By Virginia McClaughry
”Sociopaths and psychopaths are the same thing. The original name for this disorder was “psychopath” but the general public and media confused it with “psycho” and “psychotic” so in the 1930s the name was changed to sociopath. Recently the media again caused a misperception that sociopaths were always serial killers, so now many call the condition “antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).”
A person can be very sociopathic or only slightly, and anywhere in between. It’s a continuum.”
Sometimes, in the world of Psychiatry and “analysis of personality”, there are some things here and there that are RIGHT.
The idea that there is a “stranger amongst us” who looks like us, but doesn’t LIVE like us. That they are living crazy, and evil, with no responsibility and their only purpose in life being “to do what I want to do” TO YOU.
An example of a more recent work regarding sociopaths, is Martha Stout’s The Sociopath next door: The Ruthless versus The Rest of Us.
I understand the desire to “peg” these people, but right off the bat I take exception with the title’s positioning of “ruthless” as being sociopathic, and that “normal people” are not ruthless.
What is ruthless?
- without pity or compassion
Obviously a highly subjective area wide open to wrong interpretations.
The author positions the sociopath as “ruthless”, while out of the other side of her mouth entreats her readers to respond to a sociopath thusly:
The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication.
This indicates no pity or compassion whatsoever for the Sociopath, which is ruthless by definition. You see the conflicting messages the author is giving here.
However, it is correct that when it comes to a true Sociopath, you better be ruthless.
Utterly ruthless – in not accepting any of their bullshit in any way shape or form.
That’s why you’re safe in doing so, bullshit doesn’t deserve pity or compassion.
But you also better never be ruthless towards the real person that is always present and lying underneath the mask of “normal” which masks the true face that a sociopath maintains life with. Always be ready to recognize when that true HIM shows up. He IS there.
So as you see, “ruthless” is not necessarily a bad thing, it depends on whom and for what, that it is used.
Hence my strong exception to her use of it to imply anyone who is ruthless is a sociopath, which is exactly what that title does imply to anyone looking at it.
Also, the author (and she is not alone in this) wants to GLORIFY these people, and assign to them attributes that more accurately apply to truly outstanding people, the ones whom are considered mortal enemies by the men behind psychiatry.
“One of the more frequently observed of these traits is a glib and superficial charm that allows the true sociopath to seduce other people, figuratively or literally-a kind of glow or charisma that, initially, can make the sociopath seem more charming or more interesting than most of the normal people around him. He or she is more spontaneous, or more intense, or somehow more “complex,” or sexier, or more entertaining than everyone else. Sometimes this “sociopathic charisma” is accompanied by a grandiose sense of self-worth that may be compelling at first, but upon closer inspection may seem odd or perhaps laughable.”
See what I mean?
Charisma is not a bad thing, and should never be linked to Sociopaths.
Neither should the idea that they “glow”.
No, they do not – not compared to the genuine article.
They are as tinsel is to that which it imitates – silver.
Tinsel is pretty and shiny but insubstantial, flimsy and easy to break. Silver is the real thing – it has substance, strength, real worth and beauty.
How to get a Sociopath to “drop their mask”.
You could say, that I am a bit of an expert on dealing with Sociopaths. I have a very long history tromping their collective asses into the ground when needed, as well as rehabilitating them – a thing which per Psychiatry, is supposedly impossible. It’s not, but it takes an unshakeable and fully correct (no delusions or false personality traits) sense of self.
It’s very easy to rankle* a sociopath, thereby causing him to drop their “I’m just like you” mask and reveal their true brutal face. Easy – when you understand what makes them tick.
A caveat being that simply because someone gets angry at being treated disrespectfully, unfairly, or worse, that does not mean that person is a Sociopath and has “dropped their mask”, or that anger is WRONG. It is not.
That’s not what the deal is with a Sociopath.
To get one to reveal himself, several things are necessary, but you have to be the kind of person that can handle what happens when one does reveal himself. If that isn’t you right now, then just “cut them off” as best you can.
But if you have the strength and interest (or need) to get one to reveal himself to you and others:
First, you must be able to really look at the person and see what they are about.
There can be NO alterations whatsoever of your inherent accurate perception. That means either way, no false positives, no false negatives. You must see what is.
Any divergences off of that, that you have chosen to live your life with, will put you at the mercy of the Sociopath. I cannot stress this enough – only the full you will defeat the Sociopath. No “identities”.
