Friday, October 12, 2012

Guest post: The Psychopath Test review

“The Psychopath Test” by Jon Ronson (reviewed by Mindless Pleasures)

“The Psychopath Test” is a non-fiction whirligig of a book from the sometime Guardian journalist/documentary filmmaker and author of “The Men Who Stare at Goats”.

Not unlike the aforementioned book, which was about men who stare at goats, ‘The Psychopath Test’ is about psychopaths and a test that can determine how to identify them. If anything, you couldn’t accuse Ronson of ambiguous or misleading book titles.

Disturbingly however, Ronson’s book claims that psychopaths – or to use the more subtle yet interchangeable terminology – sociopaths – are more prevalent amongst us than we may think, and invariably most of us would have had some experience with them in our lives whether we realised it or not.

Certainly, having read the book and cross-referenced the, ‘now-famous twenty-point [Dr. Bob] Hare PCL-R Checklist’ [Psychopathy Checklist – Revised], I can attest that I have experienced knowing one – and I’m not talking facetiously about an ex-girlfriend either.

But perhaps what is more disconcerting, and possibly the most salient point in the book, is that many of these sociopathic attributes are almost indistinguishable from what characterises a successful business person.

Or to paraphrase the devilishly eldritch line from Bret Easton Ellis’ fictional protagonist Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho” when asked in a crowded restaurant what he does for a living replies glibly, “murders and assassinations” upon which the person evidently mishearing the response acknowledges, “Oh, mergers and acquisitions”.

The prerequisite characteristics to ‘excel’ (for want of a better word) in said activities are apparently not dissimilar.

Of course, the book is not implying that all successful business persons are potential sociopaths. However, the major thesis of “The Psychopath Test” could be distilled down to the premise that the actions and consequences of a minority of these extremely dangerous and formidable individuals affect the lives of the majority. Whether they be calculating serial killers, cold-hearted mercenaries or ruthless captains of industry.

In fact, I would argue that the book provides a significant psychological piece of the puzzle, if not a corner piece, of what is inherently wrong with so much of modern society today. However, incongruous to its serious subject matter “The Psychopath Test” is written in Jon Ronson’s customary witty, dry as gin, self-deprecating style – perhaps for the one reason that if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.

Unless of course you’re a psychopath, in which case you’re probably emotionally incapable of doing either.


  1. That’s meeeeeeee : )

    1. hellooooooooo MP! And good night :)

    2. Hello SociopathWorld denizens : )

      Can I just say from the get-go say that I am very flattered and extremely humbled & grateful that SociopathWorld, and in particular M.E, have published my book review on their weird and wonderful site.

      So in the interest of gratitude I feel it is only proper that I reveal to SociopathWorld readers a little about myself.

      Please note that I hope that this doesn't in any way, shape or form reflect any delusions of grandeur that I may have. And I hope that none of this sounds conceited or that I am some vainglorious narcissistic wing-nut.

      I have previously introduced myself when I first posted on this site just over a month ago now [Wannabe Sociopaths – Monday, September 10, 2012] but for new readers – My name is Will. I'm a 32 year old male self-confessed ‘empath’ from London, England.

      It is a beautiful Autumnal day here in Central London at my office from where I am writing currently this post. It is almost 11am - the boss has left for the day. The music is playing and you have my full and undivided attention all day or until I get bored and wander down to our regular pub and chat up the beautiful honeys working behind the bar – which could be any time between now and 5:30pm when I am supposed to knock off work.

      So if you have any questions, comments or anonymous abuse – I suggest you get in now while I'm feeling in a particularly charitable mood : )



      P.S Did I mention I fucking love this site and all you lovable personality disordered freaks?

    3. Hi Will, what a wonderful surprise! Can you please do a confirmation via your twitter account or something similar. Thanks!

    4. Muy bueno amigo.

      I see you're up to your old shenanigans Señor Richy Rich

    5. :) Yes sir, but Iam changing for the better, qutting drinking, havent smoked weed for 13 days (today is day 13) and iam detoxing off the alcohol as we speak (A liter of gin a day for the past 6 months)

    6. @ Themes. Paula Abdul?!? I said I was in a charitable mood - I didn't say I was clinical insane ; )

      Though, in a 'Crazy Kool' kinda way Themes - you're ok.

