Main Lack Of Empathy Discussion

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11:58:56 AM Dec 1st 2017
hey guys this article confuses empathy and sympathy. empathy simply means being able to tell what emotions people have. so you would know if someone's sad. sympathy is sharing people's emotions, so you would be sad yourself if someone else is even if it doesn't affect you.
06:51:11 PM Dec 1st 2017
Here is the description in the wiktionary:

empathy (countable and uncountable, plural empathies)

Identification with or understanding of the thoughts, feelings, or emotional state of another person.

She had a lot of empathy for her neighbor; she knew what it was like to lose a parent too.

(parapsychology, science fiction) A paranormal ability to psychically read another person's emotions.

Usage notes Used similarly to sympathy, interchangeably in looser usage. In stricter usage, empathy is stronger and more intimate, meaning that the subject understands and shares an emotion with the object—as in “I feel your pain”—while sympathy is weaker and more distant—concern, but not shared emotion: “I care for you”.
10:54:39 AM Feb 9th 2012
The article description says "On the flip side, just because a character has empathy does not mean that they possess one ounce of compassion or sympathy".

Can anyone give me examples of such characters?
07:20:33 PM Apr 21st 2013
I don't think it's possible to be empathic yet lack compassion or sympathy.
07:36:55 PM Apr 21st 2013
Yeah, that doesn't make sense. Unless it's someone that is in a circumstance that you BELIEVE they deserve to be in and you decide that you shouldn't feel sorry for them. "So you got drunk despite the fact that you're the designated driver? Yeah, no. You can spend the night in jail you moron."
07:43:50 AM Jan 29th 2018
Sadism. Sadism is a form of affective empathy, since one is affected by the physical and emotional state of others. Some are so obsessed with their sadism that they feel little guilt about it- that or they rationalise it somehow. Most sadists are very capable of guilt, their addiction just has a higher priority.
04:41:55 PM Jan 29th 2018
edited by MagBas
Following the edit history, the two paragraphs in question were added by masamune1 in 2 August 2011. The paragraphs above the two do use empathy as "sharing" of emotions- in other words, being happy because another person is happy and being sad because another person is sad, not being happy because another person is sad.
09:48:51 PM Jun 20th 2011
I've gone out on a limb and rewritten the article. It was a discussion of a collection of real-world mental disorders in the guise of trope. While real-world psychopathology informs the trope, the trope pre-dates it and doesn't mirror it or vice versa. We aren't a general purpose wiki; we collect storytelling tropes first and foremost.

I put a brief version of the real-world material at Lack of Empathy, and a for-editors note that we're not aiming to be Wikipedia. The idea is just to flesh out some terms that might be bandied about in fiction with the basics.

As part of the same move I dropped the Real Life section. The Real Life section was a second set of psychopathology notes on top of the long main text.

It also being used as a nasty way to have a go at some real world people. Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment.
11:40:42 AM May 20th 2011
Azula from Avatar : The Last Airbender chosen to turn off her empathy to appear strong. In "The Beach", she apologized to Ty Lee after many boys tried to be her boyfriend and explained that was due to jealousy.
11:35:06 AM May 17th 2011
edited by Tokabee
05:22:06 AM May 12th 2011
So what about the other end? Antipathy perhaps? I can't really be sure. I mean when you feel better because someone else feels worse, or vice versa? Typically because that person is viewed as "the enemy" as opposed to someone you want to empathise positively with... Where their smile of delight irritates the hell out of you and their tears fill you with glee.

... Because yeah. I really have to learn how to turn that off, as being around happy people so much has seriously damaged my health in recent years. Fucking crapsaccharine world.
03:35:39 PM Feb 12th 2011
edited by tanvas
Most Ranma characters have almost all expressed concern or compassion for others at some point, hence "lack of empathy" is extremely misleading and sweeping. It is not remotely the same thing as Comedic Sociopathy.

Nabiki, Taro, Saffron, and Herb are the only characters that I know of who have never had any concern whatsoever for anybody except themselves in combination with complete ruthlessness. Even Shampoo has shown concern for Ranma or her grandmother, whereas Mousse and Happosai havefelt concern about children. Hence, if you are going to include Ranma ½ on this page, those are the ones that should be focused on.
03:41:38 PM Feb 12th 2011
edited by CrypticMirror
03:28:28 PM Jan 28th 2011
'Phycopath' also reffers to any mental illness whatsoever, and does not even imply lack of empathy.
08:11:00 PM Jan 28th 2011
Depends on whether the person talking knows anything about psychology, like the author of the Cracked article that used to be linked to on the Heroic Sociopath page obviously didn't.
03:26:47 PM Jan 28th 2011
"It is often misconstrued as the ability to read emotions and ones social skills, but this is not true." The ablility to read somebody's emotion is empathy, the ability to share emotion with someone else is sensitivity, caring about how someone feels is compassion, get it right.
05:40:34 PM Jan 23rd 2011
edited by jate88
Is it worth mentioning "it's theorized there might be an evolutionary advantage to antisocial behavior in certain environments"? Under this theory antisocial behavior is nature's way of ensuring we don't die from blindly following authority figures before we have a chance to pass our dna on. The problem is antisocial behavior isn't perfect and all evolution cares about is making sure genetic material can be passed on.

Empathy isn't perfect itself as you don't want to feel pissed off just because someone else is.
08:47:02 PM Mar 28th 2010
edited by Julia
The vagueness of this trope bugs me. After all, nearly all villains, antiheroes, etc. have lack of empathy as a default trait. You could put almost every work ever created under here because practically every work has a character with a lack of empathy.
05:45:22 PM Sep 28th 2010
I've edited the trope to reflect this; the important point is that lack of empathy means the lack of the ability to empathise. Most people do not empathise all the time and can be cold and indifferent even to those closest to us. This trope is about those who just plain can't do it. Basically if the character is repeatedly callous and indifferent in even the most extreme emotional situations, then they probably don't have empathy.

Also note that it should be that they are callous and indifferent, not merely whether or not they appear to be. A very empathic person can put up a stoic front and appear unempathic; on the flip-side, complete psychopaths can "turn it on" and look like they empathising, when in fact they are doing nothing of the sort and are just acting.
07:41:06 AM Jan 29th 2018
Agreed. Both psychopaths and narcissists lack affective empathy, but they do so for very different reasons; the former is physically incapable of self-doubt (most aren't really grandiose like the article, Hare and the DSM-5 claim- not being able to feel insecure doesn't mean they have a god complex- some do, but then so do some neurotypicals) and being affected by external emotional problems (they are NOT emotionless, that is a Hollywood myth which contradicts itself), whereas the latter is blinded by a need to please their ego which in reality is insecure. The reason ASPD is problematic is because it's based off 1940s logic which ONLY used prisoners in its sample and based off outward behaviour- for example, there are people who are both ASPD and BPD, even though Noone would say sociopathy and BPD can be together.
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