How to recognize and recover from the sociopaths – narcissists in your life › Forums › Lovefraud Community Forum – General › Characteristics of a Sociopath
November 14, 2017 at 2:40 am #42847
What has been your experience dealing with a sociopaths besides all the given lies and manipulation. I’m still trying to figure out if this guy is a sociopath, or not. He seems to have 2 different personalities. One is super funny and charming, the other was more serious and spoke in a monotone, with alot of ums and ahs. He makes heavy eye contact. Every-time I looked away he was still staring at me, like he is studying me, or something. I could never figure him out, or what he is up-to next. He loves to play mind games to get a reaction out of me. He is very unreliable, selfish, and flaky. He always makes promises that he can never keep, and loves to try and make me jealous. What are some other red flags that you have noticed about your sp so I can figure this guy out better.
November 16, 2017 at 7:17 pm #42867
Angelstar – all the traits that you mentioned fit the pattern of a sociopath. If you want to know more about their behavior you might want to get my book, “Red Flags of Love Fraud – 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath.” If the guy fits the description, get rid of him.
November 17, 2017 at 11:39 am #42873
When someone doesn’t loose eye contact for an extended period of time, basically staring, they’re more than likely a sociopath. My ex would sit and stare at me to make me uncomfortable. Out of the blue. He said it was a habit and didn’t know he was doing it. He also said he just liked to look at me. Thought I was pretty.(In other words, there was something wrong with ME because it made me uncomfortable.) It was clearly an intimidation ploy and a lame one at that.
November 18, 2017 at 12:39 am #42876
Sounds like you have him figured out enough to know this is not a person to interact with. “loves to play mind games ….. very unreliable, selfish, and flaky. He always makes promises that he can never keep, and loves to try and make me jealous.” Whatever the best label for his behavior, the best thing you can do for yourself is not have any contact with him.
November 26, 2017 at 11:57 pm #42952
The scary eyes where first given clue to me that he was a sociopath, and they tend to have dead eyes when they talk. I thought he kept starring at me because he was in love with me, or something, but then I notice he was doing it to other people as well. I have also read that many sociopaths seam to have ADHD, and some are diagnosed as bipolar/narcissists.
December 2, 2017 at 9:33 pm #43004
Ha! I actually made a list today of traits my ex had that prove he’s one.
1. Always needed adrenaline rushes and thrills.
2. Eerily calm (even happy) in dangerous situations.
3. Had a huge lack of boundaries. Nothing was “off limits” to him.
4. Admitted to having enjoyed torturing small animals when he was a kid.
5. Had an extremely abusive, neglectful childhood (this isn’t his fault of course but it seems to be a hallmark for sociopaths).
6. Could easily and comfortably have sex with people he just met.
7. Could easily and comfortably have “unethical” sex (married women, prostitutes, transsexuals, cousins)
8. A history of suicide attempts.
9. Could stare daggers into your soul (but had very empty-looking eyes)
10. Lied and manipulated like second nature.
If he’s not a sociopath then I don’t know who is honestly.
December 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm #43031
Characteristics of my sp
1. Kept pulling money out of me with no regard for how it was effecting my ability to pay my bills, care for my pet, do anything enjoyable for myself or family. Would always talk about plans on how he was paying me back next although never did. And how he was next going to come into money.
2. Never paid child support. Stated that the child support department were “blood suckers.” Trying to profit from a fatal tragedy to a family member. Borrowed and never paid back family members (even his own teenage daughter).
3. Consistent and extensive criminal history and disregard for the law. Dui, possession, not wearing a seatbelt, driving without a license, civil judgements to landlords and other civil judgements i assume were related to his business but maybe not. And he never made restitution and would never pay fines unless forced to to stay out of jail. He would then set up a payment plan and make one payment and start the process all over again. Complete disregard for the law, the courts, his responsibilities as a father, and the people he wronged.
