How to be a Psychopath - complete text
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Copyright © Adam Jacobs
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how to be a psychopath
psychopath: from Greek psykhē mind, and pathos suffering.
Forward: My mother was at Port Arthur on April 28, 1996, when a gunman killed 35 people. Her career as an education officer ended and she has lived with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for 25 years. She has a low tolerance for a kind of bedside manner she would describe as beating-around-the-bush; she knows the importance of the relationship she has with her therapists, and she also knows what works for her. She has a wicked sense of humour and is my inspiration. Not surprisingly, I come to you as an ex-teacher who went back to school to study psychology and counselling, and I go to pubs and tell jokes to strangers about being a Tasmanian. The apple didn't fall far from the tree.
So, I created a guide, removed all the bush-beating and was left with a joke! I discovered there were two ways to approach this. Either way requires intent. This is the joke. No one intends to be a psychopath. The tragedy of circumstances, bewildering neglect, loveless isolation, etc. collide to create developmental problems for individuals who then develop a strange relationship with the world. This is the harsh reality behind the joke. This guide acknowledges the joke to enable straightforward explanations; straight-talking directions guiding non-psychopaths out of ignorance. In other words, incongruent with the title, this guide is for victims, victims of psychopathic abusers and victims of psychopathic teachers. Entirely inconsistent with the title, I expect this guide will be meaningless for the fully realised psychopath.
There are two ways to create a guide for psychopaths. 1. How to become one, and 2. How not to become one. It has been my experience that manipulation is confusing. Victims feel stupid for being tricked and perpetrators do not understand the self-destructive consequences of their actions. It, therefore, made sense to focus on how to become a psychopath: The victim can see what motivates a psychopath in practical terms and the budding psychopath can realise what freedoms they must surrender towards their self-destruction. In this way, it should be a user’s-guide. If you exhibit behaviours that cause you to question your social effectiveness, you may be displaying psychopathological tendencies. This guide will then allow you to explore your disfunction towards self-destruction or, more harmoniously, explore it towards acceptance, awareness, reimagining and inner peace.
This is a companion work to Daughter Talk; an abridged, cut-to-the-chase repackaging. Daughter Talk is a meditation, like a wave, it’s a ride, it washes over you and sparks your imagination towards cosmic awareness. This guide puts aside big questions such as who am I? and answers more practical questions such as how could I have been so stupid? It exists to give you a heads-up as the psychopaths approach; they are more prevalent than we like to admit.
Seen and heard 11
You may be mistaken. If you think this instruction manual is dangerous, or it may bestow irreversible, psychological reprogramming, you are mistaken. For that you should read my other book – Daughter Talk. This guide is a prevention-is-better-than-rescue package; a gift to you to ensure you are not tricked, duped, beguiled, maneuvered, manipulated and done-dastardly-to. The ‘Do not read’ sections of this book work as an aside, from me to you; from one outsider to another. By outsider I mean, someone who is not seeking to become a psychopath but rather, wants to understand them. From one outsider to another do not fear, potential psychopaths reading this manual to advance their entry into disturbia will not be rewarded. This revelatory work will provide them, subliminally, with self-awareness. The self-aware do not, a good psychopath make. Daughter Talk was a meditation, this is a guidebook, and I will therefore be using chapters. This will help you, I do hope, to refine your desperate search for answers.
To the psychopaths: The temptation to read the ‘do not read’ sections will be overwhelming. So, I strongly suggest you turn back now. Ask yourself, do I want to cease being the centre of my universe? Do I want to stop believing my anger is justified? Start looking in the mirror and be joyful regardless? Begin appreciating the consequences of an unpredictable world. Love love? Trust trust? And stop believing you might have been wrong once, but you were mistaken? You have been warned.
To all budding psychopaths first you must consider sophistication. I am not referring to organisation, there’s a good chance you have that in surplus. It was once suggested that sociopaths are more organised than psychopaths, but today neither term is used in a formal capacity and are interchangeable. For the purposes of this guide a psychopath is understood to be a person hardwired to be maladaptive. Or in other words, they have learnt to exploit other people to help maintain their conception of reality. Predominately, the exploitation must satisfy the psychopaths urge to maintain their unsophisticated appreciation of reality; they rely on others to dumb-it-down.
The well-adjusted person is self-aware, but not necessarily a master of self. Ironically, they are aware of a self that they do not recall acquiring. In this way, well-adjusted people are highly sophisticated. In other words, they have a self that is informed by attachment. If you are a psychopath, the concept of attachment will be discombobulating. If you are not a psychopath you will remember the loving embrace of family, the mentorship of significant carers, the validation and support given by extended family. You will also remember the comforts of the nest; a home where your heart is. You might also remember significant moments of pain filled with turmoil through which you were guided then challenged by people who love you and empathise. You may have also been let down by the ones you love, you may have been betrayed, you may have been misled. However, through thick and thin you were guided towards developing perspective and were an active member of a supportive network. This is how you acquired attachment. In other words, attachment describes the bonding process that happens in childhood that means you will be socially viable. During attachment phases the self is formed, or powerfully informed. This self is multidimensional and consists of tools you acquired indirectly. It is something like osmosis, you do not recall how the lessons of jealousy, gratitude and love were taught. You may recall events and significant moments that helped reinforce these characteristics. However, the imprinting of these character qualities happened overtime with the assistance of repeat exposure, happening in a well-adjusted environment that was both challenging and loving. Collectively, these characteristics are known as self; the skinny version of it, that you use for first impressions and general socialising, is known as personality. In this way, I refer to your self-development as sophisticated.
