Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lack of self-reflection?

A belief about sociopaths that I hear pop up quite a bit, including from some people who are somewhat inculcated in the field of psychology, is that a sociopath would never self reflect and wonder if they were a sociopath. I have always wondered what the source of that factual statement is? Does anyone know?

Also, I'm curious what the explanation would be if such a phenomenon were true. Are sociopaths then just very unself-aware? How is it that they are able to manipulate and read people if they can't figure out something so obvious as matching a series of diagnostic criterion to a list of basic personality traits? Or do sociopaths supposedly think too much of themselves to even consider themselves damaged? Because the thing is that I don't think I know of a single sociopath (including the thousands that have written to me and that I've encountered in other venues) who considers sociopathy to describe something bad/damaged, particularly not at first. They all seem to have, at most, sort of a gee whiz reaction, like -- there may be something to that, but who cares, that's just how things are -- or perhaps even more often -- well, of course, who wouldn't want to have those traits and be able to do these things? So I don't think the grandiosity prevents this type of self-reflection either because the sociopath doesn't see the label as conflicting with something great and remarkable.

In fact, it doesn't even require that much self-reflection to recognize oneself as a sociopath when you think about it. I think it's pretty obvious to us that we're different. And we certainly use particular traits often enough (daily) that even if we hadn't thought of it much before, if someone told us what manipulation was and then asked us if we were manipulative, we'd see that we are.

Even my down syndrome relatives are aware of their disorder, despite one being quite low functioning. Still, they don't lack the capacity to understand that there is something different about them from the other people they know. I know that they experience frustration with their difficulty in communication. I know that they understand that the lives they live are drastically different from everyone they see around them. And even though they have somewhat the minds of children, they are also keenly aware that they are adults, if for not other reason than their sexuality, or now the physical aches and pains of aging. And if they can figure something like that out, it seems almost crazy to think that sociopaths would categorically be incapable of doing likewise.

A reader mentions this issue among others:

I'm a 27 year old female, that has been doing some self reflection, because lately my views on things have changed over the past few months. A little of my background history, I was born with an absent father, although in my early years I didn't understand the situation, and in my teenage years I became angry because of my lack of a father figure I began to question my value. My mother was always a very good parent in my opinion and always tried her hardest to provide for me, also no abuse or violence in my family. In high school I was shy and consequently bullied. One day as I passing notes, I had written something that was read by a teacher, and subsequently I was escorted out of the school and taken to a Mental health facility for two weeks. I don't recall the contents of the note something violent in nature I suppose, but in any event I was treated for depression because I had also been cutting at the time. I was treated by a psychiatrist all throughout high school and after I graduated. On and off depression medication for years. Once I graduated, I began to participate in activities with others that I never did in High School because I was shy and withdrawn such as pot smoking and various sexual conquests. I must make a side side note on my activities, I never had any regrets with anything I've done, or still don't. I got involved with a man when I was 19, and he was 50 years old, not because I ever had feelings for him, but because of his infatuation for me, allowed me to use him for things. He bought me a smartphone, bought me alcohol, drugs, took me to really nice hotels to spend the night, and all I had to do was be intimate with him. I realize that he was using me as well. I'm positive he was going through a mid life crisis, but it never bothered me. He had a girlfriend at the time, but to me they weren't married, and I wasn't serious about him. In my mind I was learning something about relationships and people and gaining experience in how to deal with people. One story always entertained me, he didn't mind what I did to him, I guess he liked women who were very dominate in their relationships, so I pushed that. I suggested cutting him, so I could take his blood, he let me, I didn't like bloodletting in the end but I kept pushing, it was fun. I had a bike chain in my hand one night because I wanted to chain him up but I had an idea, I asked him if he thought I would hit him with it, he said something like he didn't know if I would, then I hit him with it. The next day he had a gash on his cheek and a huge bruise. When it happened I felt excitement not guilt, it was liberating in a way. Of course I feigned guilt and pretended that I was sorry, and all was forgiven. After awhile I eventually got tired of that relationship, but I guess I had taken it too far, and his girlfriend found out and had him end it. I didn't think twice about it. Eventually I grew out out of the party scene as I got older and I matured. I still had depression up until two years ago when it simply disappeared. I still suffer with minute anxiety which is manageable. I have to say the only times in my past I actually got upset was when I was wronged in some way, but I had depression during those times. But recently I have been "feeling"  especially apathetic. I don't understand why people are so emotional or empathetic, it annoys me when people are so fake when people tell them about their problems, I hate that I have to pretend to be sympathetic. I honestly have only two people I care about my boyfriend, and my Mother, the latter I would die for. Everyone else could die tommorow and I wouldn't care. I don't care about a lot of things, and people surrounding me always think I am just a very patient person, but I truly don't care. Based on the information I have given is it possible I am a sociopath? I am curious, but I also have read that sociopath's don't research who they are and don't care. I'm not worried, I am amused with myself, and am curious about the human mind, mine in particular. I would appreciate your insight. 

111 comments:

  1. I kind of understand where the lack of self-awareness comes from. I dated a guy for a little bit for who was (as far as I can tell) a non-selfaware sociopath. He had the predatory look and the eyes, but he was different in a way. He'd make obvious lies and he'd fail to really manipulate in any meaningful long term way. He was never afraid of the consequences, he was guiltless, but he also kept blundering into bad spots. Last time we went out he told me he was going to court for a DUI and potentially getting kicked out of his house.

    So I do think that strain of sociopathy exists. If we don't see it here it's likely sample bias since who else would come here to post but self-aware sociopaths?

    I think I ended dropping the guy because, aside from the fact that he was going nowhere and was thus useless to me, I tried to relate to him as one socio to another and it didn't work. I tried to tip toe up to the subject and see if he'd figure it out. At the time I had no connection with other sociopaths, even online, and I really want genuine communication. Communication like I have with my current girl, without any masks or effort. But it just didn't seem to click, he kept insisting there was nothing wrong even with his life collapsing and (I sorta had access to his records) despite my knowing he was seeing a psych and on all sorts of meds. He kept saying he was normal and to me that just meant he was boring.

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  2. I think it's rather strange; if you're cognizant of the concept of sociopathy, especially how it's commonly portrayed in modern pop culture, wouldn't you naturally draw the connections from between that concept and your internal self? Ever since I was old enough to understand the implications of what made me different from other people, I knew that I wasn't quite like the others. I may have not known the label psychopath/sociopath, but I knew what made me so different. I honestly didn't think to much of it. Why ruminate on it?

    With the last blog post, we covered a bit on primary and secondary aspects of sociopathy in the comments. I think my secondary aspects, my behaviors spawned from my personality traits, were what after a time made me pause for a moment and see what problems I was having and still have in my life. I think it came to the point where I was mature enough to acknowledge that I had to take a good look at the man in the mirror and really see myself for who I really am; the artist spent so much time looking at others, showing them the reflection in his mirror that he wanted them to see. An interesting analogy I could provide is that my realization and consequently my self awareness is like placing a looking glass in front of another mirror.

    Sometimes I have to wonder, if it's just like two looking glasses infinitely reflecting back at each other inside, what's the point of it all? Is it all cast in the light of nihilism, that nothing in life matters? If that's so, I guess in some way I'm right when I say I'm like a tsunami, a natural disaster. There are no badly designed natural disasters, for nature has no morality. It's just something we know is there and the science behind it, but it's just something both terrible and beautiful; there's nothing inherently moralistic about it.

    ESTP Sociopath

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    1. ESTP Sociopath,

      Are you into science fiction at all? If so, you might perhaps enjoy Neuromancer by William Gibson. The way you write about being an artist showing others a reflection you've designed reminds of the Peter Riviera character. He is a sociopath, a holograph artist and creator of visual, immersive deceits and manipulations.

      I used to think either everything matters infinitely or nothing matters at all. I could never perceive a reasonable basis for discriminating degrees of value or meaning. Obviously, the latter position is far easier to live with and one can see how despite a level of agency, we have minimal control of the universe. The vista becomes beautiful because one is no longer fighting the universe but is indelibly, intricately, naturally a part of it.

      So perhaps those seeming opposites flow together again, part of the great existential dance that runs unforced through the mind.

      All in existence is by definition ok. Or perfect if you prefer. Realising this ok-ness about oneself, then extending that concept... it's for me an exhilaration of possibilities.

      Your expression is wonderful. I do enjoy reading you.

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  3. To me sociopaths all seem to share one common thread. Contempt. Something that is always there. Known before it is known, like love seems to be to others.

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    1. I can understand why they are "contemptuous". It would suck, not to be able to give or receive love...

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    2. Oh but sociopaths can love, if just not how empaths love. I have a feeling towards things I like that I say is love, I'm not sure how close it is to how empats describe it but it fits. And I can in my way love a person. Oh sure it may not come about or progress like people think, or at least write and talk about, love but it's love still.

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  4. ESTP-"terrible and beautiful"-perfect description.

    Anon 5:13-I completely agree with your "contempt" observation. It does always appear to be there. You can tell it is "something", but can't "put your finger on it", in the beginning. Later, the contempt can be seen through the most ardent attempt, to "keep the mask adhered"...

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    1. PS Anon 5:13-When you see one expression superimposed over another, it is the most bizarre thing, isn't it???

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    2. PSS Anon 5:13-When I see that, it is "other worldly"...

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    3. It is other worldly. What I truly wonder about sociopaths is if they recognize that other worldliness in themselves. There seem to be so many things that transcend psychology or even science and wander into phenomena . For example the vocabulary is so strikingly similar. Words like contempt and futile are used a lot. And words that quite frankly don't seem to match the intellect of the person. Or any person really. I think what I mean is they see almost ancient to me. Not just intellectually superior or inferior or even outdated.

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    4. This is what M.E. was wondering about, on a previous blog topic. She was saying she didn't think there was anything obviously different about her, yet she was getting singled out, and treated unfairly. Non-socios can often see and/or feel "the contempt"...

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    5. Yes. For me at least, I do recognize when I've "superimposed" expressions, I feel that what I had planned to do with my body language didn't display how I remember that facial expression normally feeling. Pro tip: pretend to sneeze and remember that when you sneeze or cough near that person you need to adjust to what they just saw to reinforce the lie that it was just a sneeze

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  5. Psychopaths/Sociopaths-Would you say that "contempt" is always there? Do you think that there are times, when it is not? Are you unsure?

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  6. I actually read 'content' and I was like yeah, I feel content.

    I had to google contempt. (English is not my first language).

    a feeling that someone or something is not worthy of any respect or approval
    : a lack of respect for or fear of something that is usually respected or feared
    law : speech or behavior that does not show proper respect to a court or judge

    In this light yes, I think contempt is often present. It's when I don't value someone but my devaluation is different to many other peoples' devaluation. For example those that are poor, homeless or have criminal past are often devaluated by members of society. I only look down on people who are fake. Those that are pretentious. To me it doesn't matter what their societal status is as long as they are proud to be what they are. That's why I like kids (up to the age when they become self-aware) and animals: they never pretend.

    I know very well that there might be two people who have very different opinion about me. It's because I might really value the other one (and be super loyal and keen) and feel contempt towards the other one (whom I consider uninteresting/fake). When I have devaluated someone, I just don't care. These people mean nothing to me.

    So perhaps you have met a sociopath who just doesn't care about you. If they did, you would probably feel special and amazing.

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    1. "That's why I like kids (up to the age when they become self-aware) and animals: they never pretend."

      I feel exactly this way. I don't mind if someone lies to me. I can respect that, but when they believe their own bullshit I can feel nothing but contempt.

      -FK

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  7. I used to think "Maybe I am a sociopath," but I eventually realized that my emotionlessness, my sadism, and my intelligence was all due to my personality type. I'm an INTJ, and I have found that my behavior is completely explained by it. I can't find people like me simply because there aren't many, and I don't have friends because I feel like they're all stupid and don't have a future. I should probably try harder, but I'm trying to go places and they get in the way.

