Why do we hate the empath? Are we inherently supposed to?
This was a question posed to me by a psychopathic friend of mine. I won’t say that I was taken aback by the question; but I did find it interesting if not unfortunate. It seems like there is nowhere safe from the ‘us versus them’ mentality that plagues humanity. One focus of this blog has been to dispel, without sugar-coating, some of the insane preconceptions regarding psychopathy. Education is key to overriding primal human tendencies. We psychopaths need to be cognizant of the other direction of knowledge, however. Empaths have much to teach us just as we have much to offer them.
Before I share the answer I gave him, I must admit that I am not immune to such a mentality described in the preceding paragraph. The highly religious, for instance, grate against me until I’m metaphorically bleeding. I am an atheist and queer; such an orientation usually does not rub the religious the right way. People like me get actively silenced by such persons and, over the years, it has led to a distrust and a hatred toward that group in general. I do not let that completely close my mind to the individuals that are highly religious, though. In my communications with other psychopaths, I’ve noticed a respectable trend. It seems that many of us value the individual based off their actions, not their membership to some larger demographic. This value can with regard to their worth as a “host” for our parasitic tendencies or it can be a unbiased look into the what the other individual brings to our lives and humanity. Such is my relationship with the religious; I cautiously bin them into a group of enemies, but I always try to give the individual a fair shake. To summarize, I would be a hypocrite if I said that I was immune to the ‘us versus them’ mentality that I often decry.
With that out of the way, it is time to turn to my friend’s question. I do not believe that we are supposed to hate the empath. We may find the orientation of the empath to be confusing and illogical, but that need not imply that they are worthy of hatred. Yes, many empaths would love to see our heads on stakes, but such is found in any intergroup dynamic. As with my own struggles in giving the religious a fair shake, the empath deserves the same. Maybe we should be cautious of the group at large, but there are many individual empaths that are worthy of our respect. I do share the fear of many psychopaths that one day the empath mob will hunt us down out of fears of the unknown. I do share the pain of being stigmatized. However, I want to believe, possibly naively, that we are better than that. I want to believe that with our cold lens of logic that we can see, even if we stumble, that we must be better than those that are blind to mob mentality. That said, the preservationist in me realizes that we will always be marked. Should we intrinsically hate the empath? No. Should we keep one finger on the trigger while our other hand extends a handshake? Yes.