Don’t beat yourself up trying to figure out what you did wrong or what you should have done differently. Abusers target good people. Sometimes, it’s really that simple.
Posted on April 8, 2015 by Dana in Explaining Narcissists
Word Salad, also often referred to as Narc Speak, is a nonsensical mix of words, phrases, or conversations and is traditionally (and clinically) associated with a person who has Schizophrenia, Dementia, Logorrhea (a communication disorder of the brain), Schizophasia, Receptive Aphasia, or brain injuries.
In the context of Narc Speak, the word salad is a combination of intentional manipulative conversational techniques that are designed to frustrate, confuse, and erode the sanity of the victim by getting them to question their perceptions of events, as well as their own judgment in general. Narc Speak most commonly happens when the victim confronts the Narcissist with their behavior, although if the Narcissist is using these techniques to gaslight*, word salad can happen at any time.
The ten most common techniques of word salad in the context of Narc Speak are:
- Denying their own bad behavior, and instead, focusing on the victim’s. Continue reading
Word Salad and Narc Speak.
*Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted, spun, or selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.
Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People
by Jackson MacKenzie
Have you ever been in a relationship with a psychopath? Chances are, even if you did, you would never know it.
Psychopaths are cunning charmers and master manipulators, to the point where you start to accept the most extreme behaviors as normal…
Even if it hurts you.
Psychopath Free (Expanded Edition): Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People by Jackson MacKenzie | 9780425279991 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Bullying isn’t a problem isolated to kids and teenagers. It’s an issue that spans every age demographic, but as the population ages, it’s becoming an increasingly common problem among senior citizens—particularly those living in communal living settings such as assisted living or independent living.
The smear campaign has been called the trademark of the sociopath, but it is not only sociopaths who exhibit this extraordinarily malicious behavior. Although the author links the distortion campaign to BPD, borderline personality disorder, it is also a characteristic of people who better fit the diagnostic criteria of other personality disorders; narcissist, histrionic, and anti-social or psychopathic. The bottom line is that it is not “normal” to set out to harm others. Anyone who degrades to such behaviors is either personality disordered or a recruit with weak character, a minion.
The article, and the comments that follow, provide an excellent read about personality disordered vindictiveness, the susceptibility of bystanders, the inability of courts and other authorities to recognize the malign behaviors, and the devastating consequences for both the individual being targeted and others in his/her proximity; especially the children in custody cases.
Note: The terms vilification campaign, smear campaign, and distortion campaign are used synonymously.
Written by: Rob
One of the classic behaviors of a person suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder is the vilification campaign. The target is the person against whom the perpetrator Borderline conducts the vilification. The intent is to destroy the target’s reputation and thereby destroy the target’s relationships with family and friends, employers, co-workers, doctors, teachers, therapists, and others. The intent may even be to force the target to leave the community, put the target in prison, or even kill the target. As with so many things involving Borderlines and their typical inability to understand or respect boundaries, there really are no limits. They will use basically any means available to them to cause damage to their target, including denigration, endless disparaging remarks, fabrication, false accusations, and even teaching others (including their children!) to lie on their behalf as part of their vilification campaign.
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Individuals with psychopathic traits are often attracted to affinity groups—religious, atheist, political, or social groups of people who share common values, beliefs, or interests. The collective trust that members of these groups have in one another and their common belief system provides a perfect cover for the psychopathic person. A psychopathic individual can be highly skilled at accurately mimicking the group’s beliefs or values while in the presence of its members. As a result, trust is easily gained and his or her true motives or covert activities are less likely to be discovered or recognized as malicious.
An affinity group that has been victimized may have members who are unable to face the truth about a covert bully. Often, they will rationalize his or her behaviors and continue to believe that the person is basically good at heart.
Unfortunately, it is common for the group to side with the psychopathic person if he or she has targeted an individual member to exploit, abuse, or ostracize. With a well established virtuous public persona and respect from the group, skillful manipulation and deceit, and a careful choice of target, the aggressor will turn the tables and have others believe the victim is the guilty party.
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AND SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF PSYCHOPATHY
Want to see if someone is a psychopath or not? Try yawning at them. If they yawn back, you’re okay and proceed to befriending them if you wish. If they don’t, perhaps steer clear—they could be distinctly anti-social.
