Thursday, May 22, 2014

Q&A Day!

Ok, it's been a while since we've done this, but go ahead and put any questions you have in the comments addressed to "M.E." so I can find them. I'll try to answer throughout the day according to my availability. 

180 comments:

  1. Ok, there were a couple from early this morning on the previous post I'll get to:

    "M.E.:

    In reading about sociopathy, it seems like the scientific community does not consider sociopaths being "crazy" because they're rational, and often smart. However, in my experience with somebody, his behavior is definitely "crazy" even though he's rational and sometimes plans in advance, e.g. He's burst out and slammed somebody, has trust issues, controlling, etc. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this point of view, since that looks "crazy" to me, as in mentally abnormal. "

    I think that it is mentally abnormal, but it is not "psychotic" crazy. It's more like someone with asperger's might act -- not socially acceptable -- than it is the psychosis crazy of seeing things that aren't there. Also, remember, to a sociopath a lot of your emotional decisionmaking and acting out seems very odd.

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  2. "I have wondered about this "sociopath's status or reputation", it appears to be rather important to them but ONLY when it comes to maintaining such reputation/status before certain individuals (mostly to those whom they have some sort of gain). So, what does it mean when that particular person/s is a family member? Such as a mother or father, or any within the "permanent possessions" circle?

    Could these inherent sentiments they feel for those "permanent possessions/individuals" in their lives, resemble to what empaths referred to as "true" love for an intimate partner, perhaps? "

    I think so. This idea that sociopaths don't form any sort of personal attachments to me seems to be controverted by basically every single sociopath, e.g. Richard Kuklinski: http://www.sociopathworld.com/2014/02/richard-iceman-kuklinski.html

    Maybe I just haven't met the right sociopaths who really do not have a single personal attachment to anyone in their lives, though.

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  3. "On attachment: Do you think that controlling somebody or a target's emotions is a way of connecting with them? Do you think it makes up for the lack of emotional attachment or loneliness in some way? Some of your readers mention seeing their significant others as an extension of themselves, how is this feeling? "

    Yes, I think this is exactly right. Their is a feeling of intimacy and connection in seeing that you can provoke people or have the sort of influence to ruin them. It does seem to mitigate the feeling that we are isolated beyond reach from the rest of humanity. Feeling like somebody else is a part of you seems to be a lot like what parent feel about their children, particularly when they're young. Or they way you may have felt when you were young about a cherished teddy bear.

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  4. "At the core, why do you enjoy hurting some people, aka prey? Is it an existential revenge or a "painful truce with those you cannot live with or without"? "

    I don't think it's existential revenge, at least not for me. Sometimes it is a direct retaliation. Sometimes it is to take down a bully. Sometimes it is for the pleasure in destruction, "Fight Club" style. There's not always pleasure in destruction. If I do it accidentally, I can be sad about it.

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  5. Sociopaths vs psychopaths. What are the real difference? I don't believe they are the same. Most sociopaths I know are mask wearing, passive aggressive schemer, blamers without a conscience. Most psychopaths I know, insults virtually everyone without a mask. They don't even care to hide in social convenience. Everyone keeps thinking the sociopaths are the low functioning impulsive ones. But in reality the ones I know all wears a mask and seems very calm. What is your opinion on it?

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    1. This is a good point. I think a lot of people think of sociopaths as being obviously anti-social and out of control, but they often are not. People ask me all of the time if I ever get angry, I seem so calm and unfazed most of the time. Whether or not that is a sociopath or psychopath thing or if there is a distinction between the two terms, I honestly don't know. I haven't really met the people that are just aggressive crazy violent all of the time, so I wouldn't be able to say what diagnosis would fit them best.

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  6. "Several months ago, I met this guy at work, from the beginning I had a feeling about him, and over time realized I couldn't remember his face, worried about my memory I checked with my doctor and was told I'm fine, then I began noticing his expressions were over done and fake, no feeling, then his other symptoms appeared, antisocial. Now I wonder if my mind knew subconsciously that he is a sociopath before I realized it...? Nobody around me notices, so is this a uberempath ability or if people paid attention they could see it and feel it too? "

    That's interesting. I have had people describe me in all sorts of weird ways, trying to put their finger about what about me made me seem off to them. They didn't know why I was different, they just knew that I was. Maybe this was just your mind's way of doing something similar?

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    1. Thank you for your response, could you describe some weird ways people have noticed? I also noticed he's physically cold, colder than other people

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    2. One person said I was an alien, another that I was a brain, another said that everything that comes out of my mouth is bullshit, variations on a theme. The smart ones pick up on something and stick with that particular characteristic. The not as insightful ones (in my mind), try to find a label for me right away, so sometimes they translate my offness as being gay, or foreign, or any of other labels that they feel sufficiently explain my offness.

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    3. Do you respect the smart insightful ones? If they feel you and respect you still

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    4. Oh yeah, for sure. I always want to keep them in my life. Because I think they have the greatest chance of actually seeing me and knowing me for who I am.

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    5. I've had a few people compare me to Spock.

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    6. Spock is another good one, perhaps for a slightly older generation. Often I just get "quirky", in a way that is a little bit of an allusion to asperger's.

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    7. I'm not that much older than you! I think we are the same age, more or less. I'm not sure how I feel about being called Spock, to be honest. I don't really care, but on the other hand I don't like other people pointing out my quirks. When I hear the word quirky, I can only thing of that Zoe Deschanel. :(

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    8. I just found a clue "remembered and imagined images come tagged with affect"... this comes from an interesting article that says that rational decision making is an integration of both, emotions and analytical (unemotional) thoughts. "Risk as Analysis and Risk as Feelings: Some thoughts about affect, reason, risk, and rationality" by Paul Slovic in the journal Risk Analysis.

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    1. I think the narcissism is different between empaths, sociopaths, and narcissists. I think for sociopaths the narcissism seems to be a self-centeredness and lack of feelings of unworthiness. I have had several friends remark about my seeming over-confidence. One friend stopped being my friend because she thought I believed I was more attractive than I was objectively. Another friend also said "and so humble too" every time I made a positive comment. One friend adds "the thing I like about me" after every positive or self-serving thing I say. One of my friends says that I am a megalomaniac. To the extent that sociopaths don't really feel insecure about themselves, I think it will always seems like they are narcissistic to people who themselves lack that same self-confidence.

      Narcissism for narcissists seems to be a preoccupation with how one is viewed, and a prioritization of one's self image above all else.

      Narcissism to the extent it occurs in empaths seems to be a belief that they are good enough, they're smart enough, and doggone it people like me variety. Or the type that produces statements like "if he doesn't love me at my best, he doesn't deserve me at my worst".

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    2. I suspect that part of your (ME's) problem with "overconfidence" is more gender based than sociopathy based. Women have this self effacing mask that they wear (yep- sociopaths aren't the only ones who wear masks) where they act like they think they are really fat, ugly, dumb but quietly don't think so. It's like they are deliberately underplaying their strengths as part of a smokescreen to keep the envy of other women from K.O.ing them when least expected. This might sound strange but I think that ME is very innocent here about this dynamic- in choosing not to play her cards close to her vest (two examples- the beautiful breasts and the high intelligence statements) ME invites female rage. I heard it once that the female mob mentality is best likened to a bunch of crabs in a shallow basket- they never escape because they all team up against the one crab who seems to climb higher than the rest.

      One of the markers for narcissism is grandiosity, and for this reason I am sympathetic to ME. If she simply tells the truth about what her gifts are, she is perceived as grandiose. This begs the question: when did manufactured false modesty become the gold standard for female (but not male) mental health?

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    3. Interesting comment. I know this seems unbelievably naive of me to say, but I had no idea that people didn't just openly assess themselves. It's not even that I think that intelligence or breasts are intrinsic positives. Because I know they're not. Breast are just breasts. I have known a ton of people who are intelligent who look and act and talk just like everyone else and also known intelligent people whose intelligence seems to just cripple their lives in various ways. To me, it sort of picks up on the rat race or prestige war mentality that some people have that I have never bought into. I always knew that people seemed to buy into that (and maybe resent me for not), but I didn't realize to what extent maybe until people started hating on me for saying that I test really highly on standardized tests and think I have remarkably beautiful breasts (at least, I have remarked on them a few times in my life). But also I guess if everyone else is forcing themselves to fit that paradigm, it's not really fair for me to flaunt that I don't?

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    4. Mach, you are just sooo sweet.

      I don't think that it really is all about that "self defacing mask" that women wear to keep the envy of other women at bay.

      A lot of times it's simply the ugly truth. They have honestly evaluated themselves and this is what they found.
      Not every person is beautiful or unique, or any of that inspirational shit, after all.
      Nothing wrong with being a realist.

      And a lot of times that " mask" is actually a very thinly veiled plea for attention and praise, aka narcissistic boost: "Oh, don't say that...You are beautiful and unique and and and..."
      Sad thing is, most people actually feel compelled to give the narcissistic boost, or at the very least not to affirm the truth, because they don't want to be seen as assholes and have to deal with the fallout.

      And one of the reasons that people respond that way to claims such as "I am soo exceptionally smart and like totally see things in an awesome new way, not like the rest of you..." with the way M.E.'s friends do, is because....well, maybe they know her better. Maybe they know she's not really as smart as she thinks and nowhere near as cunning. So when she talks about it, it just makes her sound like an utter wanker.
      However, they feel close enough/care enough to give her subtle clues to the truth, rather than the narcissistic boost she's hoping for.

      A recent example: that blog post about patients on Midazolam.
      It wasn't just a passing thought that M.E. had of the doctor taping them and blackmailing them.
      She thought it through, blogged about it...was proud of herself for the idea. After all, she was totally smarter and more cunning than all those doctors who didn't figure it out. And a badass since she didn't care about the ethics...

      At least her friends are not cunts like me. I would have laughed in her face.


      M.E.: Thanks for the blog. It's been a lot of fun and a unique learning experience for me.
      Have a great summer.

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    5. Bite me, your view of the world is so ugly to me. You have a very judging mentality, and I don't mean just that you assess people or things on a spectrum of just good/bad. I mean that you make assessments about truth/lies, fact/fiction, or any number of other spectrums without hardly a thought that you could be wrong. You remind me a little of the time one of my cousins was involved in a national scandal. Because of his age, his identity was never disclosed, but he spoke very candidly with me about what was going on before it hit the news in order to get my advice about what to do. After it did become news, I was surprised at how often very legitimate news stories would get key facts wrong -- not necessarily ones that hurt or helped him, but just wrong. And having written the book, I'm surprised about how often people will cite incorrect things about me as fact too -- from really easily verifiable things like where I grew up to how old I am to my educational or employment history, to the slightly less verifiable but still definitely discussed-in-the-book-and-other sources soft facts like the relationship I have with my family or faith. I think some of the tendency to take a story and run with it is journalistic laziness, but I think a lot of it betrays a very human heuristic of twisting things to fit preconceived notions of the way the world works.

