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Blame the victim fallacies

Victims have a certain way of walking, and psychopaths can spot it. That’s the conclusion two bloggers for Psychology Today reached, based on a scientific study released last year.

The study, Psychopathic traits and perceptions of victim vulnerability, was authored by Sarah Wheeler, Angela Book and Kimberly Costello of Brock University. The abstract states:

The purpose of this study was to determine whether individuals scoring higher on psychopathic traits would be better able to judge vulnerability to victimization after viewing short clips of targets walking. Participants provided a vulnerability estimate for each target and completed the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale: Version III (SRP-III). Higher SRP-III scores were associated with greater accuracy in assessing targets’ vulnerability to victimization.

Psychology Today blogger Marisa Mauro, Psy.D., explained the study further. A group of male university students were asked to watch video clips of 12 people walking. The videos were shot from behind, and the students were asked to rate the ease at which each could be mugged. Several of the individuals had, in fact, been victimized. The students who scored high in psychopathic traits were better at picking out the people who had already been mugged.

Mauro works as a prison psychologist. Based on her experience and this study, she wrote:

Certain personal characteristics are associated with tendency to be on the receiving end of bullying such as harassment and manipulation. I have found that the demonstration of confidence through body language, speech and affective expression, for example, provides some protection.

Wallflowers

Another Psychology Today blogger, Jeff Wise, also commented on the study and what it says about victims. Wise wrote that he recently came across a guy who seemed to have the traits of a psychopath. The man was charming, good-looking, athletic, financially successful—and he left a trail of destruction in his wake. His victims sounded like wallflowers. Wise wrote:

The women who wound up on the receiving end of his attentions were individuals who, in their own description, were not very worldly, experienced, or outgoing. They were psychologically vulnerable and hence ill-equipped to either resist this fellow’s predations or to deal with them emotionally after they had occurred.

Wise concluded that, “people who are on the receiving end of crime often do mark themselves out, if only subliminally.” Mauro suggested that people can decrease perceived vulnerability by projecting dominance—more eye contact, less movement of the hands and feet.

If only it were that easy.

Traits of targeted women

The research both bloggers quoted described a particular situation—people walking down the street, and how vulnerable they might be to being mugged. It should not be generalized to describe all victims of psychopaths. After all, how many of us were involved with muggers?

Consider the research by Dr. Liane Leedom on women who were targeted by psychopaths. She found that they have three traits in common:

  • Extraverts. The women are outgoing, competitive, strong-willed and liked excitement. Sometimes they are free-spirited.
  • Cooperative. They are high in empathy, tolerance and compassion. They value getting along with others, and are willing to compromise their own interests for the larger picture.
  • Invested in relationships. They like being around people. They are sentimental and focus on special moments.

Dr. Leedom’s research relates to women. But I’ve heard from many Lovefraud readers, both men and women, who were successful, take-charge individuals—until they met the psychopath.

Personally, I don’t think anyone who watched me walk down the street would tag me as timid or vulnerable. I’m an athlete, and my stride is confident. But I was victimized by a psychopath, who took $227,000 from me, and cheated on me incessantly. And the guy started setting his hooks via e-mail, before he ever saw me walk.

Maybe projecting dominance would work to avoid muggers. But it’s not going to stop victimization by a card-carrying psychopath intent on finding a resourceful new supply.


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401 Comments on "Blame the victim fallacies"

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Donna, I totally agree with your assessment on this, and Unfortunately, I also agree with the “mugging” victim part.

There IS something that marks us “easier prey” to the psychopaths, but I not sure what it is and I’m not sure anyone does, but this particular study I agree with you only pertains to a physical violence.

Now, I admit that some psychopaths WANT a victim that is physically timid, and I’ve seen many women who were victims of DV physical abusers and many of them appeared timid and beaten down, but was it a case of he picked a timid woman to abuse or was she timid BECAUSE she had been abused? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I’m almost out of beef in my freezer and am making plans to butcher an animal for meat here pretty soon now that the weather is getting cold enough, and I went to the pasture to look them over for possible “volunteers” for the “honor” and I did not pick out the weakest or the sickest, but I picked out the biggest, fattest, most healthy one out there with the most of what I wanted, high quality meat.

So to me, a psychopath would function the same way in picking victims, and for a “LONG CON” would pick out the victim with the most of what s/he wanted…status, position, money, energy….for a relationship…but if it was a ONE TIME MUGGING, I think most of them would pick a more timid victim.

Even a psychopath is smart enough to realize you get more out of a LONG CON than you do out of a single ONE TIME MUGGING.

