UPDATED FOR 2022. Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of a two-part inquiry from the Lovefraud reader whom we call “Carlotta.” She asks, “Are sociopaths opportunists?” Read Part 1, “What if you see some signs of a sociopath, but not all of them?”
On another note, a personal concern of mine is that I may have chosen that sociopath, not the other way around. I was walking through a department store and out of the corner of my eye I saw a man standing still facing me. I looked up and he was smiling at me. I smiled back. Then we walked in separate directions. But later we passed one another in a different area of the store. I was lost and he was again just standing there smiling at me. I smiled and asked if he was lost like me. We then talked for a long time and exchanged cell numbers, etc.
Here are my concerns. Did I chose him or did he chose me? Do sociopaths wait like an eel in a cave, for the right time and victim to pass within their reach? Can sociopaths be THAT patient? Are some or all sociopaths opportunists rather than movers and shakers? Did that sociopath see me as a victim or possible victim from a distance before we even spoke? Because I don’t understand what happened, thinking about those questions rattles my nerves and makes me leery of speaking to any strangers.
Any insight you can give me about what happened and why is appreciated.
Donna Andersen responds
Yes, sociopaths are opportunists. People with antisocial personality disorder or psychopathy typically go through their days, and their lives, with their eyes open for people to exploit.
If a “mark” crosses their path, they’ll pounce.
Here’s what happens when a sociopath meets you:
- The sociopath sizes you up to determine if you have something that he or she wants.
- Then, the sociopath looks for your vulnerabilities.
- Finally, the sociopath figures out a way, using your vulnerabilities, to get what he or she wants.
Everyone is a potential victim
So did the sociopath see you as a victim from a distance? In a sense, yes, but you shouldn’t feel like you are weak or vulnerable, because sociopaths sees everyone as a potential victim.
People who are antisocial or psychopathic look at the world as predators and prey. They are the predators; everyone else is the prey.
Carlotta, instead of being rattled, you should congratulate yourself. You recognized enough of the Red Flags of Love Fraud to end your involvement with this man in six days! You were also wary enough of the guy in the store to protect yourself. That’s terrific!
We are not going to be able to go through life completely avoiding all sociopaths. There are simply too many of them, and they are everywhere, and the answer to the question, “Are sociopaths opportunists?” is yes.
But we can avoid becoming seriously damaged by them. That’s exactly what you did. You should be proud!
Lovefraud originally posted this story on July 14, 2015.