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Sociopaths and their multiple simultaneous manipulation strategies

Unhappy-couple-breaking-up sizedLovefraud received the following question from a reader:

My father was a nut job and so was my husband and now I am dating one … a psychopath. I just had this question …

Do these men act like they do not want you around and push you away and make you feel so sad for them … making you feel like you failed them somehow … never do enough … and then suddenly you find yourself begging them to show you how much better you can do for them …?

I am sure the answer is yes … but I guess I just need confirmation…

This reader, in one sentence, listed four different manipulation tactics employed by sociopaths:

  1. Acting like they don’t want you and pushing you away
  2. Making you feel sad for them
  3. Making you feel like you failed them
  4. Making you feel like you need to prove yourself to them

All of these are typical sociopathic behaviors. In fact, items 2 and 3 are alternate descriptions for some of the Red Flags of Love Fraud.

Let’s take a look at these strategies individually.

Acting like they don’t want you and pushing you away

In the Red Flags of Love Fraud, I list warning signs such as “love-bombing,” which is showering the target with attention and affection, and “moving fast to hook up.” Sociopaths often pursue you relentlessly, sometimes snagging you through sheer persistence.

Then, suddenly, they act like they are no longer interested in you.

Because of the neurochemistry of how romantic love affects your brain — it’s addictive — this has the effect of making you want the sociopath even more. Sociopaths pursue you, then push you away, then pursue you, then push you away. With each manipulative cycle, the bond that you feel for the person gets stronger and stronger.

For more on this, read:

Why you weren’t thinking clearly when you fell for the sociopath, on Lovefraud.com.

Making you feel sad for them

This is Red Flag #9 — “The pity play.” Sociopaths will tell you sob stories about their abusive childhood, crazy ex, overbearing boss, chronic illnesses — anything to get you to feel sorry for them.

In her book, The Sociopath Next Door, Dr. Martha Stout wrote:

“The most reliable sign, the most universal behavior of unscrupulous people is not directed, as one might imagine, at our fearfulness. It is, perversely, an appeal to our sympathy.”

The stories sociopaths tell are often highly exaggerated or even complete fabrications, but they tell them so well that you are manipulated into believing them.

Making you feel like you failed them

This is Red Flag #5 — “Blames others for everything.” Sociopaths will blame anybody but themselves for their problems. When you become romantically involved with a sociopath, sooner or later you will likely become the prime target for blaming.

What’s even worse is that you likely never did any of the actions or omissions that you are being accused of. Or, if you are guilty of a misunderstanding or oversight, the sociopath blows it way out of proportion, as if some minor incident was a federal crime.

No matter — the sociopath has manipulated you on be the defensive. This leads to the next tactic:

Making you feel like you need to prove yourself to them

This is the most insidious manipulation tactic that our reader pointed out, because the sociopath uses you against yourself. And surprisingly, the sociopath may manipulate your strengths as well as your weaknesses.

For example, if you are intelligent, or accomplished, or caring, the sociopath may imply, or even tell you outright, that you are not intelligent, accomplished, or caring enough. The result — you work harder to prove that you are.

The more you work to prove yourself, the more invested you become in the relationship — which strengthens the sociopath’s grip on you.

Multiple manipulation strategies

The true significance of the Lovefraud reader’s question is something she implied but did not ask directly. By mentioning four different ways in which the sociopath treated her, she captured the essence of what makes dealing with them so confusing:

They employ multiple manipulation strategies simultaneously.

This is why you feel so confused and off-balance. Although you don’t realize it, everything has an agenda. Nothing the sociopath says or does is real or authentic. Everything is about pulling you into the web, and keeping you there.

Unfortunately, it works.

Can you add to our knowledge base of warning signs? Looking back, what did you experience that you now realize was a manipulation strategy?

 

 



21 Comments on "Sociopaths and their multiple simultaneous manipulation strategies"

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  1. For sure the sociopath in my life used the sympathy card to the max. Then he mixed it with pushing me away and then finding other women to fill the void when I would make myself scarce because that’s what he wanted. Then I was challenged by him to “beat his ex wife” as to how long I could put up with him. Like a sick twist of getting me to prove that I could stay with him and not fail him like so many others did and believe in him. So I believe it’s definitely 3 out of the 4.



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    • odettej says:

      I’m reading love fraud again. I’ve had 12 months of peace, I used the no contact strategy, he picked up a new woman from online dating only 7 weeks after he last slept with me but he “loved me so very much”

      He has not spoken to me since his final psychotic rage, I actually did need Valium for the 1st time in my life, it was my biggest trauma to date and I’ve had trauma which looks worse on paper.

