lf2

How can you know when you’ve encountered a sociopath?

“The motivation (for lying) is particularly baffling in endogenous deceit when the psychopath may appear to have everything he wants yet continues quite predictably to commence the manipulative cycle.” So says Dr. Reid Meloy in The Psychopathic Mind, p121.

“I don’t think they even eat an ice cream cone just for pleasure, I think they do everything for the effect it has, or the image it presents. It isn’t about what is REAL it is about what they can appear to be. To them, I think, if they can get others to believe it, then it becomes “reality” as far as they are concerned.” So says Ox Drover in a comment on this blog.

There is complete agreement about one thing regarding sociopaths, that is lying defines them. While studies show that many people lie daily, the lying behavior of sociopaths differs in both degree and kind from “normal” lying. Sociopaths do not just misrepresent the truth in small ways to spare someone’s feelings, avoid an argument or avoid trouble. Sociopaths misrepresent themselves and this misrepresentation extends to everyone they know. (For more advanced readers, there may not be much of a self there to misrepresent.)

You don’t need a checklist

So today I can tell you with confidence that you don’t need a checklist of symptoms or a forensic expert. If you are astounded by another person’s capacity to lie and misrepresent reality you can be sure you have encountered a sociopath.

I said a few weeks ago that I think Meloy’s book The psychopathic Mind is a great contribution to humanity. In this book, Meloy puts forth the idea that we can identify “psychopaths” by observing what he calls “the psychopathic process.” I searched the book for a precise definition of “the psychopathic process” and couldn’t find one but he implies that psychopathy is defined by the way a person interacts with others and with him/herself. He also says that it is possible to identify a “psychopath” by the way that person makes you feel. If you can look within yourself and monitor your own reactions you can learn to tell when you are face to face with “the psychopathic process.”

It doesn’t “work” on me anymore!

I have learned what it feels like to be “worked” and because I know what that feels like, “it” doesn’t work on me anymore. Sociopaths do not just lie, they work people. Their relationships are an occupation for them and it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure. They will even work when there is no apparent reason to. Why do they do this? They do this because there is nothing else they can do. They have little or no capacity to look within and find an inner compass of values and pleasures. As Ox Drover points out, the only real pleasure they have is their “work.”

Dr. Meloy gives a great example of a psychopath “at work” on page 138 when he discusses a professional who was “worked” by a psychopath. Knowing that he was going to be assigned a certain probation officer, the psychopath asked others who knew her about her interests. On discovering that the woman was interested in metaphysics and the writings of Alfred North Whitehead, the psychopath went and read the writings. He then gained the respect and admiration of the P.O. because he discussed these writings as if he too had a genuine interest in them that predated his knowledge of her.

Meloy says, “He does not just play the role, observing the limits of his character, but lives the part.” People are taken in by the psychopath’s work because in the moment the psychopath really thinks and feels the part. His part is real and yet also a deception.

You know you are being worked when the things you love/enjoy are mirrored in this way. You can tell the difference between this mirroring and real sharing by the extent to which the other person tries to build your enthusiasm and point to the apparent “twin-ship” you share. This mirroring and twin-ship can occur with big things as in the metaphysics example and it can occur with little things as in the ice cream example.

Now if you know what I am talking about, you have been worked; you are likely far along in the recovery process because you know what this feels like. If you have only a vague notion of what I am saying, Dr. Meloy has other words of wisdom for you.

In the psychopathic process there is a “complete disconnect between words and actions.” If you notice that a person’s actions point south and their words point north, you are dealing with a sociopath. To be concrete, if the person says they love you and either doesn’t spend much time with you, or repeatedly harms and stresses you, you are in the middle of a psychopathic process. But remember since the person “lives the part” at the moment he/she is with you and says “I love you” there is some vague reality to the statement (especially if the person has the disorder in a lesser form, see last week). To see the psychopathic process, you have to train yourself to pay attention to both a person’s words and to remember that person’s deeds at the same time.

If you do this you will be able to see the disconnect between words and deeds and the psychopathic process. If you begin to see the psychopathic process, it is very important that you not share this observation with the psychopath. He or she will not benefit from your feedback and may even become violent. At the moment you see the process, you must discipline yourself and disconnect. If you have problems with self-discipline you likely need a therapist to help you disentangle from the psychopathic process.

Recovery and discovery are about learning to pay attention. Pay attention to yourself and pay attention to what other people say and do. Most people need help in order to learn the skill of paying attention. That is the kind of help a good therapist can give you.

In the next few weeks we’ll talk more about the psychopathic process. Please feel free to share your experience of being worked or the disconnect between words and deeds.


Comment on this article

304 Comments on "How can you know when you’ve encountered a sociopath?"

Notify of

Dear Liane,

You made it all seem so simple…WORDS vs. ACTIONS! And, really, it IS actually almost that simple, it is getting our heads (what we see and is logical) to over ride our hearts (and what we WANT TO SEE and is emotional.)

I’m currently in the middle of two books on just that subject of using logic to over ride our poor emotional responses.

Here is my example of a disconnect between words and deeds:

Spath’s sister had custody of his son since the son’s mother was ill with a heart condition. Spath never held a seady job and had never paid child-support, and his sister, having four kid’s of her own was having trouble making ends meet. Spath angrily says that his X should be paying child support and he thinks he’s going to take her to court…(shakes head in wonderment.)

