People laugh at the idea of trusting a psychopath. Why would they divulge any sensitive information to a person that has no qualms in using it for their own advantage? I’ve been to bars where people will just open up and reveal their life stories, good and bad, to me with very little coercion on my part and it amazes me. If they knew what I could do, without moral quandary, with that information, surely that would never yield it. However, even if they did not know, why are some people so trusting when it comes to such sensitive information? The psychopath may consciously yield information as a measure of risk for reward, but the non-psychopath does it as a normal means of human interaction. This confuses me.
Maybe my confusion arises from the fact that I know I am a psychopath and that I know what my inclinations are regarding sensitive information. It is not that I feel a need to use any information given to me by others; it is that I realize that another’s trust alone is not reason to abandon benefit should it arise. For instance, I remember a time, years ago, when an acquaintance was describing his love life in great detail. His relationship was on the rocks and he wasn’t looking for advice, per se, but he greatly needed to vent about the problems he was facing. He barely knew me, but I was able to convince him that I was trustworthy and understanding of his ordeal. My true intentions were otherwise. I saw an opportunity to inflict suffering without anything other than using that bond he thought we were forming. I was able to gain information from him and I actually knew his partner as well, so obtaining information from her as well was not a problem. I was then able to pit their worries and fears against each other and, soon thereafter, they broke up. I was able to be puppeteer simply because the two, mistakenly, believed that they could trust me.
Because I am a psychopath and I know what my mindset it regarding information conveyed as a result of trust, I assume that anyone else could be doing the same. As a result, I trust very few. It is not that I am incapable of forming such a legitimate bond with another person, it is just that I have to believe, with certainty, that the other person is at the highest echelons of integrity. That is, I must be convinced that they are not me. If I don’t know you or I do not respect you, then you will certainly get more falsehood than truth from me. I will then evaluate what you do with that misinformation to see where your proclivities lie. Ultimately, if I trust you, I must respect you and if I do not respect you, I will never trust you. To trust is to put your life in another’s hands; to trust is to know that your world could come crashing down if you erred in judgement.
I am no whirlwind of destruction, however. Many people make the mistake of trusting me and I choose not to use such against them. Psychopathy is a mindset; actions need not follow as a result. But, assuming that everyone else is like me, it is strange to see non-psychopaths divulge such confidential information to one another. Is this some part of humanity that I am simply missing out on? I don’t know. To me it seems like others are embodying the ultimate of naivety. And I think Stephen King sums it up best: The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool. I trust rarely because I know myself. Why do you trust? What is it that is enriching about exposing yourself so nakedly to another when they could destroy you as a result? Why would you place your own well being in another’s hands except when there is no other choice?