Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"When the Ether Stares Back" (part 1)

From a reader:

Dearest M.E.,

Let me start by saying I am incredibly grateful for your book and website.  

In true ironic fashion, what drew me to buy your book is almost comical.  I despise how dramatized and one-dimensional most fictional socio/psychopathic characters are portrayed on TV... But my empathic partner at the time would constantly correlate me with the likes of Sherlock (from the popular British TV show), Dr. House, Nick Naylor (from Thank You for Smoking), Doctor Who (cerebral narcissist who is rarely wrong and plays god with glee), and even said he saw me capable of the kind of dispassionate violence of Dexter or Hannibal.  

(To this day I despise these rather caricatured versions of those with a sociopathy diagnosis.  It tries to make people with the disorder into something they are not.)

A while back I had been to a psychologist who had suggested something in the Cluster B category of anti social personality disorders, strongly leaning on and suggesting sociopathy.  Like you, I never put much thought into it.  Why did it matter? It all seemed so droll... and that it might work against me in the grand scheme of things, were I to move forward and pursue a formal diagnosis.  

I have a history of great success and plummeting failure for my young age.  Usually due to becoming bored or being mindlessly vindictive to entertain myself.  Today I am an entrepreneur making my place in the tech and marketing industry. My customers claim it's like I can see the soul of their business and reveal it to the world as it truly is.  Making money and strategic associations/networks has been a natural talent of mine since I was a young girl.

I am quite good at working a crowd and eliciting trust and confessions from strangers.  People constantly claim it is like I have always known them, though I reveal little about myself.  I have been berated for my "intense" eye contact, and am known to seduce or terrify people without much effort or even intention.

I don't typically have thoughts of violence... But I adore being a social predator.  There is nothing more delicious to me than the idea of emotionally ruining someone and making their feeble little world collapse on them. 

On a day-to-day basis, I don't feel much of anything except for a sense of neutrality and an empty roving hunger and boredom.  Though I am an adept cognitive empathizer (through conscious and deliberate effort), I don't have automatic or bodily affective empathy.  And the moral worlds of other people is endlessly fascinating to me.  I have moved through several sects of religion and philosophy, in an attempt to truly grasp why this is of such grave magnitude to most people; the "inherent" nature of such an abstraction is lost upon me. 

And as you can probably ascertain from this long diatribe... I have a very sincere form of narcissism. 

When I finally read your book, I ate it up with endless mirth. Not out of spite or because I found it to be perfunctory. Quite the contrary. You were the first author who wrote about WELL HIDDEN (or as the neurotypicals cutely coin it, “functional”) sociopaths who blend seamlessly in the world without having a tangible/traceable history of crime or malevolence. Finally someone I could relate to that was multifaceted... And actually existed!

It inspired within me two things.  One, I wanted to learn as much about this "condition" as possible, so that I could utilize it with even more accuracy than before.  Which leads to Two, my committed attempt to be more constructive, rather than destructive, with my personality and power.  If I cannot change this thing that I am (which is the first form of foundational self I can honestly say I've ever truly perceived), then I might as well do the most with it. 

Please accept my sincere gratitude for sharing so openly.  Even if half of it is lies or greatly masked, your story has made the first indelible impact on my life that I have ever had the immense pleasure of experiencing. 

That being said, I am looking to you for your perspective.  

Recently I have began to initiate a relationship of sorts with someone whom is also appears to be sociopath.  Both of us are aware of our "condition". And both of us have committed to not play games, and to be painstakingly honest with one another.  Believe it or not, I find him endlessly fascinating and have a strange respect for him, as I see him as one of my few equals.  We have similar goals of being as functional as possible... But we also greatly enjoy relaying our daily hunting and games to one another. It's an unspeakably delicious outlet.  Not to mention the level of attention/adoration between us is unlike that of an empathic relationship, where I can easily and without intention hurt that person (and subsequently watch it disturb my life and plans—what an inconvenience). 

Being honest with one another, we have not made any commitment or exclusiveness... And in fact this honesty only seems to increase the sense of intimacy between us.  Another first in my life--this person has inspired some kind of bodily feeling of emotions in me... And he reports that I have much the same effect on him.  It's been overwhelming and at times uncomfortable. We've been experiencing this together, and trying to talk it out... Leading to more research.