Another example: I am working as a waitress in a job I particularly dis-like. Am working grave-yards and doubles just to keep a roof over our heads…as I said before, Spath won’t work…I am angry that I am the only one who is bearing any responsibility, and that I amover-whelmed…I am complaining about this, and Spath says, “Kim, EVERYBODY has to work for a living.” Are you out of your ever-lovin” mind?

They are absolutley incapable of seeing themselves…they are like vampires, they have no reflection.

I have also become aware of this phenomenon: If I buy into Spath’s BS Spaths BS becomes reality. For example: Spath would always return as if his dasterdly deeds had never happened and all was right with the world…if I confrontedhim we went round and round over and over again. If I didn’t confront him, then his image was intact, and he really WAS a pretty good guy after-all. NO WIN situation.

So so glad to be free.

Oh, Kimmie, you make me LAUGH SO HARD MY EYES WATER!!! I swear I am having trouble getting my breath! I can SEE him talking about how “everyone has to work, so quit yer bitchin'” EVeryone EXCEPT HIM of course, cause he didn’t have to work, HE HAD YOU!!!!! TO WORK FOR HIM!!!! LOL ROTFLMAO

And him taking his son’s mother to court for child support when the reason she wasn’t taking care of the kid was she was too ill to!!!! Never even DAWNED on him that HE should pay support! OUT OF YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY! LOL ROTFLMAO Oh, Kimmie! The BS we buy is so transparent and yet we buy it anyway. Talk about a “pig in a poke”!!!!

(Head nodding here) Kimmie, you nailed it with those great examples! Thanks for giving me a great laugh! I know AT THE TIME IT HAPPENED it was NOT funny, but now that we can LOOK BACK, we can laugh together at what we put up with!

I’m glad you’re free of him too, Kim!!! TOWANDA!!!!

Liane,

Going back over your article, it makes me think about the “workings” of a psychopath, especially one in the “high end” of the spectrum, such as my P-son or my P-sperm donor.

A couple of years ago when my P son wanted a surgery on his shoulder which had been repeatedly injured in prison fights and the PA and APN in the medical department wouldn’t let him see the MD so he could present his case, he had a copy of his medical records sent to me, and then asked me to contact the physician by letter and telephone and see if I could get the surgery arranged. I did and he got his shoulder surgery and had ankle and wrist surgeries scheduled but I’m not sure if he ever actually had those surgeries.

In any case, in preparation for the parole hearing, I was actually reading through these medical records, and actually found where he had been listed by one of the practitioners as “High in ASPD traits” and also found where he had CONNED the psych therapist there about his “heavy grief” issues—he told her his “nephew” had died and he was so torn up. Well, the “nephew” he was talkin about was my other son’s STEP son that the P son had never met, or communicated with in any way! LOL

In these medical records every time he was put in solitary he had a physical and mental exam and had to fill out a form. He put on the form for Education level that he had a “BS in Computer Science”—well, for a kid who dropped out of high school his senior year, got a GED in prison (twice) and had never taken a single college course or been out of prison/jail more than a few months at a time—-(which any staff there could have checked in his record) HOW ON EARTH COULD HE HAVE A BS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE? Now I don’t doubt that he had edeucated himself and probably had as much computer knowledge as most people with a BS in CS but he wanted to IMPRESS THE GUARDS that were throwing him in solitary for breaking the rules! He wanted them to think he was “better” than the average “dumb convict.” That was very important to him.

“They will lie when the truth would fit better.”

Sure, my son IS smart. He had every opportunity to go to every gifted and talented program offered—so how’d he use them? He cut class and stole things from our friends, from us, and from strangers. He went to jail, then skipped out on bail instead of graduate with his class from High School.

He didn’t have to steal–he had most of the things that any kid could want…a computer when few kids had them, a fine horse to ride, pilot lessons, a step father who liked to spend time with him, and sharing his knowledge. Parents who valued education and would have assisted him to whatever degrees he wanted to attain.

What we would NOT allow him to have though that he wanted was a motor cycle as long as he lived in our home. So he stole one and kept it at a friend’s house. Until the cops caught him. Though he had been taught to shoot when he was very young, we wouldn’t let him carry a gun, so he stole one from a customer of ours and took it to school to show off, until THANKFULLY one of the kids he showed it to had sense enough to tell the school cop, who came to me.

Everything in his life was about “impressing” others with what he had, or what he could/would do. Impressing others with him being a “billy bad ass” on his stolen crotch-rocket with his stolen gun in his pocket. Not very impressive to most people actually. It would have been much more “impressive” to ask his girl friend if she’d like to go to the prom in a helicopter instead of a limo, which would have been something he COULD have done, instead of romping around with the stolen MC and then going to jail.

But it is all about the image that THEY think is “cool” and not what is actually impressive—like a PhD, or an Airline Transport Rating, or honesty, courage and back bone, the ability to love and be empathetic. Those are IMPRESSIVE things, not “hot” rides or highly risky behaviors that land you in prison.

