Monday, June 15, 2009

Sociopath friends

My friends who know I am a sociopath will sometimes question the friendship: why do you want to be my friend? What am i to you? Do you even care? The short answer is yes, I do. I enjoy your company, I like you enough to spend time with you. When you become my friend, you become a part of me, and as such I definitely care about your well-being.

I don't know whether that is normal friendship. I know that even empaths can have shallow friendships of convenience, but I wonder if there is something more. I wonder what else my friends are expecting from me when they ask me those questions -- what do they mean by "care about"? A reader writes about friendship:
You know, I've tried to talk to a few people about the way my mind works, but it's always failed miserably. One of the first people is the closest thing I have to a best friend. He didn't believe me, thinking I was confused or depressed. He thinks that the times I've helped is parents out with things have been out of the kindness of my heart, but it's always been a bribe. The truth is that I've been rewarding them for being an option when I need them, doing my best to promote that behavior in the future. And any time I've shared anything with said friend, it's always been so that I could have company doing whatever it was I was doing. I never really cared whether he had fun or not except that he was fun for me when he was having fun. He was having some major health problems for a while, and there was a possibility that he had an infectious disease and wasn't going to live much longer. My first thoughts upon hearing this were 1) could I have contracted the disease from him somehow? and 2) if he died, there would be nothing left tying me to this city or state. He didn't have the disease, and there's apparently no danger of him dying, but reflecting on my reaction to news about my "best friend"'s possible death left me feeling a bit like a monster.

My "best friend" before that wound up shooting himself in the head. I was actually on the phone with him the day before, while he was in the store picking out the gun. His death didn't affect me at all, and I couldn't bring myself to go to his funeral. Everybody else who knew him (he was very well-liked) was completely torn, and I couldn't see myself standing straight-faced among so many mourners. The only thoughts crossing my mind at the time were 1) what's next? and 2) why wasn't I affected like they were?

49 comments:

  1. "My 'best friend' before that wound up shooting himself in the head. I was actually on the phone with him the day before, while he was in the store picking out the gun. His death didn't affect me at all, and I couldn't bring myself to go to his funeral. Everybody else who knew him (he was very well-liked) was completely torn, and I couldn't see myself standing straight-faced among so many mourners."

    I understand this. My beloved grandmother died last year and I felt nothing. She was a sweet lady who cared about me. I had fond feelings for her as well. And yet her death had basically no emotional affect on me. (I can easily manage most of my emotions, with the exception of anger.) I strongly suspect this is going to be true of most of my loved ones. As for my friends, well let’s just say I have no intention of telling them I have sociopathic tendencies. Some wouldn’t believe me and the ones who did would slowly distance themselves from me.

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  2. awww....you psycho bunch aren't so bad....maybe a little cold and unfeeling, nothing a few beers won't cure! Lighten up...(unless you lot are about to go on a random killing frenzy...if so (sshh), i've got a rather long list you lot can "take out" for reasonable payment!!!) ha.

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    1. Tinkerbelle I know you and I know what you re saying. I am the same ..Lets get em in a line and watch them cry and squirm while we feel nothing.

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  3. I've asked my closest friends why they bother being friends with someone who operates emotionally the way I do knowing of the things I do, and I've received these responses:

    -you're good at spotting others like you and other harmful people and keeping them away because you don't like other people hurting me that aren't you. I'd have to be really stupid to lie to you and you see right through me.
    -eh, why not? (this friend has too much conscience to do what I do but finds it all very amusing to watch me do)
    - because you're awesome. It's not a good idea not to be your friend.

    Then, of course, there's usually a few people in denial even after I've told them and given ample proof, idealizing the crap out of me. These are usually gone after they can no longer romanticize my nature or "believe in the good in me".

