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Are sociopaths opportunists?

Sociopathic seductionEditor’s note: This is Part 2 of a two-part inquiry from the Lovefraud reader whom we call “Carlotta.” 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:

  1. The sociopath sizes you up to determine if you have something that he or she wants.
  2. Then, the sociopath looks for your vulnerabilities.
  3. 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.

You escaped

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! 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.

But we can avoid becoming seriously damaged by them. That’s exactly what you did. You should be proud!

 

 

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25 Comments on "Are sociopaths opportunists?"

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Carlotta, Donna’s comments are spot on. And like she states you should congratulate yourself for dumping this guy within a week. That is using your gut instinct to the fullest.

I had an experience like yours once in a TJMax (clothing/home store in the US) typically you don’t see men in this store unless their wives/gf have brought them with them. I went with a Girlfriend & during the time of shopping we went in different directions. I was approached by a man that told me I looked pretty today. I felt extremely uncomfortable about his boundary crossing behavior & literally ignored him & walked away. When I went to catch up with my friend at the cash register she told me that a man approached her & told her she looked pretty today & she too felt uncomfortable with him. I knew right then and there he was trolling for a woman.

I should have gone to the manager but at the time I was not educated on sociopath behavior & was in such a state of fog from still being with my ex at the time that I did not. But this guys behavior was a HUGE RED FLAG…and the hair on the back of my neck was standing straight up when he approached me. In the future I will go to the manager of a store should this happen again because as I look back now I wonder if he is the type that might kidnap a woman from a shopping center. He was that creepy.

For me I think the biggest initial red flag with someone new is do they cross your boundaries that you set for them. When you say NO do they try to convene you that you need to say yes. My ex gave me so much anxiety in the beginning of knowing him this is a red flag that my body & mind were alerting me but I ignores these feelings because I did not want to seem rude. But in the wild animals use this alert system to run & run fast…they don’t size up the other animal that has crossed their path (cross their boundary of space) then instinctively run.

As humans we talk ourselves out of our true feelings fight, flight or freeze response mode…we are taught that we need to be “nice to others”, “give someone a chance”…these are very dangerous things to put in front of your gut reactions. As children if we don’t like a kid right off the bat that’s it he/she is not in our circle of friends = following gut reaction = not thinking or talking themselves out of what they are feeling. Oprah did a deserves when she was doing her shows that society needs to give everyone a chance…nope because you will let a sociopath, narcissist or other disorder type person in your life.

Read the book Gift of Fear by Gavin Debecker *your local library may have it) it will remind you to follow your great gut instinct that you have.

At this point in my life I would never give a stranger my phone number ever = to to dangerous. 1 in 25 people mainly men are sociopaths/psychopath & 1 in 5 people 75% men have narcissist personality disorder…these abusers are every where they are like land minds you have to size up quickly to avoid.

Jan7,

Thank you so much for your comments. I’ll read “The Gift of Fear”.

I do feel proud that I followed my instincts but I know I didn’t do it soon enough. I didn’t enforce the rules I gave the Spath. I wanted at least one day between times we saw each other. He ignored my wishes and we ended up seeing each other 6 days out of 7.

I learned that I need to be more diligent in enforcing my wishes and quicker to end relationships in which the other person doesn’t honor my wishes. And I did have some gut reactions that I ignored. But now that I’m aware of that, I expect to do a much better job of listening to my instincts.

Thank you again,
Carlotta

Hi Carlotta, your welcome.

It’s important to point out that with a normal person you do NOT have to “enforce the rules”. A normal person does not cross boundaries, is not rude, is not controlling or manipulative and most importantly follows society’s rules without being told. But with a sociopath you feel like you have to teach them how to respect you this is a RED FLAG that this person does not get or follow society’s rules.

My ex was masterful at emotionally hurting me & then when I would get upset he would say the right words but never back them up with actions. Throughout my marriage I would say to myself “Actions speak louder then words”…..I was right I wanted to leave every time but like all sociopath they are masterful at using words to spin your head and to make you thinking they “get it” and will not do their destructive behavior again only to have them do it over and over and over again. Then you enter the “fix mode” cycle which keeps you stuck in the abusive relationship.

A perfect example of a sociopaths manipulating and keeping a victim sucked into his con game is Scott Disick on Keeping up with the Kardashians…his gf is being emotionally & mentally abused by him but he is able to not only spin her mind but her whole family & all the viewers who watch because he uses pity play with them and they help blame her & keep her in this abusive relationship. I think she ended the relationship so hopefully he will not sucker her back in with his manipulative words, pity play and “I will change” bs words.

Before you date again read the book How to spot a dangerous man by Sandra brown…it does not go into specific words like this is a sociopath, this is a narcissist, this guy has this personality disorder but she goes into if the relationship is rushed = RED FLAG alert etc etc. It’s a good read.

