History Main / LackOfEmpathy

8th Oct '17 11:00:01 AM bt8257
Is there an issue? Send a Message


On the flip side, just because a character has empathy does not mean that they possess one ounce of compassion or sympathy, though the lack of either usually coincides with at least a diminished sense of empathy. For instance, someone with {{narcissist}}ic or [[TheSociopath anti-social personality disorder]] should not be confused with someone with [[UsefulNotes/AspergerSyndrome Asperger's]] or another form of [[UsefulNotes/HighFunctioningAutism autism]]. Narcissists and sociopaths usually have perfect cognitive empathy, but utterly lack affective empathy necessary for genuine compassion. On the other hand, those with Asperger's or Autism sometimes have defective cognitive empathy, but normal or even hyper-effective emotional or compassionate empathy. In short: {{narcissist}}s and [[TheSociopath sociopaths]] are generally superficially charming and polite but their pretense of empathy is simply that, a mere ruse to attain a tangible end, whereas autistics, on the other hand, more or less {{invert|edTrope}} this: they're perfectly capable of feeling other people's triumphs and tribulations [[HotBlooded often quite intensely]] but you wouldn't necessarily know it from their face or tone of voice, and that's assuming they have learned to identify them.

to:

On the flip side, just because a character has empathy does not mean that they possess one ounce of compassion or sympathy, though the lack of either usually coincides with at least a diminished sense of empathy. For instance, someone with {{narcissist}}ic or [[TheSociopath anti-social antisocial personality disorder]] should not be confused with someone with [[UsefulNotes/AspergerSyndrome Asperger's]] or another form of [[UsefulNotes/HighFunctioningAutism autism]]. Narcissists and sociopaths usually have perfect cognitive empathy, but utterly lack affective empathy necessary for genuine compassion. On the other hand, those Those with Asperger's or Autism sometimes have defective cognitive empathy, but normal or even hyper-effective emotional or compassionate empathy. In short: {{narcissist}}s narcissists and [[TheSociopath sociopaths]] sociopaths are generally superficially charming and polite polite, but their pretense of empathy is simply that, a mere ruse to attain a tangible end, whereas autistics, end. Autistic people, on the other hand, more or less {{invert|edTrope}} this: they're perfectly capable of feeling other people's triumphs and tribulations [[HotBlooded often quite intensely]] but you wouldn't necessarily know it from their face or tone of voice, and that's assuming they have learned to identify them.



Not to be confused with NoSympathy, which refers to characters who supposedly ''do'' have an ability to empathize, but completely fail to demonstrate it. KidsAreCruel, TeensAreMonsters and AdultsAreUseless often have this trope, though these can be (partially) excused by the cognitive faculties required for empathy having had insufficient time to develop (the former more so than the latter; anyone who's been around toddlers will tell you that they can be selfish little bastards). Subtrope of HollywoodPersonalityDisorders.

to:

Not to be confused with NoSympathy, which refers to characters who supposedly ''do'' have an ability to empathize, but completely fail to demonstrate it. KidsAreCruel, TeensAreMonsters and AdultsAreUseless often have this trope, though these can be (partially) excused by the cognitive faculties required for empathy having had insufficient time to develop (the former more so than the latter; anyone who's been around toddlers will tell you that they can be selfish little bastards). Subtrope SubTrope of HollywoodPersonalityDisorders.
1st Oct '17 8:31:14 AM nighttrainfm
Is there an issue? Send a Message
1st Oct '17 8:30:55 AM nighttrainfm
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The Daleks from ''Series/DoctorWho'' are bred to be xenophobic [[OmnicidalManiac omnicidal maniacs]] revolted by all other life-forms. There's a perfect example in the episode "Doomsday" where a scientist is willing to tell the Daleks everything they want to know and instead they just suck his brain dry of the information while turning his head into a pile of ash.
--> '''Rose:''' You didn't need to kill him!
--> '''Dalek:''' [[AC:Neither did we need him alive.]]

to:

* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
**
The Daleks from ''Series/DoctorWho'' are bred to be xenophobic [[OmnicidalManiac omnicidal maniacs]] revolted by all other life-forms. There's a perfect example in the episode "Doomsday" where a scientist is willing to tell the Daleks everything they want to know and instead they just suck his brain dry of the information while turning his head into a pile of ash.
--> '''Rose:''' You didn't need to kill him!
-->
him!\\
'''Dalek:''' [[AC:Neither did we need him alive.]]
22nd Sep '17 2:36:51 AM Silverblade2
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Don't forget SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, who was completely insane and [[KickTheDog kicked the dog]] on several occasions, but what really cemented him with this trope was during the infamous flashback in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyondReturnOfTheJoker'', where Joker mocks Batman after learning his SecretIdentity from torturing Robin enough to drive him insane ''while showing Batman that he filmed it all'', remarking that Batman's OriginStory "would be funny if it weren't so pathetic," before deciding to laugh about it anyway. When Batman manages to crash through a window and beats him to a pulp, Joker nonchalantly tells him, "If you don't like the movie... I've got slides!" When Batman threatens to "break [Joker] in two", Joker is unafraid, saying that if Batman really wanted to "have that kind of fun", he would have done it years ago. This final comment perfectly displays his fundamental inability to understand human emotions, as any viewer could immediately tell from the context and the tone of Batman's voice that there was a very real chance of him breaking [[ThouShaltNotKill his one rule]] this time, but the Joker apparently didn't realise that killing strangers and torturing one of Batman's loved ones might cause him to react differently from normal.

to:

** Don't forget SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, ComicBook/TheJoker, who was completely insane and [[KickTheDog kicked the dog]] on several occasions, but what really cemented him with this trope was during the infamous flashback in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyondReturnOfTheJoker'', where Joker mocks Batman after learning his SecretIdentity from torturing Robin enough to drive him insane ''while showing Batman that he filmed it all'', remarking that Batman's OriginStory "would be funny if it weren't so pathetic," before deciding to laugh about it anyway. When Batman manages to crash through a window and beats him to a pulp, Joker nonchalantly tells him, "If you don't like the movie... I've got slides!" When Batman threatens to "break [Joker] in two", Joker is unafraid, saying that if Batman really wanted to "have that kind of fun", he would have done it years ago. This final comment perfectly displays his fundamental inability to understand human emotions, as any viewer could immediately tell from the context and the tone of Batman's voice that there was a very real chance of him breaking [[ThouShaltNotKill his one rule]] this time, but the Joker apparently didn't realise that killing strangers and torturing one of Batman's loved ones might cause him to react differently from normal.
9th Sep '17 5:25:03 AM WillBGood
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A common theme in the series 'Series/BlackMirror'' is how our use of technology can make us lose empathy with each other and make us dehumanise others around us:

to:

* A common theme in the series 'Series/BlackMirror'' ''Series/BlackMirror'' is how our use of technology can make us lose empathy with each other and make us dehumanise others around us:
9th Sep '17 5:24:43 AM WillBGood
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A common theme in the series 'Series/BlackMirror'' is how our use of technology can make us loose empathy with each other and make us dehumanise others around us:

to:

* A common theme in the series 'Series/BlackMirror'' is how our use of technology can make us loose lose empathy with each other and make us dehumanise others around us:
31st Aug '17 7:50:10 PM Mineburst
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Res from ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' lacks any form of empathy towards Stimpy...[[DependingOnTheWriter except when he doesn't]].[[note]]And that's only because [[Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} the network]] forced him to give Ren any form of empathy.[[/note]]

to:

* Res Ren from ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' lacks any form of empathy towards Stimpy...[[DependingOnTheWriter except when he doesn't]].[[note]]And that's only because [[Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} the network]] forced him to give Ren any form of empathy.[[/note]]
29th Aug '17 1:29:02 AM StFan
Is there an issue? Send a Message


->'''Inuyasha''': Do you know how many villages were destroyed just so you could lure Kikyō out?!\\
'''Hakudōshi''': Oh, ''please''. Is ''that'' what you're so upset about?
-->-- ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}''

to:

->'''Inuyasha''': ->'''Inu-Yasha:''' Do you know how many villages were destroyed just so you could lure Kikyō out?!\\
'''Hakudōshi''': '''Hakudōshi:''' Oh, ''please''. Is ''that'' what you're so upset about?
-->-- ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}''
''Manga/InuYasha''






