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Thread: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

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    France Avalon Member Deux Corbeaux's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    One can compare it with the question: “What is the opposite of theft”.

    A sociopath (or narcissist) is someone who lives on another person’s energy - emotion, attention. They are unable to generate life energy by themselves, so they steal it from others, without any empathy. It’s also called energy vampirism.

    Now what is the opposite of thief? - A person that doesn’t steal.

    That brings up the question “what is stealing”? Is it just taking material things without permission?

    One can say “I don’t steal, so I’m not a thief”.

    - Now how about stealing time from someone when coming late on an appointment?
    - Or stealing phrases or ideas, and I don’t mean plagiarism, but just the ones you picked up during daily conversations, using them as being your own later.
    - How about stealing a conversation, when interrupting a person.

    Contemplate on that and then say you never steal.

    Now, occasionally coming late on an appointment will not make you a thief.
    And asking for some attention from time to time will not make you a sociopath.

    So what is the opposite of theft? Honesty?

    And what is the opposite of sociopathy? Honesty?

    I think it’s a combination of honesty and empathy, as I agree with Rachel as well.

    Quote Posted by Zanshin (here)
    Entymologically speaking I think I'd have to agree with Rachel - empath.

    As to the difference between the two, my take -

    *a sociopath is born devoid of empathy - incapable of feeling in any 'socially accepted' way.

    *a psychopath has developed this condition through experiencing severe trauma and stress.

    For what it's worth - when I raised this topic a while back with my sister (sporting her freshly minted
    psychology doctorate) - she agreed this was as useful a distinction as any.
    Zanshin, I think it’s the other way round;

    * a psychopath is born devoid of empathy - incapable of feeling in any 'socially accepted' way.

    * a sociopath has developed this condition through experiencing severe trauma and stress.
    Last edited by Deux Corbeaux; 25th February 2019 at 17:25. Reason: Spelling

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Thank you for making this distinction.

    I believe psychopaths are born that way. Not saying these people start out awful, they're just so predisposed that the chances of awfullness are very very high...

    Sociopaths I can relate to quite a bit, and I do think society molds much of it. I might even be turning into a sociopath myself, and although it's not an ideal situation, it could be worse. My emotions are becoming muted, but my conscience is definitely more than just a whisper.
    So far as we know, psychopaths are born that way, they have distinct brain wiring.
    I remember seeing comparisons of brain scans between psychopaths (convicts for life) and normal people and there were distinct differences in brains.
    I won't go in depths as I'm not a psychiatrist. Someone with PHD could explain this in more detail.

    On the subject of sociopathic tendencies/behavior, from my observations, could be brought up in anyone if someone is pushed (verbally or physically) constantly for a period of time until a snap happens.
    We can correlate this with school shootings where bulling is thriving. Combine bulling with home problems and you get a potential sociopath that goes on killing spree or commits a suicide.
    There are many examples but I brought this one up as its a common thing these days.

    On the up side in your case, when anyone is conscious of his/her behavior, is on the right path to change it as you recognize the problem from the start.
    From there, look what was the trigger.

    Well, that's how I deal with my problems and troubles.

    Edit:

    here are some interesting videos regarding the subject




    Last edited by xion; 25th February 2019 at 17:05.
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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    I wonder if people interested in this topic would find these two articles helpful

    1. Neuroimaging study links brain activity in the prefrontal cortex to certain psychopathic traits



    The article below was very sobering to me. The difficulty in treating psychopathy is heart-breaking. I remember when I finished reading it, just sitting still and saying a prayer for the parents of these children. It's a hard problem to solve.

    2. When Your Child Is a Psychopath
    The condition has long been considered untreatable. Experts can spot it in a child as young as 3 or 4. But a new clinical approach offers hope.

    Quote Psychopaths have always been with us. Indeed, certain psychopathic traits have survived because they’re useful in small doses: the cool dispassion of a surgeon, the tunnel vision of an Olympic athlete, the ambitious narcissism of many a politician. But when these attributes exist in the wrong combination or in extreme forms, they can produce a dangerously antisocial individual, or even a cold-blooded killer. Only in the past quarter century have researchers zeroed in on the early signs that indicate a child could be the next Ted Bundy.

    Researchers shy away from calling children psychopaths; the term carries too much stigma, and too much determinism. They prefer to describe children like Samantha as having “callous and unemotional traits,” shorthand for a cluster of characteristics and behaviors, including a lack of empathy, remorse, or guilt; shallow emotions; aggression and even cruelty; and a seeming indifference to punishment. Callous and unemotional children have no trouble hurting others to get what they want. If they do seem caring or empathetic, they’re probably trying to manipulate you.

