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Sociopaths change how we look at the world

Most of us grow up believing that all people are created equal, that human beings are basically good, and everybody wants to be loved. These are the messages we learn in school, in church, and in the age of political correctness, from the media.

These beliefs are the lenses through which we view the world and the people in it. Our beliefs influence how we perceive and understand the behavior of those we meet. And, for about 90 percent of the population, the beliefs work just fine.

Bad treatment

Then we realize that someone in our life isn’t treating us well. We may think this person is reacting to our behavior, that we’re doing something to provoke anger or elicit criticism — after all, that’s what we’re told.

We know we’re not actually doing what we’re accused of doing, so we try to figure out where the outbursts and hostility are coming from — did he or she have a difficult childhood? Is he or she still suffering from the pain of a former relationship?

We try to be understand and accept. We stop asking questions; we stop doing things that “push buttons.” But nothing changes. In fact, we’re treated worse than ever.

So we take to the Internet to find out the reason for the behavior. We Google “pathological lying” or “domestic abuse” or “cheating.” Or, we describe our experiences friend, and our friend says, “It sounds like a sociopath.”

We find a checklist of sociopathic behavior, and, to our shock and dismay, it exactly describes the person who is causing us so much pain.

Why do they do it?

I can’t tell you how many times Lovefraud readers have told me stories that follow this basic outline.  When I talk to people on the phone, the question I hear most often is, “Why do they do that?”

  • Why do they lie, even when they’d be better off telling the truth?
  • Why do they blame me for everything?
  • Why won’t they let me go, when they’re already seeing someone else?
  • Why are they telling everyone that I’m mentally unbalanced?
  • Why do they want to ruin me?

The answer to these questions is: They act this way because they’re sociopaths, and that’s what sociopaths do.

Shattering beliefs

Learning that sociopaths exist is like an earthquake, a tsunami, for our belief system.

Our ideas that that all people are created equal, that human beings are basically good, and that everybody wants to be loved are not totally correct. Yes, these ideas apply to most people in the human race — but not everyone. A certain percentage of the people who live among us are fundamentally different, rotten to the core, and unable to love.

This is why experiences with sociopaths are so disorienting. Not only have we suffered physical, financial, emotional or psychological abuse, but we are also forced to accept that our entire understanding of life and other people is flawed.

This is why we feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us. This is why we feel like we cannot trust ourselves. Realizing that social predators live among us causes our world view to collapse.

What we have learned, through painful experience, is that there are exceptions to what we previously believed. We now know that there are people who look just like us and act just like us — at least when we first meet them. But their objective is not to live alongside us; instead, they want to exploit us.

We now know that sociopaths exist. With this information we can modify our world view, realizing that we must carefully evaluate the people we let into our lives.

 

 



31 Comments on "Sociopaths change how we look at the world"

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  1. behind_blue_eyes says:

    Before the sociopath, I was under the impression that people were honest, open and looking to see their lives grow, particularly in relationships. To this day, accepting that this is not true for me is very difficult, although intellectually, I accept such. Emotional acceptance is different and I find emotional acceptance more difficult.

    This causes a bifurcated view of people. When I am detached, seeing toxic traits and behaviors is very easy for me, even in those who others often laud. However, when in one-on-one situations, I still have trouble with the person over-riding my intellectual guard.

    Thus, my advice is to step aside and look over our personal “red flags” checklist and stick to them.



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  2. Comille54 says:

    This article is extremely accurate. Being married to a sociopath for 31 years before I divorced him has completely mutilated my thinking and reasoning. My entire world imploded. My children’s lives and what they have been exposed to are still part my sorrow and guilt. I have been divorced since 2008 and I still will not allow myself to become close to anyone. I no longer believe in any supreme being. My son finds solace in drugs in order to deal with his feelings of abandonment and rejection from his father. My daughter is bulemic and anorexic. Trying to find a foot hold in an ever existing emotional hurricane from her dad. I have doomed my children by staying with the sociopath for far, far too long. Now I exist. My hopes of ever helping my children and rebuilding my life are ridiculous. Destruction is complete. There is no silver lining in being with a sociopath. There is no Higher Road of glory. There are no demons from a Netherworld to fear. The real evil is human and is right here on earth.



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    • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

      Hello Comille54
      I am sorry for your burden. I understand much of it. I carry sorrow and guilt for my own children. I stayed thinking the problem was me, which gave my exhusband years to play mindgames with vulnerable minds, as you say, “dooming the children”.

      I have found a way back to inner peace, a mustard seed if I can share with you? It is quite simple. I realized I had the capacity to LOVE. Just that one thing makes me worthy of dignity. I rebuilt myself based on that one single premise. It’s taken me years but by reclaiming my dignity and collecting acts that prove my capacity to love, I grew my self respect enough that I can function in society.

      Maybe, if you can see that in yourself, maybe you too could build from there? It’s the most solid rock I know to build on. I wish you all the best.



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      • NotWhatHeSaidofMe – what a wonderful suggestion. Comille54, please don’t come down too hard on yourself. You didn’t realize what he was for all those years – if you had truly understood, you certainly wouldn’t have stayed. Please let yourself off the hook – you did the best you could with the knowledge you had at the time.

