By | April 19, 2012 195 Comments

It’s opposite day: When psychopaths project

By Linda Hartoonian Almas, M.S. Ed

We may not be wearing socks on our heads and our shirts may not be on backwards, but when psychopaths project their traits and behaviors on to us, things may seem as strange as if we were. Unfortunately, at first, what they are doing to us is far from obvious. We have no idea that they are taking their own shortcomings and reprehensible traits and behaviors and trying to make us believe that they are ours. Who would do that? Since the thought seems incredibly ridiculous to us and is the last thing we would consider doing, the possibility usually fails to cross our minds.

As a result, we are almost always confused and defensive until we come to understand what is actually occurring. Once we do, we realize that their words are not accurately describing us in the least. In fact, we discover that things are quite the opposite; they are describing themselves. We are then able to stop defending ourselves against their fabrications and misdirected allegations. We can also accept that this is simply something they do. In turn, this acceptance frees us from the burden of taking their words personally. We learn not to be surprised or devastated by their hurtful, mean spirited utterances because, in actuality, they have nothing to do with us at all.

Does this sound familiar?

I am guessing that many readers will be able to relate to at least one or two of the following scenarios. Have you even been called “crazy” or “negative” for disagreeing with a psychopath? Have you ever been told you were “lazy” after working, possibly in a variety of capacities, from morning until night? Perhaps you were called “cheap” or “no fun” simply because you felt you needed to save a little money or slow your pace. If the psychopath in your life cheated, were you miraculously the “cheater?” If the psychopath was your parent, were you ignored, mistreated, or used and then blamed when you did not respond with love and trust? Did you endure abuse, while being called “abusive?” Have you been accused of being a mean, arrogant, selfish, evil, liar? How about a control freak, with no discipline or integrity, who can’t take a joke? Maybe you were referred to as an “alienator” who “hears voices.”

The possibilities are almost endless. The exact accusations are inconsequential when it comes to illustrating how projection presents. The words may change, but the stories stay the same. Stay calm. You are fine. This is not about you. This is the nature of projection.

Once we are accused of such things, however, we tend to be confused and sad. How could anyone make horrible, untrue statements about us? Initially, we are frustrated and wonder why they can’t see that they are wrong. Eventually, we come to suspect that they are aware, and probably know exactly what they are doing. Nonetheless, until we are convinced, we hurry to defend ourselves. When we do this, we play into their hands, giving them exactly what they hoped for. Unknowingly and unintentionally, we bring them satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, and control because we engaged.

What, when, and why do they project?

Their projection can occur at any point in time and can consist of whatever words or behaviors they choose to highlight. They will do so, pressing any buttons available to them. They may utilize projection in an effort to erode our self confidence or sense of worth. However, it often happens as a direct attempt to initiate arguments, impression manage, or weaken us during a conflict.

Psychopaths like when we choose a defensive stance because we can’t “win” if we are constantly playing “catch up” or merely trying to survive their attacks. We cannot have the upper hand if we are weak, struggling to maintain our positions, or repeatedly explaining ourselves. What better way for them to attempt to dominate, than to say things about us that are not true? Naturally, we will defend ourselves, expending energies that should be otherwise directed.

Since most of us do not have an inherent understanding of projection, it takes time for us to realize and then come to terms with what is occurring. It’s difficult to grasp that this goes on and is usually an extremely frustrating journey. We are frequently blindsided, as psychopaths’ accusations seem to come out of nowhere, or in context with some minor aspect of a conversation or scenario. Very quickly, we can find ourselves in full fledged arguments, set in motion over something ludicrous, that we know could have been handled completely differently. We are in states of upset, while they seem strangely at peace. Why are they so calm? They just took all that is wrong with them and placed it on us. They, effectively cleansed themselves. We find this upsetting. If we are in emotional turmoil, they’re “winning,” and they like that.

Topic shifts and more projection

However, things do not always work as they’d like. Our personalities tend to be strong and we tend to be reasonably intelligent. Even though we want to work through, fix, resolve matters, be understood, and well regarded, we can hold our ground and maintain composure. We sense the manipulation, but know that we are capable. At this point, we may attempt to reason with them.

When we do, they don’t like it. They must work harder to unsettle us. When this happens, they may rush off topic, shifting gears completely, in an effort to further confuse or anger us. It is not uncommon for them to project “harder,” regarding something more serious, in order to throw us off balance and re-gain control.

Did you ever notice that nothing actually gets accomplished in a conversation with a psychopath?

Did you ever wonder why discussions tend to escalate, and include violent topic shifts when you are calm or the conversation is not going “their way?” Concurrently, did you notice an increase in negative comments? Did you find it unusual that most of the comments were completely unrelated to the issues at hand? If they are unable to successfully control the issues, they change them. This usually involves an attack tainted with projection. Eventually, we get caught up in defending ourselves, once again.

