Since you asked in your post, if I was in a similar conversation, upon reading the death threat my response would be "okay we're done here" then I would have blocked him. My emotional response would be to feel disrespected, but only mildly since it's online.
My response to seeing it happen to you is annoyance. His book sounds like it's going to be the equivalent of a Jewish culture book written by a Nazi. There are so many books out there written about certain groups of people, by people who neither are apart of nor respect that particular community.
One thing to keep in mind about emotional language is that the emotional response is near instantaneous. There is no thinking, "who's this person, and should I care?" before the response happens. People can of course choose to dwell on those emotions, but an emotional response in and of itself doesn't indicate that someone cares about that person's opinion.
Negative emotional responses can be thought of as pain. If a stranger were to run up to you and stomp you on the foot, would it not hurt because they're a stranger? What if they're a child, or an athlete, or an inanimate rock? The athlete's stomp will hurt more than the child's stomp, and a rock will hurt more or less depending on the mass and speed of the rock when it hits your foot, but unless the thing your hit with is as light as a feather, you'll still feel something.
Personally I did felt annoyed at first but then amused to the end. His response, however, reminded me of times I was bullied. When I showed nonchalance and looked strong, people started to yell at me, make rumors about me being psychopathic, tell me how much they hated me, etc.
It was projection he did at the end, but your perspective provides a new view. I would have ended the convo simply because it was a waste of time but then seeing your quote, "Why should you care? How important is this person?" Has placed some gems on this website. I don't know if you watch game of throne but ut reminds me of the quote that power and status is like a shadow on the wall. Ever changing and only legit if the person approves. Your post made me think of how many people we unnecessarily give power to because they try to force hierarchy by interacting with us through condescension and insults. Turns out that most of us are pretty much nobodies unless someone agrees. Plus not every open mouth should be listened to and we have that choice.
"Why should I care?" So simple yet we forget all the time.
I didn’t like reading the interaction. If it was a similar interaction for example on a blog but with two non psychopaths it would make me very uncomfortable. I would find it extremely difficult not to step in to defend the person I viewed as being provoked.
Given that the person being provoked here happens to be a psychopath, this lessens my need to defend. This isn’t because I view psychopaths as being undeserving of protection. It’s more that I am confident that the psychopath has the mental agility to respond effectively to the provocation and I am also confident that the psychopath is unaffected by the provocation. Essentially, not getting upset. All is still not well with me though because there still remains the matter of respect. I would view it as Athena taking time to review questions, answering honestly, considering the question and her response to it etc. I view this as deserving of both courtesy and respect. Both elements were lacking in the interaction on the side of the commenter. To excuse the behaviour as being some kind of test is a blame shift for the provocation, it’s condescending and it’s very basic in terms of a manipulation. That irritates me too if I’m honest.
I’m big on respect. If people take the time to answer questions thoughtfully as demonstrably Athena does, then that deserves respect in my book. People don’t have to agree or even like what they read, but they ought to respect the time that goes in.
When I see arguments break out online between commenters I know well (online) I find it difficult not to try to diffuse and restore harmony. Yes, that’s a me thing I know. I am learning to stay out, not because I don’t want to protect or defend but rather I have come to realise that often these arguments break out due to crossed lines of communication / misinterpretation of the meaning behind a comment. That gets resolved more quickly if I stay out rather than wade in, despite my intentions to broker resolution being genuine.
I don’t lose my temper online. Lose your temper, lose the argument. If I had been in Athena’s shoes I would likely have closed the guy down sooner. Interact with me honestly, in a genuine way or don’t bother. I have no desire to win, but I also don’t suffer fools or disrespect online.
“Cool” did make me smile. It was likely genuine, but it’s also a clever move.
This was fun to read.
I had all the neurotypical responses - to protect, defend, a bit of anger....well, actually, I'm still a bit annoyed by that guy - was all that really necessary to come to his diagnosis? Maybe it was.
It looks like Athena "won" the discussion, but it probably isn't like that either. I'm guessing it was just "well, that was fun while it lasted" and then on to a video game or dinner.
Ah, I wish I could have a hybrid version of psychopathic and neurotypical wiring, be able to switch between the types when I required :)
"Um, just in case we’re unclear, I’d gladly put a 9mm round in your face, just as I would any rabid animal to put it out of its misery, so, you know, don’t think I actually like you as a person."
I think what I might have done would be to say, "Hmm... I'm not miserable and it's not catching. So there's no need for that 9-mm round." But to be on the safe side, I probably would have reported him to the authorities.
Where I live, it is a criminal offense to threaten people. I agree with this. And reporting it is probably the best thing to do in that particular legal environment, because it is essentially impossible to avoid serving prison time if you kill someone, even if it was in self-defense. The only difference is that you'll serve 7 years instead of 25.
But then again... it is nearly impossible for civilians to have firearms here. You can have them for hunting or sports purposes, but there are very strict rules about registration, training and storage that must be complied with in order to have a firearm. It is probably impossible to own or otherwise possess such a weapon without the authorities being aware of it.
Words inherently have an emotionality to them; yes they might just be 'words' but copy writers and marketing exist because they know the words you use and how you use them has an impact whether you want them to or not.
I assume it's the same for a psychopath too, just not in the same way. I.e. you see a food described in a certain way, or people talking about how good this certain food is, etc. Which I guess may make you want to also try it? (Is that true for you?)
For me when I saw the word "HA!" I felt both an accusatory finger pointing at me, as well as his delight. Then with the gun death threat, I just felt "bruh he's lost the plot"...
How do you not care what someone says when it's hit your heart before you had the chance to cognitively disregard it as worthless?
9mm to the face doesn't bother me at all. I would tell him what happened the last time someone put a 9mm in my face. I made the guy pay me so I didn't take his gun from him and use it on him. Psychopathy in a high stress situation is like a superpower. Since, you have no stress or fear you stay calm, cool, and collected and figure out how to take control of the situation with confidence and charm.
As a very much none psychopath I always appreciate your stuff on dealing with setbacks.
One of the positive psychopathic traits is they seem to have extreme grit, something I’ve always been working on getting.
At first, I agreed with you. As long as the jackass was entertaining, what difference does it make what he says? But, like you, I am anonymous online, so people like that don't usually bother me unless they're misleading other people. Then, I might challenge them, or ask for evidence for what they're saying.
But, after much thought, and with the realization that most people have public identities online, I consider the death threat, no matter the motive or even if in jest, should result in the guy being immediately banned. He could have simply said that he did not like you. I think he was trying to get some reaction, and didn't have any real desire to kill you. But my objection to this kind of language is from a desire for there to be some degree of civility in online communication. That sort of talk, and far worse, has terrorized a lot of public figures, and their families, and it should result in a ban, or even criminal charges, and mental health checks.
To me that death threat was transparent like freshly washed glass, so I chuckled. This transcript was entertaining and I found myself appreciating the... Not sure if to call it sparring because he sure was striking, but against a block of titanium, so no fight on the other side, except maybe in figuring out what is the aim of Mr User.
Now if I am dealing with an actual conflict, here's what plays a role - do I think they are acting the way they are because I upset them (and it's not the sort "well, facts")? Then I feel bad. Do I think they have a point? I feel bad, I wonder how hard will be rectifying, if I can integrate their point with what seems like I shouldn't discard (or plain it hurts to discard (because both can happen - there is valid aspect to the issue, or I am just too invested in something or both at once)), worry whether there is something wrong with my cognition and direction that I did not recognize this sooner (I know, that's why we exchange opinions, to broaden our visions, but sometimes it is not ignorance, but something like colour-blindness or some such issue). Also sense of responsibility and feeling sure I did all in my power to improve whatever problem arose. Because not wanting to be that bystander that could have done something and did nothing. In case I am sure I did my part and the rest is on the other party, I might still actually worry about where is my world headed and how it could impact me and what I care about in long run or what it proves about people, civilization, stuff. And the last thing - if I think the person is serious, how likely they are to really endanger me.
