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Was Jim Halpert From The Office Secretly A Sociopath?

Often remembered as one of the funniest and most beloved television characters in recent memory, The Office's Jim Halpert, as played by the charming John Krasinski, may seem like the perfect man. However, as The Office continues to age, Jim's antics start to seem, well, a little shady. This has led to an important and unsettling question: Was Jim Halpert from The Office secretly a sociopath?

There are plenty of weird fan theories about The Office — one of the most common and convincing is the idea that Toby is actually the oft-mentioned Scranton Strangler — but the idea that Jim Halpert, the love of Pam Beesly's (Jenna Fischer) life, father of her children, and friend to many at Dunder-Mifflin, could be a sociopath is another. But over the last few years, people have indeed been wondering if Jim might actually be a bad guy.

Fans fell in love with Jim and Pam's romance as they danced around the issue during the first two seasons, were separated during the third, and finally got together in the fourth — leading to a fantastic wedding episode, two children, and a full life together. Though they hit roadblocks along the way, including Jim's new business in Philadelphia during the later seasons, they got it together in the end. The slightly dorky duo moved to Texas to start a new life as a family, and it seemed like Jim and Pam could overcome any obstacle as long as they were together.

However, as many have pointed out, the way that Jim and Pam officially kicked off their relationship is weird. After a long and drawn-out flirtation between the two, Jim confesses his feelings to Pam, who turns him down (after all, she was engaged to another man, David Denman's Roy, at the time). Despite being rejected, Jim doesn't give up. He resurfaces moments later to lay a vaguely non-consensual kiss on Pam — which, in the era of #MeToo, definitely has a new, creepy vibe to it. 

Jim's poor treatment of women doesn't start and stop with Pam. On the whole, he treats women pretty badly. Following short-lived relationships with Katy (Amy Adams) and Karen (Rashida Jones), Jim breaks up with them in the bluntest, cruelest ways possible — showing basically zero respect for women and their feelings and completely disregarding the need for any kind of empathy. It seems Jim either doesn't know right from wrong, or does and simply doesn't care about hurting other people. 

Beyond his largely cold treatment of women, Jim shows a penchant for being bitter, lazy, and often downright mean — from his resentments against Pam to his long-standing feud with co-worker Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) to his coldness toward people he deems unworthy of his friendship. Throughout the series, Jim pulls an escalating series of pranks on Dwight, which range from harmless to straight-up cruel. He's not much nicer to his boss, Michael Scott (Steve Carell), whose bumbling attempts to befriend Jim get sadder as time goes on. Besides being dismissive and unkind to Dwight and Michael, Jim sometimes turns that same behavior on his own wife, yelling at a stressed-out Pam over the phone when she fails to record their daughter's dance recital... you know, the recital he missed so he could prioritize a new business over his family. Pam soon breaks down in tears (while in the office) after Jim berates her. 

Jim also has an incredibly selfish side. In his marriage alone, he buys a house for himself and Pam without even asking her, saddles her with most of the responsibilities when it comes to their children, and takes a significant chunk of their savings to start his new business, Athlead/Althleap, which also requires him to be away from home for long periods of time. (Just like the house, he takes that money before checking with Pam, who's supposed to be his equal partner.) Perhaps most frustrating of all, he even tries to abandon Pam during Michael's famously disastrous dinner party, but unluckily for Jim, Pam shuts that situation down almost immediately. And as far as his job at Dunder Mifflin goes, Jim shows little to no desire to ever do any work, spending the majority of his time pulling pranks and goofing off, which has to be detrimental to the company as a whole.

There's no doubt that Jim is flawed at best and actively a bad guy at worst, but is he really a sociopath? He doesn't show a ton of remorse for his actions and can be incredibly selfish, but that psychological label might be taking everything just a little bit too far. If anything, maybe fans of The Office can dispense with the idea that Jim Halpert is "perfect." He's not the best guy in the world, but on some level, he's only human, and certainly isn't some unattainable goal for which all men should strive. Unless you want to be selfish prankster who pines after a woman while she's engaged. To each their own, right?