Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Soft sociopathic traits

A lot emails that I receive from people describing their sociopathic traits strike me as being not quite placeable (nothing inconsistent with the diagnosis, but nothing really suggesting it either). This one seems to share a remarkable number of the "soft" sociopathic traits -- not quite in any textbook or diagnostic criterion, they are still traits that show up remarkably frequently in the sociopaths I have come to know. These soft traits include things like sexual fluidity, the particular instrumental way that charm is used, the obliviousness to certain things and hyper awareness at others.  From a reader:

As I’m sure since the subsequent publication of your book you receive these types of emails and attempts at correspondence daily, I will attempt to make this little stab at conversation short and sweet. Just a footnote here, I have no desire to exploit you and this is not an attempt to parallel our experiences. I suppose I am contacting you to relay some experiences of mine and perhaps receive some feedback.

My friend recently proposed the term, “sociopath” to me in passing conversation. I laughed off his name calling because I reasoned with myself: I grew up in a loving, stable environment, I have always had friends and significant others and I’ve always been keenly aware of my significance to them. I am not some brooding psychopath. I will admit here that I was unaware of the difference between “psycho” and “socio” and incorrectly found them mutually exclusive. However, the term “sociopath” sizzled in my brain for quite some time and I decided to delve into studying this alleged “disorder” and try to either self-diagnose or abandon the subject completely if it wasn't applicable to me. I reevaluated nearly every memory I can tap into and here’s just a sample of the conclusions I've come to:

By the age of 18, I had been arrested for assault, theft, and possession of criminal tools, vandalism, and a negligible complicity charge. At the various times of these altercations, I always was able to weasel my way out of the worst possible consequences. In my family’s eyes, I was a merely a victim of circumstance of hanging around the “wrong crowd” or being “scared, anxious” to be going away to college. At the time I think I believed those explanations myself. I have been in several altercations and what I refer to as “battles” with my family members often resulting in periods of estrangement with them.

Each one of my relationships throughout high school and my young adult life ended with a bang. The first ended in me cheating and spreading a rumor that my boyfriend had essentially taken advantage of me sexually. The second ended in cheating on my part as well and in a fiery battle with her parents that ended in a restraining order against me. The third was almost identical to the second. During these relationships, I would always befriend my significant other’s circle of friends and more often than not they all ended up liking me more than my girlfriend/boyfriend. I never felt particularly attached to my boyfriends or girlfriends, I always felt like, “well, I’m young, I don’t have to care about them or take these relationships seriously.” I have always identified as a bisexual. I like the differences between sexes and have never been able to adequately identify with one or the other. I am sexually fluid. This has always stirred confusion with those who have been in relationships with me and I've often heard they feel threatened by everyone around me, male or female.

Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I was considered above average. I was and still am an avid reader and consider myself to be fluent in many musical instruments. I excelled in every activity I tried, guitar, drums, English, horseback riding, swimming, and softball. Music became somewhat of an obsession for me and I have become integrated in an underground community of musicians. I won several awards in academics and was able to attain a generous scholarship to a school I couldn’t otherwise afford. My family is exceedingly proud of me and I have always known I was the “favorite” to my various grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

I began waitressing at a small diner at the age of 16. I charmed my way into the hearts of many customers who still contact me after transferring to a different store several hours away. I consider myself to be the ideal employee, by befriending upper management and kissing a little ass I am mostly free to do as I please without consequence. However, I have managed to get approximately 5 people fired and dozens written up.  

You’re probably wondering why I failed to pick up on these things earlier or even realize how “abnormal” I am. The only explanation I can come up with is that maybe that’s just how the emotional and physical world naturally occurs in my mind. My “normal” is just maybe a variance on the society’s perceived notion of normalcy. I could go on forever but again, I am lazy. I realized rather quickly how much I assume the role of “sociopath” by textbook definition and although I have statistically come into contact with many sociopaths, you are the only one I have found to be formally diagnosed and have a way to contact.

50 comments:

  1. These soft traits do appear statistically significant enough that they should appear in the formalized tests. As a diagnosed sociopath, I myself have 3 of the 4 mentioned soft sociopathic traits (the exception being sexual fluidity, but that is due to not engaging in sexual activity, so for me that factor is moot).

