Thursday, November 17, 2011

Can Psychopaths have Friends?

A Reader Asks:

Do you have friends? Friends that you wouldn't screw over at the drop of a hat?

Yes, I have friends. I have a lot of friends, unless by friends you mean people I am truly close to and who know me for who I "really" am. Of those I have very few, and only two of them are what I would call friends, even though I'm not sure that normal people would agree. - Before I can answer your second question truthfully I have to establish - if I can - what you imply with the word 'friends'.

If you mean to ask me if I have friends I would go through years of endless torture and then die miserably for so that they might live, the answer will have to be no. I do not have any people or things or situations that I would do this for.

If you mean friends that I wouldn't screw over under any circumstances whatsoever, for as long as my life and health is not at stake, I'd say I haven't experienced it, but I can imagine it happening.

I have met a few people over the years... I'd say two in total... whom I respect and care about to an extent that makes me unwilling to screw them over even if not doing so means I'll have to go through a certain amount of "stress". Stress, to me, usually means being inhibited in my freedom to achieve gratification to an acceptable degree, meaning it may not be optimal gratification, but it have to at least allow me to live through another day before a frustration I cannot handle sets in.

It may surprise some to hear that I have experienced this not only with two individual people that I have known, but also with a few things, activities and situations.

When I evaluate, I do not distinguish between people, animals, things and events. To me, because I'm a psychopathic personality, there is in principle no fundamental difference between how I emotionally and cognitively relate to people, things, animals, experiences, activities, etc.. Everything in my reality is evaluated by the measuring standard that is decided by the degree of well being, of gratification, that I can derive from interacting, handling, viewing, observing, tasting, hearing, and otherwise dealing with, any given object or phenomenon.

To the neurotypical person there are clear qualitative different types of values between different kinds of phenomena. And due to the qualitative difference in value, certain types of phenomena can never be traded with certain other types of phenomena, even if the elements they each are made of are the same. This is so no matter how crucial it may be for the individual's well being that such a trade takes place.

The obvious example is with human beings, especially small children, and any other so called inanimate object. The air we breath has oxygen in it. A human child has oxygen in it's blood stream, it's lungs, it's brain, etc. The oxygen is oxygen in both the child and the air. But to most people a human child is of higher value than all other things out of principle, and if a choice has to be made everything else, no matter how valuable or how crucial to the person who is given the choice, will always be traded in favor of the child.

But I have no such principle of value. All phenomena are inter-changeable according to circumstance and personal preference in time.

To me a human child is a human child, sure, but it is also tissue, fluid - f.x. blood and urine, etc. - and it is potential gratification in any number of ways. F.x., if I succeed in creating a lasting and mutually gratifying relationship with a special person, and this person values a human child like most people value human children, then the well being of any human child will be given a very high degree of value by me because making someone happy who make me happy if they're happy is worth most anything, because it is in this I find the greatest level of gratification for myself.

So yes, I have, and I can have, friends I won't screw over at the drop of a hair. But it is an illusion when it looks as if I take this position for their sake.

I am also especially lucky in that I have friends, and one particular person who is becoming something that far exceeds the concept of just a friend, who care for me - not in spite of my emotionally and cognitively different relationship with value and evaluation, but because they understand that my values aren't lower then other people's, they are just measured by a differently structured system of evaluation.


Anonymous said...

If it's possible for you to feel this way toward a very minimal amount of your friends, would you say that in a sense similar to this what you've described here is the limit to your affection? Let's say if you had a partner/lover that you would grow to "like" the most you could do would be try not to screw them over and be willing to take some stress for him/her, correct? And perhaps feel a sense of comfortably when with that specific partner?

Psychopath said...

Ihave had friends over the years that have come and gone. One lasted just over 9 years, was even his best man. Besides almost sleeping with his wife (mutual) all was decent. I lost interest in the connection, and he didn't follow, or call me back. Other then that, I currently have a hand full of activity partners, or friends to call and hang out with, drink, eat, chat etc.

Anonymous said...

I'd say psychopaths can only feel this way a limited amount of time. Then something happens and they will feel it's time to move on and drop these "friends".

Anonymous said...

What would a friend have to do in order to change his/her status to enemy, or a person you didn't care a lick for?

