WARNING: this article contains explicit content that might jinx you. If you’re a superstitious person, read on with caution, or stop reading immediately. If you’re still reading at this point, you’re probably not that superstitious about bringing misfortune upon yourself, or others. Still reading even now? Well, not being superstitious in any way whatsoever might be an indication that you’re a sociopath.
I will cross-reference some of the things people are most superstitious about with the main characteristics used to determine if someone is a sociopath, to show you that being superstitious and a sociopath are mutually exclusive. I have crafted a scoring system that you can easily follow to determine which one you are. By the end of this article, you could find that your anxieties are heightened, or you could find that you couldn’t care less about me, or anyone else reading this.
QUICK PULSE CHECK
You are likely a healthy, functioning superstitious human if:
-You buy into the office lottery pool even though you know the odds are better that you’ll be attacked by a shark; and
-You turn off the TV towards the end of a close game because you think your favourite team will lose because you kept watching,
You are likely exhibiting the antisocial personality disorder of a sociopath if:
-You wait to tell a colleague about the bird sh*t on their shoulder until just after their big job interview, and then inform them you also applied, (when you didn’t); and
-When your waitress finds the penny you left on the floor, you tell her it must be her lucky day because you just cast her in the Hollywood blockbuster you’re producing.
Now, take the full test with the following examples of traditional SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS and SOCIOPATHIC CHARACTERISTICS:
FRIDAY THE 13th
Fear of Friday the 13th is officially called friggatriskaidekaphobics, or paraskevidekatriaphobia. Dating back to the late 1800s, Friday has long been considered an unlucky day, (according to Christian tradition, Jesus died on a Friday), and 13 has a long history of making people superstitious as an unlucky number.
The first researcher to name the concept of psychopathy, and the eventual study of sociopaths, was Dr. Hervey Cleckley who published “The Mask of Sanity” in 1941. Of the 16 behavioural characteristics he assigned to such people, near the top of the list was that they are SUPER-RATIONAL. A sociopath does not experience delusions, or other signs of irrational thinking.
Choose the statement related to Friday the 13th that best represents you:
- I reschedule business meetings so they don’t land on Friday the 13th, and refuse to check into a hotel room that is on the 13th floor.
- I scheduled my wedding day on Friday the 13th because it was heavily discounted by the banquet hall and for all air travel, I ask for a seat in row 13 because it’s empty and I can spread out.
OPENING AN UMBRELLA INDOORS
If you open an umbrella indoors, it is commonly believed that you are literally asking for bad luck to “rain on you”. One explanation of this superstitious belief comes from the fact that umbrellas are used as protection from the sun. Therefore, opening one inside is an insult to the sun god who would then curse you with bad luck.
According to Dr. Martha Stout’s, “The Sociopath Next Door”, one out of every 25 people in North America is a sociopath. One of the central traits she identifies is that a sociopath is IMPULSIVE AND RECKLESS; they might even be trying to relive their boredom with such behaviour.
Choose the statement related to opening umbrellas indoors that best represents you:
- I use riot police plastic zipcuffs to secure all umbrellas in my home to ensure they don’t accidentally open indoors, which would upset Apollo who would land his chariot on my front lawn and ruin the new sod.
- I get bored waiting at the front door while my spouse is getting ready, so I teach my young children how to fly by repeatedly opening and closing umbrellas, sometimes one in each hand. I was still bored on the drive to get them emergency treatment from the Ophthalmologist.
WALKING UNDER A LADDER
The shape of an open ladder is a triangle, which signifies life in some mythologies. So, one theory about this superstition holds that it arises from a Christian belief in the Holy Trinity: a ladder leaning against a wall forms a triangle, and “breaking” that triangle would be blasphemous.
Another central characteristic to both Cleckley and Stout’s analysis of antisocial personality disorder is that sociopaths FAIL TO LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES.
Choose the statement related to walking under ladders that best represents you:
- There was a ladder set up over the entrance to my favourite coffee shop, so I walked through the drive-thru instead. The last time I walked under the ladder to get my coffee, it spilled on my Income Tax forms and I ended up owning the government $3,157.92.
- They say bad luck happens in threes, but I don’t believe that since this is the fourth time I’ve had a concussion from bricks falling on my head after I tripped while walking under a ladder at a construction site.
There is a superstition that states that looking into a mirror can steal your soul. This helps explain why the Queen uses a mirror for evil in Snow White, why Narcissus was ensnared by his own reflection, and why soulless vampires have no reflection at all. It seems to be based on the belief that, while mirrors reflect your image, they also hold part of your soul. In some circumstances, people cover mirrors, to avoid having their soul trapped inside.
Cleckley and Stout identified someone as being a sociopath if their SEX LIFE IS IMPERSONAL and purely physical; they are incapable of having sex that involves emotional attachment.
Choose the statement related to mirrors that best represents you:
- You caught a glimpse of yourself in a mirror on an elevator; ashamed of your vanity, you turned your thoughts to how you longed for a lover to elevate you in your life journey, lift your spirits and love you deeply at all levels of your sexual self.
- You were brushing your teeth the morning after at some random hook-ups house, and noticed if you tilted their bathroom mirror just so, you got a perfect view as they were bending over to put on their socks.
KNOCK ON WOOD
The idea that you’re tempting fate by acknowledging your good fortune leads people to knock on wood, or even just say, “Knock on wood”. The roots of this superstitious behaviour lies in the belief that good spirits lived in trees, so by knocking on something wooden, a person was calling on the spirits for protection. Medieval Christians also believed that touching wood in churches would give them a link to the divine because the wood was that from the cross.
When a sociopath is anti-social for no good reason, or UNJUSTIFIABLY ANGRY, they are exhibiting what Cleckley and Stout referred to as, “Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior”.
Choose the statement related to knocking on wood that best represents you:
- Walking down the street, a vehicle suddenly jumps the curb and pins you to a wall; still conscious, you knock on the wood of the bus shelter bench now splintered in pieces beneath you, so that the vehicle doesn’t roll over and crush your vital organs.
- When your neighbour takes up more than just one spot on the crowded street in front of your house, and you have to park more than a block away, you key their car as you pass by, and then set your alarm to wake up at 4am to deflate their tires and empty your compost into their open sunroof. Later, when you find $20 in your pocket that you forgot about, you say, “Knock on wood”.
Add up all of the numbers associated with your answers, either 1’s or 2’s. If you scored 5, you might be slightly anxious about Friday the 13th, but you’re a seemingly healthy, functioning superstitious human. If you scored higher than 5, well, you don’t care.
FYI: because bad luck is said to come in 3’s, there’s 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse, the number 6 is associated with the Devil, it’s believed you’ll have 7 years of bad luck if you break a mirror, and I didn’t have time to get even close to 13, that’s why I have chosen to highlight only five (5) SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS and SOCIOPATHIC CHARACTERISTICS. There are plenty more of each. But, unless you can find something unlucky about the number 5, we’re good.
FYI: I posted this on Thursday May 12 (Pacific Time); only linking to the original post on Friday the 13th. ‘Cuz I’m not crazy. Knock on wood. Plus, the Raptors and the Blue Jays play on Friday the 13th, and I knew they’d both lose their games if I posted on the actual day.
Click: quiz for another measure of your level of superstition. Have a great day!