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What I, as a Highly Sensitive Person, learned the hard way about sociopaths

 

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email froma reader who posts as “emotionallyraped.” She previously wrote the blog post “Highly Sensitive People are perfect targets for sociopaths.”

Obviously, anyone with a conscience is a potential victim for the sociopath.

Among people with a conscience, I would say a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) would be the easiest to detect, right?

So, if HSP’s are more easily spotted among the population with conscience, then would you agree that HSP’s are likely a sociopath’s most common target?

Assuming you agree, would it not make sense that socios would be experts at feigning the emotions and actions of Highly Sensitive People, since they have more experience with HSP’s?

While I originally set out to provide sociopathic red flags for any new encounter with a stranger, it dawned on me … a lot of the red flags could possibly describe myself or my HSP friends.

As an HSP myself, I have often wondered why my kindness and sincerity have been questioned and mistrusted.

Now I understand.

Growing up, I cried a lot. Much more emotional than anyone I knew. Was keenly observant to details and able to pick up on people’s moods and body language cues. Thoughtful and accommodating. I could feel other people’s pain so deeply. I was the one always trying to keep peace in a group. Feeding the homeless and dancing with the sweaty awkward teenage boy at the high school dance. Lol. I avoided confrontation at all costs. Tried to make people happy at the expense of my own happiness or convenience. I was an open book and honest to a fault. I would share personal information freely. People tended to want to confide in me, because of my genuine interest and caring way.

I always believed that there was good in everyone … that is to say, until I met my sociopath.

A sociopath will initially portray himself as possessing many of these HSP qualities. But these qualities only last as long as it takes to hook a victim.

The difference between HSP behaviour and sociopathic behavior will be authenticity.

Sociopaths initially seem to be the nicest people, but you will be able to see their inconsistencies, if you look for them.

Because sociopaths are only faking emotion or selfless deeds, their outward display may conflict with the situation at hand. They may display too much or too little emotion.

Beware of excessive flattery or compliments without proportionate cause.

Ask yourself if the person complimenting you has actually witnessed your good traits, to warrant the compliment. Are they going overboard?

Beware the person who stares intensely into your eyes for longer than average.

Sociopaths know looking into someone’s eyes hastens a connection, but often they don’t know when to stop which can cause an uneasy feeling that we must listen to and trust.

Beware the one who opens up with their life story, far too soon, in a first meeting.

Sociopaths want their target to feel sorry for them. False tales of suffering and fake tears elicit pity. Better still, the physical contact from a sympathy hug gets them on a fast track to forming a bond.

Watch for “unnatural” quick shifts between emotions. A cry that stops abruptly with a topic change or a smile that turns to a blank expression too quickly.

Beware the one who tries to align similarities between your life and theirs’, in order to claim that your meeting is fate or destiny.

Beware the one who offers good deeds with an “unnatural” eagerness to help.

Consider that a sociopath may promise a complete stranger a wildly generous favour to seem like a ‘great person,’ usually in front of an audience. They may follow through, to gain trust, or it may simply be an empty promise.

Also consider that they may relay some convoluted story, which prompts you to lend them a few dollars because of your trusting nature. If they pay you back it’s to instill trust, for a bigger pay off in the future. If they don’t pay you back, they’ve figured out that they cannot use you any further.

*Please note: Sociopaths do not discriminate. Male, female, poor, rich, beautiful, ugly … all that matters is whether they can get something from you or not.

My sociopath seemed like such a nice friendly guy who obviously had a few hard knocks in life. The first time we met, we interacted with great ease and comfort. Within an hour, he had shared that his health was poor and that he was in town to see specialists for his heart condition.

He said he lived in town where he owned a roofing company. He shared that his common-law wife and two children had died in a car accident. He shared that he had been adopted and sexually abused and was at a point in his life where he was willing to finally deal with his issues. He began to cry at times. My heart obviously went out to him. I eventually did reach out, to hug this stranger, out of compassion. He kept saying how he felt so comfortable with me. That he never connected so quickly with anyone. He looked intensely at me as he thanked me for listening and changing his outlook on life. He praised me for my insight. He alluded to the fact that fate must’ve brought us together.

