Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another sociopath story (part 1)

A reader writes:
I am in my mid twenties, currently a PhD student in a well-known university. I have always been smart, but I shall readily admit I'm a lot less intelligent than (virtually all of) my academic colleagues. I never studied long hours or read heavy books, but I've always been terribly curious... so much that I think curiosity and versatility are my two defining traits.

I've wanted to learn about everything: philosophy, religion, science, psychology, economics, sports, sex, languages... there's nothing in this world that does not interest me to some extent. Yet, I'm almost constantly bored -- out of my mind. I learn and debate issues to stimulate myself with the few people that can "follow," but almost nothing can sustain my interest for more than a few weeks or months, sometimes even minutes.

On a positive note, my curiosity has taught me a wide array of things, which has made me an excellent conversationalist. I can successfully engage people in long discussions on a topic of their preference. Give me any B.S. and I can embellish, package and present it as a brilliant idea. I can support any view and I like playing devil's advocate, even for ideas I could never truly believe in.

Like most of us, I have always known I'm different... I prefer the term "special." Yet I only very recently associated sociopathy with myself. As you've said, the image of the sociopath that people are taught is distorted and hence seemed irrelevant to my own existence. I am not particularly violent, although I am often domineering and aggressive. When I initially came across personality disorders I thought I was a narcissist. The reason is that (1) I have limited empathy, but I'm not completely deprived of it, it just seems to activate selectively and very rarely, and (2) I have always had a grandiose view of myself; I sometimes fantasize about having power to control the world and kill thousands or perform miracles. On the other hand, I never believed in my own fantasies (I maintain a pragmatic view) and I don't desperately need the acceptance and attention that a typical narcissist is supposed to require. Moreover, I am definitely not loud. Maybe I'm a mix of the two, with elements of sociopathy being stronger in some areas of my psyche, and elements of narcissism being stronger in others.


  1. I see myself in this guy. His interest turning to boredom and looking for other things to spark that feeling after it died out, conversing with people just because…this is all familiar ground to me.

    I realize that I haven’t said anything even remotely worth mentioning in this comment, but what can I say—I’m bored.

  2. This is pretty boring.

    Lots of description of himself, containing nothing particularly interesting.

    No conflict, no great revelations. No lessons to be learned. Nothing. Nada. It might as well be blank, for all I care. I'd imagine most others here would feel the same.

    There's not even anything written to suggest that he might be antisocial, so I'm left wondering why this was even posted.

    Some super curious bullshitting PhD student who likes to think of himself as the antichrist or Jesus thinks he's special.

    That's a really cool topic, M.E.

  3. It's not bad. Well written, bullshit free. He's searching, trying to understand himself. Who can't relate to that? But you want him to spin you, make it fun.

    The comments sucked all the energy from me.

    Peter P, come on call me a bitch again let's fight already or something. Yawn. Time for bed.

  4. He doesn't seem like he's searching for anything. He's just describing himself, making assertions, and explaining his thinking. It's like a bland documentary all about Mr. Reader.

    If it were something I could relate to, I'd probably think this was amazing, so maybe I'm being a little too harsh. I just don't think that the things I can relate to in this story are all that interesting, unique, or special.

    I mean I can relate when someone tells me they ate lunch, but I really don't care. If they tell me they like to set things on fire, that will catch my attention.

    Same concept here.
    He ate lunch today.

  5. Oh, yes, and you're a major Bitch, Zoe. In bold, for emphasis.

  6. what no CAPS? love you anyway

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  9. I've never logged in before when posting comments but this post actually made me curious. So m.e., if you're reading this, could you put me in touch with this guy (I've a few questions of my own)? If not, well that's ok too, perhaps Part 2 will elaborate on this reader's case.

    But as Daft said, I also recognized myself in this post, both in terms of the patterns of behaviour, as well as the social "class (in a Bourdieuan sense). The only difference between me and this guy is that I'm furter down on the career ladder.

    Also, as with myself, I don't think he's a sociopath. I do believe, however, that he inhibits a sort of a "grey area". I've posted this before somewhere, but I do view sociopaths and empaths as different points on the same scale, the extremes of which I believe to be relatively marginal. Also, I find both extremes of that scale to be equally... annoying? (for the lack of a better term)

  10. Travis, anyone who has read a few of Daft’s comments knows that he was being sarcastic. He can be quite the character when he isn’t coaxing Pan into stalking him.

    They have more in common then they know.

    --Mr. Anonymous

  11. Actually, one term I've yet to see in this blog (i do attest to being not exactly the most avid reader though) is egomania. Or rather the disorder as such.

    In case that's been covered, I'd appreciate a link :)

  12. @Anon - Indeed I usually avoid reading comments. I have my BS filters set on "virtual media" and "user generated content" :D

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  14. I lost my commenting etiquette right there. Forgive me.

  15. (Censored from a previous statement)

    I wasn’t being sarcastic.

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  17. Beautiful .... I read this 5 times
    It's almost as if this was written by my own hand
    And as for these comments what he's written may not seem like anything but it's ... passion it's intense it's seems like a confused person but the way it's laid put makes absoloute sense you just have to have alittle monster in you

  18. To the reader who wrote this post...thank you. It was fantastic to find someone with the same slant as ive got. I am much the same: I constantly learn, simply to tolerate the boredom of life. But, as you've found, Ive always felt that sense of "difference" - that sense that im somehow set apart from other people-superior, even. Maybe i am. ive got a tested IQ of 141, so am I simply seeing a better calculated version of our world? logic is irrefutable. I view other people as useable - people are a commodity to be discarded when they are useless, just like wood or oil. They only exist to provide: be it sex or a conversation. Yet people continue to lie about us...we are weird, we are freaks.

    Hopefully soon youll here more blogs from the narcosphere...

  19. wow. I just stumbled upon this....I am a female but can really relate to this post. I am incessantly curious and always thought I was a little "special"-maybe it's the "high" IQ....i do admit to magical thinking (although it almost always seems to work out for me) and I am curious about the empathy thing. I have always felt that i am I am not so sure. People have told me I am "unemotional". I have recently done a lot of research on personality disorders (my ex husband told me that my dad is a sociopath-I think that the ex is a narcissist).
    I don't think that the poster is a sociopath. he is just in control of his I deluded?

    I guess that's it's a spectrum....

  20. " Maybe i am. ive got a tested IQ of 141, so am I simply seeing a better calculated version of our world? logic is irrefutable."

    Hmm.. my IQ is atleast that and I'm an Empath.


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