Funny that you recently posted regarding the body-mind connection associated with emotions, and not being able to identify them.  Have you read "The Growth of the Mind and the Endangered Origins of Intelligence" ?  

There is an excerpt on pages 78-80, regarding a woman who "acted" on emotions, because she could not express them.  And in fact, she could not even describe or process the bodily experience of an emotion. I think you'll find it quite valuable:

“Something as simple as a child saying ‘I want to go outside’ can be responded to with a yes or no on the one hand, or, on the other, ‘What do you want to do outside?’  The latter response helps the child reflect on his wish, while the former only gives in to it or inhibits it.  Reflection fosters the use of symbols, and, more broadly, the ability to think, while inhibition or immediate giving in both foster only a tendency  toward action.

Meanwhile, the child's concomitant neurological growth helps his repertoire of symbols multiply rapidly.  The nervous system allows for quicker learning now, and he accumulates words and ideas with growing ease.  He can imitate almost any sound or word and does so regularly.  This is still not automatic, however.  New words take on meaning and become part of the child's vocabulary only when attached to the emotion or intent.

Memories are formed that involve not only images of patterns of action but also emotions, intentions, and desires.  Without these affective components, memory would be a mere computer screen that showed pictures by rote, without meaning or structure.  Because of them, however, memory becomes part of the expression of the individual self.  Meaning and purpose, in other words, together with remembered sensations, form the dual code that is essential to our humanity.  

When a child lacks nuanced relationships or cannot for neurological reasons learn from them, the images he develops contain less detail and complexity, his personality less differentiated, and his later ability to form relationships is much reduced. Many adults have never sufficiently mastered the ability to form images.  

One such person, Susan, came into therapy in the hope of saving her deteriorating marriage.  Her husband was spending increasingly long hours at the office, and their relationship was becoming more and more acrimonious.  Whenever Jim's work hours lengthened, she would complain and criticize, which naturally made him spend even more time working--which in turn only stepped up her complaints.  Try as she might, she lamented to the therapist, she could not get him to pay her the attention that she needed and deserved. 

Susan couldn't connect the couple's problems to her own feelings. She knew only that she felt generally "bad" but couldn't find words to describe her state of mind or the root of her trouble.  Nothing she tried seemed to break the pattern that was driving Jim away. 

Her intense orientation toward changing Jim's behavior alerted the therapist to the fact that had great difficulty representing many of her feelings symbolically rather than simply acting on them.  When he asked her for more details about her feelings, she said that Jim's refusal to come home made her behave coldly toward him. She would describe her actions or tendency to act a certain way, but not how she felt.  The therapist, hoping to help her focus on her feelings, asked her first to attend to her physical sensations. She began by describing her muscles as tight and tense. Over time her descriptions hinted at emotions: for example, her body felt as though it were ‘getting ready for an attack.’  Only gradually did feelings like anger and furry emerge more clearly. 

Eventually Susan learned to identify the bodily manifestations of fear and loneliness as well as anger.  She came to realize that she felt vulnerable, helpless, and lost.  Never before had she discussed her anger of feelings of loss; she had only sensed a vaguely defined, overly inclusive state of panic. Once she learned to talk about her sense of loss, she was able to connect her anxiety to Jim's absence to similar terrors she had felt as a child.  Whenever Susan had became needy, her stubborn, domineering mother responded by rejecting her emotionally.  Distant and controlling, her mother had refused to brook any communication around issues of vulnerability, helplessness, or loss. Anger was completely taboo. Thus she had prevented the little girl, and the woman she had became, from learning to represent herself the feelings that surround rejection and abandonment. Unable to abstract and understand the painful feelings Jim's angry absences evoked, Susan could only act them out and experience a global state of distress.”

Now, in my case, I would be acting like Jim... But I digress. I thought this would further help your hypothesis.  Personally, as I begin to write out the physical sensations I undergo in given situations, it helps me identify and even parse out something that may be affective.  Some food for thought.

To continue on my dilemma... While things are going quite well between myself and this man, there is something I've noticed.

Overall we are quite good at mutually driving each other to our very best in everything.  We foster an interest to understand each other. It helps our behavior become less erratic. 

