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Explaining the sociopath

“Ordinary men” do not shoot their wives and daughters — sociopaths do

Lance Hart of England shot his wife and daughter, and then himself.

Claire Hart, or Spalding, Lincolnshire, England, had just escaped her emotionally abusive and controlling husband. In July 2016, Claire’s grown sons, Luke and Ryan, packed up her and their 19-year-old sister, Charlotte, and moved them into a rented house.

Five days later, the controlling husband, Lance, shot Claire and Charlotte in the parking lot of a local sports center. Then he shot himself.

A Lovefraud reader just sent me a story about the tragedy that The Guardian newspaper published last year. You can read it here:

Here’s the absolutely best way to protect yourself from sociopaths

Yes, you can avoid letting a sociopath into your life. All you have to do is listen to your intuition.

Security expert Gavin deBecker, who wrote The Gift of Fear, explains that intuition evolved within us over the millennia for one reason: To protect us from predators. Sociopaths are predators, and our intuition will warn us about them.

The key is to pay attention.

Sometimes the warning is blatant — one woman told me about feeling instantly terrified when a man approached her. But instead of heeding her internal warning, she berated herself for being judgmental — after all, the man had done nothing to her. She talked to him; they became romantically involved; he was, in fact, a sociopath; it ended in disaster.

15 valuable lessons from ‘The Sociopath Next Door’

The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout, Ph.D., is a classic for describing sociopathic behavior. I’ve never written about it on Lovefraud. The reason is quite simple: I read the book when it was first published in early 2005, shortly before Lovefraud launched. I just finished reading it again.

I’ve learned a lot about sociopaths in the last 13 years, so this read was certainly a different experience. The first time I read the book, much of what Stout wrote was a revelation. Here are my observations from the second time around: Stout does a good job of describing sociopathic motivation, but her book fails to capture how dangerous and destructive these people are.

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.)

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