So if we psychopaths tend to have an insatiable need for boredom and the mundane becomes blasé what do we do? It depends on the degree we are trying to be pro-social. Not to candy coat anything, sometimes the worst actions by psychopaths come from the times we are the most bored. Activities that others would find fulfilling register so weakly that we often feel that we most turn to relatively extreme acts in order to gain any real level of stimulation. The more monotonous actions in life may bring satisfaction, but satisfaction and stimulation are two different things. The adage certainly can be true: Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
What most people consider stimulating and fulfilling often fails to meet the needs of the psychopath. Many a time I’ve gone from bar to bar and from person to person in varied and extreme social settings and just wished that it would pass – there simply was not enough stimulation or benefit for me to get anything out of it. Barreling down the highway at speeds that are beyond dangerous and socially acceptable invokes no feelings. Nearly getting into accidents as I swerve in and out of traffic elicits no thrill. Buying the latest and greatest technical toy, which I can use on a daily basis, loses its luster within minutes. Combined with our impulsivity, our unquenchable desire for stimulation can lead to great destruction or, if our alignment is pro-social, great social benefit.
How I am alive and free is beyond me. I’ve done drugs; I’ve drank oceans of liquor. I drive like a maniac and I’ve started altercations with people that I cannot win against. I’ve ruined lives for fun and I’ve destroyed things dear to others. When I am bored, I am at my worst. The problem is that the boredom never ceases. The related problem is that the action needed to stimulate myself increases in intensity as I try to find something to find interesting and meaningful. The horror stories and film that makes me feel alive causes discomfort and unbearable unease in others. The consensual sexual activity I engage in is considered perverse to others. I’ve cut and burned in order to feel anything remotely related to being alive. At all times, I have to one-up myself as the previous iterations become so tired. At all times, I’m living as hard as I can in order to fill the void. At all times, it is not enough. It is never enough.
Whether we become the devil’s workshop or a social force of good as a result depends on our alignment. Some throw their previous lives away and join the Peace Corps or become missionaries. Some volunteer at community centers on a daily basis. Some choose jobs that others would not but are nonetheless necessary. It is all about the perspective we take. If we must be going full tilt and constantly engaging in different activities to feed our minds, then there is no reason we can’t do good with it. I suspect we just won’t be the ones that stick it out for the long haul.
The boredom will most likely never cease for the psychopath. The best we can do is to turn our insatiable desire toward social good. I suspect many of us, myself included, have acted out antisocially looking for our next fix. Maybe from frustration, maybe from having nothing better to do, we take risks and act impulsively in order to find any stimulation. We build a tolerance very quickly of the acts we engage in. Like the addict that needs more to achieve the same high, we must act more extreme and view the more extreme in order to remain level. The question will always be whether we become sinner or saint as a result.