[[folder:Comics]]
* A vast majority of Supervillains from [[Creator/DCComics DC]] and [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel]] comics.
** ComicBook/NormanOsborn, a.k.a. The Green Goblin, is a notable case. This trait is highlighted in "The Green Goblin's Last Stand", Franchise/SpiderMan's (original) showdown with his arch-nemesis, where Spider-Man destroys Osborn's prized glider. Gobby fights with renewed anger, vowing to make Spider-Man pay for this travesty, while pointedly brushing off the fact that he just ''murdered'' Spidey's girlfriend an hour ago.
* ''Everyone'' in ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', except maybe Asok and Ratbert, who are portrayed as naïve. The most outstanding examples are Dogbert, Wally, the PointyHairedBoss and Catbert.
** Scott Adams has joked that he himself might be a sociopath.

to:

[[folder:Comics]]
[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A vast majority of Supervillains from [[Creator/DCComics DC]] and [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel]] comics.
**
comics. ComicBook/NormanOsborn, a.k.a. The Green Goblin, is a notable case. This trait is highlighted in "The Green Goblin's Last Stand", Franchise/SpiderMan's (original) showdown with his arch-nemesis, where Spider-Man destroys Osborn's prized glider. Gobby fights with renewed anger, vowing to make Spider-Man pay for this travesty, while pointedly brushing off the fact that he just ''murdered'' Spidey's girlfriend an hour ago.
* ''Everyone'' in ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', except maybe Asok and Ratbert, who are portrayed as naïve. The most outstanding examples are Dogbert, Wally, the PointyHairedBoss and Catbert.
** Scott Adams has joked that he himself might be a sociopath.
ago.



* The ComicBook/{{New 52}} version of ''ComicBook/{{Superboy}}''. Although in issue #6, he suspects that he's starting to feel a spark of it, and he eventually evolves into an AllLovingHero.

to:

* The ComicBook/{{New 52}} ComicBook/New52 version of ''ComicBook/{{Superboy}}''. Although in issue #6, he suspects that he's starting to feel a spark of it, and he eventually evolves into an AllLovingHero.



[[folder:FanWorks]]

to:

[[folder:FanWorks]][[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''Everyone'' in ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', except maybe Asok and Ratbert, who are portrayed as naïve. The most outstanding examples are Dogbert, Wally, the PointyHairedBoss and Catbert. Scott Adams has joked that he himself might be a sociopath.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]



* Bill Cipher, like in the [[WesternAnimation/GravityFalls show]], has this in ''Fanfic/ATriangleInTheStars''. [[spoiler: It doesn't last.]]

to:

* Bill Cipher, like in the [[WesternAnimation/GravityFalls show]], ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', has this in ''Fanfic/ATriangleInTheStars''. [[spoiler: It doesn't last.]]



-->'''Jovian''': You speak as if I ''care''.

to:

-->'''Jovian''': --->'''Jovian:''' You speak as if I ''care''.



-->'''Hex''': It's not that I don't understand. It's just that I couldn't care less.
** Evil!Falla has a disregard for other people's lives that borders on sociopathic, openly comparing everyone around her to [[PitifulWorms worms and bugs]] and having done such things as send her ''own little sister'' Complica to her death ForTheEvulz. She even openly states that ''nothing'' matters to her more than power, not even her own family.
* [[Fanfic/PokeWars Uxie]] seems to be incapable of understanding anyone else's feelings. He casually discusses and plans genocide with the ease of someone planning a dinner party.

to:

-->'''Hex''': --->'''Hex:''' It's not that I don't understand. It's just that I couldn't care less.
** Evil!Falla Evil Falla has a disregard for other people's lives that borders on sociopathic, openly comparing everyone around her to [[PitifulWorms worms and bugs]] and having done such things as send her ''own little sister'' Complica to her death ForTheEvulz. She even openly states that ''nothing'' matters to her more than power, not even her own family.
* [[Fanfic/PokeWars Uxie]] ''Fanfic/PokeWars'': Uxie seems to be incapable of understanding anyone else's feelings. He casually discusses and plans genocide with the ease of someone planning a dinner party.
* In ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'', after Piccolo destroys Dr. Gero[=/=]Android #20's right arm.
-->'''Dr. Gero:''' You miserable reprobates! What have I ever done to you?!\\
'''Piccolo:''' ...Pretty sure you vaporized half a city.\\
'''Dr. Gero:''' I meant ''recently''!\\
'''Piccolo:''' That was an ''hour'' ago.\\
'''Dr. Gero:''' Semantics!