    7. @ Señor Richy

      Un día a la vez. Un día a la vez.

      ¡Buena suerte

    8. Will
      I am reading a great book " A Book of Horrors" edited by Stephen Jones. Have you read it? Do you know him?

    9. Hi Anonymous. I haven't read any Stephen Jones. But I've looked 'A Book of Horrors' up on-line. Not usually my genre unfortunately.

      However, by all means feel free you give us your brief review (from what you've read so far) if you really think it is worth checking out.

      I like a good recommendation.

    10. What do you like to read, Will?

    11. Generally non-fiction. Like the book I reviewed above. Anything that I can learn something about that I didn't previously know about. Currently reading, ‘Treasure Islands’ by Nicholas Shaxson. It’s all about tax havens. There’s some serious economic skull-duggery going on in that shadowy world.

      I like also a little pop-political/philosophy. Reading Slavoj Žižek ‘Living in End Times'. Žižek is quite entertaining if a little dense at times.

      If I do read fiction it’s usually the classics – Mikhail Bulgakov’s ‘The Master & Margarita’ and John Kennedy Toole’s ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ being particular favourites.

    12. 'ello, MP. Bravo, and nice use of whirligig.

    13. 'ello Elicit. Thank you, that means a lot. I wrote the review awhile ago now, but I recall looking for the precise word to complement the sentence.

      What I've just said may sound like total wank, but words mean so much to me. Don't ask me to solve any of Post-Modern's cryptographic (and by the sounds of things pornographic) brain-frazzling messages - I'm probably innumerate.

      But I like words : )

    14. "Word"! Me too ^__^!

    15. Hi Piles the Beaver : )

      It's always delightful to see your colourful avatar grace this forum. And, of course you.

    16. One of the reasons I chose the avatar Mindless P, I love color, it makes me happy. Glad to know it brightens the days of others as well ^__^!

    17. So if you have any questions, comments or anonymous abuse – I suggest you get in now while I'm feeling in a particularly charitable mood : )

      Here at Sociopathworld we aim to please, MP, and our newcomers.. well they're the life blood here.

      So first things first, Mate: What kind of abuse do you fancy?

    18. CEO

      What...What an honour.

      You have just made my day that much more special.

      I’m lost for words, I wasn't prepared for this moment.

      They say you should never meet your heroes. I don't know what to say.

      Just...what an honour. I love your work. I love SociopathWorld

    19. MP I dont know what all that means, but Iam sure it was nice :) thank you, my friend :)

    20. Hey there sleeping beauty

      It said: One day at a time, one day at a time

      Good luck

      : )

    21. Ah Mindless Pleasures, you're quite welcome.

      But please, please..
      I might seem heroic to you, but I'm a simple man, just a cog in the wheel sustaining the life of this.. this.. this living, breathing, socio haven that which is SW.

      And without contributions from people like you, Mindless Pleasures, we simply would not exist.

  2. Y'know what Anonymous - I am the most technically incompetent person I know. I just really don't get 99.9% of modern technology.

    And I work in a 'digital design agency' [read: marketing] which is supposed to be on the cutting edge of so-called 'social media'.

    I have no Facebook a/c, no Twitter, nadda, nothing, nitch. Never have, never will.

    I just really don't care for any of it.

    I have even tried previously to verify my 'Mindless Pleasures' profile on this site when it was being hijacked - using a dormant blog I set up for WordPress that someone tried to convince was a good idea. It wasn't.

    Long story short, I wrote 2 blogs. Thought, well, that was a colossal waste of time.

    Flash forward a couple of years and I tried to synchronise with this site. Gave up after 5 minutes of trying to figure it out. Can't be arsed spending any time on a computer than I absolutely necessarily have to.

    Here I am now. Trust me. If someone wants to imitate me. Fuck 'em, I don't care. I've got nothing to hide.

  3. :) Good Morning Sociopathworld! Richie is back n better thanever!

