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.”
In The Lies of Sarah Palin, Geoffrey Dunnprovides the first full-scale and in-depth political biography of the controversial Republican vice-presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska.
Based on more than two-hundred interviews—many of them with Republican colleagues and one-time political allies of Palin’s—and more than forty-thousand pages of uncovered documents, Dunn chronicles Palin’s troubling penchant for duplicity in grim detail. The Lies of Sarah Palin is a journalistic tour de force that vividly reveals the Queen of the Tea Party movement as a vengeful and manipulative empress without clothes.
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 psychiatristHervey 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 sanityto 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.
Psychopaths and sociopaths are likely to appear friendly and generous. They are masters of deception, adept at faking emotions they don’t actually have—compassion, remorse, or humility—to win trust or gain power over others. Behind a convincing facade of respectability, intelligence, and high moral standards, they operate outside of standard ethical boundaries; recruiting lower-level psychopaths to do their bidding and manipulating normal, “good” people into accepting or supporting their shady agendas.
Abusers tend to be comfortable lying, having years of practice (and no qualms,) and so can sound believable when making baseless statements. The abuser benefits when people feel too uncomfortable to ask a seemingly sincere, respectable person to substantiate a claim, or fail to look closely at evidence—if not ignore it—because of his charm or perceived authority. He also benefits when people believe that they can “just tell” who is lying and who is telling the truth, and so fail to adequately investigate.
Bernie Madoff was trusted and well liked. He ripped off whoever he could, even his old friends.
Since, in the majority of cases, people who indulge in abuse are selective about whom they abuse, other people are typically surprised—or in disbelief—when hearing that someone is experiencing on-going and periodic abuse from someone they know and have always seen as nice and friendly. “Nice and friendly” is the persona of many conmen, abusers, and killers. Although many folks really are as nice and friendly as they seem, some most definitly are not. Like Ted Bundy.