Psychopath / Neurotypical Relationships … Aardvark and Ant

It is hard to imagine that the psychopath and a neurotypical could have a rewarding friendship.  The anteater and the ant tend to be mortal enemies, after all.  However, it need not be impossible nor lacking mutual benefit.  As long as boundaries are maintained as well as expectations set, the two can have a complementary and symbiotic acquaintanceship that can be rewarding for both parties.

Earlier this evening, I met with a decent acquaintance of mine.  She is neurotypical and very empathic in nature.  We hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks and we decided to have dinner in order to catch up.  We swapped stories about the lives we’ve lived these past few weeks and we had a quite satisfying meal.  Afterwards, I gave her a nice holiday present and we went on our separate ways.  And, we are content with this manner of interacting: somewhat superficially and meeting not all that often, but making those times that we do meet or otherwise communicate mutually worthwhile to one another.  So, what is in it for me and what is in it for her?

I think the relationship can be summed up simply.  She gets a nonjudgmental (and ultimately apathetic) shoulder to vent to, be it about her problems or successes in life.  I get a playtoy to entertain me.  I know that I cannot keep her via emotional bonds, so I turn to gifts and practical services in order to keep her close.  She knows that her emotional attachment cannot be felt or otherwise appreciated by me, so she turns to the same.  In this sense, the predator and prey work closely together in order to ensure that a fruitful friendship is maintained.  The predator finds other food to eat and the prey refrains from pissing off the predator; it is win win.  As long as the psychopath and the neurotypical avoid the common conflicts of morality and respect the boundaries, such as her need for spending time with others who can share emotional bonds and my need to engage in antisocial or amoral deed, such relationships can continue.

It is difficult for the psychopath and neurotypical to walk such a high wire act, but it is not impossible.  Both parties need to be able to fall into their safety net if needed and boundaries are paramount.  It need not be impossible though, and such a realization should be used by both psychopath and neurotypical individuals to realize that the other group is not the enemy.  Symbiosis, after all, benefits both parasite and host.

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