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Different Perspectives of Sociopaths

There can be different perspectives of the sociopath (and other seriously exploitive personalities). These perspectives can offer different experiences of these disturbed individuals. At the same time each perspective offers,  I suggest by definition, both a somewhat advantageous and yet limited view of the sociopath.

Living with a sociopath, or finding oneself involved deeply in a “committed”  relationship with a sociopath, will offer an incomparably intimate experience of the horrors that sociopaths can inflict on their partners.

Clearly no one, and that includes the so-called “experts” on sociopathy (clinicians and researchers, for instance) will be able to appreciate the impact of the sociopath, on this level, like the partner who has lived with, or been closely involved with, one.

This close, personal relationship confers upon the partner of the sociopath a certain knowledge of sociopathy and, I stress, a certain intimate experience of the sociopath that no clinician or “expert” can possibly approximate; thus, the sociopath’s partner’s experience is surely a unique one, qualifying him or her, from this particular intimate vantage point, as really the ultimate “expert” on sociopathy.

Now thankfully I’ve never lived with a sociopath, a fact which also happens to limit my experience with sociopathic personalities—specifically, in this case, the experience of having lived with one, and had my life razed by one.

In this sense my, or anyone’s, clinical experience of sociopathic individuals—just like one’s clinical experience of any individual—is limited by the structure of the clinical relationship. It is a relationship with boundaries provided inherently, so that the clinician or researcher (unlike the sociopath’s partner) is for the most part protected emotionally and physically from the sociopath’s most damaging, hurtful, violating behaviors.

On one hand, the protection to which I refer—again, a protection that’s inherent in the clinical setting—clearly limits the clinician’s capacity to fully experience the sociopath; on the other hand, the very structure of the clinical setting may enhance the clinician’s ability to apprehend aspects of sociopaths that may elude the sociopath’s partner, because he or she—the clinician— again unlike the sociopath’s partner, in operating within a structure of safety and protection, can observe and study the sociopath more freely and through a much wider lens.

The clinican is afforded the chance to observe and study sociopaths’ attitudes, their interactions, their styles, their variations, their differences. And, of course, not just one of these individuals, but many.

And so the clinician’s experience with sociopaths, while less rich and informative in some important ways than the partner’s experience of the sociopath, in other ways yields him or her different, additional opportunities to grasp how sociopathically-oriented individuals think and act.

And yet over and over again, I note it when a Lovefraud member points out, “But what do YOU know? Or what does HE know? You (or HE) never lived with a sociopath!”

And my response, whenever I read these comments, is to agree with them wholeheartedly. They are entirely valid comments and speak a truth that all so-called “experts” on sociopathy should heed well: those who have lived with the sociopath possess a certain knowledge and experience of the sociopath that is not only unique (as I’ve suggested), but non-attainable to a clinician in any sort of safe, protective clinical setting.

In this sense, or certainly in many respects, the clinician has much more to learn from the sociopath’s partner than the other way around.

(This article is copyrighted (c) 2010 by Steve Becker, LCSW. My use of the male gender pronouns is strictly for convenience’s sake and not to suggest that females aren’t capable of the attitudes and behaviors discussed.)


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328 Comments on "Different Perspectives of Sociopaths"

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Dear Libelle,

I’m glad we helped to boost your courage—but you are the one who accomplished this total change and growth that you have done! I am so proud of yoiu, but also proud for you!

You are no longer the person who can be so easily scammed or taken advantage of! You are stronger and wiser! And I think from the sounds of it basing that happiness on your own terms for you not basing it on what someone else holds out like a carrot in front of a rabbit or a donkey! You founhd and MADE your own happiness with your own two hands!!!!

How wonderful.! ((((hugs))))) Keep us posted

Your life sounds wonderful, Libelle. And you sound a decade or two younger — all of full enthusiasm and flexibility and optimism. I love to read about you changing everything. It sounds like so much fun.

And it’s also fun leaving bad people and bad situations in the dust.

Hooray for you!

Kathy

Hi Libelle:

You sound so great. The changes you made really seem to be agreeing with you.
I have wondered about you, so I am glad you posted an update about yourself.

Sometimes I fantasize about selling off everything I own, and running a smoothie stand on the beach in St. Barts…..or maybe I’ll join Stargazer in Costa Rica.

Stargazer, if you are out there…..I hope you made it to Costa Rica!!!!

Freeatlas, I strongly recommend that you take down your e mail address off the blog—there are trolls here from time to time and I would hate for you to be attacked by one…it is usually much safer to send your e mail contacts through donna rather than post them here.

CA Mom, I hope you are doing better! You have been missed! (((hugs)))

CA Mom,
I remember you too! Oh, it’s a sad story.

I have a wonderful life today. Very healthy and balanced. Blessed with a wonderful husband, son, good job, and fantastic dog (pug).

I hope that you are doing better. Please contact me at my email address when you are comfortable doing so.

Thank you for a quick reply. At least I know you are out there.

Regards,
Jacquie
Massachusetts Resident

Ox Drover,
OMG, I don’t know how. I am an old bird!
As I mentioned, I am new to blogging, if that is what it’s called.
HELP

freeatlas12 – go to your post above, you should see an edit button right below your words. Just go to your e-mail addy and click your delete button until it is all gone.

There are also probably spam-bots that search for e-mail addresses. I learned this while volunteering on a completely unrelated forum.

Thank you OX Drover! Greatly appreciate your advice.

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