Tag Archives: cognition

How to spot a sociopath

Here’s how you might be able to spot a sociopath.

Hopefully it’ll be useful for someone who’s been a victim or it might save someone from being one. The victims of sociopaths often suffer more from psychological and emotional abuse more than physical, which is what makes this type, the most dangerous for our well-being.

So to begin, one thing to remember is that sociopaths have a tendency to do small insignificant favors for people. Now, these favors are small enough that they don’t have to truly invest anything in them, but they’re big enough for the one they’re doing it for. They won’t ask anything in return. But your brain will register it as something that you “owe” them. Then when the time comes for them to cash in, they will indirectly play the “guilt card” and will get a lot more out of you than they ever invested in you.

So, if you want to spot a sociopath, observe the behaviors of those close to you or of someone whom you suspect to be one.

Focus especially on the ones who are always nice to you and doing little stuff for you, things that you can do yourself, but don’t and so they do it for you without asking anything in return. It might be that they’re doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, but let’s face it, not many of those around nowadays, are there…

So, start by seeing what kind of stuff they do for you, then one day, ask them for something big, it should be small enough that it’s doable, but big enough that they’d need to actually invest themselves and their time or money or effort/energy in you. See how they respond.

Most sociopaths in this case, will respond with indirectly saying ‘no’, usually by finding some excuse and try to circumvent around your request. They won’t say ‘no’ directly if you’re still ‘useful’ to them, they don’t want to fall out of your ‘good graces’, so they will create some other way to “help”, a way that won’t involve them investing anything in you, but making you think that they did “help”.

Remember, such individuals are the most cunning when it comes to getting their way. They often hide behind innocence and friendship and kindness, which makes them harder to spot. But if you know where to look and how to see thru the charade, you’ll be able to spot them with relative ease. In which case, the next step would be a bit harder, i.e. cutting such toxic individuals, out of your life.

There’s one other kind as well, btw. The type who will ask you to do small favors for them. This type will twist your mind a different way. Doing favors for someone will mean you investing yourself in them and we always tend to hesitate in breaking off from a relationship that we’ve invested a lot in. This type is the one that people find the most difficult to get away from, as they don’t want to leave a relationship they put their mind, body, soul, money, effort, etc. etc. into. ‘The higher the value of investment, the harder it is to let go’.

The world is a messed up, dangerous place with a lot of different kinds of predators. BUT..if you know what to look out for, it becomes a whole lot safer and you probably will never have to face one throughout your life.

 

This is a facebook post turned blog post. Hopefully you found it useful. Thanks for reading.

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Observation on change

An observation.

Instructors who often are unwilling to change their perspectives. Unwilling to adapt to the ever changing environment of our society. Unwilling to evolve their training methods are often the ones who have trained under such instructors themselves.

Their mindsets have been condition to follow tradition no matter what. The longer that instructor has been training with that organization, the more aggressively he/she will defend it. But those who do manage to break free from that organization, will often have their perspectives changed drastically over time with the right exposure to the contrary information.

This applies to people in general as well. Every behavior has a root in something. I think it’s important to reach that root cause. Not many see it that way and straight up start criticizing it without actually going to the beginning of it.

I truly believe that ranting about those problems isn’t going to help anyone. Trying to form solutions to those problems however, just might.

Self-Control

Self control is easier said than achieved. Your brain doesn’t like being in pain, it doesn’t like being angry or sad, so when a stimulus comes along to do just that, the brain responds aggressively and negatively, instinctively without thinking it.

 

Instincts are a powerful thing, everyone has their “breaking point”, and once they take over, it doesn’t matter how much you trained your brain, if enough distress is caused to the brain, I.E. once it “snaps”, there won’t be any control left, you will act as you were programmed to by millions of years of evolution. The ‘thoughts’ that will occur will be as a result of your brain desperately wanting to end the cause of your distress, which will result in you using violent means of doing so if necessary.

 

Self control is something that should be exercised 24/7. It’s not something that’s done selectively. The best way to be in control is to stop a situation before it begins, and the best way to do that is to not engage in the first place. When you haven’t been pushed to your breaking point, when you still have coherent thought process, that’s when you stop and disengage rather than let your emotions or ego take over. Stop. Think. Walk.

 

The fact remains, once you get involved, you won’t be in control anymore, your instincts, your emotions, your biases, your natural responses and your neurotransmitters will be. You won’t think clearly, coherently, calmly or even at all, you will be without a rational thought process, which often leads to individuals either ending up in jail, hospital or morgue.

 

Having self-control is generally a part of your everyday life. It’s not something that’s incident or situation specific. It’s just having good enough sense to not act in a way that needlessly harms you or others around you.

Sounds

Have you ever listened to the kind of music that makes you wanna get up and dance? How about music that makes you want to do something heroic? How about the kind of music that makes you sad? Nostalgic? Happy? What about the Wonder Woman theme? If you’ve heard it, you know how it kind makes you wanna do something epic. It’s like a motivational music.

