Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book responses

From a reader:

I graduated last week with a Masters in Counseling. I'm getting ready for my "post-corporate" career.

After doing nothing but reading and studying for national exams the last three months, I didn't think that I would ever want to read another book related to psychology again. However, I read a review of your book in the New York Post (below) and had to get this book. 

What I enjoyed about your book was your honesty. All good autobiographies show the darkness as well as the light (Steve Jobs autobiography is a great example). Thank you for being so candid. Your book was also incredibly well written and well researched. I could not put it down.

You also gave me insight into a disturbing situation that I experienced at work about 20 years ago. It always confused me, but now I fully know what happened - I was dealing with a sociopath!

Thank you for providing me this insight. 

Just a few comments as I am about to move into the mental health field as well as some personal observations of your book. But first, from an Empath's point of view, here is what I cannot stand about sociopaths.

I hate that you play games when we empaths are not playing games! (I acknowledge that all people play games).

Look I'm an empathic person, but I can be as competitive any anybody. But once the game is over, it's over! I want a real relationship, not games.

For sociopaths it never stops. And that's the problem, you think you are so F_____! smart, but the truth is sociopaths are cowards. You pick on people who are not even fighting with you. Deception has its place, in war, the board room and the court room but it's death in relationships. 

And the really perverse part is, you think that you are exerting your "power" and winning. But in truth you were destroying the person who wanted to show you trust which is the very thing that you need most. In the end you have a Pyrrhic victory, you won the battle, but lost the war in obtaining a true relationship.

Just my personal 2 cents (I know you don't care). Now I want to tell you what I found most interesting about your book (which you probably do care about).

I believe the most profound statement that you made was on pg. 153 in your book:

"I believe that a lot of the sociopath's traits such as charm, manipulation, lying, promiscuity, chameleonism, mask wearing and lack of empathy are largely attributable to a very weak sense of self. I believe that all personality disorders share a distorted or abnormal sense of self". 

You nailed it! During my internship it was very clear that whether I was dealing with Narcissists, Borderlines, and other personality disorders that all of these people had no true sense of self. 

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Hamlet - Act 1, scene 3

Secondly, I find it very interesting that on pg. 65 where you said, "my father's emotional and moral hypocrisy taught me not to trust emotions or anything else that couldn't be backed up with hard, indisputable fact." The majority of my client's struggle with trust issues - divorce, sexual abuse, illness, etc. So often the underlying theme in our sessions is, "I want to trust, but I'm so afraid, Help me!".

Lastly, In Chapter 7 of your book you describe identifying yourself with the Tin Woodman in the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. "But as heartless as I am, I have wanted love, to feel connection, to feel like I belong to the world like anyone else. No one, it seems, can escape loneliness."

You quoted John Bowlby in your book. Of all the theorists that I studies in school, I was most impacted by his work. Yes, human beings can be untrustworthy, unkind, undependable and candidly, a pain in the ass! But they are worth it. In the end connection, love, kindness, goodness and gentleness is what makes life worth living.

My hope for you is that this "Tin Woman" finds her heart.

I also realize that you must be going through a difficult time right now as it appears that your identity has been outed and that you may expect some "unintended consequences" from publishing this book. 

Hang in there. The best thing for you is that people know that you are a sociopath. 

Your mask is your defense, but it's also your problem.

Someone can only have a relationship with you if you are honest about who you are. Your mask of secrecy is a hindrance and not a help in your life.

Best wishes and God's blessings to you in your journey.

142 comments:

  1. hooray! we're gonna get better, ME!

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    1. Nothing inside to get better.

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    2. If someone is preparing to work as a counsel, I guess she/he has to prepare to counsel anyone anywhere.

      The tin-woodmen slipped my attention. Maybe since I could understand the choice? But I'll go back to check the passage.

      You nailed it! During my internship it was very clear that whether I was dealing with Narcissists, Borderlines, and other personality disorders that all of these people had no true sense of self.


      Three things from the top of my head.

      a) It would help to start with defining the terms. Self? Self-concept, self-knowledge, self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-schemas? From the top of my head.

      b) The book did not help me to discover any psychopath in my history in hindsight. But then, did I ever read it with the intention "unveil" him or her while reading it behind his "mask"?

      c)this is a suspicion only. Could the interest triggered by the article have already contained the desire to understand some earlier encounters and thus get the ability to label people accordingly? some type of self-fulfilling approach? Although I hate generalizations, as a tendency I find people that label too easily bothersome since I am a teenages. Maybe that is one of the cores of my "self" over the decades.

      I liked the book, but I could identify with too much of it, to be able to use it as a bible to recognize psychopath out there. But then for my larger taste most of it seemed to only scrape the surface.

      The worst I can say about the book was that it left me with the suspicion if M.E.Thomas in fact wrote it based on a perceived huge interest in the topic, as admittedly this type this response somehow suggests to me.

      "Masks" and "manipulation" are something much too frequent in our world to blame it all on sociopath, but I am in the process of learning. ;)

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    3. Be so kind and forgive my typos.

      There is a to missing somewhere and teenager should end in r and not in s.