This is a person who HATES you (and everyone else), and a true Sociopath tries hard not to reveal WHAT THEY REALLY THINK AND INTEND. He or she knows that they will be a “dead agent”* once he is seen for how he really is living, inside his head.
*dead-agent – In the spy world, an agent who is proven to be who he really is, and not his cover, was sometimes SHOT by his enemies, hence the term “dead-agent” means someone whose true face is shown, the fact that he is your enemy. Since this is what a Sociopath lives like as well, the principle is the same.
Secondly, you must understand that the real Achilles heel of the Sociopath is that they do not live having “normal responses” in their internal world, so they do not allow them, thereby cutting themselves off from “knowing” what a sane, correct response IS.
This means that unless they are TOLD what to say that would get you to think they have the right response, or unless they see it done somewhere:
THEY DO NOT ORIGINATE THE RIGHT THING.
This will catch them EVERY TIME.
A Sociopath goes through life carefully watching others, their reactions and to what, what reactions caused a favorable response and what didn’t, and so on. They will then use what they have observed to try and evoke the same responses from their targets. That’s ALL they allow themselves to think about what they have observed – whether or not it worked on someone else.
They will only allow an observation concerning what “worked” on them, if it worked to catch them out, or cause them to become a “dead-agent”. That is the sole extent of any introspection allowed in the Sociopath’s inner world.
WHETHER IT REVEALED THEIR TRUE FACE OR NOT.
That’s the only introspective point of interest.
This should tell you what will cause a Sociopath to start getting VERY nervous, and when that happens they will get more and more obvious to you, whether they like it or not.
Do not allow any things he or she has done in the past to “placate” you to have any bearing on anything – once you realize you are dealing with a Sociopath.
He or she won’t last long in this scenario, because without any clues from you? They are BLIND, DEAF, and DUMB.
Be ruthless in calling them out on ANY lie-based tactics – be harsh, “mean” (meaning you aren’t sugar-coating it whatsoever), and stomp all over their false “superiority” at every opportunity, and demonstrate your competence in life as much as you want. Never let the sociopath make you “be less” because it “hurts his feelings”.
Remember, no mercy, pity, or compassion for bullshit.
The sociopath only knows how to do things he has SEEN, or been TOLD. He will never originate the right action at the right time. There is always something wrong with it, you just know it, if you would only listen to your own accurate perception.
His words (trying to convince or manipulate you about something) will only be what he has heard you say, or someone on tv, etc. He WILL NOT HAVE HIS OWN WAY OF SAYING THESE.
The reason for that should be obvious, there is no “him” allowed in his current way of living, if there was, he wouldn’t be a Sociopath.
I suppose I should let you in on a little “secret” at this point, and that is that the person living life as a sociopath, is far more afraid of YOU then you could ever be of him.
Write that down in stone, it’s that infallible.
There are gradations of this, however. Why I capitalized the word YOU above, is important. I mean…the REAL YOU. The person that has the 100 percent accurate perception at all times, that I mentioned earlier in this article.
THE SOCIOPATH WILL NOT SEE YOU.
He is caught by his own game of life he is living.
The only way he can truly see YOU, is by looking as HIM.
And YOU are not detectable by any of the 5 senses of the body.
This should also tell you how easy the sociopath is to manipulate in reverse.
In a live play interaction where you are not letting what YOU are really thinking be visible at all through your body, you can literally watch one desperately “scan” your face, your eyes, your body language; you can watch him scan through his “experience” of you and other people trying to come up with a GUESS as to what is going on; you can watch him feedback to you “right words” that he has heard you say and watch him carefully checking to SEE IF IT GETS THE RIGHT REACTION.
They are that dependant on exterior things.
So, when you are dealing with one, if you throw on “x” expression, and begin emanating (feeling) “X” emotion, (while neither is not what you really think or feel) they will fall like a ton of bricks for it.
Because they can not look at YOU.
And, since they themselves live life purely on manufactured emotion, they can not tell the difference between genuine emotion that comes from how YOU really feel about something, and manufactured emotion.
It’s a kind of poetic justice – a “he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword” scenario. Since he has made the rule that there is no truth; there is no genuineness – he can’t see anything but SURFACES!
These people literally form a COMPOSITE OF GUESSES about everyone they meet.
I call it that because that’s all they are. Since he’s not really looking at YOU, only WHAT YOU DO, or WHAT YOU SAY?
He is guessing.
Now, some of their guesses are right, but that is NOT because the sociopath actually sees you.
