REGISTER | LOGIN
By | April 12, 2010 1,523 Comments

10 Signs that you’re dating a sociopath

If your new romantic interest exhibits all or most of the following behaviors, be careful. He or she might be a sociopath.

1. Charisma and charm. They’re smooth talkers, always have an answer, never miss a beat. They seem to be very exciting.

2. Enormous ego. They act like the smartest, richest or most successful people around. They may actually come out and tell you that.

3. Overly attentive. They call, text and e-mail constantly. They want to be with you every moment. They resent time you spend with your family and friends.

4. Jekyll and Hyde personality. One minute they love you; the next minute they hate you. Their personality changes like flipping a switch.

5. Blame others. Nothing is ever their fault. They always have an excuse. Someone else causes their problems.

6. Lies and gaps in the story. You ask questions, and the answers are vague. They tell stupid lies. They tell outrageous lies. They lie when they’d make out better telling the truth.

7. Intense eye contact. Call it the predatory stare. If you get a chill down your spine when they look at you, pay attention.

8. Move fast. They quickly proclaim that you’re their true love and soul mate. They want to move in together or get married quickly.

9. Pity play. They appeal to your sympathy. They want you to feel sorry for their abusive childhood, psychotic ex, incurable disease or financial setbacks.

10. Sexual magnetism. If you feel intense attraction, if your physical relationship is unbelievable, it may be their excess testosterone.

For more on this topic, see Donna Andersen’s book, Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 signs you’re dating a sociopath.


1523
Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Ox Drover

Dear Donna,

BOY, you nailed that one! Concise and precise! The bottom line. You didn’t miss a trick on that article! I would have put #4 as last though, as the other 9 are all in the “honeymoon” stage and when they start the Jekyll/Hyde thing, the D&D is starting and it is a bad ride from then on in. Unfortunately, too many times the “love-bomb-nine” have made us overlook the Jekyll/Hyde (at least for a while).

learning

So, my daughter will be leaving her pediatricians office in the next year or so and start going to a regular Doctors office.

I think I will print out the above and ask our Pediatrician to hand out the print-out as their young girls/boys depart as women/men into the world…maybe it will lead to conversation or enlightenment about avoiding relationships with Sociopaths… we gotta begin somewhere!

Pediatricians are the other groups of extended family that have known our kids and developed a safe relationship with them…I know our practice discusses everything with my girls from general safety things, to drugs alcohol and sex… nothing overwhelming…but maybe handing out the printout may just help someone avoid a toxic person they were otherwise unaware even EXITS out there.

Thanks Donna..

Ox Drover

Dear Learning,

It could also be used as a basis for a class on Dating for young people in school, high school and college, or even Junior high. Or to hand out to people in your office or neighborhood that might be dating a guy that you figure is an s/path

Simple and straight forward!

bulletproof

Yep Donna,

this message should be neon lit, in sky-writing, posters, TV breaking news, in the back of bibles, cereal boxes, car stickers, inside crackers instead of jokes, on the school curriculum, on table mats in bars, graffitti, on headstones,on Ellen, on oprah, on and on and on until the message has landed.

learning

Yes! I know had I been educated in this regard… I would have AT LEAST had something to consider as an option as to what the heck was going on…it is not the only answer…but it is one small step in the right direction toward educating and possibly preventing a relationship with a sociopath.

The world must be educated about what exists out there. What they look like, how they act, the way they will treat you and WHAT TO DO —

DONT GET INVOLVED OR IF YOU ARE GET OUT!!! STAY OUT!!! LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER WITHOUT THE CRAZYMAKINGS OF A TOXIC PERSON!! WE JUST HAVE TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE AND HOW TO SPOT THEM AND RESPECT OURSELVES 🙂

pollyannanomore

What a great succinct listing – and so true – if only we had known back then what we now know!

Rosa

Yes, these are the primary bullet points in a nutshell (pun intended 🙂 ).

Is there any way we could shoot this article off to Elin Woods and Sandra Bullock?

It was reported on CNN Headline News this morning that Sandra Bullock has Jesse James’ kids living with HER.
You don’t do that when you are getting a divorce, so is it possible she is actually going to stay with the cheater???

Yikes.

Ox Drover

Warrior:

Okay, here is my opinion (and remember it is opinion ONLY and I am NOT a CPA or a tax attorney)

First off–GENERAL PRINCIPLE: It is better to beg forgiveness that ask permission.

Question: Why do you want to “help him”? What’s in it for YOU to help him even if it doesn’t hurt you?

So, since it is very late and you can’t possibly get a CPA to do the taxes now (and you, are not wise enough to do them yourself, this divorce has gotten you so upset that you just can’t think straight, you poooooor babbbby!)

So FILE and EXTENSION for YOUR SELF but don’t even tell him until the last minute so he is left hanging out.

If the attorneys or the judge say “you should have done it TOGETHER because of the order” Plead ignorance, that order is not CLEAR and the attorneys are obvfiously just making money off it and not giving you clear guidance.

Then get a CPA lined up immediately and see how it is best to proceed for YOU. Do what is best for YOU. If you will get money back and he has to pay, by filing jointly I think you are just as responsible for PAYING AS HE IS since the income then becomes joint and you have SIGNED. What if he doesn’t pay or doesn’t have it to pay, you are HUNG out for that debt to the IRS and they are getting worse and worse about wanting their money I think in these hard times.

Anyway, that is my official unofficial advice and if you can even talk to a CPA for 5 minutes you should get an answer, but I would not file jnointly with him unless the court made me, and if yhou file and the court says you should have gone jointly, it can always be an AMMENDED filing later.

Good luck!

tobehappy

Hey Everyone….
I’ve been on a mission to ORGANIZE my house. Spring cleaning ..trying to get ready for a yard sale…I’m exhuasted. Taking a break. Its a good sign that I am motivated to do this. Haven’t done much since February.

Anyway…I’ve been having strange dreams. Can’t figure this one out.

