October 9, 2012

The guilty language of psychopaths

"In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts," Sandusky said in a jailhouse recording.
This language is revealing. I can't count the times I've heard someone accused of an antisocial act say, "I know I didn't do it." This is not the language of an innocent person. If you didn't do it, you say, "I didn't do it." Not I know that I didn't do it. The language doesn't make sense, if you're innocent. It's like Sandusky is referring to an argument with himself about his culpability. You might say, "I know you didn't do it." That would make sense. But "I know I did not do it" is merely an attempt to influence others.

There's a whole class of psychopath talk that I've noticed over the years. For instance, they never say "When I destroyed that woman's face (or whatever) ..." No. They say, "When that incident happened," as if it was something outside themselves, as if the act occurred under its own power, without a human perpetrator.

"When that went down, it just shouldn't have happened. Uh-uh. That shouldn't have happened, no way." That's what a woman said after walking through a liquor store and purposely pushing all the bottles off the shelf to the floor, where they broke. As I recall, she caused several thousand dollars worth of damage. But when she talked about it, the word "I" never came up.

They have their own language, these psychopaths. Listen for it.

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