By | July 4, 2016 20 Comments

On Independence Day: 6 Strategies to break free of the sociopath


free-fireworks-image-11 cropHappy 4th of July! In honor of Independence Day, here are six strategies for breaking free of a sociopath, psychopath, narcissist or some other exploiter. Choose the right strategy for your situation, and declare your independence!

  1. The No Nonsense Rejection Statement

If you were dealing with normal people, you might want spare their feelings or let them down easy. But if you’re seeing the Red Flags of Love Fraud and you suspect you’re dealing with a sociopath, don’t worry about hurting their feelings because they don’t have any.

If it’s early in the involvement, and neither of you have much invested, you can use the rejection statement approach to get away. Here’s what you do: Tell the person one time, I repeat, ONE TIME, that you no longer want to be in the relationship. Breaking up by text is perfectly acceptable, and even preferable.

Do not give a reason for the breakup, because sociopaths will see that as an opportunity for negotiation and you don’t negotiate with abusers. You just tell them that it’s over.

Here’s a Rejection Statement you can use, adapted from The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker.

I have no romantic interest in you whatsoever. I am certain I never will. Do not contact me ever again.

  1. The Gray Rock method

If you fear that a sociopath may become troublesome or vindictive when you leave the relationship, you may want to quietly encourage the sociopath to dump you. A way to do this is to be totally, completely, painfully boring.

Remember, sociopaths are always looking for excitement and stimulation. One of their favorite activities is pulling strings and watching other people jump. This often includes doing things to upset you, just for the satisfaction of getting a reaction out of you.

So don’t react no matter how outrageous the provocation. The socoiopath may come to the conclusion that you’re no fun to play with and move on which is exactly what you want.

Here’s more information:

The Gray Rock method of dealing with psychopaths, on

  1. Become undesirable, maybe even creepy

Remember the sociopath’s modus operandi when they meet you:

  1. They evaluate you to discover if you have anything that they want
  2. They probe for your vulnerabilities
  3. They use your vulnerabilities to get you to give them what they want

So what did the sociopath want from you? Was it money? If so, come up with a story that you’re being audited by the IRS and you’re going to be slapped with a big tax bill, interest and penalties. Or you just found out that you’re going to be laid off. Figure out what the sociopath wants from you and make it go away.

You can also suddenly acquire a terrible disease or medical condition. Here’s a story that I heard:

The secret seems to be getting the stalker to want no further parts of you. My cousin did that by explaining an elective surgery as a bowel surgery and with a product called Liquid Ass sprayed down the back of her pants confronted him outside her house with the explanation that it’s a lifelong after effect she’ll have to live with. This sociopath was a daily threat and annoyance and that was the last time she ever saw him.

Use your imagination!

  1. The 5 Step Exit

Perhaps you know that you’re not happy in your relationship, but it’s complicated. Maybe you’ve been with this person for a long time, or you’re married, or your finances are intertwined. You need help working through your feelings and your concerns about your practical situation.

If this is your situation, the 5 Step Exit can help you.

The 5 Step Exit is a structured program developed by Lovefraud author Dr. Amber Ault. She takes you, step by step, through the process of disengaging from an abusive partner. She also offers techniques for “exquisite self-care” as you go through the process.

Dr. Ault offers both a book and an online webinar. Here’s more information:

The 5 Step Exit How to leave your sociopathic partner, on

The 5 Step Exit for Survivors: Tools you need to leave a psychopath, narcissist or other toxic partner, a webinar on Lovefraud Continuing Education.

  1. Plan your exit, but don’t tell

Perhaps your situation is involved married, kids, combined finances. Once you decide to exit the relationship, keep your plans a secret. You do not want to tip off the sociopath.

To do this, keep behaving in exactly the same way you’ve been behaving. You may need to become a great actress or actor, because sociopaths seem to have a sixth sense that tells them when you are no longer falling for their lies.

If you share kids with the sociopath, do not tell them of your plans until you’re ready to go. The kids may not be able to keep a secret.

Do not even tell family and friends, at least any that the sociopath knows. There are two reasons for this.

First of all, some of your family and friends may have already been co-opted by the sociopath. He could have been telling them for years that he was worried about your “mental issues,” and they may believe him. I’ve heard from plenty of survivors who said their families believed the sociopaths, and not them.

Secondly, after you leave, the sociopath may approach your family and friends and feign concern about you. You know how convincing the sociopaths are, so your family and friends may believe your ex and provide information about where you are or what you are doing. It’s best that they have no information to provide.

  1. Leave when the abuser is not at home

If you live with the person and he or she is violent, you may need to plan carefully how to end the relationship, and you may need to enlist the support of others — even the police.

Have you ever seen your partner be violent at all? Even if they haven’t been violent towards you, have they been physically aggressive towards other people, animals, or property? Has the person kicked the dog or punched the wall? If the answer is yes, there is a chance the violence could be directed towards you.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If you have seen violence before, do not think, “They’ll never hit me.

When you are involved with a controller or abuser, the most dangerous time is right when you break up. The abuser is going to be angry that he or she is losing control over you and may strike out. If you live with the person, leave when he or she is not home.

Do not go back

However you leave a sociopath, they may let you go for awhile, and then start crying and pleading to get you back. This is typical sociopathic manipulation. Even if you see tears, or hear promises to change, do not believe them. Everything is an act to try to hook you again..

Do not go back.

Sociopaths do not change. Sooner or later, the upsetting or abusive behavior will return, guaranteed. And the next time, you may find it even harder to escape.



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Hope Springs

This is a wonderfully hopeful post!

Thank you and Happy FREEDOM to all!!!



The liquid ass was hilarious, I should have done that, it would have worked. Because they truly don’t care about your health, ever


the one time, I got mad and told him to ‘take a hike’ was early on; he called me 3 days later, half apologized (he said that I had said something that made HIM mad)..wanted me to ‘come over and talk’..and like a fool, I believed him. I do wish I had tried either the ‘gray rock’ or the ‘creepy’ ones later on; either or both could have made him run away, but I was likely already ‘hooked’ into him. Friends at school begged me to leave him, but I refused to listen. When I finally did leave (years later)..I did it when he was gone on a weekend; I knew I could NEVER stand up to him face to face and still leave. And yes, he did plead and beg (cards and through our sons) to come back, patch things up, he’d be better, etc. And NO, I didn’t tell our sons, or any family that I was leaving, I was afraid he’d go to them, use them for ‘leverage’ to keep me with him. I knew (gut feeling?) that if I did go back, I’d never make it to leave him again. Great article!!


Excellent post packed with important information.


I wanted to add on to the last part, about not going back.

Sociopaths and their ilk have a very strong revenge response. My ex would be so nice to people’s faces, set them up, and then crow about how easy it was to fool people. He LOVED getting revenge on people he thought “owed” him. He LOVED to see the look on their face when they “got it”, realized they’d been had. My ex held a grudge forever, and sometimes it was years before he exacted his revenge. My ex was an opportunist so he’d bide his time and then, BAM. That’s why I know to NEVER trust him. NEVER. No matter how friendly he is.

So… know that if you go back and think you’ve made up and are moving forward, remember also the abuser who married his girlfriend, had a child with her, and then murdered the baby in order to get even with her for not ending her vacation and returning home to him when his dad died. Look him up. Ronald L. Shanabarger


The Shanabarger account is about as evil as it can get. It is truly a horror. It also sounds like he had other mental issues, too. He lost control after he carried out his plan. He may have been delusional at times on some level, too. Many spaths are more self-preserving; would never confess to anything, and are careful not to get caught.

It is a good lesson on how dangerous the disordered can be. His wife, other family, and acquaintances probably never thought he’d ever do something like this; but there likely were signs that he was not normal, lacked empathy, etc.

I perceive my ex spath is capable of murder, but he would/has been careful not to get caught. He is very focused on self preservation. He would be unlikely to confess to anything.

