Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Feckless Aspie, Clueless Sociopath

From a comment in response to the question of why do aspie's come across so much better than sociopaths do:

I can see a few reasons.

The aspie comes off as feckless; he can't help it. 

There are a few ways the sociopath can blow it. 

1) He doesn't anticipate the disgust. E.g. an American in Thailand might pat a kid on the head. Similarly, I might remark to a mother/daughter pair, "it is amazing to think that she came out of you," because I just don't have the same feelings about things. Observers think, "the sociopath is disgusting."

2) He acts charming to get something. Then he takes it, impulsively, when the opportunity appears. Feelings of betrayal and hatred arise in the victim and observers, because the victim thinks, "he could & should have kept doing what I liked. He shouldn't have betrayed me." If you asked the sociopath why he deceived, he might say, "I gave the person what he wanted. Later, I saw an opportunity to take what I wanted, and I did."

3) The sociopath gets irritated by a person. There's stimulus -> rage -> plotting/scheming. The sociopath mostly thinks. He doesn't experience his feelings much. His response is to "act" either by doing something or thinking about what to do; it isn't to experience the feelings, question the feelings, question the assessment of the situation that led to the feelings. The sociopath might build weapons (or the equivalent) and stash them, anticipating a conflict; that's a way to "let off steam" by taking action. 

Finally, in response to a trigger, the sociopath lashes out and executes a plan, perhaps using preplanned elements. Outside observers see the sociopath as being impulsive, vicious, premeditated and overreacting. 

Feelings of horror or fear arise in observers and they decide the sociopath is very frightening, extreme and beyond redemption. It doesn't help that when they interview the sociopath after the stuff, he'll probably sound quite unemotional; observers will translate that into, "he not human."


  1. "it is amazing to think that she came out of you!" HAHAHAHAH. DYING!

    1. I wrote that.

      I helped a friend (and her mom) to move all day. I've never had sex with either and never will, and neither of them have any money; this was an act of kindness.

      At the end of the day, when we were all done, they were standing near the door thanking me. And I looked at them and they looked similar in that way that moms and their daughters do. But the daughter is taller than the mom. And I felt compelled to remark "it is amazing to think that she came out of you!" which managed to disgust them both.

    2. ANON - OMG!?! - "I've never had sex with either and never will, and neither of them have any money; this was an act of kindness."

      do you remember that segment on Saturday Night Live during the 1990's called "Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy?" you, dear friend, are the Jack Handy of sociopaths. Or a unicorn. Or a genius. Or a Genius Unicorn, seriously. !!!

    3. "it is amazing to think that she came out of you"
      "I've never had sex with either and never will, and neither of them have any money; this was an act of kindness. "

      As graceful as an elephant! :D

    4. grace in honesty.

  2. I think the main reason has been forgotten: The world as I see it (through television, smalltalk with strangers and listening to the problems of 'normal' people) is highly concerned with image and reputation. This seems to go down to even something abstract as words, especially if they are used to describe a certain type of some sorts.

    The meanings and reputations are far from being coherent, moreover they seem to differ heavily within society and I'm not even talking about different societies/cultures (e.g. German / Austrian) yet. For those who have managed not to notice up to now; ask as many different people as possible about their definition of 'strange'. You'd be surprised by the seemingly endless amount of different definitions and as you move on asking complete strangers you'll find contradicting definitions eventually. (Aside from "You are strange" of course... those can be ignored.)

    The point I wanted to state is: The mere use of the word 'sociopath' will lead to instant arising of negative mindsets, leading to a strongly polarized view on the subject which will therefore make an serious discussion almost impossible if you can't put them at ease again. The more close-minded people are, the less is this an option, hence they will rather view others who are labeled 'sociopath' as some sort of toxic waste - completely ignoring whether the statement is true or not or whether it has positive aspects too or not. (A good tip: Be aware of that when joking around, it can seriously damage your reputation in the long run.)