He is ONLY capable of looking at “things” that are sensed by the body only – which, by the way, they work hard to highly develop their perception of bodily cues.
This is what makes them appear to “know you”.
All you have to do is strip them of their “barometer” and they will literally go appetite-over-tin-cup. (crazy)
Understand though, the really, really nasty sociopaths will do this to you, as a form of behavior modification to get you to “stop being that way”. Icy silences, you know the drill.
I know a woman who was asked by the Church of Scientology to treat me that way, in a phone call. Imagine a phone call where no matter what you say the person doesn’t respond, and doesn’t hang up either! That’s an example of having to WIN over who hangs up first! The handler that suggested this to that woman, was obviously a sociopath.
The more “hardened” sociopath (who has more to lose) will be more “proofed up” against stripping them of their barometer, and will, like what the woman above did, turn it against you.
It didn’t work – I got to her anyway, she forgot that I can see her, but she, in living like that couldn’t see me.
So if that happens to you, understand that the sociopath doesn’t REALLY know how their tactic is working, they are only guessing.
If the sociopath does the “silence” thing, it’s important to realize that the sociopath is after something if they do that, and you can still turn the tables on that as well – don’t give it to them and watch closely. It may take hours, it may take days, but they won’t last – they’ll change tactics and try something else. Why? Because you are failing to “give in”, which in their mind means that you are winning, and they are losing.
This is exactly how they view it.
The 24 hours a day, seven days a week GOAL of a Sociopath is:
Well, that’s not a bad thing, you might say, is it?
Yes, it is.
What does WIN imply, in most games?
Someone has to LOSE.
Have you never played with someone just because you wanted to PLAY, and winning or losing doesn’t matter?
Sure you have.
It’s the PLAY that matters, and you don’t view your friend as “an opponent” (that you play with), they are your FRIEND.
Obsessing over “there must be a game”, and “Oh, no, I’m a loser.” Are alike crap instilled in our culture by sociopathic persons.
That’s their obsession.
Don’t make it yours.
Agents and Handlers
It’s true, that when it comes to Spy World, sociopaths abound.
I think it is important to point out though, that you need to understand that the “agent” (person being sent in on you) is not necessarily always deserving of being viewed as a Sociopath.
Yes, most agents are violating the “rule of 3’s”, (as Martha Stout calls it) and lie to you repeatedly, but that is what most agents DO. They have a COVER. A Cover, covers what the person is really there for.
Far more often as being true, the real sociopath is the person that sent in the agent in the first place, but, and this is key, that would only apply when the agent is sent in against a person who is not deserving on this type of operation. In that case, the real sociopath could include the handler, or even more accurately, the person who asked for “operations” to be engaged on you, which is not always the handler himself, or the agent himself, or even all three.
Commentary on Sociopath Criteria and Solutions to – extant out on the Web etc.
Other things that show them up, that are correctly pointed to out there are:
“Sociopaths, although familiar enough with human psychology to successfully manipulate people, lack a deep understanding of their own motivations and feelings. This hinders them from offering a convincing account of the reasons behind their actions”
I would word the above to be more accurate, as I did earlier in the article:
“The sociopath only knows how to do things he has SEEN, or been TOLD. He will never originate the right action at the right time. There is always something wrong with it, you just know it, if you would only listen to your own accurate perception.
His words (trying to convince or manipulate you about something) will only be what he has heard you say, or someone on tv, etc. He WILL NOT HAVE HIS OWN WAY OF SAYING THESE.”
“…you must understand that the real Achilles heel of the Sociopath is that they do not live having “normal responses” in their internal world, so they do not allow them, thereby cutting themselves off from “knowing” what a sane, correct response IS.
This means that unless they are TOLD what to say that would get you to think they have the right response, or unless they see it done somewhere:
THEY DO NOT ORIGINATE THE RIGHT THING.
This will catch them EVERY TIME.”
Because of the liability inherent in dealing with Sociopaths, you see a lot of “solutions” out there that essentially advise complete cutting off from them.
Some samplings from the Web:
1. There’s only one solution for dealing with a sociopath: Get him or her completely out of your life for good. This seems radical, and of course, you want to be fairly sure your diagnosis is correct, but you need to protect yourself from the drain on your time, attention, money, and good attitude. Healing or helping a sociopath is a pointless waste of your life. That’s not your mission. It’s not your responsibility. You have your own goals and your own life, and those are your responsibility.
