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How can I be a less horrible person?

FoobarFoobar Registered User regular
edited February 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
This is an alt, because no way am I letting anyone know how messed up I really am.

This has been something I've always been dealing with for as long as I can remember. But I have no problem doing awful things to other people and I really just don't care what happens to them. It's almost like I get a grim sort of satisfaction out of seeing people hurt or upset. I've never felt anything beyond a level of indifference towards people. If they can help me get what I need, I have no problems working with them or pretending to like them. Once we're done with the goal, I just move on.

I'm able to walk right past people who've been in accidents or need help without even slowing down. One time when I was still having to share an apartment to save money, myself and another roommate went to get groceries. On the way back, there was a big car accident in front of us. He stoppped and wanted to get out and see if everyone was ok. I was pissed because we were sitting there waiting and our groceries were thawing out. And then when I told him this on the way back to the apartment, he got all weird the rest of the time I was living there.

I don't ever get in any relationships with women, but I enjoy trying to fool women into thinking I care about them. It's like a game to me. Then I'll get bored and just stop contacting them or tell them outright that I never cared about them.

All in all, I know I'm pretty effed up. But what do I do to fix this? Is it fixable? How do people learn to care about other people?

Foobar on
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    rfaliasrfalias Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    rfalias on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Apply the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    edit: just in case

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_rule

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
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    Susan DelgadoSusan Delgado Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    If you're genuinely interested in changing and becoming a more empathetic person...Therapy.

    Susan Delgado on
    Go then, there are other worlds than these.
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2010
    Aside from any unprofessional diagnosis the forumers can do, You need professional help. As soon as possible.

    Iruka on
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    Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yeah, there are all these "People don't matter to me, never have, how do I change that/fake it?" and the answer is basically always, "Get therapy," because you're too fucked in the head to be reasoned or tricked out of it by online strangers. It takes a shitload of time and genuine effort to fix such a basic social skill.

    Aoi Tsuki on
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    AstrocookieAstrocookie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2010
    And if you don't get therapy research has shown that this kind of behavior could cut your lifespan in half.

    Astrocookie on
    .
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    Anarchy Rules!Anarchy Rules! Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    And if you don't get therapy research has shown that this kind of behavior could cut your lifespan in half.

    Would you be able to cite that? It just seems a little outlandish, along the lines of 'something a bloke in a pub said'.

    Anarchy Rules! on
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'm presuming that the lifespan reduction is due to antisocial personality disorder sufferers having tendencies to get into crime and drug use, and alienating their friends and family.

    There's a lot more to antisocial personality disorder than simply being nasty, so the OP should talk to a real psychiatrist to figure out if he's got it or not.

    CelestialBadger on
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    HK5HK5 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'll second the therapy, and add volunteering. Nothing teaches empathy like helping those who have it a whole lot worse than you do.

    HK5 on
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    DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I think the fact that you want to change is a big step in the right direction. So congratulations on that. I'll also add my voice to the resounding chorus of "Seek therapy."

    DirtyDirtyVagrant on
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    Susan DelgadoSusan Delgado Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I think my answer the first time was far too short... You need therapy if you really want to change, but make no mistake, therapy is not an easy fix. If it's what you really want and you really truly want to modify your behavior and the way you feel about yourself and the world around you, you need to be prepared to see it through. There may be times when you think it's total bullshit and there may be times when you hit on a soft hidden tender spot from your past and it hurts like hell and fucks your whole world up.

    The most important part is finding a therapist that you are willing to listen to and being willing to do the work involved in making such a huge change in your life. You may go through several professionals before finding someone that meshes with you and that you feel you can trust and rely on...and most of all be 100% HONEST with.

    Also, I'll second the volunteering...hell, if you have such a disdain for humans and humanity maybe working at an animal shelter or the ASPCA in your city will help.

    Susan Delgado on
    Go then, there are other worlds than these.
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    HoovesHooves Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'm curious as to why it is you feel like changing yourself. Is it because you feel guilty about the things you've done? Is it because you're tired of having to deal with the repercussions of your behavior?

