Misconceptions of Sociopathy: As Seen By a Sociopath

I am a sociopath, so are many people, far more than one might believe.
The public image of a sociopath is the serial killer standing trial, the dictator in our history books, the villain, or antagonist in our fiction.
This sociopath is violent, manipulating their victims to surrender their power, and become subservient to their command.
This sociopath is cunning, and malicious, and wants nothing more than to tear the world apart.
This sociopath exists, but is in fact the minority amongst sociopaths.
Only about 20% of prison inmates are sociopaths, and most violent crimes commited are not commited by sociopaths.
It's perhaps fair to say that about half of all serious criminals are sociopaths, but that also means that the other half of serious criminals are 'normal'.

There are many unfortunate misconceptions about sociopaths, and one of the biggest oversight (as far as I'm concerned) is that sociopathy is in any way something to be ashamed of, or fear, or opt to change.
A sociopath is simply someone who doesn't experience empathy, or is able to develop deep emotional attachments due to having what is typically called "shallow emotions" or "superficial emotions".
These terms also have many misconceptions, so to clearify I will give you an example:
While watching a particularly emotionally taxing scene in a movie, some might cry, or want to; the sociopath will not cry, and won't want to. This is not because the sociopath cannot appreciate the scene, or even be effected by it, but that the emotion does not reach "deep" enough to be truly moving.
A person can only feel as much as their capacity allows them, that a person should have a capacity on either extreme does not inheritly make them a better, or worse, person.
For instance, my mother is an extreme empath, and I am a sociopath, and yet my desire to hurt others is no larger than hers.
Though I find I unintentionally hurt others more often then she does, because she is empathetic she understands others and their emotions, which I often times am entirely oblivious to.
I am not oblivious for a lack of caring, but a lack of knowing to care.
I do not desire comfort, or commiseration, so the thought that such things are expected of me is almost alarming, and more than a little confusing.
The world of other people, to me, is a minefield of emotional triggers, and attempting to understand so many different moods is exhausting, especially if I am expected to empathize with them also. To me, emotion is best explained at a Neurological level, which means I understand it better in theory than I do in practise.

One of the traits of sociopathy is that we are great actors, and manipulators. This is true, but do not misconstrude such a thing as malicious. I pretend to feel things that I don't, or care about things I hold no interest in, not to gain some form of power over others, but to simply exist amongst you all.
To be seen for what I am, an amoral individual, without compassion, unable to deeply value you, one who is not sentimental. I am a red flag to your very evolution, where for billions of years you have learned to identify possible preditors, feeling safe when you can trust in the knowledge that your companion needs you as much as you need them, ensuring you won't be thrown to the wolves.
Distrust of who I am is only natural, and evolution gave me the defense of deciet. I can show you whatever is necessary for you to see, whatever will put you at ease, I can be funny, or serious, optomistic, or brooding, if it's what will ease the way.
I have no intention to hold power over you, I do not want "victims", I do not "hunt prey". I am not a malicious person.

There is no "normal" level of empathy, it seems one is only able to say when empathy becomes "abnormal" on either side. One either feeling "too much" or "too little".
Giving names like Empath or Sociopath to these extremes is perhaps silly when one ponders the possibility (the very likely possibility) that they are a natural part of an emotional spectrum, just as the variant between those who can't draw a stick figure to save their life, and those who paint cathedral cealings that have humanity marveling for centuries, is a natrual spectrum of artistic ability. Neither person on either extreme is less "normal" for their abilities, only different.
I can get shin splints from walking for too long, and yet my brother dabbles in body building. Opposite ends of a natural spectrum that offers no real insight into what is "normal" human behavior or ability.
My mother, who I mentioned early as being an extreme Empath tells me that she doesn't feel she can be herself around someone who lives so entirely by their head as I do.
I often think that existing from my head is rejected by those who live by their hearts.
In reality we should be able to accept our differences, and perhaps then the demonization of the Sociopath will finally desist.

I will probably write more on the issue of Sociopathy, and related topics, but for now this is all.

If you have any questions, please, feel free to ask.

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June 24th, 2013 at 02:22am