Friday, June 5, 2015

Trial and error

A reader asks:

Hi I read some of your book and blog entries and I figured I'd reach out a bit.

I don't know 100% if I'm a sociopath but there are signs. I feel nothing towards my mother or sisters. Not hate or love, like or loathe, just, well nothing.

I can't hold a relationship because I'm a pathological liar and i don't feel love.

Do I have to fake it my whole life? Can I not feel at all? Will I ever? Is there a treatment out there somewhere that will make me feel like a human being and not some empty shell?


I just want to know how to stop this pain. I feel so lonely. Like I've got nothing to live for.

I have not felt direct distress as a result of my particular mental make up, but it certainly has distressing elements (emptiness, lack of sense of true meaning in life, lack of connections to others, etc.) to it or puts me in distressing situations (funny, then, that I still would not identify as feeling direct distress from it?). I get this question or a variation of it all the time. From personal experience, I think you can get better but there's not necessarily one way to go about it and no guarantee of success. I've written a little bit about what has helped with me, but it's been a matter of trial and error. For instance, I may have difficulty with wanting to control people and situations and using the bluntest of instruments. That doesn't go over well indefinitely, so I learn how to indirectly influence something via gardening. For some reason that really helped me to relax my death grip of control. I didn't know how to not manipulate, but my therapist got me to see how not to: (1) realize that you have a natural preference of choices regardless of what effects that choice might have on others, (2) act according to that natural preference and disregard the predicted effects that it will have on others. It is actually impossible to be manipulative if you follow that easy formula, and once you have learned that skill, maybe you start eventually factoring back in the effects that choice will have on others (sort of a cold turkey approach that would make a great comedy movie premise, a la Liar Liar).

But I don't mind compiling a list of helpful topics, giving my take (if any) or others take on them (if posted on this post in the comments or emailed to me with the trial and error subject line) and then leaving the comments open for future helpful ideas? What would be a good list of topics of most common issues that sociopaths might face in trying to establish a more stable manner of existence? I'd also look for helpful book recommendations (and a quick description of why) or helpful films and other media. Then I can make a page, "Resources for Sociopaths" or something. 


  1. So just act self-interestedly? That is kind of my approach anyway. You might not manipulate anyone, but that also probably won't win you any friends.

  2. Do socios really feel lonely? Isnt the "thing" they´ve got some sort of "internal company" which make other social contacts seem rather trite..?

    1. I can be naturally antisocial, but sometimes I recognize the need for human interaction. I just up my game and go interact with people.

    2. I'm a socio and I never feel lonely. Except for that sort-of-want-somebody-around-to-mind-games-with feeling. But ya.


  3. Look into "The New Life Foundation" based in Arizona. Look into Guy Findley.
    And look into Juddi Krishnumatti.
    Your problem is "YOU" (Your acquired personality) You take as your perminate
    reality. "You" feel threatened if it is under assult.
    The pain is in your "reaction," Totally WITHIN "YOU." The exception would be if
    you were in a plane about to crash. The physical survival instinct is natural and
    The false "you" or "ego" wants stimulation and aggrandisement. It wants to go to
    Disneyland. So your lust for excitement and a tempary false sense of life puts
    you on that plane. Maybe you take your kids with you. Wrong move. You should
    have stayed home. The plane develops enigine trouble, crashes, and you become a murderer three times over.

    1. That's exactly what's happening with me. I fear it and am excited for it at the same time.


  4. There are a few things I've noticed that appear consistent between sociopaths.

    They tend to value having at least one person with whom they can be honest. So much of their lives is an act, that to be able to open up and tell the truth to someone is liberating. For some people this will be a therapist, others an open-minded and minimally judgmental friend.

    Another is to have contingency plans against self-destructive tendencies. Yes, I know sociopaths are supposedly poor at planning, but it's nice to have a support system to fall back on during meltdowns. For some people this is family, for others friends and paramours. The method by which you maintain those relationships is irrelevant (honesty or manipulation, whatever), just make sure that you have it there.

    Next is boredom. So, play games with people. Toy with them, it's fun! Hurt them or help them or flit by them like a gentle breeze, it doesn't matter. Everyone's a bit naive, and while you don't need justification, you are justified in that you can consider yourself doling out lessons. People might scream, stamp their feet and cry about the unfairness of it all, but the truth is that everyone needs a fire lit under their asses every once in a while, it keeps them on their toes.

  5. Controlling Assholes--another word for high functioning sociopath?June 5, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    Here is a guy who played his wife and daughter a long while and then got kicked out eventually:

    Here is a book that refers to sociopaths as Controlling People, and explains how to identify these:

    1. I`m never rude to my family, enablers, sycophants and other strategic partners. The smart parasites live in peaceful cooperation with their hosts.