The psychopath is not sophisticated. The task, therefore, is considerable. To unlearn the nuances of your-self and its development is a titanic endeavour; it is something like trying to un-stain a piece of timber. The psychopath is a raw piece of timber that will decay in the harsh environment of a reality informed by the laws of the physical universe; unless they coerce other people to provide protection. They failed to make attachments; to make bonds that were developmentally meaningful. Their childhood was lonely and affection-less. They did not acquire their sense of self indirectly, or unconsciously, as you did. Instead, they became expert mimics.
Late in development, once they were forced into socially dynamic environments such as Junior School, the budding psychopath will begin to observe. They will observe the rewards various behaviours attract. In terms of reward, the psychopath will be deeply aroused by any activity that attracts the greatest social validation.
Do not read: You too are an expert observer. You have been trained however, to be rewarded by your observations with a reflection semi-consciously. The expert level observer is one who receives a reflection of themselves from others in a social setting reflexively and not earnestly. Or in other words, this reflection can be compared to a well-adjusted sense of self; subtle changes may be made to enable greater social effectiveness. For the psychopath however, the reflection exists to re-establish their entire sense of self repeatedly. Like a sonar, from a stable and centralised position, a well-adjusted person sends out a signal that is reflected back; the sonar provides data that may or may not be of value depending. The psychopath makes observations like a periscope that looks out across the surface. In this way, imagine the periscope has no sense of a centre. Imagine a periscope that is looking for information so it can define itself; in the process it feels unstable and decentralised. This leaves the sufferer with a painful hollow feeling inside. It is a peculiar situation; the periscope was never taught to 'see' the submarine it is supported by.
Like a Bower bird decorating its nest, the psychopath must enthusiastically ‘collect’ behaviours that return the greatest social reward. In this way, they enter an exclusive charm school. They are the only student, and their teacher is society. Therefore, the psychopath will pick and choose the components of their self and an over-simplified self will emerge; essentially unsophisticated. They will tune into a situation, assess the social activity, evaluate the reactions, and apply a social viability rating. Significantly, overtime this process becomes intuitive; the psychopath will then develop clear boundaries. Within the boundary is a limited set of behaviours that reinforce a fundamental, oversimplified social viability; they paint with primary colours they have not learnt to blend together. Outside the boundary are the blended shades or the subtleties of the human condition; they are unfamiliar to the psychopath. The psychopath forced into this zone, where reasonably well-adjusted personalities reside, will be seen to lose touch with reality.
Do not read: For all animals survival is paramount. For humans however, the drive to survive is a consequence of a more refined urge. We are seekers of social viability. It is not sufficient to explain our self-development by suggesting it is a knee-jerk, instinct-to-survive response. For the purposes of this guide, an appreciation of survival begins by prioritising social viability. It is more accurate to suggest, that our bio-organisation is the manifestation of survival. Our drive to ensure its organisation therefore describes, for human beings, the active ingredient of survival. Social viability is a phrase that exists then to characterise the human expression of the survival instinct. Simply, it means we prioritise the social positioning of our-self towards the creation of babies. We feel it intensely because of babies, psychopaths feel it intensely because they are babies.
Psychopaths are master manipulators using a restricted number of tools. Their strategies are beguiling. However, this must not be confused with complicated. The psychopath is ultimately unsophisticated. They are PhD standard manipulators because they wrote the curriculum, they were the teacher and the student, they distilled the measures of success, which must be over-simplified and ‘me’ orientated. They are masters of a limited set of skills. The truth is, and it is a dangerous reality, psychopaths have very low stress tolerance. Once it is reached, they can become dangerous; they may apply corrections that are swift and brutal. They have learnt to manipulate others because they believe the unpredictable nature of the world is managed by asking others to stabilize the world for them. Therefore, wannabe psychopaths must stop moderating and interpreting their internal responses to the world. This type of self-awareness, that allows for forgiveness, conciliation and empathy, is too sophisticated.
The skinny: The Psychopath’s ability to manipulate is powerful but limited. You must be good at painting self-portraits using only primary colours; the effect can be striking. Remember, the Psychopath’s inability to ‘paint’ others using shades and texturing places considerable limits on their self-expression. Your bold representations of yourself may be compelling, but like the images stuck on the fridge drawn by a three-year-old.
How to be a psychopath lesson 1: When it comes to sophistication less is more, and more is self-destructive.
Do not read: Hopefully, chapter 1 acclimatised you to the isolating of self. Never fear if you do not have a clear sense of self as extending from somewhere within. For the purposes of this guide, it is not necessary; if you would like to go down that rabbit hole my other book, Daughter Talk, is for you. However, accept that self is a construction or creation of your own crafting. It is difficult to distinguish between the crafter and the self it creates, even though we regularly 'talk' to self as the crafter of it. We have all admonished our-selves, often when looking in the mirror, we say to our-selves, I'm not happy with myself...for saying that dumb thing at the party. Consider, who is the ‘I’ that is not happy with the self? We are hardwired to refer to self in this way; like a puppet operated by an essential or foundational version of you. Keep this in mind as we explore ego.
After your-self has become less sophisticated future psychopaths must then dumb down their ego. This is easy in some ways and less easy in ways concerning the true purpose of ego. Ego is your power pack. For wannabe psychopaths this is good news. Yes, ego can be the dirty word you want it to be - assertiveness, arrogance, domination and want, appear to be available and necessary. It is important that the individual evolving, or devolving, into a psychopath adopt a one-dimensional view of ego. Like a three-year-old child, you must be ‘me’ orientated. Any perceived threat to your survival will trigger a contracted sense of ego. It is therefore, necessary to exaggerate and misplace your perceptions of a threat.
Do not read: Ego is not a dirty word. For those who have an expansive sense of ego it is a force that builds. Ego is necessary for the building of community. It can be understood as the energy that binds two agents of creation together. Or in other words, powers your complement of social tools; collectively they are known as self. Ego operates in the individual as the gunpowder that pushes the projectile; it is the motivation to engage love, compassion, concession, joy, etc. Intent, as determined by the social circumstances, gives rise to love and joy, etc. If that intent is working towards the expansion of your community congratulations, you are expressing a well-developed ego. The psychopath can mimic love and appreciation towards the controlling of others; this restricts community and leads to gaslighting. Their sense of ego is like that of a child, it is ‘me’ focused. In adolescence ego becomes a ‘we’ enabler; it wants to help strengthen the bonds that define its village. Later in life ego must become ‘us’ orientated; it must help build bridges between villages and develop global awareness. Psychopaths use ego exclusively to power their ability to mimic; their representations can appear to be very genuine. Often however, they will be exposed because they struggle to finish what they start, or they become addicted to launching initiatives they quickly loose interest in.
The challenge, for the emerging psychopath, is to arrest ego development or to unlearn a multidimensional appreciation of it. In this way, a considerable amount of energy must go into the enslaving of others. These binds are best made by ensnaring those closest to you. In this way, family and friends are readily available for manipulation. The bridges you build that enables you to exploit their empathy will eventually burn. But empathetically, friends and family will let the bridge smoulder considerably before they let the flames take hold. So long as you give yourself time to scoot across to the next bridge first before they collapse. Be warned, all the bridges thereafter will burn much quicker. Eventually they will begin to collapse beneath your feet.
Do not read: It would be convenient, if there were x-ray glasses that allowed you to see an underdeveloped ego approach, before it was introduced to your parents, and you bought a dog together. Yes, looking for an adult who is energetically selfish, but not going as far as kicking and screaming in the shopping isle like a three-year-old, may not be too difficult. However, the adult tantrum can be a still-water-running-deep type of situation, and that water can be still for a very long time. Acting-out will eventuate but it will happen when they have control of the environment and cannot be observed to be compromising their social viability. So, where can you get a pair of those glasses? Fortunately, the still water does run, and the devil is in the detail, literally. Look for Jekyll and Hyde behaviour; they are affable and charming in public, but in the privacy of your company they become harsh and immovable. I am not referring to a point of etiquette; there are some matters that a couple may need to discuss in private concerning what is fair and reasonable public disclosure. By Jekyll and Hyde I mean, a response that is disproportionate. Aggressive reactions to minor slights that appear to come from nowhere.
The skinny: ‘Me’, ‘we’ then ‘us’; stop before ‘we’. This is no easy feat. You may need to invoke the three-year-old you once were. Ego is another word for ‘I’, I is a word used to describe an essential version of your being; that enables oneness and community. The budding psychopath must ignore this dimension of ego. This contraction will be painful to sustain, and it will attract obstructions and aggression. But if you are prepared for isolation and ostracization then ego can be dumbed down.
How to be a psychopath lesson 2: Ego can be a dirty word; very muddy. But using it as a beauty mask is not worth the price you will pay for disrespecting it.
***seen and heard***
This chapter is not about narcissism. Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection and perished; see the final chapter. The wannabe psychopath must begin the same processes of perishing but not before the tools of demise are understood. First the psychopath must learn how to be seen and heard - by their-self.
Do not read: We all have a desire to be seen and heard. Receiving a reflection from society helps us refine our social viability and gives us valuable data as we help build a cohesive community. The psychopath is receiving the same data, but their filters are less sophisticated. Also, any looking and hearing they engage exists to be seen and heard by themselves first. Their sense of self must be continuously substantiated. Therefore, be aware of anyone who believes a conversation is an exercise in waiting for their turn to talk.
Psychopaths must make noise and displays to substantiate their sense of self. The noise and displays need not be overt or overbearing. But every action exists to confirm a flimsy notion of who they are; this image must lack complexity. The most effective psychopaths are quiet and insipid. They beguile by appearing incapable of managing an unpredictable world and lean heavily on the empathy of others. They will trigger the nurturing tendencies in the people around them; they will ensure other people make sacrifices towards the stabilising of an unpredictable world. Be warned however, seeing and hearing yourself pretending to be incapable of copping means you are learning to not be self-reliant; in other words, subconsciously you will begin to believe your own lies, and you will perish.
For emerging psychopaths, it is important that you understand the power of first impressions. Significantly, the first impression you make on your-self. Take a moment to process this concept. Every utterance and any reflection you generate has an audience. What you see in the mirror and what sounds you hear yourself make must be absorbed by that audience exclusively. The audience, most significantly, is your-self.
Do not read: What you see in the mirror and the sounds you make also exist, in the first instance, as valuable information for self-definition. This information is processed by a well-adjusted individual sympathetically to the needs of their community. The psychopath lacks this sympathetic outlook. The image and noise they create exists for an audience of one; themselves.
Unlike reasonably well-adjusted people, who use the reflected images and sounds they generate to fine tune an inclusive sense of self, the psychopath must limit their appreciation of this data. It is something like Pinocchio, realising for the first time that he is alive, but not yet a ‘real boy’. Except, the psychopath must have no ambition to become ‘real’. Instead, they must fall in love with the puppet they believe they truly are. This will require them to believe that, everything they say and every image of themselves they generate, is correct and without fault.
Do not read: Know-it-alls suffer. I am not trying to invoke your sympathy. Suffering with the burden of vanity or to be correct all the time, is two of many ways the psychopath suffers. The psychopath’s desire to know everything has nothing to do with a secret ambition to help their team win trivia nights at the local pub; so, don’t feel bad for them. They need to hear themselves say correct things and look a certain way relative to the circumstances towards reinforcing who they believe they are. You will notice this phenomenon whenever they are proven to be wrong or are challenged by the laws of the physical universe. Often, in the face of a blaring truth, instead of owning their errors, the psychopath will casually change topic or, most peculiarly, will repackage their falsehood to regain legitimacy. The legitimising exists solely to help stabilise their dimensionless self; it has nothing to do with fact or proof.
