lf2

Boredom and the sociopath

What’s the relationship, if any, between boredom and sociopathy?

Can we can agree, for starters, that boredom does not cause sociopathy? Otherwise most of us would be sociopaths.

Can we also agree that a low tolerance for boredom, alone, does not cause sociopathy. Otherwise again, many of us with low tolerances for boredom (not that I include myself, but God, am I bored) would be sociopaths; and this isn’t the case, either. That is, even most of us with low tolerances for boredom aren’t sociopaths.

However, research suggests that sociopaths may require higher levels of arousal to escape conditions of boredom. So apart from being prone to boredom and finding it extremely oppressive, it may be the case that sociopaths tend to resort to high arousing, high risk solutions to their boredom.

I think we edge closer to a link between boredom and sociopathy when we note that, if nothing else, boredom seems to be a medium, a highly conductive state or field, for the emergence of sociopathic behaviors.

That is, sociopaths seem to find in states of boredom fertile play for their sociopathy. As noted, they seem at risk of solving their boredom sociopathically. States of boredom tend to elicit, coax into the open the sociopath’s sociopathy.

Why? What it is about boredom that makes it perhaps especially conductive of the sociopath’s acting-out? In point of fact, it is less the properties of boredom than the properties of the sociopath that answer this question.

The sociopath is, foremost, an outrageously self-centered specimen. His exclusive interest in his own comfort, gratification and entertainment (and cold uninterest in others’) compels, along with incredulity, a morbid fascination with his interpersonal perversity.

I’d suggest that among the last things the sociopath wants to face, besides extreme pain, is boredom. The sociopath wants to feel entertained, stimulated and comfortable; boredom provides none of these. Moreover, and consistent with his pathological narcissism, the sociopath feels he shouldn’t have to be bored. He feels absolutely entitled to relief from his boredom.

Now we might still say, big deal?”¦doesn’t this still describe many of us who aren’t sociopaths, yet for whom boredom makes our skin crawl?

What I think distinguishes the sociopath in all this isn’t his entitled claim to relief from states of boredom or even, by itself, his arguable gravitation to higher risk, higher arousing solutions to his boredom. Rather, I think it’s his entitled claim to relief from states of boredom with virtual utter disregard for how he achieves his relief.

In other words, for the sociopath, basically whatever it takes to solve his boredom, at whatever expense to whomever, is a go. Where the nonsociopath itching for escape from his boredom is chastened by a sense of accountability to others—by the implicit social contract to respect others’ boundaries—the sociopath is undeterred by, and abrogates, such social contracts. They are a joke to him.

Intellectally, he is aware of them and, when expedient, may play-act them. But he regards them, truthfully, as utterly controvertible anytime he finds it convenient to controvert them. Furthermore he harbors, secretly when not transparently, contempt for anyone dumb enough to be bound by such contracts. Certainly he isn’t.

And so the bored sociopath is dangerously poised to exploit. Unburdened (if not stimulated) by the prospect of his exploitation, he finds countless opportunities to gratify himself at others’ expense. He can rob someone, or cheat someone, or cheat a hundred people, or get plastered and drive maniacally; he can scare someone, or lie audaciously with convincing sincerity; and in so doing he can ignore the wreckage he wreaks because what matters, what only matters, is the satisfaction in it for him.

The sociopath’s deranged self-centeredeness protects him from the scourge of regret. Where regret may torture the normal person, keep him up at night, awaken him to troubled memories, reflection, and perhaps even a rethinking of his priorities, not so for the sociopath.

At most, regret has a superficial effect on him; he might regret, if anything, the inconvenience of his present situation; but not, it’s safe to say, the dignity, security and trust he robbed from the victims across his life.

(My use of “he” in this post is not meant to suggest that males have a patent on the behaviors and attitudes discussed. This article is copyrighted (c) 2009 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)


This is right on. Most people, read a book, go to the gym, see a show, go on a trip when they are bored.

A sociopath will wreck a marraige, steal money, molest a child, etc.

In addition to being bored, another state that is unbearable for the sociopath (at least from my own experience) is BEING ALONE.

So this explains why he could only handle family life in small doses. Heliked to come home to family and a good meal – but as late as he possibly could 8:00- 8:30- even 9:00 pm on a school night. He didn’t seem to care the kids waited that long to eat dinner with HIM.

Weekends – he took off under the disguise of WORK – and was not even moved by his sons’ pleas to stay home with him.

He would even leave during a week vacation at the shore and say he had to go back home to check on work.

He was never one to sit and watch a movie much – unless he picked it, did not go out to the movies, hated taking the kids to a carnival or to the shore for the night.

He even bought a house down the shore for investment but only joined us a few times over the years.

My daughter’s dream was to sit as a family on the back porch and play a board game after dinner. Not much to ask at all – he just couldn’t do it – unless he had a few drinks.

