Monday, May 9, 2011

More on self-awareness

I was thinking about the post about self-awareness and how it didn't really convey all that I have been thinking about the topic. In those periods in which I don't feel sociopathic, it's not just that I don't think about it, I have also forgotten other small "details" about my life and history. For instance, when I see other socios say that they have this extensive criminal past I think, well I don't, conveniently forgetting some shady things I have done, like the elaborate shoplifting scheme I engaged in about every other day for a year in college. But it didn't really seem criminal to me at the time, you know? Or I surely didn't do it because it was criminal. I knew that I couldn't get caught and I took all the proper precautions, but I didn't do it for the thrill of doing something "bad," I just did it as a means to an ends (one of the ends being the pleasure in exploiting the particular weakness(es) that allowed me to do it successfully for so long). So although I don't feel "criminal," apparently I am willing to do criminal things if the right opportunity comes along. That is another aspect of what I mean about my lack of self-awareness -- a disconnect between who I was in the past (or can be under certain circumstances) and who I happen to be in this exact moment.

Sometimes when I read the comments and see people self-assuredly asserting some devilish trait or another I think, "how can they know themselves well enough to even say something like that?" I mean, I have moments of clarity about those types of things, but if I don't actively try to remember they slip away, like the guy from Memento. In that same vein, a reader sent me this:
The Sociopath Catchphrase List

"I don't feel emotions like you do."

"I don't get pleasure out of much except the misery of others."

"I never really understand why people do what they do."

"Analyzing people is interesting."

"I like to torture animals to see how they react."

"I love to manipulate those around me."

"I understand emotions in a purely intellectual sense."

"[insert relative] died and I---well, I didn't feel anything."*

"I don't care about people."

"I don't care about the opinions of others, they're just objects to me."

"People are toys."

"Life is just about amusement."

"[insert falsely complex Chess, vampiric, or 'monster'-related social metaphor]"

"People are pawns to be used by me."

"I exploit people."

"I don't need anyone."

"All I see in people is how useful they are."

"I'm a natural charmer."

"I am so intelligent that I manipulate others."

. . .

The list could go on forever. Here's a lovely question: Is sociopathy becoming a container to determine who you are or are people simply lacking identity so much that they'd like to assign themselves to any personality?

*=The pause is optional. Some drag it on for effect, others try to "psychopathically" get straight to the point.

P.S. I'd appreciate it you published this. Perhaps some of the newer tikes would realize that they're not telling us anything new. Hell, maybe they'd come up with some new phrases. I've yet to see a chemistry-related metaphor for emotional apathy.


  1. This post only depresses.

  2. Why thankyou , tike, we aim to please

  3. "Is sociopathy becoming a container to determine who you are or are people simply lacking identity so much that they'd like to assign themselves to any personality?"

    Or is there that phenomenon that you are defined by who your friends are.

  4. "Compassion is a burden I don’t bare."

    "Sex is a power trip."

    "I'm the master of my impulses for power and dominance."

    "I've learned to control my thoughts."

    "I'm so self aware I know I'm sometimes not."

    "My identity is flexible."

    "I wear a mask when it matters to me."

    "I'm not cruel I'm creative."

    "I'm not an animal I'm a human being."

    "I prey on vulnerable people."

    "Seducing is like hunting."

    "Sociopaths are discriminated against."

    "Manipulating people gives me pleasure."

    "I understand people better than they understand themselves."

    "I lie easily because words have no feeling."

    "I fake feelings well enough that people think I feel them."

    "I'm not emotionally attached to anyone."

    "I pride myself on my reptilian coldness."

    "I have a chilling stare."

    "Self interest motivates me."

    "I'm enamoured with myself."

    "My ego won't let me genuinely submit."

    "I'm the best at what I do."

    "I'm God."

    "I'm Lucifer."

    "Morality isn't an absolute."

    "I'm skilled at appearing to play by the rules."

    "I always have an escape plan."

    "You will never win."

  5. puttn it to the testMay 9, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    see ya for as long as I can stay away


  6. The wealth and breadth of my feelings -my deep deep feelings- as well as everything in between is a glorious gift for the living.