I think as woman we are taught to set aside our gut feeling to be “nice” and not a bitch. And this is what sociopaths love for all victims to ignore their gut so they can spin their victims heads away.

Google “Oprah Gavin Debecker you tube” to watch their interview on his book.

Jan7,

You are very wise. What you said is like a wake up slap in the face for me! I see it now. Yes, I should not need to enforce my wishes!!!

Thank you so much for helping open my eyes. I did feel very uncomfortable when he wanted to see me so often but of course I went along with it. I didn’t want to be rude or hurt his feelings, so I pushed my gut feeling away. His behavior of ignoring my wishes actually happened right away. Possibly even before the lovebombing and soul mate manta. At this point I don’t remember what came first. But it may have been the very first red flag. I’ll be sure to watch for that and to end any further involvement if it happens.

I grew up in a household where I had to defer to the wishes of the men and boys. I wasn’t allowed an opinion or to make waves. I know I must be careful, listen to my gut instinct and stand my ground. Thank you again for opening my eyes today.

Carlotta

Hi Carlotta, YES you have a right to say NO or HELL NO (lol). And you have the right to be respect by the person you are dating. My ex would steam roll over my NO’s and after a while I just didnt want to argue with him so I just would let it go instead of saying this is bs I have a right to draw the line in the sand and have a right to have MY boundaries set and not crossed. I was trying to compromise in our relationship but you know what I compromised everything and he compromised nothing be cause he trained me to do this just like an animal is trained.

I just stubbled across this empowerment video for girls below yesterday when I was watching a music video on the net. THIS is what parents & schools should be teaching girls = to be come strong women and not to have to cow tail to men or others.

Google “Always #likeagirl #unstoppable” to watch the video (it’s a very powerful message!!!)

There are other videos in this education series just google “Always like a girl to watch more.

Jan7
You said something critically important in this post. Too many times we know we are being emotionally assaulted but we think if we say “too much”, then we are “the bitch”.

I know I didn’t grow up learning that I had a right to speak or ask for certain behaviors. So, I was conditioned to accept the verbal abuse as “JUST a DISAGREEMENT of OPINION”.

ALERT ALERT ALERT!!! People, changing the definition of verbal assault to a mere minor disagreement of an opinion IS abuse, it’s control and dominance of YOU. It’s a SPIN that sends your head reeling b/c you know it’s painful but you don’t know the mechanism that’s being done to you. Now you know. The abuser has changed a definition so that his abuse is excused and your objection to his abuse is ALSO a definition of a word being changed….now defined as “being a bitch”. SLICK how that was done, isn’t it!??!!

As Jan7 says, with a normal person, you do not have to “enforce the rules”. A Normal person doesn’t go there to begin with! Think about it. If you were thoughtless and crossed a boundry with a loved one, and they said ouch! … wouldn’t you look at your behavior and apologize and with that awareness, adjust your behavior to not do it again?

For example: If someone said, “I need a phone call before you come over to my house unannounced.” … isn’t it easy to see that they are asking for polite consideration and then always call first?

Yes Jan7 VERY WISE words. I wanted to emphasis them because it took me YEARS to realized why my head was spinning. And a large part if it was changing the definition of words so that his abuse was excused and my pain was trivialized and ridiculed. And I couldn’t figure out what the shift was!

Notwhathesaidofme,

YES, we have the right to express ourselves to our mate but most importantly be heard!!!

We have a right not to have our boundaries steam rolled over by our mate!!

We have a right to be on this planet!!

& we have a right to be respected!!

Google:

Always #likeagirl #unstoppable”

to watch a powerful reminder to find your voice & strength no matter what age you are….

This video is a reminder how society wants to train girls to be submissive but this video also empowers all girls & women of all ages to live your life to the fullest & never let someone make you feel unworthy, submissive & undeserving of a good life. Empowering video!!

Good video. I wonder if anyone else had the visceral reaction I did when the girl said she wanted to kick the boxes, and the director said, “go for it”, and the girl confirmed PERMISSION, “are you serious??!!”. She was excited to do it. Oh.ow.

I have a guy pal whose behavior could be described as “verbally abusive” (see the ALERT! statement above).
It’s minimal with ME because I re-direct our conversation to avoid any “disagreements” that he could respond to with defensive brow-beating. I’ve seen this behavior in the sickening way he treats his wife (now in the process of divorcing him). He’s made a curious comment. It regards “Disney” movies. He will not allow his teenage kids (2 boys and a girl) to watch Disney movies because he claims the characters “Trash” “men”. I’m assuming he means they won’t allow themselves to be trivialized or manipulated by domineering type characters. Any comments?