It was so difficult for me to fathom that his moral compass, his idea of “what’s cool, and what’s not” was 180 degrees off of what I thought was “cool” and exciting and adventurous and fun! He could have had it “all” and still stayed out of jail, but he opted for the “impression” of it, not the REALITY of it. So now I can get two new bumper stickers, “My kid is an honor student at the state correctional facility” and the “My kid can beat up your honor student.” Don’t that make me proud!

This is a very good article. And goes back to that inner knowing that is felt when talking to a sociopath. You feel like something it off.. then you know it.

If you listen to the first rumblings inside yourself,you can avoid lots of pain.

http://blog.womenexplode.com/2010/09/02/recent-murder-hits-close-to-home.aspx

From the article above, “To see the psychopathic process, you have to train yourself to pay attention to both a person’s words and to remember that person’s deeds at the same time.”

This is so crucial.
Pay attention when someone is talking to you, and really LISTEN to what they are saying!!

I would also add the LOGIC of a psychopath’s dialogue is also very selfish and twisted at times.
So, try to also pay attention to the LOGIC of what they are saying.
Sometimes it’s so incoherent, you can not even follow it.
They are brilliant at spinning conversations, making themselves out to be the “innocent” victim at all times.
They are also great at displaying self-righteous superiority when they are close to being challenged in a meaningful way…while simultaneously shaming the victim.

There is no such thing as talking to a psychopath.

Psychopaths view conversation as a method of CONTROL.

A conversation with a psychopath is nothing more than a POWER STRUGGLE.

I think that’s why people complain of feeling “drained” and like they are not being heard after engaging with a psycho.

That’s because it was not a real conversation.
It was a power struggle, and the psychopath never backs down in that situation…no matter how ridiculous he/she may look or sound.

The only way to control dialogue with a psychopath is to exit the conversation.

Don’t worry about getting the last word with a paychopath.
Sometimes getting the last word is going No Contact.

I think another mistake people make is treating each mis-deed of the psychopath as an isolated incident.
They will never be able to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, because they are only looking at one part of the picture.
Sometimes you need to step back and look at the big picture.
I look at psychopathy as more of a syndrome, where each incident feeds into a larger picture of what’s actually going on.

I think that’s why some people think they will never encounter a psychopath, or that it will never happen to them.

It’s because these types of people are unable to look at the totality of a person.
They are also uneducated about personality disorders, so they don’t know what to listen for in conversation, either.

They only see what they want to see, and they don’t believe it will ever happen to them.
This is a very bad combination, leaving them extremely vulnerable and a nice juicy target for a predator.

Example of disconnect between words and actions: Whenever I would catch my ex boyfriend in a lie or cheating, the first (self-righteous) words out of his mouth were, “When I was married, I NEVER cheated on my wife!!!”
He knew how much I wanted to be married, and he painted this FANTASY in my head that we would be married SOMEDAY and we would “have it all”.
So, when he was caught, he played to the fantasy instead of the REALITY of what was actually going on at the time.

In hindsight, I believe he was also implying that if we were married, there would be no more cheating.
I see this as sinister, because we all know if a man cheats before marraige, he will cheat after marriage, right?
Thank God my mother and grandmother pounded that principle into my head as a young girl.
I was never able to get past the cheating, and finally found my way out.

I’m ashamed to say it, but I fell for that crap over and over and over again.
I don’t know what to say except that I was young and naive back then…..that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

Good stuff in this article. I’m ordering this book.

Rosa, you are so RIGHT! about looking at the BIG and ENTIRE picture.

“John is SUCH A GOOD GUY, when he is NOT ROBBING BANKS.”

John may be the best guy in the world, the best little league coach and father, the most faithful husband, but if he is robbing banks on the side, it DOES NOT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE WHAT HE IS GOOD AT. Look at TED BUNDY, great friend, etc. when he WAS NOT KILLING AND RAPING.

Sometimes psychopaths can act like “great guys” while they are living the “masked life,” but the OTHER THEM is a MONSTER of horrible proportions. I think that is a big part of what confuses some people when the MASKED SIDE IS UN-MASKED, like the BTK killer, John Wayne Gacy etc. Because they only saw the “masked person” and never the UN-masked, they cannot conceive that the TOTAL PICTURE is all FAKE and the REAL them is what was behind the mask.

Good examples, Rosa. I think your XS’s statement that He never cheated when he was married served several puposes…it dangled a carrot in front of your eyes, something he knew you wanted, it reinforced your insecurity because, after all You weren’t married, it made you believe that if you were, he wouldn’t cheat, or that he was capable of not cheating, and by inference, almost said that until and unless he was married, HE WOULD CHEAT. It probably made you wonder why he wasn’t marrying you. Scum bag. I’m so glad you dumped him. YOU DESERVE BETTER.

Thanks Liane for this acknowledgment of the women/men themselves to know the ‘feeling’ of being worked as opposed to a checklist!!!!Oh I’ve been “worked” alright…and I know what it feels like…does that mean I’m immune? probably not (even if the Pope of Psychiatry told me I’m immune I’d be suspicious) lol

This site has really helped me work with this stuff so that I really do feel as if I’m growing, learning, expressing myself in a quiet (sometimes not so quiet) way. I have been influenced by posters here in many different ways, but I carry their essence with me now and call on it often…Gem, Geminigirl, bluejay, Chinagirl, Hens,
verity, delta1….just spoilt for choice in quality posters!!!!