The skinny: The bourgeoning psychopath, must therefore, be not concerned for the accuracy of anything they say and any gesture they make; so long as it appears to have integrity (gaslighting is the next chapter). The burgeoning psychopath must understand that the noise and images they make exist in the first instance to reassure their self of its apparent substance. Be warned, a self desperately seeking to make noise and images solely in the pursuit of its own definition will perish; it is a severely polluted pursuit of happiness.
How to be a psychopath lesson 3: You
are your own best audien(t).
How is it, in the face of the laws governing the physical universe, that psychopaths can manipulate reality and appear to change the fabric of time and space? Welcome to the peculiar tendency for psychopaths to gaslight; to wrangle reality like herding cats. Beginning psychopaths must learn this skill but ignore the ultimate pointlessness and self-destructive nature of it. First you must have a working understanding of the laws of nature; do not fear, you can choose to ignore these relative to the fraudulence of your conspiracy theories. Once you know the texture of reality you can begin to stain it. To answer the question stated above, psychopaths are not required to change the fabric of time and space, when gaslighting they need only to make it waggle a bit. Yes, the psychopath must see the world around them as if the tail is wagging the dog. Or in terms of gaslighting, they must convince their victims to take the tail for a walk.
Do not read: We all tell white lies. Sometimes it is to protect feelings or to avoid extraneous tensions, or for efficacy. The psychopath may have white lied in a similar way then realised the social viability boosting potential of subtly augmenting reality. Gaslighting is plausible misrepresentation. The plausibility is essential.
New psychopaths must also learn to become committed conspiracy theorists. Your understanding of the laws of the physical universe will help you. However, they will need to be ‘corrected’. This is problematic, your lies will be exposed ultimately. Most reasonably well-adjusted people are gaslighting literate; this is also a problem. Be warned, being called-out for your fakery will have major consequences for your social viability. Try to make your misrepresentations of reality as plausible as possible. They will be unsustainable and lead to ostracization however, the gaslight can only burn if the fuel includes large amounts of plausibility. Too much plausibility and your augmentations will be inconsequential; you must avoid the truth unless you are pretending to want to be a psychopath and secretly desire authentic relationships and reciprocating love.
Do not read: effective gaslighting happens when the manipulator can make their victim say the lie. Remember chapter 2, every utterance you make is heard by you, or your-self towards its own substantiation; in other words, when you talk to yourself be kind. If the psychopath can get you to say the lie, they have successfully made you change your own sense of self. Be aware of relentless questioning that is trying to illicit a specific response from you. Also, understand psychopaths who are not hearing from you what they are coercing you to say will find a way to put your words in their mouth. Statements such as, ‘I thought you were the type of person that would see your friends for what they really are’, or ‘I imagined you’d have the strength to say, screw you dad!’ are red flags. Phrases such as ‘type of person’ and ‘I imagined’ are image prompting. They force the mind to recognise images of your-self; because of the dexterity of the imagination these mind-pictures powerfully influence self-definition. In other words, this kind of emotional blackmail evokes a strong image in the mind of the victim of themselves, whereby they conceive their self as weak or imperceptive. If you are being over-exposed to phraseology that encourages you to conceive ‘pictures’ of yourself that are inconsistent with a ‘balanced’ perception you have of yourself, be aware. In this way, fashion magazines and Instagram influencers have a kind of gaslighting effect; they are powerful image evokers, planting pictures of your-self into your own head that are inconsistent with the innate beauty nature has gifted you with.
Becoming a conspiracy theorist requires the ability to edit reality. But it’s something like editing a document by putting whiteout on the computer screen. So long as no one scrolls down or changes apps the edit will maintain integrity. In other words, so long as you restrict the subject of your theories to anything that is difficult to disprove by casual observation, you will be safe. The earth is flat is a good example; the curvature of the planet is difficult to discern with the naked eye. But if you try to convince everyone at the dinner party that ice is not frozen water but is a tasteless mind control substance, put into ice trays by government robots when the fridge door is closed. Be prepared to be challenged by physics when the ice cube returns to a liquid state in your glass without the intervention of robots.
Do not read: How not to be gaslit? Learn some of the laws of the physical universe. This dabbling in a bit of science will help you spot conspiracy theorists and truth revisionists. Tune in to the emotional blackmail. The reason why you didn’t tell your father to go screw him self probably has nothing to do with the strength of your character, the gaslighter will want you to believe otherwise. Finally, flip their assertions; for any argument they pitch consider the alternative. This is a trick satirists and comedians use; impartially consider the opposite of everything. This can be difficult when the subject matter is confronting or personal. Try to remember, a good gaslighter is trying to coat the lie with as many layers of plausibility as possible. By simply asking yourself, what if the opposite was true, you will begin to see through those layers of plausibility. For example, 'I find it hard to believe that Sarah would tell Jane that she wants to sleep with my husband, Sarah was my maid-of-honour, what if the opposite is true, Sarah didn’t say that, Jane made it up because she is jealous of the friendship I have with Sarah?'
The skinny: Trainee psychopaths, should try to ignore the fact that gaslighting is lying. It’s a kind of lie that attempts to restrict the flow of another person’s life. It is something like keeping a bird in a cage, except the cage must be replaced by words that create the image of a cage; talking a bird into believing it is surrounded by a cage may be possible for a period. However, it is not sustainable.
How to be a psychopath lesson 4: Don’t let the truth get in the way of your self-destruction.