    2. A smart parasite develops a symbosis.

  6. Once a year the world should hold a national “new life” day, when each of us can choose a new family, a new culture, a new sexual identity, and so on. “Hello,” I will say. “Here is my father, Michael. He is a complete, asshole. He is very bright; he was working for SAC during the cold war, trying to blow up the world. He hit my mother and told me I was worthless.”

    [Michael is dead now, and I sort of killed him, but this is where I developed the concept. You can apply it to yourself and how it works for you.]

    Some other kid, perhaps in a worse situation, will choose to have Michael as a father, and will regard his new dad as an improvement. I ended up being more resilient than I thought, and more dangerous than I thought, so I will do away with the trade up dad, and perhaps get away with it. In any case, once a year, we will all get a change, and something new, and the world will become a mixed salad, and in the long run, that's what we all want. Is it not?

  7. While thinking of one of the ideas expounded in today's post, I say the art of "trial and error" is not hard to "captain."

    I am recommending the movie "Pollack."

    1. "Pollock" (It is not the first time I've misspelled it, and there is a reason behind it.) Thinking further, the re-occurrence of the misspelling does not have to do with the art of trial and error.

  8. I can relate to what this person feels. I also feel like that now. But isn't it all just some self-deception? Aren't we all, as sociopaths, born to be the empty shell? For example, I don't have close friends. I imagine having them, but I realize that this isn't a thing I really want to have, but just some day-dreaming, which makes me think I'm maybe not a sociopath, but it's just a lie I have invented, just to trick myself.

    1. It doesn't matter what you were born to be: you have choice and free will :)

  9. Are you tired of people snickering when they see you?
    Tired of seeing the LOOK? You know the one. The mixture of pity and "OMG that is fucking funny" on their face?
    Tired of all those conformist sheep not recognising or appreciating the darkness that dwells in your soul and permeates every moment that you are forced to be upon this wretched earth with THEM?
    Tired of never being picked for sports, invited out with the rest of the class, or asked out on a date?
    Tired of family rolling their eyes and telling you to stop being so dramatic when you express the pain of existence?
    Tired of hearing "Fuck that emo teenager is obnoxious"...even though you might now be in your late 20's?

    Good news!

    The label SOCIOPATH might be right for YOU!
    Remember how you stole that candy bar and felt nothing? How you heartlessly burned those ants alive with your magnifying glass of Destiny?
    Do you NOT feel overwhelming happiness and love towards everything, every second of the day?
    Do you know that you are special? Truly special. A beautiful black snowflake amongst a sea of sheep?
    All makes sense now, doesn't it?

    Come to SW!
    Where you can not just convince yourself that you are not in fact an overly dramatic emo loser teen, but are in fact a sociopath.
    Woe befall all those who dare underestimate your powerful, manipulative, charming, DARK soul again!

    Seriously, get over yourself. Or get yourself some razor blade soap :)


    1. Isn't an Emo the opposite of a sociopath though?

    2. Really, Puppy?
      I'm feeling torn between a deep sigh and a facepalm here...

      You didn't get that I was taking the piss out of all those delusional sociopath wannabe twats, like the reader M.E. quoted? The ones who are quite clearly emo losers seeking the label "sociopath" to make themselves feel better?


    3. Kat I understand WHAT you are doing I just fail to understand why (maybe). Let this person explore and ask questions and maybe they will discover what they are. Younger people may just be heading down the socio-path. No one has the right to label someone else's "psyche thing". Making a hostile environment for these people, especially kids when they come to this site seems counter productive to the sites purpose.

  10. unrelatedly...

    How To Spot A Psychopath

    Not much that hasn't been said countless times, but the first "red flag" is something I haven't heard mentioned before. I'll have to try it sometime.

    If you follow the link for "Here’s a “psychopathy checklist”, it has a link to a paper called "Psychopathy and Victim Selection: The Use of Gait as a Cue to Vulnerability" that I thought was interesting.

    1. I've played that physical domination game - it can be fun. There are variations that also include handshake position (who's on top), letting someone else through a door first (granting THEM permission), etc.

      A few others on the spectrum will play along and things usually escalate - sometimes ending in chuckles, sometimes in tears..

      By the by, if one removes my hand, as the author suggested, it signals to me the person understands the rules of the game and the gloves can come off. No fish in the barrel, as it were. Sketchy advice if you ask me.

      I read that (or a similar) paper - it's interesting when you start doing the observations. There's something there.

