Reply To: Hi – I'm a sociopath.



Madelaine, I will give a good example of living from the inside out that doesn’t have anything to do with sociopaths. I have a co-worker who is very mothering and giving, but she is always exhausted and has an “edge” to her personality. She seems constantly stressed out, overeats due to stress, and always has bags under her eyes. Now, to be clear, I am in no way judging or criticizing anyone who is overweight or stressed – God knows since I hit menopause I have both of those. So please don’t misunderstand me. She is the matriarch of her family. She takes care of her husband since he had a knee surgery and takes care of her daughter and grandchild frequently, even if she has to miss work. “Family first” is her motto, and she will sacrifice herself to do it. Again, I’m not criticizing people being close to their families. My point is that she has nearly lost sense of her own needs and her own happiness. Her motivation is solely about others. But it comes at a high expense to her own health and inner peace. She is not living from the inside out. She is living from the outside in – for other people. This is her reality. If you ask her on any given day how she is, she will say “tired” and then tell you what is going on with her husband and granddaughter. It’s like her “self” is barely there. If she took a moment to check in with herself to see how she feels about having to take care of everyone, she would realize that it is not serving her very well. But I think she would suffer a loss of identity and feel very selfish if she ever said “no” to anyone.

In any relationship, you need to pay attention to how you feel. Are your own needs getting met? Are you feeling energized by your relationships? They don’t need to be sociopaths in order for the answer to be no. I am a massage therapist (as one of my professions). I have some clients around whom I feel energized. I could work on them for hours and not feel tired. ON the other hand, I have clients whom I feel drained around. There is no explicable reason for this. They are all good people. It’s just some people drain my energy and some replenish it. Some do both – it’s about 50-50. It doesn’t matter that I love them all. Being aware of how I feel around each person allows me to make choices. I can choose the people and situations that energize me. I remember I had to fire a massage client years ago because she was a constant drain of my energy. She overstepped her boundaries all the time, and I was always having to have “conversations” with her about her behaviors. Never mind that she was my most regular client and her business paid a lot of my bills.

When you start thinking in terms of “energy”, you can make better choices. The choices may be different than what seems obvious. You might give up a higher paying job because it drains your energy. And you might hang out with someone who doesn’t fit your picture of a relationship because he/she energizes you. It’s all about energy. Money are feelings are a form of energy. So if being around someone is making you feel bad or draining you financially, it may be a sign to back off from them.

Notice I say “if BEING AROUND THEM” makes you feel a certain way…..I didn’t say “if THEY make you feel”… This is because when you say someone “makes” you feel a certain way, you give your power to that person to control how you feel. Believe it or not, just changing your language when describing a situation can actually life your energy.

I guess that’s enough for now. 🙂

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