How can you be loyal if you are a sociopath? I ask because I'm reading a lot about sociopaths and recovery from pathological relationships. And reading that being unfaithful is one characteristic.My response:
Good question. I actually think it is very easy for a sociopath to be loyal. In some ways it's easier for them than it is for an empath to be loyal. To be truly loyal, you have to adopt a certain reality. For instance, to be patriotic you have to be "my country, right or wrong" (to take the popularly misquoted, and I think more accurate version). People loyal to Hitler had to drink the Kool-Aid, had to adopt his reality, his world view, his everything. If they didn't, then when the going got tough, they would betray him. Is that loyalty? I don't think so. But sociopaths can be this loyal if they choose. They have such a flexible sense of self and an ability to compartmentalize that together allow them to adopt your reality or Hitler's reality or really anything they want to believe. Why would we want to do it? I don't know, why not? For me, as I said, I use it when I am trying to maintain an interpersonal relationship.
I'm not saying empaths can't be loyal. There are probably more loyal empaths than sociopaths, even per capita. I'm just saying being a sociopath doesn't preclude the possibility of displaying incredible amounts of loyalty, particularly for the "favorites" that we have chosen. There's pretty much nothing I wouldn't do for some of my loved ones -- literally. I know empaths say that a lot, but I think it's obvious why that might be even more true for a sociopath friend.