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The “immunity mindset” and the sociopath

Imagine you can make yourself invisible (at will) and, thereby, effectively innoculate yourself against the consequences of your violating behaviors.

This playful scenario posits a power bordering on omnipotent. You can do what you want, when you want, to whom you want, secure in the knowledge that you can get away with it.

Your invisibility effectively liberates you from the normal rules and boundaries that regulate interpersonal conduct.

Now let’s be honest”¦with this power, how many of us would use it for our own amusement, and to our own advantage?

The true answer: most of us?

Remember, I said “let’s be honest.”

None of us, of course, so far as I know, possesses this power, thank goodness”¦and let me add that, while I suspect many of us would find some temptingly interesting ways to wield it, I am not suggesting that, endowed with such superpower, most of us would use it in cruel, hurtful ways.

As a matter of fact I think that, for many of us, possessing such a power would carry a burden. I imagine, for instance, a clash ensuing—a clash between opposing forces. That is, between a first force, call it our primitive thirst for self-gratification, and a second force (and the only force with the power to keep the first in check)—our conscience (our heeding of which enables us to sleep reasonably well at night).

So what am I getting at here?

Although I’m not suggesting that sociopaths operate with a belief in their literal invisibility, many of them, I am suggesting, operate with a metaphorically comparable mindset. I call it the immunity mindset.

The immunity mindset, as I’ve implied above, is a mentality characterized especially by the audacious belief and confidence that one can transgress others with, well, immunity.

It must be a heady feeling, indeed, to harbor the conviction that you can pull off sh*t most others would simply find too risky and, more importantly, too shameful to endeavor?

By way of example, imagine that you’re on a crowded subway and are seized with the lascivious impulse to grope an unsuspecting neighbor? The non-sociopath seized with such an impulse may consider it briefly, entertain and even enjoy the fantasy, but then retires it harmlessly.

He retires it for several reasons, chief among them his fear, first of all, of being caught, and just as deterrently, because he knows that the shame that would ensue from his action would supercede, probably greatly, the gratification to be enjoyed from his exploitive act.

Shame, we know, is a powerful deterrent against antisocial behavior. And so it follows that a lack of shame is a wonderful asset to carry into an exploitative endeavor.

Sociopaths, lacking and unencumbered by shame—specifically the anxiety, self-consciousness, negative self-judgement and nervousness that accompany shame—find themselves thus freely poised to engage in exploitative behaviors from which non-sociopaths will typically desist, and to do so, moreover, with the imperturbability of supremely composed individuals.

Their lack of shame, in other words, enables their composure.

In my subway example, the sociopath will grope his neighbor because, first of all, he wants to (and sociopaths, remember, do and take what they want); furthermore, because he lacks, as noted, the anticipatory shame that typically deters most of us from “acting-out” our violating impulses; and finally (and to the heart of this column), because he is as confident as if he were invisible that he will get away with his violation.

Let us imagine, for instance, that his victim whirls around and accuses the sociopath, publicly, of groping her. The non-sociopath would find such a public accusation mortifying. The sociopath, however, just as securely as though he’d been invisible, will calmly deny the charge, or else just as calmly finger the guy standing next to him as the guilty party.

He might say, with remarkable equanimity, “I don’t know what you’re talking about”¦you’ve got the wrong guy”¦.I wasn’t even standing here”¦so it couldn’t have been me. It was that guy.”

Now what kind of world is this in which the sociopath is living?

It is a world in which others are the ultimate objects with which to jerk around, toy, menace, and entertain himself: a world in which he, the sociopath, can imagine doing pretty much anything he wants to anyone, while enjoying, if not relishing, his perceived immunity from accountability.

This is another way of suggesting that many sociopaths aren’t just playing, in fantasy, the game of imagine if you were invisible, how would you exploit your power? Effectively, they are carrying this mentality, what I call the immunity mindset, into the real world.

It is a mindset steeped in a deep, grandiose sense of omnipotence; a mindset, I would add, that leaves the sociopath feeling empowered, and at liberty, to violate others sinisterly with his strange, striking, signature lack of worry, shame and constraint.