That day accelerated quickly into a seven-month relationship, that ended when sociopath revealed his true self and robbed me of all money, possessions and self.

I believe that because I am HSP, my sociopathic encounter almost killed me. It changed the core of me and set me off kilter. I was no longer myself. I would cry indiscriminately in less than appropriate places. My encounter with a sociopath became my identity. I would share my story with whoever would listen, simply to try and make sense of what had happened, to get feedback and to try and heal myself. But nobody ever understood.

Sociopaths are crazy making. I can say that I was probably crazy for a few years after the sociopath. Nothing was as I thought it was. Everything about the world was the exact opposite of what I had always believed.

I lost my identity, my self.

So while I was once a classic HSP, a sociopath was able to successfully fool me, forcing all of HSP’s wonderful qualities to be internalized and protected.

I think the experience may have made me somewhat narcissistic, myself.

I’m beginning to look at the sociopathic experience as a blessing now. It opened my eyes. It made me wise and it forced me to focus on myself. I am getting myself well so that I can be a healthy, proud, new and improved, empowered HSP … with boundaries!

I hope my tips help at least one person from going through what inevitably follows the initial red flags.

Peace.

Signed: EmotionallyRaped

 



14 Comments on "What I, as a Highly Sensitive Person, learned the hard way about sociopaths"

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  1. AllALie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I could have written it myself as I see myself throughout.

    Unfortunately, I also see the man who claimed he loved me, in every single warning.

    I’m still trying to find the blessing. He has ripped apart so much of me. And friendships I thought I had.



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    • a1r1t1y says:

      This is the first day, i literally searched conartist father coping strategies.

      This site and thread came up.

      Having read it….i could never really quantify my connection to my biological father. I should have searched this many years ago. Perhaps i could have stopped him and his legacy. Thank you for taking about your life.

      I tried to post my log history…..can only leave comments.



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  2. stillinshock says:

    I can relate. I am very empathetic and sensitive, and my experience changed me at my core also. I feel lost a lot. The world isn’t what I thought it was. I’m trying to accept my new realism but it is difficult, because I am a bit of an idealist. Of course, I realize also that these traits make me a great target for sociopaths so I am also very cynical and slow to trust these days.



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    • Delores says:

      They can really trash a persons idealism forever. Eventually you will be able to spot the evil ones and avoid them which restores some trust in normal humannity. Read and read some more util you can see it in their eyes. Pick them out on TV shows and political programing. Politics is full of them.



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      • still waiting to get my lifeback says:

        Still waiting to find me. I am a hsp and everything emotionally raped posted is so true. I have lost all confidence in myself. I spent thousands on therapy almost ask my doctor to commit me I felt like I was losing my mind. I allowed this person to come back and forth in my life for almost 3 years. He told me he had moved in my area to help out grandmother in family because he was going through divorce. He claimed his marriage didn’t work out because his wife was so unhappy because she could have children. And that she was unbearable to live with. I was going through so much at work when I met this person at our community park during my morning run. I had to layoff 7 staff with no support from HR due to the company mishandling of funds. I just purchased a home a few months earlier. I was now responsible 3 different positions. The director’s, administrative assistant and my original position Program Manager. He was so charming agreed to provide free lessons as he claimed he was a personal trainer his body supported that lie. I told him I was having surgery in a month he volunteered to be there for me and he was at the hospital until I left. Help me at home , very attentive. He also told me that when he was born his mother left him in the hospital. I felt so sorry for him. I started noticing little signs like he would get angry fast. And, once he notice my look he would dismiss it as he has a lot on his mind. He said he was looking for work since he had relocated. Since I had just purchased a home I told him I would pay him to paint 2 rooms he said I can’t allow you to pay me, he said he needed a few shirts I was happy to purchase. We became intimate and he wanted all of my time. The surgery had me off for 4 weeks. He was okay at that point, once I went back to work things started to change he wanted me to leave work at 5 come straight home and when I didn’t I was accused of sleeping with men. My life was a roller coaster over the next 6 months. He ask to borrow money to buy a car. I am Hsp but I knew better. Everything he told me was a lie the ex wife , being left in the hospital as a baby. All lies. He was living with his aunt in her Casita, they ended up getting into an argument. One morning while I was out running she told me everything, he had just did 15 years in prison for robbery he was 21 when he went. I felt like someone has just shot me. They finally closed my job due to financial reasons I was there for 14 years and have been out of work for a year. I just want to feel alive again and go back to work , I feel so worthless.