    Hooves on
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    KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'd pick this book up and go from there: http://www.amazon.com/Hardcore-Zen-Monster-Movies-Reality/dp/086171380X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266740640&sr=8-1

    I know it helped me realize that ignoring and not caring about what people around me thought was self defeating.

    But yes, I would definitely talk with a therapist. What you are describing can be a sign of depression, and you'll feel better talking to people about it.

    KiTA on
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    FoobarFoobar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Hooves wrote: »
    I'm curious as to why it is you feel like changing yourself. Is it because you feel guilty about the things you've done? Is it because you're tired of having to deal with the repercussions of your behavior?

    The latter. I know what I need to do to avoid getting arrested anymore and I'm not smashing peoples teeth out in bars or doing other stuff like that. I'm not sure if I'm trying to fix it or make it so I can hide it better and then it's easier to take advantage of people.

    Therapists seem about as useful as tits on a snake. The various psychologists and therapists I've had to see over the years, either voluntary or involuntarily, can't even come to an agreement on what the issue is. One says it's borderline personality disorder, another says it's antisocial personality disorder and another says it's CPTSD.

    I just need to learn how to hide my motivations better.

    Foobar on
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    Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Jesus. How many psychiatrists have you been court-ordered to see?

    I'll repeat advice from a previous thread: the Internet cannot teach you to replace the part of your brain that makes you give a shit about other human beings. Intensive therapy and/or medication are what can help the most, but if several professionals can't even classify how fucked up you are, all you can do is keep going.

    As for hiding your motivations, until you get a really solid diagnosis and treatment plan, the best thing you can do for the rest of the human race is interact with them as little as possible on a strictly professional or shallowly platonic level. Some Googling will tell you all sorts of bullshit tricks to get people interested in you, but they're bullshit, so God knows how many of those would work, for whom, and for how long. Just don't.

    Aoi Tsuki on
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    If you don't actually want to become a good person you have no chance.

    However, if you avoid committing crime you'll avoid most potential problems you could encounter from your condition (e.g. jail, unemployment, homelessness, social ostracism and drug addiction.)

    CelestialBadger on
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Alright, if you're averse to therapy, but you want to lessen or at least hide your mental illness from ordinary people.

    I'd say try to make one true friend.
    Find a person you've never met before, who has nothing to offer you, no money, no sexual attraction, just some person. Try to be kind to them, be there for them when they need you, but don't exploit them. Consider it a test if you like.
    But who knows, you may even grow fond of them, from there (if by this time you feel anything for the person) you can try to extend your friend group.

    Regardless of the proper diagnosis, I think we can agree you are near incapable of seeing things from another person's perspective. This is the heart of your problem.
    You could simply spend some time talking to people, really asking them about themselves and why they do what they do. Understand that you and I, and everyone, have wants and needs. You have no more right to anything than the next guy, imagine how you'd feel if your apartment was broken into, apply it to everyone.

    Heh, I bet you've heard all this before and grown thick skinned to it though, right? If you want to change you need therapy, if you just want to hide it, restraint is your watchword.

    Endless_Serpents on
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    FoobarFoobar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Aoi Tsuki wrote: »
    Jesus. How many psychiatrists have you been court-ordered to see?

    Only two. One for the DCFS removal hearing when I was younger and the required follow ups later.

    Foobar on
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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2010
    If you actually want to change, then like everybody else has said, therapy is your best chance. But you need to stick with it, even when you feel like it's bullshit, or nothing's happening, or it's prying too deep into personal stuff. You need to stick with it when things get tough, or it'll never work.

    If you just want to hide how fucked up you are better, then stop interacting with people, except on a purely professional level. You're never going to be able to hide it completely, so find some other hobby that gives you the same level of satisfaction as fucking with people.

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
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    Susan DelgadoSusan Delgado Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'm confused...do you genuinely want to change and actually be a decent person or do you just want it to be less obvious that you're a sociopath? I mean, alcoholics go to AA to get help...some are there to get sober and stick with it...some do it to put up a front to the outside world and themselves that they're getting help ... and then they go home and drink a case of beer in the basement.

