Happy 4th of July! In honor of Independence Day, here are six strategies for breaking free of a sociopath, psychopath, narcissist or some other exploiter. Choose the right strategy for your situation, and declare your independence!
- The No Nonsense Rejection Statement
If you were dealing with normal people, you might want spare their feelings or let them down easy. But if you’re seeing the Red Flags of Love Fraud and you suspect you’re dealing with a sociopath, don’t worry about hurting their feelings because they don’t have any.
If it’s early in the involvement, and neither of you have much invested, you can use the rejection statement approach to get away. Here’s what you do: Tell the person one time, I repeat, ONE TIME, that you no longer want to be in the relationship. Breaking up by text is perfectly acceptable, and even preferable.
Do not give a reason for the breakup, because sociopaths will see that as an opportunity for negotiation and you don’t negotiate with abusers. You just tell them that it’s over.
Here’s a Rejection Statement you can use, adapted from The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker.
I have no romantic interest in you whatsoever. I am certain I never will. Do not contact me ever again.
- The Gray Rock method
If you fear that a sociopath may become troublesome or vindictive when you leave the relationship, you may want to quietly encourage the sociopath to dump you. A way to do this is to be totally, completely, painfully boring.
Remember, sociopaths are always looking for excitement and stimulation. One of their favorite activities is pulling strings and watching other people jump. This often includes doing things to upset you, just for the satisfaction of getting a reaction out of you.
So don’t react — no matter how outrageous the provocation. The socoiopath may come to the conclusion that you’re no fun to play with and move on — which is exactly what you want.
Here’s more information:
The Gray Rock method of dealing with psychopaths, on Lovefraud.com.
- Become undesirable, maybe even creepy
Remember the sociopath’s modus operandi when they meet you:
- They evaluate you to discover if you have anything that they want
- They probe for your vulnerabilities
- They use your vulnerabilities to get you to give them what they want
So what did the sociopath want from you? Was it money? If so, come up with a story that you’re being audited by the IRS and you’re going to be slapped with a big tax bill, interest and penalties. Or you just found out that you’re going to be laid off. Figure out what the sociopath wants from you and make it go away.
You can also suddenly acquire a terrible disease or medical condition. Here’s a story that I heard:
The secret seems to be getting the stalker to want no further parts of you. My cousin did that by explaining an elective surgery as a bowel surgery and with a product called Liquid Ass sprayed down the back of her pants confronted him outside her house with the explanation that it’s a lifelong after effect she’ll have to live with. This sociopath was a daily threat and annoyance and that was the last time she ever saw him.
Use your imagination!
- The 5 Step Exit
Perhaps you know that you’re not happy in your relationship, but it’s complicated. Maybe you’ve been with this person for a long time, or you’re married, or your finances are intertwined. You need help working through your feelings and your concerns about your practical situation.
If this is your situation, the 5 Step Exit can help you.
The 5 Step Exit is a structured program developed by Lovefraud author Dr. Amber Ault. She takes you, step by step, through the process of disengaging from an abusive partner. She also offers techniques for “exquisite self-care” as you go through the process.
Dr. Ault offers both a book and an online webinar. Here’s more information:
The 5 Step Exit — How to leave your sociopathic partner, on Lovefraud.com.
The 5 Step Exit for Survivors: Tools you need to leave a psychopath, narcissist or other toxic partner, a webinar on Lovefraud Continuing Education.
- Plan your exit, but don’t tell
Perhaps your situation is involved — married, kids, combined finances. Once you decide to exit the relationship, keep your plans a secret. You do not want to tip off the sociopath.
To do this, keep behaving in exactly the same way you’ve been behaving. You may need to become a great actress or actor, because sociopaths seem to have a sixth sense that tells them when you are no longer falling for their lies.
If you share kids with the sociopath, do not tell them of your plans until you’re ready to go. The kids may not be able to keep a secret.
Do not even tell family and friends, at least any that the sociopath knows. There are two reasons for this.
First of all, some of your family and friends may have already been co-opted by the sociopath. He could have been telling them for years that he was worried about your “mental issues,” and they may believe him. I’ve heard from plenty of survivors who said their families believed the sociopaths, and not them.
Secondly, after you leave, the sociopath may approach your family and friends and feign concern about you. You know how convincing the sociopaths are, so your family and friends may believe your ex and provide information about where you are or what you are doing. It’s best that they have no information to provide.
- Leave when the abuser is not at home
If you live with the person and he or she is violent, you may need to plan carefully how to end the relationship, and you may need to enlist the support of others – even the police.
Have you ever seen your partner be violent at all? Even if they haven’t been violent towards you, have they been physically aggressive towards other people, animals, or property? Has the person kicked the dog or punched the wall? If the answer is yes, there is a chance the violence could be directed towards you.
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If you have seen violence before, do not think, “They’ll never hit me.
When you are involved with a controller or abuser, the most dangerous time is right when you break up. The abuser is going to be angry that he or she is losing control over you and may strike out. If you live with the person, leave when he or she is not home.
Do not go back
However you leave a sociopath, they may let you go for awhile, and then start crying and pleading to get you back. This is typical sociopathic manipulation. Even if you see tears, or hear promises to change, do not believe them. Everything is an act to try to hook you again..
Do not go back.
Sociopaths do not change. Sooner or later, the upsetting or abusive behavior will return, guaranteed. And the next time, you may find it even harder to escape.