    Of course formalizing questions for reliable testing of those traits is understandably tricky. Sexual fluidity is measurable based on history, just as it is in the sexual promiscuity trait. Instrumental charm is far less so. That would involve the psychologist to somehow observe the internal mechanisms used in the charming. Since they can only semi-reliably measure (at best) external behaviors, I suppose it would have to involve a deeper analysis of what was said and expressed to identify any instrumentalism. Things such as patterns, delays, and errors. Delays, and more importantly errors, which are measured can be used to also detect obliviousness in certain things. Emotionally complex scenarios, and the careful observation of reactions, could work if conducted repeatedly over time. The mask would eventually slip on something, leading to an atypical response. Hyper awareness of other things can also be measured using the same scenarios, based on feedback and questioning.

    Of course, as we know, that all becomes significantly more difficult when the sociopath knows they are being tested for it and does not want to get identified. But that is admittedly not a problem exclusive to any additional measurement of soft sociopathic traits.

    When it comes to revising current tests, such as the current "gold standard" PCL-R, that is difficult for other reasons. Due to its proliferation and subsequently biased popularity, getting psychologists to accept new changes is a challenge. "Politics" in both the psychology and criminal fields are significant. It would understandably be easier if the creator of the PCL-R interceded due to his influence and celebrity status, but Dr. Hare has basically retired. Don't get me wrong, there are many psychologists who want to revise it, but attempts at revising it are stalled. There is both resistance, and a clouding pursuit from psychologists who want to be recognized due to vanity (which would be significant, given psychopathy/sociopathy are such a hot-button topic to work on - many want to be the new "Hare").

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    1. I have yet to come across a psychologist that wants to be the new Hare, and I don't think anyone in the psych community sees Hare as a "celebrity" as you say.

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    2. I was going to a therapist after being targeted by a female socio and I'm female. The therapist heard Dr Martha Stout discuss The Sociopath. Door ...ran out and bought the book and said I described it to a T. When I read it I gasped a few times at the accuracy of the descriptors ...
      frustrated using internet on slow phone!

      Nic

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    3. Perhaps I should have elaborated.

      As far as psychologists becoming "the new Hare", there is a vocal minority. Remember, psychologists are not immune to vanity. Areas such as the DSM are highly politicized and influenced by corporate interests.

      Also note that Hare is quoted by not only criminal justice, but psychologists as well as the "expert" in psychopathy. That isn't to say he is exclusive to it, but he is far more recognized and approached. When it comes to the psychology field, especially in research, it is recognition in publications which fundamentally pays for grants. Universities are far more willing to pay for such research, because to them they are getting something out of it.

      Vanity aside, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

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    4. Personally I don't cite Hare very much, or any of the other psychologists on this topic. Not very many really examine things from a critical perspective. Many have gotten a piece of the puzzle, but don't have the full picture yet. I challenge many psychologists on this subject matter to develop a fuller perspective onf it. Psychologists are still learning. I question your criticisms of vanity, when so many psychologists are genuinely interested in seeing humanity progress, and make many wonderful contributions to the field.

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    5. Wanting to leave an intellectual legacy is not incompatible with wanting to help humanity. To imply that psychiatrists do not have multiple motivations that could include vanity strikes me as naive. Anyone who has enough drive to dedicate their life's work to unlocking the mysteries of the human psyche likely has a certain amount of interest in being recognized for the unique contributions they offer.

      Psychopaths are a riddle that have not been "solved". Wanting to solve that riddle is inextricably tied up in wanting to help humanity- and not incompatible with seeking personal recognition for being the one who cracked the code of how to help individuals who cause suffering for both themselves and others. Psychopathic individuals within a community are like a sort of cancer within an organism. Who wouldn't want to "cure cancer?"

      20 years ago borderlines were considered untreatable. Then Marsha Lineham developed dialectical behavioral therapy and over 80% of patients who follow the standard treatment protocols no longer meet the criteria for BPD after 5 years. The fact that we don't have a treatment for psychopathy doesn't mean that it is untreatable. It may be- but the advances in treating BPD indicate that there is still a lot we have to understand about cluster B disorders. We need more info than what Hare has started the discussion with.