Most people will yawn if someone around them yawns. Normal mammals are said to be unable to resist ‘contagious yawning.’
US President Barack Obama yawns during the East Asia
Summit plenary session in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2012
The researchers from Baylor University in Texas published their findings in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
Dr. Sam 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.”
“In contrast, the victims are often on the verge of a nervous breakdown: harassed, unkempt, irritable, impatient, abrasive, and hysterical.”
“I don’t understand why she would give it all up for a piece of sh*t killer. He must have played some serious mind games on her.”
~ A relative of Joyce Mitchell
When this story was unfolding in the news, I thought it would turn into a Major Teaching Moment about psychopaths and their powerful manipulative skills…
Continue reading: Manipulation: How Far Can It Go?
“Everyone is told the fairytale that we are all brothers and sisters under the skin. But what if that is not so?”
By Dr George Simon, PhD
Predatory Aggressive Personalities (i.e., psychopaths or sociopaths) consider themselves superior to the rest of the human race. They view individuals with inhibitions rooted in emotional bonding to others as inferior creatures and, therefore, their rightful prey.
Aggressive Personalities include the Unbridled Aggressive, who is frequently in conflict with the law; the Channeled-Aggressive, who generally limits ruthlessness to non-criminal activity; the Covert-Aggressive, who cloaks their cruelty under a veneer of civility and manipulates others in the process; and the Sadistic Aggressive, whose principal aim is to demean and injure others.
But by far the most pathological aggressive personality is the one I prefer to label the Predatory Aggressive Personality. All of the aggressive personalities are among the most seriously disturbed in character of the various personality types, and the Predatory Aggressive Personality is the most seriously character disordered.
Read Dr Simon’s article: Understanding the Predatory Aggressive Personality.
“The last big mistake that all psychopaths make today, is to underestimate the power of the internet. Once everyone learns to recognize their behaviors and strategies, they can’t hide and there will be nowhere to run—except off an ice shelf in the arctic.”
By Dr. Craig Malkin
Author, Clinical Psychologist, Instructor Harvard Medical School
Posted: 07/13/2015, Updated: 07/14/2015
Narcissism is hot. Which should make narcissists very happy.
But it’s also widely—and wildly—misunderstood, due in large part to widespread caricatures of narcissists, who are invariably depicted as vain, primping braggarts.
The problem is that many narcissists, particularly the more introverted ones, who pride themselves not on looks, but on being sensitive and misunderstood, couldn’t give a fig about fame or money. You might not even realize you’ve met one. And people end up falling unhappily in love with quieter narcissists, confused by their fate, because their distress stems from a brand of unhealthy narcissism they never knew existed. To date, in fact, there are three kinds of narcissism, which I describe in Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad—And Surprising Good—About Feeling Special. We may start finding more.
Then there’s the problem of that pesky qualifier, unhealthy.
Many would object, saying that narcissism is inherently unhealthy. And certainly the most popular narcissism assessment to date, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), assumes that all narcissism is bad; each and every point you score on the test inches you closer to being branded a “narcissist.” The problem is even the NPI picks up healthy components of narcissism; there’s hard evidence that one piece of the inventory, which captures extroverted leaders more than disagreeable blowhards, is associated with being a happy, healthy, if somewhat more ambitious human being.
So to summarize: three kinds of narcissism; healthy and unhealthy narcissism; and a bunch of measures that capture arrogance and grandiosity of various kinds—one of which accidentally captures healthy narcissism.
Read the full article:
The Narcissism Test—What’s Your Score? | Dr. Craig Malkin.
August 22, 2010 · by Lorna Tedder ·
Real empaths feel too much. Real narcissists don’t seem to feel anything, or at least not in regard to others’ feelings. Showing your vulnerable side to a narcissist in an attempt to explain how his or her behavior might be hurtful will just invite more abuse.
Whereas the narcissist doesn’t connect well or much with others, the empath connects too much. The empath literally feels what someone else feels, whether it’s strong emotion or physical pain.
Continue reading The Relationship between Empaths and Narcissists.
Manipulation is a way to covertly influence someone with indirect, deceptive, or abusive tactics. Manipulation may seem benign or even friendly or flattering, as if the person has your highest concern in mind, but in reality it’s to achieve an ulterior motive.
