Thursday, July 10, 2014

Empathizer

From a reader:

Hello!

First I have to say that I found your book absolutely fascinating. 

Now, to start with, I've done plenty of my own research, asked my therapist various questions, dropped casual questions about their observations of my various behaviors to friends and family, and I've come to the conclusion that, while I am not diagnosable as a sociopath due to a lack of recorded juvenile delinquency, very few relationships, and no police encounters, I decidedly identify with a higher level on the antisocial spectrum.

You talk in your book about how sociopaths don't "tap into" true human emotion, and that part of the condition is that we have to work in order to understand social currents. A reply you highlighted on your website said we are different "in the sense that they do not comprehend normal emotional responses and connections."

I've always understood human emotion. I'm brilliant at reading facial expressions, changes in posture, word choice, and I don't find it too difficult to empathize, though only ever for a brief time (about 10 seconds, or however long it takes me to successfully get a grasp on how the other person is feeling in order to properly respond,) and then it's as if I slip out of the emotional persona and back into my usual self with the understanding of the mechanics and nuances of that state of mind. Isn't this comprehension? And, more importantly to me, does this put me outside of the range of an antisocial personality, despite the rest of the traits accurately describing me? 

This question has been the greatest road block in my being able to accept my own (probable) identity as a sociopath. Everything else about sociopathy rings true to me, but my ability to understand and experience emotion confounds my ability to truly identify.

If you have time I'd love your opinion on it.

My response:

This is an interesting question. I'm not sure I really understand what the difference is either. But here's a story that I think illustrates it ok. Recently I was with my father, someone that I believe could probably be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. He was talking to an employee of his and was joking around about how he has chickens and you can eat chickens but his grandchildren just got kittens, and can you eat kittens? I knew that the lady he was talking to had a dog and a cat and had just gone back home during the lunch hour because she was worried that the HVAC system in her home wasn't working properly and they might be uncomfortable (she told me the whole story), so I was like 94% sure that she would not think his joke was funny and pretty sure she might actually be horribly offended. So I understood and predicted her emotional reaction better than he did. I've also been around empath types who get so caught up in their own emotions and their own issues that they lose track of their ability (or choose not?) to identify with others. And they say that people with autism have affective empathy but not cognitive? And sociopaths are opposite? So I guess I don't really understand what people mean by empathy. I certainly am able to identify people's emotions. And often I do that by sort of imagining myself in their shoes. And I think that's cognitive empathy, but it's hard for me to understand how affective empathy would be any different. 

What do you think? Should we publish exchange on the blog and see what other people have to say?


132 comments:

  1. Identifying and predicting emotional responses, and feeling it, are handled differently neurologically (if you are curious about the details, read Cox et al. (2012) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427869/ ). The two kinds of empathy, cognitive (identifying) and affective (feeling), use different regions of the brain. Deficits in regions associated with sociopathy do not primarily affect cognitive empathy, but affective empathy.

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    1. http://www.danielgoleman.info/three-kinds-of-empathy-cognitive-emotional-compassionate/

      Interesting, about the differences between "cognitive empathy", "emotional empathy" and "compassionate empathy".

      Cognitive empathy is gained by observing and learning from people. Then like in chess, when you make a move you can predict your opponents move. This kind of empathy is just the deduction of ones emotional reaction. It is not sorta being in his shoes, no misunderstanding.

      Emotional empathy is caused by the presence in the brain of the mirror neuron system which allows in certain cases and (I think) with the participation of the will an empath the actually feel exactly the same emotional response as another person. So basically, they live in real time what another person is living emotionnally.
      Like me, funny cause I cried when my ex-sociopath girlfriend faked crying about how she felt so hurt about her best friend (which I never had a proof of his existence) loving her, but she doesnt love him and he suffer and blah blah blah... Well now im discarded so its in the past. And I cried cause for me seing her cry made me sad, well and that was her way to actually make me weaker and sleep with me then, tear me apart emotionnaly YEPEEE XD ! Nah, really I am suffering -_-

      Compassionate emotion...well I dunno what it is I didnt finish reading the article :)

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  2. So what the reader experiences is only cognitive empathy, and it's possible that her affective empathy is deficient, and therefore it's possible for her to be sociopathic?

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    1. While it is possible, that by itself is not enough. The same paper notes that it is also an indicator with other disorders and affects. This means that while sociopaths lack affective empathy, a lack of affective empathy does not necessarily indicate sociopathy. A proper diagnosis requires face-to-face analysis and a review of their history of behavior by a trained professional.

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    2. And yet, even though they say that diagnoses requires a history of juvenile behavior problems, etc, this not always the case. There have been instances of a person being diagnosed without necessarily having the conduct disorders that supposedly have to be present - because if the sociopath grew up in an environment that either made this impossible for them or, even at a young age, the kid realized that committing that act would cause them a whole host of other problems, conduct disorders would be mute. That doesn't necessarily exempt a person from being diagnosed as a sociopath if they fit all the other criteria.

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    3. "A proper diagnosis requires face-to-face analysis and a review of their history of behavior by a trained professional."

      I think everyone here pretty much understands this, but it isn't a particularly helpful comment. My guess is that most people here aren't interested in getting formally diagnosed, which is why they are reaching out and seeking answers in a forum like this.

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    4. The formal requirements for diagnosis is a disclaimer, due to the inherent seriousness of personality disorders. Curiousity for it is perfectly fine, but it is not something to embrace or reject rashly. There are real world implications to be mindful from it.

      As for needing a previous diagnosis of conduct disorder, you are right in not needing it. It is however an indicator - just one out if many. It adds to the history component.

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  3. The following article seems to describe what your reader experiences and seems in line with what I have observed in people I believe to be psychopaths.

    http://www.livescience.com/38421-psychopaths-feel-empathy-when-they-try.html

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  4. How apropos; I was going to write in about this myself. I am certainly on the sociopath spectrum. Maybe not diagnosable because of affective empathy, but I am definitely right up there.

    I do seem to have affective empathy though, but only with people and in situations that I care about. Those outside that circle don't get much emotion from me, one way or the other, unless I'm trying to charm them. I can be charming, or so I'm told, but generally I shy away from social situations. I don't like wearing masks, and most people bore me.

    I tend to help those less fortunate than I even when not asked, though I can't say I derive joy from it, nor is it a sense of obligation. I often don't tell people of times when I do such "good" things, mostly because I don't really care how people see me. I do it because the person needs it, and I can provide it at no real cost to myself. Occasionally I do get a benefit, in the form that if by chance there is some stranger as a witness that ends up complimenting me on it and extolling my virtues, I derive some humor from it. "If only you knew that I could tear you apart, have you buried, be home in time for dinner and sleep well after all the exercise."

    I've seen a shrink twice in life. The first, when forced as a teen, I quickly conned. The second, much later in life, and by choice I simply kept things compartmentalized, didn't mention certain things and kept the conversation restricted to the domain that I had a query about. Their opinion agreed with what I already suspected, so I was content and got the hell out of there. Heh.

    The idea of a sociopath having "weak urges and even weaker restraint" certainly fits for me. I have urges for very little, but when I get an impulse I nearly instantly satisfy it. I've always had a low sex drive, except with females that are especially dominant. There, the opposition is what turns me on and I'm voracious. The power struggle usually gets to be too much for them, though, so it has never lasted. I've had long term relationships with submissive females, and had them last for quite some time. I get bored, but since they let me get away with so much, my indifference comes into play and as long as they don't trifle with me and complain things are fine. The power dynamic of easy manipulation typically bores me. Winning isn't much of a rush for me, but when the opponent is worthy of my time I love the game, win or lose.

    What I'm wondering is if there is a way to cultivate this affective empathy more? I get it in fleeting glimpses, I guess. My main reason for wanting to do so is that I suspect it will help me desire to be more social. Maybe with a heightened ability to empathize, I'll get more out of social interaction with typical people.

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    1. I am only guessing at this, but I suppose if you force yourself to get more involved into the conversation and the topic at hand that you might stimulate affective responses. By forcing yourself to care about the subject material. I don't know how you do that, but if you can trick yourself, it might work?

