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.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paul Bernardo -- the Canadian serial killer -- said dismembering a victim in his bathtub was one of the most disgusting things he ever did...*because it made such a mess.*
I hear echoes of that in this post!

What you have wrote here is saying nothing about emotions. You set no emotion aside, Mr. Z. You felt physical disgust at the stench of rotting remains and you went ahead anyway and cleaned them up. That has zero to do with emotions.

This fits with your proclamation of psychopathy, as well it should.

Your last paragraph is also telling. You said you may have to choose between the concern for the other person or your need to take an action that violates that person. To that, I say you have no idea what concern for a person is, otherwise you would choose it over your need to take an action that violates them. Who the hell has a need to take an action that violates a person? I am trying to understand. I am reaching across this great divide. I see now some thing I have never seen before.

You are so open and show us so much. You have met your goal.

Anonymous said...

Also thank you for the link to Crime Scene Clean Up. I need a new job, and I will seriously look into it. I would have no problem with it as long as I couldn't smell anything.

prime said...

"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)."

Once again word for word, you described how I function. it is phrases like these that spark my curiosity as to what "professionals" would say. It would explain a lot. Its like every time I suspect I'm "normal", you reveal similarities with me that people around me can't seem to understand.

Anonymous said...

An attachment with a psychopath is more of quid pro quo relationship. They will never have a bond but will attach to human and a materialistic item the same way.
:(

Zhawq said...

Anon Oct. 13, 3:00 PM:

"Paul Bernardo ... said dismembering a victim in his bathtub was one of the most disgusting things he ever did...*because it made such a mess.*"

Most people tend to be bothered if their surroundings aren't tidy. Messy places make people feel uncomfortable because it represents a visible state of disorder, and disorder is the last line between order and chaos.

I too dislike mess if it occurs within the confines of my own home or the space where I have control, but otherwise I don't feel bothered by mess at all. I've had friends who's homes were more like a sewer than a home and I've not felt the slightest discomfort (for as far as the place isn't smelly, that is. Bad smell is a weakness of mine, and since a situation like the one Bernardo is referring to would be smelly I'd almost surely feel bothered - or disgusted (?) - too though, just for a slightly different reason than Bernardo's.

"What you have wrote here is saying nothing about emotions. You set no emotion aside, Mr. Z. You felt physical disgust"

True. But I'm also a little unsure about where - or if - there's a line between physical and emotional displeasure.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to claim that I was emotional about the situation I describe in the article, I'm just putting forth that in many situations there seem to be some overlapping of physical and emotional displeasure even if the source itself is physical.

It can also go the other way around when people become physically sick because of emotional reactions to f.x. the sight of somebody they love lying dead before them.

"You said you may have to choose between the concern for the other person or your need to take an action that violates that person. To that, I say you have no idea what concern for a person is, otherwise you would choose it over your need to take an action that violates them."

This is a very interesting perspective, and I will admit that I hadn't thought about it that way. To me it's always a question about what gives the best end result, and what is to be considered the best end result depends upon what you emphasize more strongly in the situation.

If you really like somebody it's more likely that you'll make a choice that includes some discomfort for yourself simply because your discomfort would be greater if you made a choice that resulted in even more discomfort for the other person (as this corresponds with how much you like them of course). I've been in this kind of situation more than once.

That there may not even be any question about own discomfort to consider is an interesting idea, but I'm not entirely convinced that such a scenario is possible, because.. think of a martyr f.x., even he make the choice that makes him feel better. He chooses to sacrifice himself because the alternative would make him feel so bad about himself in that it would mean he had failed to do what to him is the most important and it would be against everything he believes in and what to him is the very meaning of his life.

Do you see what I mean?

Still, I want to thank you for pointing the different way of looking at these things out to me, it would be too easy to just dismiss it so I'm going to give it some more thought. It would certainly be a very interesting find if it turns out that complete unselfishness is a reality without it being defined by stupidity or lack of knowledge.

"You are so open and show us so much. You have met your goal."

Thank you so much for those words. I still think there is much that I can improve and there is so much that I still want to say - and hope to accomplish. '^L^,

Zhawq said...