However, when one or the other of us grows apathetic, as we tend to do when we have subdued acting on impulses/destructive desires... It tends to rub off on the other.  We are at least cognitively empathetic toward one another, but obviously it's quite hard to feel much distress for one another when we otherwise don't feel distress for anything but an extreme or rare basis. It seems apathy breeds apathy, as we look to one another for some sort of solace in an otherwise dull world.   

Have you ever heard of sociopaths in an intimate/meaningful relationship with one another?  

We don't have very much motivation to destroy or manipulate one another. If anything, we may egg each other on to act on our impulses at times.  The reward in acting and moving forward with one another, without the usual neurotypical baggage/expectations, is much greater. Being largely without affect, we can offer one another advice that is mostly sound.  But it seems that even though we commit to not mirror one another, we still can't escape our natural inclination to do so, at least in this particular instance. Perhaps due to our very small sense of self?  That we have conditioned ourselves to do such things and aren't sure how to do otherwise?

What is your take on this?

Thank you for your time and thoughts. 

Much adoration and respect,



  1. I've done crime but never got caught what does this make me?

    1. Uncaught. People routinely commit crimes, from murder to speeding to not reporting all their income for taxes. Technically speaking, there is no such thing as a victimless crime - someone is always harmed one way or another.

      You are still you, both before and after the crime. The difference - the contention - is the consequences of the actions on others and society. Whether the damage from the action needs intervention to prevent additional damage, like extinguishing a fire. And/or, whether remediation is needed to repair the damage.

      What do you want to do next?

    2. Or maybe, just maybe, you need to lighten up, Bob
      Have some fun. Go out, get drunk, show a couple of girls a real good time...
      Come on, I'm starting to picture you in tweed here :)

      As for you, anonymous Moriarty, everybody has committed some crimes. Unless they lived the world's most boring life.
      There is no such thing as an innocent person.

      Care to share some stories?

    3. High functioning.

    4. "everybody has committed some crimes. Unless they lived the world's most boring life."

      Only a low life like you would think that crime is entertainment.

    5. No, I'm quite certain Bite me is correct here. Even I break the speed limit and exercise creative accounting when it comes to taxes. Yet, I would largely describe my life as so mind-numbingly dull (up until recently) that the border between life and death fades. I've mostly lead a life not worth living. Maybe if I'd gone to prison or something I could say I've done something interesting.

    6. Everyone breaks the law at one point or another, but not everyone does so for the sake of thrills or to keep themselves entertained.

      And there's a huge difference between getting a speeding ticket and committing a crime like premeditated murder.

    7. The point isn't breaking a law for thrills or entertainment. A perfect law-abiding citizen must be so cautious as to never break a law, much less a rule. In essence, you cannot make a single mistake, be it intentional or not. Being open to making mistakes makes one a well-rounded, interesting person. Else, you could predict someone's every move, and being predictable is nothing if not boring.

    8. No, that is the point.

      Because dysfunctional people do that: they commit all kinds of atrocities for the sake of greed, entertainment, just to feel in control.

      That's the very reason why laws exist, because of these same dysfunctional types. They derive pleasure from lawlessness.

      They have to forcibly be 'civilized' by the hand of justice, through punishments and the like. It's just the way it is.

    9. But crime is entertainment. As these days it is not about survival (at least in the first world where a welfare state makes the need for professional criminality more or less obsolete.). Often thought there should be a crime Olympics-channel the urges that crime satisfies (transgression, excitement.), into a sport context. I know that I got a real thrill from my modest frauds, though framed by a degree of necessity they where a game, and they brought joy to my calloused heart.

    10. That makes sense, since you're a faggot.

    11. Functional people do these things all the time. It is not the hallmark of the dysfunctional. The point, which some people already got, was that the commonness of breaking some laws has devillainized some levels of criminality. Unless you commit a serious felony, what you are is common enough to not be branded as abhorrent.

    12. I'm sorry Bob, it's clearly too late for you.

    13. I think it is interesting how the criteria on some of the psychopath/sociopath checklists tend to focus on whether you have ever missed hearings or had probation revoked. This line of questioning assumes that the subject has been caught and punished. I think this is, once again, an artifact of the prison population sample bias in diagnostics.