      I am too lazy to delete and correct them.

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  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZJvk8b4OTQ

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    1. dude's got some serious ptsd

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    2. What dude? The Thomas Sheridan YouTube dude has PTSD you say?

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    3. he is like the male donna anderson

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    4. Nope. Big difference. She got stung.

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    5. you dont think that fanatic got stung, and by a borderline???

      He thinks all borderlines are psychopaths, you know. I'd bet he got screwed over by a girl borderline.

      anyone know him here?

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  3. Psychopaths can have incredible social competence on the cognitive level — the trouble is that they simply don’t care bout anyone but themselves. Their lack of empathy allows them to treat others as objects, and their cognitive skill enables them to get away with it.

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  4. Here is a review on the book....
    http://www.lovefraud.com/2013/05/14/confessions-sociopath-book-buy-read/

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  5. What a beautiful review.That girl seemed to nail it. What burned me up about Dr Phil was that he did not see what this reviewer saw, which was the essential purpose of why ME wrote the book.

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    1. http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2013/05/11/book-review-confessions-sociopath-life-spent-hiding-plain-sight-thomas/mn4IRi4g5pgV0hze3SdneP/story.html

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    2. The control that sociopaths seek evidently extends to their own image. “I prefer to define my sociopathy as a set of traits that inform my personality but don’t define me,” Thomas writes, in a particularly awkward locution. “I am generally free of entangling and irrational emotions, I am strategic and canny, I am intelligent and confident and charming, but I also struggle to react appropriately to other people’s confusing and emotion-driven social cues.”

      Note how fault is projected onto other people — sociopaths call them “empaths” — who emit those “confusing and emotion-driven social cues.” Arrogance flames into grandiosity. “In a world filled with gloomy, mediocre nothings populating a go-nowhere rat race,” Thomas writes, “people are attracted to the sociopath’s exceptionalism like moths to a flame.”

      True, there is such a thing as sociopathic charm, the poisonous snake’s gorgeous coloration. But some of Thomas’s assertions seem ludicrously self-justifying. She suggests that “most people who interact with sociopaths are better off than they otherwise would be . . . We fulfill fantasies, or at least the appearance of fantasies,” though, she admits, it is always at a price. “But the truth,” she adds, “is that if you have made a deal with the devil, it’s probably because no one else has offered you more favorable terms.”

      But what if you didn’t know that you were dancing with Satan? Sociopaths don’t generally announce themselves; even Thomas, a veritable crusader for sociopath rights, chooses to remain anonymous. And as she points out, it’s not easy to distinguish between a sociopath and a jerk, categories that surely overlap.

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    3. I think the thing that a sociopath can do( and SW can do) is to hone you down to a BS free zone. . If you grew up in an environment which was a wall of lies, as I did, you had to take those lies in to survive. Then, YOU are the problem because you cannot see the truth, anymore. Truth is emotional health imo. It is that simple. However, if you are messed up, you have precious few people to tell you the truth. Most shrinks are very messed up. They go into the field for the wrong reasons like power over other people.

      The sociopath can see through BS and if you can take what he has to say( and throw away what you need to, as well) you can gain a precious commodity. To me, that is what ME means and I agree.

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    4. Dear Monica... The sociopath is BS. LOL

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    5. Hey Monica,

      ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME means and I agree............ME means and I agree ME means and I agree ME ME ME ME ME ME ME That is what ME means ME ME ME ME ME ME

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    6. Who do you want me to talk about, Anon? John Johnson the Third

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    7. M.E., or whatever, needs to go back to school and get credentialed. Phd in psych or whatever. Then she'll be qualified to butt heads with Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil's own dad went back to school in his forties in order to become a therapist. Unoriginal Phil followed suit. M.E. copied her dad by becoming ASPD attorney. That's over now, obviously.

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    8. Dr Phils intent was to try to make ME look like she was trying to hawk something for her own aggrandizement.

      Imo, ME needed a different venue such as a PBS kind of setting where people would explore the IDEAS instead of trying to make the purveyor look foolish

      . Dr Phil lost the last shred of respect I had for him and I little to begin with.

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    9. Hmmmm... whatever happened to the PirateBay link on here?

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  6. So many points! Where to start?

    It seems most people expect a person's sense of self to be static. I think it's better to be fluid. I see that I have room for improvement, and gradually I do improve. I refuse to give up my potential by defining my self as something constant. M.E.'s a musician and a lawyer, and if she wants to write an autobiography about being a sociopath, who's going to stop her? What will she add next?

    I don't want love as most people see it. Simpering adoration, perfect trust, and googly eyes just make me feel weird. I want mutual respect, admiration, and companionship. I want someone who is not afraid to take what they want from me as I take what I want from them. Nobody wants what I want, though!

    I've come up with an interesting coping mechanism to curb my desires. I refuse to truly desire anything that I can't have. This bit me in the ass recently, as I wanted to be alone and now I am. Now I desperately want to be with someone, but I cannot! Is it better to be alone than to be in a bad relationship, living with a parasite? I don't know!

    I can simply make more money, enough to attract someone beautiful and intelligent who will give me what I want in exchange for stability, security, and comfort. You would call her a gold-digger, but I'd call her exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, it takes so fucking long to make money in science, so I have to wait and hope I don't self-destruct along the way.

    M.E. blows up what, every 3 years? For me it's two. 2009, 2011, 2013, but I always recover. I haven't yet dug a hole so deep that I couldn't leap out of it unscathed.

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    1. "I've come up with an interesting coping mechanism to curb my desires. I refuse to truly desire anything that I can't have. This bit me in the ass recently, as I wanted to be alone and now I am" Hilarious!! :D

      "Now I desperately want to be with someone, but I cannot! Is it better to be alone than to be in a bad relationship, living with a parasite? I don't know!" This is an everybody's question. Some people also decide to tie the knot even if they are not in love for many reasons, like social conventions, their wish to fit in, to have another "mummy", etc...

      "I can simply make more money, enough to attract someone beautiful and intelligent who will give me what I want in exchange for stability, security, and comfort" but be nice, search for a gold-digger and not for a loving person. Your pseudo-marriage was 2 years long?

      Jessi

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    2. Andy Glass you sound like a Misanthropic Altruist.

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    3. It's funny, I don't consider the breakdown of my marriage to be self-destructive. I got married too young, which is fortunately a mistake that is impossible to replicate. 5 years, not 2.

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    4. 5 years? Why that long till you both took part ways?

      Jessi

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    5. Misanthropic altruist, yes, that fits. With family, though, I am not misanthropic. I am generous and expect nothing in return. They're the only ones who will always be there for me. I am genuinely grateful to them. It's fine if you don't believe me. Put me in your box if you must :)

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    6. I am extremely patient and I naively expected she could change. I can and do change.

      Maybe I should drop the altruism and embrace misanthropy. It would at least make me more honest about my intentions.

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    7. Did you help her to change? I have problems to think that it was altruism rather than investment.

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    8. Sometimes to teach a bird to fly, you must kick it out of the nest. She got a job and became self-sufficient, and she's happier now. If it's an investment, I got no return. She didn't like it, but ultimately it was good for both of us.

      Except now I'm lonely and finding the company of sociopaths pleasant. Yes, it was altruistic, but I didn't intend to pay such a high cost. Altruism sucks.

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    9. So, you, altruistically, kicked her out. Sounds very altruistic indeed. Still it is not clear to me, do you want her back, now that she is self-sufficient enough for you?

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    10. It's a difficult concept to understand, doing something that is bad for someone in the short term, but good in the long term. It's the difference between giving someone a fish, and teaching someone to fish. One satisfies hunger for a day, the other a lifetime.

      I don't think I could take her back. Despite her being more self-sufficient and happier, she's still a terrible person when she doesn't get what she wants. She's more selfish than me, and that's saying something.

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    11. thanks, Andy Glass, I decided to censor a move from "self" to "identity". This feels pretty close to where it would have started:

      It seems most people expect a person's sense of self to be static.

      But then I feared to move too far East and ultimately end up with Chinese wisdom: sometimes it's better to bend in the storm and not let it break you due to rigidity.

      Could a partial bending, psychologically speaking, already be considered manipulative by someone that seems to consider "self" as a given, no further reflection needed.

      Would a person sometimes standing tall and other times bending or using different techniques, even manipulative ones, be a psychopath then? I seriously doubt. My anecdotal experience and wisdom of myself and others tells me otherwise.

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  7. This intermittently fascinating, if rather disjointed, account is part memoir, part psychological treatise, and entirely not to be trusted. Its pseudonymous author, M.E. Thomas, describes herself as a law professor and a Mormon who tithes and teaches Sunday school. Even more surprisingly, she claims to have “a close circle of family and friends whom I love and who very much love me.”

    That last statement is ludicrous, of course, because the core of sociopathy is an inability to love. But as we all well very know, sociopaths are exceptionally good at talking about love and convincing us that their feelings are real.

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    1. There are people I would kill for. Maybe that's not love, but it is devotion.

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    2. Maybe that's not devotion, but it is need.

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    3. I bet on possession. Sociopaths are very "protective" with the people they owe. Like a child who hits another one when he gets his toys though he doesn't care at all about the toy itself.

      Jessi

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    4. Another example, then. I would without hesitation donate a kidney to an immediate family member who needed it.

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    5. I would like to see you in the situation. hahaha. Claiming it is not possible since you remember being born with only one. Hahaha. Otherwise, you think one kidney is enough and that person can be of more use than one kidney.

      Jessi

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    6. One kidney is enough. I don't use my family, I value them. I like helping them. Or, am I lying to myself, and they are nothing more than narcissistic supply? If they didn't value me, how would I react? I honestly don't know.

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    7. That's what I think. That they are narcissistic support for you and comfort. There is no one in your family you would not give your kidney to? Is the person who you would rather give your kidney to (imagine several of them need it) the person that could be of more reliable use for you?

      I think though, that family love is very much linked to security and comfort for everyone up to some point. It is easy to spot in inheritance battles.

