Are Psychopathy and Sadism linked?
I never thought of myself as being a sadist until recently when I read some statements made by self proclaimed sociopaths describing various activities of theirs, mainly of manipulative – but also some of physically violent – nature, which they thought of as being sadistic because the outcome is meant to be and often is harmful. I could relate to some of these descriptions and had to admit that I’ve sometimes found myself joyfully ‘getting back’ at certain individuals whom I thought ‘had it coming’ for one reason or another.
But having thought through it some more I realize that what I do is not really sadism. A sadist will go out of their way to inflict pain, simply because that is what gives them pleasure.
To me inflicting pain in itself – though I can do that, and when I do, I find it pleasurable too – this is not what it’s about. To be frank, I couldn’t care less if people are happy or unhappy, what matters and what decides my line of action is what serves the purpose of what I’m working on to achieve at the moment. And it just seems to me that people who are happy are generally also much more likely to comply and act according to my wishes. Of course, initially it may be necessary to instigate a certain amount of pain in order to create the basic anxiety related to the idea of not meeting my wishes, to not do what I want the person to do. But once the knowledge among those around me is applied and ingrained so that they are aware that pain MIGHT become reality IF they do not comply, then there is usually no longer any good reason to inflict it. On the contrary, I find that then it is a much more productive idea to make people happy, to make them see and feel that ‘happy’ comes with being Zhawq’s friend, with doing what Zhawq wants.
This is what I do, and if you ask me directly I might even wish that the basic anxiety that most regard me with wasn’t necessary, which is why I do not consider myself a sadist. A sadist prefers to be feared, whereas I will at times become quite annoyed when people fear me, because too much fear paralyzes and makes the individual incapable of being effective in their activities and sometimes even in their ability to go through a conversation with me.
Another thing that makes fear impractical is the fact that it is sometimes hard to control, meaning that some people become more afraid of you than you need or want them to be. In my point of view it is often more satisfying to make people happy to do your bidding than it is to make them afraid.
Fear is useful as a tool, and that is all there is to it… Or at least almost all there is to it.
Ergo: I conclude that I am not a sadist.
I thought this was good, that it helped my case when I claim to not be a psychopath, because we have all heard about psychopaths and sadism, we all know how the two things are linked together – at least in the common mind. But it turned out that I was dead wrong in this assumption, and I may have dug myself an even bigger hole, because, as it turns out, psychopaths are NOT sadistic in the traditional sense. Instead, the description of Sadism as it relates to psychopaths goes as this:
[quote & citation needed:] Whereas the Sadist inflict pain on others because it feels good, the Psychopath inflicts pain on others only when it’s convenient for him.
So I’m back to square one. Everything I do in my attempts to disprove my alleged (well, diagnosed) psychopathy seem to be in vain.
It is heartbreaking to find that whatever you do to cleanse yourself of wrongful stigmatizing labels, you’re doomed to fail unless you encompass the most common, most ordinary personality traits. My point is, that most every person COULD be deemed a psychopath under the right circumstances and if the assessor focuses on the traits that are listed as markers for psychopathy.
Am I too self-obsessed when I work so hard to dispute that I am a psychopath? I don’t think so, because I am doing it while having in mind that what has happened to me can happen to others, probably is happening to others, and not least: I fear the implications the practice of clinically categorizing people in this manner has on the individual person, that it will have on our world and the richness of human diversity.
To the normal only the highest degree of normalcy, the most normal of normal, is normal enough and thus acceptable. This is my true worry, and this is what gives me a sense of obligation, of righteousness in putting forth these thoughts and views to the public.
I will follow up with more information about the aspects of Sadism and how they relate to Psychopathy in future articles. – Articles with autobiographical content on Psychopathic Writings are a work in progress, and ongoing journey of self-discovery, and thereby – hopefully – also discovery and better understanding of people around me.