Sociopaths and Christmas

guy with gifts 250x293In your dreams and desires, Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. You spend time with family and friends. You give and receive thoughtful gifts. If you are religious, you renew your faith.

Christmas is supposed to be special. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, but at least that’s your goal.

So how do sociopaths view Christmas?

In my opinion, sociopaths view Christmas simply as another tool in their manipulation toolbox. They know that Christmas is important to their targets that would be you so they figure out how to use Christmas to advance their agendas.

So, if sociopaths are in the love bombing stage, they may shower you with gifts and create unbelievably magical moments.

If they’re in the exploitation stage, they may convince you to pay for gifts for them, the kids, or other people that they’re trying to take advantage of.

If they’re in the devalue and discard stage, they may ignore you at Christmas, or even let you know that they’re spending the holidays with someone else.

If they’re in the vindictive stage, they may intentionally think of ways to ruin Christmas for you, the kids, or other friends and family.

What to do

So how do you cope with the sociopath at Christmas, or your memories of the sociopath at Christmas?

I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to recognize the truth of what the sociopath is a hollow, empty shell of a human being. This person is not capable of experiencing any kind of Christmas spirit. If you remember seeing behavior that seemed to express love and good cheer, know that it was an act.

If the sociopath is still in your life in any way, lower your expectations. Do not wish that maybe this Christmas he or she will be different. It will not happen, and you will be disappointed.

The gift of healing

The sociopath will never give you closure. The sociopath will never sincerely apologize. If you receive an apology, that, too, is manipulation.

Healing, therefore, will be a gift you give yourself.

You are a good, caring person who was deceived. The sociopath targeted you, and there is nothing you could have done to make him or her treat you any better.

So how do you recover? Here is the process, in three steps:

  1. Accept that what happened really did happen.
  2. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
  3. Let it go.

Of course, the description of these steps is oversimplified, and all steps require a lot of time, work and patience.

But if you can take the three steps, you’ll give yourself the best Christmas gift imaginable.


Posted in: Donna Andersen

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33 Comments on "Sociopaths and Christmas"

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I am in the process of getting out of my first, true spath relationship. Previously I was not good at bringing up potentially hot topics of discussion (made me very anxious), so this time I told myself “I would be different, face issues head on regardless of the outcome” If I didn’t, I would regret it I just knew that.

So on I charged into discussions on potentially difficult topics in the relationship, no surprise it made no difference. Later I discovered it was immigration/marriage fraud (married a Cuban woman and brought her to Canada). She is in a relationship with another man in Cuba while being married to me.

My healing took the form of intellectualizing “their” behavior, studying what was different and how “they” saw the world and their victims. Without this and without Donna’s wonderful insights, I would still be confused and depressed. Now I understand how the spath, psychopath or narcissist can pretend to display appropriate emotion to manipulate (crocodile tears for example), but they do not “feel” it, they do it to manipulate, period. They are dysfunctional in a caring society. Educate yourself, read and understand you are a target because you appear as a caring person, the type they love to go after. Intellectualize their behavior just as they intellectualize and display fake emotions.

When they “appear upset” it is manipulation, they do not feel upset because they cannot “feel”. It takes a “fly on the wall” type of perspective to catch yourself before you fall for their traps.

When you encounter the red flags (such as contained in Donna’s book) be prepared to walk away, be ever cognizant 1 in 25 people (male or female) have this disability of no conscience, no guilt, no remorse and they know how to hook their victims.

It is NOT you, it is “them”, they do not experience joy, love, deep caring because of their brain pathology. Just as a person diagnosed with Bi-polar they have a disability. But these people walk around undetected because they act so convincingly.

When you have no conscience, no guilt, no remorse etc. Nothing affects you, “they” have the “luxury” of not experience emotions, good bad or other. They pretend they do, only to manipulate, it is no different than AD/HD, Bi-Polar or any other mental condition except; they can hide it by play acting to get the reaction they want.

Thanks Donna,

It has been almost a year since I wrote and while convinced my ex-girlfriend was a psychopath this is more confirmation.

I have always spent Christmas eve with my children but was let know by my ex that she wanted to be special (of course). I was living out of state and came back for Christmas. To make it special I broke my lifelong tradition and rented a suite at a luxury hotel where I spent Christmas eve with her. I wanted her to know I loved more than anyone.

