I have learned from Dr E and Dr O that I do not feel the range of emotions that you do. I do not feel joy,I do not feel sadness, I do not become upset and I do not feel empathy. I am fully familiar with anger, rage, envy, hatred, jealousy, despair and most of all the feeling of power. Some of these feelings I had to explain and Dr O provided me with the appropriate label. This is because I began the first session on discussing feelings by explaining I knew only three ; power, anger and power again (actually the third was a terrible sense of dread but that is weak and I was not admitting that to the delicious Dr O). I found these sessions largely uncomfortable as I prefer to use my intelligence to interact with others rather than rely on the often uncontrollable sense of emotion. I do this because I am an expert in studying and reading people. Accordingly, I have learned which emotion to use to enable me to better negotiate my way to getting what I want. For instance, I have learned that when someone crows about a promotion to me, I am to smile and congratulate them. It takes a microsecond as I process what mask I need to reach for, but I a proficient at it now. Of course, behind that mask I am plotting how to criticise their good news as I can feel the envy rising inside of me, but that comes later. For now, I must smile, look happy, shake their hand and wish them well. Thus I appear the decent and pleasant man all know and admire me for.
Conversely, if someone is crying it usually means that they have had some bad news. In those instances I use a concerned face (I copied my secretary’s expressions as she is really good at looking after people) and know that I must utter useless platitudes such as “It will be alright I am sure” or “these things takes time but it will get better” or ” I am sorry for your loss” and pat them on the shoulder. I won’t hug them though. That is going too far.
It was as I began to build up my repertoire of staged responses that I hit on an excellent idea. I needed to find the experts at showing these emotions, study them and then I can replicate them brilliantly so that everyone regards me as someone who is in tune with human emotions and they will admire me for that. Thus, I went to a hospital and watched the nurses as they cared for people. I studied police officers on television when they had to impart bad news to people. I went to see a comedian at a local venue and watched the audience respond to her jokes. I attended a football match and observed the crowd (that was a very good source of a range of reactions – most instructive). But best of all, I happened on an amateur dramatics group and I volunteered to help with the lighting so I could watch the actors and listen to what the director told them. It was a goldmine. After that, it all fell into place as to how I should behave in certain situations. I observe and now know which mask I need to let fall into place.
I had lunch with a friend who is a lawyer. He doesn’t act for me but I wanted a piece of advice on something so I gave him a call and we met up. I told him about my ongoing sessions with Dr E and Dr O.
“You know,” he said before pausing to drink his diet Pepsi through a straw, ” I wish I had known you or perhaps more accurately known about you previously.” I assumed this was because he felt a void in his life which was only filled when he met me.
“Why’s that?” I asked.
“I would have been far more effective at what I do.”
I nodded. I often think that my abilities do rub off on people and enhance them. Clearly my friends has recognised this as well. He did, however, surprise me by going on to explain that what he meant was that it was evident to him that he had a handful of clients who were just like me and moreover he recalls several opponents (meaning both the opposing client and/or their lawyer) behaved as I do. He is a matrimonial lawyer and he confessed that when he would listen to the way these people behaved he just found them astonishing and often he thought the behaviours could not be true. He said that after spending time with me he realised that the superficial charm, refusal to comply with court orders, glibness, sense of entitlement and downright vindictiveness were all borne from their narcissism. If he had been aware of that he could have reacted accordingly.
“For instance, if I knew the ex partner of my client was one of your lot,” he continued, “I would have ensured the agreements were ironclad and involved a psychological assessment to support my client’s position. Looking back they hoodwinked several judges and if I had been aware that could have been stopped. Your lot really do regard the courts as some kind of stage to show off on.”
He continued in a similar vein and was no at all complimentary. I didn’t get around to receiving the advice I was after as I excused myself to visit the toilet and then climbed out of the window. I won’t be having lunch with him again soon.
