Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I am in love with a sociopath

So begins molly young, writing for moreintelligentlife.com about Showtime's television show Dexter, a sympathetic portrayal of a sociopath/pseudo-vigilante. The portrayal of Dexter is so sympathetic, in fact, that Young thinks that he is a little too good to be sociopath true:
Dexter makes for a fine host and protagonist: he’s charming and intelligent, with the striking good looks of a handsomely-built monkey. In voiceover narration, he attempts to explain his murderous actions to the viewer, insisting that he is an empty shell of a person. "I love Halloween,” he indulges. “The one time of year when everyone wears a mask, not just me.” The voiceover device allows Dexter to explain his bloody motivations with illuminating introspection. The sociopath, it turns out, is humble and has regrets. He is self-searching and self-questioning. He is, in other words, a really unconvincing sociopath.

Here’s the thing: as viewers, we have to believe that Dexter is an aberration––a man totally unlike us––in order to accept his dubious activities. And yet the very qualities that would designate him a sociopath would surely alienate him as a protagonist. The solution? A character who acts in thoroughly lovable ways while telling us that it’s all pretence. If Humbert Humbert's narration was all about providing a beguiling justification of his misdeeds, Dexter's is about convincing us that he’s bad and empty inside, despite evidence that he's really a mensch.
In typical empath fashion, she continues by suggesting that Dexter is really just a caricature of Joe Anybody:
Plus, we want to like Dexter. He’s a caricature of how most of us feel ourselves to be: outsiders some of the time, morally correct most of the time, doing the best we can with the cards we were dealt. Dexter explains that he fakes his likeability in the voiceovers, but the explanations themselves––with their introspection and self-deprecating tone –– don't jibe with the hollow killer he claims to be.
This is some interesting faulty reasoning -- this man can't be a sociopath because I love him. And yet there are literally millions of people who love sociopaths. Sociopaths are in a lot of ways very easy to love, at least at first. What Young is demonstrating in her article is the folly of many an individual ensnared in the sociopath's charms -- he can't possibly be a sociopath, can he? He can and he is. In this way, Dexter is one of the most accurate, un-caricatured media portrayals of a sociopath.

25 comments:

  1. Dexter is one of my favorite tv shows too.

    I am dating a sociopath. After dating him for approximately 3 months, he admitted this to me. I almost dropped him on the spot.

    I asked why he even needed a girlfriend and he told me he enjoys my company, he feels good when I'm around and thinks I am a cool chick.

    I took a few weeks and let this announcement sink in and decided to give him a chance. I thought what the hell. I am very thick skinned, alloof and independant and don't like needy people myself. They annoy me. So I thought that he might keep me interested for more than 6 months.

    He is a sociopath for sure. He treats me well. Pays for everything. I am of value to him, and I know in which way. He shows affection in his own way. I like how he is. It's comfortable.

    He is mean ocassionally, but so am I. We get along very well. I have been with him for going on two years now. I am not expecting anything, so it's a fun ride for now.

    C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Went through the typical stages of idealization, devaluation and discard... but, wasnt able stick wigh the no contact rule... been sleeping with him, the psychopath for the past few months now... been seeing him once a week... we might do dinner, drinks, hang out but clearly sex is the rEason for our "dates." thought I would be fine with this arrangementfor the moment... but, the longer I continued to see him regulatly in this context (solely Sexual in mature), the more I was feeling demeaned for voluntarily opening myself to contracting STD/HIV. His high libido amd intense sexual impylses to engage in sexually deviant acts with multiple partners (some long term gf/ fwb and some new short lived targets) was certainly bwcoming more alarming for health matters... if I was the only fwb and didn't have to worry about him sleeping with multiple partners, I just might be okay with continuing this once a week arrangemrnt... (yes, i need to work on mtself) as of yesterday, texted him saying that I am moving on... he didnt care nor did i expect him to... he'll just replace me with another girl tp have sex with once a week... after all just an objective to him... I realize he has no emotional attachment to me as I had and feels like I still do have with him even after having known of his psychopathic characteristics for a little while now... strangely, believed him and I might be able to make this work somehow... his words and actions were all BS despite mh feelings had been genuine with him... still no ill feelings toward him... it is what it is... hoping to stay strong and stick with the no contact rule this time around though...

