The psychopath must be subtle with her psychopathic behavior lest those around her eventually cut through her facade. The unrestrained and uncontrolled psychopath that burns through everything will eventually find desolation or incarceration. Just as the kleptomaniac eventually gets punished for the nature of his ways, the psychopath that creates the most intricate, but fragile, of webs will eventually lose. While I am not foolish enough to suggest that the psychopath avoid antisocial behavior entirely, I do suggest a level of calculated risk. No matter what our self-grandiosity tells us, we are not invincible and we must choose subtle psychopathic behavior.
It has been quite a while since I’ve discussed the topic of “passing.” The reader may recall that the concept of passing is quite simple. To pass is to be perceived as a member of group X regardless of whether an individual actually belongs to group X. We often hear of individuals passing as members of the opposite sex; that is, passing is often referred to in the transgender realm, but I would argue that the concept extends to many more areas. What of the poor person that passes as affluent or the mentally ill individual that passes as mentally healthy? The truth is, that we often need to pass in order to get what we desire. Consider the introvert that passes as an extrovert in order to appear socially acceptable or the businessman that is insecure that appears commanding and powerful. Passing is an important skill for anyone, not just the transgender and certainly not just the psychopath.
Psychopaths speak of masks a lot. The use of the term ‘mask’ in conjunction with psychopaths originated with Hervey Cleckley’s Mask of Sanity which posited that psychopaths often appear normal, but really they are masking the “insanity” that lies underneath. ‘Insanity’ to Cleckley was merely an adjective to describe antisocial behavior, not literal madness. In recent years, with the advent of the Internet, psychopaths have begun to use the term in a very similar fashion. The masks we speak of are our personas and our abilities for misdirection. Such lets psychopaths appear ‘normal’ in a land that is hostile to our existence.
I’ve written that psychopathy is the ultimate in gamesmanship. There are rules and encounters and there are winners and losers. I’ve written that that our bloodlust must be contained in order to remain free and undetected. I don’t want to candy coat things, however. There is, at least for me, a high in winning these games. It is exhilarating to know that I can take on nearly anyone and come out the victor. Striking from the shadows and leaving with the spoils is addicting. I know that maturation requires pro-social behavior, even if I will never have a pro-social mindset. However, I also know that the perfect balance between perception and action leads to the highest gain. Action is much more satisfying, however. What good is there in being the best player in the game if it is not proven? In this sense, I’m like a junkie without a needle searching for his next fix – knowing that I should not act, but seeking the satisfaction of victory.
I have written about my thoughts on lying. Are lies, and the act of deceiving itself, necessarily a bad thing for the person you are lying to? Or, should people know the truth at all times? Yes, that would involve them knowing about the time that you gave their dog psychedelic mushrooms and it flipped out and ate the cat, asshole. There are certainly advantages to hiding the truth when a negative impact will be felt by the deceiver. However, there can be advantages to the person being deceived as well – they just may not be founded in morality.
I believe it is true that presenting falsehood is, by and large, immoral. People want to believe, and do by default in most cases, that the person they are interacting with is being forthright and honest. Trust and confidence in the actions of another cannot be built if one (or both) parties are deceiving. But, an unwise feeling of such can be built if one is not discovered to be lying. I do not have the moral quandaries that most have when it comes to deceiving. I lie because, if successful, it brings great advantage to the situation I’m in. Running late for work? There was an accident. Unable to make an engagement? Sorry, I double-booked. Unable to recall the number of that date that totally creeped you out because of her over-attachment to Beanie Babies and her mural to Hanson? Sorry, a boa constrictor ate my child who had swallowed that note you gave me with your number on it. So on and so forth. In the absence of being found out, does this really harm the person being duped? Clearly, the person must believe you to be honest for this to work. [Read more…]