This is a very good point. My ex would never change things I brought up that bothered me. We would just go round and round and round endlessly until I got tired of it and just gave up. He told me he used the lawyer trick of repetition. Psychopaths also are known not to learn, often borderlines too, both of which he was I think. He would run roughshod over any boundaries I tried to erect, so that I had to keep moving them. It was like a sand castle in a rising tide.

In my current good relationship with a non-spath man, he listens and tries to change when I point out things that bother me — because he cares and wants to make me happy. He honors boundaries, and sometimes is even too considerate of me! I know of other good men who might try to change or honor requests and then slip back into old habits. But at least they listen and try. Spaths don’t. They try to convince you that you are wrong and that you should want what they want.

Also, spaths never, ever apologize. They might do something nice to compensate and draw you back in, but they will not apologize.

My current S.O. does apologize in a heartfelt and caring way. As do I.

Hi Jan7!
There was no “reply” link attached to you last message so I’m replying here. I will Google the video and watch it. I will also share on FaceBook if I can.

Thank you!
Carlotta

that’s weird…i just tried it and it when right to the video. Try:

Always like a girl unstoppable

ahhh i get what you were saying…I did not post a link because there was no link really. Just google in your search bar

Always like a girl unstoppable

“intuition is always right in at least two important ways;
It is always in response to something.
it always has your best interest at heart”
”• Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

“You have the gift of a brilliant internal guardian that stands ready to warn you of hazards and guide you through risky situations.”
”• Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

(a quote regard your gut instinct)

Donna,

I had an “Ah ha!” moment while reading this article. For some odd reason, I wasn’t aware I needed to be aware of potential Spaths in ALL circumstances, not just potential romantic relationships. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that before because I have Spaths in my family and have suffered greatly because of that fact. Perhaps the reason I wasn’t aware is due to my previous attitude of being a “victim”. It took me years to realize I’m to blame for not standing up for myself. And it also took me years to forgive myself, because I know I was doing the best I could at the time with the skills I had.

And reading that Spaths are equal opportunity exploiters makes me feel better. I don’t feel like I have a bullseye on my back anymore. Now if I could just hide my vulnerabilities! LOL! But at least I know I have them and that’s got to be a good first step in the right direction!

Thank you again!
Carlotta

Carlotta & Notwhathesaidofme & Donna…

here the empowerment video link that I talk about above…we are all UNSTOPPABLE no matter what age!!

Video for always like a girl unstoppableâ–¶ 2:45
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhB3l1gCz2E

I have had a chance in the past 8 years to examine my vulnerabilities leading me to the 3-month involvement with the spath. But I also am aware in the back of my mind that being single for so many years, it was a matter of chance that I would eventually date one of these types. They are always on the prowl, and I just happened to cross his path. I was a very high profile and beloved member of a reptile lovers forum and had many people reaching out to me. I’m happy to report that I’ve made many real-life friends from that forum, and they have greatly enriched my life. They are not sociopaths. Many of them supported me when the one I decided to date turned out to be a pathological liar and a sociopath. I know a lot of people who have had at least one romantic involvement with a sociopath. After all, how can you protect yourself from them if you don’t even know they exist? Sometimes it’s just hard to tell, period. The test of your strength is whether you can get out without too much damage, at the first sign that something is wrong. I do pride myself that I was able to get out of the 3-month relationship early on. It would have been even sooner, but we only saw each other once every few weeks! The rest was a lot of drama, excuses, and promises in between these highly anticipated meetings. The sense of drama and urgency was a big red flag to me, after having been relatively peaceful and stable for many years.

Hi everyone:
I can say from my own personal experience with my ex that he was an opportunist. I do not have lots of money nor was I left money due to my divorce or family inheritance. I am just a regular working woman however I did make more than double my ex.

As his sister in law warned me do not marry him nor let him move in with you. She was right. He lied to me and everyone around him – he cheated on his wife (not with me) and was involved with porno and cheating when we were together. He had the nerve to take naked pictures of himself for the porno site in my home since he said it was nicer than nice place (I found the pictures).

One night we were watching tv and a story was on about Anna Nicole Smith and how she married the billionaire. I told him I could never do that without loving the person – his response was jaw dropping. He said he could (women do it why not a man) he could be anything the woman needed him to be and the best thing “was a rich widow because they miss their mate”. We broke up shortly after that.

He is now married to his rich widow and living in the million dollar home. Her kids adore him and do not know what he really is like. His family most likely never warned her as I was warned most likely due to the amount of money involved.

So to answer the question – yes – at least in this case he was a definite opportunist.

