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By March 17, 2008 Read More →

Discrimination and sociopaths

“Discrimination” has come to be a dirty word. It brings to mind unfair treatment of individuals because of race, religion, gender, national origin, physical disability, sexual orientation or some other broad categorization. People have been killed, beaten, denied jobs, denied housing, prosecuted, persecuted and denigrated because of some demographic category to which they belonged.

All of this applies to one meaning of the word “discrimination.” But there is another meaning that is vitally important when it comes to sociopaths. Here are the two meanings according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

    Discrimination

  1. Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit.
  2. The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.

Created equal

So far, we’ve been talking about the first meaning. In the United States, there’s always been a moral tradition against this type of discrimination. In church, we’re taught that “we’re all God’s children.” In school, we learned that “all men are created equal.”

For generations, though, the words were one thing, but practice was another. So laws were passed to prohibit discriminative behavior and to encourage redress of the violations of the past. This is generally good. Yes, some people take advantage of these laws, but the intention—a level playing field for all—is admirable and right.

I remember when this effort was just getting underway. I was a teenager when the feminist and black power movements began in the United States. When I was in junior high school, a question raging among my classmates was, “Do you believe in women’s lib?” In college, I was once asked, “Do you believe in black quarterbacks?”

Now, the questions seem so quaint that it’s hard to imagine they were seriously posed. Today’s young people don’t even seem to need the concepts of “political correctness” or “diversity awareness.” They appear to be inclusive of all groups of people. This is terrific.

But there is a downside to all this inclusiveness.

Non-judgmental

It seems that in our efforts to be non-judgmental about groups of people, we also hesitate to be judgmental about individuals.

Based on what Lovefraud readers have said in telling your stories, it seems that most of us are moral, caring, considerate people who want to live productive lives and help our neighbors along the way. We are inclined to realize that people have problems and give others the benefit of the doubt. We want to believe that everyone has good within them.

When we run into a sociopath, this mindset can be disastrous. It leads us to keep lending assistance, keep believing the apologies and the promises to change, far longer than we should.

Where sociopaths are concerned, we must discriminate, in the second sense of the word. We must develop “the ability or power to see or make fine distinctions.” We need to know the signs of a sociopath, and when we see them, get the person quickly out of our lives.

Evil people

The problem is, until we’ve tangled with a sociopath—and probably had our lives close to ruined because of one—we don’t even know that we need to discriminate, let alone how to do it.

I’ve written before that sociopaths are evil. People take issue with this terminology—it seems to have religious implications, or at the very least, convey a message of intolerance.

In The People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck, M.D., defines evil as “that which seeks to kill life or liveliness.” Evil, he says, has to do with murder—which can be either physical murder, or murder of the spirit.

This is what sociopaths do. If they don’t physically kill us, they suck out our emotions, energy and resources, until we have nothing left, not even our sense of self. They murder our spirits.

There are millions of sociopaths living among us, ready to commit this type of murder. But instead of being taught that they exist, what to look out for and when to discriminate (the second definition), we are taught that it is wrong to discriminate (the first definition).

Yes or no

Sociopaths cannot be identified by any readily apparent characteristics such as race, religion or gender. Every demographic group—men, women, rich, poor, all races, all faiths—includes some sociopaths. They can only be identified by behavior.

We need to know how to spot these evil people. The essence of discrimination, as in discernment, is learning when to say yes and when to say no. We must say “no” to sociopaths.

Tolerance is generally good for society. Sociopaths, however, do not deserve it.



60 Comments on "Discrimination and sociopaths"

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  1. peggywhoever says:

    Eyeswideshut:

    I can relate to your questions about “what to do with the memories” and my Sociopath was like your statements, “he would demonstrate huge acts of generosity, on myself and the kids. Anything we wanted. His public persona is one of a caring family man, a risk taker with steely resolve, a successful business man, steady as a rock, always even tempered, sometimes ruthless in business, but still seen, I believe by many, as honorable.”

    I also understand about the lack of humour, the boredom, the TV viewing or constantly being on the computer. My Sociopath rode a motorcycle without a helmet. He had an affair and lied about it. He had to have the “best” of everything…custom convertible, custom work truck, fancy furniture, silk shirts, Caribbean vacations, first class in Vegas.

    My Sociopath stole from his family, friends, and business partners alike. There is no discrimination in this regard. They need constant stimulation, and don’t, I believe, really “think” regarding matters of the heart, or contemplate things or process or renuminate the way we do. I can guarantee he isn’t thinking about you. My sociopath would say, “done is done” and that sums it up. When they are gone, they are finished with you and on to the next.