(My use of “he” in this, and other posts, is not to suggest that females are not capable of the behaviors described. This article is copyrighted (c) 2009 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)


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480 Comments on "The “immunity mindset” and the sociopath"

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Awesome post Steve.

“The immunity mindset, as I’ve implied above, is a mentality characterized especially by the audacious belief and confidence that one can transgress others with, well, immunity. ”

From what I’ve observed, Sociopaths are often dead right about their immunity. They pull off things the rest of us couldn’t even dream of. They choose their victims and dupes shrewdly. My most trusted consultant with regard to personal safety stated “If he even thought you had what it takes to wait in the shadows near his front door with a shotgun he wouldn’t be doing it. Not that we are recommending this course of action…”

Even the Sociopath I dealt with, who’d been prosecuted for assault and imprisoned, and served with several restraining orders, was relatively uninhibited. He could fool most of the people, most of the time. This made him feel practically omnipotent. It turns out there’s a lot of misbehavior that isn’t likely to be prosecuted.

Each of his jail/prison incidents gave him an understanding of what line he could not cross without serious consequences. Guess what?! These lines weren’t where the rest of us would draw them. With him, it came down to “What do I have to do to say out of jail?” That’s it. Any consequence short of incarceration was of little consequence.

Thanks again, Steve.

So this is part of why he is so foolishly forcing me to spend money on an ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE – appox $2000.00 to stop him from selling off assets while the divorce is in progress. He KNOWS this is off limits – he’s been told – but he is doing what he wants anyway. I thought it was just a power / control. But he actually feels he is immune to the consequences?

I could not for the life of me understand why he would push this issue KNOWING it will be stopped. Does he not understand it will be stopped, doesn’t care? Or that he thinks he will accomplish his plan BEFORE anyone can do anything about it?

This mindset makes it impossible to NEGOTIATE a settlement because if it’s not what He wants – we go on and on and on.

Your article implies he will run his course until he is FORCED to comply and end this nightmare.

He has this attitude towards EVERYTHING :

Why didn’t Johnny do his homework when he was with you?
– I thought he did

Why would you take the money that belongs to BOTH of us?
– I needed it

Why didn’t Johnny get to bed by 9:00 instead of eleven?
-He can sleep tonight

-Why would you cheat on me again?
-Because I’m not happy – I’m not in love with YOU!!

Then why do you ask me at bedtime if I love you?
-Because I needed to know you still LOVED ME

Why did you stay so long?
-You are a great wife

NO THOUGHT of the consequence anyone else pays for his actions – takes what he wants and does what he wants

CRAZYMAKING?

Dear Steve,

As usual, you have nailed it on the head! Immunity! I would like to add another thought to it too.

Not only do they think they are IMMUNE, even if they get arrested and go to prison for their acts, they do NOT feel like failures just because they went to prison, because it was NOT THEIR FAULT that they became “visible” and got caught, it is the snitch that turned them in who is responsible for them being sent to prison.

Even if they “lose” and do get caught, it is NEVER their fault they got caught, and they still feel “invisible”–and invincible as well. Just as teenagers (mostly) all feel immortal and that driving too fast will never catch up to THEM, only to someone else, never them, so the psychopath is STUCK in this developmental stage of immunity and invincibility throughout life.

Hang in there Newlife,

When he starts to fear the consequences you can and will bring to bear against him, he’ll become more inhibited.

Show him your hard, cold, ruthless side, and he’ll start to shape up a little bit.

As for

“Why didn’t Johnny do his homework when he was with you?
– I thought he did

Why didn’t Johnny get to bed by 9:00 instead of eleven?
-He can sleep tonight”

Are there any consequences you can put into place that do not make things stressful for the child?

How old is the child? Letting the child go to school with his homework undone, then letting the child live with the consequences, may be perfectly reasonable. If the child is past the 1st Grade, it’s time for the kid to be in charge of his own homework.

