Advice for dealing with sociopaths: Don’t take it personally

Lovefraud recently received this note from a reader; we’ll call her Allison.

I want to thank everyone involved with the Lovefraud website. It is truly a gift. To the brave survivors, I wish you peace. I am a survivor myself. In fact, I’m divorcing mine as we speak. I will write my story another time because this time I only want to give a piece of advice that has helped me the most. When I was able to do this, the rest was easier to get through. I stopped taking it personally. It was not an easy task. I read everything I could get my hands on and while I learned his actions were mostly textbook, it was easier for me to let go. Once I convinced myself that I was not the first nor will I be the last, I shut my heart off and stopped taking it personally. This was my key to survival. I offered a silent apology to the women of the world for throwing this one back into the dating pool and went on with my life. I stopped taking it personally and I slept better, dreamed better, laughed more and found that I’ll be just fine. If this helps even one person, it will have made it worth it. Take care.

Allison’s advice is very simple, but it goes directly to the core of the sociopath’s manipulation, betrayal and abuse. The sociopath never cared about us one way or the other. We were convenient targets. We had something the sociopath wanted. Or we presented an opportunity for the sociopath’s amusement.

Sociopaths do what they do, because that’s what they do. We just happened to be there.

Of course, that’s not what the sociopath told us. First, he or she proclaimed love and devotion, or a sterling opportunity to succeed together—whatever the promise was. Then, when the promise started falling apart, the sociopath told us it was all our fault.

We, as normal human beings, believed the original promise—how could anyone say those words and not mean them? So, when the blame started flying from the person who made the promise, we believed that as well.

As we say here on Lovefraud, the sociopath is the lie. And the sociopath lied because that’s what they do. They are missing the parts—emotional connections to other people and conscience—that make us human.

Opportunity for healing

Still, there is a reason that we went along with the sociopath’s program, and that is something we do need to take personally, for our own recovery and growth.

This does not at all excuse the sociopath’s heartless behavior, nor is it meant to blame the victim. But most of us engaged because we wanted to believe the original promise.

We have to ask ourselves, what was missing within us that allowed us to believe? Did we have experiences in our pasts that made us susceptible to the manipulation? If so, it’s time to look at these issues and heal ourselves.

So as we extricate ourselves from the sociopath, understand that this is how they are, their behavior is not our fault, and we shouldn’t take it personally.

But we should take very personally the opportunity to excavate the old, erroneous tapes in our heads, and create wonderful new lives for ourselves.

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695 Comments on "Advice for dealing with sociopaths: Don’t take it personally"

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OMG!!! I cannot believe he admitted it. So can’t he go to jail??? Where are you with all this?

That is sad, really. You are correct; they like to waste our time/lives with stupid crap. So glad you stayed alive! I bet he’d be scared sh**tless now that you ARE the spathinator.!

the way he admitted it was like he was joking, but it was a sociopathic tell. There is no way he’ll ever admit it in court, he’ll just lie and say it never happened.

I’m ok with it. I’m just glad I know what it was. I thought it might be drugs and I had myself tested for a bunch, then I had my hair tested for drugs too. All came back clean.

Here’e the karma: he is sooo paranoid about being poisoned himself that he taught himself how to vomit on demand, without even putting his finger in his mouth.

He sits around thinking up ways to hurt and kill other people, which, in turns feeds his paranoia that it will be done to him. LOL!
That’s why he had panic-attacks for years and severe stomach acid. His disconnect from his emotions has created various psychosomatic reactions. That doesn’t mean they aren’t real, it just means they are caused from repressed emotions. Maybe it will develop into something serious… we can always hope, but meanwhile, he’s a miserable prick and that works for me!!

Skylar, you were what the Argentinian specialist in psychopathy Hugo Marietan called “a complementary of a psychopath” an enabler in English. This psychiatrist is interesting not just because he knows a lot about psychopathy but because he knows about the feelings of those complementaries or enables. He says the former victim that puts up with the abuse of the psycho is because s/he is getting something in exchange and he says that something is an irrational need that the psychopath satisfies. When i read it i had to admit to myself it’s true they give some strange pleasure.
I don’t regret to have had that “relationship” and maybe part of my suffering after abandoning him was due to my realization of being unable to pay for a long time such a high price (stress, drama, insecurity, fear, etc) in order to keep him and that strange irrational please he dispended from time to time.

i absolutely agree with this post!

sociopaths are not like us. they do not have the capacity to bond with us. they cannot feel or have the capacity to remember some of the beautiful moments we spent with them. thats how their brain functions unfortunately

since they are so different from us, we cannot really take this personally. if my ex bf could not feel those beautiful moments i spent with him because his brain is incapable of feeling them, i cant really take it personally, but accept it. i pity the person who cant feel the beautiful feelings life has to offer. thats a sad existence.

i still cherish those memories because they did mean something to me. and i feel lucky that i could feel them and that they gave me pleasure.

My experience did not include any erroneous tapes in my head or something or any other reason on my part that I went along with the sociopath’s program. The sociopath chose to deceive me. I was deceived by him. He was a good liar, and like many other people who interacted with him, I believed him.

I have also believed many honest people in my life, who did not deceive me, and with whom I have had mutually rewarding relationships.

Before the sociopath targeted me, I was happily married to a good and wonderful and giving man. He was also happy with our marriage. 10 years after I was widowed, the sociopath targeted me. I was the same person in both marriages. There was nothing great in me that caused me to be blessed with my first marriage. Though I am not a perfect person, there was nothing that needed fixing (erroneous tapes in my head) in me that caused the sociopath to target me.

I work at my spiritual growth to become the best person I can be in this lifetime, but this does not magically protect me from sociopaths. I expect that my knowledge that they exist and my recognition of the classic red flags will help me identify one if I am targeted in the future.


What makes me more apt to believe I must have issues that allowed me to be deceived is the fact it’s happened twice now. If I had just been widowed of a normal marriage and then married the spath, ok, it’s not me *too* (it’s never just me, it’s never just them). But I got with a narc too after the spath.
There’s something up with me *too*. Something I need to fix. Or I need to learn to stay away from men. And any intimate relationships (having recently closed a friendship who is basically a female version of the narc I tangle with, except she CAN be empathetic for her kids). I need to learn contentment with being alone. Mentally, emotionally, relationally. Not physically maybe, like — not live like a hermit.
Since fixing me is just not progressing, as far as I can see, I think I’m going to be stuck with emotional & mental unconnectedness. This prospect seems to be bothering me alot. I cannot connect with a cat or becuz I am volunteering at the nursing home, etc. I am deep level sort of person and have just spent too damn many years very alone while raising my 3 kids, widowed. At such a young age too. It just traumatized me I think and now I know I need intimacy in my life to be at ease and completed.
Hey we can keep living like this for decades and survive. But I will slowly melt away till there’s very little of me left. I don’t even feel bad any more like I’m defective. It’s something I figured out. It’s what I rly want most out of a relationship.

I am not aware of any “weakness” that allowed me to be victimized. I did not even notice anything odd until about the 2nd, or 3rd year when the occasional false accusations began.

For 22 years I considered her to be an honest person and I am not easily deceived. in my line of work, I am exposed to quite a few deceptive people, so I tend to notice such things.

Even so, I only suspected her of lying one time, after 20 years. She managed to convince me that it was a “misunderstanding”, but the previous 20 years of apparent honesty gave her a lot of credit.

I suspect that she had a part in the events that led to my eventual discovery of her secrets and lies. After confronting her, some of her statements gave me the impression that she had been trying to get rid of me (possibly board?). She also began saying things like “Im done” and “its time to move on”.

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