Beginning psychopaths, must accept that contentedness is not permitted. I am not suggesting you must adopt a grumpy disposition; desperate would be a more accurate characterisation. Happiness, for the purposes of this guide is defined as contentedness. The closest a psychopath can be to contentedness is in the act of self-punishment. Yes, the contradictions pile-up quickly when discussing the difference between a well-adjusted sense of happiness and the psychopaths desperate urge to seek satisfaction. One leads to flow and the other leads to demise.
Psychopaths cannot be happy because self cannot be happy, including any well-adjusted self. Psychopaths are self-obsessed; more accurately, they are self-possessed. In this way, psychopaths are destined to be manic; an endless supply of energy emerges as they desperately seek to contort their environment as they pander to self. This is true even for the most, apparently, introverted manipulator. Introverted psychopaths mask considerable turbulence characterised by excessive sensitivity. All psychopaths are hyperaware; the antenna is scoping for data constantly. The filtering of the data requires energy beyond that which a reasonably well-adjusted person would expend. Energy used for this kind of filtering, that includes wrestling with reality, creates an excessive amount of ‘leftover’ energy. This imbalance leads to obsessions. All psychopaths obsess, and in this way can never be contented.
Do not read: We all have ambitions and interests to which we may be stridently committed to. However, the energy given to your interests is not characterised by a desire to constantly seek self-definition and validation. In other words, Your Happiness is not inexorably defined by the pursuit of something.
Psychopaths achieve a corrupt kind of contentedness when they are in the act of self-punishment. This is because, their self is constantly seeking its own reflection. Noisemaking and acting-out must become more potent over time. Psychopaths are single-minded reflection seekers; this obsession means that a decentralised self will lose sensitivity. Something like a heroin addict becoming desensitised; ultimately to maintain normal functioning they will require the consumption of an ever-increasing amount of heroine. In a similar way, the psychopath will seek increasingly more compelling reflections. This may include the possession of others (next chapter).
Do not read: take a moment to consider the difference between obsession and enthusiasm. Or ask the question, what objects in your life help define your sense of who you are. Objects are tangible and intangible; consider material objects and the immaterial. For example, objects of thought, regularly arising in your mind, inform you happiness. These objects should be catalysts for curiosity and investigation, or processing. For example, ‘I want to get my blackbelt in Karate’, is a thought object. You might hold this object in your attention from time to time, consider your schedule, your availability to training, your energy levels, new training techniques; you are not trying to qualify for the Olympics. In other words, it is an enjoyable, life affirming, fitness endeavour. However, if your interest in Karate is motivated by aggression and not defence, to start fights not avoid them, to subdue not elevate others, you are obsessing. Understand, the version of you, that exists for social reasons, known as self, is a manifestation of the survival instinct. In this way, psychopaths will seek to compete. Not all sore losers are psychopaths, but their sense of self is underdeveloped.
The skinny: Emerging psychopaths must learn to be sore losers. You should strive to be the type of person no one wants to play board games with. You will need to become a stickler for the rules and, simultaneously cheat. When you lose be sure to pass-the-buck. Learning to allocate blame away from yourself is as close to happiness as you are ever likely to be.
How to be a psychopath lesson 5: The pursuit of self-gratification is no gratification. The donkey you are will never reach the carrot. But if the wind is blowing in the right direction, you might smell the carrot that could-have-been.
The psychopath must realise that possession is the core of their business. First, they must become enslaved. Yes! All psychopaths are slaves to themselves; or more accurately, possessed by their-self. Self-satisfaction leads to obsession that leads to a persistent feeling of lack. To the psychopath the feeling of self is a one-dimensional experience. They are amazed by others who have a sense of self as something they have crafted or arises from within. Psychopaths sense self like it is a puppet, like they are the puppet; however, they have no sense of a master.
Do not read: you also sense self in the same way, but with a degree of puppet-master awareness. Through a process of, what is commonly known as, enlightenment you can become the master exclusively. In this awakened state you will perceive self as an arising that emanates from the ‘essential’ you; it is a state that affords you a deep sense of calm. For the purposes of this guide however, it is not necessary to understand or experience any kind of awakening. With the exploration of self and how it is that it arises, comes the opportunity to ensure self, the puppet, is not in control of the master. Daughter Talk is an invitation down that rabbit hole if you so desire.
Evolving psychopaths must ensure their-self is always in control. Or in other words, the created self, like the apprentice assassinating their master to claim prestige, must never conceive itself as a puppet. In an everyday sense, most people are not actively aware of the puppet-master relationship. However, reasonably well-adjusted people are innately aware that unbridled selfishness will lead to ostracization and self-destruction; this default moderating is the master influence. Wannabe psychopaths must avoid developing this awareness. Self must be the controlling factor. So much so, that any sense that self may be an arising, extending from the essential being the psychopath is, must be entirely rejected. This will lead to a hollow, painful feeling inside. This feeling will be enhanced whenever the psychopath is in the company of people who are untroubled by displaying conciliation, admitting they are wrong, laughing at themselves, apologising, moderating their emotions, etc. Or in other words, appear to be applying limits and corrections onto self in a way that suggests self is not in control.
Self, with no sense of origin is a very confused entity. The psychopath must develop a hunger for correcting this lack of awareness. This hunger will intensify subsequent to the amount of suffering. The periscope, that has no notion of the submarine it arises from, will look at other periscopes and be confused by the submarine they appear to be supported by. In this way, the beginning psychopath must learn to possess other people. Regarding the Periscope analogy, a decentralised Periscope looking at other periscopes will see the submarine they are supported by as an alluring object. In this way, what is a deeply authentic or even spiritual dimension of a reasonably well-adjusted self, for the psychopath will be objectified. In extreme cases, the psychopath will want to dissect and explore the object, as it is represented in other people. This will lead to inflicting physical pain and suffering.
