Monday, March 7, 2016

Just depression

I responded to another "am I a sociopath?" email two years later and found another young person who would now describe what she was going through at the time as something very different from sociopathy. I asked her to write how her perspective changed over those years:

During most of my teenage years, I was determined to find the crucial component to my personality; a defining factor. Something has to be wrong with me, because no one else seems to have my problems and issues. In 9th grade, I had friends; none close, but people to talk to during class, and see in the halls. I would act differently around all of them... (it wasn't until two years later that I noticed this behavior). When around the cool kids, I'd act cool, when around the nerds, I'd act nerdy, and so on. I'd take on similar personalities, so I could fit in, and have friends. 

Later on I noticed that my emotions were fading away... as if one day I'd wake up and no longer be able to feel a certain emotion. I first noticed it with embarrassment, from my ability to do anything and not feel that emotion from it... I felt fear at the realization that I could potentially lose my emotions and become void. It was until one day that I no longer feared losing my emotions that I realized was a sociopath. I didn't feel empathy or regret... I didn't care who I upset. Albeit I realize it now, just a teenager's desperate attempt at clawing their way into accepting themselves. 

All of this was from depression, that went unnoticed for years. I didn't know that then. I convinced myself, and others, that I was a sociopath, and I lived by it. I didn't allow myself to feel emotion, and that bit me in the butt. In the latter part of my teenage years I sorta, grew out of that pit devoid of emotion... Back then, I wanted to be important and special. A lot of people going through their teenage years experience this with other categories too. I wanted to be the strong one of my family, no emotions to cloud my judgement... pure logic; like a robot. I take this in part that there was no father figure in my family. I felt like I had to be the man. 

That's not me now... I climbed out of the hole I dug myself into by conditioning myself to feel happiness. What I mean by that is, I would do my best to find something to make me happy during my day... It took a while to feel full emotions again but now I'm at the point where it's a normal part of my life. I have learned that with happiness, comes sadness... and to not block either emotion. Emotions are like yin and yang and you cannot have one without the other. 

Mental health is not self-diagnosis, mental health is accepting your personality for what it is... if you are normal, average... that's okay. I had to learn that. Also of course, seeing a therapist helps, which is what I did to get my anxiety under control. Now, I will be driving down the road and I'll smile at a bright blue day, and I'll smile at a gloomy rainy day. Both are beautiful to me, because contrast is good. 

The whole period where I thought I was a sociopath is not something I'm proud of. It's a little embarrassing because I genuinely believed it. and now I know how stupid it was. Let this be a lesson to all.


  1. Ooooh, lookie here, a fresh blog post!
    Ahem... First!

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  3. I think this is interesting. I often wonder if I'm a sociopath or just someone capable of being sociopathic. You know one has the option to choose but the other one doesn't and I would hate to lose out. The quest continues.

    1. Your last post resonated with me a lot but I don't want to smother you with my ideas, haha ;p I think you will find the answers inside.

    2. Hmmm...

      I think that testing yourself for possession of a startle reflex should help you a great deal in your quest.

      Consistent with findings for normal college students, nonpsychopaths and mixed subjects showed a significant linear relationship between slide valence and startle magnitude, with startle responses largest during unpleasant slides and smallest during pleasant slides. This effect was absent in psychopaths.

      Watching a few screamer videos at a loud volume comes to mind :-)

    3. North: You mean the addiction thing?

      I was JUST thinking of this. I have one friend with whom I can talk to about everything. We have discussed me possibly being a sociopath. Sometimes I agree and sometimes argue against it. That's when she reminds me that she suspects that I have a different neurobiology to most people. And yeah, I've had several occasions where I've reacted super calmly to situations where most people would panic. One was when a close relative 'died' in front of me. Long story short: I thought he died and paramedics were there but they managed to bring him back to life. I was completely calm, it was the paramedics that panicked if anyone.

      Once I nearly crashed my car driving the fast lane but did not panic, just kept on driving as usual. Actually this has happened several times.

      BUT once again: I could argue that this type of reaction can be achieved by learning mind-control.

      I don't know if I'll ever find out what I am and anyway: someone made up the term sociopath in the first place. It's just a word. If people want to put them in that box, why not. And if not, then there is always the chance that mind really is flexible and one can evolve forever.

      For me the most important thing – and I believe the key to happiness and freedom – is to be able to feel like I can be what I feel that I am.

      I don't want to fake (unless I want to play a role for fun) and I don't want others to fake. I like to think that I can accept everything and everyone but I want the same back. Not many people are capable of that and it's what bothers me. The society we've built is so full of bullshit. :)

    4. I wish there was a forum to have on-going discussions. It's such a pain to scroll through the threads here.

    5. Socioempath, the study suggests that psychopaths lack an affective modulation of the startle response. There's no claim of psychopaths lacking a startling response.

    6. Socioempath, the study suggests that psychopaths lack an affective modulation of the startle response. There's no claim of psychopaths lacking a startling response.

    7. Ah, it seems you are right.

      I've been doing a bit of research on that subject, and it points towards psychopaths having very attenuated startle responses.

      "He did another experiment, the Startle Reflex test, in which psychopaths and non-psychopaths were invited to look at grotesque images, like crime-scene photographs of blown-apart faces, and then when they least expected it Bob would let off an incredibly loud noise in their ear. The non-psychopaths would leap with astonishment. The psychopaths would remain comparatively serene"

      There's also some anegdotal evidence suggesting that "P's lack a startle response".

      I've watched a few screamer videos at high volume, and I didn't startle.

    8. It seems that blogger doesn't support more than one link at a time.

      Here's the first link:

      And here's the second one:

    9. Thank you for the links, very interesting.

      I can agree with attenuated startle response from my own experience, and there were quite some situations where neurotypicals would likely have had a startle response but I hadn't:

      For example when the alarm in a laboratory went off, my two colleagues jumped (one of them literally), while I finished the next workstep until I even noticed the noise.... which was indeed painfully loud.

      On another occassion I jumped over the rails, nearly got hit by a train and didn't realize until half a minute later.

      On the other hand side there were some normal startle responses, tho only when I hyperfocused on the creepy content. Tho there was only one film scene in my whole life that was able to physically startle me.

    10. Interesting...

      Maybe it has to do with something completely unexpected?
      As in, if a psychopath thinks he has a "degree of control", if he is aware of the risks even a little bit, it won't startle him?

      For example, if he were to walk in a forest, he would, at least unconsciously, expect a snake or another dangerous animal to be hiding, so it wouldn't startle him.
      But if he were to unexpectedly see a snake just as he prepared to go to bed, it would startle him?

      When I watched the screamer video, I expected a scare at some point, even if I didn't when exactly. In the experiment, the participants were expected to be "scared".

      Might be hard to test, as even if you told somebody to try to startle you unexpectedly, you'd expect it at some point.

    11. Well, I'm not entirely sure, but it's an intriguing thought.

      What would speak against it, was the laboratory situation. I was there for the first time, not expecting there might be a siren installed. I was semi-focused on trypsinating a cell culture for the first time, my advisor (the one who literally jumped) was highly focused to make sure I wouldn't make a mistake.

      The train incident as well as the film scene would speak for your theory tho.