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    1. Ive been best friends with a sociopath for about 13 years, over which she has told me she has no conscious and is emotionally unavailable. I, on the other hand, am a highly sensitive person with a lot of conscience. I can't say nothing has gone wring in our relationship before, but oddly enough we have complemented each other. Where she probably used, I have a good idea of what she did and didn't care because she has helped me out enough times that we have reciprocated many favours. Only recently did I realize these traits fit the bill for a sociopath. I'm not sure what my point was here, but probably along the lines of if I should just break off the relationship, since we no longer live in the same city anyways.

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    2. Anonymous, she's probably using you for her own benefits but you just don't realize. Because she's emotionless, she probably never appreciate the friendship. If i were you i would hurt her as much as possible behind her back as a retaliation for being deceived. But remember that you can never hurt her feelings so try to damage her interests and do this without being discovered. Remember that she've probably been playing games on you.

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    3. wrong dave some people can't help being born that way and maybe the other person doesn't know about it.

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    4. I have been best friends, and occasionally romantically involved with a sociopath over the last 10 years.
      He is the father to both my children.

      I have always approached our relationship with honesty in everything.
      I do not project my needs on him. I see him for what he is and I accept it.
      I am bipolar. His limited depth of emotion has never bothered me too much. I'm used to it from everyone in varying degrees.
      How he thinks and feels....That's just how he does things, it's him.

      What makes our friendship work, is that we both understand and accept each other for what we are. We find things to base our friendship on that aren't the traditional source of "love".
      I value him. I enjoy how he thinks, how me moves.
      I enjoy how he challenges me to think 5 steps ahead.
      I have things I am better at than him, so I still have some power in our dynamic, but he still wins most of the time. and that's okay with me.

      He enjoys how unpredictable and chaotic my emotions, and thoughts are.
      He appreciates the effort it takes, and my mastery of reigning myself in. Even when I control myself to the point that most people don't recognize when I'm bothered, he still picks p on my subtle cues.
      We both struggle with blending in. We both struggle with this weird sense of detachment from reality, where normal people march around like robots.

      We both have violent impulses with atypical motivations for not acting on them. He finds violence to be inconvenient. I find it messy.
      Both of us find those motivations to be much stronger than any guilt we might have.

      He grounds me when I get too whimsical.
      I push him to strive for bigger, less obvious goals.
      We both parent our children in a way that nurtures and challenges them.
      They feel safe, but they are pushed to grow as people.

      Even in bed we compliment each other.
      He sometimes enjoys being violent, and I enjoy fighting him.
      It's exciting to be challenged.

      In everything, we push each other to think, to win.
      And it's not clear very often who will win.

      At the same time, I recognize what he is.
      I know he needs space when he's bored.
      I know when I am not entertaining enough for him, and I'm not offended by it. Frustrated maybe, but that's just because I enjoy his company.
      He always comes back eventually though. In the meantime, I am just fine on my own. I don't like most people, and I prefer to be solitary anyway. He is one of maybe three people, I actually want around.

      Our relationship isn't built on love, it's build on mutual understanding and acceptance. We work, because we've both decided that the other one is acceptable as is. We don't demand more than the other can give.
      Anything else would be selfish.
      To expect him to "love" me, would be not to know him at all.
      That seems like a gross and lonely thing to do to him.
      It wouldn't be fair.
      He says he loves me, like one loves a favorite T-shirt.
      I appreciate that.

      TLDR; My motivation for being friends with a sociopath is that there is mutual understanding and acceptance I have never gotten from anyone else. He is him and I am me, and that's good enough.

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    5. So, well, poor kids...a bipolar as mother and a sociopath as father. I really don't understand why you have ever decide to reproduce yourself and to couple with a sociopath to generate kids...

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  4. "Then, of course, there's usually a few people in denial even after I've told them and given ample proof, idealizing the crap out of me. These are usually gone after they can no longer romanticize my nature or "believe in the good in me"."

    Ugh, I have experienced this and do experience it at least once a week. I keep tending to remind her how I am emotionally bankrupt and it gets nowhere. It's like sometimes I'll send out red alerts into her mind just so I can string her idealization of me along with lies of why X happened that'll comfort her.