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    2. Possibly. The trouble I have there is that I am rather intelligent comparative to the norm. I know this intellectually. Emotionally, I tend to consider myself as average I guess you could say. Or rather, I tend to see myself as the baseline. When conversing with people less intelligent than myself on any substantive topic, as soon as I realize they are far less intelligent than I, something clicks and its almost like I start seeing them as another species. Right about then is when the contempt starts rising up, unless they are very submissive and allow themselves to be swayed, convinced, or to bow their heads so to speak. I should point out that knowledge of factoids and education doesn't play into this; rather it is very much a matter of me observing their thought process as deficient.

      For example, recently I read an article about how a picture of Steven Spielberg posing with a "dead dinosaur" for Jurassic Park went viral and elicited vitriol from people online who were, somehow, convinced that he had shot and killed the animal. This elicited a visceral, sickly response in me. Not so much anger, as disgust and contempt. Embarrassment, even, that I should be considered the same species as these "people."

      I get this same sort of thing when socializing, but typically not to the same degree. At that point, I mainly either fall into a mode where I toy with them, tease them in ways they aren't even aware of, manipulate them into believing something I know to not only be a lie, but a ridiculous lie. Or, I retreat from the conversation before my blood starts boiling. One of my favorite times was when I was conversing with this particularly stupid fellow. I started laying down innuendo that he was stupid, but never directly of course. At one point, he decides to straight out ask me "Excuse me, but are you saying that I'm stupid?" to which I replied "No, no.. of course not. I just met you, so how could I make that judgement? It would be dumb to jump to a conclusion so quickly." That still brings a smile to my face.

      With those that I gauge as intelligent, especially those that surprise me with turns of phrase, wit, or logic none of this occurs.

      Even with people I care about, my affective empathy and responses are certainly lacking, and have been told so over the years, not that it ever elicited a response or caused me any distress. My interest in finding a way to cultivate it with strangers is first to be more comfortable in typical social situations, and also I suspect it will help relationships with people that I do care about. Only recently have I begun looking to add a new trick or two to my arsenal, and it is of course out of self-interest. But if others get some benefit from that which benefits me, this is a good thing.

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    3. What Anonymous (the first one in this comment string) is discussing sounds like a form of sociopathy - having never met this person I can't say for sure, but from the comment, it sounds an awful lot like disempathic sociopathy. At least, the part about affective empathy towards a close few seems to fit. I myself am one of these - it means we can connect (at least on some level) to a small number of people who we become attached to. As for the rest of the population, I experience cognitive empathy - it's what allows me to read people - but I don't experience any feelings as a result of it. The fact that I am capable of bonding with a small number of people allows me to experience affective empathy (well, to a certain degree anyway) towards this group - but only this group. This bond is neither easily nor quickly created (and until it is, I couldn't care less about the person or their problems unless it would somehow benefit me - ie. the usual drill, with no emotional attachment whatsoever and no affective empathy. In this case, "caring" doesn't mean emotional involvement, it means taking an interest in the person in relation to whatever it is that I want). But once an actual connection is present, I don't use those close to me like I do with other people and "caring" carries with it affective empathy. I was surprised at first to find out about this type of sociopath - having always thought that I couldn't be a sociopath because I care about at least a few people - but once diagnosed as such, things made a lot more sense. I had always identified as a sociopath, but thought I must not really be one (I know that was always what my parents would hang their hats on). As a result, I knew I was different, but I couldn't find a reliable reason why until I was told by a psychologist what my diagnosis is.

      It should be noted, however, that I really have no idea how doing helpful things for random people for no apparent reason fits in to the profile of a didempathetic sociopath. I'm not one to help others unless I have a reason for doing so, and therefore it never really occurred to me to find out if what you're talking about would fit into the diagnosis. It doesn't necessarily rule it out, but unfortunately, I haven't found much in the way of information on disempathetic sociopathy other than what I've been told by professionals in relation to myself, so I can't really tell you if this fits you or not. It's possible that there's not much out there about it because it's not a very common type of sociopath. Or, it's possible that it's just not a very interesting version for normal people to talk about - it would fly in the face of the view of us as monsters if it's acknowledged that some of us can - on occasion - care about another person.

      It should also be noted that self-preservation would probably take precedence in a serious matter, but thankfully having never dealt with one of these situations, I can't tell you exactly how I would react. It's very unlikely I would sacrifice myself, though. The difference is, I might feel a pang of guilt if I cared about the person involved. I don't know - I've never had the guilt problem. I may know that I'm supposed to feel bad about something I've done, but I just don't.

      As a matter of curiosity open to anyone who can answer, what does guilt feel like? It's not a problem I've ever had to contend with. What does it do to the person experiencing it? I know it isn't something I would ever want to experience, and from what I've observed, it seems rather debilitating.

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    4. Ah... guilt
      I can probably talk about guilt... I was raised a Catholic :-)

      I imagine guilt feels a lot to me like boredom feels to you. Excruciating boredom. Guilt is also excruciating or at the very least it is a very nagging feeling. When you are bored, you feel like doing something, anything to relieve it, is that right?

      When you feel guilt in its purest form, you have the same kind of urge, but to do something very specific: you need to do the one thing that will right the wrong that you have done.

      I have an example, thought perhaps you don't need one. When I was 15, I stole a Mars bar from a stand. I use to walk by that stand everyday on my way to and back from school. I felt so guilty that evening and the following day(s?) - ‎I don't remember how many days, and it most likely affected my sleep- that I had to buy another Mars bar and surreptitiously return it to the stand. The guilt did not quite disappear after I replaced the stolen item, but it did feel better. The thing is, you feel the guilt even if nobody knows about what you have done.

      There is also guilt that arises from things that you say to people, and from actions that can never be undone. This guilt is obviously harder to assuage. ‎Once you have hurt a person, there is usually very little you can do to make it completely right. As I told my sociopath friend several times, the past never goes away. You can try to make it right, but you know the other person has lost some of the trust they had in you. I think that is one of the main chinks in a sociopath armor/mask. They have a very tough time understanding how their lies, words, actions permanently affect the way people view them, permanently being the operative word. They can know it intellectually, but they don't have that "guilt" safety net that most people rely upon.
      When people talk about sociopaths being "evil", it is not exactly because of their lies and their deeds, it is because they lack the guilt that will prevent them from doing the same thing again and that will curb their lying.

      I would love to hear others comment in guilt.

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    5. Why would a sociopath help a random person for no reason? The only reason I can think of would be to appear altruistic to surrounding people, but that in itself is a reason. True altruism seems ridiculous from that perspective. It's an unnecessary waste of resources and effort.

      As for guilt, that is an interesting description. Thank you, that is useful to know. Previous descriptions written by authors have described the sensation as a "pain in the heart", but this one has more details to the sensation. I am guessing most people feel the sensation of guilt the same way, but just to check, does anyone here experience it differently?

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    6. I think the closest thing I have ever had to guilt is anxiety that I might get caught. Depending on the severity of the consequences and the likelihood of getting caught (or having actually been caught) that anxiety can be quite acute. But if I get away with something, usually the anxiety fades pretty quickly.

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    7. Bob: re: Helping a random person for no reason. It depends on the situation of course, but for interest's sake perhaps? Some random act may pass the time in a pleasurable or unique way. An unusual example, if you're having a really boring day and you pass someone gravely injured on the roadside, helping them may be exciting, or stimulating just to see if you can save their life. Though I suppose hurting them some more might be equally or more attractive to some...

      I think Hieronymous Bot sums up my experience of guilt pretty well. Though I'd also identify with the knot in the stomach Bob talks about (I guess that's the same as a pain in the heart, unless it actually means a physical cardiac pain but surely that can't be right)

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    8. The knot in the stomach? I associate it with fear or apprehension, not necessarily guilt, though there can be an element of anxiety in guilt for me also, and anxiety is related to apprehension and fear.
      Is anxiety a feeling that most sociopath can identify with? I thought not

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    9. Helping someone on the side of the road would be stimulating, but that too would be for a selfish reason (instead of, say, charity or compassion?)