    12. I've done some more research, and here's what I found (with FPS meaning fear-potentiated startle):

      Psychopathic individuals displayed normal FPS under threat-focused conditions but manifested a significant deficit in FPS under alternative-focus conditions. Moreover, these findings were essentially unchanged when analyses employed the interpersonal-affective factor of the PCL-R instead of PCL-R total scores.
      Regarding the lack of psychopathy-related differences in the threat-focused condition, it is worth noting that this is the first study to use electric shocks to elicit fear with PCL-assessed participants. Thus, it may be that the fear deficits associated with psychopathy are most apparent under low threat conditions and disappear when threat is sufficiently strong. However, the same shock intensity was used in the threat-focused and alternative-focus conditions with dramatically different results. Such findings strongly suggest that attentional focus rather than the intensity of the unconditioned stimulus is responsible for the observed differences. Supporting this conclusion, similar findings have been obtained using loss of money rather than electric shocks. For instance, psychopathic offenders display normal response inhibition when avoiding monetary punishments is their only goal even though they fail to inhibit punished responses while focused on earning monetary rewards. Similarly, psychopathic offenders display normal electrodermal responses to the onset of red lights signaling increased risk of monetary punishment when focused on avoiding punishments even though their electrodermal responses to the same lights are significantly smaller than those of nonpsychopathic controls when focused on earning rewards. Combined, these findings suggest that psychopaths’ normal response to fear cues in the threat-focused condition stems from the fact that the threat information in this condition was performance-relevant and thus intrinsic to their ongoing goal-directed behavior.

      If the study is to be trusted, you didn't startle at the siren because you were focused on a goal, which attenuated you startle response (an "alternative-focus condition").

    13. Hmm... that makes sense. I think I read somewhere about a "bottleneck" attention, or something alike.

    14. Hey NM!!!

      You sound good today-I'm glad.:)

      On the topic-

      I noticed my husband never seemed to get "startled". I began to pay very close attention, when "triggers" would occur, that would generally elicit that response. I have to admit, that I would attempt to trigger the response myself, sometimes.:)

      In general-he does not get "startled".

      However, I have to agree with you NM-there have been a few occasions where he did seem to have a "muted startle response".

      "Goal orientation" did not seem to be a factor, when there was no "startle response", which was the majority of the time.

      Not scientific-just my personal observations.:)


    15. Yeah, confused but okay xD

      Thank you Vegas, very interesting information.

      Did your husband express that he feels startled sometimes or that he never feels startled? Did he fake a startling response?

    16. Hi Lola,

      The similarities were around intensity of work and training. I was very intense and successful and the dopamine was masking the pain of my abusive marriage. I wanted more and more and... enter **-*.

      Now I'm able to look at that experience in the broader context of my own energy and really claim it for my own.

      I think it's all about learning your own energy sources, unblocking their flows and channeling them in good and useful ways. Obviously, I am still learning this. I do think it's achievable for everyone.

      Think of it as good energy, and experiment with different ways to flow with it. Embrace it. "Mistakes" are datapoints. That's my method.

    17. PS. I just noticed you asked me about my significant other in the last discussion I participated in. I think it goes well, but I'm rather confused about a situation.

      Long story short: We went to our favorite pub and around midnight I wanted to go, with him. He didn't want to go and vehemently refused to get his drink finished. We had a discussion outside, he promised to finish his drink and go with me. Back inside, he didn't do as told and instead declared he lied to me and that it is over. Of course I was pissed, I wanted to smash his beer bottle on his head and stab his throat. Didn't do so, tho it was damn hard to resist that urge. (even if I wouldn't have been able to resist, I likely would only have smashed the bottle on his head and wouldn't have gone further.) I ended up pouring the nearly full bottle all over his head and beloved mantle, got my jacket and rammed the table into his knee before leaving.
      The next day I drove to his place, claimed that I had an blackout and don't remember what happened.

      First thing I found strange: He was merely slightly surprised to meet me. No anger, no hate, no disappointment, no embarrassment, nothing a neurotypical would show - rather the more or less surprised blank look one would find on my face in a similar situation.

      Second: His version of the story neither included the table incident, nor the fact that he lied to me. Even after assuring him several times there must have been something like this, otherwise I wouldn't have made such a fuss. (Yes, the lie upset me, not the break-up.)

      Third: There wasn't the slightest negative feeling toward getting humilated in such a way in a public area where people know him, I heard from others that he got laughed at. Didn't tell him that, of course.
      Normally, people should be upset about something like this, am I right or did get something wrong?

      So that leaves me puzzled.... His behavior makes no sense if viewd from a neurotypical perspective, and even if I take his ADHD into account it doesn't add up completely. Maybe he's a psycho too? I don't know. I doubt that's realistically possible - so what if he wants to get rid of me and uses some "survivor" strategy? (What I could find, the "Grey Rock" method actually fits his behavior, then again, it also fits my interaction style to some degree in specific situations...) Well, the thing I know is that he has just become much more interesting - and that I'm utterly confused, which hasn't happened so far with rather non-emotional people.

      Btw, we're still/again in an open relationship, just as before. The only thing that changed is that I will grant him more time alone. He's much more of a loner than I am, tho I used to be pretty similar a few years back.

    18. Well, obviously I don't know anything about your "significant other", but it seems to me like he mirrored your own actions back to you, which confused and "unsettled" you. Perhaps, to "teach you a lesson", so you see for yourself how you behaved towards him?

    19. There seems to be a problem with links, at least on this comment thread.
      Here's the "mirroring" (and various variations of it) explained, quite nicely:

    20. Hey NM-

      I will definitely ask my husband if he ever truly feels "startled", and I will let you know what he says.:)

      Yes-normally people would be very upset, about what happened.

      I would like to help, if I can.:)

      A few questions I have:

      Was your SO hungover the following day, when you went to see him?

      What were your interactions like that day?

      Has he requested or shown interest, in being exclusive with you?


    21. Socioempath, thank you for the input.

      There has been a situation before, where he acted similarly detached. After a rather extrem dispute we met on neutral ground, and as I was almost sure I ruined it, he calmed me down like it was nothing - completely ignoring death threats and cussing I did just a day beforehand.

      I'm not sure he was trying to mirror me, cause he seemed as genuine one could be.
      I had quite some encounters with people trying to mirror me to show me how "evil" I was, but that never worked because I took them at face value and naturally, the situation escalated every single time. Plus, they never seemed genuine. (I'm very sensible to bad intentions held against me.)

      Vegas, yes he was. He said he stayed till 7am and just got up an hour ago.

      I was quite mellow, gentle almost, tried to demonstrate I pose no threat in case he feels threatened or something. I'm quite sure I looked like a beaten puppy due to being sick (had and still have a flu and a sprained ankle which makes me look very weak I guess.).

      I followed him and made sure he understood I won't let him go that easily, tho without putting pressure on him.

      " Has he requested or shown interest, in being exclusive with you? "
      Yes, but only when I asked him. He's worse with expressing emotion than I am. xD

    22. Hey NM-

      This is my take:

      Your SO's behavior the following day was a combination of still being drunk/hungover, and being unsure as to what to expect from you, that day. I believe he is in love with you and would like to be exclusive with you, but is afraid that if he asks for what he wants, he might lose you...

