The Alfred Laengle: Each person needs society to become a


Today's topic is very interesting, it focuses on the clash of individual and social. This is big question for everyone: how can I be myself and at the same time to live in a group, in society.

There is always a natural tension between the individual and the group. The group (e.g. the family, the company where I work, or from a group of my classmates) have their vested interests which can sometimes be the opposite of my own. At the same time, the group needs each individual to be a group. The group has established inside rules in order to permit a fruitful cooperation. And the group requires that the individual have adapted to these rules and accepted them.

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But each person has their personal interests, desires and needs. While sometimes people may also use the group to develop its own existence.

In the existential analysis we consider these antinomies, this dialectical opposition in the context of the third fundamental motivation, when we talk about connectivity, about the relationship of one person with others. When we talk about how important the opportunity to meet with You. Because I can't be myself without having people around who see that I'm interested in.

Every man needs a society to become themselves. And society needs to person to be truly functioning society.

If the group is not made up of real people, individuals, we call it the mass, the crowd, as it describes, for example, the Spanish sociologist josé Ortega y Gasset. In a crowd of people behaves as behaves the crowd, he does not have his own role and position. In the crowd, the mass of a person's personality cannot develop.

However, something similar could happen with an individual. If a person does not develop its own institutions, they like him represent the mass, the crowd. And then the person can become anti-social.

Have anti-social disorder is the preceding reasons, its own history of development.

All of us in one way or another familiar antisocial behavior, and we for it live. For example, when I take things away from another, takes the place of another in the Parking lot when I buy the ticket out of turn when I buy the best product in the store, regardless of others. It is selfishness…

To be anti-social means to be selfish and think only about yourself. I wonder if there's someone who was never selfish? It is very natural to humans, and sometimes we all are selfish. At this moment we do not consider the other and his rights. That is, we did not really appreciate the company. This may be due to the fact that we have their needs, anxiety, sense of insecurity.

We are not always in the right mood of openness and fair treatment to all. In other situations we can be very just and fair to treat others — in the family, at work, in society.

When I to be true, socially right? It always happens in those situations when I feel more or less calm and relaxed. When I was not pressured tension, severe anxiety, when I am in inner peace. Then, for me, is relatively easy to be peaceful and fair to others.

It's not that I am at this point physically healthy, rich or have a great relationship. Victor Frankl describes that even in the concentration camps there were people who behaved fairly, because they somehow found inner peace and inner balance. But that means I have an inner strength that I am in agreement with you. When my inner attitude is balanced, then I can towards others to show a balanced behavior. It's a natural basis for such behavior.

And when we are going to describe antisocial personality disorder, we find that this is what is missing.



Let's get back to ourselves. I want to bridge the gap between our experience and understanding of this personality disorder. All of us in some degree familiar to those features that distinguish this disorder.

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Sometimes we're being selfish, antisocial, and even worse, we do not have to follow rules and laws. For example, some people consistently exceed the speed, if you are driving, parked in the wrong place, as if sending a signal: "the Rules of the road for me have no value". We call this behavior anominal. It's a Greek word meaning "violation of law" (gr. "NOMOS" — law).

The term used by the French sociologist Emile Durkheim to describe the phenomenon when people, individually and in groups behaved illegally. He described how anomino behaviour, such as corruption, disrupts the normal functioning of society. This group behavior may even lead to economic crisis or to lead an individual to suicide.

First sociologists thought that anomino behavior has roots in social inequality, that is, is because of tension between different social classes: individuals begin to "revenge" for social injustice. But later it turned out that social injustice in fact does not explain anomino behavior.

As a result, the sociologists came to the conclusion that began to describe individual-mental anomino behavior: it occurs in cases when a person has not developed the structure of the Super-Ego. That is, it refers to the problems of socialization, parenting, trauma and so on.

Thus, sociologists describe the problem from the outside, and psychologists — from the inside out, treating this phenomenon as a problem of underdevelopment of character in the aspect of the ability to perceive values and attitudes to values.

It turns out that the theme of anomochloa and antisocial behavior is a topic of psychology. This is a topic the formation of ego — and therefore is a legitimate topic of psychotherapy.

It is a constantly progressive process: it starts with a minimal variance in behavior, for example, a small lie, disrespect to another person, the lack of correlation with others (for example, use your advantages against the other), that is, with the more familiar patterns of behaviour, common to all people and even small children (because we are not perfect), but it can result — which is much more serious in the betrayal of others, adultery, unrestrained promises, violations of the rules and laws up to commit crimes.

We all have such traits. But if they grow, are stimulated, it can lead us to such actions. Thus, we may partly understand what is happening in the case of anti-social disorder, because we all know the temptation to not follow the rules and laws that bind a society.