Dream: I was getting ready to be married. I was getting dressed and realized that I never bought a dress. So, I dug out my old dress from my marriage. I didn’t want to wear the same one…but I had no choice. I cut the lacey sleeves off which I had put on when I bought the dress. So, I told someone…its not the same EXACT one. I noticed that I forgot the long train…but I couldn’t find it.

Then, people were coming in to the reception place, (I was upstairs in the dressing room still) and I panicked. I told someone (whoever was with me..) that they better call Kenny, ( a guy I dated when I was 27…he was only 20…and it was a very sexual relationship but he told me that he had a problem…he was a pathological liar! )

I told them that they better call him because he doesn’t know that we are getting married. I was upset because I wondered if he would show. Then I woke up.

I was nervous in the dream because I thought I would look like a fool if he didn’t show up.

Can’t figure THIS one out!! Any comments???

Thanks!

hurtnomore010

No lie but everything listed here is what my dad’s x gf told me how this is really true and evident. This really helpful, too. Lord. I can’t pin point enough some of the signs listed here. Thanks a lot Donna for this! This helps people become more aware.

Aeylah

Donna,

Great easy peasy list. thank you. I’m going to pass this on to my 14 year old niece, my sons who are young men and all the other young kids I know who are embarking on the dating scene.

Bulletproof,
Lol….I fully agree this should come as a warning label EVERYWHERE….it should be especially taught in high school sex ed. and should be printed in bold on all internet dating sites.

Matt

Donna:

Great List. Oh, if I had only read it before I met my S-ex.

Regarding #4 – the Jekyll and Hyde personality — I’d add that you generally see this trait somewhere around the end of month 3, when the honeymoon period and lovebombing is over because they know they’ve got you hooked. Because until this trait apears, the victim is having a walk in the clouds.

alohatraveler

Donna,

What if you sent this Top 10 List to David Letterman. Perhpas he would read it at a time when there’s a story in the media about a Sociopath.

Better yet, you could send this to Oprah and then you and the other authors could appear on Oprah… And your LoveFraud Readers could fill the audience. :O)

Wouldn’t that be AWESOME!

alohatraveler

The only thing bad would be that the LoveFraud site would be crashed after Oprah aired and you would get about 10 million hits and the community would be lost and Oxy would lose her mind trying to greet all the new people.

Let’s think this through carefully…. hmmmm.

No, we need Oprah. Can you imagine how many people would have their eyes opened?

hens

aloha that was funny thanks for the chuckle – yes our oxy’s computer would catch on fire for sure :)~

teacher123

I wish I knew about this stuff before meeting the person described above. The intense eye contact makes you think that person is interested only in you. There were some staff meetings with over 100 people in them at our school where said person stared at me almost non-stop for like 1& 1/2 hours. It was almost like that game if you blink you lose. Then other times she would ignore me totally like I was a non-person even though we were right next to each other, and then ask me what was wrong- why I didn’t want to play anymore. It was just like Shekyll and Shyde. At least all that is way behind me now. I have come to appreciate even more those that have loved me all along.

ErinBrock

Teacher:
If you have loved ones who hjave stuck with you through an experience with a spath……you are a very fortunate person!!
Count your blessings darling!!

hens

eb that is so true…I will say one thing for the xspath, he killed that illusion I had. he wasnt an illusion, he became MY illusion of whatever faulted ideas of love I had – there is no desire of ever trying to fulfill that again, not even with my new found awareness of them – I am just fine alone. and i do have people who have loved me through it all.

Aeylah

Henry,
It is enlightening and freeing when you get the clarity and awareness of the S….but don’t loose your dreams and “illusions” of love …you know WHAT REAL LOVE IS… when you have people that trully love you and stick by you through those darkest hours, that a NON-SOCIOPATHIC partener can and does exist out there….we are just smarter now and wont fall “head over heals” and be BLINDED BY THE SPATH LIES AGIAN.

ErinBrock

Hens:
I do have peeps who haved been here loving me and supporting me…..NONE of who I thought would be with me/by me…through hard times and good….NONE.
Like my parents and other family! that was a big illusion for me to crack.
But….out of this whole ordeal…..I have the best of friends and support of peeps who I know I can fall on and they will catch me, or at least soften my fall.

It took me by surprise….

libelle

Dear Donna, thanks for the list.

If I imagine myself being a teenager and if I had met a man interested in ME and matching this list I would immediately have fallen for this type of man, for sure! It sounds like my father whom I cherrished so much as he was so calm in contrast to my histrionic crazy flamboyant loud selfish mum (plus for my father: toss in some boyish puppy-like gaze that looks at you and makes you want to rescue him). His word was the bible to me. (fortunately he warned me about “evil men” i.e. HIS LIKE and saved me lots of trouble in the first place, but gave me lots of VERY platonic onesided crushes).

This list has to come with the explanation that it is all fake and set up to conquer and then destroy and leave a devastated soul.

If you have A BIT of every item of the list it would be a great thing to be with this kind of person, but you have to look for the agenda well hidden, and that is the crucial point in my opinion. And you have to know HOW TO LOOK and that unfortunately comes only with experience or some inborn “spath detector” (where do they store them??).

And as Matt stated they take out take out the agenda by month three, when it is pay day and you get the hefty bill.

I wish you a wonderful day!

Phew!!! Oxy!!! Im so glad you didnt choke to death on that peanut butter sandwich, and become Mama Cass 2!
{If you remember, MamaCass, from the mamas a nd papas, died after she choked to death on a steak sandwich.}
Maybe no-one noticed, in time to do a heimlich manoevre on her.
Thank GOD Oxy is still with us!! Towanda and 3 cheers!
{Oxy, I didnt know that peanut was part of your diet! LOL!}
Just kidding, eat what you like!
I hada HUGE back molar removed yesterday, was I ever chicken! kept making excuses to the dentist, ie, what about if I went on a course of antibiotics during my trip, to keep it from getting worse? Turned out it was abcessed, so it HAD to go. Massive double root on the horrible thing.I have almost a month for it to heal before I leave for bonnie scotland on 10th May, for 3 weeks,. can you all survive 3 weeks without Mama gem?!!! {{HUGS!!}}, Gem.XXX

libelle

Dear Gem, high five to YOU! (I am a BIG chicken when it comes to dentists!) Rather stay away from them 😉 . Al the best to you and your inside cleansing. It is like getting rid of the Spath, isn’t it? It hurts like hell, you want antibiotics instead of REALLY GETTING RID OF IT and it delays and mixes up all your plans you had before, but when you are done it feels great, and you can chew better after that :-).