Oxy-good analogy, I wonder what the cows are thinking when they look at you?

cow no 1
“She seems so, nice, she keeps us well,I’m fine and healthy….but there is something in the way she looked at me today”

cow 2
“like what…like what…go on ..stay with this it’s important”

cow 1
“well…she looks at me like I’m just a piece if meat”

I agree with you the psychopath is smart enough to realise you get more out of a long con than mugging

just to add the other growing problem which is cyberpaths. They are not looking at the way you walk here, just ruthlessly targetting anyone who is looking for love, friendship and perfectly normal human aspirations.

They click into this “romantic mind set” and play it to the hilt…in internet dating…you could say we advertised ourselves into the psychopath net, with perhaps naive dreams of finding true love.

Not a once of mugging, nothing with the way you walk… the normal aspirations of a decent human being…IS their target.

BP, funny cow dialogue.
cow #3
Oh bessie, you’re just being paranoid! She’s too nice for that.
cow #2
Well, I think you should listen to your Gut on this one.
Cow #1 (chewing cud) It’s just the creepiest feeling….I just can’t shake it…something about that stare…like she was sizing me up.
cow #3
Oh don’t be silly. You know how much she loves us!

Dear BP,

And cow number 1 is RIGHT! LOL But the thing is that I DO take care of them well, they have everything to make a cow happy and when the time comes, at least I do it quick and painlessly, unlike a psychopath. When mine see me coming it is “Ohhhhhh the FOOD GODDESS is here!!!!! I want to see what she brought me!!!”

The three old cows have NAMES and all were show heifers so know how to lead on a halter and are very tame and love me, but I don’t “make friends with” the younger ones that will be meat, and actually I took 4 to the livestock auction the other day because I had too many to winter through with a short hay supply from this year and I FELT GUILTY taking them and selling them and not knowing if they would be treated kindly…at least When I kill one for meat, they don’t suffer stress or fear or anxiety or get pushed around by bigger tougher strange animals and believe it or not, cattle are very sensitive to that.

After my husband died I decided to sell the bulk of my carefully bred up herd, and actually I didn’t so much as “sell” them as “placed them for adoption.” LOL (Okay, oooookay, I’m a sentimental slob all right, I admit it) I found out later that one of the people who bought some from me mistreated them (I think this guy IS A PSYCHOPATH from what I hear) and I was FURIOUS that I had picked a bad stupid mean buyer for some of my babies.)

I don’t have any problem eating meat and I know it doesn’t come from a “hamburger tree” but I want it to have been treated well growing up and humanely put down. (Makes it taste better too!)

Kim, yea we posted over each other and I didn’t see your post until I hit send on mine. Good going guys, and you are so right! I am a COW PSYCHOPATH just fattening them up for the kill! LOL ROTFLMAO and the same statements apply to them if they could talk that apply to us IF WE WOULD LISTEN TO OUR GUTS. They fatten us up for the kill, they “lead us with nice.”

In fact, when you are “working” (driving) cattle you do use all the body language manipulation. You never look directly at the cow you want because if you stare at her (that’s a PREDATOR SIGN REMEMBER) you watch her out of the corner of your eyes so she doesn’t get the idea that you are interested in HER. Then you move around her so that she will move off in the opposite direction from you (going where you want her to) but you don’t want to panic her, you just want to slowly move her away from you until she gets into the corral or a corner where she is TRAPPED, then you have TOTAL control.

The Border Collie herding dogs use eye contact (they are, after all, predators like their wolf ancestors) predator stare to move the sheep, goats or cattle, or even ducks can be herded.

I firmly believe that psychopaths ARE HUMAN PREDATORS and they hunt us just like a wolf does a lamb. They pick the one that they think will give them the most and the best meat for the least effort. If it is a one time mugging they’ll pick one kind of victim if it is a long con, they pick another kind and use different tactics to strip it of what they want, and like a cat plays with a mouse, sometimes they just play with it and torture it while it is alive for the FUN OF IT! I like cats, and I have some, but they can be very much psychopaths with prey.

It’s an interesting article, but… I’m lost. What does “blaming the victim” have to do with any of this?

I’ve long suspected Oxy was a cow-path!
Funny, but when I first realized what my P was doing, the image of myself as a cow appeared in my head. This cow had my head inside it and it was me in a cow’s body being milked, groomed and ready for slaughter.

The predator always separates the prey from its herd. We have all experienced this. Some of us, like myself, tend to self separate because I’m a bit of a loner anyway. I think that makes me easier prey. That’s why its important to have a social structure around us. If nothing else we need to give the impression that we have lots of important connections and people who love us. My exP’s greatest anger was that he was not able to separate me from my parents. In fact, he wrote about it in a letter:
…And now our life together is ruined. How I hate your
family they were my only
hope of rescuing you. I know that you dirty me to them
as part of your addiction,
but how quickly they turned on me. I wonder if they will
ever know what they
through away probably no more than you. Eventually
you’re self-destruction
will become obvious to them, there final years will be
filled with that sorrow.