Over the last years, I now know he relieved his BOREDOM with the following behaviors and as you say – NO REGRET OR CONCERN FOR WHAT IT COST HIS FAMILY:

Affairs –
4 motorcycles
Hells Angels
Bars
Dining out to excess
Jazz clubs
Motorcycle trips

Internet sites for sex – one wife and one ongoing affair were apparently STILL BORING

Always on the phone
Illegitimate business deals

Invention after invention

New vehicles

Always a NEW DEAL ongoing

And the last thing he said going out the door was ” I don’t think I want to be married , but i don’t think I want what is going to go along with not being married”

How inconvenient for him – he lost the best thing he ever had – me and the kids!!!!

Yes , Steve, he robbed my safety, dignity, security and finances – and seems determined to take whatever is left.

Steve ,

After finding all these details out, his recent remark was, ” You are just pissed because now you know I was out living my life , having a great time, partying – and you were home with the kids. ”

No remorse, no regret – and such contempt that I could be content with being with my kids.

Did I miss him? – all the time -and he knew it. Did I want him to be with me – us? All the time. I tried not to nag but the last year together I would remark how nice it was when he WAS around and how the kids were more relaxed. Sure it puffed him up to be desired and needed but it didn’t change anything.

Did it matter? NO.

He’s on his quest for LOVE, HAS THE PERFECT WOMAN NOW –

how long before he gets bored again ???

Dear Newlife, they can never be UN-bored (how do you like my new word?LOL) for long and as soon as they have “conqueored” that “hill” it becomes old hat and not exciting any more so they must go climb a higher hill, or a different hill. They can never be interested in the “mundane” things in life like playing a board game with their little kids and seeing the child’s eyes light up when they “win” or seeing the child learning to take turns or share—those things that WE find exciting and memorable, they find mundane and ordinary and uninteresting.

Humanbeings as a group have varying levels of tolerance for boredom, and desires for risk taking, but the psychopaths seem to be out at the end of the scale on both. Taking risks (on whatever plane) seems to be the thing that they LIVE FOR. It is what makes life fun for them. There are a few others wh9o are on the risk taking level that they are that are NOT psychoopaths, but many groups of people who are high risk takers by virtue of their profession seem to also have a higher than “average” level of psychopapths among them.

You had talked about yours not liking to be ALONE, my P son and my P sperm donor and several others I have known absolutely cannot stand to be ALONE, and it almost seems that if they did not have someone else to SHARE and SEE their “successful” risky trick, it was like it “didn’t count” if no one else was there to ADMIRE it. My P son and my P sperm donor always ALWAYS had to have an AUDIENCE for their glory.

Not all Ps are that way though, like the serial killers, many of them work alone and in secret and of course do NOT want an audience. Their successful risky behavior is for themselves and themselves alone (if you don’t count the victim being there) Others like BTK killer would taunt the cops as another part of his risk taking behavior.

None of them will ever be satisfied for long though, with whatever “success” they have.

Oxy,

You are so right – as is Steve.

When his best friend asked him why he was in yet ANOTHER relationship besides the other affair, and me – and the internet – he replied he NEEDS companionship – he hates being alone.

The companionship of a doting wife and 2 kids didn’t phase him.

That is why over the 22 years I was very attuned to being home when he expected, didn’t go out on my own – the family was always awaiting his arrival. Hell, he was 45 minutes late for our wedding.

Now he can UNBORE himself to his hearts content!!!

I thought HE was boring!!!!! I guess he was relieving his boredom by getting money out of me, that must have been the highlight of his day!

I just broke up with a S three weeks ago. I known him six months before I became involved with him. I was only with him for five months. I was in denial nearly the whole time, yet I believed he loved me. I’m still going back and forth with the idea he MAY have loved me. Still waiting for him to call me. How sick is that. How can I get him out of my head? I think about him constantly.

Oxy, shabbychic2, Steve,Newlife08

All your comments are so enlightening! I hadn’t considered the ‘boredom’ angle in too detailed a way, although I was aware of his threshold – just thought of it as yet another selfish trait to add to the 14 miles list!

Reflecting back on the S, I now recall so many occasions when he revealed himself in this way: When invited to a ‘family’ occasion (over time, he totally avoided them) “will there be anyone interesting there for me to talk to? Or will it just be all mumsy dadsy and kids?”. “You amuse me – so few woman do” (so grandiose!) – just two red flags. The constant ‘fishing’ trips – yes he did genuinely fish but I alway felt a dis-ease about them – later turned out, he used them as a cover to hook up with his ‘back-burner’ woman – the ones he kept as satellites all over the place to pick up when he found a clandestine opportunity.

