What is a sociopath feeling?

Lovefraud recently received the following letter from a reader:

“I am trying to understand what the sociopath is feeling. Do they feel love? Do they love? What hurts a sociopath? How can you communicate with a sociopath?”

The problem in dealing with a sociopath, or psychopath, is that they are fundamentally different from the rest of us. The extent of their difference is truly difficult to comprehend—until you’ve had a close encounter with one of them.

Let’s look at these questions individually.

Do they feel love?

The short answer is no. In order to feel love, a person must be able to feel empathy. Sociopaths do not feel empathy for other people.

Those of us who are capable of empathy may feel joy when a friend or relative has a baby, or want to help disaster victims by sending a donation, or cry at a poignant TV commercial. A sociopath does not have an emotional reaction to any of these scenarios. Whether due to genetic make-up, or a traumatic upbringing, or both, when it comes to feeling emotional connections to other people, sociopaths simply don’t get it.

They do, however, learn that by simulating an emotional reaction, or generating an emotional reaction in another person, they can get what they want. So they fake it. They mouth the words, “I love you.” For good measure, they plead, “I don’t want to lose you,” with tears running down their cheeks.

It is all an act.

A sociopath may be telling you that he or she loves you. What the sociopath really means is that he or she wants you like a hot new Lexus. You can do something for the sociopath—such as provide transportation. You can make the sociopath look good—providing a status symbol or the appearance of normalcy. The only reason a sociopath may be upset if you and the kids leave is because he or she doesn’t want to part with possessions.

What does a sociopath feel?

One of the key symptoms of a sociopath, or psychopath, is shallow emotion. In his book Without Conscience, Dr. Robert Hare writes,

“Psychopaths seem to suffer a kind of emotional poverty that limits the range and depth of their feelings. While at time they appear cold and unemotional, they are prone to dramatic, shallow and short-lived displays of feeling.”

They can feel anger and rage, but it typically doesn’t last very long and has no depth. Many people are mystified by the way in which sociopaths can turn emotions on and off. For example, the Lovefraud reader who asked the questions in the beginning of this post also wrote about his ex-wife:

“We met with a court mediator during our divorce proceedings. After accusing me of the most horrible things you can imagine, once away from the mediator, she broke down and cried hysterically asking, “Why are you doing this to me?” Ten minutes later she was bubbly and acting for the judge.”

One expert, Dr. J. Reid Maloy, wrote that psychopaths often feel “contemptuous delight” when they have successfully deceived someone. He also notes that they frequently feel boredom—which then prompts them to aggressively find stimulation, such as someone new to manipulate.

What hurts a sociopath?

Sociopaths do not experience hurt feelings as the rest of us do. They may pretend to be hurt in order to manipulate you, but again, it is an act.

This is an important concept for anyone trying to break free of a sociopath to understand. If you are breaking off a relationship, there is no reason to be nice. You do not have to try to let the sociopath down slowly or gently. Just say, “It’s over,” and leave. Then maintain a strict policy of No Contact.

You cannot hurt a sociopath’s feelings. He or she doesn’t have any.

How can you communicate with a sociopath?

Understand that a sociopath looks at every interaction with another person as an opportunity for manipulation. Therefore, your best policy with a sociopath is No Contact.

If you must communicate with a sociopath, always be on mental red alert. As Dr. Liane Leedom writes, the cardinal sign of sociopathy is lying. Anything said to you may be a lie, or, at best, a twisting of the truth. Furthermore, anything you say to the sociopath, any information you provide, may be used against you.

Here are some tips for communicating with a sociopath:

    1. Provide as little information as possible.
    2. Document everything. Get communications in writing. If you are communicating verbally, have a witness.
    3. Do not trust. Verify.
    4. Be explicit and lay down the law. If the sociopath violates any terms, there must be consequences.

Implications of no empathy and no fear

Sociopaths do not feel empathy. As Dr. Liane Leedom and other experts have written, they also do not feel fear. Empathy and fear are the basic components of remorse and guilt—so sociopaths don’t feel those emotions, either.

What does all this mean? Sociopaths do not really care about people. They do not feel obliged to comply with society’s rules. They cannot be trusted to “do the right thing.” They have no morals.