      The Hoover is via a new email, I felt safe tonrespond so did son in the blandest way, about a week later.

      He is cheating on his girlfriend as I write, he’s mailing me ? I suspected he was cheated on me as over the time we spent he alert slip his love of adult sites, as well as dating sites which made me uncomfortable to know that I was with such a predator, his grooming skills are superb but only in 2D in 3D he has no idea.

      I’m not sure what he wants or expects. Obviously ive learned not to confront him or challenge the cheating aspect.
      I just want him to go away, hurry up and marry his girlfriend or move abroad.
      Frightening people without values.



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  2. seekeroflight says:

    My ex did all four of those. The worst part of it was often those things would directly contradict each other. Like, all the wonderful things she would tell me at the beginning of our relationship and during our “good” times she completely contradicted when she was mad at me and especially when I was leaving her. This stuff is some of the hardest stuff for me to work through, b/c I just don’t know what the truth is. Things in our relationship that I once thought I was doing and handling so well, which I really felt good about, suddenly didn’t exist anymore, and when I’d call her out on her contradictions, remind her that X long ago she was telling me the exact opposite, she would always have some explanation for it. The worst explanations were that she never meant it when she was praising me- that she was just trying to placate me or not hurt my feelings, but that I never did those things well to begin with and poor her has had to suffer all these years while I was an unaware, cruel idiot making her life miserable.

    Unfortunately I have nothing else to base things on- this was my first relationship since I came out, and the couple dating relationshiops I had with men weren’t very serious and especially never progressed physically. So, the thought of trying again, of dating again, terrifies me. I am afraid I will do everything embarassingly wrong with someone new. I feel like a massive failure. And you know what’s completely unattractive? A nervous girl with no self confidence. So I feel even worse. It feels hopeless. How do you build confidence in your ability to be in a relationship when you are not in a relationship, and your one past experience of being in one was so incredibly disastrous??



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    • slimone says:

      seekeroflight,

      The best way, at this point, is to have no dialogue with your ex, and no contact of any kind if at all possible. The focus has to be on you, and you dedicating yourself to recovering your own life. Over time, and because you are an emotionally ‘normal’ person (ie, capable of insight, growth, and change) you will integrate your experience with this person; seeing it more and more clearly as time passes. As this happens you will KNOW what behaviors were actually attributable to you, and which are lies and manipulations perpetrated on you to keep you in the cycle of abuse. My guess is you didn’t do ‘too much’ to ’cause’ your ex to suffer. My guess is this is total BS. My guess is that just about any little inconvenience your ex experienced was a cause to mess with other people’s minds and lives.

      There is also a ‘strategy’ that could be employed, that I sometimes used to clear my head. This was to throw everything out that was told to me, because it was mixed in with so many deceptions and manipulations. I figured it wasn’t worth the energy to ‘try’ to figure out my failings. It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Just too much work. And in my state of pain it was too difficult to think clearly.

      That said, over time, I did find that I could really SEE what had happened, and I no longer held ‘the bag’ of blame that I initially took with me. It just became really obvious that I was not the person he told me I was. None of my friends thought so, my family didn’t think so. And I, eventually, didn’t think so either. His version of me was just wrong. It wasn’t who I was before I met him, nor after I left him. What I WAS when I was with him was sad, anxious, desperate, lonely, insecure, and trying WAY too hard to please him. But that wasn’t really MY doing, that was the way anyone responds to the manipulations and deceptions of a personality disordered person (or CULT leader for that matter).

      Once all the confusion, guilt, and pain eased up I was able to start forming new friendships and found a new love. It took time. I had to work at staying away from the ‘bad person’, or any other users and abusers. I was in counseling. I focused on my life, and getting it back ‘together’. It was an effort, but it paid off.

      Even though this is your first ‘out’ relationship and you feel inexperienced, you can recover and find a solid healthy love. You can do it. Inexperience doesn’t predispose you to failure. You are feeling this way because getting out of an abusive relationship SETS YOU UP to feel HORRIBLE.

      And it is definitely NOT YOU.

      Slim



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  3. NoMoreWool says:

    I told my daughter to concentrate on being friends. If she can’t be friends with a person, how does she expect to have a romance that lasts, and what does she think they will talk about after all of the sighs and longing looks have gotten old?

