Where we find psychopaths, we may find accomplices. There are no shortages of individuals who are ready and waiting to champion psychopaths’ causes or support their agendas. This happens in a variety of circumstances and for a variety of reasons. However, if our brushes with psychopathy came by way of romantic involvement, we may have lived through the experience of having been “replaced.” This is common because relationships with psychopaths do not endure. This doesn’t reflect on us, as we probably once thought. Rather, it is merely a phenomenon that comes with the territory.
Initially, we may have been upset or experience sadness and confusion. However, in time, those feelings tend to subside, especially, as we gain information regarding what we were dealing with and just how psychopaths operate.
We may come to feel bad or concerned for our “replacements” because oftentimes, they are much like us. In spite of the fact that we may feel they played a role in some of the breakdown, over time, we come to understand that they were probably placed under the same “spells” we were. Their beginnings probably looked similar to ours, rich with lies and pity plays. We can often predict what their futures hold and may come to see these individuals as the psychopaths’ pawns or new victims, rather than home-wreckers, as we once thought.
However, there are also times when this is simply not the case. The next person may not have been chosen for the same reasons we were. The new person may not be the victim we suspected, but rather, the accomplice. We may have been busy thinking, “Poor Bonnie,” when we should have been thinking “Bonnie and Clyde.”
What lies ahead for us when Clyde meets Bonnie?
If this happens, we should cut our losses, run quickly, and never look back. However, there are some circumstances which prohibit clean breaks. These situations are slightly more challenging, but we can and must learn how to effectively handle them. When psychopaths enlist other individuals to do their dirty work, and this happens consistently, we must brace for a bit of a wild ride. Why? Ask what normal, decent person would want to be an accomplice. A reasonable and healthy person would probably pass on this type of involvement. As a result, dealing with both Bonnie and Clyde can be somewhat exhausting. Wrangling this dysfunctional duo can take practice and patience.
Try to maintain perspective on both of them. This helps immensely as we muddle through completely false accusations, rampant projection, name calling, set up’s, lies, possible police involvement, and potentially even frivolous law suits. Frankly, these examples may only be the tip of the iceberg and we may have to consider our physical safety, as well.
When they launch attacks against us and/or our friends and family members, it will feel wrong and perverse because it is, but we must not lower ourselves in their battles. There may be times when we react in various, less than perfect ways, as we work to grasp what is occurring, but rest assured, time and experience are the best teachers.
How do they choose their accomplices?
Psychopaths look for what they can use in people. Their accomplices fill a need. At the same time, the psychopaths may be filling one or more of their needs too. We must also consider the possibility that they may have personality disorders themselves. Regardless, they tend to feel that they are special or have been chosen for legitimate reasons. In reality, they simply possess usable traits or qualities, just like anyone else psychopaths target.
What does set typical accomplices apart, however, is their propensity for seeing their roles as fun, exciting, or even entertaining, where others would refuse to engage in such behaviors. They may feel that they are helping the psychopaths attain twisted forms of justice. Their roles become obvious, especially in cases where the psychopaths or individuals with psychopathic traits, are legitimately incapable of some of the “work” the accomplices do. If and when we dare question what seems as plain as day, we should be prepared to watch the accusations fly. We must be ready for anything and let nothing surprise us.
What do we do when an accomplice is involved?
We must re-train out brains to think differently than they would in normal situations where we were not repeatedly being manipulated, framed, or harassed. We must accept that the interactions will not be pleasant and realize that “nice” is out of the question. It’s not part of their plan, even if it is what we desire. We must also learn to stop seeking approval from people who do not matter and they do not matter.
They do not like us and that will not change. They are not looking to improve any part of these particular situations at hand, as they may claim, either. Any of our attempts to encourage reasonable communication will fail. The only genuine portion of their agendas is their pursuit of our demise. Therefore, we must examine exactly who we are dealing with and realize the lack of value attached to what they “think.” It’s jumbled and bizarre. Let it go.
Additionally, we must acknowledge that their exchanges are intended to make us look wrong or unstable. Accepting this fact allows us to function without the burden of wondering what’s going on or searching for answers as to why they are doing what they are doing. It’s the disorder speaking. Look no further.
They will likely inform us that we are “sick,” “disturbed,” or “in need of mental help.” We must take it with a grain of salt. They want us to become upset by their behaviors. If we do, they can blame us for our “instability” or “erratic behavior.” Don’t reinforce their false accusations and assertions. Refuse to engage in any form of “back and forth.” It accomplishes nothing productive.
Next, stop, breathe, and steer clear of lengthy defenses. That’s where they want us. We must not allow that. Exercise extreme self control. Over time, as we learn and they no longer matter, this becomes easier. While still feeling emotional or hurt, this may take great effort, but that’s ok. It’s worth it.
Understand that in these situations, we are often faced with two dysfunctional people whose common bond is their hatred for us. Their relationship may have been formed on that hatred or continue to be fueled by it. It’s unfortunate when “settling the score” is the glue, but it happens and it’s a recipe for disaster unless we come understand and act accordingly.
Recognize our strength and give ourselves credit
Though things may seem ridiculous and endless while in the heat of the moment with these folks, we should remind ourselves not to internalize their words or actions. Think about how they look to everyone who is not them or those immediately involved with them. Guaranteed, it’s not “normal.” We must take comfort in who we are. We must believe that even if this enters our world, it need not define us. We should take a moment to recognize our strengths and another to give ourselves credit. We may even get to the point, when we can shake our heads in dismay at their actions and truly pity them (if we care to even spend our time or thoughts on the matter.) It really is sad that anyone would choose to conduct their lives in such fashions.
We should treat ourselves well and keep ourselves healthy, emotionally and otherwise. It is easy for us to get wrapped up in someone else’s “crazy.” However, we should try to get in touch with and then stay in touch with ourselves. We should do the things that make us feel “normal,” like the people we were prior to these experiences. When we do, we are better able to visualize ourselves being more than fine, if we are not already.