I know children with irresponsible divorced dads who simply state “My Dad is an overgrown child.” These kids have come to accept their Father’s immaturity. When they’re with Dad, they have to be mature and responsible themselves, because Dad can’t or won’t. This doesn’t mean they’re unkind or rude to their fathers, it just means they accept greater responsibility on visits with their father than simply providing Dad with a playmate. They know that they cannot afford to get upset over silly things their father might say, and they know they still have to brush their teeth, change their underwear, do their homework and go to bed at a reasonable hour, no matter what Dad does or does not mandate.

It sounds like you may need to get your son to this point eventually, even if he’s not old enough to make these choices just yet.

PS-

“Dad didn’t make me do my homework!” is not an acceptable excuse for a 7+ year old. If you let that [email protected] slide, your son will grow up handing people the same lame excuses his Father gives you.

All so true. Why file a false charge against me? because he could. No fear either way. He may get what he wants. He might not. But he wins either way because he put me through hell, proved what he is capable of so stay away, and will feel no fear as to danger from me if he loses because he never felt any to start with. 16 felonies and none is fault. Bragged about how he got away with so much, felt no remorse, his stupid victims deserved it, it was fun to beat the cops at the game, and only got caught because his stupid wife ran her mouth and boy did he make her pay. Got 3 new felony charges out of it but well worth it to him because after all she made him mad and she made him do it. All her fault. And this is all my fault because I had the nerve to interfere with his daughter who has her own mind and hasn’t bowed down completely to dad’s authority. But she will. He will win on that and she will be controlled and ultimately destroyed by him because that is what he does. He leaves a wake of destruction everywhere he goes where people fall in love with their illusion that he creates.

Steve:

This is so true.

My S was sent to prison for stealing and trying to cash his employers paychecks. To this day it is everybody’s fault but his — his attorney should have tried to get him sent into drug treatment; it was the drugs that made him do it, etc, etc, etc.

The fact was — he became visible. So, now he’s learned to operate in a way that is less visible, and enjoying bleeding, jacking around, stealing, lying, etc. The thing is, I suspect he’ll screw up again — that sense of omnipotence will become overpowering and/or he’ll get desperate enough to try to pull off something audacious, and he’ll end up back in the criminal justice system again.

The thing is, while I won’t/can’t make myself “invisible” to act like a sociopath in public, I have no qualms about making myself “invisible” to settle my scores with sociopath in private.

Awesome Post Steve,

The timing of this post is unbelievable. So often I have been unable to articulate, to find ANY words that I can piece together that make any sense to describe what I live with in the fantasy world my son creates.

I find it very difficult to live in this “world”. It is so consistant, and I could never understand where the lies ended and the lack of reality began. And when I try to “deal” with this behavior it is mind boggling. We go around and around (the crazy making) and as a parent I get nowhere.

It is a mind set with him. And he often remains composed regardless of how “over the top” his lies or the situation he is manipulating might be. I could never understand how he could “pass the blame” so nonchalontly and actually EXPECT me (or anyone else) to believe this. Because by all appearance sake he is stoned faced and believes it himself.

His perception would seem to be “why would you believe anything else”? (than what he is saying)

This type of mantality….In a 16 year old. Is there anything productive that a parent might do to counter this?

Elizabeth,

Great comment on the sense of responsibility my son should have – even at 10. However, he cannot get his homework done when DAD is running him around all night till 10:00 or 11:00 . He is not even at a place where he could do it.

The only thing I may be able to change is to make Wednesday a dinner visit instead of an overnight.

My son is on the hyper side and clearly responds better with some structure and routine. Unfortunately, dad resents those things in his own life and finds it difficult to enforce even for the children. Son does not even struggle with the homework – he just needs to be allowed the time to do it.

Next year is 5th grade and things really start to swing in a more difficult direction to prep for middle school – 6th grade.

Thanks so much for your comments – I really do some great suggestions from all of you.

Advise and criticism is always welcome – keeps my brain going when I can’t do it for myself sometimes.

Ouch Newlife,

Please forgive me for sounding critical.

I’m a parent myself, and sometimes I get frustrated with the same issues you deal with.

