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The Sociopath Next Door

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The Sociopath Next Door

Post  Elena on Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:38 pm

I found this article fascinating. We have all been burned by false friends. How do we protect ourselves from such people? Crying or Very sad Question

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/10/2011/the-sociopath-next-door/?utm_source=BookReviewerList.com&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePassiveVoice+%28The+Passive+Voice%29

To quote:
“Sociopaths do not always have a covetous nature – some are very differently motivated – but when a lack of conscience and covetousness occur together in the same individual, a fascinating and frightening picture emerges. Since it is simply not possible to steal and have for oneself the most valuable “possessions” of another person – beauty, intelligence, success of strong character – the covetous sociopath settles for besmirching or damaging enviable qualities in others so that they will not have them either, or at least not be able to enjoy them so much.

“The covetous sociopath thinks that life has cheated her somehow, has not given her nearly the same bounty as other people, and so she must even the existential score by robbing people, by secretly causing destruction in their lives. She believes she has been slighted by nature, circumstances, and destiny, and that diminishing other people is her only means of being powerful. Retribution, usually against people who have no idea that they have been targeted, is the most important activity in the covetous sociopath’s life, her highest priority.

“Since this clandestine power is priority number one, all of the covetous sociopath’s deceitfulness and tolerance for risk are devoted to it. For the sake of the game, she may devise schemes and perform acts that most of us would consider outrageous and potentially self-destructive, in addition to cruel. And yet when such a person is around us in our lives, even on a daily basis, we are often oblivious to her activities. We do not expect to see a person direct a dangerous, vicious vendetta against someone who in most cases has done nothing to hurt or offend her. We do not expect it, and so we do not see it, even when it happens to someone we know – or to us personally. The actions taken by the covetous sociopath are often so outlandish and so gratuitously mean that we refuse to believe they were intentional, or even that they happened at all. In this way, her true nature is usually invisible to the group. She can easily hide in plain sight . . . among genuinely intelligent, professional people [for long periods of time].”

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Re: The Sociopath Next Door

Post  Duchess Lylia on Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:21 am

Very interesting article. This is a very troubling subject as it is so difficult (if not truly impossible) for non-sociopaths to understand how others could "be that way" and inflict pain and injury on others with no affect or remorse. There have been studies conducted showing that brains of sociopaths do "look" different, so there is some hard-wiring that would appear to be inherent from birth.

As to how to protect ourselves...that's a tough one. I think we need to learn to trust our instincts better, and this is very difficult for those of us who have been raised to view everybody as being of good intent (until we're provided with evidence to the contrary), and to always give others the benefit of the doubt. My life experience has proven that, whenever I've had that "off" feeling about somebody, even if he or she hadn't (yet) done anything egregious, my gut instinct has later on proven to be correct. There WAS a reason that I felt uneasy and guarded. I feel that the signals are generally there from the beginning, but we often choose to ignore or rationalize them away, for reasons that only become apparent in hindsight.

Here is a link to an interesting piece by an individual who is a sociopath, but who has worked extensively to try to become a more wholly functioning individual. He wrote this as a letter to Jon Ronson who recently wrote "The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry" (which is well worth reading):

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/dh5l3q

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Re: The Sociopath Next Door

Post  Elena on Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:17 am

Thank you, Duchess. I am looking forward to reading the article. You are absolutely right, we are taught, and rightly so, not to judge people, and give them the benefit of the doubt. However, we need to remember that that does not mean surrendering all caution. I cannot tell you all the times that I had a really bad feeling about a person or a situation which I made myself ignore, only to be shown that my initial reaction was the correct one. Crying or Very sad Embarassed

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