Sunday, May 8, 2011

I'm A Psychopath - This Is How I Lie. (Part 2)

How can this be? ...I think much of the reason for this is a two component factor:

1. We are told from early childhood that if we hit another person, then that person will feel the same discomfort (pain) that we feel when we get hit.

2. We experience over and over that the kinds of behavior and pain infliction that others react to with deep physical or emotional distress, do not have the same effect upon ourselves (psychopaths). And this contradicts what we are told in point 1.

To a child who doesn't react as strongly, emotionally, and very often also not physically, the only sense to make of the contradicting information - that we all experience the same feelings and reactions to the same kinds of stimuli, while we know from personal experience that we do not feel as strongly as we see others express that they do - is to conclude that the others must be exaggerating, and, basically, lying. But what possible reason can one have to make pain seem more severe than it is - especially from a child's point of view - if not hope of gaining the right to compensation from being wronged by the one who inflicted the pain? These are reasonings kids learn early on, and I'm sure almost all children have tried putting on a more heartbroken crying than necessary, simply because they've noticed it tends to make mom much nicer and sweeter for a while. - To a small child this is not callous deception, but it is manipulation! There's no other word for it.

Hence my conclusion that it must be natural when we psychopaths tend to conclude when we're still kids, that others are manipulating the events by pretending to feel worse, or to be in more pain, than we ourselves know we would feel or be in given the same situation, must simply be lies and manipulation. And so the inevitable conclusion from the insistence that we all are and feel the same, says: 'They feel what I, Zhawq, would feel in the same situation. Ergo, they do not feel as bad as they claim to feel!' - It was only late that I found my conclusion to be so obvious not true.

So how do we feel, us psychopaths, when we get hurt or wronged by others? Obviously we feel hurt and wronged too. But we generally don't feel these things to the same extent as others do. And certainly not as lasting!

Our pain lies elsewhere and are linked to different kinds of causes and reactions.

I don't claim to understand this area completely yet, but I am on my way and have gained at least some understanding. F.x., there is no doubt that I know what pain feels like, and that I have experienced it. I have been subjected to pain that made me loose consciousness, and once I regained consciousness the pain was re-inserted and continued until I lost consciousness again. This went on over a period of several weeks.

And it does seem logical to assume that when an individual looses consciousness as a result of physical pain, then that pain must represent in some way the strongest physical pain that individual can experience, and exactly to the point beyond what he can endure; that logically this would have to be the strongest, most intense physically possible for me to experience in that particular constellation, yes?

I also know that other people, who have had similar experiences with being tortured, react very differently to it - after the experience has ended - from how I have reacted, or am reacting. - In fact, even people who have not experienced this, feels stronger fear about it than I do at the thought of such an experience possibly being actualized (possibly happening to them) in the future.

I can't quite explain why there is this difference, except for tentatively with what I've stated above: That psychopaths' experiences of distress seem to be connected to a different type of situations.
I can see, though, that it has nothing to do with us - or me - not having experienced intense physical pain, for I obviously have! It just doesn't deter and scare me the way I find to be so common for others.

It could seem that it is my 'cognitive' emotions that doesn't have the same hyper-reactivity as do they for normal people. That, and the different neuro-psychological focus.

I have to say that to me this does not necessarily mean I'm psychologically pathological (a psychopath). I'm sure there have been people like me at all times and in all cultures. I'm also absolutely convinced we've had very good and beneficial uses for out species. For if we hadn't, we would simply have been mostly non-existent by now. We'd have been isolated and killed and thus not gotten the opportunity to multiply and bring our genes to replicate.

I'll say also, that with only about 1% of 'me', that's a very small percentage when thinking about the uses my kind is likely to have had. But perhaps that's the effect of evolution, as our species with still more and more one-dimensional, and formalistic, versions of human character that are seen as good and acceptable, perhaps we have been diminished over the last (guess:) ca. 2000 years.
Yet, I can't imagine the species' survival without the qualities I represent.