4. Was irresponsible, careless, and never followed through on promises. Literally would tell me he would be right back and would always fail to come back. He could not understand what was wrong with this.
5. Physically was strong and sexual. Despite the lies and so forth could stare at me straight in the eyes. Was tender and sexual.
6. Referred to him self as “anti-social” a “nomad”.
7. No impulse control and complete lack of planning for the future. Was a pathological gambler and pot smoker. Would go from one contract job to another. Irrational goals for how to make money. Anything but consistent and steady.
8. Charismatic and charming. Made me feel sexy. Would always say how he loved how i did this or that in bed. Told me those things in the beginning that were things he planned to use in me such as…i am so caring…i take such good care of him…i am the only person he can trust…im so giving…he wanted to marry me and share a future together…constantly told me i was pretty and sexy and smart…
9. Pathological liar. Lied about so much even when it didn’t matter. It was hard to keep track of his lies and it was like they went in a circle and were so confusing. To really have called him on any of them i would have had to be literally writing down notes.
10. Love bomb yes. Gaslighting maybe not so much. There were times he would get caught in a lie or story and id be like we talked about that you said this and so on. I questioned myself a little but really i thought he was having some memory loss due to aging lol.
11. I never met his family. He only had 1 friend who i met for 5 minutes and he looked like a criminal. He always had a reason for why i shouldn’t meet his mother or daughter. I kind of think now its cause they know of another girlfriend or would have warned me had i had met them. Will never know.
I know this all sounds so awful. How could i have done this to myself? I am educated and smart. I am good with money and a good person. This thing, the sociopath, targeted me and raped me of all my good qualities. He took everything from me. And now i am left here, a victim, trying to pick up the pieces. I am shattered and embarrassed. He was so cunning and deceptive with no conscience. He met me at just the right time for him to attack my soul…after my father passed away unexpectedly and my husband left me after 16 years of marriage.
December 13, 2017 at 7:21 pm #43194
Besides the things above i have been thinking about how in the beginning at least he would allow me a few minutes of time to be together after sex but then literally half way through the nine months he was running out the door immediately after sex. One of the last times i was balling my eyes out because of it and he still just ran out the door. The person who was “so special to him that he lived that was his soulmate that was a good girl” had become a “nag” and “too emotional”. He started telling me i needed to be strong. Strong meant no expectations and giving him all the money i had. So upsetting and downright chilling to the bone. And i cant tell you how many times i tried to end it and he would pull me back in. Never again. I wish i would have ended it the first time. Even on the last day i saw him i said that my credit card went over the limit which makes it go to an outrageous percentage rate. He said it would be okay cause he was going to pay me the next day. That was over a week ago. He also told me that if i dont believe he loves me that i am stupid. Unbelievable. Nut given all of it i know i am not stupid. I know that he has no remorse. I know that many people have fallen for his scamming so i am far from alone. Thank god its over.
May 20, 2018 at 12:35 am #45567
Looking back on above with a little more clarity now. To answer how the topic started…the very first signs were: the predatory stare like a tiger ready to pounce on his prey, that he lived in a hotel room, and that by the 3rd date he had supposedly gad his wallet stolen which marked the beginning of the financial exploitation. The gaslighting i am seeing now with denying that things happened and things were said. And the hundred times he told me thirty thousand dollars isnt really a lot of money.
December 16, 2017 at 2:14 am #43213
Was him telling me i was too emotional and a nag and needed to be strong the “gaslighting”?
December 16, 2017 at 7:43 am #43214
A definition of “gaslighting” that I found on the internet is, “Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.” Based on this definition, I think you were.
December 16, 2017 at 12:15 pm #43224
I agree. It sounds like he was trying to make you believe that his behavior was normal and that your perception of his abusive behavior was inaccurate. He tried to make you believe that your normal emotional response to being mistreated was inappropriate and ‘too emotional.’ He tried to make you believe that when you attempted to talk about problems in the relationship, which is how misunderstandings and other glitches are worked out in normal relationships, that you were ‘nagging’ in an inappropriate way.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by AnnettePK.