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        • DoneWithThat2 says:

          Hugs to you, Still waiting. I understand and know your pain. Read everything you can on N’s.. Get into therapy if you can. Do whatever you can to understand how this happened to you. Cry until you are dry. Then dust yourself off and be determined to find your way out of the fun house. You can do it!



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          • still waiting to get my lifeback says:

            Done with that2. Thank you so very much. I did a year of therapy, I can no longer afford to pay for it. If I was to tell my whole story it would be like a mini series. This site has been extremely helpful my therapist used to tell stop expecting something from a tree. He’s soulless, it was hard for me to comprehend that a person couldn’t have a soul. My spath would flee and return months later stating we can be just friends. I have spent hours reading the various posts, and it’s interesting how they seem to turn it on us and make it seems like it was all our fault. He had the nerve to call 3 months ago and said if it wasn’t for me we could be married with children now. Weeew…I am starting to feel again, working on building up my self confidence and weening myself off of wellbutrin.

  3. stillinshock says:

    I can relate. I am very empathetic and sensitive, and my experience changed me at my core also. I feel lost a lot. The world isn’t what I thought it was. I’m trying to accept my new realism but it is difficult, because I am a bit of an idealist. Of course, I realize also that these traits make me a great target for sociopaths so I am also very cynical and slow to trust these days.



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  4. 4YearsOfHell says:

    Thank you. This article is helpful. I am an HSP and similar to the author, and I married a sociopath who nearly destroyed me. He engaged a doctor whom he had ‘befriended’ and who prescribed SSRIs and benzos which dulled my coping and survival mechanisms. He played out the characteristic manipulation and lying. Yes, it is crazy-making. It’s been three years since the divorce and I am still making sense of it – but am empowered by forgiving myself, for starters.
    I’m studying to be an integrative nutrition health coach, making the most of my experiences. I’m learning from the Amen Clinics (brain health)* and holistic practitioners who aim to understand, rather than MDs who throw drugs at symptoms. I learn from this site and Elaine Aaron (“Sensitive”) and functional medicine and new science around biology – eg, the MTHFR SNP. *. I have no doubt this man has brain damage, especially after a car accident that cracked his head open, a history of concussions and impulsiveness.. As I said, this world of his is crazy-making; the stress erased memory and kicked off some significant health issues. It’s a long road to healing, but wholly possible.



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  5. stronginthecity says:

    emotionallyraped,
    Hugs to you and raped emotionally and physically is one of the words to express how I feel.
    You are brave to share your story and I hope you are doing well.
    One thing I can say about the experience withe the spath is that it opened my eyes to the other emotional vampires in my life and now I have quality instead of quantity of people in my life.
    I will not stop being the caring person I am but never again will I allow myself to be open to the life altering ways of one of these vultures.
    XOXO
    Stronginthecity



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  6. still waiting to get my lifeback says:

    I am so happy I found this site, I am sure this will help me with healing. This is confirmation that there are really people out here without souls.



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    • Still Waiting to get my life back – Welcome to Lovefraud. I am so sorry for your experience. But we have many articles on recovery that may help you. Click the “post archives by category” link in the red footer at the bottom of the page.



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      • still waiting to get my lifeback says:

        Thanks Donna,
        I have spent hours reading the archives and I feel there’s hope the people here has been so supportive to each other and some have developed friendships. They show patience and empathy to others and their situation. I feel this site is heaven sent. Thanks you so very much. It feels good to get confirmation and know that I am not the only one this has happened to.



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  7. still waiting to get my lifeback says:

    Thank you so much emotionally raped and all the others.



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