I always thought guilt was a stronger form of regret, like when you made a mistake or a wrong choice but only stronger, more emotional. Lately though, it seems that it's much more than that. Oh well.
I always thought it was just a really strong unpleasant feeling, sort of like an inescapable penance. Like maybe a kind of painful regret mixed with shame? But I don't know. I'm mostly running off of descriptions from books, here. What have you observed?
i am not a socio but i've never felt strong guilt that lasted for long. maybe it's cos i've never done anything worthy of that feeling, or maybe I just accept that everything I did had a reason at the time.
i think the residual of guilt is acceptance. I think people prone to 'guilt'(some more so than others) walk around the rest of their lives with a baggage labelled acceptance. you can be changed by it, and change is not good, nor bad, it's just life. actually you can be more liberated than before when you've been through this process and rest on the realisation that you are not a god. It's humbling to find you are not invincible. it actually sets you up for a more matter-of-fact and therefore successful approach to life. i think guilt comes from the imbedded assumption that we are created to be perfect. we are not. it's a delusion. but i don't undermine the feeling, as it's a branch of feeling responsible, and though socios are immune to this, we need people who bear responsibility.
the parallel would be, why does a sociopath cause harm on something or someone when it has no real long-term strategy behind it, as in sadism?
the reason is that just cos something doesn't serve as a tactical tool to further oneself in this life it doesn't mean you can always switch off that thing that comes naturally to you.
and what comes naturally to these people is a sense of responsibility, it's evolutionary, like I said, these people are needed.
and what is 'wrong' but a word to determine what is a prefered action versus a less prefered one.
it's a trickling down effect. incest and rape are frowned upon for a reason, and any action which seems to point in that direction, however small or innocent or god forbid, natural, sets up the guilt.
they may rationally acknowledge that it is natural and therefore not 'wrong,' but the feelings will still remain. which came first, the guilt or being told by someone else/or yourself that what you did is wrong? I'd say it is the feelings, which is why it may be hard to shake off.
whose idea of perfection is it? i think it's parents, society, and a large part comes from genes.
i should have also said that being a sadist is not only going into overdrive, it's a sort of preparation for when killing or destroying will be needed.
with guilt (again, in overdrive) it's a preparation for when the individual will encounter a situation where someone can be violated and they instead refrain.
two different impulses for two different functions for two very different types of people.
No because he disappointed himself by giving into the desire. What is acceptable or not is a point of view, what others deem ok might be the total opposite of what your gut feeling tells you.
i think the memory of the emotion stays. if that kid recalls the time he took the cookie, those same feelings will resurface, even though he was told it was ok afterwards.
i remember spraying someone's perfume onto myself as a kid and she smelt it on me. she gave me a look that said 'i've caught you,' smiled and said it was fine. but when i remember it i always feel a little residual emotion, like, oops, that was embaressing getting caught.
hmmm...that's not an easy question. the memory of the emotion is a diffused form of its original, but it may never actually go away, or may take years to.
are you a socio? do you not have memories of things that can still make you tingle or angry or feel satisfyingly mischievous?
btw emotion is processed differently, even amongst empaths. some process things very deeply, some not so much.
i only asked if you are a socio so that i know who i'm addressing. with respect, i don't think you understand a non-socio's emotional processes.
'if you don't call them up they don't bother you. Just leave the memories you don't like on the shelf and let them fade.'
socios can compartmentalise very well. it's not like that for the rest of us. emotions and memories find there way in whatever you try to do. yes, you can actively move on with you life but if there's a trigger the memory and emotion comes back. i can't remember which part of the brain is involved in that, but it's the part that transports you straight back to a previous experience (even if it was in childhood) and produces similar emotional and physical responses.
yes, they can fade, and sometimes they don't so much.
See DT, we don't have emotions attached to memories at all really so they don't linger in our minds as there is no emotions that trigger the memories, we forget things, good or bad, very fast and they don't resurface unless we consciously try to remember them or think them. Atleast thats what i think.
'So normal people get attacked by unwelcome emotions all the time? Huh. Sounds like a pain. No wonder these guys have such trouble with guilt.'
it's a sliding scale, for some it's more than others.
depends on their level of sensitivity.
what's important to realise is that emotion is just one thing, and doesn't nullify the person's ability to reason. in fact, in can be a short-cut to a very sensible decision, or it can delay the process of reasoning, it doesn't however mean the person is incapable of reasoning in general.
i think flawed reasoning is more down to lack of experience, when people see their subjective experience as the only definitive reality. but that's another thing...
Emotions, embedded in memories, also play a part in the inner cognitive process of decision making, when confronted with a similar situation that one has previously dealt with.
An interesting example of this, which could be tied into empathy for the sake of drawing a distinction between "responses" for a socio and non-socio would be the following: You as a younger person were beaten by a group of unprovoked individuals. Then years later, you were witness to a young person being assaulted by a group of individuals just as you were. This could trigger the memory from your earlier personal experience, and with it, the embedded emotions that came with that experience. Empathy plays a part in being able to directly understand the experience from the point of view of the 'victim' and having a desire to aid them to help mitigate the potential physical and emotional harm that would come to the person.
However, there may be even "more to it" then that since emotions embedded in memories have a powerful influence on our actions. Many arguments could be made about the "underlying psychological reasons" a person would act to help this person, however it would be easiest on a purely rational level to "walk away" and leave them to suffer the same fate you had suffered. That is why emotions are considered a weakness to many, as we often associate "rational" as being intelligent, thus, why put yourself in harms way when you could avoid it, just to help someone you don't know and that might not personally benefit you in a tangible way.
Herein lies the crux. For a person capable of feeling empathy, there can be a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment, when a physical action is taken that challenges an emotionally embedded memory.
Are you suggesting that you simply like hurting people and seeing the opportunity to do so in this scenario, you would capitalize on the already occuring violent behavior of others? If that is the case, why take on the role of helping the victim?
And since you suggest you'd leave the victim if you came along after the violence, what if you were successful at causing the gang to disperse and victim was left there hurt. Would you still offer no assistance?
On a side note, do you participate in Mixed Martial Arts or Boxing or any sanctioned sports that involve fighting or do you merely enjoy brawling spontaneously?
In regards to helping those in need when no immediate reward is visible, it can sometimes be the case in my experience that doing acts that involve helping others does go rewarded although in the immediate moment it is unclear that a reward will commence at some point later. As I am sure you are aware, doing favors for humans can be a manipulative tactic to evoke a desire for reciprocation on the part of the one receiving the favor.