Monday, June 30, 2014

People pleasing

People are sometimes surprised to hear how much I "care" about other people--how much I want to "please" them. To them, that's the only explanation for some of my behaviors, e.g. when I go out of my way to help a stranger, or when I'm solicitous or accommodating just past the point of mere politeness and into the realm of generous and sincere. That's where all the real payoff comes, though. Anyone can be politely civil, in fact most people are. If you put forth just a little more effort, you're a standout and in a good way (if you're going to be a standout, and let's face, we all are, it should be for good things as well as bad--it muddies up the signal strength and will make some people doubt their assessment of you as "off" or "wrong").

For example, the other day I was set to have lunch with a professional associate (someone who handles some of my affairs) to meet another possible work contact for a sort of sales pitch. Although it was going to be a networking lunch, I had a friend in town (not in the industry) so I asked if I could bring him along. The lunch went fine, but we didn't talk as much about business as perhaps the new contact wanted. Afterwards I asked my associate, "Do you think she felt like she wasted her time? Should I follow up about XX?" My associate listened to me for a while and finally asked, "Why do you care what she thinks of you?", as if it was the strangest thing in the world for me to be asking all of these questions. The thing is, I wasn't going to necessarily follow up with this woman, and I certainly didn't care whether she felt like she wasted her time or not for her sake, I just wanted to know. I wanted to know to better inform my own behavior just in case I met her again. I wanted to know whether I should be expecting a phone call from her and on what topic so I could plan my response ahead of time to achieve whatever goal I decided on. I wanted to know whether in the future it would be wholly inappropriate to bring a friend to a lunch of that exact type. I wanted to know whether I came off as charming as I hoped I did. I just wanted to know so that if I decided to do something--to snub this woman, to waste her time, to insult her career choice and her business acumen, to be incredibly rude, to have wasted any sort of opportunity, to do the same in the future--that I would be making an informed choice, not bumbling blindly through a world of unknowns.

Knowledge is power, particularly information about a person. It's a very valuable service to be able to anticipate and meet other's needs, should you ever care to. I always like to have that option, so that's why I keep a mental dossier on everyone I associate with regularly. It may seem like "people pleasing", but I think true people pleasing requires you to want what's best for them.


  1. If we are judged by the result of our actions and not by the intent we have probably done more good than bad.

  2. lol i tell peeple to fuck off when i meet them and then i kick them in the scrote sack lol

    1. Be stupid is not enough for you. Show pleasure on it is even more.

  3. If I have broken it off, and then decide that I miss them, I feel my position has been weakened and that I am inviting them to reject me all over again. The oncoming disappointment is too much to bear, so I will like half-ass it and test them. I'm saying "Please come here I miss you, come here so I can kick you in the balls because I know you don't like me." I am angry that I will never get what I want from them--it's like a "If you loved me, YOU would be the one to recontact, and I hate you for not loving me"

  4. Hmmm. And taking the social or emotional temperature of someone, all the better to manipulate or seduce them, has what exactly to do with people pleasing? Being addicted to dominating others is obviously not the same as being addicted to earning the approval and acceptance of others.

  5. long time lurker, first time posterMay 14, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    i'm sure you get a lot of this but...could I have aspd?

    i sometimes pretend to care about people but only until they give me what i want.

    i have no other signs, so far as i know, though i'm hoping i'm not just an asshole.

    anyway, i thought i'd check just in case.

  6. I choose rejecting people, I witness them treat me badly and I am devastated that when I leave they say they don't care. And they don't care. They never cared.

  7. I reject people because I don't care, I never cared, and then I beg them to tell me they're heartbroken. Please please please just tell me that I broke your heart! Please!

  8. I like to fantasize that you like me, adam. After all, my fantasy is all I will get, after all.

  9. Really anon 7:33? You don't care? I do. I am a serial lover, though. I will never leave someone I love. I guess that makes me a stalker of some sort. -if you rent space in my head, I'm stalking's an awful feeling

  10. But I assume everyone does'nt like me

  11. @ 7:33

    Are you a sociopath?

  12. After I beg people I reject to tell me I broke their heart I beg them to tell me I'm a God while I imagine them wanting me but not being able to have me because it's the closest I'll get to shrivelling their soul.

  13. ^Don't. Don't you want me?

  14. i have been told that I often make the mistake of choosing someone, and not paying attention to the fact that they are not good and nice people. I watch them try to destroy me and wait for it...then I pounce and say: seee? I told you you didn't care! You are caught not loving me!!! and they say : and you should have know it. It is that wishful thinking that maybe just maybe they will care . But they don't.

  15. it's so easy to manipulate someone like you, dummy. If not for you, I wouldn't have any money.

  16. K, no one has ever not wanted me, because I am a God. Anyone who has ever stalked me, or preyed upon me, has done so because they are in love with me. There is no other explanation for it as it's simply not possible that someone would not want me.

  17. whats buzzing SW? Oooo it's the night of narc poets!

  18. in fact i'm so good at manipulating people like you for money, dummy, that no one like you has ever guessed i'm doing it or found out any of my little secrets.

  19. Thats the way I like my men. Like you, ^753. You let me relive my broken childhood over and over like a broken record. I imagine I would get tiresome pretty quickly to you/with you

  20. What can I do to make you stay, adam? I see you taking my money but i don't care. I love you anyway.

  21. What can I do to make you stay, adam? I see you taking my money but i don't care. I love you anyway.

  22. When they don't tell me I'm a God which ruins my ability to imagine them wanting me but not being able to have me I stab around in the dark for their weakspot. I will shrivel your soul, underling! I will!

  23. If i was more narcy, I woulnd't feel so bad all the time

  24. But you ARE a god. I try to tell you but it is never enough!

  25. Your underling has no soul. It was robbed at a tender age. You are shit out of luck

  26. I want to give you what you want so badly adam. i want to give it so badly. But I don't have anything. I love you anyway. why don't you believe me when you see me cry . (ok I hide it. But don't you see my swollen eyes? why do you not see me? Why do I have to prove it too you that I love you?

  27. and probably someone like you, too,
    anon 8;03

  28. When I can't locate their weakspot I imagine that their soul is already shrivelled and beseech them to tell me how it feels to have one's soul shrivelled by a God such as I. For fucks sake, underling, tell me that I darkened your life and ruined it forever! Tell me! If I can't shrivel your soul I shall simply pronounce that you don't have one.

  29. I am into you!

    why do I have to cry, anyway. I refuse to give you that satisfaction

  30. What can I do to make you stay, adam? I see you taking my money but i don't care. I love you anyway.

    Good God, Anon, get a grip. No sociopath will ever get more than $1 from me. In fact, not even that. LOL.

  31. do you want me to lie? I will tell you anything you want in order to keep you. How can you get a soul when there is none? Why must you try to get blood from a stone!

  32. When I pronounce that they don't have a soul I imagine them to be wailing and helpless in the face of an all-powerful God such as I. If I'm feeling particularly self-satisfied with my imaginings I demand far more than the limits of soap opera dialogue.

  33. sessi you are right of course. My money is mine. I work WAY too hard for it, so yes, you're absoroutely tootely right bout that one. I was fucking with adam but not the other anon. The one who likes the underling is the one i want to feed. but not with my money..

  34. just tell me what you want as succinctly as you can

  35. I find it hard to believe that you're good at your job, dummy, your master's much better.

  36. i agree. now will you love me?

  37. Oh you cannot love someone in your office?

  38. Your master told me you sucked and he was right. How very intriguing.

  39. or is it just me. you don't like me 'that way' ?

  40. I do suck. Cock for crack ur my crack.

  41. You don't know much, do you, Dummy? Anyway, carry on with your tired little script, I'm enjoying your lack of craftsmanship...

  42. do you feel i am using you because i am a crack addict? It's so very unattractive, I know.

    or are you taken? If you are taken I will totally back off.

  43. if that is the way you feel please fire me. -I will want to collect unemployment insurance so i will not quit..

  44. Oh dear, dummy. Your manipulations aren't as sophisticated as they could be, are they? 1 out of 5 stars - must try harder.

  45. i will go elsewhere to hone my craft. Thank you so very very much for being a good master. even though you hate me i will always love you for teaching me things.

    o my, but i shouldn't tell you this. I become unattractive. But now that we have everything squared away it's ok right? you never did ever love me , right?

  46. one out of 5 stars? i don't care about stars. I want love.

  47. o well. can't have everything. goodbyes are in order?

  48. I command thee to wither!

  49. u r very boring i cannot read ur reams of drivel dummy they r burning out my eyes

  50. ouch. is that enough wither for u?

  51. It's control. At least, for me it is.

    You can call it seduction, manipulation, et cetera, but what it all comes down to is control in the end.

    It's not about being magnanimous, or sadistic, it's about owning someone any way you can. You're the charming businessman, the approachable friend, the shoulder to lean on, the gentle lover, the enforcer, the savant, the whatever the hell you need to be to assert yourself with someone, and make them dependent on you.

    You can do anything under the sun to get control of someone, but the most elegant solution is simple. If you're irreplaceable in someone's eyes, you own them. It doesn't matter if status-wise you're below them.

    When you make someone realize just how valuable you are, you become their addiction.

    That opens all sorts of closed doors that lead to new and enticing opportunities.

  52. Note, we are all wired for this kind of addiction. Be it for a hobby, or an obsessional interest. I am sure you become equally addicted to people, places and things.

    The key is to pull away from the destructive and create work or relational environments which are life affirming.

    It would be like playing a stupid game vs. playing opportunities which create more life, and thus more opportunities.

  53. did he lackeded the empathy?

  54. Some keys open doors to vistas that I don't care to tread. Life affirming relations? Please.

    My passions, my desires, these are what matter. Some of them are destructive, some of them are life-breathing. It doesn't matter which. It never has. It never will.

    They often include people but rarely are people themselves. Mostly they are projects; projects to project me somewhere high, up above, where I know I deserve to be. Sometimes when I get there, I'm happy. But the bar can always be raised, and I'd rather take flight with waxen wings to the sun than wallow in mud and dirt or stagnation.

    Destruction is integral to my life, and self-destruction even sweeter. If I am my own worst enemy, than at least I will know the battle will be fun.

  55. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    Now that is boring.

    I enjoy how M.E. is always questioning behavior, even if power is the goal. Coming from a centered awareness carries much more of a punch, then recreating rote behavior and tactics over and over and then justifying its 'rightness' with no room for growth. Bravo.

    Oh, am I being a people pleaser or an enlightened poster? Perhaps both. Everything else, to me, just appears as a wicked and inflexible road.

  56. Waxen wings to the sun dear Icarus. Should I bow or show pity?

  57. Neither.

    Death is inevitable. It comes for us all. How many dare to fly towards the sun? To escape from the monotony of life? Is it so tragic to reach lofty heights, only to come crashing down into spectacular oblivion? Is that not beauty in itself?

    Heed the wishes of the father and have a safe and prosperous life. Heed the wishes of the heart and you'll surely reach calamity and oblivion, but your life will at least have meaning, and it will be your own.