But back to the topic in question...

We may now see a few aspects of what it is that makes psychopaths feel that lying is okay, that it isn't that big of a deal, especially when we find it is useful to do it.

But how do we decide it's a good idea to lie when the gain is clearly secondary seen in proportion with the energy I invest in lying?

There're two aspects in this:

  •  I have good reason to keep up my lying, because it is a practical way of keeping my performing abilities well trained and sharp,... like a singer, who sings also when they're not on stage. They will sing strange tunes that are not songs, and they seem to take a lot of effort. How can that be good? It trains their voice and widens the spectrum of nodes the singer can reach and use to express his interpretation of a small piece of reality - a song, opera, i.e.
  •  We create our reality from moment to moment, and our personality isn't as intricately bound to the social scene on which we interact. Because tomorrow we may be part of a whole new play! Doing well in whichever play we take part in at any given moment is far more important to someone like me, than it would be to remain in the same role play and within the same game world throughout my life.

To me, and to most - if not all - psychopaths I have met or known, it is the same: I am, in a sense, always alone in reality. I can see all you other people, I can interact with you and I generally enjoy doing so, but emotionally I am the only one I can really connect with.

And I'm in permanent contact with me!!


I'm A Psychopath - This is How I Lie. (Part 1)


Soulfulpath said...

Zhwag, I agree with Note, together these two are some of your most piercing and astute writings. I can tell you have wrestled with pinning this one down for awhile. Of course the subject matter, "lying" would be rather deceptive. I find it interesting you started these musings after your post on 'magical thinking." At some level, they go hand and hand. At some level, we are all creatively wired for innovation.

My lies tend to be protective, as most people would not understand where I was coming from in my experience. This article enlightened me to the nuances of pathological lying as an art form, which has eluded me before.

Anonymous said...

"I am, in a sense, always alone in reality. I can see all you other people, I can interact with you and I generally enjoy doing so, but emotionally I am the only one I can really connect with."

This. So much this.

It's not a crushing lonliness, a depression, a rut. It's a feeling though. Perhaps, even an emotion?

Maybe frustration.

I really do feel alone. I feel like I have no one to relate to, and that what I've gone through, in some cases I'm literally the only person I know who has.

It's a cruel enough joke to give us no empathy, doubly cruel to deprive the rest of the world the ability to empathize with us. Don't you think?

Through metaphor we're often compared to predatory animals, which is often appropriate. This seems very appropriate for the Psychopath. I, however, I feel more akin to the Golem. Crafted to survive in a world that would have squished or killed a regular man, incredibly powerful and effective in its own way, and ultimately flawed and loathed.

Anonymous said...

I actually recorded a clip from one of my favorite tv shows that I'm currently re-watching. It regards deception.


Zhawq said...


thank you for those words. I really do appreciate it.

Funny as it may sound, I didn't work much with this article, and the writing process was surprisingly easy.
However, you're right in a sense, for what I express in this article represents in a way a 'completeness' of understanding.

What I'm trying to say is, I think many of my previous articles are characterized by being compilations of little isolated bits of understood pieces of the puzzle.

This is also the reason I always say my writings, my whole blog project, is a work in progress, a journey.

I'm impressed, for you see things that most people wouldn't, and most wouldn't notice the jump in understanding that I've been experiencing lately. Indeed, well done!

My lies tend to be protective

Self-protective lying is the most widespread of all, and I think that fact says a lot about mainstream society.
Why do people need to feel compelled to defend themselves in advance by lying? Knowing that most people would rather be truthful because lying makes them feel bad makes the question even more relevant.

This article enlightened me to the nuances of pathological lying as an art form, which has eluded me before.

This is what I hoped to achieve, so I'm glad to hear that. It urges me on to continue what I have started and do even better.

I would like to tell you that I've noticed (at M.E.'s comment board) your ability to pinpoint details that are central to a topic yet mostly overlooked, and I appreciate your willingness to assert your viewpoints. You've helped making debates more enjoyable to read during times with trolling and flaming kids' posts infestation.