OxDrover allowed me the luxury and the right to say “no” to friends, put to rest tired outworn relationships that had ‘died’

One step gives me the feeling of expansion and determination in the face of much pain…some spirit that just will not give up!

Kim Frederick and her soul searching has really parrallells with my own and it’s great to think another inch along with her

Donna and her outrageous bubblyness that seems to just be getting started!! how out of hiding you are, out of the shame in the open, tall and proud.

what you guys say makes me feel PART of a greater whole, being alone is a thing of the past….eh why Am I writing this like I’m about to retire or something…no way, I stay! just appreciative of you all so much…thank you

I named myself fearless because that is where I want to be, not where I am. My encounter with a soc has so damaged my faith in humanity that I do not trust strangers in any capacity & truly don’t trust the soc whom I have feared would have ended our relationship tragically had I not begun to see the light and got him out. I believe this encounter was an incredible life lesson of great value. My blind trust is the goodness of people is gone. I have an armor now. I have tuned into my gut and I don’t even look at those I identify as dangerous/evil. It’s not the way they may look or dress; it’s what they might say, a tone or facial expression and I am in chain mail.

Dr. Leedon is right on–Don’t give them any insight into what it is to have a heart. No visible reaction to their callousness, no words to use against you or impress their next victim, no information to allow them to bore their way back in, no power over you emotionally, physically, financially, or legally. Remember the high road and you will avoid crossing their path.

Thanks to reading this blog and articles on this site I have an understanding of the process (kim–you are so right about the nice guy act following vial tantrum and inflicting trauma). I am also able to identify features of this personality, have empathy that turns to pity for those victims of these liars & players. Take for instance (if you can bear it) the relationshit between Sammi (enabler) and Ronnie (P/S/N) from “Jersey Shore.” I can only hope that young people will get the right message: don’t allow yourself to be a victim like Sammi and if you are a Ronnie, God help you.

Dr. Leedom’s heading, “It doesn’t work for me anymore” is so empowering. I have taken this approach moving two steps forward, one step back. I’ll have to take this as a new mantra to continue my process. Thanks for the support out there and for the REAL people that do preserve my faith in humanity, with caution this time.

Thank_you, Bulletproof. I feel the same way about you.

We never cease to amaze me, and I’m also greatful to have this site and all the couragious and insightful folks that share it with me.

fearlesspeace- what a beautiful quality to ASPIRE to…leave it as a wonderful goal you reach for….but what I hear you saying NOW is you don’t trust anyone and the belief in people being good is shot to hell. Totally understandable.

I would encourage you to express yourself just by continuing to put words out here, and let your thoughts be interacted with…it works like a blender, in that you are allowing space around your bitterness and anger, and that is what actually can break it down and transform it into a less harmful, emotion….so you allow remarks, observations about yourself and also get some comfort….it’s awful to experience this kind of evil, it’s miserable and you need a steadying hand and the feeling of support…..so go for it…

kim F- Yay! it’s great

BP, Let me make one “correction” in your post above the last one, I didn’t GIVE you the luxury to put tired old friendships out to pasture, I validated that YOU COULD. YOU are the one that DID IT. You give yourself credit where credit is due girlfriend!

NONE of us here can GIVE anyone anything except some validation or ideas, each of us has to RUN WITH THEM on their own.

I liken it to a friend being your “birthing coach” YOU ARE THE ONE WHO STILL HAS TO PUSH THAT BABY OUT THROUGH THE PAIN! All the encouragement in the world isn’t going to DO IT FOR YOU!

I’m glad that I encourage you to DO it, but at the same time, darling I am proud of you for DOING what you know is right! What is RIGHT FOR YOU!!!!! (((Hugs))))

fearless,

NEWSFLASH: NOT everyone is good.

Wow, what a revelation. But you know what, that’s reality! You have accepted reality.

FALSEHOOD: Everyone has some good in them way down deep.

FALSEHOOD: Anyone can be helped if you just love them enough.

TRUTH: there ARE people out in the world who are EVIL who will hurt you no matter how good you are to them. Who will take advantage of you.

So what to do? Use CAUTION and you will learn which ones you can trust and which ones you cannot trust. BE WISE.

You have now won the “wisdom is learning who is trustworthy, not giving trust away to just anyone” award! Congratulations!!! TOWANDA!!!! You are learning! Good job!!!!

FearlessPeace:

Let’s talk Jersey Shore for a second…

Did you see season 1 of Jersey Shore???

In season 1 of Jersey Shore, it was Sammi who was the psychopathic one, and Ronnie was the big Jughead who was being played by Sammi.

Did you see in season 1 when Ronnie’s parents came to visit, and Sammi made his entire family sit and wait while SHE got ready????!!! VERY NARCISSISTIC of Sammi to do that.

And then (Season 1), when Ronnie got into the fight on the boardwalk, Sammi turned on the tears and made it all about herself by accusing Ronnie of “traumatizing” her.
Very selfish and manipulative move, and Ronnie fell for it.