    I myself am not going to jump back into the dating pool, at least not any time soon. I have too much to tend to in my life right now without adding a romance into the mix. The people I know with the most successful romantic relationships were secure in their selves on their own. A romantic partner didn’t “complete” them but rather complemented their stand-alone identities. Before I can find that, I need to strengthen my stand-alone identity and repair the damage that the sociopath has done. I have to wait for the debris to settle from the whirlwind before I can put the pieces back together.



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  4. NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

    Carrying on what I said about Ben Affleck…
    I saw an interview where Jennifer was saying, “I can be spontaneous. I’m not a high maintenance girl.” her response to Ben’s challenging her to just go to a party as she was… only to feel embarrassed because every one else was dressed and she wasn’t and she had to pretend not to be uncomfortable.

    He criticized her, as if dressing up for a social event means being high maintenance and she took the bait. She tried to “prove” herself… only to find out he was screwing the nanny. She was never going to win with him. He set her up. Haven’t we all done similar… and felt the sting of being diminished? Less than? or as my ex lamented…. he was making the best of marrying me, telling others that he settled for less than… while to my face he was saying that marrying me was the best thing in his life… until the day he said he never wanted to marry me at all, he only did it because he was weak… this… after I had that specific conversation the night before our wedding… that if he wasn’t 100% sure, it was better to cancel than to marry…

    a convo I had b/c I said I’d never get divorced. Stupid of me to not realize sometimes it’s a choice made FOR me, not because of me.



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  5. Jan7 says:

    To the Lovefraud read who asked this post’s original question….here are two important questions you need to ask yourself:

    1) Why am I still with a sociopath?

    2) Why have I not imposed the “No Contact Rule” with him yet?

    I knew, like most victims of a sociopath that there was something mentally wrong with my ex h from the second I met him. I did not want to date him, move in with him, marry him or even stay married to him but he was masterful with the pity play from the second I met him & through out our marriage. He was masterful at mental games that literally broke my spirt so that he could get me to do what he wanted….this is what sociopaths LOVE to do = play mental manipulative games…this is what your mate is doing to you now.

    I knew, I needed to leave him…and wanted to for that matter everyday but he had my mind in a prison…I could not think for myself to find the door out….prior to meeting him I was an independent person but slowly over time he literally controlled my mind with mind control & brain washing. Like sociopath do with all their victims. He had my mind so twisted up I did not know which way was up and which way was down. This is the evil mental games they play that takes your independence away from you.

    Yes, your mind can be manipulated into a prison just like someone can manipulate you into a room & lock you in. I felt like my ex h had put a bird cage over my mind. He had isolated me from the outside world (cut my friends/family out of my life) and then molded me into what he want = to control very aspect of my life. Does this sound familiar to you?

    Right now your mind is opening up to the truth. to the real reality of the situation you are in…your mind wants to be freed from your abusers mental control & this is what lead you to Lovefraud and more importantly it gave you the strength to send Donna a message asking her this very important question. Which I am so thankful you did.

    What do you do now to leave your abuser?

    1) Contact your National Domestic Abuse Hotline (USA 800-799-SAFE) to talk with a free counselor who will educate you about a “Domestic abuse Exit Plan”. This Exit plan is imperative because the most dangerous time for a vicim in a domestic abusive relationship is when the vicim is about to leave or leaves her abuser.

    You can also google National Domestic Violence Hotline to look at their website to learn more. It’s best to use a Public Library computer or a friend/family members computer so that you remain safe.

    DO NOT feel embarrassed or ashamed to do this and DO NOT feel like you have to protect your abuser…YOU HAVE TO PROTECT YOURSELF…and by calling the abuse hotline you are opening the door to the outside world.

    Calling the hotline will be one of the greatest gift’s you ever gave yourself!!

    2) Read up on the “NO CONTACT RULE” by doing a search on Lovefraud (up at the top right you will find the search section) and by doing a search on the net for “narcissistic no contact rule” and “sociopath no contact rule”

    THIS RULE is the ONLY way to have peace again in your life…it will literally save your sanity and your life. But for your protection again have a Domestic abuse Exit Plan out of your relationship first prior to imposing this rule.

    3) If you have children then you will need to follow the “Low Contact Rule”….also see Onemomsbattle. com and Facebook page Onemomsbattle for great support for dealing with court i.e. divorce court or custody court.

    Open a fake email account then a fake Facebook page so that you can chat freely without your ex seeing what you are chatting about.

    4) Open up to your most trusted friends about what is truly going on in your relationship. Have them keep a journal about what you tell them so that they can be a witness in court. if you need to get a restraining order.