Thank you for a constructive and positive comment, Soulful!... '^L^,

Zhawq said...


It's not a crushing lonliness, a depression, a rut. It's a feeling though. Perhaps, even an emotion?

To me there is no emotional attachment to what I said whatsoever. It's just an understanding that this is how things are.

I've never thought of it in terms of feeling one way or another.

But I see why you make this connection and I guess I should've seen it myself: People feel bad, even depressed, if they're separated from an active social connection, the mystical bond called empathy.

I really do feel alone. I feel like I have no one to relate to

Man, Notable, what can I say. I do give you my sympathy! (and you know me well enough to know I'm sincere)...

what I've gone through, in some cases I'm literally the only person I know who has.

How can you be sure you don't know somebody with experiences of a likewise nature? I imagine such a person would also not talk about it, and thus you could both benefit greatly from an exchange, but neither of you know it, so you remain isolated with it.

Sometimes this kind of thing needs for you to make a brave move and tell somebody about it. The Internet provides an excellent way for you to try it out under fairly safe circumstances. If it fails, and the person tries to use it against you, all you need to do is cut the connection (or tell them to stop or be blocked off). But chances are, even if the person doesn't understand or relate, you'll have lost nothing by telling them.

I'd advice you try it out, choose your subject carefully, and don't tell them the whole story all at once - even if they understand and can relate, it's wise to leave it at that for a few days or a week before revealing more to them. A thing you might use for measuring the honesty of the person you've chosen is whether or not he shows you the same respect by sharing some of their own past experiences. Even if they don't have the same kind of rare past experiences as you do, there'll be something else that has special meaning to them.

... -->

Zhawq said...


It's a cruel enough joke to give us no empathy, doubly cruel to deprive the rest of the world the ability to empathize with us. Don't you think?

Here is what I think:
There's nothing cruel about creating man with a scale of different levels of empathy, intellectual capacity, and other differences. And the rest of the world doesn't feel empathy with us. It feels we aren't human and therefore does not qualify as fellow beings with whom it is natural to have empathy. They fear us, either as a incomprehensibly cruel and emotionless alien species, or as the incarnation of evil or the Devil.

What is cruel, is that the same neurotypicals create a society that does not only not accept or tolerate people like us, but which eventually does not accept any kind or form of humanity. Because that's basically all we are: Human, and we can't suppress our humanity, so we're a constant thorn in the eyes of the less human, the less capable at being human - because they can't bear 90% of what comes with being human.

I actually recorded a clip from one of my favorite tv shows that I'm currently re-watching. It regards deception.

Yes, I've left a comment by the video on Youtube. I think it was well done of you to make the connection between my description of my reality, and David Lynch's description of the same as a non-final non-absolute eternal truth. He also includes the view that everybody are corrupt in one way or another. It's absurd to blame a small minority for all that is 'bad' (read: Unpleasant and inconvenient), when so obviously everybody have their part in making things the way they are.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Lynch did a fine job of portraying everyone's hidden life. It's so true, mostly. I mean, if someone has the opportunity to capitalize on something that isn't outright betrayal for someone they truly care for, a lot of times they will at least seriously consider it if they don't end up doing it.

The same goes for lying. Well, it's a part of it at least.

A thorn in their eye... I enjoy the imagery. A thorn in the side can be so easily removed and forgotten, after all.

The higher echelons of power realized that for civilization to be maintained, humanity must be culled in ones culture. It's a game of compromise and compensation. You remove one facet of acceptable behavior and replace it with a foreign and unnatural one. People accept the new as the norm over time, but the humanity is never truly gone from the creature, always causing internal turmoil.

Anonymous said...