Still haven’t estblished if he was actually a sex addict or just an attention junkie – either way, he lied, cheated and deliberately started arguments/created bad situations to set up his ‘exit routes’ – not to mention put me at risk. He actually managed to sneak off to the West indies with ‘one of his women’ for two weeks and conceal it from everyone, including his own sons! It would be funny if it wasn’t for the fact that I and others actaully loved and cared about him……… When found out he actually said ‘I had to lie to you to spare your feelings – otherwise you wouldn’t have entertained me’ – oh, what a guy? All the time, he was sparing my feelings! Silly me. I find it incredulous that he seriously thought that this was a perfectly viable explanation !

Yes – the contempt Newlife08 – I can identify with your outrage and pain!

They have us hanging around like pawns in a game, awaiting the little emperor’s return – this too ‘amused’ him, no doubt – he loved the control.

Newlife – love the comment

‘he can unbore himself to his heart’s content’ –

really made me laugh and struck a chord – you brightened my day – another ‘gem’ to add to my little box of healing thoughts – it’s so wonderfully dismissive! And in the absence of exacting the sort of revenge that I have fantasied about in the past, it’s fairly small fry (to coin a fishing phrase!). Who wants to inhabit the same sewer as them anyway?

Shabbychic – it wasn’t the getting the money out of you that was the highlight, it was the twisted satisfaction that he could that was more important – power, you see – anyway what do I know ? – who wants to examine the contents of their stupid heads?

Maybe once they’ve run out of people to show-off to, they will get their own particular ‘Room 101’ nightmare – being alone……

Thanks all for sharing your wisdom and letting me get this off my chest in a safe place – I’ve been struggling on my own with it – you can only lay so much on friends who haven’t been there – why should they want to understand – it makes one’s life sound so ‘skanky’ (an English word for something much less polite)………… Escapee

Confused, One answer. No Contact. Bad relationships with Sp or not never get better. If it is bad so soon into it, even less likely to get better. Rosa, Dead on. They HATE to be ALONE! Maybe the really out there ones with thrill kills like to be alone but then their victim is the ultimate audience as is the investigators and the public at large if ever they are caught. I believe they want to be caught. BTK came out because he couldn’t stand some author of a book stealing his glory. They feed on attention. Their inner world is blank. They are so uninterested in us. Only our entertainment value. They don’t know us, care for us, or remember thing one about us once the new victim is in place. They overlap their relationships so they never risk being alone. They walk away from family, friends, children, spouses, lovers. All for the next fix of new thrill.

confused2: If that is sick, then I’m sick too! I could have written your post myself. I know the S didn’t love me, but I still go back & forth with the idea that maybe he loved me but didn’t realize it, how pathetic is that! I’m in a brain fog over here myself, but getting better little by little. Keep reading the articles & posting, writing about what you are feeling is a great way to help you heal and the people here are very supportive!

Escapee: Hi. You wrote “(he) deliberately started arguments / created bad situations to set up his ’exit routes'”, wow, I was wondering why he would yell at me (besides being an a**hole). EXIT ROUTES, a light bulb went off in my head!

Conufsed2

Really sad to hear your anguish. Please don’t be tempted back – I, like many others, went back time and time again and wasted years of my life. Be kind to you, stick with the ‘good guys’ and do what’s easy and makes you happy.

He is oblivious to your feelings and doesn’t have the capacity for empathy, except for himself – you’re not sick – you are the one having a normal response to someone you cared for and feeling the loss – except it was just an illusion – only no one told you – sorry if this is a hard thing to hear…. but it wasn’t your fault – don’t be so tough on yourself – you were duped (they work hard at making you stay that way).

Escapee

BTK and the Uni-Bomber both corresponded with the police and the media for years, if I recall correctly. So, they were not alone, either. They were always “taunting” by sending letters and packages to the media, and the media played right into it and put it on the evening news. Talk about having a captive audience!! It does not get any better than being on the evening news, and paralyzing an entire community in terror for decades to satisfy your narcissism.

I think Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, and Son of Sam are in a whole other world than sociopaths, both literally and figuratively. These guys have admitted to hearing things, and hallucinating. That is more Schizo than Psycho, as far as I am concerned.

Yes I was duped. He even had his 22 yr old daughter involved in keeping us together. I have the wierd vibe she is just like him. I know I fell in love with a facade, he was to good to be true, I even told him he was perfect. And yet I keep waiting for him to reach out to tell me he’s sorry etc. and yet i don’t want him to. I want him to stay gone. I’m so conflicted and confused over the whole situation.

Shabbychic2

Took me a long time to cotton on to what was going on but once I did, it made all the antagonism make sense (my S was a bit more subtle than just yelling, he knew what buttons to press). Once I got hold of what he was doing, untangling all the other stuff was pretty easy – he wasn’t quite so clever as he thought in covering his tracks – don’t say it with any sense of triumph though – it was very painful and shocking at the time and for a long while after. Times when I wished I could ‘unknow’ what I knew but, truth is, I KNEW there was something. Hard to get a handle on how someone could be so manipulative isn’t it?