      As for anxiety, I have been concerned before, enough to think deep and long on how to act next. Like ruminate. I guess that might count.

      I never got the whole "knot in your stomach" thing . That sounds like a weird sensation.

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    10. Why would a sociopath help a random person, and is it wasted resources and effort?

      Well, first I rarely go out of my way to help. If I happen to pass someone in need, and I happen to have a bit of cash on me, I'll give it to them. I don't volunteer or work at a shelter. I don't recall ever even crossing the street. So, the effort in as much as it is any effort is rather literally to reach into my pocket if I happen to pass by homeless person on the street. As for the resources, we're talking pocket change, maybe small bills. Never sums that put me out in any real way, and having loads of change around the house is a chore to deal with anyhow.

      I've thrown change away, literally into the garbage. I don't have an attachment to money. I view money as the carrot, as opposed to prison which is the stick. I resent both mechanisms of control. Obviously, I do allow my behavior to be controlled to avoid the possibility of prison, or try to and I do work to get money so that I can enjoy some comforts in life. But I don't have a lust for money, and in a way I suppose giving it away and throwing it away is perhaps a type of ritual that allows me to maintain that detachment, if you will. I've never really thought about it in that way, but thinking back and analyzing, that's the best I can come up with. I'll try to analyze how I think/feel about the situation more next time I'm actually in it.

      I don't feel bad for the person. I don't feel good for helping them. I simply do it, because I choose to. I recognize, cognitively, they are in a shitty situation. If I were in that situation, I'd appreciate some coins. I don't want the coins I have, particularly. Seems logical enough, to me.

      I say rarely go out of my way to help, because I have gone out of my way to help. I've volunteered at a shelter, on Christmas. My motivation was to have a more meaningful Christmas. I chose to make it about something more than the superficial commercialism. Again, I didn't feel any particular way about it. I could have just as easily not celebrated Christmas at all.

      There is something deeper that I feel for the homeless, though. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I had a discussion with a homeless man when I was very young in which I asked him what the hardest part of being on the street was. His answer surprised me, and stuck with me. I was expecting something tangible and physical. The weather. Lack of food. Violence at the hands of criminals. Something like that. But he said the hardest part was that people don't see you as human, and after awhile you don't feel human anymore. That struck a chord deeply with me. In this sense, I suppose you might say that I tend to see the homeless as closer to me than a random typical person.

      Logically, I believe in the golden rule in the sense that the net effect for people in general, and therefore myself in particular, would be better if everyone adhered to it, so therefore I try to adhere to it. When I fail, I feel no guilt, even if I fail horribly. At least in how people outside my circle are treated.

      Inside my circle is different. If I hurt someone inside my circle, I feel guilt. Or at least, I assume it is guilt. I experience a type of sadness, and a feeling of failing myself and someone I care about.

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    11. OldAndWise: Well I suppose that's more of an accurate description anyway, since it only happens to me on anticipation of being found out, which is quite childish I suppose. Once again, I catch myself at being young and foolish :)

      Bob: True, but I wasn't trying find an example of an altruistic action. Call me cynical but I don't believe in true altruism; there's always something in it for the helper, even if it's just them feeling good about themselves for helping someone, avoiding guilt etc.

      The knot in the stomach is somewhat similar to the sensation of hunger you get after not having eaten all day. The thing that strikes me as odd is, for me at least, it often occurs when I don't have any such thoughts of concern, anxiety etc. It's like a physical reaction without any emotional content to back it up.

      Look at us all, comparing notes on our feelings. So cute.

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    12. I suppose from an outside perspective it would be.

      So it actually feels like that. Then I guess I haven't experienced it, as I am fairly sure I would remember a sensation like that. In situations where I "should" feel anxious, I do get a bit of an adrenaline rush. I figured that was the physical manifestation of anxiety at work, but I guess I was wrong. It must be excitement or something similar - I'll have to pay more attention the next time it happens. This is obviously different.

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    13. Yes, it is cute. It is also useful to the sociopaths on this site. Those are questions they can hardly ask the real people in their lives. I am pretty sure some view this site as a bit of a research lab. A relatively safe one. I think M.E. Probably does as well. And we, the non-sociopaths are their rats. Is that helping them to be more lethal or it is helping them better integrate and create less damage? Probably both. Perhaps it is even helping some to develop or to want to develop an internal life that is less intellectual and analytical... Well, perhaps not, but one can dream.
      I can understand why the sociopaths are on this site. And the sociopath wannabes... the ones that think they are sociopaths because it is easier and sexier to think that way than to realize they are just assholes. But what really interests me is why the so called empaths are here. In my mind, their reasons are much more diverse and intriguing. Some have been through hell and back. Some are still in hell and don't know how to get back. Some have found a way to enjoy hell, perhaps seeing it as a useful experience. And there are the professionals. The writers, the psychiatrists, the philosophers, the life students. And the people that have a related personality disorders. People who work with a sociopath. People who have family and friends that are sociopaths. Many other reasons I am sure. Life and people are so fascinating.

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    14. Woah, man, deep!
      And which, on that very long list, are you?

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    15. I wouldn't necessarily equate you to a lab rat. A lab rat is used to experiment on - it is a subject. The environment though, does allow the unique opportunity to ask questions and get a reasonable response from third parties. If you are being used, it is to pick your brain on your thoughts for certain given situations (directed to either party). That is useful, because you don't have as much stigma attached to it, acting as extra baggage. For some people anyways.

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    16. Jamie, I appear several time in that long list. As do you I am sure... o.O

      Bob, I like answering questions as much as I like my own questions or other people's questions being answered. Being a lab rat is not pejorative in my mind. I think we all learn quite a lot on this site.

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    17. highfunctioningborderlineJuly 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      To Anonymous who started this thread:
      What you wrote about feeling guilty about somebody in the inner circle, how you described it, really touched me. I think it's very accurate definition but I have never seen feeling guilty this way. Perhaps it's just (much) too familiar feeling for me.


      As I am new here and this topic also was started in this thread - I found this blog few days ago and found it very useful. I had a sociopath in my family and for me he was always member of family first and then a sociopath. I also could somehow become a member of inner circles of two sociopaths during last few years - with the first of them it didn't work (meaning: it was a diseaster) out and I don't want another one ending. So I'm searching for informations different than "he's a monster, stay aware from him" bullshit.

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    18. "What's the Difference Between Guilt and Shame?"

      I thought this was relevant to this thread: http://bit.ly/1wrGhqu

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  5. The funny thing - the guy that wrote M.E. forgot to mention some key detail like:

    1) I regularly mooch off multiple people. I read them, figure out who I need to pretend to be so that they'll give me what I need, and play the "me" that they want.

    2) I'm addicted to killing hookers.

    3) I'm a compulsive liar. I lie lie lie all the time about things, just to see if I can get away with it.

    4) I routinely swerve so that I can hit animals.

    5) I've been married 7 times, a few times to multiple women at a time.

    6) I've had 10 different jobs. I get them by lying about my qualifications.

    or whatever.

    The point: the fact that this guy is even asking, "might I be a sociopath?" and it is this dispassionate question says a lot. E.g.

    He isn't concerned that maybe he's done a bunch of things that go against his idea of what is right/wrong.

    He isn't concerned that maybe he's hurt the people closest to him.

    He isn't concerned that maybe he's on track to ruin his life.

    You get the point. Fear deficit, no real conscience along with lack of insight.

    LOL

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  6. What the hell are you replying to?

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  7. This is something I actually have been thinking about for the last few days myself!

    I've thought about it in terms of experiencing music.

    I'm a big Morrissey fan. If I tell someone who is a Morrissey fan about this there will be some sort of connection in that person to what I mean. If I talk about sitting "under the iron bridge" that person might think about when they visited Manchester and sat "under the iron bridge". They would understand references to the hold trinity church etc. and this would maybe remind them of a time when they had listened to the songs or been to a concert or something similar?