To Zhawq -
lying gets detected. The point is it is impractical. I met a psychopath - not knowing that his is one - who attempted to work with me as lawyer, Buddhist, prodcer etc, who - so he said - used to live in a monastery in India, lots of other things not worth to repeat. He functioned like this quite officially, working for prominent organizations, even for an ex-president (this happened in Europe). He stole someone's money and pissed someone off so badly, that they hired a detective : the guy has served most of 25 years in prison for cruelly murdering a woman (stole a few watches from her and cut her throat - the pictures are quite shocking). He stole money from me, intellectual property as well, lots of attention with his bullshit, harmed my professional reputation, stole confidential information etc. He will be in jail again (he is on probation). I admit, he is a good faker and intelligent - without a question - but then how an intelligent person can act like this? A good lawyer is on the case, media as well. Where is his intelligence in all this? what are the reasons for this idiocy? why do you think you psychopaths can harm people and they not turn against you?
I am quite upset and will follow through because I care about the quality of my life, about my integrity, and my reputation. He tries to intimidate me (this is unpleasant to me but I am not scared). If you want power and control you rather avoid jail. All this -the words and the deeds - doesn't make sense to me. I think now: had he presented himself as he really is (here I am, I 'm a psychopath, I killed, was in prison , but I have to offer and I think we can work productively)I would respect him. Now he is mocking me and calling greedy when I simply wan to recover my money. Yesterday I got a call form a new victim - he stayed in the first class hotel for 11 days and tried to run away without paying the bill. He is on camera etc - police is on the case. How intelligent is this? How rational and practical is this? doesn't seem to make any sense.

Anonymous said...

what i sis that a non-sociopath gives a psychopath that psychpath cannot get otherwise (say, from another psychopath)?

Anonymous said...

--this line is interesting:

Our pain lies elsewhere and are linked to different kinds of causes and reactions.

----where does your pain lie?

s said...

"Our pain lies elsewhere and are linked to different kinds of causes and reactions"

----where does your pain lie?

question seconded. existential loneliness?

"Yet, I can't imagine the species' survival without the qualities I represent."

what qualities are those? what do you add to humanity?

Zhawq said...

Anon 10:44,

You'd be surprised at how much lying does never get detected. Thinking it does only shows we don't know how much doesn't.

But psychopaths know. We live it most of our lives. There's more to it than simple lying. It's got to do with how we understand reality. It'll take another article to describe this better in detail, and I will write one. I'm been working on it for some time, it's not an easy subject, so I've avoided forcing it. I really want to get it right.

Your acquaintance has taken things too far. It happens when circumstances have a certain constellation. I imagine he's had a lot of luck early on in life and very little opposition. He's had influential family or friends who's chosen to remain quiet for a long time. That gave him a feeling of invincibility, and being intelligent that too has been a factor that allowed him to get by with lies that most couldn't uphold.

Then the card house falls at some point. The lies you describe are absurd, and they tell me what I've said here.

To your question: Why do we think victims won't turn on us?

We don't think so. We know so, because this is how it is - mostly. There're so many things in this, ways to make people remain quiet, reasons to choose to remain quiet without us doing anything to make them do so, and there's also the simple thing that very often those we've hurt just do not have the stamina or the self confidence to do much of anything except hang on to life - or not even that.

How we lie it's not so much about intelligence. It's about how we experience reality.


our pains are not plentiful and usually not very strong. But when we feel it it usually has to do with stimulus depletion. We need a lot of stimuli, and being cut off from that is worse than most everything else.

We don't experience existential loneliness. I doubt that notion means anything to any psychopathic individual. I've often wondered about it, poets write about it a lot. I'm usually very good with philosophy, but existential pain, loneliness, and so on, I never really understood.

Maybe someone can fill me in?

What do we add to humanity? That's a large topic, for there're many potential things we could add if given the chance. I'll write an article about it eventually. In the meantime I do mention things that I believe I give and/or can give, here and there.

s said...

thanks for your thoughts. a book i would recommend to understand how others generally perceive loneliness, "hunger" by knut hamsun.

Dave said...

