It seems that everyone and their dog wants to be ASPD and/or psychopathic these days. Browsing the ASPD and psychopathy tags on Tumblr is a test of fortitude as most entries tagged with those have nothing to do with the condition, much less are made by those with the condition. It seems that “antisocial” has become the new gothic or any other trendy fad. It’s especially concerning given the number of teenagers that are gravitating toward the condition. Rather than legitimately having the condition, they make up narratives and symptoms in order to claim it for their own. Too many think that antisocial minds convey superpowers. While there are benefits to being antisocial, there are as many or more drawbacks. Those that are clamoring to join the ranks of the antisocial are often missing this point and destroying themselves in the process.
I believe there are two main characteristics that the wannabe antisocial looks towards as superpowers: the ability to manipulate / take by force and the lack of empathy that we possess. It is true that there are benefits to be had through our use of Machiavellian measures. We are never to want. Combined with our lack of empathy, the world is at our fingertips. However, just because we can have nearly anything that we want, given that we are not prone to feel guilt or remorse over our actions and thus can suck the world dry while others stand still, that does not mean that our lives are any richer than that of the neurotypical. Maybe we do not feel the pain that others feel when they are troubled, but we also do not feel their joy. Being unable to connect to another with such empathic emotionality, we are often isolated in the grand game of life. But the drawbacks go further than this.
What of our lack of goals (specific to the psychopath)? What is life if there is no endgame? What of our impulsivity? How many troubles, financial or otherwise, have been caused by our reckless need for instant gratification? What of the emotional color of life that we miss out on? Many neurotypicals would find this lack of richness and foresight to be intolerable. Who would gladly choose to live a life that is constantly adrift and in turmoil when they could maintain the status quo that neurotypicals enjoy? Who would sacrifice their identity to embrace a condition that often comes without?
Do not misunderstand me. Having only experienced life through these psychopath’s eyes, I would take nothing else. Yes, I would like to ascertain goals and rein in my impulsivity, but I do not feel that I am missing much with my core deficit: that of empathy. These are not ultra powers to me, they are merely the lenses through which I view myself and the world around me. As if I was born blind, I can only experience this life through the abilities that I natively possess. I may see in monochrome, but my sight is as clear as any.
But to the neurotypical that clamors for this sight of mine, why would you give up your own standing in the world for such? Would you really trade the ability to feel the joy of another human being? To be close and attached to another person? Would you sacrifice your savings and well-being in the name of recklessness? Or, are you merely trying to grasp on to what has become the current zeitgeist? To the neurotypical reading this, if the answer is yes, let’s chat. I want to know what you find so alluring when you surely know the price of admission.
My life is not one of ultrapowers. I would prefer that I’m not fetishized for the double-edged sword that my condition comes with.