December 3, 2017 at 11:21 pm #43032
These traits sound like a classic case of a very dangerous person. I’m so sorry he targeted you. He used your good and caring traits, your honesty, openness and trustworthiness, your ability to love and bond, against you. These are wonderful characteristics to have in a relationship with someone who loves and appreciates you.
You may recognize gaslighting and more lies as time goes on. Regarding #2, is it possible he had something to do with the tragic death of his family member? He sounds very dangerous. You might consider taking some steps to stay safe from him possibly harming you, if he thinks it would benefit him in some way.
December 4, 2017 at 9:02 am #43034
Thank you apk. Thank goodness i found this forum. He hasnt tried to contact me in two days. Its sad but i keep checking to see if he texted even though i blocked him. I dont think he believes that he could benefit from harming me. He no longer has a car since im not providing him with one. I do plan to file a case in small claims court not bc i think i will get a dollar from him but bc i want to do what i can to hold him legally responsible. He doesnt appear to have taken much offense to others who have filed civil cases against him but i am aware that he may try to contact me to talk me out of it. 2 days ago i did fear for my physical safety. When he was making me tell him what he did that was wrong. I told him some things and then said you are nit normal. He slammed the car door and went to the back seat behind me to get stuff out the back. In that moment i felt fearful. Like he wanted to hit me over the head or strangle me. He has never physically hurt me. He did have a battery charge from his exgirlfriend but explained that away by saying he was protecting his children. He has said that he has a gun but i dont know if that is true either bc he has sold anything of value that he has and it would b a probation violation and i dont think he could get one with his criminal record. Truth be told he could simply kill me with his hands if he wanted. But so far its quiet. I think maybe he fears i would contact his mother who he is living off of. He did not have anything to do with that fatal accident. Unless you consider that he is a poor parent and passed on his genes which contributed to the likelihood of the accident. He has “joked” about killing his mother. Its all so awful. You are right. I need to think of my safety.
December 4, 2017 at 3:38 pm #43044
I wondered to myself all day…am i safe? I dont think there is anything i can do really if he shows up at my house intending to harm me…im keeping my doors locked but that wouldnt stop him if he really wanted in. And i go in and out 10 times a day with the dog.
December 4, 2017 at 6:21 pm #43045
Traumatized41, It’s normal to feel like checking for a text from him; the important thing is not to let him catch you off guard so that you respond. If you feel like responding or he contacts you about something that you feel needs a response, consider waiting a day or more before sending your response. It’s helpful to allow yourself time to think about your response if any. You can always respond, but once sent or once you answer his call, you can’t take it back. Keep in mind his contacts will be all about manipulating you, trying to get you ‘hooked’ again, trying to get you to respond. In my experience, when my ex spath recognized that I had figured him out, he did not think it would be useful to him to exploit me and he pretty much left me alone. However they often make contact months, years, or decades later if they are trolling for prey – kind of like a check in to see if there’s anything worth victimizing in his view.
It’s true that a person bent on harming others can’t be stopped. It’s good that you’re aware, though, and keep your own safety in mind as you go about your days.
Your ex sounds potentially dangerous – joking about killing people is a red flag. Really important is how you felt the time you reference, “In that moment i felt fearful.” Empirical evidence shows that a woman’s intuition and feeling of fear is an accurate measure of real danger. A very good book on the subject is The Gift of Fear by Gavin deBecker. I found it helped me to be more aware of possible danger and to think more clearly about my ex psychopath’s motives and how he might choose to act. It took me a long time to realize that he has absolutely no inner restraints on his behavior. The only restraints are external – if he thinks he will get caught. I came to understand that he very well may have killed someone in the past or he may not have. Without a conscience, a spath is capable of anything if he thinks it will get him what he wants and he thinks he won’t get caught. You might consider the possibilities of him tampering with your car, or poison, or something that might look like an accident. Spaths do these type of things and they often don’t ever get caught. Also consider he may be eavesdropping on your computer, your phone, your car, or your physical whereabouts.