  58. Death is a shared truth, no matter how denied. How dare we NOT fly toward lofty dreams.

    Heed the wishes of God or the heart? Are not the heart and God one. Calamity and oblivion? Have you read the new testament or the Bhagavad Gītā? Same war.

    The question is do you have a reverence for the gift of your life? Can you feel the beauty in the creature? And can you find the supernal calm in the empty center?

    If not, take a walk, have a smoke.

  59. is this seduction 101

  60. Of course I revere my own life. That's a ludicrous question...

    God...the heart... ugh. I can't distinguish my mind from my heart half the time (or more). There isn't a whole lot of heart to experience to begin with, so when I do feel something, I hold onto it with a vice grip.

    The emptiness of within is not a choice for me. It's always been there. There's nothing to fill it, and the calm that it brings is needed for me to deceive myself of my own sanity and humanity.

    From not experiencing the same stimulus most people do, I compensate with perception. And with that perception I see great beauty in many things. Their very existence is a testament to the natural order, a vicious but ingenious judge, jury and executioner.

  61. Soulful and Notable should make Path babies. It's meant to be. :0

  62. life ends at 30


  64. 1. I am not a good person, I must strive to make choices that make me appear to be decent for my sake and others. And in so I feel good.
    2. Despite my perceived intelligence I can lose.
    3. Create a path but not as you go.
    4. Loyalty and gratitude are equal to love. Keep them close.
    5. Lies are unavoidable. But should be used with purpose.
    6. A partner is needed to maintain common ground. And is A pathological must to keep from utter destruction.
    7. Logic is subjective to the situation therefore always control the situation and the logic will always be correct.

  65. At the end of our date, he asks the server for a blank receipt.

    "What, is this a business write-off?" I asked.

    "Yes, I told you stories."

  66. Welcome back to SW, badpenny. It's a shame what the spam bots did to your blog...

    Number seven on your list is absolutely necessary, and handy too. Not too many people comment on such, and I'm glad you did.

    Medusa, did that upset you, make you laugh, or both?

  67. I cracked the fuck up. I thought it was hilarious.

  68. And was he a smooth tongued storyteller or a forked tongued?

    Justabadpenny, number 4 keeps the spirits high and the generals close. There is a reason your mother's reminded you to say 'please' and 'thank you.'

  69. Please stem your pompous, self important bilge. We need to nourish our minds. Thank you ^_^

  70. He was shy and nervous, which I called him on. Once he got going with the stories, though, he was all passion.

  71. 1. I am not a good person, I must strive to make choices that make me appear to be decent for my sake and others. And in so I feel good.
    2. Despite my perceived intelligence I can lose.
    3. Create a path but not as you go.
    4. Loyalty and gratitude are equal to love. Keep them close.
    5. Lies are unavoidable. But should be used with purpose.
    6. A partner is needed to maintain common ground. And is A pathological must to keep from utter destruction.
    7. Logic is subjective to the situation therefore always control the situation and the logic will always be correct.


  72. Wet behind the earsMay 15, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    What's a soul?

  73. Funny, I knew someone I suspected to be a socio, but I could never understand how that was possible when he was so nice ( or so his surface personality appeared). Thank You for the thoughtful explanation.

  74. You are so very welcome.

  75. Think many sociopaths don´t keep mental archives about others because they get sickened by the thought of them. Hatred of mankind can be difficult with so many people, everywhere. The "games" some seem to relish make this "model" sick. They don´t wanna play social chess! They say yes or no. Sex disgusts them. they don´t really wanna live, but kind of see it all as a movie. Don´t disturb them in the diner.

    1. And what exactly are you basing this upon?

    2. I don't think sociopaths conform to a completely uniform pattern, I don't think they all have to have such a focus of hatred towards man.

  76. I have an off topic question.. Do all people who have the "predator stare" a sociopath? this person I know does this when challenged. He is aware enough that when someone does not blink back he is impressed. He says most people look away. so he is aware that he does it.

    1. It's just a dominance game.
      Most people cannot handle the direct challenge, so blinking is seen as being weaker.
      Not much to do with being a sociopath.

      I once had a big bikie try that on me. Stared at each other, then I smiled and winked at him. He broke into a huge grin. Still smiles and winks at me every time I see him.
      Wouldn't recommend it if you're a guy though...

    2. It is a dominance game, something typical of everyone, actually something I've just noticed recently myself. It's a little amusing but not difficult really because you can usually make the other blink before its becomes too long of a glance as to be unusual, and I'm not very intimidating at all.

      Back in high school I had two separate occasions where two different groups of girls made comments about my eyes or general expression, I'd thought they were normal, but one comment went so far as to say I looked like a sociopath. I was already wondering about myself and looking back I was still honing my ability to blend in and adapt.
      I know the sort of look hes talking about though. I've seen it rarely at a glance from many, I'd imagine, well adjusted or high functioning people, and at length in obviously lower functioning ones I've unfortunately known from school.

  77. Maybe it would be interesting to compare this scene with the same scene with an Empath/Hypersensitive instead of M.E.
    So let's say I would have this lunch with all these people. If I have enough distance with myself (means I'm not in a kind of excitement or active speech flow, that usually makes me forget the others and might make me a little more selfish), I would be careful all along the lunch that everybody gets what they were coming for.
    It means in details, that I would use my hypersensitive super power (waowww!) to FEEL the state of mind of the people there. For example I would feel that the women get bored or felt like loosing her time, and there is a chance that she showed some kind of boredom of irritation..face signs, body signs, the way she moves, she put her arms and legs etc...
    Then, I would maybe come back to her and invite her to participate more, by asking a question like "so, X, what were exactly your project?...blablabla".

    In doing this, I would be sensitive to her wellness, I would care for her. And I would feel happy that I care for everyone at an equal level, because I could make the relation work successfully between all the participants.
    And even more, I would really be interested hearing the answer to my question...because if the people are interesting ones, I'm interesting for what they have to say. It makes my knowledge more rich and It can help me one day for a personal situation.

    Then, when the lunch is over, staying with my associate I would rather say...what did you think about her, or, her profile is interesting isn't it? but it would be focused on the professional skills...not really on herself.
    It would be on herself if something strikes me like...she is dirty, she looks stupid...something more personal that would not match with the kind of work we were discussing about.
    Then, alone by myself (like driving back home and having free time to think), I would maybe, check again that everybody was fine and enjoyed the lunch, as a GROUP...because i'm more interested in the quality of the relation, than the people themselves. If fine I would be happy and stop to think about it, if not I would think about the problems encountered, why, how etc...

    If I come back to M.E. description, some things strikes me, regarding my own approach to this scene.
    - M.E. was speaking with her friend and associate about others things than work (means as she was not herself much concerned by this work thing, she preferred to speak about what she was interested in). If I would be in an interesting, and exciting conversation, I could forget to think about the others...even if I am an Empath (to be an Empath doesn't mean we are never selfish).
    - Then, M.E. thought that maybe the other women might have not been happy about the conversation. An Empath could think I'm concerned with other feelings and the quality of the relation. BUT, in M.E. case, it looks like because she was focused on herself during the lunch, she suddenly reminds that she forgot to keep a memory of what this women shows during the lunch (or maybe couldn't notice it if she showed something through feelings/emotions...face, body...).
    Is it that self focusing prevent sociopaths from observing what's going on at the same time around them OR that they can't read others feelings?
    - Then, M.E. asked her associate in fact what was the woman reaction (to M.E.'s selfishness?). The associate was maybe stroked that M.E. didn't pay attention to the woman OR couldn't read the woman feelings. He then became a kind of feeling translator. Or maybe it strikes him because nobody can know what the woman was thinking about this lunch! And then it is a useless question.

    (following text below)

  78. (following text)

    The question is why M.E. turned back to what happens, afterwards? she could have just came back to her house thinking of what she would by later at the supermarket.

    Is it because she felt that she was not managing the whole situation, that it was not under her control at 100%...but she did know that the situation was maybe not like the woman was expecting it to be.
    Or is she thinking that she has been selfish, and couldn't control it, and that it might have annoyed this woman. And that it might bring negative consequences for M.E. from this woman...and that like a child she is afraid to be punished, and is evaluating the situation to see what to do.

    In this last case, this is a protective instinct.

    Could we rephrase it like this:
    M.E. has a recurrent feeling of lack of attention.So when she is in a social situation, she naturally monopolize the scene to get the first role=the attention of all the audience. It is filling her lack of self confidence.
    Then, afterwards she wakes up, and remembers that there was other people with her, and that there is a chance that she stole the first role to the person who should have been the center of the discussion: the woman (the lunch has been planned for it). And she knows that "stealing" has consequences.
    She is now afraid that she'll have to face the consequences of her act...and she doesn't know how and when this consequences might appear, or even if it can appear.

    What would an Empath do if he has inadvertently stolen the first role? He would say "aff...I forgot her (the woman), this was not nice" and would do something about it if it is not too late...for example, ask the associate to call her directly to develop the conversation by phone. The woman would feel then that the damage is repaired (someone understood that the lunch was a fiasco, in terms of work, and decided to call her to show he does care about her and that it was not about to reject her).

    Most of the time consequences appear when there is not a kind of excuse, a kind of recovery of the damages done...
    That's where maybe sociopaths are totally absent...

    I remember, when I was a child, if I did something wrong my parents would come angrily on me, and my strategy was to cry first, before their they couldn't punish me as I showed directly that I understood I did something wrong, by crying.

    1. It's not really about being the highlight of the social scene, than it is to manage your performance in it. Keep in mind the necessity to consciously control your performance - it works in a one-way fashion. Think about it like a radio. When you are busy emulating a determined avenue, all of the constructed mannerisms, facial expressions, tone of voice, word play, and so on are actively constructed and executed in real-time. It is a though-consuming process. When as a sociopath you do this, you are busy "transmitting" - a signal is being sent out, but by virtue of transmitting you can't listen. Or in this case, not very well. You are so engaged in the performance that the only times you may be properly able to observe behavior and what is said is when you stop transmitting. That's when you are "listening/receiving". And it really is primarily listening - most of the information collected and processed naturally is oral language. When it comes to facial expressions, body language, and other non-verbal cues, you have to concentrate significantly when it is of any use in real-time. When it comes to what is said, that too is first taken as literal - at face value - and unless there is a reflexive recognition of an underlying message in what is said/not said, you need to consciously go through it. All of this extra effort takes additional seconds in what is otherwise more reflexive (and therefore faster) in conversation. This is why you sometimes see an unusual delay in response by a split-second or second too long - an "odd" behavior that is due to the necessity of collating visual and verbal data to begin a response. Normally, in an empath, there are much faster regions in the brain which process emotional stimuli (which is a combination of visual and verbal stimuli) - since there is a deficit in a sociopath's brain when it comes to this, other regions handle the job in a more cognitive, calculated fashion.

    2. Thanks Bob, it is not very easy to figure out.
      For example what would be the scene if the sociopath didn't manage/control his performance in it?
      What would he do?

