“Emotional Lethargy”

I am working with my ideas on the US being a psychopathic society. In fact, I argue it is so much so a psychopathic and sociopathic society that mental illness as such, or apart from the general culture, is difficult to diagnose. Racism, sexism, nativism, imperialism, individualism, scapegoating, prejudice, and so on are part of the core culture, taught via socialization, and materially and socially rewarded and validated and therefore not recognized as phenomena to be “treated.” Right now I am on a component concept I call “emotional lethargy”. This is where an individual simply refuses to do the cognitive and social “work” necessary to hold up his or her “end of the bargain” in a relationship but STILL expects the other individual or individuals involved to meet THEIR expectations. When confronted with these kinds of people, you are effectively forced to either accept your status as their perpetual exploited victim or withdraw to protect yourself. They can marshal up whatever energy is required for the relationship when the benefits of what is being done accrue exclusively to THEM. But things that involve the potential for JOINT progress or progress specifically for the other individual or individuals in the relationship are found to be extremely difficult. This is the person that has maximum energy when say you’re talking about taking them out to lunch, but not a drop of moxie, time, or resources when you need them. And it is a real mental condition. The energy really is sapped. It is as if their egos have taken over their brains and instantly cuts off or minimizes the power unless it benefits from the social “transaction.” They are not “pure” psychopaths, since they will usually make SOME effort to dredge up enough conversation and action to go through the motions of engaging your request, but their whole demeanor and communicative style will “say” that “I really don’t WANT to do this for you, but I feel OBLIGATED to because I need and/or want you to continue to do this laundry list of things for me. Such people do not LOVE you, they are just “suffering” or “tolerating” you for their own selfish ends. And worst part about it is that, in their minds, their dredging up of some semblance of action on your behalf, however half-hearted, IS love.

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