That is just part of a letter titled, “600 words” that he wrote me last year. Sick, sick, sick.
In part this is why I feel the need to salvage my relationship with my parents.
The idea of family and the destruction of family is very important to the predatory psychopath. Their inablity to HAVE their own family, because they can’t bond or because they were traumatized by their own sick family makes them ENVIOUS of those who do. Sometimes they will target a person JUST BECAUSE they have observed a family atmosphere that they want.
He ends the letter like this:
…And then
there is the animals the only way I can cope with this is
by blanking out of
my mind their existence. I can’t wait to close this
nightmare I long to start a
new family that I can call my own, you have no idea
how hard this has been
for me, my hatred over the taking of my family can
never be healed. These
horrible acts are something you’re thoughtless family
would do. It is better
for you to be with your own kind, a shallow and
thoughtless family.

Dear Sky,

Yep, that’s me, a “cow-path” LOL

Social support is important, Skylar, and we all benefit from having supportive people in our lives.

I look back though at my own egg donor and I see so many times when I needed support and she was not there for me.

You talk about how your parents treated you disrespectfully as a child, and made you give your doll to your sister and do her home work, etc. yet you say they are “different now”—are they really DIFFERENT? Or is the situation really different at all?

If they behaved so cruelly to you as a child that they would abuse you in favor of your sister, why do you think they have really “changed” now—or are they just wearing the mask better now? Or, are you, just as an adult seeing them from a different perspective?

I think the point is that you have to be satisfied with your relationship with them, are YOU getting what you need from the relationship? If not, can they change? (I don’t think so) Can you sit down and talk to them and see what their feelings are? If your father is/was a true narcissist I don’t think it is likely he will change much if any, is that okay with you? Can you accept him as he IS rather than what you would like him to be?

I’m just glad I’m away from the egg donor, because she does not meet my needs for a relationship and I’m better off without one that is painful.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

BP – HERE HERE!!

‘Not a once of mugging, nothing with the way you walk” the normal aspirations of a decent human being”IS their target. ‘

one/joy_step_at_a_time

sky – wow, what slimey spathspeak, all cryptic, mean and convoluted. ick.

I think the video clip they are referring to is included in the film I’psychopath starring mr vaknin. Dr Angela Book from Brook university shows a bunch of women walking down the corridor in the clip and the psychopaths have to watch them walking. one of the victims walks in what I described in my own writings as an “upsy daisy type walk” whereby the right and left hands do not move in synch. Nothing to do with being unconfident. the particular victim had been a victim of violent crime.

When I watched it my first reaction was “bl**dy h*ll I have been walking like that since I was a kid”. It was called carefree not unconfident. (and yet I come from childhood sexual abuse. To test the theory I coached a woman recently and watched her walking and she too had this “upsy daisy carefree walk”. she too had been sexually abused as a child.

How they spot it who knows? Although I dont walk exactly like the woman in the video my arms and legs are “out of sync”h and most people would say I come across as confident in my demeanour. I certainly dont walk with my head down in fact I was always taught to walk with my shoulders back and held held high. I think its a lot more subtle than that.

anyway if anyone wants to watch the video its here at about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhpXdpgHcMM&feature=related 1 min 45

Dear Noordinary,

I watched that vid in “I Psychopath” and I picked out the woman who had been abused, but I couldn’t tell you WHY I picked Her. It was almost an instinctive thing I think. Having studied animal “flight zones” though, and predator/prey behavior in animals, I can see how there are some instinctive awareness in animals of which among a herd is “the weakest” or most likely to be separated from the herd, which is sick, which is lame, etc. to make it more vulnerable to predation. Predators have survived because they were able to pick out the one animal out of 1,000 that is most easily taken. A lioness doesn’t need a broken jaw, it is fatal for her, so if she is not able to pick out the animal less likely to injure her when she pounces, she is removed from the gene pool.

“Survival of the Fittest” is the rule, and survival of the one who can pick out the one most likely to be over come…whether it is that the victim has a wealth of resources the predator wants, or if it is because they are more easily overcome physically, they pick the one they are most likely to overcome.

Oxy…
Just came home from work so my timing is off. But your cow thing kickstarted my funny bone.

I grew up in Iowa near the Minnesota border so the Commercials for California Cheese were esp funny to me, where the cows have conversations with a Minnesota accent. (search you tube for happy cows california cheese. they are FUNNY. “She’s been tipped one time too many…” hahahaha. LOL.)

Later as an adult, I spent a lot of years on a dairy ranch. Every year we’d raised one steer for beef. Ornery cusses(musta happened when we turned their mind from ass to grass). Stubborn Beasts. Would go through hot wire just to be contrary.

