Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Book responses (part 2)
I just finished reading your book and I wanted to say that I found it utterly fascinating. I am not a sociopath but I definitely displayed antisocial traits as a child. Perhaps if my childhood had been different I would have ended up different. I enjoyed reading your points of view on nature and nurture for antisocial children. But more than anything I appreciate the perspective you brought on the issue of sociopaths in society. Before reading your book I never truly recognized the unfair bias and often outright double standards (I have multiple aspies in my family) society places upon sociopaths. Being a member of the gay community I am well aware that it was not so long ago that I would have been considered a "monster" or "deviant". Maybe one day more people will see that there are good, highly functioning sociopaths out there just like there are violent and dangerous ones--as is the case for any variant of humans.
I remember I took a psychology class in college, just for the hell of it, and on a test we were asked to write several paragraphs about what we believed to be the worst of the personality disorders. I thought it was silly because there is no unbendable mold for psychological disorders; they can be good, bad, or both. Most people in my class wrote that sociopaths were the worst kinds of people and I wrote that if I had to choose, I would list BPD as the worst. My teacher actually pulled me aside and asked me to further explain why I felt that way. I guess many others listed socios because of the link to violence and people with BPD are not typically known to be violent. The only reason I had was personal experience; I've known several sociopaths and remain friends with some of them, but everyone I've known that had BPD was just awful. Awful in a sense of massively annoying and using extreme emotions to manipulate--often resulting in hysterics and acts of self-harm. All of which I found extremely time-consuming and obnoxious. I'm sure there are BPDs out there that aren't bad--I just haven't met any yet.
I've never talked at length with my socio friends about how they think or process things--I just know they are different and leave it at that. Thank you for providing insight I might otherwise have never been exposed to.