Mosquitoes, Marriage, and Empathy – The Niches Psychopaths Fill

Psychopaths fill a niche.  In a prosocial and empathic world, there is an advantage for a group to act both antisocially and without affective empathy.  If this were business, we would celebrate the ingenuity of such a group to find such a niche and to capitalize upon it.  However, this is not business, this is life, and as such, neurotypicals lose their collective shit when faced with someone who can act while the rest of the crowd stands still.  We acknowledge the annoyances of the mosquito with its bloodsucking ways, but we do not eradicate it for ecosystems are calibrated to survive with its existence.  The same train of thought should be applied to the realm of psychopathy.  I will concede that the unchecked psychopath may be an irritant to those neurotypicals around him, however I do believe that society could not function for long without his existence.

This blog has always been geared toward the successful psychopath.  For this discussion, we will ignore those psychopaths that find their way into the prison system for they obviously cannot contribute to society.  We need psychopaths for society to run well, however.  At the very least we need individuals that can channel their inner psychopath.  What force would law have without courts that could not place matters of empathy aside?  We cannot have rule by empathy but by logic.  How good would our surgeons be if they became distraught when a patient was fading?  What defense would their be for the accused if their lawyers succumbed to visceral feelings regarding the plaintiff?  What about our leaders?  Can leaders be effective if their judgement is clouded by the sins of their allies?   We need a lack of empathy in selective areas for society to function.  It helps that psychopaths can gravitate to these positions with their natural traits, but we must also demand that neurotypicals in these positions behave similarly.  The consequence of anything otherwise is too great.  Far too often, those with power (be they surgeons, lawyers, judges, the executive branch of the government, etc.) that succumb to empathy make things worse.

The surgeon who is overwhelmed with grief by the fading patient will not add any probability to the patient’s survival.  The lawyer that is stricken with sadness for the murder victim will not be of any use to her client.  The executive branch overwhelmed by the sins of others will resort to actions that threaten fragile alliances.  Turning to more current events, consider the case before the United States Supreme Court that will determine whether states can deny homosexual couples the ability to marry.  Introducing empathy without reasoning can make the Constitution weaker or stronger as a consequence.  What if instead of examining the important question of whether rights lie with the individual, state, or both, a decision was made solely out of empathic longing for an marginalized group?  Hundreds of years of precedent could be thrown out the window while hundreds of years of precedent to come could be set.  Such decisions cannot be made lightly and they cannot be made solely with empathy, no matter how the unintelligent masses may wish it so.  (Lest the reader infer something unintended, I use this example solely to demonstrate the gravity empathy can have, I am not tipping my hand on what I personally believe regarding this case).

The short-sighted eradicate the mosquito.  Likewise, the misguided attempt to eradicate psychopathy.  As with any demographic, there will be a separation of those that can function within society and those that cannot.  However, we need those that can function to exist in the niches that they fill.  The alternative is a world run by empathy and it would be a world snuffed out by its own vengeance in no time flat.

Lines Made of Blood


  1. FNP says

    Without psychopaths, the justice system would collapse. So would healthcare, public safety, and communications. So would executive systems and businesses.

    Psychopaths do things while neurotypicals comment on doing things.

    • mel says

      Hail hail to the greedy bloodsuckers, who have run the planet into the ground through self-serving interests, having no remorse or guilt for leaving nothing but a mess in the wake of heartless decision making. Lining their already budging and deep pockets is the only agenda for psychopaths in power. Monsanto, factory farming, big pharma, nuclear catastrophes, tyrannical governments, bigotry, human rights violations, exploitation of woman and children, senseless wars, high gas prices, etc are what the bloodsucking 1% has given us. Like a mosquito, the greedy psychopaths in power take without ever giving back. I think psychopaths in power are more than parasitic, they are cancerous.

      I have friends who are world class surgeons, one in particular at UCLA’s Jules Stein Inst. These surgeons are not psychopaths. They have deep empathy for their patients and are able to do what they do because of tremendous skill and talent. But sure, of course there are some doctors, lawyers, judges who are psychopathic bully’s and their reputations stink. I think people would rather avoid them because ultimately they can’t be trusted to act honorably. Success for them is about boosting ego.

      You might want to view a documentary called fisheds.

      • FNP says

        High empathy people become nurses and caregives, not surgeons. Surgeons can’t work if they have high empathy, because then they’re worried about harming their patient.

        • Anonymous says

          Ok, here I have to disagree, FNP. People can control their empathetic and other emotional reactions. NT’s are not all emotional all the time. Control of own’s emotions is a sign of good emotional intelligence. NT’s may score low, high or average on EI. Some of them won’t control their own emotions – and those may not be abble to work as surgeons. But you’re (wrongly) generalizing.