So there I’d be… fixing fence (usually in cold icy rain) and that steer would stare while I struggled with the job. And the whole time I’d talk to him, taunting, “Hey TriTip. Yummm. You are looking good. Go ahead. Break the wire. B/c every time you do, I remember how I am going to eat you and relish every juicy bite.” (imitating the voice of the old witch heating up the oven for Hansel and Gretel.)

While herding the girls up for milking, I’d have conversations with them too, in the Minnesota accent.

Nose to Tail Tales
Gladys: Seems like we did this yesterday.
Clara: We DID do this yesterday.
Lulu: I’m bored. Lets run away!
Clara: Where to? Minnesota?!
Gladys: Well count me out. Hanks (like in Hankering after cows) looking pretty buff these last couple a days…

Yep, I named some of the cows. What can I say. I was isolated except for the cows. Beats talking to a coconut head.

Cows and lambs for the slaughter indeed. Too funny- the dialogue. : )

Great insights as to that study, and how it applies or doesn’t to the “victims”. And the question of why we were targeted is a lingering one, as it should be so we can learn to avoid another encounter with one of these creatures, or God forbid, be victimized again.
One of the things that I have come to conclude, after reading all the Spath books and much much learning on this site, is that mine picked me, partially because he had been told from a mututal freind about how deeply in love and loyal I had been to a previous boyfreind. Easier for the long con.. as I would not be the one to give easily up once I was hooked.

The other thing mostly was that I would make an excellent prop. I guess in more cynical terms, the “trophy” wife ( not that I am suggesting I am some kind of big prize) but because I gave him the opportunity to surround himself with all the trappings of “normal”..nice kids, nice house nice car nice wife”..which he had not had with his ex.

And then yes, the classic divide and conquer, after first giving me lots of leeway to see my freinds and family…finally moving us all away from our entire support group, family and freinds. After playing the doting son in law for years- ditching my aging parents and not giving a damn. Anyhow, you all know the stories, because in the end they are so cookie cutter.

What I still cannot fathom is how they manage to think it all up- or does it just come so naturally to them that it is like breathing- a bit like Dr. Steve’s Howard. Because they do not care- it is of no consequence to them what they say..whether you believe it ..or whether they are doing harm. As long as we keep being their prey..and do not expose what is under the mask..we are worth the very VERY little effort it is to them to keep up whatever charade we- as victims, are addicted to.

(Once again may I recommend the film” What the *&&^% Do We Know”…excellent science on our behaivoral addictions. )

And speaking of the addiction- he is still delights in pulling some classic P drama from the sidelines that affects us all..making a big scary issue out of something that should be routine, there by endangering his son- and indirectly abusing me.

When stuff like that happens I am vacummed right into the old familiar stress, anxiety, anger, self doubt. And I have to ask myself- am I still addicted?
Peace all.

Dear Katy, Yea, I talk to critters too! Sometimes they talk back! LOL

Anitasee, yea, my P-BF wanted a “respectable” wife, not that I was wealthy or beautiful, just “respectable” and well liked and well-known in my community–to give him that “cover” of respectability. That MASK to cover up his real slimey self!

My thought is that perhaps one of the reasons these false notions about psychopaths preying on women ( or men ) that appear “weak” came about is the aftermath- how women ( or men ) appear following the encounter : tired, drained, of ill-health, and with a ravaged soul, their innocence having been violently taken from them. And of course after being isolated from everyone they’re going to appear “less outgoing” and perhaps even, withdrawn. They see that and think “well maybe that’s why you..” No, just no. A sad consequence of flawed data analysis/collection.

dancing…
I agree with you! Flawed data!!! I was never happier, more confident and balanced. He wanted me to do that for him and “fix” him. That wound up making me the later encouter you speak of. The farking mess!
Some may prey on the weak… but they as the weak prey on the strong to bring them down!!! They want their “normal token” to make them look good and worthy, when they damn well know, they are not
worthy of a damn piss ant bite!
soimnotthecrazee1!

My spath Daughter used me as a cash- cow for years and years!
{you know, kept on milking me.}Very profitable for her, all she had to do was turn on the crocodile tears over the phone, and I was putty in her hands. No longer!
Mama gemXX

PS. Like it has been stated many times… they seek out your weeknesses. No matter how strong we are we all have one or two. So if we appear strong on the street… they get in our heads and hearts and find them and try to ACT like our “perfect partner” to fulfill that weakness. They have no confidence, indentitiy or self control of their own. They live vicariously through us and then they D&D us.
This is sick that one human can do this to another!

soimnotthecrazee1, yes indeed. I don’t even think the word ‘parasite’ really does the dynamic justice. They are weak little pieces of crap that need to bully someone stronger so they can IN COMPARISON think that they’re “so much greater” because they attempt to squash you like a worm when they’ve manipulated you to become vulnerable… when in truth, they’re absolute cowards because as Steve said, they draw on our healthy desires to invest in a relationship and take advantage of that. They get you to be vulnerable and then in demeaning you, flex their pathetic wimpy arms in this “reflection” and thrive off of it. Yes, they enjoy seeing you hurt because it makes them feel powerful! Repulsive. Their sense of power is a fraud, just as much as they are.