That—in all its emptiness—is the true nature of a sociopath.

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227 Comments on "What is a sociopath feeling?"

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Hi sky – nah, let’s keep talking about it. 🙂

i know YOU know how difficult it can be to present a different point of view, to go into something that you yourself don’t fully understand (maybe all you have is a kernal) and ask others to come a long.

My idea about ‘acceptance’ may not be mechanism that helps me move forward, but i want to look, explore it. I want to know if acceptance can free me. if acceptance can be defined in a radical enough way to do that.

all for now – must work! i lost a lot of work hours yesterday. i was triggered by my mom and being with my ‘friend’ who i recognize, is afraid of emotions, and then by this stuff and worry for EB.

Hi everyone. This is a little story about how difficult it is to not let the spath back into our lives time after time. However, there comes a time when we finally say to ourselves ’Enough is enough is enough and I will take no more’—”.
Once upon a time there was a little pig (Miss Piggy) and a big bad wolf (spath).
Miss Piggy had had enough of the bad treatment from Mr Wolf so she moved out and built herself a house of straw (her defences were not too strong at this point) and sure enough Mr Wolf came along, saw her vulnerability and huffed and puffed and blew down her weak barriers.

Some time passed and Mr Wolf was up to his old tricks so Miss Piggy moved out and this time she was feeling a bit stronger so she built her defences of wood. Sure enough along comes Mr Wolf, he saw her defences were weak so he huffed and he puffed and sure enough Miss Piggy conceded yet again.
Some time passes and Mr Wolf is telling lies, looking at porn, chatting to other women on msn and treating Miss Piggy badly, so she moves out. She builds solid defences (because she’s learned a lot from her friends at LoveFraud) Sure enough along comes Mr Wolf. ’Urrrrrm’ ”“ (he thinks) she’s making this tough with these solid defences. ’Miss Piggy I just want to talk to you’, he whines. By now Miss Piggy has deleted him from Facebook , blocked his emails and gone no contact, so he’s getting desperate. ’If you don’t talk to me I will huff and puff and blow down your defences says the wolf’.
Mr Wolf huffs and puffs, huffs and puffs but there is no way that he’s going to batter down her defences this time. So, purple in the face from all the huffing and puffing, he struts off in the woods.
As he comes to a clearing he comes across Little Red Riding Hood. ’Hello’ he says ’I have a Porsche on the far side of the wood, I’m about to inherit pots of money and I’ve just been very badly abused by my last girlfriend’. Miss Red Riding Hood feels very sorry for the wolf, he seems such a genuine guy, maybe she can help him (she thinks) and they both skip off through the trees.
And before you can say Grandma’s House Mr Wolf has forgotten all about poor little Miss Piggy and the grief and torment he’s put her through over the years.

On the way Miss Red Riding Hood says ’I need to stop of at Grandma’s House, she’s very ill’.
’Urrrrm’ thinks the wolf ’I feel I’m onto a winner here!!’

What do you think boys and girls?

Great story Candy!
But, how does it end? I won’t be able to sleep tonight, until I find out how it ends!!

One step,
OK, I’ll come along for the ride. When you are ready to post more about it, I will certainly listen. We can’t ever have enough information in this healing journey. I’m wanting to find out how IT ends too!
(see above post)

Skylar – I was trying to respond on another thread but the pute spun me out – Soz

How does it end…………..? Would anyone like to finish the story?

I’ll give it a try.
Red Ridinghood was a beautiful young woman, but granny was old and wealthy. So Wolf put the moves on Granny, slandered Red Ridinghood to Granny, (called her a slut, accused her of being a drunk etc…) then convinced Granny that it would be best if she changed her will and left her fortune to him. Before the ink was even dry, he mutilated Granny to death. But Red was no dummy, she had changed her clothes and put on a gray dress, so she could blend in behind a potted plant. She was watching the whole thing go down and wiped the ink from the new will (see, it wasn’t dry yet, – spaths always overestimate themselves and jump the gun when they get excited). The old will was safely in her pocket…She snuck away and came back with an army of lawyers, in gray suits.
How’s that?

Skylar…brilliant. I love the grey dress/potted plant bit!

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