathizing itself is something naturally developed in humans since [...]

      Meant to say empathy. Confusion is contagious and spreading, it seems.~

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    14. Jose you once again grace us with stupidity. A tobacco machine has empathy when it says thank ypu? Are you really that clueless?

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    15. Alia I was pretty stoned when I wrote all that so perhaps I wasn't very articulate.

      I think the truth likely falls somewhere in the middle, and empathy can be innate and/or learned. I found studies that say children as young as two have been shown to display empathy, and that rats display something like empathy as well.

      Perhaps our individual experiences with empathy colors our view of what empathy is. At least it does for me. I suppose it depends on your definition of empathy as well. I think I have a different definition/view of empathy than some. I see it from more of a logical standpoint than from a 'feelings' standpoint, although it seems most people view it from the latter.

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  4. Don’t you think that the birth and maintenance of moral rules in human history are themselves proofs of man’s ability to empathize?

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    1. No. Quite the opposite. If empathy was such an inherent thing for the majority of the population, there wouldn't be much need to give birth to or maintain moral 'rules'.

      Same reason laissez-faire capitalism doesn't really work all that well.

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    2. ...religion

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    3. Laissez-faire capitalism put power in the hands of people with no empathy whatsoever and gave them free reign.

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    4. Way to late for this to mean anything but...
      http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/07/18/two-brain-regions-convey-empathy/27821.html
      and Broca's region in the brain for language acquisition.

      We are hardwired for both language and empathy. We learn specific languages and specific empathic behaviors but the biological imperative and structures are innate in *most* people. There are aphasic people as well as people incapable of empathy.

      I don't know where to find the reference but I believe that Fallon or some other neuroscientist did studies on brain scans concerning word recognition. Empaths have strong brain reactions to words like "rape"; sociopaths have the same reaction to those words as they have to a word like "chair."

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  5. GUYS GUYS GUYS... Let me tell you something. This is the BIG, no the fucking HUGE lie that most young people living today have. That empathy is something you FEEL. It is not. Never has been. Empathy is developed during the stages where logic is formed, just as morals are. Everyone cries for themselves. The loss of a near friend, or a parent. This is self-absorption. How do you relate to the world. How does it relate to you. The thing here is that we actually believe there's something wrong with us. There isn't. Empathy is not something you feel for other people. Empathy will always revolve around how it relates to YOU. Your pain, your suffering. Feeling sad for someone is of course a possible feeling, and feeling pity as well... But truly feeling sad to the point of tears is because it evokes emotion and pain in yourself. Yes everyone can learn to care.

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  6. I’d like to remind the sociopath public about the famous case of Kitty Genovese; this story tells us something about collective lack of empathy in the US, as early as the sixties. Gathering information about the case might suggest that in an urban capitalist society the rules of empathy are not exactly clear and distinct, and its blurredness may lead to outcomes as that of Genovese’s case. On one side, people are not involved in community life and care little or nothing for their neighbours, on the other side, they keep their religious faith and of course know they have to help their fellow citizens if they want to be helped when it’s their turn to need help. Both calls get mixed with each other and the result is lack of action but lots of useless public remorse.

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    1. So famous, I've never heard of it.

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    2. It's called the "bystander effect".

      It's not just the U.S. There's been quite a few stories like this from varying countries.

      Last year in China a two-year old got hit by a van and nobody stopped to help. Then a moment later she was hit by a truck and still nobody helped. The child died.

      Japan has it's own severe empathy issues and confusion as well regarding it's social mores. The hikikomori phenomenon, for instance.

      You talk like this is a new and modern Western thing... no. We see an increase in this sort of behaviour, like you sort of said above, when group mores are in flux, no matter where or when.

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    3. That's some BBC!

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    4. I saw that video. it was like people were seeing a little doll was in the street. The fucked up thing, is that as i was watching it I even thought the kid was like a little doll.

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  7. You learn to care after you lose someone because you didn't show it.

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  8. ¿ARE SOCIOPATHS BETTER POISED THAN ROBOTS IN TERMS OF THEIR PROSPECTS TO INTEGRATE THEMSELVES EFFECTIVELY IN SOCIETY?

