Monday, August 17, 2009

Masks and madness (part 1)

A reader asks me: "When an empath asks you to be 'supportive,' what does that mean to you? As far as what behaviors or actions does that include from your perspective?" My response:
Ah, it could mean so many things really. If someone I was dating was asking me to be supportive, I would assume what that person really meant was that they were not feeling fulfilled somehow, i.e. I was not filling a need for them. The thing is, when I am in a relationship with someone, I am constantly devoting energy to fulfilling their needs. Have you seen the film Watchmen? Do you know the sex scene with Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre where he has multiplied himself to please her, but also to take care of some other business? That's sort of how it is. On the one hand I feel like I have a greater ability to please whoever I am with because of my flexible sense of self makes it easy for me to be the perfect lover for a variety of people. On the other hand, there is something somewhat artificial and slightly creepy about it, I imagine.

But my point is this: from the beloved's perspective, all their needs should basically be getting met. If they have a problem with the fundamentals of the situation, i.e. they in some ways are uncomfortable with the fact that you don't think the same way they do, or don't have the same sorts of emotions or interactions with people that they do, then that is it for the relationship. That is a deal breaker. If that is not the problem, then there is always something else that I can do, or some new approach I can try that could fix things.

But when my beloved says that I need to be more "supportive," that doesn't necessarily mean anything to me other than I am failing in some way to meet their needs. It's like a baby's cry. Who knows what it is about, frequently even the baby doesn't know why they are upset. The only solution, essentially, is for you to go through the list of most likely ailments until you come up with a cure. Is it because the child is hungry? Tired? Has an upset stomach? All those could also apply to your beloved. Or maybe the beloved feels stifled, or smothered, or isn't getting enough respect, or feels like s/he always gives and never gets in return, is never listened to, feelings like worry or hopelessness are quickly listened to only to immediately provide a solution (sometimes empaths don't like that, they think it is dismissive of their feelings -- they would rather you empathize with them about the problem than have it solved). You go through the list of things most likely to be causing the problem, maybe take the "supportive" suggestion as a cue to review other recent events and try to pinpoint what exactly has caused the empath to ask you specifically to be more supportive. Why did they choose that particular word? Maybe they are jealous, maybe they feel insecure about their own decisions, maybe they want you to suspend your own rationality and worldview and adapt theirs. It's possible, it is all possible, but changing my world viewpoint is one thing, when it comes to denying objective realities, that is harder. It requires Herculean strength for me to be irrational. I can do it, but it's like holding my breath. Which is funny, because it usually just involves holding my tongue.


  1. (sometimes empaths don't like that, they think it is dismissive of their feelings -- would rather you empathize with them about the problem than have it solved).

    At the risk of being un-PC I think this applies more to empath women


  2. No, that's not true. Men get angrier and angrier when I fix whatever it was that was pissing them off to begin with. In order to avoid fights, I've had to learn that what they really want is recognition of the validity of their anger, not an easy solution that makes it plain as day that they're being retarded.

    It applies to both sexes.

  3. It applies more to women. If a man fixes my problem I buy him a beer. Men are born fixers. Women don't want issues fixed, they want you to listen to them and empathise. Perhaps your marks are she-hes? Read men are from mars, women from venus. Honestly, I thought you guys were meant to know all this.

  4. I think I'm going to publish a book called "You're a fag," with the words "You're a fag" printed repeatedly for about 250 pages. Then, all the fags who believe whatever they read in books will realize they're fags, and everyone who places more trust in their everyday experiences will just go about their life as usual.

  5. Kelly and Regis called, they want you to stick to watching TV.

    John Gray is an idiotic pop psychologist for black and white thinkers.

  6. That book will sell really well. Go for it. It will outstrip the bestseller I mentioned, its contents being so interesting, factually correct and relevant. I hope you put your own money into it instead of your mark's.

    I take your point but I'm also basing my comments on experience. I agree that you may have your own experiences which differ from mine. I won't cite any external reference from now on since you'll only shoot it down in flames with no supporting data whatsoever.