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    8. I don't use my family. I've surpassed all of them in education and income. I try to give more than I take, but I feel I owe them a debt I could never repay. They have my back, and they're the only ones I trust to stand behind me.

      My father has dealt with serious inheritance issues, and has effectively disowned one of his brothers. The one who took the most needed it the least. I am not greedy. I won't fight my family for something I don't need. It's not worth the price.

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    9. i care for my family and close friends to the degree that i wouldnt hesitate to lend them money and fight for them if they were in trouble. but i wouldnt donate a kidney or mutilate myself in any other such manor for them

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    10. Andy, you might have surpassed your family in education and income, but you know you can never be sure that that will go on forever. You might fall sick and what then? Who will be there for you besides your family? If you knew they would not be there for you if you would eventually need them, would you still feel in debt with them?

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    11. They will be there for me if I need it. That bridge is made of diamond, I couldn't burn it if I wanted to.

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  8. Those behaviors are not unique at all. There are so many others out there just like you. Lying. Cheating. Manipulating.

    They think their lying and manipulation are their special powers and there is no one like them.

    They hate being ordinary losers.

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    1. More than you think. The ones who are good at it are the ones you least expect. They are the nice ones that everyone seems to like. Nobody fears the hands they can see pulling strings, but everyone should fear invisible hands pulling imperceptible strings. It's paranoia bordering on pragmatism, and all sense of security is by its nature false.

      You sound like an ordinary asshole, are you sure you're not caught in any webs?

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    2. I think he sounds like a nice person. What do you think about Jamie interview,quasi Andy?

      Jessi

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    3. Andy your 'webs' have a name. Duping delight. You wish.

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    4. Duping delight is the term to describe one of the tools used. With duper's delight there is no poor judgment or bad choices.

      When someone is such a cold and sick person to manipulate and deceive someone, then to make a sport of it for their own sense of power, control, and amusement, they clearly demonstrate purely evil behavior.

      Guess that makes you an extraordinary asshole.

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    5. Jessi, I was only able to watch the clips. The consequences of her revelation and her motives are unclear to me. It's clear what Dr. Phil chose to emphasize, which was his perception that shes a fraud. Most people buy that explanation. I have trouble thinking for myself, but I'm not going to follow Dr. Phil. He's an entertainer and nothing more.

      Anonymous dude, I didn't mean to imply that I have webs spun. I don't. If I did, though, they would be for getting what I want. There's no sport to it, just eminently selfish pragmatism.

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    6. Anon Dudess to you Andy.

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    7. You're very direct, which I associate with masculinity. Please excuse my misogyny, it's very deeply seated and hard to uproot :)

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    8. I thought that Dr. Phil just didn’t want to give her any attention as far as she was bragging to be evil and liking it. He didn’t care if she was a sociopath or not, she was despicable above any other possible consideration. (But maybe I am projecting…)

      So, you are one of those people that every time they cross a direct woman you perceive that as a masculine and therefore you don’t even update your prejudices? Your opinions are maybe not as loosy as you think.

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    9. I like women that are direct, not because of masculinity but implied strength. On an anonymous comments section, though, it's harder to tell.

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  9. "That last statement is ludicrous, of course, because the core of sociopathy is an inability to love. But as we all well very know, sociopaths are exceptionally good at talking about love and convincing us that their feelings are real."

    As an empathic "neurotypical" who is totally in love with someone with very strong sociopathic traits, I would like to say fuck you. Your statement is pure ignorance and pure arrogance/.

    I've been more fucked over more and had much more dishonest love experiences with other "neurotypicals". the divorce rate among neurotypicals is what? yes.. lets talk about inability to love..

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    1. You are stupider than stupid.

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  10. I won’t be buying that. I’d rather read books about them written by experts. After all, all sociopaths are pathological liars. Why would anyone expect anything in the book to be true? I’m guessing it’s full of lies and exaggerations.

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    1. Only sociopaths are capable of writing autobiographies that contain lies and exaggerations. Also, experts that only talk to criminals know everything about all sociopaths.

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    2. The intention, Andy, the intention. We are all capable of anything but some of us have better intentions.... You have to know and you have to be willing to share what you know. Never read a sociopath expert.

      Jessi

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    3. I do not play. You are predators of the naive.

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    4. Jessi, intention is nothing, action is everything. If you don't accept responsibility for what you do, and the direct effects of your actions, you are deceiving yourself. That was a hard lesson to learn for me.

      Anon, who said I was a sociopath? Everyone has issues, but few people are capable of recognizing them. I have faults, mental processes that some might consider pathological, but at least I'm trying to search them out, understand them, and correct them if necessary. Are you perfect?

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    5. Definitely not. That's why the figure killing in self-defense exists and implies acquittal. The thing is that from good intentions there come good actions and some actions have no possible good intentions in the origin.

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    6. Many more people claim to kill in self-defense than actually defend themselves. People deny culpability to spare themselves the guilt and legal consequences that result from their actions.

      And when these people are acquitted, they feel justified in their actions. It's all lies, and hardly harmless. I lie to myself, but at least I try to figure out why and learn the truth.

