Tag Archives: Training

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.

Safety Tip

A danger of valet parking. Or anything similar where you have to give your car to someone to park it. If you have a GPS system in your car and your home address is set in it. Someone can easily look it up, take a snapshot of it and use it as they please. Including for a home invasion. Always program your home address as something else. It can be anything. Just don’t make it too obvious as a fake title. For example, it can be titled as “Joe’s place” or something like that to make it vague. Best thing would be to avoid programming your home address into the GPS just to be safe and type it in every time you need it. It doesn’t take much time to do so. Practicing little safety measures like this one can have long term benefits.

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.

Analyzing a video

Another facebook post/comment tuned blog post, I thought many might benefit from this.

This is in a context of analyzing a video that shows some sort of violence, to study the incident and then later modify our training to adapt to similar situations. This also helps you perceive violence differently than others and your previous self.

When I analyze these videos, I first prefer to know the full story or at least as much as possible about the incident that took place because any analysis without the full story will be filled with my own biases and experiences which will affect the outcome of the analysis.

After I’ve known the story, I usually have the data, the blanks that are filled in the categories of;
1- What instigated the incident?
2- What happened before the actual incident?
3- Who was involved?
4- Why did it escalate to this point?
5- What was the location?
6- What time? (This is often not mentioned though)
7- Which country did it take place in? (Cultural aspect)
8- Ages of the individuals.
9- Backgrounds of the involved (It’s not always full, but enough to make a ballpark estimation).
10- What kind of violence was it?
11- What means were used to accomplish the job?
12- What were the legal and other repercussions of this for both?

After I’ve got the above data, I then look at the incident itself, first from the assailant’s perspective;
1- Pre-contact cues.
2- Verbal cues (If audio is available).
3- Means of violence utilized.
4- Levels of violence utilized
5- Body language of the assailant.

Then I see it from the victim’s perspective;
1- What were they paying attention to before the assault?
2- How long did it take for them to spot the threat?
3- What was their reaction?
4- How quick and efficiently did they react?
5- What were the external factors that would/did hinder them?

Then I finally look for the bystander’s reactions.
1- When did they arrive at the scene?
2- What did they see?
3- How did they react?
4- Did anyone help?
5- What did they say after?

Finally, I put it altogether in my notes and add the previously received full incident data and see where I would fit, what I would be capable of doing and whether it would work for me. Of course, I do this from both perspectives, strange I know, but I first see if I would be successful if I were the predator, then if I were the survivor/victim. Then I add in some additional external factors, remove some factors that don’t pertain to my situation depending on my own location and I come up with possible solutions to these kinds of problems.

Luckily, since I’ve adopted this approach, I’ve been able to, on a certain level, know and avoid certain violence prone areas, so, now I don’t have to use it a lot. Which I think might affect my training, because there is no more testing to what I do. A cruel paradox.

This was specific to me analyzing videos of violence. The principle of getting the core information first then, looking at the presented information, can be utilized for analysis of any video or anything that you analyze and study.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

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 🙂

Thoughts

So, I was reading an article about an incident, then moved on to comments and saw many people just recommending many different opinions than what was stated.

Then while I was in the shower, mid shower, it made me think up a question and a possible answer to it.

So, here it is;

Did you know that words can expand and contract?

Yes, you read that right. Words, before becoming words, are thoughts, and usually after becoming words are actions.

Remember the term “It’s easier said than done”? Well, it’s because when those words are thoughts. they’re contracted in our head, but expand exponentially when materialized.

Let’s take an example here; “I will climb mount Everest”. Now, think this sentence in your mind. Now see yourself on top of that mountain. Just standing at 29,000 ft. How easy it was to do that, easy enough, right? No doubts about just thinking of you doing it.

Now say the same thing out loud, and ask yourself if you truly believe that you’ll do it. The task, now that you have said it out loud seems more out of reach than you thought it, correct? Bordering on ridiculous.

Now, try doing it. Try climbing mount Everest tomorrow or in a month. Oops! Can’t do it, can you?

That’s what i mean when I say that words can expand and contract. This happens because the more effort you have to put in, the harder the task will be to accomplish.

Since thinking and imagining you doing something doesn’t require much physical or psychological effort it is the easiest task, but when you start saying it, you require more effort than thinking, it will require more processing power of your brain, more physical power of your mouth, etc etc. so now it will start to seem harder to you, now moving on to doing it, well, it will put tremendous stress on your body and mind, as a result, the task, by the time you go from thinking to doing it, will seem nigh impossible, as it has expanded to something much more than an abstract concept.

This would explain the behavior of many armchair quarterbacks and back seat drivers. Thinking is easy (for some), but doing it, putting it into action is a whole another thing.

This would also explain many people who judge other people’s actions in an assault or a police arrest situation. “Oh why did he have to do that, that was unnecessary”. In their minds, it’s an easy task to not injure, kill, etc and still come out unscathed. Because the words are easily said, without knowing the context, full story, etc. It doesn’t require much effort, just like the thought process of an average individual. Thoughts pop up, words are said, but when it comes the time to act on them, virtually no one will do what they said.

Anyway, just something to think about. Maybe I’m wrong or maybe I’m overthinking it too much.