      Because for me, not trying to bring back the speech on the main subject (this woman and a work project) is already for M.E. a loss of control/management of herself.

    3. It depends on how much you care about the person's impressions of you, what you want, and such. And management isn't so much about controlling the conversation, as it is making sure you get what they are really saying (both explicitly and implicitly) as well as being sure you send the right message and signals (that you are interpretted the way you want them to interpret you). Things like, for example, sarcasm are a mixed bag because it isn't usually a concrete thing, which means both understanding and delivering it is problematic. The probability of clear communication both sending and receiving are lower. Overall, the difficulty lies in the inherent disconnect between what you actually think, and what you portray. What you portray is in itself a manipulation - you need to pull the right sequence of levers to the right degree every time. If you don't, for example, make that smile "just right", you have inadvertently changed the message you transmitted.

      It is easier for a sociopath to interpret the literal and the rational, due to how they think, which is calculating. You think and "feel" the odds, the probabilities, rapidly and try to execute on a rationale that best approaches an ideal result. Sometimes it is a net gain for both parties, sometimes it is a zero-sum gain. It depends on the potential benefits and potential losses (first calculated for yourself, and then calculated for them). If well-skilled/intelligent, the process is very quick - sometimes as little as a second. Multiple mental valuations click together, like puzzle pieces, and you determine an ideal outcome. You've calculated and can imagine the end result, and execute on it. As a conversation continues on - as feedback is received by the other person and the environment - you add the changes to your model, calculate the necessary shifting needed, and try to lead to the idealed outcome. Again this happens in a second or two. And on this goes until the outcome is reached, or the outcome itself is changed to something else depending on the circumstances. People call this manipulating - this is just cogitating to a sociopath, or a way of thinking.

    4. In regards to facial expressions / manipulations, it isn't quite as difficult as it sounds. You have a pre-built "toolkit" of facial expressions, ones that you have practiced and perfected before (usually in front of a mirror, so you could memorize and reflex the muscle movements and pair it with what is seen in the mirror as an ideal smile, concern, and so on). However, going beyond the pre-built configurations rather difficult - variations and degrees or, say, a smile are hard to execute since you have no visual aid. And to be honest, there are too many and are rather cumbersome and annoying to also add to your toolkit. A smile, to us, is a smile. The one well-practiced should be enough for most situations, don't you think?

  79. Bob, it is very difficult to get it...
    I imagine the situation of the lunch...let's say the associate is speaking, and the it's M.E speaking. I imagine that she will adapt her speech to what she heard from the associate?
    I imagine that if he says "the weather is very nice today", M.E. will not have much to adapt her speech to answer, right?
    As an Empath I would answer "yes, that's nice it was so bad lasts weeks, feels good to see the sun".
    What would answer a sociopath, something quite same no?

    Let's now take an example where, even as an Empath, I would have to adapt my speech to show a fake image of me. It's difficult to find an example, but let say it can happen when I'm doing a presentation for the work front of an audience, in a meeting.
    I don't like meetings, because I have to act and speak nicely with the client, even if i have no interest or consideration for this person.
    I can play this role, because I know that when the work is done, there is few chances that I would work for them again.
    I don't like formal things in general...too fake and superficial for me.

    So I force myself to act, to speak good, to show interest etc...and at the end of the meeting I'm exhausted.

    All this for what, to play the rule of this kind of job/meetings. If I don't play the rule, I'm out. But the aim is to work, earn money, pay the rent and food!

    When M.E. speaks with these people, her associate etc...what is the so important aim, so she has to play fake?

    For example, if i didn't play the game, and was totally myself...I would not dress as a professional office/business worker. I'm doing business everyday with phone and e-mails, and I can wear a Cinderella costume, who cares?
    I would not force myself to speak to people I'm not interested in...I would do mys speech without pressure, and then turn directly home.
    But what would happen? Everybody would notice that I don't dress like the others, and that the way I dress is not suitable for this kind of meeting. The clients would complain that I don't show any interest for them, and it would hurt their Ego, they would also complain that my work presentation was not good and that I was not part of the group "emulation" as I left immediately after it.
    After this I would be fired and nobody would work with me.

    So who would be M.E. if she was, in the same kind of case, herself?
    She would answer questions only if it sounds interesting to her? she would say loud that the pink dress of the women is ridiculous if she thinks so?
    What does she wants to hide while meeting these people for the lunch?

    1. The thing about sociopaths is the difference between what is thought, internally, and what is portrayed, externally. The external "mask" is about blending in to the people around you and the situation, somewhat like that meeting example if yours. It's an adaptation. Except in this case, you would be doing this most of the time. Sociopathic thinking is very utilitarian - about use/utility and benefit vs. loss (risk/reward). Many times where you might feel happy or sad, even though you are portraying something else, a sociopath may feel apathy and indifference (don't care about it either way). It is a lot more neutral/grey. However, what is apathy is often interpreted as callousness - a neutral stance is viewed from the outside as negative. Because of this negative slant from viewers in a wide assortment of behavior and thinking, it is not preferred (due to the repercussions in perceptions and impressions affecting access to people and things).

      Think about the situation, but in this case, think about utility. About being able to utilize a situation to get something from it (material or stimulation). Think about how you can adjust the situation, to make it more stimulating, or more valuable. See what you can do in conversation, not just to withstand it, but benefit from it. Like that important meeting, think about what you need to portray to appear liked and favorable. Think of a situation like a complex mechanism, like driving a car.

      When ME was speaking of pleasing people, she was seeing the utility in it. In how it is an investment (instead of purely financial, it is more social). ME was investing by putting her additional effort to "stand out" in the proverbial meeting. By going beyond the normal level of care most people give as a courtesy, by feigning added concern and care, you are impressing the people in the proverbial meeting. Above normal levels of concern naturally appears to people as "greater" care - you have implanted the suggestion you are not just a nice person, but a greater, more genuine, caring and good individual. But the thing is, you're not actually doing it for their benefit, but your own. If by chance the other person benefits from actual care, you've just made it all the more authentic and genuine in the eyes of everyone who sees and hears of it. Your return on investment is better.

    2. Don't forget, investing people is just like investing money. The difference is that the return on your investment is potential access (or easier access, or improved results from the access) by using them. You invest money - put in money - to make more money than you put in. By doing the same with people, you have proverbially "opened doors". Even those people who don't directly give you something indirectly benefit you by building a reputation, an image. Their impressions of you bleed over to other people, and those people who have been subjected by the ripple effect can directly be of benefit. People trust the opinions and impressions from other people, about you, far more than you think. If someone sees you directly - witnesses - good things from you *and* hears corroborating evidence by third-parties who in the past saw and were positively-effected by you as well, it amplifies the final return on investment.

      A lot of people underestimate the value of a sociopath appearing caring and considerate. That this pro-social phenomenon is an anomaly. It's not. This is due to a combination of disbelief (and rejection) as well as not seeing and understanding how influencing people works. Most people don't fully understand it, because things such as guilt inhibit people from exploring it very far.

    3. Thanks Bob,
      I understand better now.
      In fact it is social capitalization.
      If I am M.E. and I live my real life, I don't care much about many things and many people, taking only what is useful to me. But this kind of behavior is not accepted in the society, and if I live like I am, I would first be alone, but also be in trouble most of the time, people wanting to punish or have a revenge on me.
      So I act to look like a "social" person...but of course it is difficult to play always perfectly, and I might get caught/recognized, times to times.

      So the aim, as I've asked socializing.
      Because if you want something in this world, and you don't socialize, you can't get nothing, is it?
      But it looks also that Sociopaths can suffer to be alone? is it just because they see other people "possess" friends and family, and they want to possess it too? or can it be still a matter of having fun all together, having parties, enjoy a picnic on the beach (means also enjoy the nature, beach, sea, sun....I guess a sociopath can enjoy it?).

      In fact a sociopath deadly want to have what other "normal" people have, but it means they want to live in a normal condition, it sounds logic, so it is not only greed?

      If I look my own life, I can say that me too I want to have a satisfying social life, and I am working for it (making efforts to invite friends, cook for them, take some news...go out to meet new friends, even if it is asking an effort...etc). But I agree that it is much more natural and easy for Empaths, who are naturally turned to others.
      And why do I want friends? If we have a cold look at it, it would be: not to be alone, could ask something to someone anytime who would surely say yes, learn some things they know and that can be useful one day for me...etc, etc...
      Does it match with the cold vision of a sociopath?
      The thing is that an Empath, wouldn't see it as utilitarian, but just as a logic social thing, nothing bad in it.
      But of course, if I can take all this from my friends, they can take it from me is a reciprocal system.
      With a sociopath, is there reciprocity?

      Now I wonder If there was a wide highlighting on the reality of Sociopathy, would it change the society look on it? I guess so, especially as most people doesn't understand the genetic/environmental foundation of it.
      If I've heard "these people didn't choose to be like that, they are suffering that the society is not adapted to them (would be different if 80% of people were sociopaths), and have to do an exhausting adaptation to the society to live a life".

    4. I'm asking a question...Would it be possible that Sociopaths are Empaths, as me, but would reject very strongly any empathy coming out from them, because if you are empathical with someone, the other one would then love you...
      And as you were not loved at the very beginning of your life (or some genetic predispositions prevent you from receiving any love feeling as a positive gift), your can't bear the love feeling and then reject it strongly...and you would never adopt an attitude that could bring love from someone in your life.
      What I feel from my own experience is that sociopaths I know, want really and truly enter in a loving and empathical relationship, but then it might touch deeply a very painful injury and then the sociopath would reject strongly this love by destroying it. A little like an oyster that closes, but the finger of the other person in the relationship is still in it, and it hurts!!

      The difference between what I say "Sociopaths want really and truly enter in a loving and Empathical relationship..." and what you say "Sociopaths don't care about others love, and think only in ways of manipulation and calculation".
      What do you think about that?

    5. There is really something about the vocabulary use by sociopaths and empaths. You'll say that you "mimic" (=fake) a facial expression, but me I would say that you learn from zero this a UFO coming on earth trying to learn the language of his hosts (= the majority of the population on earth, who are not sociopaths).

      There is a big difference between the notion of "playing fake" ad "learning", no?

      Do sociopaths have a tendency to consider everything negatively?

    6. If it can be interesting for anybody, a video that shows the development of empaty for a child. It's in french, bu it explains that empathy comes only after a child get the consciousness of himself (through a mirror, he understands that's him, not someone else). Than an experiment is done, a nanny with a teddy bear will pretend that the teddy bear is hurt (the arm will fall down), and she will simulate crying, then the child would look and turn to his mother to know what to do, but the mother would stand still reading her book, then the child would act by himself, and take and give another toy to the nanny, to comfort her with empathy.

    7. I see the confusion. Sociopaths have a reduced sensation when it comes to emotions. You feel them less often, and when you do with less potency. This is due to a problem with emotional processing in the amygdala, as well as the orbitofrontal cortex. It is a hard thing to wrap your head around, but sociopaths don't reject the emotions - they actually have less of them. You lack empathy, quite literally. Those regions in the brain I mentioned are far less active.

