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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nice guys, average guys, and sociopaths (IX)

Situation: A nice guy, average guy, and sociopath, all of average intelligence, are put together in a social situation. What do they think of each other?

Nice guy: At first likes both. Continues to make excuses for the sociopaths's behavior long after it is apparent to others that his behavior is inexcusable. When someone points this out, the nice guy replies, "Well, I guess he has a dark side, but I certainly don't think he's a sociopath."

Average guy: At first sees the nice guy as boring, and thinks the sociopath is really cool and dynamic and fun to be around. Sees him as what he wants to be -- courageous, cynical, funny, and irreverent. As time goes on he eventually sees the sociopath for what he is -- disloyal, dishonest, self-serving, and hypocritical, and grows to hate him. Still sees the nice guy as a turkey, however, and avoids him as much as possible too.

Sociopath: Sees both of the others as potential marks. As time goes on, he realizes that the nice guy is a much better mark. When he sees that the average guy has caught onto him, he hates him back in turn. Resents the nice guy for so obviously having come from a loving family, and for being so naive.

Situation: You run the 400 meter dash for your college team.

Nice guy: Shows up to every practice, trains hard, and gets so nervous before his meets he sometimes throws up beforehand. Is somewhat in awe of the muscular guy on the team who is so fast.

Average guy: Shows up to most practices, gets nervous before the meets. Realizes that many world class competitors take performance enhancing drugs. Finds out about a food supplement store whose proprietor sells steroids on the side. Knows he would feel bad about cheating, but the really deciding factor for him is that he doesn't want his testicles shrunk, nor does he want to grow breasts after he stops taking steroids.

Sociopath: Doesn't really enjoy practice, and skips it whenever he feels like it, but looks forward to the meets as a place where he can strut his stuff. Occasionally throws up after a race as he doesn't get nervous ahead of time and just eats whenever he's hungry. As soon as he hears about the local dealer, seeks him out and goes on the juice. Figures those side effects he's heard about will never affect him.

Situation: You brush up against someone in a bar, causing him to spill his drink. He takes a swing at you, and without thinking you instinctively swing back, knocking him out. What do you do then?

Nice guy: Is absolutely mortified at what he's done, and is afraid that he might have caused some sort of permanent damage to the other guy. Asks the crowd if there's a doctor in the house.

Average guy: As the realization of what he's just done sinks in, he looks around to make sure his buddies have witnessed his glorious feat. His exultation as he realizes he will be able to dine out on this story for a long time is tempered by a moment of panic as he realizes this could get him into trouble. He quickly says to his buddy, "You saw what just happened, right? It was self-defense."

Sociopath: Once the guy is down on the ground, stamps on his head once for good measure, and also kicks him in the ribs. Doing this feels awfully good to him. He says somewhat threateningly to the surrounding witnesses, "It was self-defense. I had to make sure he wasn't going to get up and attack me again." Then adds, in aggrieved tone, "Crazy guy like that, you never know what he's going to do." He is immediately filled with the hope that he will get to do this again, and soon.

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