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.