This is an unintentional bonus post.
I answered a particular question on Quora yesterday, and that question has been subsequently deleted, so I will just post it here. Originally I considered making it a crosspost, but now that it has been deleted, it will be a standalone here on Substack.
Quora’s loss, Substack’s gain I suppose.
I have friends. They rock. Fun to be around, intelligent, engaging, etc. Hell, one of them is even a psychopath as well.
I don’t know what about being a psychopath means that we aren’t able to have friends. Perhaps instead of this being about the psychopath, this is more your understanding of what it means to have friends.
I can’t help but notice the next thing you ask about is an emotional question.
Can a psychopath “care about another for others sake, instead of their own.”
No, but you can’t either. You think that you can because you have chemicals in your brain that are telling you so. In reality, those chemicals are there to ensure you stay around other people, because if you don’t, you will die. You will die from being eaten by wolves, or you will die because your emotional brain is an open circuit that requires other people in order to be healthy enough to function. This is a byproduct of living in tribes for all of eternity until last week, and there is nothing you can do about it. Your caring for that other person, ultimately is a self serving act. Not a bad thing, it’s just the way it is.
Not exactly what you think of when you think of your bonds with your friends, but the long and short of it is, you having feelings about someone, does not mean that you are any better at being friends than I am.
What is friendship? Is it the emotions? I don’t think so, and in fact I see the emotional aspects of friendships cause a lot of problems. Friendship is about action. Do you think your friend is going to be all warm and fuzzy because you are sitting in front of your TV having feelings for them? They have no idea. They’re home, living their lives, not reading your mind and experiencing your warm fuzzies.
No. For them to know you have to do something. Unless your feelings instruct you to pick up the phone and ask them what is going on, how they are, etc, your feeling means diddly squat. Sure, nice sentiment, but not actually useful. You have to do something in order for those feelings to have an impact on your friend.
That is my form of “care”. I invest in the people around me. Can I bond with them? No. No psychopath can. Can I invest in them? Show cognitive love for them? Sure can, and I am pretty good at doing it. I imagine you are wondering what I mean by cognitive love, and investment, and here is that information:
Does that mean I am the bestist nifftiest superest friend around? No. Being friends with me is work for most people, and it is not for the faint of heart. You have to be pretty self confident to know that my lack of calling you on a daily basis is not a reflection on your value. If you need me, I’m there. For those closest to me, I will burn the world down for them.
It has nothing to do with how I feel, it has to do with how I am. Friendships can be very challenging when it comes to dealing with a person that is psychopathic. So long as the other person is aware however, and there is conversations had between them to know what is necessary, what is possible, what to expect, and what not to, then it can work out for both sides.
That is provided that we are compatible as people to begin with.
Now for your last question:
Can another person be worth something to them, even if they gain nothing from them?
Nope, but again, you can’t either. You wouldn’t be friends with a rock, would you? No. Why? Because one, you aren’t six, and two, it would be pointless. You can’t get anything from that rock. You have needs, and the friendships that you cultivate are going to be based on those needs. You are seeking things from your friendships, just like everyone else. You seem to have this notion that friendships are some magical thing, where no one needs anything, everyone is selfless, and it’s a love fest.
That isn’t friendships, that’s fantasy. All friendships are based on you and the other person getting something out of one another. Just because your “something” is emotional, it doesn’t make it sacrosanct. It’s just as self serving as my requirements that my friends be engaging, interesting, entertaining, intelligent, fun to be around, etc.