Educating to help people stay safe & recover from sociopaths & psychopaths

Must Read: “Confessions of a Sociopath”

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byu-law-school

More than one friend sent me this article from the May 13, 2013 issue of Psychology Today. It may be shocking to many, but to those of us whose lives were once shattered by sociopaths, it’s all too familiar.

The article was written by “M.E. Thomas” who claims to be a BYU-educated (and successful) law professor and Sunday school teacher who is “quite charming and has a host of family and friends.” I wonder about that.  At least she admits how much she lies. In the beginning of the article, she claims she wasn’t the victim of child abuse, but later in the article describes being the middle child in a family with a violent father.  Read More

Psychopaths Destroy Reputations & Psychologically Torture

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"All the harm we have mentioned thus far is from covert abuse. Psychopathic individuals also may openly psychologically abuse their victims by denigrating and terrorizing them."

"For now, we simply note that emotional abuse can be extremely harmful to victims. Sadly, some victims attempt suicide as a result of hopelessness, helplessness and the belief there is no way out. Some victims have reported to us that

psychopaths have actually encouraged them to take their own lives

or have indicated that they would put them through so much turmoil that their only recourse would be suicide."

"Individuals with psychopathic traits may attempt to ruin the lives of their victims through the use of social aggression.  For example, it is common for psychopathic individuals to lie about their victims or portray them unfavorably in gossip, so as to damage their reputations."

From http://aftermath-surviving-psychopathy.org/index.php/2011/02/24/the-aftermath-of-psychopathy-as-experienced-by-romantic-partners-family-members-and-other-victims/

How Do Psychopaths Choose and Manipulate Their Victims

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“Those with psychopathic features often seem to have an uncanny ability to home into basic human vulnerabilities.  This often puts them in unique positions, where they are able to gain the upper hand.  Uninhibited by conscience, they initially assess the utility of those around them freely and equally.”

They then tend to narrow their choices to those they find unusually trusting or vulnerable.

“Sometimes, simply having normal personality traits qualifies an individual as vulnerable.  Some psychopaths are predatory in nature and can quickly evaluate who might be willing and able to help them achieve what they are looking to accomplish.  They can identify a potential victim’s ‘Achilles Heel’ and capitalize on it.”

Individuals who are openly trusting or generally seek to find the good in others are more apt to find themselves targeted than those who tend to challenge others to “prove” themselves.  However, most people tend to attempt to see the good in others.”

“As a result, this natural inclination to respect and trust often leads people to rationalize or minimize the odd or unusual behavior that does occur in exchanges with psychopathic individuals.  This makes almost everyone fair game.”

“At this point, an individual who is being targeted is usually unaware of the psychopath’s true intentions.  In addition to any possible vulnerabilities potential victims may have that can  make them more receptive to their advances, psychopaths also look for those who will invest in the relationship to deepen the connections and perceived obligations to the psychopath.”

“It may seem that victims are weak, but this is not the case.  Normal human vulnerability should not be confused with weakness.”

“Anyone has the potential to be targeted.  Psychopathic individuals do not appear to care whom or what they use or ultimately destroy.”

“It is important to remember that some psychopaths appear to easily become whatever it is their potential victim wants them to be, morphing into ideal mates, business partners, or  friends.”

“Some of them seem to choose their victims based on a combination of opportunity and their perceived ability to manipulate the targeted individuals.”

“While it is likely that no one is immune from victimization,

some may be better candidates for victimization than others,

often simply by being decent, trusting people.”

From: http://aftermath-surviving-psychopathy.org/index.php/2011/12/09/frequently-asked-questions/

Hard to See Him for What He is – Even Psychologists Are Fooled

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“Victims are harmed psychologically, emotionally, physically, financially, and socially.  The devastation can be far reaching.”

“A psychologist, in writing a psychopath’s evaluation described, how difficult it is to comprehend and reconcile the reality of the psychopath with his positive persona.”

 

“It is rare that victims actually recognize what is happening to them until it is too late.  Because of this, many victims never fully understand the full complexity of the situation.  Frequently, they are so entangled in the web of confusion the psychopath has managed to spin, that seeing the psychopath for what he or she is, rather than how he or she portrays himself, may be quite difficult.”

“It is not unusual for the victims of psychopaths to question their sanity and self worth.  This is often exacerbated by the psychopathic individual looking the victim in the eye and denying that events they both experienced together happened.”

“It is likely that the psychopath has spent so much time manipulating the victim’s reality that the victim cannot always distinguish fact from fiction.”

“The psychologist reported that, following an evaluation of a parent with psychopathic features, she had had difficulty reconciling the positive persona superficially presented by the psychopath with the contradictory facts she had gathered during the forensic evaluation.”

From http://aftermath-surviving-psychopathy.org/index.php/2011/02/24/the-aftermath-of-psychopathy-as-experienced-by-romantic-partners-family-members-and-other-victims/

 

Hiding Real Identity to Lure Prey

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Written by Linda

"Many psychopaths are predators who very skillfully fool others by hiding their true identity in order to lure prey. Victims are manipulated and often left doubting their own sanity and reality. Once the victim is emotionally attached, the psychopath may stop acting, and show his or her true nature. This often leaves victims feeling very lost or confused."

From: http://bit.ly/13y8X4y

Affinity fraud: do psychopaths target specific groups of people?

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Written by Linda on 19 December 2011

"Individuals with psychopathic traits are often attracted to affinity groups – religious, political or social groups of people who share common values, beliefs or interests.  The collective trust that members of these groups have in one another and their common belief system provides a perfect cover for the person with psychopathy.  The psychopath has an ability to accurately mimic the group’s beliefs or values while in the presence of its members.  As a result, trust is easily gained and the true motives of the psychopath are less likely to be discovered.

Their true motives may include, but are not limited to, financial support (including investment fraud), establishing personal credibility, access to vulnerable individuals who can meet their sexual needs, power and control in volunteer or paid leadership roles, or whatever may meet their needs at the present time.  Those who are most adept at perpetrating affinity fraud are psychopaths who gain entry into the group by developing an acquaintance with a member who then introduces the psychopath as “one of us.”  The result is a “fox in the henhouse.”

From http://aftermath-surviving-psychopathy.org/index.php/2011/12/19/affinity-fraud-do-psychopaths-target-specific-groups-of-people/

Being the Target of a Psychopath

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"Psychopaths view people as little more than objects to be used for their own gratification," explains Dr. Hare. "The weak and the vulnerable--whom they mock, rather than pity--are favorite targets. This helps to explain the reports of people being targeted by the Hidden Evil for no particular reason, other than being decent. A psychopathic program will target such people."

From: http://www.thehiddenevil.com/psychopathy.asp

Protection from Psychopaths

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"Understand Their Goals – What They Want and Don't Let Them Win – Power, control, superiority; they seek to hurt, humiliate & subjugate.

Don't Give Them Satisfaction – showing hurt, pain, distress just feeds their sickness. They want to hurt you, the more hysterical you get, the more they enjoy it. Reacting reinforces their drive to do more. Be unemotional and factual."

From: http://www.happinessandevil.com/protection-from-psychopaths.html

Hard for People to Believe the Stories

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"Again, victims usually do not understand what is occurring until it is too late.  The psychopath may have already launched smear campaigns, taken unfounded legal action, and manipulated those the victim cares about, simply for sport.  Once the victims begin sharing their stories with others, the people to whom they tell these stories, often cannot believe what they are hearing.  It is common for others to be in disbelief, either because they perceive the victim as an unlikely candidate for targeting or abuse, or because the stories can seem so inherently unlikely that it may be difficult, at first, to believe they are true."

SOURCE: http://aftermath-surviving-psychopathy.org/index.php/2011/12/09/frequently-asked-questions/