In the early 1800s, doctors became aware that some patients who appeared outwardly normal were lacking what we would call a conscience. They were described as morally depraved or morally insane. The term psychopath was first used around 1900, then changed to sociopath in the 1930s to emphasize the damage afflicted individuals do to society. Today, researchers have returned to using the term psychopath.
…it is by no means the rule that virtue is rewarded and wickedness punished, but it happens often enough that the violent, the crafty, and the unprincipled seize the desirable goods of the earth for themselves while the pious go empty away. Dark, unfeeling, and unloving powers determine human destiny; the system of rewards and punishments, which, according to religion, governs the world, seems to have no existence.
New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis, Lecture 35, A Philosophy of Life.
No matter how much they abuse their partners, toxic people will always have a loyal following of fans clapping for everything they do. These people are blinded by shallow flattery that the manipulator uses to control them. This fan club changes often, as none of their friendships are deep or meaningful in any way. All that matters is constant attention and adoration. Anyone who fails to provide this mindless reinforcement will promptly be replaced with someone who can. — PsychopathFree
Disordered people can’t deal with the reality of their behaviors. On some level they may realize how hurtful they are, yet they are unable to accept any kind of major flaw in themselves. So disordered abusers spin our reality to protect their delusions.
Projection, a commonly used defense mechanism, serves that purpose. In projection, a characteristic of themselves that they find unacceptable is projected onto us. The most frequently projected characteristic is mental illness or disorder. “I’m not a sociopath. You’re the [crazy, irrational, mentally disturbed, narcissistic, etc.] one.”
Another common defense mechanism is blame shifting. “It’s your fault this happened because [fill in the blank].” Their rationalizations can be elaborate and far-fetched but their convictions are firm. Attempting to disprove them will get you nowhere, or worse, confirm your guilt in their eyes. Bystanders, who cannot fathom that someone they like and respect would deviously craft a convincing blame shifting scheme or be making it all up, are easily won over by the sociopath.
“One of the very difficult things to deal with after being the victim of a Narcissist is that most people will not want to believe what happened to you, even if they saw it with their own eyes!”
Sociopathic abuse can be most insidious. The abuser takes precautions so that there are no witnesses or hard evidence. He’ll tell others that he is being victimized and that the real victim’s reactions to his abuse are unprovoked and malicious or “irrational.” Destroying his target while attracting the attention he craves is a game to the sociopath; one he enjoys and plays with confidence. A “normal” person is easy prey to a skilled and experienced manipulator lacking a moral conscience.
“[They] count on our shame to keep their secrets. They know that exposing them means exposing our own failings. That’s what makes them so powerful. They manipulate us into these situations then sit back and watch us squirm between protecting ourselves or blowing the whistle.”
The seasoned abuser is also highly selective. He will target people who are self-conscious and reluctant to draw attention to themselves. Like predators in the animal world who concentrate their efforts on prey that is separate from the herd, he is likely to choose someone who is a loner or with weak social connections; someone who is clearly vulnerable.
Originally posted on For the Victims of Violence:
One way to begin to look at how the mind of predators work, begins with assessing how they manipulate the views of others. In this excerpt we can understand much:
Dr. Vaknin explains: “Even the victim’s relatives, friends, and colleagues are amenable to the considerable charm, persuasiveness, and manipulativeness of the abuser and to his impressive thespian skills. The abuser offers a plausible rendition of the events and interprets them to his favor. Others rarely have a chance to witness an abusive exchange first hand and at close quarters. In contrast, the victims are often on the verge of a nervous breakdown: harassed, unkempt, irritable, impatient, abrasive, and hysterical.
Confronted with this contrast between a polished, self-controlled, and suave abuser and his harried casualties it is easy to reach the conclusion that the real victim is the abuser, or that both parties abuse each other equally. The prey’s acts of…
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See also: Narcissistic Rage
From the article by Bernhard Guenther:
“Nothing will change fundamentally until we educate ourselves about psychopathy and political ponerology and how it affects all of us. The virus of psychopathy will infect any new system, community or change in power until it is brought to awareness and looked at for what it is. Then the solutions will present themselves based on the knowledge and understanding we have gained. Educating ourselves and others about it is the best we can do for ourselves and future generations. It is vital knowledge in this day and age.”