          • FNP says

            Emotions and emotionality have nothing to do with empathy. I completely lack the ability to feel as others feel, but that doesn’t mean I have no emotions. My emotions are dulled, yes, but that really means nothing in terms of empathy.

          • Anonymous says

            I consider here empathetic response an emotional response, but my main point is that people can control empathetic responses like they can control their emotions. And can control the fact that they worry about their patients. This still stands. I know people who even control their empathetic responses towards their children.

          • says

            When I tell people what I do (mortician), they usually assume that I am an extraordinarily sympathetic, caring, and selfless person, or they assume that I am a money-grubbing psychopath who’s cold and dead inside. “I don’t know how you can do that, doesn’t it get to you, being around so much sadness all the time?”
            No, it doesn’t, because it doesn’t register as sadness—-in my mind, I spend my day surrounded by challenging problems to solve.

            I think I probably fall into the same category as surgeons and EMTs. It’s not that we don’t feel empathy, it’s that we have no time for that nonsense when there is work to be done. I would be a pretty freaking selfish person if I let my own case of the sads interfere with the work I do, and screw over the people who are actually experiencing this loss. But that’s not even a struggle—so long as there is work to be done, the experience inside my head is very clear, cold and bright like an operating theatre, and very still save for recall of technical information and working through solutions to various problems. When I am piecing together some kid’s skull, I’m not thinking about how potentially healing it will be for his mom to see him one last time whole and unmangled—–I’m thinking about the next step, anticipating what problems might arise and how I can avoid them, and to be perfectly honest, underlying all of that I’m usually thinking about what a goddamn superstar I am. I am very, very good at a physically demanding and technically difficult job, and it makes me very happy to do hard work well. So yes, quite often I find myself walking away from dead children and fist-pumping the air, feeling nothing in that moment but ecstatic triumph.
            Luckily, I am old enough that I’ve learned not to worry about whether my emotional and reflective experiences are “right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad.” I measure my self-worth based on my value to my family, my community, and society as a whole. It matters not one little bit what’s going on inside my head, so long as my actions are not harmful to myself or others. I think that’s a metric that everyone, NT’s included, can get behind. (Or it would be if our culture were not batspit insane.)

        • Anonymous says

          One may have high empathy and manage to calm himself down for surgery (ability to control/ deal with own emotions).

      • Anonymous says

        As for mel, she’s the queen of (wrong) generalizations. She said:

        “But sure, of course there are some doctors, lawyers, judges who are psychopathic bully’s and their reputations stink. I think people would rather avoid them because ultimately they can’t be trusted to act honorably.”

        Some psychopaths are capable to build a good reputation. They may even appear very “normal”.

        • FNP says

          mel has the problem of a lack of ability to understand that psychopaths are not so easily spotted by neurotypicals as she thinks. The fact that we can and will lie to hide our natures from people means that it’s impossible to find the “real” us, especially given that most psychopaths don’t really have a single self-image.

          • Anonymous says

            Some are overtly anti-social and people can spot that there’s something “off”. with them. But others are fairly successful. They actually make an effort to build up an image of absolute normalcy. They’re sneaky.

          • FNP says

            Ted Bundy was overtly antisocial. He was commonly described as a perfectly normal guy.

  2. mel says

    Eventually, the mask cracks and the true identity ( lack of an identity) is revealed. There is so much great info. available that spotting a psychopath is quite easy now. All a normal person has to do is ask some good questions and be very observant. Psychopaths always have something that’s “off” about them, it’s a level of insincerity about them. Also, they are incapable of being truly consistent (so they lie) because they get bored. They get caught due to the lies. Thats why it’s almost impossible for psychopaths to build good reputations. Eventually the lies catch up and their lives break down. It’s a psychopaths grandiosity that gets them every time. Psychopaths think they are so smart they can fool everyone and even get away with murder. If that were true, why do they have so many failed relationships & careers. How many celebrities, politicians and business people have fallen from grace because their grandiosity lead them to believe they could dupe everyone. Poor Bernie Madoff, Aaron Schock, Sen McCotter,Rck Renzi etc. etc. etc… They all really thought they would get away with it.

    Now normal people are capable of seeing patterns: The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. And, due to awareness and great information: Psychopaths are no longer as invisible as they used to be. What they are is transparent.