Another helpful tool to balance one’s view of potential danger is this professional grade survey that assesses the likelihood that someone may act violently. It’s made available in the public interest. The questions helped me think about my situation. https://www.mosaicmethod.com/
You sound like you’re doing very well.
December 4, 2017 at 9:16 pm #43049
Thank you so much. Very helpful.
December 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm #43061
Another characteristic was on my mind today as I took that mosaic method test mentioned above. The sp told me that he had wanted to shoot his dog in the past when it was time to put him to sleep bc this was to be the more humane choice than going to the vet. He then said he would have done it but his daughters would not let him. He said it would have been more humane cause the vet didnt give him the numbing shot by accident and only did the lethal injection. Notice something here reading this? I did not until today. He wouldnt have known yet it would have been more humane until after he wanted to shoot the dog “in the back of the head.” Who knows what is true but its disturbing. He later asked me if i wanted him to shoot my dog when its time which of course i said no. He referred to himself as an animal lover. And, he often referenced how much he lived and missed his dog.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by traumatized41.
December 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm #43064
Traumatized41, this guy sounds scary. It’s good that you’re thinking about his traits that could lead to violence. My ex spath also contradicted himself often with respect to cause and effect, because everything he said was to control, manipulate and deceive; there was lots of twisting of reality and it often didn’t make sense.
March 31, 2018 at 11:45 am #44891
So he had squirmed his way back into my life. He hurt my dog and probably got another thousand from me. Used my car and ate my food for a few months. Officially now going no contact. He sends me this text…”Abuse lol, you the dog , you can tell yourself that if it makes you feel better anyway.. I agree to your terms. Through paypal that was a lie about abuse and dog bullshit. Just to get me out you never cared for me. Lost a great job for you but ok … payments will be there.. all the best but never contact me again.” unbelievable. This animal is a low functioning sociopath. Thoughts anyone? Keep in mind his characteristics i posted above…all 30000 dollars…no friends…no child support…civil and criminal record that goes on and on… .
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by traumatized41.
March 31, 2018 at 1:00 pm #44893
I mean does a sociopath truly believe a response like the one above? That he was wronged? That i never cared about him? That he did not abuse me? Is that part of their distorted reality or simply a ploy or a dig to hurt me?
March 31, 2018 at 1:00 pm #44894
I know it’s easy to break no contact. What helps me to break the cycle is to learn how to forgive yourself. Once you learn how to forgive yourself it’s much easier to move on. You did not know what he was was realy like when you first met him, and now you just need to pick your self up and move forward. They tricked us into believing they were good people.
March 31, 2018 at 10:11 pm #44901
Thank you angelstar. You are right and your words are helpful. 🙂
March 31, 2018 at 2:15 pm #44899
Going through a rough time with an exspath myself (notice I’m not using “my” spath anymore, since she never was actually mine). I have many thoughts to add to the discussion, just need some time to get them down in writing. I’m sorry you are going through this traumatized41. I’m still having a hard time eating, sleeping and getting out of (and even into) bed. I hope you recover quickly and can keep up with your no contact policy.
March 31, 2018 at 10:07 pm #44900
Thanks altered reality. On another note while on the topic of characteristics of a sp…it was interesting at the end how when i told him he had exploited and financially abused me to which he responded he didnt take anything and that i always could have said no. This despite the pity plays and promises of how he was always going to immediately pay me back but never did. He did nothing wrong in his mind. Not to mention the times he did flat out take aka steal from me by making unapproved purchases on my cards and getting cash back with my debit card…
April 1, 2018 at 9:42 am #44904
Do they believe the nasty and hurtful things they say? In my experience, my ex psychopath said whatever he thought would work to get what he wanted, to manipulate, to hurt others. He is a pathological liar. Sadly, your ex likely said those horrible things to control you, to hurt you, and maybe on the off chance that you would feel guilty and/or sorry for him so that he would be able to continue to exploit you.
