Monday, November 30, 2009

It's alarming how charming I feel

A reader asked me to assess the following letter for sociopathy. It's a letter that apparently charmed his/her "friend" back into her short-lived, nefarious lover's arms after her friend had successfully cut off ties for months:
I keep thinking that I want to write you something. I've actually written you several drafts, but have put off sending anything because I knew it would in all likelihood be the last thing I would say to you, and I didn't know what I wanted to be the last thing I said to you. I think about you everyday. I'm brokenhearted still. I feel your loss exquisitely. I kept the little drawing that you did for me and your picture you let me steal from your wallet. I see your name in my phone, see google suggest it when I start typing in my sister's. I really don't understand what happened, but I defer to your judgment. Still I wonder, did it have to be this way? It feels like you never really gave me a chance. I loved you. It was a selfish, demanding love. It was the bastard child of narcissism and a desire to possess, of course it was, I barely knew you, but I loved you. I miss you. I miss your handwriting and your forthrightness. I miss your diet sodas and smoking breaks. I miss your quest to do the right thing, but how you never took yourself too seriously. I don't feel like I really knew you, but in some ways, some concrete ways I did. Maybe it was all a fantasy. Maybe that was the problem. But now I feel like there's a hole in my heart and I don't know what to do about it. I hope this doesn't sound too cliche. It's funny that after telling you virtually nothing, now I just want you to know the truth. That's all I expect from this, all I have the right to expect, if that. But what do I want? What do I hope for? Maybe answers. Really any sort of response would make me ecstatic. I feel like you have given me abandonment issues that I never really had before. I've gained a touch of paranoia. I second guess myself, even second guess the world. I know I'll get over you, but I don't want to. I want to see you. I want to at least know you're alive. It seems weird to me thinking about the last time I saw you. I didn't expect it to be the last time I saw you. The last time I spoke with you, I didn't expect it to be the last time i spoke with you. it was so sudden, so unexpected. It caught me short. I was hurt. I apologize for not behaving better. I don't know. I guess I just wish that I had known it was coming, or known what had happened, still wish those things.

You said once that I should give you credit for picking me out of everyone else and knowing that I was worth getting to know. I thought it was funny, because you never picked me out, I picked you out. I'm still so so glad i did, even with how it ended. I guess mainly I want you to know that you will always have my admiration, respect, and devotion, for whatever that is worth to you.
I had my own opinions about this letter but wanted unbiased viewpoints on it to verify. Thoughts?


  1. He's a narcissist. He goes on at prohibitive length about his experience, his impressions, etc. He also seems genuinely hurt and doesn't understand how she could have left him.

    The intent of the letter is diffuse. Indirection is smart, this has no direction or design. It's all careless sentiment.

    I thought it was tedious and not particularly evil.

  2. Who knows? Who cares? There are obvious attempts to play on emotions that go above and beyond honest expression, but what desperate soul wouldn't make them? It's stupid to try and diagnose someone based off of one little email. There are a million different reasons why this man or woman could be saying what he or she is saying.

    My advice: Go with your gut, sir or madam. M.E. can't tell you anything concrete based off of this, and in situations like this, gut instincts are usually correct. People get off track when they over-complicate things in pursuit of what they WANT.

    Do you want to believe this person is a sociopath? Do you want to believe they aren't? What do you hope to gain my asking M.E. to make up your mind for you? Why does it matter whether this guy is a sociopath if you think he's bad news? A label is irrelevant. Toxic is toxic.

    Is he toxic?

  3. That's a disgusting letter. And, if a sociopath ever wrote me something so pathetic, I'd slap him.

    Likely, he wants to see how many times he can terrorize you before flee to another country.

    If you're up for a big move... go ahead and make nice ;)

  4. Correction -

    That should say...

    Likely, he wants to see how many times he can terrorize you before YOU FLEE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY.


    I bet there's a 99.9999% chance she's banging him, right now.

    Advice is always such a waste of time.

  5. i'd say cut your losses and move on. doesn't matter if one of them is a sociopath. the one writing the letter is going to keep sucking up and the receiver will find them more and more pathetic until the writer is lucky to be able to walk away with their tail between their legs and not a shred of dignity left. yea, forget about those cute lil diet sodas (they'll only shrink your brain and give you tumors), raise your standards and find someone better.

  6. It's alarming how charming we are, yes. I can't really analyse this letter without knowing the recipient. If this was written by a sociopath, then the sociopath is writing to mirror the recipient's wants and needs. If I wrote this letter for the person who recently cut ties with me, I think she'd see straight through it, because this seems a little bit too needy and she would - like Dirty Harriet - find it pathetic and disgusting. I find when I'm being charming I have to add a dash of self-confidence and willingness to walk away. They hate that, when you're fine about walking away. Although, something that is done here that is also something I do, is picking up on the recipient's little foibles and habits. It shows you've noticed them and this works in two correlating ways: 1. Normals like to know that you have thought about them. They like to know you have been taking care over how they act. 2. Sociopaths are very good at picking up on these things and remembering them forever.
    I also admire slightly how this letter taps into the "empathy" of the recipient.
    Sorry I've been gone a while, I've had an awful lot to sort out.