    Also the sociopath will start a vicious “sociopath smear campaign”….lots of victims have lost good friends and even family members due to the sociopaths lying smear campaign to prevent the truth of their abuser from getting out in the public.

    5) EDUCATE yourself now on sociopath abuse, their traits and how they manipulate their victims. This response from Donna Andersson back to you is EXCELLENT read her response over and over…Donna has created this site that is a library full of incredible information on sociopathic abuse….Each day and each time you are confused about your relationship & your feelings come here and READ, READ, READ everything at the top of this wonderful site and watch the videos up at the top too.

    Also Donna’s book The Red Flags of Lovefraud is a must read book. IT will give you the full understanding of the hell you are enduring & why your abuser leaves you so confused everyday by his chaos, drama and plain evilness.

    Do You realize you are in a abusive relationship?

    What women do not realize is abuse is also emotional, mental, verbal & financial abuse. And typically physical abuse does not come into play until the vicim is ready to leave or has left her abuser.

    Emotional & mental abuse IS manipulation, cheating on the victim, mind games, pity play, reward & punishment, intimidation, gas lightning abuse, the abuser installing fear & phobias into the victims mind etc etc.

    The manipulation that your mate is doing to you IS ABUSE!!

    YOU ARE IN A MENTAL & EMOTIONAL ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP…with the help of your national domestic abuse hotline & your local abuse center where you can receive free counseling & free women group meetings you WILL SEE that YOU ARE IN A ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP.

    It’s hard to come to terms the you are in a emotional & mentally abusive relationship but it is true. All of us have been exactly where you are now…wondering what is really going on in the relationship…confused…feel like you are going crazy (which you are not you are just being mentally manipulated) and you are trying desperately to “fix” the relationships to get the relationship back to were it was in the beginning when your mate loved everything about you.

    But know it will never get back to that again…yes he will pretend to “change” but it will only last a few days or a few weeks then he will be back to his evil ways again. He will attempt love bombing to such you back in then he will drop his mask to expose his evil side again.

    This is the cycle of abuse…this is the “Abuse power wheel” (google)

    Do a search on:

    1) Gas lighting abuse

    We are here to help you so keep asking questions, vent, rant what ever you need to do to free your mind and find peace again.

    KEEP ASKING YOUR QUESTIONS…We are here for you…We Hear you!!! 🙂

    Hugs to you 🙂

    Wishing you all the best 🙂



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    • Amille22 says:

      As always, excellent advice Jan7.

      Looking back, mine was a master at playing the victim. He had that one down pat. He played up his time in the military, PTSD, an injury, anxieties from lack of privacy, etc.

      I believed all that crap. And he was smart with that, I mean who wants to question a vet? I would never ask one if they really suffer from PTSD or if their injury was as bad as they claimed.

      From there, I also fell prey to living up to where his ex wife and girlfriends failed him. He was very subtle with this one. I didn’t realize what was going on with that until memories of conversations surfaced weeks after NC was firmly in place.

      The only twist was that he constantly praised me. I was the love of his life. HA. He did not overtly push me away. I think this was more manipulation that kept me hooked much longer.

      It wasn’t until I found out the truth and confronted him that I saw the mask slip….fall off really.



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      • Jan7 says:

        Amille, thank you. The pity play would infuriate me at the time he would bend his head down and look like a little lost puppy ahhh makes me sick and even now looking back. He even played his pity me bs in divorce court…and guess what the Judge, Lawyers, Mediators, clerks all bought is bs.

        How are you doing?



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        • Amille22 says:

          It is amazing how he could be the great guy and victim all at once!

          I am approaching 4 months since I found out he was leading a double life. A few days after that I found this site and realized the truth of who/what he really is. Some days the wound hurts; other days it seems like another life.

          I have had no issues maintain NC. In fact, he turned up at the same store as I was loading my car. I was in my car and out of there before I could actually think about what was happening.

          However, I still struggle with forgiving myself. I am upset with myself for not seeing him sooner; not trusting my gut instinct. I know I’m probably too hard on myself.

          I didn’t know then what I know now.

          I just want to make sure I don’t ever fall prey to one of these people ever again.



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          • Jan7 says:

            Hi Amille, my ex too…the pity play & victim bs was everyday. I would get so sick of it but did not want to have a fight so I would just give him his way…he loved the power & control over people.

            Good for you for leaving before he saw you. So proud of you for just packing up & leaving the parking lot quickly.

            How did you feel seeing him?

            I’m sure that was not an easy moment which most likly triggered some flash backs for you.