      For instance, you believe I had come up with a surefire scheme to go to medical school, become a doctor, put patients on midazolam, and then blackmail them. I realize I am not great at sarcasm and hardly ever am on this blog, but I thought that in that same post because I was taking a position on public shaming that was so extremely opposite the position I usually take, people would take my suggestion for the strawman that it was, i.e. taking an extreme position of the weak arguments I frequently read on this blog in order to show how ridiculous they sound out of certain contexts. I apologize if that was too nuanced an argumentation for you.

      But let me be clear (although even as I type this response out, I am well aware that these words will not effectively convey to you in your darkness what I hope to communicate) -- the reason why I think your worldview is ugly is based in this idea of "realism" that you often site. You think that there is a spectrum of ugly to beautiful and plain to unique and that everyone falls on the spectrum at a certain point and you are a pretty good arbiter of that. I disagree with pretty much all of that. I actually think that everyone is beautiful and/or unique, at least to certain people, and there is empirical data to support that. See the following links, which suggest that although we all tend to agree on certain qualitative assessments, the longer you know somebody, the more variability there will be in these same assessments: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/opinion/sunday/so-youre-not-desirable.html?_r=0

      http://time.com/104106/louie-the-fat-girl-and-the-psychology-of-mate-value/

      This suggests that these qualitative assessments have always been subjective, not objective as you seem to believe.

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    6. That means that just because you make a qualitative assessment, doesn't mean that you are right and people who disagree are wrong. This is true even if most people agree with you because everyone could be wrong (emperor's new clothes and a lot of people used to believe that the sun revolved around the earth). To use a few concrete examples, saying I have remarkably beautiful breasts is a qualitative assessment. Some people may agree and some people may disagree and me saying that I do says nothing as to any sort of objective truthfulness. In contrast, to say that I have a higher IQ or higher level of intelligence is a quantitive assessment made not by me but by countless standardized tests. Saying I am smarter than most people is just statistically true based on the current scientific definitions of and measurements for intelligence. I'm not sure what you mean by clever, but certainly I am not flawless in that way -- I am easy to manipulate (http://www.sociopathworld.com/2008/11/suspicious-sociopaths-save-souls.html), I often make bad choices, which is why I often outsource my decisions (http://www.sociopathworld.com/2013/02/winning-streaks-and-outsourcing.html). I have made all sorts of mistakes, been outplayed, been outmatched, and have always been open about them (http://www.sociopathworld.com/2008/10/why-i-like-being-sociopath.html). For instance, I have seen you argue that my appearance on Dr. Phil was a terrible mistake which you credited to my extreme narcissism and desire to seem badass. Why did I do it and the way I did? My publishers strong armed me. The friend who I usually outsource these sorts of decisions to wasn't speaking to me at the time. I had never seen the show before. I am a risk taker. I was manipulated in various ways to believe that the topic would be treated somewhat seriously and that any pandering to lowest common denominators would be minimal if I just played their game and cooperated. It was my first media appearance ever. I outsourced any decisions about hair, make up, disguise, etc. to them. Once I saw that it was going to be a farce, I got angry for a second, but then decided that it was better to check out mentally than to allow myself to blow up while being filmed. I'm sorry that my message was distorted, but otherwise I don't really regret even this. And you can send me messages everyday that try to convince me otherwise and to get me to feel badly about it, but I just think that was is done is done and I haven't done it again and so let's move on. You seem to see it as some key to an underlying truth that I am trying to cover up. You're right. I'm definitely not as badass as you apparently used to think I was, nor as badass as you seem to think that I think I am.

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    7. Other mistakes: Why is this website designed so poorly? I don't have the interest or the facility to improve it. Why do I always seem like a narcissistic wanker to you? Because the things I do, write, or stand for happen to turn you off. That doesn't mean that I am definitively a narcissistic wanker. It just means that you think that based on whatever behavior I do that turns you off. It's based on "facts," but it's still a qualitative assessment. But you don't really stop at voicing your opinion, however unwanted, you try to turn people who disagree with you, and you do it in a way that makes it seem like you believe that there is some objective truth (narcissistic wanker or not? What is the truth?) You think that people who disagree with you are "wrong." In my mind, this is narcissism and hubris of the most ugly sort (my subjective assessment, which I'm sure others might disagree with).

      You seem to think that you're a cunt because you call things like you see them. It seems like you must get called a cunt IRL (at least a little) and seem to want to accept this about yourself as one of those ugly truths that you are keen that people internalize, for whatever reason (what purpose? what use that? adopting someone else's judgment of what is truth/valuable/real in the guise of facing "reality")? I don't think you're a cunt. I don't think that you need to accept or adopt that label for yourself just because a lot of people would call you that. It's up to you to make that, but acknowledging that it too is just a subjective assessment.

      As for my friends, I would never be friends with someone with such a stunted view of reality. I'm would never have a friend like you, not because I hate to have people laugh in my face, or fail to give me the "narcissistic boost" that you seem to think I crave, or refuse to indulge what you think are my fantasies about being super clever or badass. I'm actually fine with all of those things. I think I was clear that my friends will often take me down a peg or too. There is nothing soft-footed or narcissistic boosting about my friends calling me megalomaniacal. They are basically calling me out for being delusional about my feelings of self-importance of power in that moment. But the ones who are true friends give me that assessment using my own standards, i.e. they know that in a day or two I would also believe that I had over exaggerated my prowess or importance in that moment and fancy themselves less the "voice of reason" as the "voice of future m.e.". It has nothing to do with being close enough to me or caring enough about me and everything to do with their ability to acknowledge that their view of the world might be incomplete or wrong, but they still think that maybe I haven't fully considered an issue or will soon be seeing it differently than I am currently. Whereas you are not only the type of person to insist that someone's "ass looks fat in that dress," you would do it all the while convincing yourself that you were right and that you were doing them some sort of favor, as opposed to something closer to the truth -- that you really are just blindly imposing your own thoughts, beliefs, and values on others, like a fat person spilling over into the seat next to him, imposing his arms, legs, and back fat in his seatmate's space.

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    8. But you think you are the voice of reason. It's very clear in the way you represent yourself and the way that you attack other people's ideas. And you think people that don't see things your way are utter "wankers", at least if they persist in disagreeing with you. And I think that is the true sign of narcissism.

      I guess I am trying to say that I don't think you're so much a cunt as it is very hard to credit anything you say because you seem to come from such a different world than the one I have experienced. But does that make me a cunt back to you for me to have spent all of this time typing this out? Or am I now one of those good friends you cited who try to give you a dose of "reality", whatever it is you think that is? Because I don't feel like you're a friend and I don't feel invested in your development as a person. I wish I never had to read another thing you wrote/thought ever because it makes me sad for humanity. I wish you didn't exist, but I'm glad you post on the blog because you remind me why it is that I can't possibly expect to be able to reason with people about certain topics, and it's largely due to you and your type of people that I have decided that there's not much use in attempting to communicate more than I have because you'll just see what you want to see -- it's been my experience that people like you rarely change their minds because it would cause so much psychic damage to do so. But I've been known to make stupid choices in the past, so maybe despite my professed intentions, I'll eventually come back for more.

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    9. Wow! Talk about a lot of effort. Thanks for that.

      Where to start?
      How about "don't throw stones if you live in a glass house"?
      You have made a lot of assumptions here, M.E. and have presented them as absolute facts :)

      You think my my world view is ugly. Fair enough.
      I think the world has a hell of a lot of ugliness in it. I don't think everyone is beautiful and I don't think everyone is special. There are plenty of people who are plain, ordinary and downright ugly. And no, I don't mean just on the outside.
      You disagree with me, that's fine. Doesn't mean either view is right.

      I do see a lot of beauty in the world and in many people. And no, it's not black and white thinking. Even the sweetest, most beautiful people can be quite ugly in some aspects. Light and dark/yin and yang, in everyone. One of the things I find beautiful is when people accept those ugly truths about themselves and do something about them. Try to become better people, not just keep going and looking for excuses and deluding themselves.

      I do not always think I'm right and I don't believe in absolute truth. I have no problems with being proven wrong and have said many times on here that talking with the other regulars has made me see plenty of things in a new light and actually caused me to make changes in my life.
      Not much psychic damage, actually. I'm quite grateful to them for the help and advice they gave me.

      Yes, I do think that I see things clearer than most. Funnily enough, I've used the same words as you about some others. That to me they looked like naked people walking around complimenting each others' fine clothing.

      Trying to hide behind delusions can be like putting a layer of paint on a filthy wall.
      It makes me laugh when someone talks about wanting to live a more authentic life, yet seem determined not to face and deal with any of those truths, but rather find excuses.

      And yes, I do get a certain kick from hurting some people by pointing out what I think their delusions are. I like to find a way to challenge them that they will feel compelled to respond to and defend themselves, to start a debate.
      And I don't like to give in to the manipulation, attention seeking or delusional thinking.

      Possibly the product of having grown up in a household with narcissistic types who used those to perpetrate many an abuse, then deny and delude themselves that they were wonderful members of society. But, that's all been discussed here at length before.

      That's why I tell people what I think. I do not consider them facts. More like... the most likely scenario. Feel free to prove me wrong.

      So yes, I am the type to tell a friend that I think her ass does look big in that dress. That's what I call ugly truths. But then I help her pick out what I consider a more flattering dress and tell her I think she looks wonderful in it. The decision is hers.
      But if she wears the first dress, then comes crying that people said she looks fat, I'm not going to talk about media enforced stereotypes of beauty, Marilyn Monroe and why other women are simply jealous so putting her perfect self down... etc. to preserve her ego.
      I'd tell her that yes, it was an unflattering dress and her ass did look big in it.

      As for the Dr Phil thing... you seemed to be thinking that the backlash you received was due to you being revealed to be a female. I told you that I don't think it was for the most part. That this was my explanation, but there were others. There are no bad feelings about it, as you keep insisting, and I don't need an explanation because...I don't really care.
      It happened. Whatever the reasons for why it happened, I think it did cost you.
      We all fuck up. But blaming the outcome on something that is entirely outside our control, like gender, is not really accomplishing anything except sheltering your ego.

