Friday, October 25, 2013

The Psychopath, The Stranger - A Song.

I Dedicate this Article to All of You out there Who Have had an Unfortunate, Perhaps even Traumatizing, Encounter or Relationship With a Psychopath, but Who Haven't Yet Condemned All Psychopaths Completely.

A Reader sent me an Email and Asked Me if there was A Song that I Would Suggest for her to Listen To. With this Request she Inspired me to find and send her a link to 'The Stranger Song' Video by Leonard Cohen and I eventually Decided to Publish this Small Article and include the Lyrics. I therefore want to also Dedicate this Article to Her*.

All Other Readers and Guests at Psychopathic Writings are of course equally Welcome to View and Listen as well as leave Comments.

Leonard Cohen:
The Stranger Song

Is it true that all men you knew were dealers
who said they were through with dealing 
Every time you gave them shelter 
I know that kind of man 
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone 
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender, 
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender. 
And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind 
you find he did not leave you very much 
not even laughter 
Like any dealer he was watching for the card 
that is so high and wild 
he'll never need to deal another 
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger 
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger 

And then leaning on your window sill 
he'll say one day you caused his will 
to weaken with your love and warmth and shelter 
And then taking from his wallet 
an old schedule of trains, he'll say 
I told you when I came I was a stranger 
I told you when I came I was a stranger. 

But now another stranger seems 
to want you to ignore his dreams 
as though they were the burden of some other 
O you've seen that man before 
his golden arm dispatching cards 
but now it's rusted from the elbows to the finger 
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter 
Yes he wants to trade the game he knows for shelter. 

Ah you hate to see another tired man 
lay down his hand 
like he was giving up the holy game of poker 
And while he talks his dreams to sleep 
you notice there's a highway 
that is curling up like smoke above his shoulder. 
It is curling just like smoke above his shoulder. 

You tell him to come in sit down 
but something makes you turn around 
The door is open you can't close your shelter 
You try the handle of the road 
It opens do not be afraid 
It's you my love, you who are the stranger 
It's you my love, you who are the stranger. 

Well, I've been waiting, I was sure 
we'd meet between the trains we're waiting for 
I think it's time to board another 
Please understand, I never had a secret chart 
to get me to the heart of this 
or any other matter 
When he talks like this 
you don't know what he's after 
When he speaks like this, 
you don't know what he's after. 

Let's meet tomorrow if you choose 
upon the shore, beneath the bridge 
that they are building on some endless river 
Then he leaves the platform 
for the sleeping car that's warm 
You realize, he's only advertising one more shelter 
And it comes to you, he never was a stranger 
And you say ok the bridge or someplace later. 

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind ... 

And leaning on your window sill ... 

I told you when I came I was a stranger.

I do Not Claim that Every Psychopath has a Good Person hidden Inside or that we merely Need People's Love and Patience and Understanding (it Would Be an Obvious Lie), but I do Mean To Say that Not all Psychopaths Aim to Victimize and Hurt, indeed Some of us Intend to Do quite The Opposite.

Sometimes a Psychopath will be Initially Hoping for a Relationship that Functions well, but will Change Focus and Revert to Self Gratification when he Finds the Situation doesn't Live Up to Expectations. But Some Psychopaths Will more Often Leave in a Gentle Manner and without Willfully Hurting or Creating Unnecessary Pain and Long Term Problems as Results of Their Involvement with and Presence in the Other Person's Life.

* Name with held with respect to privacy.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Psychopaths & Setting Aside Feelings Or Emotions - 2

Another time I'd been physically hurt the night before I was to have a meeting with a business associate. I had difficulty walking without it showing that I was in pain, so already here I had to set aside some feelings, overriding the Neural Signals that told my brain I was in pain. Pain is a condition that can be quite compelling in terms of hindering normal movement, but moreover, I was hurt in a way that left me no choice either way because a muscle in one of my arms had been partially cut through and therefore couldn't function normally. I'd probably been able to set aside my discomfort from the pain, but the physical inability to control my movement was unsettling.

Obviously I didn't exactly look forward to show up in a weakened state, and I certainly did not want to wince in front of my associate while we were negotiating a business deal. As mentioned, the latter I might've controlled but not the former, and so this is a good example of a situation where I definitely had to set aside feelings both physically and psychologically.

I have to say that my Reader is right: We (psychopaths) do have the ability to put our emotions aside, though how easy it is differs quite a lot individuals in between, and it also differs what types of emotions we can easily put aside though there are certain commonalities. Frustration, f.x., is I feeling I cannot always easily put aside even when it would more than suit me, and the same is the case when I get very angry.

There is another type of situations where setting aside feelings can get into play, namely in a Buridan's Ass kind of situation where you're torn between two different possible lines of actions and both are equally appealing or vice versa. One such situation could be if you get to like somebody but for some reason have to either leave and save yourself some trouble or stay and suffer the consequences, and the other person would prefer that you stay. The catch usually is that the consequences you may suffer will also affect the other person, so the best choice will often be to leave. Or you might save the other person some discomfort by leaving but you really want to stay, and then it's a matter of weighing for and against: Will my discomfort be so severe that I think it'll be better to let the other person take some unpleasantness, or will it in reality be a minor discomfort to me and worth the satisfaction of knowing the other person didn't get hurt? I've had both types of situations.

The funny thing about it is that I still don't remember having to set aside any of my feelings or emotions, I see it more as a choice between which feelings or emotions I would engage with. This is a particular trait in psychopathy termed as 'fleeting emotions' and is related to 'Shallow Emotions' and 'Shallow Affect' or 'Flat Affect'. It still confirms nicely what the Reader said just as it does what I wrote in my previous article (mentioned in the beginning of this text).

I hope with the examples on this page to have given some idea about what types of situations that the Reader's statement have relevance for and to thereby also exemplify what the difference is between situations where you (if you're a psychopath) have no emotions to detach from in the first place and situations where you do have to make a choice and sometimes decide to not engage certain feelings.

Lastly I hope to not disappoint by not presenting better examples. It is not ill will, I just don't have any examples where deciding to detach has been either more difficult or relevant to me than the ones I have included in the descriptions above.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Psychopaths & Setting Aside Feelings Or Emotions - 1

In my Previous Article, 'Tell Me How To Influence People', I explained that I have no Morally Conflicting Emotions that I need or have to 'Set Aside' in order to Proceed with Acts of Manipulation or Intimidation i.e., which I do Sometimes Engage with so as to Make My Influence upon other people or to Make Them Behave According to My Wishes and What I'd Like Them To Do.

A Reader, in a Comment to My Article, wrote:
"Zhawq, I believe you missed the baby with the bath water. We do have the ability to put our emotions aside, we can detach with ease...when it suits us."

Though I did Reply to this in the Comments Section at the time, the Reader's Words stuck with me and I Decided to Elaborate a Little Further on the Topic, but where in the aforementioned article I focused on situations where I do not experience any Feelings or Emotions, pleasant or negative, and therefore also don't have to 'Set Aside' any such, in the Present article I Will Focus upon Situations where Setting Feelings Aside did have a Relevance to me...

I am not about to say that I don't have any emotions at all or that I never experience discomfort of any kind and therefore have never had to set aside certain feelings in order to complete a task effectively, but for as far as the question about whether a task in nature is Moral, amoral, or immoral, is concerned, the answer is that I really do not have any feelings for or against either of it, and this is because I simply do not have any relationship with morality and moral norms, the exception perhaps being my intellectual epistemological and philosophical view of the role of mores and the Meaning of Being Moral in our (modern) society, which mainly contains criticism. I'll readily admit that I am really not a very moral person, though I'll at times behave morally as a token of respect people I'm interested in and/or like and care about (<-- believe it or not, this does happen occasionally).

I'll describe in the following some situations where I have had to set aside my feelings in order to take action, hopefully this way I can make it more understandable where the difference is between these experiences and the moral inner conflicts that were described in the article mentioned above...

I've been in situations where I had to 'clean up' after something that took place (see Descriptions of 'Cleaning Up'), but some time had past and it was in the midst of summer so 'the mess' had become even more messy and begun to decompose. The smell of rot was really heavy, the air itself seemed loaded by the stench, and I am somewhat sensible when it comes to smell so this is a very good example of a situation where I had to 'set my feelings aside' and not allow nausea to take over and dictate my efficiency. So I did what I have seen normal people do when they feel overwhelmed by sadness or insecurity or other emotions as well as unpleasant physical sensations: I went outside and smeared a paste on my upper lip (lucky I didn't wear a mustache, but I'd have used it even if I had a mustache a la Friedrich Nietzsche on this pic), it's a paste akin to such which you can buy made for the purpose, crime scene technicians and people who work in businesses with doing autopsy etc. use it too. Mine was home made for convenience, that way you don't have to bother with receipts from where you bought it leading back to you. I smeared the paste on, lit a heavy flavor cigar, took a deep breath and went back inside and finished the job without problems even though it still wasn't pleasant (and yes, it's all on record, there are no new murders to research).

And that was it. Just as the Reader wrote I put aside my feelings in order to go ahead and do what I had to do, but it was my feeling of physical discomfort that I put aside, not an emotion as such. Still it was a feeling nevertheless, it just wasn't the same as having to detach or set aside emotional issues - be they about influencing, coaching or coercing people or something else - since such emotions are directly related to how you relate to Mores. So again, if you don't have any moral standards you will also not have any emotions concerning the active possibility of violating common or abstract moral standards or the moral standards of others.

You can of course chose to relate to others individually, but that takes us into the territory of ethics and this opens for the possibility of situations where you may have to chose which feeling is more important to you at that time, the concern for the other person or your need to take an action that disregards or violates that person. More about that in Psychopaths and Setting Aside Feelings Or Emotions - Part 2.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tell Me How To Influence People.

Psychopaths are well known for their ability to manipulate others, mainly in a negative way (which according to some makes us (psychopaths) the "scariest people on the planet"). Whether something is positive or negative is in my opinion largely a subjective matter, but there can be little doubt that psychopaths do generally have a knack for finding out how to influence others, be it to their own or the other person's benefit. I often receive emails concerning this very question so I thought it might be a good idea to post my reply to such an email here because it will answer some questions for many people.

A Reader wrote:
"Is that your real name? I may be somewhat simple, as I couldn't seem to find work actual name on your blog, and it seems odd to address you by a pseudonym.

I very much enjoy your work, although I admit I am unlikely to share it with anyone: I dread what sort of response I would likely  encounter. For obvious reasons, I don't particularly want my friends or acquaintances to think I am a psychopath!

I'm interested in learning more about how to influence others, and I daresay that you have great skill in this department. You are clearly very intelligent, and it seems you are able to set aside your own immediate  emotions for the sake of a particular goal or purpose. I would very much like to learn how to do this, as I believe my own emotional responses have often worked against me.

I do find you somewhat intriguing. I love your utterly logical reasoning."
'Zhawq' is not my real name. I 'inherited' it from an acquaintance and chose to use it for my public presence on the Internet. I use it at my Website, in my Email Address, on my Twitter, Facebook and Youtube accounts, and on the Instant Messenger programs that I use (Google Talk and Skype). I also use it whenever I join forums or leave comments at other people's websites, and so on.

Remaining Anonymous, combined with Chaining Proxy setups, is the only way that I can protect myself. Psychopathy is a very hot but also volatile subject. People are very emotional about their views and some will go to great lengths to stop what they consider to be an 'evil and demonic being', someone who 'isn't human'. The all too common belief that some people aren't human even makes certain people think it is okay to kill a psychopath, because after all, he 'isn't human'.

You are certainly not alone about wanting to learn how to influence other people. Indeed, I receive emails requesting advice or information about this very topic almost every day, but generally there isn't much I can do to help because being able to learn how to influence others requires certain personality traits, and for someone who is not a psychopath learning to influence others beyond the normal is a tremendous task. If you qualify for being a so called normal - a neurotypical - person, then there is no way that you will learn it. The emotions that have become an ingrained part of you as a person since early childhood  are close to impossible to override by yourself. Psychopaths can - and sometimes do - coach a person and 'help' (or 'corrupt') them so that they can become more efficient at influencing others, but even though in theory it is possible to do this over the Internet, this would require a tremendous patience of both of you because it would take a very long time to all the information that is needed in order to give sound advice of this nature. Personally I'll say it does require you and the psychopath to have a relationship intimate enough for it to extend beyond the Internet. To do it over the Internet or other forms of long distance contact alone will very rarely work.

Add also to the above that very often those who want to learn how to influence others do have particular people in mind, people who are presumably psychopaths, and it just so happens that it is next to impossible to get the better of a psychopath simply because we are wired differently and don't react to this 'getting back at us' kind of thing the same way that normal people do. At best you will be wasting a lot of time and effort, otherwise you're more likely to end up getting hurt even more (this article has some good points about the topic).
"You are clearly very intelligent, and it seems you are able to set aside your own immediate emotions for the sake of a particular goal or purpose"
Here you touch on the element that is very central to why psychopaths have the ability to influence other people so easily: Setting aside emotions of my own in connection with things (such as moral issues) that relates to the act of influencing another person is not what enables me do this so efficiently. It is the fact that I simply don't have any such emotions to set aside. I don't feel bad about doing something immoral (for as long as I'm certain I won't get caught) and I don't have any feelings for or against f.x. killing someone (though I used to find it interesting for experimental reasons when I was younger), so there are no inner conflicts that I have to deal with before I can make my move, I can go straight ahead and do what I need or want without further ado.

Do you see the difference between the two situations, being able to set aside emotions and not having any emotions that I have to be able to set aside? I'm not saying I don't have any emotions, I'm saying I don't have conflicting emotions. I guess in that sense some will say I'm a little more simple than normal people, and that's okay, there are pros and cons about everything that we are and do, but personally I think it takes just a different kind of agile mind to be at ease with your ideas and wishes.

Still it is this very same element that makes it so difficult for non-psychopaths to act unhindered by what we call 'conscience' or 'mores', and which holds them back from doing something they sincerely want to do but just can't, because these types of morally triggered emotions are so deeply rooted, they're such a fundamental part of a person's perception of themselves. As a non-psychopath you may logically conclude there is no good reason to not go ahead and influence someone, but your subconscious doesn't take orders very easily and will make you feel something is very wrong about what you're about to do. Sometimes you know it's your 'conscience', other times you can't put a finger on it, but it serves its purpose which is to keep your inner sense of self and of who you are intact.