    Meh, it gives me something to do, I guess.

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    1. you're not a sociopath, but more a self absorbed retard, with delusions of grandeur!

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  5. I don't think you're psychopaths or sociopaths-you just seem like you have emotional problems. Sociopaths could never, in a million years, have the insight you have and also sociopaths are highly predatory and malighn.

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    1. Sonny you are in denial. Don't try and diagnose people, and not all sociopaths are low-functioning or completely devoid of emotion. There is a spectrum of sociopaths, and we are each very different. We function and feel differently, and some of us resist our urges. It does not make us less of a sociopath or more of a sociopath whether we choose to manipulate or kill someone; the thing tying us all together is that we do not care about others, just how they benefit or make us feel, but if they make us feel good then we keep them around, an return the favor. Other things I won't include now

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  6. “Sociopaths could never, in a million years, have the insight you have..."

    This is a curious idea that I keep coming across in my reading. Why is it so hard to believe that sociopaths or those with strong sociopathic tendencies can also be introspective and insightful? Is it because of a naïve belief that people who are introspective could never display sociopathic characteristics to begin with? That’s about the only reason I can think of to explain this common trope. And if my guess is correct, then why doesn’t it occur to these people that introspective sociopaths might in fact be in the perfect position to gain accurate insights into the human condition precisely because of their cold, calculating natures?

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  7. Daniel, add to the list of conflicts between the many profiles of a sociopath. Lol.

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  8. I guess you sociopaths need introspection and insightfulness as a tool to help you plot....could be wrong though, just an idea.

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  9. Tinkerbelle said...
    "I guess you sociopaths need introspection and insightfulness as a tool to help you plot....could be wrong though, just an idea."

    In my case, introspection came easy because I’m also an introvert for one. Two, I needed to understand why I seemed so different from most of the people around me so I examined myself intensely to find out. Third, you’re right. Having a decent grasp of human psychology is essential to gaining and using power, as a study of expert power players throughout history demonstrates.

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  10. True sociopath friends are either temporary activity partners, as in sex or duck hunting, or are using you for some personal gain. If you determine that the latter will eventually entail more risk or pain than you can handle, it’s best to quietly lose all contact with the sociopath. Backing away quickly or violently will usually cause either a combative or retaliatory reaction from them, depending on your temperament.

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  11. well my ex was a sociopath and we were actually well suited to each other lol....i hated him as much as he hated me!!!! perfect! He thought i was a total nutcase, i was always awful to him...because i couldn't help it, he still phones my mother years down the line to ask how i am, he hasn't the balls to ask me to my face incase i chuck a bucket of piss over his big fat head!!..(id been saving it especially for him) mmmm he was utterly gorgeous though....id still do him.

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  12. sociopaths GET HELP! if people are still being your friend they are OUT OF THEIR MINDS. the pain you sociopaths inflict on other is nothing short of INSANE. get HELP. I am a victim of a sociopath and so is my boyfriend. stay the hell away from everyone until you get psychotherapy because you are always wrong no matter what. doing things for self gain is DISGUSTING.

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    1. Doing things for self-gain is human nature, like it or not. I really don't think "sociopath" is some special state of behavior. When you think long and hard about why you do things like make a loved one happy, is it not so you will feel happy in return? People talk about the "joy of giving"--there is /happiness/ to be gained from making others happy and pride to be gained from doing good deeds.

