Thursday, May 2, 2013
What you can learn from sociopaths (part 2)
The average neurotypical person is not in touch with his primal desires. He is not authentic. Instead he is concerned with some future benchmark that will bring in societal approval. This constant looking to the future prevents a realistic assessment and experience of the moment. Instead the average neurotypical is constantly attempting to adjust and improve his character to something that will garner a legacy, social proof and close relationships. Look at Facebook and see how many people are making plans for 5 years from now. Then look at how they quote a famous philosopher whose words they have just read. They haven't dwelled on these ideas long enough to comprehend them, let alone internalize them, and yet they think that by merely stating something that they will make it so. Then before they are one step forward into living that quote they are quoting someone else.
It's a character issue, average people constantly adjust their character in a Kentucky windage manner(also resembling the narcissist, albeit less extreme) leaving their authenticity just as muddled as before. They lack a single-minded focus. They are not in touch with their character because they don't know what it should be. They are concerned with the future condition of their character and the acclaim that it will garner. They are not concerned with where it is right now. They don't know what it is because they see character as something to optimize. They don't see it as something that just is--something that grows slowly, methodically and subconsciously through habit. And since they are not interested in where their character is at present they are unlikely to figure out exactly what they truly feel or how they truly are at any given moment. The average neurotypical thinks he can just wish a new and better character into existence. No wonder team-building workshops and self improvement seminars are always booked. This wishfulness and lack of present-mindedness opens up weaknesses in the average person. These weaknesses are ripe for the sociopath with his single-minded drive to exploit.
Character exists in the present, is personal and isn't subject to the reactions of others. Socially brave/adept neurotypicals know this secret and so do sociopaths.
The sociopath uses this character flux against the neurotypical and easily permeates the guard. The sociopath can easily establish a strong rapport. They just compliment the neurotypical on his/her latent gifts, brilliant opinions, great personality, groundedness, and his/her level-headed approach to life (which the sociopath also claims to share). This validation of "I like you because I'm like you" feeds the social-proof need of the neurotypical. The neurotypical leaves the interaction with the sociopath feeling better understood and more validated. To improve the high the sociopath gave him the neurotypical doesn't apply a scientific eye to what just happened. Looking at the rapport realistically would make it lose some of its wonder. This lack of realism accompanied with desire for more validation makes him drop his guard to the sociopath. Once charmed the neurotypical will telegraph what he wants to hear before he asks. The sociopath can just sit back and be coached into the right lines.
If the average person had more authenticity and a stronger sense of self than he wouldn't be as easily placated with the praise and agreement of the sociopath.
Outgoing authentic neurotypicals, or even cantankerous Clint Eastwood-types are not easily impressed by agreement and outside validation. Authentic neurotypicals are adept neurotypicals. I have great respect for them. They are confident and have the sociopath's level of calm. They are authentic both inside and outside. This manifests itself when they are not gun-shy on opinions (the way a sociopath is). Their opinions are uniquely their own and not solely a means to impress. In turn this means when they say something they validate themselves through consistency within themselves. Adept people validate themselves through consistency and authenticity. These kind of people become comfortable enough in conversation to take strong stances and open themselves up to argument and rejection. They let others know where they stand regardless of the chances for rejection. This authenticity is a commodity to them and it works best when they project it. They make what they think strongly apparent to others. They project honesty, authenticity their personal brand into the environment. They attract strong allies and make it clear that dissenters, and sociopaths, should stay out of their way.
So neurotypicals can say what they will of the sociopath's mask but at least the sociopath is internally consistent and that is something they should learn.