      I'm sorry you have the flu and a sprained ankle-I hope that you have a quick recovery.:)


    23. Thank you Vegas, that makes sense to me. He's the personified introversion, and sometimes, when he's really, really drunk, asks me what someone like me (I assume he thinks way too much of me) sees in someone like him (he sees himself as worthless, no matter what I, or anyone by that matter, says).

      I tried to explain him that his social status, joblessness and whatever he thinks makes him worthless to the world, doesn't matter to me - but he still doesn't fully understand. Me neither, but I rarely really understand my social motivations anyways. :)

    24. Hey NM-

      You are more than welcome.:)

      I believe that through your SO's eyes you are the most beautiful, intelligent, and capable human being he has ever met.:)

      He has low self esteem, and knows that he is not "the only one".

      It is confusing, but when he says "It's over", what he really wants to know, is what he is to you. He wants to know what you think and feel about him, and where he stands. He wants to know if you will let him go, if you want to maintain an "open relationship", or if you'd like to be exclusive. He wants to know what meaning and place he has in your life. He doesn't want to "push" because he doesn't want to lose you, so he'll maintain the "open relationship", even though he'd like to be "exclusive".

      I believe he was happy you came over the next day, and that you are still in an "open relationship". I think he'll be really happy, to get to spend more time with you.:)

      I think he loves you, NM.:)


    25. First off, what you write hasn't occured to me so far, and thinking about it makes me happy, and actually would make sense in terms of his mindset and behavior.

      However, he's afraid of closeness, so the open relationship was a compromiss for me to give him some space. It's not really the typical 'open means free to fuck whoever you want' kind of thing, but actually a constructed term to give him the feeling that he's not bound to me till eternity ends. I don't quite get this kind of anxiety yet, but I think it's a key element of his life.

      Now thinking of it, maybe his "break-up" was kind of a panic reaction... I faintly remember joking about me moving in to him, and later on, drunk, philosophyzing about how a marriage could save us a lot of problems if something should happen to either one of us, especially in the society we live in.... so it actually was me again who ruined the evening, this time by triggering him at least twice... I'm impressed he still wants me.

      " I believe he was happy you came over the next day, and that you are still in an "open relationship". I think he'll be really happy, to get to spend more time with you.:)

      I think he loves you, NM.:) "

      I think you're right, he did seem to be relieved when I hugged him after we talked :)
      And I really should stop worrying so much.

    26. I actually feel sorry for you - you're so confused and apparently needlessly so. Here's advice which you probably will not take: stop trying to read in something that seems genuine and take it at face value. Sociopaths seem to be afraid when they see sincerity from people they are close to - it confuses them and makes them doubt it (needlessly). Just another unfortunate side effect of being sociopathic.

      May God guide you.

    27. If someone really, really loves you, they'd rather tell you "hey, I wish you the best but I'm not going to share you and humiliate you and myself in the process." No hard feelings the lover would still wish well to his loved one but they wouldn't cling to them like they're desperate. Or maybe that's just my take on love.

    28. Thank you, Jonaid. Some true words you've written there.

      May God guide you as well.

    29. Hey NM!!!

      I'm glad I was able to share another viewpoint with you, and that it made you happy.:)

      Do you know the origin, as to why your SO has difficulty with closeness?

      I'm not surprised at all that your SO still wants you-I'm sure you are the most magnificent being, he's ever met!!!

      You remind me a lot of my husband.:) Your styles are so similar in the way you think, communicate, interact, etc.:)

      I like your style!!!


    30. Socioempath-

      How is the Quran reading going?


    31. Very fine, very fine.

      I have just communicated with God. Turns out, the problem was bad reception. But I am happy to announce that I have solved the problem!

      I have just returned from the store, and found a really nice antenna, a very good model, and even the price is a steal! Finally, I can catch a signal and communicate! Oh, just imagine the parties the big guy holds, all the hot chicks, all the drugs, it's simply pure heaven up there!
      He's such a nice guy that he allowed me more than 72 virgins! More than 72! Woohoo! Oh God, yes!

      You are a god amongst gods, God!

    32. Socioempath-

      I'm glad things are going well, and that you were able to "clear up" the "reception" issue.:)

      Don't let me interrupt your communications with God.:)

      Am I "invited to the party", too???

      Will there be "hot dudes" and "awesome music", too???

      Will I also get 72+ virgins???


    33. Oh, for God's sake... Didn't you listen to Joanie?

      Everyone's invited, you just gotta tune in - your sins don't matter!
      Just contact God and He will give you everything you ask for! Hot dudes, awesome music, infinite virgins, hookers and blow, it's all there, and much, much more!
      It's a party to die for! You'll feel like you're in Heaven!

    34. Socioempath-

      You make me giggle.:)


    35. Socioempath-

      You made me think of a FUN NEW SAYING, when Joanie quotes Quran:

      Instead of "Allahu Akbar!!!":

      "Hookers & Blow!!!"

      HA!!! LOL!!!


    36. I'm not completely sure about the hookers (lucky for them), but she sure likes to blow it!

      Buildings, I mean.

    37. Do you remember how you were quivering when you had to tell Charlie he's got to go? Yes macho man, I saw you nearly pissing your pants and interjected to save you your humiliation. You type like you have real balls but in reality you talk like you're afraid all the time. This is the outcome of being a psychopath and selling your soul for your penis.

      Seriously now, go call your little genie and suck up to him all night. Let's see what you've been "suppressing." You have your time. When it's over, we'll see how hard you laugh.

      Night Night.


      Brate mili, koja si ti budala! :D

      Let's try this again, one more time, this time very slowly - I, the individual known on this blog by the handle "Socioempath", am a person momentarily residing somewhere in Bosnia. I am not your ex-lover. I do not know you, nor do you know me.

      And why are you so angry Joanie??? I did what you said and spread the word of God! See, see, it's working exceedingly well! Yet you decide to attack me?
      I'm disappointed in you, Joanie! What kind of a believer are you? :O
      Tsk, tsk, tsk...

      That won't do, infidel! God will smite thee to infinitesimally tiny little insignificant particles, for you are nothing but a wicked charlatan leading people away from His Holiness! There's no party for you! Now go, repent, and find God, before it is too late!

    39. What you have to wait until the night is darkest before you crawl out and start posting again? You need help - I mean that seriously. You need some spiritual therapy. You're not in full control of yourself - that much is obvious. Make fun, insult, rant nonsense all you want but you and I both know what's happening.

    40. Good advice!

      You should take it, Joanie! You seriously need therapy, a lot of it, and soon - narcissistic delusions are no laughing matter... for the deluded :-)

  4. I'm writing a book. Going through my journal entries and found two short emails I recorded of his. They are of the tamer variety.

    My beautiful. Loml,

    You definitely possess an Impressive mastery of expression in whichever environment you set yourself..

    Am extremely happy that you came into my life and deeply wish you stay for ever so that I can hug and kiss you for ever .

    Love you my impressive B!

    Hello beautiful loml,
    The idea of stealing you away triggered another idea. I was dreaming (hoping) that you were driving back home on your own around midnight and that you agreed to drive up to the front of my house. I would then join you, incognito, and we would then be able to spend some passionate kissing time in a quiet place, away from any spot lights and curious eyes. Would you be game?
    Love you BB

    loml meant "love of my life." I can't remember what B and BB meant. He had codes for everything.

