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Old 10-12-2019, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
28,164 posts, read 18,507,188 times
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I was looking at the titles in this sub forum, and I wondered if psychopaths or sociopaths (whichever term you prefer or want to answer about) can be/are happy? Do they experience happiness in any way that is not destructive to others? Do they experience happiness at all?

Can they become depressed? I suppose they can feel vengeful. I suppose they can feel jealousy, and probably hate. Can they have any positive emotions, I wonder?

Anyone know?
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:15 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
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One may think they are - after all, psychopaths effectively manipulate people with their superficial charm and pathological lying to get what they want. Additionally, they lack empathy and display callousness toward others.
So, I think, some probably are, if they are single, because they mostly focus on their own needs and desires. Not sure about their relationships, though, since they tend to be shallow, superficial and full of themselves ...

Psychopaths are much less likely to develop deep bonds with others, but probably still want to be loved even if they are almost incapable of truly loving another. Despite their outward arrogance, psychopaths feel inferior to others, they suffer because they are aware of their own deviant behavior.
Some try to carefully hide their true nature because that is not acceptable to others.
Although they may attempt to change, low fear response and inability to learn from experiences lead to repeated negative, frustrating, and depressing confrontations, including trouble with the justice system.
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Tucson
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I'm the daughter of one (diagnosed, in therapy for years), so this is from my first-hand observation.



Yes, they can experience positive emotions even when they are not having a negative impact on someone else. But being able to derive those emotions from damage to others is one of the traits that distinguishes a sociopath/psychopath.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaic View Post
I'm the daughter of one (diagnosed, in therapy for years), so this is from my first-hand observation.

Yes, they can experience positive emotions even when they are not having a negative impact on someone else. But being able to derive those emotions from damage to others is one of the traits that distinguishes a sociopath/psychopath.
We also have one in the family that has been in therapy for years and hospitalized several times.

She seems very happy when all attention is on her, when she is in a room full of new people she can meet and impress with lies or steal from them, sometimes when she is painting, singing or dancing.

She pretends she is happy when she receives gifts, but she will destroy them or sabotage them because she is happier upsetting the gift givers. She intentionally repeats behaviors that she knows makes people angry.

Her psychiatrists have explained that she cannot see the world as the rest of us do.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by elnina View Post
So, I think, some probably are, if they are single, because they mostly focus on their own needs and desires. Not sure about their relationships, though, since they tend to be shallow, superficial and full of themselves ...
It would seem that married sociopaths also focus mostly on their own needs and desires.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
.

Her psychiatrists have explained that she cannot see the world as the rest of us do.
They probably see people as something to prey on, for whatever they want or need.

They also believe the world should revolve around their needs. They are the hub of the wheel and everyone else is the spoke that revolves around them.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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But are they able to experience happiness? Some of you indicate yes, and some of you are doubtful. I wonder if they are mostly miserable when they aren’t manipulating or conning people. Can they appreciate a magnificent sunset, or enjoy a strenuous hike? Can they experience pride in a well done job? Do these people feel any normal positive feelings?

I really wonder if they are secretly eaten up with jealousy or other negative emotions.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
10,573 posts, read 8,009,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
But are they able to experience happiness? Some of you indicate yes, and some of you are doubtful. I wonder if they are mostly miserable when they aren’t manipulating or conning people. Can they appreciate a magnificent sunset, or enjoy a strenuous hike? Can they experience pride in a well done job? Do these people feel any normal positive feelings?

I really wonder if they are secretly eaten up with jealousy or other negative emotions.
I think that you miss that it isn't (at least not always) a desire to harm, rather its a lack of inhibition based on empathy, which often leads to impulsiveness. You and I see a nice Rolex and might really like/admire the watch. We don't steal it because we understand that its damaging to have something stolen, and don't wish that on the other person. We don't smash the face in of a clerk that angers us because we understand how damaging it is to the other person (and the legal consequences to boot.) A Psychopath cannot think about what it would mean for their victim to live the rest of their life with the aftermath of their violence, and often is too impulsive to consider the jail sentence resulting from it.

I don't think any of that prohibits pride in a job well done or enjoyment of a hike or exercise.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:35 PM
 
3,149 posts, read 1,120,862 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
But are they able to experience happiness? Some of you indicate yes, and some of you are doubtful. I wonder if they are mostly miserable when they aren’t manipulating or conning people. Can they appreciate a magnificent sunset, or enjoy a strenuous hike? Can they experience pride in a well done job? Do these people feel any normal positive feelings?

I really wonder if they are secretly eaten up with jealousy or other negative emotions.
I dont think their experience of happiness is anything like ours, so in a way your question is impossible to answer. I dont think they experience happiness as normal people do. Happiness to me is a feeling of contentment, peace, joy, well being, pleasure, and it can come from something very mundane, like a sunset.

I dont think sociopaths can get that same pleasure out of things like that. It takes some emotional depth I think, getting out of ones own head, communing with the universe in a way, not to sound too woo woo, but appreciating being part of something bigger. Theres a sense of awe in it, which transcends the self.

Sociopaths are unable to get out of themselves enough to experience that. They might have their own ways of getting pleasure though and experiencing what is happiness for them.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moongirl00 View Post
I dont think their experience of happiness is anything like ours, so in a way your question is impossible to answer. I dont think they experience happiness as normal people do. Happiness to me is a feeling of contentment, peace, joy, well being, pleasure, and it can come from something very mundane, like a sunset.

I dont think sociopaths can get that same pleasure out of things like that. It takes some emotional depth I think, getting out of ones own head, communing with the universe in a way, not to sound too woo woo, but appreciating being part of something bigger. Theres a sense of awe in it, which transcends the self.

Sociopaths are unable to get out of themselves enough to experience that. They might have their own ways of getting pleasure though and experiencing what is happiness for them.
Your answer makes sense to me. Thanks.
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