I home school, and right now I’m sitting at the computer listening to my stomach growl. My son was supposed to do his Math by 11:00. It was only about 40 minutes worth of work, and he’s dragged it out to 80 minutes and counting. I will not let him break for lunch ’til he’s done. I guess I could eat lunch myself, but I think that would only amp up the drama. Boy am I hungry!

It sounds like changing the Wednesday night routine is probably a good call. Is your son in scouting? It would be good if your husband could take your son to scouts. Boys without Dads at scouts tend to feel left out, because it’s a father-son thing. I mention scouts because it’s very organized, but fun. That, and your husband will be exposed to Dads who are reasonably competent. Some of their parenting strategies might rub off on him.

Of course, scouting can’t be YOUR idea!

About that invisibility thing –

The invisibility thing is useless to me without extra time and energy. I’ve always thought it would be cool if I could make time stand still, then get a few things done. For once I’d like to feel ahead, or even caught up.

Elizabeth,

No ouch felt here. I just wanted to be clear I am SOOO open to help. Please don’t take offense.

Dad thinks all those types of dads are wimps – his dad didn’t get involved in his scouting either.

But son has entered wrestling and baseball -now that dad is out of the house – and he is loving it!!!

I have to arrange things I know I can attend to because dad is totally UNRELIABLE. Which is why I never asked him to do anything during the marriage . The stress of him forgetting , being late, etc was worse than doing it all myself.

Even now he will call me to back him up when he can’t meet his obligations.

Again – please feel free to help – It is sOOO tiring trying to outsmart this guy. He was never like this at home – he has now declared me the enemy.

No more passive aggressive behavior – he is all out at WAR CONTROL!!!!

Boy Newlife,

I’m really sorry you’re going through this. It sounds like it’s hassle after hassle.

Hate to say it, but your son developing a resiliant, mature attitude is probably going to be a critical part of your solution.

It’s not fair that it’s the kid who has to become mature, but that’s cluster B for you. The man is not going to grow up.

Elizabeth Conley:

I don’t know why, but when you described the scene with you sitting there at the computer growling and your son dragging out doing his math homework — all I kept thinking of was that scene in “Mommie Dearest” — the one where Joan Crawford keeps serving Christina the same steak over and over each night until she eats it.

Of course, now that I think about it, your son is playing the role of “Mommie Dearest” since you are the one who is playing “Darling Christina” since you are the one who is going hungry.

Oh, well. Hope you enjoy lunch (if and when it comes).

After I read this post about the “invisibility” of the sociopath being used to exploit their power, I got a phone call from one from the attorneys for yet another sucker creditor of the sociopath. Apparently he used my address and phone number when he applied for a credit card and of course, has now defaulted on it. I thought “screw invisibility” and promptly gave the attorney where S lives and where S works. Let them take another piece of him.

Matt,

“Mommy Dearest”

Thanks Matt. That makes me feel lovely!!!

Seriously, there’s a lot of guilt that goes with parenting. He didn’t finish his Math ’til 11:50. Usually we start Social Studies at 12. Should I give him (read us) a full hour for lunch? I do have other things to do. Usually I aim to be done with school by 2 PM.

Mind you, no matter what, he’ll think I’m a meanie. When my eldest was about 18 months, I figured out that I was fated to forever be the mean mommy who dragged her away from the playground, rather than the kind mommy who make time to take her to the playground. From that point onward, the guilt got easier to bear. There’s no winning the guilt game.

I’ll give him until 12:30 for lunch, then hurry him through his Social Studies and Science. Maybe we’ll get done in time.

If I come across as a meanie – Oh Well!

His sister is kicking up her heals at Jamestown VA with my parents today. She’s getting a great History lesson, and having an outlandishly good time. I bet she’ll be a real grouch when I drive 45 minutes to pick her up at 6:15 tomorrow morning. Sigh. “Mean Mommy!” Whatever!

Elizabeth Conley (aka Mommie Dearest):

Question for you — do you know anything about a place called Lancaster, VA?

Elizabeth Conley:

Actually, instead of “Mommie Dearest” I think we’ll call you “Major Mom” — courtesy of both you having been military and you’re a great mother.