Hey Ya’ll,
Spaths don’t just perform the long con, they perform the long revenge.

I was not weak. Just might be the differences between spaths, but my husband saw me as the strong woman, a challenge to break me. Took a while b/c I didn’t understand breaking me was the goal. All done for revenge b/c I made smart ass remarks thinking I was funny (dry humor, puns, self deprecating… I was funny, he just didn’t take it that way). Thus was born the need to put me in my place.

I didn’t get why until a long time after I finally escaped. I thought it was narcissism but it didn’t quite fit. Thought multiple personalities (he’d deny whole conversations and decisions), thought Aspergers but my husband was VERY social and the most charming man you’d ever meet, looked into sociopathy but he was no Ted Bundy so I thought I was wrong. It wasn’t until this site that the aha! moment clicked for me.

You are right, they look for weaknesses, I am not attractive and was raised being told I was stupid and proof was always forthcoming. So I didn’t compete with anybody for anything b/c I knew I’d lose.
But they also look for VULNERABILITIES, and my daughter was mine. He knew I would die for her. He used that.

Dancing,
I AGREE!!! I think I have come up with an analogy here..
psychopaths… are genetictically/generationally breed… sick/violent/criminal people and that there is no stoping until they are sterilized at birth in the gene pool somewhere. PLEASE LORD!!! FIND A WAY TO DO THIS!!!!
Sociopaths are their left overs that have been let into our society! They should have never been born if sterilization was in place. They were put in our society to be “normal” and they have (what I call) 50% normalized. They put on the mask…. that’s 50% and the other 50% they know what they are looking for….. the 100% person! To ridicule, belittle and kill us. Murder by Suicide!
Well guess what??? I didn’t commit suicide you spath idiot!!! (to my ex) You didn’t Win…. I just one upped you there! Didn’t I? He tried to take my mind,body and soul….. guess what? God has held them for me while I go through this.
Kady.. you are so correct!
Thanks for listening! Let’s all go for “sterilization” of this bloodline!!!!!
soimnotthecrazee1!

Hi mamagem! Huggzzz
Glad that you cut the cash cow off!!! No reason to keep milking it!

One thing I’ve noticed about the Spaths is that they know the words but they can’t hear the music. Some look for the long con, some do a quick sabotage. Different predators use different methods. If you watch wild kingdom, you can see this, they are not all the same. But they ARE all stupid.

I got pregnant to a totally unknown man in Singapore, after a “one night stand”.
Id just secured a top job as a n Army Teacher with the British Army overseas. I was 23 This was in 1963.
I told you you couldnt make this stuff up! My room mate,a Gym teacher,was a gay woman, nothing against gays, but she started to “come on” to me. I didnt fancy her,{not being gay}, so ende d up fleeing to this very good looking guys room next door. He was an Engineering Draughtsman, seconded to the Army, and had just given up his apartment, and moved temporarily into the same Guest house as we Army Teachers had been billeted into.he was 29, 6 years older than me.
Only had sex once with him{and he wore a condom}, BINGO!
that was Deb on the way!!
It was actually quite funny, I used to feel sick every morning after Breakfast,and I blamed the scrambled eggs, which tasted a bit fishy, as they fed the chooks on fish meal.,{bythis time, the Chinese house boys had moved me to my exs table!}
Of course,I was preggers, and 3 months later, we got married. I figured it may be like an Indian marriage,Id grow to love him, and I did.What I didnt know was, he was an alcoholic.Hard to tell out East, as evryone drinks a lot socially.
If only Id known my beautiful sweet baby girl would end up a spath. Still wouldnt have had a n abortion as I dont believe in it, but Ive often wondered if my life would have taken quite adifferent path if I hadnt married P.
Love,
Gemxx

Sky, No, I DONT believe they are all stupid, not by a long chalk.
My spath D,at 16, was top of her class in every subject before she fell in with a Punk group, which she was DESPERATE to join.
They refused to accept he r unless she stopped studying, so she stopped overnight, and all her gradesdropped from all straight “A” s to below “C’s.
Theyr not stupid but they can do very stoopid things!
Love,GemXX

Gem,
they are clever but stupid, no wisdom.
My spath taught himself to play guitar like a virtuoso and he flew a copter, self taught.
But he’s an idiot. The music he played was copied. when he wrote songs they were kitch.
The copter was just his way of impressing others. he killed the owner and “inherited it”.
They are stupid, they only use the snake brain. We can learn to see them if we are taught. Problem is, we were never taught

This article made me think of a major turning point in my recovery from being spathed. I was still in the midst of the relationship with the P and dreadfully depressed – suicidal in fact and yes murder by suicide I believe is a valid concept. I don’t think it’s over the top by any stretch of the imagination.