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    6. Even altruism is a form of vanity. And yes their contributions can be quite beneficial, which is the point. *More* psychologists need to contribute, and be allowed to do so more freely.

      You can also be both altruistic, and vain. That may seem like a contradiction in logic - which in some ways it is - but it does exist with people. And psychologists are no less human than a janitor or a president.

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    7. Also, few sociopaths like myself believe Hare's material as the definitive gold standard. Just the *current* gold standard as far as the majority is concerned. For example, areas weighed such as criminal activity don't apply to me (and why repeating a crime is weighed as equally as conducting a crime is logically ridiculous - if you can do it once, you can do it again). Is it because am truly atypical, or does the model not fit a more comprehensive and accurate prototype?

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  2. Your going to trip, stumble, and fall.

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  3. What strikes me most is the utter joylessness. Supposedly this individual feels good about all of these battles she has won- but she doesn't provide evidence that she has really gotten much in terms of long term satisfaction from her exploits. She's still waitressing at a diner. She has burned a number of bridges within the small world she has confined herself to, and survives by "sucking up".

    I just don't get the appeal of living this way. It seems very boring.

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    1. maybe seeing it as a choice is not looking at it in the right way-maybe this life is the manifestation of a strategy to deal with genetic factors.And as for boring, yes, a serious problem for the spectrum folks-which in part explains the need for risk and intense stimulation to get thru to the hard wired nervous system of psychopathology.

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    2. to follow your logic- antisocial behaviors are merely self medicating acts.

      If this is true, perhaps society "solves" the problem of antisocial behavior by identifying self medicating patterns and offer a non destructive solution to the anti social person's need for extreme stimulation to achieve emotional equilibrium.

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    3. I'd like to hear the ways in which she got five people fired....would be instructive if we are looking at soft traits. Any examples by any socios here on why and how you target someone?

      Nic

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    4. The threshold required for stimulation is higher for a sociopath than an empath. Coupled with a lack of guilt, the inhibiting barriers are lower. As such it can be stimulating.

      It is important to note that while a sociopath is often hyper-rational in decision-making, they can (and do) act unwisely. The obvious problems aside with getting a co-worker fired, the lack of guilt or remorse can lead to certain obliviousness. For example, will the victim retaliate? Could you lose your job? Unless thorough with your premeditation (which, due to a lack of impulse control, is not always the case), there can be unfavorable after-effects. There are plenty of non-empathic consequences for actions, especially when an (understandably) empathic retaliation occurs.

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    5. By the way, ASPD is not a choice. It is not a life decision a person makes. There are clear indications that ASPD is caused due to both genetic (what they were born with) and environmental (how they grew up) factors. A person does not choose to become a sociopath, no more than they choose to become an empath. It is because they were never given the choice to begin with. It would be like saying a schizophrenic chooses to have hallucinations.

      This is distinct from "choosing" an action, as it is different from "choosing" a behaviour. Behaviour is one thing, action is another. Behaviour (in this case, influenced by sociopathy) ends up influencing the actions.

      It's difficult to understand unless you are a sociopath yourself. Just like it is for a person to understand schizophrenia when they have never experienced a hallucination. By that axiom, it is understandably difficult for most people to "feel" what it is like to not have guilt. A person could stimulate hallucinations through drugs to get an impression (I am oversimplifying schizophrenia for the purposes of this explanation), but can a person carve out their conscience? Can you detach your moral compass? Can you, to put simply, do something to see what it is like to not feel guilt, without actually feeling guilty? Can it be done, say through drugs, while also boosting cognitive/rational thinking to sociopathic levels? Unfortunately not.

      This is not a criticism or an attack, just a clarification.

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    6. Behaviour and action are the same thing. I understand sociopathy is probably genetic and I'm sorry about that however that does not excuse the behaviour of a self aware sociopath. If guilt doesn't stop a sociopath from causing harm it is up to the culture they are in to call them out. The problem is majorities of people get manipulated by them or look the other way. That leaves the exposer vulnerable to attack which has caused a great deal of harm in my life so I have a hard time having empathy for sociopathic behavior even though I empathize with their genetic predisposition....not an attack back.

      Niv

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    7. Fair enough. Not having empathy for non-empathic behavior makes complete sense. If I, for example, were to manipulate you for my gain, should I expect you to like it? Of course not. If someone were to manipulate me, would I like it? No.

