Psychopathic Indifference – Empathy as a Weapon (Part 2)

The psychopath does not care about your struggles.  It was the day after Christmas and I was spending time at my favorite coffee shop.   A crying middle-aged woman comes up to me while I’m outside smoking and asks me for fifty dollars in order to buy diapers and necessities for her granddaughter, whom she claimed to have left at home alone while she attempted to find a handout.  I heard her out but ultimately told her that I did not have the cash and that she should try the coffeeshop for such a donation.  I should note that I did have the cash.  Whether she was telling the truth was irrelevant to me as was the idea that a baby could be left alone somewhere.  I didn’t care.  I’m simply immune to such human plights and human scams.

Another time, in the same city, I was approached at a stoplight by an elderly woman who was clearly demented.  She did not know where she was, was barely clothed, and I could tell that she was sincere.  However, that was not my concern.  I had places to be and people to meet and the plight of one not long for feeding the worms did not register as something I needed to tend to.  Whether a person is sincere with their need for help or not is irrelevant to me; such a person can find someone else for help.

Lest the reader misunderstand, it was not necessarily my intention to be callous.  I can intellectually realize that there was a probability (or certainty with the dementia sufferer) that in both cases there was a real human need for help.  In the first case, I can also recognize that there was a possibility of a scam.  Either way, these individuals were using the wrong tactics for the psychopath to open their pursestrings.  Someone else may melt like putty to such appeals for help but not me.

Exploring the idea of scams ever so briefly, the psychopath is immune to those that are enacted in the name of empathy.  We will not fall for the shyster that needs a twenty for gasoline.  We will not pick up the hitchhiker that is secretly carrying a loaded gun.  If there is nothing in it for us, there will be no effort expended.  In this sense, the psychopath is safe to this set of evils in the world.  Hell, we might even learn a thing or two from these individuals that are trying to swindle us.

Empathy is a weapon.  It can be used to communicate real human need, but it can also be used to scam others out of their money, time, or lives.  The psychopath is immune to such a blade, however.  Whereas the neurotypical may find themselves a bit lighter in the wallet or in the vein as they cave in to the “needs” of individuals that they will never truly know, the psychopath just scampers along with their indifference.

Morality, Immorality, Amorality, and the Psychopath
Psychopaths and Time


  1. M says

    Well, psychopathic or not, I don’t think that many people would give away fifty dollars like that to some stranger.

    • J. Kelly says

      I suppose there is a threshold for each person, psychopath or neurotypical, in terms of what money is free to hand out. How does the neurotypical decide whom is worthy and for how much? I’m sure there is a psychology to panhandling that would be interesting to read further into.

      • M says

        It’s pretty much like everything else. If the person is nothing to us, then it’s not worth it (just for the sake of that person). For me personally that includes anyone that is not my immediate family – yes, for me, blood (genes) is thicker than water.

    • FNP says

      Both of my parents give away money and stuff to homeless people. They say it’s because it makes them look better, though.

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