Friday, March 31, 2017

Sociopaths Are Among Us!

How Should You Choose to Live with Them?

Man Run Escalator City Urban On The Run Ru
The other day I was in an interesting and provocative discussion about Sociopathy.  The conversation started with the other party asking for my definition and distinction of a psychopath vs. a sociopath.  My friend was ranting about her perception of millennials being an “Id-like population of sociopaths.”  Self absorbed, and only thinking about themselves.  For clarity this is a bias belief and not true or founded on evidence. This is especially true, if we are talking globally.  My argument was that millennials did not create capitalism, or Nixon’s Watergate, or the movie Wall Street (or its characters). Sociopathic traits in Baby Boomers had a heavy hand in this social direction of moral human detachment, and negligent impulsivity.  

As stated in previous blogs.  As Michael  Douglas’ Gordon Gekko in Wall Street so Oscar worthy monologues:

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.  

Image result for sociopathNot surprizingly, the previously stated conversation transitioned into social and historical figures with these traits as they relate to our daily lives.  Sociopaths have always been a fixture in our culture.  And in some ways they are necessary.  Several years ago, NPR’s Inside the Mind of a Sociopath helped provide insight into the normalization of some of our neighbors, coworkers, ex-spouses, lovers, partners, and/or relatives.  This is for debate but the power charged ruthless boss that pulls the company to an unobtainable goal; or that person with a vision that is so focused that nothing stops them has merit.  I would assert that a Sociopath with genetic gifts for the arts can easily charm the masses into a positive creative direction thus changing culture for the greater good despite some human casualties.  Some people have what I might term a sociopathic gift that can in some ways destroy the masses and the very souls they bulldoze over.   Many politicians, CEO’s of record music conglomerates, and high profiles celebrities are such examples that fit the profile of this discussion.  In this world where sociopathy is becoming recognized as not uncommon it has created its own ontological functioning. However, in the general world such as the office workplace and relationships this can be dauntingly toxic to your spirit and emotional health.  

So to keep it simple, if the relationship feels uncomfortable and if someone fits these patterns you must ask yourself “What am I getting from this relationship; Am I being emotionally harmed; Am I placed in a position of danger and how can I recover from this if I am in a precarious situation?”  So, if you are working for a in the booming period in the San Francisco Bay Area and your boss is a sociopath and your company is about to go public leaving you with millions of dollars in net worth is it worth it?  Maybe no if you are thrown under the bus and lose all your money for attorney fees to avoid jail time.  You are in a fun world win relationship with a sociopath that has many highs with equally painful lows, but  is it worth it?  Maybe if all the connections and networking has elevated your business career and you got out of the relationship unscathed and you were able to get positives from the overall relationship that outweighed the negatives.    So, be careful because they make you feel very good and they have charm oozing out of their pores.   But there is a lot of unease with this charm, and there will be a price.

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