This is my first post on the LoveFraud blog. It’s a great pleasure to be part of this most worthwhile effort to teach people to recognise and avoid sociopaths. (Or psychopaths, as I prefer.)
Over at my blog – the top two inches – I have been thinking and writing about something that psychopaths invariably do to deflect things away from themselves and onto others.
Perhaps you’ve encountered it: the psychopath does something wrong, but the moment attention is drawn to this he (usually it’s he) magically causes you to feel bad.
Here are a few examples:
1. The wifebeater says: “Why are you making me do this!?”
Consequently she may think: “It’s true, I shouldn’t do X [usually something insignificant] because it makes him upset.” Do you see? Suddenly she’s the baddie.
2. “Shut up. At least I’m not as bad as OJ [or someone heinous]”.
In other words, You don’t appreciate me; you should be grateful, but instead you get upset about what I do. You, you, you (not me).
3. She (sometimes psychopaths are women) says: “Why are you so mad with me about this? Of all the things I’ve done before this doesn’t even make the Top 10!”
In other words, Hey, I’m actually improving; you’re the bad one for noticing that I’ve done something bad.
You get the picture. The moving stories by readers of LoveFraud cite many instances of this kind of misdirection.
Here’s my definition:
A paramoralism is a psuedo-moral statement. It is stated in moral-like terms but with precisely the opposite intent and effect: to get what he wants and to bamboozle the other person into being unable to use their normal means of knowing right and wrong.
Keep an eye out for paramoralisms. Not because everyone who uses a paramoralism is a psychopath, of course. But I believe that we can develop our abilities to identify when someone is cleverly turning defence into attack in this way, and thus we can resist accepting moral blame that does not belong to us.
Let me know of any that paramoralisms that particularly strike you and I may write about them.
Good to be on board!