    Researchers believe that nearly 1 percent of children exhibit these traits, about as many as have autism or bipolar disorder. Until recently, the condition was seldom mentioned. Only in 2013 did the American Psychiatric Association include callous and unemotional traits in its diagnostic manual, DSM-5. The condition can go unnoticed because many children with these traits—who can be charming and smart enough to mimic social cues—are able to mask them.

    More than 50 studies have found that kids with callous and unemotional traits are more likely than other kids (three times more likely, in one study) to become criminals or display aggressive, psychopathic traits later in life. And while adult psychopaths constitute only a tiny fraction of the general population, studies suggest that they commit half of all violent crimes. Ignore the problem, says Adrian Raine, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, “and it could be argued we have blood on our hands.”

    Researchers believe that two paths can lead to psychopathy: one dominated by nature, the other by nurture. For some children, their environment—growing up in poverty, living with abusive parents, fending for themselves in dangerous neighborhoods—can turn them violent and coldhearted. These kids aren’t born callous and unemotional; many experts suggest that if they’re given a reprieve from their environment, they can be pulled back from psychopathy’s edge.
    In his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Dr Daniel Amen offers several cases where he was able to help people who had become violent, due to brain trauma.

    Looking at the brain scans of the various conditions of the brain is very enlightening.

    (I have a pdf of that book, but haven't figured out how to share it on the forum. I think the file is too big to upload?)
    Last edited by edina; 25th February 2019 at 17:37.

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    HUMANitarian

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    And another article that delves into the differences between the two, sociopathy and psychopathy.

    How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath by Psychology Today


    Quote The cause of psychopathy is different than the cause of sociopathy (1). It is believed that psychopathy is the largely the result of “nature” (genetics) while sociopathy is more likely the result of “nurture” (environment). Psychopathy is related to a physiological defect that results in the underdevelopment of the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and emotions. Sociopathy, on the other hand, is more likely the product of childhood trauma and physical/emotional abuse. Because sociopathy appears to be learned rather than innate, sociopaths are capable of empathy in certain limited circumstances but not in others, and with a few individuals but not others.

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Posted by Rachel (here)
    Looks to me that all the posts combined offer an accurate and comprehensive answer. What do you think it is, Dennis?
    Yeah, I really appreciate that our combined answer covers a variety of aspects.

    My answer is love (the verb.) The opposite of sociopathy is love.

    I inadvertently confused the issue a bit by mentioning sociopaths (individuals with sociopathy) as well as sociopathy (a condition, with its behaviors.) To me, the opposite of a sociopath (individual) would be a non-sociopath (individual), which could range from a 'normal' amount of empathy/compassion in an individual, to someone highly empathic/compassionate. Sorry to those that were sort of misdirected toward defining the opposite of a sociopath (which I think is harder to define than the "opposite of sociopathy.")

    A sociopath all alone isn't affecting other individuals, so when I think of sociopathy I think of an active energy exchange/behavior between the sociopath and other individuals. Sociopathy needs a target. I see love as a directed force, born of compassion (the missing ingredient of a sociopath.) The Greeks and some other civilizations/cultures were wise to have a handful of definitions/categories for love (eros, philia, agape), and so slightly clearer would be for me to define the "love" I'm referring to as love directed outward toward other individuals, falling into philia and agape. Love needs a "target" too.

    I like that norman hit on the nurturing aspect of the love, so love is not just a feeling, it's an action (as sociopathy is the action/behaviors of the sociopath that affect others.) I think empathy/compassion is the feeling that spawns love. Without empathy/compassion, love won't occur.

    Thanks, Avalon collectively, and all who have posted (or will post) their thoughts on this.


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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    These are my definitions:
    • An empath is someone who can connect to other people's feeling and may seeks to help them alleviate their pain and suffering or at least wishes them well.

    • A psychopath has no regard for other's people feelings and is indifferent to how their actions will impact others. They are frequently talented at affecting fake empathy and use this to take advantage of others.

    • A sociopath frequently violates the rights of others, has more awareness of the feelings of others and often enjoys causing pain and suffering.

    • A narcissist seeks out empaths and needs to be the recipient of their attention. This makes them ideal victims of psychopaths.
    Interestingly, the DSM-5, the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the APA (American Psychiatry Association) lists neither Sociopaths or Psychopaths as a personality disorder. It does list "Anti Social Personality Disorder" which has some commonalities with sociopathy, but also with narcissism. Perhaps one reason for this omission is that there are so many psychopaths who are a powerful force within the APA.

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Quote Posted by Rachel (here)
    Looks to me that all the posts combined offer an accurate and comprehensive answer. What do you think it is, Dennis?
    Yeah, I really appreciate that our combined answer covers a variety of aspects.

