Monday, June 2, 2014

Could I be?

A reader engages in self-introspection:

I grew up with an overwhelming sense of being separate from other people. It’s still something I feel to this day. I studied psychological conditions from the time I was a teenager in an attempt to put a label on what made me not like everybody else. I always dismissed antisocial personality disorder because I’ve never done anything criminal, I don’t torture animals (in fact I generally like them), and I’m definitely not promiscuous. In fact, most of the time I can’t be bothered enough with other people to get into anything that leads to a romantic or sexual situation.

For a long time I thought I must have Asperger’s. My brother had it, so I figured I must as well, and I’d somehow stayed below the radar. But that wasn’t right because unlike my brother who has difficulty relating to other people and getting them to trust him, I’ve always been good at gaging other people’s emotions and figuring out what makes them tick. Whenever I take emotional quotient tests I score at the far end of the bell curve. So it’s not that I don’t see other people’s emotions, it’s just that most of the time I think they’re ridiculously stupid.

I can’t stand interpersonal emotional drama because most of the time it’s highly avoidable, and the results are always so predictable. I just don’t have the patience for it. I also detest social niceties and only use them when I have to, to put others at ease. I’ve been called manipulative my whole life by my mother. I guess I am. As a child I used to practice saying things to people and predicting exactly what their response would be, just to see if I could get it right. I usually did. It was a game. Say or do A and watch people react with B. I’d deliberately say something to plant an idea in my friends’ heads, and watch them carry it out. I still do both things. It’s pretty automatic now. I also have a knack for becoming a different person for different people based on their likes, dislikes, personality etc. Whatever their personality is I mimic and reflect it back at them.

Sometimes this gets me into trouble. Most recently I chased someone for almost six months until they liked me back. As soon as I had them I completely lost interest. No longer felt any attraction. In fact they repulsed me, everything about them irritated me. When they finally called me out on my distance and lack of desire for a meaningful relationship I was so irritated by the fact that they’d actually called me out on my behavior. I absolutely hate it when people see through my outer nice girl persona. It’s probably the thing that makes me the angriest. So I called it off. It just takes so much energy. And if I’m honest, I’m sometimes disturbed by my lack of a sense of self. No baseline personality, beliefs, dislikes, likes etc that I can discern. No ability to truly believe in anything.

My emotions have always felt cold and somewhat muted. I feel like I must have them. I get happy, I get sad, I get annoyed etc. But I feel like my responses are so much less powerful than everybody else’s. I used to think that everybody must be faking their exaggerated emotional responses to things. Part of me still thinks they must be. I just can’t fathom being that emotionally engaged in something that doesn’t directly affect me. In high school, when the tsunami happened in Thailand I remember shocking a friend. She was going on about how sad it was, and without thinking I told her that while I could see that it was a sad event, I personally didn’t really care because it had absolutely no bearing on my day to day existence. Maybe I’m just pragmatic, but I’ve never felt particularly moved by distant tragedy. But I am fascinated by it. I like watching traumatic situations unfold. I don’t know why I just do.

But I do care about certain people. Namely immediate family with the exception of my father who is useful insomuch as he provides financial security. If my mother and siblings died I’d be devastated. They’re the only people who raise that sort of emotional response in me. Friends and acquaintances I’ve dropped without problem. I’ve deliberately played people against each other, though not with the intention of hurting them. I’ve actively tried to sabotage work relationships between people I don’t like. And I have actively fantasized about killing people who cross me. I wouldn’t go through with it though. I also try to live by the rule of do unto others as you would have done unto you. I think it’s a good one for judging what you should and shouldn’t do to people. But I think these are things that all people do. I think I just do them with more self-awareness. Whether that’s a byproduct of intelligence or emotional detachment I couldn’t say.

I’m still not convinced I’m a sociopath. I always just chalked my issues up to a somewhat dysfunctional upbringing stunting my emotional development. Maybe that is a sociopath though. But how could I be a sociopath and be able to have strong emotional attachments to my family?

37 comments:

  1. Do sociopaths have any ability to love? I fell hard and deep for a guy I thought I knew. I married him only to have him cheat on me, use me for things and kill our first born son so he could be with this girl. He was even nice enough to let me pick out their home. I'm curious if that girl is really loved or safe. If he could do that to our son...and I'm lucky to still be living... What exactly is to say he won't plot to harm, use or murder this girl?

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    1. I'm so sorry about your son. What happened? Hugs X

      Forget about the women he's with. And thank God your out alive. Allow yourself to go through the proper grief stages, and concentrate on yourself and your safety.

      My condolences again.

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    2. If you think this women's life is in danger, call the police. And why isn't your ex behind bars?

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    3. Interesting, did it hurt emotionally? are you in pain?

