How to Tell the Difference Between a Narcissist, a Psychopath, and Sociopath

h/t LewRockwell

Know your pathologies.  This video certainly helps to classify the different ones.  On sociopathology, Dr. Jordan Peterson raises two important issues.  One is motivation, literally what is the motivation of a sociopath’s cruelty?  Is it entertainment?  Is it satisfaction over watching someone writhe in pain?  What is it?  As a clinician, that’s a fair question.  But what about the man dealing with sociopaths at work or the ones you encounter on the streets?  The other question that Peterson raises is are sociopaths irredeemable?  Now, this should not be taken as an invitation to be an ethical monster, but again from a clinical side, it may have some value.  But most of us are not clinicians.  So my question is how does one deal with a sociopath?  Do we show them a certain level of cruelty in return?  And does our cruelty somehow  Psychopaths take advantage of people and have to keep moving around either from fear of being caught or for having been caught.  If they get caught, their reputation spreads and they have to get the hell out of there.  But if this is the case, is being caught the psychopath’s dalliance? 


If you are preyed upon by a psychopath, which you will be at some point in your life, the psychopath, who will be narcissistic, will presume that you’re stupid and that you deserve to be taken advantage of because you’re naive and stupid, so it’s actually a good thing that he’s doing . . . the proof that you’re stupid and naive is that he can take advantage of you.  If you were wiser, you’d know his tricks and it wouldn’t be morally necessary for him to show you just exactly who knows what about what.  And so the psychopath will use his ability to fool you as proof of his own grandiose omnipotence, omniscience, and narcissism. The problem with that is that you can be fooled by a psychopath and virtually anybody can.  And Robert Hare, for example, who studied psychopaths for a long time and interviewed a lot of them, hundreds of them, and videotaped many of the interviews, and he said that when he was talking to the psychopath he always believed what they were saying, and then he’d watch the video afterward and see where the conversation went off the rails.  But the proclivity in a conversation to be polite is very strong, and if you’re polite you don’t object to the way that the person unfolds their strategy.  And psychopaths are pretty good at figuring out how to manipulate people and the probability that you will be immune to that is extraordinarily low.  Go watch Paul Bernardo being interviewed by policemen on YouTube.  That’s enlightening, man.  Paul Bernardo, he’s like the CEO of a meeting in that video, you know.  He gives the cops hell, he gives the lawyers hell, he protests his innocence and he basically tells them that they’re rude and untrustworthy because they don’t trust him . . . because he did a few things 17 years ago.  He basically goes, “Well, that’s a long time ago.  We’re past that, aren’t we!  We’re having a discussion . . . I’m trying to help you solve some crimes (which by the way [Bernardo] committed).

Books cited by Robert Hare: 

The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About the So-Called Psychopathic Personality, Hervey Cleckley, 2015. 

Psychopath, Morton Bain, 2012.


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