I've been meaning to write a post on the childlike qualities of sociopaths for a while, but luckily a reader did it for me:
I'd like to prod something on which I haven't found a discussion on the blog, yet. To wit, the issue of the emotional childishness of the (apparently) typical sociopath. Personally, I find that despite my relative intelligence, rationality, education (and modesty~), etc., there's an undercurrent of selfish, childish rage beneath many of my actions—and even the associated thought patterns. I refer to the people in my sphere of influence as my "toys" and so on. Standard objectifying/dehumanizing nonsense. I doubt I need to explain it in any great detail, but it frames my following thoughts. Like a child, I become unreasonably angry (and violent) when people damage my toys. Like a child, I am fickle and become easily annoyed when they don't meet my needs, e.g., they're busy or unresponsive when I want them to spend time with me, even (or especially?) when the reason they can't is outside their control. It tends to be a short-lived annoyance, as I usually find something to do eventually, but it's irritating nonetheless.Childish traits include being heavily self-involved, pettiness, manipulation as a primary social tool, tantrums, anger issues, impulsivity, an overindulgence in certain things without knowing when to stop (like eating the equivalent of candy until we get sick), among others. There are also childlike traits, like love, naiveté (until disabused of it), a perhaps overly simplified way of looking at the world, and a sensitivity to rejection and its corresponding desire to please.
On another level, there are benefits to this (rather literal) inner child. Datamining is a commonality between us, but this may be where our methods diverge. When collecting data, I am of two minds; in the developed, relational part of my datamining process, I am calculating, rational, blah blah blah; in the instinctive collection phase, however, I can take in large amounts of "raw" data, uncolored by preconception, overthinking, or other noise. I can then feed it through the relational mechanism and form otherwise disparate data into a cohesive whole, or I can leave it unprocessed if the situation calls for it. In this way, it is possible to prioritize information. The brain being as it is, this is a mostly instantaneous and automatic process. I imagine it would be a bit of a chore if it were more deliberately conscious.
I gather from your writings that some of this will seem familiar, but I'm curious about your thoughts.
Sociopaths share a lot in common with children, it's why we can get along so well with them. In fact, I think child sociopaths only really learn their opportunism and jaded mentality by attending the school of hard knocks. That's one reason why I think the comparison between sociopaths and aspies is so potent for me. I have wondered if I would have ended up seeming like a helpless, clueless aspie if only I were raised on a deserted island isolated from the harshness of the world, Blue Lagoon style.
I'm looking at you, society.
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