    My answer is love (the verb.) The opposite of sociopathy is love.

    I inadvertently confused the issue a bit by mentioning sociopaths (individuals with sociopathy) as well as sociopathy (a condition, with its behaviors.) To me, the opposite of a sociopath (individual) would be a non-sociopath (individual), which could range from a 'normal' amount of empathy/compassion in an individual, to someone highly empathic/compassionate. Sorry to those that were sort of misdirected toward defining the opposite of a sociopath (which I think is harder to define than the "opposite of sociopathy.")

    A sociopath all alone isn't affecting other individuals, so when I think of sociopathy I think of an active energy exchange/behavior between the sociopath and other individuals. Sociopathy needs a target. I see love as a directed force, born of compassion (the missing ingredient of a sociopath.) The Greeks and some other civilizations/cultures were wise to have a handful of definitions/categories for love (eros, philia, agape), and so slightly clearer would be for me to define the "love" I'm referring to as love directed outward toward other individuals, falling into philia and agape. Love needs a "target" too.

    I like that norman hit on the nurturing aspect of the love, so love is not just a feeling, it's an action (as sociopathy is the action/behaviors of the sociopath that affect others.) I think empathy/compassion is the feeling that spawns love. Without empathy/compassion, love won't occur.

    Thanks, Avalon collectively, and all who have posted (or will post) their thoughts on this.
    Spectacular thoughts there Dennis.

    What you said there Dennis about love being the opposite of sociopathy, it was actually going to be my initial response.
    And then another question came to me. What would be the conscious thought required within all of this love to be the opposite of sociopathy? And what came to me was my previous response and I think I need to reword it slightly here, to do no harm to any being.

    I really like what you said there Rachel about all the posts offering an equally accurate and comprehensive answer. It is really a synergistic wholistic state of wellbeing that defines what the opposite of sociopathy is.

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Posted by peterpam (here)
    Quote Posted by Rachel (here)
    I’m gonna go with empath.
    The interesting thing about being an empath is that it is a form of maladaption on the other end of the spectrum from sociopaths and narcissists. I have empathetic qualities and always thought I was just born that way, that it was a gift, or many times a curse. Although I'm sure there will be much disagreement about this, I feel that most empathetic people learn at an early age that the best way for them to gain attention is to be the listener, the fixer, the mediator, to be attuned to the feelings of others before ourselves. The need to do this will crop up from parents that are emotionally disconnected or they may well have a parent(s) that is a narcissist or sociopath. This can cause the empath and sociopaths or narcissists to have an attraction to each other. The empath offers attention, is a good listener and compassionate for a narcissist or sociopath to suck up like a sponge. The empath will see potential, or feel they can help or change a S or N.

    So being a empath may be the opposite of sociopathy but it is as unbalanced as a sociopath, although it is not nearly as destructive and can in fact have attributes. At the end of the day, I think it is much harder to be an empath than a sociopath or a narcissist.
    Interesting view but it doesn’t fit for me. I was the opposite to attention seeking, I actively and successfully sought to avoid attention well into my twenties by being alone or hiding (hiding didn’t garner any attention because nobody missed me). I did hope to help my parents though, I thought I could fix them with money when I grew up, but while I was a child my focus was on surviving and minimising the impact they had on my life, the last thing I wanted was their attention.

    I’d replace empath with PTSD for your point, strangely enough, a response to trauma that’s the opposite to becoming a sociopath. With PTSD you become hyper defensive and hyper sensitive to survive, and yeah, I reckon being a sociopath would be easier than PTSD, although far more undesirable, PTSD being the lesser of two evils, so to speak.
    Last edited by Innocent Warrior; 26th February 2019 at 00:46.
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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    "Zanshin, I think it’s the other way round;

    * a psychopath is born devoid of empathy - incapable of feeling in any 'socially accepted' way.

    * a sociopath has developed this condition through experiencing severe trauma and stress."

    Deux Corbeaux, you are correct - I got it arse about.

    Apologies all - the hazards of posting too late at night.

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Quote Posted by Rachel (here)
    Looks to me that all the posts combined offer an accurate and comprehensive answer. What do you think it is, Dennis?
    Yeah, I really appreciate that our combined answer covers a variety of aspects.

    My answer is love (the verb.) The opposite of sociopathy is love. . . . . . .
    I agree so much with that statement that I'm a little shocked when I 'look up' and see who I'm agreeing with

    As I read through the various replies in this thread I was thinking to myself about the difference between a true opposite and an intellectual counter point.
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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Posted by norman (here)
    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Quote Posted by Rachel (here)
    Looks to me that all the posts combined offer an accurate and comprehensive answer. What do you think it is, Dennis?
    Yeah, I really appreciate that our combined answer covers a variety of aspects.