  7. Yeah, it will, just like the intresting, factually correct, and relevant best-seller Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

    You want proof? Let me punch you in the face, give you something for the pain, and tell you that you deserve it. You'll still be pissed because I don't recognize the validity of your feelings about it. Even though the real problem (pain) has been solved.

    Men and women express their emotions differently, but when they have strong emotions, they're both just as retarded, just as often. Sometimes men can be even worse.

  8. good argument. I will rethink.

  9. Plus add in the factor of the new generation. They are wearing their little sisters jeans and are more emotional than the women. When I talk to women they tell me about their boyfriends crying all the time. It's pathetic, but true.
    By the way cornhole, the Iraqis didn't choose a side. They were not involved in 9/11 or any attack ever on Americans at all till we came over there bombing them.

  10. Pager, that's irrelevant. Barely more than 1% of Guantanamo detainees were from Iraq.

  11. Piety and conformity to them that like,
    I am he who tauntingly compels men, women, nations,
    Crying, Leap from your seats and contend for your lives!
    Who are you that wanted only to be told that you knew before?
    Who are you that wanted only a book to join you in your nonsense?

  12. What's the best way to devestate a sociopath? I have tried "you are transparent to everyone except yourself", liar, cheat, thief etc. The direct accusations seem to have the best effect. how can I improve on this? By pretending to be weak and then figuratively knifing in the back?

  13. Very nice. Perhaps we should burn all books, ditch education and rely on our own divine knowledge? After all we aquired it through our superior intellect and experience. Remind me to select the next dentist who never read a book or took an exam. Or a doctor. But then sociopaths regularly have the arrogance to pretend to be these people and get away with it, long enough to maim and kill a few people.

    This reminds me of a Sociopath who argued at a party that adders are not venemous. She had never read a book in her life and was unable to sway the few people in the room that had. She did try though and will still argue it to this day, despite all the books and experience of other less superior beings who would say otherwise.

  14. I think the difference here is that she's not bitten by adders on a daily basis (or ever), and she sounds like the same kind of moron who believes whatever they read in books, internet articles, and blogs, which are essentially the same thing. That's how moronic ideas like that spread in the first place.

    Books are great, but where they conflict with personal experience and common sense, only a fool sides with their interpretation of the book--the same kind of fool who's likely to join the Church of Scientology.

    Healthy boundaries.
    Intellectual integrity.
    Reality > Publication

  15. Anon, I think you should go with a dentist who read a book telling him that jackhammers are the best tools for oral surgery, and blindly believed it. If you can't find one, I'll write one up and have it published, then you can sell copies for me until you find one "smart" enough to buy into it.

    I'll give you half of the profits.
    You know, publishing bullshit books sounds like a great way for an ignorant man to earn some cash. In all seriousness, I think we should do this. We can start with dentistry, move on to psychology, maybe even touch on neurosurgery. The possibilities are truly endless. I don't even have to publish it under my real name!


  17. Would you stand in an operating theatre and use your common-sense to lecture the surgeon? Presuming the surgeon had a good track record and had not offended nor contradicted you.

    The snake lady can't believe whatever she reads in books because she's never read any. Her reading a book would be admitting she knows less than the author. That's an abhorrently submissive position for an aggressive personality. Therefore she is doomed to remain a lifelong braggart: ignorant, outspoken and derided with appaulling judgement. It reminds me of my own experience working with sociopaths. The company paid for an expensive consultant to come in and provide training. I found the training useful. The sociopath, without any knowledge of the subject and unable to accept the dominant position of the trainer, provided a series of patronising and ignorant "corrections" throughout. The S was eventually asked to leave and did so smiling smugly.

    I have not at any stage suggested blindly believing whatever you read although your analogies are amusing :)

  18. “Experts” tend to get wrapped around the axle of their ideas for livelihood and ego reasons. They wind up projecting what works for them onto others. That’s why you’ll see discussions between guys like Noam Chomsky and R.J. Rummel, who are both basically libertarians, getting into arguments that devolve into childish namecalling. The smart libertarian would do best to learn from both, and then use what was useful for themselves while discarding the rest.

    I say 2/3 of men are mostly from Mars and 2/3 of women are mostly from Venus, which means that there are male uber-empaths as well as female psychopaths out there. Figuring people out on a case by case basis is what works for me.