Favorite weapons of manipulators are: guilt, complaining, comparing, lying, denying (including excuses and rationalizations), feigning ignorance, or innocence (the “Who me?” defense), blame, bribery, undermining, mind games, assumptions, “foot-in-the-door,” reversals, emotional blackmail, evasiveness, forgetting, fake concern, sympathy, apologies, flattery, and gifts and favors.
eBook (PDF) 287 pages
Unlike people who are trying to influence others, manipulators work with unfair means to get what they want. They do not respect the personal rights of their victims. They work with hidden agendas and deliberately use dishonest tricks like faulty reasoning, coercion, blackmail, and lying as they attempt to assert control. Manipulation is about suiting the manipulator’s advantage or purpose only, often at the expense of others.
It’s often difficult to recognize manipulation. After all, would we allow ourselves to be manipulated if we are aware that it is happening? This book explains the tricks manipulators use and teaches you how to best defend and protect yourself.
People who suffer from low self-esteem are at risk of getting stuck in relationships where they’re being controlled; becoming the unwitting targets of individuals with personality disorders that propel them to behave in a manipulative way.
Being manipulated is a highly stressful experience. It is unpleasant, demeaning, and disturbing.
Every time you comply, capitulate, cave in, or otherwise satisfy your manipulator’s wishes and purposes, you reinforce the toxic cycle that is compromising your self-esteem, co-opting your values, and corroding your emotional wiring.
This book was written for people who are targeted, exploited, and controlled by manipulators.
See also: Manipulation Tactics
Sociopaths are manipulative, and some are dangerous. If you know someone with several of the following attributes, your best bet is to stay away from them.
1 Superficial Charm
3 Pathological Lying
4 Manipulative and Cunning
5 Shallow Emotions
6 Lack of Remorse, Shame, Or Guilt
7 Incapable of Human Attachment
8 Constant Need for Stimulation
9 Lack of Empathy
10 Poor Behavioral Controls / Impulsive Nature
11 Promiscuous Sexual Behavior / Infidelity
When most people hear the word “abuse,” they naturally conjure up images of broken bones, black eyes, and bruises. But in truth, physical violence comprises the vast minority of abusive behaviors in any relationship. The overwhelming types of abuses are those that are difficult to recognize: verbal, emotional, psychological, financial, and spiritual. Because no outward signs of mistreatment exist, these types of abuses usually go unnoticed, especially by the woman experiencing them. In particular, abusive comments often lead a woman in any unhealthy relationship to distrust her own reality and good sense.
But He Never Hit Me: The Devastating Cost of Non-Physical Abuse to Girls and Women exposes the truth about these destructive behaviors and also reveals the red flags of a potentially abusive relationship. Women can explore their own background information to understand what led them to these men, the shocking costs that non-physically threatening relationships have on every part of their life, and ways in which they can make changes toward a more positive, healthy, and rewarding future. Imperative for women of all ages, from teens through senior citizens, But He Never Hit Me joins and aligns a large and supportive community of women dedicated to healthy, rewarding relationships.
This video tells the story of a high-profile sociopath in a respectable position of influence and is based on actual events.
They usually get away with it. This one did, too, until something remarkable happened…
“Are you lonely, popular, caring, confident, laid back, anxious, adventurous, bored, traumatised, naïve, competitive, depressed, sentimental, accepting, argumentative, compassionate, impulsive or shy?”
“If so, then boy have I got just the trick for you! Get your very own custom-made psychopath experience, with guaranteed success rate, for one of us at least. Order now, and get free emotional trauma to take with you when we’re done. While stocks last.”
If there is one question all victims of psychopaths have asked themselves at some point in the period after their psychopath has moved on, it has to be “why me?” Or more specifically; “what was it that made me a target?” Read more…
Millions of sociopaths live among us, and no one seems to know it. Because as a society we are so unaware, we are vulnerable to sociopathic exploitation. And because many professionals, like the rest of us, don’t really understand the dynamics of these involvements, counselors, therapists and others are often at a loss about how to help people who have been targeted by sociopaths. To address this dangerous lack of information about sociopaths, Lovefraud is launching an online education program this fall. Read more…
You, too, can start a blog and share your experiences. Your voice will contribute to educating the public and spreading awareness about psychopathy. We can diminish the powers of evil-doers hiding behind “masks of sanity” by exposing them. Our combined voices will empower potential victims and future generations to guard themselves against abuse, improving their chances to live happier, more productive lives.