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    1. Learning I was INTJ felt wonderful. It did explain many of my differences (female INTJs are only 1% of the population.) It was a relief; I discovered more of myself and found productive means of self-expression. I started to blossom.

      Being INTJ didn't fully explain why I had difficulty being friends with women, though, or why I found myself accepting raw deals in relationships.

      So I want to challenge you.

      Sadism is NOT characteristic of INTJs.

      INTJs can tend to feel superior intellectually because we tend to develop extensive and consistent systems of knowledge. However, these are domain-specific.

      We are naturally independent thinkers, and treat people on their merit in any given context.

      INTJs have difficulty sometimes expressing our non-linear thoughts in ways others can understand. This doesn't make *them* stupid; it means we need to practice communicating, structuring our thoughts in communicable ways.

      Neither are we emotionless. We have introverted feeling (Fi), which offers a very tender side. But we extrovert our thinking (Te) as our secondary function, and this very much runs roughshod over tertiary Fi. We *can* appear robotic or at least very robust and to a degree, we are. We value our systems of knowledge extremely highly. However, we are not robots at all. I highly recommend not limiting yourself and working to develop Fi and Se. It's a very rewarding endeavour and will round you out as a human.

      Try INTJForum if you haven't already.

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  8. If there was a cure for sociopathy, would you take it?

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    1. You cannot cure that which is not a sickness.

      So, no, I would not take anything claiming to be a "cure" for sociopathy. I am quite proud of my 'abilities' as a sociopath.

      -Fellow Sociopath

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    2. Anon 12:31-People with mental illness, rarely believe they are mentally ill. That is why they tend to refuse therapy and medication, and why some have to be forcibly institutionalized...

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    3. PS Anon 12:31-That is why there are so many mental institutions. I do not think the majority of people in those institutions, willingly "checked themselves in"...

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    4. PSS Anon 12:31-The brain is the "motherboard". The computer cannot tell you, when the "motherboard" goes "bad". When the "motherboard" goes "bad", it's time for a new computer. I think that is why non-socios are "at a loss", of what to do with socios, other than medication/therapy, prison, or an institution...

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    5. PSSS Anon 12:31-People often don't believe they have physical illnesses, until they are diagnosed by a professional. Once diagnosed, they can stay in denial. You can sit and say "I don't have cancer" all you want, it doesn't mean you don't have cancer, and it doesn't treat the disease or cure the illness...

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    6. Hell no. why would I want to suddenly start being a sheep when I'm already the shepherd? Why would I want to start feeling things that would inhibit my abilities to see situations clearly and rationally?

      Is sociopathy really the sickness, or is the sickness in the way our society manifests? If I took that "cure" who knows, I might do something like support Trump for president.

      Nope. I'd much much much rather be the mechanic than the wrench.

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  9. I can't say, that my Ex had no self-reflection at all. But it seemed, he could not feel himself.

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    1. I think the one in my life was certainly self-aware. He pre-positioned his behaviour in clever ways: "I am like a little boy", "feelings are more important than thoughts" then later "feelings change," and finally "it was a dream but it's over now." He was perfectly aware of his own patterns and in fact the patterns seemed more like train tracks, looking back. All of those sayings were practiced, he's used them many times before.

      "he could not feel himself."
      I remember thinking clearly he would never belong to me or anyone else. I thought he doesn't even belong to himself. I don't know quite what I meant by that, though. There's no analogy to grasp at, just some mammalian sense of his self-elusiveness.

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    2. I'm still reeling with repulsion at how scripted everything was. And they also used others to lull me into a false sense of security . They knew exactly what they were doing. It is the most surreal idiotic thing I've ever experienced..

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    3. He did that too. Said "I'll get K involved in this." K used to call us the Three Musketeers. K is trustworthy and kind, but was robust enough to let go when the psychopath exceeded his "three strikes." To this day he is puzzled and sad that the psychopath cut him off after our relationship ended. He doesn't understand, can't understand. But I'm still friends with him and I learnt a lot about setting healthy boundaries from K.

      Idiotic, yes it just seems so juvenile and pointless to play an elaborate game that no one else is playing. What's the point? That's not even a real game. But it must have a value for them or they wouldn't do it.

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    4. Here's a fun analogy while I'm smoking some quality marijuana,

      Imagine, a script for every occasion, all kept in several filing cabinets; a secretary sits at a desk nearby, jabbing her fingers away at a typewriter keeping notes and processing the continuous stream of thoughts I'm having that are being used to adapt and write new scripts for me to perform. I might ask her to fetch a script from one of the drawers in the cabinets when I need it, or sometimes I spontaneously do improvised acting, flying script free. I like to improvise especially when it's in my best interests to do so, as prior scripts don't always suit the occasion. Afterwards I sit on the top of my secretary's desk and write a new script using the new material from what was improvised, sipping some hot black coffee and musing on how to better perfect my art of acting.

      ESTP Sociopath

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    5. Fair enough! I always imagined my ex had his scripts and schedules in an Excel spreadsheet ;)

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    6. The script seems as simplistic as a zombies drive for brains. Must. Eat. Brains.

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    7. Anon 6:11-Repulsive, scripted, using others to solidify their false image and put you at ease, knowing exactly what they are doing-I can relate to it all!!!

      Surreal, idiotic-YES!!! And a whole lot of other things...

      North-Juvenile, pointless, elaborate game no one else is playing-EXACTLY!!!

      When no one else is playing it isn't a real game, and it is pointless. It makes sense, though-when you are bored and everything is pointless-why not?

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    8. Anon 7:07-I like your "zombie" analogy.:) I would say "zombies" are "carbon copies not based in reality", so I would say you are RIGHT ON!!!

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    9. North:"I remember thinking clearly he would never belong to me or anyone else. I thought he doesn't even belong to himself."

      yes, that is also true. Mine was self-aware in a distorted way. For example: he had trust issues, which is normal from his point of view, because he did untrustworthy things - so to speak. If you are playing games like this and you have your own agenda, it is impossible to connect with innocent people.

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    10. Yes, you're right. I think they understand others' motives in terms of their own, just as we do - only, of course, from a quite different mode of operation. The one in my life was a little paranoid.