    I used to put the question to him: cap ou pas cap? He was never game. Obviously.

    1. Actually, the last time I was with him played out this little fantasy some four months later [with some extra spice.]

    2. It wasn't possible that night but I was so excited by the idea.

    3. *** A few weeks before the end ***

      I read your words and just cannot respond. A flood of thoughts chokes me: I know not one of them will fix how I feel. Sex is meaning for you; sex must be predicated on meaning for me. You're not meeting me halfway, not offering me even a thread of a lifeline.

      *** a week later ***

      I write you an email,
      a condensation of my thought
      - it falls like a raindrop on the surface of the sea.
      The cold grey sea that engulfs you
      and drowns me.

      is endless waiting
      in silence
      for not much.
      Hasty lines
      are not enough

      Adventures take you to unexpected places. Waiting rooms aren't my style.

    4. Haha, after The Boardroom - he overplayed his hand that night:

      Hello my love,

      This incorrigible behaviour is endearing in a way but you're not in a position to negotiate that.

      You have, however, provided a nice case in point: always your fantasies first and my perspective last.

      You're a clever guy, I'm sure you can find a creative way of engaging with me outside your fantasy world for 5 minutes.

      If not, well, there is certainly no way I will allow myself to be in a position where you are blaming me for having to go back to your home country.

    5. That was the turning point. I didn't give him an inch after that and you can see how he drew it out and left me hanging at the end.

    6. This is interesting...
      You definitely have an exceptional way of expressing yourself, North!

      I can only suggest that you keep writing. Don't let this precious gift of yours go to waste ;-)

    7. Thankyou Socioempath. I do appreciate this from you since your own style is masterful.

      I have a plan and am executing it. I feel that after that explosion of anger, I've achieved release and can now be more purposeful in my continuing test-analyse-synthesise cycles.

      The book is one stream. Highly personal, bringing readers on the journey of experience. A Kierkegaardian approach becomes telling is insufficient. If people can feel a little through my words they might better grasp how sociopaths work. I will add an interpretive layer to assist cognitive understanding. Ideally, I'd love to have a sociopath actively contribute to present their side of such a story. I imagine this would be powerful indeed. I can't imagine **-* would be willing - any tips on convincing him? I can't see the value proposition for him since it's *my* project.

      The second stream is academic: challenging philosophical conceptions of the human condition and of sociality in general. I've commenced this journey by studying a masters degree. I'm already challenging foundational philosophical problems; it's such a *rush* for me to argue new models.

      Thirdly, I'm starting my own blog. My aim with this is to present an alternative view of the healing journey; one that is less oppositional to sociopaths yet focused heavily on meeting one's own needs.

      There is so much to explore, I'm sure I will continue writing about these and many other topics until the day of my death :)

    8. Hey North;

      If you can make your readers feel like they're on a journey, an escape from drab reality, a window into a sparkling fantasy, then you know you've become a great writer...
      Since you seem to have mastered your emotions and how you express them, I'd say you're on a pretty good track! From what I've gathered, good storytelling is essentially very similar to seduction, "persuasion" instead of "manipulation" - captivate your audience, make them wish for more!

      I like your idea of starting your own blog. Perhaps you could use the blog to get feedback on the progress of your writing skills, practice them before publishing the book, maybe give some excerpts you plan on putting in for them to judge, use it to promote your book, perhaps even use it to find willing sociopaths who would help you contribute to the "sociopath side of the story"?

      I don't know what really motivates **-*. You'll need to appeal to his self-interest, exploit his weaknesses.
      Does he like to be known (as in, increase his reputation)? In that case, you can tell him you're writing a book about him and need his viewpoints, tell him everybody will know how helpful and "good" he is (of course, add something akin to "no hard feelings" for additional effect).
      Does he like it when he thinks there's an "opening" (as in, by helping you he thinks he will be able to get you back "under his spell")? You can pretend you missed him, that you forgive him, you want both of you to write a book together, to "rekindle the lost flames".
      If he likes money, well, convince him it's easy work, he'll just have to sometimes help you here and there and he'll get his share for just pouring out his thoughts. Or even better, just pay him right upfront for an hour or so of writing, especially if he prefers more short-term rewards, and this way he doesn't get any money from your book.
      Maybe it's all three? Maybe he likes to "show off" how talented and smart he is?

      And you'll also have to contend with his "impulsivity" and his "attention span" - does he usually keep his end of the bargain long enough to reap the rewards, or does he bail out easily, preferring more short-term rewards?
      Are you in sufficent control of your emotions so as to resist his charms; is it worth it to try working with him again?

      I'd also suggest reading (or re-reading?) "48 Laws of Power" to get into that "analitical" state of mind should you want to proceed with persuading him.

      Best of luck to you!

    9. Great points, Socioempath. Much appreciated.

      Considering the boundaries and analogues of manipulation is an interesting endeavour. Your posts excited me for the strategic considerations: how can I achieve the outcome I desire?

      It was a somewhat off-the-cuff remark, desiring his involvement. I suppose I didn't consider it possible. But playing with that potential reality is fun, I enjoy that sort of imaginative speculation, and combined with the strategic elements I have quite a heady cocktail ;)

      I've left it on the backburner - I think it's a long shot because I gave him too much information about my real state for him to consider engaging with me: he seems to only have one M.O. and that's seduction. Surely even he will have realised that's no longer feasible? (one would think, but I've been surprised before.)

      I'll also consider his motivations: my observations is that he has a vast reserve of focus for his own projects but tires of others'. It could only be a short term engagement, so to speak.

      In lieu of his involvement, there are several sociopaths on INTJF and here who have provided valuable analyses that I could potentially use. I do think his voice would make for a very compelling piece, however.

      I'll test a few ideas :)


    10. And I'll read the book (along with Mastery, which is on my list.)

    11. North I agree that you just never know. I have been shocked by things they just didn't get that were so completely obvious. I completely understand your fascination and desire to delve deeper. I personally am fascinated by the language sociopaths use. The speech patterns. They are so similar. And the words they use are so strange and similar. Its absolutely fascinating to me. I have thought about compiling a dictionary. :-)

    12. One thing I found both fascinating and chilling is the complete change in tone and language that emerged after everything was said and done. It was completely robotic. The person I knew never existed . It was positively chilling.

    13. Glad to have awakened your inner logician ;-)

      You do seem to be inherently highly Machiavellian - a logician, a strategist, a philosopher.

      I consider assuming formlessness one of the most important and "univeral" laws from the book - by not having a graspable plan, nobody can predict your moves; what is unseen cannot be attacked, which you can use to your advantage and catch someone off-guard with one single, swift attack should it be required.

      I'd advise against "involving" yourself with him, as it could mean cost you lot of time and patience, but nevertheless, let's discuss, just for the heck of it ;-)

      Since you know that he is more focused on "short-term" rewards, and more "selfish", with seduction as his M.O., I think that the "hot-cold" strategy (get his attention, withdraw it so he pursues you, then once he's frustrated go "hot" again, and repeat) could work against him, as he'll want to "possess" you.
      However, it depends on what "type" of seduction he likes to run; does he use the "hot-cold" strategy, or does he satisfy your desires, does he act "innocent", perhaps multiple combinations of it? If you can make him perceive that helping you with the book is the "key to your heart", he should help you write it.