Have a peaceful day! ((((HUGS))))

Stargazer

Donna, here is one that you could add to the list:

11. They seem to have so many things in common with you. (They will often research your likes/dislikes and feign interest in them, or pretend to have had similar experiences in life).

Otherwise, the list is perfect.

libelle

The words “Soulmate” and “I have found you, I was looking for you my whole life” may fint into the 11th point made by Star.

Also the very strange, inexplicable physical reactions (panic attacks, stomachache, feelings of insecurity out of the blue when things should be very nice and peaceful) have become very important for me and give me the creeps. (but I have no idea how to put them on the list as well).

charlottecreamer

So-called sociopaths are people, too. They’re hurting even more than they hurt others; that’s why they do the horrible things they do. Only people who are hurting, hurt others. Before you “heal” yourselves, you need to recognize that the ones who hurt you also need to heal. And don’t you dare tell me that such people do not have a conscience or the capacity to heal; that’s a lie. You treat them like dirt, like they’re less than human, all the while carrying your victimhood around like a trophy.

I know what it is to be under a “spell”; I’m deaf in one ear from being beaten so much. I left and went back so many times, I lost count. I also lost friends and family support in so doing. I’ve lived the giddy euphoria, the Jekyll and Hyde, the unfathomable, jaw-dropping lies, the constant gnawing at the pit of my stomach, the “love” gaze that morphed into cold and ruthless disdain, the infidelity after infidelity after infidelity. I know what it is to lose (almost) all self-respect. I spent seven years trying to disentangle myself emotionally and physically, and finally succeeded. That was a long time ago now.

But I know now something I did not know then — I, myself, me — no-one else — made those choices to go back, over and over again. It was MY choice, even though friends and strangers warned me, right from the start, what I was getting myself into. I didn’t heed their warnings. It was my choice not to heed their warnings. I HAD A CHOICE, and I chose the wrong one. I wanted to believe the beautiful lies. And so consequences followed.

This person, this fellow human being, is in profound pain. Many of you may not believe that, but it’s true. This person is not some alien creature from the black lagoon but a human whose pain is buried down so deep, he’s almost lost conscious touch with it, and yet it still drives him to hurt others. I cannot heal this person, but I can pray that God will heal him. Hating him or disrespecting him or treating him as less than human will only hurt me in the long run, and I’ve brought enough pain on myself for one lifetime already.

Just as I had a choice to stay or leave, I now have a choice to hate or forgive. It’s a choice, not necessarily a feeling. Choosing to forgive doesn’t mean letting this person back into my life; that will never happen. Choosing to forgive means remembering what happened, learning from it for future reference, and letting go. Not talking about it. Not thinking about it. Not dwelling on it. Again, it’s a choice, one that is made once, and then re-made as often as necessary.

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to go on so long. Several years ago, I signed onto this forum, and I’ve been getting periodic emails ever since. Sometimes I read the articles, but most times I can’t, they’re so full of hate and self-pity. To me, they show that the writers are still under the spell of the so-called sociopath, and that most of the commenters are enabling each other to continue in their pain. In my grandmother’s day, it was called “wallowing in self-pity”. There’s a time for commiserating and mourning, and a time to move on. Like everything else in life, it’s a choice. And only you, and you alone, can make it.

Warning others about “sociopaths” is like warning teen-agers about the dangers of doing drugs. It will fall on deaf ears. We were all warned about our “sociopaths”, either by others or by our own internal warning systems, but we still pitched headlong into the rush. And what a rush it was. And what a crash afterwards.

What goes around, comes around. Please make good things go around, for all our sakes.

Frank Lee Speaking

This list is so 100% true it is not funny I mean EVERYTHING listed on here she had. But there are also many other subtle traits which I found listed on the now sadly closed Transociopathica site which added to the above will almost certainly solidify your belief that one is dealing with a sociopath:

My ex Wife easily scored 26. Worth Sharing here I think.

*************************
All of us have at least one of the traits on this list ”“ so do not find one or two traits and come to any firm conclusions. The list is based on my own and others’ personal experiences who have been caught in the snare of these lunatics.

