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?

Friday, November 27, 2009

More on IQ tests, intelligence, and sociopaths

From a reader:
The question of whether or not IQ tests are equally valid for sociopaths is an interesting one. Essay tests typically measure not only subject material mastery, but also how closely the opinions expressed by a test taker match those of the test grader. Poorly written multiple-choice questions may follow simple patterns e.g. longest answer is always right. If someone administering a test knows the answers and gives non-verbal cues, then they may just be measuring a Clever Hans effect. And of course having a copy of the answer sheet before the test can reduce performance to an act of memorization.

Any of these systematic difficulties would drastically decrease the g-loading of a test. After going through all the ways that test questions can potentially be `gamed`, we must face the truism that a g-loaded question is g-loaded question. A given question may be solvable by more than one means, but if the ability to solve it by any and all of these means has a strong enough correlation with the ability to solve a diverse enough body of other seemingly unrelated problems involving complexity, then the ability to solve it is a mathematically valid demonstration of general intelligence per Spearman's factor analysis.

I've never heard a good argument against this, so I'm not interested in debating it.

On the other hand, I may be interested in debating subtler points about interplay of the general factor and specific factors amongst different groups of people with certain sets of DSM-IV diagnoses. For example it's generally accepted that high functioning autistics are better than the general population at performing some cognitive tasks, and worse than the general population at performing others. A significant proportion of autistics exhibit such large discrepancies on Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrixes vs. Wechsler tests that the discrepancies in scores actually far exceed what can be accounted for by the sum of these test's specific factors as normed on the general population. This is true even when comparing the Raven's scores against some of the Wechsler subtests considered to have the best g-loading.

Autism is not as well understood as some other DSM-IV diagnoses, but the effect involving IQ score discrepancies appears analogous to the way that ADHD can be accurately diagnosed from disparities between Wechsler series sub-test scores. There are non-IQ related cognitive skills tests which can effectively screen for sociopathy to the extent that test subjects are not aware of how the tests work. Additionally, there's some anecdotal evidence that sociopaths may generally fare better in chronometric IQ testing than in other forms of IQ testing.

There are some parallels between thought processes of autistics, sociopaths, and people with 3+ sigma general intelligence (1 or less out of every 1,000 for the general population, or IQ of 145+ with a standard deviation of 15). This mostly relates to being more rational/calculating as opposed to emotional/reactive. There are ways in which all three groups seem to act stupidly, but most of these don't really relate to lack of general intelligence. Some relate to different emotional needs, or emotion processing deficits in said neuroatypicals, and at least a few actually result from cognitive deficits in the aggregate population.

I know someone who's convinced that sociopathy occurs with a greater frequency among the highly intelligent. Personally I don't think true sociopathy occurs with much greater frequency, but I do think that similarities in dick-head behavior result from similar secondary causes. For example, I've noticed that extremely intelligent people:

* don't feel compelled to follow social norms for the sake of following social norms
* don't hold authority figures in high regard
* don't make decisions based on emotions, including empathy
* can be very adept at using self-manipulation while justifying unreasonable behavior
* tend to experience disdain to a heightened degree when they do experience it

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sarah Palin: sociopath?

So says a former Palin staffer. I rarely give credence to these accusations. It's so easy to call anyone you don't like a sociopath or psychopath or narcissist or whatever term seems to embody unrestrained evil at any given time. This particular accusation seemed less accusatory to me, though. As reported by the Anchorage Daily News, when ex Palin aide Paul Bitney was asked whether he believed Sarah Palin was sane, he replied, "Is a sociopath sane?" Good question, John Bitney.