      Since he also knows the "old" you, you could act like before, feed him false information, so that he uses the wrong strategy that would work against the "old" you, but not against the "new" you - leading him to waste his energy on a "wild goose-chase"; he moves in the direction you want him to.

      In short, use his preference for "short-term rewards" and his "selfish" intense focus against him.

      I have also started reading "The Art of Seduction", and I think it could greatly help you identify what "type" of seductor he is.

    14. North as a non socio who gets very tired very fast with socio logic and games I suggest you just ask him for what you want. Its such a crazy idea it just might work! :-) and if that doesn't work I'd tell him he owes you. Because he does and he knows it I'm sure. And socio can't stand to feel they owe anyone anything.

    15. Thank you all!

      Our brains are designed to convince - marvellous machines that they are, evolution has gifted us with a range of tools for negotiating advantage and resources. I've discovered it's best to know clearly what you want and how much you are prepared to barter / invest to get it.

      The cost of dealing with him is probably very high. He wants everything on his terms. Do I really want him messing with my beautiful project? Well, the benefit is potentially great: it would make for a fascinating book.

      This one will sit in my mind and my mind will give me the solution when it's ready.

      Anon 3:45,
      I agree, it is fascinating. It's instrumental to them in a very cognisant way. By that I mean we use it instrumentally too, but rather naturally and for that reason with perhaps less skill eg mirroring language of others we hope to convince, repetition of key phrases etc.

      I would be really interested in reading the dictionary, too!

      That's a fascinating perspective, you've provided some very interesting leads and insights.

      Perhaps you will like these quotes:
      - The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be ~ Bruce Lee
      - Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force ~ Lao Tze

      I love these quotes because I'm learning that flowing requires awareness and discipline, yet it doesn't consume you.

      I'm also reading Sun Tzu's Art of War, which talks on similar themes about knowing your own army and the enemies and taking appropriate action and of succeeding without fighting. I very much enjoyed your explanation of formlessness. There's so much to this concept.

      The tension is that I seek to create win-win scenarios where a win for him entails loss for me. It's a puzzle that intrigues me; it's perhaps insoluble, taken in its fullest sense. Temporary states, however might fall into either his or my conception of success. But the circumstance at any point-in-time is merely a datapoint: we are always surfing experience.

      Anon 8:19
      Yes! Thanks! I agree this is not something I want to play on his terms. It's an interesting idea I hadn't ever considered previously... my main hurdle is that he won't even speak to me at present.

      We'll see what my brain comes up with - will keep you posted :)

    16. Nice to see you so giddy, North ;-)

      I've discovered it's best to know clearly what you want and how much you are prepared to barter / invest to get it.
      This is something I wholeheartedly agree with. By knowing what to do, and when to stop, you prevent yourself from overextending yourself while gaining whatever it is you wish to gain. And stopping after a victory really takes discipline but yields better rewards in the long run - many empires and leaders in history found ruin by getting overconfident and going on until their fortunes turned. But, once again, it surely takes *a lot* of discipline and self-control to stop on the peak.

      Do I really want him messing with my beautiful project?
      A crucial word here - it's your project; if he doesn't want to help, he gains nothing, while if he does, he gains something, which means that what goes in the book and what doesn't is up to you, not him. Keep that in mind ;-)

      As for how to contact him, well, there's always the direct and indirect way. Since direct doesn't work, you could try indirect - talk with those who are still in contact with him, periodically talk good about him, all sorts of things. He's probably keeping tabs on you, since you have proved yourself "formidable" and a "threat", which you can also use to your advantage; he probably avoids you because you are a threat to him, so it was more "cost-effective" just to cut ties with you, but not that big of a threat that he will try to work against you. The reason he is probably keeping tabs on you is to see if he should take additional action. For him, the cost of taking you down probably outweighs the benefits he gets by not taking you down.
      However, should you choose to "draw him out" indirectly, he could also suspect that your sudden change of behavior towards him is a ruse, so if you choose to go down this road, it's best to do it gradually, slowly and patiently.

      Thank you for the quotes, they "resonated" :-)

      P. S.
      The dictionary thing...
      That's probably because some words are generally more effective and "seductive" than others. What sounds better to you, "awesome" or "marvellous", "huge" or "tremendous", "really" or "surely"?

    17. "many empires and leaders in history found ruin by getting overconfident and going on until their fortunes turned. But, once again, it surely takes *a lot* of discipline and self-control to stop on the peak."

      This is important and comes back to awareness and flow, I think, and seeing ambition in the context of survival.

      I mentioned **-* overplayed his hand in the Boardroom - I have a sense sometimes I push my luck too in other domains - and it is due to a lack of awareness. As you've noted, I'm like a child just waking up to life. Where I am extending myself in various domains, I am making wonderful progress and finding mentors, but also push the limits of my social capital: I live right on the edge. Learning to be less ham-fisted will take time as I'm really still running on some potent revitalisation energy. While it's fascinating and I'm surprised by the purchase I'm getting at work, I don't want to make too many mis-steps.

      And so it comes down to energy for me. It's a curiosity and a possibility with **-* and the book - but I've established other avenues of exploration which are equally or even more fascinating to me.

      Thanks for giving me a view from his perspective; that's valuable. I know there have been times he's cancelled coffee with mutual contacts at times in which I've surprised him. There are three people who are still in contact with him that I have good relationships with - a good test for me is whether or not he is maintaining contact with one in particular who knows my story. **-* know this other fellow is aware of it, too, but not aware of the degree.

      Interesting re the words. You're giving me lots of good tips in general and for improving my writing.

      And now to deal with my intriguing, shifting work situation. The senior execs are in town and much fun is afoot.

    18. Not a worriment (hehehehe) - by writing and helping, I too explore my own mind and gain valuable perspectives and insights, which I thoroughly enjoy.

      A really good reasoning I worked out for stopping at the peak is this - if you stop when you win, when you reach your intended goal, then the possibility of a defeat and "bad luck" is practically nonexistent, now is there? This is not to say that someone should be afraid to take chances and confidently push on, merely that by sticking to the "end goal" you will not undo your work and should tremendously minimize mistakes.

      I'm sure you're probably aware of this, but anyway, I would suggest that, if the overabundance of "revitalization energy" produces substantial problems with "stopping", that you spend it on something "safer" which should satisfy your desire for more. After all, what good are accomplishments if you don't get to enjoy anything!

      Have fun with the execs!

  5. Sometimes I do wonder how life would've been different if that one fateful day had not occurred when my brother violently struck me in the head as a young child and gave me Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, which in turn gave me psychopathy. Would life be better? Worse? It seems increasingly futile to bother ruminating about it because I'll never experience that reality, just empty speculation on my part about it. The imagery I paint within my own mind of the gap between myself and the typical normal person seems like an impenetrable and invisible barrier; their emotional realities, their real empathy, their genuine guilt and remorse, etc., all seem all too alien to me.

    ESTP Sociopath

  6. ESTP Sociopath: so your psychopathy was caused by a physical incident? And did someone then diagnose you and say that this was the cause?

