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Psychopaths and sociopaths teach us about the importance of love bonds

I’ve been reviewing scientific studies for my next book on sociopathy and have found some fascinating research. A technology called fMRI enables scientists to monitor brain activity when people feel different emotions or do various tasks. A recent study has demonstrated that people high in trait sociopathy (psychopathy in the paper), experience no pleasure when cooperating with someone else, and no guilt at pursuing selfish goals at another’s expense. Furthermore, when a sociopath gets over on someone his pleasure center lights up with activity. I know, we already knew this, but it is nice that scientists have correlated sociopathic behavior with specific brain areas.

Love and moral emotions dictate that when I do good for someone else I get a double reward. The first reward is a good feeling in my heart for doing the good. The next reward is knowledge that often a good will be done for me in return. Similarly when I am mean to someone, I get a double punishment. The first punishment is my own guilt and the second is the retribution I receive from the person I was mean to. Now, imagine an inner world without the rewards of cooperation and the punishments of deceit. This is the inner world of the psychopath, devoid of love and moral emotions.

When a sociopath cooperates, the only reward he gets is the hope that someday the favor will be returned. It is no wonder that sociopaths are uncooperative. When a sociopath screws someone over, he only faces that person’s wrath. If you can appreciate the huge role that affection and guilt play in your life, you can fully understand the behavior of sociopaths. It is really ability to love and moral emotions that keep the human social world spinning around.

There was a very disturbing news story on CNN yesterday that also teaches us that the human ability to love is inborn and not fully dependent on a society’s teaching. A woman in Saudi Arabia was kidnapped from a shopping mall and gang raped. After she reported the crime, she was arrested and sentenced to 90 lashes. When she appealed the sentence it was increased to 200 lashes and six months in prison. She had apparently broken the law because she was with a man who is not a relative. This society apparently raises men to think of women as undeserving of humane treatment. That is why the rest of the story is truly remarkable.

To watch the CNN story for yourself visit http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/11/21/saudi.rape.victim/index.html?iref=newssearch#cnnSTCVideo. Toward the end of the video clip, the victim’s husband speaks out in defense of his wife. He states, “You marry someone for good and for worse and I love my wife.” Does this not demonstrate the power of love to override even a culture’s teachings? This husband spoke out even though he faces religious, political and judicial persecution for doing so. He publically proclaimed his love for someone many in his society believe is a worthless human being. I contend that his only motivation is the love he feels in his heart. For you women who are still obsessing over a sociopath, please consider that this is the way normal men behave toward their wives.

I also contend that the judges in this case have no such love or compassion. They seem to be missing the fact that this woman has already been punished enough for breaking their laws. These judges function like sociopaths. They easily sleep at night, content with their positions of power. I believe that they will come to watch this poor woman receive her lashings in order to derive sadistic pleasure. Sociopaths get pleasure from watching both people and animals suffering. Research shows this pleasure is tied to the part of the brain that also senses justice.

It is truly love that defines the best in us. Love enables a balance between justice and compassion. Without this love, we are truly lost as a species.



5 Comments on "Psychopaths and sociopaths teach us about the importance of love bonds"

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  1. apt/mgr says:

    I was on the receiving end of the likes of which everyone speaks. Verbal, emotional, mental cruelty and some physical. I was told in essence that it was my fault. Most times I was just there. I used to think they derived too much pleasure in hurting me and now this is found to be so. In reading so many of these posts, I’m finding it’s so much easier to get over what should have been a loss. I’ve come to the conclusion, why should I care or grieve, when it’s obvious they feel nothing.

    I speak of my husband, who I am planning to divorce, and a male friend, who only wants to be my friend on his terms. I’m nothing more than a pit stop, but when I met him, I was so broken from the years of the turmoil from my husband. I kept waiting for my husband to return. To once again become the man I met. I’m finding that that man never did exist. Just like my friend. I know who I am, but they don’t. They mirrored so many of my emotions. I have found that whatever emotion they exhibit doesn’t coincide with the happening. Very warped and retarded emotions. I sure have learned a lot about human behavior, but it cost me a lot along the way. I have finally gotten the guard around my heart, back into place. I’ve found one can be hurt to the point where it no longer hurts. Lots of scar tissue. Remembering the past so it isn’t repeated.

