Editor’s note: The following article was submitted by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Genevieve79.”
I’ve reached the age of 30 having been on the receiving end of a number of personality disordered individuals, mostly female but the odd male too. I spent (wasted?!) my twenties ducking and diving these people, even changing career direction several times, because I didn’t know how else to deal with them.
As I approach my 31st birthday I think I have finally begun to crack it! These people are actually very predictable if we know how to spot them early on. An experience with yet another one on a professional forum this weekend gave me the most tremendous Eureka moment.
I want to tell you all about what I call The Crazymaking One-Liner.
The Crazymaking One-Liner
The Crazymaking One-Liner is possibly the biggest warning sign we’ll ever have at the beginning of your dalliance with a sociopath and how we deal with it can determine the rest of your experience with them.
When I look back over my experiences with these personalities, they all have this in common and their primary goal is to antagonise, not communicate. They want a fight — I believe it is excess inward anger that makes them what they are, they hate everybody and everything deep down but at the same time feel a deep need and sense of entitlement to have/own/control everybody and everything they want.
So what is this Crazymaking One-Liner of which I speak? It is the enigmatic sound bite that seemingly comes from nowhere, it is the single sentence that makes those of us who are healthy go “WTF?!” It is the one-line statement that simply has no answer and we are left rummaging around in our heads trying to figure out what they are on about, whilst simultaneously searching for something to say in response.
It is at this moment that, depending on our response, determines the rest of our experience with them. It is usually a criticism, though I’m sure not always.
I am not kidding when I tell you that every single sociopathic individual I have ever encountered (mostly female as I say) has had this trait — this tendency to come out with sound bites that leave you wondering what they’re getting at and what you’re supposed to say in response.
A fantastic way to identify if you are being fed a big juicy Crazymaking One-Liner is to focus on how it makes you feel when you hear it. The Crazymaking One Liner will make you feel (usually in order …)
Completely bewildered “Where did that come from?”
Completely uncertain “How is one supposed to answer that?”
Completely confused “What are they getting at?”
Suddenly motivated before the other party says any more to anticipate where it came from, how one should answer and what they are getting at. At this point most of us who are healthy will automatically react, open up the lines of communication and start over explaining ourselves! At this point the psycho has won. We’ve let them in, we’ve opened the floodgates and very soon after that we’ll find ourselves under attack and usually engaged in a fullscale argument/fight with them. Because that is what they wanted all along.
I’ve found often, that once we briefly but directly assert ourselves and refuse to be attacked, as I eventually did with the person on the forum (see the examples below) calling them out for being personal, they will backpedal pretty quickly. That person wrote a post in response saying how it wasn’t meant to be personal and the tone seemed like they wanted to make amends. Haven’t heard from them since despite posting an ‘Ok’ in reply and sending a nice email privately.
This is not unusual with this type of personality. So, after they backpedal, don’t expect them to want to make amends with you when you tell them you accept their apology and wish to get back to normal. You’ll find yourself sent to Coventry, ignored, possibly even blocked by them. All lines of communication, like at the very beginning of the dalliance, with their use of The Crazymaking One-Liner, are suddenly once again closed down. That’s happened every single time to me with each different psycho. Possibly they do this because you have won and they don’t want you rubbing their nose in it! Besides, they never wanted to be your friend/have a healthy connection with you in the first place. It wasn’t a genuine disagreement between two human beings, leading to a peaceful resolution; it was a weird little game played out by the psycho which tends to come to an abrupt halt when you refuse to play anymore!
So, when we hear The Crazymaking One-Liner, how must we respond? Yep, you guessed it — with another one liner!!!
The Blessed Phrase of Salvation
Allow me to introduce you to The Blessed Phrase Of Salvation! It is, quite simply
“What do you mean?” (“..by that?” is optional)
I will illustrate the wise use of The Blessed Phrase of Salvation with examples!
1) On A Discussion Forum to me “I think you’re way oversimplifying the situation Genevieve” Full Stop!