    With Asperger's it's a bit different; this word seems to be triggering rather positive or neutral mindsets, the negative ones are rather mild. People labeled as 'having asperger syndrome' are often viewed as 'little Einstein' or simply as 'retard', the former makes it hard to explain there are negative sides as well while the latter is kind of self-explanatory... Almost none of whom I had talked to – I pretended to be an aspie - who thought I'm retarded was able to keep up the conversation as they constantly presumed it isn't possible to talk to s.o. they thought was retarded. I found that quite funny, more so when I started to talk to them in a scientific way all of a sudden, they were absolutely confused. (I tried to tell them aspies aren’t really retarded in a normal way, but that just didn’t work.) However most people either have no clue what asperger’s are or they think you must be a genius or at least highly intelligent. Or both: Retarded and highly intelligent, so mostly I got that “You’re like Sheldon Cooper from ‘the Big-Bang theory’ then?”

    All in all it doesn’t seem to matter how you behave but rather how your actions are viewed in public: Better reputations make worse actions seem less “evil”. Bad reputations make better actions seem less valuable. I guess we all know that. I, as a sociopath, tell people I’m an aspie should they ask about certain strange behaviors of mine (like my strange kind of gaze, or my problems relating emotionally to others or whatever else they might find is ‘out of place’.). So far, none of them questioned further, I guess simply because it’s easier to think about someone being utterly harmless.

    1. Lack of conscience is what gets to people more so than lack of empathy.

    2. Interesting, I would have speculated the lack of empathy was more terrifying.

      Would you mind telling me how you came to your opinion?

    3. I would expect the lack of conscience to a bigger deal, especially in combination with poor long term planning. THAT I can see being a far bigger concern than an lack of emotional empathy as far as stewarding the planet.

      @June Harvey: I can see where emotional empathy might be a wonderful thing to have. Like faith, I envy people who are possessed of it - experience that are, so far, outside my experience.

      But, being something wonderful, I'm still not getting how it would "save the planet." Rational self interest looks like a better approach to me still.

    4. NH,
      ppl who are not guided by an inner moral sense of right and wrong, and feel no remorse when confronted with the wrongness of their acts are not motivated to change and are more dangerous than someone without empathy but with a moral conscience to guide them. There's something intrinsically sinister about lacking a moral conscience whereas lacking empathy is seen as more of a handicap.

    5. Thank you for replying, Anon. I see where you're coming from though I have to remark I still think conscience can be substituted quite well while empathy, or at least 'real' empathy can't be easily substituted.
      Just because I don't learn from scolding and punishment, doesn't mean I can't change my behaviour according to society. Besides, having a conscience sounds rather terrifying to me, as I used conscience as a very helpful anchor to start long term manipulation on empaths - they didn't even seem to notice how their perception of moral started to change. I assumed it was because remorse isn't really needed. Anyways I'll try to get that into my head for now.

      HLHaller, I can assure you successsful long term planning in the absence of conscience is pure venom to the mind. I tried it and eventually had to drop strict planning again as the constant keeping-in-mind of what was wrong and what not (which seems to be essential to keep up a plan for a long time) has worn me down to the very ground.

      Absence of long term planning and conscience works well as long as one has moderate impulsivity and conditions themself to think before act.

    6. NM -- can you clarify something? "Just because I don't learn from scolding and punishment, doesn't mean I can't change my behaviour according to society." Without a moral conscience or the ability to learn from mistakes, how can you change your behavior according to society?

    7. Nihilistic,

      From one 'empath's' pov, the first time one encounters a person with no empathy in an intimate relationship, and then realizes the depth to which that goes, well it is a truly terrifying experience. There's the empathic shock if you will of the empathy void. It looks monstrous.

      Later more rational thoughts set in and in those thoughts a shift in perspective happens and conscience becomes the issue. So how do you simulate conscience, and is that conscience something that you value that others can trust you with?

