I hope you don't mind me saying this, but you sound 180* away from the guy writing a couple years ago. Specifically this, "Do you think it might be better to just believe that people can be lovely and so it is no great shame that you are just the same as everyone else?" That's a really healthy and benevolent view of humanity. I'm not there yet, but it sounds like a good place to be.
I have to ask; you garden, you blog, music and I think you mentioned a relationship that's pretty healthy, it sounds like these things are helping you. Do you have other suggestions / protips / caveats? I'm asking because in people I've observed almost nothing helps them overcome their personality disorders. Falling in love with a healthier person seems to help and life threatening illness can also have some effect, but who wants to wait for a cancer scare or get to the end of their life to figure things out? Maybe that's where choosing the better part comes in.
I hope you write about things getting better, if in fact they are. I hope you write about what's changing and what's staying the same. I know your blog is about sociopathy, not recovering from sociopathy, but that would be my special request.
Yeah, I have actually thought about maybe making my next book about this topic. The thing is, what works for me, I'm not sure will work for anyone else, and probably not most. I do think the gardening helps. Playing a musical instrument helps. There are a lot of things that I can identify in my own life that help, but I am just not sure anymore. I'm a little pessimistic lately maybe because a friend (not quite neurotypical, but mostly) has been stuck in a rut, and as sort of a project I decided to try to help him out of it. But I haven't managed to make any sort of discernible difference. And another time I was coaching someone to take a graduate school exam and I thought, I should for sure be able to help her get out of the lower quartile by teaching her how to game the test, but I couldn't. So now I think maybe I do things in a particular way and it's impossible to teach someone? I thought of this when reading Daniel Birdick's recent comment:
I’d only add that this analysis becomes almost instinctual by the time you reach adulthood. To use PP’s car analogy, it’s like learning how to drive. All of your movements as a new driver are conscious and therefore awkward. But after a while, everything that goes into becoming a decent driver becomes instinctive and automatic. That’s how it eventually is with reading people and social situations. Only, I suspect you have to learn how to read people using “bloodless rationality” as your default mode in childhood, so that by the time you’re in your late adolescence, it becomes second nature.
Maybe each person has to figure out their own selves, what it is that is holding them back. Also this quote I recently featured on twitter that I really love: "I will stay an addict until my last excuse." For me, I think that is what is really holding my friend back from getting out of his rut. He cannot, or will not give up the possibility that maybe he doesn't need to change at all -- maybe he just needs a new job or needs to move to a different city or find someone to love him. I know how this feels, this hesitation to change. It's hard enough to embrace change, you know? But I think it's even worse when the solution is coming from someone else. I'm not saying it never happens, because the person who finally got me to change was a person and I did have to trust her and do things her way, at least for a while until I could figure out what was absolutely necessary to live the life I wanted versus what I could sort of tailor to my own needs/wants/tastes. But I don't think most sociopaths are this open to submitting themselves like this to someone else. They don't understand trust and they are right to think that most people don't understand them enough to give them good advice. I don't know, it's a problem. I'd love to hear from sociopaths who have ever been helped by any of my advice, but I haven't so far.