Dr George K Simon, author of
In Sheep’s Clothing—Understanding and Dealing With Manipulative People:
“Recognizing the inherent aggression in manipulative behavior and becoming more aware of the slick, surreptitious ways that manipulative people prefer to aggress against us is extremely important. Not recognizing and accurately labeling their subtly aggressive moves causes most people to misinterpret the behavior of manipulators and, therefore, fail to respond to them in an appropriate fashion. Recognizing when and how manipulators are fighting with covertly aggressive tactics is essential.”
What Dr Simon is urging us to do when we are faced with a toxic, covertly aggressive individual is to recognize and address their nasty maneuvers. Knowledge about psychopathic traits is helpful, as well as a good measure of self-awareness.
Some pathological and fantastical liars seem to be unaware that there is a real reality out there, confusing reality with the verbal claim of reality. Sociopaths simply use words for strategic reasons — meanings are another thing entirely. The truth is read behind the words themselves.
We may be frowned upon when we expose malignant behavior, but we are enabling it when we don’t.
All abusers are in denial and they tend to be comfortable lying. With a lifetime of practice (and no qualms) they have developed the skill to sound believable when making baseless statements. The abuser presents himself as a sincere, respectable person; which gains him credibility and makes people feel uncomfortable about asking for substantiation. They may fail to look closely at evidence—if not ignore it—because of his charm and convincing manner. He may show a hint of aggression to intimidate others from challenging his position. The liar also benefits when people are overly self-confident and believe they can “just tell” who is lying and who is telling the truth, and so fail to adequately investigate. The confidence of the duped believers then has the power of convincing others who are more uncertain … and the lie becomes “truth.”
- Sociopaths have a profound lack of empathy for the feelings of others.
They lack the internal feedback system by which normal people monitor themselves. (Most people call this “conscience,” which is probably as useful a term as any.) Sociopaths do not have this and don’t feel bad about abusing other people. It’s not that they feel bad and ignore it—they don’t feel it at all.
- Sociopaths understand that they are different from normal people and learn to mimic normal behavior. This mimicry has a purpose: It gets the sociopath what he or she wants.
- The sociopath hides his or her difference. After letting it show a time or two—and probably being punished by a parent as a result—the sociopath covers up the truth and keeps it covered. But the reason for hiding it is not embarrassment (the sociopath doesn’t feel embarrassment), but because it hinders him from getting what he want.
- Since sociopaths have no empathy for others, making use of normal people feels just fine to them. Likewise, they feel no remorse.
- Empathy, as viewed by the sociopath, is a weakness, and he considers himself superior because he isn’t burdened by it.
- Because they lack an internal feedback system, sociopaths are excellent liars. For example, they can often pass lie detector tests, since those tests register the effects of our internal feedback system, which they don’t have.
- A sociopath is likely to maintain a group of people who believe wholeheartedly that he is a good, kind, honest person. He’ll work in calculated ways to create and maintain that opinion in them.
From They Walk Among Us by Paul Rosenberg
An unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.
A sense of entitlement is one of the characteristics of antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders and a natural extension of grandiosity; considering oneself superior to others. It can be revealed in the reasons someone gives to why they deserve or have the right to something they want, in their expectations of others to supply what they want, or in their fury when they don’t get what they want.
Donald Trump provides an illustration:
The cop wanted her car keys. Kelli Peters handed them over. She told herself she had nothing to fear, that all he’d find inside her PT Cruiser was beach sand, dog hair, maybe one of her daughter’s toys.
Now she watched as her ruin seemed to unfold before her… Continue reading…
Bullies don’t only lurk in school hallways and playgrounds… They grow up and become parents, co-workers, and bosses. They work in offices, businesses, for governments, in police departments, law offices, and charitable organizations.
Studies show that cyber-bullies really are sadistic and have narcissistic/psychopathic personality disorders. This is true of many garden-variety bullies as well.
| “Twisting of meanings is a clue to psychopathy. They’re masters of doublespeak*, creating verbal traps and impossible situations that leave non-psychopaths bewildered.”
Harrison Koehli Red Pill Press,
Publisher of Political Ponerology *Doublespeak = Evasive, ambiguous language
that is intended to deceive or confuse.
