It’s time for another debunking. I wrote about what psychopaths can actually feel, and now we are going to look at what we are told that we feel. This is one of many variations of articles that proclaim to be able to read psychopaths’ minds. This particular one comes to us from the ever-entertaining Claudia Moscovici, the owner of PsychopathyAwareness, which is a complete self-own, because they have no idea what a psychopath is, and the “awareness” that they spread is about as useful as a fish tree climbing competition.
So, let’s get into this, and see what psychopaths have been assigned as their emotional experience, shall we?
The Psychopath’s Emotions: What Does He Feel?
1) Glee. A psychopath feels elation or glee whenever he gets his way or pulls a fast one on somebody. I can still recall O.J. Simpson’s reaction to getting away with murder (at least in my own opinion and that of a lot of other people who watched the trial, if not in the eyes of the jury): his celebratory glee at pulling a fast one on the American public, on the system of justice and especially on the victims and their families.
First and foremost, OJ Simpson is not a psychopath. There is no indication, no evidence, nothing that remotely suggests that he is. Assuming that the murders played out as the prosecution argued, he murdered the two people out of rage and jealousy. These would be two things that are clearly not in the psychopathic spectrum of emotions, and it gives you an excellent idea of the mentality of the person that wrote this article.
No research, no understanding, no factual information is offered here. Instead, this is a furtherance of the same tropes that Love Fraud, and Psychopath Free trade in. I have no idea whether OJ felt glee if he committed the murders, but there is ample evidence that OJ’s emotional range is that of the normative human, not a psychopath.
Psychopaths don’t care enough about anyone else to feel anything about their deaths. That’s not how a psychopath thinks. It doesn’t matter if they are an “A’Lister” or someone like me. If they are gleeful because they killed someone, they have emotional depth that psychopaths lack. even in stories where someone that was psychopathic murdered another person, the motivation was not “glee”, it was that they wanted to know what it felt like.
In this particular case, they had already murdered someone in the past, so the question was asked, “if you had done it before, why did you want to know what it felt like?” He replied that he wanted to know if it had changed. Apparently, it had not. Gl
2) Anger. Robert Hare notes in Without Conscience that since psychopaths have low impulse control, they’re much more easily angered than normal people. A psychopath’s displays of anger tend to be cold, sudden, short-lived and arbitrary. Generally you can’t predict what exactly will trigger his anger since this emotion, like his charm, is used to control those around him. It’s not necessarily motivated by something you’ve done or by his circumstances. A psychopath may blow up over something minor, but remain completely cool and collected about a more serious matter. Displays of anger represent yet another way for a psychopath to demonstrate that he’s in charge. When psychopaths scream, insult, hit, or even wound and kill other individuals, they’re aware of their behavior even if they act opportunistically, in the heat of the moment. They know that they’re harming others and, what’s more, they enjoy it.
Anger we talked about in the previous post. It is present, but it isn’t something that directs behavior because it doesn’t stick around longer than a flash. Other people have no idea that I had a second of anger because by the time that it would register facially, it has long since dispersed. You would have a better chance of catching sight of a fairy than you would me angry.
This part of the article has psychopaths throwing tantrums like a child. I have no idea where she is getting this data for her article, but I imagine it is in the same sort of realm in which you would find that fairy.
3) Frustration. This emotion is tied to their displays of anger but isn’t necessarily channeled against a particular person, but against an obstacle or situation. A psychopath may feel frustrated, for example, when his girlfriend doesn’t want to leave her current partner for him. Yet he may be too infatuated with her at the moment to channel his negative emotions against her. He may also believe that his anger would alienate her before he’s gotten a chance to hook her emotionally. In such circumstances, he may become frustrated with the situation itself: with the obstacles that her partner or her family or society in general pose between them. Psychopaths generally experience frustration when they face impersonal barriers between themselves and their current goals or targets. But that’s also what often engages them even more obstinately in a given pursuit. After all, for them, overcoming minor challenges in life is part of the fun.
This once is actually extremely funny. it is written from the point of view that is fantasizing about being the object of desire. It is in the same vein as fifty shades of nonsense.
“A psychopath may feel frustrated, for example, when his girlfriend doesn’t want to leave her current partner for him. Yet he may be too infatuated with her at the moment to channel his negative emotions against her.”
Sorry honey, no one feels this way about you. I know, I know, it’s hard when you have a crush on someone and they don’t notice that you’re alive, but writing revenge fantasies and painting them as a psychopath just makes you look bad, and… a little crazy.
No psychopath is infatuated with someone and gets frustrated because they can’t have the object of their obsession. This would be completely outside of the ability for a psychopath to feel. There is no infatuation, there is no frustration, and there is no pining over the love that they can’t have. This is just ridiculous, and yes, I very much think that this is written due to a fantasy, not reality. If said mystery man that was so enamored of this author exists, he was certainly no psychopath.
Going into the paragraph further just goes deeper into this creation of nonsense.
“Yet he may be too infatuated with her at the moment to channel his negative emotions against her. He may also believe that his anger would alienate her before he’s gotten a chance to hook her emotionally. In such circumstances, he may become frustrated with the situation itself: with the obstacles that her partner or her family or society in general pose between them. “
Nope. Not even a little bit. This is some serious projection if I have ever seen it. It is to the level of me saying, this person needs to get swift and immediate help, because they are not connected to the real world. A psychopath is not some cloud of anger that is trying desperately not to let anyone see that so they can nab the trophy of this author. I have no clue how someone writes those lines with anything resembling a serious face, but here we are, and that she did. She is also wrong, and I am beginning to suspect attempting to audition for Christian Grey’s next love interest.
4) Consternation. As we’ve seen so far, psychopaths don’t create love bonds with others. They establish dominance bonds instead. When those controlled by a psychopath disapprove of his actions or sever the relationship, sometimes he’ll experience anger. But his immediate reaction is more likely to be surprise or consternation. Psychopaths can’t believe that their bad actions, which they always consider justifiable and appropriate, could ever cause another human being who was previously under their spell to disapprove of their behavior and reject them. Even if they cheat, lie, use, manipulate or isolate others, they don’t feel like they deserve any repercussions as a result of that behavior. In addition, psychopaths rationalize their bad actions as being in the best interest of their victims.
For instance, if a psychopath isolates his partner from her family and persuades her to quit her job and then, once she’s all alone with him, abandons her to pursue other women, he feels fully justified in his conduct. In his mind, she deserved to be left since she didn’t satisfy all of his needs or was somehow inadequate as a mate. In fact, given his sense of entitlement, the psychopath might even feel like he did her a favor to remove her from her family and friends and to leave her alone in the middle of nowhere, like a wreck displaced by a tornado. Thanks to him, she can start her life anew and become more independent.
To put it bluntly, a psychopath will kick you in the teeth and expect you to say “Thank you.” Being shameless and self-absorbed, he assumes that all those close to him will buy his false image of goodness and excuse his despicable actions just as he does. In fact, he expects that even the women he’s used and discarded continue to idealize him as a perfect partner and eagerly await his return. That way he can continue to use them for sex, money, control, his image or any other services if, when and for however long he chooses to return into their lives.
When those women don’t feel particularly grateful—when, in fact, they feel only contempt for him–the psychopath will be initially stunned that they have such a low opinion of him. He will also feel betrayed by these women, or by family members and friends who disapprove of his reprehensible behavior. Although he, himself, feels no love and loyalty to anyone, a psychopath expects unconditional love and loyalty from all those over whom he’s established a dominance bond.
This mindset also explains psychopaths’ behavior in court. Both Scott Peterson and Neil Entwistle seemed outraged that the jury found them guilty of murder. Psychopaths believe that those whom they have hurt, and society in general, should not hold them accountable for their misdeeds. After all, in their own minds, they’re superior to other human beings and therefore above the law. How dare anybody hold them accountable and punish them for their crimes!
feelings of anxiety or dismay, typically at something unexpected.
No. Just so much no. Again, back to living in a fantasy world. Let’s look at this language in this paragraph.
“Dominance”, “control”, “spell” “victims”.
She then when on to describe the common theme of an abuser. Not a psychopath. Abusers suck, I have no interest in defending them, but abusers have nothing to do with psychopathy. A person is an abuser, and they come from all neuro-types. It would be one thing if she spoke about abusers, but she can’t do that. Abuser must equal psychopath in her mind. She then goes on to describe the other person with the most hyperbolic of language:
shameless and self-absorbed
That is a victim narrative, pure and simple. If you have a victim mentality, this kind of language can be applied to anyone, regardless of their behavior. If you picked a toxic mate, that is partially on you. Acting as though you have no responsibility in that choice, and the resulting nightmare relationship is trying to dodge and project. You are not a victim, and they are not a psychopath. You are both toxic participants in a nasty relationship. Own that, grow up, and move on. Stop trying to label people with terms you have no concept of what they mean.
Again, she names two murderers that she has decided are psychopaths. Neither is, she has no evidence that they are, and the only reason that she is assigning psychopathy to them is that she considers their crimes to be particularly heinous, therefore they of course must be psychopathic. This is the common projection that I see all the time:
You’re trying to whitewash psychopaths. You must understand that a neurotypical cannot be a serial killer. Empathy prevents killing anyone with no remorse. Almost all serial killers are provenly psychopaths.
Of course, since you’re a white collar psychopath who doesn’t kill people, it’s different. However, in prisons 25% of the inmates have aspd, and often they are full- blown psychopaths. These prisoners are the ones with the most gruesome crimes and most murderers fall in this category. What about the rest of the 75%? Well, normal people can end up in a prison for other crimes than murder, torture, etc. psychopaths do.
The point is, you can’t understand “ neurotypicals” as you call the normal people with a functioning soul and consciousness. But for you and all these murdering serial killers, people have no value. For you guys, people are just soulless meat bags. This stems from the fact you are unable to feel empathy and related emotions in this life.
But in afterlife, psychopaths are like other souls. They feel empathy since their bodily functions no longer prevents it and have to experience all their evil deeds from the perspective of their victims. This is a recurring insight from near death experience life reviews. This will be a true hell for psychopathic killers. All the fear and pain from their victims is intensified, and at that point, a psychopath also feels fear and pain in addition to empathy.
I would be happy if you’d stop spreading disinformation. A person with a fully functioning capability to feel empathy can not kill. And even in those rare cases they do, it could be in a war via peer pressure from a psychopathic commander, for example. Or, it could be an act of self- defence or a cause of momentarily mental illness. These cases are not comparable to the killings of psychopaths. Psychopaths also tend to repeat their crimes, never learning anything from punishment. This is not true in the case of a normal offender.
So please. Stop whitewashing psychopaths. The statistics are all over internet. You’re just lying… but then again, psychopaths are pathological liars, so no surprise there.
Hm, I wonder where their “statistics” might have come from. Probably articles like this one.
5) Boredom. This is probably the only feeling that gives psychopaths a nagging sense of discomfort. They try to alleviate it, as we’ve seen, by pursuing cheap thrills, harming others and engaging in transgressive behavior. Nothing, however, can relieve for long the psychopath’s fundamental ennui. He gets quickly used to, and thus also bored with, each new person and activity.
Boredom is something that psychopaths deal with, that’s true, but let me ask you a question. Didn’t this author detail a long list of things that psychopaths supposedly feel, frustration, anger, consternation, all things that are described by neurotypicals as uncomfortable at the very least, but usually described as very unpleasant? However, she then erases all of that and simply says that boredom is the one thing that is unpleasant. So, does she believe that these imaginary psychopaths are just jolly in all the other things she listed, or is she conceding that those things aren’t actually felt?
Either way, yes boredom is real, but it’s managed. If not, then the outcome tends to be unfortunate for the psychopath in question, but harming others doesn’t interrupt boredom, and it isn’t something that is particularly interesting to begin with. We will talk more about this in the post talking about why psychopaths don’t kill all the time as people love to tell us we do.
6) Histrionic flashes. I’m not sure if this is an emotion, but I know for sure that the psychopath’s dramatic displays of love, remorse and empathy lack any meaning and depth. If you watch the murder trials on the news or on Court TV, you’ll notice that some psychopaths convicted of murder often put on shows of grief, sadness or remorse in front of the jury. The next moment, however, they’re joking around and laughing with their attorneys or instructing them in a calm and deliberate manner about what to do and say on their behalf. The displays of emotion psychopaths commonly engage in are, of course, fake. They’re tools of manipulation–to provoke sympathy or gain trust–as well as yet another way of “winning” by fooling those around them.
I’ve already mentioned that Neil Entwistle engaged in such histrionic behavior. If you’ve followed crime features on the news, you may have noticed that Casey Anthony, the young woman accused of killing her toddler, behaves similarly. She was observed going out to dance and party at clubs with friends the day after her daughter, Caylee, disappeared. Casey’s lack of concern for her missing child doesn’t necessarily prove that she murdered her. But it reveals highly suspicious and callous behavior. It also casts doubt upon the brief and dramatic displays of grief or concern that she sometimes puts on in front of the media and for her parents.