      Sociopathy is both genetic and environmental. It is both what you were born with and how you have lived growing up.

      By the way, whether a sociopath or an empath causes harm, the society will act. Whether a sociopath kills someone, or an empath kills someone, you have still killed someone.

      Is there an excuse for the manipulative behavior? No. However, is it an excuse for an empath? You can't say yes/maybe. That would imply a double-standard. And yes, I know you're not implying it. That being said, I get that you are bitter. It is completely understandable. Just note that the sociopath may not feel bad for it, or good.

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    8. MachiavellianempathJanuary 21, 2014 at 7:10 AM
      Until a means is developed for encouraging creative psychopathy society needs to make more concerted efforts in offering areas to satisfy the needs of the sociopathic. Maybe working in demolition, operating drones in war zones...For me I find a satisfaction in contradictory concepts, the idea of turning war into entertainment, crime re-framed as sport, medicine and surgical intervention as entertainment or pure art form, socially sanctioned suicide parks or hospice brothels where people can explore the areas of mortality and eroticism with terminal whores-these concepts might offer a psycho-pathological playground for those on the spectrum top explore and express themselves, but it would require a serious jump in social norms and the way art and medicine interplay to become viable...

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    9. Demolition and warfare, even that only goes so far. Remember, violence is just as much an outlet for sociopaths as it is empaths. But really only an outlet, to fulfill certain inherent impulses. Eventually, a sociopath could get bored of demolition. Maybe warfare to a lesser degree (or not, the constant risk-taking could be frequently stimulating - it depends what your position is in the military).

      And by the way, there are plenty of opportunities in the existing world for "creative psychopathy". Or what I assume you are suggesting as "successful psychopathy". The problem lies with sociopaths that have additional problems - other disorders and neuroses which compound the issue - or have extremely poor impulse control that leads to excessive crime or violence (emphasis on extreme, I'm talking more than M.E. or I because we've been able successfully integrate into society).

      War into entertainment already exists, and it does entertain quite a few people (empaths and sociopaths alike). Crime re-framed as sport also exists, either directly or by proxy. Medicine and surgical intervention as entertainment/art, also exists (from tattoos to plastic surgery). Socially sanctioned suicide parks haven't, and in truth any entertainment from that would be confined to only a very small subset of people. As for eroticism and mortality, it exists.

      That is all in real life. As for fantasy and fiction, it exists in spades.

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    10. You are right up to a point-but the worlds march into safety has gradually removed a lot of the edges from existence-we have an illusion of safety that corals the human spirit-as far as I can see the only way to make the world really safe is by making it more dangerous-then people will adapt to being more self conscious-but this 'illusion' of radical exploits will not satisfy the sociopath-sociopath is existence without a safety net-and the fear of legal redress means real risk is being neutered.

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    11. Perhaps a sociopath, who also has ADD or OCD, might target someone who is sloppy or loud or annoyingly narcissistic. Someone who is intrusive, or who is needy beyond the sociopath's ability to offer sympathy. The violation of the inner code would have to be combined with an outer violation, something someone else might let slide, but would to management be serious enough. Or they were set up. There may be a pattern going back to a family member or someone close, a precipitating event. The archetype. And sometimes people just come to you, like moths to a flame.

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  4. Too many people get hung up on a diagnosis and use it as an excuse to avoid making changes or seeking professional treatment. The bottom line you have to ask yourself, "Is this working for me"? Is getting arrested, relationships ending in fiery drama, and not being able to form healthy attachments with others working for you? If it is keep on doing what you're doing. If not, change, get help, see six different therapists if you have to find one that works for you. The bottom line is therapy doesn't work unless you want it to. If you don't want to change and you like your life the way it is, stay the way you are.

    MelissaR

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    1. Agreed.
      The population has a vast amount of cluster b personality disorders. Up to 30%. We all share traits. And they overlap. It becomes pathologized when it starts afflicting pain onto others and you are reaping the detrimental consequences of your actions you project. Healthy outlets are a must. I know my own mindset. I am one. There's a double sided coin looking at this all. :)

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    2. While a number of personality disorders can receive a certain level of effective treatment, ASPD is perhaps one of the hardest. To put simply, there is no effective treatment for ASPD.