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    11. Anon 6:47
      I'm similar, but I keep my files of scripts more of a fallback Plan B, because I love free-styling it for the win, for the fun of spontaneously playing my cards right and for the discovery of new scripts to use when necessary. If my improv is failing, I fall back to time-tested script mode.

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    12. North I like your analogy of sociopaths being on a track. It seems more of a track than a game to me. I imagine a tiny toy circular track and they are the engineer. Around and around. Thinking they will never be derailed.

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    13. Anon 9:52-YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!! The funniest part, is that once you've figured it out, they keep operating on the same track, and still think they're "stealth"!!! HA!!! LOL!!! It doesn't take "rocket science" to derail them, at that point...

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    14. I think they don't believe derailment is even a possibility. So strange.

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    15. Anon 11:44-You are absolutely correct. I think they have a "God Complex"...

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    16. Anon 9:52

      I can see what you mean. It's dangerous to generalise, but the idea of a circular track resonates powerfully for me... and Anon 10:36 yes! Operating on the same track and thinking he was still "stealthy"... Less than 2 months after the court situation, he came at me with that "lovestruck" expression, touching me, inviting me with his eyes, mimicking my laughter. He *knew* I knew he was a sociopath and it was *all* so weird. At that point, it might have been wild sex, but not "love of my life" infatuation. It was so strangely contrived and so clear how disconnected he is that I felt a shred of pity for him. Fancy prostrating yourself like that! He couldn't conceive that his patterns and behaviour had been decoded.

      I think of another time I explained to him - as if to a child - that people get angry if you tell them they are the love of your life when it's not the case because it may influence choices they make. He was looking at me the way my five year old son might, as if he really didn't understand the mechanism at all. He had a lot in common with my then five year old son. At the link I posted earlier, the author posits that sociopaths have arrested emotional development and suggests an age range of 6-? (can't recall.) It resonated immediately - the easiest way to understand this guy is as a sexualised 5 year old with an extra 50 years' experience making a nuisance of himself. He's exactly like the youngest child who knows he's cute and loved and thinks he can get away with being as naughty as he likes.

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    17. North-Why don't they understand, when "the show is over" and "the gig" is up"??? It is sad once the "cloaking mechanism" is exposed, and they still try to use it!!! DECODED IS THE PERFECT WORD!!! You and I are successful decoders!!! It is ABSOLUTELY LIKE TALKING TO A CHILD!!! The arrested development that was mentioned, was 6-12 years, and that seemed right on the mark to me!!! That is a great description-sexualized children making nuisances of themselves!!! PERFECT ANALOGY OF THE "BABY OF THE FAMILY", WHO KNOWS THEY ARE CUTE AND LOVED AND THINK THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH BEING AS NAUGHTY AS THEY LIKE!!!

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    18. PS North-You know what that means, don't you??? THEY NEED SPANKINGS!!! HA!!! LOL!!!

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    19. This was not my first go around with the sociopath. Apparently things didn't end exactly the way they thought they should the first time and they had a need to rewrite it. I feel it was almost an ocd like thing for them. That may be north how the sociopath in your life could be so oblivious. I think that drivevthe have is something bigger than them almost.

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    20. Oh man, you crack me up. He'd have loved a spanking. [holds back flood of images and recollections... Now the wall's breaking...]

      He tried to make me jealous by saying his son's teacher wanted to spank him for arriving late. OMFG. 'She wanted to SPANK me!' in the most mischievous schoolboy voice you could imagine.

      I don't mean to laugh at him, but honestly! How can one not laugh at that silly behaviour.

      Why don't they understand? Because it's beyond their conception. Same as us not understanding there are other humans out there that deliberately seek to simply use and damage - that took a massive adjustment, and it was forced through these intensely emotional experiences. There isn't sufficient necessity for them to change their conceptual framework, generally speaking.

      The advantage of emotion is that it aids neuroplasticity - we can more easily change our brains because of this. And it's probably why they don't learn from negative experiences; they don't feel them as much and so lack the mechanism of change.

      Novel experiences also aid neuroplasticity, as does habit. But it must be a more disciplined effort for them. And what's the incentive if they are generally content and coping with life? We all run around with silly and conflicting models of the world in our brains - they only need to be accurate enough for us to secure our survival.

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    21. Anon 1:58 that's really interesting! Bigger than them - it makes sense to some subcortical part of my mind; and maybe that's part of the journey, bringing hidden understandings to conscious light.

      I don't know, perhaps the curiosity I have will kill this cat, but it's just so intriguing. From the very moment I realised, I knew I wanted to push all the buttons and figure out how he worked. Like, I had a picture of him in my mind as a kind of lab rat which is so dehumanising but I don't mean him any harm at all. He's so fascinating and I simply wanted to pull out my magnifying glass. Its such a deep, intellectual pull. I won't say detached, it's a scientific wonder that fills me.

      Obviously, that's only one strand of my response!

      Thanks again. It's really helpful to talk about these things; I appreciate everyone's perspectives.

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    22. @ North

      same here. Since I know "about this people" I really want to understand, how they operate. I observe my Ex, how he is operating. He is like a puzzle. And I wish him all the best. Of course I was hurt and annoyed, because of our relationshit. But now I learn and somehow it is fascinating.

      His behaviour is always the same:
      first: contact "how are you?"
      than he wants to meet to have sex with me
      I won't
      than he is annoyed and want to lash out
      i don't react
      he fades away
      after a few weeks "hi..."blabla

      this cycles is now going on for nearly three years. I wonder, when he will stop.

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    23. I know exactly what you mean about being curious . I immediately pulled out my field guide of North America assholes. Sorry that was kinda mean! Sometimes I can't help it. Thank you for your thoughts. They are very interesting!

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  10. There seems to be a consensus, that psychopaths/sociopaths lack a sense of "self", and mirror others. Here's a great analogy regarding the psychopath/sociopath and non-sociopath relationship: You can't make a copy, if you don't have an original...

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  11. Ack! This is one of those ontological arguments for me. bordering on Catch-22, really.