In season 1, Sammi isolated Ronnie from the entire house and completely monopolized all of his time, and Ronnie was a willing victim, of course.

In season 1 of Jersey Shore, Sammi was the psychopathic one and Ronnie was the puppet, my opinion.

In season 2, Ronnie is definitely being a bad dude with everything he is doing, and he knows it.
He’s being a typical 24 year old guy.

But, he never did these things in Season 1.
So, what’s the deal with the big turnaround in Ronnie’s behavior?

I believe he saw what a FOOL she made out of him in season 1, and now he’s fed up with Sammi.

He even gave a little insight into how she has treated him when he said to her on the first show of the 2nd season, “You’re UNGRATEFUL.”

I think there is a reason that Ronnie is acting so badly this season, after being a completely devoted boyfriend to Sammi last season.
I think Ronnie is tired of being manipulated by his psychopathic girlfriend.
He’s tired of trying to please someone who cannot be pleased, and he’s letting off a little steam.

It’s Ronnie’s behavior that has done a complete 180 degree turnaround from last season.
Sammi is still calm, cool, and collected.
The only difference is that this season she is framing herself as a victim, even more than last season.
And she’s still trying to regain control over Ronnie.

Sammi & Ronnie should definitely not get married.

I wish there were more men on this site who would offer their opinion on what Ronnie is doing.

But you know, the dynamic between Sammi and Ronnie is actually insignificant within the scope of the show.

Because it’s really all about SNOOKI & THE SITUATION!!! 🙂

Gotta love those Jersey Shore kids….comedy relief.

Dr. Leedom,

Absolutely one of the best articles, straight forward and to the point. Thank you.

I often say a conversation with the p daughter is like sticking your head inside a blender. If she had a one question test, are you a man or a woman, she would have to say man, just to have something to lie about.

Thank goodness I have finally learned how to deal, I become totally disconnected when I am forced to talk with her. It is like I am talking to a computer, I hear her words, but they have no meaning to me.

Thanks again for the great article.

In this article, it said that the spath ‘works’ people. Absolutely, this is the game they play and we victims are the puppets they play with.

The spath cannot be told he’s lying. It’s always not him, I’m not that guy, I’m a good guy, I take care of my family and I’m NOT the person you think I am. I think that underneath his mask, he knows that something is wrong. “You think I have some sort of alter-ego, I’m not that person, I’m just like everyone else.” Maybe he has a notion that he’s different and doesn’t want to be different.

The lying though, he absolutely hates if you think badly of him and will try and talk you out of it, even when you have concrete evidence. I had to tell the spath that I will do whatever it takes to protect myself and my children, so go ahead and slander me, we’ll see where that gets you. He’s pushed me way too far. Go ahead and tell the psychologist that I’m “coaching” our daughter. I will get a custody evaluation so fast your head will spin, daughter will tell the truth. He is desperatly afraid of friends and family having a low opinion of him, he will want to keep his secrets.

Sorry about the digression, he just WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ugh!!!! It’s so frustrating.

Nothing prepares you for this, the depth of their lying.

Fearless, OxDrover,

One of the things that I hear most often from people who contact Lovefraud is, “I didn’t know such evil existed.” Yes, it does.

Because there’s so little awareness of this sociopathy, we see the warning signs – like words going south and actions going north – and don’t know what they mean. That’s how we get caught.

How do you know when you’ve encountered one?

Read, read, read.

Read everything on lf.

Dr. Hare-Without Conscience
Dr. Martha Stout-Sociopath next door

read, read, read……. and be open to the truth and reality of what you’re really dealing with. This has been what has helped me.

Yes, this is a ‘simple’ but yet profound key to identifying a psychopath. For people who tend to really think out situations, it’s especially difficult, because we want to give people the ‘benefit of the doubt’. We don’t want to ‘judge’ unfairly. Most of us that fall into the victim category, tend to adhere to the good in people, or that people are good, until they show us otherwise. Well, that’s fine to be upbeat and optimistic, but animals don’t operate on this principle. They operate on ‘gut instinct’ and we do have ‘gut instinct’, but many times we tend to override that. MISTAKE! This is where the psychopath’s words come into power. If they can spin the words good enough, they can cause us to override that natural warning system we have. That’s why it’s so important to listen to the warning, view the actions, and compare the two. In the beginning their actions do match their words, but always, there are red flags and that little unsure feeling in the stomach. When I get that feeling, I listen now. I know something doesn’t jive.

Twice Betrayed,

That feeling in your stomac, it’s hard to discribe, almost like you have butterflies but not quite. When you say something to the spath and they look at you like you are an idiot and you feel like you have been repremanded and are wrong. Like there is something wrong but I can’t identify it, that feeling in your stomac that churns.

Spath would tell me to “be careful what I said”, I would get the feeling and shut up. Like I couldn’t speak my mind. Now I know better, I was such a wimp, door mat. Yuck!

Hope: yes, it is. Kinda of like your stomach says, “Uh, oh.”
Sure, the P knows you are getting close to the truth and you’d better not voice it! Your job is to keep the illusion going. And his job is to rule in terror to ensure that you do! If we push these people with the truth, it can be dangerous, depending on their violence level. That’s why when we see behind the mask, take these people to task etc, the abuse escalates. The only solution is to disengage/walk. We start out thinking all they need is ‘direction’. HA! They push the envelope till they cause mass destruction all around them. More often they wind up alone, unless they are willing to ‘buy’ someone. I have two PX’s. One is alone after 5 marriages, one has bought himself a wife/maid.