It’s easy to start a WordPress blog, and free. Click here!
This is one of the key concerns of the book
Psychopathic Cultures and Toxic Empires
by Will Black.
There are many people whose behavior and perceptions of others places them squarely in the category of antisocial personality disorder but they go their entire life without being assessed in psychiatric units or put in prison. We may live close to them, work with them or see them in the media. Many of us will have a strong sense that their character is flawed, their actions are damaging or their attitude to other people makes them dangerous. However, for a variety of reasons, we may suppress our intuitions. One reason for doing so is, if we were to dwell on these perceptions, it could shatter our sense of security and comfort.
When we live in societies where ruthlessness in business and politics is rewarded and prized, the problem of identifying and curtailing genuine psychopaths becomes more challenging. As our search for the psychopath strays from prisons and psychiatric units to banks, trading floors, media companies and political parties, we become aware that society’s ability to challenge and control them has been limited.
In fact, we may tolerate psychopathic qualities in politicians, television and film stars, sportsmen, and captains of industry more readily than we do in our neighbors. Read more…
Rosa says: Isn’t it amazing how sociopaths can run around smearing people, telling insidious lies with impunity…THEN…when WE try to warn others (with the TRUTH) about possible danger of the socio, it’s “Kill the Messenger” time…and we are the “Messenger”. What’s up with that?
What you are describing is the standard abuser protocol called DARVO, an acronym for Deny, Attack, Reverse roles of Victim and Offender. Your question and your righteous outrage are about psycho/sociopaths’ ability to harm others easily and repeatedly—with impunity—sometimes with devastating consequences for their victim. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the victim’s friends and family may withhold support or reject him/her at the worst of times because the abuser had the evil foresight to secure their sympathy and support, and at the same time, destroy the victim’s reputation and credibility.
“People are resources to be used like any other. But they’re not all the same, they are individuals. I don’t need to label them in order to interact with them. All the same, for the people I come into contact with, I categorise them into four different groups based on their value to me…”
Read the article:
How a psychopath views you
No Psychos, No Druggies, No Stooges
See also: You are a tool.
~ The Prize, Irving Wallace
Most people experience self-blame after involvement with a psychopath, for good reason. These master manipulators are skilled at creating extreme confusion and self-doubt, which are powerful ways to disguise lies and camouflage truth. This doubt and confusion doesn’t spontaneously resolve after the manipulation ends — it is ongoing, and lasts until we can finally see the truth of what happened.
Published on Apr 28, 2014
Sandra L. Brown, M.A., is the founder of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education. She is a former psychotherapist, community educator on pathological love relationships, clinical lecturer and trainer, TV and radio guest, and an author. Her books include the highly popular How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved, the award winning Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of Inevitable Harm With Psychopaths, Sociopaths & Narcissists, as well as the clinically relevant Counseling Victims of Violence: A Handbook for Helping Professionals.
Sandra is recognized for her pioneering work in women’s issues related to relational harm from dangerous and pathological partners. She specializes in the development of Pathological Love Relationship training for other professionals and the development of survivor-based support services.
New post on psychopathsandlove.com
There is nothing like the elation and bliss of new love. Especially when you believed you had found ‘the one’ — that took it to another level. You may have felt you never really knew what love was before. You were probably infused with incredible joy and happiness. You finally found what you were searching for, and it was even better than you imagined.
And then one day something unexpected happened. You got a queasy feeling that you couldn’t shake. You sensed deep in your gut that he or she was pulling away. Your heart sank and your stomach clenched with fear.
In the process of a psychopathic relationship, the moment when the joy at finding love turns into the fear of losing it is called the ‘manipulative shift.’ When that happens, the psychopath takes control. This is when the devaluation stage begins.
Hello, my name actually is James, no guessing required. I’m a twentysomething psychopath from the smallish island of Great Britain…
We had a few poor teachers, everyone does I think. There was one who was particularly bad, not at his subject I might add; he was very good at woodwork. You have to be good at a technical subject like that to get a job teaching it. No, his problem was classroom management; he was hopeless. If he told you to do something, you just wouldn’t do it. His classes were always chaotic and dangerous (we had saws and big electronic tools at our disposal). I was – am – the opposite of him: good at managing people, bad at woodwork. I was failing my project and had injured a few people in the process due to my general carelessness around the drills and soldering irons.