    14. Diagnosing a convicted criminal as a sociopath is beneficial to both the psychiatrist making the diagnosis, and the prosecutors seeking the diagnosis. The prosecutors can then push for harsher prison sentences, and the psychiatrists demonstrate a willingness to push diagnoses, making their services appear more attractive in future cases.

      The criminal justice system is just a government subsidized, sprawling corporation that profits from incarceration of individuals regardless of innocence or guilt. When convictions hinge on the relative competence of prosecutors and defenders, how could anyone possibly claim that the entire framework is based on justice?

      Bringing it back to sociopathy, diagnosis becomes a financial tool, and redefinition of it as a legally neutral neurological disorder threatens its usage as a tool. How do you go about redefining it, then? You need people like M.E. to expound on their self-destructive nature and underemphasize their antisocial personality. In essence, separate primary and secondary psychopathy to show that otherwise brilliant individuals such as Artemis, M.E., and others on this site suffer from a disorder that severely impacts their ability to function effectively in their chosen fields. M.E. has probably ruined her career as a lawyer, and not because she's a bad lawyer. She simply made the poor decision, heavily influenced by her sociopathy, to be honest about her disorder.

      To sufficiently challenge the system would require a cadre of motivated sociopaths. So far there is a lawyer (M.E.) and a neuroscientist (James Fallon), but what you really need is a medically-trained sociopath psychiatrist. Together they should have the resources to design and implement a rigorous study of non-criminal sociopaths. It would need to be independently evaluated by neurotypicals, and neurotypicals should also be intimately involved in the study design process.

      Forgive my tangential introspection, but it's incredibly annoying to see what needs to be done and know that it will not be done. It's engendered in me a profound apathy. If I truly cared about these issues, it would drive me absolutely insane. Everything is broken all around me and I know that it will never be fixed. Remaining aloof is the only defense I have.

    15. I am also a lawyer, and when I started practicing I took a few court appointed criminal and involuntary commitment cases. It is a total racket. It also didn't help that my clients were both stupid and universally guilty.

      I would love to see the kind of study you suggest. Part of what holds me back from attempting to get a diagnosis (other than the fact it would just be to sate my own curiosity) is the probably justified expectation that the doctor/therapist would just revert to these notions about antisocial acts and criminality and be dismissive of me. Why pay for that?

    16. Appeal to the characteristic narcissism of sociopaths. Quite simply, create a 'secret club' that only diagnosed sociopaths can participate in. It plays on the elitism quite nicely. Also it would probably be a hell of a lot of fun. Life is so boring, something like that would certainly spice it up!

      Too bad I wouldn't be invited!

    17. The entrepreneur in me is intrigued. Perhaps this could be ME's new career?

    18. The PCL's design is based on research of the criminal population, since there is no reliable and large enough population base to get sample data from. It is an issue Hare has reflected on, as a limitation on additional research. There are other attempts at diagnostic criteria, but they to are based on criminal research.

      Any criteria design needs to be testable on a representative sample, somewhere, that can be thoroughly yet conveniently to be practical.

    19. Hieronymous, what type of law do you practice?


    20. Just because we find non-socially-acceptable things entertaining doesn't mean we're dysfunctional - on the contrary, I function quite well. Those of us who to blend in properly would be considered "high-functioning". Not to mention, I know a number of empaths who could easily be qualified as "dysfunctional".