Twice Betrayed,

Yup, good thing that I haven’t seen any violence, doesn’t mean that it’s not possible. I think I got myself a lower level spath, or at least not the violent type.

He is soooo afraid of being alone, probably because they have no soul and it’s hard to live alone with just your evil self. I bet they would drive themselves mad without victims to mess around with. They get off on the illusion of the mask they wear and we were all lined up saying “pick me!” Why do we grow up believing in fairy tales? Believing that people are who say they are and not mind f***ers.

Thank gosh you got rid of yours and you can watch the self destruction from a safe distance. Ultimately, you have the last laugh.

Dear Rosa:

I enjoyed reading what you had to say. Very good.

TB, my X N hub is in the process of being swindled by a woman (?) from Gianna, who is heaping on the poor me, I’m so helpless, (but so sexy) ploy and he is buying it. He wants to bring her to America. Sheesh! He just doesn’t learn. When I asked him why he didn’t just find a woman,here in America, he answered, “women here suck. I want a subserviant woman.” He apologized later, but really showed his true colors in that statement and in his behavior.

When I married him I was a single mother of two little girls on welfare (my first husband never paid a dime toward child-support and I had both kids by the time I was 20.) I LOVED him, but realize now that I wanted a rescuer:; someone who would protect me from the big bad world, and just love me forever.

Well, it wsn’t long til he tired of all the responsibility and really started to resent it. He wanted a pliant woman/girl child that would endlessly adore him, but he couldn’t really give anything back on an emotional level.

When I was about 27 I went back to school, developed a backbone and some self-esteem, and he just shut down emotionally and eventually found an adoring 17 yr old Navy recruit to bond with, intimately. (He was a Navy recruiter)

So, may point is this: He is threatened by anything he can’t control, and he doesn’t have any confidence in himself, and He hasn’t learned a damn thing in all these years…He’s still looking for a wounded bird to rescue, thinking that’s the answer. Thank God I can learn from my mistakes.

Hope: you are right! They are terrified of being alone. They can’t manage their lack of emotions and always need a ‘yes woman’.

kim: My second PX has ‘imported’ a woman from another country that needs/wants American citizenship. They always get someone in a disadvantage, so they can keep power. He also loves teen girls. I suspect his cheating with teens is still going strong. I also suspect my X is bi. I’ve seen him show the same interest for male teens.

First X will take anyone, that doesn’t cost him any $$, he worships $$.

Rosa- No I didn’t see season one–goes to show my read on people is still a bit off. You are right, “they should not get married!” I guess it does take two to tango.

Oxy-Seriously, have I been under a rock all my life?? I should know there are bad people in the world, but rotten to the core and soulless??–I was nabbed by the devil, but I got myself back! <3

Kim-Similar situation with me. S/N would repeatedly tell me, "If we ever get divorced he would find a dumb girl." He talked about "getting a young woman from another country (China/ Russia)." God help any woman that comes along–although he won't likely put the work in to get someone else and will likely make every attempt to be a thorn in my side.

Praying for a speedy divorce!

Fearless today.

Sociopaths string you along with words, but don’t produce the goods, not living up to their word, being completely without integrity. I do not see the benefit in having them on this planet if all they do is prey on people, ripping them apart.

Hi all! Hope everyone is well.

This is a great post by Dr. Leedom. She says:

If you are astounded by another person’s capacity to lie and misrepresent reality you can be sure you have encountered a sociopath.

That’s it in a freakin’ nutshell! Oftentimes, I be so astounded, as Dr. Leedom says, about my Xspaths ability to look me in the eye and say ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING to get me to believe what he wanted. And, in some instances, since I was so hypervigilant the second time around with him, that I would find out he was lying within hours, and I would say, “You JUST told me blah blah blah. When you said it, it WASN’T true.” He could say things with such sincerity that until it was proven wrong, I would think that THIS time he’s telling the truth.

And the part about them misrepresenting THEMSELVES is so spot on! That was my experience exactly, and I know everyone here can relate!

Hopeful6596

BlueJay~

So true–that Spaths string you along with words. Unspathy people are just not equipped to deal with this kind of mind f***. They really are masters at it. We just cannot relate to this level of dysfunction, nor are we any match for it.

Hopeful6596

Yea,k this is a great article and we are so astounded that they CAN BE that evil, that they CAN CONTINUE TO LIE when there are 12 witnesses who are all Nuns, ministers, cops or rabbis, and a close up video DVD of them doing what they are lying about! Doesn’t make any difference they will DENY DENY DENY!!!!! And expect you to eventually BELIEVE them. HOW CAN THEY DO THIS? Just because they CAN!

As far as the “gut feeling” research has shown that even professionals will get “gut feelings” (physically) when in the presence of a psychopath! Yep, they can give you the creeps and make the hair stand up on the back of your neck because there is an INSTINCT somewhere inside us that sometimes (if not always) lets us know THERE IS A PREDATOR IN THE AREA, BEWARE!!!! We need to respect this warning signal, because the antelope that isn’t wary will get eaten and the man/woman who doesn’t watch out for the psychopaths will get betrayed!