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    10. "For instance, you believe I had come up with a surefire scheme to go to medical school, become a doctor, put patients on midazolam, and then blackmail them".
      When did I say that?
      You presented it as a plan that was the result of your special way of thinking. As in "these doctors could tape their patients and blackmail them. And if they weren't so typically empathic, they might have thought of that too." . And it actually struck me how juvenile that plan was. Surely as a lawyer you would have been aware of legal ramifications, if nothing else.
      No, I don't *always* think you sound like a narcissistic wanker. But I think that people who walk around talking about qualitative assessments such as "I am incredibly smart. Smarter than most people. I do really well on tests" sound like narcissistic wankers. If you are that smart, why do you need to talk about it? Wouldn't people be able to figure it out all by themselves?
      You want to talk about your breasts? Go nuts. I got quite the pair myself. But I don't walk around telling people "I have big, spectacular breasts!" I consider that to be entirely unnecessary and attention seeking.
      If someone thinks my breasts are spectacular, good for them.

      And yes, I was saying that your friends probably put you down a notch because they actually know you better. Not because it's an inherent "we must keep other women down" mentality.

      And you don't need to worry about me accepting the label of cunt or any other label for that matter. I don't take it nearly as seriously. But yes, there are a few friends that joke around that I am a cunt, especially when I tell them that new dress they bought really does make their ass look big. And that showing great displays of emotion and empty empathy towards an issue, but not actually doing anything about it, does not mean they have done a wonderful service and can expect me to pat them on the back for it. But that's a different matter.

      "Why is this website designed so poorly?" When did I say that?
      I said that it's a pain in the fucking ass having to enter all those weird verification characters before every comment. Not quite the same thing, now is it?

      "I wish I never had to read another thing you wrote/thought ever because it makes me sad for humanity. I wish you didn't exist..."
      Ha! Now doesn't that sound like you suffered narcissistic injury? ;)

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    12. There are actually a great number of people who could elicit a response like the one I wrote, all people who think like her. I could come up with a list of commenters that over the year have manifested this particular worldview. And I don't really mean to judge it. Sociopaths also irritate people or press buttons in unexpected ways, but I don't think they come at it from a place of inherent narcissism. Maybe part of their pressing of buttons is just putting on an act to get people to hate them, a little like a troll does. And that's fine too, but to me it just seems like sheep mentality: I have this view of the world and I think that everyone else should too and I am going to enforce conformity to this view of the world in whatever bullying ways I can. I personally don't feel oppressed by her, I just find the method and point of view to be terribly ugly. People say that sociopaths do bad things, but I would rather live with a million sociopaths in my life (and even a bunch of hapless narcissists) then live with even a few of this type. In my mind, they're probably the worst thing this world has to offer. Their self-assuredness often collects followers and their reasoning can only inspire one sort of movement -- mob mentality. They inspire fear in those they interact with, fear that they too will become a target and so they instead choose to follow. I am no sociology expert, but it seems like this is the mentality that has led to countless wars, hate mongering, and fear based manipulation. It's fine that it exists in the world and it's obviously everyone's prerogative to participate however they wish, but I personally just find it to be repulsive.

      But yes, I always do admire even a troll's ability to effect a reaction in others. It's definitely of the same family of manipulation as what I do, so it probably seems funny to people that I make fine distinctions this way. So yeah, I did know that this was an irritant or button for me before. In the past few weeks it has been more so, my therapist says it's because now that I am actually acknowledging that I have an identity, the assumptions ore presumptions or conclusions and statements that people make about my identity might bother me more than they would usually. He says that I should just wait that out and it will equalize to a more normal level. But it has been interesting being a victim of personal attacks. I now understand better why those tactics are so effective in swaying public opinion. Does that help?

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    13. So now you're claiming I'm what exactly?
      A tyranical, self assured malignant narcissist, who inspires fear in order to rally the masses against you?
      "The worst thing the world has to offer"...
      Do you even listen to yourself?

      I clearly caused narcissistic injury and you had a little meltdown.

      You have used assumptions, blind judgement and projection to discredit anything I have to say. Because I criticise you and refuse to help you make excuses for why things turned out the way they did with this blog and book.

      And I'm not the type to stay silent just because I know it would provoke narcissistic rage. It amuses me too much.

      You have spewed volumes of venom, with great moral superiority.
      Refused to actually rationally discuss the issue.
      All while preaching that you don't like to judge...

      Good luck with therapy and the whole equalizing thing :)

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    15. @Bite me

      IOne of the things I find beautiful is when people accept those ugly truths about themselves and do something about them.

      i have one for you! you're on a go nowhere mouse wheel of criticism that your family put you on. you have to drag others on it to keep it spinning.

      your ugly is my beautiful.

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    16. Erik:

      So, M.E., it's interesting that you think the world would be a better place without her, that she represents something so noxious that elimination is seen as the most prudent solution. I imagine there are few people who could elicit such a lengthy response as the one you wrote. Can you not respect her for knowing which buttons to press, and precisely how hard to press them? She's done it deliberately, and told you as much.

      careful Erik. just because she made you dance doesn't mean its your music.

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    17. @Bite me

      the thing about opinions is that people buy into them out of pack mentality not because of their truth. the opinion only becomes a truth if you can get enough people to buy into it (or even one person depending on the size of its universe).

      by publicly criticizing m.e.'s website, her book, her appearance on that stupid t.v. show (and i thought she did well), and whatever else, you are undermining her and her efforts here, and potentially turning off people who read this side. it's a pretty harsh attack.

      why?

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    19. Erik:
      I know you are trying to be sweet and supportive, thank you.
      Yes, I attacked you and did a number on your head when you came here honestly convinced you are a sociopath. I do that.
      But lets also consider the fact that in seeking the label, you were actually determined to do whatever it took to make it fit.
      I remember you saying how you were chomping at the bit to go out there and do some burning.
      Fuck the people, fuck the collateral damage, you were going to show them what a sociopath you are.

      I still think it's a far better course of action to go through some pain, stop desperately seeking labels, then honestly start examining your motives, desires and everything else for that matter... than to start slashing and burning, actively turning your life to shit and hurting others. For want of a label that makes you feel more powerful and special.

      And you know something, I actually have respect for you. You are better than some fucking label and now it sound like you are finally starting to play your very own music.
      And yes, I do like you. And I will not like you any less if you were to show me the "real you". If anything, I will respect you more. You can always do so in private if publicly is a bit too much at the moment.
      You don't need to worry, I don't go into meltdown mode the minute someone tells me something I don't want to hear :)

      Zoe:
      It's good to see you back. Been a while. How have you been?

      Thanks for the advice. You always did tell me that my family were a bunch of bastards.

      Yes, I am highly critical.
      I am more critical of myself than of others. But going nowhere? Not really. Helps me see where changes can be made.

      In an ideal world, everyone is beautiful *exactly* as they are. All love, peace and acceptance abounding, right?
      It's a lovely make believe world of unicorns and fairies. The real world doesn't work this way.
      And I'm curious, if everyone is already beautiful and special and wonderful, where exactly is room for improvement? What about learning from mistakes?
      Or is it that everyone is beautiful and special and wonderful...as long as they don't disagree with you or tell you something "mean"?

      If they do, it becomes perfectly fine to throw a huge tantrum. Assume, judge and project to high hell while saying you abhor judging and assuming. Then calling them a war mongering, hate and fear breeding, ugly, manipulative, repulsive malignant narcissist who is "the worst thing the world has to offer" and fills you with wishes that they would stop existing...?

      And it's also perfectly acceptable to use Erik's voicing that he really wants people to like him, to, subtly, turn him away from this manipulative, tyrannical beast who is inspiring pack mentality, and towards the "don't say anything bad about M.E. and don't support those who do" camp...

      Riiiigght. Very interesting.

      So basically, I *must* subscribe to your point of view that it was all great, she did really well. Or at least I shouldn't dare tell what I really think (and was discussed at length on the old forum)? Because it might potentially upset her and turn people off to see negative thoughts expressed?

      On a sociopath blog, of all places. That was suddenly abandoned by most sociopaths not long after the book came out...for some reason.
      Oh no wait, it was because she turned out to be female and people couldn't handle that. Yes, that's it! That must be it! Oh curse this society!! :)

      Come on, Zoe. You know I don't subscribe to the "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all" mentality. And I don't help people come up with excuses for their failures so they can preserve their ego.

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    20. @Bite me,

      i didn't mean that you're going nowhere, but that criticizing goes nowhere. i've done it, and it has never added value to my life. it was at best a cheap boost. it just eats up all your mental time.

      i'm working on a book, which is why i haven't posted much over the last few months. i don't have a lot of time but need to work on it every day, so work on it in my head a lot with a little help from the blackberry. every moment spent ruminating is a moment that i could have used for writing. so i've gotten out of the habit, i guess, and it's made me realize how much time i invested in something that gave me nothing back. it only pisses everyone off, and at the end of the day doesn't even make you feel good.

      it's a total mouse wheel.

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    21. also, fixing things isn't as interesting as breaking them. who wants to read a story about a perfect world with perfect people in it who always do everything right? it's the craziness that makes life interesting. .

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    22. @Erik,

      you have a flexible personality right? if so, it can really give you an edge, so be happy.

      what works for me is focusing on what i want out of life, on goals. who i am comes from that. and on its own is meaningless. i can see how we need to identify others, but why ourselves? why do i care what personality type i am? how will knowing that help me?

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    23. "To give advice to a man who asks what to do with his life implies something very close to egomania. To presume to point a man to the right and ultimate goal — to point with a trembling finger in the RIGHT direction is something only a fool would take upon himself." Hunter S Thompson

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    25. Zoe:
      Apologies for taking so long to reply.
      It's been a madhouse here.

      Book sounds pretty interesting. Can you tell a bit more about it?
      And no, nobody wants to read a perfect book where everything is perfect. Gritty, clever and full of dark humour is my favourite.

      Erik:
      Thank you, that's lovely of you to say.
      I know you have a need for others to like you and many people are pretty full of shit when they talk about love, being non judgmental and acceptance of all. They only do so as long as you agree with them and tell them what they want to hear. But stray from the flock...

      Oh and I wasn't intending to praise you. Was simply telling you what I really think. Granted, it's probably hard to believe considering all that happened and no, I wouldn't have trusted me as far as I could throw me either.
      But I made you a promise then and fully intend to keep it.

      So basically, the offer stands. If you ever want to talk, no bullshit, no masks, you know where to find me.

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  8. My parents are sociopaths so I know how they are like. You claim they can love, I never felt love at all in my life by them. They act like blamers, Charles Mansons who can't take blame, opinions as facts. Where they gaslight and blame you for everything. Stonewalling me a lot, you know the traits.