    Many people also still do not believe the things I have said about my Sociopath. Perhaps they never will. But the truth is the truth, and I believe that in time the truth will be evident. I believe my S will be in a federal prison within the next 2 years (money laundering, tax fraud, stealing from businesses). Also, these Sociopaths are very patterned, and he will repeat the same patterns with his next victim…

    I agree with holywatersalt, who says “action and time”. These will help to heal you.

    My memories (only 3 years worth) are also devastatingly painful. I believed him to be an honest, honest, generous, hardworking man of honesty and integrity. He was none of these. Everything was a facade…the calmness, the seeming coolness even in the face of adversity (his losing money from divorce, lawsuits)…of course, they are most upset when losing money, and happiest when getting money. It pains me to think that every time he said “I love you”, there was no love in his heart, only an agenda. He told his (former) best friends, “I don’t love her. It’s all about the money”. That really hurts, because I really DID love him, and trust him, and believed his acts of generosity were kindness, not just a “show”. Like the reference to the “cracked mirror” someone made on Lovefraud, it is SO TRUE. They want perfection, adoration, respect and trust mirrored back to them, EVEN THOUGH they don’t deserve it. They cannot tolerate questioning, truthseeking, and seeing them as the empty shells they really are.

    I now know the truth. I have figured out the puzzle, and it is definitely eye-opening. The truth will set you free, as the saying goes. It can release you from the emotional bondage and emotional devastation. The truth is a starting point from which you can begin life anew.

    Eyeswideshut, put your memories in a place of safekeeping … compartmentalized; in your mind, in a drawer, burn them in effigy in your mind…but put them away. Allow yourself only a small amount of time to reference them, until you don’t need them anymore as you build new ones.

    Your memories, unfortunately, are of real events, but events that occurred with a person that was NOT real. Everything about the sociopath is pretend. Fake. Insincere. False.

    There is tremendous personal growth that comes from this process. This is the time for YOU. The time for you to find your personal destiny, your personal path in life, a path of joy and enlightenment. A time of truth.

    Zero tolerance for red flags.
    Zero tolerance for liars.
    Zero tolerance for manipulators.
    Zero tolerance for abuse.

    Eyeswideshut, this is a time of strength. YOUR strength. The strength, the courage, the loving, caring, nurturing, bright and shining goodness that has always been in YOU. This is YOUR time.

    I wish you peace, happiness, and joy as you journey toward the place you wish to travel. Only YOU know where that journey will take you.

    Peace…what a beautiful word
    Peggy Pseu

  2. OxDrover says:

    Eyeswide shut,

    What do you do with the memories? What do you do with the X number of years?

    My primary P is my son, and he was the neatest kid in the world til he hit puberty. After that he turned into a P-monster. I am looking at haivng nothing but pain and hell on earth since about 1985. He has been in prison continually since he was 17 except for a few months he was out between episodes of felonies, his last one was murder.

    I am NC with him, with my bright and shining star, my gifted, wonderful, charming, inventive, and socialable son…but I sort of feel like I lost that son to “death” when he was about 12 or 13. Prior to that he was wonderful, after that nothing but pain.

    The MAN who animates the body is NOT my “son”not the son I loved and enjoyed, it is like my “son” is dead, the coffin lid closed, and he is buried. I have grieved over him for “lo, these many years.” But I have come to realize that the son I loved is GONE. He is NOT in this world.

    I put away all the pictures of him after about 12 or 13, and as far as I am concerned, it is like after that time he is like the sci-fi movies where the evil alien takes over the body and does bad things, but the person that was “is no more.”

    My husband died July of 04, and I miss the heck out of him,, but I have done with my grieving and now I can look back and enjoy all the wonderful times we had together. His photo is in my living room and I will always remember the night we took that photo. I don’t feel sad or bad when I look at it, and I don’t think about the tragedy of his death, it happened, but I dwell instead on the good things that we had before his death.

    The same with my son I guess, I enjoy the memories of the funny things he said when he was a kid, his accomplishments and the great times we had. I’m not sad any more that he is also “dead” just like my husband is dead, it is just THE WAY THINGS ARE.

    In a loving relationship I think that we are together because we love each other, not because we NEED each other, we need each other because we love each other. But each person in a healthy relationship should be able to go on if something happens to the other one. If I had been the one to die, I would have wanted my husband to go on with life and I knew he felt the same for me.

