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Reply To: Can Sociopath/Psychopath feel sorry for what they do

#42339

junebug
Participant

Well, not feeling remorse is one of the central, if not THE central, part of the condition. So “feeling sorry”…no.

If they’re intelligent/high-functioning, like my father is, they can understand on an intellectual level that a certain behavior of theirs is not working for them or unnecessary and change it. But many are not that high-functioning. And feeling guilt or remorse is impossible for them. The feeling simply is not in their emotional repertoire.

As for whether change is possible…that depends on what you mean by change. If you mean “learn” how to stop being sociopaths and/or learn how to empathize, that’s impossible. That’s not something that can be learned. You either have the ability to feel others’ pain or you don’t. Heck, I can say that from personal experience, having Asperger’s Syndrome and/or Schizotypal Personality Disorder and actually lacking that ability myself. (Calm down, those aren’t exploitative disorders. 🙂 Google it if you don’t want to take my word.)

My father did reign himself in and begin to practice restraint after almost getting literally killed in college for this incident involving a girl who claimed she was date raped and the entire football team. He learns to hide his deceptions and controlling behaviors better every year. He learned a ton from the time he was in prison (for a different thing than what happened in college). Did he learn compassion? Haha, no. He did learn how to fake it better. Did he totally stop lying or manipulating? No. Actually I’m pretty sure he lies and manipulates more than he ever did. He’s probably more honest with me than with anyone else he knows (except possibly my brother, who’s narcissistic), but that halfway trust was created through 21 years of loyalty and keeping his secrets. And even so it’s honesty and trust by his standards.

For example, he constantly has a form of GPS tracking on my phone to find out my location. He won’t take it off, but he did tell me about it…finally, after it being on since I got my first smartphone years ago.

So…I guess my answer on whether they can change is…sort of? If they’re intelligent, that is. There are many, many that are not and will never have the foresight to change even behavior patterns that are actually harmful to THEM. I’ve never even met your husband, so I cannot say whether he can do this much or not. But maybe you can?

And good luck with that divorce. You’re going to need it…as high-functioning as my father is, the divorce from my mother was still UGLY. (Would have been uglier if it wasn’t for me. She left him for another man…he would NEVER let THAT go unpunished.)

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  junebug.
  • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  junebug.

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