    Susan Delgado on
    Go then, there are other worlds than these.
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    TheMadHuntsmanTheMadHuntsman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    So you don't actually feel emotions for other human beings?... I mean, if you want to change, build empathy and whatnot, great. But is this something you've never actually felt for someone else?

    TheMadHuntsman on
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    LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I recommend going into Diagnostic Medicine

    But on a serious level;
    I do empathize with your situation. I tend to have similar (though far less frequent) situations. I attribute it to the studying/working but it could just be how I am. I'd recommend therapy, but find a good therapist. And I'm not saying one that went to some great school, but one that doesn't piss you off or annoy you.

    LeCaustic on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
    kaustikos.png
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    BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Get a place out in the middle of nowhere and keep to yourself.

    You're just wired different, and there's nothing a psychiatrist will be able to do about it. Psych will probably make it worse.

    <--- Doesn't like psychiatrists.

    Beltaine on
    XdDBi4F.jpg
    PSN: Beltaine-77 | Steam: beltane77 | Battle.net BadHaggis#1433
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    LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    Get a place out in the middle of nowhere and keep to yourself.

    You're just wired different, and there's nothing a psychiatrist will be able to do about it. Psych will probably make it worse.

    <--- Doesn't like psychiatrists.

    One of the most difficult things about people is how almost impossible it is to change them after years of conditioning they've been subjected to since childhood. Therapy is a hit or miss, especially for something like this.

    LeCaustic on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
    kaustikos.png
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    So you sound like a functional psychopath. Go into business. Seriously.

    Robman on
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    HoovesHooves Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    do not tell him to do that what is wrong with you

    Hooves on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Hooves wrote: »
    do not tell him to do that what is wrong with you

    Well everything I've heard is that psychopathy is basically untreatable, so the dude might as well find himself a job where it's an asset rather then a burden.

    Robman on
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    HoovesHooves Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    yeah good for him bad for everyone else around him. what he needs to do is find an uninhabited tropical island and build hisself a tree house

    Hooves on
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    AstrocookieAstrocookie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2010
    Hooves wrote: »
    yeah good for him bad for everyone else around him. what he needs to do is find an uninhabited tropical island and build hisself a tree house

    He might as well go to prison, he'll live longer.


    But yes business is the best route for him to take, many good businessmen are complete psychopaths.

    Astrocookie on
    .
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    LoathingLoathing Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Hooves wrote: »
    yeah good for him bad for everyone else around him. what he needs to do is find an uninhabited tropical island and build hisself a tree house

    Yes, excellent. Let's just say fuck it and cut him off from society in general. Awesome idea.

    Loathing on
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    LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Hooves wrote: »
    yeah good for him bad for everyone else around him. what he needs to do is find an uninhabited tropical island and build hisself a tree house

    I'm sorry...where in the US have you seen anything outside of this in business? Or law?!

    LeCaustic on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
    kaustikos.png
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    LeCaustic wrote: »
    I do empathize with your situation.

    If you do, you probably don't, if you see what I mean. ASPD involves lack of empathy.

    CelestialBadger on
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    FoobarFoobar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    So you don't actually feel emotions for other human beings?... I mean, if you want to change, build empathy and whatnot, great. But is this something you've never actually felt for someone else?

    Yes. That's what I'm saying. I've never felt any sort of attachment to anyone. Why do people have such a hard time understanding that?

    But yes business is the best route for him to take, many good businessmen are complete psychopaths.

    I'm doing quite well, professionally. I'm the turn or burn guy for the company. If there's a store that's got shit performance, I come in and either get it cleaned up or we get rid of it. Sometimes I just need to convince a few people to move on to other jobs, usually by making them realize that they're actually going to have to do work and perform to my standards or I'll be up their ass until the day they die.


    But overall, people spend all this time trying to make these attachments or feel emotions to one another and I don't. Well, maybe I do, if you count disdain and apathy as an emotion. I figure it's too late to actually learn how to do this, so I'll settle for just faking it.

