Psychopathing the test.

I am not a psychopath.

I think.

I’m pretty sure. Mostly sure. I’m more sure than not, anyway.

I love how my solid dam of reserve is cracking piece by piece as leaks in confidence let themselves be known.

Seriously though guys, I’m not a psychopath.

I do use a lot of eye contact though. I’ve heard it said that the people who make the most eye contact are liars and psychopaths. Thing is, I don’t really lie. A while back I had this revelation that lying never really got me anywhere. That I felt more comfortable being transparent and honest than I did holding things back in order to manipulate people’s perceptions. It’s kind of a nebulous concept, seeing as I’ll still occasionally intentionally not mention truths, but I won’t outright lie. What am I? Aes Sedai? It’s true though, despite my intermittent omissions, I feel bad about deliberately and unabashedly lying to someone’s face. This might be a selfish action for all I know, feeling like it’s absolving me of some burden, allowing me to maintain a fanciful existence. I know I’ve become a lot happier since I adopted the policy, at least for the last 5 years or so. So I’m definitely not a liar. By process of elimination, does this make me a psychopath?

Of course not. Just because A can equals B or C, it doesn’t mean that the possibility of D is excluded. That presupposition was just naturally weaved into how I structured the sentence. Just because most people who make the most eye contact are liars or psychopaths, there can still be room for outliers (or outliars? Dumb). I find that I connect with people more if I’m looking into their eyes. Face to face communication is my favourite, it lets me experience what someone has to say infinitely more than text or vocal communication can. If I’m to have an intimate dialogue with someone, I prefer to catch all the nonverbal clues I can. I love being present with someone and taking everything in that I can.

Then again, I also have a habit of subconsciously compartmentalising and boxing off unnecessary emotions and thoughts. It’s probably a defense mechanism. If something seems too hard to deal with, I tend to close myself to it and put it away somewhere that it can’t affect me. It’s been known to happen and I’ve been called out on it by partners at times. It makes me seem cold and distant, borderline robotic. It helps me continue to flow on irrespective of hardships or personal strife. It means I periodically operate at decreased capacity simply to keep things turning over. Wow, now I really do sound like a robot.  Or a psychopath?

Nah, that’s still rubbish. I get hurt, I feel and it brings me down. Compartmentalising things into little chests in my head only works until something topples them over and they crash to the ground, spilling their contents everywhere. When that happens there’s nothing to be done. I trip and stumble on the unexpected debris, often falling to the floor in the process. It’s a coping mechanism, but when it fails, my hinges bend and break. It can be useful at times to get by, but without regular maintenance there’s no way things can keep running smoothly.

I did worry at times that I was a psychopath. I really did. I was younger, I was a different person and life had yet to really imprint itself on me. You grow so much as you careen through the obstacles it throws your way. So much learning forces itself onto your path that you’ve got no choice but to adapt and absorb as much as possible. The more of earnest, honest humanity you see, the harder it is to close yourself off to it. You deal with stuff and it shapes you. You break down and stand back up. I’m sure many have found, as I have, that ignoring things doesn’t make them disappear. Unpacking your issues and discovering the root feelings causing you discomfort may be harder, but in the long run it’ll leave you a richer, three-dimensional person.

Or maybe I’m just saying this to sound relatable. Could this be a calculated strategy?

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2 responses to “Psychopathing the test.

  1. Pingback: Tomorrow we can laugh, I promise. Remember when I said “everybody hertz”? That was kind of funny, right? | I have my doubts

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