    However if you're not a Morrissey fan and I tell you these things you won't really have any connection to it. If you do some research you would understand that the holy trinity church is referenced in one of his lyrics. You would understand that in one of his lyrics he sings "under the iron bridge we kissed" but it wouldn't really remind you of any experience you have had in relations to this or make you feel in a certain way, it is simply providing you with information. But you could still understand to some extent without experiencing this yourself.

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    1. It is something like that, yes. You've isolated the empathetic component properly in your analogy, which is typically difficult for people to get.

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    2. Are you human? Do you need to be loved? Do you go home and cry and want to die?

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  8. Sophisticated psychos are said to be very good when it comes to faking emotional responses, and how could they do this if they don´t have any clue about what´s going on? They understand this, they can read this, but they don´t feel it themselves. Almost like the air-signs of the zodiac..

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  9. "Science , Shimence! Has science solved emotional problems?
    Cleaner enviornments have promoted a longer lifespan, but they
    do nothing for the "inner" man.
    Don't get me wrong. We must have adaquate nutrician and enough
    calories, but we still produce plenty of Bundy's and Dhamer's in
    spite of it all. Science has done NOTHING to stop it! Scientific labels
    mean NOTHING! The answer? Go back to a time when the word
    "evil" existed in a non religious context. What Philip Chism did to his
    teacher Colleen Ritzer was EVIL. No other label need apply.
    Go to 10 different "experts" and get 10 different explainations using fancy psychological jargon for his motivations. The only thing
    we need to know about Chism is his birthdate and name on his
    birth certificate to explain his motivations. We can also observe his
    behavior for a protracted length of time and assign an Enagram
    number to him. That way, any potential girlfriend can decide if he's
    really for her.
    People are woefully ignorant of these essentail character
    dectection methods, so they go to their "trusty" Dr. Drews, or their
    Dr. Ablows, or thier Dr. This or Dr. That. These "experts" have a
    mulitiude of reasons for drawing their competing conclusions.
    It could be as simple as the fact that some might want to get into
    the pants of who they are diagnosing.
    If Colleen Ritzer (age 24) had known Astrology, Numerology, and
    then Ennagram. She would have been on guard against the savage
    Philip Chism. Chism is NOT a Psychopath, a Sociopath a whatever
    path, he is simply an EVIL person. Ms Ritzer would say: "You're
    going to have to remove Philp from my classroom. He is dangerous.
    Either he goes, or I go." And even if the school system refused to
    remove Chism because of Colleen's biased acessement, SHE
    would have left, in which case she wouldn't have met an inglourious
    death on a Journor High School bathroom floor, after being raped
    and cut to bits by a box cutter. He shoved a 3ft tree limb up her
    vagina, incidently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "It could be as simple as the fact that some might want to get into
      the pants of who they are diagnosing" Soooo let me get this straight. A Dr. is going to throw away their career doling out some bad diagnosis to some guy or chick just to get laid? There's always the bar or craigslist.

      Delete
    2. Occam's Razor applies in life.

      I'm not sure I about craigslist. I might buy furniture off of there, but not people. At least at a bar the first impression is based off first-hand experience.

      Delete
  10. In one word: pathetic. But, I can explain a little bit more for the new readers, since I’ve learned A LOT here. Certain individuals/abusers, and a federal institute, have done some illegal stuff, turning someone’s life upside down. The person is filing a lawsuit, and they are desperately trying to cover it up.

    THEIR SOLUTION: They need to prove that the person who is filing against them, who they hacked her computer and lured her into this socio discussion in the first place, “is/might be a sociopath”. So, they can legally get away. And help their misbehaved and pervert professors to continue harassing the future students, keeping their pleasure alive. They write to this blog owner pretending to be that person for the 100th time. And they have Bob and a few other “actors”, helping them to get what they want “professionally/legally” = that someone “might be a sociopath”. As pathetic and abusive, as they were always to me, and as I expected from them.

    My Advice to them: Get real. Learn decency and integrity. And help your students to lead with their strength.

    My advice to any other UC Davis students: Avoid this blog. They are bunch of criminals with absolutely no conscious. The blog owner works for whoever hands her more money. And the monkeys here, know how to create certain climates, triggering certain emotions, and ultimately having someone to say/do what they want them to do or say. And if you confront them, their “professional team” will respond, absolutely not in your best interest, but for their own good, making you regret that you ever complained.

    SHAME TO THAT UNIVERSITY, SHAME TO THOSE INDIVIDUALS, AND SHAME TO ANYONE WHO WITNESSES THIS GAME, AND IS REMAINING SILENT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a fascinatingly developed delusion. I wonder just how detailed it goes.

      Delete
    2. What a coward scumbag! Say whatever helps you/Ginger/Other cronies. You think this is detailed, wait till you see my real report! Details “everything” from January till today. And all the other crap, from the time I wasted in that University.

      Shame on you for playing this game, and shame on me if I continue to keep my mouth shut!

      Delete
    3. I never liked you, "Bob".

      Delete
    4. Dear oh dear! What has poor old "Bob" done to deserve your vitriol?
      Oh, and interesting theory, 'A Touch Never Dies'. Tell me more.

      Delete
    5. Jamie,

      First, this is not a “vitriol”, if it was I would have acted long time ago, rather than letting this non-sense keep building up.

      Second, I have no idea who the hell is “Bob”, he works too hard to assume he is not being paid. And he intermingles waaay too much personal information. (He seems like someone’s attorney, than a real life sociopath)

      Third, None of the anons here is me! So, if someone doesn’t like him or bringing some other irrelevant issues in, don’t point at me.

      Delete
    6. First. The two sentences are addressed to two different people, hence why I only use your name in the second of the two. The Anon who felt the need to tell Bob "I never liked you" after you had already criticised him seemed vitriolic. He or she may or may not really be you in disguise, but either way, that was who I was asking "why the vitriol?", not you.

      Second. Your position seems somewhat confused. First you accuse Bob of being involved in this conspiracy, then you admit you don't even know who he is! I wonder, not having 'met' me before, do you consider that I am in on the act?

      Third. Chill! This is a relaxed environment used for exchanging ideas. Any mud slinging that goes on (of which you are a part by accusing other users of being hired actors) isn't personal and shouldn't be treated as such.

      Now please, tell me more about this interesting conspiracy. Pretty please? :)

      Delete
    7. Umm if this is a conspiracy agaisnt you you should provavly stop coming here and just plan out how you will foil our evil ways by yourself. If this really is a conspiracy, then you should probably consider that the media is also in pn it since Dr. Phil had M.E come on TV and she is the owner of the blog. So until your efforts to prove that we are doing the devils work to ruin you come into fruition, why don't you consider not coming here and accusing people who have no idea what the hell you're going on about. If you really think people are trying to hurt you, break contact and do your own thing until you can stop them. Forgive me if I seem insensitive but at first I thought your case was pitiful and sad so to speak, but after the repetition I'm statting to see it as funny. I doubt you're a sociopath u less you're a genious one, but you might be a bit delusional.

      Delete
    8. The moment when you realise this whole blog, everyone who comes on here, The Book, and indeed the character of M.E. herself has just been a big ruse set up by the Dr Phil Show. There must be enough content by now for the Doc to run a few sociopath specials.

      Delete
    9. Haha indeed that would be an intrresting turn of events. I would love to see how it would work out. The only people it would suck for are those who gave their full real name or identity.

      Delete
    10. I am by no means associated with ME, and the only time we've (briefly) talked was during her last Q&A. There is no conspiracy involved on my end. What You See Is What You Get.

      I must admit, this reaction is funny to watch.

      Delete
    11. And why would a conspirator openly admit to being part of such a dastardly plot? We all know what you're hiding Bob, you're not fooling anyone, so why don't you just save us all this hassle and admit you're just an out of work actor under the control of Dr Phil and the University of California. Go on, crawl back to your paymasters, you odious little toad.

      Delete
    12. They don't pay enough. This toad has rent to pay.