Why this matters

Independently, this is a tiresome nuisance. However, if the scenario involves other people, as in a legal situation, their words and accusations have the ability to take on lives of their own. Before long, the critical players may also begin addressing their off topic statements. If this happens, it is essential that we successfully re-focus everyone and direct them back to the pertinent, original issues. If we do not, we may end up unjustly defeated and left wondering what just happened to us. Meanwhile, the psychopaths walk away basking and smirking over their “victories.” Your devastation is of no concern to them.

The lesson

The lesson we must learn is not to engage. We must simply stay vigilant and use our knowledge. We must work to understand and accept that psychopaths employ projection skillfully, but that it is nothing more than misdirected name calling. It comes naturally to them and they are good at it. Take comfort in the fact that when they speak ill of you, it is really about them; it’s opposite day.

Additionally, we must accept that psychopaths will try, try again, and then try some more to get us to react. We are all creatures of habit, to some degree, and as we recover and grow stronger, it is they who may be confused (for once.) Remember, there was a time when they were successful at getting us to go “head to head” with them. As a result, getting them to stop will not be an overnight process.

We need to stay strong, sharp, and save our breath for someone worthy of our explanations. We need to save our energy and focus for those who matter. We must conserve our words for those who do not twist them and use them against us. Lastly, their projections are mere words. As cutting as they may be, they are coming from very real places of disorder.

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kim frederick

Thanks for this, Linda. I think this is a variation on the “look for the pony underneith the pile of sheeeeet”, ploy. The reason this is so infuriating while we’re in the midst of it is that WE genuinely want to get to the crux of the issue and resolve it. We are genuine, sincere and really want a solution. We are articulate, socially skilled people who know how to communicate, and, more over, we believe that the communicating IS the answer. Ah, no.
Not wjth a spath or a narc, because their agenda is to keep us befuddled. They baffle us with [email protected] SH%T. They do not want us to find the pony. If we ever actually found the pony their jig would be up. And, truthfully, there is no pony, and that’s what they are trying to hide….so they just keep piling it on to keep us shoveling, on and on….after all, as long as we never actually discover that the pony is missing, then we have no proof and being the people we are, we give them the benefit of the doubt, always believing that it must be us. We aren’t making ourselves clear, or we are nagging, or we are too sensitive or….on and on adnauseum.

My daughter likes to say, “keep your eyes on the prize”. That’s good advice for we survivors, too. The prize is the truth. There is no pony under the pile of sheeeeet, and as long as we KNOW that,without question, we won’t be distracted by the manipulations.

Really liked this one. Thanks, Linda.



Love the article. Thanks


Opposite Day! Yep, every day is opposite day with a spath. Every day they are trying to be you and trying to make you into them.

I call it the 180 rule because everything is 180 degrees the opposite of reality. There is a kernal of truth, just as there is when you look in the mirror, but it lacks depth of meaning because it’s only a reflection. The red flag? Everything is reversed.

Yes, they are trying to project their slime into our core. That’s one reason they reverse the truth, but there is another reason too. They will reverse the truth about anything, even meaningless stuff, just so they can destabilize us. After we are destabilized, we are more likely to accept their bullsh*t and incorporate the slime they give us, into the false reality.



Every bit of truth is in this article. Haunting memories of his cruel projections are racing through my mind. I am so glad I am not frozen in pain and fear on the other end of the phone with him absorbing his words or in total disbelief or desperately tying to defend myself or thinking “this is true about me” and yet he is willing to stay with me..ugh!!!! I knew because of my therapist, that he was projecting, and I would tell myself this as he was doing it, but somehow his persistency would always override my mind or he would catch me off guard…I did not want to give him any reason to leave as the fear of abandonment was always the priority…He would dangle abandonment over me repeatedly. I didnt want to lose that opportunity for the “ideal love” , the dreams, the hopes, the swooning to return …so maybe when he wasnt talking about himself, cutting me down, raging at me or “teaching”me that maybe he would feed my own narcissism and I could be adored by the man of my dreams again!! LOL! So grateful I crawled out and woke up!!:)
I have Bookmarked this article…Thank you!!

Ox Drover

Great article, Linda! “opposite day” LOL Great analogy!


This reminds me of a situation that happened during my ‘breakup period’ with the spath. I had told him I wanted a trial separation and he wouldn’t move out. However he did move to a different area for a few days to stay with a friend of ours, with the idea that he would look for a job in that area and help her look after her kid.

