Psychopaths are creatures of impulse. We act without thinking things through and the consequences can be dire for the psychopath. For instance, I have all of my mail sent to a family member’s residence given the fact that I move so often – most times without properly analyzing the cost and benefit of such moves. If I live at a place for more than a few months, I’ve done an impeccable job of keeping my wanderlust in check. However, the downside of having my mail sent to one central location (namely, with family) is that they can often see from the envelopes’ outsides what is contained therein. They’ve been on my case lately about my debt as the loan sharks are after me wanting to offer me a deal too good to pass up. Why? Because I’ve spent close to 50,000 dollars on items using credit over the past couple of years and I have nothing to show for it. I see. I consume. I purchase.
I’ve nearly quit jobs on a whim without another to fall back on. The idea of planning out a fail-safe solution does not register as do any goals in my life. Drugs and random other substance abuse were not entirely uncommon in my early to mid twenties regardless of the damage I intellectually knew they would cause. I got married after knowing my ex-spouse for only a couple of months. I transitioned without thinking through the consequences. Combined with the psychopath’s need for stimulation, impulsivity can cause real problems.
The means may vary, but the psychopath simply is a creature searching for glittering gold in the moment. Sometimes our impulse truly leads to a better situation in the moment (like a “greedy algorithm” in computer science), but often it just leads to ruin – as with my past spending and drug use. Combined with poor behavioral controls and a penchant (for some) for violence, the impulsive psychopath can be a harbinger of self and outward destruction. But, the psychopath does not care – no more than he cares as to whether he locked the door to his house or left the burner on.
Mindfulness may alleviate such impulsive desires for most, but it seems lost on the psychopath. Even with my constant sessions with my therapist, I find it incredibly difficult to rein in my self-destructive behavior. I may be spending an amount closer to my means these days and I may have a shot at avoiding ruin through abandoning endeavors and jobs, but I will never shake the intrusive and impulsive thoughts that cross my mind. I don’t know what I want, but I want it now.