True- I have seen this behavior in action as we all have.

I do think they are in reality, solidly so, because if they weren’t the behavior wouldn’tbe outrageous, wouldn’t be “fun.”

This knowledge of propriety is solid in a psychopath otehr wise they’d be oh I don’t know quiet, unassuming…any number of behavior not necessarily deviant.

Deviant works to thrill them because they KNOW they aren’t invisible and everyone can see what they do.

Thanks Matt. Like almost everyone, I’m trying my heart out.

My kids would be quick to tell you about the morning I gave them each a Coke and a Twinkie for breakfast, or the week I made them write the entirety of “Paul Revere’s Ride” in their copybooks. I just shrug and say “Save it for your therapists.”

I brushed my teeth with baking soda, wore home made cloths, shared a tiny cabin on a 32 ft sailboat with my little sister, crabbed, gathered oysters and berries and ate vegetables from the garden. Nobody noticed if I did my homework, or even if I had homework. There were no extras like scouting, dance or music. My husband’s childhood was far harder than mine.

We have trouble keeping a straight face when our kids complain.

Lancaster County – Northern Neck

Well established community

Quiet

Oxy

I allways had a feeling I was dealing with a Child that would not GROW UP! Tempor-Tantrums, Fits, Anger, I thought his age level was about 10-8! In the body of an adult!
And even though I see the Immunity mindset I also saw that his true self image was Loathsom, less than, that was part of the sharade! The delusions of Grandure.
His Lack of intelegence and self control put him in Jail many times for stupid chit. His own mother had him arrested I think more than once. And His signature act to avoid Jail is to fain Sucide and be Baker acted.
Truely a admirable young man! Like I said If he was not attractive he wouldn’t have squat! Peace

I love your writing style Steve. You have a knack for explaining the inexplicable. One of the things I appreciate about this site is the number of truly gifted communicators. Now if only more of the uninitiated could benefit from such sage descriptions of these vampires…

Elizabeth,

Let me know how that trip works out. My d-15 was at Virginia Beach last month and she has now requested to go to Williamsburg and Jamestown for summer trek.

I have never driven that far myself – but I do want to know if it would be worth it at their ages – 10 and 15.

Three hours away is about as far as I have gone alone with the kids – I worry I would tire during the drive and have no one to keep me awake. Lord knows they will either eat, sleep or fight their way through.

I hope your D has a great time – what a nice opportunity for her. My kids don’t have grandmothers like that – it is truly a gift.

And remember the old saying “Meanie mommy – party daddy”

It is often very true.

My parents are great. They take the kids fairly frequently. They’d like to take them more often.

If you go to Jamestown and Williamsburg, consider Yorktown as well. There is a roadway called the Colonial Parkway that connects all three historic districts. The area is somewhat expensive, but I’m guessing you’ll find the most reasonably priced accommodations in the Yorktown area.

I spent a most of my childhood in that area of Virginia.

As for the drive, I don’t know what to say to that. I’d leave very early in the morning/late at night with a thermos of coffee, and drive through while the kids sleep. Then I’d crash on a pool side lounge while the kids played in the pool. I’ve driven crazy distances with the kids. I think everyone does it differently.

The trip will go great.

Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg are very pleasant at this time of year, and the historic districts are fascinating.

You can have a good time spending money hand over fist, or you can economize. If you choose the latter, consider a picnic or two along the Colonial Parkway. The Parkway winds along the river bank. The scenery is great and there are many places to stop. Your kids will want to wade in the water, or even swim. I suggest swim shoes and towels.

Dear EC,

Having home schooled mine too, I think (my opinion only) that YOU going late with your lunch because of HIS behavior and dawling etc. punishes YOU for his behavior, my way would have been for ME to eat lunch, at the regular timie while he did without. If he didn’t get done til later, I would have given him a 10 minute lunch and started right back on schedule. I see his behavior as manipulating you with his slowing down. He at least gets the satisfaction of YOU going without lunch too. If he was in a regular school (or office) etc and he didn’t get his work done on time, the schedule and the clock move on anyway, they don’t adjust for him. Just my take.