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  13. Thank you for this insightful post, I know its an oxymoron but my best friend is an sociopath, we enjoy each others company and our relationship is frankly mutually parasitic. I can spot her constant lies a mile away and can read her like a book and know how to avoid her drama to the point its become my form of amusement to watch it. I do feel sorry for those who get emotionally involved with her but she does come with a warning and those who choose to ignore it.. well, they were warned. Its funny in a twisted way, she's the only one I can stand back and tolerate the BS from and KNOW its BS. Anyone else I would and have, removed from my life for such behavior but like I said, we benefit from each other and have for nearly a decade. It is possible to be "friends" with a sociopath but you need to be able to distance yourself from them and be able to protect yourself emotionally. Its not something I would recommend unless you understand their game/thought processes but the relationship has been rewarding in its own ways over the years and I don't see it ending anytime soon yet at the same time I am always prepared for it to do so. Yes, I know, totally not a normal relationship thought process but I accept who and what she is.

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  14. You are not a sociopath... You empathize with sociopaths and you admire them. But you are not a sociopath. The more I read your blog the more clear it becomes... You are just having an bizarre identity crisis.

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  15. I don't know how or even why you would want to befriend a sociopath. I had a child friend who I recently found out was a sociopath. She was charming and deceptive. Cold hearted bitch. I forgive her now though for the fucked up things she has done because now I know she mentally ill and isn't capable of feeling or experiencing the things normal ppl can. But I would suggest staying away from them, sure you can be a friend, see right through them could tell when they are lying and not get too involved in their drama but one day they could end up killing you for personal gain.In their mind you are not their friend no matter how much times they tell you, you are their victim. They don't care about you because they don't know how to. A lot of killers or molestors/ rapists are sociopath. Being aroud one is like playing a game of russian rolette be careful.

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  16. Haters gonna hate I guess.

    Not every person with an anti-social personality disorder is a rapist or serial killer. Probably less than 10% of the people who could be diagnosed as a sociopath or psychopath is.

    Most of the time, when you stop being useful you just get dumped/ignored. Don't want that to happen? Don't stop being useful.

    I'm married to a psychopath with heavy traits of npd. I myself would probably be diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder if I had the money or care to get a psych evaluation. The relationship is 100% parasitic on both sides, and we're both happy with that.

    To be honest, relationships with normal people are more terrifying, because their emotions make them unreliable and unpredictable to a person like me.

    With my husband, I know that as long as I remain useful a conscious decision is made to stay with me. It's not based on the whims of hormones or brain chemical explosions, it's based on something cold and tangible, and something that is within my control. This makes me feel safe. I would rather feel safe then loved. Love is flimsy, appreciation for a mutual exchange of benefits is much less so.

    I actually wish that I knew more people like this.

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    1. Ha! I would rather be safe, too, which is why I did not marry a sociopath. I find them to be the unpredictable ones. They will cheat and lie. They are hot for you one minute and cold the next. Kind one minute and mean the next. Who needs that kind of emotional roller coaster. They get a kick out of pushing your buttons ... . Cold and tangible is being married to an Aspie which I am. An affair with a sociopath drove me into the arms of an Aspie. :)

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  17. My best friend and i are both sociopaths. we don't really have feelings for other people but we have a very very deep connection with each other. we absolutely love each other and no one else. we might be a special case....

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  18. I'm almost positive I am a sociopath, but I wont go as far as to say that I am before an official diagnossis, but I find that anyone who I thought was my 'friend' were merely tools to subdue my boredom in certain unavoidable situations. I had no desire to spend time with them if I had another better option, and as soon as the situation (in this case school) was over I'd cut them lose and go on my own way with no ties or feelings about them after I left.

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  19. I think sociopaths miss out on the only thing close to a meaning in life; love.

    All they care about is self gain but in the end really what is gained? It is all lost when you die and judging by the poor quality of your behaviours/attitudes to your companions its unlikely anyones feelings about you will even live on.

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  21. Why am I still friends with my personal Sociopath? Because when he's in a good mood he's the most fun person to be with that I know, his smile lights up the room and he could charm the stars from the sky. He's intelligent and entertaining with a wicked sense of humour and I love being with him. When he's in a bad mood, I leave! :)

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    1. I understand what you are saying and I treat my sociopath friend similarly. I have studied his moods. When he wants to be entertained maybe to relieve his boredom I entertain him but I have my share of fun too. If he is in an ugly mood I keep away. I try not to crowd him put keep reasonable distance between us in terms of time spent together. He is kind to me but can be a pain in the butt too - when sociopathic behaviours chips in. Whenever he plays me I tell him that I know what he did. I guess we understand when we get on each other's nerves and hence keep our distance.