    I just thought about the people around me and what it means to be a good friend and came to this conclusion: a good friendship or relationship is formed by two people who completely allow the other person freedom of expression and don't wish they were something else than what they are.

    I am so pleased to have many friends like this but that's what I have against this society: it is so full of expectations and norms and rules and people get personally upset(!) if anyone breaks these rules. People expect other people to always be nice and polite but that is just masking the truth. And I don't want to mask the truth – it's just that the people around me are not willing to always accept my truth.

    I am very loyal to those people around me who express themselves freely and unapologetically but I can't stand the pretentiousness. It's like people are ashamed of what they really are.

    1. Yes, I'm diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, which can be caused by excessive blunt trauma to the head while you're a child. The same brain regions associated with TLE are also associated with psychopathy, and 70% of those with TLE when assessed by a mental health professional check out as having psychopathic personalities. I've spoken at great length with a trusted mental health professional and she recognizes me as a psychopath.

      I open up to all of my closet friends and loved ones about what I really am and they all accept and love me for what I am. I'm even pushing to be public with it(!); the organization I work with to help homeless youth knows I'm a psychopath and 100% respects me for what I am and appreciates my intentions of working with them to better our world. Change is happening.

      ESTP Sociopath

  7. "I have learned that with happiness, comes sadness... and to not block either emotion. Emotions are like yin and yang and you cannot have one without the other."

    Well said I agree 100%. By trying to stunt all emotional experience one tries to "cheat" and think they'll be happy always. What happens is you end up becoming a slave to your body's physical needs. The only external need left is for "power" - false sense of control and influence over others so you can bring them down the same road.

    1. In the name of God, The Merciful.

      1 Have We not expanded thee thy breast?-
      2 And removed from thee thy burden
      3The which did gall thy back?-
      4 And raised high the esteem (in which) thou (art held)?
      5 So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief:
      6 Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.
      7 Therefore, when thou art free (from thine immediate task), still labour hard,
      8 And to thy Lord turn (all) thy attention.

      Qur'an Chapter 94: The Consolation

      I can relate to this chapter very closely. There comes a time in our lives - particularly people like the one who wrote ME above - when this reads as if it was written for them. Verses 5 & 6 apply at all times to those who have any integrity and a sense of justice.


    2. That should have began as: In the name if God, The Merciful, The Compassionate.

    3. BTW I can relate to so much to the person who wrote this to M.E. My depression actually got so severe I even had a suicide plan all worked out (host of other reasons which made it so severe). It's not the depressive phase which is sociopathic - its what comes after. You can either come out of it in a sociopathic mindset or the opposite.

    4. Fanatics have the look of people who do not masturbate but who think about it almost all time.

      Gregory David Roberts

  8. There's a very strong collection of Magic the Gathering players amongst the homeless youth community in my area. We often meet and play at the library or elsewhere, sometimes betting money or weed on our games. My vampire tribal deck is quite notorious as none of the other youth have much of a chance against my vampiric hoards. I recently have switched to dueling with an Eldrazi (the eldritch equivalent within the fictional multiverse of MTG) deck. I really enjoy the enormous power they're capable of; being able to summon planet sized apocalypse inducing eldritch horrors to systematically destroy my opponents is very satisfying. I want to get a blank play mat with the following text written as calligraphy on it:

    "Resistance is futile. Your dreams will be crushed, your hopes will be dashed, your armies will all be vanquished. Any who oppose us must either surrender or be annihilated. All will fall to the omnipotent power known as the Eldrazi."

    ESTP Sociopath

  9. A sociopath knows he's a sociopath. There's no in between. Except if they've never heard of the term. So just be yourselves and don't question them. Psychology and psychiatry are complicated, you don't have to fit in a box. Be who you are and have fun with it. If you THINK you are a sociopath you're probably wasting your time. It is truly easier to deal with something when you have a name for it and a definition, but when you see it you'll know it. You might think that being a chicken is more embarrassing than being a wolf(because of low self esteem) but being a chicken dressed as a wolf is even more ridiculous. Just be yourselves.

  10. jonaid why don't you go and join your God "up" there... :)

    1. If you're suggesting I kill myself, there's two problems: 1) I don't want to, 2) God has not allowed that option. Don't worry though, we're ALL going "up" there after we die, wherever and whenever and however that is. The journey ends where it started: with God.

    2. In the name of God, The Merciful, The Compassionate.

      "Read: In the name of thy Lord Who created,

      Created man from a clot.

      Read: And your Lord is the Most Bounteous,

      Who teaches by the pen,

      Teaches man that which he knew not.

      Nay, but verily man is rebellious

      In that he looks upon himself as self-sufficient.

      Surely to your Lord is the return."

      Qur'an 96: 1-8

      BTW these were the first verses revealed (1-5). So don't worry, we're all going "up" one day.

    3. Just remember, there's a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way.

      M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

      BTW this is only one quote revealed (1).
      So don't worry, we've all going to "label" you a fanatic.

    4. In the name of God, The Merciful, The Compassionate.

      "Lo! the guilty used to laugh at those who believed,

      And wink one to another when they passed them;

      And when they returned to their own folk, they returned jesting;

      And when they saw them they said: Lo! these have gone astray.

      Yet they were not sent as guardians over them.

      So today those who believe shall laugh at those who cover up (the truth);

      On high couches, gazing.

      Are not those who cover up (the truth) paid for what they used to do?"

      Qur'an 83: 29-36

      That was a good one. <3

  11. More people need to be on

    !!! 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 (relates to drama: that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!


  12. I saw it raining, and thought of this song:


    Album: The Unforgettable Fire


    Sleep tonight
    And may your dreams
    Be realized
    If the thunder cloud
    Passes rain
    So let it rain
    Rain down on him
    So let it be
    So let it be
    Sleep tonight
    And may your dreams
    Be realized
    If the thundercloud
    Passes rain
    So let it rain
    Let it rain
    Rain on him


  13. Thank you to Socioempath for my morning laugh. You know which post I mean, I'm sure :D

  14. The local businesses of the area I live in are trying to ostracize the homeless youth community by shutting down the shelter and other services for the youth. Many of the youth are criminals for committing crimes that they indulge in for the sake of survival, as I've come to understand by speaking with the youth; I can say the same is true for myself, as I've robbed grocery stores for food to fight starvation. I think I'll write a very convincing letter, good enough to appeal to their emotions and trigger guilt for trying to run the homeless youth out of town by taking away the very place and services that helps give them better agency to better their own lives and get off the streets. I'll likely attempt to run a intense campaign against the local businesses to try and stop them from shutting down the shelter for the youth; if I want to use the organization that supports me and my housing, if I want to invest in them and use the organization as a tool to acquire greater power in my community, I must do what I can to defend it. I won't tolerate any kind of attempt to sabotage the welfare of my people.

    ESTP Sociopath

    1. Why have you devoted yourself to helping other people?

    2. As I have become a higher functioning psychopath, it has become more clearly appearant to me that collaboration with society, regardless of how much of society is unpalatable to me, is necessary if I want to acquire the influence and power I want to have in this world. It's a matter of learning how to better utilize people as tools, to manipulate without unnecessary destruction, because I've come to fully recognize how reckless destruction of other peoples lives inevitably has a natural consequence of social fallout and other undesirable consequences. A significant part of becoming higher functioning is learning better cost and benefit analysis of impulses; M.E. covered that topic in a prior blog post that contained a Youtube video of a psychopathic(?) comedian talking about that very topic.

