Lately, many readers have added insightful comments to this blog. I would like to share this one and add that you may indeed know more about sociopathy than the so-called experts.
As far as charisma in sociopaths goes, my theory is this:
if a sociopath has no conscience (and no guilt), he or she might often be in a better mood – or at least appear to be in a better mood – i.e; generally more upbeat and seemingly happy with whatever is going on – than the average decent non-sociopathic person dealing with the typical ups and downs of daily life.
I have heard that when someone is feeling happy, his or her facial expressions. tone of voice, and even their pheramones and neuro-chemicals are probably more “attractive” or magnetic to others around them.
Therefore, is it possible that these happier neuro-chemicals, and aspects of body language – are responsible for increasing their charisma?
Also – if a sociopath experiences no guilt or remorse for their actions against others, and in fact does not even possess a conscience with the same rules and ability to empathize that non-sociopaths hold dear, then that would suggest that the sociopath is perfectly congruent in their happy, good moods; even when others around them are going into chaos, confusion, financial/emotional ruin, etc. as a result of the sociopath’s involvement in their lives.
And the congruency is what is so confusing and dumb-founding to the victims, because – it appears that nothing is wrong – at least from the sociopath’s view-point. I’ve heard that the congruency of a sociopath in believing their own lies is what often enables them to take a lie detector test, and pass with flying colors, because they don’t think they’re lying! (Although they are usually so intelligent, I wonder how they can not NOT know that they are lying…)
Further, let’s say I’d become addicted to the sociopath, and trusted him or her. When doubts came up in my mind, because of tiny indications that the sociopath was in fact a liar and perpetrator of fraud, hurt, deceipt, etc., I would then be dealing with “brain-fog” – a sense of odd and incomprehensible self-doubt, because afterall, my esteemed and trusted new friend (or counselor or spouse or whatever) certainly seems clear-headed and confident, so he/she MUST be more level-headed, and probably more right about what’s going on than I am!
An intimate relationship with a sociopath can undermine your confidence in your own intuitions. Believe me, no professional understands the sociopathic mind better than a victim. These posts prove that. Even Robert Hare states in his book, Without Conscience, that being fooled by a sociopath lead him to do his research.
Sociopathy is a condition that cannot be understood from afar or from reading books. Indeed, many professionals do not understand this condition even though they have dealt with it in practice. Personally, having interviewed many people who had sociopathic traits, kept me from seeing how different true sociopaths are from the rest of humanity.
The positive mood of sociopaths is the one feature that fools many professionals, including psychiatrists, lawyers and judges. Indeed the positive mood and confidence of the sociopath often stands in sharp contrast to the depression and helplessness of the victim.
If you feel your therapist doesn’t understand what has happened to you, you are not alone. In fact, you may be helping to educate your therapist, who can experience the impact of this condition through you. Most importantly, work to regain confidence in yourself and in your ability to be an observer of people. Chances are you are wiser than you think!