I had agreed that I would give him a reference if an agencies called. However one evening I got this very abusive phone call from him saying that he had lost any chance of getting any jobs in the area, because I had rung the agencies & told them he was an alcoholic (he was) but I hadn’t. It came totally out of the blue and I was stunned. I was still trying to be ‘nice’ and ‘calm’ so I could get him out of my life, why would I tell the agencies bad things as it would mean he wouldn’t get any work them? However hard I tried to defend myself, he insisted I had rung them. In the end I cut the call off, but it left me reeling. Having read this, I now understand more what happened and can also relate to other events where this sort of thing happened.


My spath was a biker, a motorcycle courier and one night he was very late. I tried ringing his mobile but there seemed to be something wrong with my phone line. There was no ringtone, no dial tone. I kept trying many times to ring through, but nothing.

Being the caring person that I am, I thought he must have got stuck somewhere and ran him a bath. I kept water on the boil and topped it up regularly so that he would have something warm to come home to – it was winter and there was snow on the ground.

About 10pm that evening he finally arrived. When I opened the door he looked like a scene from a horror film lol. He was steaming!! Literally, steam was pouring off him. Apparently his bike had broken down and being him he hadn’t bothered to pay for recovery. He had had to push the motorbike from the nearest motorway about 8-10 miles.

He demanded why hadn’t I rung him, I told him that I had tried several times, but he didn’t believe me. In the end he tried to ring his cousin. He dialled the number and although there was no dial tone his cousin picked up the phone. So I was able to prove it to him, but I’m still not sure if he really believed me.

And then to top it of, I told him I’ve run a bath for you and he replied why do I need a bath? I’m boiling hot as I’ve had to push the bike?? Talk a bout ungrateful lol


Linda, what an excellent article! It’s all about the crazymaking, I think.

The second exspath WAS opposite of everything that he espoused. What he expected was completely opposite from what he provided. Sure, there was steady, reliable income, but all decisions were about him and his wants.

OFF topic – anyone ever just have a spontaneous crying jag apropos nothing? Maybe, it’s getting down to the wire when this farce of a union is going to be legally dissolved and I’m just reacting to the Truths. Anyhow, tough start to the day, but it’ll get much better, I’m sure.



Do I ever! The crying comes out of NOWHERE for me. Blindsided. Small things can trigger it and I’m like WTF?

Ox Drover


The crying “out of no where” is very normal, it is part and parcel of the healing, the GRIEF.

I lost my little dog last week, and I was sweeping and there was dog hair under the secretary and as I swept it balled up…like a dust bunny..but my son and I had called them “Bud bunnies” and as i swept, I thought “that’s the last of the Bud Bunnies” and I just started weeping. How silly is that? But it is part of the grief process and right now when I think of him, I cry, but there will come a time when I am through the grieving, I will be able to think and not cry. It is the same in grieving over a BAD relationship, because OUR love was real even if theirs wasn’t.

My X-BF that I dated after my husband’s death, I thought was my “Prince Charming” to save me from the grief over losing my husband but he only hurt me, lied to me…my love for him, my expectations of him saving me were REAL so when he turned out to be the “wicked witch” my GRIEF was very real. I can see him now though, or a picture of him, and there is no pain. We eventually come to acceptance and then we are free of the pain. So hang in there, and don’t let the crying jags bother you too much, it is just your mind and body healing! (((hugs))) and God bless.


Louise: I sobbed for just about 3 years non stop. I could not go anywhere. I had been so betrayed and my caring had been murdered without thought nor conscious or care and yet the sobbing persisted. I remember those moments. I think that is when my heart became technically and poetically broken and therapists have correlated as such.

I had to find a spot where I could be and not find the sobbing.
Just take baby steps at first. I mean something as simple as FEEDING YOURSELF something on a regular schedule. Schedules are very important on the journey back….eat healthy foods; things you make for yourself. Give yourself attention and love and care. Without your life, you truly have nothing.

(((HUGS LOUISE))) I understand.
I am here if you need me.



Oh yes, crying “out of no where”. I’d be walking down the street & “out of no where”, tears come, crying on the street. So embarrassing. Quick, grab a tissue, cover my face, muffle the sobs, tilt head down. Thank goodness for large sunglasses. It’s lingering grief.


clair: that was the most horrid phase of coming out of this…
the instantaneous sobbing, at any place, any time. I sobbed so much my heart broke, literally.

That sobbing and being ‘afraid’ of it turned me into an agoraphobic. I mean, I was always such a dynamic, vibrant person until this horrid experience happened to my life…I just can’t go in public and allow people to see me quivering, shaking, sobbing and being such a mess. It has damaged me in some ways but in others, I absolutely believe we can take all the ugly and push it inward to help us grow and become stronger.

I just absolved and ex communicated every one involved in my nightmare and requested they all just disappear. If they do, I do….that wasn’t a ‘forgiveness’ but it was a ‘release’. Nobody gave that to me, I HAD TO TAKE IT.