This woman did literally no research for this article did she? I am sure of it now because she goes back to assigning psychopathy to this Neil Entwistle person, of which there is no evidence whatsoever that he is psychopathic, and now bringing in Casey Anthony. Up until now, there haven’t been any diagnoses offered for the people that she assigns psychopathy to, however, Casey Anthony was examined, and several times in fact. Unfortunately for this author, the experts do not agree with her insistence that she was psychopathic. She was neurotypical. Oops, seems like a simple Google search would have answered this one for her:
Considering that was extremely easy to find, it stands to reason that if she had done a modicum of research she would have known that was a poor example. So far all of them have been, but at least she could have hidden behind the ambiguity of the former three. This one on the other hand? Not so much.
No, psychopaths do not have histrionic flashes. That just demonstrates the degree of ignorance that this person had.
7) Infatuation. When they identify someone as a good potential target, psychopaths can become obsessed with that particular person. In Without Conscience, Hare compares the psychopath’s focused attention upon his chosen target to a powerful beam of light that illuminates only one spot at a time. He also likens it to a predator stalking its prey. Because psychopaths tend to ignore other responsibilities (such as their jobs and their families) and have no conscience whatsoever, they can focus on pursuing a given target more intensely than multi-dimensional, loving men could. This is especially the case if their target presents an exciting challenge, such as if she’s rich or famous, or if she’s married to another man, which triggers their competitive drive. This single-minded infatuation, however, like all of their proto-emotions, is superficial and short-lived. Because for psychopaths such obsessions don’t lead to any genuine friendship, caring or love, they dissipate as soon as they get whatever they wanted from that person, which may be only the conquest itself.
This one is fast and easy. Nope. And wrong. Psychopaths don’t care about other people. If she had ever actually known a psychopath, she would know this, but as all she has ever met is the results of her poor choices on the dating market, and none of them were psychopaths, thus we have this lovely article for me to debunk.
8) Self-love (sort of). Since psychopaths only care about themselves, one would think that self-love would be the one emotion they could experience more deeply. In a sense that’s true, since their whole lives revolve around the single-minded pursuit of selfish goals. But this is also what makes psychopaths’ self-love as shallow as the rest of their emotions. Just as they’re incapable of considering anyone else’s long-term interest, they’re incapable of considering their own. By pursuing fleeting pleasures and momentary whims, psychopaths sabotage their own lives as well. Rarely do they end up happy or successful. They spend their whole lives hurting and betraying those who loved and trusted them, using and discarding their partners, disappointing the expectations of their families, friends, bosses and colleagues and moving from one meaningless diversion to another. At the end of the road, most of them end up empty-handed and alone.
I think that she may be referring to herself here because she is certainly incorrect when it comes to psychopaths. This is so far from the truth. There is no self-love, there is no self-hate. There is self-satisfaction. That doesn’t mean that I can’t see ways to improve myself, I just am not bothered if I don’t do so. I also am not obsessed with myself, nor do I “love” myself. I am pleased with myself. I hate to burst her bubble, but psychopaths are pretty much always happy, or at the very least content, and most of us do very well for ourselves. I know, that sucks when you are the captain of the “I hate all the psychopaths” boat, but such is life, and here we are.
9) CONTEMPT. I’ve capitalized this word because this is the emotion that dominates a psychopath’s whole identity and way of looking at other human beings. No matter how charming, other-regarding and friendly they may appear to be on the outside, all psychopaths are misanthropes on the inside. A psychopath’s core emotion is contempt for the individuals he fools, uses and abuses and for humanity in general. You can identify the psychopath’s underlying contempt much more easily once he no longer needs you or once his mask of sanity shatters. As we’ve seen, psychopaths hold themselves in high regard and others in low regard. To describe the hierarchies they construct, I’ll use an analogy from my literary studies. I was trained in Comparative Literature during they heyday of Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction as it was being applied to pretty much everything: cultural studies, gender hierarchies, race relations, post-colonialism and the kitchen sink.