Sociopath/Psychopath Common Traits

1. Waking up in a Pool of Sweat
2. Severe Migraines During Full Moons and Beginning of Menstrual Cycles
3. Needing at Most 4-5 Hours Sleep a Night
4. Inconsistent Timelines and Missing Past Histories
5. Eyes Dead and Lifeless/then Racing Frantically from Side-to-Side When Pulling off a Scam. No “Crows Feet” on females due to smiling with their teeth and not their eyes.
6. Falls Asleep and Wakes Up Instantly
7. Constantly Trying to Correct Others’ Opinions (arrogant pseudo-skeptic/debunker)
8. Narcissism/Boastful/Self Pity/”Why Me!” Sob Stories.
9. Righteous Indignation/Condescending/Always Right-Never Wrong
10. Crocodile Tears and Unconvincing Emotional Responses, Superficial Laughter
11. Extreme and Obvious Flattery ”“ Emulating/”Brown Nosing”/Sycophant
12. Idealisation Followed by Cold Rejection/Invented Persona to Manipulate Others
13. Sexual Promiscuity/Bi Sexuality/One Night Stands
14. History of Brief or Failed Relationships Ending Badly
15. Moving from State to State or Region Under Suspicious or Vague Circumstances
16. Claims to be the Only Person who Really Relates to You
17. Obsessed with the Latest Pharmaceuticals/Hypochondriac
18. Has No Real Creative Talent (can only copy other styles ”“ can’t innovate/be original)
19. Buys into Either Secular and Non-Secular Belief Systems to Act Superior/Enlightened
20. Gifts Designed to “Buy You” or to Mould You in a Certain Way (their taste in clothes, pop psychology books)
21. Lack of Emotional Depth in Terms of Others’ Problems/Hurt/Cheap Apology at Most
22. Little or No Interest in Parenting (even if they have children while claiming to adore them)
23. Easily Bored
24. Becomes Obsessed with Hobby or Causes/Individuals and then Loses Interest Instantly
25. Feels they are Entitled to the Best of Everything/Lights Cigarette without Asking if it is OK to Smoke.
26. Exploits Parents, the Elderly or Handicapped (money, free rent, getting into wills)
27. Defends Orthodoxy Based on Reading a Book/Discovery Channel/Penn and Teller
28. Claims to Have a Special Relationship with God or Faking Being Religious
29. Either Extreme Atheist or “Holy Roller”
30. Highly Unreliable/Broken Promises/Nothing is Ever their Fault
31. Wants to Know Your Every Move/Life Story ”“ While their Own is Elusive or Vague
32. High Testosterone (large clitoris/sexually aggressive/”pervy” pronounced Adam’s Apple in Females)
33. Parasitic Lifestyle/Slacker/Highly Strung “Genius”/Middle Aged Student

IF YOU FIND YOURSELF TICKING OFF 13 OF THE ABOVE TRAITS THEN BE CAREFUL AND REMAIN VIGILANT.
19 OR MORE THEN GET AWAY FAST.

LiedTo

In that first sentence I believe the words “might be” should be bolded and in caps because that list can sure be turned around and misapplied.

When I broke it off with my ex two years ago, after he came over in a rage and beat a window out of my house with a small log, he then went around telling everyone I was a sociopath based on some things he had read here. And this list will confirm it for him once again, as it feeds his delusions.

I am a college educated, well-rounded individual who has traveled the world and was recently widowed when I met him so I was financially secure. I fell for him like the proverbial ton of bricks. So I’ve just passed the first four tests, provided you only read the first few words of each. Next I get accused of five and six, again just the first few words. Skip seven because there’s always going to be some exception. Then the last three, yep, that’s me.

The reality is that this man has conned me out of thousands of dollars and almost drove me to suicide. I was so in love with him, I would have done anything for him. He asked me to marry him. I was never so happy and while I was making plans and getting things in order he started asking me to buy things for him. He had long been unemployed because he is always too “honest” and no boss ever likes him so he always ends up getting fired.

Finally, once everything was in order, he told me, “I’d never marry you.” Then came a long period of gaslighting, verbal and emotional abuse. I was ground down to practically nothing. Until the evening of the broken window when the attending police officer told me that I was the victim of domestic abuse and needed to seek advice from the womens shelter.

I did that right away and it set me on a long period of discovery and learning about NPD. I am better now from what I have learned but don’t think I will ever totally recover from the emotional and financial loss.

I just wanted to point out here that you are dealing with some extremely fragile people and sometimes things you post can be misconstrued and used to hurt others. I mean, look at what charlottecreamer just wrote. There are people here in extremely dangerous situations so please remember that anyone can read these things, and use them as they see fit.

Thank you for hearing me out.

I’m just seeing the additional list that Frank Lee posted. That’s more realistic, I think.

Godschild1

Charlottecreamer,
All I can say is OMG! I really needed that. I spoke to a good friend of mine that’s like a sister, who at the time was with me when I met my ex-s. I explained to her what I discovered about him and that I truly believe that he is because he displayed all the characteristics. She was telling me that she believes he is hurting too and that when I tell her that he can’t be helped because that is what people who studied s’s said and that this blog also says and believes that, and she said that I needed to pray for him because God can help him, that obviously his was abused when he was younger, because she feels that he is definitely hurting inside and can’t figure out why he does the things he does and can’t change. I didn’t want to do it, but in the end I found myself truly praying for him and also myself. Not for him to change for him and I to be together, but for God to heal him, He is the Father of my two children. I have taken responsibility for my part finally. I blamed him because I treated him good only for him to mistreat me and I could never understand why. I still grieve for him because I don’t feel like it was illusion to me, he is a real person and I still struggle with everything he did that I tolerated. On this site some say a person was brainwashed. He was every bit of the top ten signs of a sociapath and he definitely hooked me but when I knew he was no good I continued to go back for the last 10 years. I want to say it was because of my children and also that I wanted that so called family life that I dreamed of as a child. Everyone around could see he was no good. This man treated me wrong, and didn’t work on top of that to help support his kids and still don’t and the support he did give was by way of another woman he was sleeping with that feel for his ways. But, I alone kept taking him back, he didn’t force me, I knew it was not going to change and I just wanted him in my life. I couldn’t see him out of my life. Maybe it was the abuser holding on to her abusee. Theirs a term for that. I’ve read books, been on the internet and on lovefraud and though I think all of this is wonderful and when I post a note when I’m down and get great advice, I too feel if I continue to wallow in self pity or to put my ex-s down I still feel like the abuse is still going on that he has a hold on my life because I’m not moving on. I find not talking about it helps a great deal because as soon as I do, I talk and try to rationalize and talk my good friends ear off about all the drama I went through, I end up feeling worse off, depressed and foolish talking about it. I needed to hear a different perspective and you definitely gave me one. Thank you. I can’t believe people don’t see them as human beings. Yes, they do very unthinkable things to people who love them, I too agree that they are hurting far worse than we can ever imagine. I know it’s going to take some big time healing for me to get through this but, I will continue to pray, I feel this is the only way for me.