2. I recommend that you severely challenge your need to be polite in absolutely all situations. Sociopaths take huge advantage of this automatic courtesy in exploitive situations. Do not be afraid to be unsmiling and calmly to the point.
I must comment on Number 2 above, because being “calm” has nothing to do with it. I’m not saying you can’t be calm if that’s how you feel, what I’m saying is that the use of this “calm thing” is far more often than not? Just another example of forwarding the LIE that “anger” somehow indicates irrationality.
Why would you NOT be angry at the Sociopath? When you know what he is trying to do to you, you are ready to fight for your life, and that IS what you are going to have to do.
Calmness is some sort of knee-jerk touchy-feely crap of some IMAGE of an “enlightened” person. It’s not calmness it’s BE SILENT, don’t make so much noise.
Truth be told, that sounds exactly like something a SOCIOPATH would lay on others because THEY ARE AFRAID of genuine, correct, passionate hatred.
Anger, in other words.
I don’t agree with most “lists” of how to determine a sociopath out there, they are too ambiguous and open to interpretation, and worse, fully utilizable by a sociopath turning the exact same criteria around on their target.
Look over this list found on the web, and see if you can see what I mean about the list.
HOW TO SPOT A SOCIOPATH
1. Do you often feel used by the person?
2. Have you often felt that he (or she, because women can be sociopaths too) doesn’t care about you?
3. Does he lie and deceive you?
4. Does he tend to make contradictory statements?
5. Does he tend to take from you and not give back much?
6. Does he often appeal to pity? Does he seem to try to make you feel sorry for him?
7. Does he try to make you feel guilty?
8. Do you sometimes feel he is taking advantage of your good nature?
9. Does he seem easily bored and need constant stimulation?
10. Does he use a lot of flattery? Does he interact with you in a way that makes you feel flattered even if he says nothing overtly complimentary?
11. Does he make you feel worried? Does he do it obviously or more cleverly and sneakily?
12. Does he give you the impression you owe him?
13. Does he chronically fail to take responsibility for harming others? Does he blame everyone and everything but himself?
Martha Stout’s way of detecting sociopaths.
“If … you find yourself often pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, and who actively campaigns for your sympathy, the chances are close to one hundred percent that you are dealing with a sociopath.”
I would re-word that better to more accurately reflect the real situation:
If you find yourself being presented with faces, emotions, words, body language and other things designed to get you to incorrectly “feel guilty” or “feel sorry” for the person whom has unjustly and consistently tried to hurt you or other people, the chances are one hundred percent that you are dealing with a person who is living the life of a sociopath.
Since the sociopath often employs the tactic of “I’m TRYING to be better” (when in reality they are not changing anything and have no intention of it) see how they could take everything on that list and turn it around and say how YOU are doing these things to him?
Trust me, that’s exactly what they do too.
Everything is about WINNING with these people.
Now that, is a 100 percent accurate trait that IS mentioned out there, but in my opinion is not well explained.
There are some truly wrong characterizations of this type of person out there, but these are accordingly, usually sourcing from a sociopath. So wrong, that the lack of recognition employed by a person to even use these as a knowledge base would lead them into living as a sociopathic person. On this I have first-hand personal experience at the lengths to which some will go to try and corrupt a person into living as a sociopath, and calling it “enlightenment”.
Such as L. Ron Hubbard and his “technology” on identifying this type of person.
“The aberrative personality is so badly off that he can lead only a parasitic existence. You will understand, then, that people going down tone scale do not immediately and automatically become aberrative personalities, in our definition as here used. People become aberrative personalities out of a malevolence which insists on a high level of survival without the production of anything.”
Source: PAB 13 (PAB=Professional Auditor’s Bulletin)
That is just NASTY, when you understand what’s really behind it.
PRODUCTION, is a basis for identifying a bad person?
That sounds far too much like Nazi-promoter Coughlin, and that is NOT GOOD.
The following image is from my copy of Rev. Charles E. Coughlin 1937 edition of Money!: Questions and Answers.
On page 25, section on Wealth, question 9:
The Purpose of all human activity… is:
To Produce and distribute an ever-increasing volume of life-sustaining goods and services.
Good lord! If that isn’t a statement directed right at making good slave-workers for “The Elite” – I don’t know what is!
Deny what YOU want to do and do what WE want you to do.
Get a “real” job, make us more stuff, make us more money – GIVE US YOUR POWER.
Here’s some even better examples of Hubbard promoting the sociopathic way of living.