    My ex girlfriend was a sociopath that has all the traits of a con women. Who uses other guys for their money to travel the world or tries to gold dig them. She seems to claim she loves. But it seems like the new guy she is with, she falls in love very quickly. I done some research and every single source claims sociopaths are incapable of love. You claim they can hyper love. But I am disputing that as just wishful thinking on your part. You want to believe you can hyper love. I say it is a form of manipulation to overly love someone to the point of manipulation. But none of the feelings are genuine. Agree or disagree? Please elaborate.

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    1. I'd like to see some of your sources that say that sociopaths can't love.

      I think that sociopaths love in different ways that may not communicate well to you. I don't doubt that she falls in love with people quickly. I have also felt that to be the case -- because I largely feel as if love is a choice, it is easy to become infatuated with people. Maybe that isn't love according to your definition. If so, I guess you're right -- sociopaths don't love the way you define love.

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    2. Fair enough, some of my sources are. I only picked two. Most on google says the same thing.

      This video showed how quickly they can fall in love. But she claimed it is not geniune. I actually saw this a month ago when my girlfriend broke up with me and loved another guy right away. It just seems impossible or unlikely. She loved me within a week or two. Either it is your intense love or infatuation you described. Or hyper love intense love. Or not the same kind as everyone else. My parents both of them are sociopaths and I never felt I was loved by them. Their love is just control, doing everything for me, so I don't have to do anything. Giving money, sounds like socialism to me and dependent on them. I feel like I lost all control and need to break free. I am older now and this is not good. I get treated as a victim of blame and gaslighting passive aggressive behavior all day by them. I never seen love from them. That was why I was skeptical.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nyqm_nk_oM

      You might not find this to be an accurate source. I found every detail of this article to be one of the most accurate. This article describes my parents. I also noticed on other types of forum, some of them gets others to worship them. I find this to be accurate. I seen this cult like activity happen.

      http://www.naturalnews.com/036112_sociopaths_cults_influence.html

      But thank you for your answer. So you can love, but not the same type as most people.

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    3. Yeah, I don't think that guy has done any empirical analysis about sociopaths. Maybe he knew a sociopath and thought that person couldn't love? But it's so easy to disprove that assertion, and I don't think I've ever seen any sort of research that suggests that sociopaths can't love.

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    4. I've truly loved only two people in my life, other than my wife. And even though some of those relationships ended badly, I don't really harbor any animosity towards my exes. This is something that my wife simply can't understand; how it is that I can think well of them, perhaps love them still. Perhaps that is just her own insecurity talking, like she fears if I don't hate them and ostracize them, there is still some chance I could go back to them. Which is ridiculous, we've all moved on. But I guess I feel like if I have invested enough of myself in another person to love them, that doesn't really change just because the relationship fell apart. I don't know what that says about me, or sociopathy, or anything... but I'd be interested in other's feedback.

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  9. I am interested in the mask in your book and background. In my experience, this is the mask of deception. Every sociopath acts like a two faced wimp. When their mask was revealed, they go really hostile and try to rebuild the camouflage and go back into hiding. They can mimic normal human emotions. Some people claim it isn't the sociopaths who wears a mask, they are impulsive. I noticed they use sniping comments at others, blaming their weakness to manipulate and bully people. But hides behind social convenience. You hear about parents who gaslight their kids with endless insults, but hides in public pretending to be nice people. I have been around so many sociopaths in my life, online and offline. I attract their personality since I am so harsh and I want to know more about the mask. Dr. Hare talks about impulsitivity for psychopaths. But who is the mask wearer? Are these sociopaths are smarter psychopaths? I say it is sociopaths. I hope you don't think psychopaths/sociopaths/narcissist are exact identical. I found differences, the only thing in common is anti-social personality disorder.

    If it was sociopaths, please write more articles on the mask of a sociopaths and how they use it to con other people and gaslight them with passive aggressive insults and manipulation. I think it would be interesting. Tell me more about the mask, is it sociopaths? Is it a better strategy? It seems they can get away with anything because they use a mask.

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    1. I second this request, I'd love to know more about the mask, I saw this guy dropped his mask and think it must require a lot of effort to keep it up for so long, how do you do it? how did you learn? tips for neurotypicals on how to make the best use of our expressions?

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    2. The "mask" is basically just describing our behavior in a certain context or around a certain type of person. Everyone varies their behavior to some extent -- casual around family, very formal in a work environment perhaps. I grew up with a father who was completely different in each of those environments, and so to me it seemed like one must be fake and the other real. As I came to understand that I too adopt pretty different personas depending on the situation, I realized that there isn't really a true one and a not true one, maybe particularly for sociopaths. They are just responding to incentives and since they don't have that strong of a sense of identity, they are able to make radical shifts in character and behavior. They are like actors who don't ever go back to their real life. Or their only real life is in their heads, their silent thoughts. Does that make sense? So when I say things like sociopaths have the ability to be your ideal mate, they're really just reading your social cues and incentive structure that you very naturally spell out to people (e.g. treat me this way and I will treat you nicely back) in order to get whatever it is they want or avoid getting whatever it is they don't want from you. Often I charm people just because I really don't want to deal with them at all, so better to make the positive impression rather than have them come after me after a negative impression.

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    3. Do you have to be a sociopath in order to be a different person to everyone you meet? I do that with everyone, and people really like me for it.

      If I lose my self-control, I can be very cold, and that really upsets people. I wonder if it's similar for sociopaths. I simply stop caring about what people think if me. Usually I do want people to like me, 99% of the time. So, how is it that what I do 1% if the time is the truth?

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    4. Good question about truth. Only you know what truth really is, but it's probably what you would have naturally done in a situation if you only cared absolutely about yourself and weren't aware of the impact that it had on how other people would see you. I know that sounds odd to people. I've been thinking a lot recently about how people want to guilt sociopaths away from acting sociopathically, want to shame them, when really probably the best thing the sociopath could do is be less focused on the effect they have on other people, not more. If that doesn't make sense, let me know. It's a recent epiphany I've had in therapy. But no, you don't have to be a sociopath to wear masks. I think it is a characteristic of most (all?) the personality disorders, isn't it?

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    5. Interesting. Can you elaborate on that? It would seem obvious that being mindful of your effect on people allows you to avoid adverse situations. Or are you implying less of a focus on trying to manipulate (good or bad) in general by drawing on and using what you genuinely think or feel on something?

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    6. Yeah, this is really interesting to me. Let me talk first about something a little more concrete. Everyone manipulates people all of the time, from your personal trainer to your spouse to your boss to your employees to the person trying to upsell you to the larger fries. Why is manipulation such a dirty word then? Because often it connotes an involuntary exchange. To me, this was a big stumbling block in terms of understanding what was expected of me -- there's no way to eliminate manipulation from your repertoire. But what you can do is imagine to yourself what a voluntary exchange with the target might be. For instance, you pay your personal trainer to manipulate you into doing more exercise than you otherwise would do. You pay actors to manipulate you into crying. You go to church because your preacher is so good at manipulating you into feeling goodwill towards your fellow man. You love your spouse for his/her ability to manipulate you into orgasm, emotional or physical. All of those are manipulation, but they are manipulations that the target would have willingly agreed to beforehand, if it was practical. Like people who are into BDSM, sort of -- sometimes tactics that are bad in one context are welcome in another.

      Now think of your own self. If you are at all sociopathic, you're probably very familiar with the tactics of self-manipulation. It may be easy to lose your sense of self in all of these manipulations. You feel like, if I can do these things and it leads to better *results* for me, I should do it, because why not, right?

      I'll give you an example. I teach Sunday School, right? And my therapist is Mormon. the first couple of times I taught in this new congregation went really well. I'm an engaging teacher and I know how to pull on heartstrings to have everyone walking out of there on a spiritual high. Probably an exaggeration, but you get the picture. The therapist tells me to instead of focusing on people's reactions to the lesson, focus on my own experience with the lesson. I am supposed to teach what I want to teach disregarding how it might be received by the audience. I try it the first week and fail, people didn't like the lesson as much and I didn't really get that much out of it. But I stuck with it and really tried to focus on my own self as I prepared in the ensuing weeks -- is this a topic I'm interested in? What questions do I want to ask, rather than what questions would elicit the best emotional responses in others? And now I really enjoy teaching in a way that has been missing. By focusing almost entirely on myself, I am also a better instructor in a lot of ways because it comes more from a place of sincerity. If I don't focus on the output in terms of how people react, there is no temptation to manipulate or to bend myself to their will. And because I never have to bend, there is no stress or desire to snap back violently to my "original position" than there might otherwise have been. See, I never really thought I had an original position because it was so easy to be anything else but that. But if I just focus on indulging myself, I have found that I actually do have certain preferences and things that I would do if output and other people's impressions of me didn't matter at all. There actually is something under my mask, which has been an interesting thing to discover, to say the least.

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    7. M.E. Can you please expand on this? I just told this person that I can see through the "mask" and he seems rather ashamed of it, won't even look at me in the eyes anymore. I thought he might be flattered to have somebody to confide into but he seems to continue to distrust... Is intimacy with a sociopath impossible? will the mask always be a barrier?

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  10. Sorry, I forgot to put M.E, all the anonymous comments are one person. They all should of had an M.E for the questions. If you can answer them, it would be helpful. I never understood my parents and other behaviors until I found the word sociopaths. My life is completely manipulated by them. I started researching psychopaths and led me to all of this. I am mostly interested in the mask because that is one common trait I see the psychopaths and narcissist doesn't have. Just sociopaths. Your answers would help me understand them better. There is so much confusion about sociopaths/psychopaths/narcissist. Those are all my questions I always wanted to ask. Thank you in advance if they get answered. Sorry I didn't put M.E, I was just so overjoyed to start commenting and asking. Or having the opportunity.

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  11. M.E.:

    How are you doing? Have you considered yourself "bounced back" from the fallout of the book?

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    1. I think I sort of felt traumatized the first month or two, like I had just suffered through a month or so of a very bad flu, just because there was so much personal life upheaval and random hate. The worst part about it was that it was unpredictable who would turn against me or when. So I felt a little like a dog in those experiments where they shock them randomly for no apparent reason. I started feeling better by month three or so. I think I have lost a lot of my faith in humanity, what was there. But in my day to day life, not much has changed. I still do things I enjoy with people I love. So I guess I have bounced back, yeah?

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    2. What did you hope to gain from publishing your story? Were you disappointed by the reaction? Do you think it would have been different if you had simply published your memoirs without the 'sociopath' tag?

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    3. Thank you for responding. Considering the circumstances, it sounds like you have. Glad to hear it.

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    4. I definitely think there is something insidious sounding about the word "sociopath" that might have ruffled people's feathers and created an impression that I was not ever to dispel.

