Sunday, January 3, 2021

Sociopaths and Compartmentalization YouTube Interview

We had such great feedback on the Brad longer Zoom that I'm experimenting with the longer format, so this morning I did one with just Arya and Elsa (the time constraint doesn't kick in unless there are multiple people on the call) and I continue to like the results. I'll probably either continue to do one on ones to avoid the Zoom time limit or just bite the bullet and buy a pro Zoom account. If I do the former, I'll upload the one on ones to YouTube and post here. I'll also do a live shorter Zoom session at least once a month. If you have strong opinions either way, let me know in the comments!

From this morning's one on one with Arya and Elsa:

Author of Confessions of a Sociopath M.E. Thomas and two 20 something female psychopaths discuss the role of compartmentalization for neurotypical people and for psychopaths. Normal people experience their self as a stable concept and when they have experiences that are inconsistent with their self, they experience cognitive dissonance. To avoid or resolve the cognitive dissonance, they can do one of three things: (1) change their behavior to be consistent with their self-conception, (2) change their belief about their self to be consistent with their behavior, (3) compartmentalize and essentially ignore the dissonance. Psychopaths do not experience these things as much because they have a very weak sense of self. 

There is a second use of the word compartmentalization, which is to keep thoughts and parts of our life separate to avoid conflict, to avoid worrying or being concerned about something, or to be more efficient. In this second sense of the word compartmentalization is something that psychopaths tend to do frequently, perhaps even better than normal people. Because of their weak sense of self, they feel less conflict from holding inconsistent viewpoints or manifesting inconsistent behaviors. 


  1. One of my recent obsessions is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which is an extreme format of compartmentalization. Jeni Haynes built 2500 personalities (alters) to survive childhood abuse, and their testimony helped convict her father. There are several YouTubers with DID that offer fascinating insights. Systems can have alters with different ages/genders/nationalities/accents, even different dominant hands (left/right), skills, or disability (e.g. blind/deaf). It's interesting how traumas can evoke various formats of compartmentalization in different people. Human brain is so full of possibilities.

    I am also starting to delve into meditation and mindfulness, would love to hear about your journey. The biggest appeal to me is that people who have attained enlightenment claim to no longer experience boredom and fear of death/dying.

    1. Have you read Oliver Sacks? You might enjoy his perspectives. There's a really interesting case study he wrote on a man with Tourette's, for example.

      Brief intro here:

      An Anthropologist on Mars is well worth reading. I reckon a case study like this on a person with psychopathic traits would be well worth writing / reading.

    2. Thanks for the recommendation North!


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