  7. sex is a fantastic way to be connected in a loving and exchange between people who have a connection. Of course that is powerful! It's beautiful,and generous,and good.

    That is why it is addictive

  8. compassion for many many people is a burden I do bare. Fiercely.

  9. I am master of my impulses in order to not hurt myself and those around me,
    if I had no compassion and was only driven by revenge, umm there would have srsly have been a prob a while back.

  10. I am master of my impulses in order to not hurt myself and those around me,
    if I had no compassion and was only driven by revenge, umm there would have srsly have been a prob a while back.

  11. I prey on people who have preyed on me. I have never initiated preying for sport. It doesn't appeal to me. I'd rather defend fiercely. There is a BIG difference.

  12. I'm not cruel.

    And I am creative.

  13. Human beings are animals

  14. I do not lie easily to other people.

    My lies to myself are my cross to bear and I work really really hard to keep it straight for others.

    This is the hardest and loneliest work, and is not, as I see it, a predatory trait because I do no USE those lies to hurt others

  15. "I'm skilled at appearing to play by the rules."

    Yes. My own rules.

    And/But when it is a matter of self preservation, yeah all bets are off. This is hardly sociopathic. It's merely shrewed.

  16. "I'm enamoured with myself."


  17. "My ego won't let me genuinely submit."

    Yes, but only outside the bedroom

  18. puttn it to the test. See you in a week?

  19. "I lie easily because words have no feeling."

    Yes, all the sociopathic poets feel this way, too

  20. "I'm not emotionally attached to anyone."

    complete and utter bullshit

  21. The catchphrase list was worth a chuckle, but I don't follow some of them, or I find them erroneous at least. I will just comment on a few...

    "I don't get pleasure out of much except the misery of others."

    Doom and gloom wannabe BS.

    "I understand emotions in a purely intellectual sense."

    I'm not a goddamn robot. I have some emotions, and the ones I do have I understand very well.

    "People are pawns to be used by me."

    Although definitely a catchphrase, this is purely delusional hubris. No one's the sole chess-master, and everyone can be used by somebody. When you think you have everyone wrapped around your finger you often fail to see the noose around your neck.

  22. Here is my list

    I will...
    Be good
    Be kind
    Be moral
    Be ecological
    Be fair
    Promote justice
    Promote the greater good
    Promote the shared values of society
    Work for society
    Work for the citizens
    Work for humanity
    Work for equality
    Fight communism
    Fight terrorism
    Fight fascism
    Fight capitalism
    Fight radicalism
    Fight dogmatism
    Fight for peace
    Fight for justice
    Fight for fairness
    Fight for the collective
    Fight for the right of individuals
    Fight for mankind
    Fight for civilization
    Fight for national safety
    Fight for the worker
    Fight for human rights
    Fight for Laissez-faire
    Fight for my country

    The power of being self-aware is greater accuracy and precision in your plans.

  23. It's not natural to be reflective about one's nature in the grand scheme of things. It shows downtime not being utilized for survival or pleasure, the two things we're naturally programmed to do at all waking times.

    Doubly so for the P/S type whose scrutiny is almost always on others.

    It's not that it's impossible to be reflective or self-aware, it's simply not natural, and shows a sort of progression in our 'species' that probably was not, and still is not, a common practice. Sort of like the running joke that a Narcissist can't be self aware, well, perhaps Vaknin is a rare deviation, as is possibly ME. Their tiny candles in the vast darkness of self ignorance are just enough to light the way for the rest of us to brave the journey in a path not paved through compulsory reflection via court-ordered psychological screening.

  24. i will never give you my list! never!

  25. I wrote the exact same thing here


    This is an interesting article

  27. To NP-

    Growing pains while the transmission tries to find the next gear? It seems to me that some ASPD behavior is just the grinding of the gears.

  28. "It's not natural to be reflective about one's nature in the grand scheme of things."

    Surely consciously reflecting on ourselves, in order to perfect ourselves, is a defining element of our humanness?

  29. wet, i am just a misunderstood man who needs to be understood. thank u.

  30. Highlights from WET's article from psychiatric times:

    -Can suffer emotional pain

    -Like anyone else have a deep wish to be loved and cared for.

    -Repellent personality characteristics.

    -Genuinely saddened by their inability to control behavior.

    -Lives devoid of a stable social network or warm, close bonds.

    -Feel that they are prisoners of their own etiological determination

    -Needing excessive stimulation

    -Despite their outward arrogance, feel inferior to others and know they are stigmatized by their own behavior.

    -Although some are superficially adapted to their environment and are even popular, they feel they must carefully hide their true nature because it will not be accepted by others. This leaves a difficult choice: adapt and participate in an empty, unreal life, or do not adapt and live a lonely life isolated from the social community.

    -Many are disheartened by their inability to control their sensation-seeking and are repeatedly confronted with their weaknesses.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. I want to be a predator in a social primate's body.

    When is M.E. going to launch the masterclass series?

    What an amazing opportunity it will be to improve my antisocial skills with the finest sociopaths in the land.

  33. I've never felt sad before. Frustrated? Sure.

    I also don't feel inferior to others, unless their superiority is overwhelmingly blatant (rare) and even then, I seek ways to exploit the situation to gain the upper hand. You can't always be the most rich, smart, beautiful and powerful person in the room. But you can be the best if you play your cards right.

    I'd say for the most part though that your notes seem accurate, those points not included, from my cursory glance.

  34. Here is a GREAT one I'm truly surprised no one has mentioned.

    "Its not personal, its just business"


    "I don't care about you, I just want to profit"

    I consider it a dead giveaway.

  35. The bullet points were directly from the article. Psychiatric research tends to focus on pathology and the unsuccessful. Yes the ones who play their cards right and have interesting and fulfilling lives wouldn't be a candidate for this article even with the same wiring.

    That's where tortured artists, "out of the park original thinkers,"
    and movers and shakers come into play. And the stimulation inherent is enough to keep the demons at bay.

  36. Even if someone is smarter, more popular and/or more successful than me I know deep down that I'm better and stronger than them. I cant lose and I can't be defeated by anybody.

  37. May 9, 2011 8:56 AM Anonymous,

    Secret society?


    To me this is what being self aware as a sociopath is. It is akin to a schizo understanding his hallucinations are fake. He does still have them though and while they are going on they still feel very real. In much the same way my delusions I know are delusional, but they still feel very real to me. I have no want to change.

    Mmmmm. I don't have a list. I've never had a list. Some how having a list seems like having a code. I've said I've had codes many times but that was only situational. If I had a phrase that I say a lot is that I don't care.

    I don't think it is fair to look at this place and think that everyone here is being constantly self reflective. This place is meant for self reflections.

    M.E. talked about how she didn't feel like a criminal until the realization suddenly hits her. I've always known my crimes. I liked them. The things I never noticed were my abuses. The fact of the matter is that I thought that I never had really abused anyone. When I first came here I was often asked how I abused others. A way to prove my sociopathie. My response was that I had not and I had to ask what an abuse even was. I got the impression that what they thought were abuses I did not. I only thought of abuses in the most extreme of way. Literal torture in a prolonged sense. I had never tortured anyone. At least nothing particularly for an extended time. As I read what others wrote over time I came to the realization that I was doing many of the things that they called abuses. In some cases I was doing more extreme versions.

    Very often in this way I don't even realize I hurt people or that people are afraid of me. I usually learn about it second hand. Someone will mention it in conversation. Yeah so and so says you are really scary or this person/group says you are intimidating. Usually this strikes me as strange. I think I've done nothing to them. Why are they scared of me? People will very often have to tell me something is mean. I don't see it as mean. I would never see it that way either.

    I intellectualize everything. It is for the major part the only way I understand emotions. While my emotions may not be completely nonexistent they are limited to the point where one could argue their absence. So in this way unless I am trying to actively understand what others are feeling I am going to miss it.

  39. it must be nice, feeling as though you can never lose, mis. Zwang wrote a post about that on his blog not so long ago.

  40. wet / soulful
    wanna share your login for psychiatrictimes? :)

    in case you haven't encountered them before, here is the crimetimes and the psychology and crime news, both well worth a perusal.

    i'd say a lot of the list applies to wannabe phchopaths, aspies, narcissists, and schizoids. traits overlap, and diagnostic traits are swayed towards the incarcerated.
    there are a few 'core' traits, but really what is the point in a diagnosis? you are you, and a label may confine you. then again, it may enable you to break free to be your true self ;)

  41. @Res but would it really allow a Socio to be himself? For me it just explained why I did certain things. Why I never made connections and even hit exactly why I feel the way I do about people.

    I think having an actual diagnosis would be horrible. Having that label would only ever make people wary and generally think of you as a serial killer or conman. If everyone of my actions was second guessed by the population at large it would make my life incredibly hard. In normal conversation I would never say I, as a sociopath, bla bla bla. Whether we are misunderstood or not our destructive tendencies are blatant and run through out the entire spectrum. So even the highest functioning sociopath still violates the rights of others with haphazard care.

  42. when ... socios say that they have this extensive criminal past I think, well I don't, conveniently forgetting ... things I have done, like the elaborate shoplifting ... in college.

    A Sociopath or AsPD'er don't 'forget', but remember their shady activities of the past, they're central to their identity, to their self-understanding and who they are.

    To the Sociopath these actions count for his status as an individual member of a sub-culture that has different standards than mainstream society.

    To the Antisocial/AsPD'er criminal actions count for his self worth, his sense of general satisfaction, because to him antisocial acts are central as a normer for self esteem, based in f.x. need for revenge, etc.

    To the Empath/neurotypica a criminal past is a normer for how little he is worth, based on mores and empathy/remorse issues. They're central to him only in his lack of status, not the opposite.

    To the psychopath only are these actions not in any way normatives upon which he will base his self worth per se. It will be used as such when it is convenient or needed, but not in terms of his personal feelings. Being criminal or not, or being more or less criminal, has no influence upon how he feels about himself, since there is no moral or other values that affect his sense of being 'good' or 'bad'.

    A psychopath does not apply any values to being criminal, which is why it is so easy to forget you 'are' a criminal during periods where everything works within the mainstream norms and without obvious frustrations on your part. didn't really seem criminal to me... I surely didn't do it because it was criminal... I didn't do it for the thrill ... I just did it as a means to an ends.

    The sociopath often don't feel like a criminal when committing crimes, provided the crimes are being committed against somebody outside of his sub-culture. Whether or not he finds it thrilling depends on his individual preferences. The common thing would be that he does have some sense of satisfaction from doing whatever he does.

    The Antisocial/AsPD'er almost always feel great satisfaction from committing crimes. Often thrill is the very motive for his crimes. Emotional satisfaction from the criminal act itself is at the heart of the AsPD"er's motives for being a criminal, and it's almost never a means to an end in any other sense than that.

    To the Empath/neurotypical these actions are a source of great stress on many levels, almost all of them based in emotions that are linked to morals and which are unknown, or un-important, to the other groups. To him the meaning is almost the opposite from any meaning of the other groups, and he will generally avoid such activity altogether. When he doesn't, it results in longterm or lasting distress and self loathing.

    To the psychopath alone are these actions not a source of stimulation, thrills, status, or in any way normatives upon which he will base his self understanding - except for when it is convenient or needed. To the psychopath, shoplifting is a means to an end, no more and no less.


    I've never seen myself as lacking personality. Rather, I think it is part of my very distinct personality that I can express in so many forms.

    I don't have periods where I feel 'not psychopathic'. I have periods where I do feel psychopathic. They come when I write the articles where I attempt to take outset in, and understand, how normal people see me.

    I've never really seen myself as a psychopath - even though I've lived with the diagnosis since I was 18.
    I still don't define myself by the diagnosis, there is so much more to a person than a diagnosis that lists a number of general traits.

    M.E., I think this is natural and understandable. You've studied yourself in the context of what you call Sociopathy for about 2,5 years, so in a way it would be more strange if you did not have this kind of experience.

  43. @kesu
    it's a short step from "it just explained why I did certain things" such as 19 out of 20 things on a list of traits, to doing the 20th item because you read the list when you would/might not otherwise have done so. when you do that you are letting something else define you instead of you.
    having said that, if taken as simply an interesting exercise then it can be just that. when i read a list of traits and am surprised at how many diverse (and previously thought of as unrelated) behaviours i can tick off, i imagine that is how an NT feels when reading a list of barnum statements and thinking it is a slightly magical insight into who they are.

    "In normal conversation I would never say I, as a sociopath, bla bla bla"
    lol no shit :)

    "So even the highest functioning sociopath still violates the rights of others with haphazard care."
    how about dr house? he certainly qualifies but is still respected by [all be it fictional] colleagues that must know that if he were evaluated there is a strong possibility he would be a diagnosed psychopath... perhaps we should start a campaign to 'out' him in order to help the neuro-diversity campaign for psychopaths. just to piss off the aspies though ;)

  44. To my mind diagnostic lists can enhance my understanding of the world and my place in it. That's all.

    Labelling others makes it easier to categorise and remember them, but a lot of people use a psychological diagnosis as a personal brand, a pre-approved or pick 'n' mix identity that provides direction and meaning.

    Professional or not-so professional psychological judgements are also used as shorthand to showcase all that is distinctive about one's personality and character.

    It's also a convenient shortcut to communicating, and gathering feedback about, one's essence: this is clearly who I distinctively am and this is what so-called experts are saying about 'me.'

  45. Yuss. (Cue: unwavering stare and complicated handshake.)

    May 9, 2011 8:56 AM Anonymous,

    Secret society?

  46. A QUESTION FOR ALL . . .

    What has been a stronger referential awareness for any of you . . . self-love or self-loathing?

    And what amplifies either one or none of all?

    Self-love can be arrogance. Self-loathing anger. Or they can be defined anyway your prefer.

  47. Good christ, way too many tl;drs.

    Tone it down dudes, and look up the word "succinct".

    I'm getting ADD over here.

  48. Ok, Medusa, daring gordonite.

    Arrogance and/or anger.

    Care to reflect, dear.

  49. Stop hiding behind those retched snakes!

    Be brief, to the point, blunt, compact, concise, and cut to the god damn bone, It will cure what ails you. I dare you. Double d-a-r-e you. ;-)

  50. Arrogance. Not anger.

    I haven't had a moment to settle down for a couple weeks.

    Transition period is just about over, though.

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. Indeed, Soulful.

    It used to be mostly the Cancer self-loathing for me, but the Leo has risen in a humongous way over the past year. Now the arrogance has taken the throne.

    Quite the rebirth.

  53. Hi Soulful

    What do you know about the pisces woman?

  54. Fear and self-loathing feel the same to me. Nothing is ever certain, yet arrogance or a directed confidence has a magical quality, like a blinding light. And if you come from struggle, there is a humility which keeps you grounded and aware. I have had an interesting year myself. ;-) True compassion is not empathy it's acknowledging the entire show and all its components.

    You deserve all the glory of the throne on your rebirth.

  55. not me, Scorpios will delight in eating you. You get the sociopath's limitless capacities. You are fascinated by everything with your intuitive lens. I will tell you more if you give away Note's sign. Hee hee.

  56. lol, i couldn't possibly do that. I'm sure you also know pisces women are loyal to an extreme. ;)

    Maybe if you asked him enough times...

  57. A sociopath who won't give up info on someone else to get what s/he wants... They say there is no honor among thieves.

    A song for our dearest mother.

  58. Kesu, care to play and answer the previous QUESTION posted?

    "Beauty is within us, your mother knows"

  59. what is this self awareness bs

    r u a hippy m.e.

    do u wear crystals

    and shake a tamboorine

  60. Sssh: if you ignore Jase he'll go away.

  61. Did someone type something? I wonder where Jase is? Perhaps he's stewing in Kesu's gloomy teen lyrics.

  62. I'm pre-transition and thinking of getting breast implants. I wonder what size will look best? I'm five feet, 11 inches and 165 pounds.

  63. "A sociopath who won't give up info on someone else to get what s/he wants... They say there is no honor among thieves."

    Care to delve a little into the logic behind this?

  64. "If I can't be one of the best in a certain domain, that domain isn't worth caring about"


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