      I think in publishing the book I was hoping to leave behind a trail of breadcrumbs for those who would follow after me. That seems to have been pretty successful. I still get emails daily from people who have found themselves in my descriptions and learn to understand themselves a little better, so that is gratifying. I don't think I changed too many minds about sociopathy. I think I used to feel like we were just misunderstood, and that was why we were hated. Now I think that it's not just that we do bad or good things, but that people find it a little morally repugnant that we don't have empathy or a conscience. Maybe I still don't understand how exactly sociopaths are perceived by the general populace -- I generally only hear feedback from the extremes.

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  12. "Why would their reputation or status mattered to a sociopath? if they are unaffected by most things? "

    The short answer is because they matter to other people. When I swim in salt water, I swim differently because I am more buoyant. If I swam in maple syrup, I would probably swim differently. I don't have to be consciously aware of the differences, my stroke style just naturally adapts to continue to minimize drag and maximize forward propulsion. Unfortunately, reputation and what other people think of you is becoming more important. For the good side of that see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OCAT0Uk5j0

    For the bad side: http://www.economist.com/node/21550237

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  13. M.E.:

    In reading about sociopathy, it seems like the scientific community does not consider sociopaths being "crazy" because they're rational, and often smart. However, in my experience with somebody, his behavior is definitely "crazy" even though he's rational and sometimes plans in advance, e.g. He's burst out and slammed somebody, has trust issues, controlling, etc. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this point of view, since that looks "crazy" to me, as in mentally abnormal.

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    1. In my experience I have met people who are calm and scheming. When I call them out for being a sociopath and they drop their mask, they tend to be very hostile. I have met people who are crazy as you said, impulsive, control freaks, trust issues, backstabbers Judas types who just wants to get even and win at all cost. Either those are sociopaths. Psychopaths, or even delusional psychotics which is different.

      Maybe there is a high functioning and low functioning type of anti social personality disorder of people. In my research it depends on the person I.Q. Lower I.Q tends to do low cons. High I.Q tends to be more corporate and stuff. This is just my observation from my experience. I research this topic intensively because the other one sounds like my dad when he gaslights and blames me for everything. But the upper statement about the calmness reflects my dad acting nice to everyone around church or work. So maybe you are seeing two sides to a sociopath. But yes I have met a guy with trust issues who didn't disclose info about himself. He would keep insulting one target at a time sniping at them. He keeps trying to ruin my online persona ever opportunity he can get me banned or destroy my rep. I am famous online on certain sites. He acts calm until he gets into an argument. Every sociopath I have ever met, seems to manipulate people though their weaknesses like some type of bully. They also go crazy as you said, when you blame them. It seems like they can't take blame, they always blame you 100%. That is what they call gaslighting, distorting your reality with blame. This is only my opinion and experience. I don't speak for anyone else.

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    2. Sorry, see above for the response to the first post.

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    3. I think a lot of what you describe as crazy behavior may just be unpredictable behavior -- unpredictable to you. When you call them out on their stuff, they may actually perceive that to be crazy behavior. Because they may have considered their interactions with you to be part of a deal, they put up with your bad behavior and then you put up with theirs. So maybe when you get angry at them they think, well I could have gotten angry at you too for all of the stuff you pulled, so you must just be trying to renegotiate more favorable terms for this interaction. Just a thought, without knowing the specifics of the interactions.

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  14. M.E..

    Have you ever felt particularly interested in anyone you've spoken to on the site? and if so, have you or would you contact them further?

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    1. I have. I really liked Daniel Birdick. I felt like we would get along well in real life. There are other people that I've almost always agreed with or appreciated their thoughts or learned a lot from their perspective. Sometimes people email me and I keep up a little bit of a correspondence, but a lot of that has fallen on the wayside as I've gotten so far behind in responding to people's emails.

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  15. Several months ago, I met this guy at work, from the beginning I had a feeling about him, and over time realized I couldn't remember his face, worried about my memory I checked with my doctor and was told I'm fine, he was trying to seduce me, then I began noticing his expressions were over done and fake, no feeling, then his other symptoms appeared, antisocial, dropped his mask. Now I wonder if my mind knew subconsciously that he is a sociopath before I realized it...? Nobody around me notices, so is this a uber empath ability or if people paid attention they could see it and feel it too? All I remember is his dilated pupils, even though I see him every day.

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    1. Again, see my response above.

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  16. Borderline is NOT sociopathic correct? The Borderline is the
    "ALMOST" Psychotic. He/she comes CLOSE to Psychosis but
    does NOT cross the "line." Like Casey Anthony's imaginary
    "friends."
    Some say Casey was a good mother. Others say Casey was an
    abusive mother. As a Borderline, she could be both.
    A series of snapshots on the cover of "Imperfect Justice," by
    Jeff Ashton, shows Casey's many faces. In a matter of seconds she
    can go from happy to sad, smiling to enraged. Is this typical of the
    borderline?

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    1. Borderlines aren't necessarily psychotic, not in the way that mental health professionals conceptualize and define psychosis anyway. Sometimes they may have episodes of paranoia which may be classified as psychosis. There is, however, much more violence in the borderline population, statistically, than in the sociopathic populations.

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    2. I actually know very little about borderline personality disorder, except that they seem to behave differently in different situations or different cycles of a relationship. From what I know about them, it seems like they can see things through an emotional or maybe emotionally biased lens sometimes, but I don't think BPD is characterized by psychosis.

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  17. M.E.:

    What's you favorite music group or act?

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    1. Most recently I really liked Wilco. When I was growing up it was No Doubt. Currently I've been listening a lot to Arvo Part and Stevie Wonder.

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    2. Part - time lover?

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    3. Wilco? I love it. They have so many feelings. The irony is killing me.

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    4. Part-time lover is a classic.

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    5. Maneater by Hall and Oates? What song identifies you the most? I'm bipolar and Bitch by Meredith Brooks is quite fitting :)

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    6. I haven't really thought of it, but just off the top of my head I have probably most often identified with "Always a Woman" by Billy Joel or longer ago "Short Skirt Long Jacket" by Cake.

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    7. Could definitely see you liking Short Skirt Long Jacket, all the contradictions still adding up to a highly desirable but unlikely woman. Love that song.

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  18. Tell us about your homeworld M.E.

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    1. Sociopathworld? Like is their kryptonite that I am inexplicably allergic to?

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    2. Yes! please do share...

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    3. It's pretty much a dysfunctional, super smart family surrounded by friends who are a bit misfit for one reason or another, so can accept the fact that I'm a bit off myself.

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  19. M.E

    Besides the mask I noticed that sociopaths tends to have intense looking eyes. I did my research and looked at the photographs. (schemers) Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, ect. They all seem to have really intense sharp gaze. One eye seems to be higher than another with a lazy eye. Some people said the lazy eye was result of frontal lobe damage. Is this true?

    Another type of sociopaths I met had very angry upset eyes. They tend to be the type who uses pot shot insults at other peoples weaknesses. They call them snipers for difficult people in the work place. They do claim most bullies are sociopaths. It is like they are smiling with a fake smile. But a genuine smile seems to involve all the muscles of the face including the eye level area. This is one trait I noticed of sociopaths. This is like a mask of deception but I can easily tell by the sharp gaze of the eyes. Have you noticed that?

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    1. Interesting. I kinda think the intense eyes are kinda sexy.

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    2. I used to think it was sexy too, now I'm actually wary of their look because I don't know if they're attracted to me or targeting me for abuse or both!

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    3. I don't really agree that most bullies are sociopaths. I tend to think of bullies as being people who are overly invested in enforcing social norms, at least adult bullies. I think of internet trolls who correct people's grammar errors or the old teacher from Notes on a Scandal, or the woman who went after this guy: http://www.sociopathworld.com/2014/05/disgust-part-2.html

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    4. I wrote the original post. I am actually an expert troll. I troll forums for more than a decade but retired. I have been doing that too long.

      This article makes some claims. It isn't about correcting spelling. I am able to insult dozens of users I deemed sociopaths, bullies and hostile aggressive. This article says psychopath, but I have met a lot of sociopaths as trolls, anti trolls. Also those who fits under anti social personality disorder. I don't think trolls are dangerous.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/online-trolls-are-psychopaths-and-sadists-psychologists-claim-9134396.html

      I don't think all online trolls are psychopaths. Some really are secondary psychopaths adopting the behavior of trolling to fit in. But they don't actually have genes of a sociopath or psychopath. As you said, maybe it is about peer pressure or social norm. I know this because my dad bullies me and he is a total sociopath even after all these years. Blaming the victim for their flaws and gaslighting them. My dads brothers and sisters acts like trolls. My aunt would insult everyone without a mask. While others would wear a mask being passive aggressive. I am sure it is in the genes. But my cousin and brother were nice people though. Maybe it is genes (nature) and how you were raise (nurture) that might bring out the sociopathic psychopathic behavior. Most are not violent in my experience. Just lacks remorse and empathy.

      This other site is another source about bullying in general. Lots of the bullies I knew, grew up as criminals. The popular kids of course does it for social peer pressure for the social ladder as I noticed before. But among them, there are drug dealers and criminal gangsters I knew growing up that fits the profile of a sociopath.

      http://bullyonline.org/workbully/serial_original.htm

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    5. Yeah, I don't mean to knock trolls in general. I have met expert trolls before and gotten to appreciate the artistry of it a little. But I do think grammar error trolls are often not expert. I think those people maybe are trying to enforce social norms and pigeonhole people for the sake of maintaining the status quo and their position as being relatively high (never very high, because people at the very top of any hierarchy never feel quite the same need to put other people down as the people that are just sort of near the top and feel like they need to make clear that distinction to the people below them).

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    6. Very interesting, the breaking point when I realized he is a sociopath is when he smiled at me and I saw the muscles flexing towards the back of the cheeks with an intense stare in the eyes, I realized that there was no feeling behind that expression

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  20. At what age did you first realize you were 'different' and what are your parents' recollections about your behavior at that time? Did you 'act out' more before you realized you had to wear a mask for the rest of the world?

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    1. I don't think my parents were paying close attention. I came right after my brother and my sister came 2 years after me. They both happened to be very self-interested. I think people probably described me most frequently as precocious. I think I seemed like a weird hodgepodge of very smart, unemotional, and conniving all wrapped up in the body of a small girl.

      I definitely acted out more when I was a child, but I think we all did.

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  21. M.E

    Are sociopaths stubborn? That is a trait that seems universal. I'll explain, sociopaths I met, including my ex girlfriend. They all believe their opinion were facts. If you tried to challenge them with cited information, they get angry and dismiss it. Like bullies or whatever, they already made up their mind that they are right. I noticed this and when I point something out. These sociopaths tends to get really stubborn, dismiss info and attack the messenger. It is almost a universal trait I noticed with a sociopath. They all believe their opinions are facts. They never do much in the way of research because they always think they are right. Is this true of you too?

