"There is no psychology; there is only biography and autobiography.”
- Thomas Szasz, Psychiatrist
The Psychology of a Sociopath
Silence of the Lambs is a story of two people who struggle to make an emotional connection to unconsciously heal each others traumatic pasts while saving the life of an innocent victim in the present. Both orphaned in life, imprisoned psychiatrist Hannibal Lector and FBI profiler Clarice Starling form a bond in search of the truth.
They can never physically touch, but their emotional connection runs deep as both seek redemption fueled by a shared urgency which bridges each others loneliness and isolation.
Lector knowingly leads Starling down a twisted emotional road, triggering psychological traits defined as an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCD). She is compelled to double- check facts and is rigid in her methodologies, which give rise to her need for perfection.
Without a thought of analyzing himself, or admitting that Starling is the incarnation his deceased sister who was eaten before his eyes by Russian soldiers to survive a famine, leaving unresolved emotional scars that are the
genesis of his unique cannibalistic disorder.
Lector, the psychological puppeteer, connects with the Senator on a purely emotional level knowingly evoking disgust by asking her what it was like breast feed her daughter.
He knows full well her desperation will reinstate his ultimate respect in a heartbeat. His new leads, send the FBI on a wild goose chase.
With the clock running, Starling’s OCD traits push her to follow her own leads going against her boss's instructions which pay off but put her in the line of fire with the actual serial killer.
Rescuing the victim satisfies her compulsive
need to prove herself worthy of praise from her peers, and she receives the ultimate approval
from the FBI Director, a surrogate father figure.
In a strange twist, after having escaped, Lector
sends his undying respect to Starling with full knowledge that his call is triggering her compulsive need to continue his pursuit, which continues to fuel their dysfunctional relationship.
Starling, unshaken, further confronts Lector to push her need to succeed by saying, "You see a lot doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? Or maybe you're afraid to."
Lector is compelled to use his unique understanding of human behavior and an astute manipulative skill with words to get to the core of Starling's being. Lector becomes an emotional puppeteer, sustaining his connection through a give-and-take manipulation technique he calls "quid pro quo." This back-and-forth feeds her OCD, triggering her inflated sense of responsibility and intolerance of uncertainty.
Lector analyzes each reaction Starling exhibits, designing a therapeutic strategy to crack her stoic demeanor to establish some kind of human connection denied him behind bars.
Once he enters her mind he secures his position by pointing out her insecurities. A major trigger is her fear of shaming the memory of her deceased law enforcement father because she never measured up in his eyes.
His wall of denial is unshaken further feeding his distorted desire to be needed. He uses his verbal skills laced with ill-intent to take full advantage of his perceived well-deserved opportunity to manipulate the desperate mother of the pending victim to satisfy his self-centered psychosis.
Both are tied to each other out of unfulfilled emotional needs which began before they even met. In life, their circumstances drew them together for reasons they don't see - they only feel.
Taking the time to self-analyze who you are attracted to can help reveal patterns in your choices. Who you let into your life can determine your success or failure in life's pursuits. Be it romantic choices, job choices, business choices and more, all are all within your power to make. Let people in you trust. Trust your feelings because they are for your survival.