      Another misconception is that due to a lack of empathy, remorse, and guilt, that sociopaths see things negatively. They don't. What they do experience is "apathy", which is a lack of feeling or interest. When a person says that sociopaths "don't care", it is literal - you do not care, either way. It is a more neutral and grey stance, where you are neither positively or negatively for/against something. If, for example, I saw you die on the street tomorrow, I might be shocked by the sudden onset (the radical and unexpected shift from being alive one moment to dead), but afterwords I would be apathetic. I might not have felt anything against you, but I didn't feel anything for you either. Neither satisfaction nor sadness. Perhaps I might be curious as to the cause of death, but not because I care, but because it might be stimulating, like finding out a TV murder mystery, or just answering an unanswered question.

      "Sometimes" sociopaths feel something, but it happens sporatically and differently. It is momentary, a little odd in sensation and weaker, and then it is gone. When it happens is unknown.

    8. The alien analogy is apt - it has been used before, and is fairly accurate. You do learn about expressions and emotions - you can understand them, what causes them and how people react - but the lack of empathy means that most of the time you don't experience them in situations. Is it your birthday? I feel nothing because of it. Is it my birthday? I feel nothing because of it. The day is of special social significance, and requires certain ritualistic behavior (ie. birthday celebration, cake, dinner, etc.). But outside of that you don't feel happy for that friend or family member. If it is yours, you might experience some degree of expectation of birthday presents (gifts of potential value with the only condition of it being the day of your birth), but that is mostly it.

    9. Thanks Bob, It's interesting to see the difference.
      If it happens that you feel quickly an emotion of empathy, or spontaneous excitation front of a football match, would you try (let's say it is possible) to make it last? does it taste like golden honey to you?

      About the neurological part, is there any way to create a neurological stimulation of the parts of the brain that should react?

      One more question, if you see someone dying or dead in the street, would you call for help?
      I suppose you would say yes...because you know the degree of importance of life between a human and an Opossum...(arf Opossum is so cute...but I've killed this morning a roach with not much feeling of guilt...I still said...sorry roach! )

  80. Mach, Alter, any others...
    Completely off topic, but I'm curious what you think:
    Can God, being omnipotent, create something so heavy even he couldn't lift it?

    Can God kill himself?

    1. Sounds a lot like a number of conundrums that pop up when one questions God. Convenient that we're never supposed to question him like that.

      I grew up in the south (US) in a very religious church and my own anecdotal experience was that of great fear being placed on ever questioning God or ever trying to apply any kind of logical or logistical thinking to anything at all concerning him. There was a very good reason for that, too. Fear kept people from asking the tough questions like you just did and if someone ever did have the guts to pose the kind of questions you just asked, they were looked upon with horror because it was about an inch away from unforgivable blasphemy and they were given the same tired, redundant answer as always: Don't question it, he's everything, nothing's impossible, and even when one thing precludes the other (Can God, being omnipotent, create something so heavy even he couldn't lift it?), we must still always avoid the smallest of challenges so that this omnipotent, alpha and omega top dog, can never be asked anything at all. We're just supposed to have "faith". Translation: The shit makes no sense at all, we know it makes no sense at all, but we need to save face, so let's just scare the shit out of everyone who asks anything sideways. That way, everyone's too afraid to ask and we don't have to admit the ugly truth.


    2. I would not presume to speak for God...

    3. N , you explained precisely what I feel inside. Well said.

    4. Mach:

      Oh, neither would I. I'll leave the speaking for God up to charlatans like Jimmy Swaggart and Benny Hinn.

      The people I was speaking for are the "believers".


    5. Superchick:

      May I ask what lead you to your conclusions regarding God?


    6. Thank you, N.
      That was beautifully said, I know exactly what you mean.

      I went to religious schools.
      My tendency to question everything meant even from an early age, I used to ask the very inconvenient questions, starting with "Eve was the only created woman? So Adam and Eve's children married one another?" And don't get me started on some of the more wonderful inconsistencies and why God has nothing better to do than to concern himself with even the *thoughts* of billions of people to make sure they love him enough...
      Oh the trouble I used to get into :D

      It amazed me what teachers and other "well meaning" people would tell a curious child. From "good girls have faith, they don't question God" to " the devil speaks through you and God will punish you and your family".

      To me, religion is like a cock. It's fine by me if you have one and are proud of it. But try to shove it down my throat and I will bite.

      I get that many people don't have a choice but to be believers, but am still endlessly curious why those who do, choose to ignore all those inconsistencies and inconvenient questions and continue to worship.

      Mach: I wasn't asking you to speak for God :) I am far more curious about you and the way you think.
      They are interesting little paradoxes, aren't they?
      My 13 year old niece was asking me them yesterday.

    7. I think that the Catholics only used the idea of a 'God' (Also one of the names of Baal) or 'Allah' (Both religions trace their origins back to the Vatican) to subdue and recruit nations through this superstition and then to smite the remaining unbelievers with righteous violence.

      Christianity was meant to be a universal religion.

      Today the people have modern science (Which is also being regulated by the Vatican) with its wonders of medicine and technology.

      These outdated religions will fall away in time, as they aren't necessary anymore. It's just an old game, it's for the aged, like that old pope.

      It's just an old fucking whore who will keep you chasing after your own tail in one way or another.

    8. Bite Me:

      It would seem we lived fairly paralleled childhoods when it comes to religion.

      Tell me, if you would, if those stories of hellfire and brimstone ever scared you or caused you any anxiety at all as a child. I very distinctly remember spending a great deal of my childhood in a constant ball of nerves and anxiety, worried that the rapture was coming at any second with the sky opening up, a loud trumpet sounding off, with only the spotless, sinless people being lifted up to heaven, leaving the imperfect behind to suffer through seven years of tribulation and eventually, eternal hell in a lake of fire with Satan and all of his demons. Or, if you lied about taking a cookie from the cookie jar and then died in a car accident before you had time to drop to your knees and beg this loving God for forgiveness, you'd be sent straight into that same lake of fire for eternal burning and torture for not being a spotless lamb as pure white as snow at your time of death. And thunderstorms, especially t'storms at night? Bloody hell. Those things used to send me into a terrifying panic that was dismissed because, well, if you were a perfect child and did as God said without fail, you had nothing to worry about!

      As I got older, received a higher education, was given a break from the brainwashing and allowed to apply logic, reason and science to the issue, I realized just how much of my life was spent terrorized by this "God".

      Here, worship me and walk streets of gold forever and ever. Don't worry about your questions because they'll all be answered...when you die. But you do have free will and all, so I'm not reeeally forcing you to worship me. Just know your fate if you don't. Some choice, aye? But I really do love you! --- God

      And (some) humans are sociopaths? Well, I guess at least the part about being
      created in his image rings halfway true.


    9. N , that's somewhat how I struggled as a little girl. My mother would arrange for me to see priest/clergy afterwards because I was tormented by a scrupulous God. Right/wrong/hell/fire/ damnation. I convinced myself that I blasphemed - and literally withheld all consumption of food - no one could convince me otherwise that "God" was still with me. Lost a drastic amount of weight- fast. And was sure I blasphemed against this holy God - and destined to eternal flames of damnation. There was know way I could climb myself out of it. Cognitive therapy was my only hope. Logic became the fuel for my only mode of surrendering this scruple view of God.
      My view of God has always been split. As a child I'd curse him, curse the fuck out of him. Then I'd love this holy devote being that sympathized with my suffering and pain inside, that walked along side of me, and cleared the haze & fog. Id get to rest in seasons of clarity. Then id curse him for allowing me to grow up with hardships a child should not have to endure while other children were playing with doll houses and ponies. Unfair- bias- asshole. He became my misery - but he became my redeemer - who could only free me of my scruples. I couldn't live without him. An oxymoron towards my ego - split. Injured. Traumatized. My thoughts: I'm inconclusive about God. Still on a quest I guess. I see the ' Christ' within my non - religious circles mostly. Humanity. I see him on a park bench smoking crack and trying to keep warm with ripped newspapers hovering over him for the night. I see him in the stripper trying to make ends meet and to put groceries on the table and pay rent. I see him im my sociopathic fellow man. I see this Christ in places far far from church.

    10. N and Superchick, I think it is atrocious when people traumatise children in such a way. The fact that they think they are doing it for the greater good does not make it any less horrible.
      Whereas I do believe in evil, as seen in serial killers, child abusers, etc, that "justifiable" evil committed by "good people" in the name of the great, invisible malignant narcissist in the sky, still very much confuses me.

      I guess I was lucky that I don't have much fear or anxiety.
      I hope you don't mind if I tell you a story that my family used to tell me all the time.
      When my mother was pregnant with me, my sister who was 4 at the time, all of a sudden started getting nightmares, freaking out and pointing off into space, talking of evil entities being around... The adults of course couldn't see anything, but a couple of the other children in the family joined in.
      Then I was born. I was a quiet child, no problems, but my sister got worse.

      They sought help from a priest. He declared that there was something wrong with me and I need to be baptised. I was less than 1 year old at the time, but they claim that the second they tried to step foot in church, I went berserk. Cried like never before. Then settled immediately after the baptism.

      I grew up with very superstitious narcissists, being told that I am evil. It didn't really worry me though and I have used it to scare my family a little (for amusement) :)

      My family tend to very much discourage questioning. Of God, of themselves, of anything. To be questioned is to lose control.
      That's why I was very happy that my niece has been able to stand up and question, question, question. I hope she will seek her own path in life. Not be bullied into following.

    11. Super chick:

      It sounds like the consequences of religious brainwashing were quite a bit heavier for you than for me. My issues didn't run as deep as yours. I just ended up bitter and resentful of the loss of innocence and inner peace that was replaced with terror and endless paranoia, just waiting for that sky splitting day to be followed by the mark of the beast.

      I've moved on from that part, though. Letting go of God was like a natural Ambien that meant peaceful sleep for the first time in my memorable life.


    12. Bite Me:

      Wow. No matter how many stories I hear about the nauseating destruction caused by religions, I'm still always shocked ( in a way) at just how much damage it still causes. I'm hoping that with this being the information age, more and more people will question it and apply logic, reason and science to it so that they can break free of the horse shit.

      My mother wasn't really superstitious, but she was paranoid beyond belief. I remember soooo many nights being kept awake by her hysterical prayers to God to forgive her for the slightest indiscretions and any number of other silly sins. It got to the point where I didn't want friends to come over because she was so bloody embarrassing. She was always on my case about not being allowed to watch TV shows or movies about the paranormal, as if watching them was going to pollute my mind and force me over to the dark side. RME

      It only resulted in me being a complete disaster inside as a teen and young adult. I still am now that I'm in my 30s, although the disaster has evolved into an angry and nearly compassionless, apathetic bitch toward almost everyone other than my children. I take those personality disorder tests and score just under the line for sociopathy/psychopathy, and right on the money for NPD and HPD. I suppose being fatherless played a big role in that, too.


