What don’t they tell you about psychopaths?
Answered By Dr Elinor Greenberg
I grew up around psychopathic men. Three of the things people do not usually mention in the same breath as the term “psychopath” are the following:
Some psychopaths are a lot of fun.
My friends and family who qualify for that diagnosis are into doing interesting things and going to interesting places.
My late friend Bennett, who died young because psychopaths often lack good judgment about danger, always knew when interesting events were happening in NYC—from the Tibetan Harvest Festival to free concerts in the park.
For my psychopathic father, life was always an adventure to be enjoyed. He once decided that we should spend the Summer at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes and go to the Cannes Film Festival. As we did not have much money and my father was not in the film business, I do not know how he managed it.
But that summer (I was 13 years old) we lived at The Carlton and he “became” Sam Bronstein’s (a producer) representative to the Film Festival. We had tickets to every event. Did I mention that my father was a professional gambler and conman?
Some psychopaths are very generous.
I briefly dated this psychopathic guy who I met in a shoe store. In the store he pulled out this beautifully engraved antique silver card case. I admired it and he gave it to me. When I was surprised. he said “whoever wants it the most should have it.”
Some psychopaths do favors for their friends.
Yes, psychopaths can have friends. My father’s best friend was (as best as I could tell) a psychopath like my father. Most of his friends or cohorts fell into that category.
My father had a friend (I will call him Joe) who owed someone (I will call him Sam) money that he could not pay back when the loan was due. Sam called the loan and my father’s friend was going to lose his business.
My father wanted to help Joe so he asked his best friend, “Big Louie” to convince Sam to wait a bit longer for the money. After a very frightening and somewhat violent discussion with Louie, the problem disappeared.
The three things that are rarely mentioned when people talk about psychopaths are: (1) Some psychopaths are a lot of fun and do interesting things. (2) Some psychopaths can be very generous when they are in the right mood. (3) Some psychopaths have friends and do favors for them.
Watch out this interesting videos to know why we need psychopaths
Elinor Greenberg, PhD. CGP
In private practice in NYC and the author of the book: Borderline. Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations.