When it comes to narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths we all assume they cannot feel basic emotions like sadness, remorse, or empathy, but is that true? Are there any circumstances in which they can feel these emotions or is it possible they have been able to all along?
Most people will tell you that none of these people can really truly feel the emotions listed above but it is a bit more complicated than that. Before we get into that we need to go over what each one is and how they are all different. These classifications vary sometimes but generally are as follows.
Narcissist- A person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.
Sociopath- A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior as well as a lack of conscience.
Psychopath- A person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior. (Unstable and aggressive in general.)
They all seem to have the following characteristics:
- Lack of care for others
- Limited emotional intelligence
- Aggressiveness be it passive or active
- Lack of remorse
- Sense of entitlement
You see narcissism is the mildest of these three. Sociopathy is often considered to be a more mild form of psychopathy, though it is a bit different in general. The severe condition, of course, would be psychopathy. These people are the most destructive. When it comes to whether they are able to feel emotions like empathy really boils down to the individual. A psychopath doesn’t really get attached to anyone, so anything of the sort is not possible as far as I can see. Sociopaths, on the other hand, might still have feelings for the people who they have a close bond with. This would cause them to experience things like empathy at least on occasion. But of course, this varies from person to person.
Narcissists most likely do care for those who are closest to them at least on some level. With that being said, it doesn’t mean they won’t manipulate them. It mostly depends on just how severe their narcissism really is. Empathy is something that is often underdeveloped in people with narcissism, psychopathy, or sociopathy if it is even present at all.
This is because they don’t see other people as actual human beings. Sometimes people like this can feel emotionally bonded with someone but not in a healthy bond. While some of them can feel empathy or remorse it seems most do not.
I guess it depends on what got them to where they are and how severe their problems really are as to whether they can on some level or not. How do you feel about all of this and do you agree? I for one will be avoiding the above whether they can feel empathy or not. For more on this check out the video below it goes over a study that seems to show psychopaths can switch their empathy on and off.
Image via archive.nyafuu.org.