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By January 9, 2008 283 Comments Read More →

(Given what you’ve learned the hard way) what’s your attitude like?

It could be argued that the sociopath is cynical: contemptuous; mocking; concerned only with his own interests and typically disregarding accepted or appropriate standards in order to achieve them – the opposite of idealistic.

And there is a danger that one who has learned the hard way about sociopaths becomes jaded: dulled, blunted, deadened, inured; tired, weary, wearied; unmoved, blasé, apathetic – the opposite of fresh.

The online version of the Guardian newspaper runs a series in which readers provide their responses to ‘Ethical conundrums’. Given the nature of our interests on this blog, this one caught my eye: Is it worse to be cynical or jaded?

One reader’s response captures the issue I raise above (our key terms inserted):
A jaded person [someone who has fallen for a sociopath] has loved and lost. A cynic [sociopath] has never loved at all.

Another provides some clues as to how come the sociopath and his or her victim get together in the first place:
I don’t like either alone, together though: the jaded person before becoming jaded makes friends with a cynic and then they both have a great time. So long as the cynic enjoys the doses of optimism and doesn’t get annoyed by them. And the optimist doesn’t become disillusioned by hanging out with the cynic. Because that would be boring, pointless and gloomy. Cynics and optimists together can be really proactive and make great company: CAN be…
Or not, right?

One reckons that positivity can turn into negativity, but seldom the other way round:
Pessimists tend to become cynical, as they tend to believe the existence of a hidden motive. Optimists, with experience, tend to become jaded, as the world falls short of their expectations. Jaded people tend to become cynical, but cynical people rarely end up jaded. So, being jaded is kind of the scenic route to cynicism.

One reader sees the merit of cynicism:
Cynicism is essential for surviving this lousy superficial society. Being jaded is the result of being insufficiently cynical.

I was tickled by this one:
Someone who’s jaded hasn’t lost the will to change, they’ve just lost the means….Polish the surface of a jaded person and you’ll find they’ll come up good as new.

As we get a new year underway, what are your thoughts?



283 Comments on "(Given what you’ve learned the hard way) what’s your attitude like?"

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  1. fight says:

    My attitude is TERRIFIED. I am afraid to say anything. I am afraid to go anywhere. I am afraid I don’t have a normal personality any more if I could get myself to go to a normal place with normal people.

    I have been trying to depend on two spaths as friends (ex-husband an ex-boyfriend) and I am terrified all the time. For years now, I had convinced myself that my ex-husband was just impatient and troubled and didn’t have social capabilities to have a normal conversation sometimes. He continued to be able to have a great deal of empathy and help me fix things around my home and help me in a lot of ways. But, as I continued reading and researching here and elsewhere, I began to see that I’m dealing with two of them part time all of the time.

    My ex-husband had gotten so ridiculous over the last few weeks, I thought I was going to collapse. I have very low expectations of the ex-boyfriend/one renting my garage apartment, so felt less for his problems. I felt like I know what he is. He isn’t nice most of the time like my ex-husband. It’s paying the bills, and I can be away from him. But, my ex-husband just began getting worse and worse than ever before. He kept hinting that he wanted to have a wife and he kept attacking me and raging and hanging up over things that made no sense.

    In the last 24 hours, I have been called name after name, had to block him from calling me, had to close out an email account, talked to his father, and finally threatened a protective order. I couldn’t see it before because he was still nice more than not. But, the emails I’ve received today are terrifying. It’s not the first time, but it’s the last time. He actually wrote to me that I was going to end up in a mental institution and a younger woman like me would get raped! As I read his emails today, I began to realize that he has been blackmailing me for years. When he gets mad, he tells me he has taped all of our phone calls and that he is going to share things I’ve said with others. He has blackmailed me financially several times. I realized in the middle of the night last night that I am addicted to his nice side and terrified to leave his awful side. Finally, today, he also told me in an email that he had been on Christian Mingle and had been talking to another woman for a while now and SHE doesn’t interrupt when he is speaking! I wrote back and said, “Because of you, I haven’t prayed in years, but I will be praying for that poor woman.” I hope he finds one he really likes and leaves me alone. I need relief. I can only handle one at a time and it has to be the one helping pay my bills. But, I do feel sorry for the next one. She will not be mingling with a Christian. She will be mingling with a southern evilgelical and they are evil.

