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Explaining the sociopath

Are highly empathetic people particularly attracted to the calm, confidence exhibited by sociopaths?

Husband Liar Sociopath

The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between: Part B

As I mentioned last week, I recently read the book The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between by Dr. Abigail Marsh, Associate Professor of Psychology and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience at Georgetown University. Her book sparked some “light-bulb moments.” I shared the first two last week, and I am sharing the third and fourth light-bulb moments this week. For those who read last week’s post, you might want to skip directly to light-bulb moment number three, below.

Does sensitivity to others’ fear make some of us easily manipulated by sociopaths?

Gaslight

Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman in “Gaslight.”

The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between: Part A

Recently, I finished reading the book The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between by Dr. Abigail Marsh, Associate Professor of Psychology and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience at Georgetown University. Her book sparked some “light-bulb moments” that I wanted to share. The first two are below. The third and fourth will follow next week. Dr. Marsh and many researchers refer to these disordered individuals as ‘psychopaths.’ In my 2015 book, I referred to the same individuals as ‘sociopaths.’

How psychopaths behave as children — described by the psychopaths themselves

On Quora.com, people can post questions for others to answer. Here’s one question that was posted:

How do psychopaths behave as children, especially around other children their age?

So far, 13 people have answered the question — most of them self-identifying as psychopaths. The responses are fascinating. Here’s an example:

I was independent, yes. Behaved very well around my parents and other figures of authority, because behaving well meant that I could get away with more if I were caught. I stole, lied, manipulated “friends” into giving me what they want, made threats, threw violent tantrums, and for whatever reason enjoyed shouting at the neighbor’s dog and stepping( or at least tried) on ants. I procrastinated heavily and usually lacked the motivation to study. I received good grades regardless. Additionally, I shoplifted a lot in my adolescent years. Never caught.

Sociopaths, information and power — what you need to know

Image by Stuart Miles

I clearly remember the words of my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery: “Information is power.”

Sociopaths don’t really interact with others — they look for ways to exert power and control over the rest of us. Information, Montgomery understood very well, gave him the ability to manipulate, deceive and exploit me and others.

Let’s take a close look at how sociopaths acquire and use information at various stages of a romantic relationship.

Advance preparation

If you’re looking for romance online, you’ve probably heard about how to protect yourself when you meet an online date in person. But what’s more important is protecting yourself when you create your profile.

How disordered motivation explains psychopathic behavior

Socipathic eyesWhy do they do it? If you’ve ever tangled with a psychopath, you’ve certainly asked yourself that question. Why do psychopaths engage in harmful and destructive behavior?

Most psychopathy researchers explain the nasty behavior of these disordered individuals in terms of deficits. They say that because psychopaths lack empathy and impulse control, they engage in antisocial behavior.

To Lovefraud author Dr. Liane Leedom, this makes no sense — it implies that if it weren’t for empathy and impulse control, everybody would be a psychopath. Deficits don’t cause behavior, she says. Motivation causes behavior.

To Mom and Dad: 9 reasons why your son or daughter fell for the sociopath

Unhappy-couple-breaking-up sizedDear Parents of a Lovefraud Target,

Your son or daughter has now come to the brutal realization that the entire relationship was a scam.

Perhaps you’ve had your suspicions for a while. Perhaps you’ve even tried to tell your kid that the partner was no good, but he or she wouldn’t listen to you.

Now everything has collapsed, and you can’t understand why your son or daughter didn’t see it coming.

Please understand that sociopaths are professional con artists, and they are really, really good at what they do. In fact, they spend their entire lives perfecting their craft.

Is he a sociopath? The answer depends on how you answer other questions.

EvHusband Liar Sociopathery week, a chapter of  my book,”Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, use the links at the bottom of the post.

I’ve also just released a new ebook titled Narcissists, SOCIOPATHS & Wolves: Lessons From Little Red Riding Hood. (Just click here to find it on Amazon.com Narcissists SOCIOPATHS & Wolves.)

Chapter 59 (Continued):  Questions I Wish I Had Asked Myself (or been encouraged to ask)

BBC: Confessions of a gaslighter

Authentic affection or a sociopath?If anyone still doubts that sociopaths engage in manipulation and deceit intentionally, this article from the BBC should help clear things up.

Cheating and manipulation: Confessions of a gaslighter.

The reporter interviewed a self-confessed “gaslighter,” — Greg, a 28-year-old Canadian lawyer. Greg claims that he suddenly became a “gasligher” at the age of 21. I doubt it. He’s likely a sociopath who has been manipulating people since he was a teenager, or earlier.

Still, the story is enlightening, because Greg details exactly what he does to convince women to doubt their own perceptions. Read it.

Link provided by a Lovefraud reader.

Recovering from marriage to a sociopath: What I found helpful

EvHusband Liar Sociopathery week, a chapter of  my book,”Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, use the links at the bottom of the post.

I’ve also just released a new ebook titled Narcissists, SOCIOPATHS & Wolves: Lessons From Little Red Riding Hood. (Just click here to find it on Amazon.com Narcissists SOCIOPATHS & Wolves.)

Chapter 59:  What I Found Most Helpful 

Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychologist, or a licensed therapist. What follows are a few things I found helpful in my journey.

Why Don’t More People Know About Sociopaths?

EvHusband Liar Sociopathery week, a chapter of  my book,”Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, use the links at the bottom of the post.

I’ve also just released a new ebook titled Narcissists, SOCIOPATHS & Wolves: Lessons From Little Red Riding Hood. (Just click here to find it on Amazon.com Narcissists SOCIOPATHS & Wolves.)

Chapter 58:  Final Thoughts 

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