  3. An insightful case study on inter-sociopathic relationships.

  4. Never thought i would read the word "mirth" on this blog. LOL

    1. It's so biblical it's hilarious! Personally, I love the word "smite". We should start using it more often!


  5. I've heard of sociopathic teams in mutually benificial
    A few that come to mind are: Bonnie & Clyde. Bill & Hillary Clinton,
    and various "natural born killer teams." Usually the female appeases the male.
    A particulary brutal team from a few years back made the news
    the other day.
    Two fine paroled convicts happened to see a doctor's wife and
    daughter drive a fancy car. They smelled wealth. They decided to
    follow them home and scout out the premises. They concoted
    plans for a home invasion. They text each other excited messages
    about their antisipated "feast."
    In the wee hours of the following morning, our two "superheros"
    enountered the woman's Dr. husband on his pourch. They hit
    him with baseball bats and left him tied and gaged in the
    basement. They awoke the wife and two teenaged daughters.
    19 + 15 and tied them up.
    Hours later, the wife was taken to a bank and told to withdraw a
    sizeable sum of money. She somehow managed to alert the bank
    teller to her situation, who notified the police. Meanwhile, the
    Doctor in the basement was working at loosening his bonds.
    The convicts raped and murdered the mom, then turned attention
    on the girls. The 15 year old was raped (Caught on film) and
    doused with gasoline, as was the 19 year old. The Doc managed
    to escape the basement and alert neighbours. The police set a
    perimitor around the home in hopes of catching the criminals.
    They set the girl's on fire (They died of smoke inhaliation) and the
    criminal's ran right into the police roadblock.
    The crime occurred in "liberal" Conn. The details and sickening
    evidence of the crime made the juriors ill. Each man blamed the
    other. Both recieved the death penealty. (later recinded.)
    What brought the case back in the news, was that one of the
    partisipants was found "unresponsive" in his cell the other day.
    He was rushed to the hospital and revived.
    I am presently in the process of removing ferral squarrels from my
    attact. The company policy is to euthenise captured squarrels.
    Why kill squarrels who have harmed no one, and waste time and
    energy to revive this POS?
    Anyway, that is an illustration of sociopathic teamwork for you!

  6. hey another telemaketeer
    wasn't there some els on here a telemarteer

    telemarketeer counterscript

    Banish telemarketers from your Phone


    1. what's the use of being a psychopath if you do that job

      it's like being the strongest man on earth and having to clean dogshit all day

  7. I like this girl! Mind like a blade. I thought she was a guy until she said the word 'girl'. I don't really see that as sexist, though, as intuitive thinkers are underrepresented in the female population. Regardless, she is a true rarity, and sociopath or not I believe she'd be a fascinating person to meet.

    I've never been in a relationship with someone like me. Like Artemis, I have well-developed cognitive empathy, but if I have even a hint of affective empathy it has not shown itself. So, I quickly realize what level of disclosure I can have with someone, and what is off-limits. I see clearly when I've stepped over someone's emotional boundary, but I don't share their distress.

    Being able to have full disclosure would certainly be fascinating and liberating, but at the same time it's extremely valuable for me to be in a relationship with a well-developed sense of emotion and morality. I do feel emotions, though they are largely kept in check when I make decisions, since I heavily rely on rationality. If I made every decision rationally, I would certainly make emotionally damaging mistakes. Having a mind like a blade puts the heart at risk of nicks, and even the coldest heart bleeds.

    Still, 80% of what goes on in my head will not be shared. I see many possible responses to every situation, and having someone nearby with an open and vulnerable heart narrows it down to one response. You could call it the 'right' choice, the one that lets me move forward knowing I've done the 'right' thing. To her, the other choices are so abhorrent that they are not even options. I may as well suggest stabbing myself in the chest as a solution, an analogy that is emotionally apt.

    What pairing is better? I cannot say, I do not have the requisite experience. For me, though, It makes rational sense to pair an overdeveloped mind with an overdeveloped heart. You know what? It feels right, too.

    1. "It makes rational sense to pair an overdeveloped mind with an overdeveloped heart."

      Nicely put. Are you faithful to your wife/girlfriend? The most common complaint one hears from psychopaths and narcissists is that they can't sustain a relationship once boredom sets in.

    2. I think I am going to have to read up on the distinction between cognitive and affective empathy. I don't really feel empathy, but I have learned how to respond appropriately to some emotional cues. However, that doesn't really seem empathetic to me, it just seems (and feels) like mimicry. When someone presents a strong display of emotion, like crying, I feel like my mind is running a search routing to select the appropriate response.

    3. I am actually perfectly faithful. While I do believe a rational/emotional pairing is ideal, I imagine how I would feel and how my partner would feel before I act. So, by rationally consulting my emotional mind, I come to the 'right' decision on my own. I just don't feel any natural aversion to the other options, which can seriously unnerve my partner. So, I keep the internal dialogue internal.

  8. Stacai Gasunas + Sigitas Raskauskas

  9. Can anyone give some examples of the mind games sociopaths play? I'm curious about this. Thanks!

    1. Simply not feeling another's emotional state can be seen as a game, the empathic will go into overdrive trying to signal their emotions, semaphore before a force 9 gale-the socio-path will still find the behaviour odd looking and not a little creepy.