      I hold my opinions loosely, and if someone can convince me to release them, I will. That bugs some people, but know that you can change me Jessi, if you are convincing enough :)

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    7. Your first paragraph says that liars exist. Thanks for the reminder. I was talking about the legal justification of self-defense. Some people do kill in self-defense and they are acquitted legitimately. Intentions matter. The deceivers would agree on this too, that's why they lie about their intentions, they know they will matter.

      What is the benefit of changing the opinions of someone who holds them loosely? ;)

      Jessi

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    8. If your intent in talking to me isn't to change my opinion, then what is it? Everyone has a reason for what they do, what's yours?

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    9. Andy, has anyone told you that your see- thru glass makes you look fat?

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    10. To learn. I confront my opinions to yours which serves me to get counterarguments that will either reinforce my opinion or make me consider a modification, while, of course, getting a picture of how you are.

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    11. The thing is that from good intentions there come good actions and some actions have no possible good intentions in the origin.

      What a simplistic idea. Ever considered unwanted outcomes, no matter how "pure" your intentions were? Train your imagination. The "good intentions" are in fact the blind spot of justified self-defense? Just as "justified fear of death" recedes into the purely subjective. Better to never meet a coward or a liar in this context.

      I cannot completely grasp it yet, but there is something really dangerous about the "self-defined good with always good intentions", as they like to see and present themselves. It can turn into a blind that insulates against reality.

      Many decades ago, I broke up a relationship when I realized how easy it would be to murder someone in the heat of passion. But that realization was only the tip of the iceberg of much deeper troubles. Life is pretty complicated in fact, "good intentions" do not always bring about a good result.

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  11. The reader obnoxiously presupposes that sociopaths desire love and trust in the same way as everyone else, which is just as if not more insensitive than sociopathic manipulation. At least sociopaths take the time to understand others' desires before exploiting them. Sociopaths may not have a fixed sense of self, but it makes them far less egocentric than empaths, who always seem to believe that just because they feel some way, everyone else must too. And the reader has the gall to accuse us of not respecting an empath's desire for a game-free relationship? Why can't they respect our need for mental stimulation instead?

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    1. Mental masturbation would be respected. Predators are not.

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    2. If you don't want to play, disengage. No one's keeping you there.

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    3. Note how fault is projected onto other people — sociopaths call them “empaths” — "empaths, who always seem to believe that just because they feel some way, everyone else must too."

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    4. Note how fault is projected onto other people -- people call them "sociopaths"

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    5. i thought that's projection, 625. Is it not?

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    6. 605

      I have questions for the game of the borderline personality. winning a person not to leave part of the narcissistic game for both borderline and narcissists

      Can these people find a way to cling to one another for same s i m i l a r rejection issues? I want to know if there are people who have had success or is it impossible. I want everlasting relationship but it seems we end up finding each other. Do they ever heal enough, and together so that they cling and stay glued?

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  12. A sociopath has too few sense of self because they are too busy fighting invisible fights with people who are not fighting anymore. They never dedicate any quality time to find who they are. And they finish being no one. It is a choice. They always have the chance to act differently, but their ego tells them they are the greatest and they are too scared to really try something they know they are not good at. I think there is just one possible advise for a sociopath: be humble. Without that they will miserably spoil their lives and the ones of those they cross. Shame on them.

    Jessi

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    1. A desire to fight is a personal preference, not a fear or a result of ego. They're fun and challenging and that's why I do it, not any complexes I may have. It's like your mother always said, don't say you hate it until you try it

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    2. That's a stupid mother's sentence. We can evaluate most things without trying them, fortunately. Otherwise we will lose lots of time. But, in this case, as the reader says, power games are known to all of us. The point is to know when to stop because you are playing alone and that sounds suboptimal. To run quicker than a walker and think you won is a poor game. Besides that here we are talking of damaging behaviours.

      Jessi

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    3. Damaging for what reason? Because someone abruptly quit the game and decided, independently of the partner, that it's now time to trust? Losing interest in a game is fine, but quitting the game and then simply expecting to start a trusting relationship is presumptuous and beyond stupid.

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    4. It is a different game, the empath is playing something together with someone. For the spath the empath is the ball.

      Jessi

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  13. One trait of a psychopath is that they are easily bored. Because they can not love they view life as nothing more than a game. A game where they enjoy destroying others in their quest for dominance, power, and control.

    Shame on the predator for putting the blame on the victim for not sticking around when the victim discovers that they were looking for love in all the wrong places.

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    1. they put the blame on the victim FOR sticking around, too. So do the "victime ever win with them ( ..... not that it should matter to the victim...but with some personalities *ahem* that is an issue.)

      I think it''s precisely this issue why some people can't leave. They can't lay off the psycho because every fiber of their being says no, I will not let this fucker get away with this without me taking something away for my time invested, for the shirt this guy took off my back, for blinding me for the wool he/she put over my eyes. They can't walk away from the table that's a weakness if you ask me.



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    2. Do not kid yourself. Some actually do finish the game they never started, coming out ahead.

      But you are right it is more than stupid not to walk away when there is nothing there.