In the aftermath though, I think it helps to understand that Ss do this stuff by nature and master it as a skill in daily life. Sometimes wish I could have my ‘innocence’ back though – the world seemed like a nicer place before I knew all this! Not boring at all!

Good wishes for your continued recovery!

Confused2

It’s impossible not to be conflicted when you have been fed so much crap – like I said, you’re supposed to be – it’s what gives them control – they deliberately destablise and undermine what you feel and think with contradictory behaviour – it would almost definitely have cranked up a notch every few months, the longer you were with him – it is loosely their pattern.

If he would ‘use’ his own child, what hope is there for anyone else? She may or may not be like him. My Ss son showed similar tendencies to his repulsive father (cheating on his steady girlfriend, picking fights with her and then going off with other girls – he was also 22!). However, his father would swing from being all over him like a rash to constantly criticising him – approval/disapproval – destablising – see what I mean? The boy had probably endured all these mixed messages from an early age – no wonder he was screwed up. He tried to do the same with me. It IS all very confusing until you grasp the mechanisms they use to keep control of you emotionally – to both meet their ‘needs’ and their desire for power over another.

Mine actually came right out and said it, “I hate being alone.” And he even managed to turn it into a pity play at the same time, by acting like a scared little boy.
Of course, I fell for it at the time.

But, then he also had the audacity to tell me, “If you go digging for dirt, you are probably going to find some.”
I believed that, too. So, I went digging for dirt. 🙂 Jackpot!!

The End.

Yes, I could see him using her but I also felt she was in on it with him. When they both started coming to me with how little money they had and hinting if I could help them out with car payments etc. It started out small but I could see it gradually building up. And I still clung to the thought that he loved me and that erased all the bad stuff. I paid for the meals, drinks entertainment, everything. And yet I still kept going back for more “attention”. I don’t even think he wanted me for sex, I think it was all about the money. I feel so used.

Thanks Steve for the article. The P trait of chronic boredom is a subject that I particularly am interested in, as I am on my healing/understanding/discovery journey .
I find myself VERY suspicious of those around my age( 30 to 40’s) who have job, family, and/ or household obligations who complain about being bored.
I feel that with a S it is tied in with being alone, as that is sheer torture for a S. Since their heads are essentially empty and void of what normal people deal with in “real” life- consistent,balanced thought processes, & problem solving that actually put “others” well being into the equation for long term ,
the S lives in an almost child like state of existence based on immediate gratification with no regard to impulse control. I can remember being bored as a small child. Life was simple, with selfish desires that revolved ONLY around MY needs-playtime,food, and attention being the only real focus. It never occurred to me that my caregivers or anyone for that matter had anything better to do than to entertain ME.
Even as I grew alittle older- in my journal at around 10 yrs old. the ‘worth’ of my day- what constituted a good or bad day to me was simply what others did for me- I was taken swimming, shopping, treated in some way. That warranted a smiley face for that day. Days that I was forced to do chores all day,or anything I deemed a waste of time received a sad face to sum up my day.
NON SOCIOPATH adults dont BASE their life satisfaction on what they were able to “get” that day but rather what we are able to give to others,& to succeed is based on our individual standards of progress.
Our measuring stick of quality of life is blended with many pleasures in life that the S can not possibly fathom.
WIth such a simplist, cold blooded predatory vigilance in life to devour and destroy, no wonder when the thrill of their latest “kill” is short lived, they cry boredom with their dead eyed stare! I loathe that look!

Confused2

You are so much further ahead of the game than you realise. You’re facing up to the truth about these two – hers was possibly a learned behaviour -if she was brought up to blag and con, by 22 it would come naturally.

The point is: you WERE used. I know it’s a terribly painful realisation but does it help to know we all were? If you dig a little deeper, you’ll understand why and that might give you some comfort in retrieving your self-esteem. It was because they COULD – from their point of view. And they could, not because you are a fool, but because you are a genuinely kind and thoughtful person – don’t let these half-formed beings robbed you of your precious gifts for empathy. Just get yourself armed to the fact that S/N/P personalities see ‘grace and kindness’ as a frailty to be exploited.

I hope you weren’t stung like I was. At least you had the good sense to get out quick – well done you – be proud and be kind to yourself.

PS Rosa – you make me laugh – no nonense lady!

Yes, dead on. ” whatever it takes to solve his boredom, at whatever expense to whomever, is a go.”