      Why not fight injustice? It has never truly been a battle of "good" versus "evil", as morality is subjective and based on context, so we can safely assume there is no truly good or evil people, only humanity. The same can be said of "good" and "evil" deeds, so there only is injustice which is the true evil in our world. Humanity versus injustice. I'm siding with humanity, to fight against the stigma, sterotype, prejudice, and malignant expectations society holds for psychopaths. We can be more prosocial and healthy members of society, but society must be willing to create and facilitate an environment where psychopaths are not ostracized so they can come forward to be given better agency and receive the mental health help they might need.

      I help this organization that supports homeless youth because I want to develop and improve it, harness it, and add it as a weapon to my arsenal that I can use to acquire greater power to do what I want in this world.

      ESTP Sociopath

    3. What you said you are doing and the way you are treating the world, are both "good", but is this upper goal of yours also "good", or is "good" just your mean of getting to be yourself. Are you giving everyone what they want so you can later do "bad"?"wrong"? Cause I see, If I'm right, you called the malignant expectations society holds for sociopaths, a stigma. But sociopaths don't think there is a problem at all with their behaviour. And this behaviour is what empaths have a problem with. So how exactly is it a stigma. And why would a sociopath want to play with the empaths rules even after they have gotten what they want, in your case greater power. Do you really care about the world being a fair place, and fair meaning no crime no injustice etc. Or are you just using once again good behaviour at first so you can get to the truly nasty behaviour.

    4. Sociopaths are the epitome of injustice. They are constantly fighting themselves and they don't even know it.

    5. What exactly do you mean fighting themselves, also I hope you know the difference between a low functioning and a high functioning sociopath.
      -Anon 7:08

    6. Sociopaths believe everyone thinks, reacts and has the same motives as they do. This is what leads to paranoia, delusions and the belief that they have been slighted. They are fighting ideas that they project upon everything around them. And I guess the difference between a high and low functioning socio is one can move more undetected through society.

    7. I agree with these anonymous 7:08, 8:10 and 3:35 entirely. Well put.

    8. to anon 3:35
      I think that's more of a narcissists point of view. Sociopaths see others as objects, they believe they are vulnerable if not stupid and totally unimportant. They don't see them as antagonism. But as means to their purpose. This is why they don't like being around other sociopaths. You seem to be describing a narcissist. You might want to research into narcissistic injury.

    9. What exactly is their purpose?

    10. When sociopaths hurt someone they feel the way non disordered people feel when they eat chocolate. At least the majority of sociopaths are going to hurt people on their way to their success, their purpose. I want to say that part of their purpose is to hurt people, many have fun with it and use it as an escape from boredom. So what exactly is their purpose you ask. Well every sociopath just like every other person has a different purpose. But the thing is that a sociopaths purpose because of his nature has to envovle certain things. Like unlimited power, destruction, anything at all that will cure them of their boredom. Life is like a play with no meaning. Emotions, and empathy, to them, seem like invisible strings that keep people low and make them vulnerable to the tall all seeing sociopath.They think they are the masters, playing with the dolls, pulling strings for fun and throwing them away when they're bored. This is how their mind is set, and this is their purpose. Their means may differ. One might be low functioning another might be high functioning. In other words one is the wolf who attacks every sheep it sees, until all have run away or have been eaten and there's nothing left to eat. Unwise isn't it? The other is a wolf who stays silent, he dresses himself up and befriends all of the sheep, especially the strong ones. He leads they way to justice. And then one day when all defenses are down he turns around and eats them all. The means are different, but the outcome is the same. It's important not to confuse narcissists with sociopaths. Narcissists are afraid of being destructed.Sociopaths want to destruct. One is self defense, the other manslaughter.

    11. Anon @ 7:10-

      Nice summation.:)


    12. Anon 7:10 I was just eating some delicious chocolate and I have to admit I had to make myself stop. I think that's an interesting analogy and I can see how one could get addicted to that reward. I appreciate your being open to explain more about your purpose. I'm curious why are you so certain you aren't narcissistic? And also what do you feel when you eat chocolate?

    13. The thing is that I'm not a sociopath. I'm great at manipulating and seducing, I do it all the time, it's one of the reasons I understand them so well. But I myself am not a sociopath. I might just be a bad person because I have empathy only theoretically. I wouldn't have empathy for anyone, if it weren't for my mother. When I was smaller I used to think how much freer I would be if it wasn't for her, and I wished her a painless death. And I always used to cry when I watched the lion king, the part were simba loses his dad. But on the other side when our dog got almost eaten by another one and I saw the white fluffy thing drenched in blood, I didn't feel anything at all, and while my little sister cried I felt annoyed. I think I'm more of a disturbed, bad(morally) person, with a high EQ and intelligence. My empathy vanishes exactly when something happens, or becomes mine(in a relationship for example), and that isn't what a sociopath is. I have been called a high functioning sociopath before because a guy got suspicsious of my knowing so much about them, and I couldn't convice him I wasn't one because I act similarly. I were a sociopath, I would know it.
      Sociopathy actually comes along with narcissism. Not in the sense of narcissistic disorder, but having extreme self confidence and self value. That's very logical if you think how they see everyone else as objects. They believe they are strong, you are weak, they are smart, you are stupid, they are important you are a thing. The only difference between humans and objects is that they have to ask a human in order to use it(manipulate specifically). Narcissists talk about themselves all the time, in order to feed their unquenchable ego. When sociopaths on the other side talk about you. Also narcissists are usually in denial of being different from the rest of the world, when sociopaths accept it and use it to their advantage. Most importantly narcissists feel like victims. A sociopath is never in the position of the victim.
      So what do they feel when they eat the chocolate? They feel satisfaction and that's all. We don't know why and how. But for some reason their brain is filled with dopamine when they eat it. But I think that they are more addicted to feeling they are tricking and controlling people, than hurting them. Hurting them is the finalle but tricking them and controlling them is their way of life.

    14. Thank you anon. I agree that hurting is the finale and tricking is their way of life. I have experienced it first hand. I think everyone has the ability to mute emotions. I think the main difference is the addiction to negative energy-thoughts, deeds. Its something that one must control or it will control you. This is just my opinion but it's something that even as a non socio I must be aware of. Knowing that there are people in the world who feed off others pain has made me even more aware of this. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

    15. This last paragraph in particular fits **-*'s behaviour. He acted for the sake of his game.

      He said once he didn't mean to hurt me - and of course that was convenient for him at the time - but perhaps there was a specific way in which that was true. In his language, he was "teasing" me.

      But I am not anyone's game. I revolted against that and am so glad I did. There's a deep joy and peace that emanates from me to reflect on where I am now.

      Opportunities extend before me because I don't constrain myself by current understanding.

    16. North I'm very happy for you and I know it hasn't been easy for you to arrive here. Your story has helped me more than you could know. The socio knew exactly what they were doing with me. They wanted to remain friends despite saying the most disgusting things to me. They couldn't believe I didn't want to remain friends. I can't believe they had the gall to ask. I know they just wanted to maintain control. They knew they had done something so wrong.

