Many people who have dealt with offenders have noticed what some folks call “duping delight” where the offender is actually proud of his “getting away with it.” My son displayed this “duping delight” when he bragged to me that “my crime was even worse than the cops knew” and T. J. Layne showed his delight in what he had done by his smirk and his “killer” tee shirt at his court sentencing.
The first instance I ever saw of “duping delight” to recognize what it was (though not by that name) was with some goats I had. Now goats are very very smart, and in some cases they take “duping delight” in doing things they know they are forbidden to do. A young buck I had refused to stay in the electric fenced pasture area and would get out and stand up on the hood of my car. I began to take a broom and swipe at him, a good portion of the time “nailing” him. So he soon learned that I did not want him up on the car, but goats being goats and liking too climb, he would see me come out the back door to the parking area, then he would look at the car, then look at me, then take a running jump up on the hood and then off on the other side before I could get to him with the broom. Then he would stop and look at me with a smirk on his face that I definitely knew the meaning of. Well can we say cabritto? (I’m not sure how it is spelled exactly but it is Spanish for goat meat!)
Unfortunately, dealing with a human being displaying duping delight is not so simple. First we must recognize it for what it is, that there is NO REMORSE over the act, that the person has repeated it and WILL repeat it again if given the chance.
Reaching someone who doesn’t want to be reached is an impossible task. You can preach and preach and teach and teach but if they do not want to learn the lesson or alter their behavior there is nothing you can accomplish. As the old saying goes “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
Since “duping delight” in an act is the opposite or reverse of “shame” or “guilt” for that behavior, it may be difficult for us to comprehend what is behind such an attitude in someone, especially someone we love.
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” is another old saying and we cannot convince anyone else to have the same attitudes and opinions as we do. Many governments and religions have tried to “brainwash” people in “re-education programs” and you can make someone fear you and SAY what you want them to say, but getting them to believe what you believe isn’t going to happen.
When we have children we try to model and teach good manners, respect for others, honesty and responsibility but it is up to the children themselves to decide what is important to them. We can teach and model all the virtues in the world, but we cannot make them internalize them. Not only is it possible for them to behave badly, but they also can DELIGHT in doing so.
I saw this in Patrick’s attitude as early as age 15, yet I kept thinking that I could make changes in his attitude, and at that I was a total and complete failure. Duping delight is a very important sign that the person is not going to change, not going to change their behavior and develop a conscience.
We all have read and heard the stories of the violent gang members who “found Jesus” and reformed in prison and came out to work hard to get others out of the gangs and violence. There ARE instances of this, but they are newsworthy because they are as “rare as hen’s teeth.” Those few people who have reformed, truly reformed, weren’t made to reform, they chose to do so.
Giving up on our loved ones who display “duping delight” is painful, I will not tell you a lie about that. The fact that it is painful though does not make it any less important that we disconnect from the attitudes and behaviors of those who display this delight in their wrong doing.
These people can also display faked “humility” or faked “remorse” but those are faux emotions that they have learned to “play act.” The duping delight is sort of like a laugh that we can’t stifle, it is a “reflex response” to the internal emotions, and shows the real feelings of the individual, rather than the faked remorse or guilt which if you look closely at it, you can see isn’t real.
People who deal with and profile offenders say if someone laughs but it is only a mouth movement and not also the eyes, the person is faking. So no matter how good an actor or actress someone may be, they do show signs of the deception.
Duping delight is only one of the “signs and symptoms” that an offender has no remorse or conscience, and actually delights in defying authority, just like the goat jumping on my car delighted in jumping and not getting hit with the broom. The goat did not have the foresight to look ahead at the possible consequences of his defying me. Many offenders also do not look forward to the potential consequences of their enjoyment of defiance. The lack the impulse control to realize that their momentary “win” will cost them greatly in consequences such as prison, sex offender registry, or even the death penalty.