    One of the characteristics associated with what we call sociopathy (or even psychopathy) is the lack of self reflection. It goes back to Cleckly as near as I can tell.

    I move further and further away from the term "sociopath" for the same reason I see the DSM as obsolete: the checklist approach of "meeting x criteria of y possibilities" just doesn't make sense. Looking at characteristics like empathy (two types) and bonding and aggression and obsessive/compulsive tendencies is much more useful.

    Having said that, when I watch videos of extreme cases, there seem to be two types. One sort can seem to connect the dots and the other can't. Richard Kuklinski (sp? The Iceman) during his conversations with Dr. Park Dietz seems to be "enlightened" (for lack of a better term) by how his violent childhood "explained" his behavior. He didn't connect the dots. Michael Thompson, on the other hand seems quite aware of who and what he is. Both are extreme examples - but one gets it and one didn't.

    As to the Jungian construct - I'm an ENTJ...but a disagreeable one. :D

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    1. HLHaller, have you seen this caricature of the types?

      Not your typical personality types

      ENTJ as the Evil Overlord:
      The ENTJ is best characterized by his charisma, his ability to grasp complex situations and to think flexibly and creatively, his keen and active intelligence, and his overwhelming desire to crush the world beneath his boot. ENTJs are naturally outgoing and love the company of other people, particulalry minions, henchmen, slaves, and the others they rule with ruthless efficiency.

      The INTJ one kinda nails my favoured work environment.

      ESTP Sociopath: the ESTP label at the following link is The Conman. Let us know what you think.

      Good for a laugh.

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    2. THE NON-SOCIOS ARE FEISTY TODAY!!!

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    3. "As an ESTP, you are driven to succeed and to win. Your personality is dominated by your drive to test yourself and to triumph over your fellow man.

      This generally expresses itself as an overwhelming urge to prove your self worth (and fatten your wallet) by taking advantage of the suckers, marks, and dupes who surround you--after all, isn't that what they're there for? It's not your fault that their stupidity and gullibility lets them believe you when you say that Hershey's Kissesses exposed to your patented psychic amplifier rays will let them fly! As your hero and fellow ESTP, P. T. Barnum, once said, "it is morally wrong to let a sucker keep his money.""


      It is morally wrong to let a sucker keep his money... that's sweet golden wisdom to my ears. Should I be held accountable for just doing what I do, like a salesman? People just buy into what I've got to say, perhaps for their negligence of maintaining the right amount of intelligence to recognize the intentions behind my sales pitch.

      Delightfully funny.

      ESTP Sociopath

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    4. To quote Fred Flinstone. Droll

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    5. Droll? I suppose you could put it that way. Many of the things I laugh at seem to be dour, dry, and emotionally shallow. Sometimes I just crack myself up with my own inside jokes that no one else gets to hear, because it's all kept within the internal monologue inside my head. Someone miffed by my inexplicable hyena like laughter and giggling might ask me what's so funny, but I dismiss it with saying it's an inside joke they'd never quite get. Some of the best jokes should be left untold.

      ESTP Sociopath

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    6. I agree Estp. And of course find you strangely fascinating ^_^

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    7. ESTP-I crack myself up too, with my own inside jokes that no one else gets to hear, that is the internal monologue inside my head.:) I can also have hyena like laughter, although giggling is more common.:) People will often ask me, why I am smiling and/or giggling.:) When there is an inquiry, I say "it's nothing-just something I was thinking about", and there aren't usually any more questions.:) I completely agree-some of the best jokes should be left untold!!! And, I am non-socio.:)

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    8. I would certainly hope humor isn't exclusive to normal people. It's certainly quite real to me; I might not laugh at the same things, or laugh at things that apparently shouldn't be laughed about(?), (I've got feigned genuine laughter pretty well acted out in case whatever humor doesn't suit my tastes) but I've certainly got a good sense of humor, or at least I would think so. Sometimes I say things that I actually seriously mean, and people often seem to get confused to as of whether or not many of the things I say are with sarcasm. Perhaps they perceive what they project onto me a emotional inflection (or perhaps a lack of) in my voice that conflicts with their understanding of what I'm saying? It's something I'm curious about.

      ESTP Sociopath

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    9. ESTP Sociopath,

      You make an interesting point about 'intelligence' in recognising the intentions behind your sales pitch.

      The reason my world inverted when I worked out he had 'played a game' with me is simply that it's *such* a paradigm shift in human behaviour as to be completely unexpected.

      It was beyond all known model, with no precedent in my experience or in the experience of anyone within my circle.

      It's nonsensical to people. The narrative to anyone who hasn't lived it is simply incomprehensible. The uninitiated don't have the mental scaffolding to understand let alone predict the behaviour of an 'intra-species' predator.

      It has nothing to do with intelligence. A Copernican Revolution of the mind is required.

      This is the reason sociopaths have an advantage in playing games they design and that exist only to them.

      This is one reason (there are others) why the experience is so traumatic. It rips into shreds the formerly implicit understanding that fellow man is just that - like ourselves. And that initial investigations into another's character can be trusted.

      Neither can people empathise with our experience it doesn't resonate with them, it simply makes zero sense. Scarlet (I think?) asked on the previous post how people score so low - those people cannot understand how you score so high.

      These are completely different paradigms of operation, and there are many ways in which never the twain shall meet.

      Lots of people who suffer trauma of one kind or another seek to help others in the same position. Eg foundations to research particular diseases and what not. I think it's an impulse we have to share or learnings so that others in the community benefit from our experience. To this end, pain is adaptive. I'm not a touchy-freely type; although I do care deeply for others my strengths are more conceptual. I seek to help solve the problems of conception. To come up with a better answer than 'evil'. To reframe ancient and historical problems to account for the neurodiverse spectrum within humanity. To share practices and encourage awareness so that each adult human operates with freedom and responsibility.

      Life is competitive. We compete and convince every single day. I think ALL of us will benefit from more accurate models.

