There are a million questions you could ask a Psychopath if the opportunity availed itself. The core issues from many therapist perspective they would be intrigued to know: What feelings and emotional states do they have. This post will be an investigation on how they precieve their own feelings and the feelings of others. At this juncture I will add: Every individual has different perspectives including Psychopaths. Similar to the Autistic spectrum there is different degrees and performances of behaviours. I believe that all humanity is on the autistic spectrum at some level, maybe this could be a question for another post. Psychopaths major attributes can range from extraversion to conscientiouness that needs to be underpinned by some emotional contagion. From a previous post I discussed the lack of empathy as one characteristic but there are many individuals who lack awareness and emotional intelligence that shadows lack of empathy but I wouldn’t call them Psychopaths.
One research paper said Psychopaths show little arousal to others’ distress. Juveniles with psychopathic tendencies and high callous unemotional traits may very well understand the emotional state of others without “sharing” their feelings. The research went on to say why? This signal may be lacking in these individuals, as it is already established with adult psychopaths who exhibit weaker psychophysiological reactions to emotional stimuli and poor passive avoidance learning.
We learn our emotional cues from our caregivers as children. The old classical theory was taught we are born with emotions but that is not totally correct. There is more information in a past blog “What are emotions?” and more insight in my book “What are you Afraid of?” Simply explained we learn our emotional intelligence from parents as children and other factors. The problem with childhood learning is: What if both parents were emotionally illertate or even more deliberating one parent was a narcissist.
There is a unhealthy relationship between parent and child called enmeshment, The definition according to American Psychological Association “a condition in which two or more people, typically family members, are involved in each other’s activities and personal relationships to an excessive degree, thus limiting or precluding healthy interaction and compromising individual autonomy and identity“.
Narcissistic parent can enmesh the child emotional growth with tragic consequences leading to the possibilities of a Psychopath home grown. One resource said Individuals high on psychopathic personality had experienced higher levels of childhood neglect and/or abuse compared to those low on psychopathic personality. I would include in that statement emotional stability.
One research paper mentions a significant point on Psychopaths personality traits likely play an important role in how Emotional Intelligence (EI) is expressed across a range of interpersonal interactions. The observed associations between psychopathic traits and strategic EI suggests that further research on how personality traits influence the use and management of emotional information.
During my research for this post came across interesting article with a Psychopath who gives candid response to personal questions. He said People think we have no emotion, which is absolutely not true. We just feel them but turned down. If most people feel an emotion between seven and eight on a dial of ten, I feel it between zero and two. Negative emotions are background noise. We can’t tune into that frequency because our brains just don’t process enough information for them to ever be loud enough to feel or direct behavior. We enjoy things, get excited about things, like adrenaline — that’s great.
In conclusion to reflect on this subject with further investigation Napoleon Bonaparte said
Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.