Before I realized what I was dealing with, I couldn’t believe the pace at which the P/S/N lived. ALWAYS on the move. Would come home from a month overseas and in two days be off on another trip. And when alone for an evening, would drink a bottle of wine and call women. This from him, a multimillionaire in a huge Mchouse: “I’ve returned to the nothingness I call home”. And always having to do something spectacular and impressive on each birthday, like a marathon run, etc.

But mostly the way he cheated on his wife, even with her best friend because “we were both alone that night” tells the tale. And how he treated the “other” women.

Joy

Really liked your comments about ‘overlapping’ relationships and ‘having their next victim/s lined up’. Bang on. they do have patterns – another piece of info to arm yourself with – my particular Ss phone bill read like a dating diary – calls to me to make his ‘stable relationship’ plans and immediate calls/texts to his satellite women to line them up for the ‘gaps’when I wasn’t around – thought I was inventing it all till I talked to some of them! All the time, he was talking about our wedding plans/future together and how it would all be one big pot one day, persuading me to pay for everything -classic! Hope the scumbags all end up alone at the mercy of Nurse Rachett!

Good Night!

Sorry for hogging the page tonight –

Escapee Shabbychic2

Yes, I do know I was used and they could see that I could be used. I guess I’m upset with myself because I could see the red flags and still denied or ignored them. I held out for the belief that he loved me, and some part of me is still holding on to some hope that he loves or cares for me. I blocked his number from my phone and quit my job because I knew that I would be looking for him to call or come to my place of work to talk to me. Yet I’m still looking for him to say sorry and have an explaination. He was relentless and I was desperate to get away from him and yet I still look for him. I know this says more about me than him. It’s good to talk with someone that’s been there.

Bang on Dr. Steve. It occurs to me that they are constantly bored because they are not engaged in other peoples lives, feelings, emotions and so on. When I am amongst freinds and family we have so MUCH to discuss because we care about each other, we tell stories, we philosophize, we unburden, we seek connection.

None of this is of any interset to the P. Conversations are to indimidate, manipulate and exploit, or for self aggrandizement. Gifts are for show, promises are just words. They are bored because they have no connection to the real people around them, and I believe when they act out to relieve the boredom, through risk taking,conning whatever, they feel in control, as if they are “managing” their boredom and creating the excitment they seek.

Unfortunately in the early stages, the excitment gets us caught up in the vortex as well. They are so charming and exciting and they picked us! Wow, we feel special.

The more I learn the happier I am to be out. Alone and happy,not bored. Massively more free than any P could ever be.

And to Confused, I would like to say, of course it is confusing. And in the early stages very painful and crazy making, when in withdrawal from a P. On good days they mirrored that which we love most about ourselves, or our values and interests. They idealized and flattered and so on. It feels very real and we want that in our lives. The partner,lover,soul mate, companion.

When we have to realize it was all fake, we are letting go a piece of ourselves that was reflected back. Be kind to yourself. Feel proud of coming out of the fog. This too shall pass, and you will be stronger and wiser, likely even happier in the future.
Peace and love

Confused2

Was just about to go – but get this. I spent all last year doing the same thing. Hating and loathing him while at the same time looking for his car outside my office when I finished – My S was also relentless in his pursuit. All the times over the years I broke away because of ‘I didn’t know what’ and he would come after me. I later found out he’d created situations so I would ‘end things’, he’d go off, have a few weeks of dallying around with whoever (ususally more than one) and then when they’d ‘sussed him out’/dumped him or he got bored, he’d be back on my case (took me years before I found all this out).

So you see, your responses are borne out of the confusion as a result of being with an arch manipulator. Because you think with a normal mind, it stands to reason that if you’d wronged or upset someone in some way, you would want to make amends/give some explanation – his head doesn’t work like that. It’s not that he doesn’t think he ought to – it just doesn’t occur to him – if there were some gain on a material level, he might consider it but he knows the game’s up. It takes time – hang in there – he will NEVER say sorry and even if he does (mine did, the first time I got wind of his activities), he won’t MEAN it – it’s just another ploy because he wants something from you – if he still thinks there’s some mileage in you, he’ll be back. I changed my phone number, changed my job and STILL, even though I knew what I knew was looking out for him – it takes time

Take off the mental handcuffs – he has a hold on your mind – work on this and keep telling yourself ‘I choose my truth, not his lies’.

Oh, and he gave me The Time Traveler’s Wife (a book) , and wanted to be able to pop in and out of my life, without advance warning, and have me waiting, ready to do whatever he wanted and to love him and then “understand” when he would suddenly disappear from my life until it suited him to pop back in for a few days. I think the book was to help me understand the role he wanted me to play in his life.

eyeswideshut

I’m just so relieved that I found this blog so I have someone to share this with. I haven’t told my friends because I’m embarrassed about the whole thing. You hit upon the very thing that I miss about him, he made me feel special and loved. And I realize it was all fake and yet I still miss the way he made me feel. Everyday I get a tiny bit stronger but I still have my moments of doubt.

