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Friday, November 18, 2011

Nice guys, average guys, and sociopaths (X)

Situation: A group of young male students attend a college mixer. How do they behave?

Nice guy: Has a beer just so his friends won't think he is a square. Chats politely with whoever talks to him, male or female. One particularly pretty girl catches his eye but he is too shy to try to talk to her.

Average guy: Makes a desultory attempt to chat up various coeds; doesn't know any better, so stares at their breasts rather than looking them in the eye while talking to them. Awkwardly tries to get a couple of phone numbers, but is rebuffed. Takes advantage of the free beer by having several. Ends up hanging out with his buddies; they agree that most girls just go to mixers for the opportunity to turn down guys in order to feel more desirable.

Sociopath: Doesn't bother with the beer, since he knows he doesn't need one to loosen up. (Inhibitions are for losers.) He mingles successfully, knows how to make each girl he talks to feel as if she is special, and gets a few phone numbers. He makes an unsuccessful attempt to bed one of the girls in a nearby dorm room. Later tells his buddies the attempt was successful. They admire his nerve and slickness.

Situation: A man is walking down the street in a hurry, late for an appointment, when someone in a car stops to ask for directions to a local restaurant.

Nice guy: Stops to answer, gives detailed directions. Repeats directions when asked.

Average guy: Gives a rushed answer indicating the general direction of the restaurant. Starts to edge away even before he is finished giving directions, so as to forestall further questions.

Sociopath: Stops to answer and gives detailed directions to a seedy section of town. Afterward cackles with delight at his cleverness and wishes he could see their faces when they find themselves in the ghetto.

Situation: One of a group of buddies is diagnosed with terminal leukemia. How do his friends react?

Nice guy: Is stunned, and saddened, but doesn't say much because he knows that mere words cannot do justice to the gravity of the situation. At the funeral, is afraid he might cry in front of the deceased's relatives on the receiving line, so avoids it.

Average guy: Is saddened. Visits the guy, and says the right things. Also can't get over how bad he looks; is a little grossed out by him. While at the funeral, reflects a little on the nature of life and death, and feels bad for the grieving relatives, but also can't wait for it to be over so he can go home.

Sociopath: He makes a big show of grief, raises money for a group gift for the sick person; makes sure to take credit for the gift. He comments disparagingly about how the nice guy hasn't demonstrated sufficient sympathy for the sick person. He may let his mask slip by asking inappropriate, probing questions about the physical effects of the disease. He instinctively knows that this is a good time to ingratiate himself with the ill man's relatives, and pretends that he and the sick guy were closer than they were. At the funeral, summons up a few crocodile tears for them on the receiving line. Uses his "grief" as an excuse to misbehave. Forever after lambastes the nice guy for the fact that "he didn't even bother" to offer his condolences to the relatives.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

John,

I really love this segment of your blog. It always makes me think about where I fall in and then at the same time laugh hysterically at the sociopath description. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today !

Mad Dog

John Craig said...

Mad Dog --
Thank you. Others have said they enjoy seeing where they fit in too. Most have told me they fall squarely in the "average guy" range.