        Now you know differently. Now you know that it was never you, it was always him. Please use this understanding to start rebuilding your sense of self.



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    • mani says:

      I was one of the children who lived with a psychopath for a long time. I fought all my life not to let him a part of my personality. In comparison to what I was exposed to I think I have been successful. But is there anybody out there who can shed more light on the effects of a psychopath father on children, particularly boys.

      I know there is tendency to label these children as secondary psychopaths but I haven’t seen anybody talking about the mechanics of it. And I am sure all these children don’t become secondary psychopaths.



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  3. kmillercats says:

    Savvy

    He is probably testing out the “newbie” so he can decide if she is more “profitable” and at the same time he is putting you in a somewhat panic, emotionally distraught mode so when he makes contact with you again you will be so relieved it will emotionally/biochemically bond you tighter to him. Makes the “glue” stronger. i.e. the addiction. The one I was with did this routinely. I didn’t realize why he did it until I read about it making the bond (for me) stronger. As we all know, they do not bond. In the end…he literally bragged about the bond being like glue. They know exactly what they are doing.



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  4. No_voice says:

    It’s all been for nothing, all 20 yrs of hell. The little bits of empathy that I grabbed onto as if they were hope. Yes it has changed my whole outlook on how I view the world, people, their words and actions. I trust no one and with good reason. People generally suck. They lie and blame cause…poor little babies..it feels so bad for them to admit they have made a mistake. Gees, its only a mistake, everyone makes mistakes. These people, sociopaths, they have deep, deep rooted issues and yes..they just plain suck. I am having a horrible time recovering, but I will..or I won’t. I just know that I am left with nothing. Everything the homeless wanted that he didn’t have he took from me cause I was so stupid to take him in. He looked for every opportunity from me and anyone else to take and take and take and learn and learn and learn, he has it all and we have nothing. Con artist! And truly..we that remain, we can cry, bitch about it,complain what creeps (not the word I was going to use) they are and no one is there to do a damn thing. Not women’s crisis, not family, no one. I see funding going here and funding going there and there is NO funding to help a person stay out. I tried, I tried for years to get away, but after I was trapped financially, it was too late, no credit, no money, no nothing. And when there was nothing left, he even took my trash cans. Yep changed the way I look at the world. I now only look out for me and my kids and the homeless with their hands out, and the poor little anyone out there…too bad I will never help again. I will never again volunteer in my community, never offer to help nor help when asked. why? because no one helps and I have no voice…oh let me rephrase that, I have a voice, no one listened. Praise the Lord!



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  5. No_voice says:

    I forgot to add to my last post…Pay back is sooo sweet! I am in my 50’s and always my whole life have lived and taught my kids too to treat others how you want to be treated. but now after going through this crap, I believe that still however now…I add to that…if that doesn’t work…treating others how you want to be treated, treat them just like they treat you. Sad but true.



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  6. To Be Free says:

    I haven’t posted in a while. I broke up with the spath in Dec. but after a month of NC, started talking to him again. That lasted 3 months. So, the second NC has been since May 1. Only time I saw him was in court on May 31st. And I can thankfully say that I have been totally NC since then.
    I’m still dealing with the affects of this relationship. My mind is still having a hard time understanding what all happened. I guess it always will.
    My problem now is having to close the door to a “backdoor” contact. It happens to be his ex-wife. She was very instrumental in helping me get the truth! and for that I am truly greatful. But….she wants to talk now because “I’m the only one that understands.” I sure I am along with his other victims that he has had. But since she lives in the area where he does and they have children together (the daughter is also like the father), she knows what is going on a lot of the time. In our conversations she has brought up the fact that is new girl is this/that and whatever. I told her I did not want to know anything but she hasn’t stopped. So, now I have quit taking her calls.
    My problem now is the comparison my mind goes to about this new girl. I really want this to stop. I just think about how great he is treating her! But then I have to remember this is a lie! And there are other comparisons that I go thru. How can I build my self-worth again?



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    • To be free – You are right to stop talking to the ex-wife. Even though you feel bad for her, your first priority is always to yourself, so you need to do what is best and healthy for you. For you to recover, you need to get him out of your head, and any contact with her keeps him in your head.

      You are also correct in that he will, at some point, treat the new girl exactly as he has treated you and every other ex. It’s just a matter of time.

      Focusing on your own recovery it the path to building your self-worth. It’s a combination of releasing the remaining trauma and also allowing joy into your life. We have many articles on Lovefraud that may help you. Look in this section:

      http://www.lovefraud.com/category/hooked-by-a-sociopath/recovery-from-a-sociopath/



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  7. To Be Free says:

    Thank you, Donna! The website has helped me so much! Thanks for all you do!



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  8. toknowimok says:

    Trust is earned, not given. One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in the past year. It’s unfortunate that I was exploited by a longtime online friend who I felt it was ok to trust. I was operating under the same fundamental beliefs mentioned in the first paragraph of this article. I do feel like a morin still and wish I hadn’t learned this way. I don’t wish this on anyone. Well except for him



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