This hack of a teacher could see how bad I was and I knew he was going to fail me the year, but he had a weakness. Everyone does, you see, but his was a fun one. On top of this general incompetence, he had a nasty temper. When he didn’t get his way in controlling the class he would blow a fuse and have a kind of tantrum. He’d shout a lot, go very red and generally look quite ridiculous. And his body language promised the potential for violence, he just hadn’t yet been pushed enough.
To get rid of him, all I needed to do was to rile him up a bit more. Or rather get the idiots in my class to do it for me.
Empathic people are natural targets
Often empaths are targeted by sociopaths because they pose the greatest threat. The empath is usually the first to detect that something is not right and express what s/he senses. As a consequence…
The Dance – Sociopath and Empath
They LOVE to watch their empath target squirm. They LOVE to watch as they manipulate everyone around them into believing it’s all the fault of the empath. They LOVE the feeling of absolute CONTROL…
Narcissists and Empaths: The Ego Dynamic | Let Me Reach
One popular theory is that Narcissists prey on Empaths and Sensitives because of their overly giving nature. While that is primarily true, there is another reason that goes even deeper, and it has to do with ego…
The Transitional Target | Narcissist, Sociopath, and Psychopath…
Targets often experience cognitive dissonance, trying to project their own reasoning onto an unreasonable person. But their behavior is neither accidental nor unintentional…
Dark Souls—Better the Devil | Empaths | Abused Empaths
There is no question when it comes to attracting Dark Souls, in particular sociopaths and psychopaths, that they can target and con anyone. However, it’s very difficult for anyone to understand that the psychopathic personality goes out with the sole purpose of intentionally victimizing anyone they come into contact with…
In The Sociopath at the Breakfast Table, the authors describe an incident or exchange involving a sociopath as a sociopathic transaction. Here’s the typical arrangement:
This threesome is required for a sociopathic transaction to be effective and it usually unfolds something like this: On seeing the sociopath say or do something underhanded, the empath is forced to make a stand. The empath challenges the sociopath, who throws others off the scent by shifting the blame to the empath. The empath becomes an object of abuse when the apath corroborates the sociopath’s perspective. Ultimately, the situation usually ends badly for the empath, and sometimes also for the apath (if his conscience comes back to haunt him or subsequently he becomes an object of abuse himself). The sociopath often gets off scot-free and can continue to abuse with impunity.
Manipulators and other significantly disturbed characters can be quite deceiving in their self-presentation. They can come across as amiable and charming. They can even appear to appreciate and value you. And when they mount their charm offensives, they can knock you off your feet and bowl you over. Only after they’ve gotten what they wanted are you likely to start seeing more of their true colors. But not all folks who mount charm offensives are offensive, reprehensible characters. And not all of the things that make a person attractive to us need be regarded with skepticism. As mentioned in the prior article in this series (see: Manipulators and Charm), it’s often difficult, however, to distinguish between a benignly charming person and a charmer harboring a nefarious hidden agenda. But there are some things to pay close attention to that can help you tell the difference, and that’s the focus of this week’s post. Continue reading…
Excerpt: Apaths are an integral part of the sociopath’s arsenal and contribute to sociopathic abuse. Sociopaths have an uncanny knack of knowing who will assist them in bringing down the person they are targeting. It is not necessarily easy to identify an apath; in other circumstances, an apath can show ample empathy and concern for others—just not in this case. The one attribute an apath must have is a link to the target.
How apaths, who might otherwise be fair-minded people, become involved in such destructive business is not hard to understand, but it can be hard to accept. The main qualifying attribute is poor judgment resulting from lack of insight. They might be jealous of or angry at the target, and thus have something to gain from the evolving situation.
At other times, the apath might not want to see the ‘bad’ in someone, particularly if the sociopath is useful. Or they might choose not to see because they have enough on their plate and do not possess the wherewithal or moral courage to help the targeted person at that time. Usually, be it active or passive involvement, the apath’s conscience appears to fall asleep.