Readers' Submissions

Oil And Water Or How I Learned To Love Stereotypes

  • Written by Anonymous
  • July 28th, 2004
  • 7 min read


By Generic Farang


First let me thank you Stickman and all other contributors to this site for all the interesting info and opinions. I've been reading them for many years and have to say that it had quite an impact on my views about Thailand. I for myself have many good things to say about my Thai wife (married 10 years and still in love) and most of her relatives I came to know better, but then I really do only know the country from my yearly visits.

As a minor complaint I'd like to observe that the only thing this otherwise excellent site may be lacking is perhaps some scientific weight. Having recently had some profound insights on human nature, thanks to some fine literature about clinical psychology, I now feel compelled to remedy this situation by sharing my modest knowledge. I'd been intensely browsing through some psychology related websites and got especially stuck at those passages dealing with so called personality disorders (PDs for short). While reading I felt a strong sense of deja vu but couldn't tell why at first. Really fascinating and literally weird stuff. So what, you ask? Days later when back to Stickman's guide I knew why those behavior patterns seemed so familiar to me — I chuckled to myself. They neatly reflected the overall stereotypes about Thai and Farangs flashing before my inner eye whenever I read this site (only speaking for myself, take note).

Maybe you want to have a look at the little gems I digged out. The following are quotations.


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Antisocial PD, as epitomized by the bargirl and the disguised "good girl" mockups

Essential Feature: A pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others. Deceit and manipulation are integral behaviors (DSM IV, 1994).

Self Image: APDs have a grandiose sense of self-worth (Stone) and view themselves as free and unconfined by obligations (Millon).

View of Others: APDs view others with contempt and detachment. They do not care what happens to other people (Benjamin). Others are valued only for their utility for the APD (McWilliams). Kernberg describes APDs as having "malignant grandiosity."

Relationships: APDs can be gracious, cheerful, and clever when things go their way. However, they are easily provoked to attack; the APD inclination is to demean and to dominate. APDs are sensitive to the moods and feelings of others and use their perceptiveness to manipulate (Millon).

Authority Issues: APDs disdain society's rules; they know right from wrong, they just don't care (Oldham). APDs are often in trouble with the law. If effective, they may limit themselves to running cons on others and develop a talent for pathological lying (Millon).

Behavior: Many people shy away from APDs because of their sometimes intimidating, brusque and belligerent manner. APDs are seen as callous, argumentative, and contentious. They can be abusive and cruel (Millon).

Affective Issues: Shallow and superficial, APDs rarely experience guilt. They are unable to tolerate boredom, depression, or frustration (Sperry). Even if APDs improve later in life, they remain irritable and tense (Oldham).

Defensive Structure: APD involves a basic failure of human attachment and a reliance on primitive defenses (McWilliams). APDs evidence low frustration tolerance and danger seeking behavior; they feel immune to danger (Millon). For APDs, exerting power takes precedence over all other behaviors (McWilliams).

Narcissistic PD, as epitomized by the corrupt wannabe (prominently male?) Thai

Essential Feature: A pattern of pervasive grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy (DSM-IV, 1994).

Self Image: Inflated self-image, special, unique; extraordinary and deserving of elevated status; expects to be acknowledged as superior without commensurate achievements (Beck, DSM IV, Millon).

View of Others: Assume to be consumed with NPDs' welfare (Benjamin). NPDs are envious of and rageful toward others (Oldham).

Relationships: Assume others will submerge their needs in favor of the NPDs' comfort and welfare (Millon). NPDs are vulnerable to the most negligible slights; they are exploitative in relationships (Benjamin).

Authority Issues: NPDs often are authority figures. Flout conventional rules; see self as above or outside of conventional restraints (Millon).

Behavior: "His Majesty, the Baby;" if successful, may be admired; may be tolerated if gifted; seen as arrogant, impatient, abrasive and hypersensitive (Benjamin, Beck, Oldham).

Affective Issues: Rage when confidence is shaken; vulnerable to shame and humiliation; intense envy; lacking in empathy (Millon).

Defensive Structure: Preoccupied with fantasies about self; idealization of the self; devaluation of others; little genuine self-esteem; expansive and inclined to exaggerate; inflexible, self-important, and entitled (Millon, McWilliams, Oldham, Sperry).