    • Anonymous says

      Girl, everybody lies. I lie, you (almost certainly) lie occasionally, Obama lies, George Bush lies, your neighbor lies, the freaking queen of England lies! It’s not because one is caught lying once or twice or so that people gonna label him “dangerous” or a “sociopath” or even a “terrible person”. The psychopath has to be careless enough to get caught many times and some of them care about reputations. It gives them great advantage to have a good reputation. Primary psychopaths (who score higher in factor 1) are specially cunning, charming and manipulative and not as anti-social as secondary ones, for instance.

      • mel says

        I understand that psychopaths find it very hard to understand that people don’t lie. I do not lie. I don’t because I don’t like the weight of it. Psychopaths are not capable of understanding this (a well researched psychopaths trait) Other well studied psychopaths traits: 1) Projection ( you lie and don’t trust, so you think all people do as you do).2)Superiority complex ( you believe that your charm and cunning can outwit all others) 3) Ego and grandiosity ( you falsely believe that your inability to feel deep emotions makes you able to excel and fool).

        Psychopaths are careless due to ego and grandiosity. They can fool people only temporarily. Can you honestly say people don’t know what you are? If you are so invisible, why does this blog even exist. What bother making your arguments and pity plays stating how horribly you are misunderstood and discriminated against. If you were so stealthy then you would be adored, respected and heavily sought after, right?

        If your disguises were so iron clad, perfect and impenetrable, why are we having any of these discussions. We are having them because psychopaths reveal themselves. Normal people have an edge over them because our capacity to feel, ascertain and our level of awareness is much greater. Initially, we might be fooled, but like I said, that mask always slips. It has to, because it’s just a mask/false and feeble front. There’s nothing real about it, so it hangs precariously until it just falls off and the psychopath gets exposed for what s/he really is:A bored, fake manipulator with a self serving agenda.

        • FNP says

          Except that people who say they don’t lie are the biggest liars there are. You have lied about something at some point in your life. Even Jesus and Buddha and Moses and all those other religious figures lied at some point.

          You are saying an entire group is the way that one person you encountered was, without even actually knowing if the person you encountered was a psychopath or not.

          You still haven’t gotten the point that you aren’t arguing with the person that writes this blog, have you?

          • mel says

            Anonymous – Are you sure you are not a psychopath? Psychopaths believe everyone lies, because they project their own behavior onto others. They also are incapable of trusting anyone because they believe all people are untrustworthy. They believe they need to protect themselves from manipulation because they are always manipulating.

            I have no doubt there are many people who have no idea they’re psychopaths or narcissists and believe their behavior is perfectly normal.

          • Anonymous says

            Mel, everyone lies. Psychopaths and some machiavellian NT’s are better at it and (I think) do it more often than the average person. But deceiving is just… human, not “psychopathic” in itself.

          • FNP says

            Everybody lies. The difference is that high-empathy types like you claim to be (but aren’t since you can’t empathize with psychopaths) try to downplay it and feel guilty when they lie.

    • FNP says

      If the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, then in the future I will either manipulate or not manipulate somebody. Basically, all you can tell from my past behavior is that I have past behavior.

      I can maintain a false image for years without anything getting leaked that disproves any of it. I also cater to each person I’m seriously wanting something from, in real life anyway. On the internet, I see no reason to mask in the vast majority of cases.

      To someone like you, I’d be a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. To someone else, I’m something completely different.

      What kind of questions would you ask someone who has spent their life perfecting their lies so as to appear inseparable from the truth? How would you determine the difference between a lie based on truth and the truth?

      • FNP says

        I like how mel has refused to answer this post. Nothing she has said has been anything other than moral-high-ground grandstanding with no evidence. Nor has she said those magic questions that differentiate those who study human behavior from those who naturally empathize.

  3. mel says

    It’s the way a psychopath lies.There is a certain ego involved. Psychopaths lie using unmistakeable patterns. Psychopaths also try a little but too hard. They exaggerate and it makes normal people uncomfortable. You can also tell a psychopath is lying because of certain facial expressions and body language.

    All you have to do is ask a psychopath how s/he feels about something and then BAMB! all is revealed. A psychopath can’t go there and becomes evasive, or tries to fake it and it just doesn’t fly.

    • FNP says

      You haven’t actually met any psychopaths, have you? Because your reasoning sounds exactly like those so-called support blogs that “help” people to “deal with” psychopaths and narcissists. Ask me how I feel about something and I’ll give you my honest feelings about it. I have no problem with stating how I feel about something. The fact that you think psychopaths are so easy to spot tells everyone else that you’ve never met anybody that you knew was a psychopath.

      Body language and facial expressions are the first things that psychopaths learn to utilize. That’s why we blend in so well unless we do something incredibly stupid, like kill a bunch of people.