Although looking at life in general in terms of “indeterminate” binary hierarchies hasn’t proved particularly useful, this polarized worldview describes rather well the mindset of psychopaths. For such disordered, narcissistic and unprincipled individuals, the world is divided into superiors (themselves) and inferiors (all others); predators (themselves) and prey (their targets); dupers (themselves) and duped (the suckers). Of course, only giving psychopaths a lobotomy would turn these binary hierarchies upside down in their minds. This is where the applicability of Derrida’s deconstructive model stops. Although psychopaths consider themselves superior to others, they distinguish among levels of inferiority in the people they use, manipulate and dupe.
The biggest dupes in their eyes are those individuals who believe whole-heartedly that the psychopaths are the kind, honest, other-regarding individuals they appear to be. As the saying goes, if you buy that, I have some oceanfront property in Kansas to sell you. Such individuals don’t present much of a challenge for psychopaths. They’re usually quickly used up and discarded by them. The second tier of dupes consists of individuals who are lucid only when it comes to the psychopath’s mistreatment of others, not themselves. Wives and girlfriends who are clever enough to see how the psychopath cheats on, lies to, uses and manipulates other people in his life, but vain or blind enough to believe that they’re the only exception to this rule form the bulk of this group.
This brings to mind an episode of a popular court show I watched recently. A woman testified on behalf of the integrity and honesty of her boyfriend. As it turns out, he had cheated on his wife with her (and other women as well). But his girlfriend nonetheless staunchly defended his character. She maintained that even though she knew that her lover was a cheater and a liar, because she herself was such a great catch and because they had such a special and unique relationship, he was completely faithful and honest to her. The judge laughed out loud and added, “…that you know of!”
Women who are cynical enough to see the psychopath’s mistreatment of others yet gullible enough not to see that’s exactly what he’s doing to them constitute his preferred targets. Such women are not so naive as to present no challenge whatsoever for the psychopath. But they’re definitely blind enough to fall for his manipulation and lies. A psychopath will wrap several such women around his little finger. Those who finally see the psychopath’s mistreatment as a sign of his malicious and corrupt nature occupy the third rung of the hierarchy. They’re usually women who have been burned so badly by the psychopath that they don’t wish to put their hands into the fire again.
“I was trained in Comparative Literature during they heyday of Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction as it was being applied to pretty much everything: cultural studies, gender hierarchies, race relations, post-colonialism and the kitchen sink.”
That pretty well sums up her lack of insight into psychopathy. She is steeped in the victim mentality and was further educated in it in University. Now she is making a living off it. That’s unfortunate, because everything outside of psychopaths’ do experience boredom, was so far off the mark I can’t help but assume that she is creating this villain out of whole cloth to suit the mentality in which she lives.
It is clear that the contempt that she speaks about is her own projection. She has a great deal of it for psychopaths. Psychopaths, on the other hand, don’t care about others, and certainly don’t think about them enough to have contempt for them. Misanthropy requires you to be invested in the existence of others and from that investment formulating a negative opinion. That would not be something that psychopaths are going to be bothered with.
Psychopaths just don’t care. I get it, that hurts people’s feelings, but that’s the long and the short of it. It must really cause deep wounds to realize that someone that you poured your whole life into, your identity, your definition of self, can just leave and not want to hear from you.
You might think that because I stated psychopaths don’t care, and then talked about a breakup I assume that she went through, that I am conceding that her ex was a psychopath. Nope, I think that they were your normative toxic human who found themselves another toxic human to stew with. When it was over she couldn’t handle it, and the other person didn’t want to deal with her drama. The contempt stems from that, and she assigns that to psychopaths because making a villain out of her ex feels better than just getting dumped by someone that she shouldn’t have been with in the first place.
That would require ownership and responsibility. That doesn't work for her because she wants to be a victim, not a participant. She wants the problem to be her ex, not her. Got news for them, it was both of them. Her part of it is screaming from these lines, and moreso from her book that she spun out this experience. People like this do not contribute anything meaningful to the discussion of psychopathy, and by the time that they are writing books about it, there is no inroad to having a reasonable discussion with them. They are at the stage of defiant ignorance. This is several steps beyond willful ignorance. Willful ignorance means you are just ignoring other points of view. Defiant ignorance is when you are so invested in your narrative that you will do everything that you can to not hear anything to the contrary.
There you have it, another debunking. I am sure that there will be more in the future. I have thought about debunking the “Hidden Suffering Of Psychopaths” article, but it is so loaded with misinformation and nonsense that it will be a slog to get through. If you want me to do that one I will, however. Let me know.