The Dark Side

Thought this was a fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal’s Review Section called, “The Dark Triad and The Evolution of Jerks.”


Antisocial Personality Disorder is where people exhibit three primary symptoms:


1) Narcissism – Excessive focus on oneself.

2) Machiavellianism – Manipulating others for one’s own gain.

3) Psychopathy – Overall disregard for others, including impaired empathy and remorse


Together, these 3 traits make up “The Dark Triad” or perhaps they  come across as being from the dark side, because of how badly they can treat others. 


Studies have shown that these three traits are positively correlated with one another, and that more than 10% of the population has these. 


In reading a little more online at WebMD, I learned that the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is that while they share similar traits, a psychopath typically acts as if they have no conscience, while a sociopath acts with a weak conscience. 


“At worst, they’re cold, calculating killers,” while at the less extreme, they may be okay with hurting others to get what they want. 


– Moreover, while psychopaths are more cold-hearted and calculating,” sociopaths are “hot-headed” and “act without thinking how others will be affected.”


Another study found that people with these traits often “experienced low-quality or irregular parental care.” Thus a harsh or unstable childhood may cause these symptoms. 


Whether these people come from the dark side, are going to the dark side, or just are scary and hurtful, it is important to be able to recognize who you may be dealing with.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Rich, Famous, and Suicide

So I can’t believe that Kate Spade (55) committed suicide — Hanging. 


What an amazing fashion designer–so much to live for!


Famous for her gorgeous handbags (that used to be the business my dad was in too). 


Her net worth was $150,000,000!


Why does someone so beautiful, successful, rich, and famous take their life???


Ultimately, none of these things make happy or meaning in life!


Still, it is incredibly hard to understand seemingly having so much and throwing your life away–unless of course, we consider terrible things like severe depression and other horrible illnesses that can break anyone. 


Yet, there seem to be so many of these hugely successful people that take or lose their lives so young and with still so much to give the world:


Alan Turing (41) — Cyanide


Alexander McQueen (40) – Hanging 


Amy Winehouse (27) — Alcohol 


Chris Benoit (40) — Broken Neck


Christine Chubbuck (29) — Shooting


Dana Plato (34) – Overdose


Ernest Hemingway (61) — Shooting


Jerzy Kosinski (57) — Overdose


Kurt Cobain (27) — Shooting


L’Wren Scott (49) — Hanging


Lucy Gordon (28) — Hanging


Marilyn Monroe (36) — Overdose

Michael Jackson (50) — Overdose


Mike Alfonso (42) – Hanging


Prince (57) — Overdose


Robbin Williams (63) –Hanging


Sawyer Sweeten (19) — Shooting

Sylvia Plath (30) – Gas Oven 


Vincent Van Gogh (37) — Shooting


Virginia Woolf (59) – Drowning 


Whitney Houston (48) — Drowning 

G-d should have mercy and help to take away the pain and suffering from people so that they can live and not die prematurely anymore. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Antisocial Social Club

Anti-Social

 

This guy was hilarious.


Pink hat.


Big round white sunglasses.


And a shirt that says:


“Antisocial Social Club”


Truly, if he was anymore antagonistic to the norms of society, he’d probably be unloading an AK47 into an unsuspecting innocent crowd somewhere.


Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme, then again not really in this day and age of global terrorism where beheadings, suicide bombers, burning and stoning people alive, and child abductions and sex slaves are now the norms in certain outrageous societies. 


And if those are the norms in certain places, what in the world would be considered antisocial behavior there???


So a pink hat, big sunglasses, and an antisocial t-shirt in free America–that ain’t nothing anymore.


Antisocial with a big “Anti” now means death and apocalyptic destruction and global disorder.  


As to our weak politicians who can’t can stomach calling a mass phenomenon of psychotic antisocial personality disorder, antisocial–well you can judge what’s wrong with them for yourself. 


Why does it matter?


It matters only to those of you who have a moral compass to live by and who care about what normal even is–too bad our political elite are missing the substance of this. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

You’re Wealthy Nuts

Wealthy

So Bloomberg Businessweek has a really funny article about all the wealthy people that need to go see shrinks. 

Get this–overall wealthy people are cursed with “Affluenza” (not influenza silly) and have “elevated levels of depression, anxiety, psychosomatic issues (physical symptoms from stress), and self-mutilation.”

Some specific reasons they go for mental health help:

Why Me–A trying issue to deal with is their guilt feelings about being so darn rich, while others are starving, homeless, and can’t make ends meet. 

Feeling A Little Lonely (And Hated)–They can’t help thinking that perhaps people only like them for their money.

Aimless In Life–What’s the purpose of their lives if they are living on easy street, don’t have to work, and can buy their way out of trouble. 