    Many research projects are centred on designing robots that could cooperate effectively with humans. No doubt this will require machines to empathize with their human counterparts: they must be able to interact with people in natural ways, and play a pro-active part in joint tasks and decision-making. Society needs robots that can ask questions, discuss and explore possibilities, assess their companion's ideas and anticipate what their partners might do next. Can sociopaths learn empathy better than robots? I think this is an open question.

    Let’s see about customers of a company, can sociopaths understand customers better than robots? I personally don’t think so; for one thing, I doubt sociopaths have a better memory than robots, and without a very good memory and a constant and close attention you will never be able to understand any given customer’s behaviour. If you depend on your “glib charm” and on top of that have shallow emotions it’s highly questionable that you will be able to pay the close attention that any accurate prediction of human behaviour demands, and if you can’t predict behaviour you’d better not say you cooperate effectively.

    The EU-funded JAST project (http://www6.in.tum.de/Main/ResearchJast) (http://www.euprojects-jast.net/) brings a multidisciplinary team together to do just this. The project explores ways by which a robot can anticipate/predict the actions and intentions of a human partner as they work collaboratively on a task. I think sociopaths should take notice and get ready for this new unanimated competence.

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  9. ¿ARE SOCIOPATHS BETTER POISED THAN ROBOTS IN TERMS OF THEIR PROSPECTS TO INTEGRATE THEMSELVES EFFECTIVELY IN SOCIETY?

    Many research projects are centred on designing robots that could cooperate effectively with humans. No doubt this will require machines to empathize with their human counterparts: they must be able to interact with people in natural ways, and play a pro-active part in joint tasks and decision-making. Society needs robots that can ask questions, discuss and explore possibilities, assess their companion's ideas and anticipate what their partners might do next. Can sociopaths learn empathy better than robots? I think this is an open question.

    Let’s see about customers of a company, can sociopaths understand customers better than robots? I personally don’t think so; for one thing, I doubt sociopaths have a better memory than robots, and without a very good memory and a constant and close attention you will never be able to understand any given customer’s behaviour. If you depend on your “glib charm” and on top of that have shallow emotions it’s highly questionable that you will be able to pay the close attention that any accurate prediction of human behaviour demands, and if you can’t predict behaviour you’d better not say you cooperate effectively.

    The EU-funded JAST project (http://www6.in.tum.de/Main/ResearchJast) (http://www.euprojects-jast.net/) brings a multidisciplinary team together to do just this. The project explores ways by which a robot can anticipate/predict the actions and intentions of a human partner as they work collaboratively on a task. I think sociopaths should take notice and get ready for this new unanimated competence.

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    1. No, you are wrong.

      See how easy that was?

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    2. My memory is second to none. You REALLY don't know anything about psychopathy.

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    3. Baths salts maybe

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    4. This raises some interesting questions actually.

      Robots vs Sociopaths, who would win?

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  10. Mee
    Do you want to continue on here, as it is easier than digging through yesterdays posts?

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    1. Suit yourself, I don't care :)
      But I left a message in previous blog post.

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    2. I will look and lets start here, as it is a pain to search, yesterdays x

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    3. Mee
      When you were very little, did you process pain differently from the children around you? For example, if another child hit you, would you just stand there, and not cry. I am referring to that kind of thing.

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    4. Hard to say. When I was very young, I cried if I scratched my knee really bad or badly injured myself in any other way. But if a hit wasn't very hard (child probably couldn't hit me very hard) I didn't cried and had no intention to cry. It depends on the pain level. As I already said, people had seen me crying 2 times, when I was in primary school :)

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    5. So maybe yes, I processed pain differently from the children around me :/

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    6. Well, Mee, so far you sound like my friend who says she was born without empathy. That is my limited experience. x

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    7. And it is exactly what I was saying since the very beggining :)
      So, what's next, if anything?

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    8. How does she know she was born without empathy?

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    9. Well, let me say that she is not a bully. She is not an asshole. She watched other people and how they responded to things such as 9-1-1. She did not feel the same way. She studied about sociopaths and found she fit. She is a fine person: very, very much so. I have trusted her with things that could hurt me. I trust her and I love her.

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  11. When an empath cries in front of somebody crying, they are also crying for themselves. You can´t cry for the other's misfortune. You can relate yourself to it, recreate the feeling inside you, etc. That's all a human can do.
    When an empath is left behind, he cries for the loss of control as well.
    I still have this suspicion that socios are just aware of how things really work. Still not convinced that sociopathy is not plain intelligence.

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  12. Not to take up too much space and be at risk for being called a Narc, I am coming out of this numb.

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  13. Can't get numb if you ignore the posts, and just ad hom those you dislike.

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  14. I have no understanding of this whole: Seeing other people suffer makes me think of my own mortality shit.

    I've seen people use that here often enough, and it confuses me. It sounds like they're are talking about empathy, but trying to make it sound like some logical, self preservation kind of thing.

    I see people die in real life on kind of a regular basis, now that I work on people who are on hospice care. It never makes me think about my own mortality. I'm surrounded by death 5 days a week. It has no effect on me... and I watch plenty of suffering first hand.

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    1. Eden, I definitely agree with you on this one. Working in a hospital, I've seen quite a few people suffering and dying. Never bothered me either, except when we had a really annoying patient and they just kept going and going...

      I think this 'seeing people suffering makes them think of their own mortality' is the reason why practically every person I've worked with has become a hypochondriac. The oncology workers were the worst. And I mean everyone from doctor to dietitian. Every time something is wrong - "oh god, I have cancer, I'm going to die". Unbelievably annoying.

      Once we had a patient who we called 'shark bite'. This diabetic man came in to have a toe removed, but the wound kept getting infected and they had to take more and more off. I first met him when he'd been in for 4-5 months and they'd hacked off up to mid thigh. It was so butchered it really did look like a shark had had a nibble. All the nurses were paranoid about going near him because they might get infected and end up like him. Every paper cut was a tragedy. I never minded looking after him, the wound was fascinating and gloves protected me just fine.

      People get sick, suffer and die. That's life. Seeing their own mortality and becoming paranoid is not going to help them in the least.

      Delete
    2. You must be a great nurse, Green Eyes!

      Delete
  15. NT humans will put themselves in that dying persons shoes, and the strong emotions of fear, pain, rise to the top. They imagine this death happening to them, That is what gets the gears turning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TRUE I do this, totally.

      Delete
    2. Monica 5:42

      Your not Narc your a complete sociopath in every sense of the word.

      Delete
    3. LOL Anon--why am I a sociopath?

      Delete
    4. monica

      In the past I saw you having the characteristics of a
      sociopath and I saw you as evil. And it takes a looooooooong time to change those behaviors - if it
      can be done.

      Delete
    5. haha! Monica as a sociopath? That's the funniest thing I've heard all day! Evil?! haha! Whatever...

      Delete
    6. Eden

      And you take is?

      Delete
    7. My take on what? Monica?

      Delete
    8. Why do you care about my take on her?

      Delete
    9. Okay then. That settles it.

      Delete
    10. Actually, I think I could have become a sociopath, but went numb instead. I think the love my grandmother gave me made it such that I could not hurt people, as a sociopath can. Without my grandmother, I may have become a sociopath, from abuse.

      Delete
    11. Then why do you spend so much time with sociopaths
      and surround yourself in their imput?

      Delete
    12. People are born with predispositions that determine how they will handle things like abuse. You were born weak. When faced with trauma you crumpled.

      Delete
    13. Anon 12:20
      My mother is a Mal Narc which has little empathy. I never knew what was wrong with her. I didn't start to heal until SW. They put up with me, you could say.

      Delete
    14. Ukan
      I had been given too much love by my grandmother to hurt other people. That love was what made me "weak" but I don't call it weak, as I am still glad I made that choice to go numb, as I would prefer it to the other.

      Delete
    15. Everybody knows what your mother is, Monica. You say it like, every day. Don't want Satan to forget either, eh? He likes using your family to keep you in bondage, does he not?

      Delete
    16. Funny you should say that, Eden. My Goth friend just said the same thing.

      Delete
    17. Well I'm no goth. Only a small portion of me is goth. I think it's my right kidney...