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  2. We can't "save" or control another person. We can only save
    ourself. Also, a sociopath can have passions and preferences
    just like any other person. A soccer fan can be passionate about
    "his" team, and kill the fans of another team.
    Elliot Rodger was quite passionate about what he wanted, and
    when it didn't come to him he killed.

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  3. Hello young female version of myself.

    Have you ever met someone like yourself? I sometimes wonder if I have, though I avoid social interaction to an extent that it's probably unlikely. Anyways, I'm not sure how the conversation would go. I like to let people talk, relate their thoughts and experiences to mine in order to be engaging, and reflect whatever energy they have back at them.

    There's no reason for me to have social phobia. I get along quite well with people, and as vulnerable as I feel initially, once I start talking I almost immediately find my comfort zone. I can't approach people in silence, I can't start conversations, but I can be party to one. I can't initiate contact, but I can perpetuate it. I have some aspects of avoidant personality disorder, but some of my misconceptions are dispelled upon actually meeting and interacting with people.

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    1. You're an interesting character Erik. You come off very monotone though. Do you do that on purpose? Almost sedated. High.

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    2. Not sedated or high. It's funny that you mention the monotone, it's how I sound when I speak as well. I can't help it, never could. Whenever I was evaluated for public speaking, that's the major critique I would receive. It just feels ridiculous to vary my pitch, it doesn't come naturally.

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  4. Manipulation and empathy have both preoccupied my mind since reading this blog, two things that I never given much thought to really. Since this blog talks about personality disorders, I want to talk a lit bit about borderline personality disorder. Professionals say borderlines are manipulative. I never really understood this, but have started to realize borderlines really are quite manipulative, I'm just not sure they are always quite as consciously aware of it as sociopaths. Anyway, there's an interesting situation of a college instructor named Steve Best who works at UTEP, the university in El Paso, Texas who I have no doubt, if evaluated by a psychologist, and administered a battery of psychological tests he would meet criteria for a borderline diagnosis. He has boasted about supporting terrorism, and advocates for violence against other americans on behalf of animals. After a friendship with another activist went sour, she decided to come out and expose him for all the shady things he does, and there is no depth the depravity. He's almost pathological in his lies, loves to manipulate others and try to get them to do his dirty work for him, plays mind games with women, exploits students of his, one in particular he has beaten numerous times, and even broken her bones. As mentioned previously there is a lot of violence in this population, and 45% of cases of domestic violence the individual meets criteria for borderline personality disorder. I could go on and on about the things that he has done, but central to his "activism" on behalf of animals is encouraging others to engage in violence to instill fear (terrorism) in others so that they stop using animals for food, fur, etc. In regards to manipulation, a fascinating phenomenon I have observed in borderlines is they have this amazing way of twisting things to make it seem as though they some how have the moral authority. I'm going to provide a link to the video so that you can watch this phenomenon in action. He repeatedly calls the other activist a "sociopath" using it as a pejorative term (which she isn't, she's a borderline, I have no doubt).

    http://drstevebest.wordpress.com/

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  5. Callous, unemotional. manipulative.

    Impulsive? Selfish? Think the rules don't apply to you? Think you can get away with anything?

    Do you get laser-focused on getting what you want, even if it means you sometimes step on the toes of others?

    If nothing else, sounds character disordered.

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    1. "I also try to live by the rule of do unto others as you would have done unto you. I think it’s a good one for judging what you should and shouldn’t do to people."

      You should learn to read. This is my rule as well. Just because someone is different from you does not mean they're disordered. Are you a saint? Do you follow the golden rule? Clearly not, as you've extrapolated behaviors from a unique personality in direct contradiction to what she's stated. Self-righteous and blind, but don't worry, you're not alone. You're one of many. A sheep, or are you young enough to be called a lamb?

      If I offend, then I apologize. I may have misinterpreted you, it's so hard to determine someone's meaning without seeing their face, their gestures, hearing the inflection in their voice. I accept the possibility that I'm wrong. Tell me, am I wrong?

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    2. Sociopaths do better to follow the platinum rule: treat others the way you think they'd want to be treated.

      The last thing you want is a sociopath giving normal people what s/he would find acceptable - because psychopaths are terrible at anticipating how they or others will feel in response.

      Eg I am a psychopath. If you offer me money to do something, I'm happy, because I have more choices. I might not want to trade with you at your price, but I'm not offended or horrified, even if you, for instance, want to pay me to give you a kidney, pay me to cut off a finger with a rusty knife, pay to fuck my wife, buy a pair of my child daughter's underwear (worn a few days to make them smell extra sexy), pay me to have sex with my daughter or buy my daughter outright (to do with as you see fit).

      If anything, I'll be interested to think, "what price do I put on what this guy wants?" and "what is the max I can get for it?"

      I won't be disgusted, afraid or angry at you for asking. My world is strictly better for you giving me the opportunity to trade.