But in comparison with normal behavior antisocial personality disorder it is much more difficult. We can feel empathy to a certain level, but completely feels in this disorder we can not. We can understand intellectually, but difficult for us to feel that really feel these people. Therefore, we distinguish antisocial, anomino a behavior that is more or less normal, from present anti-social disorder.



Antisocial disorder is characterized by the inability to adapt. What this means is the ability to adapt? This is something that we all have and what we need to survive. As human beings, we adapt to the climate in which we live — for example, put on a jacket when it's cold outside.

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The same thing happens in regard to social adaptation: we adapt to the group in which we live. This means that we accept the rules that it has to be absorbed in them and follow them.

The adaptation to cold and adaptation to the group the same patterns and principles, common setting — the willingness to push your own desires and needs and to adopt laws and rules, whether of nature or society. Usually we do this almost automatically, sometimes consciously making decisions. And so we get used to it.

Addictive — it is always adapting to the situation. When habituation, adaptation, adaptation is too strong, then we lose our inner balance, because then we just adapt in their behavior, we become people who only follow the other, losing themselves. We follow trends and fashion as people in the crowd and lose their identity, their inner self is So, if the fixture is too high. It's not the same as following the rules and laws.

Obedience is a recognition of authority. The child obeys because he recognizes the authority of an adult. We obey, follow the laws and regulations of the state, because we recognize their importance and significance. In this sense, the adaptation following the rules is a personal, personal adaptation, as a result of my conscious decisions.

I freely choose to follow the rules and laws. People with antisocial personality disorder are not able to follow rules and laws.




After these preliminary descriptions, which were meant to build a bridge between our own experiences and antisocial personality disorder, I would like to describe the disorder, to recreate his painting.

Antisocial behaviour — the same as dissimulee behavior. In Europe now prefer the second term because it is not as devaluing. Strangely, in North America continue to use the former term, although it is not quite accurately describes the phenomenon.

The concept of "antisocial behaviour" implies that the person puts himself in opposition to the society, acts against society, while the concept of "dissimulee behavior" describes not the effect of the confrontation society, but rather the lack of connectedness with society, and in this sense it is more psychological description.

People with antisocial or dissocial personality disorder is not in correlation with the surrounding world. It is, in General, persons globally alone in the world. He has no contact with him. And the reason was his personal failing. It's not that he doesn't want to be associated with other — and what can't. It is much more than just being antisocial. It is a deep suffering. Is suffering from the fact that a person has no ability for social behavior.

It is so hard and difficult to be isolated, alone. So that man is impossible to bear. And man therefore begins to react this way to do this portably. But, unfortunately, at the expense of others. This person has no enough resources in himself — and then he uses the other for some kind of stabilization to make up for their need. He is emotionally deaf, he can't feel empathy, not experiencing an emotional connection, involvement, indifferent to it. From this disorder have certain points in common with what Freud described as "charming indifference" hysterical personality.

They live indifferent, and it seems that not suffer. Although if they felt they would experience tremendous suffering. That is, their dynamic reactions, their behavior and help them not to suffer so much. In this indifference they experience lack of pleasure, satisfaction, joy, positive reactions. In their normal lives they are truly the delight, joy. This is a big pain. The pain experience itself, not valuable, not related to the others, with the world. A deep sense that "I am worthless", "nobody can see me", "nobody loves me", "I'm worth nothing, because my life is meaningless."

In the meeting with this emptiness, this pain, they begin to build a whole system of expectations. They feel empty, not valuable, unnecessary — and it's unbearable. And so they begin to design needs, desires, goals, which they follow with a sense that they have full right to do so. They are not integrated in society, not feel that they need someone — and therefore they can afford anything.

This system of desires and goals makes them hyperactive in the sense that they have no longer a control. Because of these desires, goals and needs in lieu of the place that a healthy person is his personal decision. Whatever the impetus, neither rose up within me — I will follow because I can't stop. There are no values which would tell me: "don't do that", there is no external and internal structures, which for someone like me.

Committing crimes becomes a self-help attempt. These people no one take into account and can go over the heads in relationships with other people, to be cruel towards animals, to nature, even to ourselves.

They are easily irritable, and even a small impact can launch a strong response.

It shows a serious lack of internal structures. Due to the inability to process information at a personal level these people are not developing the structure of the Super-Ego, no access to morality, conscience, personal feelings about what is right and what is wrong. They have no guilt, no feelings of responsibility. It's like this with anything not correlated, knowing the conscience of activism. Such a person behaves as if he alone in the world.