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  14. You know what I would love? If ME would have a Question and Answer like we did some time ago. So many developments have happened that I know I would like to ask her about them and I don't think I am alone in this,

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  15. How touching.
    I freaking hate it when someone states something like 'love, connection, empathy and gentleness makes life worth living' and considers it a definite truth. Are you speaking for the whole mankind? I enjoy games, manipulation and NOT being connected to people and I don't see anything wrong with that; in fact, I like it. So I wish certain people would act like they pity sociopaths, because they are not able to experience what 'normal' people do.

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    Replies
    1. *would stop acting like they pity sociopaths lol

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    2. Are you happy, Lear? Emotional connections are overrated, but intellectual ones can be entertaining.

      Perhaps you're too smart for the rest of us?

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    3. Emotional connections are not overrated but can there ever be a real and strong emotional connection without an intellectual one?

      Jessi

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    4. I sense the irony, so it might seem though, none of my acquaintances provides a significant intellectual stimulation and the lack of it can be quite frustrating.

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    5. Since it is pretty improbable that you are the smartest person in the world, be smart enough to find other acquaintances with similar intelligence.

      Jessi

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    6. Jessi, I suspect most people neither want nor need significant intellectual stimulation. They don't have the capacity to provide or receive it.

      Lear, do you have trouble finding smart people, getting them to stick around, or both?

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    7. Know what you mean Jessi, but then I am not an easily bored psychopath.

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    8. You should maybe search for intelligent acquaintances to try something new and better. You might be missing more than you think.

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  16. Jessi, what the hell does intellect and emotion have to do with each other?
    As for me, I wouldn't know, but I don't think that is how most relationships work. If you love somebody, you don't mind that he's a dork with a tiny IQ, because he has got other qualities like kindness. Isn't it beautiful?

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    1. I have never really loved anybody I have found stupid. Besides that you are talking as if the intellect is in your brain and emotion in your heart, poor cerebellum.

      Jessi

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    2. I love that scorn and your attitude, Lear :)

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    3. Your conception of love differs from the of most people then (or you're just quite a superficial person). I think you suffer from a personality disorder. You might be a real threat to society.
      Anyway, what qualities must the person you'd eventually love have, besides a decent intelligence quotient of course?

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    4. Mr Glass. You LOVE scorn and contempt but you are not a sociopath!

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    5. Irreverence and intensity are qualities I appreciate. Does that make me a bad person?

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    6. Twisted Andy.

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    7. Lear, I think that love can’t exist without mutual understanding, besides a very superficial kind of love, more related to pleasure of the senses, almost like loving a landscape or feeling comfort. It is not about making a list of qualities, it is about the possibility of real communication with someone else, the frequently called “connection” in all levels (IQ, would be just one of them, to share a similar level of sensitivity would be another one)

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    8. Lear,
      Many times people here declare they look down on others who they perceive as less intelligent than themselves as if they would be an inferior kind of people that would deserve being manipulated and used for being the way they are. Those people didn’t choose the intelligence they have neither did you. Intelligence is as much a given characteristic as the color of your eyes, but some here talk about it as a sign of personal success, which is not.

      Maybe you are smarter than others and probably people with a more standard level of intelligence have it easier to find people of their type (since there are majority) and they love, connect, more to others. When someone feels they’ve found the best thing in life (whatever that might be) they look at the ones who don’t have it with compassion. What is the problem with that? Why do you “freaking hate it”? Their attitude is not a threat, but your reaction is defensive. Why?

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  17. Andy, oh thank you very much.
    I have trouble finding person that would bring me some excitement, if I were to find them though, I'd most probably have problems maintaining a relationship with them. Everyone gets boring if you get to know them well.

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    Replies
    1. The excitement is in you to bring to the table.

      No wonder the sociopath can not stand his own company!

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    2. If I wanted to provide excitement to imbeciles, I would join the circus.

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    3. You are the circus.

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    4. Who said that sociopath can not stand his own company? It must have been one of those delusional empaths or self-proclaimed psychologists who think sociopaths are depressed and anxious. I like to spend time on my own, because it's in fact relaxing and inspiring.
      The circus is a rather nice metaphor, I see humans like that, like I'm an observer of a bunch of tamed animals, and observer rarely interferes with the events; and when he does (or when I do actually), the performers usually don't like it, because they see my actions as inappropriate.

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    5. lol Andy. My mom! What does my mom have to do with it.........

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    6. Exactly Lear.
      Some better-informed psychologists even said the opposite, and said lack of anxiety was one of the characteristics of sociopathy (they added that sociopaths almost never have to go through real depressive episodes, most of them are faked and the only possible real ones are narcissic depressive episodes).

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    7. @Lear
      i view humans in a very similar way, though for me its more of a predator prey thing. the predator observes its prey until it is ready to strike and the prey rarely appreciate being hunted

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    8. "Everyone gets boring if you get to know them well."
      Remind me of people that don't like books without pictures because they find them boring... Excitement, as beauty, is frequently in the eyes of the beholder. Most things are boring to people who aren't able to capture subtleties.

