I’ve written before about what Cleckley referred to as “unmotivated antisocial behavior.” In that post, I spoke of the “demons” that psychopaths battle and the antisocial proclivities that can often bubble up to the surface. A recent comment by one of our regulars had me thinking a bit more on this subject, however.
For me, at least, the problem comes when rolling the dice becomes the more interesting option. I mean, I *could* do it the pro-social way, but the little devil on my shoulder says “Fuck that, do it the fun way,” and I usually end up choosing the antisocial way.
And therein lies part of the problem, now doesn’t it? I think there is a huge component of human nature that says we could live a little by letting ourselves go, by choosing antisocial behavior. Isn’t that much of the allure with drug use, reckless driving, and other “fun” activities, none of which need be prosocial? As with most things, I believe the psychopath is simply more honest on this front with these desires.
Many years ago, when I’d steal from time to time, I didn’t think of whether I really needed or wanted the items I pilfered. I simply did so because it was something to do. The adrenaline rush of wondering if that day was the day that I would get caught entered my mind. Of course, I didn’t particularly want to deal with the consequences, but the rush – that addicting rush – was still there. The same could be said about my days of intoxicated or otherwise reckless driving and any number of other antisocial actions that I engaged in. The need was in the thrill itself. I’m, like many psychopaths I’d surmise, a junkie. I’ve simply learned to deal with the reality that my freedom hinges on leaving these highs in the past.
What of you, my neurotypical reader? How many times have you wanted to let go, put your finger in the sky, and engage in antisocial behavior? Surely you’ve thought and dreamt about it. Surely you wish that there was some action in your life. But, you have a better grasp on what is acceptable and what is not, and maybe your impulse control is much more well refined than that of the psychopath. But I know that part of you envies our ability to throw caution and prosocial sensibility to the wind. Why else would you go see the latest movie in which the bad guy is rooted for? Why would you stay glued to the latest crime drama on television? Part of you must feel jealous of us bad guys. It’s okay, you can live vicariously through us.
In many ways, this unmotivated antisocial behavior is just a reflection of the ennui that flows through our veins. We want something to live for, something to die for, and something to be punished for. We just don’t want to die or get punished. However, we psychopaths are willing to break those boundaries that the neurotypical is unwilling to, even if they may be envious of our ability on this front.