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    1. I think that I sometimes don't believe in the same facts that other people, but I usually don't care to correct someone of something that I believe to be wrong. This does not sound super sociopathic to me. I think sociopaths tend to, if anything, believe that truth is relative, which is why they are so flexible with the truth/lies.

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    2. To counter your point. Lets use schemers like Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson. They believed their own deluded web of lies and refuse to listen to the opposing point of view. I think that is a good example. I know this to be true because I dealt with so many sociopaths. I have two parents like that and a girlfriend. The truth gets dismissed.

      Maybe to a sociopath, either my view is they believe their own web of lies like Charles Manson. Or they simply don't see truth as the same as everyone else. But something that can be changed, manipulated, dismissed. That is my counter reply. Their opinions are facts. I often would cite sources all the time to my claims. They would get dismissed. In fact I cited a few articles throughout this blog. It is just an interesting phenomena I have noticed. Just bringing it to your attention. I am learning a lot from your answers. Thank you.

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    3. I guess I don't think that Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson were sociopaths. Otherwise I would probably agree with you, because I agree that they seemed caught up in their own delusions and were deaf to views counter to their own.

      I appreciate that you bring up opposing points of views. But after I or anyone else considers them, we can still reject them, right? That doesn't necessarily make us stubborn? I love to be proven wrong. But I do have pretty high standards for developing (or discarding) a belief -- pretty clear and convincing evidence of a particular reliability. And unfortunately, things are rarely so clear?

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    4. Charles manson is a very emotional guy.

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  22. M.E.
    Have you ever been a target yourself? Has anyone ever tried to mimic you or copy you in any way? Have you ever been a mentor figure to another sociopath or sociopath-like person?

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    1. For sure I've been a target in a hundred different ways. People think that all of my ruining people was gratuitous but almost all of it was in reaction to someone else's aggression (i.e. restraining orders were going to be against them, not me). Of course, I admit that there was probably something about how I dealt with them that triggered them in a way that a normal person would not have triggered them, but again that is not necessarily because I behaved poorly. Sometimes the worst ruining situations arose out of me being overly nice to someone and having them fixate over my role in their life and come after me.

      I don't think people have tried to mimic me more than people will naturally adopt certain mannerisms or behaviors of those they interact with.

      I have not been a mentor figure, except to sometimes strategize with people about a specific situation or to help them learn to understand themselves better and/or generally just deal with who they are in a way that is more beneficial to them.

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  23. https://www.facebook.com/ce.lina.5245

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  24. Do you get angry when somebody dups you? like an empath you're targeting who unbeknown to you knows you're a sociopath and keeps playing the game to get back at you. Shouldn't a socio take it more kindly like "what goes around comes around" instead? =)

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    1. That questions was for M.E. =)

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    2. I don't get angry when I get duped. Usually I am impressed. The one small exception might be like getting defrauded by a business or something. But if it is a one on one chess game and I got outplayed, bravo.

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  25. Where do you feel comfortable taking off your mask. (Or maybe I should rephrase the question.) With whom do you feel comfortable with? - with your self-identity. Where your "self" is not threatened, and the label Sociopath does not exist in those interactions.

    Your basically free to be you with no judgements attached.

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    1. I feel like I am most comfortable around my family. I speak funny around them, I act funny around them, I say outrageous things and generally just do whatever I want. There are a few friends that I feel the same about. They may judge me for my behavior sometimes, but they are very careful to not reject me as a human being.

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    2. :-) I really enjoy this blog M.E. And I respect all that you have written and expressed. I'm glad to hear your family is supportive of you ...and you can let loose goofing around with them, along with your closest friends.. by your side with full acceptance. Those are the genuine relationships to have.

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  26. Question for M.E.
    Dear M.E.
    One of my close friends is a psychopath. We get along very well, probably because I have some very psychopathic traits myself. There is another student at my school who my friends like a lot, and I commented to my psychopath friend that something about him seemed off. Not dangerous, just weird. I have pretty good instincts, and my psychopath friend agreed. There is something off with him. None of my other friends agreed, and said that they liked him a lot, and thought that he was a genuine person. My question to you is instincts: why do you think that certain people, especially sociopaths/psychopaths have these instincts? Why does a non sociopath like myself have similar instincts to a psychopath, yet my other non psychopath friends are completely devoid of any? I think it may be people like myself and my psychopath friend who wear a mask to fit in to society can spot other mask wearers easily. I'm assuming you have had similar experiences, and I would value your feedback.

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    1. This question is a little like the one about labels that I responded to above. I think that the more black and white of a thinker you are, the less able you are to see small tells in another person's behavior. You want to look a person and say either "christian" or "not christian", "white" or "not white". If/when these people notice something off about it, they will feel uneasy until they come upon a readymade explanation for the offness -- maybe "class clown" or "mormon" or "book worm" or "nerd" or whatever else it is. As oppressive as these labels often are to people, if you're trying to hide, they are often the best places to hide under.

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    2. I have one other question for you M.E. I'm assuming you have heard of the book "almost a psychopath". Do you feel that these types of people exist? If they do, I am pretty sure I am one. I do have a sense of morality, but I can gauge it to whatever situation I'm in. If I am around a group of people who can help me benefit somehow, but they are involved in charity groups I can switch to being the most empathetic, caring, charitable person on the planet. If the opposite is the case, I can lack compunction for most actions. I can feel empathy at select times, but am callous overall. I wear a mask like you, but it feels slightly more natural then what you describe. I am also an incredibly calculating person. Do you think these almost psychopaths/sociopaths exist, or do you think it is another label for psychology to give to people that they can't figure out with a brain scan?

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    3. that is a very interesting answer, ME. My takeaway- the less binary we force our thinking to be, the better our radar becomes.

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    4. I think that sociopathy is a spectrum and that any cut off is a little bit arbitrary. Researchers estimate that 1-4% of the population is sociopathic. There's a big difference between 1% and 4%. Probably some of that is just sampling error and statistics, but I think it is also difficult for researchers to define what exactly a sociopath is, particularly when you start getting further from the extreme end of the spectrum. But I still think it is often helpful to use psychological labels, even if sloppily. For instance, I would never be diagnosed with OCD, but sometimes I tell people, "sorry, I'm just being OCD," or think to myself, "wow, that person is pretty OCD," and I feel like it facilitates my interactions with people in both instances. I sort of wish that we could do the same for sociopathy. "Sorry, I'm a bit of a sociopath" when we offend or, "watch out, she's a little socio". It basically is just an acknowledgement that we are all different and respond differently to different stimuli. Being more open about that seems like it could only help, not hurt.

      But quick answer, yes, I do think there are people who share a lot in common with sociopaths without being able to be clinically diagnosed as a sociopath, but that it is still helpful to say that they are sociopathic or "almost sociopaths".

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  29. DEAR M.E.
    When you meet aspies, do you feel a connection or understanding? Do you think you're able to understand them in a way that most NTs can't?

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    1. Yes, I do. I'm not sure if they would agree with that statement. Maybe because although I have a certain unique perspective on them and general tolerance, I don't have the sort of sympathy or pity responses that they may be used to getting from certain people. I don't think they're special people, necessarily, if that makes sense?

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  30. M.E I want your autograph please.

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    1. Ok. Send whatever you want autographed to my agent's address: http://stonesong.com/

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  31. Once a sociopath picks a target, can they change their view of him/her and become real friends? or will they always see the person as a prey? how do relationships evolve or change for sociopaths?

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    1. I think they can shift a little, but there is something sticky about the idea that someone is prey. I started dating someone as prey, tried to shift it into legitimate, but the transition never worked out completely. Maybe that was because it wasn't going to work out anyway, but I've never really found that that anyone I have targeted as prey as stuck around as long as the people who were never prey, unfortunately.

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    2. what's sticky? the challenge?

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    3. Stickiness is sort of just economics speak to mean hard to move away from an initial position. Maybe it's why getting friendzoned seems like such a kiss of death -- it's hard to get of that categorization and become a romantic interest.

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    4. Ok, I'm his romantic interest but he picks on me too, so I'm confused... he treats a couple others like friends and ignores the rest, maybe it's utilitarian, whatever purpose he saw he stuck to it, but I think he likes me nonetheless

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  32. What's your thrill activity?

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    1. Wow, I don't know if I have just one or even one reliable one. Probably my most regular one is performing live jazz, because I'm not quite good enough for it to always go smoothly. I like to be in foreign cities where I don't speak the language, especially late at night. That's probably my go to thrill activity, dangerous neighborhoods, dangerous situations, in whatever form.

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  33. What do you like best about being a sociopath?

    What is your biggest regret?

    If you had a magic wang and could make yourself neurotypical- would you?

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    1. I think the thing I like best is the different vision of the world. I've never been caught up in what people think of me. I've never really suffered self-doubt, or nothing lasting or memorable. I've never bought into the rat race or the prestige war. And I can see other people differently than most people too. I can see more of what I think is their true value, instead of always seeing what they look like on paper (I know that empaths can do this too, it's just that they often have to overcome preconceptions or peer pressure to do so).

      I would probably make myself neurotypical now because it would be an interesting change of pace.

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  34. that's funny- I wrote magic wang which will no doubt be interpreted sexually by adolescent males. Sorry to disappoint, fells. I meant wand, not wang.

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    1. I won't lie, I did a double take and laughed out loud. Is 20 too old? :-)

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    2. We're never too old for that kind of thing. Sometimes I feel like I am a perpetual 14 year-old.

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  35. "It does seem like it's time for M.E. to take a hiatus for the Summer (maybe permanently?) She's kept this going a long time and it's kind of reaching it's natural conclusion. My question for M.E. What's next for you? Honestly. What do you see for your future?(next few years?) (sorry if someone already asked this, I haven't read any of the posts. In fact, I haven't visited the site in a couple weeks. Guess it's been winding down for me too.) I've learned a lot here, thanks M.E. for taking the time every day to give us something to think about. "

    You're welcome. I haven't decided what to do with the site. I'm thinking of trying to make it more of a website with resources and less of a blog, but that's quite a big project so it may take some time to get around to it. I started writing a book proposal about cultivating or defending against leverage. I don't know if I want to go through book publicity again, though. I have always wished that I could say the things that I've said without myself becoming the topic of conversation. I know that sounds strange considering I wrote a memoir. But I never wanted it to be a memoir. I was eventually convinced (and a little strong-armed) into talking so much about myself. My people told me that if I just presented a clear picture of myself, than people could have a clear vision of what a sociopath might look like (even if perhaps an atypical one), rather than just the vague generalities of diagnostic criterion. I had hoped to just be an illustration of what a sociopath might look like, not to ever be perceived as a definitive version or even to have people examine my life too closely at all. It's not like I'm running for elective office or something. For most people, I will never impact their lives in any way. But I think I became the target of a lot of projected hate. I guess I did end up standing in for every sociopath, in a way, in the sense that I became the concrete target for aggression, disappointment, revenge, etc. from many people who feel that they had been wronged by a sociopath in the past.