Which doesn't mean I stress over every dissatisfaction and critticism and goading into fight. Depends on how big it is. And perhaps on whether I am already stewing in something and this conflict seems related to it. I can experience also joy of being victorious in handling things to my satisfaction. I can also deem soemthing to be totally over nothing and of zero impact and just rise my eyebrows or not even that.
Last time I got offended was when I showed my father a drawing which featured a weapon design and his reaction was "you don't know much about that stuff, do you?" because I do know more than him, I am the one who lowkey is into historical weaponry and spent months watching vids on history, combat and weaponry. I was angry that I didn't have as much to show for it as to not induce that reaction and I was angry that one of issues he pointed out was something I literally recalled seeing explored in one such video, but forgot to take into consideration. When we discussed what's wrong with the drawing and I pointed out that the original objection he haf was moot, because he misunderstood the drawing a bit, I felt already better, but the fact that it was still a bit less stable than a pretty obvious third option and it was that very thing I saw and didn't recall, that still burned a bit, but it was already milder and actually moving cosntructively. I also felt very ridiculous for how strong was my initial reaction. The thing also was that I was inda figuring along the way how to make it look while I was drawing so that too, but that is a mistake in itself. And the fact that my knowledge is theoretical, while he has practical experience with physical mechanics of tools and that is a real weak spot on my part, that certainly added to the whole sense of humiliation and need to defend myself. And I deeply appreciate constructive critticism, but this took me off guard in quite a way. Great source of annoyance can be, when I feel like I do not have a way to prove how things are and I am feeling sure that I would be seen like making up the explanation.
On the matter of defending one'đ honor, I think there might be some generational ingrained model for that, because it was often required that the isulted accused party does not shrug it off, but meets the challenge and proves they are not to be trifled with. If they ignored it, they might have seriously hurt their reputation within their community. So that could perhaps play into tendency to get all reactive. Of course, there are ways to meet the challenge and one can meet the challenge without actually feeling strongly about it.
I'd say when it comes to insults etc. a fairly good brake on emotional overreaction could be notion that that is exactly what the attacker wants. Oneđ' defense and self-prservation is not getting riled up and seeing it for something we should not let us hurt.
Very good explanation about "why even care". I care about opinions that gives me people whom I value on intellectual and emotional level. Lately I had one "friend" , who came of really rational, but deep down was so sensitive. I realise to better cut off friendship because I was hurting his feelings. He started to act so bothered and defensive, when i said my opinion about him or random things.
Not only by those in power, but by all participants, who have various "playbooks", most of which are to minimize inconvenience and maximize prosperity and standing/respect from the group
Hmmm.... I responded precisely as you did and gawked in non comprehension at the other comments here.
It also reminds me of real discussions I have had. People try to start on me. Like guys try to get difficult. And when they do because they don't get a fear response they kind of deflate. Mostly what happens is they will say something that is meant to be provocative but I respond to it in a factual manner, and I will just give them more information. Also, I remember a homeless guy associated with a church tried to get me to pity him and I just responded normally (so like a normal conversation - not including emotional manipulation), and a friend of mine at the time thought this was hysterical saying that this guy had tried his Trump card on me. Trying to get me to pity him, and it had fallen flat.
The idea though of responding to endless hypotheticals is not one I agree with. Because I have often thought unless the hypothetical is at least somewhat related to real life, there might be a very good reason said hypothetical cannot happen. But you can throw a knife. I used to do it clear across my room and into the wall.
This psychopath Hunter as I call it, what does he expect to find? Duh 🙄
Given the context, I was mostly amused by those exchanges -- although that death threat was certainly startling. However, if it had been a personal (and neurotypical) friend who was the "target" of this person's curiosity, I believe I would have felt indignant and protective. What I might have *done* about that, dunno. I've learned the hard way not to jump on my white horse and ride to the rescue. (LOL)
The whole "why should I care what this person thinks" is stellar. I find it a tad harder to let go of caring what someone else *does*, especially actions aimed towards me. I do have a motto though, when I can remember it: namely WWAD = What Would Athena Do? (LOL) When I can remember that, it does help me uncouple from some situations. (Thanks, Athena!)