When a person is in the group or lives in the family, it is very difficult for groups and families. They respect nothing, they even can't talk because they don't understand what you actually mean, because they have no structures for this. And it makes people around them so helpless. And I have to say that, unfortunately, there is virtually no hope that a family or group can change their behavior.

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Behaves like a man? Have a full picture of this disorder there are 7 specific features, which are described in ICD-10: most people with antisocial personality disorder will be incomplete, partial set of these features. But if you have at least 2 or 3 features, then it is hard. For a full and confident diagnosis must occur at least 5 of these traits.

1) Emotional indifference, indifference the main, Central symptoms. Such people are not emotionally included, are unable to perceive the feelings of another and divide them. They suffer from a lack of empathy.

We know that lack of empathy for other personality disorders: all extroverted personality disorders such as narcissistic, is associated with a lack of empathy.

Antisocial personality disorder also belongs to the group extraverted personality disorders. But in the case of anti-social disorder lack of empathy is even stronger. They do not touch.

Narcissus touches, at least, the criticism that their reaction to criticism is usually excessive. But this on its own is understandable, the criticism can be sensitive. And antisocial personality you can criticize, but for him it does not matter. When they are sentenced to 5 years in prison, they accept it.

In their life nothing important. What is this life? How to live a life that touches nothing, nothing matters?


2) emotional indifference combined constant lack of responsibility. And a significant, noticeable lack. Responsibility means that I feel a connectedness with the value with the person with the task. If I have an emotional connection — then I feel responsible. But if there is no connection, from time to take responsibility? This is a very logical consequence.


3) Disregard for social norms and obligations another trait associated with the previous two.


4) another symptom is the inability to constancy in relationships. When nothing matters, I not only feel responsible, then I can't stay in a permanent relationship. After all, what makes a constancy in relations, is a profound feeling that binds us together.


5) Another point is the inability to process information and intolerance of frustration. Very fast to start up aggressive and even violent behavior. If there's something that this person does not like, it reacts inappropriately strong — because he has a sense that he has that right. Maybe this is the moment which triggers their behavior.

Frustration, dissatisfaction has on that person about the same effect as the criticism and depreciation of a person with narcissistic personality disorder. The unmet needs makes them aggressive and violent — in pursuit of the satisfaction that they can commit criminal acts.


6) Such people do not feel guilty. They can't stand the feeling, even from the experience of punishment. When we punish the child and adult, we can expect changes in behavior at least, appearance anxiety, fear to repeat. Or, if some things are repeated, people will be to hide them.

But people with antisocial personality disorder can be punished — but for them it will mean nothing. They have no structures to handle this punishment and something to get out of this. They never feel guilty, but always criticize and blame others. They rationalizers their own behavior, and explain why they were doing that.

So, in fact, talk about. They distort what you say. interpretiruya all their own way. We can't get to them. They are constantly projecting outward what really is their own fault. And it is very frustered in conversation (I don't even call it dialogue).


7) These people don't feel easy, relaxed. Therefore, they are subject to constant irritability.



You would think that this picture is more correlated with low social strata with marginal sectors of society, with criminal circles. But since this is personality disorder, we find him on all social levels, even among top managers (and maybe even especially among top managers). A lot of people in politics.

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There are other examples. For example, one of my patients, a 16-year-old young man. He was bored, he didn't know what to do. Walking down the street, he saw a number of parked cars, I saw on the sidewalk a nail, took a nail and walked them across a number of machines for about 500 meters. When asked: "Why did you do that?"he explained that he does not know and that it was funny. And then it was still fun to go back and see how people are talking about it. To see their anger and to discuss what happened. Did I do something wrong? — so he thought. He even showed empathy to the victims of his actions to the people.

Another example of the practice of my colleague, a social worker. He worked with one client for over 8 years. When a client has once again committed a criminal act and the police were chasing him, he came to his social worker and said, "We can together to drink a Cup of hot chocolate?". And not a word is uttered about his crime and what he's about police arrest.

When he was back in prison, the social worker visited him and asked: "Why you didn't tell me? Maybe I could help." And the man replied, "And I was like, arrest me or not. I wanted to have a hot chocolate".

It is very accurately and vividly describes the impossible loneliness of these people.

Another example: a man killed five other people. How did this happen? His friend bought a gun, and this man asked me to show it to him. He admired: "What a wonderful gun, I've never had one!". It was summer, the window on the street at the bus stop were people. People began to aim at the open window and fired. Why not? This is a good weapon…

He saw one man falling. It is his shocked, touched. He left the gun in the room, ran outside. Around the stricken man had gathered a lot of people. He pushed his way through the crowd right about the time the ambulance arrived, shouted: "This man was shot!"The people around have sekali him and said, "No, he's having a heart attack." The doctor came and said, "this man has a heart attack".