      • mel says

        How can you describe and explain what you have no ability to experience? Psychopaths try and initially can paper convincing, but the lack of substance is what begins to fray the tale. For example: The way a psychopath compliments, or says I” love you”. It never comes out right. It’s usually over exaggerated, or comes off flat. There is no true substance in the words. It’s like watching a bad actor.

        Psychopaths also eventually reveal themselves because they lie upon lie and end up back peddling and contradicting themselves. Psychopaths aren’t bothered when they do this and that’s how they get caught out. This behavior is horrible to watch.

        Look at the way you are arguing this point? You’re all over the place. Your sweeping statements are over-the-top exaggerations. Psychopaths, have shallow emotions at best, so how can you have genuine feelings? You can’t, but now you are saying you can. In past comments on the blog you admit that you can’t. In other comments you admit that you like to manipulate and fuck with people.

        I am not the only one who can spot a psychopath. The numbers are growing. The way you communicate gives you away. Yep. You are a psychopath.

        • Anonymous says

          And how can you be sure, if there’s no evaluation from a professional, using the right tools that the person is a psychopath? You can’t. And psychopaths have feelings. Just not for others. SOm studies indicate they experience a lot of the same emotions as NT’s, but they tend to be less intense and, according to Hare, last less.

          • mel says

            You don’t have to have a PHD to recognize a psychopath.

            Since psychopaths do not have “feelings for others” their displays of affection can be over the top. The excessive pretend affectations are indicators that there is no sincerity.

            Psychopaths don’t have the ability to gage when they are crossing the line, so the behavior always gives them away. People who become emotionally attached to psychopaths will try to overlook it (until they can’t anymore), but others will just feel uncomfortable and embarrassed for the psychopath.

          • Anonymous says

            that the displays can be over the top can also apply to hpd, even more so.

          • FNP says

            Speaking as an actual psychopath here, I can safely say that I know full well when I’m crossing “the line”, and I will only cross that line as a last resort to get what I want. Otherwise, my reputation and image would be tarnished far too easily.

    • Jessica Kelly says

      This is the most nonsensical thing I’ve ever read. Psychopaths can be very honest with their feelings. Articulating them can be difficult, but I do not see any correlation between psychopathy and refusal to discuss feelings.

  4. brenali says

    I love how Mel invalidates how a psychopath could think by going “well you haven’t experienced x, so how could you know anything about it?”
    She hasn’t experienced psychopathy, how could she know how a psychopath feels? And the concept of “psychopaths will panic and backpeddle and collapse when caught in a lie” is laughable. I’m not one for saying psychopaths are all-powerful, but Mel is under the impression that psychopaths are jittery weak creatures when that is definitely not the case.

    • mel says

      brenali – I don’t think they are “jittery or weak.” I think they are obvious. They carry red flags.

      If Psychopaths don’t experience feelings of love, how can they describe it, or talk about their feelings about it?

      • brenali says

        Very easily. Never has there been a shortage of ways to learn about love, and the feeling of possession isn’t terribly far off.

        • mel says

          brenali – Possession is very different from love. Possession is about control and the fact that you believe them to be similar exemplifies how off a psychopath can be and not even know it. Psychopaths thrive on dominance and control. Love is not something you “learn” about. I have no doubt a psychopath believes s/he can “learn” about it, but without feeling love, the psychopath’s intentions of possession are soon fully exposed. That’s one of the ways a psychopath is revealed for what s/he truly is. You can fake some of the people some of the time, but certainly not all of the people all of the time. And, the “some” that are initially fooled will eventually see very accurately.

          • FNP says

            You know what’s funny about your paraphrased quote? It’s actually “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

            It completely changes the meaning from what you said. If you believe you can’t be fooled, you’ve already been fooled into thinking that.

    • FNP says

      People who panic when caught lying aren’t called psychopaths. They’re called neurotypicals. Psychopaths don’t backpedal or panic when caught lying, we just lie more.

  5. mel says

    Ok, let me rephrase. Normal people call it backpedaling. But, yes I agree, you lie more and that’s how you get caught out because the lies contradict and don’t follow a through-line. At that point, everything unravels and the psychopath looks absurd and is then avoided. Psychopaths think they’re so crafty they can get away with it. They do for a short while, but eventually, like I said, the house of cards collapses.

    BTW – have you watched House of Cards, or Mad Med. Normal people watch those programs and play, “what will the psychopath do now.” As easily as we can point psychopaths out on the screen, we can also spot them out in real life.

    • FNP says

      I’ve never heard of Mad Med. The only reason you can figure out what Frank Underwood is going to do next is because the episodes are all released the same day.