    13. Highly legalistic and strict religion is such callous horse shit, I agree. Sounds like the superstitions are parents held onto were just extremely ludicrous because it can caused much injurious damage to a child who's already experienced trauma of some kind. Sorry you both experienced such a crappy dishing out of religion heaped upon yr plates at such a critical and delicate age. But glad to hear logic n reason based on facts, has set us free to think on our own accord and come to our own conclusions now that where older and can apply reason & logic. Are children won't have to go through that roller coaster ride.

      Bite me, your niece is lucky to have you.

    14. @Bite Me-

      I can relate to your experience. Too much. I have had "demons" cast out of me several times- beginning in early childhood. It's pretty traumatizing. I grew up feeling "marked" in a very negative way. It changes you and makes you uncomfortable in your skin when you are younger. The only choice is to give in or to rebel. Maybe that's why I like SW so much, because this is where those who are similarly maligned are able to find a voice.

    15. N, thank you for sharing that with me. I appreciate it.
      Seems like our mothers weren't all that different. Mine was (and is) terrified of the supernatural.

      Problem was, there was no real effort to actually study up on what the religious books said. She would take pretty much everyone at their word. Bible, superstition...all the same. The holidays *had* to be kept, aspects they really didn't like were discounted, if superstition and religion collided, it was convenience that won...

      Don't know how to explain it very well, but it was a highly hypocritical, irrational, unstable belief system.
      Although I guess me being evil was one constant.
      And at least eventually they left me alone to indulge my interest in the darker side of the spiritual world. Like they said "water will find its own level" :)

      I know what you are saying about being an angry, compassionless, apathetic bitch all too well.
      But it sounds to me like you are a fuck of a lot more than that.
      You are strong. Very strong.
      Even with everything you went through; even though you only had the emotional train wreck for a mother; even though you have every reason in the world to implode or take all that rage and pain out on the only people who *have to* take it all - your children- I have a distinct feeling that you don't.

      And your children will not live in desperate fear of that invisible, all knowing malignant narcissist.

      I think breaking the cycle of abuse is the most important thing. And it takes serious strength.

      As for everyone other than children, believe me, I know how hard it can be to not lash out and hurt them.
      Took a long time and a lot of effort to figure out how to channel the most destructive impulses.

  81. Bite Me,
    Do you think Bob is not representative of sociopaths? How is he different from sociopaths as you view them?


    1. Where to begin, really?
      I'll stick to the biggest points, otherwise it will be one hell of an essay.

      When Bob first came here, it was clear that he has studied up on sociopathy. I became curious.
      Fed his ego slightly to see how he would react. Predictably enough, he got pretty hyped up.
      Then a few weeks later, I challenged him because he was being utterly ridiculous and claiming to be this great master manipulator because he thought he rebuffed an anonymous troll's playing so very well.
      He could not handle being challenged at all. Still can't. It seems he is rather used to having people back off because he talks to them in a condescending manner and demands they speak to him only the way he wants them to.

      He kept trying to convince me that he is a sociopath, even as Erik and a sociopath I called "Mr Lovable" were trying to help him and talk sense into him.
      One of the more fun days:

      Seriously, have a good read through. There have been numerous others, just not as fun.

      He used the examples I mentioned a couple of days ago as proofs.
      No matter how he is challenged to show how he is remotely sociopathic, he chooses to ignore, deflect and stick to accusing people of trolling, rather than actually answer them.

      Now, let's use Hare's checklist and apply information he has happily volunteered:

      Glib and superficial charm: Bob shows no real sign of either. Despite all his efforts to say that he is a completely different offline and can charm the pants off anyone. Oops... poor choice of words ;)

      Grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self: That's a tick on that one

      Need for stimulation: He claims he has changed jobs several times because of need for stimulation. That just goes to show how he twists the traits to fit himself.
      He does not drink, party, do anything antisocial, indulge in thrill seeking behaviour, have affairs... or anything really that I can think of. By his own admission.

      Pathological lying: Nope.

      Cunning and manipulativeness: As much as Bobby likes to claim that he is a master manipulator, I have yet to see any evidence whatsoever. And the examples he gives to prove how manipulative he is are simply ludicrous.

      Lack of remorse or guilt: Aaah, tricky. He gave some relative a particularly lame excuse why he could not come to her party. On realising his mistake, he ran over and sucked up to her like like there is no tomorrow. That speaks of guilt to me because it was a clear overreaction to the situation if he merely wanted to avoid unpleasantness.

      Shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness): Quite possible. But definitely not limited to sociopaths.

      Callousness and lack of empathy: There is nothing callous about him, but he does seem to lack empathy. Once again though, not exclusive to sociopaths.

    2. Continued...

      Parasitic lifestyle: Big nope.

      Poor behavioral controls: Very big nope. He seems to have a desperate need to override any impulse. The biggest example he could provide was getting into a couple of altercations that almost turned violent as an adolescent. Enough said.

      Sexual promiscuity: He's a middle aged VIRGIN!

      Early behavior problems: He sited skipping classes and trying to manipulate his teachers.

      Lack of realistic long-term goals: Nope again. His whole life seems to be centered around "opening doors" so he can rise higher in his academic field.

      Impulsivity: Read the blog post I linked. Explains it all rather well.
      Also the fact that he quoted walking at night in a bad neighbourhood as being testament. Ha!

      Irresponsibility: Very big nope.

      Failure to accept responsibility for own actions: Nope. He doesn't actually seem to do much in the first place, living the way he does. But he does take responsibility

      Many short-term marital relationships: Hahahaha!

      Juvenile delinquency: Again, if skipping classes, trying to manipulate a teacher and almost getting into a couple of fights was evidence of delinquency, we would need to lock up a lot of kids...

      Revocation of conditional release: Nope again.

      Criminal versatility: He doesn't actually do anything criminal, so this one is definitely not applicable.

      Now... have a look at how many of the traits he actually has. I know all about his claims that since Hare worked with prison populations, it's completely inapplicable. But it's not a problem with the test, there is simply nothing really sociopathic about him.

      From everything he told me, I think he got labeled as antisocial by people with no real understanding of personality disorders. They saw him being a social outcast, saw him skipping school and trying to manipulate the teacher and figured that bad things were probably in store for this young man.
      I have no idea why he holds onto the label for dear life.

    3. ME is right. This has become inane. I tried being subtle, and ME tried being blunt. Both have been disappointingly ignored.

    4. No one gives a fuck either way.

      Bite Me is just some bored, sexually frustrated woman who likes to post bait in hopes of getting a reaction out of people.

      That would make the highlight of her day.

    5. Haha! You are going to have to try a lot harder than that to manipulate or silence me, Bob.

      And I have a feeling that M.E. was far more concerned about me calling her on her bullshit than she was about me kicking you.

    6. Bored, obviously. Why would I bother otherwise?

      Sexually frustrated?
      Where ever did you get that from?
      Sounds like classic projection to me :)

    7. Hate to break it to you, but it's embarrassingly obvious.

    8. Bob, letting your ego get in the way of leveraging from your opposer's talent will only take away from you. I think Bite me is onto something. Take her thoughts into consideration. Just a suggestion tho. :)

      Maybe, just maybe, your not a sociopath. Idk.

    9. Three people having sex is called a threesome.
      Two people having sex is called a twosome.
      You strike me as a very handsome individual, Anon ;)

    10. I suspect Bob really does have ASPD especially with a former diagnosis of conduct disorder. I can understand his self-disciplined life style, and the strong desire to want to control the impulses to avoid ever going to prison. I think what you are seeing with Bob is real sociopathy, just the aspects of it that don't really get talked about in the field of psychology, as of yet anyway, but hopefully things will change. I have been pushing for change for years, so I can appreciate the work that ME Thomas does. I can see why comparisons have been made to autism. Bite me, I like to read your comments because you have a lot of personality, but using the Hare checklist, or trying to diagnose others with pathological disorders is probably best left to mental health professionals.

    11. I value your opinion and don't consider my usage of the Hare checklist on him is a diagnosis. I am showing how I came to the conclusion that I don't see anything sociopathic in him.

      I also think it is natural for many people to take statements at face value, especially when they have a vested interest. To actually question those statements could bring forth conflict and shut down communication.

      For example, you came to SW to study sociopaths, is that right?
      Upon coming here, there is a man calling himself Bob, who claims to be a diagnosed sociopath, speaks as if he is the ultimate authority on the subject and is very happy to talk to you all you like.
      There are almost no other sociopaths on the site.

      Bob tells you that he is cunning, highly manipulative, charming, impulsive, remorseless creature, with no empathy and a criminal past that he has since left behind, with the help of therapy, because he understands the benefits of living like a monk vs life in prison.
      Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

      Thing is, I have seen many, many people like Bob come through here. Have people talking about what a perfect example they are and how they will revolutionise the way sociopaths are seen in society.
      And I have seen their stories get completely torn apart by the sociopaths that used to frequent this site, until those little inconvenient bits of information finally came out.
      But there aren't really any more sociopaths on this site. Well, they still go on the forum, but it's pretty rare that any will comment here.

      This is something that I have discussed at length with my friend, the mental health CNC.
      Just like all people, shrinks are not infallible. Tell them the right catch words and many will actually diagnose you with whatever you like. The stories I have heard...

      I am curious, what is your definition, your criteria if you will, of sociopathy?

    12. Bite me, I don't get it. If not sociopaths, what are Bob and others like him doing on this site, then? Why are they trying to revolutionize the way sociopaths are seen in society?

    13. Attention.
      A narcissistic boost from helping the misunderstood.
      Feeling powerful.
      Provides them an excuse for their past behaviours and failures.
      Gives them an excuse to continue those behaviours and failures.
      Feeling extra special - being part of 1% of the population is not enough, they are the part of the 1% that has the good traits, but not the undesirable ones...

      There list can go on and on.
      I don't think many of them are trying to revolutionise the way sociopaths are seen in society nearly as much as they are craving the recognition and validation. They want to be held as the shining beacon of what sociopaths really can become.

    14. my gut tells me that Bob is a sociopath. I think his social contact is limited because he is introverted so that may skew his scores on the Hare checklist. I think Bob is on this site mostly to alleviate the boredom of an isolated existence. But I don't understand why else. I hope he stays.

    15. Mach, I think he is a highly intelligent, very interesting man.
      But I think Hieronymus Bot was definitely onto something when he suggested Schizoid Personality Disorder.


      *Prefer being alone and usually choose solitary activities
      *Prize independence and have few close friendships
      *Feel confused about how to respond to normal social cues and generally have little to say
      *Feel little if any desire for sexual relationships
      *Feel unable to experience pleasure
      *Come off as dull, indifferent or emotionally cold
      *Feel unmotivated and tend to underperform at school or work

      Good news is that they apparently can respond well to therapy and medication.

      Sounds a hell of lot more like Bob than any definition of sociopathy I have ever seen.

    16. Schizoids are kind compassionate souls though. They are very sensitive too. This doesn't necessarily seem to be in alignment with some of what Bob has described about himself.

