Monthly Archives: July 2012

OCPD in Popular Media: “The Dark Knight Rises”

WARNING: Spoiler Alert!

Having gotten to watch “The Dark Knight Rises” last week in the perfect seats that I discussed earlier in my post titled “Theatre Seat Selection,” I was able to focus all my attention on the story. I loved it!

People with OCPD can expect to relate to the story of “The Dark Knight Rises” because it celebrates principles that are so dear to the heart of every OCPDer.

Even though his intentions have always been to do good for the undeserving city that was responsible for the death of his parents, Batman is subjected to the misdirected hate of the entire city of Gotham for the majority of the movie. Again and again, Batman is betrayed by those who come to him with false promises to help his honourable cause. But despite all the suffering and lack of appreciation he gets, Batman gives up his life to save Gotham City, not because he gets something out of it, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

Like Batman, you are a person of justice. Your heart breaks when you see injustice happen as a result of the absence or lack of moral order in this world. No matter what, you do not compromise your convictions. Even when everyone holds you down, even in the face of suffering or death, you keep on fighting for what is right. It is people like you who make history. It is people like you who change the world!

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Logical Reasoning

More than others, sensitive people spend their time thinking about the question “why?” Among this group of thinkers, there exists a rare breed of gifted intellectuals whose innate orderliness makes them highly skilled at finding an answer through the orderly process of logical reasoning.

People with OCPD have a gift for logical reasoning.

Logical reasoning is a very powerful tool used by the greatest mathematicians, scientists, diagnosticians, and detectives. It is what Sherlock Holmes and Dr. House (from the American TV series “House”) use to solve their respective mysteries.

It is what I have used to solve the mystery that is OCPD and build this entire blog without any formal education in psychology. People with OCPD just have to start with the question “why?” and then connect the puzzle pieces in their mind together.

But the “puzzle pieces” that they use to make their conclusions are not always accurate. The all-or-nothing thinking of people with OCPD can sometimes distort their judgment and cause them to make logical fallacies instead.

In an earlier post titled “Don’t Be Such a Chicken,” I linked a video of a frightened boy running away from a swarm of hungry chickens and suggested that he would probably develop a fear of birds from that traumatic experience. But why should all the thousands of different bird species be discriminated against when the boy’s experience only involved chickens?

Generalization is just one of the logical fallacies that gets committed by those who reason with all-or-nothing thinking. Racism, sexism, and all the other “isms” develop as a result of this kind of erroneous reasoning.


Do not take it personally if others do not agree with you. Take the disagreement as an opportunity to refine your own beliefs through the learning of others’ different experiences.

Do not “JADE” (justify, argue, defend, explain). If your OCPD friend tries to impose his or her beliefs onto you, you really do not need to defend your own beliefs. Instead, just say that you do not agree with him or her. If your OCPD friend corners you with his or her logic, try to catch the all-or-nothing thinking in his or her reasoning and respond by saying something along the lines of, “Hmmm, your observation is interesting. But I cannot agree with your premise because it is not true in my experience.” Your OCPD friend may then try to challenge the validity of your experience. You do not need to defend the validity of your experience. Instead, challenge him or her on the validity of his or her experience. No person’s experience justifies generalization.

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The Paradoxical Commandments

This poem, written by Kent M. Keith, expresses so well the heart and uncompromisable love for excellence of people with OCPD. You have been designed for greatness and meant to live excellently, regardless of the lack of excellence around you!

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Theatre Seat Selection

OCPD causes me to be very picky about where I sit in the movie theatre.

That is why I pre-purchased my advance tickets and reserved my seats for the July 20th release of The Dark Knight Rises.

Here are my wonderful seats!

Sitting right in the center of the theatre, where everything is symmetric, is movie-going paradise for me! It is where I can escape my reality and zero-in all my attention on the film. If I were to sit anywhere else, the combination of my sensitivity and orderliness would pick up too many subtleties in my surroundings to distract me from being fully engaged with my movie. If I were to sit off to the side of the theatre, I would get distracted by the uneven distribution of sound as one ear would be picking up more sound than the other. I would also get distracted by my distorted perspective of the image being displayed on the screen.

I have done this for so long that it has become a personal movie-going rule that I follow. If I cannot get seats that are close to the center of the theatre, I rather wait another week to watch the movie.

But with great seats come great responsibilities. I make sure to use the restroom before the start of the movie and avoid drinking liquids during the movie.

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People with OCPD like routines for two reasons: (1) routines save them the time of having to inefficiently think about what to do; (2) routines protect them from being overwhelmed by unanticipated surprises.  

Because of their sensitivity, people with OCPD are thinkaholics who inefficiently think too much about what to do. This inefficiency conflicts with their need for efficiency. For the sake of being more efficient, people with OCPD then try to cut out the thinking part altogether. They do this by getting all the thinking over and done with in the beginning and figuring out the “best” fail-proof course of action. Once they figure that out, people with OCPD repeat the same action over and over again for every situation. Their fear of mistakes can also contribute to their resistance in trying out new things.

The 1997 movie “As Good as it Gets” demonstrates this kind of preoccupation with routines.

In the movie, Jack Nicholson’s character responds to his hunger in the same way at the same hour of everyday: he goes to the same restaurant; he sits in the same seat; he orders the same meal in the same way from the same server; he eats his meal in the same manner; he pays the bill in the same amount. During my workaholic years living in Seoul, I had been very much like Jack Nicholson’s character. The thought of trying out something new for lunch seemed so troublesome when I already had a place and meal that I could expect to be satisfied with. Trying out something new would have required me to inefficiently think again about which place to eat at, what menu item to order, and so many other things that take me a much longer time to think about than most other people. 

Some of the world’s most successful people follow routines. One of Korea’s most successful people in the entertainment industry, Jin-Young Park (workaholic singer/songwriter, dancer, record producer and former CEO and founder of major entertainment company “JYP Entertainment”), told “Healing Camp” on an interview that he had been following the same morning routine everyday for the last seventeen years.

[ wake up (8:00am), take vitamins/supplements, eat the same healthy breakfast (15 minutes), stretch (58 different stretches in 30 minutes), do vocal exercises (30 minutes), work out (2 hours), get dressed (5 minutes) ]

The breaking of a routine is a big deal to people with OCPD because their all-or-nothing thinking hyperbolizes the consequences.


Remember that your all-or-nothing thinking wrongfully hyperbolizes the consequences of a broken routine. If others cause you to break a routine, go along with it and tell yourself that you are going to be ok. If you catch yourself hesitating to do an activity that is not a part of your routine (helping out a friend, going to party, etc.), examine yourself carefully and see if your hesitation is caused from your attachment to your routines. If it is, regardless of how inefficient it might be, push yourself to think about whether it is more important to follow your routine or try out the new activity.

If your OCPD friend is upset by a broken routine, try your best to show empathy for the intensified pain that your friend’s all-or-nothing thinking causes him or her to feel. If you can see that your OCPD friend is enjoying his or her time after having broken a routine, help him or her break out of his or her attachment to routines even more by mentioning in a friendly way, “Don’t you think this is a much more wonderful way to spend your time than just redoing your routine?”

Understand that, in some cases, it is better to take the time to think about what should and should not be done. After all the thinking, what you decide to do in the end may be quite different from what you would have done had you blindly followed a pre-established routine. When a rule is broken, fight against your all-or-nothing thinking by telling yourself that the consequence will not be so bad.

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