Do not read: hopefully, you are developing a means for understanding why some people are apparently evil. Psychopaths are solely obsessed by self; it leads to vanity and self-worship. They see their ‘being’ as an object. Subsequently, they see reasonably well-adjusted beings such as you and I might be, as objects also. Reasonably well-adjusted people are encountered by the psychopath as a mirror, but the reflection is incomplete. There is an authenticity dimension they are in capable of perceiving; this leads to a dangerous and obsessive kind of curiosity. In this way, they cannot empathise because they comprehend others as objects; not dissimilar to the objectification by which they regard themselves. Imagine a puppet looking at other puppets and is confused by the presence of the puppet master. It has no sense of a master, it subsequently wants to ‘examine’ the master, it becomes obsessed by the substantiating influence of the master, it is envious of puppets with masters; like a child pulling the legs off an insect it thinks it can disassemble the master and learn the secrets of its composition.
In the catalogue of urges the psychopath is enslaved to, possession-of-others can be an immensely powerful one. Some emerging psychopaths may develop an interest in acts of violence for their own sake. This is an attempt to exorcise some notion of authenticity from their-self or from others. It will cause a hollow, painful sense of chasm within, but psychopaths must develop a dispassionate curiosity in the authenticity of others. Be warned, any attempt to ‘look’ for this authenticity will likely result in crude acts of violence; against yourself. Yes! It is inevitable that the victim will ultimately be the ‘being’ you are, from which the ‘self’ you are imprisoned by emerges. In this way, psychopaths are destined to self-destruct; like someone cutting a limb off a tree oblivious to the fact they are sitting on the wrong side of the saw.
Do not read: if the psychopath possesses you, they will want to control everything you do. It may appear as if they are power hungry and by dominating you, they quash that hunger. It is more nuanced to state however, psychopaths are vacuum cleaners desperate to acquire morsels of authenticity. Any display of charitable love will be confusing to the psychopath, but simultaneously, be highly prized buy them. Although they are incapable of selfless love, they do understand the power of its social viability. You cannot re-train a psychopath to be authentic, or to be genuinely compassionate; they are only capable of mimicking these qualities. In the process, they will feel a deep sense of shame. For what they are incapable of authentically displaying they will make up for by keeping the allure of your authenticity very close; like a moth to a flame, or more accurately, they are a moth enslaving the flame. Whatever they do to you to keep you close is driven by very powerful forces that are very difficult to unlearn. Such is the nature of their self-acquisition; they acquired self late in childhood and devised it mostly for themselves, it lacks complexity and, subsequently, authenticity.
The skinny: Possession leads to consumption. Consumption leads to hunger. Beginning psychopaths must accept this irony. Becoming a slave to the puppet, self, is the ultimate act of possession. It will lead to anxiousness and a powerful feeling of lack. However, being possessed by your-self is a loss of freedom psychopaths must endure.
How to be a psychopath lesson 6: The masterless puppet is in control of the place on the shelf it will be left to collect dust. In other words, having no-strings-attached is the opposite of freedom.
Emerging psychopaths have a strange relationship with empathy. Reasonably well-adjusted people experience pain and often dimensions of this pain are universal. The shared aspect of all suffering allows for empathy. Reasonably well-adjusted people believe that psychopaths have no empathy; or in other words lack the capacity to see the suffering of others. It is more accurate to say however, that psychopaths are always in a state of suffering and because they are constantly projecting their self onto others to generate a reflection, they also believe that everyone experiences background suffering much like what they endure. In other words, psychopaths look at well-adjusted people as fellow sufferers. The question then becomes, why don’t they relate to the suffering of others? To answer this question, we must look again at objectification.
Do not read: If you have been a victim of manipulation and you live with regret, or find it hard to resolve the question, how could I be so stupid? Rest assured; you are not a psychopath. This is very good news, but of little consolation. This guide is your chance to learn how to see the manipulation emerge in a timely manner. The first step is to acknowledge that empathy is a double-edged sword. Evolution has chosen empathy as a survival imperative because we are necessarily social beings. In this way, it has both selfish and unselfish intentions. To be empathetic is to experience the feelings of another. This experiencing is often enabled by a connection you can make with your own Life circumstances.
Incidentally, if you do feel empathetic towards someone’s suffering never use the phrase, I know how you feel? They are sharing with you, not because they want to know about you. Sharing is the process of accepting the pain for themselves and begin the healing process; you cannot climb the mountain for them. Using the phrase, I know how you feel, is similar to saying, you have overcome massive obstacles to arrive at basecamp, but you needn’t bother climbing Mount Everest, I was just up there and took some photos and they will be good enough for you. In other words, you are disrespecting the effort they have already made to be brave enough to announce, I wish to share my feelings.
Empathy allows you to be present with someone’s suffering in an intimate way. But it also allows you to reinforce your sense of self-protection; to remind your-Self of the imminent nature of threats and challenges. The psychopath has learnt the self-protection mode of empathy but not the part that allows the suffering of others to be reflected in their life. How did this happen? Psychopaths are the winner take all, driven to succeed, elite athletes of the social viability race. But it is not a race; they have learnt that social viability is a competition. From the point of view of a child social viability might be seen as competitive. However, social viability exists to build community. The failure to develop attachment has left the psychopath with no sense of the village.
Psychopaths must objectify. The psychopath is a slave to self; objectification is a natural by-product of being enslaved. In this way, they endure a background feeling of inadequacy. It is as if, their lack of authenticity causes a feeling similar to withdrawal. There is the possibility then, for psychopaths to relate to the psychopathic tendencies in others towards a communal recognition of this inadequacy. However, this lack of inadequacy that causes a feeling of withdrawal, is overbearing; it overrides any sense of community. Instead, the psychopath lives with an underlying feeling of hollowness that they assume is an unavoidable dimension of existence experienced by everyone. It is as real as the nose on their face; Imagine psychopaths think noses, all noses, are ugly including their own. Feeling any kind of sympathy for others because of this ‘reality’ is then entirely redundant. Therefore, suggesting that having a sense of shared suffering is the same as empathy is a mistake. However, psychopaths must conceive themselves as incomplete objects and make the same generalisation across all members of society. The inquiry that emerges as the psychopath attempts to ‘complete’ the object it is and observes, will lead to the dissection of objects, not their resurrection. In other words, the psychopath’s sense of ‘other’ is like an extremely dumbed-down version of empathy, the kind that assumes that a confounding suffering is universal. That then excuses the pain they cause others as they attempt to understand why it is confounding.
The skinny: Psychopaths must suffer and accept that a dimension of that suffering is a shared experience. However, this shared suffering does not align with notions of sympathy. Psychopaths must imagine, they are like a bird who has had its wings removed; they must also accept that the ghostly sensation that replaces the wings is a pain shared by everyone; it attracts no sympathy. This of course, is not true; in terms of empathy however, the truth must not concern the psychopath.
How to be a psychopath lesson 7: like fake news the psychopath’s version of empathy must exist to excuse the pain they cause others.
When first becoming a psychopath two clear paths will emerge. To be a narcissist or to be a sycophant. Narcissist can be seen approaching from a distance; they are image obsessed and the impact they make on others is designed to generate a powerful reflection. In this way, it appears most psychopaths are narcissist. This is true, sycophants are, essentially, a type of narcissist. Significantly however, the type of narcism displayed by sycophants is much more insidious and, arguably, more common. Sycophants are people who seek to gain wealth, status, and advantage by pandering to the needs of others. The advantages they gain are reflections that help define their sense of self; towards enhancing their social viability. It is therefore in this way, that the sycophant is narcissistic.
Do not read: we all feel good when we help others or are given the opportunity to provide encouragement and acknowledgement. With an expansive sense of ego, an understanding of it as the energy that helps build community, we can praise and reward others with one hand and let the other hand be ignorant. Advertising our charitable activities, or in terms of the biblical reference, to let the left hand know what the right hand is doing, is an entirely self-orientated exercise. All psychopaths are self-serving, and whatever they appear to do for the benefit of others or when they pander, exists to generate a reflection of their self.
Sycophants will emerge as expert gaslighters. The consequence of their empty flattery and agreeableness includes the active attention from others. The tendency will then be however, to distort all the facts. The truth for the sycophant, presents a magic mirror problem. The truth causes the mirror to lose its ability to show the sycophant what it wants to see. Therefore, the sycophant must reject all small and large truths or at least dismiss them.
Do not read: In this way, the sycophant is similar to the pure narcissist. In conversation the sycophant will tolerate the truth with indifference. If, however, the topic becomes speculative or conspiratorial the sycophant, and the pure narcissist, will engage. A very mild version of this tendency is demonstrated when reasonably well-adjusted people engage in gossip. The speculative nature of gossip excites our fascination with narrative. Satisfying the urge we all possess to sustain the story that is our life, enables us to regulate our social viability. However, for the sycophant and the pure narcissist it is the only perceived reason for their existence.
All this, of course, means that the sycophant risks having their lies easily exposed. Given the kind of narcissism driving the sycophant, it is very difficult to avoid exposure. Unfortunately, if you intend to become a sycophant, though it is an insidious type of psychopathy, you will experience relationships fraught with contention and instability.
Beginning psychopaths who are inclined towards sycophantic displays, must also accept that flattery will lead to exploitation. When a psychopath is exploited, their social viability is compromised. The psychopath is then forced into a powerless position from which they must claw-back status. To arm yourself against this eventuality, the sycophant must avoid meaningful relationships are that are mutually respectful.
Do not read: Be aware of close-talkers and people who are inclined to lean-in. They are potentially imitating I kind of, whispering-of-sweet-nothings into your ear. Be aware too of course, of those who do whisper sweet nothings into your ear. Once again, for everything the sycophant says consider the opposite. For example, when they say, your fashion choices are brilliant, accept they are exaggerating.
The skinny: to tell people what they want to hear, first you must hear them say what they want. If you want people to hear what you want them to say first you must tell them what you want them to hear. In other words, the sycophant must turn need into want, but like the blind witch in Hansel and Gretel, she can’t turn Hansel into a roast dinner without manipulating Gretel into stoking the flames of the stove first. The sycophant is blind, they must borrow the eyes of their victims. To do this the sycophant must pander, it is only then that they can indulge their greatest obsession, to gaze at their reflection.
How to be a psychopath lesson 8: you must learn how to lick boots, start with licking your own. Be careful however, that you don’t choke on the shoelaces.
The last word must be left for narcissism. Chapter three told you how to activate the tools that enable narcissism. This chapter will tell you why you must look and what to look for in the mirror. First, potential psychopaths must understand that well-adjusted personalities receive reflections from society too. But it is data that is filtered differently. The budding psychopath must learn, as discussed in chapter one, to value social viability with the exclusion of all other intentions. The well-adjusted personality will seek a reflection from society that enables their social viability towards the bolstering of community; it is sophisticated. But reasonably well-adjusted people are less aware of the need they have to receive this reflection. The psychopath must be fully aware and hungry to receive a reflection from society, and be willing to distort the source of the reflection accordingly; obsessions will emerge that will lead to the manipulation of others. The psychopath must dumb down the reflection society gives them; society must be, for the psychopath, what a hall-of-mirrors is for a child. However, the psychopath must believe the hall is full of magic mirrors; the mirrors can be tricked or manipulated in a way that gives the psychopath the reflection they are seeking.