      Maybe one of the reasons we still get alone is because I set boundaries and he tends to observe them for whatever reason.

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  22. I dated a person with whom I work and he seemed so awesome in the beginning, then we started fighting over every little thing, which is totally not like me. Now we are just friends with ocassional benefits. There are things about him that I respect - his intelligence, work ethic, his ability to pick up on things so fast, humor and what I perceived to be his ability to understand me, although I quickly realized he can't empathize.

    I am about as empath as they come and he eventually told me he couldn't meet my needs...and he couldn't, lol. I think he tried, but maybe he just got bored.

    I found this site and recently mentioned the possibility of him being a sociopath. He didn't look at all surprised. I asked if he ever thought about it, he said no, but then seemed to know a lot about it, lol.
    I guess what I want to know (and maybe I'm a complete fool), what is the best way to be friends with someone like this? I still respect aspects of him and we work very closely. He has said I'm his only real friend in our city, as he isn't from here. Also that I'm one of two people that he would actually cry, if I died. I realize this could be manipulation. I would like to believe that on some level, he does care, as best as he is able anyway. I'm OK with being used/manipulated to an extent. The way I see it (in benign things) if he needs to feel like he "won", then ok; Not that important to me. But I don't want to get screwed over.

    Is it even possible to lay some ground rules with a socio? Can I ever trust to get true motives, or will he always feel the need to play me? He's very intelligent, and seems to be giving on occassion, but I guess he's just "conditioning" me for future behaviors. I think we all do that to some extent however, the only difference being that I don't do it in a calculated way. I think it's just human nature to reinforce a positive behavior that you like (or benefit from) in another person.

    I'm a good hearted giving individual that always strives to understand, which is why I'm on this site. I really want to understand. But the only thing that helps so far is that it's something in the brain, a limitation of empathy/feelings. I'm sure that my caring demenor makes me prime target, but in being true to who I AM, I'm still going to be a giving and good hearted person. I just want to be as informed and "smart" about this as possible.

    I appreciate the honesty and candor the socio's share on this site. Some of you scare me, not going to lie, but as with everything there is a spectrum. I don't think my friend is Dexter material, at least I hope not.

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  23. Wish we could correspond. I am like you and I have a sociopath friend who is like yours. We have formed a bond and are close buddies. Sometimes we behave like an old maried couple. He does challenge me at times but I would say that it is important to first know who you are and what you are willing to take from others.

    I try not to let my friend treat me less than I deserve. Know your values and standards. I call him out on it whenever he does or say something I dont take kindly to. Sociopaths dont really apologize but I know what to do to get mine to apologize when he has wronged me. He might not do it same time and I dont know if the apology was genuine but I guess that I was able to get it out of him.

    Your friend is not strong on emotions so try not to get your emotions wrapped up in him. It can be devastating. Bring yourself to the point where you can have fun and so on without been emotional. If your friend does not show value or appreciation for certain things that you do for him then stop doing those things or do them less frequently. You will find that he does not really care to ask you why you have stopped. And it wont affect the friendship either. There is much more I could say but maybe next time.

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  24. This site is very helpful. I met a guy six months ago and immediately thought he was a sociopath (I'm pretty perceptive). I never mentioned this to him, and we continued seeing each other (when it suited him) and I began to doubt my initial diagnosis. He seemed so genuine. He's very charming and makes it seems like he cares without actually saying he does. He could easily explain any irregularities in his stories (and he's very intelligent so there were only a few) and was very candid about his lack of empathy and remorse.

    He's just told me he is a sociopath. I just said I already knew.