    17. Aah, but he can be very much like that.
      Just look at what happened with his aunt, or whatever relation it was.
      Look at the way he talks about giving gifts and going out of his way to get people to like him...
      I can go on here.

      Not to mention many schizoids can be world class assholes.

    18. Bite me, to answer your question “what is your definition, your criteria if you will, of sociopathy?” That’s a difficult question to answer. There is the DSM’s definition of ASPD which provides a vague description of what the disorder seems to consist of. There are theorists who have gone off, and done their own thing, and developed some of their own theories about sociopathy/psychopathy which aren’t in the DSM. There are also other diagnostic tools aside from the DSM that give slightly different descriptions of what the disorder consists of. It seems like with ASPD it spans the range from end of the spectrum to the other. This is the same with borderline personality disorder. I have been honest on this site about my borderline diagnosis which I don’t normally go around discussing with others, but since this site often deals with other personality disorders in addition to ASPD, I thought it might be good to bring up. Plus, even though I have used my first name, I did not provide a last name so I feel it’s relatively safe taking the risk talking about it. Only one individual that I know of on this site knows my last name because she contacted me to let me know she recognized me from a social networking site. As a person with bpd I don’t do drugs, I hardly drink, I don’t engage in self-harm; I do however have a mischievous streak even as a doctor, and compulsions at times to cause chaos and destruction which have to be managed. It’s very important to me that I find prosocial outlets so that I don’t ruin my career, or end up in prison. BPD’s can end up destroying other people’s lives, doing property damage such as burning buildings down, and even killing people (just watch Deadly Women, and see how many borderlines are on there). That’s not all BPD’s of course, but some of the pathology can lead people down these paths. As an adult, I have yet to engage in any violent acts. A lot borderlines get in to drug and alcohol abuse too, which as stated previously is not a problem I have. They can also engage in severe self-harm, or even become suicidal, things I have never dealt with, but I have seen borderlines that have scar marks from head to toe from cutting. Regardless, we are all thrown in to the same category, and seen as having the same disorder. You can say the same thing about sociopathy. You have people like ME Thomas and James Fallon that haven’t killed people, haven’t ended up in prison, and manage to have successful careers, and on the other hand you have sociopaths like Jeffery Dahmer that not only kills people, but engages in cannibalism, and yet all of these individuals are thrown in to the same category. What I have fought with my field to change is how we are trained to perceive individuals. We are trained to look at a piece of them, and view them through a narrow prism without looking at the whole person. Through and through I am a true scientist. I want to see the person as a whole, and not conveniently ignore aspects of the personality simply because of my training. I would like to see the objective truth, whatever it may consist of. The only traits so far that I have seen that is consistent among all sociopaths regardless of which end of the spectrum they fall, is the lack of empathy, and the need to manipulate others. Do “prosocials” still have antisocial personality disorder? One colleague that I have that is a psychologist with aspd firmly states that he is NOT antisocial, but IS a sociopath. So what is sociopathy?......What is psychopathy?....What is borderline personality disorder?

    19. I really like this response, Dr. Ginger. I agree with you that there are too many differing perceptions of certain personality disorders that have mostly to do with pathology and a deteriorating mental state. To your point, the lack of empathy and need to manipulate seem to also fit pretty well with Borderlines. Part of me wonders if all cluster B's should be condensed into one diagnosis and then given a sub diagnosis that lays out their specific symptoms that may be more related to circumstance.

      I have felt for some time that BPD and ASPD are two sides of the same coin even though sociopaths feel less emotion and borderlines apparently feel more. My own theory is that the antisocial behavior of the sociopath is the result of emotions that are just as turbulent as the borderlines, but go undetected because they have been "split" from the sociopath's consciousness in a manner that is reminiscent of multiple personality disorder where the personalities are unaware of each other. I see this as a response to early trauma that was too emotionally difficult to process, so a developing child survives emotional pain by creating a "kill switch" so it doesn't interfere with their conscious functioning. The switch gets stuck on, and the only time it gets switched off is in the moments where the sociopath gets a huge rush of pent up rage energy that is often released via antisocial behavior.

      The autistic individual is the only truly "unemotional" type, and this is less a personality style than a brain that handicapped in a very basic way. The sociopath may have "misplaced" emotions, but those emotions still exist. The autistic simply lacks the capacity to have them in the first place. The "tell" for the sociopath is the periodic need to release pent up/split from consciousness emotions in episodic antisocial behavior.

      The issue is less about emotion, and more about a willingness to ignore the realities that exist outside of one's emotional experience. This self referential lens leads to quite a bit of thought distortion that often results in antisocial acts.

      As you know, Lineham's Dialectical Behavioral Therapy seems to make a real difference for borderlines because it deals with thinking/perception rather than feeling/empathy. I can't understand why there hasn't been a push to modify DBT as a treatment for sociopaths. "Educating" sociopaths about emotions makes them better manipulators and more likely to do damage and escape detection. A "prosocial" sociopath is a sociopath who is more likely to pull off a successful long con, but is by no means reformed.

      To answer your question from a layman's/mother's/journalistic perspective I would say that the best way to locate the core of the cluster B traits is in the literature that describes malignant narcissism. All cluster B's are narcissistic and with the possible exception of histrionics, capable of antisocial behavior patterns.

    20. First off, winning an anonymous internet duel is not really a priority. Is their a prize at the end of it? Winning a ping-pong of internet ad hominem attacks is rather low on my list of what drives me - I prefer the repartee instead. I think what is throwing people off is how I represent myself in written comments, which is based on internal thoughts. Much of what is recognized in sociopathy with most people is the external duality, which you won't see without meeting someone in person. It is the assumption of what is thought is the same as what is behaved, based on what you read. Much like how people assume online that the gender of someone is something else in real life, so is backseat diagnosis. It's one of the reasons why diagnosis requires face-to-face interviews. Because while you can infer behavior from written text, you can not observe behavior from it.

      If authoritative speaking is throwing you off, it is because I am being literal. It may also be influenced by the fact that I part-time as an english tutor - you learn and teach authoritative writing to give strength to essays and papers. That can be inferred by the writing.

      It's good to see the questioning about what really "is" a sociopath/sociopathy. It's more complicated than you thought, isn't it?

    21. To answer your suggestion Mach, about the recategorizing of Cluster B disorders. That was pushed for during the development of the DSM-V, but was ultimately not adapted due to the lack of strong studies and the added difficulty and confusion in making diagnoses from it. However, that being said, it is partially-recognized in the existence of the clustering itself, though it is firmly understated.

      As for pro-social sociopaths still being sociopaths? There aren't enough studies regarding prosocial sociopaths themselves to address the question. You won't find funding for it, nor will you find enough samples from volunteers to collect data from for a statistically significant analysis.

    22. Mach, I think there might be something to your suggestion about trauma. I was molested repeatedly when I was eight years old. My mom (who doesn't know any of this happened) has stated on several occasions that my demeanor changed around that time and I became more withdrawn. But I approach the whole thing unemotionally. It doesn't upset me. Even at the time, I was curious about what was happening but not particularly upset by it. I guess it is possible that this is some kind of coping mechanism.

    23. That can contribute to what is referred to as the environmental component in sociopathic development. It reinforces it.

    24. Bob,
      You brought up gender, and I have been meaning to ask you your gender. There was a comment you recently posted that made me wonder if you were possibly female.

    25. Thank you for that Dr Ginger.
      It was very interesting.
      But that's exactly the problem that I see with this spectrum idea. People push the limits of it as far their imagination, or ego, will let them.
      Sociopathy is a serious personality disorder.
      But if you essentially diagnose someone with it because they claim to have an empathy deficit and like to manipulate, then I can see how that is going to confuse the fuck out of many.

      Where does perfectly normal human behaviour end and serious personality disorder begin exactly?

      All people can be unempathetic at times. Just takes the right trigger to get them to turn off that empathy.
      All people can be manipulative.
      All people can be assholes.

      I think that sociopath who called himself "anon" and "Mr Lovable" was absolutely right. It is not sociopathy if you are not actively and seriously causing damage. Sitting around and pondering the differences in thinking styles and emotional responses does not a serious personality disorder make.

      Most of the time it is simply one of those people, like Bob, who have an overwhelming need for attention and recognition, to feel powerful, special, seductive, to have an excuse for being failures... and the label of sociopath gives them that.

      Then all these people start googling aaand SW gets yet another desperate wannabe, who will cling onto the label and try to twist it out of all proportion to make it fit themselves.
      Ever notice how they talk of themselves as having all these "sexy" traits and pretty much none of the "undesirable" ones.
      But that's of course because they are so strong and rational, or Jesus healed their sociopathy, or whatever.
      But they are the next James Fallon, these glorious higher beings that society must recognise.

      According to them, pretty much any kid who skipped class, burned ants, manipulated his mum for a second cookie, used a girl for a quick fuck, misrepresented themselves at a job interview, or didn't try to kill themselves out of grief at their relative's a sociopath.

      As Mr Lovable said "What kind of mask does someone who's not actually doing anything need?"
      I miss him.
      And Melissa. But I digress.

      And yes, I know I am not a shrink, but I don't agree that people are sociopaths just because they lack empathy and think they are manipulative. And I think if they manage to control their behaviour to the point where they are not actually causing a lot of damage, then there really is no problem.

    26. Mach,

      I have also wondered if certain aspects of DBT would be beneficial in sociopathy. I wonder if there are any studies on it.

    27. I think that sociopaths are able to avoid damage for a certain time if necessary to get forward with their career.

    28. @Bite me

      "Sociopathy is a serious personality disorder."

      Thank you for this post. Exactly it is a serious personality disorder.

      What I have learned from "my abuser" is, that there seems to be so many layers of - let s say - destruction. I don't feel sorry for him, I don't feel sorry (now) for myself. It was an experience.
      But when he was in attack-mode. That was unbearable.

    29. It's male. If your personal criteria of sociopathy requires a significant anti-social component (ie. causes a lot of damage), then no, I would not be a sociopath. Which is to say that while I can, I don't, and therefore am not. But at the same time you are, except that in this case, habilitated. To use an analogy, a tiger raised in the wild and a tiger raised in a zoo are the same species, with the same capacities, but both tend to behave differently.

      The other thing too is that personality disorders don't exist in a bubble. While it may be inferred that you are a malignant narcissist, or a borderline, or just an ordinary asshole, that is not "you". This is because all I have to go on is what was written, and nothing else. You don't exist in the writing. Footprints are not people - they're just the impressions left of the bottom of their feet. By looking at your footprint, I can infer where you were going at that moment, but it doesn't say who you really are, or how you thought, or anything else of the person above their feet.

