Empathy versus psychopathy

This here is the 6th post I had ever written on WordPress. I was reading a post Benebell Wen wrote about the paradoxical quandary of the empath and their empathy, the post I am referring to in question was late in 2017 maybe.

…all the way back in 16th August 2018

My partner and I had a discussion not too long ago about defining the difference between an empath and the feeling of empathy. Somewhere along the line it then morphed into the delineation between empathy and psychopathy.

Because the argument is not necessarily about ones empathic abilities but rather the sense of responsibility one places on themselves in relation to acting on behalf of their empathy.

Let me present to you Empathy and her shadow, Psychopathy. This here is an infuriatingly inadequate exposition, limited by my terrible sense of timing. The timing of my need to write is ever so out of sync with my real world responsibilities.

The ability to perceive another person without judgement is empathic, the intuitive ease of traversing the distance between the self and other would indicate where one stood on the axis between “empathetic” (hard aspect, aggressive or forceful and direct) and “empathic” (soft aspect, harmonious, subtle or subconscious).

The other axis would relate to one’s sense of responsibility once they understand the perspective of the other.

Essentially once you have taken the time, effort and opportunity to understand someone else, what do you then do with that information? Provided there was something (anything, regardless of difficulty or inconvenience) within your power to do so?

An empath would give, always. They are emotionally attached to the other. Or they value the emotional attachment. The “other” takes priority to the empath.

The psychopath would not give unless it was convenient, if they wanted to. Not necessarily out of selfish disdain either, but because they place importance on the “self” in the equation.

Of course there are negative connotations associated with psychopathy. Please don’t misunderstand my use of it here.

8 thoughts on “Empathy versus psychopathy

  1. There are always two events in life one is good and one is bad. To be empathetic means the person has experienced death in his life on a philosophical plane. I was molested when I was younger. I am empathetic to others that have experienced the same event. Empathy is reality not a feeling to help others out of the same situation that they find themselves in. If you go to psychopathy there is no empathy there is no caring. They do not know what churns inside you in the darkness of your heart. Just food for thought.


    1. So empathetic means one has known death on a non-physical plane. But what do you mean by empathy being reality, and not a feeling to help others? I would think that was more akin to sympathy.
      I would say that no one knows the darkness or the stirrings within any ones hearts. For as much as one wants to connect to others, and as much as one may share or understand the other, no one can truly experience the world as you do for you are shaped by your own experiences and proclivities of the past (memory) and present (real time, life sentience), constantly. Just thinking about thinking can impact the direction of your thoughts as they chug along your brain stem, all stops to the sacral coccyx.
      🥛🍳🥓🥞☕ food for thought at a breakfast buffet. Share with me, friends and family feast.


      1. The ability to understand and share the feelings of another person, definition of empathy. Which means I walked in your shoes. If I was a recovering alcoholic and recovered. I would be able to tell you how to overcome the addiction. You cannot help someone unless you have life experience. A physiologist is predicating results on generalizations of theories that require constant tweaking. It lacks caring and empathy because they never walked in your shoes. We are guided by the events of the past in the present. It does not guide tomorrow, food for thought.


      2. What works for one does guarantee it will work for the other. A matter of wills and how receptive the other person is, for if they’re not willing to help themselves then there is only so much you can do.
        And when there are not just a couple, but dozens of people who one has tried to help but ends up getting hurt in the end because they see their efforts and everything as futile…? The hardening of the heart may be a mere protective husk to protect the defeated spirit of the inner child within?


      3. It is a matter of choice, I help people all the time but I am a realist some have not died enough it is not their time or appointment. I let the dead bury the dead, I only deal with those that want to live. It is there choice, not mine, my efforts are never futile. Inner child is psycho babble a Freudian concept.


      4. I use it symbolically. It is the concept of the version of ourselves that we aspired to be before the world came down and crushed our dreams and/or spirit. The innocent and hopeful essence that wants to see the best in people, that is trusting and open to sharing and learning and growing.


  2. I feel upset because the psychopath will never see the beauty in love, so I love them too. In the hope, they find the love they push away so much. Sometimes it hurts to love so if it is felt they push it away and become psychopathic. But that’s not to say they can’t find their way to empathy. As that is an empath’s job to help humans flick the switch from psychopathy to empathy its a sliding scale, a spectrum. Love Ian Scott Thrive On News


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