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Overcoming guilt and hyper-empathy?

December 4, 2013
13 upvotes

I was reading this, and I am starting to think that a lack of Dark Triad traits is hurting my game (with both men and women).

I was raised to be selfless, honest, and compassionate to an extreme. I once took pride in my abilities to always put others before myself, deny myself of my impulses, and empathize with anyone (thinking now, what a contradiction it is to both 'be honest' while also denying yourself your own impulses!). Over time, I have come to understand the importance in putting yourself first (Narcissism), and have become more comfortable using language and social interactions tactitcally to meet goals (Machiavellianism), as opposed needing to strictly adhere to some deranged bastardization of 'honesty'.

The one thing I cannot reason my way out of, though, are immense and crushing sensations of guilt regarding my behavior to other people. I feel guilty when I need to call out of work sick, when a girl rejects me and obviously feels bad, and whenever I do anything for myself at the cost (no matter how small) of someone else. I also really feel the emotions other people are going through, especially if they are negative. In other words, I'm a total failure as a psychopath.

This is obviously dysfunctional, irrational, and certainly not helpful in taking dominance over my own life.

My question is, do I have any control over this guilt? I can certainly, say, ignore it, but usually the more I ignore these feelings, the more guilty I feel.

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Post Information
Title Overcoming guilt and hyper-empathy?
Author BellatorCordis
Upvotes 13
Comments 6
Date December 4, 2013 6:20 PM UTC (8 years ago)
Subreddit /r/askTRP
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/askTRP/overcoming-guilt-and-hyper-empathy.138542
https://theredarchive.com/post/138542
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/asktrp/comments/1s3ejt/overcoming_guilt_and_hyperempathy/
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Comments

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

There's nothing wrong with empathy. Don't ignore the emotions of others, but also don't let it control your life. You need to think "Regardless of what he feels, I need to do this, otherwise, he will continuously take advantage of me. I need to do this, otherwise, he will lose his respect of me. I need to do this. It's a small loss to him, but will benefit me greatly."

In addition, because you emphasized with him, you understand that loss, and you can mitigate it. For example, you call in sick. If you're unable or unwilling to work, then being at the office is only a hindrance. The other person has lost productivity because of your situation, so you just have to make it up next time.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I was raised to be selfless, honest, and compassionate to an extreme.

There's no compassion, selflessness, or altruism in telling people the honest truth. The major religions of the world (Christianity, Feminism, etc) which push selflessness are entirely based on dishonestly adhering to "feel good" premises even if they clash with science or common sense. As someone who speaks his mind around selfless people, I can tell you they become noticeably uncomfortable when you say things they're not allowed to say.

Also consider the following passage:

"“I, who do not accept the unearned, neither in values nor in guilt, am here to ask the questions you evaded. Why is it moral to serve the happiness of others, but not your own? If enjoyment is a value, why is it moral when experienced by others, but immoral when experienced by you? If the sensation of eating a cake is a value, why is it an immoral indulgence in your stomach, but a moral goal for you to achieve in the stomach of others? Why is it immoral for you to desire, but moral for others to do so? Why is it immoral to produce a value and keep it, but moral to give it away? And if it is not moral for you to keep a value, why is it moral for others to accept it? If you are selfless and virtuous when you give it, are they not selfish and vicious when they take it? Does virtue consist of serving vice? Is the moral purpose of those who are good, self-immolation for the sake of those who are evil?

“The answer you evade, the monstrous answer is: No, the takers are not evil, provided they did not earn the value you gave them. It is not immoral for them to accept it, provided they are unable to produce it, unable to deserve it, unable to give you any value in return. It is not immoral for them to enjoy it, provided they do not obtain it by right." -- Rand

EDIT: I'd like to add that narcissism is a mental disorder caused by extremely low self-esteem, which shouldn't be confused with taking pride in yourself and having confidence. Narcissists need perpetual validation from other people.

[–]RPW MODLifterofThings1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I was raised to be selfless, honest, and compassionate to an extreme.

These and having a spine are not mutually exclusive. Direct your efforts and your attentions toward people who are worth it (ie: who are either actually in NEED of your help, or who are appropriately grateful for the favors you do for them).

Be the best you that you can be, and stop wasting time on guilt-- it accomplishes nothing besides making you feel like shit. Figure out which of these sources of guilt you can fix (ie: you can't help getting sick, or that a girl "feels bad"), and focus your proactive energy on those. Feeling bad over shit you have no control over is the irrational part, here, not that you seem to have some basic human decency.

[–]Peoria30 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Succumbing to those entrenched feelings if guilt over how other people may feel is a weakness you need to stamp out of yourself. It doesn't mean you can't understand and help others - you just do it on your own terms, not because you feel compelled. Sometimes people do counter positional things on the basis of guilt and/or empathy - but it's just an insidious way of avoiding the task of making the hard decision.

[–][deleted] 1 points1 points | Copy Link

[permanently deleted]

[–]BellatorCordis[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

It's more like I'd like to scale it down form a 7/10 to a 4/10.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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