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    10. You certainly put it into perspective for me, North. Thank you. It would seem so simple to me to see the motivations and weaknesses of others, but it seems I'll never truly understand that alien world that the normal people's mind is, no matter how I cognitively try to undetstand it. They're but of the mindset of the prey while I'm driven by the mindset of a predator. I can observe, watch, and listen though to the normal person experience, to broaden my perspective so that I might more efficiently adapt to my environment.

      ESTP Sociopath

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    11. North-"Intra-species predator" is an accurate description. YOU ARE SO SMART!!! I had to Google "Copernican Revolution".:)

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    12. ESTP Sociopath,

      I think that's a pragmatic course for all of us. I really do. And thanks to you; you are so frank and the allure of beauty in your words echoes in my mind.

      Anon - I picked that phrase up somewhere or other.

      It's actually a struggle for me - whether to simply let go or whether to pursue my remodelling. I love these speculations, it was my dream as an undergraduate to pursue philosophy and this experience has given me enough data. long journey though.

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    13. Hmmm, one more thing:

      "They're but of the mindset of the prey while I'm driven by the mindset of a predator."

      Ok, so the point I'm trying to make is that we have no prey mindset because we do not understand there are predators. This is why we have no defences and why our "attacks" are emotional lashings out at unfair treatment. We do not approach the world considering fellow humans as potential predators.

      When I use the phrase "intra-species predator" this is a crystallisation of learning from experience and NOT an innate understanding at all.

      We really do think all others are more or less like us. No clue another human would deliberately hurt us. Until we learn by experience, that is!

      So you see, we don't even have the advantage of preparing defences because our conception of humanity tells us defence is an unnecessary overhead and we're more likely to gain through collaboration and trust. It's so interesting because it pops up in discussion all the time how we have these mammalian- or reptilian- level reactions to strangeness but we don't quite heed them in time to stop the domino effect. It's better we did listen to our instincts. I want to help clear the mind of inadequate models so that's more likely.

      ESTP, you may not know my story but briefly: he attempted to get a restraining order on me, probably as revenge for the callous action I mentioned. He didn't have sufficient grounds and it wasn't granted but I had to attend a court conference. In preparation, I naturally did my research and came across this article: How to beat a sociopath in court. It will give you an idea of some differences neurotypicals perceive in basic approach to the world. In particular, see point 6:


      6. Sociopaths are very elemental. Such simplistic tactics as having someone stare at them can be very unsettling for them. Or put together a legal team of big, imposing individuals. They seem to think that the civilized world is only onion skin thin and at any time the world could revert to the law of the jungle. You want them to stay off kilter.


      I don't know how true this actually is; I feel it rings true that sociopaths think the law of the jungle is there under a thin facade. It's a stark contrast to the neurotypical view; *I* think it's perfectly true, but that layering beyond jungle law is thick and supplied by the mammalian brain and the rich social guidance our feelings provide. Most people are immersed in this social environment.

      I'd love to tell the story of that day in conference because we walked out of the courthouse smiling at each other and to ourselves. Clearly we each thought we had a victory. Yet another misunderstanding but a very good story.

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    14. North @ 12:03. Perfection. There is a part in the matrix where neo is asked if he always knew. Always sensed something was not quite right. I feel like that except mine is more like an annoyance from opening the closet door and everything I had stuffed in there came crashing on my head.

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    15. And your right. We have no prey mindset. Its more like everything like feelings of unexplained shadows. Weird forgotten quotes. Crazy theoretical physics. Ghosts. Everything that bends perception came crashing down on me at once. And then there is the memory of some smirking idiot. It annoys me that some smirking idiot could be the catalyst for anything.

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    16. Ah yes, the Matrix. And that catalyst language. These are themes that resonate with me too :)

      He offered me the red pill inside a delicious Koko Black chocolate.

      That exasperation sometimes still almost knocks the air out of my lungs. My life blew up with his spark, but the energy? That was liberated from within me.

      Would you go back and choose the blue pill?

      In the aftermath, I rewrote a lot of my code. I'm still rewriting it in better, more adaptive ways. Now it's an investment in self - yeah, it's a massive overhead, but such a precious journey now.

      Seems like you're starting to see visual images in that encrypted code and pretty soon, like Trinity, you'll be running free in the Matrix.

      Follow your own curiosity and impulses and you'll get there.

      I think about the way they frame it as a game. That's fine, let them go for it. Of course, humans are competitive and of course if we're dragged into competition, we want to win. But actually we don't naturally see relationships as competitions. So we can reject that framework altogether. He's playing a game. Okay. Well, now we can focus on getting everything possible from the experience. The mind is like a block universe; we can relive those strange moments and rewrite the pathways as we choose. This becomes a personal and very powerful journey. We can use every emotional and novel experience to train the brain to respond in more useful ways, ways that are more attuned to our own being.

      Then his role fades into the background, as it should. Relationships are never independently existing entities; our experience is always our own, even if we are in tune with our partner.

      Trying not to ramble too much. Thanks for your thoughts; your expressions are very energetic and I sense hints of the mysteries you are encountering :)

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    17. Ah yes, the Matrix. And that catalyst language. These are themes that resonate with me too :)

      He offered me the red pill inside a delicious Koko Black chocolate.

      That exasperation sometimes still almost knocks the air out of my lungs. My life blew up with his spark, but the energy? That was liberated from within me.

      Would you go back and choose the blue pill?

      In the aftermath, I rewrote a lot of my code. I'm still rewriting it in better, more adaptive ways. Now it's an investment in self - yeah, it's a massive overhead, but such a precious journey now.

      Seems like you're starting to see visual images in that encrypted code and pretty soon, like Trinity, you'll be running free in the Matrix.

      Follow your own curiosity and impulses and you'll get there.

      I think about the way they frame it as a game. That's fine, let them go for it. Of course, humans are competitive and of course if we're dragged into competition, we want to win. But actually we don't naturally see relationships as competitions. So we can reject that framework altogether. He's playing a game. Okay. Well, now we can focus on getting everything possible from the experience. The mind is like a block universe; we can relive those strange moments and rewrite the pathways as we choose. This becomes a personal and very powerful journey. We can use every emotional and novel experience to train the brain to respond in more useful ways, ways that are more attuned to our own being.

