The most incredible trait of a sociopath, is their complete lack of conscience, lack of empathy, remorse, guilt or shame. Sociopaths are great at feigning ‘moral outrage’, or playing victim, giving a false persona that has the impression of being truly empathetic and caring character. This, like most things with the sociopath, is merely for show. The facade that you see on the outside, has little resemblance to the reality that is going on behind the screen, well hidden, and only known by the sociopath themselves. They are the chameleons of society.
Sociopaths have no fear. They do not care what others think of them (unless it involves being exposed, which would affect their ability to con further). A sociopath can do and say the MOST outrageous things, and then act like nothing ever happened.
I can’t count the number of times therapy has failed to be effective or gone awry in some way because a therapist misinterpreted regret for remorse, equated embarrassment with shame, or presumed contrition to be present just because a person showed some signs of unhappiness.
Just like everyone else in society, all sociopaths are different and they all do different things but examples would be:
- Compulsive pathological lying (outrageous ridiculous lies)
- Deception and manipulation (conning)
- Cheating and infidelity
- Taking the victim hostage, and having full ownership possession and control (without them realising this)
- Living like a parasite
- Faking ‘love’
- Theft (includes theft of anything, money, your life, your mind)
- Threats, ruining and smear campaigns
It’s all to easy to say you’re sorry and that you “take responsibility” for your actions but all too difficult to actually accept the need for change and then to display how seriously you’ve taken responsibility by working like the dickens to make necessary changes. All too often I’ve heard disturbed characters claim that they have taken responsibility for their actions yet provided no behavioral evidence of a sincere desire to make amends or change their ways.
What’s the difference between regret and remorse? Regret has to do with wishing you hadn’t taken a particular action. You may regret an action because it hurt someone else, but you may also regret it because it hurt you, it cost you something emotionally or financially, or led to a punishment or undesirable result. Regret can lead a person to feel sorrow, grief, hurt and anger-but these can be for the pain s/he feels for the self, not necessarily for the other person who was hurt by the behavior.