Obsessive-compulsive PD, as epitomized by the functional Farang, pillar of industrialized societies

Essential Feature: Frances, et.al (1995, p. 378) describe individuals with OCPD as: perfectionistic, constricted, and excessively disciplined; behaviorally rigid, lacking empathy, intellectualized, and detailed; aggressive, competitive, and impatient; driven with a chronic sense of time pressure and an inability to relax; controlling of themselves, others, and situations; indirect in their expression of anger although an apparent undercurrent of hostility is often present; often inclined to hoard money and other possessions; preoccupied with orderliness, neatness, and cleanliness; and inflexible and stubborn in relationships.

According to Millon & Davis (1996, p. 505) OCPD is a conflicted personality style. Individuals with OCPD possess traits that are in conflict with one another. Their interpersonal style and intrapsychic structures can never be fully focused nor coherent due to internal schisms that can neither be escaped nor resolved. The essential conflict is between obedience and defiance. Behaviorally they are compliant; inwardly, they posses a strong desire to assert themselves and defy the regulations imposed upon them. Basically, individuals with OCPD consciously behave like the dependent PD; unconsciously they feel like the antisocial PD (Millon, 1981, p. 218). As with the dependent PD, people with OCPD incorporate the values of others and submerge their own individuality. However, inwardly, they are defiant, and the more they adapt the more they feel anger and resentment (Millon & Davis, 1996, p. 505). Richards (1993, p. 255) also suggests that OCPD is comprised of qualities from the antisocial (aggressive) style and the dependent (submissive) style.

Self-Image: Individuals with OCPD see themselves as responsible. They believe that they must depend on themselves and that they can be overwhelmed if they do not have systematic rules and regulations to follow (Beck & Freeman, 1990, pp. 46-47). These individuals are as harsh in their judgement of themselves as they are with others (Millon, 1981, p. 226). They value control over most other virtues. They emphasize discipline, order, reliability, loyalty, integrity, and perseverance (McWilliams, 1994, p. 298). Individuals with OCPD are inclined to feel self-doubt and guilt if they do not live up to their ideals but they do not recognize their own ambivalence about achieving aspirations and meeting expectations (Millon, 1981, p. 226).

View of Others: Individuals with OCPD see others as too casual, irresponsible, self-indulgent, and incompetent (Beck & Freeman, 1990, p. 46). They are contemptuous of those who are frivolous and impulsive. They consider emotionally driven behavior immature and irresponsible. They do not usually recognize that they judge others in accord with rules that they themselves unconsciously detest (Millon, 1981, p. 226).

Unfortunately, OCPD insistence on doing things according to logical rules angers others. Some individuals with OCPD become aware of their impact on others but they do not understand it. Others with OCPD appear oblivious to the negative emotions they elicit. In fact, if confronted with this anger, individuals with OCPD are inclined to believe that these people have no right to be angry (Turkat, 1990, p. 85).

Paranoid PD, as epitomized by the long term Thailand expat or recurrent visitor while in Thailand

Essential Feature: A pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others; the motives of others are interpreted as malevolent (DSM IV, 1994).

Self-Image: Righteous and mistreated by others; "fights the good fight," they are right, others are wrong (Beck, Kantor).

View of Others: Assume others will exploit, harm, or deceive; preoccupied with doubts about the loyalty of others; will not forgive injuries; see others as devious, deceptive, treacherous, and manipulative (DSM IV, Beck).

Relationships: Tend to provoke hostility in others; engage in "hair trigger" responses to trivial behavior from others; distrustful, secretive, and isolative (Beck, Benjamin, Millon, Sperry, Kantor).

Affective Issues: Struggle with anger, resentment, vindictiveness, hostility, and overwhelming fear (McWilliams).

Defensive Structure: Uncomfortable with dependency; disowns unfavorable traits; rigid; vulnerable to stress or unexpected change (Millon & Davis).

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So there you have it, the antisocial-narcissistic vs. the obsessive-compulsive-paranoid. But then please notice:
"They seem to have a fatal attraction for each other in that their personality patterns are complementary and reciprocal — which is one reason why, if they get divorced, they are likely to be attracted over and over to someone similar to their former partner", "So, for example, the histrionic is attracted to the obsessive-compulsive perfectionist because of the histrionic's need to be stabilized, and the obsessive-compulsive person is fascinated by the histrionic's devil-may-care attitude. But after a while they start to rub each other the wrong way." (Kaslow, 2004)

Science really explains it all. Sapere aude!


Stickman’s thoughts:

Great stuff.