    My son is “dead” and I am going to go on with my life. I can’t put him back to what he was before he “died” but I don’t have to spend the rest of my life trying to give the “corpse” CPR. I can’t help my son. I can’t implant a conscience into his soul, I cant remove the rage and malice. I can only go on with life.

    I have finally, after all these years, done that.

    There are people who don’t understand how I could “give up on my son” and frankly, it is because those people never were the victim of a P in any intimate relationship and they do not grasp the fact that there are some people who are EVIL.

    For what it is worth, the way I handle it is to keep the good memories of the good times, and let the rest go. I’m not sure that would work for everyone, but it seems to be working for me.

  3. Mr. Green says:

    holywatersalt your post interests me. Your opinion that I am possessed by the devil is almost laughable. I am no more possessed by the devil then you are. I may be a sociopath and I may do bad things, some people call evil but I am far from being possessed by the devil. I can prove it when I gargle holy water, juggle three cross while balancing on one leg on top of a statue of the virgin marry. Don’t worry, I won’t catch on fire. I don’t feel any burning sensation while I walk through the church yard on my walk home every day. My head does not spin all the way around while I vomit green bile.

    It is funny how in a society where we practice equal rights people can still get away with promoting discrimination. At the core of it every sociopath has something like a mental disorder (I’ll explain what it actually is as you read on). We are just the same as a schizophrenic in the way that we can not help our selfs. In the short run it appears we have some amount of control and cunning. We appear to have power and we look like we know what we are doing. We look like normal people doing bad things. If you actually take the time to understand what really motivates a sociopath you will begin to understand him. Over time you will see an uncontrollable trend to seek out power and at times this may indirectly involve hurting another human being. It is not the sociopaths fault that he does these things. He can no more help himself then the scorpion in the story of the scorpion and the frog. It is in his nature to do harm.

    Does this give you the right to discriminate and shun the sociopath? No. We live in a society, thankfully where the weak are protected. Calling a sociopath weak may sound funny but as I have previously said a sociopath can not help himself. He needs power just as much as a diabetic needs their insulin. Unfortunately it is a bit more painful for others when a sociopath seeks out his medicine. It is more dangerous then insulin but he can not help that. He can not help the way he was born. Instead of lighting your torches and raising your pitchforks let people take time to understand sociopaths.

    What I am saying is sociopaths can be productive members of society. After properly understanding them and using their natural tendencys to our advantage there is a place for them. There is a reason they exist. To address the religious arguments, God is the only one capable of creating life. Why would God create sociopaths if they were not for some purpose? Obviously he has a plan for the sociopath.

    For the scientists. Why would sociopaths evolve? In the survival of the fittest the sociopath serves a purpose. You have to remember the human species evolved not only as an individual organism but a societal organism. Not long ago in evolutionary terms humans lived in small tribal groups. These groups averaged around 25 people. If you look at the numbers sociopaths occur on average as 4% of the population, or 1 in 25.

    This incidence is not chance it developed to serve a purpose. If you look at the characteristic of the sociopath they are a natural leader. They may not be the most politically correct leader for modern times as as Mr. Spitzer has proven but remember human society has developed more rapidly then natural evolution can keep up with. What we value now in our advanced society was not necessarily what would help the group 10 million to 30 thousand years ago. The sociopath evolved to take power and control of the group and once power was relinquished by its members he would take care of the group even if it was only to benefit his own needs. He would do the dirty work without remorse or conscious. His efforts were needed for the groups best efforts but could not easily done by the average remorse feeling human. He would without remorse outcast plagued group members and get rid of the sick offspring that would not be productive group members. It wasn’t a nice thing to do but was best for the group. He would instinctively seek out weakness for the good of the group, for the good of himself.

    I am not saying any of what a sociopath is meets any purpose today because it doesn’t. I am just saying the sociopath isn’t exactly an illness. It is just something that as a society we not longer need, as much. Almost like your gall bladder but in a societal sense. If you need proof of what I am saying. Look at how many corporate and national leaders have strong sociopathic traits. These traits put you in top jobs because these leaders do the work that “ethical leaders” will not do. They will chop down an ancient forest to make the company some money, to benefit the company. Something an “ethical leader” may not do.

    With all that said I realize you have been affected negatively by a sociopath and can not see what real purpose anything he did to you served, like cheating on you with 10 other women, or lying to your face for years and years, or trying to give you aids. These individual acts didn’t serve a purpose (except to give him the power he desires). You can’t look at the acts of a sociopath up close. You need to step back to see the full picture. I am suggesting the traits that caused these acts to happen are beneficial when applied differently. In current society sociopaths have no way to constructively express themselves. They have no way to do what they biologically need to do so it often times comes out in negative ways.