    8. Anon, I observe common behaviours around me, try to find the underlying pattern and mimic that. I try to be as accurate as possible, context wise, which is actually rather sort of a hobby and energy-sparing task. (The better I'm adjusted the less I get bothered.) I normally don't change my behaviour because I found it was wrong but rather because I found I started to dislike it out of whatever reason (often trivial reasons), or because I spotted a better, more promising or more rewarding behavioural pattern. No punishment needed.
      That thing with the 'learning from mistakes' is actually quite funny; I keep doing the same dumb mistakes over and over again, the other day my phone won't load my musci and kept tabbing the 'reload' button for over an hour, finally resignating in frustration. Some hours later on my way home I tried to listen to the same song and did the same as before. Now should anyone call me intelligent again...

      DoctorSciFi, I thank you for this explanation, I think it'll help me very much.
      To answer your questions: When I was 16-or-so years old I found out my conscience is quite that of a dog's, moreover I take responsibility for things I certainly haven't done but could have done in the eyes of someone else. I play the scapegoat in whatever situation I'm blamed, no matter if it's true or not. (Except it'd seriously damage my reputation or simply annoys me, of course.)
      I know that lots of people do trust me, but I'm not so sure they should trust me. Of course I try my best to do the right, but it's not always easy to evaluate what is right and what not. Some of my morals are very far off, but I'm in a constant process of fixing this. I always try to gather together informations of what is acceptable and what not, concentrating acceptable stuff in the real world and unacceptable in the not-real world of arts, my mind and the internet, keeping track of both so I know when I do something that is widely viewed as unacceptable. Though I have no clue if it really works out...
      Well, if in doubt I cling to the written laws. They don't always make much sense but at least they won't change that fast and are way less confusing. A lot of my friends think I'm a lamb because of this... I guess they wouldn't if they knew it makes literally no difference for me to break one or a completely different law - murder is as taboo for me as dumping trash in public is.

      I apologize for all typos and grammatical mistakes, I haven't had any sleep for 2 days now...

  3. World history is divided into epocis of time called "ages." An age is a
    segment of time which has a definate beginning and end. Sometimes when the
    Bible says "forever," it only means for the entire duration of an age rather then
    for time without limit.
    The world has at least 200 more years to go before Jesus returns. For this reason, it would be better to live your life in a day by day way as opposed to
    believing that Jesus Christ will be returning at 12 midnight. The best way to live
    in light of this is called "self remembering." You always pay strict attention to the now, and don't day dream and let your mind wonder. You face reality exactly
    as it is, EVEN if you get frightened or cry. You don't fight your reaction, but
    SEE your reaction. Once you see that your-after-the-fact-reaction-can do nothing
    for you, it falls away by itself, because no one KNOWLINGLY harms themselves.

  4. I think a skillful person can get away telling people he's a sociopath. For nearly the last two years I've been telling women I'm a psychopath. I even gave one Dutton's book.

    What's interesting is that in the romantic love infatuation phase, they only think I've got a few of the psychopathic traits - the nice ones. Later on, after it has worn off, they say that I've got the rest of them.

    In any case, having warned them, if I get caught doing something lousy, I'm able to tell them, "when I did that selfish thing, it simply didn't cross my mind that when you found out later you'd be so bothered," and they believe me (it is often true). Basically, they figure I'm disabled, a bit like an aspie or ADHD sufferer. I've done this about things related to living "double lives"; when caught, I say I compartmentalized my female friendships, out of habit.

    Unlike an aspie, I figure out what they want and give it to them. So most of the time they think I'm great. The key is to play to their narcissism; figure out what she wants to hear and give it to her.

    I cannot believe how much mileage this has gotten me. These women actually think I'm a decent guy. I do that thing that Dr. Fallon does: I tell the truth about inconvenient but small things - to make myself seem honest. When it comes to inconvenient but big things (eg things they'd consider infidelity) I just lie (no idea if Dr. Fallon does this :-). Because I've built up a reputation for being honest, they aren't looking for the whoppers.

    I've not even covered my tracks well. But they just seem to want to be lied to (by me) and they want to lie to themselves (about me).