    But I sort of hope that if I stop writing this site, people will stop writing or caring about me personally. I just wish now that people would forget about me. Like, if I have hurt you personally, maybe you have every right to come after me. But has anyone ever come on here claiming that? I don't like being the convenient receptacle for people's ire. Particularly now that I'm trying to figure out my identity and become a more whole, integrated person. It's not helpful at all to read people's knee jerk impressions about who they think I am based on their own personal experiences or a narrow reading of something I've written, said, or done.

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    1. Understandable. What has made you continue as long as you have?

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    2. Cost benefit at the beginning of the blog was high because I was using it basically as a personal journal to work through some ideas for stuff, leaving bread crumbs behind for people who would come after me, and providing a counterexample for all of the bad stuff I read about sociopathy. After a few years, I sort of wanted to move on, but was in the process of writing the book so had to keep it up for publicity reasons. After the book, I kept it up to again work through some of my thoughts and reactions of what had happened and to explore some topics that I never got a chance to explore before (being a woman, being mormon, and other things that would have exposed me back when I was anonymous). Now, there really aren't any reasons to keep up the blog. I don't really feel the need or desire to work out my personal stuff out in front of an audience anymore, particularly not now that I feel like I'm going in a different direction (not self-exploration and self-congratulations so much as self-identification and growing a more authentic day to day existence).

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    3. It makes me sad you have experienced so much backlash. Personally I consider you to be a credit to humanity and very brave. My world is richer knowing that you exist. SW has been a great mechanism to help me face unhealthy dynamics that I co create. You have performed a public service here, whether you recognize it or not.

      I promise I'm not trying to draw a direct parallel here, but keep in mind what happens to all prophet types who swim upstream. Always persecution, often martyrdom (really hope THAT doesn't happen). The thoughts you put out there mattered and shook people up. In the end, I think history will be kind to you (not that you care about that).

      In the end, though, you have to do what is best for you. Whatever that may be, I am grateful for what came before- so thank you.

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    4. Thank you for doing so for as long as you have. I have found your candor, having come late in your blog's life cycle, to be personally illuminating, in terms of myself and sociopathy. While I might reserve public disclosure of that particular part of me (for unfortunately obvious reason), I can understand what you mean by being more aware and authentic. So in that, it was very productive to go through, based on your musings (with its parallels and differences as unique sociopaths). I understand it, and myself, more, which I could not have obtained through any other avenue. You were invaluable.

      Thank you again, and good luck.

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    5. Thank you both. I've really enjoyed reading your thoughts during your tenure here.

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    6. this website is worth 30000dollar thatsalot

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  36. Do you think that if a relationship lasts with a sociopath, there must be something inherently wrong or different with that person to balance his/her traits? Like being co-dependent, having anxious attachment style, or coming from a dysfunctional upbringing.

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    1. I don't think they have to be dysfunctional, but I think there are a lot of social constraints, peer pressure, etc. that would keep someone from being with a sociopath unless they had opted out or been forced out of the status quo, perhaps for the reasons you cite.

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  37. M.E.
    Have you ever dealt with a target that gets stronger as you attempt to ruin them? Somebody who enjoys your company and realizes that they can profit from your input and your energy? If so, does this annoy you? I am sure each experience is different but in general do you or would you feel some sort of accomplishment, or do you continue to try to find new ways to make the person suffer? Do you get bored?

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    1. A lot of the people I interact with get stronger. I'm not sure if they have gotten stronger as I attempt to ruin them, but really I've only tried to ruin people less than a dozen times in my life, and it's been a long time, so it's hard to say. It doesn't annoy me. I'm a competitor so I like to perform at a certain level, but I also want everyone else to be performing at their best too, otherwise I wouldn't feel the same level of accomplishment. I am not usually looking for ways to make people suffer. Much more often I am just naturally aware of how to make them suffer, and am constantly choosing not to. I do get bored all of the time.

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  38. ME,

    I had such a busy day, and I hate that I didn't get to participate in the Q&A. I hope whatever you decide to do with the blog, that the site stays up in some format. Just as blogging has been therapeutic for you, I think it is therapeutic for many of us that read it and comment.

    My question: Do you ever comment anonymously in the comments? I don't think I've ever seen you interact in the comments, but I've seen a few comments that sounded like you.

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    1. Sometimes I reply anonymously. I never want to put the "m.e." stamp of approval on stuff, so I don't comment as myself. But sometimes, depending on my mood or my interest in the topic, I will interact with other commenters to get them to flush out their positions better because I'm interested in them. I probably do it a handful of times a year?

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    2. It seems to me like you would only be putting the stamp of approval on your own comments. How is agreeing/disagreeing with a commenter different than taking a public stand daily about some topic or another through the blog?

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    3. Getting a commenter to elaborate and showing approval/disapproval are two separate things. One is for more information, which is a neutral stance. The other shows approval/disapproval, not only of the position but also the person. Which is something you don't want to do if you are trying to maintain an equal distance with everyone. It is universally fair.

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    4. I guess I didn't want to put a damper on conversation by implying that if I didn't comment I agreed with whatever was put or otherwise having people wait to see what I said rather than opining themselves. I didn't want to chill discussion. I actually learned this little rule from reading Tim Ferriss, who is kind of a master at motivating people to do things for you.

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    5. The 4 Hour Workweek guy?

      Fair enough, it's your call obviously. People seem to appreciate the interaction though, look at the number of comments on this entry.

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  39. Do you ever read the forum? If so, are there any people there that you always make sure to read?

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    1. I very rarely read the forum, but I do sometimes drop in to see what people are talking about. I always read any particular people, but there are people that I probably choose to avoid reading.

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  40. I have a good question. I keep reading the only way to deal with sociopaths was to avoid them. Being a troll myself, I am a sociopath magnet. I dealt with dozens of them. Even to the point of being stalked by some of the anti troll sociopaths mask wearing types. My parents are both sociopaths. I find I get under attacked for weaknesses and stuff. In the past I would troll these people back or argue with them. This went on for years on forums. In fact I would say I never really won, just delayed my defeat. Sociopaths are hard or impossible to deal with. My dad never had a conscience to apologize for his behavior.

    One of your articles suggest feeding them false information and you win. I field tested that. They still would not believe it sometimes. Other times they pick apart flaws from the false info. They seem to universally use flaws against you.

    Of course my source, cease contact.

    http://www.decision-making-confidence.com/dealing-with-a-sociopath.html

    Is there a better way or just take their advice? I have an ego too, being a troll. So the arguement happens. It is the first time I ever made an excuse and keep walking away.

    If you want a source for them using weakness against you and how to avoid. Here is my source.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-a-Sociopath

    http://www.decision-making-confidence.com/dealing-with-a-sociopath.html

    What would you suggest is the best way to deal with this described type? You don't seem like that to me. A hostile aggressive. Or you don't come across as one like the other sociopaths I met.

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    1. I'm not sure I understand the game of trolling well enough to give advice. Isn't the point to just get a rise out of people? Or is it to cultivate a particular reputation of prestige in a certain community? If it is the former, the best way to avoid people getting a rise out of you would be to only troll insincerely about stuff that you don't really believe in. If the latter, the best way would be to pick and choose arguments that are absolutely winnable and spend the rest of your time picking other people's arguments apart by pointing out well-selected, obvious flaws or things that people will believe are flaws. When they try to fight back, make it seem like they are butthurt or otherwise make it seem like they have taken a simple fight and made it personal. That seems to be the most effective strategy I have seen reading the comments for the past 5 years on this blog.

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  41. M.E.
    How do you pick a target? Can you describe some of the qualities or attributes they might have in common?

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    1. I choose my targets for emotional and psychological satisfaction, so for me they always have to have a superior position to mine or some sort of power over me and I want to flip the script. I'm not always upset when someone has power over me, obviously. Usually I also have to be guaranteed some degree of success: http://www.sociopathworld.com/2013/04/the-lure-of-seductionrape.html

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  42. Do you bully others in real life sometimes? Or passively aggressively point out their weaknesses? Like your friends? I'm curious because I see this all the time. It is the most common pattern I seen, scanning for weaknesses.

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    1. I don't necessarily scan for weaknesses. I just see them. Once my sister told me that she thinks she should get bonus points for being nice to people because she can see all that's ugly about them, but she still chooses to be nice. Whereas she assumes that they are mostly blind to the truth of others, so they're nice out of ignorance.

      I used to bully people, but then I realized that they really hate it, to the point that they might go Office Space crazy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVD3KPUnKHk

      And they turn very unpredictable. It's sort of like lighting a house on fire that you happen to be in.

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  43. M.E:

    It looks like I'm too late but I'll ask anyway.

    What do you want out of life? Fame? Fortune? Family?

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    1. I've never really wanted anything in particular, that has been a major reason why I haven't been able to stick to things. I've always just been interested in new experiences, more than anything else. I always tell my friends (and church leaders during confessional sessions) that I'm a huge sucker for trying almost anything once. I don't regret writing the blog, doing the book, doing the publicity, the fallout, etc., maybe because I don't really regret much in life. But I especially don't regret those things because basically the only person I hurt was me, and I have heard back from a lot of people that have told me that I've helped them. I guess that's the upside of having a global information economy. the downside, of course, is that if you get a bad reputation, that also has a much broader reach than it used to. But I continue to explore in life -- both the macro (travel, trying new things) and the micro (continuing to explore the intricacies of the people in my inner circle) and find that I am endlessly fascinated with both.

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  44. Question: does the zodiac sign Scorpio seem like a "super-being", much more capable & ferocious, when compared to the standard (everyday, non prison) psychopath..?

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    1. Maybe? I actually do have a friend who is scorpio that seems that way to me, such a rigid sense of self and unyielding way of doing things that others naturally sway to her way. But I'm not sure if most scorpios are that way?

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  45. M.E., have you ever considered zoophilia? It seems like a great advantage on paper (take a big dog for example): it'll have sex with you basically whenever you want and there's much less relationship trouble.
    Is there anything you feel sincere disgust for? You say you're all about trying something new at least once, but what about things like necrophilia or blowing up some people, implying you would get away with it?

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    1. I've sort of considered zoophilia, but have never met the right animal that did it for me. If I did, though, I might explore it.