Don’t be fooled by nice manners. What looks like politeness may be pretense to sugarcoat aggressive, manipulative, or false communication. Look at the content; not merely the cover. Pay close attention to what the person is saying and don’t be fooled by his position or the eloquence of his expression.
See also: It’s so easy to be fooled
|Things Toxic People Do
Narcissistic Supply From LightsHouse.org
Narcissistic supply — it’s number one on the list of a narcissist’s “must-haves.” Simply put, narcissistic supply is anything (or anyone) that feeds the narcissist’s ego and keeps them artificially pumped up with the attention, admiration and deference of others. Narcissists have been described as people who are like balloons [...]
Heterosexual women bear the brunt of narcissistic heterosexual men’s hostility, according to a 2010 study.
Narcissists’ lack of empathy, feelings of entitlement, and perceptions of being deprived of ‘deserved’ admiration and gratification can make them prone to aggression and vengeance.
The results from this study reveal that straight men’s narcissism is linked to an adversarial and angry stance toward straight women more than toward other groups. Although narcissists may want to maintain feelings of superiority and power over all people, narcissistic heterosexual men are particularly invested in subordinating heterosexual women because they are “gatekeepers in men’s quest for sexual pleasure, patriarchal power and status,” the study authors explain.
Another conclusion from the study is that male narcissists believe that heterosexual relationships should be patriarchal rather than egalitarian.
ASPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder) Characteristics & Traits
The following list is a collection of some of the more commonly observed behaviors and traits of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Click on the links on each trait for much more information and some ideas for coping with each. Note that these traits are given as a guideline only and are not intended for diagnosis. Each individual with ASPD is unique and so each one will display a different subset of traits. Also, note that everyone displays “antisocial” behaviors from time to time. Exhibiting one or more of these traits doesn’t necessarily qualify for a diagnosis of ASPD. See the DSM Criteria for diagnostic criteria.
Acting Out • Acting Out behavior refers to a subset of personality disorder traits that are more outwardly-destructive than self-destructive.
Baiting • A provocative act used to solicit an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another individual.
Belittling, Condescending and Patronizing • This kind of speech is a passive-aggressive approach to giving someone a verbal put-down while maintaining a facade of reasonableness or friendliness.
Blaming • The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.
Bullying • Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.
Chaos Manufacture • Unnecessarily creating or maintaining an environment of risk, destruction, confusion or mess.
Cheating • Sharing a romantic or intimate relationship with somebody when you are already committed to a monogamous relationship with someone else.
Chronic Broken Promises • Repeatedly making and then breaking commitments and promises is a common trait among people with personality disorders.
Cruelty to Animals • Acts of cruelty to animals have been statistically discovered to occur more often in people with personality disorders than in the general population.
Denial • Believing or imagining that some painful or traumatic circumstance, event or memory does not exist or did not happen.
Depression • When you feel sadder than you think you should, for longer than you think you should – but still can’t seem to break out of it – that’s depression. People with personality disorders are often also diagnosed with depression resulting from mistreatment at the hands of others, low self-worth and the results of their own poor choices.
Domestic Theft • Consuming or taking control of a resource or asset belonging to (or shared with) a family member, partner or spouse without first obtaining their approval.
Emotional Abuse • Any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of Fear, Obligation or Guilt (FOG).
False Accusations • False accusations, distortion campaigns and smear campaigns are patterns of unwarranted or exaggerated criticisms which occur when a personality disordered individual tries to feel better about themselves by putting down someone else – usually a family member, spouse, partner, friend or colleague.
Favoritism • Favoritism is the practice of systematically giving positive, preferential treatment to one child, subordinate or associate among a family or group of peers.
Fear of Abandonment • A pattern of irrational thought exhibited by some personality-disordered individuals, which causes them to occasionally think they are in imminent danger of being rejected, discarded or replaced by someone close to them.
Feelings of Emptiness • Some personality-disordered individuals experience a chronic and acute sense of nothingness or emptiness, and so believe that their own existence has little worth or significance outside the context of strong physical sensations and relationships with others.
Grooming • Grooming is the predatory act of maneuvering another individual into a position that makes them more isolated, dependent, likely to trust, and more vulnerable to abusive behavior.