May not seem too bad at first glance but think about it — most people would explain themselves with “because … ” especially on a written forum when, unlike normal conversation, you have full chance to say your piece. Why waste all that comment space? But not your personality disordered individual! Instead of leaving my response at “Why do you say that?” and making them explain themselves, I made the mistake all healthy people do by going into a spiel and explaining why I wasn’t oversimplifying! Every response from them after that was pretty much an attack, and very personal at that. I let them in, you see.
Likewise with others I have seen the exact same pattern unfold. It starts with a one-line criticism that has a limited possible response and as soon as we over respond they have got us.
How about an example in the real world?
2) At Work with someone in authority over me. Sitting in silence, alone with her. I was working; she was working. Out of the blue with her back to me, she suddenly says in a threatening voice, “They’re monitoring the amount of work you and your colleagues do, you know” Full Stop!
What is a person supposed to say to that? In the real world we have the benefit of tone of voice but if we’re savvy we can pick up the same snarky tone online as well. I made the mistake of under responding here — I stayed quiet because I lacked confidence at the time. She was basically implying I was not working hard enough when the truth was I wasn’t being given enough to do.
What I should have said was, like the previous one, “What do you mean by that?” I should have briefly but directly challenged her statement, her Crazymaking One-Liner. My inadequate response that day helped seal my fate in that employment — the same woman’s behaviour towards me escalated to the point that she had effectively bullied me out of my job by a year later.
3) The Personality Disordered Family Member of a friend, via sms, “Good to know what you truly think of your niece” Full Stop.
How many of us healthy people would instantly start defending ourselves if we received a text like that? Stop! It’s one of those Crazymaking One-Liners again!! You’re dealing with a personality disordered person and they want a fight! Instead, draw them out, remember our Blessed Phrase of Salvation and let them dig their own hole! Because they will. Their Crazymaking One-Liner has no basis in everybody else’s sane reality and The Blessed Phrase of Salvation will very quickly expose that if you put your faith in it!
The family member who received this text message chose to under respond to it (stay quiet!) and the sender then moved on to another family member to have a fight with them. You might think great, but all under responding did was shift the problem close by — it would have been far better for the original recipient to have exorcised the demon straightaway using our trusty Blessed Phrase of Salvation!
Seriously! It works. In fact, to not use it is potentially fatal! Draw them out. Do not over communicate, but do not under communicate either — letting them get away with it is also a bad idea. Simply ask them a brief but direct “What do you mean?” and keep asking them questions and drawing them out, don’t go into explaining yourself. Avoid expressing yourself in any big way until they start talking more and even then be very careful. Keep batting the ball back into their court — make them explain themselves. Eventually they’ll give up and walk away, finding someone else take their pathological inner anger out on.
Healthy people like us don’t usually make one-liners; we tend to qualify a one-line criticism with some sort of explanation. With personality disordered individuals, they shoot out these weird little sound bites at their targets without any explanation, leaving the listener hanging, wondering what the heck just happened!
Nipping being targeted in the bud
So this is how we spot them, ladies and gentlemen! The Crazymaking One-Liner, in my experience, occurs at the very beginning of the relationship. This can be a platonic, family or romantic relationship — it seems to be across the board. The Crazymaking One-Liner is one of the main ways that a sociopath tests us out and draws us in at the start. If we can spot this straightaway, and deal with it as outlined above, the chances of them continuing on to target us further are less.
Don’t worry about any of them reading this and changing their game plan. They have no control over their behaviour — they truly can’t help themselves. They’re all wired pretty much the same way; it’s an impulse. They’re on another planet to the rest of us, and it’s pointless us trying to relate to them like they aren’t. There is now medical evidence to suggest that their brains are actually wired differently to healthy individuals.
Every single one of them I have ever been targeted by in my entire life (going back to age 9 with a school bully!) has been the same way — at work, in my family and in education. They even pose in photographs in a similar way! I have noticed that few of them smile, or when they do it is not real somehow; they emanate fakeness, rather like a vampire having no reflection. Watch out for the eyes as well, they can be a real giveaway. You’ll know what I’m getting at when you begin to think about it.
Their predictability is our one consolation. Let us therefore continue to pool our experiences on this site and realise just how much those that have targeted us have in common!
With best wishes,