Quantum Solace

The monster that ruined my life exhibited all of the above behaviors except for #9. In fact, whatever little I know of the guy’s true past is because of his parents, them being Sociopaths of sorts themselves. The man had no past and whatever references were to it were lies, always agrandizing himself and/or involvement. In fact, the man didn’t even have childhood friends much less memories. One day, I asked him about it and he replied “ha, that’s because I’m a mysterious man!” Mysterious my ass! I used to think that his childhood must have been so horrendous that he had blocked it out, I know better now.

However, I know for a fact that after the divorce, he did pick up that last trait and painted me as the devil who ruined his life, took advantage of him, yaddah yaddah yaddah. I became his pity play! How very ironic!

Godschild1

All, I’m saying it’s just hard for me to believe that a lot of people don’t take responsibility on their part. I guess I am just trying to see two sides to this. Obviously something is seriously damaged about these people to do what they do. I don’t think they just woke up one day and said I’m out to hurt people for my own benefit. We have a name for these people and much study was done on them for their to be characteristics to look out for. I’m just confused. All I know is that I don’t ever want to get into another situation like this in my life again. It has been torture for me to heal, I want to believe praying for this person will somehow help me to heal and move on. I don’t want to be insensitive to other people’s feelings and post something that will further hurt anyone because I know we have all been through some very traumatic situations, I guess we all have to do what helps us to move on and get over as much as we can to live a wonderful life. I do feel what Charlottecreamer is saying and she has hit some interesting points. I have tried to warn people about his behavior and I saw the warning signs and it fell on deaf ears. Unfortunately some people have to learn for themselves and some of them have and continue to enable him and give to him. I just have to take care of me.

jennifer1011

Charlotte Creamer and God’s Child,

I am quite certain that every single person who has had their lives destroyed by a sociopath is perfectly aware of their own responsibility in the story and suffer terribly with shame and humiliation at allowing such a monster into their lives….and this is indeed one of the most significant hurdles to their healing; overcoming the shame and guilt. You are finding this out yourselves even now, just as we all have. Forgiving oneself might even be the longest part of the journey away from the sociopath.

However, to suggest that we are ignoring the pain that these creatures are in and that they suffer as much as we do, that their deep seeded pain has caused them to be broken, only tells me that you’re still enabling at some level and still making excuses for them. Everybody has been hurt somehow, some of us very, very deeply…but does my pain or your’s give you permission to seek vengence on everyone around you? No, of course not, because you and I have a conscience and compassion for others.

I’ll tell you what they feel: bottomless rage and self entitlement. They hate the whole entire world. Believing that they are just wounded animals lashing out in frustration is to dangerously underestimate the capability they have to destroy you.

Everything they pretend to feel is just that, a pretense. They are experts at playing the victim, so much so that they convince their enablers (because that is what we become) they that are too deeply wounded to be responsible for their behavior and their destructiveness. We become their enablers by buying into the story and feeling sorry for them, in believing that if they could just be healed they would ‘see the light’ , and by wasting our prayers on them…pray instead for their victims, past, present, and future, and pray for yourself. You may as well pray for the soul of a demon.

The beginning of that PinkFloyd song, Comfortably Numb, when the voice is screaming, just screaming….that is what they feel and see and hear all the time. Screaming. It is the sound of their limitless rage, the sound of their demand for every desire and whim to be met instantly, the sound of their frustration when they are inconvenienced in any way, the sound of every soul they have shattered, every human being they have wounded and crushed, and the foreshadowing of all they will hear in their afterlife; in purgatory. They feel NOTHING, and this pain of theirs you defend and hold up as a reason they should be pitied, is the very weapon they use against you.

Their two pronged weapon is their pain and your love.
They use their pain as an excuse to use your love to destroy YOU.

I believe with all my heart in Karma. I know that I need not pray for his soul NOR curse it. I know that God will deal with such creatures in His own way. I pray to forgive myself, I pray that he will not be allowed to harm another, I pray that my daughter will be smarter and stronger than I was, but to pray for the monster?….no, I have turned that over to GOD.

Explanations? yes, maybe…..but NO MORE EXCUSES. The explanation helps you find peace and forgiveness within yourself so that you can heal and move on….but excuses? NO. There is no excuse for the sins they have committed and will keep committing. Do yourself the honor of not making excuses for them anymore. Doing so only keeps you vulnerable and open to them, and it keeps you from seeing them, or yourself, clearly.

breached1957

This isn’t going to make me popular but I totally disagree with charlottecreamer. First, not everyone is dealing with an ex lover or spouse, some are extended family and past friends who tried to do them in. Even if it were an ex-mate it would feel like praying for the devil–an I personally don’t pray that way. I don’t recall seeing anyone on here not admit that they tried to set things right and deal as best they could with the people who were creating chaos in their lives and it wasn’t until they became informed on whom they were dealing with that they gave up on them and concluded those people in their lives. I have read peoples stories of being abused by those they loved, that made me weep. To deny they were and are victims is in my mind to deny their pain which is very real and some will carry that pain to the grave. Just my personal opinion. Breached

breached1957

Oh, Oh Jennifer1011, you said it all and I couldn’t agree more!

sabrina

Jennifer, Extremely well said!! Thank you. And I do think that your comments come from a well meaning and protective stance to those you wrote them to. I hope no one feels offended as we are ALL in this together. We are in nothing short of a fight between good and evil. We must stand together even if opinions differ.
My experience of spaths are- my x husband, and now my 21 yr old son. In dealing with my son, I dont think anyone can say that I have “hatred” for him, as his mother, I have deep love for my child as much as any real mother can- BUT I willnot ignore, enable, nor cover up his evil ways- YESS! THEY ARE EVIL! I DO pray for my sons victims- the girlfriends he violently has abused, the future ones, the people he callously exploits (myself included!),,,etc..

I DO pray to the good Lord that the spaths have their eyes opened (scales removed) and change from their wicked ways. Is a spath miserable ? In my personal beliefs, I think that anyone being separated from our God is in their own version of hell- no peace, no real joy.

BUT has anyone here ever saw a spath TRUTHFULLY ask for help or prayer that they change from hurting others?? I have never. Define human.. is it having a moral compass? they dont.