- Word Salad and Narc Speak (PsychopathResistance.com)
- Sociopaths twist words, manipulate, and deflect… (PsychopathResistance.com)
- 13 Examples of Narc Speak (thriveafterabuse.com)
- Guard Yourself Against Verbal Violence in Nursing (inanurseblog.wordpress.com)
- Sebastian Kügler: Standing up against verbal abuse (vizZzion.org)
- Stop it, You’re Hurting Me (h8my20s.wordpress.com)
A strategy common to all abusers is called DARVO.
Deny the abuse, Attack the victim, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender.
This is roughly how it can be done (ad absurdum for emphasis):
You are stupid.
Are you accusing me of being stupid!?
You are accusing me of making accusations!
…but what you said was rude and untrue.
More accusations! And you are calling me a rude liar!
Why did you call me ‘stupid’?
You are harassing me.
I want an explanation. Was it something
I told you to leave me alone! Stop harassing me! Look, everyone, I am being victimized by that evil person for no reason!
Do you recognize this scenario?
Please leave a comment and share your story!
- Denial and DARVO (SalemWitchHunt.wordpress.com)
- DARVO (changingminds.org)
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder (PsychopathResistance.com)
- Narcissists Provoke People,
Then Blame Them
- Baiting & Bashing (PsychopathResistance.com)
- Stonewalling or The Silent Treatment (SalemWitchHunt.wordpress.com)
- The 5 Senses of Abuse (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Being Manipulated By A Pro … The Narcissist (nakiafleming.wordpress.com)
• • •
Legal and Moral Considerations
Isn’t it wrong to expose someone by name—even if they did cause harm?
If you are asking this question, you should also ask yourself if it is right for an abuser to get away with hurting people. Concealing an abuser’s identity is protecting them from consequences for their actions and enables them to continue preying on unsuspecting victims.
Isn’t it against the law to publish the name of an abuser?
No, it isn’t. The rule is simple: just stick to the truth. You may also publish their picture on the Internet as long as you own the copyright. Still, caution is advisable. You should be able to verify all of your statements that even remotely could be construed as defamatory. Refrain completely from insults and name-calling.
A bully may threaten to sue you for libel to intimidate you, but in reality, a defamation lawsuit would not be in their interests because their own actions would then be fully exposed and scrutinized in court. Also, the burden of proof is on the party claiming libel. They don’t have a case unless they can prove that what you published is both defamatory and false. A lawsuit can take many years and become very costly, too.
You will become a threat
You are not at fault if the truth about an abuser’s behavior damages their reputation. From a bully’s egocentrically warped point of view and sense of entitlement; everything is your fault. Count on being accused of slander, libel, and probably all sorts of other crimes if you speak up. They may be scary in their denial; playing the victim role and acting out indignation, hurling accusations, and vilifying you while manipulating other people to turn against you and support their vengeful schemes. It’s all a game to them. A self-righteous, hateful, and remorseless schemer can cause you a lot of harm—but they don’t have the law on their side.
Consider the consequences
No one has the right to abuse you, and you are always entitled to defend yourself and to speak about what was done to you. However, it is up to you to decide what to do. You’ll need to examine all aspects of your situation and weigh your values against an estimated cost in personal suffering for asserting them. Read about cases similar to your own for valuable insights and warnings to heed, and educate yourself about psychopathy and libel laws to gain confidence and make a better informed decision. Most importantly, consider all possible consequences of ‘going public,’ especially danger to the life and well being of yourself and your loved ones.
More info: Exposing an Abuser
Man beat and set fire to ex-wife to avoid paying child support.
David Morgan appears in court to await his sentencing. (KOMO Photo)
April 13th 2016
SEATTLE — David Morgan has been sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison.
Prosecutors say he beat Brenda Welch and set her on fire in 2014 so that he wouldn’t have to pay child support or part of his pension.
Brenda, who was severely beaten, doused in gasoline, and set on fire, says she has no memory of the attack. Twenty percent of her body was burned and her face was unrecognizable after the attack. She also suffered a skull fracture and a broken nose and has lost her sense of smell and taste.
In this case, there can be no doubt that David Morgan has displayed extreme selfishness, a sense of entitlement, cunning and callously cruel behavior, risk taking, domination of another, violence, and lack of empathy and remorse.