    Foobar on
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    SipexSipex Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Foobar wrote: »
    But overall, people spend all this time trying to make these attachments or feel emotions to one another and I don't. Well, maybe I do, if you count disdain and apathy as an emotion. I figure it's too late to actually learn how to do this, so I'll settle for just faking it.

    My suggestion. You want to change so force yourself to volunteer. Find something where you meet and help people who need it. You want to change so you'll convince yourself to listen to them. Don't worry about showing concern, just be willing to listen to them and do your job.

    Can't hurt. You might build up some empathy.

    Sipex on
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Sipex wrote: »
    My suggestion. You want to change so force yourself to volunteer.

    I think volunteering would build up empathy in someone who already feels some empathy. If you don't actually have empathy, you might end up thinking "Why am I wasting time making sandwiches for these whiny losers?"

    The wiccan rede might be helpful here "An it harm none, do what ye will" - as long as you are not harming others, does it really matter if you are feeling real empathy?

    CelestialBadger on
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    Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Foobar wrote: »
    Yes. That's what I'm saying. I've never felt any sort of attachment to anyone. Why do people have such a hard time understanding that?

    Because it's such a basic part of the human mind that even thinking of someone who lacks it is anywhere from incomprehensible to - frankly - quite scary. People need to know that other people are capable of caring about them on some level; if you don't, what's to stop you from treating us like we're meaningless pieces of shit?

    ...is what we're thinking. Does that make any sense, at least intellectually?

    It's like you're asking us for help putting up a house, but your foundation is on sand, and you're unwilling or unable to build it elsewhere: we can give you the best advice in the universe, but there's nothing there to build it on. You can build a nice cardboard facade to lure people in a la Blazing Saddles, but then people are gonna get blown up, so I'd rather you not even build that.

    Even the guy we once had on here whose sense of empathy had been numbed into uselessness by his sister's horrific abuse (i.e. she got jealous of his hamster, so she made him watch her stick to a board with pushpins) had an idea of where that came from. If you've never ever had it from childhood, Ever, well. Therapy.
    The wiccan rede might be helpful here "An it harm none, do what ye will" - as long as you are not harming others, does it really matter if you are feeling real empathy?

    But he does enjoy hurting people; says so right in the OP. And without a conscience, nothing's really there to stop him (being a horrible prick is still legal). And we can't give him one. ...is what I'm saying.

    Aoi Tsuki on
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    HoovesHooves Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Loathing wrote: »
    Hooves wrote: »
    yeah good for him bad for everyone else around him. what he needs to do is find an uninhabited tropical island and build hisself a tree house

    Yes, excellent. Let's just say fuck it and cut him off from society in general. Awesome idea.

    he can't be helped. he's already said he doesn't even want help he's just tired of having to deal with repercussions of being a selfish manipulative sociopath. I'm assuming you have an alternative in mind.

    Hooves on
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Aoi Tsuki wrote: »
    But he does enjoy hurting people; says so right in the OP. And without a conscience, nothing's really there to stop him (being a horrible prick is still legal). And we can't give him one. ...is what I'm saying.

    Yeah, my opinion is that he should stop harming people, which will help him out by giving other people the impression he has a conscience, without actually trying to implant an artificial conscience (probably impossible)

    CelestialBadger on
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    HoovesHooves Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    LeCaustic wrote: »
    Hooves wrote: »
    yeah good for him bad for everyone else around him. what he needs to do is find an uninhabited tropical island and build hisself a tree house

    I'm sorry...where in the US have you seen anything outside of this in business? Or law?!

    I think you're missing the point. I understand that its common practice for successful buisnessman to behave like sociopaths. what I'm getting at is that is a bad thing and should not be encouraged the point is I'm less concerned with him finding success then with the damage he will inevitably cause to all those he comes into contact with. apparently this isn't something that bothers most people.

    Hooves on
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    The solution, especially if you won't go to therapy? Quit being a dick.

    I'm serious. You know when what you're doing is wrong, you've already shown that. So when you know what you're doing is wrong or hurtful, don't fucking do it. I believe this is why your therapy has failed, too. You didn't want to be a better person. You already know how and don't want to.

    Jimmy King on
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