The idea of finding what vulnerabilities or weakness a victim has is an important issue and some further distinctions are useful, I think.
It is generally accepted by the experts in this field that working out why a person is caught by a psychopath is an important part of their recovery.
However, the first part of the recovery process should be an undoing of the negative effects of the mind control that the person has been subjected to. This allows the victim to make some sort of sense of the experience and the individual comes to an understanding of the extent of the control that the psychopath actually had on them.
Vulnerability leading to susceptibility
Only then is it appropriate to look at any potential vulnerabilities that the individual has that made them susceptible to the manipulation of the psychopath.
There are some important points to keep in mind. It is (also) accepted that there is no particular personality that is susceptible to being caught by a psychopath. That means that everybody is susceptible.
Secondly, ‘vulnerabilities’ are NOT always weaknesses. Liking to help people, being good at connecting people or simply having emotions are not weaknesses in and of themselves and are often things that allow people to be very successful in their lives. Psychopaths know only too well how to take advantage of these strengths, too!
And thirdly, there are some things that a victim comes to believe are vulnerabilities, but these may have been installed by the psychopath! This often leads to nasty closed loops from which the victim cannot exit alone.
Vulnerabilities can be divided into various groups.
On a societal level, the law is not set up to protect us from psychopaths and this leaves us all open to the machinations of psychopaths.
On a journey through life, there are typically times of change and/or stress, such as starting in university, changing job, the death of a family member or friend, loss of a job, breakup of a relationship, and so on. These things happen to us all and at such times people are more susceptible to being caught by a psychopath. And these things can in no way be considered the fault of the victim!
‘It would never happen to me!’
At the level of beliefs, the biggest danger for people is not understanding mind control or psychopaths. A very dangerous belief is that ‘it would never happen to me!’ When a person thinks this way, they think they are automatically protected in some way and do not consider it necessary to learn about mind control, nor are they on the lookout for manipulators. And even if they were, without fully understanding psychopaths they would not recognize one anyway.
Most normal people (I don’t consider psychopaths normal, no matter how many people try to sell the idea that psychopaths are more evolved than the rest because they have no emotions) believe that others are basically good. This helps to make the world go around and keeps society functioning, so it has its benefits. However, it is not true and it gives psychopaths a huge advantage because they don’t even have to hide the fact that they have no conscience!
On a personal level, other vulnerabilities include feeling lonely, seeking spirituality, a regard for authority, feeling discontentment with society, concern about what others think of you, a desire to take care of others, being idealistic, having been the victim of a psychopath in the past etc. etc.
Again, being like this is not someone’s fault. In fact, we teach our children to share, look out for others, and so on!!
Why is it important to know what your vulnerabilities are? (And not just for those who have been victims already, but for everyone…)
Vulnerability red flags
The reason it’s important is that when you notice someone paying particular attention to your specific vulnerabilities, it raises red flags for you! And instead of going ahead to see what happens, you can cut off the relationship there and then and you don’t get suckered into another bad situation.
You will also be able to notice when others (who are not psychopaths) are using these things in their favor (even if they are doing it unintentionally). This gives you considerably more choices and freedom in your life, where you are making your own decisions, and not just automatically responding to things that you later regret.
Know YOUR vulnerabilities
So I believe that knowing your vulnerabilities has its place (and it’s not the first thing that a victim needs to do), but this knowledge has to be understood in the proper context, i.e., that of mind control and psychopaths.
Remember that psychopaths are particularly good at ‘reading’ people. Within minutes they can assess a potential victim’s needs, wants, desires and fears. Using this information, they then create a personality which is the ideal partner for the potential victim and they set to work building a bond with their prey.
If the psychopath knows your vulnerabilities and if you want to avoid getting caught (again!), you owe it to yourself to know what your vulnerabilities are, too, and, more importantly, to recognize when someone is trying to exploit them.