    2. Not really.

      Manipulation can be a game, depending on the situation and how you define it. It can be a game for entertainment, though usually it is a game in complex movements and actions to achieve an objective.

    3. Just imagine what you would do if you didn't empathize with other people and were constantly, crushingly bored. I'm an empath (for the most part), but I'm very familiar with sociopaths. Empaths are compelled to seek an emotional connection, to get everyone on their wavelength. It overrides their rational mind and it's based on an inherent assumption that everyone else shares this same drive. A sociopath can manipulate an empath by faking the emotional connection to gain some desired end. Sometimes they do it just for fun (they like to see you react). Other times, you're a pawn in a larger object/game. You're running around trying to make sense of things, and they're sitting on the sidelines watching you make a fool of yourself.

      Basically, the best way to avoid being hurt by a sociopath is not to play the game to begin with. Learn how to spot signs of sociopathy and have solid boundaries. They're not necessarily "evil" (if that means anything), but they do tend to suss out all your weaknesses and use them to their advantage.

      I'm sure others might disagree with me. This is just my perspective as an empath who has run into my fair share of sociopaths. (It runs in my extended family.) Defending your boundaries and not engaging with sociopaths is the best way to protect yourself. If it's not fun for them, they'll leave you alone.

  10. Think this a really well written piece, and as has been said before evidences a rapier like wit at work. Because Socio-paths have such a thin sense of ID it makes a kind of sense that two socio-paths acting in concert could fuse and become a powerful unit-a degree of physical and psychic syncopation that because the sociopath has been left unbonded may help fill the gap in the empathy circuitry. My life has been spent longing for another of my kind (and not empaths trying to come on like sociopaths, I can spot the difference!), when we mate I suspect it is for life, and our devotion knows no boundaries-we would scoop the world up and package it for the one who manages to ignite our heart.

  11. I say do what you want, when it comes down to it you will anyway, and if it doesn't work out at least you've learned these two things.

    A.) Probably wasn't a good idea to begin with and you shouldn't look to repeat it

    B.) You probably shouldn't look to attempt monogamy with someone who's so similar to you in certain ways

    If your the type of woman who want someone who understands them then maybe you should date someone who's different but can empathize with your situation or maybe they have same goal or values- assuming you have any. But who am I to get in they way of two star-crossed lovers. Do what you want, like I said, you will when it comes down to it. At then end of the day what we say has little to no influence on your decision.

  12. I'm a little envious of the writer. It would be nice to have someone I could be totally honest with. I think that is why I enjoy reading the comments and posting here. I've been debating whether to meet with someone about getting a diagnosis, and one of the most appealing aspects of it would be to have someone I could be honest with.

    1. hey hieronymous, perception is everything.

      what does sharing yourself honestly even really mean? sharing a little deeply, or a lot shallowly? with someone who knows you or someone you also know?

      i don't think it's possible to be totally honest with someone who doesn't reflect it back (i.e. therapist), mainly because establishing successful communication requires that the other person repeats back in their own words what you said. i mean they have to put a little of themselves into it for there to be a real connection. without that real connection where is the total honesty?

      so beware of the therapist. : )

    2. just a theory..but i wonder if what you can shared with another, if it's really shared, can become the important thing?

    3. For me I think the appeal would be to be able to drop the mask and say what I really think or want without consequences. I don't think it particularly matters whether they judge or understand or even care. Therapy doesn't interest me, because it presumes some desire to change that is entirely absent.

  13. Assortive mating and feminism leads to sociopaths marrying each other and having kids. E.g. two investment bankers date and marry. They're both likely to be manipulative, amoral, hypercompetitive, ruthless, etc.

    Speaking from experience, when two sociopaths get together, the key thing they'll feel is ease, because finally they don't get judged continually. E.g. your partner will say, "I don't understand why we are fighting a war over there in that foreign shithole, losing our money and men. We have chemical weapons. Why don't we just spray them like bugs till they are all dead and repopulate the area with Mormons?" And you say, "I agree. You are so right. When is dinner?"