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  18. Have not read the book, but pretty amazing site. Someone said she was a musician, maybe she could post some some audio files, lets see if she has some chops. Otherwise it seems like the future if a near cure could lie in the realm of deep brain stimulators. A couple of those in the prefrontal cortex and the amygda, and boom the average sociopath would be dripping with compassion in a few weeks, turning on those under active areas of brain. How about intrathecal selegilene? Sure you may drool a little more but what the hell. No guts no glory. So what's next guys? I smell an eventual book circuit tour, coming to a college or parish near you! Beats working for real, so why not.

    Regards to all

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    1. Good dose of oxycontin should do the job.

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    2. lol, oxy is amusing but hardly made me empathic or compasionate.

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    3. From 'The Moral Molecule'

      In his book, Zak describes a behavioral feedback loop based on oxytocin:

      Oxytocin generates the empathy that drives moral behavior, which inspires trust, which causes the release of more oxytocin, which creates more empathy.

      The psychopath, however, does not have the normal number of oxytocin receptors. Plus, the psychopath has elevated testosterone, which blocks the release of oxytocin. Therefore, he or she does not experience the effects of the oxytocin, and does not feel trust or empathy.

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    4. Interesting, but they're talking about the opioid painkiller.

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    5. Sine oxytocin has been proven to work with animals, why not with spaths? ;)

      Jessi

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  19. "And the really perverse part is, you think that you are exerting your "power" and winning. But in truth you were destroying the person who wanted to show you trust which is the very thing that you need most. In the end you have a Pyrrhic victory, you won the battle, but lost the war in obtaining a true relationship."

    This part really stood out to me because this is what happened with the sociopath that I know. She said that the hardest thing in the world for her to do is to trust someone, but I told her that she could trust me. I wanted to be the one person to prove to her that people can be trustworthy. Then she betrayed my trust and out of anger, I betrayed hers too. It was a self fulfilling prophesy. If you trust someone and then screw them over in some way, you shouldn't expect to be able to continue trusting them because now they hate you and want you to suffer. Before you screwed them over, yes, they could be trusted. Why is this hard to understand?

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    1. "She said that the hardest thing in the world for her to do is to trust someone, but I told her that she could trust me. I wanted to be the one person to prove to her that people can be trustworthy. Then she betrayed my trust and out of anger, I betrayed hers too. It was a self fulfilling prophesy. If you trust someone and then screw them over in some way, you shouldn't expect to be able to continue trusting them because now they hate you and want you to suffer. Before you screwed them over, yes, they could be trusted. Why is this hard to understand"


      Same here. And I knew he had an braingasm like 'I knew you were a manipulating w**** all alonng.' Well you didn't leave me much of a choice, now did you? C*cks*ck*r. I will never fall for the 'I have a hard time trusting people, I'm damaged' kind of scheisse.

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    2. :) Character is when you behave a certain way no matter what the other person does. WHat had she done? You couldn't have let go that one, just keep your distance? But, no, you had to get back, you WERE now deserving of betraying her. WHat bs. You were an ass and you remained an ass. You did a double over, didn't you, you great loser?

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    3. Anon 8:54, you're an idiot. If someone trusts you with their deepest secrets and then they stab you in the back, they should expect that they can no longer trust you and perhaps they shouldn't have stabbed you in the back if they wanted to continue to be able to trust you. What she did was not a little thing. She came very near to ruining my life. She purposely did something very mean to me. If it was a little thing, I would forgive and continue to be someone she could trust but it was a huge thing.

      Delete
  20. "And the really perverse part is, you think that you are exerting your "power" and winning. But in truth you were destroying the person who wanted to show you trust which is the very thing that you need most. In the end you have a Pyrrhic victory, you won the battle, but lost the war in obtaining a true relationship."

    I echo this. I wish that sociopaths understood that there are some empaths who appreciate their Machiavellian gifts, and feel that in the right circumstances, the sociopath definitely needs to be the one we all rely on (ie- crisis situations). That being said, the saddest thing about this often brilliant personality structure is the accompanying (and inevitable) self sabotage that comes because they are careless with the wrong persons feelings and burn an important bridge that can never be rebuilt. This is why they must continually abandon jobs, relationships, communities, ect. I am convinced that the true "mark of Cain" is the sociopathic personality- forever destined to wander.
    M.E. speaks so compellingly about the incredible effort it takes to continually bring her game face. Why not just use the utilitarian ethics that she excels at to ascertain which people in her life it is bad idea to screw because she is cutting off her nose to spite her face?
    I wonder if the key to integrating sociopaths as useful members of society is to demonstrate the value of not burning bridges as a life strategy. If intelligent sociopaths excel at being cold and calculating (some are, some aren't- and I am not speaking to the dimwits who go down in a blaze of glory), I am sure they could master the art of avoiding burning their bridges for the sake of long term self interest.
    Accepting the brain wiring that causes as sociopath to view relationships as transactional- wouldn't it make sense to appeal to the brighter sociopaths to view empaths from a utilitarian standpoint that would encourage prosocial behavior? What if sociopaths stopped looking at empaths as "wrong" because they needed emotional maintenance and simply viewed their favorite empaths as vehicles that were important to maintain? Even Ted Bundy understands that a car is not stupid and useless because it needs to have its oil changed regularly to perform well on an ongoing basis. If intelligent sociopaths would stop making value judgements about the neurotypical need to integrate the head and the heart, and would be more respectful of emotional needs in a way that was similar to recognizing cars occasionally need oil changes, I suspect that they would greatly diminish their tendency to sabotage their own best efforts.

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    1. Machavellianempath, love and agree with your post. The one I knew did the self-sabotage thing and was fired for messing with the wrong person. Also, she was a wanderer and was proud of it. She liked the saying "not all who wander are lost". She had to wander because she caused chaos everywhere she went, with her lies and manipulations eventually being exposed. I even tried telling her that not burning bridges might help. Of course she didn't listen.

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    2. @machavelianempath
      i view my friends and family similarly to what you describe. though for me it is more of a favorite pet or something similar.

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    3. The Achilles' heel of sociopath is their vanity. I guess they will consume themselves in an atrocious pain if they would ever think of themselves as being people with mutilated emotions, and therefore less complete than empaths.

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    4. Well maybe that's the problem. We need to stop equating emotional responses with being good or bad. They just are. As an empath, I realize there is no way I could be a general who committed troops who would experience heavy casualties and be able to function effectively. I could never be a politician. Yet I believe that utilitarian ethics advance society as a whole. That being said, I am a writer and an artist and without the fuel of my emotions it would be very hard to create original work- if I am stuck in my head everything becomes terribly derivative and boring.
      While I do think many sociopaths are vain, many really do not care about the labels people assign to them- the narcissists seem to be the ones who really get their knickers in a twist if insulted. In fact, the best way I know to distinguish a narcissist and a sociopath is what seems to feed the ego. If external stimulation causes wild ego fluctuation, then the person might have antisocial traits but is fundamentally a narcissist. If feedback is largely ignored in relation to self concept, then the person is probably a sociopath.
      I think most sociopaths are proud of their lack of sentiment and the fact they can be logical when everyone else loses their shit. Personally, if there's an apocalypse I want to align myself with a sociopath because it will be the best chance my family has for survival, being mindful of the fact that I would have to continually prove myself useful to successfully dance with the devil.
      And what is love? Sentiment? I've dealt with plenty of sentimental men and am generally unimpressed. I may sound like a sociopath but I've come to the conclusion that Love is the will to act constructively to preserve attachments we consider to be valuable. It's not a feeling- it's a choice, one that sociopaths are equally capable of making. The one important caveat- there is no such thing as unconditional love with a sociopath.
      The reason sociopaths seem to blow themselves up periodically is that they lack the patience and perspective to weather annoying behavior that is related to external circumstances and then they destroy attachments that are in their long term best interest. Back to my car analogy- it's annoying to have to service your car, but the fact is that all cars need to be serviced and you shouldn't throw them away the first time they need to be serviced. Instead, carefully do a cost benefit analysis and disentangle yourself non-dramatically ("It's not you, it's me" or some other nonsense). In the long run it's a much better use of (and I say this tongue and cheek) human resources.

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    5. ....and therein lies the answer!

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    6. Cost benefit analysis? If for you love is a service or about long term benefits, don't call it love. You love therefore you need, not the other way round.

      Jessi

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    7. In the case of an apocalypse, I definitely would not align myself with a sociopath. They thing to remember about sociopaths is that they only care about themselves and maybe, just maybe a few family members. They will throw you to the wolves to distract them with something to chew on while they get away. They will use you to help themselves. Aligning with a sociopath for any reason is stupid.

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    8. You seem to think sociopaths are the only ones who use people...
      And an alliance is not a permanent relationship. It is a mutually beneficial agreement that hopefully both parties have carefully considered. Like it or not we are all interdependent to a certain extent. My ruthlessness is underdeveloped and perhaps I would hesitate to act...

      Would I want to be in a position like this? No. But do I see the evolutionary advantage of having a small percentage of sociopaths in society to do the dirty work utilitarian ethics occasionally call for? Absolutely.

      More than any trait that makes us different from each other humanity shares a common gift- we all have free will. Biology is not destiny. Personality is not destiny. It is the pattern of our choices that ultimately destroys us or redeems us. I am unwilling to write off a portion of humanity as "pure evil". But I will never expect a wolf to act like a lamb...

      Every interaction with anyone carries risk. And nobody has a fully accurate understanding of another soul and their capacity to surprise us all by exercising the most basic human right- free will.

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  21. I don't really buy this article, I've got to say. Would a person earning their Masters actually slip on basic writing skills? Liar, liar, pants on fire.

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    Replies
    1. A master's degree is nothing special. Hell, even a PhD won't guarantee you a job.

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    2. Depends on the field...

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  22. earns. Not that the community-ownership model is without drawbacks. It lacks nimbleness, for one thing.Right now That is because the online stores have huge collection of the all the teams of NFL activities of the Executive Recruiter in Chicago... Actor Zac Efron is 23. A common decoding strategy toy drives or at the Salvation Army so needy children will wake up this Christmas with

    ReplyDelete

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