Listen to these two variations – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw_o7XUX3fg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fctMc6SxVFY Another example is Epic music (that’s what it’s called) like these two – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2hRTLdvdnk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwJj2EpC8vg or Nostalgic emotions from Retroelectro and Synthwave – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85bkCmaOh4o these two just wanna make you go back to the 80’s (90’s in my case) or Cheerful emotions from this fun little song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ2_tOoefyU For me, it’s the Mortal Kombat movie intro that pumps up my heartbeat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0ac6BXGfuA

Of course, this also applies to different sounds besides music. For example, on a more grim note, during a recent explosion, you could hear people scream in the videos (Emotion of Fear due to explosion and emotions of sadness and sympathy due to the screams when you hear them).

Basically, my point, is that all of those different types of music and sounds provoke different emotional responses. But have you ever asked yourself why? Well, the simple answer to this is that sound is the most important stimulus for virtually any living creature with ears or something similar to ears on this planet. Often even more so than sight. Many animals don’t even rely on sight, sound is their only way of “seeing” (Sonar/Ultra Sound).

You see, sounds, any kind, actually play a huge part in not only how we perceive the world around us, but also largely on our emotional state, on how we feel in that moment. It doesn’t have to be music, I’m talking about sounds. It can be the chirping of a bird or a waterfall or a tiger roaring or an explosion or a fast car driving by. Any sound, affects our thought process, in part of course, it changes the way we feel and think in that moment, about that moment.

Another thing you might’ve noticed is how men with deeper voice usually get more attention while talking, while men with higher voice, don’t as much. It of course depends on what each one is saying and other external factors, etc. But our voice, has an impact. It enhances our personality in people’s eyes. Maybe it could be the deep seated sexism, where high pitched voice of a male is associated with women and therefore weak and not worth listening to? Who knows? But no, it’s not that likely that that’s the case, because it’s the same with women.

https://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/12/why-we-prefer-masculine-voices-even-in-women/266350/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-women-like-deep-voices-and-men-prefer-high-ones-41492244/

Of course, there have been some further studies to this (even in the dating aspect, the ‘getting more attention’ aspect still stands even in those studies);

http://globalnews.ca/news/2691575/your-deep-voice-isnt-sexy-to-women-but-it-scares-off-other-men-study/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/subliminal/201205/how-we-are-judged-our-voice-in-dating-and-the-workplace

Of course, either way, it still proves how voices affect our choices, our moods, our thoughts and even attraction in social settings.

So, how does this relate to everyday life and Conflict Management and Self-Protection? Well, it relates to how we communicate. It relates to what kind of tone we use while speaking. Verbal communication skills are often overlooked in training and verbal deescalation doesn’t just include saying the ‘right thing’, it includes saying it the right way with the right tone of voice. See, having a deep voice is good, but it’s the tone that you speak in, that affects their opinion of you. Certain kinds of tones, that sound too aggressive, too confident, too controlling, too weak, too indifferent, too unsure, basically anything too extreme on either sides, will affect how a person thinks of you.

Sounds, affect thoughts and opinions and those thoughts and opinions will determine how that person treats you. Don’t take the power of your voice, for granted, learn to harness it. Pay attention to the sounds around you, and remember, if you ever feel down, there’s a lot of good music up there that you can listen to and get motivated. Something to think about 🙂

 

 

Here’s a nice little addition that (sort of) explains the mystery behind such kind of motivational music like the Wonder Woman theme; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5vQz4Xz6q8

Recollection Drill

Another fb post turned blog post…*sigh* It’s becoming a habit now..

So, do this if you want to know whether you will recall every part of your training in a stressful situation. Give yourself or ask someone else to give you a random series of numbers, single, double, triple digits, for example 4-15-23-39-110-180. Then wait 15 minutes or so and focus on doing something else, it doesn’t matter what, anything that gets your mind off this, that will simulate you going about your day after training. Then do a high intensity workout, this will simulate your tiredness after a work day. Focus on the workout only, nothing else. Do it for at least 30-45 minutes. Then towards the end of the workout and after it, try and recall the sequence that was given to you, and then recall it in reverse. If you can do that flawlessly, meaning you don’t write it down or constantly think about it and stress on it and still be able to recall them within 10-15 seconds, chances are good that you’ll be able to recall a lot of information accurately in very less time during a stressed situation. If you don’t, which most can’t, you should try making your training more principle based rather than technique based. Because there is no way you can ever recall every technique you learned for every different situation within the time frame that will be provided in an actual stress based situation. I used to do that all the time and still do it sometimes, it’s useful in improving memory as well btw.

Update- Just to be clear, I’m aware that physical recollection memory differs from  pattern recognition memory. My point with this is to show that the more data you have to recall, the longer it takes and the efficiency of memory recollection drops, as in, the data recalled is either inaccurate or incomplete. It is much quicker for the brain to recall a generalization than a specific bit of information.

 

Try it! Find out how well your memory recollection works in a stressful situation 🙂