    My answer is love (the verb.) The opposite of sociopathy is love. . . . . . .
    I agree so much with that statement that I'm a little shocked when I 'look up' and see who I'm agreeing with

    As I read through the various replies in this thread I was thinking to myself about the difference between a true opposite and an intellectual counter point.
    I not see the opposite of sociopathy as being love at all.

    Sociopathy is the ABSENCE OF LOVE, not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is hatred, but, I am not even sure there is an opposite to love except for destruction.

    But I am absolutely sure there is the absence of love. It is cold, extremely painful to feel for human beings.
    We are made of love, even those hating are made of love. Encountering beings who have no love, who are the absence of love, is extremely painful. We have a few directing this world.

    sociopathy is the absence of love. Psychopathy is the absence of love too, plus neurosis.

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    If the question is tweaked a little to, what is the pathological opposite to sociopathy, I would think unhealthy dependency.

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Posted by Joe from the Carolinas (here)
    If the question is tweaked a little to, what is the pathological opposite to sociopathy, I would think unhealthy dependency.
    Yeah, I was just thinking in terms of sociopathy as the pinnacle of unhealthy (and, because it requires a target, dangerous) behavior, and so what should we aim for to take our energy the opposite direction. I don't think someone has to be a DSM-IV antisocial personality disorder "sociopath" to inflict sociopathic damage on others.
    Quote "If you agree that the Earth is controlled by sociopaths/psychopaths, and that they are, well, let's just say, "really bad guys", not to be emulated, then you might just want to aim at being the opposite of a sociopath, right? So, you need to be able to define for yourself what the other end of the spectrum is from sociopathy."


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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    I think the intellect itself, as we are currently trained to know it and use it, has a pathological leaning.
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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Well, the term sociopathy is actually logically or literally oxymoronic, at least in the accepted terminology. Etymologically, it kind of means "sharing of feelings". To be sociopathic may mean that you are sharing a feeling about something. At least being aware of how your feelings may impact on others around you.

    The opposite of sociopathy is potentially NOT sharing feelings; being unaware of how your feelings and how you express them impact on the social dynamic - your milileu - maybe being somewhat un-empathic, or, un-feeling. Or even un-sociopathic.

    So, maybe, being sociopathic is something to aspire to; to be opposed to that may be something to avoid aspiring to.
    Last edited by Tintin; 27th February 2019 at 01:32.
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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Posted by Joe from the Carolinas (here)
    If the question is tweaked a little to, what is the pathological opposite to sociopathy, I would think unhealthy dependency.
    yes, it is

    Dennis, one of the problem for understanding sociopathy is precisely that we give it normal human feelings: hatred vs love, feelings all human have at one point.

    We fail to understand that basic human emotional parameters are our greatest hindrance to understand it.

    Sociopathy, and mostly psychopathy, means NO EMOTIONS. One of the feelings they have is thrill, the adrenaline feeling, but those are feeling, body based mostly, not emotions. And forget about anything higher than emotions.

    Why would very very big dependency (emotional dependency is almost always unhealthy imo) be the opposite of sociopathy. Because big dependency means lots of emotions. Sociopathy means none.

    It is the absence of love that is sociopathic. Believe me, I met a few in my life. And the absence of love is much more painful than hatred. The later is still a human being albeit in pain.
    Last edited by Flash; 27th February 2019 at 02:09.

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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    I agree with empath. Sociopaths understand the emotions of others but don't actually feel the emotions. Where as empaths can barely ignore the emotions and experience of others
    One who looks outside dreams
    One who looks inside, awakens.

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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Posted by Flash (here)
    ...

    Dennis, one of the problem for understanding sociopathy ...
    Well, then, my question was poorly stated. I figured the prompting of mentioning hillary clinton's heinous behavior, (antisocial personality disorder/sociopathic) as one end of a spectrum would be enough to examine the other end of the spectrum (the healthy behavior we would all want to aim toward.) I wouldn't have thought of emotional dependency as the opposite of clinton's behavior, for example.

    I was looking for heart-centered responses, and got a lot of those. Some other responses seem more head-centered (intellectual) than what I was going for, but I think the head-centered responses added to the collage. :~)
    Last edited by Dennis Leahy; 27th February 2019 at 02:47.


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    Canada Avalon Member TomKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the opposite of sociopathy?

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    I always thought the words "sociopath" and "psychopath" had different meanings, but when you look up the definitions, most definitions equate the two. In my mind, a "psychopath" is a sociopath-in-action. Like hillary clinton getting Gadaffi murdered with a knife up his anus, and then cackling in glee about it.
    I heard a psychologist say that a sociopath is thought to be the result of environment, whereas a psychopath is thought to be genetic.

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