The Sociopath In All of Us.

Reading an article like this makes me uneasy. It also makes me ponder what exactly a sociopath is. Does it just constrain to this mold we have been hearing (and some of us reading) about? A person who lacks any and all sense of empathy for others. Seems like a pretty extreme example of alienation from humanity to me. What if they are not all on the fringe? They would be undetectable. Like a fart in a paper mill.

I cannot possibly be the only one who feels the harsh and pungent (get it?) sting of selfishness from other people on a regular basis. I’ll construct a little example: Say someone dumps you without a hint of compassion, they just feel sorry for themselves, for this tinge of guilt which they cannot quite explain. Is that sociopathic behaviour? Emotions are not chosen according to the situation as if they were a hat.

See also; ignoring someone in need
See also; cheating
See also; theft

Another characteristic of a psychopath is the constant search for personal gratification. A point seldom raised. Perhaps because it comes dangerously close to home for many of us “normal” folk. Surely our enjoyment of random sexual encounters, binge drinking, feeling superior, and aggregation of money and things for their own sake has no connection to the violent tendencies of a deranged loon? Maybe the serial killer/rapist is just more goal oriented than most. If narcissism was an extreme sport Ted Bundy would be its Tony Hawk. In place of grinding the paint off a half-pipe he’s grinding on someone’s windpipe with an ashtray. We may not all be champions but many of us have owned a skateboard.

If you found the imagery disturbing there might just be some hope for you yet. My apologies.


5 Responses to “The Sociopath In All of Us.”

  1. December 4, 2008 at 6:47 am

    The difference between a sociopath and a person who does not have this disorder, is that they enjoy destroying others (whether they admit it to themselves or others) ALL THE TIME.. they are not capable of celebrating other peoples successes or sharing their happiness. Sociopaths live in a one dimensional world where they do not love. Ever.
    Sure they may pretend, but it is only to look good, to pass, to get ahead.
    Most of us at one time or another have periods of selfishness, but it is not consistent or permanent.


  2. December 4, 2008 at 7:07 am

    That my friend is also sort of my point. That we can enjoy hurting and destroying (which most of us have) and are also SOMETIMES almost utterly lacking in compassion. Which is what I’m trying to get at.

    No “normal” person is completely consistent in their mentality and motivation at every given moment. But the basic lack of humanity is the same. And you can bet it’s reccuring and not a one time thing. Also, not all sociopaths are directly destructive, although it is a very likely outcome of the disorder.

  3. December 4, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Those of us who are not psychopaths or narcissists usually only enjoy hurting people who have hurt us.
    Revenge is sometimes a healthy response to being attacked.
    But the sociopaths/psychopaths/narcissists look for victims just to feel good. It’s their FIX.

  4. December 4, 2008 at 8:03 am

    My morality doesn’t really make a clear distinction between the reasons for inflicting damage upon others while enjoying it. The mere fact that you take pleasure in it is what’s at the core of my argument.

    A person suffering from sociopathy/psychopathy finds his fix in other things as well, things we might have in common. As mentioned in the original post.

  5. December 4, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Have you ever been close to a psychopath? Do you know that they actually experience gratification from other things besides hurting other people?

    In my observation, they act as if others things are gratifying, but it’s one big act. They house, the clothes, the money, the prestige… these are empty for them. Watch them closely.

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