I found that once I understood and accepted what my ex psychopath’s motivations are, I was able to predict his behavior. It’s very difficult for a normal person to believe that anyone would want what spaths want, that anyone could be so uncaring about the well being of others, and could lie as much as they do. They fulfill the definition of evil.
Congratulations on your commitment to have no more contact with your ex! It is the most difficult thing in the world; and it is the best thing you can do for yourself and for the other people in the world who care about you and value you.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by AnnettePK.
April 7, 2018 at 11:15 am #45019
About a week since I kicked the sp out. Looking back, the best thing would be if he didn’t actually hurt my dog and I got him out for good. But I know he very well he may have hurt my poor puppy. I think I am now past the point of researching the characteristics of the sp. I know he is one. 100 percent sure. I am going to church tonight to help me on my way to recover. I think maybe it is good that if this had to happen that it happened now and not 15 years from now when I would have had all my retirement money to give. I certainly learned a lesson here but wish I never would have learned it at all. Some things I thought about this week included how I would have to try to explain to him the basic importance of principles of trust and honesty and responsibility like I was talking to a five year old. Makes me chuckle a little about how inept he is. How many times I remember saying to him, “i don’t know why you don’t understand this.” And how he would say, “thirty thousand dollars is not really a lot of money.” This coming from a man who has no house, car, or regular employment. And one last thing. He brought up on several ocassions the topic of suicide. I am not sure if this was to mess with my head or forewarn me by saying that if he ever went to prison for a long time he would kill himself. As in don’t do it to me or else. Not sure. Just all in all disturbing. The whole experience has been very traumatic. But I am starting to move on.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by traumatized41.
April 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm #45021
Good you are moving on!!!
April 7, 2018 at 2:01 pm #45023
traumatized41 – everything you describe is typical sociopathic behavior, including the threats of suicide. They say it to exert control over you, to make you feel guilty. If he is thinking about suicide it is not your problem. Now that you have thrown him out, I hope you have also implemented No Contact. Do not talk to him ever again.
April 7, 2018 at 11:01 pm #45082
Traumatized, Sounds like you are strong and doing a good job moving on. Being manipulated and exploited by a spath is very traumatizing. The damage is real, and recovery takes time and work. Getting out and socializing, like going to church, is a great idea.
April 9, 2018 at 8:19 pm #45098
Thank you fellow forum helpers. No I am not speaking to him. I am done forever. Took about ten different times to finally say adios for good. I went to the bank today and asked them what I could do with one check he had written me exactly one year ago. They basically told me I was out of luck and that its too old. Grrrr. I didnt really think i would see any money from him but hoped i could add a charge on his record. I am reading psychopath free which i am finding insightful. The whole way he would always compare me to his “terrible” mother and “controlling” ex girlfriend all the time. And then when i would start acting in a way he didnt like or question him he would put me down by saying i was like them. And the word salad and trying to bring things around to being my fault. So terrible. Now, i work in the helping field and have had some although limited work with persons with aspd. Why in school and in treatment and in public are not all of these shared characteristics addressed. Seriously, all i have ever learned or been taught is they “lack empathy” and can be manipulative.” Everyone should talk more about how they do what they do so maybe there would be a greater understanding and therefore better protection or preparation for all. The look on the bank lady’s face when i told her what happened to my money said it all. As she shook her head in disappointment. Thanks lady that is so not what i needed right now lol! .
April 9, 2018 at 9:13 pm #45099
You could file suit in small claims court, get a judgement against him, and if he ever has any money you could levy on wages or take similar action. However, you might not win in a civil action; he may never have money so you’ll never collect; there may be other creditors he owes money to ahead of you; and most important: you are most likely better off overall if you don’t have that kind of contact with him and continue to be linked to him in any way. Your well being is more important.