    I am going to continue being friends with him (I enjoy his company; he's very interesting) and like the other stories above I think that as long as I am aware of the way he thinks and acts I think it will be ok.

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  25. I'm also here trying to find out if it is possible to be friends with a sociopath. I am just starting a pen-pal friendship with one, knowing that there is a strong possibility that he is a sociopath and the nice things he says are probably just him feeding off of what I said to him in my first letter and he's probably conditioning me to be his pretty new toy. I don't think I mind, but like the couple posters before me, I am a strong empath and I am very emotional and giving so the trick to this will be trying to keep myself detached. Glad to read these comments on this post, looking forward to reading more stuff here.

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  26. I was fooled by co-worker into thinking he was shy and naive, but now I'm pretty sure he's a sociopath. He has been doing my head in: lying, manipulating, taking and no giving, charming for the sake of making it impossible to call him on anything... We have to continue working togehter but I wan't to stop interacting and don't know how to do that, because up until now, I've been trying to befriend him so I'm afraid my change in behaviour might make it worse. Should I just carry on like nothing has happened and just try to be careful or can I just stop talking to him?

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  27. The best way to handle the co-worker socio, is to slowly taper off your attempts to be friends. Just do whatever work you need to do together and keep it in neutral. Don't stop talking to him cold-turkey. Socios get mad when they sense mean behavior.
    Remember...in your head you must always be reminding yourself that his charm is fake, and that he is a predator and you are his intended victim. ...So just do your work and gradually spend less idle time with him. Keep yourself busy elsewhere and let it drift apart like that. Believe me he will not miss you. He might miss whatever he was going to get out of you, like all predators. Stay cool and minimize everything. Work with him and then go your way. ;)

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  28. If your friends with a Sociopath, your out of your fucking mind. Period!

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    1. Well isn't that interesting? You and I seem to be a minority. When I told my best friend who wouldn't turn against me about "my theory" (I'm 14 so I don't really want to tell my parents and get a diagnoses ) I expected her to run away but she took it very well and now tells me about the emotions she can actually see through my mask (shock mostly) and seems almost disappointed that my theory wasn't more exciting.

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  29. Being friends with a sociopath can be fun and rewarding as long as you are OK with the fact that, to them, your friendship is just a series of mutually beneficial exchanges.

    Their ability to make profoundly insightful off the cuff remarks about others can sometimes be uncanny

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  30. I used to be friends with a sociopath. Well... "friends." Before I knew he was a sociopath, we were friends. Finally, he told me about how he just plays with people and that he doesn't really have friends, so I just told him that it didn't matter to me and that I'd always be around if he wanted me. Sometimes we hang out. It's been a while since we talked, but I still like him.

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  31. I've had the pleasant experience of trying out being both a sociopath and a "regular" person. Sociopaths use more logic and thinking, usually having a handle on their emotions so as to get the best outcome out of any situation. Regular people enjoy emotions a bit too much to give into thinking that deeply. Sociopaths make life simple. "Black and white."

    The reasons we have friends are because of the benefits. Friends are great to have to watch your back, be there when you need it, give advice and such. In return, we attempt to make their lives enjoyable; wouldn't want to shoo away some free help, would we? Unfortunately this also means that we must choose real friends to have - not someone who simply uses our help and forgets us - that's when anger might start showing.

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  32. before i found out that i was a sociopath i used to think that i just must of not really cared about this person i thought that this person was not that important to the world or that the world was a better place

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  34. A sociopath is like a color-blind person who sees the world in shades of gray but who has learned how to function in a colored world. He has learned that the light signal for “stop” is at the top of the traffic light. When the color-blind person tells you he stopped at the red light, he really means he stopped at the top light. . . . Like the color-blind person, the sociopath lacks an important element of experience—in this case, emotional experience—but may have learned the words that others use to describe or mimic experiences that he cannot really understand.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201305/how-spot-sociopath



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  35. 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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