But I was curious. You always hear that sociopaths are overrepresented as heads of state, so I did a little bit of "empirical research." I googled the names of several well-known politicians and likely sociopath/NPD subjects and discovered (1) American politicians seem much more likely to be or be accused of being a sociopath or narcissist than politicians from other countries and (2) accusations seemed to track my own non-professional guesses. Here are the biggest "offenders":

Palin 853,000 hits for sociopath, 478,000 psychopath, 781,000 narcissist
Obama 1.73M for sociopath, 289,000 psychopath, 1.75M narcissist
GW Bush 2.16M for sociopath, 2.95M psychopath, 1.54M narcissist
Hillary 741,000 for sociopath, 768,000 psychopath, 702,000 narcissist

I feel like people think warmongering = psychopath, and arrogance and ambition = narcissists, or if they want the insult to have more teeth, sociopath. But I doubt that any of these people are sociopaths. I can't imagine a sociopath ever thinking becoming a world leader would be worth the trouble. Maybe if something like that dropped in my lap I would take it, but usually there are decades of scheming and mask wearing involved. Or so I 'm told...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sociopathy as legitimate life philosophy?

a reader writes:
I'm attaching two articles I thought you MAY find interest in.
I have this book that contains about 30 daily 'meditations' that I've been studying for years.
As an empath when I first started with this stuff it was a totally new world to me and seemed awfully cold at times but now I dont see it that way at all, I actually embrace it. When I have applied some of these principles to my own life people have labeled me jaded...Even though that is of no significance to me.
It's relevance to you, you ask??? Well a lot of the lessons seem to teach people to be more 'sociopathic' (to me) but the title of the book happens to be "The Way To Love." Funny enough its not actually about the way to 'love' and it hints that love is almost undefinable...
Check it out and if you wanna read more highly intellectual 'lessons' you can buy it for like 5 bucks at any bookstore.
Author: Anthony DeMello
a selection:
When someone tells you how special you are, all that you can accurately say is: This person given his particular tastes and needs, desires, appetites, and projections has a special desire for me, but that says nothing about me as a person. Someone else will find me quite unspecial and that too says nothing about me as a person. So the moment you accept that compliment and you allow yourself to enjoy it, you will give control of yourself to that other person. You will go to great lengths in order to continue to be special to this person. You will be in constant fear lest he meets someone who will become special to him and thus you will be dislodged from the special position you occupy in his life. And you will be constantly dancing to his tunes, living up to his expectations, and in doing so you will have lost your freedom. You have made yourself dependant on him for your happiness, for you have made your happiness depend on his judgment of you.

Then you can make things worse by beginning to search for other people who will tell you that you are special to them and you invest so much time and energy in making sure that they never lose this image they have of you. What a wearisome way to live! Suddenly fear comes into your life, fear that the image will be destroyed, and if what you seek is fearlessness and freedom, you must let go of this. How? By refusing to take anyone seriously when they tell you how special you are. The words “You are special to me” simply say something about my present mood regarding you, my taste, my present state of mind and development. They say nothing else. So accept that as a fact and do not rejoice in it. What you may rejoice in is my company and not my compliment. What you may enjoy is my present interaction with you, not my praise. And if you are wise, you will urge me to find many other special people so that you are never tempted to hold on to this image I have of you. It is not my image of you that you enjoy because you are ceaselessly aware that my image of you can change so easily. So what you enjoy is the present moment, because if you enjoy the image that I have of you, I will control you and you will be afraid to be yourself lest you hurt me, you will be afraid to tell me the truth, to do or say anything that would damage this image I have of you.

Apply this now to every image that people have of you and they tell you that you are a genius or wise or good or holy, and you enjoy that compliment and in that minute you lose your freedom; because now you will be constantly striving to retain that opinion. You will fear to make mistakes, to be yourself, to do or say anything that will spoil the image. You have lost the freedom to make a fool of yourself, to be laughed at and to be ridiculed, to do and say whatever feels right to you rather than what fits in with the image others have of you. How does one break this? Through many patient hours of study, awareness, observation, of what this silly image brings you. It gives you a thrill combined with so much insecurity and unfreedom and suffering. If you were to see this clearly you would lose your appetite to be special to anyone, or to be highly regarded by anyone. You would move about with sinners or bad characters and do and say as you please, regardless of what people think of you. You would become like the birds and flowers that are so totally unselfconscious, too busy with the task of living to care one little bit about what others think of them, about whether they are special to others or not. And at last, you will have become fearless and free.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cultural morality in action

A friend sent me a link to this Huffington Post article suggesting that the practice of frying a fish and eating it while still alive may be "shocking" and "too graphic for some readers." I guess the Chinese are just a cruel race of sociopaths, because the people in the video seemed to enjoy it immensely.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The dandelions and the orchids

A reader writes:
I thought this David Dobbs article in The Atlantic was fascinating and I will add, personally gratifying. It’s saying in effect that personality traits that are so often deemed deleterious by society can indeed be not only adaptive but advantageous in certain environments. It specifically mentions “antisocial” behavior several times. I found it gratifying because it’s something that I’ve thought and voiced in my own way several times, only I didn’t have any research to back me up. My opinion was based on deduction rather than science. Now thanks to this article, I’ve got some scientific findings to turn to support my observations. Of course, the research is still young, but it’s promising. Actually, it’s commonsensical and even obvious when you think about it. There isn’t anything particularly revolutionary about it. Well, it’s radical only if you believed the myth that so called bad traits had no redeeming value whatsoever.

So all those people who are so certain that traits associated with sociopathy, psychopathy and antisocial behavior and thinking are nothing more than a curse on society that must be eradicated as soon as possible can go suck it! LOL.

Anyway, here's the link to the article:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Are Co-dependents and sociopaths a perfect match?

So asks a reader:
Just wanted to let you know I really enjoy reading your blog. I have been researching sociopaths, for personal reasons, over the past couple years and always wanted to hear more about the way sociopaths think, behave, react I have been visiting everyday in order to gain more knowledge. I myself am a total empath....a people pleaser, co-dependent. There are things about it I like, and others I don't....

I understand precisely why I am that way. It has to do with my mothers expectations of me growing up, but that's another story. I first started my investigating due to the fact that my boyfriend was sending me mixed messages. By mixed, I mean from a point where I thought he likely did care-I was never certain though, to the point where he was threatening to kill me when things didn't go the way he wanted them too-usually got caught behaving badly or lying. Although I am driven by my emotions, I try to communicate with him logically to avoid conflict. If I show him that I am upset he instantly becomes defensive and angry. I usually get a damaging verbal beating thereafter. I get it though, it is only out of his frustration because he doesn't understand how what he says could hurt me..nor does it make any difference to him. It took along while before I understood this. He considers me a nuisance when my feelings are involved. He has got better at pretending to care over the years though with guidance from me, lol. After court ordered anger management I think he learned that it wasn't in his best interest to lose complete control. I realize anything he changes is only for himself and is never a result of what I would like.

When I first started my mission of better understanding I was appalled to discover that some people never feel any emotion~ now in some ways I believe this may be more beneficial than having them...I believe there is a place for both types. Without one there wouldn't be the other. I often wonder if that is where the term opposites attract came from.

There is much more to know about my personal experiences with my potentially sociopathic BF. I will continue to visit and if you are ever looking for some input from a person such as myself, I would pleased to assist you. That's what I'm best at!

The people pleaser
I love this for some reason. Maybe it is the slight abused-spouse vibe I get, or maybe it is the complete willingness to accept the sociopath worldview from a non-sociopath, or maybe it is the fact that these two crazy kids are still apparently dating. But I shared it because a lot of people wonder how you could date a sociopath. This is how.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sociopath quotes: self

Nature has very conveniently cast the action of our sight outwards. We are swept on downstream, but to struggle back towards our self against the current is a painful movement; thus does the sea, when driven against itself, swirl back in confusion. Everyone says: 'Look at the motions of the heavens, look at society, at this man's quarrel, that man's pulse, this other man's will and testament'-in other words always look upwards or downwards or sideways, or before or behind you. Thus, the commandment given us in ancient times by the god at Delphi was contrary to all expectations: 'Look back into your self; get to know your self; hold on to your self.' . . . Can you not see that this world of ours keeps its gaze bent ever inwards and its eyes ever open to contemplate itself? It is always vanity in your case, within and without, but a vanity which is less, the less it extends. Except you alone, O Man, said that god, each creature first studies its own self, and, according to its needs, has limits to his labors and desires. Not one is as empty and needy as you, who embrace the universe: you are the seeker with no knowledge, the judge with no jurisdiction and, when all is done, the jester of the farce.