      Delete
    2. Went through the typical stages of idealization, devaluation and discard... but, wasnt able stick wigh the no contact rule... been sleeping with him, the psychopath for the past few months now... been seeing him once a week... we might do dinner, drinks, hang out but clearly sex is the rEason for our "dates." thought I would be fine with this arrangementfor the moment... but, the longer I continued to see him regulatly in this context (solely Sexual in mature), the more I was feeling demeaned for voluntarily opening myself to contracting STD/HIV. His high libido amd intense sexual impylses to engage in sexually deviant acts with multiple partners (some long term gf/ fwb and some new short lived targets) was certainly bwcoming more alarming for health matters... if I was the only fwb and didn't have to worry about him sleeping with multiple partners, I just might be okay with continuing this once a week arrangemrnt... (yes, i need to work on mtself) as of yesterday, texted him saying that I am moving on... he didnt care nor did i expect him to... he'll just replace me with another girl tp have sex with once a week... after all just an objective to him... I realize he has no emotional attachment to me as I had and feels like I still do have with him even after having known of his psychopathic characteristics for a little while now... strangely, believed him and I might be able to make this work somehow... his words and actions were all BS despite mh feelings had been genuine with him... still no ill feelings toward him... it is what it is... hoping to stay strong and stick with the no contact rule this time around though...

      Delete
  2. It is... Rather disappointing that she tries to convince that since he questions himself, he is not a sociopath.

    I feel as though any sociopath can recognize that honestly the only reason he questions himself is to keep track of himself.

    Not because he is guilty or shame-filled, but because he simply isn't going to get in trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  3. who is this dexter guy? I don't watch it, anyway aren't peoples perspectives fascinating. Im rather simple in my approach to a lot of things....This Dexter guy sounds like a lovable b#stard. Lets face it girls thats exactly the reason a sociopath turns you on. Who doesn't secretly really like the bad guy? The sex is usually great!! On the flip side as a female extremely open about the fact i have a "mental illness" im never short of admirer's? both male and female....which begs the question...whats wrong with them? ha.
    What is funny about sociopath's though is the amount of effort the poor little things have to put in on a daily basis. Must be like a hard days slog at the office lol. No wonder they are so bad to live with, its the only time they get a break!! Just make them a coffee, turn up the t.v, and let them get on with letting their hair down. Im glad im not a sociopath unlike the few i know, (they are fun though) i just couldn't be arsed with the pretence ALL the time. I admit i manipulate/play awful mind games with my boyfriends (but what girl doesn't)...as for the rest of society i really couldn't be bothered to make the effort to "ruin them" so to speak,(wht are you people so serious all the time?).... Get well soon sociopaths! I lust all of you xxx

    ReplyDelete
  4. "wht are you people so serious all the time?"

    I'm not sure, exactly. I guess some, (or most) of us is drawn to the serious side. To speak for myself, I honestly have absolutely no interest in either being serious or childish. But most of the time, I find being serious to be less uninteresting to me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just read this post and the article it linked to for shits and giggles and I must say, the article is a perfect example of one of the other comments I’ve made here. What do people think those who can be labeled as sociopaths are, anyway? Is it really that difficult to imagine that a sociopath can be introspective? Is it really that hard to believe that those with sociopathic tendencies can appreciate the irony of having to pretend to assimilate in order to survive? I love the show “Dexter” precisely because the character is so self aware! He has few illusions about who and what he is. I think the so called empath’s faulty and emotionally based belief system effectively blinds them and the article demonstrates that. Their perpetual lack of insight would be hardly credible if it weren’t so ubiquitous.

    ReplyDelete
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  11. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to kiwifar.ms drama: https://archive.is/M2tXa) that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/ too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!

    Goddamn ME refused to reconnect the blog to the forum so we SC goers will just have to spam advertisements for the forum in the comments section. ;)More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to kiwifar.ms drama: https://archive.is/M2tXa) that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/ too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!

    Goddamn ME refused to reconnect the blog to the forum so we SC goers will just have to spam advertisements for the forum in the comments section. ;)

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