      For the record, even if you want treatment for ASPD (which does not happen often), it does not usually work. Whether it is pharmacology, therapy, or both, it does not work. It is not about a lack of willingness that is the root issue. The root issue that makes it so hard is the very nature of ASPD.

      Psychologists are still working on an effective treatment. It is a work in progress. To use an analogy, it is like the issue with cancer. By cancer's very nature, developing a "cure" is extraordinarily difficult.

      Finally, a singular treatment can not currently "fix" sociopaths, no more than a single drug can currently "fix" cancer.

      This is not a rebuke, just a statement of the challenges currently in the field. Mental health in general is a serious issue, and the investments spent to deal with it are seriously deficient.

      To the above anon, that is a common misconception.

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    3. @ 10:31-

      "There is no effective treatment for ASPD"

      agreed that there is no standard of treatment that seems to be helpful for this group as a whole.

      But that doesn't mean that no treatment could possibly help any ASPD patient- simply that we don't have an across the board magic bullet.

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    4. There is no "one size fits all" treatment for any disorder, condition, or ailment.

      I like to think with more "patients" stepping forward for help this enables psychologists to do more research and find more answers. Without a patient there would be no need for a "cure".

      MelissaR

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    5. http://www.daniweb.com/community-center/geeks-lounge/threads/78319/hare Psychopath - checklist

      Interesting. I scored 10. And by no means am I qualified. But must preform these questions on my partner. Lol

      But give me a borderline/bipolar screening test. It's me. Lol

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    6. MelissaR do you have any stats on patients coming forward and asking for help with sociopathy? ...and yes, there is a need for a cure whether there is a patient or not. Enraged empath here.

      Nic

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    7. The system is not very accepting of it, which sort of limits research. Criminals (those imprisoned) can be studied. Non-criminals (either those who haven't been caught, or those who honestly have commited no crimes) can not. Studying non-criminals is the hard part.

      Simply put, even if you had volunteers, you are instantly labelled and as a result punished in some way for it. It's like being gay 70 years ago. To volunteer for any research, you had to "come out". But if you came out, you were consequently chemically castrated and institutionalized. Think about what happened to Alan Turing. Here was a genius who was a key inventor for computing, and helped the allies win World War II, yet he came out as homosexual. The consequences above then occurred.

      Now today it might not necessarily be that extreme (though it could be, it depends who you run into in the criminal justice and/or psychological fields when you come out). Being a sociopath, unlike Turing being gay, is not illegal. Not "necessarily". But the instant you come out you are labelled and therefore suffer all stereotypical and popularized repercussions. Try it out for a moment. Say the words out loud "I am a psychopath." in public. Can you do it without anyone giving you an odd look? Assuming everyone who heard you say it believed it to not be a joke or a grab for attention, and was completely genuine, how do you think they would react?

      Psychopathy is not related to psychotic. Or psycho. It has many of the same letters in it, but so does the world psychology.

      Sociopaths are not a menace to society. That would involve some sort of negative connotation. Sociopaths are ambivalent. Don't confuse apathy and ambivalence for something negative. That would be like saying nature is evil. Or nature is good.

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    8. As a point of importance, there is the question "But what about all the 'crazy' psychopaths?" What about those serial killers? They exhibited psychopathic *traits*. That's of key importance - traits. Much like an ordinary and otherwise harmless empath might exhibit sociopathic traits, that does not make them a sociopath.

      I point out this distinction for one purpose. There are plenty of "crazy" psychopaths, but also plenty of "not crazy" ones either. Just as there are serial killers, there are lawyers.

      Though I suppose society sort of wants both dead anyways.

      It's like having the flu. The flu is diagnosed, outside of having a blood test, by various signs (what the doctor sees) and symptoms (what the patient experiences for themself). However, most of them are not only exhibited in flus, but also colds. Infact the majority of flu sufferers are actually only experiencing a bad cold, not the flu. Yet they share "traits".

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    9. Nic, no I don't have any stats. And my point was if no one ever had the flu would we know what it was and thus look for a cure?