    2. "letting someone else through a door first (granting THEM permission), etc."

      I was wondering why he did that the other week. I instinctively rejected his offer of passage and offered it to him. He stood still. I marched through, walked in front of him and paid for my ticket without looking back at him as he got into the elevator.

      Happy to engage in the game and I know I have to lose to win with him so to speak. But it's easier to do that from a distance, via email or text. As soon as it's live and I feel there's something at stake, I assert myself.

      Will need to process this a bit so that next time he surfaces, I'm quite ready.

    3. Before anyone takes advice or puts any weight behind that link''s author you might want to check this out.

  11. The best advice I receive about handling this sort of stuff: look at yourself honestly, accept everything you see.

    Don't put a value on it as good or bad, easy or hard. Just accept it. Because even the bad parts are still part of you.

    1. This is one of the better suggestions I've read on here. I would add impulse control, if that is an issue.

      You are what you are - start by accepting that.

  12. Forget about yourself. Think only of M.E! She is the one who started this
    blog and wrote the book. She is "out there" some place. She fills her day
    with some activites. Presumably, some things are "important" to her.
    How many have actually observed her? How tall is she? What does she look like?
    We have to form a parameter of protection around her in an unobtusive way.
    Like someone who goes into the wilderness to observe wildlife, but doesn't
    disturb the animal.
    Later on ,we can contemplate moving in closer. But this must be done in a very
    stelthy manner. We must not disturb her in anyway. Our purpose is not to harm.
    It is to love and protect.

    1. > Forget about yourself.

      I can't. I'm awesome.

      > Think only of M.E! She is the one who started this blog and wrote the book.

      And fills every waking thought of yours.

      > She is "out there" some place.

      Hopefully she isn't lost.

      > She fills her day with some activites.

      Grocery shopping for instance.

      > Presumably, some things are "important" to her.


      > How many have actually observed her?

      Countless people have seen her in her life.

      > How tall is she?

      She mentions her height in her book.

      > What does she look like?

      Watch the Dr. Phil episode with her.

      > We have to form a parameter of protection around her in an unobtusive way.

      I'll man a position on my couch with a drink.

      > Like someone who goes into the wilderness to observe wildlife, but doesn't
      > disturb the animal.

      We'll fit her with a radio collar.

      > Later on ,we can contemplate moving in closer. But this must be done in a
      > very stelthy manner.

      Don't want to spook her.

      > We must not disturb her in anyway.

      Or else she'll pull the shade down in the bathroom when she takes a shower.

      > Our purpose is not to harm. It is to love and protect.

      And stalk.

    2. Lol!

      Sounds like a new episode of:

      I love this guy, he cracks me up.

      From his hysterical pleading about M.E. needing money and to be bred before her eggs shrivel up, to this. Comedy gold.

      Can just imagine him biting his nails at night in desperation and worry. Dedicating far more time than is healthy to reading and rereading the day's post and any Arias updates. Obsessively trying to find messages.

      Wonder what he really thinks about when he touches himself in all the naughty places. And if it involves M.E.'s head on a stick.


    3. Adore your sense of humor Damaged! Kat I always get more of a female vibe off of Anon The Stalker.

    4. My inner narc thanks you.

  13. Become a student of Immanuel Kant. Any one of his 18 books of philosophy should give you a good grounding on how to hold a moral compass to your soul. You won't always want to do the right thing, but you need to think about the choices you make. What kind of life do you want to have? Give it a go. You might enjoy it.

    1. Kant is a terrible philosopher, he's too rigid in his ethics. Which I guess might work for the sociopath that needs heavy rules. But it's so restricting I'd think you'd be more tempted to just trash the whole thing.

      I mean hell his categorical imperative includes never lying. Ever. See how long that works out.

      I do think a strong philosophical base might be helpful, but maybe something more like Mills utilitarianism?

    2. I like to read a lot of different philosophers/gurus/speculative fiction/religious and spiritual tomes/psychiatric journals.So many interesting things to learn but ultimately you must draw what works for you, personally, from any source.

  14. Don't buddhist monks test high for sociopathic traits? And aren't they totally in to developing the self? Or something about the self anyways? Since buddhist monks aren't known for being assholes there could be something there. Acting in one's own self interests might be the way to go.


      The above link is about non-attachment which is the trait that makes the monks score so high on the sociopath scale. Not a good indicator though since it is supposed to be couple with universal love for all things. The philosophy you are thinking of is actually a development of "Lack of Self". The idea is that if you destroy the ego, or illusion of self, them you become part of the divine or if you do it perfectly one with the Universe (God).


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