    They try to conform to the norm of society by seeking out a paired relationship. This doesn’t work for them because they didn’t evolve like the rest of the group. They evolved as the leaders to the group which entitled them to dominate all group members. This is why you may notice sociopaths are often times not discriminatory on sexual partners. They aren’t having sex for normal purposes. They are having sex to dominate. Often times this means dominating males as well as females. You can see male chimpanzees using sex to dominate other males. This doesn’t make them gay. Normal definitions of sexual preferences like heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual do not apply because the are not having sex to satisfy sexual needs. It is power needs.

    We as a society have a right to find a productive place for sociopaths (jail isn’t an option) because of all they have done for us as a species. Without the sociopath to take out the trash we would most likely not be here. You would probably find the Neanderthals would have taken our place. Sociopaths gave our species the edge it needed to place us as the dominant species of the plant.

    Cheers,
    Mr. Green

  4. I will not argue with a sociopath- I have a zero-tolerance policy. I will only say: You proved my point.

    You profane God, the Blessed Virgin Mary and mock what it is absolutely going on with you. I note your play for pity and the grandiosity is stunning.

    I pray for psychopaths and I will pray for you.

    What you posted was just another confirmation, of what I know to depths of my soul…. I am sorry you are so afflicted.

    I suggest you see an exorcist, just for fun- see what happens.

  5. findingmyselfagain says:

    I have been greatly hurt and knocked low by a Sociopath as well, but I do see a point in what he is saying. I dont believe a Sociopath asks to be afflicted with all their tendencies. I do believe it is a mental and physical difference in the brain, such as other states of mind are.

    My ex husband was ADD. It is a disfunction in the brain where basically like a train, all the cars are not connected to each other. There are pictures of brain activity showing actual physical misses occuring. He was forgetful, irritable, depressed, scatterbrained, and easily distracted, unfocused and I could go on and on. He hurt me at times with his forgetfulness, he drove me crazy at times with his scatterbrained ways.. but he was unable to control it. Medication only takes the edge off, but he will forever live as an adult with ADD.

    I think of the Sociopath in much the same manner. Sure, there are times they make terrible choices and they could choose otherwise, but their whole thought process is different than normal. We hold them accountable to be and act as people with brains like ours, but they do not have that same thinking ability. They are often highly intelligent – but their measurement of human and social relations are unmatched to ours.

    And for those here that are spiritual, I believe we can horribly dislike what they do, we can stay clear of them, we can warn or educate others, but we cannot hate. We can pity them in the way they do not live their lives in a manner that respects others. We can pray for them not in a hateful way but in a forgiving and educated way that hopefully would bring some sort of peace to oneself and also bring to them whatever God would do for their situation, I dont know, but God knows the whole picture.

    As for Mr Green, I do find some appreciation in the fact that he seems to have some understanding of himself. He doesnt claim that it can be fixed but at least he has a sense of what he is all about. That’s more than most Sociopaths choose to do, some self analysis and admittance to the fact that there is a difference in themselves.

  6. Findingmyeslf please read
    http://narc-attack.blogspot.com/2008/02/update-more-on-how-brains-get-different.html

    I hope the Dr. addresses this here- it is interesting and very controversial.

    There’s a lot of pseuedo -science involved.

  7. Glinda says:

    Peggy- I found a tshirt at Big Dogs that reads,”It’s better to have loved and lost than to spend the rest of your life with a psychopath.” It’s my “Sunday” shirt.. I like to wear it running errands so lots of people get to enjoy- I mean, see it!

  8. findingmyselfagain says:

    Thank you holywatersalt for the links. Its point as I read it is
    “What if this is true? What if the brain differences in psychopaths are just the tracks left behind of their own willfully twisted thinking?”

    Their habits create their brain to become different.

    Yes, the articles have a very valid point. I dont think its all black and white, thats for sure. We all know that eating and dieting for instance is a physical need mixed with a habitual want. We can choose to act from “need” or “want”.

    As for my S, and his want for women ~ I hoped he would have little empathy for what he was doing to me by cheating, whether it comes from brain malfunction or pure wants. It felt to me that he could have chosen not to cheat – in order to protect what we had together. But maybe his brain doesnt know how to care enough. I dont think there is any explaination – thats why its psychopathic, sociopathic… mentally ill .. I dont know.

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