You have just killed someone.
You stand over the body, taking in what you’ve done.
Your victim lays on the ground at your feet, staring up at you with vacant eyes. Her blood streams into glistening, crimson pools from the gashes you sliced into her. You can still hear her screams fading to desperate grunts, weak moans, jagged gasps, then silence.
You’ve never felt this good.
You want to feel like this forever.
You decide you will…
For most of us, this scenario could never happen. The thought of killing someone makes us cringe. Sure, there are times when the thought crossed our minds and gave us great pleasure as we pictured our hands around a frenemy’s neck, or bludgeoning our boss into a coma, or shoving our spouse through a plate-glass window.
But we would never actually do it. (Right??)
There are, however, those among us who would do it.
Do do it.
Enjoy doing it.
And do it repeatedly.
These people, we call ‘serial killers.’
They don’t see things the way we do. But we don’t see things through their eyes, either. Can you imagine if we did?
Our laws would be completely different. Our social culture would be inverted. And there would be a lot less people on the planet.
But what if we did see things their way?
Serial killers are sociopaths. They are unable to feel guilt or remorse, so lack the stop-gap skills the rest of us have in place to keep us from spilling blood. They kill over and over again because it gives them a feeling they can feel – a feeling they can’t live without – pleasure.
And that’s really the crux of it.
When delicious thoughts of strangling our frenemies or bludgeoning our boss pass through our minds, it’s because we’re mad as hell. Our feeling of anger is somewhat satiated by the pleasure of picturing the source of our anger suffering at our hands.
Well, guess what?
In those moments, we are seeing things through a serial killer’s eyes.
Not only do we occasionally see things their way, we all possess – or know people who possess – at least some traits of a serial killer:
- Failure to conform to social norms
- Consistent Irresponsibility
- Indifferent to/Rationalizing having hurt, mistreated or stolen from another
- Lack of empathy/Inability (but most often, in our case, unwillingness) to see things from the perspective of others
Unless you’re Mother Theresa, some of these apply to you.
Yeah, right. Don’t lie. (hello bullet point #2!)
So, will we find ourselves standing over a dead body and feeling good?
If you answer “yes” to this question, stay the hell away from me.
Because I may kill you first.