I wonder if it’s possible that the baby did die from SIDS, and the Dad is mentally ill such that he confessed to something he did not do. It would be helpful to know more about his background, and if there is evidence to corroborate his confession. It would be pretty depressing to research this situation, though.


My older brother ( 24) is a complete by the textbook sociopath and a very very violent at that. He has absolutely no control when he is angry and turns into a wild scary, hatefilled human being, especially when he is not getting his way or feels he is losing control of someone or a situation. He will lie, scream and physically harm anyone to “win” a situation. He takes after my dad ( who i wasnt raised by thank god) and according to my mom an even worse copy of him.

He lives with me-his younger sister (22), and my single mother who is in her late 50’s. After his extremely violent outbursts my mom has told him he can no longer live with us and must move out but he absolutely REFUSES to do so. Infact he threatens her, yells and intimidates her, and says the police will have to drag him out. He says that he will come back even if its through breaking windows and becoming a burglar. Me being his younger sister and my mom being old and suffering from high blood pressure ( that he no doubt caused over the years) we cannot defend ourselves or live peacefully in our own home, but he refuses to leave. The police say we legally cannot kick him out of the house without a 30 day eviction notice, which as you know with sociopaths can be very dangerous living together knowing they must leave in 30 days. The police has come to our house multiple times but never do anything or take his threats seriously as he always puts the mask back on, appearing logically and calm when they show up, he often plays the victim, spinning the situation making us look wrong.

He gets worse each day and just recently had an extremely violent outburst trying to attack me and my mom protecting me, he physically harmed and left bruises all over her. After my mom saying again he needs to leave (but nothing happens, she never follows through) he refused with more threats. He even went as far as telling another family member that if our mom really did kick him out that he would kill her, then himself and probably me as well.

He is now gone for 2 weeks on a short trip ( which my mom paid for ofcourse) and my mom is set on him never stepping foot in this house again. She seems extremely serious which is a relief but as you can imagine I am very scared of what will happened when he returns and is not let back into the house and how he will retaliate. He does not have any job or source of income, he wont have a home and he wont have control of us ( specifically my mom) anymore. My aunt offered for him to live with her for a short time and he allegedly agreed but he may change his mind. Im scared that he will feel as though he has nothing to lose and therefore actually follow through with his threats to kill our mom.

This is a really sticky situation because the sociopath is her son, my brother and it isnt as easy to simply make him bored or leave him. Is there anyway to peacefully get rid of him or any help anyone would recommend?? Sorry if this was long!


It sounds like your family is in a very scary and stressful situation. Has Law Enforcement been told about this physical attack and about his threats to commit murder? These are against the law and he can be tried and put in jail for assault and threatening murder. Have you tried to get a restraining order? It probably won’t change your brother’s behavior, but when he violates it he can be jailed.

Need for an eviction notice doesn’t apply if he assaulted your Mom. Is there a Domestic Violence Shelter you can get advice and help in safely getting him out of your home? It may be helpful if your family can hire an attorney to help with taking the right legal steps to remove him.

You are young, but is there a way you can live somewhere else, maybe get your own place, or live with friends or a relative? Also, do you and your mom have a place you can escape to in an emergency? It’s good to have a plan in case you need to hide somewhere from him.

Hope Springs

Wow. This is so awful. This is absolutely terrible, what you and your family are going through because of this disordered brother.

If the police were EVER needed to do what I think they should do (which is arrest him and force him in psychiatric care), this is the time. Of course, like you stated, when they come over, the brother twists things around so that he does not appear as the problem.

One way or another, you have to remove him from your home. He is over the top dangerous and he could murder all of you.

It’s like you need some very large men to intimidate him and remove him and if he tries to return, then they are there to intimidate him again and again until he realizes that you and your mother are done with him. How many of us know men that could do that? I don’t.

What is the solution. It would be all over. if he got into a tragic accident and was gone for good, but, of course, that is just wishful thinking.

