Thursday, November 8, 2012

Of Psychopaths and Hairdressers

I ran across this interesting article in the Huffpost about which professions attract, or don't attract, psychopathic people.  Let's start with a definition.

Psychopath (noun):  a person with a psychopathic personality which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, etc.
Okay.  So these are extremely egotistical people who basically don't give a damn about anyone else.  In other words,  the assholes who make all of the rest of us miserable.  But who are they and where are we most likely to find them?

Professions most inhabited by psychopaths:

1.  CEO  (No surprise here.  Politicians can be included in this group.)

2.  Lawyer  (Second lowest-ranked approval rating behind Congress.  I have heard it said that the reason Congress is gridlocked is because of the number of lawyers among its ranks.  Their personality and training are to win at any cost, regardless of right or wrong.  Seems right to me.)

3.  Media (TV/Radio)  (That whole ego thing again.)

4.  Salesperson  (If you have ever bought a car or worked at a car dealership this one is totally understandable.)

5.  Surgeon  (Ummm.  This is a little bit of a surprise.  Must be the God thing.)

6.  Journalist  (Now, this one is a surprise as all of the journalists I have met are always sort of shy, laid-back people.  I guess it's the name in print ego thing again.  I wonder if it applies to bloggers?)

7.  Police Officer  (Give anyone a badge and you can see their head expand.  I have heard the police described as thugs hired to control other thugs.  Seems right to me.)

8.  Clergyperson  (I guess I can see this one but I think it's 50/50.  All of the clergy I have known show a lot of compassion and love, but then I have never attended one of those evangelical mega-churches.  I have heard it said that preachers get more pussy and fried chicken than anyone else so maybe there's something to this.)

9.  Chef  (If all chefs are like that maniacal asshole on TV who goes into restaurants and tears them all apart then this one surely fits.)

10.  Civil Servant  (Civil servant?  What the hell is there about a low paying government job with no recognition or appreciation that would attract a psychopath?  I guess they do have the power to make you show your ID.)

Now, you might ask, which professions are least likely to attract psychopaths?  Well, wonder no more.  Here they are.

1.    Care Aide
2.    Nurse
3.    Therapist
4.    Craftsperson
5.    Beautician/Stylist
6.    Charity Worker
7.    Teacher
8.    Creative Artist
9.    Doctor
10.  Accountant

In other words... people who care for people or who touch people or who observe people or who entertain people or... people who take your money and give it to the government?  WTF? 

This post is intended to be tongue in cheek.        


  1. Take anything from the Huffington Post with a grain of salt; this list makes no sense whatsoever. It's like random profiling.

    1. Oh, I'm not so sure it makes no sense whatsoever. The Huffpost article was a book review.

  2. Well, I think lay people have to be careful about throwing around terms and definitions that even mental health professionals are still debating in some cases. I can't figure out why the author separates Media from Journalists within the same group or Surgeons and Doctors between the two groups. Mental health disorders can be easily oversimplified, just like we find in mood disorders. Usually, however, there are a lot of overlapping similarities and yet some distinguishing characteristics which aren't always easy to characterize or identify -- even by professionals. And, I think it goes without saying that while we can all think of people we know, or know of, who can be pegged in each of these categories, there are probably many, many more who don't fit.

    For example, most people think of librarians as being people oriented. Why? Because the ones the public usually meet are working in the public sector and it is their job to provide a service. But behind the closed doors are a lot of librarians who work in technical services (cataloging, acquisitions, etc.) -- they are anything but people oriented and want no contact with the public. Actually, I could write a blog piece about the differences. ;)

    Anyway, here's a little food for thought:

    1. I don't believe I would have ever classified librarians as social but I did know one who was a good time girl. Does that count?

    2. Oh, BTW. As to Media and Journalists. Having once been a member of both groups I can tell you there is a world of difference between people behind microphones running their mouths and people who write.

  3. If I had any psychopathic tendencies other than my lack of any sympathy for rich folks, they would have manifested big time during the run up to this last election. Hmm. Does shouting"In your face Right Wing Losers" at the top of my lungs at 3:30 AM on election night count?.....................Maybe I ought to find a Republican and hug them and say "I am so sorry you lost. How can I make it better? Would that cancel it out? Apparently I should probably ask an expert. Mt wife is an accountant. She'll know.

    1. Yes, I'm afraid all of those tendencies make you a psychopath, or is that psychotic? Ask your wife, she'll know.

  4. I understand the difference between doctors and surgeons. Doctors are hands on living awake people and they have to communicate with them to find out symptoms etc. surgeons are cutting up dead people (in a sense of beingso far unconscious that they cannot be roused by pain, the little death they call it) and just need to make decisions about what they are cutting and staunching blood. No conversation or empathy needed. But yeah, accountant?

    1. Ask Crum to ask his wife. Maybe she should be writing this blog.

  5. Interesting lists. I've read that Wall Street/finance types are highly likely to be sociopathic. Sociopath and psychopath probably aren't exactly the same thing, but there's sure to be a lot of overlapping.

    But there are lots of exceptions to the categories on both lists. Teachers, for example: I remember some teachers who were great, and a few who were total M$%&!#$%F&%$#!s.

    1. Good point about teachers. There are probably a lot of Catholic school students who remember something about a ruler across the knuckles. But I guess they were Nuns and I guess Nuns fall into the same category as clergy persons.

  6. Cops and criminals look very much alike on the MMPI, a common personality test. I've heard them decsribed as criminals with badges.

    And yay - I'm on the "least likely" list, at #3.

  7. This list makes perfect sense. I feel like life has been explained to me. ;-)

  8. I will buy this premise except therapists are the most sociopathic (as a group) people I ever met. Yep a little re-arranging and we can send every cold case off for new look see and quick resolution. Dr. Chargealot did it in the bathroom with a candelabra.

    1. You've got a point there WM. Have you ever gotten a shih tzu massage? Ooouch!

  9. Well I'm an accountant and I agree :) - clients call me a 'financial healer' as I specialize in delinquency.

    I would agree on the cop thing, I've known a few and they become, well, desensitized.


    1. Thanks for stopping by Wisewebwoman. I would say anyone who can protect delinquents from the tax man is a goddess.

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