I am driven by envy. You might wonder how someone who is naturally superior to everyone else could be envious of other people. After all, if they are inferior what is there to be jealous about? Therein lies the problem. Since I perceive most other people as inferior, if I find that they have something better than what I have, I immediately find myself angry. How dare they have a car that is more attractive than mine, they have no right to that. The anger rises inside and I must lash out. In the example given I will find some reason to denigrate their vehicle by adversely commenting on it. I will then puncture a tyre later or run a key down the paintwork. Once I have spoiled it I feel a tremendous relief and the power washes over me in an awesome way.
I am always looking around for the better deal, the trade-up and the improvement. Meet me at a drinks party and I will half-listen to you drone on until I can start talking about my achievements to you. All the while, I am looking over your shoulder to see if there is someone more interesting I can talk to, someone who is better known than you and will make me good. If I see such a target talking to someone I know, the envy rises again. Why are they giving that loser such attention and not me? Does that mean they regard me as people that fool? I cannot have that. I leave you and march over, barging into the conversation and grabbing the hand of my target for a firm handshake.
If I find someone has a larger television than me or one that is technologically superior, I must ensure I immediately buy one to beat theirs. It does not matter if the existing television is only six months old, I am jealous and I must address that envy immediately to state my superiority. I will look to improve my position and if possible, reduce yours. Doing both gives me a delicious sense of omnipotence that courses through me.
This is a never-ending process.My green eyes are flicking left and right as I seek out the larger, the bigger, the faster, the ore attractive, the higher, the sleeker, the more expensive and the superior. Upwards I must go driven by need to outsmart all around me. Yes it can be tiring and it is certainly expensive but nobody remembers who comes second do they ? My engine of envy drives me forward in my mission of improvement and betterment and surely that is a good thing, yes ?
Ah, you recall those heady days during the golden period when nothing was too much trouble for me? Breakfast would be brought to you in bed. I would take your dog for a walk without being asked. I would leave those little love notes hidden around the house for you to find after your trip away. I would walk into the countryside and pick flowers for you to hand over to you with my dimpled smile. Something upset you? I would listen on the telephone or drive across to listen as you cried and emptied your heart. I was on hand, on time and on your side.
After a few months, longer if you are really lucky, my helpfulness and ever present assistance has eroded. If you ask me to do something you will be met with a sigh and a roll of the eyes and I may just do it. More likely I vanish when chores are required. I never answer the phone when you desperately need to speak to me to discuss your bad day at work. I flat refuse to do the things that I always did for you and indeed I will even deny that I ever did them. To reinforce this stark withdrawal of my services I will then always query what have you done for me? I will trot out the list of things that I have done for you (adding some fabricated ones in for good measure – go on, try and suggest I am making them up and see what happens next). Isn’t it curious how I have a foggy memory about agreeing to pain the fence yet I can recall with amazing recall the date, manner and duration of each and everything that I have done for you. I only ever did it so I could hook you and then throw it back in your face. Of course, as with everything I do, you frantically try to fathom out what has happened and to steer us back to my useful and helpful period. Thus the dance goes on.
Everyone is familiar with the adage, out of sight,out of mind. That does not quite apply to us. During our seduction phase we need to know that you are repeatedly there. It is almost constant. We assail you with a battery of texts and telephone messages and we demand instant replies. We want you to leave voice mail messages which we will listen to over and over. We are delighted (and also need) to find our mobile waiting with a message from you when we first wake up. We want to arrive at work and check the voicemail thereto find the first message waiting is an overnight declaration of love and admiration from you. If we do not hear from you, in some shape or form for a short period of time and by short I mean fifteen minutes or so, then we believe you have ceased to exist and that you no longer want us. That means that our fuel has suddenly vanished and this leaves us on edge, jittery and restless. Of course, with this being the section phase we do not act in any way horrible (that as you know comes later). Thus there are no texts of “where are you?” or “why are you ignoring me?” instead we will send these beauties:-
“I know fifteen minutes might not seem long but when I don’t hear from you it feels like an eternity”
“How are you? I am fine but my day will improve so much when I hear from you”
“Our connection is so deep that I need to feel in constant contact with you. Can’t wait for your message.”