I also worked hard that next year to get back to California and managed by the end of the year. She let me know she didn’t care and not to come back with any expectations. I got back right after Christmas and I reminded her of our last Christmas only to have her tell me that she had spent this Christmas eve in a “one night stand with an ex boyfriend – a former volleyball player with a great body” – her words. OUCH – like you posted one year special – next year she’s with someone else and in my face about it.

WillGove, This is like comparing apples and cyanide tablets. The so called “diagnoses” you say are no different than psychopathy are merely a spec of a mental inconsistency in an otherwise normal person. And some, like ADHD are not even disorders but just failure to fit into an artificial society induced false norm. Albert Eisenstein is now suspected of being ADHD. Mozart was probably Bipolar. Bipolar is just a bit more up and down than the average bloke. Psychopaths are not normal in any way. They are unfeeling evil creatures pretending to be human and it is not treatable or curable. That is why it is called a personality disorder instead of a mental illness. The basics of psychological terminology need to be completely restructured to correctly define the new scientific data that has been discovered. It is no wonder people are so unaware of dangerous psychopaths, rapists and pedophiles in our midst when they are miss-classified and put in the same category as a rambunctious child or a genius. I am furious that you would lurk here and say such twisted things where we know one when we hear one. I give you a big F on that attempt to go under the radar.

170 years ago today…

Quote: “WillGove, This is like comparing apples and cyanide tablets.”

I was amused by this choice of comparison. That’s because apple pips in fact are known to contain cyanide! Tiny quantities, to be sure, but cyanide all the same! So apples and cyanide tablets are not as completely different from one another as some people might imagine!

That’s appropriate too, since WillGove is not entirely wrong in bracketing conditions like bipolar disorder along with psychopathy. Fair enough, bipolar disorder doesn’t make anyone a psychopath; however, in some men and women bipolar disorder can indeed be a cause of chronically abusive behavior. It’s not necessarily a benign condition. Even ADHD appears to be a contributing factor to abusive behavior in some (probably overstressed) individuals.

But it’s the right day to talk about apples, because they featured in a notable murder case. 170 years ago today, on the first day of January 1845, John Tawell disposed of his unwanted mistress Sarah Hart by poisoning her with prussic acid in a glass of porter while visiting her at her home in Slough, England. Tawell has the distinction of being the first murderer to be caught with the help of modern (electrical) communication technology. A Quaker, he was noticed in his distinctive Quaker dress leaving Sarah’s home and later boarding a train in Slough. He might have gotten away unidentified, except that an electric telegraph had recently been installed, and authorities in Slough sent a message to Paddington station in London alerting police to watch out for this mysterious Quaker. When he arrived there on the train, Tawell was followed and later apprehended.

His trial was memorable for quite a different reason. Since Sarah was known to have been poisoned by a cyanide compound, Sir Fitzroy Kelly, the barrister defending Tawell, tried a novel defense. He argued that the cyanide Sarah was poisoned with was not administered by Tawell, but had come instead from apple pips! There was a large barrel of apples in Sarah’s home, and Kelly tried to convince the jury that Sarah had eaten too many of them over the holiday season, with fatal results.

Unfortunately for his client the jury wasn’t buying this explanation, and John Tawell ended his days at the end of a rope. The barrister meanwhile earned himself the nickname of “Apple Pip Kelly,” which stuck to him for the rest of his long career.

100 years ago today

I was particularly annoyed three years ago to learn that over in England, the press baron Rupert Murdoch had summarily closed down the News of the World. That was apparently the only way he could find out of the mess of corruption in which he and his minions had embroiled this famous Sunday newspaper.

It’s not that the News of the World ever had the intellectual standing or prestige acoorded to more lordly journals—such as The Times, for instance. Indeed, the News of the World had always appealed to readers’ baser instincts, with scandals galore (particularly sex scandals) and sensationalism of every kind. Nevertheless, by exposing what it did, I’m sure the newspaper had done a lot of good in its day. And it was by no means a modern publication; on the contrary, this venerable news sheet was founded as far back as 1843. It was a thoroughgoing British institution; it even rated a mention in the very first paragraph of George Orwell’s essay The Decline of the English Murder, as preferred Sunday reading in millions of English homes. For this wretched foreigner Murdoch to march in, seize control of the newspaper after a vicious fight, then several decades later, after miring the newspaper in scandals of its own, simply shut it down after 168 years struck me as sheer wanton destruction, an unforgivable act of vandalism.

