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Explaining the sociopath

Useless advice on how to spot a lie

The Daily Mail just published a silly article in which a psychologist explains how to tell when someone is lying.

The behavioral psychologist, Jo Hemmings, dispenses all of the usual and useless advice about watching for microexpressions, lack of eye contact, convoluted explanations and changes in behavior.

Okay, so the advice might work for spotting a normal person who is uncomfortable with lying. It will never work for spotting a sociopath who lies like he or she breathes.

In fact, the article is accompanied by a sidebar in which new research published by Edinburgh University finds that it is hard to spot a liar. Why? Because liars may intentionally suppress the tell-tale signs of lying!

A sociopath explains how she loves

If you’re like most Lovefraud readers, you’re here because you were romantically involved with a sociopath. This person probably declared love for you repeatedly, exuberantly and convincingly. Then the individual lied to you, betrayed you, cheated on you, abused you and perhaps even threatened you.

You were left stunned, distraught and devastated. How could someone who loved you treat you so badly?

A letter Lovefraud received recently might help you understand why that person’s love was so shallow:

‘Dark core of personality’ — what antisocials, psychopaths, sadists and other miscreants have in common

man in maskIs the disordered person in your life antisocial, narcissistic, borderline, psychopathic — or perhaps even Machiavellian or a sadist?

You may have struggled to figure out which definition applies, perhaps reasoning that a narcissist isn’t as bad as a psychopath. In reality, all of these disorders are bad news — people who have them engage in similar destructive behavior.

Now, research from Europe shows that all of these disorders share a common denominator. In a paper called The Dark Core of Personality, Ingo Zettler, a psychology professor at the University of Copenhagen, and two German colleagues, define the “D-factor” at the dark core. They write:

10 Facts to help you explain your experience with a sociopath

The biggest reason why we get tangled up with sociopaths is because we don’t know they exist. We don’t know they live among us, so we don’t watch out for them, so we get in trouble.

Then, when we try to tell our friends and families what happened, they have no idea what we’re talking about — because they don’t know sociopaths exist either. So on top of the devastation we endure from the sociopath, when we turn to others for support, we are not understood or even believed.

If you’re trying to explain your experience with a sociopath, here are some facts to help you put your story in context:

5 tips for dealing with a sociopath

Lovefraud’s standard advice for interacting with a sociopath is not to interact at all, to implement a strict policy of No Contact. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible.

Perhaps you share children with a sociopathic ex-partner. Or perhaps you have a disordered boss or co-worker, and aren’t yet able to find new employment. Or perhaps some member of your family is disordered. If you have no choice but to interact with a problem person, here are some tips that may help you.

  1. Do not react emotionally.

Sociopaths will often do or say unpleasant things just to provoke a reaction out of you. Do not take the bait.

10 typical emotional abuse tactics that the experts don’t even measure

No wonder mental health professionals don’t seem to understand emotional abuse. In trying to conduct research about it, they don’t even have a comprehensive list of typical emotionally abusive behaviors.

Here are 10 behaviors that Lovefraud readers experience, time and time again, from their sociopathic partners. How many have you seen?

  1. You’re blamed for everything; it’s all your fault.
  2. Your partner flirts with others and cheats on you.
  3. Your partner disappears — you have no idea where he or she is, and when, or if, he or she will return.
  4. Your partner does or says something incredibly hurtful — and then acts like nothing happened.

Sociopaths as chameleons — they become whatever they need to be for their latest scam

James Montgomery at a business meeting.

James Montgomery at a business meeting.

My sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, considered himself to be an entrepreneur, the equal of any man who ever built a commercial empire. As he was seducing me, painting a glimmering picture of how successful and rich we would become, he proclaimed that he would be “the next Walt Disney.”

When Montgomery went to business meetings, he wore a jacket, trousers, and a polo shirt. He refused to wear ties, but he always had a silk square in his jacket pocket. He told me that even when he was young, he always dressed up in jackets and cravats, eschewing the psychedelic fashions of the 60s. (For more about my story, it’s all in my book, Love Fraud.)

Sociopaths leave us totally disoriented — here’s why

Pensive woman

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Most of us grow up believing that all people are created equal, that human beings are basically good, and everybody wants to be loved. These are the messages we learn in school, in church, and in the age of political correctness, from the media.

These beliefs are the lenses through which we view the world and the people in it. Our beliefs influence how we perceive and understand the behavior of those we meet. And, for 84 percent of the population, the beliefs work just fine.

Bad treatment

12 Seduction strategies from the Sociopath Playbook

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sociopaths tend to use all the same tactics while reeling in new romantic partners, as if they were all working from the same well-known reference manual. If you were able to find this playbook, written by an alpha sociopath for the benefit of the trainees, here are ploys it would include.

1 . Listen intently to your targets, staring into their eyes and hanging on their every word. This encourages them to keep talking — and everything they tell you can later be used as ammunition against them.

Quora: How psychopaths/sociopaths view the world

Socipathic eyesThe question was asked on Quora, and self-described psychopaths and sociopaths are responding. If you want to get a better understanding of how they think, read it in their own words. Here are some gems:

“I see a world drowned by an emotional sea which I can observe, and recognize, but never feel. I watch this current sweep over the neurotypical world, causing all sorts of thoughts and behaviors which make so little sense to me that I might as well be an alien. I am able to predict some of the resulting repercussions, but for the most part, the reactions people have to this world of emotional illusion is well beyond reason. It is mass delusion and insanity, and because the majority rules, their insanity is what defines reality for the species.”

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