In the three years since Lovefraud launched, it’s grown from a website to a community. I am always amazed and appreciative that so many people are contributing. New readers arrive distraught and asking for help; other readers respond with caring and heartfelt support. People start to recover. It is beautiful to watch.
Thank you all.
As we post, there is an important fact that we must all keep in mind. Here it is: Linguists estimate that 65 percent to 90 percent of the meaning in human communication is transmitted via nonverbal cues—tone of voice, facial expression, body language. None of these cues, of course, are available over a computer. That means when we post written comments on the Lovefraud blog, 65 percent to 90 percent of our meaning may be missing.
So what happens? Without the benefit of those nonverbal cues, people interpret a post to mean what they want it to mean.
Sociopaths take advantage of this phenomenon all the time. When sociopaths are sending flowery e-mails that are full of lies, we interpret the e-mails as truth, because we want them to be true. We believe what we want to believe.
Assume honorable intentions
Here on Lovefraud, this can go either way, depending on the reader’s frame of mind. If a reader is looking for consolation, he or she may interpret another poster’s advice as supportive. If a reader is on edge—a common occurrence with victims of sociopaths—he or she may interpret another poster’s advice as being critical.
I believe this has led to some problems over the last few weeks. Some bloggers have described their situations, other bloggers have offered advice, and the original bloggers have taken offense, when none was ever intended. Reading words on the screen, the offended party could not hear the caring in the Lovefraud blogger’s voice.
Everyone who posts on this website does so to seek information and support for healing, or to help someone else who is going through the trauma. Since Lovefraud launched, I can barely remember a troublemaker. Even the two self-proclaimed sociopaths who posted were respectful, and most readers found what they said to be enlightening.
Therefore, I ask everyone to assume that all of us are posting with the best, most honorable intentions, and that we are here to support each other. If at any time you feel that a blogger is not posting with honorable intentions, please let me know.
We are a group of opinionated people, and there are going to be times when we disagree. That’s fine. I think an animated discussion of different points of view is healthy. However, all discussions should be respectful, and no one should be personally attacked.
Posting guidelines for the Lovefraud Blog
Lovefraud has gotten so big that I guess it’s time for formalize some posting guidelines. So here they are:
1. The goal of the Lovefraud Blog is to provide information about sociopaths and their effects on victims, and to help victims recover from entanglements with sociopaths. Please post all comments with the intention of promoting healing, and read comments with the intention of finding the healing message.
2. Keep in mind that Lovefraud readers are extremely diverse. Our readers are men and women from all over the world, representing different races, ethnicities, religious and spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof), education levels, economic circumstances, political views and sexual orientations. Please be respectful and tolerant of all.
3. If you find a comment objectionable, please do not respond to it. Notify the blog owner, Donna Andersen. If you suspect that someone is a predator, alert me immediately. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Please refrain from using offensive language—such George Carlin’s seven dirty words. However, feel free to imply your feelings with those wonderful characters **#$$#!!!!
5. Each article posted by the Lovefraud Blog authors starts a conversation. Please post comments related to the conversation, unless, of course, another reader has posted a comment asking for support. Then, feel free to offer it.
6. We cannot name people believed to be sociopaths without documentation. If you want to describe your personal story, please do not include names or other identifying information. If your story is already in the media, however, you may post links to it.
7. Please do not post copyrighted material such as articles from other websites, book excerpts, song lyrics or poems. This is a violation of copyright law, even if you cite the original author. To draw attention to information outside of Lovefraud, you may summarize it in your own words and post a link.
8. Please do not copy any article from Lovefraud or the Lovefraud Blog and post it on another website. This is a violation of Lovefraud’s copyright. But feel free to post links to Lovefraud content.
Once again, I thank all Lovefraud readers. Your contributions and insights about the terrible problem of sociopaths in our society, and your willingness to help others, makes the effort of maintaining Lovefraud worthwhile.