The big problem with dealing with those with mental illness is the violations of expectation. Your brain has a rough script of how things should go. It is programmed to try and follow that script. You do X, and Y should follow. But the mentally ill are mentally ill because they don’t follow any script. You do X and they do 18765.
Your amygdala flags that and triggers the aversive stimulus in the ACC. In the process that whole system begins to rev up, meaning the next violation of expectation is even more triggering. Next thing you know you are in the middle of the office, overturned furniture everywhere, papers scattered about, maybe a fire or two burning around you, and you are screaming, “What else do I need to do to make you understand that he is the crazy one?!!”
What helps is an innate distrust of authority. Most of your scripts come from there, so if you listen to authority you can end up a walking triggerfest. Understand most of what you have been told is bullshit, and most who claim to be authorities on subjects have no idea what they are talking about, and suddenly you know that Y does not always follow X. Now what was triggerable before is merely a call to perform a calm analytical analysis of what the mechanism you are dealing with is, because you always assume you have to figure shit out for yourself. It changes the entire brain response.
But the mechanism Dilbert is triggered by is useful to understand from the inside, so picture yourself in his shoes, and visualize just how that would set you off.
Of course the goal of that is not to understand yourself and your triggers better, but rather to understand how to trigger your enemy. Breaking the script, and then turning the tables in a way that makes your opponent feel powerless is a potent hijack.
Rush Limbaugh did this to a leftist once. The guy called and said to Rush, “You should go commit suicide.” Rush’s response? “Well, I have to advise you against committing suicide, but if you are going to do it, be sure you jump from higher than three stories.” The guy went, “Huh?” Rush went, “If you’re going to commit suicide, you need to jump from higher than three stories, or it won’t work.” Rush knew what he said, but he feigned having misheard the leftist saying, “I am going to commit suicide.”
You could feel the leftist’s brain lock up, because his script had just been violated. He began to stammer and stutter as he tried to “correct” Rush. “No, what I said was…” Rush cut him off, talking about better, less painful ways he could commit suicide, and the leftist really got worked up. Finally, he cut him off entirely, urged him to call someone to talk it out with, and went to another caller, feigning being bothered by the fact the guy might hurt himself.
You knew the leftist spent the rest of the day pissed off immeasurably that he had his one chance to tell Rush to kill himself, and the whole opportunity was blown.
Nothing is as fun as leftists whose days were ruined.
Along similar lines, Aeoli had this interesting insight in another article:
This is merely anecdotal, but I’m starting to notice that narcissism predicts a low tolerance for cold (intuitively controlling for other big factors on cold tolerance, like race). This completes the circle with Anonymous Conservative’s theory. In practice, this feedback loop leads to some bewildering feedback-loop behaviors. After all, narcissists are constitutionally unable to plan ahead, or foresee negative consequences, and are therefore likely to dress poorly for bad weather.
You’re might be familiar with the guys in high school or in da cloughb scene who brave the winter cold in just a muscle shirt. They are hijacking their own amygdalas through bad decisions! This is in contrast to the thrillseeker archetype, which we must disambiguate for the purpose of observation. Thrillseekers enjoy amygdala activation for the adrenaline rush and for social approval- if they are dressed poorly for the weather (and have an audience) they will most likely be smiling, accompanied by a sadistic glint in the eyes. Opposite to this, cold narcissists are extremely confrontational to the point of seeming butthurt.
Oddly enough when I call up memories which combine my favorite narcissist and cold, I have a plethora of memories of him ridiculously miming the fact he was cold, as he glared angrily at everyone around him, as if it was their fault. In retrospect I think he expected everyone to notice he was cold and immediately set about taking care of it for him, and the fact they weren’t following his expected script was pissing him off immensely.
It makes me wonder if the Wim Hof Method might be a form of amygdala-development using cold and amygdala stimulation from oxygen deprivation. Interestingly I read of a guy who used his training protocol to go from not liking the cold, to relishing his cold shower each day, and craving baths in cattle troughs filled with ice and water.
It makes me wonder what effect Wim Hof’s method would have on personality disorders.