lf2

The Sociopath as “The Missing Link?”

Is it possible that the sociopath is, in a sense, the missing link? Who is he? He is human but, in another sense, not quite human. Much like the Neandarthals, who were humans but not quite homo sapiens, and whom you’d have had a hard time differentiating from homo sapiens in a crowd, the sociopath may mix in seamlessly with the more fully developed human race.

Meaning, like the Neandarthal race of humans, he isn’t noticeably different, at least not by appearances, from his fellow homo sapiens. And yet he is different”¦he is missing something.

There is something primitive and underdeveloped in him. This is a very crude analogy, admittedly. Neandarthals weren’t more sociopath than their fully human counterparts, at least so far as I know.

And sociopaths are fullfledged homo-sapiens; we must give them that. And yet they hearken back, developmentally, to something more primitive, which isn’t to say, either, that the proto-human species were necessarily more sociopathic than ours.

At the same time, I don’t believe evolution would look kindly on a “species” of sociopaths. Not that evolution will look kindly, in the end, on the human race, which may destroy itself eventually, with or without the contributions of its minority sociopathic population.

But a species of sociopaths, by itself, would destroy itself, sabotage itself, in probably less time than many of the proto-human species died out. A species of sociopathic homo sapiens just would not last for tens of thousands, or millions of years.

It would be a cut-throat species and in its particular limitations—its particular interpersonal psychopathology—it would fail to adapt (at this stage of modern civilization) to the demands required of a long-existing species.

This would be an exploitative, impulsive, greedy, unempathic species; an “emotionally unintelligent,” “emotionally blind,” “emotionally uninsightful” species”¦all characteristics which surely would seal its shorter-term doom?

The sociopath is not a contributor, a builder; or what he builds he will destroy eventually, in any case. The sociopath is a “now” creature; not a patient investor.

If he’s a problem-solver, he’s trying to solve the problem of how to benefit, how to aggrandize, himself; he is not trying to solve problems that advance others, that invest in causes that don’t directly benefit himself.

The sociopath just isn’t a cooperative, collaborative member of society. He is a “solo” operator, out for himself. This is true whether he’s a more calculating, or more impulsive, type of sociopath. His aims, regardless, are fundamentally self-serving and gratification-driven.

His comforts, his satiation, carry (for him) so much importance, so much primacy, that even if they must come at others’ expense, this is just how it is. That’s the way the cookie crumples.

“To get what I want, what I need, which is preeminent, may come at your cost and, if that’s the case, well, that’s just too bad. That’s life.”

For the sociopath, his gain can come at your cost, and this is okay with him. He just isn’t troubled, like a nonsociopathic is troubled, to gain from your pain. It is his peculiar equanimity, in response to the distress he knows he’s caused you (and sees you in), that speaks to the essence of his sociopathy.

And so one might wonder, is the sociopath, in a metaphorical sense, a kind of missing link? Or maybe, just missing?

(This article is copyrighted © 2011 by Steve Becker, LCSW. My use of male gender pronouns is not to suggest that females are not capable of the behaviors and attitudes discussed.)


Comment on this article

45 Comments on "The Sociopath as “The Missing Link?”"

Notify of

its been a year since i broke free of my sociopath who i think i still love……..maybe im the crazy one? couldnt even grocery shop today because thats one of the million things that remind me of him. yes i have allot of good days and i know im better off but im having a day that the memories are vivid. i think its pms really. i have a great support system(the people he once alienated me from) but im alone today and im being haunted by the ghosts of a life he promised me…he who never really existed. all lies………will i ever recover?

Dear LEFT2GIVE,

Yes, you will **WILL**recover. Knowledge is power, so learn and reclaim your power! There are so many people here who are living proof that you WILL get better, you will not only recover, but IMPROVE! God bless…and welcome to LF!

UnOccupy:Psycho:Paths

>>By their nature, they are predators, viewing normal humanity as unconsumed prey.

Imagine this as a great experiment in a big spherical petrie dish. There are bacteria in the dish. Four percent of the bacteria find 88 percent of the bacteria delicious. They have to conserve their energy so they know how to pick the least energetic delicous bacteria that don’t see it coming.

The hungry bacteria just have some different DNA. They did not ask for it, and in the end all the bacteria die at some point.

If the hungry bacteria were not given anyway to know that it was wrong to indescriminantly eat the delicious bacteria, they cannot be held responsible. I reiterate, the hungry bacteria were given great hunger and no mechanism to truly understand that they shouldn’t eat the delicious bacterial at will.

The delicious bacteria are unfairly at a disadvantage that they seem to live like there is no bacteria capable of sashaying up and gobbling.

Not really good and evil. It’s just a science experiment.

>>The deficit in the brains of the Psy/Socs costs to much in terms of impact on the integrity of the whole to be tolerated.

It is a science experiment.

(apologies to Themelinda)

By the way, I am delicious, but with a bit of a bitter taste;-)

Sweet and sour?

jeannie812, you said, “It sounds like I am being a victim. But not really, cause Jim will get caught in his spider web.”

As a victim who often gets anxious “playing dead” and pretending he doesn’t bother me, I have to ask,
Has jim ever been caught in his web before?

Here is a video clip from Dr. Drew. Has anyone read the book? I hope all of America is not caught up in the mirror effect!!!!! What he describes in the clip sounds very much like ONE component of the psychopath/sociopath.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/03/24/drew.mirror.effect.hln.cnn?hpt=C2

It is funny…envy was never a feeling that has been mine. In fact I never quite understood it. I was so busy counting my blessings, which are many, but simple…..but the greatest pleasures in life ARE simple

But for the short time I was in the p/s web, I began to feel envy, I got caught up in his sick way of looking at things. It is an awful feeling!!! Glad I’m out of that web now!

1 3 4 5

Send this to a friend