Psychopaths and Guilt

Psychopaths do not feel guilt.  I have a hard time understanding why the neurotypical would experience guilt.  The other day, I was out to lunch with an acquaintance when I noticed a peculiar bumper sticker on the car we parked next to.  The exact words escape me, but the message was that we should feel certain guilt for various weapons that the first world has used during the course of history.  I was especially baffled because the person feeling guilt was not responsible for any of those horrors.  They felt guilt by proxy.

I am a lazy person.  I don’t believe in expending energy when expending none will suffice.  So, it seems logical that one would avoid feelings of guilt, especially guilt for actions that were not their own.  To do otherwise is to give energy to something that cannot be changed; it is forever part of the past.

However, I also should note that my megalomania prevents me from feeling guilt.  It is not that I actively blame others for their own misfortunes at my hands; I simply view myself as the sole being in my universe.  Everyone else is a tool to be used and refined for future use.  When I take such an approach as this, how can I feel guilt?  Why would I blame myself or feel down over those actions I considered correct in the past?  At its extreme, for the psychopath, this approach can lead to a thought process of which the victim “deserved” whatever came to them.  I do not particularly subscribe to this tactic – as I know that my inability to feel guilt is neurological – but I know many psychopaths do.

Psychopaths are unable to feel guilt for any number of reasons; it is a core part of the condition.  Any semblance of guilt is strongly tied to a perceived loss of stature.  I’ve felt bad for actions I’ve committed in the past, but not for the reasons that neurotypicals would feel guilt.  Such a negative feeling state was the result of others thinking negatively of me and, thus, restricting my forward movement in the future.  This is not guilt, however.  These are pragmatic feelings of self-sabotage.

Whatever the motivation or reasoning, psychopaths simply do not feel guilt.  Many neurotypicals claim this as a facet of inhumanity, but as always, psychopathy is a facet of humanity.  It disturbs people to think that there are those of us that can do anything and not feel the slightest tinge of guilt.  None of this changes reality however.

When Others are Paralyzed by Empathy - Psychopathic Immunity
Spiritual Void ... Psychopaths and Identity (Part 2)

Comments

  1. FNP says

    I see these bumper stickers a lot where I live. I don’t understand why people are angry that the US dropped bombs on Japan, killing 200,000 instead of invading by land risking millions of deaths. 200,000 is less than 1 million, so why get angry over it?

  2. says

    It’s all about emotional attachment. People feel guilt because they form emotional bonds and adopt social norms and mores very early on in life. It becomes part of who they are and how they function. When you’re attached to your society at an emotional level you will tend to change your views on right and wrong along with the current trends. Psychopaths don’t form emotional attachments, or at least only to a minor degree. That’s why to us it can seem strange….until we do some psychology research.

Leave a Reply