      Delete
    13. YOU'LL SIT ON YOUR LILYPAD AND LIKE IT

      Delete
    14. ^ I'm wheezing so bad in laughter. My lungs hurt. Night S.W. ☆

      Delete
    15. Jamie, not the first time I have noticed. You have a wonderful sense of humour! And Bob? You actually have a funny side? I love it. Superchick also, you make this site lighter and you are very lovable. Life would be so dreadful without humour! Humor is very sexy. Very nice respite... So many high strung personalities on this blog!! So serious.
      Hugs to you three - uh hum or hand shake or bow or whatever depending on what culture you identify with.

      Delete
    16. Contrary to popular (dis)belief, I am not a robot. I just chose not to, until this occasion.

      Delete
    17. Thank you, OldAndWise, you're too kind. So rare to see people being nice to each other online, great irony given the website.

      Hug much appreciated but as I'm British an awkward handshake and 2 seconds or less of eye contact would probably be more comfortable.

      Delete
    18. So what A Touch Never Dies is saying is that I should have been getting paid all this time? Dammit!

      Delete
    19. @A Touch Never-Dies - considering I'm a third year in law school, I'd say I have a pretty good understanding of what I speak when I attempt to explain how court is going to work in this situation based on what has been presented here. I never said I know "everything" - but I wouldn't have said anything if I wasn't confident in what I said. My point was that based on your comments here, I'm not seeing it. Therefore, I've found myself confused by all the fuss. My earlier comment was not intended to inflame you (further) - I just wanted to clear up my confusion. In doing so, I thought I may as well point out the inherent legal pitfalls I'm seeing: you can't take legal action against an unknown party and if your legal claim is inherently contradictory, no judge will actually hear the case.

      You seem frustrated that you are not receiving any sympathy from the people on this website. The problems with this, as I see them, are these: 1) no one can accurately make sense of what you're mad about because you go on rants rife with contradictory statements and accusations that seem to come out of the blue; 2) you're accusing people of screwing with you, this doesn't generally endear even the most empathetic person to you; and 3)this is a blog frequented by sociopaths - were you expecting a cuddle and warm milk?

      I can see that you're frustrated, but confrontation does not work when you can't see straight. You may be "disgusted" by sociopaths, but on this, you may want to take a page from our book.

      Delete
    20. Awws, thanks Old & Wise, hugs back at cha, hand shakes of course to some, & high fives or pats on the back to the rest of the S.W. familia crew ~

      Delete
    21. Jamie, you are Bri'ish? No wonder you crack me up. I am not British, actually English isn't my first language and hugging was not part of my original culture, but I am close to a few Brits - think family and/or very close friends. They have learned to hug. My advice to you: start hugging! Just give it a try. Life is too short!

      Delete
    22. Yes, I am indeed one of Her Majesty loyal subjects. Where do you hail from, guvnor?

      Well I'm spending next year living in France, where they're a lot more expressive with their bodies. Cheek-kissing and hugging and standing unnecessarily close while talking (i.e. shouting), really no respect for personal space! But I'll get used to it.

      Delete
  11. Looks as if we're going to need another holocaust.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Are we really expected to believe that everyone who writes to M.E. would be such an arse-licker over The Book? It's become a hallowed tradition for all the 'from a reader' posts to start by saying how unequivocally fascinating and brilliant The Book was to read, how It has changed their lives in so many ways and how It has altered their very consciousness.

    Here's me, not yet having paid the £9.09 **WITH FREE UK SHIPPING**, just sitting in my chair and thinking 'wow', this Book must really be Something Special. I must rush to my nearest online retail conglomerate and get my unenlightened mits on the Holy Writings, before every last copy sells out to even more grateful SW readers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if M.E. also gets hate letters. Would be educational to see some of those.

      Delete
    2. She's bound to receive hate mail, given the hate in some of the comments. She may have published them in the past (I've only been reading this blog for just over a year, and only occasionally dip into the 'archives') but I doubt she'd publish them, now the blog's become an extended commercial for the Book.

      Delete
  13. On an altogether more serious note, I was surprised at the crazy cat lady's reaction to what Daddy M.E. said, but then the minor things that offend some people do constantly surprise me.

    If anything, the woman's failure to realise the father was joking and to just laugh along, whether she thought the joke was funny or not (it was not), serves to illustrate M.E. the younger's point about the "empath types who get so caught up in their own emotions..." She allowed herself to be upset, when no intention to offend or upset existed; M.E. the Elder just wanted to make an admittedly shitty joke about chickens and kittens.

    ReplyDelete
  14. At the risk of over simplifying: antisocial behavior is anti-social. It doesn't matter if it is undertaken in ignorance or with an artful understanding of potential consequences. A sociopath regularly engages in antisocial behavior if he/she perceives that it is in his/her best interest to do so. What makes someone sociopathic is not a lack of empathy. It's the lack of the restraining influence empathy is capable of providing.

    In other words, what makes someone a sociopath is how they act, not their internal experience. People who are born with low or no affective empathy because of differences in their limbic system are still capable of having high emotional intelligence if they've developed a capacity for cognitive empathy. These individuals can use the knowledge that cognitive empathy provides in prosocial or antisocial ways.

    Most of the time people make mistakes (even horrible ones) in ignorance. The consequences of those actions are still real and are no less antisocial than the same actions taken by a cognizant perpetrator. Self awareness makes the commission of antisocial acts more sinister (if discovered by an outside observer) but the actual damage done by the acts is the same.

    How can you tell if an empath (or at least is a person capable of cognitive empathy) is a sociopath? The pattern of behavior that you observe over time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mach. This is a good summary of behaviourist psychology (can I assume this perspective has influenced your thinking?)

      "In other words, what makes someone a sociopath is how they act, not their internal experience." Not sure that I agree. Surely you mean to say "what makes someone *be diagnosable as a sociopath* is how they act, not their internal experience"? Of course a psychiatrist/ologist cannot easily peer inside the patient's mind, so they can only go on the behaviour they witness. So in that sense the term sociopath is just a description of a set of behaviours that some individuals exhibit. But then so is any other psychological disorder, and any other behaviour attributed to mental states: emotional reactions for one example.

      Does the sociopath who behaves himself in the shrinks office and who manages to get away undetected qualify as less of a sociopath than one who comes away with an ASPD diagnosis? Unless you are denying sociopaths, or people in general, lack internal processes, these behaviour can and indeed must be reduced to cognitions, whether we can observe them or not (and it seems, for the moment at least, we can't. I'm not saying such cognitions can be explained away as merely a lack of empathy (though perhaps they can), but there is nonetheless an internal 'cause' behind sociopathic behaviour.

      Either way, I'm really glad you made the point you made, as this is a really interesting topic to discuss.

      Delete
    2. Jamie, you are correct.
      But because the only window into cognition requires self reporting, I think it's wisest to make formal diagnoses based on actions.

      Delete
    3. There are a few empirical factors which can support a diagnosis, such a fMRI imaging and other neural scans for abnormal activity, and genetic tests for the so-called warrior genes. While not definitive on their own, they can be used for added support.

      Delete
    4. from a clinicians standpoint this is helpful. But from a layperson's perspective- within the context of trying to decide "naughty" or "nice" about an acquaintance this is the simplest way to go. At the risk of sounding like an internet meme: Trust the history of a person's actions over what they say if there is a discrepancy between the two.

      Delete
  15. And these are the Sociopath World "Days of Our Lives." ;-)

    A touch leery/ never dies. I wrote you anonymously two or three times on the last post thread 'only' because your delusions are escalating and I referred to your attacks against dr.ginger and some others - and I do worry, if you do not get a doctors intervention, your gunna snap and soon you'll be out of touch with reality even more . It will esculate, and you'll go into sabotage mode. Please stop. We ain't from the fuckin University.

    There are days where your rational and pleasant, then you switch and get extremely paranoid. Please seek some help. I'm not bashing you, it's out of concern only. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ Superchick,
      Good to know you were ENFP. I know, you are not judging me right now. I’m INFP- Don’t worry, I’m OK. I’ve been away for a couple months, I should have stayed away! :) Yes, I get suspicious/defensive a little too much, occasionally (I have very good reasons for it, though). I hate conflicts, but certain things have to be dealt with/clarified or they keep escalate on their own, spreading to all the aspects of someone’s life, causing a lot of unnecessary harms.