      Delete
  16. Blast from the Past
    Theme Song for Medusa

    ReplyDelete
  17. GREAT ARTICLE, THANKS!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think people say a lot to fit in the belief they have of who they are. This person describes himself as not having empathy, yet in the next breath is describing himself being empathetic. Not many people feel empathy for situations people go through in the newspaper. That is not odd. Correct me if I'm wrong empathetic people but you feel situations more closer to home within your emotional grasp or in your face.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jose is beating everyone

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol it's good to know someone is keeping tabs

      Delete
  20. "Not because I felt guilt or empathy"

    You are a stupid bitch. You feel empathy toward yourself, you little faggot, but not toward others, because you are a selfish little fucking pig. You have a physically defective brain actually, dum fuck.

    You aren't even a sociopath at all, you a little faggot-ass wannabe sociopath who feels empathy. A true socio would never be afraid of his own gory death and destruction but would look forward to it, since he feels no pain, but you are a little bitch faggot wannabe sociopath, and you dont fit this bill. So, fuck off and go to hell.

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    ReplyDelete
  21. It’s interesting that the lack of understanding on empathy almost matches the lack of understanding on sociopathy. Empathy is not only the ability to understand what someone else is thinking and feeling (which sociopaths usually do very well), but also the ability to feel compassion for whatever it is that other person is going through.

    Saying that empathy is in its entirety a matter of education (and particularly the compassion component of empathy), and offering as a basis for this claim the fact that we tend to feel compassion for one type of person and be cruel to another, is missing the point.

    The relevant question is whether someone has the actual capacity to feel compassion in the first place, rather than where he directs his compassion towards. The capacity to experience compassion exists to a lesser or larger extent in most people (except sociopaths). But where this compassion is directed towards is another matter, and indeed this can be a matter of education, social pressure, or collective mindlessness.

    It does not mean that just because someone has this capacity he feels it all the time and in every situation he encounters. Human nature is both angelic and rotten and people who show compassion in one situation can be cruel in another. Unless of course they are sociopaths, in which case there is only the one side of that coin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't have the answer, either.

      From what I understand, empathy != compassion

      Although empathy is necessary for compassion.

      Delete
    2. I understand what Yellow is saying. I had empathy with this girl because I put myself in her shoes. She was feeling insecure and wanted someone to be there for her. I pulled myself back and extended kindness. I still think you have to have the grace for yourself, before you can extend it to others, though. It has to be a visceral grace with yourself, not just an intellectual understanding ime

      Delete
    3. My point was not that empathy is the same as compassion, but that compassion is one of two component parts of empathy, the other being the understanding of the emotional world of another.

      I see compassion as part of empathy, rather than the other way around.

      Delete
    4. I see, Yellow. Very well said. I think you nailed it the best of anyone on here.

      Delete
    5. Disagree. You are saying compassion is necessary for empathy, I say empathy is necessary for compassion.

      Delete
    6. I agree with Medusa on this one: empathy is necessary for compassion.

      Delete
  22. Absolutely, I hate people like this asshole. People feel empathy because they can imagine something like that happening to them, or someone, or animal they want to protect, and this is what empathy is. This little fuck feels empathy for himself, and wants to protect himself, but cant extend it to others, and likes it when they get hurt.

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why do you care so much, enough to spend energy on hate for someone you view as worthless?

      Do you get mad at roadkill, too? Or ants? Do you tell at your trash can a lot?

      Delete
    2. "Empathy is not only the ability to understand what someone else is thinking and feeling "

      Wrong. Empathy is simply wanting to protect some human or animal from harm. I save bugs all the time. Do I even have a relationship with them, or know them? No. But I just don't want them hurt, feeling pain, or dead. Why? Because I just want them to live happily, and safely, as a bug should. I feel like there is a sacredness in life as it is a live thing that "feels" fear, pain, death.

      A true socio has no conception of fear, pain, or death, not toward themselves or any other animal, and so they have a "fascination" with it, they want to know more about it. They are colorblind to those emotions. But they know others feel it and they dont, so they dont mind inciting it in others, or using it to manipulate others, they just cant see or feel the seriousness of it. They have a physically malformed brain, that causes this. They are garbage to the gene pool, and should be exterminated.

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      Delete
    3. Who is Finger talking about?

      Delete
    4. Anon 442. Your first paragraph after the quote is a description of compassion.

      Delete
    5. Maybe so, if you want separate it from empathy. Empathy is being able to accurately interpret another's emotions under your own experience of previously having the emotion. Socios don't have "emotions" so they can't do this. They are colorblind to emotion, though they can see behavior of others under the influence of emotion, and can only use that as a reference point to launch attacks, and manipulations. Socios are a freak of nature, cripples, handi-capped fuckups.