BTW. I thought my son would never memorize his multiplication facts, he had decided he didn’t need to cause he could add so fast, and I thought I would keep him working at it 24/7 for 10 years before he would give in and do it. LOL He finially got them in about 2 days after he decided he had to and couldn’t get around it! Ah, the challenges of home schooling and parenting! (((hugs))))

OxDrover,

Good points.

No two ways about it. My kids are spoiled.

He started back to work at 12:30, but he got done at 2 PM. It was less than ideal, but it’s done. Next time I can be tougher!

I’m not sure what the occassional dawdling on Math is all about. It’s right before Lunch, and you’d think they’d want their break. It’s pretty easy, and I’ll help if they ask.

The only thing I could tell about my son with the math, EC was that he didn’t think he needed to memorize it and just flat refused to even try. I almost hit the same road block in physiological chem when I had to memorize the molectular structure of nearly 100 sugars and I saw NO NEED to do this. I forced myself to sit and look at them 8 hours a day, with 10 minute breaks each hour. I was so determined I did not NEED this information that I just couldn’t do it. Eventually after nearly a week of this FORCED looking at them, I memorized them in about 45 minutes! LOL

So maybe he doesn’t see a USE for this math. I know that knowing that it is more than a rote memorization did help me, and later when I got into higher chem I realized that knowing thes3e helped me a great deal! Same thing with the Krebs cycle on energy production. It made other classes much easier. Maybe you can “spice” up the math so he will be INTERESTED in it some how.

I realize there are things we just have to do and learn that we can’t at that time see any use for, but at the same time, we just have to “knuckle down” and get them done, like it or not. Not all learning is “fun.” Not all jobs are fun, either, but in order to be employed we have to do them. so this may be a lesson more in self discipline than in math.

Wioth kids it is like training animals, “first rule is you have to be smarter than the “child” or animal you are training, and THAT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY! LOL Motivation with kids or animals either is sometimes difficult. I had a friend once when my kids were little and I used to watch her 3 year old out smart her repeatedly. He would whine and she would give him what he was whining for to get him to stop, she couldn’t see she was rewarding him for whining. I kept him during the week while she worked and he NEVER whined to me for something, he would ask and accept no if I said it, but as soon as she walked through the door, the whining started.

I always try to keep in mind with kids or animals, “what you reward is what you get” and sometimes that even means a “negative reward”—-

“It is a mindset steeped in a deep, grandiose sense of omnipotence; a mindset, I would add, that leaves the sociopath feeling empowered, and at liberty, to violate others sinisterly with this strange, striking signature lack of worry, shame and constraint.”

Steve: When did you meet my sister-in-law?

From my experience with my brother’s wife and my ex, they are UNABLE to look at themselves from the outside. They are completely unaware of people’s perceptions of them.
They just think they are superior and that’s it.

But, they can become SO focused on what they want at times, they forget there are other people right there watching their selfish, bizarre, sometimes criminal behavior.
They also forget that they are leaving “evidence” when in this “immunity” mode.

For example, if a child is being abused, they are oblivious to the fact that they are leaving bruises on the child.

Failing to see these “warning signs”, makes them especially prone to “screwing up” sooner or later.

I believe the sociopath is very slick in the beginning, and cautious not to “let the mask slip”. But, over time, they become emboldened, and their actions become more brazen.

Sooner or later there is at least one screw up. A big one, too.

Us healthy people just have to be very patient, and ready to pounce when the screw up happens.

OMG Steve! What an awesome post! My ex s’s motto was “Live large”. He just thought he was so grandiose. He still thinks to this day that he can get away with anything he wants to do, & is above the law. He has done so many things that are against the law, including murder, & just skips through life without a care in the world. He’s just pure evil.

Steve!

Thanks for a terrific article. You’ve explained so much, very clearly, and answered some questions that I’ve been wrestling with.