    17. Thanks Anon! It's encouraging to me that people can see my journey,

      Thanks for sharing your experience too. It does seem mind-boggling when those sorts of things happen; one of the great benefits of this place is we learn we aren't crazy! Those things really happened!

      Best :)

  15. This post described me perfectly. I went through the same period, and am unfortunately still stuck in depression. I'm becoming more positive every day.

  16. I was thinking about the social skill of Enthrallment in the past week, and I mapped out step by step how I implement and utilize it: Captivate, Charm, and Control.

    1) Captivate. The casting of the hook with the intent of reeling them in (that's Charm). Start with an emotional appeal, or a intriguing story hook, poetic expression/prose/"flowery speech"/strong speech introduction to capture their attention. "Talk" with your hands seems to help: emphasize the points you're making to captivate by flourishes with your hands, shaking a index finger, "jazz hands", wiggling your fingers at some "bad thing" to quickly sway them to side with your opinion in the given moment. Embellish with theatrics; practical and applied acting skill (not performance acting, although the lines blur between the two) helps greatly here.

    2) Charm. Once you've captured their attention and captivated them, this is the part where you go into greater depth with ensuring that they're fully vulnerable to manipulation. Again, practical acting skill greatly helps here. Continue to enchant your victim much like you would in step one of Captivate, however now that you've got them hooked you must fully reel them in. Follow up with your story hook with a fleshed out story, continue to appeal to their emotions and begin to make them emotionally malleable, be more eblorate and fanciful with poetic expression/prose/"flowery speech", provide supporting statements and evidence for the topic of your speech. Once you've got them nicely buttered up, the next step is...

    3) Control. You got them hooked, reeled in, and finally fully in your grasp to do as you please, to devour, to feed others, or wield as a weapon against your foes. Be careful to not jeopardize your efforts to captivate and charm your victim, you must continue to maintain your "enchantment" in order to keep control. Do so by repeating the first two steps of Captivate and Charm, but have enough common sense to know when enough is enough so you don't go overboard with it and drive them away. So now that you've Captivated and Charmed them and you do what's needed to maintain the "enchantment", do as you please with them within realistic expectations of what your victim is capable of and willing to do. Anything is possible though.

    I probably ought to sit down and commit to actually reading The Art of Seduction, perhaps it will have somethong more I could add to my enthrallment skill.

    ESTP Sociopath

    1. I'm they same anon who answered your other post a little before. I also wanted to say, seeing this post now, that if your intentions where truly justice, then you wouldn't have to manipulate people to fulfil them. Except if you're dealing with people who might be antagonise you, and it's better always to have them out of your way.

    2. (Not ESTP, just another very rare poster) I find, myself, that manipulation isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's our language. I don't speak as "me", I speak according to a rule-set, adjusting my very personality to shift into what I believe is the most appropriate for whatever given situation is put in front of me. I'm generally nice, likable, decisive, self-assured, but my personal weakness is that I need to "want" to put forth the effort into being that person, else I become a much more... detached, calm individual, at least to the best I can try to be given my own current understanding of things. I know I act with selfishness though, but I see that as perfectly acceptable. You are you, you come first above all else in the hierarchy of things. Of course, that may change, you may value another's life above your own, there are exceptions to every rule.

      I try to adopt a different approach to things, generally trying to operate in a way that not only benefits myself but others around me. I don't really like dealing with other people at all, in fact every social interaction drains me until I can't bother dealing with it and I go off on my own to recharge. But I manipulate everything in the way I see is fit, which is heavily narcissistic I do admit, but given the fact that I generally do a good job at handling things in my own way, I just try to approach it as a skill I'm trying to develop.

      As I say to my closer people - I'm sorry, I don't know how to speak in anything other than psycho, you'll have to work with me on it. I can't stop myself from controlling information, trying to emote myself in just the right way, and generally just doing things the way I do them. I may not share the same beliefs as ESTP but I agree on the very concept on how he approaches things.

    3. Another Rare Poster,

      That was interesting to read, thanks for sharing.

      I'm learning too. By treating my feelings as messengers, I have greater awareness of what my brain is actually directing me towards. This allows me to release the feelings and work strategically.

      I'm interested in your thoughts on what differentiates strategy from manipulation. What do you think the differentiators are?

      And how about the statement "all communication is hypnotism?" Sometimes that statement makes perfect sense to me. I'm in consulting and to be effective we use language instrumentally - we are in the business of convincing.

      Thanks for your thoughts (would also love to hear from others)!

    4. Oh you, North; I always like your posts. It actually feels weird to have you ask me stuff. Also that I feel as though I'm taken a bit seriously for once.

      Manipulation is how I flow in relation to what's going on, the intricacies of how to get to point B, whereas strategy is the direction I intend to take it, whether it's as simple as "Something positive" to something highly specific; what point B is. That's my personal definition, anyhow.

      When you get into the mechanics of actually directing conversation: tonality, emotive body movements, facial expressions... Yeah, it can kind of simply be something akin to hypnotism, I can't really say much else other than I agree though. I usually just prefer to avoid contact with people unless it's necessary so I'm not entirely the best at communication yet. I just recently grasped the concept of changing the tone of the room I'm in, like if I need to calm people down or something. I don't know, I've always viewed other people as these alien creatures that I never quite wanted to get too involved with because I didn't know how to deal with all their complex feelings and their weird thought processes and stuff.

    5. Thanks, I do appreciate it. Firstly, it's interesting to have a glimpse into how another views and approaches the opportunity landscape in which they operate. Secondly, as my ways are changing, you're giving me some options for creating a meta model for myself. So I really appreciate it!

      I don't mean to use confusing language here, these understandings are new to me and it's a matter for me of learning to explain them well.

      When we encounter new situations or problems, we feel confused because we don't have a framework by which to understand it. The simplest thing to do is grab a model someone has used previously, then pin our experiences to it then see if they make sense. This is the bread and butter of a consultant- scan the environment, choose a model that fits (there are endless models) - account for observed phenomena based on the model - design a target state - make recommendations. I imagine many professions where one is free to select their own are similar.

      It leads to a working knowledge that the map is not the territory; that we abstract pertinent points to communicate to ourselves - in making sense of our environment - and to others - where we might use similar models of understanding or try to convince others to see the way we prefer (or in the case of manipulation, to see the way we prefer them to.)

      Thanks very much for explaining your view of manipulation being something of a tactic to achieve a strategy. That makes sense to me.

      i enjoyed your explanation of relating to others as aliens with weird thought processes. It's so curious we feel that as human groups we way about each other :)

    6. A bit more on this...

      "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's there are few."

      This is because the expert immediately applies a well-constructed model in a definite way. The beginner's view is fresh, formless, and can be taken in so many different directions. Perhaps even desired outcomes are fluid. This is endless possibility.

      What draws me here and specifically to your post is the contrast in experience. I can see that things I take for granted are particularities of my own mind. A broader horizon opens when I realise the parameters I live my life by are constructs and thus constraints.

      This is why I say thankyou! Because I seek to understand the boundaries of my own thinking :)

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