      If you ask a normal person to sell that stuff, they get upset and perhaps even hateful.

      Now I personally like the smell of a woman's warm panties. I also like it when a woman sits on my face, smashing her lady bits into my nose. If I'm immobilized and she smothers me a bit, great! And I'm frustrated that it isn't acceptable to go up to pretty young women and offer them money for their panties or for a facesitting session. It pains me.

      But if I meet someone and it is clear he wants the same thing, I don't offer him what I want, because unless he's as psycho as I am, just making the offer will anger, sadden, scare or disgust him.

      The author's "I do unto others..." explanation could be due to her being conscientious. Or perhaps she only thinks she is conscientious (typical self-deception). Her friends know best, not her and not us.

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    3. You are oversimplifying it. Sociopaths do understand what "normal" people want and don't want - it is one of the major factors that makes manipulation possible. The difference is that they only care as far as what advantage or opportunity fulfilling that person's want gives in return.

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    4. Bob, I'the psychopath that wrote about panties above.

      One of my concerns is that in the future I'll be in a state where I'd want someone to kill me, but I won't be able to do it, and nobody else will do it for me.I know some other psychopaths who have expressed similar fears. One even explained that when he is too old to do stuff, he plans on offing himself - to avoid boredom. His attitude is that if a person gets to the point of not affording basic stuff, he ought to be liquidated, like a worn out car. Another I know sees the end of life as an optimization problem: at some point he plans on committing crimes that he'd do now, but for fear of long term punishment.

      These guys are all callous, unemotional and utilitarian.

      Even on a good day, when they are trying to be nice to others, they'll do damage. As in, maybe you seem a bit blue, but I know you are a sadist who hasn't been laid in a while, so I take you out and find you an escort that you can treat roughly. I'm being loving and kind to you. You appreciate it. But the hooker winds up needing anal reconstructive surgery.

      When such people (I include myself in there) say, "I try to treat others as I'd want to be treated", I'd tend to think, "that guy doesn't seem very gentle or compassionate to himself or others - so watch out!"

      I'd feel a lot better if I could see the psychopath trying again and again to always do the kind and gentle thing for someone else. And if he said that that is what he tries to do. Anything less and I figure it will be typical shitty underperformance, with potentially catastrophic results.

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    5. That is a non sequitur. I don't understand your answer and how it relates to sociopaths not being capable of anticipating responses. Because as a sociopath, it is because I can anticipate their responses that I can manipulate someone to a wanted outcome in the first place. Without it, it is impossible to follow the "platinum rule" you stated.

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    6. The psychopath that says he follows the Golden Rule isn't necessarily doing what people consider pro-social. E.g. he's euthanizing old people left and right, because he thinks, "if I was that guy, I'd want someone to off me."

      Indeed, the fact that a sociopath can anticipate what someone wants is what allows them to manipulate someone.

      That said, my girlfriend doesn't want me to lie to her so that she feels good and then she gives me what I want. She wants me to sincerely say what she wants to hear.

      If you followed the platinum rule, nobody would think you were a sociopath, because you wouldn't be doing antisocial things. You'd be doing the things people wanted.

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    7. Sociopaths already do follow it. It is a well-recognized basic aspect.

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    8. Sociopaths don't follow the platinum rule, because although people do want a doting boyfriend who wants the best for them, they don't want a sociopath who studies them, pretends to be a soul mate while ruining their life.

      a sociopath is a bit like a tranny. sure i like a woman who likes to dress up and act womanly. but a man that dresses up like a woman and acts womanly, perhaps goings so far as to get breast implants or even a dick removal and fake vagina constructed? that is disgusting, creepy and alarming, even if the tranny works out more, diets harder, wears higher heels and better outfits. even if that tranny sucks cock like a champ, or fucks -with that fake box - like a pornstar, I'm in the "kill it with fire" camp, because I'm having some fear/disgust emotions related to the dishonesty of it all.

      a tranny is not following the platinum rule by dressing up, sucking and fucking like a pornstar and getting awesome hormone therapy and surgery. the way you know that is that such people routinely get killed for tricking dudes into bedding them.

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    9. That does not make sense as an answer. This non sequitur does not explain why. It is like an objection for objection-sake or justification for what you feel about sociopaths. There needs to be an underlying reason given for it, rational or irrational, or else it's just lashing out.

      "Why" are sociopaths the way you say there are (and are not).

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    10. The sociopath that pretends to be a certain thing in order to get what it wants disgusts and bothers other people, the way a tranny disgusts and bothers men, or the way a cybernetic robot would disgust and bother people if it pretended to be a human, only to reveal later that it was a robot.

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    11. With that being said, how does pretending imply a lack of understanding? Just because the externalization may be fake, does not mean that internally there is an incapacity to know and account for it. Most of the time there may not be a matching internal feeling with an external projection, but that does not mean it hasn't happened before.