      Then his role fades into the background, as it should. Relationships are never independently existing entities; our experience is always our own, even if we are in tune with our partner.

      Trying not to ramble too much. Thanks for your thoughts; your expressions are very energetic and I sense hints of the mysteries you are encountering :)

      Delete
    18. North my friend, who was involved with a sociopath around the same time I was involved with one, was also taken to court for a restraining order. To the sociopath it was a way to secure money stolen from my friend. To my friend it was yet another slap in the face. The judge saw thru it and it was dropped . I absolutely understand your needs for justice. I am a fighter. I think that's what the sociopath loved and hated about me. If nothing else I've learned to conserve my energy and that there are so many people who want to take it. That was such a strange realization to me. I agree with you that helping others who are struggling is a natural response and a way to renu energy

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    19. If I can relate with any mindset it's not that of predator or prey but muse. I'm not even sure what that means exactly...

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    20. Anon 10:44 He used that language of me actually... That's really interesting, thanks

      Anon 8:13 yes! Making the most of L ife is so much about how we choose to invest our energy and attention!

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    21. ESTP-In regard to humor, I can tell you what my experience was, with someone I now believe to be an undiagnosed sociopath-when his humor did not "match up" to what I knew his "personhood" to be, I attributed the discrepancy to his humor (that he was not being serious, being sarcastic, etc.). Over time, the mask begins to fail and the true "personhood" becomes obvious, and you realize the discrepancy had nothing to do with the person's sense of humor at all-rather, their "personhood"...

      Delete
    22. PS ESTP-Then, "the show is over" and "the gig is up", if it wasn't already. It is merely a matter of time and deduction...

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  12. I wasn't aware of being a sociopath until I was. Until some self-reflection about other matters caused me to stumble across something (it might have been this blog) that caused me to analyze my own background and behaviors in the context of sociopathy. At the point that you are aware of the criteria, its a pretty easy task to connect the dots.

    I think intelligence is the difference between high and low functioning sociopaths, and it is probably the difference between those that bother to engage in self-reflection and those that don't. I think this blog tends to the cater to intelligent, high functioning subset.

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    1. My Ex told me, he has schizophrenia. But he behave like someone with NPD

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  13. Not sociopathic. This whole story reeks of daddy issues. What happened was, because of the daddy issues you had the problems in high school. The relationship with that older man was a replacement for your dad. You felt the need to mention in your email that you didn't have feelings for him which means that you're still trying to act strong in the face of male rejection. You were cutting yourself because you wanted your father's approval and since he made you believe you were no good, you started cutting yourself. When this older paternal figure came up, you wanted to cut him in hopes of retribution for what your dad has done to you. You tried to punish him for how your dad treated you when you hit him with the bike chain as well. You were excited because you thought your self deprecating days are finally over "I felt excitement not guilt, it was liberating in a way". "He bought me a smartphone, bought me alcohol, drugs, took me to really nice hotels to spend the night, and all I had to do was be intimate with him." - just like your daddy should've done and didn't. That whole story is about you craving male approval and affection. You're not a sociopath, you're just depressed and bitter that your father has wronged you and the rest of society is callous about it. "it annoys me when people are so fake when people tell them about their problems, I hate that I have to pretend to be sympathetic" yeah, well, that's not a sociopathic hallmark; that's everybody. Nobody likes to pretend they care but most of them do it. Most of them don't even know it themselves. They lie to themselves that they care. People around you think you're a "patient person" because you are. Your relationship with your dad gave you such a low self esteem that you put everybody else above you and have stopped trying to come out on top. What I can tell mostly out of your email is that you're depressed. Maybe you SHOULD go see a professional. Not because you can't handle it otherwise, but think of it as fine-tuning your car; you'd just get a smoother engine sound. Good luck.

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    1. I have to give it to sociopaths, whatever keep it on the downlow chip you all have installed in your brain is amazingly efficient. If there's one thing sociopaths can all agree on its that sociopaths don't exist.

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    2. you're an idiot Anon 6:22.

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    3. Thank you for your professional opinion

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  14. Most psychos realize they are different from other people from an early age, thinking others to be daft, gullible, naive etc. The less bright ones then think this has to do with their own incredible genius and continue through life with this simple concept, and the clever ones start doing "research" into psychology to find out facts..

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    1. Anon 7:54-Is that you, Jonaid???

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  15. I believe self-reflection is necessary in order to evolve – this includes admitting to one's own flaws. The fun bit is of course to either overcome or accept them. That's why I still don't admit to sociopathy; I wonder if I can overcome it. And if I cannot, it means that I probably am one.

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    1. 'The fun bit'

      I really like that. The universe as play.

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    2. Lola - if you are 'afflicted' with the superiority gene, embrace it. Reason: it is not something you can conquer or overcome. And once you realize that you can advance your life accordingly. I recall when I was 13 and part of my probation was to see a mental health specialist. When she told me that part of my problem was that I did not know the difference between right and wrong I just looked at her and pitied the old cow...as of course I knew/know the difference, just did not care. Fast forward a few decades, and yes - for a time I did leave a trail of emotional rubble in my wake...until I sorted out that it would suit my interests to declare my condition to the mopes around me. In business my point of view is sought out as I have a reputation for going from problem to solution quickly and never allow human distractions to get in my way. In my personal life I have told women that I am not good in relationships unless they give me iron control...and explain that reason for that is I am a well functioning, fully aware sociopath. Ironically that declaration comes with its own groupies who fall into two categories - those poor idiots who think they can change me or those bored thrill-seekers who at least 'think' they like the idea of danger in their lives. So I guess what I am trying to say, dear Lola - embrace what you are and revel in your status of being above the dreary herd.

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  16. Most "refined" (the book readers) psychos are aware of what they are in detail, and most likely are disappointed that their "rank" on that "list" is lower than expected. THEY ARE ARISTOCRATIC BASTARDS. Some scorpio specimens may not care that much, identifying instead with the murky underworld of Scorpio. To them the psycho is "disturbed" or "deranged". They see themselves as "perfected, evolved beings", the way perhaps an orca looks upon a great white. They have no need for any "scores" on some checklist. THEY ARE SMUG CRITTERS, FILLED WITH ANNOYING "I TOLD YOU SO"-WISDOM.

