HOW HARD IS IT TO RESIST A SOCIOPATH? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

A dozen years ago, a physician I knew was reported to the medical board by the hospital ethics committee. He was practicing extremely shoddy medicine and exorbitantly overcharging patients.

What continues to amaze me is my reaction to him. Knowing all that I did, I found his behavior disgusting, and was happy that he was publicly exposed. Yet, when I ran into him at a coffee shop, and he started chatting about some inconsequential, neutral subject, I couldn’t help but like him. I tried to keep in mind that he was a sleaze, but in spite of it, I couldn’t help but laugh at some of his humorous observations about life, and was inexorably drawn into his bright, witty world.

Some sociopaths are irresistible. The doctor I’m talking about would have made a fortune selling snake oil from the back of a Conestoga Wagon.

So what do you do when confronted by one of these conscienceless manipulators? Don’t listen to your feelings (right brain), but only listen to the logical part of your mind (left brain). If you listen to your feelings, you’ll wind up with a useless case of snake oil.

Remember, with sociopaths, left brain always trumps right brain!

Any personal experiences?

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WHY IS A STONE KILLER SO INTERESTING? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

I’m talking about the one with dead eyes who blows someone’s head off, then opens the fridge, finishes off the last piece of apple pie, and carefully brushes away the crumbs with a clean hanky.

How can someone do that? Wouldn’t he be shaking or vomiting, filled with guilt and anguish at the fact he’s taken another’s life? That would be nice, but then that would make him human. A stone killer has no conscience. If you have no conscience you can strangle puppies to death, steal from elderly women, or torture innocent people. Having a reasonable discussion with this type of pseudo-human sociopath is a waste of time. Spending thousands to rehab him is also a waste of resources.

So why do we find him so interesting? Because he does exactly what he wants. We struggle with right or wrong, whether we’ll hurt someone’s feelings, or whether what we’re doing is honorable. Our code of ethics runs deep. His only code is to not get caught.

On the good side, stone killers can be fun. It’s fun to get revenge without guilt or remorse, to read a murder mystery and give our overactive consciences a rest. Crawl into bed, relax into a comfortable state of anxiety, because in the end, the good guy will get the bad guy and we’ll all be saved.

Any thoughts on good versus evil?

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