  19. Anon 9:44, if you're the same one who said "Perhaps we should burn all books, ditch education and rely on our own divine knowledge?" followed by the rest of that black and white bullshit, then yeah, you pretty much did say we should blindly follow anything in print. If not, then you're just not very good at constructing an argument. You were responding to comments which merely suggested we shouldn't believe everything we read, after all. If you agreed with me, why argue at all? Why bring up the book burning bullshit? A petty attempt at a strawman argument, or do you really hold sacred the published word of imperfect men? Pick your poison.

  20. Are you a sociopath Pete? Do you mind my asking?

  21. No, but I share a many symptoms.

  22. Pete, that's a load of bollocks and I'm bored arguing with you on the black/white stuff.

    I brought up book burning because I wanted to draw attention to the contempt sociopaths have for books and/or for anyone in posession of more knowledge than themselves. How does a sociopath learn if they refuse to submit to tuition?

  23. Mr. Birdick.
    Mr. M.E.
    Mr. Thunderball.
    Mr. Pager.
    Ms. Jasnowflake.

    Do any of y'all read books?


    Only one of us was arguing in black and white, and it wasn't the person saying, "Books are great, but" in every other comment. That's a shade of gray, my friend, something you should consider as more than a last resort. Anyway, I hope you find some entertainment.

  24. Perhaps you should have asked "has anyone ever taught you anything you didn't know already via a book or otherwise?" The sociopaths I know would never admit to that. They just "know". But perhaps they hover near the end of the Hare scale and you guys in the middle? To avoid the b/w accusations, I know it's a sliding scale.

    The God question is interesting also. Since aggressives in general and Sociopaths in particular will never submit to anyone else, there can be no God. That would imply a power greater than theirs, an abhorrent situation. Ageing is a depressing phenomenon. Some try to pretend they have power over it with the "Peter Pan" syndrome. I always find it highly amusing talking to my Sociopath friends about the possibility of a God. The horror. Oh the horror.

  25. Anonymous who posted the comment at 10:55, I haven't been participating or paying any attention to this discussion, but I 'just had to' comment (because I'm bored again...) on your comment:

    The God question is interesting also. Since aggressives in general and Sociopaths in particular will never submit to anyone else, there can be no God. That would imply a power greater than theirs, an abhorrent situation

    For me the god question cannot be “answered” on the basis of power and authority. It’s about what’s most sensible to believe given the available evidence. If there were good reasons to believe in any god I’d do so because I like to go with reality as best I can. But since there aren’t, I don’t.

    Ok, you can carry on with your “argument” with Peter Pan.

  26. Sociopaths may have trouble admitting they learned something from someone else, I'll give you that, but I don't think they're unreceptive to tutoring. On the contrary, if they think you know what you're talking about, they'll probably learn as much from you as they can, assuming your area of expertise is useful to them. Just don't expect any thanks... more likely an attempt to unseat you as the expert. I don't think that would come out of any sense of disdain, mind you... more likely the need to dominate. What could be more tempting for a domineer than the domination of his mentor?

  27. Interesting Pete. So the S will learn and read perhaps secretly but will not admit to obtaining knowledge from elsewhere. The learning issue is interesting given some S's appaulling judgement and inability to learn from past mistakes. My ex for example insisted on letting chickens and ducks loose in the garden. She then bought hundreds of dollars worth of expensive plants. These were, of course, destroyed within days. She was angry but unable to admit the mistake. Therefore she continued to purchase expensive plants which continued to be eaten. The arrogance and stupidity persisted until she ran out of money.

    The God question is a superb one. I hope M.E addresses it at some stage.

  28. You know, I can see that happening, but their arrogance has different ways of manifesting itself. It could be their choice of books, or their interpretation of the book, that they deem superior.

    Related to the God question... I'd love to see M.E.'s interpretation of the tree of life as it relates to psychopaths. Man only needed to be forgiven to save himself from damnation because he ate from the tree of life, which caused him to know right from wrong. Before that, he was innocent, even though he was committing what Christians would consider sins.

    For me, that raises the question of whether all sociopaths go to heaven. :)

    Seems like something right up M.E.'s alley.


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