      @ Jamie, No, I don’t disguise as an anon, saying something provocative. I’m too honest for that. I make my presence clear, even when I have those intentions. And you made me smile when you said “This is a relaxed environment used for exchanging ideas”! Evidently, you haven’t been targeted, yet. It can get irritating.

      Delete
    2. Everyone comments as an anonymous once in awhile, especially when you need to get a situation across to someone, but don't want to expose your name because the person might get offended coming from the actual person. We all do it. Know ones exempt.

      Delete
    3. That's right, I haven't. But then I don't come on here writing provocative rants that seem to have no basis in reality. You still haven't produced any further details, which says so much about the likelihood of your story being true.

      I stand by my "relaxed environment" comment; you just have to be polite, a little bit thick skinned and not come across as a complete wacko.

      If you like, you can choose to take your being targeted as a compliment, since you've been deemed interesting enough to be worth their attention. So well done you!

      Delete
    4. "If you like, you can choose to take your being targeted as a compliment, since you've been deemed interesting enough to be worth their attention." heh, agreed. This is how I would see it...I mean as long as I didn't get turned in to stew, jk jk :P

      Delete
    5. See A touch leery, we all like you. Just concerned a little for you. That's all. Be well.

      Delete
    6. Chicken ginger stew - yum

      Delete
    7. @A Touch Never-Dies - targeted how? Thus far, all I have witnessed is your targeting of people on this site. And without more foundation for your claims (or, you know, personal and confirmed knowledge) of the identities of the people you seem to think are targeting you, I don't see how you could possibly win (or find a lawyer for) this court battle you keep threatening to start. You don't even seem to know who exactly you are accusing. So again I ask, how/in what way have you been targeted on this site? Otherwise, all I'm seeing is contradictory statements and hypocrisy.

      Delete
    8. @ Jamie, Dr. Ginger & superchick., I have nothing “personal” against any “one” individual. Sometimes a wrong pattern of actions start, and propagates on its own, inflicting a lot of harm. Who/why got it started? Who were the perpetrators? Why is burning still? Can I answer to all those with 100% certainty, without offending someone in the middle? No, I just see the effect of their actions, and I have a right to pursue protection. Determining who is behind the scene is not my job. And I hate to accuse someone unnecessarily.


      @ M, Don’t provide legal advice, if you don’t know “everything”. Apparently, 1) you are very new here 2) You judge based on what you see “here” in this blog, and not the whole picture. 3) And yes, things get contradictory, when you have to balance what you've "shared" vs. what you "over-shared" or "don't want to share" with a wrong audience that may not need those information . But thanks for your advice.

      Delete
    9. @A Touch Never-Dies

      Your wacko is showing again.

      Delete
    10. My “wacko” is brutally honest. It pisses some people off! Oops, didn't mean to.

      Delete
    11. Not pissed off, just utterly confused :/

      Delete
    12. lol wait did I just get dragged in to this again? :P

      Delete
    13. Dr. Ginger, I said up there nothing “personal”. You are just getting too defensive, unnecessarily! :) All right, I pray for you too, if you need it.

      Delete
    14. I thank you for your prayer, but an explanation off of you would be of infinitely more practical use. :)

      Delete
    15. OK this is too much for me XD... I'm dying on the other side of the screen here. Alright, Touchy, you don't need to give us any proof or explanation or any names. but if you don't mind, what has been done against you? And, I'm asking this with genuine concern and curiosity so, why don't you tell us what the people here have done to you? Don't worry about telling us who, how you know it's the people here, or about hurting or feelings. I'm pretty sure I'm talking for all of us here when I say that no feelings will be hurt. So, why don't you tell us your story... from the beginning if you don't mind. You don't need to provide names or proof and the amount of details you give are up to you.

      I think I can promise that no feelings will be hurt so, shoot.

      Delete
    16. Tii, No need for another shot. I’ve said enough here, both in this thread and the last one. If someone WANTED TO hear, would have heard it. Thanks, though.

      Delete
    17. A touch never dies,
      prayers, cookies and lemonade for me please ! ;) have a great evening.

      Delete
  16. In my opinion A Touch Never Dies should change the name to A Thought Never Dies because I don't think it will be possi le to change her mind unless she goes to seek help. The best thing for her/him would be to stop coming here and exposing to her/himself to whatever ignites those thoughts. Isolating herseld from it would be best, it gives the time to reflect and figure out if it makes any sense at all.

    ReplyDelete
  17. http://avmedia.info/blog/married-or-not-you-should-read-this/
    So I found this link on a friends page. I don't know if it's true or not, but that isn't the point. Apparently my reaction to this isn't the corrected one and got everyone pissed at me and telling me how fucked up it was that I thought that way. Earlier during the year, I had the same reaction when a professor showed it to our class, apparently they also thought I was expressing the wrong emotions.

    Comment your thoughts on this if you dont mind. I want to compare nots and find out if I'm alone in thinking like this, or if it has something to do with being a sociopath

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What were the reactions of your classmates?

      Delete
    2. My first reaction was to cry. Not just when (spoiler alert) the person died at the end. It is an emotionally charged story all around. The other woman is the villain more than the husband, for some reason. I think most people would see the wife as selfless, but she could also have been vengeful. Screw him up for the rest of his life. No Jane, and carrying a guilt that cannot be assuaged or shared with anyone, especially not his son.

      Tii, I am dying to hear what your reaction was. Do share, please!

      Delete
    3. By the way, I would have a tough time sharing the vengeful angle with people around me unless they were very close to me and I trusted them to no end. I would never share this with acquaintances or classmates, unless perhaps the subject of the class was to analyze emotions, feelings, behavior, evil, etc. And even so... Nor sure that I would feel comfortable sharing. I can be a bit of a judgmental bastard, and I would not want people to ostracize me before they got a chance to know me.

      Delete
    4. "Screw him up for the rest of his life. No Jane, and carrying a guilt that cannot be assuaged or shared with anyone, especially not his son."

      Curious how you came up with that.
      How would she have known that he would dump Jane?

      How do you figure he would necessarily have crippling guilt?

      The end might have been: "Oh woe is me, she died! But I loved her till the end! And she never told me about the cancer. I can't mind read. I am the loving husband who carried her out the door every morning. I never dumped her. Look at these flowers I got her! And that fucking Jane. If she hadn't been so demanding, I never would have even sought the divorce in the first place..."

      Never underestimate an asshole's ability to rationalise the hell out things to make himself look like the good, or at least misunderstood, guy.

      He doesn't sound quite like the type to think "Hmmm, sucks that she kicked the bucket. But hey, her own fault for not even telling me about the cancer. And this way, my reputation will be golden. Imagine the stories I can tell the bitches about how I carried her till the day she died. And I get everything. Woohoo! Thanks, hon."

      But crippling guilt? Not necessarily.

      Delete
    5. Besides, the wife sounds very much the martyr type.
      Taking her suffering stoically, with only the the odd martyr's deep sigh or talk of too big dresses. And the thought that she was a fantastic wife and mother to the very end. Did everything for him, no matter how bad he was to her.
      Even killed herself to spare him the loss of face.
      She is a true saint!
      And he will surely recognise her as such after she is gone...

      Delete
    6. ok gotta go see this to see how I respond...

      Delete
    7. “With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.” What the hell is she crying about?

      Delete
    8. This just brought a tear to my eye....what a brilliant marketing strategy :) If you scroll to the bottom you will notice it was written by Kimmies Floral which is a floral design shop. I work part-time as a consumer psychologist consulting with small businesses on how to utilize psychological techniques to influence consumers in to buying products and services. I can't emphasize enough the more emotion a business can elicit in their advertising, the more it will influence consumers. Bravo, Kimmies Floral, bravo :):):):):) I'm going to use this as an example with my clients.