    I’ve found, too, that if I exhibit the same behavior and throw it back at them, they appear offended and hurt. I say, how do you like it? Doesn’t make any difference. I’ve learned to get over it and know that I didn’t create the monster. They have the problem and not me. I no longer buy into guilt. If I haven’t created the problem, I refuse to own it. I have always done self analysis, and know if I should apologize. I try to live in a way that I don’t have to be sorry for any of my behavior. I like the altruistic approach, which is nothing more than the Golden Rule. This all explains why it’s so difficult to make a point. I’m always wrong in their eyes. So I quit trying. I will concede defeat on their behalf. That way I have peace and contentment. With sociopaths and such, it’s a lose/lose situation. I was a fixer and thought I could somehow break through that veneer and get them to feel empathy. I found I was in competition and didn’t know it. I have felt like a mother to someone who wanted to use me for sex. I think one should feel married and should know real. Doesn’t happen with them. Makes one wonder what their heart is really like. Can they feel fear or do they fear all the time, but don’t want to admit it? It’s almost like trying to relate to a robot. Inane conversations. Empty phrases. Empty emotions. Broken promises. They bring nothing to the table. As sad as it is, it’s a relief to know they have a problem and it really isn’t me. It’s them.



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  2. Most socioapths are fearless that is part of their emotional disorder. The others have very poor impulse control and no capacity to cope with the anxiety they have. That is why they become blaming and dependent.



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  3. redheeler says:

    Do sociopaths recognize and relate to each other? Do they tend to gravitate towards one another, i.e. a living situation with multiple dwellings? In high school it was called a click. I see it around where I live, in the small, rural towns. Mean little groups of adults who delight in causing trouble with their gossip, lies and behavior. Their level of self pride for ruining lives is astounding. They love it and also the end result which is to keep others down and rendered “unacceptable”. I live alone, very private, quiet and I mind my own business. I did attend a very small home type church. Learned too late that it was yet another one of the “clicks”. I was dumbfounded to learn of their gossip about me! It was lies and speculation about who they think I am. Four are permanent residents in a rv park, 3 have homes on the same property. They stab one another in the back, yet maintain their tight circle. Have they just created another dysfunctional “family” or is it as I asked: do sociopaths relate and gravitate towards one another?



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  4. Fleeced Ewe says:

    …”when a sociopath gets over on someone, his pleasure center lights up with activity…” LFBlog

    I can REALLY understand this here
    There is a Scripture that says, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” MT 6:22

    I had turned to my (then) husband after realizing in horror (that the move he conned me into, 2,000 miles from our home) had stripped me and our children from all that we knew; our friends, family, activities, social life etc… and the house he bribed us with was not going to happen; instead, he announced that we would be placing a tailor house on the new property which happened to be in the middle of nowhere on a pile of rock, and was smaller than the one we left because IT was too small.

    That day, I was grieving for our little Victorian farm house we left behind, my cottage business, friends, family and things familiar etc…
    “oh, and by the way,” he told me that we were “broke from the recent move” and had NO MONEY for anything that we were accustomed to back home-therefore we would NEVER be able to afford trips back to visit for years and taking the children on drives or to activities was no longer possible.

    As I cried and pleaded to him of our losses (still not realizing that he was the perpetrator) his face remained expressionless, the creep had GLEE in his eyes. GLEE. They LIGHT UP (his activity center kicked in!).
    That day something snapped inside me also, (the day, I went into the fright/flight mode) it dawned on me that something inside of him was really wired wrong, had always BEEN wired wrong, and was never going to change. It took me 20 years to SEE this and finally act upon it-well, at least begin action which is still going on seven years later.

    Once in flight, it took me another 2-7 years to REALLY be able to sort it all out, thus ending up on sites such as this. I’ll probably spend the rest of my life sorting, since all the life I have lived thus far– has always been affected by psychopaths.
    My dad, family, brother, husband of 20 years.



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  5. Fleeced Ewe says:

    My ex-husband would set me up to fail publicly, then, he would stand up to others criticizing me and say the same thing that this woman’s husband said.

    It sounds noble, and many of us would do anything to have a husband publicly announce that he would stay with us no matter what we do; however….

    I learned that even a man who stands by his woman, may be standing there while holding her by her hair.

    Soni



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