    This behavior is immoral by any standard; but I don't feel personally responsible. I figure I've got these traits because humans that were this way passed on their genes to me. I didn't choose to be this way any more than a scorpion chooses to be born a scorpion.

    1. A real sociopath wouldn't bother telling people he is. Why would he? Because they wouldn't believe you from the get-go. I try to be nice when it costs me (almost) no effort. And when i get caught i change the subject or just act like its nothing, or just leave.

  5. When I was about 58 years old, I was teaching a class to someone then about 70 and she said, “Getting old sucks.” I am now 70 and it's now “My turn in the barrel,” as the old joke punches.

    The “theme” of today's post may be, “creating yourself with the materials at hand.” I can't find it now, but I think yesterday I invited people to an imaginary thrift store where you can try on personas.

    It runs something like this, so I will post it again. Why not? If you wanted to be something different than you are, say a sociopath instead of a narcissist, or a narcissist rather than a sociopath, what would you become?

    Sometimes we change slowly. Sometimes we change quickly. Sometimes we get luck. Sometimes we get very unlucky.

    My father was a brilliant prick. I hated and feared him. Eventually, he died suddenly in a terrible way. There's no good way to die, except perhaps in one's sleep, and that's horrible for the survivors. The circumstances of my father's death made me feel as if I killed him. I knew I hadn't. I felt both guilty AND “I'm glad you're death, you motherfucker.”

    My wife and I were shy introverts. It's amazing we met, amazing that we married, but the mating instinct in humans (we are animals, after all) is very strong. Both from fucked up families, we tried to avoid having children. My wife got pregnant on our honeymoon (despite using birth control). Getting married for dubious reasons at 21 (me) and 18 (she) is not a good recipe for a successful marriage, but it worked for us. Having a baby at the beginning of a shaky marriage, usually is not a good strategy for mending the relationship; it worked for us; we are still married after 48 years. My wife and daughter are very intelligent, very capable, very empathic. I am borderline borderline.

    Because of my father, when young I could hardly be friends with a man. I dreaded the idea of having a son; was immensely relieved when a daughter was born. I could hardly relate to men; most of my friends were women. Gradually, over years I evolved to have close male friends and to become rather weary and wary of women and their manipulation of we men.

    None of this makes any sense. I am amused by the frequent posts of Christian spam on this list. I am amused that M.E. Is a Mormon. Mormonism in a couple of senses, is a “cuckoo” religion. God does not exist. If God existed, he would be the sociopath of the universe. We're on our own. We live, we mate, we die, we disappear, like bubbles in the wind. Make yourself into whatever you want to be. Tell us about it.

    1. lol you're borderline borderline :):)

  6. Only the Paranoid SurviveOctober 22, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Autistics are more tolerable because they have less ability to maliciously deceive others.

  7. Everybody can learn to be better at what they want to do. Hitler was very bad; Stalin far surpassed him. Hirohito and Tojo were so bad, one could hardly imagine anyone being worse, but probably Mao and Pol Pot surpassed them. Just when everyone thought the pit of horror had been dug as deep as could be, along came the Kims in Korea.

    Even if you are an autistic, if you really, really try, you can far surpass socios when it comes to malicious deception. I expect to hear horrid things from you in a very short period of time. Let me check CNN.Hmm . . . your name isn't Martin Rouleau by any chance, is it? If we never see another post here by "Only the Paranoid Survive," I think everyone can draw the correct conclusion.

    Unless, of course, you are the commander of the Russian sub lurking in Swedish waters?

  8. Pity is what separates aspies from sociopaths. Aspies have a true deficiency in their ability to navigate social interactions, which is readily apparent if you've ever met one. Sociopaths, on the other hand, are considered to be deficient in humanity, and this deficiency is covert.

    Since morality is relative, this boils down further and a bit cleaner. The difference between aspies and sociopaths is overt and covert antisocial tendencies. One commenter above reveals that he's a sociopath and gets along well because of it.

  9. Anon@ 6:42pm. Bingo. I believe you are correct.



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