Self-Worth and the Psychopath

The prototypical psychopath has an extremely grandiose sense of self-worth.  He believes himself to not only be better than others, but more important than others as well.  At its very extreme, some psychopaths believe they can cheat death.  More typically, this facet of the condition is reflected in extreme self-esteem and self-importance.

It rarely matters what proof there is to justify such a perspective by the psychopath.  I recall a time at my previous job when I was convinced that I was the most adept person in the building – an honest-to-god savant.  I had no statistics to back this up, I simply felt it.  I would constantly remind others of their “incompetence” while touting my own superiority.  Humility was not a strong suit.  Looking back with clarity, I can see that such a perspective was flawed.  However, I still exhibit my own grandiosity in my own way.

Healthy interactions with others is very difficult.  Rarely do I truly acknowledge the other person that I am interacting with.  They are merely a toy bowing before my presence.  Even with years of psychotherapy, I have to force myself to acknowledge that I am in the presence of another human being with their own wants and needs, hopes and desires.  Because I elevate myself so highly relative to others, this becomes extraordinarily difficult to remember.

This may seem foreign to the neurotypical, but consider the following.  When you are staring a bug – without an intention to squash it – do you consider the bug’s existence and feelings?  No, you simply see a bug.  It is there and you are lording over it.  You’ve acknowledged its presence by looking at it and you go on your way without ever thinking about that bug again.  Such is similar to the way that the psychopath elevates herself above others.  We believe ourselves to be superior and our interactions with others are superficial because they have little relative worth compared to ours. 

The self-grandiosity of the psychopath may be one of the most noticeable traits to the outside observer.  We seem not to play according to the rules that typical human interactions dictate.  Some psychopaths combine this elevated sense of self-worth with an insatiable self-centeredness that can appear extraordinarily megalomaniacal to the outsider.  I try not to enter the debate as to whether neurotypicals or psychopaths are objectively better.  However, we will always burn brighter than any sun in our eyes.  My instinct is to celebrate my false importance; my training tells me otherwise.

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