Oxy,

That “gut feeling” that the research shows is really interesting. When I first started dating my X, I was telling my therapist how insecure I felt around him, but he wasn’t doing anything in particular that I could put my finger on. I just attributed it to a self esteem problem with me, which could have been part of it, but there was always something that I just was not comfortable with. Since my X was very well educated, sociable, and gregarious, I thought–as did my therapist–that he had a lot together. To make a long story short, I learned that I’m super intuitive, and all the things that I was afraid might be happening within the relationship (his lying, cheating) were ALL true. So, I really think that it was my intuition right from the beginning clueing me in that this was a bad dude!

I cannot stress to people enough to trust their intuition, but unfortunately this seems SO infrequent with Spaths, especially when they are in seduction mode. I used to tell my X that he had a charm offensive.

Hopeful6596

Oh, yes, and so does a spider. “Step into my parlor” said the spider to the fly! And we step right over our own intitution and stop it down flat and then step right into the spider’s parlor.

NO more though—now at the FIRST sign of a lie or dishonesty I am GONE, baby, GONE! See the rabbit RUN!

little miss muffet sat down on her tuffet along came a spider and sat down beside her and frighten little miss muffet away – or did she spill her poridge?

Oxy,

Ha! Yep, the spider knows what he’s doing, that’s for sure. As usual, great analogy, Oxy. I have absolutely promised myself that when I am ready to date, I am going to LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN to that intuition. It has never, ever been proven wrong–always right.

I don’t want to be too hypervigilant, but it may mean letting some nice guys go, even if they don’t deserve it. That’s the chance I’m willing to take. I’ve dated two Spaths now, and I can’t imagine going through this again.

Speaking of the first Spath that I dated 4 years ago, I heard from a mutual friend that he got fired from his job for sexual misconduct. It just validated that these guys don’t change, and it was no surprise hearing the news.

Hopeful6596~

Hopeful! KARMA RULES!!!!!!

Gidday ladies and gents 🙂

So so true – the disconnect between words and actions is just plain stunning. And Rosa you are dead right about their ability to twist conversations … logic doesn’t come into it at all. They’re onlu interested in manipulating you and tripping you up no matter what you say. I remember that many times I would approach him and say
“Look this is a problem – can we sit down and talk about it together so we can find a solution?”

I would be so so calm and negotiable, but he would always find a way to escalate the conversation to manipulate me. I remember many times it would escalate up to a raging argument and I’d be thinking
“What the F just happened?>”

Usually he’d misinterpret what I said so it reflected badly on me and I had to be on the defensive. If I said something like
“We need to budget our money”
He would reply
“Oh yes because it’s all my fault we don’t have enough money. You think you’re all high and mighty since you make more money than me.”

The circular arguments several posters have commented on were awful. You couldn’t raise the big picture of what was happening ie constant irresponsibility and lies and broken promises because then he’d say
“You’re never going to forgive me for anything. What’s the point when you always bring up the past??”

I knew there was a big picture and it wasn’t pretty but he always made me doubt my perception and his perception that our marriage was perfect became the reality that I was forced to accept. So why was I suicidal if the marriage was so great and he was such a great husband?? His explanation was that I had always been depressed – then of course he was able to present himself as a fine upstanding and responsible husband for staying with a wife who had ‘mental health issues.’

Absolutely crazy. No wonder it had such a bad effect on me. You cannot converse or negotiate with a psychopath. No matter what you say you will always be wrong because the psychopath is always right in his mind and your perception is all wrong.

hopeforjoy I agree with you when you say:

“He is soooo afraid of being alone, probably because they have no soul and it’s hard to live alone with just your evil self. I bet they would drive themselves mad without victims to mess around with”

They would have NOTHING…no sense of self, integrity, reason to exist…it would be the best way to study them…alone, in isolation..how would they reference themselves without an ‘other’ would they begin to connect to the frozen core? would it thaw out or is it not there in the first place…I think all the research say there is nothing there in the first place to re connect to…so they would probably just fantasise…

My reaction to a spider is to jump a mile in the air and run, then calmly get grip of myself… get a glass pop it over them, slide a card underneath and put em outside unhurt…..it’s such an immediate strategy…I wish I had the same reaction when a human spider appears..but they camouflage so well….

Bp, You have a huge soul! I allow spiders to live, too. A friend of mine once commented that it was very Ghandiesque of me. 🙂 His first name, “Mahatma” means great soul.
And his greatest virtue was passive resistance.

would a huge soul dream about extinguishing the life of the P?

what would Ghandi say about all this evil …I’m going to google it to see what he would say…ha ha can’t believe I’m even interested….see this what a P does to one…turns you into gold!!

🙂

Ghandi says:

“Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty.”

Yes, I like it…..non co-operation as opposed to more violence..yup!

Wow, Bullet, that’s fantastic. I REALLY LIKE THAT.

nomore–I have experienced the EXACT same conversations. As I am an introspective person, I fell for his blame game for too long searching for what was wrong with me or my approach. You do a great job of establishing how THEY are the problem–no wonder they don’t want to be problem solvers!