Some will still insist that without professional psychiatry credentials or ‘proof’ of a subject’s psychopathy in the form of results from a PCL-R test officially approved by medical authorities, you are not qualified to ‘diagnose’ and you have no right to label anyone. OK. Let’s appease such critics even if we disagree, and instead of risking misuse of the terms sociopath or psychopath, we’ll simply call David Morgan sociopathic or psychopathic.
Do you think you can’t leave your abusive partner? Do you feel hopeless when you return to a relationship filled with pain? Or, do you dwell on your toxic ex and struggle to stay away? Then you may be caught in a carefully crafted trauma bond—but you don’t need to be Houdini to escape.
Triangulation is a fun game for the narcopath and an effective “divide and conquer” technique. It rewards with a satisfying sense of being smarter than and superior to others, especially the unwitting targets playing the parts they have been assigned. Stirring up animosity between others is also used to rally supporters and to divert attention away from the devious scheming the narcopath is engaged in.
Triangulation is used in all social contexts, including the workplace and among interest groups and friends. Abusers discover their manipulative abilities in childhood and refine these conniving skills over a lifetime. It is virtually impossible to catch them in the act.
What is a narcopath?
Narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths share several characteristic traits and behaviors, such as egocentrism, lack of empathy, grandiosity, and manipulativeness. The newly created term narcopath can be used to reference an individual exhibiting these traits when their specific personality disorder diagnosis is either unknown or insignificant in the context. Toxic is an equivalent, more common description for people belonging to this general category.
By David Robson
7 September 2015
This story is part of BBC Future’s “Best of 2015” list, the greatest hits of the year. Browse the full list.
How does one go about detecting a liar? One approach would be to focus on body language or eye movements, right? It would have been a bad idea. Study after study has found that attempts – even by trained police officers – to read lies from body language and facial expressions are more often little better than chance. You might as well just flip a coin.
According to one study, just 50 out of 20,000 people managed to make a correct judgement with more than 80% accuracy.
There are other more effective ways to identify the fakers in the vast majority of cases. The secret? To throw away many of the accepted cues to deception and start anew with some startlingly straightforward techniques.
When it comes to spotting liars, the eyes don’t have it.
Most previous work had focused on reading a liar’s intentions via their body language or from their face – blushing cheeks, a nervous laugh, darting eyes. Bill Clinton touching his nose when he denied his affair with Monica Lewinsky is a famous example – taken at the time to be a sure sign he was lying. The belief was that the act of lying provokes emotions – nervousness, guilt, perhaps even exhilaration at the challenge – that trigger unavoidable tiny flickers of movement known as “micro-expressions” that might give the game away. The problem is the huge variety of human behaviour – there is no universal dictionary of body language.
Liar vs liar
It takes one to know one.
Although the techniques will primarily help law enforcement, the same principles might just help you hunt out the liars in your own life. Continue reading the article on BBC.com to find out more.
When bullies do not experience consequences to their harmful acts they become more powerful and hurt more people. No victim is obligated to remain silent about a toxic individual’s malicious activities, comply with their wishes or purposes, help them maintain their public persona or inflated views of themselves, bolster their need to feel superior and in control, or protect their reputation. A victim with the courage to expose an abuser (and suffer the consequences) is committing a heroic act; validating the experiences of countless other victims and weakening the abusers’ ability to continue hiding behind denial and manipulative impression management tactics.
Tell your story. It’s easy to start a blog:
Exposing Your Abuser
Read: Understanding Enabling
From No Psychos, No Druggies, No Stooges:
Michael’s problems started, according to his mother, around age 3, shortly after his brother Allan was born. At the time, she said, Michael was mostly just acting “like a brat,” but his behavior soon escalated to throwing tantrums during which he would scream and shriek inconsolably. These weren’t ordinary toddler’s fits. “It wasn’t, ‘I’m tired’ or ‘I’m frustrated’ — the normal things kids do,” Anne remembered. “His behavior was really out there. And it would happen for hours and hours each day, no matter what we did.” For several years, Michael screamed every time his parents told him to put on his shoes or perform other ordinary tasks, like retrieving one of his toys from the living room. “Going somewhere, staying somewhere — anything would set him off,” Miguel said. These furies lasted well beyond toddlerhood. At 8, Michael would still fly into a rage when Anne or Miguel tried to get him ready for school, punching the wall and kicking holes in the door. Left unwatched, he would cut up his trousers with scissors or methodically pull his hair out. He would also vent his anger by slamming the toilet seat down again and again until it broke.