It sounds like you’re doing great getting yourself free and recovering from the harm he caused. It is so painful and a lot hard work. It is normal to leave an abuser many times, as you experienced, before a victim leaves ‘for good.’
In addition to this wonderful site, Lovefraud, you might find some additional good information here: http://saferelationshipsmagazine.com/who-does-that-part-1-3
Could you explain more about how you felt about the bank teller’s reaction, and what would have been more helpful?
April 9, 2018 at 9:22 pm #45101
Her reaction was blaming…shaking her head in disappointment like i should have known better. 18 months ago I probably would have reacted the same way. I guess people dont understand unless they have been through it. Inly then probably can they understand the level if manipulation involved.
April 9, 2018 at 9:14 pm #45100
Just a couple of notes on above…when i say i work in the helping profession and that i have worked with some sociopaths it was only because those sociopaths had other co-occuring disorders that warranted help. I didn’t want anyone to think i believed that aspd could be helped or was deserving of help. And, I know how he was always comparing me was a tactic to control my behavior. Ugh…
April 10, 2018 at 1:07 am #45102
April 10, 2018 at 10:47 am #45105
Traumatized, Thanks for explaining about the bank teller. I understand. Because of similar responses, I became very selective about whom I actually shared the details and the real story about my ex psychopath. What worked for me was to say something short and simple, like, ‘I found out he was stealing from me’ or ‘I found out he was cheating on me,’ or ‘I found out he was doing porn’ or….fill in the blank with a description of the spath’s behavior in simple terms. It doesn’t describe the horror and the trauma, but it’s something that people who don’t really understand can sort of get. Still, I get responses like ‘All guys do porn,’ and then I decide whether to mention it was child porn or gay porn….or just say, ‘well, it wasn’t acceptable to me.’
I relate to your observation that you wouldn’t have understood before you experienced the evil of a spath experience first hand. I didn’t even really know what abuse was before I experienced it myself. I was inwardly pretty judgemental and kind of assumed that being abused is something that a woman lets happen to her; and that it would never happen to me. I was humbled and I am truly compassionate in ways I wasn’t. Even though I said the right things, inwardly I was thinking that abuse victims were complicit in some way.
April 25, 2018 at 12:35 pm #45269
How is it that sociopaths all end up using pretty much the same techniques to exploit someone? Something like “crocodile tears” could be easily figured out as an effective ploy. But, the mirroring, gaslighting and triangulation appear to be so advanced and intricate. Is it their keen ability to study a target and then they all learn these are the most effective techniques?
May 11, 2018 at 8:22 pm #45435
As time goes on I recognize more the triangulation. And sexual degradation. I did email his mother. I know this could have caused me more harm than good but i honestly couldnt have asked for a better response. She confirmed everything and told me he has made it his career robbing women blind. She told me not to blame myself. She told me she would pray for me. Im glad i did it but plan to not contact her again. I took my case to the police. My employee assistance program ended up giving free lawyer consult. The police arent going to charge him so next is 30 day letter then private complaint to magistrate to press criminal charges. Therapist appointment monday. She has experience with abuse but not abuse by a sociopath. Ill try to educate her lol. Moving on slowly… I will NEVER have anything to do with that shell of a human ever again.
May 11, 2018 at 10:18 pm #45436
Thanks for the update; it’s good to know you’re moving forward and doing what you can legally. Good that the email exchange with his Mother went well. It’s likely that she suffers a lot due to her son’s behavior; it’s likely heartbreaking for her.
Your commitment to having no more contact with him is the best thing in the world you can do for yourself. You are making room in your life for interactions with good people who care about your well being as you care about theirs.
May 12, 2018 at 9:32 am #45437
I agree with annette. you are doing the right thing.
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