  7. Personally, I think the letter is a sad excuse at redemption. The writer only ever identifies with their own feelings and does briefly apologize but I believe it is more likely they are sorry they didn't behave better only because it didn't work out the way they wanted it to. Not because they are truly sorry for how they treated the recipient but truly sorry for themselves. Also in my opinion true love is not selfish~they talk about having a selfish love for this person...sounds like a poor me letter. The hole in the composers heart is a only present because he feels that he had no control over this situation. If they can gain the trust of this person again-or wriggle their way into their lives-even minimally, they will be able to make sense of their purpose. The self serving purpose of having what they want, when they want it regardless if they are deserving or not. They didn't expect this to happen and it kind of threw them into a confused state so he pretends to be questioning all his values blah blah blah ~like a normal person would. I don't buy it..."I was hurt" don't buy that either. They were caught off guard and that hurts their ego...that's it that's all.
    In my opinion of course,
    The people pleaser

  8. This letter made me laugh, it was as so many said "pathetic" and a waste. If this guy/girl is a sociopath, he/she is a poor learner of emotions...too many self references and not enough thoughts about what the other person might be feeling, the ones that did where compared to the writer's own.

    The diet soda was a nice touch though.

    --Daft, not logging in right now.

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  11. I was going to add that this is obviously not a very smart sociopath if one at all because if he had any kind of intelligence he would try to "act" like he cared more about the receivers feelings. I live with a potential sociopath and I wouldn't have fallen for this very easily but then again my sociopath is likely just better at pretending lol

    The people pleaser

  12. he is sociopat cuz da bich get slapp

    if your not slapp it u get ran

    ok so go ok

  13. fuk u daft pan bird dick father fukker u r small boi mugu

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  15. Anonymous at 3:28, english not your first language?
    what was your point? If you had one? Follow up at 3:31 with some random crap?
    What is this world coming to?

  16. To everyone who insinuated that this was too pathetic to be a sociopath: do you people even know what a sociopath is?

    Do you really think a sociopath gives a damn if you think they're pathetic? All they want is to accomplish their objective, whatever that might be. Unless they're high-functioning enough to recognize the damage it *might* do to their reputation, depending on their audience, thoughts like, "How pathetic do I sound?" aren't going through their mind, at least not the way y'all seem to think. It's more like, "Do I sound pathetic enough? Do I need to step it up a notch?"

    One particularly rotten guy I knew had no problem getting down on his knees and begging, even kissing your feet, in front of a crowd of people, if it meant he could get what he wanted. On the inside, I'm sure he was laughing about it.

    Same guy, later date... he shot someone in the toe with a pellet gun, point blank through the guy's shoe. He went to put on his steel toed boots, came back, and agreed to let the guy do the same to him while apologizing profusely. After the metal plate in his boots stopped the pellet, he started jumping around screaming and yelling as if in pain. It was like something out of a cartoon. The guy he shot was laughing with glee thinking he'd finally gotten his revenge, but the joke was on him--not that he ever found out.

    A sociopath doesn't care what you think, as long as it helps him achieve his immediate goal.

    Said socio/psychopath is now living off of his wife's parents' money, supplementing it with money from lawsuits he's conjured up against anyone he can find a reason to sue, scamming his friends and family whenever the opportunity presents itself and then blaming it on them.

    That is a socio/psychopath.
    Not this spock-ish "I choose not to care because it's illogical, and I'm better than that" bullshit. Unless of course you're lying through your teeth about it to get what you want.

  17. my skin crawled reading that latter, what a slithering blithering twonk, have you counted how many 'I' are in it?? it lacked honesty, warmth, compassion, and it stank of poorly executed mimicry. the strokes of self pity that squirm though phrases like :i want to see you. i want to at least know youre alive: are demanding and irritated.

    RUN AWAY after you have BURNT IT.
    this person is not a whole person, but a stinking mimic.

  18. I agree with father dearest, even if this is poorly made i would expect it to be different in any situation.
    Some girls (alot) would be easier to control by making them feel like its there fault that your feeling so bad, some girls are already stuck up there own ass and you cant just go and fill their ego more every time "you you you" and they wont even notice you.
    So to say he was pathetic just because it doesnt affect you doesnt mean it didnt work. and thats what were all about... Making it work not semantics,
    The problem with normal wannabe's is they lack the ability to naturally make things work. perhaps due to empathy and feelings?


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