[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Sierra from ''[[WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime LBT VII: The Stone of Cold Fire]]'' shows some traits of this. Namely, how he casually discusses feeding the children to the sharpteeth once they take over.

to:

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
Animation]]
* Sierra from ''[[WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime LBT VII: The Stone of Cold Fire]]'' shows some traits of this. Namely, how he casually discusses feeding the children to the sharpteeth once they take over.



* Acererak from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' ''TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors'' quest, Full stop. He decides to become immortal by becoming a lich, when his body begins to fail after several centuries, he begins to plot ascending into becoming the ruler of all dead by building a tomb filled with hideous traps that can (and will) kill even the strongest of adventurers, all in his honor, then when it is finished, he kills all the ones who built it AND his followers, kidnaps an innocent Siren and places her in a cavern, shackled through magical means, why? Just for his own amusement of seeing adventurers go paranoid whether she is a trap or a monster. And finally, when adventurers DO reach his chamber, he sucks their soul out, just like that.

to:

* Acererak from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' ''TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors'' quest, Full stop. He decides to become immortal by becoming a lich, and when his body begins to fail after several centuries, he begins to plot ascending into becoming the ruler of all dead by building a tomb filled with hideous traps that can (and will) kill even the strongest of adventurers, all in his honor, then honor. Then when it is finished, he kills all the ones who built it AND his followers, kidnaps an innocent Siren and places her in a cavern, shackled through magical means, why? means. Why? Just for his own amusement of seeing adventurers go paranoid whether she is a trap or a monster. And finally, when adventurers DO reach his chamber, he sucks their soul out, just like that.



* [[EvilVersusEvil Practically everyone]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', [[MoralMyopia at least as far as their own kind goes]].

to:

* [[EvilVersusEvil Practically everyone]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'', [[MoralMyopia at least as far as their own kind goes]].



** Blanks in particular tend to be on the giving and receiving end of this trope. Being cut off from the Warp, which among other things embodies emotion itself, they are nearly incapable of forming emotional attachments to others and vice versa. Not surprising since they are the closest thing besides Necrons (the majority of which have lost their souls and individuality) to TheSoulless that 40k has to offer.
*** Some Blanks seem to be perfectly capable of empathy, which suggests that those who lack it may have turned out that way due to severe abuse or neglect as children, no doubt due to the sense of "wrongness" that normal humans tend to feel while in their presence. There are mentions of Blanks/Pariahs being hunted down and killed on more superstitious planets due to this creep factor, which would lend credence to the idea.

to:

** Blanks in particular tend to be on the giving and receiving end of this trope. Being cut off from the Warp, which among other things embodies emotion itself, they are nearly incapable of forming emotional attachments to others and vice versa. Not surprising since they are the closest thing besides Necrons (the majority of which have lost their souls and individuality) to TheSoulless that 40k has to offer.
***
offer. Some Blanks seem to be perfectly capable of empathy, which suggests that those who lack it may have turned out that way due to severe abuse or neglect as children, no doubt due to the sense of "wrongness" that normal humans tend to feel while in their presence. There are mentions of Blanks/Pariahs being hunted down and killed on more superstitious planets due to this creep factor, which would lend credence to the idea.



--> '''Victim''': "AAAAAAAARRRGGHH!"
--> '''Irenicus''' (indifferently): "The pain will only be passing, you should survive the process."
--> '''Victim''': "GHYAAAAAAHHHH!"
--> '''Irenicus''' (with a slight hint of irritation): "Do you even realise your potential?"
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue [[AllThereInTheManual Setting Material Collection]]'' reveals that the Nox Nyctores weapons remove "unnecessary" emotions from their users in combat to make them more efficient. Yukianesa removes Jin's compassion, which explains a lot.
** And VideoGame/BlazBlue's BigBad, Hazama/Terumi. Not only does he [[FauxAffablyEvil gleefully revel in his complete lack of empathy]], not only does he get his KICKS out of crossing the MoralEventHorizon; being hated by others NOURISHES him.

to:

--> '''Victim''': "AAAAAAAARRRGGHH!"
--> '''Irenicus''' (indifferently): "The
-->'''Victim:''' AAAAAAAARRRGGHH!\\
'''Irenicus:''' ''[indifferently]'' The
pain will only be passing, you should survive the process."
--> '''Victim''': "GHYAAAAAAHHHH!"
--> '''Irenicus''' (with
\\
'''Victim:''' GHYAAAAAAHHHH!\\
'''Irenicus:''' ''[with
a slight hint of irritation): "Do irritation]'' Do you even realise realize your potential?"
potential?
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue [[AllThereInTheManual ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'':
** The ''[[AllThereInTheManual
Setting Material Collection]]'' reveals that the Nox Nyctores weapons remove "unnecessary" emotions from their users in combat to make them more efficient. Yukianesa removes Jin's compassion, which explains a lot.
** And VideoGame/BlazBlue's ''[=BlazBlue=]''[='s=] BigBad, Hazama/Terumi. Not only does he [[FauxAffablyEvil gleefully revel in his complete lack of empathy]], not only does he get his KICKS out of crossing the MoralEventHorizon; being hated by others NOURISHES him.



* Pick any ''{{Capcom}}'' villain.

to:

* Pick any ''{{Capcom}}'' ''Creator/{{Capcom}}'' villain.



* Brad of ''VideoGame/{{{Everlong}}'' has a very... warped psyche.

to:

* Brad of ''VideoGame/{{{Everlong}}'' ''VideoGame/{{Everlong}}'' has a very... warped psyche.



* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': Frieza and the other villains, of course.
* ''WebComic/DeepRise'' gives an example in [[StarfishAlien The Nobles]]: They rarely if ever, feel or display empathy towards beings of other [[FantasticRacism species]], due to feeling that they are [[ItsAllAboutMe superior to all other life]].

to:

* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': ''Webcomic/DragonBallMultiverse'': Frieza and the other villains, of course.
* ''WebComic/DeepRise'' ''Webcomic/DeepRise'' gives an example in [[StarfishAlien The Nobles]]: They rarely if ever, feel or display empathy towards beings of other [[FantasticRacism species]], due to feeling that they are [[ItsAllAboutMe superior to all other life]].



* WebVideo/AskThatGuyWithTheGlasses, although he cares enough about the narrator to shoot himself in the mouth because he can't live without him. ...after killing him, obviously.

to:

* WebVideo/AskThatGuyWithTheGlasses, although he cares enough about the narrator to shoot himself in the mouth because he can't live without him. ...him... after killing him, obviously.



* In ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'', after Piccolo destroys Dr. Gero[=/=]Android #20's right arm.
-->'''Dr. Gero:''' You miserable reprobates! What have I ever done to you?!\\
'''Piccolo:''' ...Pretty sure you vaporized half a city.\\
'''Dr. Gero:''' I meant ''recently''!\\
'''Piccolo:''' That was an ''hour'' ago.\\
'''Dr. Gero:''' Semantics!\\
22nd Aug '17 6:18:58 PM DarkPhoenix94
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The ComicBook/{{New 52}} version of ''ComicBook/{{Superboy}}''. Although in issue #6, he suspects that he's starting to feel a spark of it.

to:

* The ComicBook/{{New 52}} version of ''ComicBook/{{Superboy}}''. Although in issue #6, he suspects that he's starting to feel a spark of it.it, and he eventually evolves into an AllLovingHero.
17th Aug '17 12:33:52 PM gb00393
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': If you wondered where Cersei and Joffrey got it from, it's Tywin. He will let the North and Riverlands be ruled by psychotic monsters if it means his family can win the war.

to:

* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
**
If you wondered where Cersei and Joffrey got it from, it's Tywin. He will let the North and Riverlands be ruled by psychotic monsters if it means his family can win the war.
** Aside from his immediate family, Jaime has a lot of trouble understanding the emotional state of other people. Or at least taking such into account when thinking. This is either because he's genuinely an idiot in regards to this, or much like his brother, he can't resist a snark, though it turns out he does have a HiddenHeartOfGold, the same thing which led him to make his life-defining choice of killing Aerys. It was hidden so well, even he's forgotten about it. Brienne brings it out in him and he has trouble adjusting to his post-douchebag life in King's Landing, populated as it is by his family.
This list shows the last 10 events of 857. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.LackOfEmpathy