      What you can do, in this context, is discuss and debate the views. If you disagree with a view, then what most people do is give another view of that point. It is thought-provoking, by literally provoking new thoughts. It is constructive, in that you are constructing views that didn't exist before. It is productive, in that you are producing a conversation that leads to more new thoughts, more new perspectives. The problem though is, by debasing your opportunity to respond (which means to reduce in value), you are not thought-provoking, constructive, or productive, and even if you get to savor the feeling of superiority, you have derailed everyone else's train of discussion. What do you think everyone else here has thought when you did that to them? It's needless collateral damage at the unnecessary expense of the rest of the participants - it's wasteful and squandering of a discussion environment. Most of the recent comments about "People Pleasing" was wasted on it.

      I invite the last word to this, so we can put this to bed and get back on topic. I concede, so this won't go on ad nauseum, so you mind as well get the rest out of your system so everyone else can continue their questions and views about the topics of discussion in ME's posts. You win.

    30. Dr. Ginger-
      I'm not sure they are positioned as such, but there is work being done that Dr. Kent Kiehl (I think he's based in New Mexico) does with older adolescents that incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy.

    31. A "Bob" employed by ME to keep the blog going and doing public relations ? Urges and contempt are swept under the table. Processing information differently, adapting, people pleasing are the selective current headlines.

    32. No. A few people had commented about Mach or I contributing to the blog, but I think we can both say we already do when we give constructive feedback in our comments. What ME chooses to post, to comment from, or whichever is entirely up to her. I can't speak for Mach, but as far as I am concerned, that is enough for me.

    33. I reached out to ME and offered to be a temporary blog administrator. She did not take me up on my offer.

    34. Oh please, Bob...

      Once again we revert back to your usual changing of the goalposts and backtracking.
      For someone who clings to the label of sociopath as if his life depended on it, someone who likes to speak with absolute authority about the way sociopaths are, you sure like to talk about how people are not the label they are given.
      I am the one trying to get you to reconsider and stop basing everything on a label.

      See how hilarious that is to me?

      My whole point is not to "win" an internet argument. Seriously? You really can't read me for shit.
      My point is to have some fun, but to also break through your incredibly thick, deluded skull. To make you stop speaking for all sociopaths in an effort to get recognition and attention.
      And oh, I know how you crave that. You have made it very clear.

      And what you also don't seem to be getting is that I could not give the flightiest fuck about derailing the conversation. Or your attempts to paint yourself as the ultimate sociopath.
      I will not be told how to speak to you. Or what I should be speaking about. And I will continue talking as long as I damned well feel.
      Hmm...maybe that makes me not a people pleaser.

      As for your analogy of a tiger, true. But if a white donkey painted himself with black stripes, will that really make him a zebra?
      Should it not be challenged for not being a zebra because it has hooves and can vaguely resemble a zebra under certain light?
      Should we say that it is simply a subtype of zebra that many people don't know exist and base zebra studies on them... you get the gist.

    35. One thing I can really respect about Bite Me is that she has an ability to make well founded observations by what she  sees written from past commenters on this blog -- and calls people out on their own bluff. She's not interested in following an agenda or pleasing the crowd, but points out the obvious, which makes it captivating to listen to her thoughts, as well as the others on this blog site.  My partner (hubby) and I do this. Literally we shake up each other's egos with pin needles. Playfully. Fun. The ludas game of love, I'd say..  ;) We  willingly both have to submit to look at each other's viewpoints and our game play method. Stubbornness is tested, stretched -- but we respect oneanother enough to point out the obvious, we must submit this default mode within us. I tend to gravitate on the belief that it comes from an injury within, as children, both him & I  -- and we subconsciously relive it (woven tightly into our personality.) The ego is splitting, shifting, the yarn starts to unravel inside when we bluntly call eachother out to look at situations -- not from our own perceptions, or our own biases that we tend generate in our minds. Whatcha gunna do about it honey? Submission is a tough road to travel on and stay on, but  very key to interlock both our narcissism persona within.  

      I'm a women, i can maneuver, coax and chissle my way through the muddle puddle easier I'd say. I study him and can expose his weaknesses quick. He tends to point the fingers back at me to get me down a level. I guess I can manipulate and create an atmosphere to win, but its important with us both to feel satisfied, validated and heard because that's when it really pays off, and has amazingly rippled effects from there on. 

      Back to bite me: 

      I believe she has a keen sense when someone points fingers at someone (targeting) - so when you point at someone in particular, your gunna get fingers pointing back. Not in a malicious way. It can come off direct to some (but from what I gather and see,  it's not bite me's intent to hurt anyone --  but to take you off the hierarchy Italian stalian horse we falsely create in our minds & knock you a level down... back to reality.

      like the rest of us here. No one is better than the next, but we are all useful.

      I totally respect her and enjoy her. 

      I'm sure I'll get my scolding or someone will target me on this site aswell in due time. Don't we all. It's quite entertaining.  

      Where's Melissa R . I miss that chick. She can see through peoples bullshit too.  

    36. @Bob 4:14
      The measure of an authentic individual 'interior' not measured by the contexts of their brain. Something to carefully ponder on.

    37. Wow, Superchick.
      Thank you! That's one hell of a compliment and I appreciate it.

      My husband and I like to do the same thing. Challenge each other, no sugarcoating, no manipulation, no real lies.

      He calls me on everything (and vice versa).
      Explains to me what he's thinking, how he's feeling and why.
      Encourages me to do the same, even if he sometimes gets scared or angry because of the answers.

      Challenge each other to look beyond our own narcissism and see their point, even if we don't agree.

      Makes me respect him more and more.
      And challenging each other like this has lead to new levels of understanding and support. Has made us both better, stronger people.

  82. Bobby said to Bitme, the other day:

    I know you get bored, and create entertainment by attacking, but repeating the same material for the fifth time diminishes the spectacle. Keep in mind to vary the attack, or else from an outside viewpoint, spectators lose the attraction because of the repetition. It is well written and well delivered as always though. Just make sure to infuse new material into it.

    Think of character attacks like boxing. You're not only playing your opponent, but also the crowd. This is because it is public and overt. Repeating the same move, even a well-executed one, creates predictability, which not only reduces its effectiveness but also its appearance. Change up the moves, and you'll not only find it more effective, but also bolster your outlook with others.

    If your "attackers" use similar tactics when they engage you, it is likely that you are exposing the same weaknesses and vulnerabilities to them. You should be the one concerned with "changing up your moves". Case in point: I brought up some of the same points as biteme, even though I had not read any of your previous exchanges.

    Two boxers are in the ring. One of them worries about keeping the match exciting, and looking good as he shows off his fancy footwork, and excellent from while throwing punches. The crowd cheers madly over his confident displays of showmanship. His opponent sees where he is weak and delivers a knock-out blow, devoid of finesse or technical prowess. Who wins the game?

    A wolf does not concern itself with "changing up its moves". It goes for the jugular, every time. Jussayin'.

  83. Retarded games of bored children.

  84. I love how being accused of not being a sociopath is interpreted as an attack.

    1. If irony wasn't funny, what would it be?

    2. Erik- that was a surprisingly glib statement for a self described people pleaser unless you have concluded that the herd does not like Bob as much as they like you…

    3. He answered a glib statement with a glib statement. Which is an ultimate irony, since if I am a sociopath that doesn't behave sociopathically in these comments, Erik is a non-sociopath who does behave sociopathically in these comments.

      Both are equally liked.

    4. "Both are equally liked"

      How do you know? That is not a facetious question. The way in which you address others is very condescending. You blame your "authoritative" tone on being an English major. I think it has more to do with your narcissism.

      Bob said:

      "The problem though is, by debasing your opportunity to respond (which means to reduce in value), you are not thought-provoking, constructive, or productive, and even if you get to savor the feeling of superiority, you have derailed everyone else's train of discussion. What do you think everyone else here has thought when you did that to them? It's needless collateral damage at the unnecessary expense of the rest of the participants - it's wasteful and squandering of a discussion environment."

      So I guess that makes you an authority on what constitutes a good discussion, too. Gee, Bob. You sure are an expert in many domains!

      So you think we should all stay on topic and not "derail the conversation" by questioning your judgement? Again, you presume to speak for everyone:

      "What do you think everyone else here has thought when..."

      I, for one, think Biteme has many more relevant, salient things to say on the topic of "sociopathy", and understands the condition from the vantage point of someone who has many sociopathic traits (without necessarily being disrodered) a lot better than you do- yet unlike yourself, she doesn't even claim to be one. Now there's irony, for you.

      All personalities exist on a spectrum.

    5. Hahah! Talk about over your head! What part of glib did you not get? A socio who is also a narc, what a blinding glimpse of the impossible.

    6. Uh, did you miss the part of Bob being a middle aged virgin with a perfect mastery over his base impulses, who is so fearful that he considers relatively mundane situations life-threatening? I'm no shrink, but that doesn't sound very "sociopathic" to me. So we are left with the narcissism.

      But whatever. I don't care one iota whether or not bobby is a sociopath. Let him think himself a poached egg if it makes him feel better; it doesn't mean that I have to pretend to believe him.

    7. I see Bob's misanthropy as a "tell" that if you knew him in real life he would find a way to express his antisocial orientation even if it was mostly through passive aggression.

    8. A:
      That was my thought exactly when he said that about being equally liked.
      And thank you! That was sweet of you to say.
      I don't consider myself a sociopath anymore. Do have traits, but as long as I control them, well enough anyway, it's not a disorder.

    9. You're welcome- but I was just being honest.

      That is essentially the conclusion I have come to, as well. While I don't subscribe to the notion that a simple test is sufficient to slap a diagnostic label on someone which would essentially define their entire personality, I do believe that those of us who might score in the mid-twenties on the PCL-R are more likely to be able to maintain better control over the long term than those who score in the mid-thirties. The diagnostic cut-off score of 30 is not just an arbitrary number. There is as much a difference between someone who possesses numerous sociopathic traits and a full-blown, criminal psychopath as there are between people who are naturally self-centered, and the pathological narcissist.

      I have many traits, due to genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. But I don't consider myself a sociopath because although I have struggles in certain areas (hair-trigger temper, callousness, an occasionally cruel disposition, mild sadism, poor impulse control, pervasive boredom and mild substance use to alleviate it, etc.) I am not, strictly speaking, disordered. Sometimes I am hanging on by a thread- but thanks to understanding folks in my life, the ability to introspect, and yes- a personal code of conduct that I frequently fall short of- I have managed to keep my life under reasonable control.

  85. If anyone's interested, the self-monitoring scale is kind of related to M.E.'s post.

    I got a 24/25. I guess you could interpret that as me having a weak sense of self. My thoughts, behaviors, and opinions are dictated by the social environment.

    1. That's really interesting, Erik. I would never have guessed that for you. I took it and got a 9/25. Would be fascinated to see what other people came up with.

    2. 4/25 for me. That is low. Strong sense of self I guess? Not a people pleaser? Not manipulative? Prefers long term relationships over superficial ones? Not sure how to interpret the score!!
      Superchick, Bob, Bite Me, Dr Ginger, what do you score?

    3. Ok had to take it :) 19/25. I definitely self-monitor.

    4. Dr. G I got the same score. ;)

    5. Your score (24/25) indicates that you are a relatively high self monitor. You are willing to be the center of attention are sensitive to others reactions and will adjust your behavior to get positive reactions from others.