    As the author points out, there can be a thing where sociopaths egg each other on. To the extent that one sociopath might be inhibited, the other may work on him/her with the result that each sociopath can negatively impact the impulse control and callousness of the other.


    Socipath A: I think maybe we should be more cautious. If we do this your way, they may think we are really amoral and ruthless.

    Pissed off Sociopath B: Who cares what they think? They have it coming to them anyway, for ...

    And how will it end? Most likely one sociopath will cheat on the other. Things can get dicey: when dealing with a sociopath, you know they won't be restrained by "decency", but only by outcomes. E.g. if I do this, he will hurt/kill/disgrace me. So each partner will "telegraph" their willingness to do bad things to the other, to build a deterrent.

    If they are nonviolent, they'll break up in a coldly civilized and cynical manner. E.g. I can recall her offering me sexual favors if I'd help her do certain tasks.

    Acquaintances were surprised I still had contact with my ex, given how she'd behaved. But the vagina was very tight (thanks kegelmaster2000), she had a great waist-to-hip ratio and was fun in the sack. I knew she was a cheating whore, but I knew she wouldn't pilfer to talk behind my back. She knew I was a lazy money-grubbing sex addict, willing to use force to get that stuff, but otherwise totally harmless.

    A bit like some dogs. You can roughhouse with them - no problem. Get between the dog and his dinner and you might get bit.

    The whole thing looks creepily bizarre to outsiders.

  14. Narcissism is a particularly tedious form of stupidity.

  15. Maybe some day a letter arrives from somebody who threw away his soiled lunch-napkin without sentimental feelings & somehow suspects he´s now crossed the rubicon into psychopathy..?

  16. holy shit that's a long post. Artemis you made my narcdar go beep beep beep!

  17. It seems like in many of these posts (and past posts) there are quite a few socio's who long for, would appreciate, desire a relationship with someone who accepts them, appreciates them, lets them be who they are, and/or who they are compatible with.

    Does this speak to narcissism and rigidity? The world is perfect as long as I don't have to change? I am unwilling to change for anyone? Someone has to accept me but I am unwilling to accept unless they change for me?

    Superiority and elitism? I am so unique and special there is no one like me or there are very few like me? I am looking for that needle in a haystack.

    Or does this speak to a sign of emotion? A longing for or a desire that is unfulfilled? A need for acceptance? A need for human connection?

    If you have no empathy, emotion, or feelings why do you need a relationship with another human being? What purpose would that other person fulfill?


    1. I can only speak for myself, and I have not been diagnosed, but I don't think it is correct to say that I don't have emotions or feelings. It is just that most of my emotions/feelings concern myself.

      I can be happy or sad, pleased or frustrated, or overwhelmed or lonely, etc. But if I'm happy it is because of some positive effect on my life, if I am sad it is because things aren't going my way. If my will has been thwarted or my expectations are subverted I can get extremely frustrated. I think these are valid emotions or feelings, but they all relate back to me, and they don't run very deep. They seem like deviations from a more general sense of apathy.

      I don't find that I have a problem connecting with people, at least superficially. Those kind of relationships serve all sorts of purposes and satisfy any number of needs. I love my wife and family and the few friends that I have, in that I am fond of them and they have value to me. I don't see how empathy is a very important component of any of those relationships. I get what I need from them, and they presumably get what they need from me.

      This all may seem somewhat narcissistic, but I don't think I'm highly narcissistic because I don't entertain any delusions of grandeur or feelings of extreme significance or any inclination to prove my worth to others.

      As far as my interest in being able to be honest about who I am, is that really so hard to understand? I've gotten so used to hiding whatever is behind the mask that it seems like second nature to me, but at the same time it can be extremely tedious, like a game of charade that never ends. It's like the mental equivalent of that ache you get in your face after attending some awful formal event where you are expected to shake hands and make smalltalk and plaster on a fake smile on for hours, except for that it never ends. I find myself frequently testing people by dropping glimpses of unpalatable thoughts or impulses into everyday conversation, and then playing them off as a joke. It would be a lot easier to be able to confide in someone, either because they honestly understood where I'm coming from, or because they are professionally obligated to maintain my confidence.

    2. Hieronymous,

      I think many people get hung up on needing or finding out a diagnosis. And it's ironic because so many on this blog then take issue with how sociopaths are perceived, the inaccurate portrays in the media, etc. The subject then takes on a life of it's own.

