I prefer to keep acquaintances, and the rest of society, guessing with my motives and proclivities. I reveal little about myself and even less about my thoughts. The careful ear may note that I am often contradictory, and careful eyes note that I often present subtly different images and personas based on the situation around me.
One thing that I am bad at is keeping my mask on when I’ve reached some point of “establishment” with non-professional, interpersonal relationships. During the courting phase of a romantic relationship or the “getting to you know phase” of a potential friendship, I am on my best behavior. I appear empathic and interested. The outsider would think that I am trying to establish a genuine bond with another person. No, they would be wrong. All interactions require a first step. Parasitism requires landing on flesh before drawing blood. Essentially, what I do over and over again is the ultimate in ‘bait and switch’ tactics. Rather than playing with your wallet, I’m playing with your mind.
Even with more time to reflect and plenty of communication with those like me, I still have no idea where I begin and end. I wear so many masks with so many people, that I am left wondering if I am ever unmasked and, if I am, who she exactly is. I know that I am not compassionate nor empathic. I know that I am not a grateful nor appreciative person. I know these things because I am all too aware of the great, and forced, energies that I have to channel in order to appear as such to other people. I realize that I can lie and manipulate and deceive. I know where my motives lie and how to achieve the small goals I have at any given moment. None of this tells me what I truly am, however. Just because I force myself to appear a certain way or that I am able to channel certain behaviors to great effect does not mean that any of these are, or are not, my true state.
A sheep in wolves’ clothing merely gets disrobed before being devoured. I don’t believe that there should be more or less legitimacy for the diagnosed versus self-diagnosed psychopath. I’ve seen politics of legitimacy play out in other circles, such as the LGBT “community”, and all it leads to is the silencing of those that are trying to find their voice. However, I do take offense to the recent rise in individuals using the label ‘psychopath’ (or equivalently, sociopath) as a means of simply trying to be edgy or to articulate other “outsider” traits. Not only is it a dangerous label to use, but it also confuses this often misunderstood condition in the eyes of others. How can the intelligent psychopath educate from the shadows if others are constantly throwing misinformation around?
It is difficult to hide my indifference toward those around me. For some, I’m willing to wear that mask that will make them feel loved and cherished. However, I only will don that disguise should they require it. There are many in life that accept others with few conditions. There is no point in wearing an uncomfortable mask with those. It would be a waste of energy. These people know that there is something fundamentally different between us, but they will not cast me out. They are perfect for feeding on.