This third day of January is the right time to commemorate an occasion when the News of the World almost certainly saved someone’s life, and possibly several lives. The story began like this.

One hundred years ago today, much of the news was about World War I, which had started the previous year. The war that many believed would be “all over by Christmas” hadn’t even begun to reach its most terrible stages yet. But newspapers still found room, as always, for an ordinary human interest story, and the News of the World was no exception. On the very first Sunday in 1915, January the third, the following article appeared in that newspaper:


Particularly sad circumstances under which a bride of a day met her
death were investigated at an Islington inquest on Margaret Elizabeth Lloyd,
thirty-eight, wife of a land agent of Holloway. The husband said he was
married to deceased at Bath. After travelling to London she complained
of headache and giddiness, and he took her to a medical man, who prescribed
for her. The following morning she said she felt much better, and during
the day she went out shopping. At 7.30 she said she would have a bath,
and she then appeared cheerful. A quarter of an hour later witness went
out, and returned at a quarter past eight, expecting to see her in the
sitting room. As she was not there he inquired of the landlady, and they
went to the bathroom, which was in darkness. He lit the gas, and then
found his wife under the water, the bath being three parts full. The next
day witness found a letter amongst deceased’s clothing, but there was
nothing in it to suggest that she was likely to take her life.

Dr. Bates said death was due to asphyxia from drowning. Influenza,
together with a hot bath, might have caused an attack of syncope. The
enquiry was adjourned for the attendance of the landlady, who, it was said,
had met with an accident.

A sad little story indeed. But that wasn’t quite all there was to it, as people were to discover after certain readers had seen this article.

[To be continued]

Hey, what happened to my second post? The system seemed to accept it, but it never appeared. So I tried to repost it, and the system rejected it, saying it was detecting a duplicate post. Fair enough, but where did the first attempt go? It’s vanished into some kind of limbo…

I divorced the sociopath 18 years ago and he is still a thorn in my side. This year was no different. The kids usually come to my house for brunch and then head to their dads. This year he decided to do breakfast and got my grown girls to agree without saying a word to me (typical manipulation). I let it roll off and did a little time rearranging. As the day went on I realized that there was a good chance there would be no Christmas time for mom this year. A friend of mine called and said “did you hear”. I replied “hear what?” … your ex got engaged. My daughter had posted a picture of the two smiling people (an unemployed alcoholic – what a catch). That is so typical of him … mother’s day, Christmas, … you name it he is going to try and make it all about him. My heart goes out to his fiancee (poor thing). A week ago my youngest daughter, 25, called me hysterical … her dad had woke her up and hit her so hard that she still has a black eye today (a week later). His Fiancee told mye daughter … “well your dad was upset” – OMG makes my blood boil. Both of my girls have now seen first hand what I have been trying to tell them for a very long time. He is shallow, evil, manipulative, abusive, monster. Hopefully out of the trauma my girls will cut the cord and stop the abuse once and for all. Love and Light to all … a sociopath in your life is a veil of evil.


First time posting here and I don’t really know if it’s the right place to post or what I’m looking for exactly but here it goes anyway. I am a sociopath! For me Christmas is a very odd experience every year, my family is large and complicated and none of them can even comprehend what it means to lean slightly towards sociopathic and if I told them it would not be beneficial. They would never be able to understand.

I’d like to start by pointing out that not everything for me at chistmas is purely to benefit myself, as a sociopath I can say that we do everything to benefit ourselves but not always only for ourselves and not always to make ourselves the person benefiting the most. I visit my parents and my siblings and I make them laugh, I help out and get on with everyone and this is by far more beneficial to them as it makes them happy. Were things stray for me is drama at Christmas, I deal with it too well and all it makes me think is “do I really love my family” it’s horrible to think that I could leave this place and not care, that I don’t really want to be here in the first place but it’s my family.

What I want to know is how do other people deal with their family at Christmas?

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