My sons case included. My son just recently saw Lovefraud- he said to me ” I know that you are on this site- but God and I “laugh” at you.” Then proceeds to say how judgemental we all are (WOW- so its OK to steal, kill, and abuse??) He said that some of the most “spiritual” people he has met were in jail, and they would return to jail- because of “stupid” reasons the courts lay on them.
He says that just b/c someone smokes a crack pipe dosent mean that they aren’t close to God. After a long time of useless explaining to him that God forgives, but expects us to turn from our sinful ways,,etc etc- The word salad he was force feeding just got to be too much. I told him to attend REVEREND Crack Heads services and see where that got him! grr!

We are here on LF to help those who are in need and want help, support, and real information. The spaths are in Gods hands, WE can not change those who do not want to be changed.

learning

How is this for Irony….

On some level I agree with Charlotte ( with regard to low level toxic people) and on some level I agree with Jen (with regard to severe end-of-the spectrum type S/P’s)…

For me it has always been a question of why they do what they do?

Some believe they set out to do it…others believe its a result of past trauma, genetics, the whole nature vs nurture thing, etc.

To me its we are ALL entitled to view it in whatever way helps us to move on. Including being able to say we forgive as we move further and further away from them and their toxicity. Personally, I chose to forgive mine for all of his choices with me – it helped me find balance again and a sense of closure. Do I excuse him or try to explain him?? NOWAY… I just accept he is not a healthy person and he does not make healthy choices. I am not convinced he was born the way he became…although SOME human beings may be born a N/S/P… I dont believe mine was.

Does it matter ? Not at all in the grand scheme of life. What matters is that I focus on myself…my morals… my self-respect …my self-love and what I want and deserve from another (friend, lover, family member, co-worker) I am responsible for me.

Charlotte, I do not agree with your statement that we were all warned about our Sociopaths. AT THE AGE OF 35 I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THEM. I dont believe attempts at educating and informing others at any age will fall on deaf ears…I believe the lack of education and information about these toxic people adds to the increasing numbers of toxic relationships/interactions.

Breached…at some point…in my own personal experience…there became a fine line between being a victim and being a willing participant in the journey – simply because I didnt have the tools to deal with a Sociopath and he didnt have the tools to deal with an empath who slowly came out of the fog and began to regain or learn for the first time ever her worth, value and sense of self-respect.

This may not be popular here either, but I believe we were both victims of ourselves. Our lack of understanding of ourselves and eachother for that matter. Both of us. If I had an understanding of his “type” I would have been out the door within hours instead of years….once I had a grasp on myself.. that is 🙂

But my belief is limited to certain types of personalities. The high end spectrum of Psychopaths who murder and plot and plan are an entirely different breed and fall into a separate entity altogether.

sabrina

Education is key to help in protecting others. Whether they heed the advice or not is subject to the individual, but putting the information out there is our responsability. I dont want my baby daughter or anyone elses child falling victim to someone (sad to say) that is like my son ( a Spath) who has little or no respect or concern for others. Sticking my head in the sand, only focusing on “my” problems is just not an option! Too many lives are at stake.

sistersister

Can definitely relate to the Jekyll/Hyde and the Sexual Magnetism. At least on the relationship I had with the “Christian” guy more than 10 years ago.

I finally “got the memo” when I realized, over the phone, that I was hearing two different voices: one the nice man I loved, the other the preacher on a high horse, proclaiming his righteousness over all. The really creepy part of this is that his church supported his act; the place is a psychopath factory, still going strong.

And I’ll never forget the sexual magnetism. Or the backlash from him about it. Let’s just say, the 36-year-old “virgin” knew how to fling the testosterone around and then claim I was the slut. I remember one time I couldn’t let him leave the room, I was so turned on.

I can laugh about it now, even if it wasn’t funny then. When I left him in the dust, I resolved to always be that slut he was accusing me of being. Big time. I realized I had attracted this weird Puritanism into my life, even if I wasn’t really like that. Life is to be lived!

By the way, the admonitions here to stop trying to change people who are dead-on-arrival anyway is good advice but maybe taken a little too far as a belief system. There’s a book called “Influencer” that gives a little hope — but I would still say, this kind of process isn’t for amateurs; the book talks about professional programs, for instance, an ex-con rehab center. I also saw a very perceptive one by an ex-addict called “You Can Change the One You Love” or something like that. Again, though, if you’re dealing with a true psychopath, I would steer clear. The best path is outta there.

Ox Drover

Jesus prayed for those who were driving the nails into his hands “father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Jesus knew what Judas planned to do, and to him to “go now and do it’—I won’t get into an argument about whether or not Judas did or did not repent of what he had done, or saw the light as he cast the money back at the men he had taken it from.

The scriptures do command us to pray for those that aubse and persecute us. My own take on this is that thought praying for them may or may not “benefit them” it benefits US in helping calm the anger and bitterness within our own souls.

Being bitter and angry forever against those that have wounded and hurt us doesn’t make us better people, turning that bitterness into acceptance does make US better people I think.

As far as I know, God doesn’t force anyone to “be nice”, we all have FREE will if we have enough intellect to make that choice, and I believe psychopaths have a choice to do good or evil, and if having “bad things” done to you is an excuse or reason for doing evil to others, then everyone who has every had anything unjust done to them could be a psychopath and get a pass.

Why should I have compassion for their past pain that makes them hurt others, and have NO compassion for the victims, even if the VICTIM IS ME? I don’t want to “wallow in self pity” forever, but we are told in Scriptures to have pity and compassion on those who have been wounded. I don’t read where it says “UNLESS it is yourself.”

The psychopaths I have known beg my pity for themselves, but offer nothing but scorn themselves for those they have devalued and/or discarded, the people they have wounded, or even killed.