Eyeswideshut

Wise words indeed. I arrived at very similar conclusions to you regarding the flattery and being made to feel special. Some days I think I am where you appear to be but then I fall back – but these are becoming fewer and fewer.

Maybe this gives some hope to Confused2.

Confused2- I could have written your post, I too paid dearly for the pathetic tidbits of attention I craved from the lunatic. I paid for meals, household bills, entertainment-even my friends footed the bill for HIM to go to Las Vegas.My attorney friend represented him in a DUI case for free. My parents forked out money for nice gifts for him and his children. All the while, in the 3 years I dated, then married him, he was stealing cash from my business steadily. I was too trusting, too blindly in love to re count the cash that I had thought was accounted for. He thought up brilliant ways to steal even more from me- took my child support arreage checks that I was receiving RANDOMLY from the mailbox and deposited them into a joint account I didnt know about that I HAD TO PAY TAXES ON (otherwise I would of never known about the checks- in my state- interest on old child support past due accounts must be turned in as INCOME and taxes paid on it). Another “trick” was to change my home address thru the IRS and he received my refund check, illegally deposited it into his account after our divorce. No one will say (at IRS) how he was able to accomplish this, and NO ONE, (bank or IRS)cares that I never received the check sent to ME.
SURE it may be illegal as Hell to do these things, BUT try and recover YOUR MONEY AFTER ITS DONE. I know there are FAR WORSE situations here- but maybe this will help some of you to protect your assets-even future checks are ripe for the pickings of these maniacs who will stop at NOTHING to get your cash.
SPeaking of MANIACS,
ROSA- I believe from a previous blog mentioned Charles Manson as possibly being more schizo than sociopathic. From documentaries about him- he exhibited lots of S traits- EVERY nite, he “preached” and force fed his cult members and continously brainwashed them.
His N tendencies were evident, as he set himself up to be a messiah in the eyes of the other members- be made the females believe they were “lucky” to get to have sex with him, he enticed new male cult members by promises of sex with the other women there(again,exploiting others/and promiscuity)
At first, he made it seem to the cult members they were in a safe paradise, then his teachings became more of violence and of the armegedon he envisioned was coming which installed isolation and fear in the members. He made them feel as if he had privaleged information that only he could protect them from. Scarrrry stuff!

To those struggling with “I still wonder if he loved me”, etc.

For a long time I went back and forth, did he love me or not, is he a good guy or bad guy. The question I never focused on enough: “Is this a decent way to treat someone?” I had to stop making excuses for him, stop “understanding” and realize IT IS JUST NOT THAT HARD TO TREAT PEOPLE RESPECTFULLY. My one friend said “you teach people how to treat you.What are you teaching him is okay by you?” I realized I needed to focus on what I think is appropriate or not, not focus on pleasing him. Take him off the pedestal, and realize you have great worth and should be treated that way. That is some of what I had to learn.

Confused2

Embarrassed and humilated – I know those two night-time partners. Just two more great big sticks to beat yourself up with – it’s not worth it.

Try to think of it that your embarrassment is caused by what HE did and SAID – no doubt, he worked very hard on you to lull you into the position of giving him money – I went through a phase of feeling that the S had appealed to my vanity and this was my weakness.

I prefer now to think that I gave him credit for being a genuine and feeling human being which, of course, he isn’t. Remember these people work very hard to get what they want from others – wonder they have any energy left over to be bored!

Justabouthealed

Thanks for this one. Reminded me that I need to be asking the right questions and putting the focus back on myself – as do we all to get and stay healthy again.

I know that I’m very lucky I feel that I dodged a bullet. I even went to my doctor and was tested for STD’s, all negative thankfully. He knew he had a hold on me, he even told me he “twisted my mind” and seemed proud of it! I know he was cheating on me although I have no proof, just a gut instinct that he always put down to me “being silly”. He never became angry or upset he seemed so casual and calm. For a long time I thought maybe he was on meds but came to realize he just didn’t care about anything or anyone. He never lost control of himself even when drinking. And I saw a mean streak in him towards the end. But of course in my low times I just remember the good times and how good he made me feel.

Confused2

Don’t know that I’d say lucky dolly – he was a cruel B and the fact that you were prepared to make allowances i.e on meds etc shows your generous spirit and nature. Trust your instincts about the cheating – because the whole importance of sex thing with Ss is just another way of them filling themselves up on constant attention from whoever will provide it – it doesn’t really mean anything to them in the sense of it being something shared.

Hang in there and keep posting amongst friends.