Surviving this takes knowing who you are and your strengths and weaknesses and standing up for your value and your worth as a human being. Not being afraid but being courageous to stand up and say: “THIS IS ME. PERIOD.”

love and blessings, clair….



OMGosh I sobbed for an entire 8 hour flight, from East Coast to West. Finally I just told the guy next to me that my fiancee had died, unexpectedly. I was so embarrassed I had to think of something. Later I understood that he HAD died. Who I thought he was, was dead.

Oxy is right on….we cry because OUR love was real. We really did love (because we can! Yay!).

I did this crying off and on for about 8-12 months. It lessened over time, then it turned to anger. Then I would periodically burst into fits of anger.

What a process!!!


I’m right there with ya, darling: that instantaneous, unanticipated crying, right there, in public. Me too with the agoraphobia. I had to fight it too. But, ya know what? Who cares if others see us cry? Yeah, it’s embarrassing, but maybe, other who see us also had the same happen to them. We are human and we cry. We’re OK, we’re normal, it’s OK. Let the tears come out & feel the release.

Dupey, carry BIG sunglasses, a baseball cap & tissues with you just in case you start instantaneously crying, this way, you’re prepared. That’s what I did and that’s how I fought agoraphobia. So, no biggy if I start crying in public.

I do believe that this stuff can break our hearts, so we MUST show ourselves loving kindness. We must be OUR OWN best friend & love ourselves, otherwise……

“I just absolved and ex communicated every one involved in my nightmare and requested they all just disappear. If they do, I do”.that wasn’t a ’forgiveness’ but it was a ’release’. Nobody gave that to me, I HAD TO TAKE IT……Not being afraid but being courageous to stand up and say: “THIS IS ME. PERIOD.”

Right on, Dupey!!!!!!!!!!

love, blessings and healing to you, sweetheart!


“OMGosh I sobbed for an entire 8 hour flight, from East Coast to West. Finally I just told the guy next to me that my fiancee had died, unexpectedly. I was so embarrassed I had to think of something. Later I understood that he HAD died. Who I thought he was, was dead. ”

Oh, slimone, I hear you!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks clair. ((back at ya!))
The sobbing stopped a year ago 1MAY.
I have learned how to keep it in check, sort of, when I am trying to function through my life. I told my counselor that I filed it away in one of those PTSD files (if you can relate to that). I refuse to allow “IT” nor anything about this nightmare, make me sob ever again.

Thank you for understanding, clair.
I absolutely believe that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we will be destroyed. That means we have to eat regularily; take our medicine as we should (Iam a cardiac patient now); sleep on a good schedule and take care of ourselves. We have nothing if we don’t have ourselves.


“I just absolved and ex communicated every one involved in my nightmare and requested they all just disappear. If they do, I do”.that wasn’t a ’forgiveness’ but it was a ’release’. Nobody gave that to me, I HAD TO TAKE IT—Not being afraid but being courageous to stand up and say: “THIS IS ME. PERIOD.”

Right on, Dupey!!!!!!!!!!”

Thanks clair…it took a lot for me to figure out that THAT absolution was the only way I could win, once and for all. Now there is nothing left to argue about and no reason to hang on. Is there? All just gone in one flail swoop. Bye bye. Nothing more to ‘play’ with nor ‘control’. Imagine that. I just took it all right away and good bye…

love, blessing and healing to you too, clair…
we have to remember our value and our worth and who we are.



BFTE/dupey…isn’t that the TRUTH: WE have to take it. We have to take our lives back as our own. They won’t hand them back to us, even if we ask nice-like. We have to find the self love and strength to reach out and reclaim what is ours.

We have to let go the feeling of worthlessness; that we have nothing left to reclaim. That is the ILLUSION they bury us under. It is the biggest lie.

Clair…Just the worst snotty, puffy, heart broken, and soul sick crying I have ever done! Right there in front of God and everybody! Whew….



“I told my counselor that I filed it away in one of those PTSD files (if you can relate to that).”

Can I relate? 8 months of EMDR to treat my PTSD. Oh yes, I relate.

Sweetheart, so glad you are taking care of yourself now. Yes, if we don’t have us, we have nothing.

“Now there is nothing left to argue about and no reason to hang on. Is there? All just gone in one flail swoop. Bye bye. Nothing more to ’play’ with nor ’control’. Imagine that. I just took it all right away and good bye” ”

Good for you!!!!!!!!! Ya know, we can’t wait for them to free us. We must free ourselves.

Love, healing & blessing s to you,



“BFTE/dupey”isn’t that the TRUTH: WE have to take it. We have to take our lives back as our own. They won’t hand them back to us, even if we ask nice-like. We have to find the self love and strength to reach out and reclaim what is ours. ”

yes, yes, yes!!!!