Jennifer, I don’t “wallow in self pity” continually now, though from time to time I have compassion on the “wounded me” that was, I have compassion on the “me that is now.” I acknowledge that I stayed in the relationship(s) with the people who abused me. I pray for them, but if their hears are so hard that God cannot reach them, I do not believe that God will force them to hear Him or love Him, or obey Him. It is a FREE WILL CHOICE in my opinion.

I also have compassion on others who have been wounded by psychopaths who have chosen to do evil. As far as psychopathy being caused because of deep seated past abuse, then each of us should BE psychopaths. Instead, we are accepting responsibility for our choices, not blaming anyone else for the choices we made to stay or go back or to continue the relationship, but to figure out WHY we made such choices, to accept that, and to move on to a better life.

We have been judged enough by others, and principally the psychopath, as being defective, but we no longer accept that we are defective, but choose to be WHOLE and KIND, and to recognize EVIL ACTS for what they are and to remove ourselves from the presence to people who ACT WITH EVIL.

bulletproof

I really want to date again, I am not washed up on the beach yet but terrified of falling for Mr Sexual magnetism combined with charm and overly attentive moving fast and I’m “gone” again. There is some part of me that over rides the red flags and goes for it anyway much like to an intoxicating drug.

I am reading Brenda Schaeffer “is it love or is it addiction” because I think among other things I perhaps was addicted to the P rather than in love, because and I quote from the book:

‘For many of us, this is because we did not get all of our needs met in an orderly way when we were children. Addictive love is an UNCONSCIOUS attempt to satisfy our developmental hunger for security, sensation, power, identity, belonging and meaning’

she defines addictive love as:

‘A reliance on someone or something external to the self in an attempt to get some unmet needs fulfiilled, avoid fear or emotional pain, re-enact trauma, solve problems and maintain balance. The paradox is that addictive love is an attempt to get control of our lives, and in so doing, we go out of control by giving personal power to someone or something other than ourselves’

putty in a sociopaths hands.

I feel an energy to be clear about what is healthy love and what is addiction.

in her book she quotes Erich Fromm definition of healthy love as:

“the expression of productiveness (which) implies care, respect, responsibility and knowledge; a striving to-wards growth and happiness of the loved person, rooted in one’s own capacity to love”

Not getting that from my own mother I am flailing around in the dark. I will probably be quoting more from this book because I want to share it with lovefraud readers if it rings any bells for anyone.

Jewels

AMEN! to what “jennifer1011” says!~

I am (WE are) dealing with an abusive 15 y.o. half brother now, on wkend visits with the mom, that the s-path mother parties away or SLEEPS away the weekend, and dumps the 9 y.o. on.

They have “Combat Training” which according to the POLICE officer who took our report, scratching his head, said: Yes it is valuable training “WHEN DONE BY A CERTIFIED and AUTHORIZED teacher.”

The charge is NOW assault and the 9 y.o. has been told, he is to call 911>>> WHEN and IF the mother EVER leaves him alone with the 15 y.o. again – for ANY reason – as this charge is pending.

This combat training is done in the guise of teaching the younger one to defend himself against bullies – the ONLY bully in his life is that GD 15 y.o. that acts like he’s a tantrummy two year old.

Ths combat training consists of “-pain, submission” and humiliation, AND “punching, kicking, take-downs, flips and choking/chokeholds, called – and I quote “THE REAR NAKED CHOKE HOLD.” ”

Does the name RIDGWAY spring to mind???

The older is so jealous that the younger son, his half brother, has WAY so much of a better life than HE USED TO HAVE, living here, with his then-stepfather.

His mother screwed THAT all up, 15 ways to Christmas…and he’s jealous – pure and simple.

The mother is BLIND TO, and UNCONSCIOUS of, the whole ordeal of the younger son, but I can tell from his responses, occasionally overheard during their nightly phone call, that she IS pumping him for information — while trying to appear NOT to be doing it!

The 9 y.o. knows this – the older half brother is being “home-alone” schooled, and WHY – Because he’s a sociopath! He doesn’t get along with anyone, he IS a brown nosing suckup if he thinks he’ll benefit from it.

The assaults have been reported to HER local police department – 2 hours drive away – because we felt that it was important to GET IT ON THE RECORD. The ball is now in the Prosecutor’s hands as to whether or not CHARGES will be filed.

I’m so glad we took the time off of work and school to report this. I’ve told the 9 y.o. that he is to NOT EVER submit to the older’s choking EVER. Because? His mom will still be left with “A SON” and his Dad would be in mourning, buryuing his.

Plus, I lived with that little SOB when he was 10 & 11 – he lit fires in his room; peed his bed til he was at least 12; and broke every cat’s tail that he could find = SOCIOPATH.

It doesn’t take a PhD or a master’s degree in Psychology to assess those traits – but it DOES take one to MAKE that assessment be taken seriously by the COURTS – we’re on our way! It is on the record, now…the sadistic little monster….WE WILL LET THE POLICE and prosecutor handle THIS little “Ridgway-in-training…”

~jewels~

learning

Sabrina said

“but putting the information out there is our responsibility”

YES. YES. YES.

Ox Drover

Dear Bulletproof,

Of course it rings a bell with me!!! CLANG CLANG CLANG!!!!!

That was why I was so vulnerable to the P after my husband died. I was soooo needy, like an drug addict who’d just been let out of jail and NEEDED A FIX! I wanted to find a man to make me happy again. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out! Couldn’t work out.

I realize now that two people must EACH be happy and then can SHARE that happiness, but if we depend for our own happiness on someone else, that someone is in control of our happiness and life. I had been happy when I married my late husband, but slowly I had let HIM become my happiness and when I lost him through death I no longer had my own happiness to fall back on, I was EMPTY and wanted a man to instantly REFILL that emptiness. I picked a P, who of course love bombed me, promised to make me happy and then ZAP! I found out the truth he was a parasite!