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      Delete
    6. They are garbage to the gene pool, and should be exterminated.

      So then you do yell at trash cans.

      Fuck you for existing, trash! Fuck you empty soda can! Fuck you, bag with 2 Doritos left in it! Fuck you, grocery bag flying around! Fuck you, dog turd in the park!

      Delete
    7. Bullshit. Nobody would ever leave 2 doritos in a bag.

      Delete
    8. Wrong. Socios are "actively destructive garbage". Since they can feel a very limited set of emotions, there is nothing stopping them except a bullit or a machete.

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      Delete
    10. Too bad people like you can only talk about killing people. Keep fantasizing cunt. In reality you are nothing but a coward. You're jealous because you are too afraid to carry out your own will. Now you are sitting here acting wounded and tired of bring pushed around. Pathetic.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  24. Don't say "Fuck you" to Zoe. Want to fight? I'll meet you behind the building in 10. Be there or get your fucking ass kicked. You pussy.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Nik is full of shit. Nik thinks all kinds of stupid shit. Nik should just simplify, and stop feeling "bad" about anything at all, except maybe for very brief moments to let herself just to be reminded that shit exists, and to keep her psyche with in a level flying range. So that Nik might enjoy her life, as was mean to be!

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. umm that's Nik Wallenda

      if any of you clowns think you can cross Niagara falls, step right up.

      Delete
    2. I think what the guy in man on a wire did blows this away.

      Delete
  26. I've watched a lot of horrible videos online. I don't like seeing suffering and cruelty in particular, though I have seen this at times in the course of viewing many of them. For me these videos are lessons. They teach that these things can happen, to anyone. No one is special, and even if you do most things right, everything can go wrong in an instant.

    ReplyDelete
  27. what if you are inherently attracted/addicted to pain? Nothing causing permanent injury but the kind of pain there are degrees of and you up your degree just like you do with chili peppers...the more you eat them the more addicting they are and the higher level you need to feel anything.

    You know that pain that turns into euphoria..everyone who likes a hard workout has experienced it. That feeling that you can't go any further, the burn...and then pushing your limit and going further, collapsing afterward only to end feeling euphoric for hours after...

    I guess that is masochism? and no I was not abused as a child, I just always enjoyed pushing my limits physically..I used to be a ballet dancer part time professionally while I was in college. then I discovered masochism.

    Question - is it possible that someone who is a masochist can be somewhat sociopathic in that they only enjoy other people in that they only experience any interest in another if that person fulfills their need for pain. No emotional connection at all except for getting that fix of sadism? I know sociopaths tend to be more the other end of the spectrum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does eating chili peppers ever turn into euphoria? The hard workout thing is due to endorphins etc.

      Sounds like S&M stuff. Sociopaths generally are flexible individuals. They seem to enjoy manipulating and creating peoples experience into something that usually ends with the person not enjoying it.

      Delete
    2. aspie- the chili peppers reference is about degrees of heat..anyone who likes spicy food will tell you that the sense of heat wears away literally (taste buds) the more one eats them..so that your tolerance builds to something normal people who don't eat chili peppers would possibly choke from and certainly not enjoy. I just mean that in order to get that "heat" you need a higher dose almost like a drug...masochism is similar in some ways...at least for me. I used to find certain things shocking until I engaged in them and then they become the norm.. to the point where you need more and more...

      Delete
  28. "No one is special, and even if you do most things right, everything can go wrong in an instant."

    Some fearful people become religious in an attempt to "get protection" from god? from such things. But, even the "kindest people", with the brightest futures of contribution to the world might be instantly put to death "by the universe". Some people just don't get that they only have one life to live and that is "right now". Tomorrow death make be lurking there.

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    ReplyDelete
  29. "I guess that is masochism? and no I was not abused as a child"

    No, you are a fuck bait. Some versions of pain can be pleasure, but I assure you other versions are far from it. Therefore your idea is full of shit.

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    ReplyDelete
  30. what part of my idea is full of shit? that masochists can be sociopaths? I mean in limited circumstances not all day..day in and day out things maybe just the opposite. In fact in my every day interactions I could give a s*** about other people and will always take and do what i want..within reason of course I don't want to end up in jail;) but sexually I like to have the tables turned on me a bit maybe it's a role I enjoy because it's so different from my other role I play every day in the real world...
    I guess I am playing so many roles and yet the one true role i do connect with is physically i understand what I like, emotionally I have no idea...I mostly feel boredom so my emotions are tied up with needing stimulus or otherwise I can get almost depressed.

    Emotionally i guess I enjoy games, ones in which I say certain things to get people worked up, annoyed, arguing, fighting each other while I'm the innocent bystander;) or playing the naive girl while watching with a cold eye how someone thinks they are playing me while I am deep down always in control..I selectively let go, at certain times of course if I want to win then i throw in some bitchy, sadistic behavior along with the "sweet" "vulnerability" factor just to keep them off balance.

    If I were a man who met me i would think women were totally incomprehensible...and i am purposefully that way because I like watching the confusion...

    ReplyDelete
  31. "that masochists can be sociopaths?"

    First, some pain will knock your ass out cold. Other, mild pain is enjoyable. True masochism is hypothetical due to "evolution".

    As far as enjoying mild pain, that is common. I myself when drunk have asked bitches to slap me hard, just because I wanted to "feel something" intense.

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    ReplyDelete
  32. "Emotionally i guess I enjoy games"

    This seems to be just crappy little manipulations, an amusing little waste of time, seeing how "much I can get people goat". It is a corny way to soend time.

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finger - it sounds like some socio woman really hurt you bad ;) lol

      Delete
    2. finger - let me guess..an ex fiance who gave you back the ring and you are still not over her? am I close?

      Delete
    3. Chanel Rulton, by chance?

      Delete
  33. Finger, I spend my time getting people like you angry so that they land here or on lovefraud fantasizing about killing sociopaths but too pussy to do anything. There's nothing like people bottling up rage until they are just seething with it all because I exist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UKan -I think it's so ridiculous, hilarious and pathetic actually..love it how worked up they get!

      Delete
    2. UKan, what do you get out of that?

      Delete
    3. pure entertainment..

      Delete
    4. So you experience gratification/satisfaction because others are angry due to some interaction with you.

      So you enjoy making others angry or seeing it occur as a result of your contribution.

      Delete
  34. I feel mostly numb..not in a bad way just in a bored way...nice guys bore me crazy..bad guys don't. I can respect someone who is in touch with what they want and goes after it with no excuses just pure desire to get it without regard to anyone else's feelings, thoughts emotions.etc. ...I don't think I can nor do I ever strive to "change" the bad guy as so many silly women attempt to do;) since 99.9% of the time you can never change anyone's true nature. I am also a realist so I always keep the nice guy around who will take "good" care of me;) In fact because i see myself in certain types of men I wouldn't want to end up with them because a part of me understands them a little too well. I can compartmentalize very well and truly like many different people at the same time I never really feel guilt or shame I do as I please and that's how I like it:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eden:) are you mocking me lol? I've tried to do the "normal" but have come to realize I can never be...you can't change who you are deep down it's always there;)

      Delete
    2. numb is always somewhat bad though right? not able to feel? is bored numb or just dissatisfied and not stimulated?

      nice guys bore you crazy but they take care of you...

      you respect someone who goes for what they want, no excuses, without regard to anyones feelings...

      sounds lovely.

      sounds like something to have an empathy poll with

      Delete
    3. Yes. I am mocking you. :)

      Delete
    4. Sounds like you are full of shit. You like bad guys because you suck at relationships. End of story.

      Delete
    5. nope i am really really good at relationships..unfortunately I get bored...

      I wonder why you guys are getting so angry and annoyed?

      Delete
    6. What makes you suspect anyone is getting angry or annoyed?

      Delete
    7. isn't it possible to be "perfect" at playing a role but bored in that role? Don't you ever feel that way when dealing with people who don't have a clue about what you're really like deep down? or are you really honest about yourselves to the people surrounding you? be honest Medusa and Eden. do you come out and tell your so called "friends" "boyfriends" that you think you may be sociopathic? did you come out of teh closet so to speak;)?

      Delete
    8. I don't think I may be sociopathic.

      Delete
    9. You're not a sociopath. You are a masochist.