Then he, angered, frustrerande, turned around, went back to the apartment, again took a gun and shot three more people. Then there was a whole team of officers, they surrounded the house, went inside. The man calmly said, "Here's a gun, here I am. What's the problem? Take me."

It is this level of emotional voiced or voiceless, emotional dullness, which is hard to imagine. And therefore most people with this disorder we find in prisons. Interestingly, many of these people want to remain in prison. There they feel secure, in a safe, stable environment. Many of them commit crimes again and return to prison.




How is this disorder? The main reason is a traumatic experience, an experience that betrayed you. Such people grow up in a fake, insincere relations. Parents behave as if they love children and care about them, but in fact they do not. The children of parents believe, but again and again worry yourself deceived.

For example, one boy in a boarding school, where he really did not like, and he asked mum to take him out. But his mother told him: "If you have good grades, I'll pick you up". He made every effort and have achieved good ratings, but after a year his mother took. Instead, she said, "Well, to compensate for this, we go to great

journey together". At this time, the boy still had feelings and he was waiting and hoping that this promise will be fulfilled. But mom just could not find time for him. And again and again, he felt betrayed. And so he grew up with the feeling that in this world there is nothing but lies, deceit and treachery. No real meetings, there is only a constant deception.

In this case, children learn to behave the same in this world. As adults, they have learned that there are no rules, there's nothing that important and valuable. Any behavior is normal.

And, of course, they cannot develop the internal structure, because they do not feel seen and therefore can't see yourself. They are not happening identity, not a picture of themselves and they can't interiorservice the rules of society. They are not in contact with them that would allow them to hear his conscience. They don't expect people to be fair to them, so they don't learn to see what is true.

They have not developed morality and conscience. They have no experience of values. They have not developed a sense of modesty and shame. They are not afraid to lose face, they don't feel it, so don't be afraid to lose it. Inside they have no roots, anchors, which could lead them to the respect of society.

That is, from my experience the lack of caring, honest and trusting relationship, they made sense of helplessness in society.

And then they start to exhibit behavior that helps them to reduce internal stress. They are looking for, how they can make themselves in life-context, and find it is to follow your impulses, to pleasure, because for them it is the only connection to the world.

Because all the other abilities they have atrophied. They follow their own justice.

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Patients with this disorder will have two areas of work:

1) parenting,

2) contextualization.

Parenthood means hardness and meeting. It is necessary that the therapist or social worker were firmly rooted in himself, could resist your impulses, acting calmly, firmly, ignoring the psychodynamic.

Contextualization means stable environment. For many such people prison is the only stable and predictable environment.

Of course there are special social institutions in many countries where people can be treated (they have to be there at least for 4 years), where they get a job, get objectives and can handle their necessity.

Most useful, helping the impact for these people in the first 10 years of therapy is an experience of its usefulness.

And then we can start working with their biography with their trauma. Talking about their criminal behavior is only possible after that.

So we see that the therapy of such disorders is quite difficult, and the results are, frankly, rather modest. However, we need to try and try, because we can help at least some people.




Two words about parassitologia personality disorder.

Praktiserende personality disorder is characterized by the fact that such people do not feel and are trying to find, to discover themselves through the goals they set for themselves.

They are very much focused on the goal. They need a goal, a little to stabilize yourself. "I'm nobody, if I don't do a good career," "I am nobody if I fail" — so they feel.

Since it is a personality disorder, this leads to the fact that people have the need to do so. In this case I can't get over the lack of success, not to live fully for my purpose. My whole life focuses on this goal.

For example, one patient was married to a woman, because that woman was good for his career. He felt her love. And he invited to the wedding only those friends who were useful for a career.

Such people have no real friends, only a functional environment.

One of my colleagues, Romanian existential analyst and psychiatrist, called this disorder practically personality disorder. He said it looks like a life fully devoted to the task.

It looks as if the person lives in a meaningful way. But in fact, it does not follow the existential sense, leaving him to follow aim, for need. And thus, their life is at odds with the existence.

Praktiserende personality disorder in a way very similar to antisocial personality disorder. The only difference is that adherence to its objectives in the first case, more or less socially acceptable. These people still use individuals as a means to achieve their goals, but behave more or less according to the laws and norms of society. This is another facet of deep suffering from not knowing who I am.


Also interesting: the Alfred Laengle: When there is no dialogue, we are lost

The Alfred Laengle: to maintain dignity in suffering


It's a big question of human existence: who am I and how can I discover who I am. We need the help of others — otherwise we can become anti-social, and we need a meaningful context of life — otherwise we can become practicallity. published 

Brief contents of the lecture Alfried Laengle in the Higher school of Economics.

Prepared By Anastasia Khramutichev




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