So I was in this dreadful state and went for counselling for grief and took on all the blame of the dysfunctional relationship. I decided at some point that I needed to start pulling myself out of the hole I was in, so I started changing from the outside in by buying and wearing new clothes and by taking some interest again in my appearance. It took several years for me to gain the strength to see he was the problem and leave him (a process that is seldom linear or fast and is usually fraught with interference and stalling from the psychopath). It took me a long time to start being able to see a future again.

I wonder if rather than simply counselling targets, they need some postural reconditioning after trauma so they don’t become easy targets in the future. I know my posture became slumped and rounded when I was with the psychopath – almost as though I had a large load on my back (which I literally did). I walked in a timid way and tried subconsciously to make myself smaller physically. I was unaware at the time of how bad my posture was becoming, but looking back in pictures now, I am shocked. I looked like I felt I had no right to breathe air or take up any space. It’s a far cry from the confident, energetic and sunny person I was before I met him. And it’s taken me a lot of years to get back to the confident posture and walk I used to have.

If they can smell our victimisation then shouldn’t this be an area we work on to adjust the visible signs? Yes we need therapy and other supports for trauma, but it would seem common sense to first ensure that no sudden extra trauma is likely from body language, posture and movement.

Tony Robbins talks about your body leading the mind – ie if you smile when you’re grumpy then after a while you feel happy. So our body is naturally a reflection of our psyche at any given time. Maybe working on the body would assist in integrating our experience and changing how we feel in the now while recovering. I don’t know – just an idea. Working from the outside in seemed to work for me. The counselling really didn’t work as it put more blame on me – or rather I put more blame on myself through the counsellor, who took an individualistic view of my situation, rather than examining the context I lived in.

What I needed was to feel better about myself in order to consider the thought that I perhaps wasn’t the problem.

Now I’ve internalised that caretaking behaviour that once was so conscious and unnnatural. I don’t need to pamper myself as I’ve got those good feelings inside. And I make myself walk tall with shoulders back and down, head high and a spring in my step.

Hope everyone’s coping with the crazy pre christmas season!

Chiming in on this thread and here’s my thoughts;

They can be very intelligent, have high IQ’s (Intellectual Quotient) which allows them to make good busiiness men who make lots of money, as in the case of my ex-S! but they have extremely low EQ’s (Emotional Quotient)…no emotional intelligence. Their high IQ allows them to figure out how to manipulate and exploit ohters and can also show them how to fake things with some learned cognitive skills like playing an instrument. BUT they can not feel nor hear the music. They can not feel the process of acheiving a goal without the exploitation and manipulations.

They are intellectually intelligent to know how to fake emotions, empathy and guilt….yet they cant trully feel any of those….and so they are stupid because they DO recognize the essence of their evil doings, but DONT change their behaviour pattern.
So in my opinion, they are intelligent but not smart. They use their intelligence to manipulate, skeem and win over…..their lack of smartness drives them to do the stupid things they do that inevidatly destroys us.

Aeylah,
I agree , And furthermore, i think its inevitable that ultimately these stupid things destroy THEM too. When they run out of “supply”, ie, people to schmooze, con, use,manipulate,suck dry.Ive often wondered, what eventually happens to these sickos? It can t be good!.
The law of atrophy must mean that eventually they downward spiral into oblivion.And who will care for them then, and pick up the pieces of their SQUANDERED LIVES?
Whem they run out of sympathetic lovers, wives, husbands, friends, who have been used and abusd once too many.times.
When they run out of cash, good looks, charm,{superficial tho it is,}lies. con tricks,supply, what then? A lonely and probably frightened old age. Totally alone, or else dead, or in jail.
We mustnt fall into the trap of feeling sorry for them.They LOVE that, and feed on it!
GemXX

thanks donna! wallflower? me? hardly! and i’ve never thought of any of us here on facebook as weak or timid. we’re a bunch of warriors … warriors targeted by empty demons who wanted to steal our love and light, because they have none of their own. there’s no challenge for them if a woman is already seen as a ‘victim.’

Yes, I don’t consider sociopaths to be the brightest people in the world. For me, it takes training to detach and not care about what befalls a sociopath. It goes against my nature (my make-up), feeling empathy and compassion towards others – someone ending up with a miserable end to their life saddens me, being unable to be completely unemotional about it.

Gem;
I think your right, they do shrivel up and become scared lonely creatures. To some degree I’m seing it with x-S as since loosing me, his main source of supply and the loss of his erction due to protate surgery, his charm is wayning and his money aint buying too much happiness either. Top it off that his reputation in the comunity is well known I do believe that he’s going to age into a shriveled up, sick, scared alone old, old man. …Serves them right!