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  6. Millions of non-sociopathic people rubberneck at road traffic accidents daily. Why that should be I'm not sure but I suspect it has to do with reinforcing ones own sense of robustness, as a kind of low level survival boost. Others bear no love for people that treat them poorly - same deal. Ask yourself what you would do in a situation like an accident or a fight unfolding in front of you - look on or jump in and try to help (factoring in the bystander effect etc.)
    CC

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  7. I show all the signs of being a sociopath, but my parents absolutely hate me and don't care enough to get it actually diagnosed. What is a good way to check behind their backs?

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    1. I suggest you find some DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) people and explain to them that you think you might be borderline (what they want in a client) or sociopath (kryptonite) and ask them. they'll ask why you think what you think. answer correctly.

      you can probably save you and them a lot of trouble - if you've ever been addicted to doing crimes or extreme anti-social thrill-seeking the shrinks will probably call you a sociopath. the normal ones will be scared of you & you'll get the forensic shrinks, who'll classify you as ASPD.

      or read m.e.'s book. does it fit?

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  8. I cant help but relate. Even when it doesn't all connect. I've never really focused in on my actions. In other words I never thought of myself as manipulative. Because everyone in my family is manipulative as well. So I've always been so busy criticizing them.

    Yes I had a dysfunctional childhood. Filled more then likely, to this day, with repressed memories. But years ago, after meeting an extreme hypochondriac aunt on my step fathers side of the family. I came to the conclusion that everyone is crazy, and a majority of society are mentally fucked up. Humans are ghastly and extreme so our brains develop a sort of protective screen, that just so happens to keep out all the nonsense/emotional variables out.

    I prefer being a self proclaimed sociopath. I don't have to reason with my actions. I simply know its who I am. In fact knowing about this disorder, gives me a sense of purpose.

    I don't know what caused this though. Psychopaths=genetic connections, while sociopaths=desensitized active living. Meaning some actions from mainly your childhood produced an adult with the capabilities to except and not question the brutal normality that life is.
    Rc

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    1. What do you mean by "ghastly and extreme"?
      CC

      Delete
  9. Hollow folks "liking" others sure is no myth, a school-mayhem where non-empaths where involved reportedly turned out less messy because perpetrator spared folks he liked. Pity? Personal theory is that psychos can admire others a great deal if they´re considered "high above the rest", even if the psycho in question suffers from severe hatred of man in general. This type may also like animals, contradictory to the often described sadistic early symptoms.

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    1. Sounds like the typical animal rights activist that hates people, but loves animals. Interestingly that's a common theme with borderlines as well. A lot of borderlines are misanthropic philanthropists.

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  10. That introspection stuff made me thnk about music taste: do psychopaths prefer "swollen syntesizer anthems", pompous melodic stuff? Must this be soaring stuff or is melancholia allowed? The "death signs" of the zodiac many times can be slightly addicted to melancholic music, somehow there often are ideas that music "should be" filled with mourning, loss, & wailing. This most likely has to do with very unconscious "hadean" influences. But its treated the way other people would enjoy perky pop tunes, they look for "some good sorrow" to listen casually and hum to.

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    1. That feeling when you have the Moon in Uranus.

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  11. @superchic I cannot go into details as there is a pending investigation. This girl may be in on it as well. I'm really not sure. Thank you. I agree... It took me some time to realise that I need to work on myself. And you are right I can't fix anyone but myself. I completely agree.

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  12. May justice prevail sooner than later on your behalf. Good luck. :)

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  13. When the Jewish Temple got knocked over in A.D. 70, a few
    "diehards" tried to keep the flame alive. They would show up at
    the ruins of the Temple and perform various rituals in mournful
    memory of the Temple and hopes that it would be rebuilt.
    The folks that continue to post here simular. They are like the
    bare reminate of Jews left in Israel during the Babylioan captivity.
    We await Jamie's return. Is it all a myth? Or WILL she return to us?
    t

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  14. Damn....95% me

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  15. Sociopaths can introspect, realize their nature and wish they could change their nature sometimes. The idea that they are incapable of that is one of the most fallacious mainstream ideas about sociopathy. The thing is, you can function so long not caring, then look back, remember and write out all the things you did wrong and then be smiling at the end of it. There's still a cruelish inability to care, and guilt never exists, only an annoyance when you come by something you can't get because of something you did in the past. And those barriers are what is the enemy, and there's no other way of looking at it.

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    1. That is sadism, not sociopathy. It's apathy, not pleasure in pain. You can have both sadism and sociopathy, but it isn't sociopathy by itself.

      As for changing that nature - you can change external behaviors and actions, but the principle thoughts (the way of thinking) remains. This is why treatment is based on a pro-social behavioral change, and why even then it is the most difficult to treat.

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    ReplyDelete

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