-- Michel de Montaigne

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Eye of the Storm

Before I did something that would put me in danger I used to unfocus my eyes. Slowly I would lose myself to instinct like I gave over control of my body to someone else. Someone stronger than me. My animal self. Sharp, quick, and decisive. This is how I never hesitate to do something that must be done. I just make my eyes go blurry and at that moment I cross the point of no return.

My new enemy became stubbornness. Stubbornness to keep pushing until things got desperate. In times of desperation I would use my tool to my own destruction. I didn't hesitate any longer. I just acted. As my eyes became unfocused so did precaution. As my eyes became unfocused the lines drawn and my own principles were as blurred as my vision.

Balancing on the line between hesitation and recklessness is how I live. Walking the tight rope where darkness lies below. I can lose it all if I lean in either side, but if I stop walking the rope I'll slip. If I run across I will slip as well. So cautiously we must move inch by inch. Understanding when it's time to act and when it's time to focus. When it's time to be a animal and when it's time to be human.

Have you ever had plans almost come to fruition and had them ruined at the last moment? I have. Rather than dump the plan and go back to the drawing board I keep pressing onward. Like a captain on his ship he built with his own hands trying to bucket water out of his doomed vessel. Drowning in stubborn resolve.

Today I've made a new landmark in my personal growth. I won't succumb to desperation and stubbornness. I will succumb to adaptation.

Victim of sociopathy?

A reader wonders:
I was wondering if you were also a sociopath...and if you are, then perhaps you too also live in such a lonely inner world. I find it hard to live life without the pleasures it has to offer, but I find that I am also subject to various addictions...So I wonder, how do you cope? Do you find yourself hinting at how you really are, as a way to "express yourself"?...If not, then how do you express yourself? How do you counter that terrible lonely feeling?

...and if you are not, then why do you share so much information about this malady?...or should I say, gift.
My response:
I actually have a lot of friends and family members. I have at least five who I consider very close. They all know who i am and are fine with it. I guess I am blessed to be a relatively good judge of character that way. But you're right, when I told them, it was all hints at first. Sometimes I wonder how much they actually believe what I tell them, but it's nice to have someone to talk to anyway. But loneliness is the worst. I work very hard at charming my friends and family, maintaining the relationship in ways that come easy to me (money, gifts, flattery) so I don't end up being lonely.

I am also subject to various addictions. That is the problem with being a sociopath. We're so impressionable and have so many needs, it is hard not to be completely self destructive.

I think the focus of the literature on sociopathy to date has been on the victims and what it feels like to be a victim of a sociopath. Very little has been written about what it feels like to be a victim of sociopathy -- to be a sociopath. That's why I initially started writing. I keep writing because I get such positive response from both sociopaths and friends/enemies of sociopaths alike. Plus it is a good way for me personally to keep track of who I am and where I am going. It forces me to confront myself on an almost daily basis.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Effectively parenting a sociopath (part II)

A reader responds:
I was really glad to get your response, and thank you very much for your advice.