“Just the worst snotty, puffy, heart broken, and soul sick crying I have ever done! Right there in front of God and everybody! Whew””
I totally hear you, but what a learning moment: Realizing just how deeeeeeply you were hurt. And, I bet you learned some other things.

What did I learn from crying in public?
– the depths of my pain
– Although I felt embarrassed, I could still walk on, survive
– I have a tender heart and empathy
– Take life one minute/hour/day at a time
– I now consciously look for things that make me happy
– I actively try to love myself


Dear Linda, thank you for your very timely article! I can so relate, and it is very helpful for me processing once again the mechanics in my family. It is very hard to detach from my role I played for 50 years now and from the constant plays they try to suck me in again, it is like s sucking swirl. You described all their techniques to a T.

Dear Clair and Back-from-the-edge (Duped-no-more?): I can also relate to the sobbing out of nowhere and the fear. It took 4 years to lessen the sobbing (after breaking free of the bad relationshit with the Spath). I am still vulnerable to it when there are trigger moments (at present from the family). Mostly I experience now very strong visceral reactions of repulsion and disgust, and I can see trauma bonds all over the place, even my little godchild (10 years) is very clever in the manipulation department. I sense that she is already trying to do trauma bonding with me (!), as she sees my sister doing it with me, specially the name-calling.

I had to go with them on a 6-day-vacation last week as it was their present for my birthday, but I was a mere participant as it was all about my sister, her daughter= my godchild, and my sister’s old incontinent dog (also a big N!) the hotel was chosen for…. It was mostly waiting me for them and assist them, they chose what to do on their terms. When I got so angry after our return about the unsatisfactory trip I experienced due to the bad treatment I experienced, I had to tell them that it was my fear from the dentist I had to see the day after our return because of a missplaced fishbone LOL (well I AM afraid of the dentist; I felt like a drama-queen en miniature).

I now can say with confidence that these were not MY holidays, but I am thankful for the participation. Another great experience of observing unhealthy behavior and improving the swimming away from this swirl to further detach; one has to dive to the ground of a swirl and then swim vigourously away from it.

The good thing is that I lost the fear from the dentist; the family was much worse LOL!


“Another great experience of observing unhealthy behavior and improving the swimming away from this swirl to further detach; one has to dive to the ground of a swirl and then swim vigourously away from it.”
Excellent, libelle. Yes, “further detach”. Bit by bit, detach, detach.

“I experience now very strong visceral reactions of repulsion and disgust, and I can see trauma bonds all over the place”
Me too.

Last time I took a vacation with an SP: I came home and sat in a chair in my house for 3 hours, simply listening to and loving the silence, feeling every muscle in my body RELAX after 6 days of in-my-face exposure to an SP friend (now an x-friend: I detached, LOL!).

After that so-called vacation, I became very aware about who I surround myself with and for how long. I just cannot endure toxic people any more.


My x-spath’s projection was so good, and I was so naive, in the moment I never questioned him. And I really did not know him that long. As Skylar says, always 180 degrees:

After one of our first dates, after dinner I ask him back to my apartment for a beer. My x-spath is “insulted” storms out of a restaurant on me and proclaims he is “reserved and sorted.” Later, I would learn that at the same moment, he has an online profile stating “my hobbies include boys, beers and fooling around.”

A create a nice romantic setting for us before the holidays, as discussed. He comes over an immediately gets angry at me for leaving candles burning — “you could have set the place on fire.” He is even more angry at a pie I bought.

I get into an argument with a cab driver because he took us the wrong way. He gets angry at me because he was “service industry worker” and does not like it when customers get angry at him…


Tonight I chatted with a friend of mine who’s living, working and studying in the surf town of Nicaragua where I met the spath. She knows the start of it, the during and the ending. I only contacted her to learn about her life but she mentioned him, because he was in Nicaragua for about two weeks just very recently, and he badgered her about the profile I had made.

I told her what had occurred recently, including his threat mail. When she heard what he threatened me with, she said, “That’s EXACTLY what he told me… that if you weren’t getting rid of it, he’d take a plane to Belgium and pay me a visit to hurt me.” And to her he said it as if he meant it.

When he threatened with it, I believed it fully. I told her how in his next polite mail he said, “You know I’d never return to Belgium and that I never want to hurt you,” and how I knew it to be a total lie… Just him STARTING his polite mail that way to me was all the OPPOSITE-evidence I needed to be sure he will try to hurt me if and when he physically can.

At least it’s a VERY good thing he wrote his threat mail in English and his polite mail in Spanish. Police in Belgium understand English, not Spanish :-p


Darwinsmom, LOL about the threat being in English! NO lolz about the threat – protective blessings for you.



Yup, I used to think he was bright, now I think he’s totally NOT the brightest cookie around at all. Once he’s confronted with someone who knows his masks and can see right through them, he’s just piling blunder after blunder.

