10. Sociopaths: Pride

Their pride is always their eventual undoing, providing someone does not finally shoot them along the way.  Pride will consistently permeate every move they make.  Without a conscience and always desperately seeking power and control, pride is their natural result.  And this is a crucial bit of information.  For their irresistible pride is what will open them up to vulnerable possibilities.  They are all too weak at this very point.

As Solomon notes for us, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,” Proverbs 16:8.

Although such a glaring weakness presents a great opportunity to fight back, it also presents a dangerous situation.  When pressed, a Sociopath will most likely respond in desperate measures.  If you thought the behavior was bizarre before, just wait until this stage might be reached.  Nothing rational or even intelligent will result when the sociopath is in process of exposure for what they really are.

However, it may also be a great blessing for they may actually be on the verge of flight which is the best thing you might hope to see.  If people will not acknowledge their blessed presence they will panic.  A realistic expectation is for them to flee and virtually disappear.  When a sociopath leaves a conflicted situation it usually results in an eerie absence.  They simply do not come back for anything.  They flee with their wounded pride, yet holding onto their illusion of secret greatness, like Gollum with his precious ring (c. Tolkien, LOTR).

Again, as Solomon holds out such hope, “Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy,” Proverbs 29:1.

As though all the resistance has finally imploded upon them they have nothing left.  They are exposed for what they really are.  Like a predator in the wild with bells attached on a collar, the sociopath has been declawed and seen for the vapor of a life they really are.

What keeps them away now is righteous indignation.  If they will not see me for the great redeemer I really am, so they reason, then they are not worthy of me.  Their pride will repel themselves from this group.

Unfortunately, the other side of this reality means that they have moved onto other sources of prey and games.  Pity and fear for the next church where they may run and hide, but hope and pray the next place will be aware of the reputation that proceeds the adversary.

The next steps will find them in another church where they may attempt efforts to get their way again, but since they are in a new setting they are outsiders.  Their pride forbids much patience.  The probable scenario drives them sulking into the back pews where they continue to generate their fantasies of being the unappreciated blessed redeemer.

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“Ignore Your Enemy”

In his book, “Rules for Aging: A Wry and Witty Guide to Life” (Mariner Books, 2001), Roger Rosenblatt, in the cynical spirit of Mark Twain steers us to a refinement of our life’s perspectives.  In the chapter dealing with jerks and other irritating people, “Ignore Your Enemy or Kill Them,” he presents this insight.  (Bear in mind, Rosenblatt is an enjoyable read, he does not really expect anyone to literally “kill” their enemies, yet does present an interesting point in the notion).

In Casablanca … Peter Lorre says to Bogart: “You despise me, don’t you?” and Bogart replies: “I would if I bothered to think about you.”

In the realm of normal human behavior (whatever that may be), it is probably impossible to be oblivious … when there is someone around continually seeking to do you harm, indeed, whose bitter happiness seems to depend on it. Only a person with the hide of an elephant could really pay no attention when such an enemy is relentlessly firing insults and slinging mud. Who would not feel some slight hurt, if only because someone exists who is consumed with the desire to bring you low?

And yet, here – as in so many rules of aging – the trick is to do absolutely nothing. Nothing is everything. Ignore your enemy or kill him. If you pay no attention to him, he may not slink away, but he will grow increasingly desperate, increasingly incoherent, and (best of all) increasingly unhappy. The happier your life, the more miserable his. The truth is, that people of this peculiar stripe are their own worst enemy (admittedly, they have heated competition), and it constitutes one of life’s delights to watch them go at themselves with all the bitterness and disappointment of which they are composed. To enjoy this, however, one must never give them a scintilla of assistance.

Of course, as the rule suggests, one can take a different approach, and, instead of ignoring one’s enemy, one can murder him. If he is really getting to you, I advise that you do it. But you must kill quickly, suddenly, and anonymously, or it’s no good – with a bomb, perhaps, or a flamethrower shot from a great distance. You want him dead, but you do not want him to see that it was you doing him in. If he knows it is you, all is lost. In that billionth of a second, he will die content that he got your goat and that all his efforts have finally paid off – which is the last thing you want.

For myself, I favor giving one’s enemy life without parole instead of an execution. Think of it, the beauty of it: You are his obsession, and he is merely a bark in the night. The idea is not to care, not to pretend that you don’t care, but to really not care. Trust me. You have just extended your enviable life.

 

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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