      Delete
    9. I agree, bite me. The wife might have been selfless or she might have been vengeful. The story is written to make us think she is selfless, to make the husband look like an asshole, who redeems himself before her death, and Jane some sort of a gold digger and marriage wrecker. Assuming the story is real, I was trying to expose another side to the story that perhaps most people would not even allow themselves to think about, especially since the wife is dead and therefore irreproachable .. (how could I possibly speak of the dead in that fashion). And even if the vengeful aspect of the story crossed their minds, they certainly would not share with others for fear of the type of reaction you had. If I am a nice person (which I think I am in action anyway, and in thoughts most of the time at least with the people around me), how can I even come up with associating such despicable intentions to an obvious martyr like the wife?
      I would love to not have those thoughts but I have been around long enough to understand that human nature is not as pure as one would hope. I believe there are very few people who would be as selfless as the wife is portrayed in the story especially after being betrayed.

      Delete
    10. Ah, yes, dr ginger. You got it right. Advertising. This story just did not ring true to me. Still made me cry... Good one. A bit overdone perhaps. As I said in my response to Bite Me, not a lot of people would be that selfless, I don't think.They may, however, want to appear that selfless, and probably want to think that they would be under the same circumstances. Is that why the story strikes such a chord?

      Delete
    11. Haha, thanks for your thoughts. My reaction was similar to yours Dr. Ginger. At the end the while class was thinking and saying "Awww poor woman, she must have been so hurt to think that her husband was cheating on her in that situation" or "Oh my God he must have felt so horrible, I yhink I might have killed myself" others were more like "at least it must have felt good to have her husbad with her for her last days, getting closer and having feelings come back like that." In anyway the overall thought was poor wife hides her problem to save her cheating bastard of a husband face in front of her son. The husband was a horrible, cheating, monster who at the end got his heart back and felt bad about his ways even if it was too late. Jane was the annoying third party who ruined everything. In any case the verdict was that the wife was the most wonderful person to set foot on this beautiful Earth and that she went away a saint.

      My reaction on the other hand was genuine loud laughter, followed by "Poor bastard, it served him right but she was a smart ass bitch that he shouldnt have betrayed." The whole class turns and gives me a death stair, and start asking me whats wrong with me, I tell them that they should let me explain. I tell them that the husband shouldnt be looked down at just because he was going to divorce his wife, divorces happen very often these days doesnt mean that the person who asked for it is horrible. If feelings of love are as unexpected, volatile, strong, and unfightable as people say it is, the husband did nothing wrong. It would have been stupid for him to dump his wife before having spent or done anything with Jane, because of a crush. What if it turned out to be a simple temporary infatuation which ended after a few weeks when he realizes that he loved his wife more than anything, he would have divorced and lost everything because of a meaningless feeling. Obviously he had to have spent time with Jane to figure out that he did indeed lo e her. After that I believe he did the right thing, there was nothing cowardly about it, in fact it was the only correct thing to do. He didnt just spend his time cheating his wife by not telling her about it, nor did he cheat on Jane by telling her he would leave his wife and never doing it, and just kept playing. The only thing he is guilty of is being in love with someone other than his wife, but at least he had the balls to tell her about it.

      Delete
    12. The wife on the other hand could have habe told him when he brought the divorce papers that she would probably die soon and ask if he could at least if he ever loved her or his son, not file the papers but wait until she passed to marry Jane, he owes her at least that for cheating and not paying attention (if Jane isnt the biggest bitch in the world she would understand that its for his kid). Maybe he might have felt guilty about it and throw in the towel about his plans with Jane, or accepted the request. Instead she asked him to do this without telling him the whole story, at the risk that he might once again start loving her after getting this much closer and sort of reigniting romantic moments in there lives (it is very easy to make someone who was already in love with you fall in love again by doing things that would remind them of the time you spent together loving each other.) Now in the end he fell in love with her and changed his mind about Jane to go back to a dead wife. To me that looks like a "well fuck you and peace out, now you lose both you asshole". If she really loved him even after serving tve divorce papers I feel like she would have wanted him to be happy (with the one he loved) even after she died. And so would have told him to go to Jane and be happy. But now it sounds like a sweet ass plan to take the most hurtful badass exit she could think of. By no means is she the bad guy, i mean she was cheated on and served divorced papers while she was dying and so had every right to want to hurt him, but at least he was an honest douchebag.

      My class didnt seem to like that reponse, for the rest of the week everytime they looked at me it was as if they were staring at a melting ice statue at a wedding. Not sure if it was disgust or pity...

      Delete
    13. Dr Ginger,
      Isn't it too long for that? And too "depressing"? It just seems more likely to provoke thoughts of outrage and pity. Not as guilt or resolution to do better, in the reader.
      The image of those flowers being for a wife who killed herself knowing her husband was leaving that day is not a particularly good one to make people want to buy some for those they love.


      "sweet ass plan to take the most hurtful badass exit she could think of"
      Really?
      The most hurtful, bassass plan is to passive aggressively guilt him while giving him everything?
      Interesting.

      She could always sign the divorce papers, then tell everyone that he left her for another woman as soon as she started getting sick.

      He would be royally fucked and so would Jane. People will almost always take the word of the sweet wife turned wounded cancer sufferer as being absolutely beyond reproach.

      The way she did it, he may have felt some guilt, but as I said, he probably would have rationalised it pretty quickly. And chances are would have put her on a pedestal as a saint for everyone else.
      She gets to be practically worshipped, his reputation is golden and he gets everything.

      Delete
    14. Yes, Tii. My view is that you can't share those thoughts with people unless you know them really well, and even so, they need to be very open minded, and recognize their own imperfections with humility. And you can't share those thoughts regardless of whether you are a sociopath, which I definitely am not. If anything I am at the other end if the scale, hyper sensitive and what people call uber empath. If you do, they will ostracize you and hate you for reminding them how human nature can truly be. We do not want to face the ugly in us, and I think that is one reason why sociopaths are so despised. They will shamelessly show it to us.

      Delete
    15. Tii,

      “The whole class turns and gives me a death stair, and start asking me whats wrong with me.” Sigh, I’m afraid I’m all too familiar with this reaction :/ That’s what I like about sociopathworld.com. I can be a little more honest without all of the shaming, admonishments, looks of shock and horror at some of the things I say.

      Delete
    16. ^Well said Dr. G.

      Tii , I would have been a classmate that supported your response. It was well stated. 

      In all honestly, my first thought was, " I wonder if he went back to fucking the other women Jane -- while or after he grieved for a period of time for the deceased wife." 

      But the story models well... to not take your current partner for granted and dull away the 'spark that ignites.'
      Get it on and re-spark... ;-)

      Delete
    17. Bite Me,
      I don't think the story was implying that she killed herself but more like she died vecause of the cancer knowing how long she had left. Oh well since it's a made up story I guess we can't know her real intentions. But yah you're definitely right on one point. Having signed the divorced paper would have been even better. It' short, quick, to the point, and would hurt even more. Maybe in real life since I'm lazy I would have thought of that, but while I was reading I have to admit it didnt come to mind. You must have a little bit of evil in you, don't you XD.

      OldAndWise, and Dr. G
      Somehow I like being on the other side of people's gazes, especially when I believe I'm right. Because I know that I could easily convince them and force them to admit I'm right (since there is some logic in my theory), whether they want to admit humans have many flaws or not.

      Superchick,
      Thank you, haha. The worst part in his situation though, in my point of view, is that he lost both. The wife is too late to get back, and after stating that he really loved his wife and wanted to stay with her, I doubt that Jane would go back to him. Unless he lied and told her he knew she would die and wanted to stay with her at least until then because he owed her that much for everything she gave him. Then, if Jane has a heart she might have understood that he did it for a dying women he spent so much time with, and who was the mother of his child.

      Delete
    18. Tii,
      I know it's not a real story at all, but still great fun to explore. I've talked about it to a couple of people and it really is interesting how they react, especially when they are given a couple of different ways it could be seen afterwards.

      I assumed she would have killed herself because I know first hand, from being a nurse, that people almost never die that conveniently, never mind from cancer.

