It is well known that boredom is the nemesis of the psychopath. This blog has been a great antidote to boredom for me. But I still suffer from it in between posts. I refuse to write empty posts just for the sake of posting. And such empty posts would not alleviate boredom. Well, here’s a topic I can sink my teeth into.
So what is psychopathic boredom? The worst kind, I’m told. I wouldn’t know as I don’t have a standard of comparison. But it seems to get worse with age. Fewer diversions. I have energy that wants a direction. When, all too often, there is nowhere to direct it, I am tormented, like an animal in a cage, pacing as I’ve seen lions do in zoos.
What do other psychopaths experience? I find that few of us really talk about this. One who does is Jessica Kelly. “Imagine that you are stuck in a lecture hall listening to a boring presentation on a topic that you have no interest in. Now, imagine that that presentation will never end until you die.” Zhawg calls his boredom a “need for inspiration.”
Non-psychopaths have had more to say about our boredom than we have. Claudia Moscovici, at psychopathyawareness, made some observations which I can relate to. She says we focus really intensely on our goals but we lose interest in whatever goal we have been pursuing. She quotes Cleckley as saying, “The psychopath shows a striking inability to follow any sort of life plan consistently, whether it be one regarded as good or evil. He does not maintain an effort toward any far goal at all.” Of course, this can be a description of where our boredom leads us rather than an explanation of why we get bored. And not all psychopaths give up an interest that quickly or easily. Some pursue careers at which they excel and stick to them throughout their lives. But others, like me, never have a specific life-path. I always took my life a day at a time. Claudia provides an explanation for those who don’t stick to anything for the long haul. “Going to medical school, maintaining a good job, nourishing a relationship, all take hard work, which may not always be exciting. Psychopaths prefer instant gratification and effortless results.” It’s true that I would rather be a racing steed than a drayhorse. Excitement wins out over tedium every time. Andy McNab was successful in his career because it demanded the kinds of challenges a psychopath enjoys.
According to Adelyn Birch, psychopaths get bored easily because we have shallower and fewer emotions so we need “stimulation in order to feel anything.” But she claims we can only satisfy our need with “victims.” “During these times, the psychopath goes on an aggressive pursuit for more. Since they have no conscience, they are uninhibited in their search for relief.” Sure we need stimulation but there are other ways to get it than “victimizing” people.
Years ago, I came up with a strategy for dealing with pain. I focused on the pain itself, asking myself what, in the sensation itself, is “bad.” The more I focused, the more the sensation receded. I had discovered a way to make the pain disappear. The trick is you can’t allow yourself to think you are trying to make it go away or it doesn’t work. You have to be honestly focusing on the pain and trying to be as conscious of it as possible. I developed a philosophy to go with this strategy. I believe that what makes suffering is not the sensation of pain, but the effort to flea from it. Therefore, freedom from pain consists of being totally in the moment, in present time. Acceptance of whatever is happening at that moment is free of suffering. This goes with a lot of yoga and Eastern religion where being present is the key to enlightenment. It is enlightenment.
Boredom is a form of pain. Why not banish it the same way? This technique requires a lot of discipline. I can’t always achieve it. One must stop thought. Thought is like that pacing lion. One popular technique of meditation is the mantra. Think about what a mantra is. It’s a repetition of a word or phrase. I heard a story of a man who was “gifted” with a genie who would do whatever the man told him to do. Trouble was that the genie was so efficient, he finished every task really quickly and the master was burdened with the task of finding more things for the genie to do. Desperate, he went to a guru. The guru told him to order the genie to climb up and down a ladder over and over. That’s the mantra. It’s still a kind of pacing but it also shuts down other activity like thought. It’s a kind of mindlessness. I like to just focus on a single spot in my sight. Whatever it takes.
- Psychopaths and Boredom. Psychopathy Awareness
- Boredom vs. Needing Inspiration. Psychopathic Writing by Zhawq.
- Will Anything Ever Satisfy? Psychopaths and Boredom. Psychogendered, A Transgender Psychopath’s Blog
- Where Nothing Resides.
- Occupy Boredom.
- Idle Hands.
- The Nemesis of the Psychopath: Boredom. by Adelyn Birch