Aeylah,

I agree with your thoughts….my ex spath is a physician. The field he is in in medicine usually requires very high scores on testing in order to get a residency position. He did.
During the time we dated and he was pursuing me he would write these long sort of love letters…altho as I look back there wasn’t emotion in them, it was more a description of what our life would be together, not his feelings. After we married I remember thinking what a dumba_ _. Seriously, he was smart in his one focused field of practice but everywhere else he was an idiot. I knew more about the world, about politics, film, music and even vocabulary. He didn’t know what posthumous meant nor how to spell it. I always wondered about that.
Anyway, when we were in China adopting our daughter we had someone film us as we saw her for the very first time. (It is a 25 min. dvd of Mia’s story, very sweet). During the filming, when I finally let go of Mia and let him hold her, I remember this one time where he was standing and we were talking to the orphanage workers and as he was holding her he tried to wipe his eyes. I looked up at him, confused, because it didn’t appear as tough he was crying. But I assumed it and thought, oh how sweet….DUH! So, now when I see that video and see that one moment of him holding the sides of his head with his fingers, trying to wipe his eyes….it looks completely fake. I can connect those old feelings of incongruity to the reality now, which is he has no Emotional intelligence, and he has learned the behavior of emotion.

That was one way he “hooked” me. He could make himself cry and early on in our relationship it made me think he had so much empathy. Later on, in therapy, he stated, “I have no empathy of compassion for the women close to me”.
well, there you go! That’s when I realized there is nothing for me to work with and I left him.

pollyannanomore;
Good for you!!!!!!! sounds like you are trully healing and finding your inner strenghts again. You go girl! 🙂

Dear Chinagirl,

Yep they can sure fake it. I hope things continue to go well with you and that you are still able to make contact by e mail and phone with your daughter and maybe have been able to visit with her in person since you last posted.

You are in my prayers! (((hugs))))

Polly, good to see you back posting too! Glad you are doing well! (((hugs))))

Different predators want different things.
My exP has a friend, H, who is a loner that lives in a shack down by the river. I stopped in to see him a while ago. He told me that when he first saw me, in 1987 or so, I was sitting in the P’s car and he thought to himself, “she’s got it all, that woman would be high maintenance” So that is how I appeared to others, when in fact the P was high maintenance and I had to pay for everything. Many of the P’s friends had disabled girlfriends who got disability checks and one guy he was “helping because they are homeless” was a pimp with a prostitute girlfriend. I would say those guys were picking up weak prey, while my exP was picking the “fattest cow”. But I was only 17, so that is a weakness in itself. My exP likes the long con. He thinks that the longer he stretches it out, the more “normal” it appears and the harder it is for people to see that it is a con, or that there is a connection between the dots. He is a “boil the frog slowly” kind of con artist. And sure enough, when he got impatient, he misjudged, turned up the heat too fast and I got away. The reason he got impatient was because I had caused him too many narcissistic injuries and he let his rage rule his mind. I had stopped enabling him. And like others have posted, he said, “who are you? I don’t even know you anymore.”
At the time I thought he was projecting, actually saying, “who am I? You don’t know the real me.” Maybe he meant it both ways.

Dear 1 Step:

I totally agree, I don’t fit the profile either, quite the opposite actually-too good of a person-

one_step_at_a_time says:

’Not a once of mugging, nothing with the way you walk” the normal aspirations of a decent human being”IS their target. ’

Re: My post above

Chinagirl,

Thanks for sharing and with it validating my thoughts on IQ vs EQ! even down to the fake tears….my ex-S used to whimper and make crying sounds but I never saw real tears. The funny thing is he would “cry” at sentimental movies all the time where the theme was allways the underdog getting recognition. Go figure!

Skylar,
Good point, different predators look for different prey!

which leads me to my thoughts on Victim profiling….I fit the description that Dr. Leadom described….Extravert, Cooperative and Invested in Relationships. I stand streight, do not walk slumped over or look like I need help. On the contrary…I am physically strong, healthy and in shape. I’ve allways been self sufficient and been able to take care of others as well. BUT…I wear my emotions on my sleeve, have tremendous heart and empathy and have at many times gone out of my way to help others…..and so my conclusion……
Spaths look for victims that represent their dis owned self! Victims fall for Spaths that also represent some of their dis-owned self….in my case, it was that smart business savy money making attitude, plus the ability to go gett what he wants without making excuses!