    And I am just TERRIFIED. My NPD father and sister have created a situation where I have one sister to half way depend upon and her son is very ill and her husband is a spath so I don’t want to bother her. All of that blackmailing and he can write pages and pages in e-mails of all the horrible things that are going to happen to me because I didn’t let him run my life. As I really let myself think about it last night, I realized he also blackmails other people. People GIVE him MONEY FOR NO REASON. He says they are being nice because his disabled, but people don’t do that. And I know for sure one of the couples made a big mistake with a trust and he knew the details and I think he has been blackmailing them! One man had confided in him that he had cheated on his wife numerous times and this “christian” friend was always sending him money and I could never figure out why. Now, there is another couple and the man is disabled and the wife is a nurse who works for an insurance company and I guarantee you they have confided some indiscretion in him because every couple of months, they just give him 200.00! When he sends the hateful emails, he takes out his name and puts an alias called “Someone Important.” Isn’t that weird?

    I have so many NPD spaths around me, I can’t see the forest for the trees! Please wish me luck everyone. I have to get rid of one for good today and I am TERRIFIED.



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    • winifred says:

      Fight- one fact is clear….it is up to YOU to take your life BACK! Living in constant fear is not living…so you might as well be dead…you are strong enough to regain yourself…I know this personally. (I did it)!
      My life has been threatened by my husband’s ex sociopath wife, we have paid over 74k in lawyers fees for nothing. I can tell you stories that match or beat your horrifying experiences you describe here. If I (we) can come back…. so can you, as human beings(especially women) we have the God given and/or human strength to redirect our own lives. The first thing you have to do is get mad…..get angry enough for long enough where you can fight back and hold your head high. It is a process, one step at a time, each day grow a little more, think about times before you were sucked in to the vortex. Sit down and make a written list of strong, great things in your life pre-sociopath! The only thing that seperates you from them is the mind and soul…and you have the ability inside you to regain a stronger mindset than they do, and your soul will sustain you. Seek a few people you trust who somewhat understand your plight. (no outsider really gets it totally).
      Make a plan, gather info….and go for it! The thrill of your fear is what he feeds on…when it is gone, he will move on to his next victim, sounds like he already is?
      Remember each day a little more who you are…not were!
      Bless you, Winifred



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  2. Back_from_the_edge says:

    fight: it is time you made your life comfortable around you, no matter what that takes, before you end up like I did: almost dead from the chaos and drama.

    The only way to NOT have this about you is to get rid of it. It sounds to me like you have an awful stalker and an ugly one, sort of like mine was and you NEED to get that protective order.

    You be careful and make sure that the local authorities are aware, for your own protection. I, too, have had an ugly experience and I was terrified for quite a few years – I finally made the decision that I was NOT going to ALLOW anyone to take my peace.

    I do wish you well…you need more than luck…
    YOU NEED A COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF. Do you remember who you are?
    It took me a while to remember who I was. Then after I made ‘contact’ with myself again, I learned my worth. I have been NC for over a year now and have NO REGRETS about it. The peace and quiet around me only deepens and strengthens my commitment to “ME”.

    I got rid of ‘my ppath’ for good.
    That’s it…over and done….
    At least for me it is. But, I hear
    stalkers never really go away…so….

    BE SAFE fight…
    whatever you do, be safe and do whatever that takes.

    Dupey



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  3. blossom4th says:

    fight,
    Oh fight,I wondered where you were,what was going on in your life,now I know!

    You’ve got to go NC with your ex in every way-phone,texting,email.If he continues to harass you,keep records and turn it into the police!Get that order of protection!

    I knew I had no choice but to leave my husband when I forgot “who I was” as a person and was too exhausted and sick to keep living that way!Living in terror is for the movies!



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  4. Tea Light says:

    I hope I can polish up my “jaded” and come up cautious but optimistic.

    Blossom thats a gem. Being terrified is for the movies!



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  5. Bessyisbusy says:

    My attitude is that I still feel the wounds of being discarded, erased, JUST LIKE THAT. “Loved” one day, erased the next. It’s truly mind-blowing how non-chalant the words are that they are spewing from their evil mouths. WE HAVE REAL FEELINGS! WE LOVE! WE ARE NOT TOYS FOR AMUSEMENT!

    And I can tell you this: I will never, ever again play detective in a relationship. That is the time to walk away. I literally could have driven myself insane had the relationship continued. So in a way, I am grateful for certain aspects of this “lesson.” However, given a choice, I wish my path never crossed the spath’s.



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