Thanks for your information Colaman, this gives me greater insight into where you are coming from. I would like you to know that I have been trained in Hare's PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist) so I am able to talk with you with some authority on this and i have met with individuals who have scored very highly on this scale.
I think the answers you have given for the two questions would indicate that although you are exhibiting traits that could be seen as psychopathic, there is probably another explanation for your lack of emotion and high need to achieve, and you have already identified it for yourself - your upbringing. This is not an exercise for placing blame, as parents often bring us up with their best intentions, but nontheless, they impact upon how we become in later years.
A psychopath would have the insight that you have regarding the party and the love from your friends, but this would be learned rather than felt - the fact that you have listed it leads me to believe that you are indicating that you know this should be your answer but you just didn't feel it. A psychopath wouldn't probably bother to write it as he wouldn't be bothered that he didn't feel it. This difference is very subtle and I am not sure if I have explained it correctly. A psychopath would not use the words 'ecstatic' 'unhappy' or 'miserable' , nor would they see their high achievements as 'boring' - you give the impression that you know something is missing, and although a psychopath could say this too, they would not be concerned that something is missing, because they genuinely don't care. When I say psychopath here, we need to remember that the measures are on a sliding scale and I am talking about those at the top/high end.
So, where does that leave you? If you look back, what words would you use to describe how your parents wanted you to be? Your email suggests that they would include 'high achiever' - would you be expected to be unemotional too - "don't cry, you're a big strong boy" - "only girls cry" - "crying is weak" - perhaps??? Don't take these on board unless you can own them - it's hard not to be leading in an email.
My overall conclusion would be that yes, you are displaying traits that could be seen as psychopathic (cold, unemotional, wanting to be the best at any cost to others) but this is not enough (I would obviously need to know much more for a proper assessment). However, you have described emotions that a psychopath would not, and your email suggests that you have been brought up to be cold. I believe (from the small bits of info that we have here) that your emotions actually run deep, but have been pushed down so hard in order to be what your parents wanted you to be - you are now an adult who has achieved such and are feeling hollow and bored. It seems you have latched onto a psychopath as the symptoms are similar and this has become a role model of sorts. To be an emotional man before in your life would have scuppered your goals programmed as a child, but now you are listening to yourself and perhaps don't like what you hear. It is now time to explore the other part of you that exists, as you are a grown man and can do this without your parents permission.
My advice would be to seek out a local EMDR therapist, who will help you to 'unlock' the secret parts of you that were squashed as a young boy. I know "it was years ago" but you may be surprised as how powerful these squashed emotions can be. Have a look on www.emdria.com for more information and a therapist local to you - you will see this is a trauma therapy, but do not be put off by this - if you were meant to be an emotional person and you were brought up to be unemotional, this can count as trauma (again, I repeat, this is not an exercise meant to apportion blame to your parents). The results of this therapy can be amazing (no guarantees) - I strongly suggest that you give it a go - you have the whole of your life ahead of you to learn about your 'true' self and that can be exciting?? The great thing about this therapy is that you can be consciously unaware of what is causing the issues (although you already have an inkling) as the work takes place in your subconscious mind, where all of the answers are locked. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. How does that sound?? Hope this is helpful. Sarah
Edited by Sarah on 9/7/2010 at 9:13 AM EST