Hello all you Patrick Batemans, Welcome to Monday.
THE ONE: CONFESSIONS OF A SOCIOPATH.
I deal with sociopaths on a professional level. I am nearly one, myself. Or at least, I can be mistaken for one -- I am an INTP. And amongst most people -- especially women -- I am an alien life-form. (Along with many of the rest of the 1% of chicks who have a brain anything like this.) The hallmark of this type is a particular way of integrating information and mirroring it back plainly and confidently that has made me an excellent teacher as well as freaked out all of my ex-boyfriends.
It has granted me perpetual outsider status.
But that trait alone would not make me a sociopath. It just makes me to someone who can recognize sociopathic behavior. And fortunately or unfortunately, once I recognize it, it's like the NYC Subway "See something. Say something." No, to be a sociopath, for that I'd have to lack a moral code and I certainly have one. It's just not the same as yours.
But having insight into this type of mind does equip me with a certain skill set -- objectivity and clarity of thought -- that enables me to...uh...handle negotiations and debate with psychopaths with unsettling ease.
Anyway, there's been a burst of activity on this subject lately with the release of diagnosed-sociopath M.E. Thomas's book Confessions of a Sociopath. Of course, she's writing under a pen name at the stake of her reputation, which is a shame, really. In my young career, I've had the dubious pleasure of dealing with an unusual number of sociopaths. Many of whom are high-functioning and non-violent.
I think they are a highly misunderstood (and pervasively adaptive) minority of the population. Stigma is limiting...so if you want to expand your understanding of these humans beyond American Psycho, I recommend this interview Thomas did for NPR.
Sociopaths are notoriously more fearless than the majority of the population. (Perhaps that's why we see them crowding boardrooms and our Capitol...). It could be pure coincidence that courage is the trait most closely tied to success as an entrepreneur.
The paradox of the trait lies in that is adaptive but also extremely unsettling and often misinterpreted as dangerous. It makes less fearless people feel uneasy.The less fearless then project their sense of danger onto the more fearless person, which will cause them to have to either confront their fear OR reject that person. (Did someone say #foreveralone?)
I know there are a lot of "near 'paths" and (a few real ones, too) in this class...because it does take a sort of insane courageousness to confront our own fears. After all, it's not easy hustling. But once you pull that trigger, it gets pretty hard to suffer fools...
THE #LONGREAD: HOW TO SPOT A SOCIOPATH
Caitlin Dickson @ The Daily Beast wrote a review on M.E Thomas's Confessions. Hint: It might be you. OK. It's definitely you. Psycho.
I totally, like, didn't go on the internet this week because i was too busy working...namely writing pages of my book on construction paper and melting in the east coast heat wave. #idowhatiwant. So here are some weird little prints and images I made recently. Self-promotion is kind of sociopathic, I guess. Whatever:
THE SOUND: SWEETEST KILL - Broken Social Scene
This isn't a new song. It's from 2010. But they're a talented group and undervalued, I believe. So take a listen.