I believe without much doubt I was involved with a female psychopath. I won't go into the details of our relationship other than to say at the end of 3 1/2 years, right when all the paths I followed to please her finally came to frutition, she yanked out the rug from under me and left me emotionally broken. If it were not from one of her ex husbands telling me she was psychopathic, I would have never been able to begin to protect myself emotionally thus avioding a total meltdown. How can people like her be so cold and callous while on the surface appear so kind and loving?

Again, going into details won't help anything. But maybe there is a female psychopath out there who can enlighten me as to why she painted such a beautiful picture of love and lived it, only to slowly change and totally confuse me with her new behaviour....and the lies, even when confronted directly, were blatantly denied. I still love her but know I'm better off without her. What a fairy tale it was for a while. Why do they do it? What is the purpose?

Petula said...

Dave I am not a psychopath but I have lied to myself. I did a number on an ex. I was lying to myself because I wished for something that wasn't there. I actually resented him for not living up to an image of him that I wished was there. His personality was constant but mine was all over the place and dishonest, and he barely knew it. I lied to both him and myself for years and walked around like a phony. If he ever found out how I talked about him when we were together he would have left me long before I finally saw the truth clearly and left him. I never "meant" to lie. I didn't know I was lying to myself.

Redclouds777 said...

"Psychopath" is a scientific term which means "asshole'' or "scumbag". Such people got no right and no reason to exist! It's such a terrible shame that capital punishment is so limited throughout the world.

lele said...

Nice blog. I've been reading a lot about psychopaths lately, but never from an insider. I don't like putting the label psychopath on someone, but that's it.

Do psychopaths recognize other psychopaths? Or they just view all people the same way?


Anonymous said...

An interesting insight to pathological lying habits and non-empathetic feeling. I relate and agree with all of this, but your wording and methodology puts it in better light.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this well written piece and all your works. I know exactly what ya mean and you manage to clarify things for me that have been a complete mystery until now. Im even beginning to see how I'm different!

It can be hard being on the outside sometimes but by reading things that finally make sense of it all I am finding new effective means of managing me in this crazy world.

My only adds would be in response to

"I'll say also, that with only about 1% of 'me', that's a very small percentage when thinking about the uses my kind is likely to have had." -

From my readings into anthropological view point on the subject, the current school of thought is that we are very recently evolved in the life line of human evolution, that we are actually increasing as a proportion of society, that is, we are a more successful adaption,on the whole, especially the more intelligent ones. Humans are evolving faster than ever before which may also account for some of the increase. Some say we create an environment which also encourages and creates our type of behaviour and/or personality. Personally I think modern society now makes life hard for many of us and is possibly in our disadvantage. The lack of real connection with anyone else would be different I summize in a time and place when we would have been far more accepted, valued, and possibly understood. I mean, I understand normal people very well, better than they know themselves much of the time I reckon, so surely it is possible to build a bridge of understanding.

Another school of thought thinks we are frequency dependant, when there are too many of us the whole society suffers and reacts badly to us until we are brought down in numbers in retribution - and then the cycle continues - Any intelligent person like you or I can see what a dumb subjective load of horse shit that is though, its from a view point of us being purely a menace.

As for the lying - We all just innately know that everything is subjective and we take a long time to respond to punishment and other cues normal people learn from quickly, right ??? I don't think lying is actually effective most of the time- you really need to use em wisely, unless your a hell of a lot better at it than me.It took me an embarrassingly long time to work that out.

ps Could you start a new label for Music . They are some good psycho artists songs out there that can be helpful in our quests - Limp Bizkit , Marilyn Manson, White stripes....

Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

zhawq, just wonderinf if you could write an article about pain and psychopathy ? I too am on a steep learning curve and have realised I'm not understanding something about the way I experience pain vs most people. I can see it more clearly in a psycho friend of mine, but has has absolutely no fear and my understanding is still vague. Is it just that most people get emotional about getting hurt and overact accordingly ? Or do we feel less pain ? I seem to name it as something else, that is , what others would call pain ? Cheers