      MelissaR

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    10. Disagree, Melissa. The sociopath is not the only player in this game. There are also victims of the sociopathic behavior and society's interests to consider as well. If the sociopath can maintain a minimum standard of decent behavior, like everybody else, then I say live and let live. If they are incorrigibly destructive, then take them out, without mercy or regrets. It's not a matter of who's "valuable", it's a matter of who's dangerous. Sociopaths may revel in their behavior as they will, but remember there are consequences for all indulgences.

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  5. I would have liked to see where she is presently.

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    1. No you wouldnt

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    2. I would, if only to see how she has fared since.

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  6. Surely lots of folks are "out in the woods" concerning psychopathy, thinking teenage anxiety & bad judgement was other stuff. Most young folks wanna be special, but surely nobody with a clear idea what is means want to be that? Think unsane insect filled with malice against everything, surely the "werewolf in love" movies sound sweeter? Almost like the craziness with drug rehab as "rite into adulthood", maybe soon tv-conferssions (and group sessions) of self styled psychos will run through the cables? Best moron-bits of the coming tv-season: "-I discovered this gift when mommy said she loved me, I just felt hate", "-Man, to be able to read others minds & divide/conquer like Caesar" and "-When Vanessa stole my jeans I thought we bonded, we became blood-sisters..!"

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    1. Just as psychopathy has been popularized and romanticized in movies and literature, the "thrill" of it extends in real life.

      How do some people feel watching those "cool" villains or anti-heroes? How do they feel if they met one in real life? Better yet, what if they could meet one that wouldn't kill them when they turned their back?

      As a disclaimer, there are cases where if you did, they might. But there are plenty that would not.

      Just as the misconception of sociopathy is accepted by the general populace, so is its "deviantly stimulating" side.

      To throw cold water at it, if I killed someone I wouldn't be "deviantly stimulated" by it. And that is assuming I would have reason to kill anyone at all.

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    2. Vast majority of real hollow figures are losers, dead end folks. Nothing is working, bills everywhere & new conflicts every day. Few are romantic about bums & winos. But some bums are more revered than others. Still the psychopaths "brand-name " is just as strong as the fictive vampire.

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  7. By real hollow figures, I am assuming you are referring to sociopaths? You would be surprised just how many "successful" sociopaths there are. And by successful, we mean successful in society. There are a number of sociopaths who are lawyers, politicians, and scientists. By that same coin, there are also a number who are not. Those that are not successful.

    Which brings up an important point. It's no different with empaths.

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  8. I thought of maybe 'coming out' as sociopath to my parents.. to my health workers..as the most reasonable way to explain myself and my odd behaviour and why I haven't gotten anything done in the past few years. I'm afraid that would open up a whole new can of worms. So basically I don't want to explain anything. I don't want a diagnosis, because I know my problems are just memories replaying and no one really has sociopathy. Yes sociopathic behaviour, but no sociopathy. So yeah, and I'm realizing more and more that we aren't here to have relationships or to make money, we're here to let go and discover who we truly are (not the data).

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    1. "we're here to let go and discover who we truly are", This is why I came here in the first place. But soon I figured out, that I had to deal with bunch of haters and bashers. So, my objective totally changed, I'm trying to reorient myself back again.

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    2. Haters and bashers from empaths or sociopaths? Typical (actual) sociopaths would not hate or bash you on the site. That being said there may be the occasional comment from an actual sociopath which may seem hateful or aggressive.

      In truth, if it is coming from a sociopath it isn't. It can however be misconstrued due to its bluntness and naked honesty if the sociopath is open about how they are during conversation. In otherwords, without (or very little of) the mask. In the context of internet anonymity, those (such as myself) who post as Anonymous, there is no gain for a sociopath to "bash" you. If you are receiving bashing from an anon, they are most likely not a sociopath. Any emotional rise to get out of you would be of no utility to a sociopath, since as a nameless face no attributable gain can be made for them. The utility gained from an increase of power (or perceived power) or reputation is moot when no one else can recognize it.

      Unless it is a "long play", to manipulate you to either vocally accent or reject a notion in the sociopath's favour as a broader goal to sway mass opinion of those who read and post in these comments. But that is a gradual and orchestrated effort. Fascinating to see accomplished, but for the most part this is not an ideal place get much out of it.