      And no, they are not the same thing. At all. You just can't deal with how bad being a victim makes you feel, so you give yourself a name that makes you the opposite of a victim.

      Delete
    10. what if I love playing the victim;) and other times the aggressor..what if I love switching between my roles just to feel something different...

      Delete
    11. So now you are changing your story, since I brought in the 'victim' word? Suddenly you are a switch.

      LOLZ

      Delete
    12. well what did you think I meant when i say I like to have nice guys around to take care of me? just because i don't spell it out doesn't mean it's not self evident.. do you think that i am not playing the aggressor in the sense that I have them trained to do what i want and I know how to deal with them?

      YOu don't need to beat someone up to be the aggressor..there are different ways, emotional, psychological, etc. more nuanced and manipulative..

      Delete
    13. I switch but deep down i enjoy the masochist part more..purely on a selfish, physical level I like being with someone in control and losing control myself knowing the person who has it is worth giving it up to...If this makes me weak in your eyes so be it;) but you should try it sometime..you will be amazed how much power a man will give up to a woman whom he believes he is control of.

      Delete
  35. Here's to the bad guys. Everyone loves a winner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But why date one. Why not just be one if she think it's so great. Or go fuck daddy already.

      Delete
    2. medusa - why date one? go fuck daddy? lol;) so everything has to be psychology 101..

      I am a little surprised by your naivety actually

      Delete
    3. I am..you seem like a very intelligent woman really. Isn't it possible to prefer someone strong, powerful, ruthless to someone "nice" and not blame it all on the "daddy" issues? i would say this describes most power couples really.

      Delete
    4. I'm not convinced that you know the difference between a strong man and a 'bad boy'. You seem to believe that they are always the same thing.

      'Power couples' Lol. Grandiose, are we? What are you even talking about? Do you have any power? Sounds to me like you don't from what you've said so far.

      You sound like a perfect match for Donald Trump.

      Delete
    5. Medusa - as to the question of do I have any power? do any of us really? power is all an illusion anyway it can be lost in a second by anyone at anytime. we're only human really...but I have confidence in myself I am a corporate attorney I enjoy tough negotiations and I like getting the upper hand sometimes in underhanded ways;) whatever works is the motto I live by...

      Delete
  36. I guess even nice guys have an inner bad guy if they are successful.. I'm not sure that I know any really "nice guys" (aka losers with no ambition, means to make money,etc.)..I wonder if my idea of nice guys is skewed...maybe because i prefer the ones bordering if not outright sadists definitely doms..the nice ones or the ones I define as nice maybe are really the guys other women think are assholes but I can keep under control because I've dealt with worse?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you have a fucked up idea of what a 'nice guy' is.

      There's a huge difference between a nice guy and a spineless loser.

      Delete
    2. I don't know Medusa..I think all men are the same deep down...don't fool yourself into thinking there are "special" nice guys out there...they are just the weaker ones who can't get what they want and have no power (money, career, intellect, etc.)

      Ukan what do you think? Is there really such a thing as a nice guy who isn't that way because he is either powerless, just making up for something else he is lacking or is just putting on an act?

      Delete
    3. I guess it depends on what you mean by 'nice'.

      Delete
    4. I think it's funny how some people can't have a thought without UKan's approval. Lol.

      Delete
    5. Ukan what do you think?

      Bingo. Just as I thought...
      You're that girl.

      Delete
    6. ;) that girl? can you provide more color?

      Delete
    7. Co-dependent.

      Daddy daddy please tell me how to think. You are god. Let me be in your power couple.

      Delete
    8. Medusa - you seem like a disapproving prude...are we living in horse and buggy ages where I am being too "bold" "forward";)or is it feminist times where we should hate men? lol...I am not asking for approval just addressing people here about their comments and opinions...is it only females I can address without being labeled as "seeking approval" or a whore? ;)

      Delete
    9. LOLZZZZZZ.

      "Too bold"

      Fucking LOLLLLLZZZZZ

      You read too much Jezebel, don't you.

      "People hate me because I'm too strong for them to handle"

      LOLLZ

      Delete
    10. You are so bold that you've only ever dated spineless losers without a job... so bold you are.

