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.