            You state: “Still struggle with forgiving myself”…..I think this is the hardest part of the whole healing process….acceptance is the last step…accepting that the red flags were there but for countless reasons we ignored them…not easy to for give ourselves…. for me either. when I look back on my marriage and realize he can suck anyone & everyone into his con game. He could have a very large cult following he so desired he is that manipulative but more important convincing.

            I really witness his con game in divorce court..it was extremely eye opening and validating at how someone can easily get sucked in to his manipulation when you watch the whole court running around to please him because of his pity play and his lost puppy look he gives everyone.

            We had a lot of highly educated & successful friends & business client/friends and he conned them all. Even when they were left flabbergasted with his horrible behavior they still forgave him….this for me when I get to the place where I am upset that my life was destroyed in every way by him & that I saw who he was the very second I met him makes me realize I did not have a change to escape his grips because he targeted me for my normal successful life just like he targets others. Just like you ex did to you. Once you are a target in their scopes it is almost impossible to escape during the love bombing stages unless you are educated. They have played their con game since they were children with their parents, teachers, kids at school etc.

            I think the thing you have to look at is the fact that you have a very good gut instinct…you saw him for who he was & like you stated you now just can not weaver from your gut instinct ever.

            In the video that “Oprah interviews Gavin Debecker” (google) Oprah states that women don’t want to be “rude” to others and this is were women “especially” weaver from their gut instinct. Like she states we don’t want to be labeled “a bitch” but the reality is who cares if someone calls you a bitch if your gut alarm is screaming that they are dangerous. If someone is calling you a bitch then you have go ask what game is this person playing? And just walk away so you avoid their game all together.

            She also states in her interview preface that humans are the only creatures on this planet that stick around when there gut alarm goes off..in the wild animals run…they don’t stick around to see if the Lion is a nice lion or a mean lion. Even our family pets give us signs when someone in our home does not give off a friendly vibe. Our pets follow their gut alarms.

            As a society we have gotten away from our basic survival skills since we don’t have to live in the wild & forge for our food. We let our guard down easily to get along with others, to be accepted and specially to find a mate. But what I realize is you can never let your guard down…I know that only time I ever let my guard down is when I gave my ex a chance because I had zero interested in dating him.

            I think another important thing for you to realize is you ended this abusive relationship cold turkey, searched the net for answers & have put in the time to fully educate yourself and you also imposted the no contact rule fully. You should be very proud of yourself Amille you taken great lengths to move forward, to heal and most importantly not to get sucked back into his con game. This is a HUGE accomplishment in such a short time when you had a 5 year relationship with him. So pat yourself on the back & give yourself a high fives.

            This guy you dated is sitting at home dazed and confused at how YOU could cut him out of your life so abruptly….and you can sit home and laugh out loud that he should have been wiser to how smart, independent & most importantly resourceful you were to search the net for who he was based on his selfish behavior.

            Can you just see him walking around his home (like a cartoon character) trying to figure out how he lost his mental control over you. Good image to imagine 🙂

            Hugs to you. Hope you have a good week!! 🙂

          • Amille22 says:

            Jan7, Numb to seeing him though I did have dreams about him the next few nights.

            It happened so quickly I didn’t have time to think about it. I just remember seeing his car (he drives a distinct sports car), the flash of his hair and sunglasses, and then my inner voice took over. “Keep walking, don’t look at him, get in the car, drive off, don’t look in his direction…..” He pulled into my line of sight so I know he knows that I saw him.

            The forgiveness is hard because this is the second time I let someone cross boundaries. I think I mentioned my ex husband is an alcoholic. Of course at the time I met him;married him his drinking wasn’t obvious. It increased over time. I finally walked away in order to protect my children but I stayed longer than I should have. I thought I could help him stop.

            This time, I knew something was off but I didn’t know what. In my research, I have come to believe he is an altruistic Narcissist. They say they are harder to recognize but still. Looking back, he told so many outrageous lies. I guess I wanted to believe him. Again, I struggle with why did I?

            Intellectually, I know I didn’t stand a chance against him. I have read all your recommended readings. I know that he was using brain washing techniques, mind control, etc. In fact, he told me he was one time. Of course, he presented it as, “can you believe I read about some guy that practiced mind control on his girlfriend?”

            I saw the Gavin interview years ago. The fact that humans are the only species that don’t run from fear always stuck with me. I never felt fear from him until now. Now that I understand what he is. That helps with NC.

