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ASK DR. LEEDOM: Am I also a sociopath?

Recently, a woman sent me a letter with this question/comment. Her former lover accused her of also being a sociopath, he said, “…The truth is that you’re just like me. You’re in this because you want something for yourself, for your own life…You’re more dangerous than me, because you give the appearance of being a good person, but you’re really untrustworthy and selfish.” Then the woman wrote, “So my question is that I sometimes wonder if I’m sociopath too and it’s the real reason we gravitated toward each other.”

The psychological warfare that sociopaths engage in can leave a lover with many self doubts as this woman expresses. After my encounter with a sociopath, I too looked within myself to try to understand why I was attracted to this type of person. Yes I used the word was. I can tell you that I am no longer attracted to the type of people who are prone to sociopathy.

Attraction is an unconscious force. We do not necessarily have conscious control over who we feel attracted to. So when I say I am no longer attracted to this type of person, I mean I have changed.

The catalyst for this change has been a deeper understanding of myself and other victims of sociopaths, that started when Sandra Brown, M.A. author of How to Spot a Dangerous Man contacted me. Since that time, Sandy and I together have worked to understand women who have loved sociopathic men. A large number of women have completed our survey which has included a temperament assessment and the results have been very enlightening.

Since we are not yet finished, I cannot go into too much detail, but I can say that our results are in agreement with those of other studies. People who tend to be extraverts are socially outgoing and adventurous. Extraverts tend to seek out and marry other extraverts. As you learned from my post last week, sociopaths are social extraverts. If you, like me, have been attracted to outgoing people, your attractions may have put you at risk.

Remember, not everyone who is outgoing and who seems to enjoy people, is able to love. For some people the source of social pleasure is not affection but dominance and control. A sociopath enjoys making you laugh, not because he/she wants you to be happy, but because he/she enjoys having an impact on you. He/she receives just as much pleasure from upsetting you or eliciting anger as he/she does from making you laugh. If you understand this point, you will no longer be overly impressed by social extraverts who are funny.

Next time you find yourself attracted to someone either a friend or potential lover, take a step back, and ask yourself why. Resolve not too take your attractions too seriously, instead surround yourself with people who have demonstrated ability to love. Don’t worry that you share too much in common with the sociopath you were involved with. You may have both enjoyed having a good time, but the similarities stoped there.



66 Comments on "ASK DR. LEEDOM: Am I also a sociopath?"

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  1. JustBree says:

    I’m sorry for my reaction and I appreciate your understanding. I am very early in the process and here I was finding, as you aptly noted, triggers. Guess I’m just not ready to kid about something that makes every day a challenge to navigate. (My problem, not yours.) It was a very disorienting experience, and like so many experiences we have all had with our spaths, it caught me completely off guard. Right now I am reading any and all posts that catch my eye – there are no old posts for me. In the future I will try to keep your words in mind. I had no idea that trollers and spaths would invade “our” space, but I guess it should come as no surprise.



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  2. Truthspeak says:

    JustBree, I may have missed your response – these boards tend to fly and whenever I miss a couple of days (or, more), I completely lose the topic and thread. Did you say that you were engaged in couseling?

    Triggers are odd things to manage, JustBree – sometimes, we don’t know that something will even BE a trigger for us, but it suddenly becomes a very personal issue without warning. Counseling therapy with a strong therapist who has experience in dealing with PSTD and victims of domestic violence/abuse can provide numerous emotional tools that will help us to manage triggers and unexpected reactions. I’m referencing my own, personal experiences with regard to this sensitive issue and I’ll promise you this: in due time, you’ll be in a space where you will redevelop a sense of humor. Until you do, it might be a good idea to take a breath, step back, and understand that you’ll “get there” in your own way and avoid jumping to conclusions.

    Um, about “our” space on this blog, it’s a “public” blog and anyone can (and, does) check it out and post, if they wish. I’ve discovered that the internet is probably the most perfect of all trolling grounds for spaths and predators, bar none. On the internet, a person can present any persona that they wish – some even claim different genders and live out alter-ego-type lives ONLINE. There are NO verbal or visual cues to alert us to whether or not a person is speaking truthfully. So, yeah…..plenty of trolls drop onto this blog.

    Brightest blessings to you.



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  3. SC says:

    When people were talking that **** **** of **** church is a sociopath, we all ask… am I also a sociopath? we actually found test online to determine whether we are or not. Several of us did this test and no we did not harm animals or people as a young child. We don’t know about **** ****. We don’t know if Pastor **** was born this way, or it was due to a very hard up bringing. **** **** may have been abused which may have caused his disregard for the welfare of people.



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