      But if you approach therapy as this is my problem, this is what I need help with, this is what's not working for me, or this is what I would like to change, then it will be much more effective and helpful. If you feel comfortable talking to someone because they are professionally obligated to maintain your confidence that's a first step.


    3. People seek identification - a label or category to explain behaviors that they either have, or desire. There is an element of uniqueness - of specialness - they want in it.

      The real irony is, they are no different with or without the label. It is just their desires which have demanded a change.

    4. I don't feel like I need the label; the label doesn't change the fundamental facts about who I am. But I think it might offer an explanation for the way that I am, or some sort of framework in which to focus my analysis.

      I don't really see the need for therapy, because even though I can identify the ways in which I seem to be different from other people, I don't have any desire to change myself, at least not via therapy.


  19. Over developed heart/overdeveloped mind pairing..... in your relationship Erik, do you ever give in to the need to hurt the over developed heart in your life? Does your mind quickly assed the consequences first thus stopping the desire or do you occasionally lose control and act out your natural tendencies of getting even?

  20. I suspect I may be a sociopath- and so is my roommate. He doesn't seem to realize it, he is incredibly narcissistic and on an entirely different wavelength as everyone around him, except for me of course. He is incredibly talented at manipulating everyone and we have become so symbiotic that we communicate telepathically, so close are we that people just see us as one very dangerous entity.
    Our relationship is very destructive, we have indulged in risky, illegal and dangerous behavior, including acts of violence, arson, it seems we spiral out of control when it comes to our impulses: one's cruelty arouses the other's. We never feel any remorse and getting between our cross hairs is probably the worst thing a person can do to themselves.
    Interestingly though, we have had "spiritual" experiences, mostly mdma and lsd induced- I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the effects of psychoactive drugs on sociopaths or psychopaths. I recall sitting with my head in his lap saying "I think I love you" over and over again, and he'd say it back- in retrospect, it don't think I was lying, but I can't describe the feeling that came over us, like all of my body was so wide awake I just had to share it with someone else, kind of like the feeling of seeing something cute and wanting to crush it's skull but MORE. It was entirely new to both of us, like I said, the closest thing to it was in reaction to cute things (which inevitably died).
    We are very possessive of each other, we both see the other as a convenient counterpart, or an accessory, mostly since we look so damn good.
    We came to live together because his parents couldn't stand him and were willing to pay for his apartment (they are very well off, powerful people) IF he proved he wasn't gay, which is why he told them we were engaged to be married- I can't help but wonder if I moved in because I "love" him (he is the only person who thinks the way I do) or if it is just because he was so rich we lived like royalty (we share the same tastes in just about everything, we are shallow and very materialistic-clothing and decoration is primordial), or if his image (he is truly imposing) is what I'm after.
    We are both rather charismatic and charming when we feel like it, all through high school he was popular and rather well liked by most. In the meantime, I was just too lazy to keep up the charade. So when we first started to spend time together, things escalated very quickly and we were known as fearless, rather imposing kids for our age, people avoided us when we were together but when we were apart, we'd be revered for our looks and confidence and particularly spectacular insight. The dynamics of our relationship fascinate me: at parties, when we're surrounded by people, we are like a black hole, we suck them all in and mesmerize them. People seem eager to come up to us even if it's just to be insulted, they always leave starstruck. One of our favorite hobbies is to get people stuck in a bad trip (ever heard of that? A person will take LSD and stay trapped in some sort of malicious wormhole for the rest of their lives) and just basically, intimidation. In the long run, I don't know if this situation is viable, being as impulsive as we are, there have been moments when I genuinely thought I would kill him, and I know he has too. It doesn't bother us so much as it intrigues us. We sometimes lash out at each other just out of pure boredom. Interestingly enough, though, we are so in sync that one predicts the other's anguish even when long distance separates us- I was dumped by a sociopath who I'd been dating for four months and I felt so angry for having let him "win", so to speak, that my roommate called me from home and told me to come home with absolutely no context. We can become ravenous in our need for vengeance- he is MY whatever, and if I am not the one to hurt him, nobody can. He seems to think that way too. Any thoughts?


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