Main What Is This Thing You Call Love Discussion

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04:40:51 PM Nov 10th 2010
Drop the natter-bait Real Life section to discussion: claiming this or that group is incapable of feeling love is always going be contentious and doesn't add to the fictional trope.

Real Life
  • The Meyer-Briggs personality type known as INTJ (Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging, also called "The Mastermind" or "The Scientist"), which is a relatively rare personality type (less than 1% of the population belongs to this group), is said to have difficulty with expressing their emotions, particularly expressions of love, since they are a logic-based type. This is true of many of the types that have iNtuitive-Thinking. There's actually an old joke about INT Js that uses this trope as an Affectionate Parody of the entire personality type.
    • Just because they have diffuculty expressing it does not mean they don't understand or feel it, though.
  • Psychopaths, and many sociopaths, which includes the most extreme personality disorders, especially narcissistic ones, are all completely incapable of love, often even self love. Psychopaths are devoid of empathy and lack several emotions, and the few they do possess they don't feel in any meaningful or deep way (eg. they feel fear, but in a detached way; they may feel intense anger, but it usually lasts only seconds). Love of any kind, including compassion, is foreign to them. Pathological Narcissists, by definition, do not think or care about anyone but themselves, and even they are thought to be driven by deep-seated insecurities and self-loathing.
    • Actually a misconception blown completely out of proportion. Very few people genuinely lack emotion. More often the emotions are over or under whelming and result in atypical reactions that lead people to believe they do not experience them. It's common for sociopaths to not actually understand what the emotion is that they are experiencing since everything seems similar at the levels they experience them.
      • Furthermore, empathy not only contributes to in-group sympathy, but out-group antipathy. Those who don't love don't tend to hate either. As such, bigotry and hypocrisy tend to correlate positively with empathy.
04:40:13 PM Nov 10th 2010
Dropped this discussion of the non-occurance of the phrase "What is kiss" in Star Trek — possibly this could be put back as an example of aliens not understanding love, if that's what is going on here.

  • The Star Trek reference, though inexact, refers either to "The Apple", in which Kirk and company introduce the concept to a race that has been kept in a sort of perpetual state of childlike innocence by their alien overlord, or "The Gamesters of Triskellion" where Kirk and company introduce the concept to a race of slaves that has been kept in a sort of perpetual state of Wrestlemania.