My mom told me, “you didn’t delete or throw away his threat mail, did you?” I smiled and said, “Nope, I printed it out and set up a personal neighborhood eyes and ears for him.”


I’m afraid to go to work today. I have three people there that are on my rear end. Why? Cause I have more clients than them and they don’t like it.

It started with one woman S. She would question me about how I got a client (by phone how else?). One time a client cancelled with her and put herself in with me instead, boy that went over well. S leaned in close to me and said “this place sucks” I gray rocked and said in monotone “you’re not kiddin” and nothing else. She later apologized I think cause she thought I’d tell the owner, but I didn’t.

The next two one is a man and the BIGGEST baby I ever met. He has problems with rage…the owner knows this as he acted out before (I wasn’t there) She told him if it happens again he’s gone. He is covertly saying stuff to me and he was actually stupid enough to leave one message on my voice mail at work wich I saved just in case.

The next one is a woman who is 60 and she’s been mt for 20 years and she is pissed that I have more clients than her. All three of them don’t like it. I feel nervous and I guess I’ll just have to gray rock from now on. I have to be there by 12:30 today. My stomach is in a knot. My husband said to tell them to go eff themselves, but I don’t think I can do that. Any helpfull hints?

Ox Drover

Ana, In this instance “gray rock” is the best thing to do. Long before I even knew what “gray rock” was, I was using the technique as well as the “potted plant” routine where you just act like they are not any more interesting that a potted plant and you just don’t respond to them at all.

This type of ENVY is just so juvenile and inappropriate at work. I would suggest that you talk to the manager and tell her what is going on if you think you can trust the manager. If you don’t trust the manager then don’t talk to him/her about it unless it becomes worse.

The other thing is that you must realize “where this comes from” and ADJUST your OWN ATTITUDE toward it so that it does not tie your stomach up in knots.

HOW WE INTERPRET SOMETHING is what makes it tie our stomach up in knots. Say to yourself (and believe it) that these people are envious of you (you already know that) and THAT IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM BUT THEIRS. Which is also true.

(((ana)))) go get’em girl!


Thanks Oxy,
I will do gray rock/potted plant. Hey, maybe I’ll do ‘tree pose’ just for kicks!

The reason I’m nervous today is the owner is on vacation and I feel it’s gonna escalate while she is gone. She does know of the envy that is taking place and she does block them sometimes. But we are all adults here! You are right it is juvenile and so inappropriate.

Knots be gone! Thanks ((((((Oxy)))))


Dear Ana, take it as a HUGE though twisted compliment. I think the gray rock method is best. I had a similar situation in my job at different times, with very bossy rude stronzos (Italian word for evil person). When I knew I had to talk to them in conferences or rounds I put on a very red lipstick called “Mexican red” and put on my “Combat bra” which was a very nice French fire red push up bra, and with these two accessories I felt invincible 😉 ! (unfortunately the lipstick went bad and the bra fell apart because of overuse 🙁 ) And the other red ones, bras and lipsticks, I bought afterwards were not as “magic”, sigh.

You can confidently let the figures of yours do the talk, your boss will already have noticed it, and when he is not “seeing” it I would be VERY cautious talkig to him because he might have a hidden agenda! Maybe the stomachknot is because of your boss?

I keep my fingers crossed! ((((Hugs))))


Hi Ana,
I’m going to go against the current and suggest something different from gray rock.

How about putting on the thickest pair of rose-colored glasses you can find and LOVE BOMB THEM?

Don’t know if this is “your style”, but I tried this once at a job I had and it worked. On my supervisor, no less. She just hated me for no reason (except envy) and the feeling was mutual. (I actually envied her too because I wanted her job)

I knew that wasn’t going to work, so I put on my mask each day and kissed ass. By the time she left that job, she liked me so much that she recommended me for the job and I GOT it!

I was shocked that this worked so well. She was not a spath though. She was just a nice lady with a bit of envy goin’ on.


Hi Sky! Good one, I might give it a try with your method next time I have to 🙂 Thanks!


HAhahah, that is too funny. Wait, let me get my good bra and Mexican Red lipstick!

The boss is a woman and the owner of a small business. She is also a mt. The 60 year old has what the boss said was something called ‘oppositional disorder’ because she argues everything with her. The man in this case is just a big baby, has to have the other woman help him to get clients cause most people don’t want a man. He does have rage issues tho and she did tell him if it ever happened again he was gone. He calls woman ‘psycho bitches from hell’ But it’s really him that is the psycho.

I said to my husband maybe my boss is going to use me to get those two to quit. I know one of em is going to lose it, not sure wich one yet. Probably the man. UGh!!

I can’t believe these people are in the ‘helping profession’ Please, please don’t help me…lol.