      This is sort of an odd tangent, but I feel like it will answer your questions better than maybe a direct answer would. One of my relatives is very small, just barely a toddler. Sometimes I change his diaper and sometimes I have given him a bath. It's not really that I feel tempted to explore with this child sexually so much as I wonder, what is his sexual world like? He loves to be touched in certain ways, like baby massages or tickling. What about other ways? In some ways, again to my mind which undoubtedly thinks differently than most people, I wonder why I should deprive him of other forms of sensory stimulation just because there is a taboo for them. But I've spoken about it to people I know (including his mother) and they say that if you build that sort of relationship or open that door with a child, they may expect that interaction from you forever and it may interfere with later in life relationships. So I don't. But I don't feel any disgust or natural aversion to anything like that.

      I have to say that I tend to be more attracted to things that appeal to the sexual (e.g. your necrophilia example) than the violent (e.g. your blowing people up example). I'm sure this isn't true of all people who experience bloodlust, but it seems like the ones who crave it the most have some sort of sexual response to the violence? But I don't, at least not typically.

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  46. When I read your article about sociopaths and bisexuality. I noticed almost half of all sociopaths I ever noticed are bisexuals. Why is this? I don't think it is just because it is indiscriminate sexual preference. I seen so many of like that on the forums I go to. Where a guy would flirt with other guys non stop with superficial charm and still have many girlfriends or friends with benefits.

    A second follow up question. Are sociopaths more sexually aggressive? Like double of normal people? Lots of quick short term relationship, cheating, hyper sexuality? I noticed these traits a lot.

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    1. I am not entirely sure, but I think there could be several different aspects contributing to bisexuality. Part of it is a matter of not having a strong preference. Part of it is not wanting to close off the field to a whole 50% of the population. Part of it may be that most people are bisexual, but most people don't feel fine or don't feel inclined to act on it, for whatever reason. Part of it may be narcissism and a desire to mate with same. Part of it is to play at different roles, e.g. being more dominant if female or more submissive if male than hetero relationships typically allow for. I know that one of my favorite parts about hitting on women was the actual dominant hitting on them part. I felt like a predator, going after what I wanted, whereas my usual behavior for hetero relationships was much more passive.

      I think sociopaths tend to be more sexually uninhibited than sexually aggressive.

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  47. M.E.
    I wanted to thank you also. Even though I only read your book a few months ago, started reading your blog shortly after and participated in it a few times in the past little while, it has helped me tremendously.
    Question: do you think it is possible to help an already high functioning sociopath fit even better in society? Would they want the help? To be more precise, there is this person with whom I have achieved a certain closeness over the past few years. I can see he easily antagonizes others around him and he recognizes this fact himself. He often asks me to to smooth out interactions between him and other people or even interact on his behalf. I am quite happy to be 'used' for that purpose as it also helps me forge or strengthen relationships I need.
    His main 'flaw' (something that I learn to very much enjoy in him) is that he seduces people. This works very well for him for short term and very casual or intermittent relationships, but he cannot sustain this level of interaction in longer term relationships. People get annoyed and resentful and start withholding what he needs from them. He then gets very 'personal' and emotionally aggressive with them in ways only a sociopath can. So calm and reasoned - most if the time - finding precisely how to hit where it hurts, then having to re-seduce again, which gets more difficult over time. As I told him before, for other people, the past never goes away. You can see the vicious circle here.
    I realize that if he learns to handle long term relationships better, he won't need me as much and might drop me. That saddens me but I truly want him to be successful (even more than he already is).
    I hope my question makes sense to you. Do you have any advice?

    OldAndWise

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    1. I mean... people start withholding from *him*...

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    2. I think the answer here is sort of like the answer I was giving to Bob with the story about teaching Sunday School. You are right, there will never be enough energy to keep up a seduction long term. And I think it's very awkward to transition from that type of relationship that is initiated, if not founded, on manipulation to one that is not (see response to anonymous above with keyword transition). So really there can be no place for "manipulation" in a relationship that is meant to be long term -- not at the beginning, not ever. At least that is sort of my opinion right now based on recent experience. Now, I put manipulation in quotes because the definition I am using is the same sort of distinction I was talking to Bob about in the same "Sunday School" post. There is manipulation everywhere, but some of it is sort of consensual. Or a more accurate definition if you are spiritual and believe in souls is that people will not feel like the manipulation is an invasion of their individuality or their personhood if it just leads them to become more "themselves", i.e. allows them to act, behave, or otherwise feel as if someone knows them to their soul.

      The problem is that most sociopaths see other people, but the sociopath doesn't himself act true to himself. He presents a show or a front for the other party. And he chooses that front based on what the hoped for outcome will be. In order for a sociopath to be less bad manipulative, they have to focus more on self and process of doing whatever it is they personally would like to do, rather than focusing on doing whatever it is that will lead to the best outcome for them. Does that make sense?

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    3. Yes, M.E., I think I understand what you are saying.
      Your advice is for a sociopath to never use his seduction and manipulation skills with a person with whom he needs or wants to build a long term relationship, for instance a long lasting friendship or work relationship, or with a new family member, unless it is consensual, which is obviously very hard to ascertain.
      It makes sense, because from the empath perspective, once they realize that the sociopath has no emotional investment in the relationship (or that the investment is clearly very different from the way in was portrayed), they feel completely humiliated. The emotional trust is broken and cannot be rebuilt.
      You have mentioned that a sociopath can be obsessed with a person, which is probably as close as s/he can get to feeling in love. You have also described the feeling of powerlessness that can overcome a sociopath in certain situations and make them blow a fuse, when they are reminded of rules they have to follow, for instance. Imagine having those two feelings at the same time and towards the same person.
      And imagine those feelings not going away. You go to sleep with them. You wake up in the middle of the night with them. They are with you in the morning and throughout the day.
      This is a very powerful and explosive cocktail of neurotransmitters. I bet this describes pretty well the state of mind of a person against whom you have thought you needed a restraining order in the past.
      Some people cannot recover from it. And they very rarely get support or understanding from anybody around them. They can hardly understand their own feelings, (perhaps because they are so contradictory to each other), let alone put them into words. Sometimes there is shame added to the mix, especially if the person is heterosexual and has fallen for a sociopath of the same sex as he is and particularly if the person is religious. All they want is for it to stop and to get revenge. This is why and how sociopaths are so abhorred by those who have been seduced then used and dropped by one.
      I have actually just met somebody who feels that way about Lance Armstrong, and he has not even met the guy... very powerful feelings indeed.
      I have mentioned emotional trust being broken, earlier in this post. This is in contrast with intellectual trust. Most people cannot distinguish between the two. They usually go hand in hand, and cannot be dissociated. I have had to learn to dissociate to two to deal with the sociopath in my life. I found that emotional trust is either all or nothing, and I cannot give this to him. Intellectual trust can be on a scale and is much easier to handle. Now I hope that makes sense to you. I am still working through this myself...

      OldAndWise

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    4. You also talk in your answer about about the fact that the sociopath needs to learn about his own inner self. I find it fascinating that you mentioned this. A few months back, I had a similar exchange with the sociopath in my life. Not from his point of view exactly, but from mine. I tried to explain how it felt to be at the receiving end of his attention: it always feels like it is about me, never about him. He never discloses his objectives or his wants (apart from all encompassing goals of money and power).
      Now after what you said, it makes sense. Most likely, he does not exactly know himself. He has this image of himself of what and how he wants other people to see him, how and who he thinks he should be, an image that shifts slightly depending on his environment. I also noticed he is completely unable to mix his personal and professional life. It must be so confusing. No wonder he feels like being bored is stressful. When you are bored, you have to face yourself and reflect on who you are and what you want. I can understand that seeing this very blurry image of yourself can actually cause a certain amount of perhaps fear and certainly discomfort. Hence always wanting to see and learn new things, study and affects others, travel, anything to keep your mind occupied so you don't have to face the blurriness and emptiness. I hope I understood you correctly.

      I don't feel I can discuss the details of my relationship with the sociopath in a public blog. That would be breaking the (rather small) amount of trust he has been able to put in me over the years, but your input is really helping me, and potentially him in the future if I am able (and allowed!!!) to convey those thoughts. I thank you for this.

      OldAndWise

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  48. Hi ME, four questions here if you feel like answering any or all of them:

    • Have you ever gone through a phase of blaming your parents for your upbringing and, if so, how did you move beyond it?
    • Tell us about the one who got away.
    • Have you considered a career change to medicine? You'd probably make a good psychiatrist.
    • Have there been legal any ramifications for you following publication of the book?

    Wishing you luck in whatever you decide to do next.

    Carrie

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    Replies
    1. I don't think I ever blamed my parents, because I never thought of it as a bad thing. I still don't. I realize that what my parents did was unorthodox and sometimes perhaps abusive, but I never saw myself as a victim of abuse or mistreatment. If anything, I felt like the biggest problem in my childhood was benign neglect that made me a very independent, but also sort of callously unemotional individual.

      The boy I fell in love with in the midwest was a guy who wanted to be a firefighter and loved me because I shopped at thrift stores and played the drums. He was simple and straightforward and I had a crazy strong physical attraction to him. Since breaking up with him, I have decided to never let anything external get in the way of my relationships. If I could live with them on a desert island, then I will find some way to make it work in this world.

      I have thought about psychology and even looked into it a little bit, but part of me thinks that I wouldn't be allowed to do it. I've thought about doing the cheap version, maybe life coach or something, but I'm not sure if I have really practical tools for anybody to use, at least not yet.

      There haven't been any legal ramifications for me following the publication of the book. There have been some open legal questions, like does the American's with Disability Act cover antisocial personality disorder?

      Thanks for the luck!

      Delete
  49. Hi M.E
    Would a sociopath admit he/her lied to his psychiatrist to his psychiatrist if he/her was after a clinical diagnosis?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that if a sociopath has gone to a psychiatrist looking for actual answers, he would admit he lied. If not, then I'm not sure why he is seeing a psychiatrist, but my guess is to play some sort of game or otherwise pursue a project.

      Delete
  50. Conscience v.s. Ethical code. What are the differences? Can a sociopath have ethics without a conscience?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One involves emotions almost by definition (feelings of guilt), the other does not. I think that everyone has some code of ethics, maybe not the ones that most people agree on: http://www.sociopathworld.com/2014/01/ethical-sociopaths.html

      Delete

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  52. M.E.:

    If you decide to end the blog, will you make an archive of it available to download?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thanks for all of the information M.E., I have very much enjoyed reading your perspectives on interactions and life. They've helped me out a great deal the past few months and I expect that will continue to be true in the future.
    -Angie

    ReplyDelete
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