When I was much younger, I would practice different facial expressions in front of the mirror. As far back as I can remember, perhaps since age six or seven, before and after every shower I would stand in front of the mirror and envision different social scenarios, and then react. Paying close attention to the way the muscles moved beneath the skin during different emotional reactions. How they are supposed to function and how to make them look real.
At the time I did not realise that I found it difficult to feel normal emotions. Feeling emotional impulses, urges, and sensations result in many reflexive overt behaviours, which for me does not exist. I believe that the antisocial mind must create its own blueprint of almost everything related to emotions – what each emotion means, how is emotion conveyed to others, when should we expose these emotions and when should we not, how do people act in social situations, how do emotions makes people feel and why does it matter, what is the significance of people’s emotions, how do we make others feel comfortable, how do we satisfy others, how do we take from others, how do we love and destroy – everything in relation to emotions must be learnt.
No one tells you this, it’s not something you are aware of. As a child, no one tells you that you are an antisocial. No one tells you that your sense of emotions are solely dependent on social learning. And so as I kid, I did things which I did not find significant enough to question such as practicing how to show emotions to others. Or at least learn how to pretend as if I had emotions to show. Little EKMO just thought he was a child being stupid in front of the mirror. Looking back at it, I took it very seriously though. I studied every little detail of my facial expressions and would repeatedly practice every little possible facial reaction obsessively until it felt real. Until it felt real. But the intention was never malicious, the intent was never to use it to manipulate or hurt others as I would go on to do throughout my life. As an innocent child I was simply very self-conscious about the fact I looked weird when displaying emotions. I always felt that I did not know how to react to things. Nor did my body know how to reflexively behave. I felt odd and out of place. I felt different and strange. I wanted to feel like a normal kid.
It wouldn’t always be so theatrical, much of the time I spent practicing smiling, or looking sad, or trying to cry, or looking worried or confused. The only emotion that was natural was anger, and so that was never rehearsed. It may seem that this whole experience was a big part of my life, but for me as a kid this was so natural and normal, it was simply apart of normal everyday life. I knew it was weird and silly, so I would never ever share these experiences with others, but I never really considered what it meant. Why would I at such a young age? None of these thoughts were ever on my mind – I would just do these things because that’s just what EKMO did.
I have never stopped doing this though. Even until this day I practice little things here and there in the mirror – every day. I just never really knew why I did it, but of course as I’ve begun to understand my personality I’ve learnt a lot about why I do this. Mimicking overt behaviour and pretending to feel things normally is extremely tiring, and requires much effort. You must study other people a lot, however all this learning is never conscious. When I explain all this to you, you must take into account that none of this happens consciously. While the antisocial studies emotions and absorbs information like a sponge, we are unaware of how powerful our minds are in being able to process raw data and converting it into useful information which we can then adopt into our lives – all this taking place in the sub conscious.
Mimicking ‘what it is to be human’ comes as an innate gift to the antisocial mind, though that does not mean we cannot detect it or see it for what it is. I’ve personally always had massive issues when it comes to taking photos. While candid photos are fine, it’s when asked to purposefully smile that you see how hollow and empty I am. A still image shows how manufactured, fake, and almost cheaply made our fake persona is. I’ve had people close to me point out how odd my smile is in photos, how I look kind of off or that something isn’t quite right. It’s something which I have become quite self-conscious about over time, and that sensitivity usually has me avoid taking photos quite often. Whether that be with friends, family, or just myself – I cannot take a good photo of myself even if my life were to depend on it.
Have you ever paused a movie during a close up of someone’s face during a tense and emotional scene? Only to find that you can’t help laugh at how silly they look? That’s kind of how it feels sometimes. I’m extremely good at acting but that’s all it is – an act. If you ask me to smile and freeze the frame, there is nothing natural about it. Sometimes I look dead inside. And so while most people almost naturally look half decent in photos, it takes me an extreme amount of internal focus to hold my manufactured smile to simply look normal.
So acting is tiring at times, and as for photos, well that’s a whole different ball game. with its own challenges. However the point of this paper is not to highlight my life-long struggle with taking selfies (Really, the struggle is real), it’s to highlight the degree to which the antisocial emotional system is man-manufactured. No matter how real and genuine each and every emotion may look, the very foundations of my emotional reality is a carefully learnt behaviour and skill-set, not a natural one in any sense of the word.