      Delete
    11. you've only dated spineless losers without a job?

      medusa - you are obviously really ticked off about something..you don't know me why are you so upset? how would you know whom I've dated? why would it even matter to you? I never claimed I dated Donald Trump just that I am attracted to powerful, intelligent, ambitious men...why is that bothering you so much? Most women are by the way attracted to powerful men there is nothing new under the sun in this. you seem to take my statements about my preferences personally..it's weird

      Delete
    12. I think you're the one getting upset, anonymous. We're just having a conversation with you.

      Delete
    13. I am personally affronted by delusional people.

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      Not really. Just bored tonight.

      You sound like someone who is attracted to narcissists. I used to have that problem, as everyone knows.

      Delete
    14. maybe..but I can't stand a guy who puts effort into his appearance or at least I see put effort into it..total turn off. someone who puts effort and is narcissistic about his career is a different ball game though..that is really attractive to me even if he is full of himself as long as he has reason to be.

      Delete
    15. I used to be a ballerina, too. Now I just hit delusional people over the head with my pointe shoes.

      Delete
    16. someone who puts effort and is narcissistic about his career is a different ball game though..that is really attractive to me even if he is full of himself as long as he has reason to be.

      Yeah, but that's exactly the same kind of guy who makes a terrible partner. Have you ever dated one of these guys that you say you want for any length of time?

      Delete
    17. Eden - I am really not upset at all just taken aback that you guys are so judgmental...not sure what I said that makes me appear to be seeking approval or have daddy issues. Can't a woman like s&m and still be strong..must she only be into the "s" part of the equation to be respected because in your opinion all else is weak? Isn't it the most difficult thing to admit when one likes the "m"? I think it takes great honesty with oneself and inner strength.

      Of course it doesn't really matter to me what anyone thinks anyway..but I would have thought here two intelligent, strong women like you would not be so hostile to a differing point of view.

      Delete
    18. lol Medusa you too:) do you miss ballet? and yes I was in several relationships with the guys I described they were all interesting is my point..yes at times they were a little sick perhaps...but I enjoyed that too;) I have no regrets..i will never wonder oh but what if....I definitely enjoyed myself to the fullest..

      Delete
    19. I don't care if people are into S&M. Only I think most people in that scene delude themselves as to why they are in it. I know that most in the scene will disagree... of course they will. You are deluded because you clearly have no self-respect about your role, which is why you are calling yourself a sociopath.

      You said it yourself:

      Can't a woman like s&m and still be strong..must she only be into the "s" part of the equation to be respected because in your opinion all else is weak

      You have shown already that you believe this yourself. You defend your masochism by pretending temporarily that you are a sadist.

      Of course it doesn't really matter to me what anyone thinks anyway

      Uh huh. That's why you need UKan's approval.

      If you wanna see a real S&M girl, check out that new chick in the forums who only speaks in 3rd person.

      Delete
    20. do you miss ballet?

      Yes. It was my first love. Sometimes I still do it in the kitchen whilst waiting for my coffee to brew.

      Funnily, I have this fear of feet. I think they are disgusting. But a ladies foot in a toe shoe on relevé is like some kind of crazy fetish for me.

      yes I was in several relationships with the guys I described they were all interesting is my point..yes at times they were a little sick perhaps

      How did they end?

      Delete
    21. in drama..lol;)
      to be fair there were a couple old guys I was involved with..but it wasn't a "daddy" issue thing...

      Delete
    22. Eden - I am really not upset at all just taken aback that you guys are so judgmental...not sure what I said that makes me appear to be seeking approval or have daddy issues.

      I haven't even given you my opinion about you. So why are you assuming that Medusa and I share the same opinion?

      Delete
  37. Medusa - I don't care to sit here and have some dumb fight. To prove something here is silly it means nothing anyway. I was just throwing out some thoughts..truth is until you walk in someone else's shoes you have no idea how they feel, what they think, or how they react to the things that would make you feel like a victim, bad about yourself, etc. some people see it as a challenge, others as a rush, it doesn't fit into a neat category and i can't explain it to you just as I can't explain the high of cocaine to someone whose never tried it...it is what it is....there's a reason people like it and it's not because they are all "victims" looking for "approval"...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to destroy that part inside of you

      Delete
  38. I guess I am not sleeping yet, there is a random convo about s&m, unless I missed this as well :(

    ReplyDelete

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