“Quick,tell me something good in just one word”
You will regard these messages as sweet and delightful. This approach also serves to ensure that you will keep your ‘phone available at all times. Have you noticed how you keep checking it during dinner with your friends? How about the fact you now keep popping out of meetings just to make a short call or send me a message? Consider how you are not watching the sports match as intently since you are texting me? You may think it is another example of how lovely I am, but in reality it is to feed out need for attention and condition you to do it for us. Of course, as with many of my early actions, it also allows me to withdraw this behaviour in the devalue stage.
The bedroom is one of my favourite rooms. One of my ex-girlfriends used to call it the torture chamber. Another called it the freezer. Their appellations amused me. I don’t like to be touched. Dr O has suggested this is because that touch reminds me too much of what I am missing. I laughed at her remark. I prefer not to be touched, so how on earth would I miss that? I soon learned in the bedroom however that there was an expectancy to touch and hold. At first I would go along with this ritual but I soon tired of it and the thought of ‘spooning’ made me gag. I then learned however that my dislike of being touched and touching was actual a very useful weapon. I initially refrained from touching purely because I did not like it. No more. No less. The person in bed with me however would make such a scene about it that I learned they had to be touched or held to affirm that I felt something for them. Accordingly, by withholding any form of contact this would really upset them. It was marvellous. I was able to turn an idiosyncrasy of mine into a tool to cause upset and distress. If I refused to cuddle up (I’m shuddering just typing that) then I would be met with loud sighs and pleading requests. This emboldened me to not even face their way. In fact, I would lie looking at them and then purposefully turn my back on them. Moments later the sobbing would start and I would feel the power flowing through me before I drifted off to sleep. From what they told me, they endured many a lonely night trying to sleep. If they tried to place an arm around me, I would shrug it off or if really irritated (and this was a body blow) I would get up and sleep in the spare room. I love doing this. Not only do I get to really isolate the other person but then I can criticise them in the morning for forcing me from my bed and into the spare room. That gives me a delightful boost as I butter my toast.
Dr O asked me how I choose to lash out. I corrected her straight away. I do not lash out. That suggests a loss of control. I do not lose control. She accepted my point. I think she is beginning to realise who has the greater intellect in these sessions and is bowing to my superiority. I also noticed she was wearing a short skirt again. I think she is doing that in an attempt to distract me when we are having a discussion. Not so fast good doctor, your legs are good, defined and toned but their comely diversion is not going to win you this battle. Having conceded her error she tried again and asked when I wish to hurt somebody what method do I most often use to do so? This interested me as I had never considered that I have one that I use most often since I like to deploy the entire arsenal I have available. Not all at once, but over time with those who have injured me. Of course, certain weapons are not applicable in some scenarios. After all, I am hardly going to withdraw from bedding a colleague of the same sex am I?
Sometimes it is rage, other times I withdraw affection or sex. On other occasions it is belittling or odious comparisons to others. Then again, I may commence an affair and lack any discretion in doing so. I might decide to break or throw away a precious possession or spread some nasty comments. There is a wide range of harmful actions I might take. I sat thinking these through prompting Dr O to ask “Have I stumped you, you have fallen silent.”
I smiled as realisation dawned. The method I used the most was the silent treatment. It is fantastic. It requires minimal effort (always a good thing) and can be used immediately. What I like most about it is the fact that the recipient will have no idea whatsoever why I am doing it. This really messes with their mind. They cannot understand why I will not communicate with them as they cannot work out what they have done to receive this treatment. If they had any understanding of me, they would just walk away and let me get on with it. That would annoy me as they would no longer be giving me any attention so I would halt the silent treatment as it was no longer working. Instead, they HAVE to know and understand why I have gone silent. It burrows into their minds and twists away as they ask question after question. I can see them wracking their brains to establish what has caused this treatment. I see them mentally flicking through what has been said and done, ascertaining different scenarios as they helplessly grope for an answer. The not knowing slaughters them. I can keep it up for weeks if need be and the longer it goes on the more desperate they are to achieve an answer. Their increasing frustration fuels me and spurs me on to maintain this condition. Marvellous. I have broken several people this way and when I choose to end the silence, their eruption of gratitude fills me with a huge sense of power.
Yes, this weapon of choice really is the silent killer.