Yes he did need constant attention even when we were out he needed attention from the waitstaff and people at near by tables. He always needed to be the center of attention. A week before I broke up with him I took him to the doctor for a sinus infection. Two days later we went out and I had been drinking and was sick, actually throwing up in the bathroom and asked if he could drive me home and he said no I would be fine. And then let me drive myself home, sick and drunk. It was all about him and his needs, god forbid I should inconvience him. I look back and shudder at myself.

Escapee:

Did I read that you are a Brit (in one of your previous posts)?
I am half Brit, but I live in America.

TILLY!!! PLEASE POST SOMETHING SO WE KNOW THAT YOU ARE OK!!

Confused

You reminded me of stuff I’d forgotten! About the whole restaurant deal – I’m shuddering too – cringing with embarrassment at his constant attempts at getting attention – if it’s of any comfort, I am actually LOL when I think of how ridiculous he was! How could I have taken it seriously?

I ignored all the red flags too. When the shuddering stops (and it will) just say to yourself ‘under what circumstances would I do that to someone else?’ – this gives you the true picture of who you are – not the person who accepted the unacceptable because she was vulnerable and being manipulated by some cruel twisted con-man – and be proud the answer would be ‘I wouldn’t do that under any circumstances’ – get the focus back on you and off him and his actions.

You got out – that’s the true mark of your character – that once you had him taped, your self-preservation instincts served you well and you had the courage to cut the ties. Well done. Try to see your strengths in all this and get beyond it – if you need reinforcement, you’re in the right place here

Escapee

Yes, you are completely right. The more time I put between him and myself the more I can see his true colours. I have to see the positive in myself and not how he was able to manipulate me. Keep the focus on me and not on him. Thank you for taking the time and talking to me.

Rosa

Yeh – full blooded and in the Uk on this rainy evening (English summers eh?).

Should have known by your ‘turn of phrase’ – very dry…..

Confused

A pleasure. Keep in touch.

Sorry I dissapeared, I was outside cleaning out the garage, another fun day! I still put on my makeup everday in case he stops by here, I don’t want him to stop by, have been NC for 8 weeks, I really don’t care to ever speak to him again… but if he does stop by here I don’t want to look like chit, I want to look good, like I’ve got it all going on!!! If you could see me without makeup you’d know what I mean! LOL. Every car that drives by I look at, I guess I am waiting for him to ride up on a white horse with roses for me and holding a box full of all the money he owes me. LMAO! Well, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry…

Steve, thank you for the information in this recent article about boredom. Each time I re-read it, I arrive at deeper insights into troublesome questions I had about my ExNPS that never made sense. The insights, even though no longer of current importance, have brought such a deep convictions that my instincts, though damaged, had been in working order!

Especially when you wrote, “However, research suggests that sociopaths may require higher levels of arousal to escape conditions of boredom. So apart from being prone to boredom and finding it extremely oppressive, it may be the case that sociopaths tend to resort to high arousing, high risk solutions to their boredom,” brought closure to a long-felt puzzlement about some activities that my Ex had revealed (after “marriage”) concerning his teenage years. (I met him when he was 20.)

If I knew then what I know now, I would have never accepted another date with him, let alone “married” him!

I am writing them out as a personal journal entry for me. So, I apologize for bypassing others’ comments about this topic.

He grew up on a farm in a small community. He told me that he was so bored after school that all he did year after year and every summer was throw a ball against the barn wall and catch it.

I simply could not understand this choice of activity for such a bright person. I often found myself “alone” on an uncle or aunt’s farm for two week stretches. Boredom was never a problem for me. I always found something fun or productive to do. Ten minutes of throwing a ball against a wall would have been more than enough for me.

Your article helped tie another, but seemingly unrelated, revealed activity together. He confessed that to relieve the anticipated boredom, he would skip school, drive to a nearby town, hire an airplane and pilot and fly over his high school to “buzz” it.

When I asked if he ever got caught, he answered with a huge chuckle, “Of course.” When I asked why he did it over and over again, he answered, “Because it was fun.”

After finally being threatened with expulsion, he arrogantly said, “I just switched to window peeping, skipping the last class of the day so I could still catch the bus home.”

Then, as an after thought, he added, “Well, once I stapled the jeans of the girl to her butt who was sitting in front of me in the last class of the day. That got a huge reaction from everyone” and he laughed and laughed. Aghast, I asked, “Why did you do that?” He answered, “Her butt was just sticking out there and the temptation was just too great.”

Yes, I believe it is true that sociopathy is evident in adolescence. How I wish I had known about sociopathy back then and I wouldn’t have been puzzled at all.

Thanks again, Steve, for this opportunity to finally “put two and two together” and actually come up with the correct answer. There is a certain amount of intellectual comfort in that, even after all these years!

Shabbychic2

Take off the make-up and take off the mental handcuffs! He doesn’t care what you look like without your make-up – if he thought you were still his cash-cow, he’d tell you you look better without it!

I put my make-up on everyday FOR ME!