When Anne and Miguel first took Michael to see a therapist, he was given a diagnosis of “firstborn syndrome”: acting out because he resented his new sibling. While both parents acknowledged that Michael was deeply hostile to the new baby, sibling rivalry didn’t seem sufficient to explain his consistently extreme behavior.
By the time he turned 5, Michael had developed an uncanny ability to switch from full-blown anger to moments of pure rationality or calculated charm — a facility that Anne describes as deeply unsettling. “You never know when you’re going to see a proper emotion,” she said. She recalled one argument, over a homework assignment, when Michael shrieked and wept as she tried to reason with him. “I said: ‘Michael, remember the brainstorming we did yesterday? All you have to do is take your thoughts from that and turn them into sentences, and you’re done!’ He’s still screaming bloody murder, so I say, ‘Michael, I thought we brainstormed so we could avoid all this drama today.’ He stopped dead, in the middle of the screaming, turned to me and said in this flat, adult voice, ‘Well, you didn’t think that through very clearly then, did you?’ ”
BY KRIS LEE
While we all are manipulative to some degree, manipulators engage in set behaviors on a regular basis. Manipulators use deceptive and underhanded tactics by exploiting another person for power, control, and privileges at the other person’s expense. They play on your good intentions, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses to get what they want. Don’t be surprised if a manipulator is someone you trust or even love.
When someone is clearly wronging or hurting you and you are the one feeling bad and apologizing for their wrong doings, you are being manipulated. Manipulative behaviors are learned, most often in childhood. Thus, unfortunately it’s something that can’t be quickly unlearned. So, watch out for some common signs to spot them and once you do, pull them out of your life immediately. They are toxic weeds in your life.
1. They are experts in playing mind games.
Some manipulators are highly skilled and their tactics are so subtle that it can control you for a long time before you finally figure out what’s happening. Skilled manipulators have a way of twisting a previous conversation or replaying it to suit their needs. They will do something to hurt you and when you express how you feel about it, they’ll turn the situation around, make you feel guilty and end up justifying their actions.
Does your partner say or do things that make you feel like you must be crazy and then tell you you’re making something out of nothing? Obviously your partner twists the truth or leaves out certain information to make you doubt your own perception and sanity.
2. They have their best interests in mind, not yours.
They twist your thoughts and actions bit by bit until you look to them for guidance on everything. They mold you into someone who serves their own purposes. Sadly, you trust them more than you trust yourself. Their motives are almost always self-serving, and they have little interests in how you feel or how their behaviors impact you and your life.
They consistently point out your shortcomings, then show you that with their help, you can do better and become better. In that way they convince you that they have your best interests in mind, but the truth is they don’t.
3. They are emotional bullies and control freaks.
Manipulators need to be in control, and the desire for control often masks underlying feelings of their own insecurity. They need to feel superior and powerful. They have a deep narcissistic desire to shift the focus somehow to themselves and seek you out to validate them.
Manipulators claim that they know how the world should be, how you should act and of course by their rules. They are virtuous and righteous. They are saints in their own minds, so you’d better agree. They know what’s best for you. Just ask them and they will give you advice and will make your life miserable if you don’t do what they say or utterly worship them. Besides, they are great debaters, so you never win.
4. They are irresponsible and inconsistent.
Manipulators have difficulty accepting responsibility for their behavior and it is always about what everyone else had done to them. If you call them on their behaviors, they’ll find a way to turn it around to make you feel bad or guilty. Manipulators may say yes to a request or make a small commitment to you, and then when the time comes to follow through, they conveniently forget what they said or deny the fact that they even promised.
5. They blame you for their behaviors.
They blame you for what they’ve said, done, not said or not done. If you point out how they just turned the tables, they’ll most likely make you look selfish and pitiful. Thus, you can’t really prove anything so it’s your bad memory against their lying words. You begin to question yourself and even feel bad that you challenged them. Manipulators will never admit their wrong-doings when it puts them at a disadvantage. Instead, they’re always on the lookout for someone to blame, and here, alas, it’s you.
