I do think it is important for the psychopath to live authentically. Ignoring the backlash from society, living openly as a psychopath (at least in limited circles) allows one to experience relief from the demands of wearing a mask in those areas of life that would be less tolerant. Yes, maybe you lose a few friends – or gain with your “bravery” – but is not the authentic self worth that risk? That is, even if the circles in which one can be themselves are narrow, the experience of not having to hide is worth a lot. Society is starting to be accepting of the open homosexual or transgender person, understanding that only a vicious cruelty could dictate otherwise. Should not the same extend to the psychopath, even if in a limited fashion?
Asking society to accept the unmasked state of the psychopath is not the focus of this post, however. Instead, I wish to give an account of the hidden dangers of living openly in a limited fashion. Namely, that it becomes harder to mask oneself when the feeling of being open part of the time is so euphoric.
I have a narrow social network. This is by choice. Few are worthy of my respect and even fewer will let me behave authentically around them. I don’t particularly care for subterfuge and deception with those in my social circle; it is unnecessarily taxing. However, I do realize that as I am more open I am with anyone that my mask begins to show its cracks to nearly anyone else. Maybe it is laziness, but the context switch between masked and unmasked states is so agonizing. I’d rather portray my natural state given that with those in my social network I can.
This can cause problems on two fronts. First, the boundaries that exist within those friendships I do maintain can become tattered. Second, the mask that is so important with those “not in the know” or that are otherwise useful via deceit becomes cracked and my true colors begin to show as I lose my inhibition.
A close friend and I were talking the other day. He is aware of my psychopathy and I do not hide it around him, though I try to ensure that the boundaries he requires are met. However, I am too comfortable in my unmasked state with him. He mentioned a dilemma regarding a future inheritance and I casually remarked that he could “make a call” to get the inheritance sooner. He was not amused with my unmasked callousness.
Friends “in the know” are much more likely to forgive slip-ups. Advantages to be had with others, though, can quickly be lost if such a loosey-goosey approach to masks are taken. My mouth is usually what gets me into trouble. A lack of filter between brain and mouth when I am not actively masking has gotten me horrified reactions from more people than I can count. If I am not developing a filter with those that I am open with, then how can I possibly maintain a filter with those that I am closed to? Restated, I become too comfortable with being unmasked that laziness and carelessness leads to a slipping of the mask with others.
Yes, do live authentically if you can. Being psychopathic is not illegal yet. Enjoy the freedom and cultivate an authentic bond with those around you that you can possibly trust. However, every time you take the mask off, it becomes harder to put it back on.