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    1. Anon 1:35-Is that you, Jonaid???

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  17. I like your perspective, North, as alternative perceptions of life is a lot of what I come to talk about here; I hope to have constructive conversations with fellow sociopaths, those who identify as sociopathic, and normal people. I may not take everyone's opinion for its full value, but perhaps take at least a grain of salt from each opinion and add it to the ever growing salt pile that is my collected and self formed perception of life. All alternative perspectives are equally valid and perhaps invalid to me to the extent of how I choose to value them and use it as fuel for my own agency; life has an infinite amount of meaningfulness and perhaps an equal lack of purpose as well, it all just depends on each individual to define for ourselves what meaning and purpose we have in life.

    ESTP Sociopath

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    1. Thanks ESTP Sociopath.

      A sprinkling of another's perspective can sometimes create just the right flavour; shade our view that little bit brighter.

      At any given level in the universe, we find warring and discord; jostling for resources. At higher levels, we can view the harmony below, the emergence of effects.

      All is part of a universal dance, a telescoping and zooming, a switching from focus to panorama. I prefer not to hold too tightly to any one view; one misses too much. It's lovely to read others with exploring minds.

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  18. "it all just depends on each individual to define for ourselves what meaning and purpose we have in life."

    Very well put. Totally in agreement with you this on this.

    Mr. Hyde

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    1. I am not a huge reader but some things stick with me one being a quote from a Vonnegut book I read forever ago. I believe in everything, I believe in nothing.

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    2. Anon, Glad you brought up a great, somewhat undervalued, literary figure. thank you.

      I love Vonnegut's books, was 'raised' by them. His irreverent wisdom was/is way ahead of it time.

      I believe that we believe what we chose to believe, and when we believe anything, we find evidence, real or not to support it, thus tend to 'see' it happening right before our eyes. Our ability to project on to the world is profound.

      I find this idea empowering, however, because it means that I can choose what I believe and therefore can actually see it, sometimes even make it a reality in my own, very personal experience.

      It's true that some aspects of physical and social reality are undeniable in the harsh long run. Unless you want to download your consciousness into a robot.

      However, as far as society goes about in 'knowing' what we should believe, well, I think I don't have to make arguments here, on SW, to say this is demonstrably false.

      We-ll. I have rambled on a bit.

      Not too sorry about that so I hope you don't mind.

      It's been a weird day, and beastly creature that I am, I need a hot shave and a cold beer before I can rein myself in from postulating.

      Mr. Hyde

      Mr. Hyde

      People have believed throughout all human history, in all kinds of stupid, irrational, preposterous stuff.

      I prefer to believe what makes my life worth living, loving, emboldening and creative. That's what works for me. It's got nothing to do with morals, but with everything to do with weaving what's vital and heats my blood.

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    3. It appears as though I failed to put my name at the end of my post. And according to Blogger, may also have pushed the wrong buttons.

      Those psychologically oriented may wish to notice that I also wrote my name twice.

      My passionate adherence to my own opinions is thus revealed. So be it.

      Lol to myself.

      Despite this obvious fault, I'm still very much open to hearing what others think.

      Mr. Hyde

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    4. Mr Hyde, please don't refrain from postulating.

      "I believe that we believe what we chose to believe, and when we believe anything, we find evidence, real or not to support it, thus tend to 'see' it happening right before our eyes. Our ability to project on to the world is profound."

      This is true (truth being what works.) We design our own realities, and furnish them.

      "Weaving what's vital"
      Indeed. What endless discoveries await when we choose to explore.

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    5. Thanks for encouraging me to postulate, I think. Lol.

      What, how, who and when we choose to explore does seem to make all the difference.

      I see you as designing and furnishing a very wise, pragmatic, tolerant reality. And with humor to boot.

      Mr. Hyde

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    6. Mr. Hyde-There you are!!! How goeth "The Matrix"???

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    7. Hello Musical Anon, The Matrix is alight with action but the sound track doesn't match. Any song recommendations?

      Mr. Hyde

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    8. Hello, Mr. Hyde.:) I had a feeling, The Matrix was alight with action.:) I would like the soundtrack to match for you-I aim to please.:) What is the mood???

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    9. "What, how, who and when we choose to explore does seem to make all the difference."

      Oh it really does.

      Thanks Mr Hyde.

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    10. Pastoral stormy. With veins of lighting running through it.

      You are considerate to ask. Thank you Musical Anon.

      How's it going?

      Mr. Hyde

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    11. "Oh it really does."

      North, you are so on the ball. :)

      Mr. Hyde

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  19. Replies
    1. Me-it sounds like you liked M.E.'s tweets, as much as I did.:)

      Delete
  20. wall of narcissism crits for over 9000 autistic rage points

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  21. you're a hypochondriac

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  22. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently that will go down in the forum's history!

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  23. because a sociopath would be too indulged in doing whatever he is doing in the first place,if you'd tell one about their sociopathy they'd probably just brush you off as crazy and doing whatever they were doing in the first place

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  24. You reek of extreme neediness and daddy issues,you're not a sociopath,you're just depressed

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  25. M.e. - i think ppl figure sociopaths are unrelective because the don't display the emotions. or change in behavior of a normal person who reflects, has an emotional experience and then chages course for the long haul. even if a sociopath has the reflection and emotions, the shitty impulse control demolishes any stated intentions to behave differently - so normals think, s/he must have been lying that time, because of s/he meant it, s/he would have followed through. they cannot imagine the sociopath experience enough to empathize and get it.

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  26. I know that for myself I've self-aware that I'm different since childhood. To me when I came across sociopath it was just "Oh, that's what I am" since it fit. It's not that I needed the label to feel like I'm not a total outsider more that a label is nice to have as a way to state what/who you are without having to go into a rambling explanation. And I have spent time thinking about how I am and why I do what I do and about things like social order and to what degree it even merits any consideration.

    ReplyDelete
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