It gets easier – more good days than bad – it takes time and 8 weeks is early days so go easy on yourself.

Dear Steve,

I was wondering when you are Dr. Leedom were going to write more in detail on the subject of sociopathic boredom. Your article was truly enlightening as was EyesWideShut’s response.

Yes, they cannot connect to us on any level except their own primitive ones. The only time I was ever satisfied with my ex psychos was during physical intimacy. Afterwards, I always felt discarded, somewhat used and dirty. Yet, the chemicals and hormones released during sex kept me in that shameful place. Not so anymore.

I never could quite understand the constant need for stimulation and excitement these guys craved. I’m a quiet little homebody, perfectly content with an engrossing book and some tasty popcorn to munch on while reading. I thought when we would watch a movie that we were being cozy and happy with each other. Well, at least I was.

They were just biding their time until the movie was over so they could have more sex or start digging into me about what is so very wrong with me, or to create draining drama in an effort to start an argument. Because they were intensely bored.

I remember implicitly how the last sociopath I was with (Fall 07-Spring 08) was so restless when we were relaxing in front of the tv, watching a movie, that he was constantly fidgeting. He would prop his leg up on a pillow and it would not cease in twitching. Very disconcerting, distracting and annoying for me. I actually told him how annoying it was and my statement unleashed that sullen, selfish little boy that he really is and off he went, on a tangent about the most insignificant things I did that irritated him. How frikkin draining they are.

I’m glad I’m not the least bit attracted to excitement, thrills and chills. I prefer tranquility, peace and quiet. I never received any of that from my exes. Now, I have it. And I am content.

Thank you, Steve for writing and sharing this with LF.

The Sociopath I dealt with last year was severely addicted to drama. It took me a long time to figure out that the weeks of calm that I cherished drove him nuts.

I would think to myself, “Gee, things seem to be getting better.” I’d relax, and he’d generate some new stress. It would be a tantrum, a huge upheaval in standard procedures, and argument with someone, or a sexual indiscretion on his part that threatened the reputation, and therefor th existence, of the ministry.

We played this pattern out for years before I realized things were NEVER getting better. Each calm period was simply the eye of a storm.

OMG…I didnt realize it..until I let him come cack in my life ahgain..he was all about the drama…loved it…stirred things up and then acted`like he was just an innocent pwrson…I wish I could say the drama with him is over..its peaceful with him gone but he is up to his court antics…so there is never calm before lond…but I agree…they thrive on drama…

Thanks Steve Becker,

Thanks for putting the “boredom” aspect of this side when regarding the sociopath. When I learned about how they can be easily bore I never really gave it much thought. But the way you described it allowed me to put it into a better perspective and deeper understanding. I do agree about the way s/p view/experience it:

“the sociopath is undeterred by, and abrogates, such social contracts. They are a joke to him.”

And I do believe it is a joke for them insomuch they may even brag and “joke” about things they have done too others who they misunderstanding think are more like them. Some are but still some aren’t and walk away feeling unbalanced and spiritually sicken inside. It’s this arrogant and egotistical persona some found so dehumanization estrangement and emotionally immature. How some will kidnap imprison torture and finally kill their prey all out of “boredom”. Now allow me to state this is the most extreme sociopathic person and those with lessen anti-social traits might only verbally emotionally and psychologically damage their “objects” but it still shows the great need to diminish their boredom and not allow spiritual social and/or economical repercussion to hinder or stop them.

Thanks for the insight!!!

This is a very pertinent article. My ex would not allow me to say: “I am bored”. When the week was ending, the kids were with their Dad (partially) and my work was done, I’d say that I was bored, which meant usually that I wanted to go out some place, watch a movie, do something new. He’d offer to take me out but I quickly learned that payment for the outing would be on me. So, I sometimes refused to go because I was already supporting him whole lot. Yet, if I ever said I was bored, which I think is a totally normal condition of not wanting to stay in the daily routine and instead diversify the experience, he’d scream that I should never say this. Even then, when I was in darkness, I had no idea why proclamation of boredom would irate him to such a degree. Another thing he’d never let us say is “hate”. Not allowed to say “I hate this movie” or “I hate this”. I think may be he’s gone through counseling, but really did not get what it was intended to give him. What do you thinK?

This is a bit off topic, but I just watched the trailer for The Time Traveler’s Wife and it was a bit of a trigger for me. How many of us wanted to believe that our S loved us, wanted us, wanted to be with us….but just couldn’t, like the time traveler in the movie who couldn’t control when he would just disappear, caused by a gene. In a way, the S I knew would just disappear too…caused by some genetic/environmental factor that makes them be who they are. It was never because of something we did. One minute he was there, in love, the next gone. The book (The Time Traveler’s Wife) was a better analogy than I realized at the time!

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