    Before I post my story, Iam going to post the link to the baker act so you all know what it is cause I wanna discuss this today with you all.......

    Heres the link

    Next 2 posts will be my story.......

    1. Okay, so I wasnt having such a great day on tuesday (or wednesday my mind is jumbled from lack of sleep, but ill tell the story)......... During the day at about 1 PM I called my mother and asked her where she kept my weeks supply of xanax because for some reason (I dont remember) I was having a bad day, and I had already had one xanax (they are 2mgs each) and left in my stash was 5, and I also had one that I had in my room loose....... So I took all the xanax...... I wasnt quite feeling as "high" as I wanted.... Because this was after I left the methadone clinic, I go there every morning and take 110 mg's of methadone. Anyway, I wasnt feeling the buzz I wanted, so I grabbed a full liter bottle of Gin which is 80 proff (40% alcohol) and started making "Pickletinis" like a madman,(a pickletini is just a dirty martini but instead of olive brine you use the pickle brine, it kills the taste of the alcohol alot better so it helps me drink it faster) so my martini glass is a regular cocktail glass that holds 4.5 oz's of liqour in it......... I would drink one every 10 mins, but Iam a big guy Iam 6'3 255 pounds......

      Anyway, 2 hours goes by and somehow my neighbor saw me outside throwing up....... So they called a crisis hotline on their cell phone and handed it to me (I dont remember anything after this so now iam going by what I was told).... My neighbor said they took me inside of their house and kept me on the phone with the woman from the suicide hotline and I told her honestly what I took, which was the liter of gin in 2 hours, my methadone, and my 7 xanax bars........

      Apparently my neighbor and I were passing the phone back and forth to the lady from the suicide hotline for 2 hours....... My neighbor told me in that two hour period I lost my ability to walk and was laying on their bathroom floor, they told me I threw up 4 times in the 2 hour period that we were on the crisis hotline passing their cell phone back and forth while they were trying to nurse me to sobriety....... So eventually they told them the address where we were at, and two police officers came, they supposedly took me outside of the house and asked me what was going on, and since I was so loose I told them the entire truth of all the drugs/alcohol I consumed....... So they than put me in handcuffs and drove me to the nearest hospital.........

      (part one of 2)

    2. (part 2 of 2)
      At the hospital (Mind you now this is about 2 and a half or three hours after I had finished drinking, plus the time it took for the nurses/doctor to see me....) So they took my blood and they said my blood alcohol level 2 and a half or three hours after drinking was a 0.298 (It is on the police report) and they said I was so drunk that they couldnt take me to the psychiatric hospital until my blood level of alcohol was down to a 0.150 (basically half of the level it was when I arrived)...... Than the staff of the hospital apparently started lecturing me, and I didnt take kindly to that, so I told them to go fuck themselves, and if they got near me I woul rip the IV out of my arm so they couldnt give me anymore saline solution or whatever it is they give you to sober up......) at that point the police were gone because I was calm and non combative, well the hospital called the police again and this time 3 police officers showed up........
      2 of them were the ones that brought me, and the other was just a back up....... So the backup officer threathered to take me to jail...... and I said "For what, I havent done anything but be intoxicated in public, go ahead and arrest me because the bond/bail to get out of jail for public intoxication where i live is only $25 dollars (yes twenty five dollars) than the cop started being rude and combatitive with me, he got up in my face and told me to punch him in the face....... and I said " I have no reason to punch you in the face, so why would I?" and he responded with saying "Because if I take you to jail I dont want you to be there for something petty, I really wanna bust your ass, and hit you with a felony battery on a law enforcement officer charge" at that point I said "Punch me in the face motherfucker, than Ill punch you back and you can take me, I dont start fights, I finish them" then he got a little more angry because he saw he couldnt get me to be violent with him, so he and his 2 buddies sat there and we all bullshitted until my blood alcohol level got down and they took me in another ambulance to a psych ward at a different hospital 45 mins away..........
      I got there and was informed I was "Baker Acted" (Which the link above explains) and was going to be held for 72 hours for observation by doctors, psychiatrists, and nurses, at that point I was sober enough to start remembering things, walking around, and talking and comprending what just had happened.......
      Well, I made friends with almost all of the patients, stayed for a little over 50 hours, was observed by docs, shrinks, and nurses, they wouldnt give me my xanax or any benzodiazepines or anti-seizure meds........ THANK GOD they did let me take my 110mg's of methadone on schedule the two days I was there or I woulda still been there from flipping out from being so dopesick.......
      Some of the patients were schizophrenic, walking around aimlslly and waving their arms in the air, telling me they are rocking babies in their hand, that they have a hoola hoop around them, that she was driving a school bus while talking to the white Michael Jackson (the singer), one guy was flipping out cause he was so dopesick and he kept flippping out so they denied him all his meds and gave him nothing the entire time he was there (I didnt bother anybody so they gave me my meds)......
      I saw the shrink today, saw a social worker, then they let me out, my mom came and got me, took me home, and I came straight to SW to talk to you guys and gals because you are my only "friends" and people I know......
      If you have any more questions or wanna know more to the story, just ask...... Iam here to answer.........