From my personal experience, my latespath was an opportunist. I was not his only target, everyone was a potential target. He used all sorts of people, from financial advisors to escorts. My mother fell on Friday October 11, 2002; treated for a broken arm; had problems seeing on Monday October 14; on Tuesday october 15, she was declared as blind by an opthamologist. By chance my mother’s stockbroker called that Wednesday and the RAB answered the phone, something he had never done in the past 22 years. He chatted up the long experienced advisor and made friends. By the following year, he was able to charm the broker into believing that my mother, the only name on the account, didn’t want to speak with him and she was giving control to the latespath.The broker ignored all sorts of rules of gave him control without ever even attempting to contact my mother.
He even went so far as changing the phone number for the account to the latespath’s cell.I have the 3rd party records and all of the forgeries. Almost 2 million dollars, the broker’s dollar number not mine, and he listens to someone he knows nothing about. I doubt the latespath would have ever called the broker on his own, but since the opportunity presented itself, why not take advantage of it and see how far we could push it.

Hi Lost Everything:
That is another correct point – they can chat up people like they knew them for years – my ex was the same way. We would go on cruises and be sitting at a table with other people and he would go on and on to the point that the bus boys were cleaning the tables and it was time for us to go. Once we were at my doctors office to discuss the results of a procedure I had done and he just took over the conversation with the dr. to the point that the dr. told him this consultation was about me and not him. They pull you into their lair. Never shut up.

I feel bad for the woman who married him and as I told a mutual friend of ours everyone that knows what he is like and was around her is an accomplice and just as guilty.

You betcha they are opportunists. They spot you out long before you know they exist. As others have said it doesn’t mean you are weak. It is usually a numbers game. If the game doesn’t work 99 times, it may work the 100th time.

Yet others will spot you out of a crowd to prey on you. My ex-J did that to me. I was going down to the Lumbar Yard to get phone cord to wire my phone jacks, and buying whatever else I needed to fix the home I just bought out here. I was buying from Lumbar Yard cause they were willing to tell me how to wire it or how to fix it. While I was chattering away about all the projects I need to fix, there was a sociopath in the store; listening to my every word. He noticed me, but I didn’t pay any attention to him.

He tracked me down on a dating site. I was so wishy-washy that most men would be down with it. But, not this guy. He stuck it out. It didn’t matter if I didn’t get on that dating site for a month, he still caught up with me. It didn’t matter how many times I chickened out of plans to met him, he stuck it out. I found out why.

He briefly admitted at first that he noticed how easily my young son manipulated me for ice cream, and how I nervously dug to pay for the ice cream, while my young son was still manipulating me, even though he was getting his ice cream. J. figured out really quickly that I would be the easiest mark he ever had !!!

And, he waited in the weeds, like a crocodile. Pretending he is just a log. Once he lured me in…SNAP went the jaws!!!

From there on he ducked and dodged me. If he came around it was to get something out of me, or to make sure I wasn’t moving on. I better answer his calls on Monday morning after he blew me off all weekend. He treated me terribly.

And, he blamed every bit of it on me. He said it’s because I hesitated to date him so now he’s going to blow me off on nights and weekends. on and on it went. His craziness was making me crazy.

jeannie812
Thanks for your post. At least now we know, and you admit, it’s YOUR fault that he has to punish you.

Because we know that if you didn’t deserve it, he wouldn’t do it. Yep. You hesitated. Were wishy washy. So BOOM, he’s gonna get revenge on you.

What? Please don’t say HE’s responsible for HIS bad behavior and that you weren’t required to submit immediately to his “wooing”. Afterall, women who didn’t immeditately submit to Bill Cosby’s “wooing” DESERVED to be drugged and raped. That kind of thing was “just a thing of the times, the way that people partied”, rape was … foreplay? afterplay? I think I haven’t quite grasped the nuances how RAPE was what women who didn’t Submit immediately to the control and demands of a man who had NO respect or care for VICTIMS of their abuse.

And… if he blew you off, don’t think that your life is your own. Nope. You deserve even MORE abuse if you fail to answer his calls when he “forgives you”, after his weekend cheating and he calls you on Monday.

An abuser who blames you? Geeeeeeee. Of course he does. The victim is always to blame, right? Otherwise they wouldn’t have done it.

Now where the H did I put my punching pillow?

I want to add something to Donna’s steps above, somewhere between 1. and 3. The spath will test you to see whether you will be likely to go along with his wishes. I realize in retrospect my ex tested me the first week he met me. And I went along. So, as they say, don’t give an inch, they’ll take a mile.

Also there is a study in which psychopaths (I think ones in prison like rapists) accurately selected women who had been victimized merely be watching them walk a few steps, by their body language. Apparently victims carry themselves differently. So, maybe find out how to show confident body language to avoid being selected in public. And beware of men approaching you in public in unusual circumstances. A mall sounds perfect.

Also, if I were looking for someone wealthy to move in with and take advantage of, stores catering to new homeowners would be ideal. They have a home and may need help or may be new to the area. Beware. One FBI profiler said she found many psychopaths working in contracting and construction.

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