Anon Oct. 13, 3:37 PM:

"Also thank you for the link to Crime Scene Clean Up. I need a new job, and I will seriously look into it. I would have no problem with it as long as I couldn't smell anything."

I say go for it! But do some research so you now what you're getting yourself into.

About the smell: There's no way you can avoid it. The smell gets into the very fabric of your clothes, your shoes, your hair, everything and the paste doesn't take away the smell, it only makes it slightly more bearable for a short time. So if you have a sensitive nose you probably should look for a different line of work.

There are good prospects for work in that industry by the very nature of things once you get a foot in - getting hired is often the hardest part.

Do your research and you should soon know if this is for you. - Best of luck ahead! '^L^,

Zhawq said...

prime:

"Once again word for word, you described how I function. it is phrases like these that spark my curiosity as to what "professionals" would say. It would explain a lot. Its like every time I suspect I'm "normal", you reveal similarities with me that people around me can't seem to understand."

It's amazing what breaking the silence can accomplish for a single person, isn't it?

I don't know if you have any criminal record (or if you have done criminal deeds that nobody knows about), but there's no doubt that a lot of antisocial activity stems from the frustration and anger that comes with never being understood and with not having one's personal uniqueness recognized (be it a uniqueness of lacking certain emotions or something else; we're all individuals and psychopaths are perfectly capable of having unique talents).

Most professionals who don't work with prison populations, or in the field of specialized psychopathy research, don't know very much about psychopathy. So unless you have a criminal record and a childhood history of Conduct Disorder, you will most likely be viewed as normal if unusual in how you think and see the world.

Zhawq said...

Anon Oct. 15, 6:28 AM:

"An attachment with a psychopath is more of quid pro quo relationship. They will never have a bond but will attach to human and a materialistic item the same way.
:("


This describes perfectly how it is. You have a good understanding of how we think. '^L^,

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I have done my homework.
Sabrina

Anonymous said...

"Paul Bernardo ... said dismembering a victim in his bathtub was one of the most disgusting things he ever did... because it made such a mess."

You replied:

"Most people tend to be bothered if their surroundings aren't tidy. Messy places make people feel uncomfortable because it represents a visible state of disorder, and disorder is the last line between order and chaos."

I was not talking about surroundings that are not "tidy." I was talking about a young woman -- a teenager -- who was abducted, restrained, raped and tortured for days, murdered in cold blood, and then dismembered in a bathtub.

Bernardo was not disgusted at what he (and his wife, Karla Homolka, who is free and living in the Carribean now due to a legal technicality) did to this innocent young woman with her whole life ahead of her, and who could feel intense physical, mental and spiritual anguish. He was only disgusted by the mess!

That is cold and callous to the most extreme degree.

There is a large difference between physical and emotional disgust. The example I give above is of physical disgust. Emotional disgust would be Bernardo disgusted at what he had done, disgusted at the coldness and depravity of his acts...but then again, if he could have felt that, he would never have done it to begin with...

Do you understand this, Zhawq?

Anonymous said...

Thanks zhawq, I especially liked the line "(and yes, it's all on record, there are no new murders to research". I would also mention that it is this mental toughness that is often so effective for us.

I have also been grappling with the topic of emotional and physical disgust, and have come to the same sort of conclusion, perhaps this physical disgust has its roots in a small amount of emotional disgust.

I wonder if you could write an article covering the types of situations, like your messy clean up, through to more everyday situations, where it occurs to you in your minds eye that this is different to others, usually marked by a cool feeling of nothing, where others have something fairly uniform. My early memories of these situations there is always a social aspect that makes the difference evident. Everyone else ran in fear, but I became interested ect.

cheers

Anonymous said...

"Disorder is the last line between order and chaos"

I'm going to post this in my home to motivate me to do the housecleaning. Now, vacuuming and scrubbing the tub don't seem like too much to do when compared with the task of removing a dead body and all that goes with it.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"It can also go the other way around, when people become physically sick because of emotional reactions to f.x. the sight of somebody they love lying dead before them."

You're right, Zhawq, people can become physically sick from emotional reactions to something such as seeing the sight of somebody they love lying dead before them.

People can also become physically ill from emotional reactions that have nothing to do with "seeing" anything (like a dead body). They can become physically ill from something like betrayal, for example.

But I'm having a very hard time thinking of becoming emotionally distraught from purely physical disgust. I may want to get away from this disgust, but I can't think of a time I was ever "emotionally distraught" from one, (unless it was already entwined with something that emotionally disgusted me, such as a murder victim).

For example, I've been a nurse for a long time, and have felt physically disgusted on many occasions. But I never felt emotionally disgusted (I ever disgusted with the patient involved, and I go out of my way to hide my disgust to make them feel comfortable and to maintain their dignity and self-respect).

I know you may not understand this, and that's OK. I just say it for whatever it's worth.


Anonymous said...

To anonymous November 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Your are confused and incorrect. Sound like you are trying to guilt trip a psychopath based on what you see as depraved. lol

Cold and callous to an extreme degree. laughable. Many people have done such things or even more extreme, you assume much. The man who kills his cheating wife, may well both have the ability to feel disgust(and guilt and remorse) but largely doesn't because his life and freedom is a far higher priority.

You are confused about guilt/remorse versus disgust. The later is about protecting your body from biological harm, it is not a pro social emotion based on morals. Emotional disgust would have involved his emotional disgust reaction turning into a physical disgust reaction. For example, vomiting or dry reaching at the thought of smell or mess.
Clarity is not your strong point!

Wan said...

To the last Anon Psychopath nov 4,2013

I understand that to you psychopaths, "a young woman -- a teenager -- who was abducted, restrained, raped and tortured for days, murdered in cold blood, and then dismembered in a bathtub" was not cold and callous. Even when "many people have done such things and even more extreme", to us with 'normal" neurological "logic", is still cold and callous. So to you psychopaths, it's laughable for having to view that as cold and callous? Okay.

So, would it be fine if you take the young woman place being abducted, raped, tortured for days and murdered just for fun and cover up for the killer? Tell us, how is your feeling (or thinking) if you're the one experiencing the young woman place. Now if that's fine and acceptable(?) to you psychopaths, then would it be fine if we stigmatize all of you psychopaths and start hunting you down in a Nazi or KKK way? Since torturing and murdering is not cold and callous, I suppose hunting you down like a pest because you have no ordinary moral feeling wouldn't be cold and callous also to you, right? Tell me you viewpoint like maybe being hunted down would surge your adrenaline or what. Just want to know.





Anonymous said...

I assume you where adressing that to me, the dec. 2 anon

It was cold and callous undoubtedly, but it wasn't any where near the most extreme degree that can take place, it can get far worse! My point is that a very normal person could fit this picture, it certainly does not pertain only to the extreme end of the psychopathic spectrum.

You don't seem to be able to follow the context of what was written with much degree of accuracy, you veer of into an argument/ perspective that wasn't put forth and then continue on the same fashion even answering your own logic with a self fulfilling statement. Your emotions have led you astray. You remind me of a made sociopath.

I would not like to be hunted down no, but I sure enjoy doing it. If I don't know the girl and she has no bearing on me, why would I give a fuck. I recommend therapy to help you deal with your wandering irrationality and the incongruencies in your perception.

Anonymous said...

I am a sociopath, and to be pefectly honest, for the first 30 years of my life in pre-internet world, I wasn't even aware I was.

Lying, cheating, manipulating people, having multiple partners was second-nature to me. In fact, i thought everybody did it. I only began to have some vague idea that the problem may lie with me, when people who became close to me would look at me aghast when I let my guard down and began to reveal my "true-self".

If I hadn't suffered several bouts of cancer (Cosmic Kharma?) I may well have become a top CEO or Politician etc.

I do have some sense of remorse, admittedly mainly for myself, but also for the duress I put my parents through and the several women I have hurt. However, if I hadn't become ill then I know my sociopathy would have led to far worse consequences. I am not a Sadist, have never been particularly interested in hurting people for physical titilation. For revenge, oh yes, but that is different.

I have some belief that Hitler was probably a sociopath and Stalin a psychopath. Hitler had no record of violence before he enlisted in the War, and did have a sense of empathy for the German people, if not matched with an equal hatred for his enemies. Stalin displayed his bullying, sadistic nature from an early age and didn't appear to have loyalty to anybody, including his own family.