Anonymous said...

Let's create a scenario whereby you have two buttons to click on your computer - 'OK' and 'Cancel'. 'OK' would anonymously transfer $10,000 to your account and simultaneously detonate a series of nail bombs in a school 1000 miles away from you. 'Cancel' disarms the explosives, and you would receive no money.

Although this scenario puts considerable distance between a simple mouse click and an act of terrible violence, I will assume that the vast majority of the population would nonetheless choose to 'Cancel'. I will again make the same assumption even if the offer of money was considerably higher.

I'm very interested to know what you would do in this situation, and whether reducing or increasing the 'reward' would make any difference?

Anonymous said...

Something off topic, but thought I'd share: Call it social propaganda, but I call it social revolution

lele said...

Zahwq, you seem to describe very well what friendship means. Friends are not required to give up their lives for their friends. I've learned not to ask too much to my (I guess) neurotypical friends. Also, don't think that friendship between neurotypicals is free from conflicts, power struggles and willingness to hurt. But, just like you do, people may prefer to give up their instant gratification for a higher value, that of a lasting friendship.

I don't give children more value than other human beings. For instance, it is customary when talking about deaths to put attention on women and children. This has always disgusted me because as human beings we all have the same value.

Since you mentioned it, I'm curious about psychopathy and self-preservation. Would psychopaths be able to give up their lives for some cause? It could also be a destructive cause, the way suicide bombers do. Or is self-preservation so ingrained into psychopaths' mind that they would never consider killing themselves for whatever reason?

Anonymous said...

I love this site mate......clearing away the years of cob webs obscuring things for me.

You have a real knack of explaining things err, my way, so that I am able to understand this is how and where I am different and fit the labels.


Anonymous said...

in response to anonymous question about the nail bomb scenario,

- for $10,000 I would consider it, if there was no chance of getting caught and the offer was open to me, I reckon I would get real excited thinking about it, which would lead to stress, and I would do it if I had no nagging considerations of punishment or any unintentional consequences. Though I would consider that not much money, if there was any reason not too I wouldn't . Not worth the risk. The children don't have any value as is, but it isn't much of a trade. I bet you could kidnap just one of them and make more money. I would probably bargain for more or extort the offerer . If you made it a decent amount of money, click, click again to make sure.

ps. If I had a choice of pressing the botton or not that would kill 99% of the human race, randomly, could be my family, even me! on the list, I would press it. To me this would be the greatest selfless act I or anyone could do. Erase the crap, create opportunity, slow down and hopefully eliminate the destruction to our environment and thus all people.

I think people have managed to beat, well, at least extend a natural cycle of population growth and destruction that keeps our numbers in check. Generally in nature the longer something goes unchecked, the bigger the counter reaction will be. I see it as ineviatable, and on the thrill factor alone, I would do a cart wheel and jump on the botton!

Happy hunting

Anonymous said...

I apologize for the long post that I'm about to write.

I honestly believe that you outline friendship in a raw, truthful way, Zahwk. I also honestly believe that psychopaths can be some of the most loyal friends that a person could have. If course, this is my opinion, not fact, and I can't truthfully claim to have any clinical or highly specialized knowledge of psychopaths, other than what I myself have experienced (and even then, my emotions could be clouding the opinions/assumptions that I form). Other neurotypicals might be confused by what I mean by loyalty here;
In this context, by "loyalty", I'm talking about when a friend of a psychopath is being attacked, or is under duress. In my experience (which I freely admit could be much more limited than I think it is) the psychopathic friend is, in most situations (but not all), the friend who will be quite fearless in taking action, doing what needs to be done to help a friend in an extreme situation. Granted, most of us do not meet with dire situations (I'm referring to things like being physically attacked, raped, burglarized, beaten unconscious, kidnapped, etc), but when it does happen, there is a sense of gratitude to the people who defend you, protect you, and make sure you're safe. In dangerous situations that are less "visible" than the ones I just mentioned, like being stalked by someone who intends to harm me, being emotionally manipulated, being slandered online or in some other public sphere, or being abused in a non-physical way (mentally, verbally, psychologically), I believe that it is the psychopathic friend that is usually the first person to spot it happening, to see through it, to the true intention of the one that wants to cause harm, basically seeing them for who they really are and calling them out on their game, either implicitly or explicitly. I will admit there were times when I was a small child and I can remember wishing that I had someone, in those moments when I was being abused and attacked, who could have acted quickly and calmly, with logic and rationale, to remove me from harm. Please do not misread my words. I'm NOT implying that psychopaths are "useful" to have around and should only exist to serve a need, (although it's interesting to me that I think neurotypicals would actually be more offended if they thought I was actually implying that, rather than psychopaths themselves), nor am I implying that it's ok to cause senseless (my neurotypical opinion of what "senseless" is, anyhow) violence/destruction.

Anonymous said...

I also believe that psychopaths are some of the least judgmental people I've ever met. I'm not trying to glorify nor denigrate any population of people, nor is it my intention to imply that ALL psychopaths think and act in exactly the same way. Although I realize that most people, even if they judge *themselves* by their *intentions*, still tend to judge *others* by their *actions*. My action here, is me merely stating my opinion, which happens to be a very strong one.

Jonathan Carlisle said...

Psychopath said...
Though I myself have no feelings toward anyone,I chose not to do terrible things because I have chosen to believe in my religion. I am a Mormon psychopath that choses to use his unique ability to read people for good. Make no mistake, this is still to my own gain, I have a belief in what a 'good' person is, and I have a belief that one should be a 'good' person for eternal salvation. So I logically use my abilities, yes, for my own gain, but also to help others for a future reward. Psychopaths CAN be better to others than anyone else. This is because we understand your emotions better than anyone. Even, usually, yourself.

Anonymous said...

Honestly i dont know if i can believe most of what you write, how can you not just be manipulating the public for some sense of gratification based on their perceptions of what they think you are like? Especially with that last part of having someone understand you, is that a certain shoutout for this person disguised as genuine? Is it meant to harness feelings of some sort of acceptance or justification for yourself, that could be beneficial somewhat if we started to take some pity on you wouldnt it?

Just my thoughts...

Stephanie Ellis said...

Can psychopaths be dumb??
Their supposed to be charismatic and charming
Can they not?? Lol
I'm sure not all criteria has to be met

Religous psychopath said...

Ellis yes psychopath can be dumb, but they usually end up in jail, so you have less exposure to them.
A psychopath with at least average intelligence will be able to surpress their desires.

==to the main topic==
I also have to struggle with the word friend and whether or not I have many friends. I have no problems making friends, I can integrate myself in all new social circles, befriend the people, hang out with them from time to time. But I would not call them real friends, real friends are people I harmonize with, where I dont feel like they are stupid cattle that cant see and focuse on the important things in life. I had only a couple of people I could claim to be friends, other people are just people I can talk to and have fun with.

At times I dont have any friends, because I am ether lazy at home or busy doing other stuff, but I dont regret not having friends. I am usually the one to walk out of relations and never coming back.

Anonymous said...

It is kinda funny when non-psychopath asks that question. Seen so many non-psychos who screw their friends but that is just a normal thing. And that friendly acting and talking shit behind their backs. Or those so called white lies.. Everything is so normal, but when it comes to us, it is pure evil. Funny.

Unsaid Psychopath said...

It's good to hear from another on this specific thing, and it's good to know what the thoughts and opinions of another are. Friendship and loyalty are two things that existed in my life but shallowly and oddly, I have had countless friends- They would all assume me as such, because there is not one person in this world who knows me in my real life as a Psychopath. I find my gratification in the trick, and it's just great because I've never been caught in it, never been "unmasked" if I want to be theatrical; but then an actual friend of sorts happened. That's when I found it necessary to cross your words with mine- There's suddenly a person I seem to not get the same gratification in tricking, in my normal ways I'll poke at them from time to time and see how they react (And of all things it's most likely that reaction of fear or care I get out of them that keeps me on their tail), but I don't get the same kick from tricking them in the same way I do other humans. They are just like every other being on his Earth, but I put a higher value in them then others- That was an unexpected twist. I somewhat enjoy these little surprises, something new to keep me from going even slightly crazier. It's about the same amount of enjoyment as I get reading your blogs really, like always another wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering can you keep relationship as long they dont cross you or until u find something else new or someone u been looking for or you cant have any relationship at all?