Thank you for your reply.


Hmmm interesting. Maybe I’ll give it a whirl. I can always go back to gray rock/potted plant if kissin arse don’t work : )


Dear Ana, sometimes it is better to be like a beach where the BIG waves roll on and then they inevitably fade out and die on the sand. The sand is always winning over the rock when it comes to waves.

After having read your standing with the boss I would not engage whatsoever because they could twist it against you (the boss wants to fire them and they tell the boss that YOU are their friend! 🙁 )
Just plain politeness would be my guess, no gambling. You are there TO MAKE MONEY FOR YOUR BOSS WCHICH YOU DO WONDERFULLY and NOT the babysitter of morons keeping them happy while the boss is out.


at the time, espresso bars were becoming popular. When you liked someone, you would bring them an espresso.

You wouldn’t believe how effective that is!

That’s how the spath hooked me! I remember figuring that out about 8 years later. I even told him, “you know, I don’t think I fell in love with you. I fell in love with the lattes you brought me.”

The reason it works, obviously, is because you get a coffee high, but you associate it with the person who is with you while you drink it or who brought it to you. It’s very very devious.

this love bomb is under the radar. You just bring the coffee and tell they you hope they have a great day, because they deserve it.


Sky, you mean to embrace to enthral? I would say Spathy at its best 😉 !


you’re right, it is a bit manipulative but you gotta do what you gotta do to make your job bearable. No sense being miserable when you can just wear your rose colored glasses!

I saw your post about the dentist. That reminded me of when I was a kid and all my classmates told me they hated to go to the dentist. I couldn’t relate. I liked the dentist! Now I know why, compared to my family, the dentist visit was fun.


I can’t find you post about your friend in San Diego, so I will reply briefly here.

The first time I tried to break up with my spath, I cried and cried as I told him it was over. He held me and cried with me. We both cried all day. I never actually left the house except to eat I think. Leaving him was too painful so I didn’t. He never tried to stop me. He just cried when I cried (he was mirroring me, I now know).

Spaths will watch and do only what they need to, to feel in control. My spath didn’t want sex with me very much either, as long as he knew I loved him. Sex is only to assert control. Your friend in San Diego has not had to wonder much about you because you have told him that you are in love with him.

I don’t know if he is a spath, but there is something very strange about his behaviors. I would run some tests on him before proceeding. He seems to want the unattainable and not want what is being offered.


This article from Kathleen Hawk is very helpful in explaining why it is OK acting sometimes as a shark (AKA spath).



His behaviour is that of a commitment phobe… or the “perfectionist” issue. Because they fear commitment (usually on all levels… relationships, jobs, where to live) and yet want it they hunt an unattainable ideal. They will try to commit, but once triggered they run off, at first blaming the job or partner for not being their ideal, but once they’ve escaped they regret it and know it was their issue, not that of the partner or job. Another way to describe it is the-grass-is-always-greener syndrome. It is overcomeable, but it takes a very long time.

I am watchful and sceptical, though I do believe that HE BELIEVES he wants to be with me. He’s even feeling committed to me, to forgive my every flaw and be there for me. But I do realize that this doesn’t necessarily mean he can actually do it in the long run in an intimate and face-to-face relationship. I certainly don’t want to make an extra effort to find out. I welcome his support and his caring. I know I can ask for it anytime I need to (just like I have done the past decade anyhow and got it too). But I’m not committing myself. If he makes plans I hope he’ll inform me enough so it won’t inconvenience me, but he’s gonna be the one who’ll has to realize them. I’m not gonna do it for him. I don’t to discourage him either in it. I think we are otherwise very well suited people, and we already know each other at our worst. And even then we tend to inspire each other. And that is what makes us suitable and one of the three reasons I know he ain’t a spath… I know he has inspired me and was a positive infuence in me making the choices in my life that I did, from the moment I met him until I got involved with the spath. And he’s been seeking inspiration with me the past decade as well and from his feedback I believe I’ve had the same influence for him. And well, he doesn’t have a bad bone in his body really. He can’t stand seeing someone hurt or be the cause of it.

What has changed the past couple of years in comparison to when I first got to know him is that he admits he wants to settle down and commit. He’s not hiding behind “freedom” and “I’m a loner” guy anymore. Another change is that he’s not describing his ideals anymore, but fully engrossed with the concepts of “compassion” and “forgiving flaws” and that “one cannot love without being vulnerable”. And he hasn’t been using those concepts to “teach me” but he’s using them in reference to himself as to what he’s learning and what he’s trying to be.



Excellent points! Everytime you post to someone, I see something from my own situation and how I can apply it to what I have learned and seen. Thank you!