    6. 11/25

      Your score (11/25) indicates that you value staying true to yourself and are unwilling to modify your behavior just to get the approval of others. You probably do not like to be the center of attention very often.

    7. :( 2/25

      Your score (2/25) indicates that you value staying true to yourself and are unwilling to modify your behavior just to get the approval of thers. You probably do not like to be the center of attention very often.

      and I thought, I am a people pleaser. Maybe I am, but can't self-monitor.

    8. I got 11/25 too
      Looks like I'm not much of a people pleaser :)

  86. Getting back to the article at hand... People pleasing is an excellent example of where the selfish (since I don't really believe in evil) and selfless (aka "moral" / nice, or whatever you chose to call it) becomes transparent. Some people are nice, others understand the increased utility someone else can provide by making what is really an insignificant gesture. For me, its all about return on investment.


  87. People ask me the same thing; "Why do you care what she thinks about you? It's not that my sense of self-worth is dependent on it, I just want to know whether they like me or now, how they feel towards me, so I can know how much energy to invest. Asking questions/collecting information is good for when it comes to making decisions.

  88. I was together with a human being with psychopathic traits (at least I think) and it seemed, that he had feelings, but also had to display them. Like an emotional defective contact. He was "blind" at the emotional department. So in a way I felt like he was calculating my behaviour.

    In the first month he was very charming. Now I know that is was just his grooming to suck me in his life. I think he wanted to install me as his outlet for his sasdism.

    Fortunately I escaped. At that time I didn't know about Psychopaths, I just thought, wow this is becoming abusive and it is unhealthy. Haha...he works as doctor.

    1. Yes, sadism, malicious glee and contempt shine through. This basic attitude is much more antisocial than the lack of emotion.

  89. I like to make people feel good. It makes me feel good. Pleasure is something to be enjoyed with others. That's how I feel about people pleasing.

  90. @ Bite Me -
    "Most of the time it is simply one of those people, like Bob, who have an overwhelming need for attention and recognition, to feel powerful, special, seductive, to have an excuse for being failures... and the label of sociopath gives them that."

    Bob- you spoke about how the essence of an individual is not necessarily the same as the behavioral footprint might suggest. That's a valid point.

    I'd like to respectfully offer a third perspective. While there is certainly a histrionic element that many posters seem to get off on indulging, I'm not sure that this explanation accounts for the fact that sometimes you have a real deal sociopath whose destructive tendencies are simply dormant and waiting for the right circumstances to manifest. The best analogy I can come up with is that just because a blue object is not perceived as blue does not mean it that it is not blue. It might just be that the lights are turned off.

    Yet I can't totally buy into Bob's self assessment as a sociopath if his antisocial tendencies remain theoretical. (by the way, I hope Bob isn't a sociopath, as much for his own sake as for everyone he interacts with, mostly because I find him sympathetic and don't want him to paint himself into a corner where he's predestined to be lonely forever)

    A sociopath who doesn't act out lacks the neurobiological reinforcement to behave antisocially that habitual offenders possess. I bring this up as I consider Dr. James Fallon's conception of sociopathy as a three legged stool - there's genetics, there's early environment, and then there are the experiences an individual has had that shape the brain. In other words, predisposition is not destiny. It does matter, though.

    In my mind, Bob has strong antisocial tendencies. He's bright, frustrated, isolated, and likely possesses the ability to suppress his empathetic capacities (not sure he's autistic although his lack of social ease might suggest that- he's too savvy about the way empaths think for that to be a viable option.) In my mind he is alienated mostly because he's more analytical and observant and sees the proverbial emperors new clothes earlier than the mainstream does. He loathes social expectations. He may possess some degree of cerebral narcism but there's not enough braggadocio for me to call him a narcissist. He just seems "done" with most people, which could lead him to act in a very callous and possibly cruel manner if he is expected to identify with individuals he can not empathize with. But I don't see a raging Napolean complex here- just someone who is not terribly interested in helping his fellow human unless he is given a far more compelling motivation than the mainstream suggestion that "it's the right thing to do".

    1. This leads to some interesting questions. Let's try the scenario, by applying it to the two previous conditions:

      Is not a sociopath.
      If the missing component is significant anti-social behavior at the moment, but the person conducts anti-social behavior afterwards (say, this disenfranchisement reaches a threshold), has the person become a sociopath? Is the performance of that anti-social behavior beneficial for the person? The people subjected to the resultant behavior? The people wanting to see the resultant behavior? How much anti-social behavior is required to be a sociopath? How much of a lack of anti-social behavior is enough to still be a sociopath? Which threshold counts - a pre-determined amount set by an authoritative third-party, or all individuals' differing thresholds who ultimately decide the perceptions in the first place?

      Is a sociopath.
      If the missing observed component is anti-social behavior at the moment, online, but had previously conducted it offline, are they still a sociopath? If a tree falls in the forest, but you are not there to hear it, did it happen? Are they wrong, are you wrong, or are they both wrong?

      The questions lead to a difficult problem. It becomes a case of Schrodinger's Cat (a paradox). Just to clarify the issue, this is about "being both a sociopath and not a sociopath, at the same time." Because of this, I can neither claim to be a sociopath, nor can you claim I am not. Because practically you can't be both, you need to "see inside the box to find out." Unfortunately, that can't be achieved in this format, since you can't have Internet Sociopaths (you can never actually see in the box). Because like everyone who has posted in these comments (including myself), there have been both lies and misconceptions of actual truths - not lies - that can never be separated and checked.

      So how do you function here? By presuming, and, moving on.

    2. Mach, first of all, I am a pretty surprised by your people pleasing score.
      I have seen you go out of your way, numerous times, to come up with ways for someone "under attack" to save their ego.
      You are a wonderful peacekeeper and very, very much a people pleaser in my opinion.
      Just wonder if it simply comes naturally, or maybe as a result of being involved with a narcissistic/sociopathic man for so long.

      As for Bob, read through the Saint Sociopath blog post.

      He even admits he has no real anti social traits, amongst many other rather telling statements...

      Everyone has potential for cruel and callous behaviour.
      And thoughts don't mean fuck all. I could think things that would make Tarantino throw up in horror. And do regularly. As long as they are not acted on, there is no problem.

      That's where the problems with impulse control, having a manipulative nature, etc come in. Sociopaths actually act on maby of their thoughts and urges.
      Bob claims he denies himself all the base pleasures, has never even fucked once, even though he has the natural desires, because he is too worried about the consequences to his reputation.

      He considers relatively harmless situations to be "imminently life threatening"...
      he lives with a lot of fear.

      And I don't think he is "done" with people because he sees through their bullshit. That sounds an awful lot like misanthropy. And when you take Bob's desperate need to be liked and thought well of, the way he reacts to family and having "wronged" someone... that doesn't sound very misanthropic to me.
      I think he is socially awkward and has adopted this condescending manner as a way of dealing with that.

    3. Well I'm glad that self-gratifying masturbatory narcissist shit is over with!!

      ...oh wait.

    4. Ugh. Second time today my comment disappeared as I tried to post it. Suffice it to say, it was brilliant and you all would have been amazed.

    5. @ Bite Me-
      I am not surprised. Sticking up for the underdog actually runs counter to people pleasing because the people pleaser tends to go with the crowd. But that's not exactly what I'm doing either. I like to see how conflicts play out and don't want any of the parties to leave in a huff if they are still saying interesting things so I tend to stick up for people.

      The only place I rarely manifest my strong contrarian tendencies is SW. As a columnist that lends itself to a lot of negative blowback. In life I am always the devils advocate. My editor loves it because it sells papers but it has made more some uncomfortable moments over the years.

    6. I sure am glad there aren't any cowardly, passive aggressive anons around to bitch!
      Oh curses!!
      Hi 538 ;)

      I get it now. Thank you.
      I saw "people pleasing" as not catering to the crowd, but to the individuals.
      It's not about defending the underdog, it felt more like trying to preserve egos of all (interesting) parties.
      Basically I see you as someone who can see through bullshit, but with a heart of gold.

  91. Ok. Speaking of people pleasing... It has crossed my mind that sociopaths enjoy sex not for the sake of their own physical pleasure but more because of how it can affect the other person, how they can make the other person feel - be it frustrated or content or anything else. A skill that some empaths have problems developing. Any comments?

    1. According to my own anecdotal experience (ahem) and observations, a lot of sociopaths appear to have a hypersexual streak. I objectify the objects of my attraction, but I can't speak for anyone else, though. It's a lust thing.

    2. I posted my comment almost as an afterthought. Having re-read it, I want to clarify what I mean by "objectify". I am not referring to viewing someone purely as "eye-candy". I mean that lust and love are two separate, largely distinct emotions for me. They are not mutually dependent, as they are for the majority of women.

      I'm turned on by the exchange of power, the mutual pushing of boundaries, and the thrill, both psychological and physical, of inflicting and receiving pain, juxtaposed with the giving and receiving of pleasure.

      We do want to solicit a response from the other person. A large part of the thrill of seduction is in the conquest. We want to make a person abandon themselves to us... to thoroughly consume them- the beautiful, and the ugly.

      In my opinion, it is when someone is completely vulnerable to you, or you are to them, that they are most delicious.

    3. Mmmmm, yum.

    4. Very well put, A.

      There is something incredibly delicious about getting a strong partner and getting them completely hooked. To truly seduce them.

      Before I met my man, before love and lust became intertwined and it became a whole new experience, it was all about the seduction.
      No, not just fucking men. Any woman can do that without much difficulty.
      Seducing them.
      Very much quality, not quantity.

      Exploring them and exploring with them. Figuring out exactly what they want. Pushing them to the limits...
      The relationships were intense, but because there was no real affection, no real connection, I almost made a sport of treating them badly. Lying, cheating, turning them against their friends... seeing just how much I could get away with...

      Would never permit myself to become completely vulnerable. But also got turned off very quickly if they really submitted. I have always craved that power play.

  92. Sometimes sociopaths like sex because they take over total control of the experience. Everything their partner is experiencing is being caused by the sociopath. Sometimes the sociopath pushes their partner as far as they've ever gone before, and then takes them beyond that point. Whether it be due to intensity, or acts never done before, or something else, it doesn't matter. When their partner gives up trying to maintain their standards and boundaries and lets the experience flood over them... Some sociopaths love that. But what do I know.

    1. he above was is response to OldAndWise @7:20

      I clicked the wrong reply

    2. ...Yeah.

      *Exactly* that. :P

  93. Yes, I definitely got the feeling that sex was more of a performance for mal narc ex than something he actually enjoyed.

    Also I noticed something odd: with other men, their pupils dilate when aroused or interested. Not so with the ex, ever.


  94. Yeah, it's true. They want to control everything, especially in the bedroom. It's all about their control, and your response. They want to watch in minute detail...your response.

    And Bob's right. You can't know a person is a sociopath unless you have the experience of observation for an extended period of time. It's pretty clear after a couple years. You can't read it on a blog, or in a book.


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