      As for the thought of why she didn't sign the divorce papers and destroy him, well, that's just how my little mind naturally drifts.

      It immediately made me think that she needed to not only take him and Jane down hard, but to look after her son's interests.

      That if I was her, I would have told him "you want a quick and court-free divorce, fine. Give me the house, car and 45% of the business. Then you can go and do whatever you want"

      I would have signed the papers, immediately put everything in the son's name, in trust, whatever best to ensure Jane or the husband could not get their hands on it.

      I would have written the husband a letter, saying that he was too occupied with his Jane to notice how sick I had been getting. And every time I tried to talk to him about the cancer, he would not listen at all. How I had to go through all that treatment alone and betrayed. Tried to keep things as peaceful as possible for the son's sake and hoped he would come back to his family.
      And just as I thought it was bad enough, he asked me for a divorce.
      I didn't want to cause everyone more pain and gave it to him purely so I could secure the son's financial well-being."
      Passive aggressive, absolutely.
      But I'd like to see him rationalise *that* easily. Hehe.
      Crippling guilt is a decent possibility there.

      Then all that's needed from there is to " break down" and cry on the shoulders of a couple of empathetic friends, ask them to look after the son...and it's all good :D

      Delete
    19. Although that seems like a fabulous revenge story, I'm not convinced that people are as empathetic, or guilt-ridden as they claim to be.

      Delete
    20. Pretty crafty. The way you put it would have been a pretty interesting story to make into a novel or a movie. XD

      Delete
    21. Dr Ginger,
      I've thought the same thing for a long time now.

      That's why I go by a person's actions far more than their words.

      Many like to think of themselves as more empathetic than they are because it makes them feel like good, caring, kind people. Even without all that pesky *doing* good deeds stuff.
      Like all those people who show great gushes of "empathy" towards homeless/poor/abused/whatever. Especially on social media.

      They get into a big circle jerk, tell each other how wonderful they are for feeling so deeply...and everyone goes away feeling downright saintly. With fuck all actually being done about the problem.

      It amuses me to no end to see how you just need to whisper the right words in their ear and these bastions of empathy turn vicious gossip hounds and destroyers :)

      As for making people feel guilt, it's nothing but a little cherry on a cake.
      Too many like to pretend they feel much worse than they do so they don't feel like they have to take action to make up for shit they did. After all, haven't they been punished enough?
      That's why "sorry" or "I feel so bad about..." means fuck all to me.

      Tii,
      That cracked me up.
      I can imagine it now, a movie about public shaming. Written by me.
      I can almost hear the grinding of someone's teeth from here :D

      Delete
  18. I think M.E. is a wonderful person who most likely, would NOT
    harm someone she respected. I don't personally believe that
    she is a bonnie fied "sociopath," whatever that means. But she,
    as we all do, has original sin on her back.
    The Bible says: "In sin did my mother concieve me." This passage
    doesn't refer to unmarried sex, it refers to the Human sinful state.
    All human beings "sin," they miss the "mark of perfection" in thier
    behavior.
    When Jesus Christ was "planted" in Mary's womb, the "sperm and
    the ovem" were special creations of God, otherwise Christ would
    have inherited the legacy of Human sin. Christ never sinned once.
    The primary reason for this, is that Jesus was God incarnate and
    God is incapable of sin. Everything that God does is justifiable on
    account of who God is. Rank has it's privedlige.
    Getting back to M.E., she is not "bad" in a sense that a serial killer
    is bad. Evil pathology is now "chic" as long as you can keep a
    sufficent distance away from it. People go to scary movies and ride
    rollorcoasters for the adrenline thrill. This blog doesn't change the
    essential wickideness of human nature. All the intellectualizing
    in the world will not change the fact that only the strong survive.
    No one is immune from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    "It is given to all men to die once, and then the judgement."

    ReplyDelete
  19. The Ennagram is one of the better personality assesment
    systems. Everybody is a number 1-9. M.E. is number 3,
    "The Motivator." M.E. is a "model" among sociopaths. If every
    sociopath could be like M.E. nobody would object to them.
    It all could be a front. Type 3's are good at "fronts." As long as it
    works M.E. will continue.
    M.E. is a 3.2. M.E. is NOT a loner type. She works with people.
    M.E. is a very lovely person much deserving of love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My number would have been number 6. Yah, it's got some points right, so does any type of horoscope. But it isn't me at all... Not going to lie, sometimes numerology comes pretty close, but sometimes its also way of.

      Delete
  20. Id like to experience affective empathy at least once before i die.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "You can't force yourself to feel empathy if you don't have any. You can only fake it." The irony about this tweet is she'll probably elicit empathy for not having empathy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha I knew someone would come along and correct me on that :P

      Delete
    2. Trying to stir up trouble, Ginger? ;)

      Delete
  22. I love sociopathic wo- I mean um uh uh uh tough women :):):):) Sure benefits the feminist movement https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140713175901-11435719-are-career-women-really-more-manipulative-than-their-male-peers?trk=tod-home-art-list-small_3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By reading that article, it sounds like it does anything but benefit the feminist movement. Women get criticised just for exercising power, because it doesn't live up to people's ridiculous stereotypes, and so women end up being more cautious and less assertive.

      Delete
    2. Actually I was talking more about Victoria. She sounds like a high functioning sociopath so people like her who disregard all the norms and expectations of women help out, but yes agreed, in general the article shows we still have a ways to go...sigh :/

      Delete
  23. What is M.E. up to now? Do you really believe she's coming
    back? Visa vee the blog, she's "been there, done that."
    Why should she return?
    There was a song called "C.C. Ryder," where the person sings:
    "I"m going away and I won't be back till fall. If you don't mend your
    ways, I'm not coming back at all."
    It might not even be apporiate to come back. You can't go home
    again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know... I'm bored :/ ....we're sitting here trying to create our own entertainment.

      Delete
  24. my Names is Daniel Caro ,AM from Canada .i never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went to Africa in June last year on a business summit i ment a man called Dr oodlia, is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my love s gone misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you bring back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job i m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 4weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3 year i really loved him, but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job so when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try and in 6 days when i returned to Vancouver my boyfriend (is now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married i didn't believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid and my husband also got a new job and our lives became much better in case anyone needs the spell caster for some help his email address: oodliaspelltemple45@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. IS A TESTIMONY, I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS SPELL CASTER CALLED DR UNITY. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE'S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB.I'M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 3 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 3YEARS... I REALLY LOVED HER, BUT HER MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND I HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 48HOURS WHEN I WAS IN MY HOUSE IN USA,SHE CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME, APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HER MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO... WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS;unitylovetemple@gmail.com THANKS DR UNITY FOR YOUR GOOD WORK. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS unitylovetemple@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just want to share my experience with the entire world on how i got my husband back and saved my marriage… I was married for 5 years with 2 kids and i have been living happily with my family until things started getting ugly with me and my husband that leads us to fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that my husband filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me cause i loved him with all my heart and didn't want to loose my husband but everything just didn't work out… He moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster called Dr WAKINA from the wakinaspellhome@yahoo.com Who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try it because I was desperate and left with no choice… He did the spell for me and things really work out as he promise and my husband have a change of mind and come back home to stay with me and the kids. And promise never to hurt me again. We are living happily as it was with the help of Dr WAKINA. If you are in need of help you can contact DR WAKINA via email wakinaspellhome@yahoo.com or with his website http://drwakinaspellhome.webs.com/

    ReplyDelete
  27. I read the book on a long flight from Mandalay to Melbourne. At first it seemed charmingly transparent, candid and even in parts coy; but the time I reached the end, I found it hyper-solipsistic, disingenuous and proud of it, fascistic and sexist. How can you write nearly 400 pages about a social phenomenon and way of being in the world without even thinking of considering privilege, class, politics, cultureS or context? As a sociopathic empath, if I could see sufficient expected positive net present value in the enterprise, I would now assemble and curate a blog in opposition and call The Empaths Strike Back. No point in doing a book without building the market through the net first, but I do feel something must be done and right here seems like the place to start.

    ReplyDelete

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