Please keep posting and reaching out on here and in your community. Perhaps there will be some good help from another Lovefrauder or someone that you have not thought of yet. I am so sorry that you and your family have to endure this. Talk about torture.


Sounds like you’re describing a private security service. That is a great solution, but expensive; and like you say, not everyone has a friend or family member who could be a security guard.

The only thing that really works to get a spath to go away voluntarily is not to have things that they want (or not to let the spath know they have anything the spath wants). If LeyHadid and Mom did not have a nice house he wants to live in for free, he would be gone and preying on someone who does. Not practical and probably not possible, but a drastic solution is to rent or sell the house, and live in a camper, tent, or very small efficiency, and the brother likely wouldn’t bother them. This article explains it well.

Hope Springs

That’s true. Who can afford a private security team?

Pathetic, also, that WE have to live like paupers in order to be less ‘attractive’ to these f***ers. They are like parasites that you CANNOT seem to get rid of unless you become so boring and so poor that you aren’t even happy any more. Geez.

Man, I am angry that I have a P/SP son. It never ends. I really do hope that something tragic happens to him and he could be gone forever. Isn’t that nice? A mother who wishes her son ‘gone’ forever. What a life.


I can understand why you feel anger. There is a huge amount of injustice when victimized by spaths. It sounds like you’re in a situation that is somewhat unique, very frustrating, beyond tragic, and that doesn’t have a clear solution. It is not unusual for victims trapped by spaths in all kinds of relationships to feel like they just want the spath to drop dead/go away, because it’s the only obvious solution to the problem; and the victim knows that the spath isn’t going to change.

I hope that you can find some way to deal with your situation so that you can have peace in your life. It doesn’t sound like there is any perfect solution. I hope there is peace, even without complete happiness, at some point.

Anger can be a strong motivation to make necessary changes. You might consider listing all the possible solutions you can think of, even bizarre ones and ones that you would never do. Include everything you can think of. Identify which scenarios you have control over, and list the reasons why they are impossible or possible to do. List the pros and cons. It may help to organize your problem solving thinking process, and you will likely think of some new ideas. Sometimes being analytical and thinking outside the usual patterns brings a solutions that hasn’t been thought of previously.

Do you have meaningful activities in your life that have nothing to do with the stress of your family problems, and involve a goal that you can achieve successfully, ie. volunteering, writing, singing, church, taking a class, working for social justice, environmental causes, ballroom dancing, hiking, shape note singing, clogging, activities with friends and family that are not connected with the problems in your life? Spaths isolate us and keep our focus on them, drain our energy. Getting a mental and emotional break from the stress is helpful.

Hope Springs

Thank you again, AnnettePK.

Lots of good suggestions here.

I am fortunate enough now to be a stay at home-r these days, so, yes, I have time to, dwell on all of this perhaps a bit too much.

I so have many interests, however, so I never do dwell too long.

I had peace for the past 11 months…real peace. I really thought we were done with having to deal with son.

That seems to be the magic bullet for me. Him completely out of the picture.


To KNOW that your son is a sociopath is to live in truth. It’s those who refuse that truth that make themselves prey for a predator.

There is this term, ‘the fools choice’. I do not make the fools choice. I don’t speak to my ex, the only communication is via email and the only subject is the one I limit him to. He doesn’t know where I live, I changed my name. I have no internet footprint.

I don’t discuss my security management plan but I do have one. I made sure that my ex will never financially benefit if any harm comes to me. I have safety security for my house and my car. I have trained. I have practiced scenarios. Those scenarios are based my knowing the behaviors of my ex. My ex is a predator. An observer would see him out and about and fail to understand he has already calculated their distance to him and how he could take them down. I have my strengths. I don’t discuss them (that would be foolish to reveal strengths and plans. I try not to be foolish.) But I do have multiple escape plans.

You’d be justified to think I am being paranoid. I HOPE I am. But… I was foolish before, thinking surely he wouldn’t go that far…. surely if I am not a threat to him, living far away, that he was free to do as he pleased with anyone he wanted, that I was safe. That was foolish of me.