I love my daughter and very much admire her veiwpoint, it must be great to be able to dismiss anyone that you don't like or who doesn't agree with you. She is very bright, extremely careful to keep herself safe, yet very brave. It's been a conundrum to me how she could not care for, or even like, many of her friends, yet be the most popular child in her class. She is flying at school, follows the rules, collects the rewards for good behaviour, informs the teacher of any unfairness and I think is running rings round them without them knowing. Who cares though as she's achieving highly, the teaching staff like her and she's never in trouble. Yet she can be very sensitive and has been devastated when I have reacted harshly to her actions. This confuses me as she has been upset that I have rejected her, which I took to be empathy at upsetting me, but is more likely a reaction against rejection. Why be so upset at rejection if you don't really care about the people doing the rejection? I take your point about trust on board and have already found myself being specific about the consequences for breaking boundaries, as literal she understands, but "making me cross" doesn't affect her at all.

I suppose the qualities that attracted me to her Dad are present in her as well. She's still quite young now so not diagnosable I expect, as many children lack empathy and are self centered at that age. I shall watch as she grows up, but I already know she is her father, at least now I can hopefully encourage the favorable qualities and try instill the rules of relationships like the rules of the road. It's confusing to me how a Sociopath can choose to drive within the speed limit as otherwise they would lose their licence, yet chooses to cheat on their partner even though they might get caught and get dumped. I suppose it's the same really as he would speed if he knew he wouldl get away with it and there are no speed camera's in his bedroom to catch him out!!!

Anyway, thank you again for being so open and working so hard to prevent the persecution of a "different" way of looking at life. Doesn't mean I'd ever try and live with a Sociopath again though, it'd be like keeping a tiger in a rabbit hutch.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Effectively parenting a sociopath (part I)

From a reader:
Thank you so so much for writing your blog. I have just found it and it has helped me infinitely. I have been involved with a Sociopath for a long time and we have several children. You have helped me to understand how he can appear to love me whilst still hurting me. Reading your blogs has been like finally learning his language. I recently ended the relationship but now that I understand him more I can communicate with him without hating him. It's not his fault I can't be with him and he has so many good qualities, i now see them so much more clearly since I don't have to wonder why he is like he is.

I shall continue reading your blog as our middle daughter looks like she will also be a Sociopath, but you have given me so much relief that I can celebrate her for the wonderful person she is rather than trying to change her (not that I think that would have been possible).

Thank you so much for sharing yourself and educating me and so many others.
My response:
Thank you for this. I'm particularly happy to see that you seem fine with the fact that your middle daughter may be a sociopath. My parents love me a lot. I am quirky, I am different, but they have learned to adapt and accept me for what I am. Trust is key with us. When I trust that they really have my best interests at heart, I have traditionally (and still do) accepted and acted upon their judgment on things even though it differs from my own. I realize that I (like everyone) have blindspots and another person's trusted viewpoint is important to me. I'm the same way with a few trusted friends. If I suspect they have ulterior motives, or seem to be overly biased by their own worldview, though, I will ignore their advice. A lot of parenting a sociopath seems to be about picking your battles. You have to be careful not to reject or reprimand them on things that are very core to their identity, otherwise they lose their trust in you. Sociopaths can feel rejection acutely. Sociopath children are very very sensitive to incentives and fairness. Make sure that if you set rules, you always play exactly by the rules and make your child do so as well. This will help train the sociopath to learn to live effectively within boundaries. She'll realize that it is possible to follow rules or maintain boundaries while still accomplishing her goals or get what she wants or needs out of life.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My story, for whatever it's worth (part 3)

So there you have it. Because I know who and what I am, I now know what I want: power, which equals freedom. Pursuing power/freedom would also provide the opportunity to play the game and a challenge. And it starts within. I see how important it is to focus on self development, to take command of myself. And to command myself, I must inevitably command my circumstances. None of this necessarily involves getting to the top of any ladder unless I decide that’s the game I wish to play. None of this need involve anything huge or historical unless I want it to. And it certainly doesn’t need to involve society’s definition of success unless it helps me achieve my objective. I want to experience the inner essence of these goals in the present and I am free to do just that. There’s also a whole world of tastes and locales and literature that I have yet to sample. I don’t have to do the so called ‘big things’. Self development, meeting and exceeding self chosen challenges and enjoying what life has to offer on its own terms really can be enough for now. I’m excited about my future, for the first time in a long time. That’s thanks, in part, to your insightful blog and the email exchanges. Even now, I don’t know if every professional would agree that I am a sociopath. What I do know is that it doesn’t matter. The label isn’t relevant; the underlying characteristics are. My detachment from emotion, including and especially moral ones, my lack of conscience, my flexible personality, my ability to manipulate at will and the profound impact these traits have on how I experience life, all of this I now understand in a way that is both illuminating and coherent, and I have your blog to thank for that.

