Thursday, February 28, 2013

Phobias & Fears in Psychopaths

"You are all writing about instilling fear in others as a means to control them. But I was wondering about something:

How about your own fears? Do the people you are controlling never fight back? Would there be a way for them to scare you off? If there are even people killing themselves because of the bullying, wouldn't it be more logical for them to seek revenge on you??

And you write somewhere most psychopaths have phobias.. I am trying really hard to understand...everyone says that psychopaths are fearless.. but then they have phobias and it somehow seems as thought they are afraid to lose control? And shying away from real confrontations?

And: what would happen if 2 psychopaths fight for the same thing?

I'm not sure if you'd want to answer those questions, because it might be like showing your vulnerable sides.. but I am just really curious and trying to get my head around it."


Instilling fear in others is just one of several techniques. You will usually use more than one technique at the same time, not only fear - though in some cases it may be the most effective one.

Sometimes people will fight back, it will happen now and again because you just can't always predict another person's behavior in every detail, no matter how good a psychologist, how experienced and agile a manipulator, and how skilled a judge of character you are, because like all human beings you can't always be as alert and effective as you might want to be. Usually a person may try to fight back in cases and situations where you have underestimated them, or when you've overlooked something that could not have been foreseen.

When it happens that somebody chooses to fight back, it doesn't scare or frighten me. I believe I can speak for most psychopaths when I say that the prospect of retaliation, maybe even against my own life, is just not enough to make me feel afraid the way it does other, normal, people. Indeed, it may actually intrigue and excite me, though it will just as often be more likely to anger me - especially when we're talking about a person I consider to be "a subject of mine". The key word here is 'mine', because as I get to know somebody and gain control over them, I develop a sense of ownership, like you consider a family member, or maybe a dog, to be 'yours', to be something you own in a sense, and so it makes me very angry if someone attempts to break the bond of ownership - without my approval it's an act of defiance, and anger is an emotion I feel much easier than fear is.

However, people rarely fight back, and the natural reason for this is that almost all psychopaths choose their victims very carefully and would never approach someone whom they sense might put up any serious fight. There are exceptions, of course, but they are the fewer.

The reason why psychopaths can seem unbeatable is that we have so much experience with what we do, we have been building a 'knowledge database' about human behavior and the mechanisms of psychological dynamics and have practiced and honed our expertise in using this knowledge effectively throughout our lives. This is what we are good at, this is what nature has build us to be predisposed for becoming good at.

If the psychopath's inherent potential could be understood and his reality - the way he experiences life and everything he hears and sees happening around him - could be acknowledged as just as real as the way everybody else feels and think and see life, the unique talents could be put to use in a satisfying way for everybody, not just to the individual psychopath or just to society, but for the human species as such. And it would add to the variety of the human experience and thus the human potential, because it is all so very intrinsically connected. In a sense you can say I'm talking about a kind of 'Holistic World View' here.


Now to address your mentioning of Phobias... It is true I've mentioned that many psychopaths appear to have some kind of phobia, and irrational kind of fear that is hard to deal with because it is irrational, and which therefore can tend to hand on well into adulthood or even throughout the individual's life. But it is important to remember that Phobias and Fears are not the same thing. When you experience fear you are afraid of something specific, something you can touch, feel, smell, or put into words and anticipate through logical deduction and/or experience.

A phobia can - in spite of everything - be approached, and it can be overcome, if the phobic individual is willing to do the work, but it is hard work and fewer rather than more people succeed eventually. But some psychopaths who have a phobia do beat it, and they are generally better suited to succeed due to their otherwise very low fear response and capacity for fear in general.

They'll do what is needed to deal with their phobia, and - in my personal experience - they also tend to be more likely to try it than normal people are (provided we're talking about a phobia that actually interferes with the person's ability to function within the standard he sets for himself), and I believe this has to do with that fondness of control, of testing your boundaries, and even of testing how far you can push yourself in the face of a 'terror' that has no real name or origin that you can apply with name or place, and which psychopaths are so prone to have in excess.

From your choice of words I sense you may expect me to avoid this topic because I might feel some kind of shame at not being perfect or by admitting to having experienced something that was unsettling and uncontrollable (at the time, anyway). I can only tell you that I feel no such shame, nor do I feel less powerful for having admitted to not be made of titanium. The need to seem omnipotent and flawless is the element of some sociopathic people, but not for the psychopath.

If it seems like being strong means something to the psychopath, it is because him seeming to be strong means something to you. It is always about you, my subject, my target, my would-be-friend, my companion, my colleague, my lover; it is never, ever about me, the psychopath. Therein lies the main difference in how the normal majority of people and the psychopath function and place their focus and preference of focus

18 comments:

Bella Rose said...

"It is always about you, my subject, my target, my would-be-friend, my companion, my lover; it is never, ever about me, the psychopath. Therein lies the main difference in how the normal majority of people and the psychopath function and place their focus..."

One must be careful not to interpret this in a way that is familiar or to try to "make sense" out of it so it fits into our frame of reference.

It SOUNDS almost as if you're saying that putting the focus on others is some selfless, put-others-first act that normal people can't achieve the way the psychopath can, Zhawq.

But what I believe you're really saying is this:

The psychopath is more able to be "present" with others (I totally agree with that) and more able to place his focus on others. It is, in fact, his *preference* is to focus on others and not on himself.

But WHAT IS THE *PURPOSE* OF THAT PREFERENCE OF FOCUS? Is it true that you focus on others to achieve whatever your goal is with them?

(And therin lies the real difference.)

A BIG clue is "It is always about you...my target." We don't call people our "targets." I mean, a target of WHAT? A target of your intense focus and your preferred focus, but for what purpose???

Maybe it's not as selfless as you wanted it to sound, or not as selfless as I thought you were trying to make it sound.

Thanks for another mind-bending, thought-provoking post. I could read ten times and walk away with ten different meanings. Another trip down the rabbit hole...

Very skillful, Zhawq. You truly do provide insight into the psychopathic mind, and it is a truly fascinating place. Keep writing.



Bella Rose said...

"It is always about you, my subject, my target, my would-be-friend, my companion, my lover; it is never, ever about me, the psychopath. Therein lies the main difference in how the normal majority of people and the psychopath function and place their focus..."

One must be careful not to interpret this in a way that is familiar or to try to "make sense" out of it so it fits into our frame of reference.

It SOUNDS almost as if you're saying that putting the focus on others is some selfless, put-others-first act that normal people can't achieve the way the psychopath can, Zhawq.

But what I believe you're really saying is this:

The psychopath is more able to be "present" with others (I totally agree with that) and more able to place his focus on others. It is, in fact, his *preference* to focus on others and not on himself.

But WHAT IS THE *PURPOSE* OF THAT PREFERENCE OF FOCUS? Is it true that you focus on others to achieve whatever your goal is with them?

(And therin lies the real difference.)

A BIG clue is "It is always about you...my target." We don't call people our "targets." I mean, a target of WHAT? A target of your intense focus and your preferred focus, but for what purpose???

Maybe it's not as selfless as you wanted it to sound, or not as selfless as I thought you were trying to make it sound.

Thanks for another mind-bending, thought-provoking post. I could read it ten times and walk away with ten different meanings. Another trip down the rabbit hole...

Very skillful, Zhawq. You truly do provide insight into the psychopathic mind, and it is a fascinating place. Keep writing.

Laura Potter said...

Hi, you wrote some interesting piece again Zhawk.
I'll say it again; 'I really appreciate your honest writings about your self observations.
I was wondering about these 'phobias'.
Also, from what I've understood while reading your blog, self-acceptance itself, while admitting one's weaknesses,is a quite powerful 'asset' to have.
For most neurotypicals, as myself, is not that plausible to genuinely 'accept' myself.
Probably because we're easily susceptible to external social rules, morals etc... that neurotypicals internalize so obedientlly.
After all , all people would be much better off if they didn't tear themselves down.

-Laura Potter-

Kev said...

Hi Zhawq, great post. I found it very interesting and informative. I have just come across your blog as i have been reading about personality disorders for the past week. I am 31 years old and did not know anything about this stuff, it is very interesting.

I am going to bookmark your blog and have a look around and read some more stuff. I like learning about nature and reality and this subject has caught my attention. I can see myself having a lot of questions so i hope you do not mind me asking. I will not ask lots right a way as that is unfair on you. But, hopefully, i can ask you a few as time goes on.

I do have one question now. You wrote this:

"However, people rarely fight back, and the natural reason for this is that almost all psychopaths choose their victims very carefully and would never approach someone whom they sense might put up any serious fight."

I fully understand that not all Psychopaths are violent criminals and it is wrong to assume otherwise. And i do not. But what do you mean when you say,

"almost all psychopaths choose their victims very carefully and would never approach someone whom they sense might put up any serious fight."

Do you guys not have friendships ? Are you always out to gain something from others and if you can not then that person is no use to you?

Thanks, i look forward to hearing from you :)

Anonymous said...

so psychopaths are cowards?

Brianna Blackburn said...

Hi Zhawq, I have read over your blog several times. I sent you an e-mail a few minutes ago but my general question is as follows ,

Is there a way for NON-psychopaths to manipulate a psychopath? Such as getting your ex psychopath to get back together with you? Can I manipulate him into doing other things?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"so psychopaths are cowards?"

Psychopaths are not cowards. They simply have a need that needs to be met, so they take the smartest path to get there.

Are lions and tigers cowards because they pick on the weakest in the herd? No; they’re just hungry! And when you're hungry, do you go out hunting and plant a vegetable garden? My guess is you head to the nearest grocery store.

There’s a fundamental disconnect here. The commenter is ascribing his own feelings, biases, and assumptions to Zahwq (for example by believing such behavior is “cowardly”), while at the same time Zahwq is here trying to explain to the commenter and to the readers how he, as a psychopath, thinks differently.
That’s the purpose of this blog, isn’t it?

Try something psychopathic, and take yourself out of the equation. If you do, you might just hear what’s really being said.

Anonymous said...

OMG! REPLY TO YOUR FUCKING COMMENTS!!!!!
I like reading you thoughts... Good blog too. :)

Anonymous said...

well put zhawq. People often have a misrepresentation of low fear - it isn;t just lower levels of fear - it is also how we handle this fear. I can over ride any fear, and while phobias take a little more work, we can win that fight no problems.

ps I enjoy a good fight, I will not loose or I won't be here to care about it.

Kev said...

It seems, he does not like to answer questions.

Zhawq said...

Brianna:

[i]"I sent you an e-mail a few minutes ago but my general question is as follows ,

Is there a way for NON-psychopaths to manipulate a psychopath?"[/i]

Yes, I received you mail and read your question. It's good question too, and it deserves more than a short reply in a comment line. But to put it short (I'll write an article on the subject, so this is just the short version), it depends on many things. Generally I would say don't try to manipulate a psychopath, he's almost certain to be better at it than you, giving he has spend his life learning how to read people and how to trigger what responses, whereas the normal person has a whole different background and has been focusing on totally different aspects of human interaction and communication.

My advice is therefore: Don't try to do this. The best you can do if you've met a psychopath and things are turning bad, is to leave and make yourself as uninteresting to him as possible (i.e., you have no money, you don't want to have sex with him/her, your home is not open to him/her - maybe you'll have friends live with you for a period to make it more obvious that your preference is now elsewhere - you don't have anything to add to anything he may say to you. - A common ruse we make for subjects who are trying to distance themselves from us is to talk to them as if in passing, lure them into small talk and then start a topic you know the subject cares about. If they respond - and the inexperienced person usually do, if nothing else he responds because you know how to put things a way that triggers emotional responses as well as intellectual or political, etc. - and when you have him/her caught up talking to you (against his better judgement), you can manipulate them....again!.

So this is the only manipulation I advice: Pretend disinterest, and, if you can, even boredom whenever the psychopathic person is present. Nothing he says or does can raise your interest (outwardly!). It's about not showing HIM any emotion. Emotions are our signal lights the beacons we navigate after.


Anon 1:30AM:

[i]"Try something psychopathic, and take yourself out of the equation. If you do, you might just hear what’s really being said."[/i]

Well said. You have good understanding, my friend. '^L^,


Kev...

Or maybe he's trying to answer as well as he an, but is very busy along with having a life offline. Could that be the case, perhaps?


Anon 4:52PM:

[i]"OMG! REPLY TO YOUR FUCKING COMMENTS!!!!!"[/i]

As I've said many times, I would reply to every single comment if I had the time. It is not ill will, I am a busy man - also offline.

And, I receive much more mail than I receive comments. I think it's fair to answer the mails first which people have often put a lot of time and effort as well as more personal detail and info into writing.

Finally, many mails have an urgency that comments do not. - Having witnesses 1.st hand the effect a psychopath's "mischief" or anger, i.e., have on non-psychopaths, I recognize it when people experience difficulties that needs to be taken care of ASAP. I am not going to change in this respect, I'm afraid. But I'll continue to try and catch up when I have the time.

I hope you see my point. - As I've written elsewhere (and in a Tweet, if I recall correctly), I hope to eventually answer every question posted here as well as those written in mails.

I can only ask you to either be patient, or send me a mail with the same question you've posted in a comment. A question posed twice communicates urgency, a need to know.

Too bad you didn't quote the question you would like answered. I could've done it here and now.

Zhawq said...

Bella:

[i]"It SOUNDS almost as if you're saying that putting the focus on others is some selfless, put-others-first act that normal people can't achieve the way the psychopath can, Zhawq."[/i]

I see what you mean. But I assure you, I didn't mean to make it sound like it has anything to do with selflessness....at least not in the traditional sense.

It is not about selflessness, and though I can focus more completely upon another person than most normal people can, I am always aware of myself as I'm softly watching from the shadows in the background.

[i]"The psychopath is more able to be "present" with others (I totally agree with that) and more able to place his focus on others. It is, in fact, his *preference* is to focus on others and not on himself."[/i]

This is what I mean to say, yes.

[i]"But WHAT IS THE *PURPOSE* OF THAT PREFERENCE OF FOCUS? Is it true that you focus on others to achieve whatever your goal is with them?"[/i]

Yes, it is true. What else would my purpose be?

[i]"A target of WHAT?"[/i]

I usually call them subjects, though that's a little impersonal too, I guess. Targets are more often people I have some less benevolent business to discuss with. But some professionals use the word target because they view us (psychopaths) as the eternal hunter, someone who is always out to get a prize, to hunt down and take home the prey.

[i]"You truly do provide insight into the psychopathic mind, and it is a truly fascinating place. Keep writing."[/i]

Thanks, Bella, your words are much appreciated. '^L^,


Laura:

[i]"I really appreciate your honest writings about your self observations."[/i]

Thank you, Laura, I'm glad my texts does something good.

[i]"Also, from what I've understood while reading your blog, self-acceptance itself, while admitting one's weaknesses,is a quite powerful 'asset' to have."[/i]

It is indeed. You learn much faster and you're able to change the things about yourself you find flawed much more easily, and without as much emotional hurting, I'm sure.

[i]"For most neurotypicals, as myself, is not that plausible to genuinely 'accept' myself.
Probably because we're easily susceptible to external social rules, morals etc... that neurotypicals internalize so obedientlly."[/i]

Exactly. The Mores are, in my personal opinion, one of the greatest reasons to all the hurt people feel and do to each other. They're also one of the greatest reasons why it's so easy for many psychopathic people to manipulate, use, abuse, ruin, trod down, and so on, normal people.

Replace Mores with Ethics and you'll be much stronger and be able to build an integrity that won't be questioned all the time.

[i]"After all , all people would be much better off if they didn't tear themselves down."[/]

Indeed. If people didn't do that, psychopaths wouldn't have such an easy time with helping them do it.

Zhawq said...

Kev,

Welcome to my website, I'm pleased that you find it informative.

[i]"I am 31 years old and did not know anything about this stuff, it is very interesting"[/i]

Would you believe me if I told I was even older when I first began researching psychopathy? I knew I had the diagnosis but didn't take it seriously. "That can't possibly be true. They say that because they don't know what to say about me!" - I thought psychopaths were maniacs just like most people still think.

[i]"I can see myself having a lot of questions so i hope you do not mind me asking."[/i]

Please go ahead, questions is what keeps me going. I'm not always good at finding out what should be said next, so my readers' questions are a very great help to me. Don't hold back! '^L^,

[i]"what do you mean when you say,

"almost all psychopaths choose their victims very carefully and would never approach someone whom they sense might put up any serious fight."[/i]

I'm not sure what you're asking here. We avoid people who are likely to give more obstacles and difficulties, it's just common sense - or laziness, maybe? :)

[i]"Do you guys not have friendships ? Are you always out to gain something from others and if you can not then that person is no use to you?"[/i]

Psychopaths do not have friendships with each other. We may have fruitful relationships or partnerships, but it's not that common due to our wish to always be in control and be the decisionmaker.

Some of us have a kind of friendship with non-psychopaths, and it isn't necessarily because we can gain something material from it. I have had valuable friends from whom I learned theoretical stuff that I value, and it also makes life easier if you can be friends with your neighbors.

It's a fact that friendships are made and function because the friends can gain something somehow by being friends. Thus far it is the same for psychopaths and everybody else. Think it through, take a look at all your friendships throughout say the last 10 years... You got something in some way or other out of these friendships, or you wouldn't have made and upheld them.

The last thing you ask, I believe, is whether I would befriend someone solely because I like that person, or if I can't feel 'like' enough to make it cover a genuine friendship.

It's hard to answer this question, because so far I haven't been in a situation where I tried making friends just because I like someone. When I DO like someone they always seem to have a lot of qualities that are good for them and/or me, so... I don't know, Kev. I'm not sure where 'like' begins and 'finding useful' ends.

But I can say one thing: I have lots of friends I find it a joy to be around, that I have great conversations with, that I learn a lot from, and who seem to appreciate what I can give them of the same things, so there is no doubt that I can have friendships that are for the better of myself as well as for my friends. But when "but do you really like them?" comes in, I'm not sure what to answer.

Anonymous said...

Hello.

I took a couple of hours and read your blog (I cherry-picked 20 posts or so). It was somewhat interesting; is it remarkably insightful is another question. Well educated, highly intelligent and very self-aware psychopaths are without a doubt one of the best sources one could possibly get when it comes to studying about psuchopathy.

I think you fail to overcome your grandiose sense of self-worth; your posts ofter turn out to be self-praise. Your capabilty for analysis seems to be somewhat distorted by this, you’re unable to analyse yourself from a 3rd person’s point of view. A more self-aware psychopath would be flying higher, he would be able to criticise himself intellectually (weaknesses, downsides, etc).

I tend to think – maybe I’m being overly cynical here – it’s just another mask your readers are getting here. Maybe there is no authentic personality behind those posts. Occasionally you are contradictory; perhaps when it serves you, you alter the storyline, bend the truth. The bottom line seems to be: you can’t fail, it’s impossible for you to be on the losing side. If you want to operate that way, fine, but it makes your writings less credible. Doesn’t exactly help you giving Hare & Co an unique and valuable perspective to psychopathy.

You don’t experience guilt, shame, remorse, etc – also fine. But on an intellectual level a self-aware psychopath would be able to connect with other perspectives (which sharply differ from one’s own) without making hierachies (what you’re implicitly doing). You haven’t done anything wrong because your feeling is you’ve always had the right to do it. A religious person has his faith and that’s his proof – he leaves us nothing left to debate about.

Another impression I get from your writings is you’re trying to convince your readers and yourself how great being a psychopath is – you enjoy the benefits and advantages others have no access. Why you need to spend so much energy, time and brain power to rationalize how psychopathy rules the world? If it were obvious, you would just stick to describing psychopathy and your psychopathic personality; there wouldn’t be any need for appraisal. Maybe the facade is appealing but the substance isn’t. Many would suspect that being a psychopath in most cases is a rather tragic and miserable existence (or fate). The more self-praise and efforts of convincing they meet, the more suscpicious they grow.

If civilization were run by people like you, would it last long? Or would it collapse quite quickly? Unreasonable self-centeredness usually isn’t only about what you do; it probably will effect your thinking process as well. Narrow-mindedness is the devil of thinking.

Declaration: I’ve got no envy, no admiration, no hate, no irritation. I find psychopathy interesting – the dynamics of the personality; serial killing and sadism holds no special place or fascination for more. Neither does narrow-mindedness.

Ettina said...

"The key word here is 'mine', because as I get to know somebody and gain control over them, I develop a sense of ownership, like you consider a family member, or maybe a dog, to be 'yours', to be something you own in a sense, and so it makes me very angry if someone attempts to break the bond of ownership - without my approval it's an act of defiance, and anger is an emotion I feel much easier than fear is."

Oh, this explains a lot about the link between psychopathy and spousal abuse. In particular, most spousal abusers react badly if their spouse/victim threatens or tries to leave them. It made sense to me why a spousal abuser with borderline personality would get more violent if threatened with separation (fear of abandonment), but it puzzled me why a psychopathic spousal abuser would do so. It must be because they feel like they own their spouse, and get angry about her (or him) trying to leave.

Nico said...

Zhawq, what would you think about a situation where a Psychopath and his "victim" would both use each other for their own intersts?
Also I want to ask you what do you think about stalking one or multiple people and controlling them in an Anonymous way?
And then I also want to say that I find your thoughts very interesting and you sound like a cool person in a way!
I am kind of jealous to you about the fact that you dont need to deal with so much emotions as majority of the people, and because of that you are able to do alot more stuff and be more free than most of us...
Thank you for noticing this comment!

Anonymous said...

"It is always about you, my subject, my target, my would-be-friend, my companion, my colleague, my lover;"

maybe may remark is not appropriate... but this sentence sounds so seductive to me. Sigh, I thought I left my desire for having my mind twisted and challenged by the right person... maybe it is just a consequence of reading your blog now for the entire day.

I am still so much longing for someone smarter than or at least equal to me, even though I am not a psychopath, by no means, there are little people that can read other people and the world better than I do and if this reads narcy... well, sometimes all of us encounter one or two of the very few very talented people. They are just not so easily recognized if you are not one of them. The person that understands me best has this incredible experience of being a transwoman and of course this exceptional experience together with high intelligence and empathy made her become the extraordinary person she became. Why I am sharing this? Probably because I feel a bit lonely without anybody who can fully understand all these connections and disconnections. I can relate to many things that you describe in your blog. However I have to agree with one of the previous commenter that you probably are not perfectly honest and trying to make everything a bit brighter than it actually is. Many things are contradicting each other in a subtle not to easily describable way. The surface is shining...

Also, as much as I admire clarity of vision I also truly pity those that cannot get the full human experience by lacking some of the most essential "states of mind" a human can fall into. It is a disconnected experience. However you don't care ;) so there is probably no reason to feel pity...

Anonymous said...

My ex husband is a P yet his not a very smart one. His fear is losing the children.He has tried to take my children, my home, my finances and not succeeded yet. I knew his agenda before I had him kicked out of the home, he told me of his threats before I figured him out. He came to my house last week aggressively walked straight in my house without knocking I shit myself lol. He said his come to get his old car out of my garage, I walked into the living area and turned around and he was giving me this stare !!! Like he wanted to kill me and never said a word. He then said he will be back with a tow truck. Came back ten minutes later banged on my door almost breaking it before I could answer he jumped my fence banging on my windows and door trying to get in like an animal was scary. He then tried to get his head in my kitchen window where I was standing. I told him his freaking me out and Im calling the police he then called me a c##t and speed off. My head was spinning. In your opinion why is he doing this ??? Why not at least act normal to get his car instead of being like this ?