My escape from my ex is perceived as a win for me and my ex NEVER lets another win. You KNOW as a sociopath that my ex doesn’t care. I am a THING. But… I am a thing that a sociopath has decided my reality. Therefore he is ALWAYS a threat to me. I watched my ex get revenge on someone for an innocuous silly thing he said. It took 20 years! But my ex was very gleeful at the time of his triumph to let that victim know that it was a payback for that teasing sentence he spoke 20 years before, where my ex felt put down. My ex NEVER felt a loss, sometimes he felt a delayed WIN, but that’s not a loss. In the meanwhile, my ex was this guys best friend, so friendly and doing stuff for him. There was NO way that victim knew that my ex was pissed. My ex set him up, and BAM, sprang that trap that ruined his victim, ruined his house, ended his career, his wife left him. He was bankrupt. Again, my ex mantra is “submit or be destroyed”. It’s not …or be punished, or rejected or get smacked around a bit. It’s “BE DESTROYED”. But… let me be clear: there was NO ‘OR’. It was in truth, “submit AND BE Destroyed”. There was no escape for a predator. No making up for offending my ex. Once my ex got the drive to feed upon prey, that victim had NO escape except to get away and become someone else.

It’s chilling but… there is NOTHING that stops a sociopath. It is foolish to say I’ll just show him that I’m not intimidated. Foolish b/c a sociopath LOVES that challenge. They FEEL nothing so… intimidation is a game THEY WIN. The ONLY smart choice is to not participate, not give the sociopath ANYTHING. Not a word.

What people don’t understand is that there is NO LINE IN THE SAND FOR A SOCIOPATH. That line never existed. The only thing left was when, where, and how. NOT whether.

That’s why KNOWING, in your SOUL, what a sociopath is capable of, and making a plan that is NOT DISCUSSED with anyone, is wise. I maintain my plan and will do so forever, b/c my ex also has those proxies, those minions, those apaths. In this way, by maintaining a plan, I have a measure of security, I can sleep soundly and enjoy a relatively normal life.

I was able to get free b/c my ex had a new victim and he couldn’t KEEP me while telling another that I wouldn’t let him go. But… like others who warn you, they do not forget. Not ever. That’s why I know he is dangerous. Forever.

Treat a sociopath as if they have no soul and are predators forever. Because that is what they are. And have a plan, any plan, that is known only to YOU (because you can’t trust your husband to be loyal to you, he’s already shown his loyalty is to his son, and your sociopath son knows that). Since you can’t get away, KNOWING he’s a sociopath and what he’s capable of and Being unpredictable is your best defense. (and get some training to know how to avoid being ambushed, where to sit, how to stop and go in traffic, etc. Not being an easy target is also a great defense.)

The bottom line is TAKE control, be PRO active. Don’t merely hope he doesn’t harm you. With a sociopath, that kind of hope is foolish.

Hope Springs

Thank you.

I can see ‘son’ in all of this. Lying in wait. Duping all of the apaths. Knowing that he is playing the revenge game to the end.

I am certain that I will always be his target. That is why I am so steadfast in what I must do. That is to be total grey rock and have zero to do with him, his children, his entire existence.


wonderful post.


happy 4th.


I really cannot say enough about the healing power of time. This is true of any addiction. Recently, I broke away from a beautiful house I was remodeling and planning to retire in. But toward the end, I thought it more practical to sell that home and keep my current one. However, I had become extremely emotionally attached to the house. I cried for many weeks, and bargained with God, looking for some way to buy the house back from the new owner. I even dreamed that I broke into the house to spend the night, making the new owner angry. I didn’t think I would EVER get over this house. I was very depressed and in despair. But here I am 6 weeks later, selling my current place and looking at a different house and very excited about the move. Things CAN change. Of course, it goes without saying that I didn’t think I would ever get over the sociopath all those years ago. And yet, many cries later, one of the good cries was the one that broke the emotional bond. I am amazed at how resilient we are and how capable we are of reinventing ourselves. All we have to do is stay strong and withstand the test of time.

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