    3. Richard, what are your plans for addressing your problems? Can your wealthy grandparents not pay for rehabilitation treatment for you?

    4. He's been surprising quiet for the last few hours. I suspect he's passed-out.

      He's a growing lad, that's had quite the little adventure recently. I suspect he needs his sleep.

      I'm the last one left in the office this afternoon and have decided to raid the staff fridge of its beer for these last few hours this Friday afternoon before I leave : )

    5. You are so cute, Mindless Pleasures.

    6. Is that you Monica Moo? [Anon 8:08)

      I recall that's the first thing you said to me when I first arrived on this site ; )

      If it is, it's nice to know that your first impressions of me haven't changed ; )

    7. It is me. I have to stop being an Anonymous. Now, you got Elicit on my butt ~

    8. Hello Sweetheart : )

      You sound better than how you were feeling yesterday.

      I hope everything is good with you my dear : )

      I'm quietly getting sluiced at work and am enjoying basking in the glow of having my review published on SociopathWorld.

      Seriously, I'm really proud of that : )I think this is one of the best sites on the internet. I wonder how it's all paid for. But the fact that there seems to be no advertising is what really attracts me to it.

    9. Elicit- I dont want my grandma to help me, grandpa is dead. I need to do this on my own. No pain, no gain..... I have the strength in me to do it alone this time.......

      And yes MP, thank you. I just fell into a coma like sleep for a few hours, I didnt sleep for like 2 days so I really needed it......... Iam awake now though, I feel okay but my eyes feel funny........

  4. Thank God you did not fight the cop. From all this and my personal talking to you, I do not think you are BPD. I think you are on a self destructive mission( with one part of yourself) The other part wants to live and thrive.

    The logical, rational part did not fight that cop. That showed a great deal of restraint and wisdom, in the midst of all this.

    That guy is a turd, of the worst kind, but you bested him.

    I really think your self rejection is from the rejection of your father. I think you took it in, deeply, and made a life template for yourself, one can say.

    It is deeply unconscious, so you cannot get to it with the usual methods, but you can deal with it, very slowly, as that is the only way, in these matters.

    I think the fact that you can reach out will save you. I think the fact that you don't take crap from anyone( even on here) will go a long way towards saving you.

    I think your innate discernment and logical approach to life will be a factor in saving you, but it will be very, very slow and very, very painful. But, what is the choice?

    When you heal this, you will have a great deal of wisdom. This wisdom will be hard fought and hard won. For that, it will be deep and very valuable. However, the winning of it will be the fight of your life.

    1. :) thank you Monica....... Great words of wisdom froma great person........

      Maybe it is, but I dont know, I always hated my father even when I lived with him from 1-8 years old....... I remember flicking him my middle finger at 5 years old and just keeping it up...... He was a narcissistc asshole, malignant, didnt care about who he hurt and had no concept of the emotional pain he caused others, he would just act like everything was "Okay" after going on one of his daily (or hourly) tirades......