I’m going to go play now, so to speak. Don’t worry. I won’t hurt anyone unless I’m crossed or unless I have to, so you haven’t unleashed a monster. You’ve liberated a wolf.

Thanks again!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My story, for whatever it's worth (part 2)

A reader writes (cont.):
I make it sound easy or even simple. But it wasn’t. It was hard. It was confusing. It was painful. It was hard seeing everyone live a life that at least on the surface, made sense to them. It was painful seeing over and over again that I would never be part of their world without pretending. The fact that I knew I was pretending while they were being sincere made the alienation worse. I went through a time of hating them. I hated everything they stood for, everything they said they believed in. I also went through a time where I seriously indulged my delusions of grandeur. I figured since I could never truly be ordinary in the sense that other people were, I’d be extraordinary. I made so many mistakes during this time, so many errors and lapses in judgment. All because I didn’t know what I was. At last, I’ve figured it out.

While I was on my quest to understand what evolution made me for, to use a figure of speech, I set up a comfortable but boring life for myself. Steady work, a small studio apartment, isolation from family and friends and lots of reading, thinking, and me time was and is my life. I’m ready to change all that. Now that I understand what I am, I want to ‘play the game’. It’s time I used my instinctive psychological insight to my advantage rather than to just maintain the status quo the way I have been. I also want challenge. I want to push myself mentally and physically in ways that I never have before.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My story, for whatever it's worth (part 1)

A reader writes:
I wanted to thank you for the blog. It’s been very helpful. I understand what I want now. It’s what I call the inner essence of the goal that I want, the thoughts and feelings I want to experience. I want power because I want to experience more freedom in my life. I have existential freedom of course. We all do. But I have not made good use of it. What I didn’t get before was that if I cannot make use of the power I could potentially have in the here and now, then getting to the top of any kind of organization will be for nothing. You know the old saying: wherever I go there I am. I haven’t taken advantage of the opportunities all around me because I’ve been too busy figuring myself out. My life up to this point has really been designed to keep myself afloat with minimal drama and effort while I focused on unraveling the mystery of why I was so ‘different’.

My story starts like so many of the other stories that you’ve featured in your blog and in the comments. I was a typical outsider. I knew I was different from my peers and even my family. I just never understood exactly what that difference was. I was never a shy kid. I was mostly indifferent, especially after I proved to myself that popularity could be had with just the right facial expressions, words and a few well placed actions. The social scene at school stopped being mysterious and became merely boring. And yeah, I pulled a series of stunts that would have gotten me a nice stay in prison if I’d been caught. I got over all of that in my early 20’s when it dawned on me that I was empty and that I had nothing I needed to do or had to do. I was without purpose or meaning. Yeah, sex is fun, no question, but orgasms only last so long. And I still didn’t get why I was so different? Not only did I not get that I would never be one of them, I didn’t even know why. So I went searching for answers. It took a long while. There were loads of false starts, dead ends and misunderstandings along the way. Finally, I was able to discard some false beliefs, start fresh and reexamine things. When I did, I was finally able to see where the differences were. I was able to put a name to the face. Those differences eventually lead me to study concepts like sociopathy and psychopathy. I read a lot of the popular work and some interesting articles on the internet. My Googling lead me to your blog and the comments. It was your unique take on all of this as well as some of the smarter commenters that lead me to see that I’d finally figured it out.
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