It’s so easy to be drawn to confidence: it’s something we all strive for, to feel accomplished and sure, and to be able to project that to others. With these people, it’s based in an absolute sense of entitlement or immunity, with the rest of humanity being viewed as objects, like cat toys to my cat Max. Max picks out the one he wants, and then proceeds to worry it to disintegration. Looks quite familiar…unfortunately.

One of the things I’ve noticed with entitled people is they use this energy to create endless and often contradictory demands. Attempting to fulfill these is utterly exhausting — and when we’re bone-tired, we’re much easier to control. Our thinking isn’t as clear, our boundaries get shaky, and we’re working hard just to stay afloat — and they’re entirely calm and rested! “Dinner and a show!” they seem to be thinking.

You know they figured out long ago that a person who’s tired and near overload is much easier to control and exploit — perfect predator’s assessment.

“This is another way of suggesting that many sociopaths aren’t just playing, in fantasy, the game of imagine if you were invisible, how would you exploit your power? Effectively, they are carrying this mentality, what I call the immunity mindset, into the real world.”

Yes, Steve I too believe this is so true. Really this “immunity mindset” explains so much of their actions and then the lack of remorse (shame) or any real conscience concerning the abuse damage they will and have caused so many. This im (immunity mindset) gives them the ability to cross over social norms, break through personal boundaries and take away personal power from others which allows only power over others. In a ironic way they get want they want the most. Because in the end most of these people do become invisible to us for the rest of our life’s anyway…

can someone tell me from experience or just knowledge…when a sociopath has been found out and is publicly rejected (by a woman)amongst his so called peers…and he finds out she has moved on and has kicked him to the curb….what does this rejection do to his psyche??? any thoughts wuld be most helpful

Tilly – If I lived my life like a sociopath I would always be scared that someone that I conned is just waiting for the right opportunity to get even. My X was mising teeth, later I found out someone kicked him in the mouth- I wonder why? – he has a huge scar across the top of his head and I never got a reason for that – hmm I bet I know.. I would think after awhile a sociopath would have to change states or at least citys, because they do acquire a reputation after awhile. he is not welcomed by his family – I used to think how unfair – now i know why – he will ruin every good person’s attempt to love him – he will go from victim to victim as long as he can lie so convincingly – he wont change because there is nothing wrong with him, he see’s not one thing wrong with lying to keep a roof over his head – I dont think they can live alone with themselves – that would be the worst company they could ever have – someday somebody will kill him or he will die on the streets – but as long as there are suckers like me out there he can stay with someone a year or so at a time – maybe longer if he always gets his way and can do what he wants – I would never be able to do that – I can live alone and I enjoy my company and i figured out why I attract those kinds of people, mostly because I am a good person and want to help those in need – but I wont fall for it again – I can help the needy and have boundaries and when I see I am being taken advantage of I can close the door and not answer the phone – no contact is the only weapon I have, not playing the game makes it clear to him that I know he is bad and he does not like for people to see the true him, so he will avoid me just like he avoided all the people of his past when he was with me – all his friends were new friends – sorry for rambling

short and simple – they are hustlers and prostitutes

henry:

I could have written what you did word for word — the missing teeth and head scar notwithstanding.

My S’s family, like your S’s family had written him off — bare contact as necessary. My S operated in secrecy — I now see to keep all the people he conned, burned and screwed over from finding out where he lived. His claims to the contrary, his friends were minimal and new. His looks are shot — his days as a cute boy-toy are behind him. Now, he’s just a very overweight, middle-aged man who has no money and is almost out on the street. I’d say the odds of his hooking somebody like me was was willing to support him style are pretty slim. Between his high blood pressure, drug addiction, drinking and all the people who would like a piece of him, I’d say he will die far earlier than a non-sociopath.

Yesterday I learned that S is being sued yet again by yet another credit card he has defaulted on. This will make 16 default judgments stretching back to 1991. Twenty years of burning creditors of every stripe — credit cards, car finance companies, student loans, lfederal and state tax authorities, andlords, busineses, friends and employers. When I look at that list, I realize he can’t blame his problems on his drug addiction — he has been hardwired since birth to be a conman. When I learned of his latest lawsuit, all I could think was “what an exhausting way to live.”

henry:

“If I lived my life like a sociopath I would always be scared that someone that I conned is just waiting for the right opportunity to get even.”

Yessiree, that’s me. And I’ve got him just where I want him now. Only, I don’t have to lay a hand on him to do it.

Steve,

I had every confidence you would. And will continue to do so…

Your gifts are many: compassionate, dynamic writer and speaker, so relaxed- yet exuding a vibrance for life and a deep understanding of the pain those of us here have endured.

Your writings draw us into your sphere of understanding and experience and help us put words to feelings that have long existed without identity – we find validation where there was none.

Then the next step – you draw us out of ourselves, help us face the pain, recognize the behaviors and common ground of what we have been through.

That you offer your expertise to those whose journey led them here – I learned in my 12 years of Catholic school that God sends us Angels in many forms in our darkest times of need – I count you as one we are lucky enough to have along the way.

God Bless – travel safely.

EndthePain:

If you go No Contact on a sociopath, one of 2 things is likely to happen.

First, they will simply move on. No skin off of their back. They never cared about you anyway. Onto the next victim.

Second, and more dangerous, they will become very angry.

When I finally went NC on my sociopath boyfriend, I was already afraid of him. And going No Contact only justified my worst fears.

You see, he “was not through with me”. For whatever reason , he still saw me as a great source of supply.

When I went NC, it only increased the smear campaign he already had going on me. He damaged my property, he would come over to my house and start firing shotguns outside at late hours (he thought he was Rambo), all the wierd stuff that they do.

I called the police on him at least once. And then he started getting the picture that I meant business. He went away eventually. But, he did not go quietly.

Rosa n o
Not only have I gone NC but before I did I let him know I was aware of everyhting ALSO that his wife and I had spoken and she let him know she was aware of all the lies as well..Im afraid of the backlash now..he drove by on monday and tried to contact me..I know he is back trying with the wife now…Im not going to quiver in fear but the things Im finding out are blowing me away

Matt:
You are “living the dream”, getting him back legally, slowly but surely. Mixing the stew! I am jealous! lol!

Henry:
You should have sent your ex psychopath to my ex psychopath alcoholic dentist when he had his teeth knocked out! It would have been interesting to see the result…not only for the painful visit to the dentist and the unhygienic and bad result on his teeth, but to see what happened when you ex p didn’t pay my ex p …haha!
When his mother said to me, “You can’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth, just don’t believe him”, I thought she was mean!!
She was giving me hints!
All my ex p’s friends were alcoholics and/or using him for money (which he got fraudulently). Every single one. I was the only one who actually fell for his act. Every one else in the scenario had been around a long time and were all using him, in return they gave him narcissitic supply and enabled him. Just agreed with whatever he said. So naturally, I was the one who had to go! Thank God for that!!
P.S. I love your rambling…

Not one of his “friends” or “family” warned me about him. They all knew what he was like and were jealous I might be stopping them from getting something..anything! They were all just like him! They treated me like the transient object in the corner of the room, or like I was the pot plant about to be thrown out after I wilted.
Not only did I not wilt (this time), but I found LF and a whole new world!!! TOWANDA!!

“When I learned of his latest lawsuit, all I could think was “what an exhausting way to live.”

That along Matt says so much about these people. Are there

paybacks?
will they get theirs?
will there be a day for them to pay the check?

I believe the answer to be yes but it will take time and if we have patience and even if we get this information, yes someday there will be a time to pay the full balance because we all do that in the end. We all reap what we sow that is just life and the way it’s always been and will always be….

EndthePain:

“He drove by on Monday, and tried to contact me.”

If you stay in No Contact, you will begin to see how much he is willing to escalate the harrassing behavior.

The Smear Campaign (if he is running one) will be just as brutal as anything physical that he can do to you.

The lies will be vicious, and people will actually believe them.

Mine used to always say, “Perception is reality”. I thought that was crazy in the beginning. But, by the end of the relationship, I understood exactly what he meant.

If yours is anything like mine was, he sees you as a possession.

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