I love this article. Gut feelings are so important to pay attention to. I know that now. I had that creepy, somethings wrong, Beware!! Danger!! signal the first time I encountered my ex, I will never forget that but I still ignored it and then he started talking……. oh no! The cycle had begun and I hadnt enough knowledge or insight to trust my gut feeling over his phoney stories and manipulative agenda. I’ve learned to trust myself the hard way. Over time as I became aware of what was going on- I just paid attention to what he was doing and kept quiet about it. Silence was effective . I realized that when I asked why or confronted the lie I was blamed and fed more lies which only led to further confusion. As I reacted less, I was keeping my power to myself instead of serving it to him on a silver platter. Now I am more cognizant of human behavior and if something feels off centered, I back off. Have a great day everyone 🙂

Trigger, trigger, trigger…
What if the words and actions coincide SOME of the time and NOT most of the time…
In the later part of our relationship, I’d scream, I’d cry, I’d plead: “BUT you promised…, but you said… but…”
Then, it was my fault that I screamed and cried and pleaded… I Felt guilty until the next large discrepancy and again, I’d plead, I’d scream, I’d beg…
NEVER MIND WHAT I SAID, he once told me. I could not believe it: How can you SAY one thing and DO totally opposite… The drill is known to all: it’s our fault things were not working out. It’s my fault, I drove him to do these things, etc. etc. etc. But, some of the time, some of the time I felt he was there… it’s just a pity: by the third year I no longer asked questions, I no longer expected partnership… It was like housing a pet, a pest? a pet… wiggling his tail as I approached. Stealing goods when I was away.

My step-father had a GREAT intuition for people that I (apparently) never had. I would have friends over and after they left (sometimes) dad would call me over and say simply, “Babe, she won’t do.” At first when I was 12-13 I would argue with him, and he wouldn’t same much more than “Babe, she will be trouble.” and taht was the end of it. He never STOPPED me from seeing these friends, but I can vouch that he was 100% RIGHT every time.

He wasn’t pushy about his warnings—but boy was he RIGHT. Back before the “summer of chaos” Dad was the only one in the family who did NOT BELIEVE A WORD SON P SAID. But he wasn’t pushy with his warnings (I wish he had been, but not sure we would have listened anyway) but of course, he was RIGHT AGAIN!

I’m not sure what his “6th sense” about people was, but he sure had it. Even if he hadn’t been around them very much or seen them do something bad, or heard them tell a lie. If he had seen anything “off color” with them he was “done with” them. He might be polite if he was around them but not say much and he never sought out their company, but he was DONE WITH them.
He’s not here to ask what his “secret” to seeing and feeling and following his gut feelings, but I am setting some rules to hopefully be pretty close to his record—and that is— the first sign I see of someone being dishonest or hateful in any way—DONE with them!

Pollyanna and Fearless,

The circular conversations, we had them all the time. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong. I told him that I just couldn’t fight with him because he would always win. Then he would tell me I was wrong about that too! By the end of our ‘conversation’ (pretty one-sided), I would end up saying I was wrong and sorry and over sensitive. I’m really ashamed that I acted the way I did. Circular conversations were to their benefit, it confused us and made us doubt ourselves.

Now when we have those conversations and he tells me that I’m wrong, he’s not lying, I don’t back down.

He would tell me that I hated men, too sensitive, crazy, could see everything clearly-except for him, I have good judgement-just not with him. I believed this crap, even thought I was going crazy and just wanted someone, anyone, to take the pain away. It’s insidious, ambient, pure abuse. He didn’t call me names or get really angry so he always seemed so sane. He said I had anger issues, just like my dad, I hardly ever raised my voice to him and the worst thing I called him was a jerk. I could be passive aggressive though. Yuck! I did not like myself at all. I would be mad for days and just not talk because I could never get to a place where there was a solution.

Then he would tell me he loved me, would never cheat on me, is as faithful as the day is long, blah, blah, freaking blah.

Those circular conversations really had me stymied and it seems that this is their general from of communication. In this fact, it seems we have been with the same person.

Yea, BJ, it wasn’t just for Ps, it was just for anyone you shouldn’t trust–I wish I had it too—

Hope4, I never did figure out why they “loved us so much” if we were such POSes do you? I just can’t figure that one out….maybe it was that we just couldn’t change enough to suit someone as wonderful as they told us they were. LOL ROTFLMAO Choke Snort!

Hopeforjoy: You’ve got it! He used to say, “you’re yelling at me” when I simply disagreed with him. I am a lover not a fighter. I hated the chronic arguing, but I did fight back and I yelled and I called him bad names and I meant them. I hate that I sank so low. I used to feel like he “made me a better person.” By the end I was worse, but now I know that nobody can make you or break you and I no longer choose to hand over my possibilities to others.

Oxy: You are sooooo right. Earlier I said listen, observe and two strikes and they’re out. I don’t lie (okay, maybe white lies in mixed company so as to not hurt someone’s feeling, e.g. “The cheese dip is awesome.”), so why should I accept someone else stretching, twisting, bending, distorting, or flat out not telling the truth. I shouldn’t, I shan’t.

Send this to a friend