Dear soimnotthecrazee1:

This is the only solution as I see it too.

soimnotthecrazee1 says:
Dancing,
I AGREE!!! I think I have come up with an analogy here..
psychopaths” are genetictically/generationally breed” sick/violent/criminal people and that there is no stoping until they are sterilized at birth in the gene pool somewhere. PLEASE LORD!!! FIND A WAY TO DO THIS!!!!
Sociopaths are their left overs that have been let into our society! They should have never been born if sterilization was in place. They were put in our society to be “normal” and they have (what I call) 50% normalized. They put on the mask”. that’s 50% and the other 50% they know what they are looking for”.. the 100% person! To ridicule, belittle and kill us. Murder by Suicide!
Well guess what??? I didn’t commit suicide you spath idiot!!! (to my ex) You didn’t Win”. I just one upped you there! Didn’t I? He tried to take my mind,body and soul”.. guess what? God has held them for me while I go through this.
Kady.. you are so correct!
Thanks for listening! Let’s all go for “sterilization” of this bloodline!!!!!
soimnotthecrazee1!

Good point about not being able to just walk a certain way, or project a certain confidence, to avoid psychopaths (as opposed to muggers).

“Extraverts.” “Cooperative.” “Invested in relationships.” Sounds like healthy women, psychologically. I mean, if we carry this to its conclusion, it means, be introverted, bitchy and noncommittal in your relationships, and you’ll be OK.

There’s something missing from the list. All of the above healthiness, honesty, capacity for intimacy, PLUS a certain blind spot. I’m trying to get in touch with that in myself, because I am certainly the three things on that list.

I come up with several things: A need for drama, in a way. A need to connect with people on a really deep level, to help, to come to their aid from my perch in a healthy life. To be a mom. It’s a good thing, but also kind of narcissistic — all about me. I need to know I’m a good person. The idea that someone might spread rumors that I’m not, or truly think they’re being hurt by me, cuts deeply.

And that’s exactly where the spath homes in, the target. That little vulnerability that says: I’m OK, . . . aren’t I?

Because it’s not OK to be confident and psychologically healthy as a woman. Not yet. We’re not that far ahead as a species. Women with these qualities are plagued by self-doubt underneath the confidence and outgoing-ness. There’s a need, moment-by-moment, to prove we’re not that horrible, unfeeling “feminist” menacing society like some wayward Macy’s-parade balloon.

Anyone who comes along selling us what we want to buy — true self-acceptance — is going to have our attention.

And, hey girls, get over your guilt. Society is changing, and we’re changing ahead of it. Anyone expecting to feel accepted an appropriate in that situation is going to be disappointed. It’s all in flux. Not your fault.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

well said again! and very familiar to me. My term would be ‘intensity’ (for your ‘drama’)’ but the rest of it is spot on.

‘I come up with several things: A need for drama, in a way. A need to connect with people on a really deep level, to help, to come to their aid from my perch in a healthy life. To be a mom.’

i do want to be loved for what i am and what i do. don’t we all? I didn’t know i had the mom thing going on until the spath. and maybe i didn’t have it until the spath; although i was raised to be a caretaker, it didn’t have the ‘mom’ spin on it until the spath – i am sure it was ‘his’ supposed weakness…ohh, i like me some wounded birds – i go blind with compassion. and THAT is probably my greatest vulnerability.

Avoiding a predator is like avoiding cancer…volumes of things provoke it in to action, but not ONE thing causes it on it’s own.

Some people who smoke till their 90 never get cancer; some people who never smoked do.

Some people who are a perfect target for a psychopath never get near one, and some people who have no visible reason to attract one, ends up tangled by the neck.

Like cancer and other diseases, education and awareness (such as this site provides) is the best defense, but not the cure & shield of absolute protection.

To the, ‘dropped-jaw-have-no-clue-its-never-happened-to-me-what-is-wrong-with-you’ SILLY PEOPLE I say:

You need to know because even if you never encounter these people, someone you love, WILL.

Keep it up, Donna and everyone else. Love this site!

“I go blind with compassion”—-PROFOUND! Good point, One!

Dear EWE,

Good points all!

@One: “I go blind with compassion” — exactly, What’s wrong with that?

The compassion part is OK, but the blind part, maybe not so much.

It seems there’s no particular feeling or tendency to avoid if you want to avoid spaths — they’re all healthy feelings and tendencies. We just have to beware that when we go into those behaviors, we could meet creeps as well as good people. Those are the internal psychological “chat rooms” where the predators hang out and smell blood as soon as we walk in.

I had to laugh when I read about the “intensity.” A man I know — definitely not a spath — once scolded me for my interaction with someone as too intense. And he was all apologetic about it, like, he knew he was that way too, just trying to be a friend. I just kind of humored him. There’s just no language for what the world doesn’t get about us women, that what looks “intense” to them is precisely the message we need them to receive, and our intensity is measured and intentional, not a character flaw. This is why any woman without a sense of humor lacks survival skills.

Sister, I think we can have INTENSE COMPASSION without letting it blind us to the psychopath who is using that intense compassion for their own purposes–like a vampire drinks our blood, they drink our compassion, but we have to be UN-blind enough to see their fangs! (I just invented a new word “UN-blind”) LOL

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