            Yes, we don’t want to be rude. I also remember my mother telling me,”always put yourself in the other person’s shoes.” Great advice to teach your children kindness and compassion. I took it too literally though. I didn’t think not do that at the expense of my own feelings and well being.

            How have you changed your way of thinking? How do you enforce boundaries? I remember you telling the story about the tennis guy. It is so ingrained in me. Funny, because I have always admired people who have no filters; say whatever is on their mind;don’t care if they offend someone.

            Thank you for words of encouragement. Part of it is being very stubborn. I refuse to give him any more of me. He doesn’t even deserve a hello or wave. I certainly am not going to let him see my pain. I also know nothing good would come from an interaction with him.

            Thank you too for the visual of him wondering how I escaped. That made me smile a bit. I guess I have been thinking that he has already moved on or has been spending time with his wife/live in girlfriend and hasn’t given me a thought.

            Thanks again Jan! Your words of encouragement and support are much needed this week. I hope all is well with you. That you have a wonderful week…and beyond.

    • Jan7 says:

      I just wanted to answer your specific question…YES, that is exactly what sociopath/psychopaths do to their victims. They are warm and loving one second then switch to not liking you or even hating you…this happens over and over. IT is the cycle of abuse.

      Remember when you were a kid and would pick a daisy….then pull the pedals one by one… saying “he loves me”…then pick the next pedal and say “he loves me not”

      this is what happens everyday with a sociopath…they keep their victims in a constant state of confusion about the relationship. One minute you feel like the relationship is in a good place then 5 minutes later your wonder what just happened and now you want to leave the relationship because of your mates craziness.

      Being with a sociopath is a emotional mental roller coaster ride every day!! So YES what you are describing is exactly what sociopaths do to mentally & emotionally control their victims.



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  6. slimone says:

    Hear hear Jan7! It is a prison we find ourselves in. And I, like you, knew that S was ‘off’ from minute number one. They are masters at twisting us in the wind until we have no sense of direction.

    I so appreciate how much you contribute here…Slim



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    • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

      slimone
      I’ll agree that within a short time, 6 mos, I knew something was “off”… BUT…. but I had NO IDEA what it was that was “off”.

      Too many of us never had the childhood that taught us what a good relationship felt like, so only if he beat the s* out of me would have been a direct message. It took years for me to find out that what was “off” was his twofaced scamming. Once I saw him mask off, THEN I knew it was him, and that the “off” was NOT me being too stupid to maintain a relationship.

      Pedophiles, rapists… those I can smell a mile away. But a sweet talking seemingly salt of the earth guy… just confused me.



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      • slimone says:

        NWHSOM, So true. I also didn’t know what I was dealing with. My guts were in tune but my mind had no idea what was actually happening. Now I know, and find myself picking up clues from people out in the community, and I know they are using certain kinds of manipulations…sometimes even their ‘energy’ (not to be too woo-woo) strikes me as off now.

        In the case of the guy I got tangled up with he was so eccentric in his appearance and lifestyle I kept thinking that was why I was feeling odd around him. Like I just didn’t ‘get him’ because he was different from me. I sure didn’t want to be ‘too judgmental’. HA HA.



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    • Jan7 says:

      Thank you Slimone…your post are always excellent too. SO much wonderful support by all on LF!! 🙂



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  7. Barb says:

    It may be a long time before I can write out “my story”…somethings I am just now starting to remember.

    In the meantime, If I ever run into another one, I’ll be doing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEsrYaQYQSo

    (I have found my sense of humor again, so I must be healing!)



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  8. Barb says:

    The sociopath in my life entered when I was only 9 years old…fourth grade. Unfortunately she was in my class…and we graduated from high school in the same class. No escape.

    One of the beauties of dealing with the horrific person who decimated your life is to ‘not care’. I don’t mean about yourself, but about them. It works for me, anyway. I simply made the choice to not care about where she is, what she is doing, or with who.

    I still know she is extremely messed up, in spite of the ‘show-boating’ ploy of her life. What a pathetic person she is.

    And if/when any former high schooler tries to put me on the spot about ‘ditching’ her after high school (and about all of her accomplishments in an effort to compare us and how little I have done) my pat answer will be: “Well, that is great but I don’t care what she is doing. I just don’t. And my life is right where I want it to be…hopefully you are happy as well.”

    Several people have always blamed me and always will…some figured out what happened (and that she was the culprit) but still hold me accountable for ditching her … some (a few) were stunned when I told them the shocking truth and gave me full sympathy and support.

    But let me say here: it works quite powerfully when they see how disinterested you are and how little the sociopath matters to you…it absolutely floors them.



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