Nothing Bothers Him–I Wish I Were MORE Like Him!

At the heart of pathology is a lack of empathy, conscience, and remorse. Sounds horrible on paper (and it is) but it looks different in action. Sometimes women wish they were more like THAT–less empathic as a way of getting less hurt.

She doesn’t really mean that (unless she too has a pathology bent). She is exhausted by her own mental activity of intrusive thoughts, heart break, hypervigilance and hurting. She just wants the pain to go away and if that means she becomes callous and doesn’t give a ‘rip’– then so be it–she’ll opt for his pathological character traits.

Cluster B Personality Disorders (Borderline, Narcisistic, Anti-Social Socio/Psychopaths have at the center of the disorder a complete lack of, or at least a reduced capacity for, empathy, conscience and remorse. (We will use the Acronym REC for a lack of these traits–Remorse, Empathy Conscience). To a certain extent, only the degree of a lack of REC distinguishes one disorder from the other. Psychopaths/Sociopaths are at the high end of the spectrum with the highest amount of these traits. But all four disorders have some of these traits in them because these disorders overlap with each other.

So what does a lack of empathy, conscience and remorse look like? On the surface from the women’s perspective it looks like in him either carefree-ness or a lack of concern what others think of him or his behavior. It looks like confidence in his choices and his behavior. It looks like enjoyment of his choices and behaviors even if they are negative. It looks like an unwaivering commitment to his own thoughts (even when it hurts someone else). On the surface, it looks healthy to not be harmed by the thoughts of others because he gets to do his own thing and then be unaffected by how it effects others. He coasts along in cloud of impenetrable numbness from any negative consequence–socially, emotionally, sexually, financially, or physically from his behaviors.

However, a lack of REC is the only thing that differentiates us from some animal species. (Ever try to guilt a cat?) Our ability to feel appropriate guilt is a reflection of our humanity. That various levels of psychopathlogy LACK these elements point to their own diminished ability to act ‘humane’ in certain situations. Why are we surprised that people who have impaired REC go on to abduct children, hurt pets, steal, lie, cheat, and are unfaithful? Conscience is related to consequences and the emotion guilt. Guilt is the RED LIGHT of our behavior–we don’t do something because we don’t want to feel guilt. In the end, guilt saves us from hurting others and ourselves and living with that awful feeling of regret.

But a pathological who doesn’t have that hardwiring to feel remorse or guilt, hurts others (and himself although he may not have the insight to recognize it as self harm), hurts society, and leaves a trail of wounded women and children as he goes golfing, picking up other women, or goes to the tanning bed–all the while humming a little song to himself.

Admiring his ability to hurt others and go on is NOT something you should admire in him. In a recent retreat someone kept bringing up they thought this was GOOD–that a pathological remained unscathed by his own belief system and therefore if we were more like him, we would be happier because we would react less to what we did.

That’s a sad thought. It’s the only line in the sand that separates us as caring human beings from a pathological. Our ability to have insight about our behavior is what makes us somewhat unpathological. Even though we are hurt and would welcome a bit of numbing to get away from the pain, you will never be able to throw yourself into the pit of pathological REC to escape your pain, intrusive thoughts, and other symptoms you wish would go away.

For those women who are not mutually pathological, the only way to get OUT of pain it to go THROUGH the pain. Embracing that you can still tell the difference between right and wrong and you don’t covet his pathology as something to be admired, means you are not pathological yourself! Others who have now embraced his worldview of hurting others, seeing it as good and wanting to a live a life of power/dominance/status, need therapy surrounding her ‘consumption’ of his pathological worldview.

A healthy REC is one of the differentiating aspects that separate us as the fabric of humanity versus the pathological alien. Embrace that about yourself.