Making Better Episode 5: M. E. Thomas

22 responses on “Making Better Episode 5: M. E. Thomas”

    1. I wouldn’t be interested in any future that entails having someone else wave a magic wand to deal with all my troubles.

      The beauty and poetry of life comes from walking through our struggles and learning from experience. Facing difficult circumstances is what broadens our horizons and builds our capacity to respond well to the environment.

      I wouldn’t want to “deploy” anyone to handle my life; not would a psychopath ever be at your beck and call to do such a thing anyway. They are nobody’s puppet.

      The “qualms” you mention are what keep us connected to our tribe and keep the tribe functioning. These feelings give us pause to consider our actions and mitigate impacts. Psychopaths do act without regard for others – that’s true – and it leads to poor consequences, even if they don’t intend harm.

      Most people are not psychopaths, and they achieve fantastic things. I wonder why that needs to be said!

      The future is real, authentic leadership and collaboration to solve problems. I’m not saying psychopaths don’t have a role to play in that, and I respect ME for her journey. But I am very definitely saying that our lives right now do not depend on psychopaths the way some cardboard-cutout characterisations of them might lead you to believe. Neither will our future depend on them, although they might contribute to it in various ways.

      They are a fascinating paradigm of the human species, another example of adaptation to context. They are not monsters, they are not heroes. They are people with a different set of social capabilities and the better we understand them, the better we will relate to them. And we might learn quite a lot about ourselves in the process.

      I appreciate ME because she shares her reality and hopefully her new book will give us a rich source for understanding the experiences psychopathic people have of the human condition.

      There are real challenges with relating to psychopathic people. At the moment, many people are afraid of what they don’t understand. I’m sorry for what happened to ME after she published her book. That was unjust, unwarranted.

      The appropriate response to that injustice is not to create new myth that focuses on the good without acknowledgement of the very real challenges. The appropriate response is wholistic consideration for the nature of psychopathic experience of life and their modes of operation. Only then will we understand them and appreciate them safely. Because they are actually dangerous in ways the caricatures don’t explain.

      It takes one’s full capabilities to do this. If you, on the one hand, abdicate responsibility for your own life and gift it to a psychopathic (or any other!) person to take care of, you’re not likely to land where you wish. If, on the other hand, you engage with one fully, you might have an experience not unlike a Zen apprenticeship. But it will be very hard and will grow you by stretching you outside of your comfort zone.

  1. That’s right. That was my observation as well. Wall Street and finance were specifically mentioned as ideal environments for a psychopath. No, they are not all serial killers, but once you identify one, be on guard for the inevitable manipulation.

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