That is without a doubt how my spath operates as far as he only does the minimum he has to do to get what he wants. He becomes hyperfocused on whatever his target is, but it’s still minimalistic. A friend at my former workplace who works much closer with him than I did (who absolutely did not know anything about us…she had NO idea I had a relationship with him) said to me one time that he was a minimalist. I asked her what she meant and she said that she sees him doing the bare minimum just to get by and she is right. And he’s in a high position at the company! Pretty scary actually when you realize he’s being paid tons of money. He has done some good things for the area, but I think on a day to day basis, he only plays.


Help~! Hello to all you peeps here at LF. It has been awhile since I have had the need to blog but I need to vent and get some feedback on my latest delima. Without going into great detail about my xbf spath the (unsub) it might be hard for some to relate to my situation. I have been no contact four long years and have came along way , considering what he put me through the three years he lived with me before I kicked him out for cheating, lying, etc etc.
I live in a very rural area alone…Well the delima is, about two weeks ago I saw the unsub at the litttle country market out here, he was pumping gas in his car..I remained in my pickup and waited for him to leave before i got out. he never noticed me. Hmm why is he out this way i wondered,(45 miles from where he last lived) feeling apprehensive I just tried to not make much of it. But a few days later I saw him drive by when I was walking my wiener dogs at a near by lake, he never slowed down but he knew it was me…So I decided to do a little investigating and drove down to an area that is know for (cruising) and there he was…Well hmm why is he out here so far from the big city? So I figured maybe he is visiting his old landlord lady that he and his x rented from, just 3 miles from me where he lived when I met him almost ten years ago…So my suspicions are right he has moved back to this area, renting yet another mobile home from the landlady/friend,,,living with some guy ( who was mowing the yard as I drove by ),,,my heart sank,,,Here he is just 3 miles from me, keeping house and pretending to love someone while still up to his old cruising habits. This increases the chance of me seeing him tenfold, at the store, and other places of business and just in general..
I have been hyper upset, yes he moved on, he never blinked and eye before he was with his next option when I kicked him out, and now this is a different guy, the unsub has never lived alone, always has a relationship going and cheating all the while….This is his pattern…soi I am having mixed emotions….I am relieved that it is not me that he is doing this to, on the other hand why couldnt he of (really ) loved me and lived out in the country and made a life and home with? Yes I know he is a sociopathic lier, cheated on me with both men and women ( i thot he was gay like me (NOT) well..I almost want to move from the home i love but i wont…I doubt he will ever contact me, unless I jepordize his current relationship,,,but i wont do that, he is a dangerous unsub…….it mite be a day or so befor i can respond as i do not have a computer at this time…..
I need to meet somebody, this would help me more than anything but i cant trust men,,,especially gay men..I am sorry this is so eratic….and i do miss you all and wish i had time to catch up with all your delimas…best wishes and love to all….p.s.


I’m sorry, Hens, to hear he moved back in your area and you now feel forced to see him on a regular basis, making it hard to remain NC.



That seems extremely odd that he would move back to such a rural area when he was in the city before. He could have gone anywhere, but he moved back there?? Does he work? Maybe he got a job near there.

UGGHH…I can only imagine how you must feel. I know I would be freaking out!!! Please keep us posted!!!!


you said:
“am relieved that it is not me that he is doing this to, on the other hand why couldnt he of (really ) loved me and lived out in the country and made a life and home with? ”
You’re asking this question is like asking why water is wet. It has nothing to do with where it’s found, a puddle, a glass, a river or a tear drop. It’s just wet because that’s what water is.

That spath will never be happy anywhere. He’ll only be empty. So it doesn’t matter where he is, the country or the city, he’s just empty.

Don’t feel anything but revulsion toward him, he’s not worth any rumination.

That said, I dreamt that I was back with my spath last night. How pathetic is that? It’ll be 3 years in May and I dream this crap. I should beat myself. The heart and the mind are not always on the same page. (((hugs)))


Sky, the reunification dream may only mean you desire the mask, not the actual ex. After all, the mask embodied good qualities. Seen in that light, it might feel rather empowering instead of self-betrayal


it was a very strange dream.
There was a hurricane coming. I had left my dog at the cabin and was living on by BF’s property. I went to see the cabin and found that Spath was there. I explained to him that I knew he was a spath and wish he could have let me help him. He told me he knew but he just wanted to be with me anyway.

The dream was confusing in so many ways, as to where I was actually (the cabin or BF’s place) Most of the dream Spath and I were laying in bed with our limbs tangled up together. I was alternating between contented and afraid.

The mask wasn’t present, in fact it was just the opposite. He showed no emotion. He admitted he didn’t have any but he wanted to be with me. I told him I understood. Although that makes no sense.

He promised to let me try to help him, but I wasn’t sure to believe him or not. When the spath left for a while, BF came home. I was always worried about the two of them meeting but they never did.

really weird.

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