Saturday, April 20, 2013
Q&As (part 4)
You believe that ambiguous sexuality is one of the best identifying traits of a sociopath, relying on it more than any other one trait to form your own opinion about who is and isn’t a sociopath. Why?
For whatever reason there are sociopath “wannabes” out there. They tell their stories to highlight how cold they are. I frequently use ambiguous sexuality as a litmus test with these types to determine whether or not they are legitimate. If they freak out at the mere suggestion, as so many “normal” men do, I usually conclude they’re poseurs. A sociopath would not find their ego threatened by the suggestion that they are gay; in fact, that might be one of the least offensive things a true sociopath would ever be accused of in his life! They don’t have a strong identity of being straight, and don’t share the common moral assumption that homosexuality is sin.
What do you believe is the most important message of your book?
Sociopaths should not have to justify their very existence amongst other equally flawed examples of humanity, but if they did, there are some legitimate reasons to think they’re not as bad as they are made out to be. Also, child sociopaths perhaps best illustrate the fact that people don’t ask to be sociopaths. Sociopaths are not going away, so it is in society’s best interest to find a way to live with and benefit from them.
Are sociopaths capable of having healthy relationships with non-sociopaths?
Yes. I have relationships with non-sociopaths. It’s not for everyone, and particularly not for the faint hearted. A relationship with a sociopath seems to work best if you are either not sensitive or are extremely sensitive, enough to empathize enough with even a self-centered sociopath. As a friend put it, “it’s like owning an exotic pet.”
People often ask you if you think certain celebrities are sociopaths. Why do you consider it unlikely that they are?
Celebrities are much more likely to be narcissistic rather than sociopathic. Sociopaths don’t like to be center stage. They’re much more likely to be the producer than the actor, the vice-president or chief of staff than the President. Sociopaths prefer to operate undetected, pulling the strings from behind the curtain. Center stage would bring too much scrutiny, which is dangerous when you’re trying to hide so much.