Welcome to a conference spotlight
Riding the Waves conference!
Today we have Nikki Logan talking about Ken Milling‘s workshop CONFESSIONS OF A PSYCHOPATH: What Writers Get Wrong.
How I met Ken Milling
A few years ago my employer sought the assistance of a specialist to help manage an unhealthy workplace and I was thrilled when I discovered it was Ken Milling. Ken and I had worked together a few years earlier in a mentored staff development program and he’d single-handedly shown me the path back to life/work balance. It turned out Ken specialised in antisocial personalities and he had no trouble at all recognising the toxic dynamic in my workplace and giving me effective advice on how to manage my infestation of narcissists.
How to reverse play them.
How to control them.
And of course, because I’m an author, I had more than your average curiosity about the subject and I grilled him at length about the range of dysfunctional personalities he sees.
Ken is a mass of contradictions. Gently spoken, unassuming, average height. He’s into flamenco dancing and has mini-poodles. But he is also a 4th Dan Black Belt (Yon Dan) martial arts Master and he delves deep into some dark, damaged and even broken personalities for a living.
Ken introduced me to the basics of how an anti-social personality (and there are many of them) functions. He taught me that with a psychopath you have just moments to mark yourself as predator or prey in terms of how you respond but that you won’t even recognise that moment when it comes. It’ll be disguised as a simple request for the time, or a light, or directions. And he talked about how to function socially in a world where that can happen; because you can’t tell every person that asks you for directions to ‘_ _ _ _ off’. Some of them just want directions.
He invited me deep into the uncomfortable place that is the chronic narcissistic mind and talked about the kind of backstory that creates that particular personality disorder. He showed me all the ways my dysfunctional employees fit the profile. And he planted strategy seeds that eventually led to all three imploding, leaving their jobs or towing the line.
He taught me how to channel aggression for small, manageable bursts at strategic moments, and in a later session he kitted up in full martial arts gear and let me pummel the hell out of him. I’m sure from his POV it was like the battering of butterfly wings but I came away energised, empowered and so vitally aware of my own inherent power against the kinds of personalities that were making life a misery for the rest of my team.
‘Confessions of a Psychopath’
At Riding the Waves I’ll be leading a conversation with Ken designed to bring us in with him into the inner workings of a damaged mind. We’ll be doing a little mythbusting about personality disorders, looking at some of the personalities that are done to death in fiction and some that don’t get a lot of airtime, unravelling some clichéd fictional disorders (PTSD, the controlling mother, the brilliant sociopath). Is it possible to outsmart a psychopath? Can you change yourself from prey to predator? How strong does a trigger need to be to warp a perfectly good mind into a dysfunctional one?
And the ever important— Who had the more dysfunctional personality: Roadrunner or Coyote?
It will be a fast, furious one-hour conversation and we’ll be covering a lot of ground, so be sure to get in and get a seat early.
Thank you, Nikki and Ken!