      Yeah, fuck that cop........ Iam not stupid enough to wreck my life for a piece of shit like that...... I gave him the chance to hit me and than I would have hit him back, but by law I would have been defending myself (we have great laws on self defense in Florida, if you feel your life is threathened, you can kill your agressor and get off scott free, if somebody enters your home with a weapon, same thing..... I forget what the law is called here but its a great law, although self defense murders have gone up by 100% since the law was passed) so any charges probably would have been dropped from the large amount of witnesses who were watching.

      I dont expect this to be a short battle, it took me a long time to get where I am and to the mindstate iam in, and it will take me a long time to get out....... But I feel like I have learned something from this experience, I dont know what it is but I feel almost kind of enlightened........ I feel good today :)

      Thank you for your help and words of wisdom Monica :)

  5. I woke up. I didn't know where I was or where I had been? What had happened? All I knew was that there was incredible shouting and swearing ricocheting through my head like a spittoon at the Tourette Syndrome Salon.

    The swearing was getting louder and louder. What was happening to me? Was I finally losing what was left of my drug-addled mind?

    Suddenly I realized I was in my office and the noise was coming from outside. I got up from my desk and waded through the empty bottles and filth that littered my office floor towards the window. I opened the window and looked outside. There was someone standing below shouting up at me.

    I had never seen this person before in my life or knew how he knew my name?

    1. It’s me dumbass. What the fuck are you doing with yourself Walters? What is the fucking matter with you – you lazy little piece of shit? Why don’t you get off your stupid crack-whoring redneck rube-ass and do some work for once in your pathetic existence?

    2. Something or someone was playing tricks with my mind. I immediately shut the window and closed the blinds.

      How was this happening?

      I couldn’t deal with the stress or pressure this sudden shot in the arm of reality I was getting.
      Then it occurred to me. Of course, I knew then what I had to do.

      I foraged through the empty bottles scattered over the floor and found some dregs that I could just about make another mid-morning cocktail. I then rummaged through the disused cabinet – remembering that in my drink and drugged state I had at least made a few provisions for an emergence. There filed under ‘T’ was my old tourniquet. And there under ‘S’ was my syringes.

      And then to the all important ‘H’.

      When the going gets tough Walters P.D Psychopath Detective gets my trusted medicine cabinet.

      [not to be continued]

    3. :) another 2 FANTASTIC editions of Walters P.D. :) thank you for writing those,I need to smile and you accomplished that for me :)

      I love how detailed and real you make everything out to be, Walters PD is a hit, PURE GOLD man, pure gold ;)

      Thank you for your fine work :)

    4. Disgusted Reader- Shut the fuck up.What are you doing with yourself besides critisizing me? How is your judging me any better than me sitting on my ass all day long?

      Anyway, if I havent today SW yet, IAM PLANNING ON GETTING A JOB! Today is day 13 of me not smoking any weed, the longest time ive meade it in 10 years........ Once my system is clear of the weed, I can get a job because I have prescriptions for the methadone and the xanax :) WHOOP WHOOP!

      I will be working soon :)

  6. Regarding Sociopath traits I've read, as exemplified above, the inability to cry issue. My ex exemplified many socio traits, but he could cry. Usually the tears he shed were about himself, though. When he's share sad stories of his past, etc. Part of the mask perhaps.

    Rich, sounds like you've been having one hell of a week.

    1. I cry for myself. And In the presence of my NPD friend, he will stare at me. (mind you I do it in private, but have to in front of people. My industry is one which provokes emotion. It's part of the climate.) So I'll be in a private moment and this idiot will make sure he locks eyes with me and comment after the event! This idiot puts his arm around me, completely unsolicited, and says "It's really great to be in touch with your emotions.." I want to hurl and strangle him at the same time. He mooches off my energy. It's the most bizarre boundary-hopping gesture.

      Spoke to his gf about it, as she has been rethinking her engagement and getting feedback fron him from good friends. her friends complain about him, but behind their back.

      Ofcourse I didn't give her the compleye lowdown. I told her something personal..the story above.

      Know what she says?? "Well if he does that it means he admires you. He admires people who are in touch with themselves and can exress it.

      So I ask her if he cries. She says Oh he L O V E S to cry. L O V E S to. There is a moment of awkwardness.

      i aask the people who know he manipulates her (she complains he's rand has lack of empathy, it's all about him blah blh blah.. but he always pulls her back in..

      The most astute of us all agree, his crying in front of her is his hook.

      It's disgusting.

    2. *feedback ON him

    3. Most definatly have Anon @ 6:02, but its calming down and getting better, iam just nursing myself through the alcohol withdrawals (The "DT's), with gatorade, xanax, methadone, and sleep :) and talking to you fine people of course :)

    4. I cry for myself too, but when I hear sad/bad things about others and they are crying, I usually cant stand there without crying with them....... It's the uber empath side of me, I feel what they are feeling......

  7. when 'he'd' not he's. *correction*

    1. Interesting you should mention that. When I first sent the review to M.E - I enclosed an e-mail saying that having visited this site - the last line is probably inaccurate.

      Although, I knew that I was using the line for a tongue in cheek effect. And obviously M.E understood that.

    2. Sew buttons

    3. Eye will take that into consideration. ;-)

    4. @ Lunar : )

      I couldn't resist using that hackneyed expression whenever ends a sentence with so... ; )

      So...what happened to Socio-ex. Are you still in contact with him?

      If you don't mind me asking that is, of course : )

    5. Hello MP, after a roughly (and at times rough) 2 year relationship I'm in the works of breaking it off.

      It's not been easy though, he's 6'7", gorgeous dimples, charming, funny - when he wants to be but I've witnessed his dark side and I have concluded the relationship's time span has elapsed.

      I have learned much from my time with him.

  8. A man didn't cried in front o women, must be a sociopath. LOL

  9. My ex left me, must be a sociopath.

    1. I'm not sure what sort of 'monkey' I might be, regarding disorders and diagnoses but I've left the ex not the other way 'round. Lol

  10. Some day I might read this book. I still haven't touched Snakes in Suits or 48 Laws of Power. I feel like I can't be bothered to, as I doubt I'll learn anything new, but they're supposed to be entertaining reads.

    1. Fuck those books TNP - you should be concentrating on writing your own book.

      I'm still waiting for the draft MS y'know ; )

    2. TNP, if you would like them and can provide me with an email where you cannot be traced by anybody, I can send them both to you for free, I have them both downloaded on my computer page for page, I also have "The art Of seduction" which was also by Robert Greene , the guy who wrote the 48 laws of power.........

    3. 48 Laws of Power is a really good read. It's a no-bullshit Machiavellian survival guide. I recommend all of Robert Greene's books.

      I'm rereading The 50th Law in anticipation of his new book, Mastery, due out some month after this [shameless plug].

    4. The reason I don't get much out of these books though is because any discussion of emotionalism confounds me. When someone says 'We are inclined to hate...' I understand that. But when when someone writes 'We are inclined to feel afraid...' I can't tell if that is a accurate observation, an inacurate observation, or a projection of the author's own faults.

      The same goes with affections. My family is so unlovable that it has left me loving no one but myself. So when I read non-fiction about affection (check the assonance) I get butterflies because I have no experience to filter it through.

  11. Seriously - what's going on the Sociopath Forum over there at the moment?

    Spatial Mind's Lord's Prayer and Post-Modern calling him on it. Bonkers.

    As for that 'Fear No Evil' fella? and 'The Young Sociopath' - is it something in the drinking water over there, or is there a full moon coming up?

    Where's SociopathWorld Forum Digested Reads when you need it?

  12. I have never used the forum. Why when I can get my fix of delusional idiots right here?

    1. @.:::TCO:::.

      I didn't even knew it existed when I first arrived. So when I was sent a link to it (coincidently to do with a review of the same book that Medusa (BTW what ever happened to her?) had also reviewed - I was naturally slightly curious.

      However, that curiousity soon turned to absolute amazement when I thought to myself - this is a fucking freakshow.

      After that I was reluctant to go back again, happy to stay in the relative safe-zone of the posts here.

      However, as time went by I gradually eased myself into following some of the more interesting debates from a far.

      It can be hilarious.

      Example quote:

      From: 'It Only Takes a Smile' - Blades.

      Blades: What are some of the things you can accomplish with a simple smile. what is it about a psychopaths smile that just makes women melt?

      TNP: Pressing the button to the trapdoor above an acid pool.


      I'm still waiting for that draft manuscript TNP ; )

  13. Hi, Mindless Pleasures.

    Your SW personality is so charming, that I wish I knew you in person. Your acceptance of different folks different strokes comes with such ease. Here is an area I am being challenged as we speak.

    I am one of those who believe sociopathically strong traits are more common than people think, plus these things are always relative anyway. So, to someone who is extremely empathic most people are quite sociopathic.

    I'm in a strange situation and am the most empathic of the folks in a group of five, two women and three guys. They are testing the boundaries all the time, and quite often I am outside my comfort zone, particularly when they had too much to drink. I know they do drugs on their own but they know I don't and so far they have not pressured me in that direction, but I know it's just a matter of time. I have no worries about my ability to say no but I have worries in terms of how they will behave once drugs are in their system.

    My question is,MP, do you do drugs, and would you be comfortable in this regard with the drug-induced socios in the same room.

    Here we all have a certain compassion for Rich, but I could not possibly have supported him in all that ordeal had I been a friend of his. My empathy would kick in, and think of all of that as a very painful and uncomfortable situation, and as we all know I'd be projecting how it would have impacted me. Because, we surely don't know what he was thinking/feeling in all that time. He explained all of that in a factual tone. So, Rich, I guess my question goes to you. Was it your rational mind or the fact that you just have a good rule of not hitting until provoked. Is it fair to say there are certain boundaries that are keeping you from getting further down? I hope you're feeling much better, Rich.

    Thank you for contributing to SW, MP. I think you are even better than what was his name from 2009.

    1. Hi Another empathy

      Thank you for your very kind words.

      Forgive if I'm a bit rushed with the reply, of which I would like to spend more time considering – and also more soberly. However, I've been drinking a bit – I have the music playing really loud and should have let the office about an hour and a half ago.

      However, I've been enjoying the freedom at the office and getting drunk on my own.

      Besides, London on a Friday won’t start kicking off for a while yet and I'm looking forward to hitting the town on a high.

      Honestly, reading Jon Ronson’s book, ‘The Psychopath Test’ was a revelation to me. I can almost put my life down to pre-PT and post PT.

      Until that time there was a massive blind-spot in my understanding of the world. And believe you me I am an extraordinarily curious and relatively well-read young 6 foot 6 (two metres – metric) young man.

      My degree is in politics and I have worked in the upper-echelons of Parliament here in London within Westminster with Prime Ministers and Chancellors of the Exchequer and everyone else in the stinking, rotten, festering business of politics.

      And had I known what I know now from reading Ronson’s book, and subsequently frequenting this site – I swear it would have made my job when I was working in politics that much more comprehensible and understandable.

      But not only that – but just everyday interactions with friends and family and dare I say it - ex's.

      I feel as if I have been empowered with not only the knowledge to understand why some people do the things they do but also – and most importantly – the vocabulary to enable me to understand it.

      Of course, Ronson writes about the power that he was ‘possessed’ with whilst researching the book. And it can be a double-edged sword. Suddenly you are seeing ‘sociopath’s’ everywhere you go.

      That is one of the reason’s I love this site so much, because I think even Ronson’s book can be misconstrued.

      I'm probably rambling now – let me know if I'm making much sense... : )

      BTW - I've mentioned my drug habits on this site previously - somewhere I can't remember. But basically - I don't do them much any more. Just a few drinks after work (and on special occasions like today - during ; )

    2. You are a big guy, MP. Sometimes I wish I was a big guy as opposed to a petite woman. Petite women are socio magnets. I wonder if big guys are also socio female magnets, given that they'd think the bigger the better. What do you think?

    3. We're all the same height lying down Sweetheart : )

    4. Again, I'm resorting to instinctive answers.

      Sometimes the attention can be flattering. It depends.

      I wish it were more petite women that talk to me about my height but more often that not it's 'five-foot fuck all' drunk geezers trying to take on the tall guy in front of their mates at the bar.

    5. Another Empath- Iam a big guy 6'3 and 255lbs and I seem to be a sociopath/narcissist magnet in picking up women or women picking me up, I dont know if it is my choice in picking damaged women (because iam damaged myself) or what, but that could definatly be a factor in why they like me....... Not every woman I have dated were socios or narcs either, just the last two...... First was a true diagnosed sociopath, and the second was undiagnosed but she had VERY STRONG psychopathic and narcissistic tendancies, she would definatly be personality disorder diagnosed, its like empathy is foregin to her, she is somehow (and I dont know how) blind to it,it is out of her orbit of awareness.

    6. five-foot fuck all drunk geezers....

      That's an imagery that will stay with me.

      I am not flirting with you Mindless Pleasures. I'd like to know you in person as a friend. Sorry if I came across otherwise, I do suffer from giving wrong signals, so I am more than willing to take the blame.

      I am one of those women who will leave a guy if she feels she'd rather look elsewhere.

      To me flirting with other men while out on a date is like trying to hit the brakes on a loaded trailer truck, you never know when a wreck will occur. Anytime we leave the scene of basic human courtesy we're at the mercy of amygdala or lack of, on a date you either treat your date with attention or cut the date short is the rule I apply, or you can always make a deal with the guy and hunt together (this really works, easier to pick up others when you appear to be a harmonious couple of friends who are just having fun out there and looking).

      Testosterone when misguided scares the shit out of me, and the ultimate joy ride otherwise.

    7. I'm a bit of an anomaly I guess. Because I'm tall, *ahem* good looking, athletic build etc I'm actually the opposite of what 'you' American's refer to as Jocks.

      Although I love a good time and have had many and will have many more to come - whilst still enjoying being a bachelor. I am quite 'intellectual'. Meaning, while I don't consider myself an intellectual - I enjoy intellectual pursuits - reading, writing etc.

      This may get some way to explaining why I can relate to everyone and anyone I meet. I just honestly don't care who or what you are as long as you have something interesting to say or add to any conversation. I thrive off that shit.

      And I've travelled all over the world and experienced the same thing wherever I go - Europe, America, South America, South East Asia, the South Pacific. People are just all the same beautiful and
      bizzare dysfunctional monkeys wherever you go.

      Now, I'm definitely rambling. Actually I've drunk the office dry of booze. I either need to get more or leave this forum for the time being and go out.

    8. Hi again Another empath

      Obviously writing synchronised messages there. I hope my reply 2 minutes later isn't confused with replying to your message.

      Yeah, I'd like to get to know you - as you said in your post.

      I'm definitely around here from time to time. Although at this very moment - I'm thinking I might have to get ready to go out tonight.

      We'll be in contact for shure : )

  14. It's a very short book. It took me under two hours to read. Maybe even closer to an hour.

    It's non-fiction fiction. It's meant to tell a gripping story. That aspect of it fell flat for me, but it's well written and better than its competitors. It doesn't try to scaremonger or play on empathy, but it doesn't provide any actual insight or information either.

  15. I'm slightly intrigued by this book... though to be honest, if it's anything like Men that Stare at Goats I think I'll pass. Did absolutely nothing for me.

    1. It's nothing like the book 'Men that State at Goats'. And I haven't seen the film.

  16. Not that you were talking about the film but I just thought I had to add that : ) George Clooney can't act.

    1. Thank you! I really don't like George Clooney very much. No matter what he does, he always looks smug. It's off putting.

  17. OK folks. It's been lovely talking with you all. I'm going for now. I'd love to return to this forum when I get home and see you haven't character assassinated me in my absence. Please don't make me regret all this when I wake up the next morning ; )

    I'm clocking the time next to this post to make sure no one imitates me also ; ) Nothing after this time is me (just for the record)

    Cheers guys. Have a great weekend.

  18. Notable Daily QuotesOctober 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    [b] People are just all the same beautiful and
    bizzare dysfunctional monkeys wherever you go.[/b]


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