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
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“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…
…more ruthless, cold, exploitative, and antisocially individualistic?
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?
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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.
Another reason why many of us are conned again and again is because we cannot fathom that a friendly, intelligent, respectable person to whom we may have extended exceptional kindness, trust, and generosity; would be capable of acting so atrociously. It is incomprehensible to most of us that there really are human beings who don’t have a conscience and we fail to see the patterns in our experiences that verify the ‘unpleasant’ facts that challenge or contradict our long held beliefs.
“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.
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.
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…
- The Sociopath-Empath-Apath Triad
- The Relationship Between Empaths and Narcissists
- Empaths are Targets
- The Apath
- The Empath Strikes Back
Deceit and manipulation are tools with which I am proficient. These tools are, in fact, part of my primary programming. My brain, for reasons I’d like to understand, has evolved in a manner distinct from other people and my personality is that of a predator. A psychological predator, by nature, engages in deceit and manipulation. It takes, I think, the same level of conscious energy for me to be totally honest that it takes for a normal person to lie. I do my best not to lie and I feel like I’m successful.
Mostly. Read more…
Which witch is which?
By SINDERELLA 02/23/2015
Deciphering the Narcissist from the Sociopath is some tricky business because they are practically identical. The two biggies that set them apart are the disordereds’ motives and levels of self-awareness. In other words, you’d have to get the N/S to be open and forthcoming about the inner workings of his mind. As always, you can count out the Narc or Socio for assistance. Unless you crack their heads open like coconuts and unravel the twisted little rats nests that dwell within, that ain’t happening. Continue reading this article…
They are cowards who lack the ability to work out problems in a reasoned, adult manner.
They need a fan club of followers and admirers who support their evil deeds, “flying monkeys” to persecute their targets, and/or technology to hide behind.
The adult bully’s personality pathology is characterized by a lack of empathy, craving for power, manipulativeness, and deceptiveness. Bullies feel entitled to use others as they wish and they derive sadistic pleasure from the harm they cause.
Dr George Simon [blog], author of several best-selling books on psychopathy, has given descriptive labels to three manipulative tactics that all victims of narcissistic/psychopathic abuse are sure to recognize. The terminology offered by Dr Simon makes it easier to make sense of behaviors that otherwise may seem confusing or even cause self-doubt, and to discuss them. When you see manipulative behavior, it will probably reflect one or more of these tactics.
See more blog posts relating to Dr. George Simon:
- Dealing with Manipulative People
- In Sheep’s Clothing
- Manipulation Tactics
- 14 Psychopathic Tactics
- Dr George Simon explains how manipulation tactics work.
- Vulnerabilities Exploited by Manipulators
Professor Robert Hare, the world’s foremost expert in the field, estimates that there are at least two million psychopaths in North America.
“Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate, and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations, and empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret.”
See also: Almost A Psychopath
To really get a sense for how the narcissist perceives you, you will need to picture a tool. Let’s say a hammer. The hammer has no will of its own. The hammer’s value is in how it serves you. When you pick up the hammer it is like an extension of your hand. We are able to use it without regard for how it must feel when we whack a nail with it. Of course, because it has no feelings. We don’t have to think about the hammer, we simply use it to our own ends and then set it down and walk away when it has performed the function we wanted it for.
You are that hammer to the narcissist. All of us are merely tools made for their use. Extensions of themselves. We are like a table or chair or bookcase or toilet paper.
The narcissist will become enraged if such inanimate tools decide to sprout a mind of their own and not perform and conform perfectly to their will. It is perceived as an attack! The default setting in the mind of the narcissist toward the rest of humanity is that we are not worth anything except as they imbue value in us. Then we are worth something, but only as much as the narcissist decides. We can be completely devalued in a moment and thrown out with the rest of the garbage.
You may be wondering if he’s a sociopath.
Here is a list of 20 signs to help…
When deprived of narcissistic supply, narcissists experience symptoms similar to the withdrawal symptoms of a drug addict; becoming delusional, agitated, helpless, and emotionally unhinged. They disintegrate and crumble, and may even experience a psychotic episode. They engage in “magical thinking;” believing that they are omniscient, omnipotent, and that they cannot fail. This makes them fearless and relentless in their pursuit of revenge.
Narcissistic Supply (Wikipedia))
Narcissistic Supply (The Narcissistic Life)
Narcissistic Supply (Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers)
Narcissists, Narcissistic Supply and Sources of Supply (Sam Vaknin)
Would you recognize a psychopath…
…or a sensible knave if you saw one?
The Scottish philosopher David Hume, three centuries ago, identified a character type that would pose a mortal danger to his otherwise optimistic view of human nature. (Yours, too?) This character he called a sensible knave. Hume sketches him thus:
“That honesty is the best policy, may be a good general rule; but is liable to many exceptions: And he, it may, perhaps, be thought, conducts himself with most wisdom, who observes the general rule, and takes advantage of all the exceptions.”
In this brief, accessible essay, contemporary philosopher Bianco Luno reminds us that Hume’s knave, aka psychopath, still haunts our world. The handcrafted mini book is 21 pages and approximately 3.1 x 3.6 inches.
Publication Date: December 31, 2014
True Stories Written by Survivors of Domestic Violence, Rape and Fraud: Exposing Sociopaths in Our Midst
Not everyone moves from a place of care and respect for themselves and others, because not everyone has (1) a conscience; (2) the ability to feel remorse; and (3) the ability to tap into affective empathy–the type of empathy that allows one to see and feel a situation from another’s perspective. People lacking these qualities are referred to as sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists. They exist everywhere in society, including our homes where their toxic and parasitic lifestyles are destroying families, children and communities every single day.
This collection of 33 true stories from across the globe written by survivors of toxic and abusive relationships sets out to expose the unchallenged pathological personalities and behaviors of psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. Read more…
See also Victims of Psychopaths: True Stories
All too easily, we assume that everyone else is honest, intelligent, and trying to do the right thing, just like us. Similarly, a psychopath thinks that everyone else is evil like himself. When a psychopath sees an honest and intelligent person asking questions or giving reasonable explanations, he believes it is an evil manipulation trick.
The Age of the Psychopath
Dr. George Simon, author of In Sheep’s Clothing—Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
“A manipulative person … is a covertly aggressive personality.”
“You ask a manipulator a direct question, you rarely get a direct answer.”
See more on Dr. George Simon and related blog posts:
- Common Types of Manipulation
- Dealing with Manipulative People
- Manipulation Tactics
- 14 Psychopathic Tactics
- Dr George Simon explains how manipulation tactics work.
- Vulnerabilities Exploited by Manipulators
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…
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.
See also: Narcissistic Rage
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
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)