      How would you know anything about how contradictory or not anybody’s lies are? I’ve managed to keep my lies consistent for close to 15 years now. But backpedaling is where you try to say that you never said something even though you know full well you did say it, and backpedaling always refers to something embarrassing that was originally said. With a lack of remorse, guilt, and shame, it’s quite hard to be embarrassed, as embarrassment implies shame.

      • mel says

        Well that is your definition of backpedaling. Yes, backpedaling means getting caught in a lie and then changing the facts to slither out of it, including telling someone you never said what you said. Remorse, shame and guilt never enter into the picture because psychopaths don’t feel those things.

        Psychopaths never feel embarrassed. Normals feel embarrassed for the psychopath when caught in a lie, or when engaging in ridiculous behavior. That’s what the psychopath doesn’t get because the psychopathic range of emotions and overview, of a situation, is quite limited.

        • FNP says

          Your reasoning is clouded by your blatant hatred of psychopaths. Hatred is not a behavior that people who claim to be on the moral high ground should practice. I cannot hate that which I assign no value to, but you can hate anybody who’s more intelligent that you because you assign value to us.

          The fact that none of the psychopaths responding to your inane claims have done any of these so-called telltale signs of psychopaths implies that we’re not actually trying to manipulate you. We’re just trying to point out that you’re an idiot and that you came to a psychopath’s blog looking for support originally.

          Have you found the support you so desperately needed from us? Because nobody has supported you at all.

      • mel says

        Binge watching House of Cards is not why normals can figure Underwood out. WE can see it play out, episode by episode. You don’t have to wait till the end. Your statement proves how you have no ability to have an accurate overview of your behavior. You fundamentally may understand that your behavior may hurt someone, but you don’t see how you look when you are doing it. The result is replant.

        • FNP says

          I never said anything about binge watching anything. I simply said that the full episode list is available from the day the season is released, meaning you can just read the future episode taglines to find out what will happen.

          I know full well when my behavior is hurting someone. Why would I waste the effort to behave in a way that hurts someone if I don’t understand that it’s hurting them? I’m sadistic, not ignorant.

    • FNP says

      BTW, your whole argument strategy is to say something utterly ridiculous, then backpedal repeatedly as you get called out on it.

        • mel says

          I look like a fool only to a psychopath because the psychopath can’t stand to be called out. You keep changing the goal posts and feel perfectly ok about doing it. Your rules, your game. You don’t have the ability to see outside of your limited scope. And, that’s precisely why people get tired of you.

          • Anonymous says

            Mel, I gotta ask you something… do you think FNP and Jessica are the same person?
            They are not.

          • FNP says

            She doesn’t seem capable of understanding that. I’m fully convinced she thinks that I write this blog.

            I don’t have time to write this blog. Plus, I’m not nearly as insightful.

  6. brenali says

    If psychopaths were so easy to spot and break, people wouldn’t view them as a threat to the norm. Also, “your version of backpedaling” is the actual version. “to retreat from or reverse one’s previous stand on any matter; shift ground:
    to back-pedal after severe criticism.”

    You’re like the ouroboros of willful ignorance.

  7. mel says

    Whether you are all the same person, or you all just act the same, it doesn’t really matter. All of you, or one of you, you do realize that you are arguing about the right to lie and manipulate? You are fine tuning words and splitting hairs to justify unethical behavior, how repugnant and nonsensical.

    You willfully and consciously behave badly and then you want everyone to feel sorry for “your condition.”

    To be perfectly clear, I don’t fear psychopaths. What’s to fear? I am sorry if that reality bothers you. In everything available to read about psychopaths, I have never read why they should be feared, just avoided because they do a lot of harm. Psychopaths are not creepy, they’re just creeps.

    • FNP says

      Your logic is that the group and the individual are the same? By that reasoning, because I’m from fully German ancestry, I’m Hitler, Mengele, Heydrich, Hess, Bormann, Himmler, Goering, and the other 6 million members of the SS and SA by your logic. They were German, I’m German, therefore there’s no difference.

      Of course, it also means that every Jew is dead, all Native Americans died of smallpox, and Britain colonized every country. Also about a million other completely bullshit things that aren’t true at all.

      I have no desire for people to feel sorry for me or my “condition”. I simply want power through any means necessary. I have the right to do anything because I have the will to take that right. If you want to think that all psychopaths are plushy little stuffed animals of cuteness, go right ahead. I’ll be around the corner to change your mind.

      • Anonymous says

        But… but look at the bright side! She now at least considers the possibility that you’re not the same person! 😉

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