Money To Mess You Up–Some people have so much money, they can squander it on bad investments, but also on alcohol, drugs, sex, and so on.  

Fear Of Losing It All–Terrible thing about having so much money is you have to worry about losing so much money.  

So next time you are thinking about protesting against the top .1% who have as much as the bottom 90%, have a heart because the wealthy have a lot of problems too. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Chris Goldberg)

Forcing Kids Backfires Big Time

Kids

Fascinating article in the Sunday New York Times today on how the stress we are putting on our kids is making them sick. 


With testing of High school students showing incredibly alarming rates of mental illness:


– 54% with moderate to severe depression.


– 80%+ with moderate to severe anxiety.


And 94% of college counseling directors “seeing rising numbers of students with severe psychological problems.”


Even pediatricians are reporting 5-, 6-, and 7-year olds coming in for migraines and ulcers!


Another teacher said with all this, “We’re sitting on a ticking time bomb.”


Under the pressure to get into great schools and get a foot in the door in excellent careers and attain high-paying jobs, we are making our kids work longer school days, do more homework, take more Advanced Placement (AP) exams, participate in numerous extracurricular activities, and achieve, achieve, achieve. 


We’ve taken away normal play time–the fun out of life growing up–and the imagination, exploration, and discovery away from kids just being kids. 


The paradox is that “the pressure cooker is hurting, not helping, our kid’s prospect for success.”


Especially for parents who themselves grew up poor or lacking, maybe they are trying to do the “right thing”and give their kids more than they had and a “better life.”


But maybe even the best intentions to mold children to be what we want them to be, or think they should or could be, is misplaced.

 

If only we could all take a little (or BIG) chill pill…you can’t force success–with forcing you get the opposite results.


Back off people–instead of pushing and endless disciplining–how about we listen to the children, guide them, show unconditional love, and be excellent examples–show them integrity, a strong work ethic, along with an appreciation for work-life balance, then perhaps we will get not only the success of the next generation that we all need, but also happier, better adjusted, and healthier children. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Doggie Psychologist

Doggie Psychologist
I took this photo of a sign in Florida advertising a “Dog Psychology Center.”


I think my dad would say that anyone taking their dog there should have their head examined!


Apparently, Cesar Millan is a fairly well-known “Dog Behaviorist” who works with especially aggressive dogs to rehabilitate them–soothing the savage beast!


There are enough people with mental problems that don’t get the help they need that it seems somewhat excessive to have dogs going to the psychologist, but people are still homeless and in rags on the streets of our cities. 


At Country Inn Pet Resort your dog can be “mastering the walk,” be socialized, get obedience training, and even learn to swim. 


Sounds nice to send your pet to a “resort,” but do they really need a psychologist or do you just want to ignore your pet the same way you ignore your children?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Ready To Explode

Explode

So have you ever had to deal with someone at work and they are NOT exactly acting the consummate professional?


They may be volatile, angry, raising their voice, intransigent, threatening, acting the a*s, maybe even a little meshuga.


Yeah, unfortunately it happens (although it absolutely shouldn’t)!  


People have crap going on in the office, at home, and sometimes they come in and they just can’t cope.  


G-d forbid, they should never really “go postal” as in real violence–but you never really know what you are going to be dealing with. 


One colleague said some people are just “hypervolic“–a new word for someone who is excessive, over the top, and emotionally volcanic!


Yikes–scary enough. 


Another colleague I know who is excellent with people and has decades of experience dealing with a cast of characters told me, “I just look at everyone as a bomb ready to go off.


Ugh, not exactly how I would want to perceive people around me, but the point is well taken–you never know (and you can almost hear the ticking now). 


With some people we sort of know from dealing with them that they have some marbles loose, and while others may appear calm, cool, and collected on the outside, on the inside they may be a volcano ready to blow. 


Heck, you can’t read everyone right and even if you do, you can try to calm them down, listen to them, work with them, talk sense to them, suggest some counseling or other outside assistance, but even then they may go off the deep end. 


Lots of personalities out there, lots of people with problems and stresses, and sometimes we in our best intentions may make mistakes or unknowingly say the wrong thing and it only inflames the situation.


Of course hopefully, calmer heads will prevail, professionalism will take front seat, and people will get some perspective and do the right thing…chill man!


But also keep in mind what my colleagues said, some people may  just be ready to go explode–like a volcano–and we need to be ready for that too. 


How do you prepare for this?


Yeah, I don’t remember them covering that subject in leadership training–maybe with the exception of listen, show empathy, and if worst comes to worst you can either head for the exits to get away or shelter in place before the human stress bomb goes big boom! 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Camilo Rueda Lopez)