Harassment • A sustained or chronic pattern of unwelcome behavior directed toward an individual or group.
Impulsiveness • The tendency to act or speak based on current feelings rather than logical reasoning.
Intimidation • Any form of veiled, hidden, indirect or non-verbal threat.
Invalidation • The creation or promotion of an environment which encourages an individual to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, values or physical presence are inferior, flawed, problematic or worthless.
Lack of Boundaries • A lack of boundaries is often at the root of long-term abusive relationships. Lack of boundaries means the absence of rules, limits and guidelines for acceptable behavior. Inconsistent or intermittent reinforcement of consequences for inappropriate behavior is common among both abusers and abuse victims.
Lack of Conscience • Individuals with personality disorders are often preoccupied with their own agendas, sometimes to the exclusion of the needs and concerns of others. This is sometimes interpreted by others as a lack of moral conscience.
Low Self-Esteem • A common term used to describe a group of negatively distorted self-views which are inconsistent with reality.
Manipulation • The practice of baiting an individual or group of individuals into a certain response or reaction pattern for the purpose of achieving a hidden personal goal.
Mood Swings • Unpredictable, rapid, dramatic emotional cycles which cannot be readily explained by changes in external circumstances.
Name-Calling • A form of Verbal Abuse which people sometimes indulge in when their emotional thought processes override their rational thought processes.
Narcissism • This term describes a set of behaviors characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, self-centered focus, need for admiration, self-serving attitude and a lack of empathy or consideration for others.
Neglect • A passive form of abuse in which the physical or emotional needs of a dependent are disregarded or ignored by the person responsible for them.
Normalizing • Normalizing is a tactic used to desensitize an individual to abusive, coercive or inappropriate behaviors. In essence, normalizing is the manipulation of another human being to get them to agree to, or accept something that is in conflict with the law, social norms or their own basic code of behavior.
“Not My Fault” Syndrome • The practice of avoiding personal responsibility for one’s own words and actions.
Objectification • The practice of treating a person or a group of people like an object.
Pathological Lying • Persistent deception by an individual to serve their own interests and needs with little or no regard to the needs and concerns of others. A pathological liar is a person who habitually lies to serve their own needs.
Physical Abuse • Any form of voluntary behavior by one individual which inflicts pain, disease or discomfort on another, or deprives them of necessary health, nutrition and comfort.
Proxy Recruitment • A way of controlling or abusing another person by manipulating other people into unwittingly backing you up, speaking for you or “doing your dirty work” for you.
Push-Pull • A chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness in a relationship without appropriate cause or reason.
Raging, Violence and Impulsive Aggression • Explosive verbal, physical or emotional elevations of a dispute that are disproportionate to the situation at hand.
Ranking and Comparing • Drawing unnecessary and inappropriate comparisons between individuals or groups.
Sabotage • The spontaneous disruption of calm or status quo in order to serve a personal interest, provoke a conflict or draw attention.
Scapegoating • Singling out an individual or group for unmerited negative treatment or blame.
Self-Loathing • An extreme hatred of one’s own self, actions or one’s ethnic or demographic background.
Sexual Objectification • The act of viewing another individual in terms of their sexual usefulness or attractiveness rather than pursuing or engaging in a quality of personal relationship with them.
Shaming • The difference between blaming and shaming is that in blaming someone tells you that you did something bad, in shaming someone tells you that you are something bad.
Splitting • The practice of regarding people and situations as either completely “good” or completely “bad”.
Stalking • Any pervasive and unwelcome pattern of pursuing contact with another individual.
Targeted Humor, Mocking and Sarcasm • Targeted Humor is any sustained pattern of joking, sarcasm or mockery which is designed to reduce another individual’s reputation in their own eyes or in the eyes of others.
Testing • Repeatedly forcing another individual to demonstrate or prove their love or commitment to a relationship.
Threats • Inappropriate, intentional warnings of destructive actions or consequences.
Triangulation • Gaining an advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.
Verbal Abuse • Any kind of repeated pattern of inappropriate, derogatory or threatening speech directed at one individual by another.
The Narcissistic Father (psychologytoday.com)
All psychopaths have antisocial personality disorder. (psychforums.com)
Learning About Psychopaths: Immaturity…It’s Never a Good Sign (dechirementblog.com)
How do you manipulate? (psychforums.com)
Passive-Aggressive: What Does It Really Mean? (everydayhealth.com)
In The Lies of Sarah Palin, Geoffrey Dunn provides the first full-scale and in-depth political biography of the controversial Republican vice-presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska.
Stonewalling = the act of refusing communication, stalling, or evading, especially to avoid revealing embarrassing information and escape accountability.
The stonewaller isn’t necessarily a sociopath, but the act of intentional stonewalling contains the cold, callous attitude of the sociopath. Absence of empathy is characteristic of stonewallers, and they may relish a sadistic pleasure in watching their target twist, squirm, and make humiliating efforts and bids to be heard. Stonewallers, whether sociopaths or not, are seriously disturbed communicators. Their indifference to the stonewalled party’s experience, as noted, can be chilling. Stonewalling often reflects character pathology, in which case they won’t change—they will always be stonewallers.
They’ve spent decades acquiring and refining a skill set they most likely first learned on the playground. Studies have shown that childhood bullies often grow up to become adult bullies.
These “adults” have developed ingenious ways to cover their tracks while making their victims look bad. The methods of tormenting their targets are also more sophisticated. The direct in-your-face approach won’t work in a professional or social setting, so they indulge in underhanded maneuvers and hit-and-run assaults.
This type of abuse is particularly insidious because often the only one who sees it is the victim. If he tells someone else about it, he’s apt to be met with disbelief and the innocent target can easily be labeled as the troublemaker. The sociopath has the whole scheme figured out and he has it well rigged with virtual trip wires. The victim’s reactions become additional ammunition, which the bully uses to manipulate bystanders to side with him and to inflict more harm and distress onto his victim.
By DAN BILEFSKY
Seemona Sumasar of Queens spent seven months in jail, framed by an ex-boyfriend and accused of robberies.
There are reasons for our failure to act when action is appropriate.
We don’t acknowledge, or even recognize, that evil exists. We’re told that “there’s good in everyone,” “deep down we’re all the same,” “everyone makes mistakes,” “everyone deserves a second chance,” or “we all just need to be loved.” We are not told that there are exceptions to these platitudes. As many as 12 percent of the population are sociopaths—social predators who live their lives exploiting others—and another chunk of the population are almost sociopaths. Typically, their aggression is covert and most of us don’t know anything about sociopaths until we are personally targeted.
Taking action against bad behavior usually requires confrontation. Confrontation is uncomfortable, at best, and at worst, dangerous. Most of us try to avoid confrontation. In fact, probably the only people who enjoy confrontation are sociopaths. They, of course, are the ones causing the problems.
There are other reasons why we don’t act. We may feel that the problem is too big, and we’re too small to change anything. We may believe that someone else ought to take action. We may fear—legitimately—repercussions or retaliation. We may believe that the problem will “go away” or not impact us if we ignore it and focus on the positive.
What is “The Bystander Effect”?
The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Conflict Resolution
Lazy Brain and the Narcissistic Sociopath (beingabeautifulmess.wordpress.com)
Being with a Narcissistic Sociopath – Part 1 (beingabeautifulmess.wordpress.com)
Confrontation or Communication
Corporate bullies may make spellbinding film leads but in real life, they wreak havoc on workers and businesses.
Though these office monsters are often portrayed on-screen as mostly harmless anti-heroes, there is growing anxiety over a large crossover between bullying in the workplace and what’s being termed corporate psychopathy.
|Stonewalling is a tactic commonly used by bullies wanting to control, humiliate, and frustrate a target who attempts to resolve a conflict through reasonable discussion or negotiation. Accusations of mental deficiency, harassment, and even bullying, are other typical methods of asserting dominance, intimidating the target, and discouraging objections to the abuse from both victim and bystanders. To the insightful observer, these behaviors reveal the bully’s true motivations.|
Also possibly of interest:
The serial Church bully…..sounds a lot like this.
Sociopaths Recruit Minions PsychopathResistance.com
Bullied to Death PsychopathResistance.com
Social aggression or indirect bullying is characterized by attempting to socially isolate the victim. This isolation is achieved through a wide variety of techniques, including spreading gossip, refusing to socialize with the victim, bullying other people who wish to socialize with the victim, and criticizing the victim in different ways. Other forms of indirect bullying are more subtle and more likely to be verbal, such as name calling, the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip/false gossip, lies, rumors/false rumors, laughing at the victim, saying certain words that trigger a reaction, and mocking.
The effects of bullying can be serious and even fatal.
Despite the large number of individuals that do not agree with bullying practices, there are very few that will intervene on behalf of the victim. These individuals are labeled bystanders and unfortunately usually tend to lean toward the bully’s side.
In most bullying incidents, bystanders do nothing. If the bully faces no obstruction from the people around, he has permission to continue behaving badly.
Bystanders to bullying activities are often unable to recognize the true cost that their silence has to both the individual and to the group. A certain inability to fully empathize is also usually present in the typical bystander, but to a lesser degree than in the bully.
It is the general unwillingness of bystanders to undertake any type of risks that bullies often rely upon in order to maintain their power.
An Ohio man who spent hours on a street corner with a sign declaring he’s a bully says that the punishment in a disorderly conduct case was unfair and that the judge who sentenced him has ruined his life.
Sixty-two-year-old Edmond Aviv mostly ignored honking horns and people who stopped by to talk with him in South Euclid, Ohio. “The judge destroyed me,” Aviv said. “This isn’t fair at all.”
The sentence stemmed from a neighborhood dispute in which a woman said Aviv had bullied her and her disabled children for years. Aviv pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, and the Municipal Court Judge ordered him to display the sign for five hours on a Sunday as part of his sentence.
Is public exposure a good way to punish bullies? What’s your opinion?
Their victims may speak the truth, but lacking the sociopath’s practice and experience in the “art of persuasion,” they are less likely to be believed.
Present a sociopath with a documented allegation and he will quickly turn on you, denounce you, and tell others that you are “disturbed,” “unstable,” “irrational,” or something equivalent. Anyone who does not accept his version of reality and fall for his brainwashing will be kicked out of the circle and then wildly disparaged by the remaining members.
From an article on The Sociopathic Style™:
A sociopathic person is walled off from their inner core. How they present themselves to the world is a facade. Their operational system is power. To relate to them by playing the power game is a losing proposition because they are masters of the game and they will win at all cost.
The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt
to Clarify Some Issues About the
So-Called Psychopathic Personality
is a book by American psychiatrist Hervey M. Cleckley, first published in 1941. It is considered a seminal work and the most influential clinical description of psychopathy in the twentieth century.
Cleckley, a pioneer in psychopathy research, coined the phrase mask of sanity to describe the psychopath’s ability to perfectly mimic a normally functioning person and to mask or disguise the disorder; a fundamental lack of moral conscience and internal personality structure. Despite the seemingly sincere, intelligent, even charming external presentation, internally the psychopathic person does not have the ability to experience genuine emotions.
Most abusers simply want what they want and will not be denied without unleashing a torrent of phony martyrdom and vicious slander all about you and how you are an abuser. The smear campaigner needs to make their audience think they are a perfectly innocent person who was shockingly blindsided by your supposed evil, unreasonableness, overemotionality or mental instability. The goal is to create mistrust of you, fear of you, and condemnation of you.
He may admit to a minor error, but imply that your response is outrageously unreasonable (or completely incompetent).
Popular lies include statements and insinuations that imply you are mentally ill, incompetent, untrustworthy, or unreasonable. The smear campaigner does this so that if your legitimate upset shows, the observer will attribute it to irrationality, ill intent, or instability, instead of a normal reaction to mistreatment.
From The Smear Campaign LightsHouse.org
The Smear Campaign—Hallmark of the Sociopath PsychopathResistance.wordpress.com How to Make the Narcissist Powerless to Affect Your Life leyulela.com Addressing The Smear Campaign reverendtomerikraspotnik.org Cluster B Smear Campaigners salemwitchhunt.wordpress.com
Sociopaths are skilled deniers. Where the rest of us would stutter or blush, they can lie with a convincing confidence and certainty. Often, they pose as authorities and act “offended” if questioned. An arrogant manner indicates a lifetime of “successful” manipulations and contempt for other people, who they regard as inferior.