Twice Betrayed

Great list! I sent it to a friend, as she is back in the dating game.
As far as Sandra Bullock and Elin Woods are concerned:
they are making the mistake we all did for so long, thinking these guys are really the ones THEY/we see and the bad boys they are away from them/us are not really who they are…they just have issues from their abusive/demanding childhoods that cause them to ‘act out’ in the wrong ways. Poor misunderstood creatures. NOT! Breaking free from these men requires understanding they ARE those bad boys and the face we see/they show us is the fake one. Once that dawns on us, we are on the road to getting out.
Elin wants to protect her kids and keep her family together.
Sandra never really found a man that ‘rang her bell’ like JJ, so she is hooked and frankly, I don’t think she is going to let him go just yet. I read where she supposedly did want to divorce him but was trying not to anger him into becoming vindictive and damaging her career, which may be true. But, we all know this does not work. When we don’t do EXACTLY what they want, that’s enough for them to turn that wrath on full force. If she is trying to create a ‘debt’ for JJ, it could be by having his kids with her. But, I was pleased to hear Sandra refused to take JJ’s call from his sex rehab. Course it ticked him off when he figured this was not going to be the ace he thought it was, so he walked. HA!

Ox Drover

Dear Aloha and Henry, RE: your posts above! It would be great to have to buy a new computer because this one caught on fire welcoming new people! Nice thing is though, I’m not the only one welcoming folks any more, FREQUENTLY others welcome new posters before I get a chance, since I pop in and out during the day between projects, or when I sit down to rest weary old muscles.

I’m also glad to see many new posters bringing up old threads and reviving them. The archives are so full of old threads that are still so relevent that it is just wonderful they continue to be read by new members of the community. The diversity of opinions here on the various topics and the different ways the same opinion is presented is just awesome as well.

sistersister

I just want to say in support of charlottecreamer that, yes, WE chose, on some level, to have these experiences in our lives — as painful as that is to realize. The victim plays the game, too. I think that charlottecreamer is very brave for acknowledging that.

But I think the distinction we make here about what psychopaths/sociopaths ARE is that they are NOT “hurting.” The coordinates we use to describe other assorted jerks, narcissists and assholes just don’t apply to them. The one thing they are not doing is hurting — unless these predators are somehow deprived of their prey.

I consider myself a highly perceptive, defensive and even possibly aggressively off-putting person to the average S/P. I’m not, shall we say, low on the bullshit-detector scale. But the extraordinariness of these S/Ps eludes a lot of people like me.

If this were just a site to discuss ordinary assholes who respond to love and interventions, it wouldn’t be so interesting. But this site discusses some really extrarodinary, outrageous people. People who are hollow fronts, empty shells, deft actors and dangerous workers of cons. We’re talking about men who persuade their probation officers to marry them. People who shoot guns around not knowing what the big deal is. People with multiple personalities.

But having said that, I agree even more with charlottecreamer if her intent is to say the best way not to be a target is through self-awareness. Self-awareness includes taking responsibility for even that little, tiny, not-so-significant button inside you that the S/P in your life exploited.

learning

Dear Oxy,

WELL SAID!!!

Especially

“Instead, we are accepting responsibility for our choices, not blaming anyone else for the choices we made to stay or go back or to continue the relationship, but to figure out WHY we made such choices, to accept that, and to move on to a better life.”

Thats what I finally chose to do, am doing and will continue to do.

Every story and situation is different. Some with red flags and perhaps some without. Mine had red flags — I just didnt know how to deal with them and I had to change my ways, grow up, and become independent and know what I deserve and want in any relationship.

I was not a bad person – I made mistakes – and I simply didnt have the tools to deal with toxic, bad, evil. I chose to forgive all of it and move on making healthier choices with people I let into my life. Its called respecting myself and not settling for bad treatment from anyone. It got lonely along the way, but eventually the good in others prevail and slowly you rebuild a healthier life and relationships.

Thanks Oxy. xoxo

Rosa

LiedTo:

You wrote:

“In that first sentence I believe the words “might be” should be bolded and in caps because that list can sure be turned around and misapplied.”

“I just wanted to point out here that you are dealing with some extremely fragile people and sometimes things you post can be misconstrued and used to hurt others.”

I believe the tactic of “turning things around” on someone, and using things posted here to hurt others is called PROJECTION or BLAME SHIFTING.

From what I have read about projection, this is part of the essence of a sociopath.
That’s what they do. It’s not something they learned here at LoveFraud. It’s part of their core. It’s a defense mechanism that they use to hide their disorder and to keep their victim destabilized and confused.

I recommend the books “Stalking the Soul” by Marie-France Hirigoyen and “Without Conscience” by Robert Hare.

Charolotte Creamer:

You wrote:

“So-called sociopaths are people, too. They’re hurting even more than they hurt others; that’s why they do the horrible things they do. Only people who are hurting, hurt others. Before you “heal” yourselves, you need to recognize that the ones who hurt you also need to heal. And don’t you dare tell me that such people do not have a conscience or the capacity to heal; that’s a lie.”

1) Sociopaths do not have a conscience, and they do NOT have a monopoly on pain.
So, I disagree with your premise that a sociopath’s pain is even greater than the pain they inflict on others.
And it’s NO justification for the horrible things that they do.

Page 195 of “Without Conscience” states, “Psychopaths don’t feel they have psychological or emotional problems, and they see no reason to change their behavior to conform to societal standards with which they do not agree.”

This is why therapy does not work and they are unable to “heal”.
It also makes me question whether or not they are actually in any kind of pain.

2) This notion that psychopaths are “fragile” may also be false.

Page 195-196 of “Without Conscience” states:
“Psychopaths are not “fragile” individuals. What they think and do are extensions of a rock-solid personality structure that is extremely resistant to outside influence. By the time they enter a formal treatment program their attitudes and behavioral patterns have become well-entrenched, difficult to budge even under the best circumstances.”

3)”Only people who are hurting, hurt others.”
People unintentionally hurt other people all the time, so you do NOT have to be in pain to hurt someone.
I don’t understand this statement at all.

I suggest the books “Without Conscience” by Robert Hare and “Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout.

Ox Drover

Rosa, TOWANDA!

Send this to a friend