Do not read: Reasonably well-adjusted people are, for the psychopath, a sounding-board. They exist to provide substantiation; the concept the psychopath has of themselves must be maintained. Accordingly, the psychopath will manipulate the people around them to provide a distorted reflection. The ability we all possess to receive a reflection from others helps inform our sense of self, that then can be adjusted towards a fulfilling social existence. The psychopath hijacks this ability and reverse engineers the reflection; they learn to change the source of the reflection, not to learn from it. You will know if you are the source of a reflection being manipulated by a psychopath because they will make you feel inadequate, constantly. They must make you feel inadequate because the image you are reflecting back is incomplete. This is because the image they are projecting is not complete. The incompleteness of their self then becomes a problem they attribute to the character of the reflective surface. You are the reflective surface; this is not easy to conceive because in the process of providing a reflection reasonably well-adjusted people are also seeking it. It is true however, the psychopath is look deep into you to see, of them-selves, that which they seek for their self.
The narcissist must learn to believe that the incomplete image of themselves they receive from society is a faltering of society. However, the incompleteness is an inadequacy that begins and ends with the psychopath; this is a truth that must be ignored by the narcissist. Consequently, beginning psychopaths must let the feeling they have that the world around them is ‘wrong’ and they are ‘right’ become a dominate force. This will lead to powerful feelings of lack and dissatisfaction. The psychopath must then control, twist, trick, sway the people around them towards relieving this dissatisfaction. Many narcissists are very good at forcing others to help complete the incomplete image they project. In this way, beginning psychopaths must believe that external factors, such as other people, are the source of their feeling of lack. They must ignore the reality that their dissatisfaction springs from a hollow void within that will never be resolved.
The narcissist is not necessarily the body conscious individual, the fitness fanatic, the beauty therapist influencer, the tattooed, the injected, the liposuction-ed, nor are they necessarily the cosmetic surgery junkie. Having pride in your appearance, or experimenting, or crafting and creating your image is not the same as being narcissistic. The distinction is important because often, the true narcissist may be indistinguishable. Psychopaths must develop an obsession with substantiating a shallow self-concept. In other words, having pride or creative influence over your appearance is not the same as desperately seeking to define your-self. Expressing your search for self by making subtle or outlandish alterations to your appearance can be liberating and therefore, may aid a multidimensional and sophisticated self-definition. The emerging psychopath must accept an uncomplicated self-concept, like a caricature. The narcissist must accept their one-dimensional view of self as ‘complete’. Recall The Simpsons Movie, the 3D Homer is suddenly aware of his true proportions; this degree of self-awareness must be vigorously rejected by the manifesting psychopath. This is most easily achieved by ‘nesting’ in familiarity. The narcissist must learn to reject change and inconsistency. If they have learnt to be slothful, they must become committedly inactive, if they are high functioning they must be ruthlessly aspirational. Either way, their life concept must be driven by a desire to stabilise a concept of the nest; they are chicklings that failed to launch. They will call on others to help stabilise the nest’s foundation. Once the changeable nature of the world begins, inevitably to compromise the structure of the nest the narcissist will allocate blame; the people closest to them will be subject to accusation and suspicion.
Do not read: Why is narcissism such a potent word? So much so that it has become a spiteful term used to describe people who are self-obsessed. This is reasonable, of course, but may also lead to inaccurate labelling and exaggeration. It is important to remember that Narcissus, from which the word derives, suffered. He fell in love with his own reflection and perished in the act of its admiration. In other words, he never knew love. In other words, a true narcissist is blind. If you have a sense of being too self-involved you are not a narcissist. If you are self-involved and lack the ability to perceive your obsessive nature then you are a narcissist; and commonly, the self-obsession will cause physical damage or harm.
Narcissists are not necessarily concerned with the neatness of their clothes or the arrangement of their hair; they may not appear to be concerned for their outward appearance. However, vanity is an indicator, or symptoms, arguably of a narcissistic mindset. Most significantly, narcissist must become obsessive keepers of a narrative. Most reasonably well-adjusted people, have an unconscious sense of their story. They perceive themselves as a character that lives in a story, and the story consists of predictable and unpredictable elements. The character they are, however, is relatively stable. The narcissist, however, must make the story predictable; the sense they have of themselves as a character is flimsy. Narcissism is then less about maintaining an impeccable appearance and is more about maintaining a story that the character obsessively tries to control. For the narcissist, the construction must be reflective; they make a nest of mirrors. The midlife crisis syndrome is an example; external factors are controlled to help the character to define or redefine itself. Many reasonably well-adjusted people may enter a midlife crisis phase but will leave it again once the limits of the body become disconnected from the ageless bliss of a joyful mind.
The skinny: Potential narcissists must keep a close eye on their reflection. Not because it is alluring or appealing necessarily, but because it is unreliable. The image is eternally incomplete; the rendering, is therefore, a process that imprisons. The psychopath must develop their narcissism blindfolded; the incomplete nature of the image at the centre of it must be ignored. This will lead to obsession and hollowness, that can only be resolved by focusing on external factors. In this way, the narcissist must enslave others towards the substantiation of a story; this will lead to the burning of many bridges and loneliness. Pinocchio felt incomplete, in the process of fitting-in he learnt to lie, he become real once he understood the language of respect and truth. The psychopath must never move beyond puppet status; they must remain slaves to self, a self that is blind.
How to be a psychopath lesson 9: Fall obsessively in love with your reflection in the pond. Eventually you will dehydrate and perish, but don’t be distracted by the irony.
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