      To a reasonable degree you can feel "safe" from bashing from actual sociopaths posting here. I won't get into more detailed scenarios where it "could" happen (that would require a systematic listing at length which might unduly disturb you), but I listed two prominent reasons that immediately came to mind as to why.

      I can not say the same for any empaths and/or sadists. Not that they all would, but some would. So just remind yourself "the sociopaths aren't picking on me". This one won't.

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    3. Atkinson: "For me, the best way to increase society's resistance to insulting or offensive speech is to allow a lot more of it."

      I was not complaining, about “You” bashing me. I don’t get an emotional rise over your insults or anyone else’s. (Don’t let the image of my lemonade splash deceive you!- It was the best pic, I could find ). My point was that I lost my original objective, since I had to constantly respond to various anons. And I did’nt mean “you” at all.

      So, please, do not get defensive over my comment. It was harmless from my point of view, and I totally understand what you are saying, and I see that you are going a long way explaining your views, reassuring your neutrality here. You really don’t have to! I love to come here, and I wish there were more intelligent people like you around.

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    4. I haven't felt the need to be defensive. It's just clarification. To visualize it, I was simply adding one piece of paper with information along with another. My only care is accurate interpretation. There is no emotional undertone of defensiveness. I can be "defensive", in that I am purely defending or reinforcing what I am trying to get across, but not indignant or emotionally retaliatory. Perhaps irritated if they don't get it, but only mildly. I understand a pure text-based medium leaves out any expressions of body language and innotation which is traditionally needed in social communication (that is why sometimes I air-quote words, for colloquial emphasis). I also don't mind restating what I have said at another angle, so long as I don't have to do it repeatedly. As for softening my edge sometimes? That's on purpose. My intention is not to scare or disgust people in my responses here, especially unintentionally. That would leave a stereotypical reflex-response with empaths that become "offended" by it, consequently reinforcing a public stereotype I don't want reinforced. At the same time, I want to be open and truthful about my thoughts and interpretations - so people see what I really think and about something - within the safe confines of this medium.

      I am sure after a while you (and other empaths) will get used to it, and take it at face value like it was meant to be interpreted. Because it is what it is, and no more - there is no emotional undercurrent or hidden meaning. This is what it is like to interact with an actual sociopath. You may have noticed much of this in M.E.'s postings. This isn't much different.

      And yes, sociopaths can have interests. They can be interested in various things. I can become stimulated (such a with a new activity), and become content (not to be confused as really happy). Until it sufficiently loses interest to me, whenever that happens. It's like having a job or career - I can only keep it for so long because the activity becomes blandly rote and too rigid for me to make something more out of it. Even the money isn't enough. I am what I am, in its true entirety.

      By the way, I haven't looked (or cared to look) at your avatar pic until now. Is the lemonade splash suppose to symbolize something in particular? The motion and objects chosen do imply an emotional connotation - something happy or exciting if I were to guess - but does it also signify something else as well? Genuine question.

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    5. By the way TMAC, from an unprofessional point of view, based on just what you have written in that paragraph, I don't get the impression that you are a sociopath. Perhaps you might exhibit certain traits (more people do than you think), but not an actual sociopath like myself or M.E. Which is okay, because you are still welcome here.

      I would however suggest, out of your own interests alone, to talk about it more to someone you can trust, such as a friend or a professional. Otherwise, feel free to stay.

      Delete
  9. People can have sociopathy. They can also have sociopathic behaviour (in this case, sociopathic traits).

    By the way, whether or not you are a sociopath is something to check first, before "coming out" (which in real life, you probably should not). There is everything from self-tests (just Google it, as undoubtedly most - if not all - people on this site have done) which you can do in private, to a more definitive answer by speaking to a psychologist.

    Either way, it isn't a label of any substance until tested. From an unprofessional point of view, based on the limits of reading what you wrote, you are probably not a sociopath. Which is okay. In any case, there is no harm to speaking in more detail about your concerns through the safe privacy of a psychologist.

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  10. The first ended in me cheating and spreading a rumor that my boyfriend had essentially taken advantage of me sexually. The second ended in cheating on my part as well and in a fiery battle with her parents that ended in a restraining order against me. The third was almost identical to the second.

    But why? What do you get out of causing so much drama?

    ReplyDelete

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