Manipulators are good at keeping score so that one day they will blame you if things don’t work for them. They are willing to help but it always comes at a price. They remind you of that one time they helped you out and use it as a way to manipulate you into feeling like you owe them something.
6. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
They attempt to establish intimacy by sharing their deep personal information that they make you believe they trust you and in turn, you trust them. You may initially perceive them as very sensitive, emotionally open and a bit vulnerable. You won’t suspect at all that you are being played. Since they are able to mirror your needs and desires perfectly, they are able to create the persona or mask of who you think they are, but it’s all an illusion.
Manipulators want to listen to what you have to say in order to find out your strengths and weaknesses. Although it may feel like genuine interest and that they are good listeners, keep in mind that there may be a hidden agenda behind all this interest. They won’t hesitate to use all of these against you with an arsenal of effective manipulation tactics.
7. They have no desire in having authentic real communication.
Once again when you call them out on their behavior, more than likely, you’ll get a defensive and angry reaction rather than being direct and forthright communication. They usually sidestep honest communication and use passive aggressive methods instead. They try to intimidate you with aggressive language, subtle threats or outright anger, especially when they see you are uncomfortable with confrontation.
If you try to have an open and honest conversation about moments when you feel hurt or invalidated, you will be shut down with allegations that you are being too sensitive, insecure, or over-reacting. They may pretend to be sweet and open-minded to your face, and while they might not hurt you directly, they will find subtle ways of undermining or belittling you.
8. They are afraid of vulnerability.
Manipulators seldom express their needs, desires, or true feelings. They seek out the vulnerabilities in others in order to take advantage of them for their own benefits and deflect their true motives. They have no ability to love, empathy, guilt, remorse, or conscience. To them, life is merely a game of taking power and control and getting what they want. They see vulnerability as a weakness and staying invulnerable is a great way to hide who they really are. So, if you don’t live up to their so-called standards and they are filled with contempt for you, it’s so easy for them to simply get up and move on.
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.
Artwork: Adam Proctor
From BBC Future, 3 December 2015
By David Robson
Do you have a ruthless streak? Psychologists believe the “dark triad” of personality—Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy—might help you succeed in life. To measure your own dark side, click on the link below and choose how much you agree or disagree with 9 simple statements—and we’ll tell you how dastardly you actually are.
The questions for this quiz were inspired by questionnaires developed by Delroy Paulhus and Daniel Jones (Assessment, vol 21, p 28). Our quiz was designed solely for entertainment, and the results should not be considered a scientific measure of your personality. If you would like to learn more about Paulhus’s personality research and his serious explorations of the dark triad, read the BBC profile “The man who studies everyday evil”.
Posted July 6, 2015 by Karen Young at Hey Sigmund:
Even if toxic people came with a warning tattooed on their skin, they might still be difficult to avoid. We can always decide who we allow close to us but it’s not always that easy to cut out the toxics from other parts of our lives. They might be colleagues, bosses, in-laws, step-someones, family, co-parents … and the list goes on.
We live our lives in groups and unless we’re willing to go it alone – work alone, live alone, be alone (which is sometimes tempting, but comes with its own costs) – we’re going to cross paths with those we would rather cross out.
Continue reading the article for some powerful, practical ways to ease co-existence with toxics:
An Open Letter to an LA Family Law Judge
…and they’re good at it.
Originally posted on Dating a Sociopath:
The sociopath uses a number of tools to manipulate.
If you spend enough time around the sociopath, his Mr Nice, Mr Helpful, and Mr Wonderful personas wear off. Once he has his slippers firmly under your table, hand in the fridge, and the warm half of your bed, a totally different character begins to appear. To cope with this, you need mental agility, for the sociopath is the master game player. And what he intends to do is play a game with your life. You will be left feeling absolutely confused.
What is deflection? Deflection takes focus away from the accusation. To use an example, if you had concerns that your partner was cheating, perhaps you have evidence that he is having an affair? You confront your partner, holding the evidence, and you are fairly sure that you now have him cornered… Or so you think!
Evidence, means little…
Read original 850 more words: