The previous post dealt with our skill regarding learning the truths and patterns of those around us. The psychopath is adept at avoiding the same. We are masters of lies and misdirection. Should you have the pleasure of meeting one of us in life, you may believe that you know us. However, you only know the image we project. We can project a false image and a false history, or we can choose to play the nobody if we want to. That image is often unrecognizable from the many other people in your life. It is a mundane projection, leaving nothing that makes us stand out unless we want it to. My best experiences with information gathering have been when I am in such proverbial camouflage.
I do this all the time. Whether I am at a bar, cafe, conference, or, during my younger days, church, I strongly prefer to play the faceless one in the crowd of other faceless people. I just watch, listen, and speak when spoken to. People give away the most intimate details when they believe themselves to be surrounded by the non-threatening. I will engage in conversation with others only to keep a secondary focus on those I am not actively engaged with. No information is without value.
If gathering information via being a bystander is not sufficient, then asking a lot and giving little is another way to remain faceless. If done correctly, the psychopath will be forgotten as nondescript as soon as the conversation ends. Enough engagement, a few smiles and nods, and relative silence leads the other to believe that the psychopath is interested in their story and the answers to the questions posed. That is certainly true, however, not because we value them as individuals, but rather we want to know more should we ever need to act.
To reiterate a theme I’ve expressed over and over again and to summarize these two posts on information gathering: such does not have to lead to victims. It most often does not. However, the skilled mechanic does not wait to have a broken auto in front of them to read up on engine techniques. They merely go back to what they’ve already learned and apply it to the specific vehicle in front of them. Such is the way I operate. The successful psychopath is not a constant force of destruction; they are selective. The psychopath always keeps his tools close, however.