GAMES and WINNING
Hubbard states in a tape lecture, that the ideal position for an “Cleared Theta Clear” or “Operating Thetan” is the position marked by the arrow in the picture.
It is positioned as a “happy” and “active” level.
Hubbard’s position on games is clearly put in many references, he is clearly obsessed with the subject, and above all – with WINNING. Here are just a sampling:
Tape lecture: A BRAND-NEW TYPE OF AUDITING
“I just like to win, see?”
HCO POLICY LETTER OF 18 APRIL 1965, CONTESTS AND PRIZES
There is no greater game in the universe than Scientology, for it is the only game in which everybody wins. And that places it far above all other games and makes it the game of games where everybody gets the ultimate prize of self-and sound companionship as well.
Tape lecture: GAMES CONDITIONS VS. NO GAMES CONDITIONS, 1 September 1956
It’s a hideous thing to realize that man’s search for truth was bound to failure. It could not have been possible for man to discover truth since the totality of the barriers which lie between him and truth consist of games, lies, difficulties, and unless he goes in a game condition, unless he goes into a condition of nonfactuality, he never arrives in a condition of truth.
That last one is a truly sociopathic training statement by Hubbard, the guy HAS to go into a game condition?
Unbelievable, right? Well, that’s why he said it, he’s a sociopath and has their weird views about TRUTH.
Hubbard defines GAMES, in the same lecture, as:
Life is a game.
You see, games are basically-basically freedom, barriers and purposes.
Barriers. As in something that needs to be WON over.
Yes, that’s exactly how a sociopath views life.
The sociopath cannot conceive of that games do NOT have to have barriers, there does NOT need to be an “opponent”, and freedom does not have to be some sort of commodity to “be gained or lost”.
If you understand that, you’ll understand why a sociopath, like Hubbard, is motivated to WIN, period.
Everything is a game to be WON or LOST, to a sociopath. Something as simple as “let’s get to the soccer game” can be turned into WAR if you do not march to their drum.
If you were to WIN (as they view it) over them, like say you know something they don’t, or even if you correct them on a word they are mispronouncing, do you know….that person will lodge it as an act of war because YOU looked good and HE didn’t and will seek to “get even” from there forward?
It’s astounding, I know, but they DO really live their lives this way.
THE SOCIOPATH IN REAL LIFE
The sociopath will lie and do terrible things simply to “win” or “get even” for the most unbelievable things.
Some of them are literally Oscar winners in their “pity me” performances, when they deserve none.
He takes every gain, or demonstration of beauty, competence, skill, or intelligence as a personal threat.
What’s really going on there, is that the sociopath is not inherently a sociopath – he is just as great and perfect of a person as anyone else. But he LIVES that way by choice, and it literally is the most fragile thing imaginable – balanced on the head of a pin.
Anyone demonstrating any of their real ability as a person, or demonstrating strong certainty of self, immediately calls into question HIS way of living by comparison.
Instead of CHANGING that, what does the sociopath do? He tries to get even, and WIN.
Meaning he wants you in the losing position to “put things right” in the world.
Don’t feel sorry for them – they do not HAVE to live that way. Remember that.
IT IS A CHOICE.
That is the secret to working with one, for when you can’t just “cut off”. You must, above all, remember that it is a choice they are making, to live like that.
A few other pointers if you plan to deal with one:
- You better be right that they are living as a sociopath because if you’re not, YOU are heading into living-as-a-sociopath territory yourself in trying to wrongly target a good person.
- Get ready for a long haul, the sociopath will try to find ANY way out of having to change that they possibly can – including FAKING changing just to get you off their back. He will also try to wear you down and “fix you” into being his LOSER (slave) by doing constant daily “mistakes” and “lies” hoping to get you into an emotionally compromised position where YOU will end it just to “have some peace”. This is one of their favorite tactics by the way. Just remember they have far more to lose than you do, AND THEY KNOW IT.
- YOU will have to be utterly ruthless about EVERY little tactic the sociopath tries that is purely a fake to manipulate you BUT you have to be able to tell the difference between the real thing, genuine change or origination, and the bullshit. You’re literally going to have to press him to “break” his sociopathic false identity, and he’s not going to want to right away. There are many ways to accomplish this, one of which is to out-play him, then later on shove it in his face that he MISSED IT. The reason for that one, however harsh you may think it is (it’s not), is you need to constantly challenge his lies that he lives by and show him that THEY DO NOT MAKE HIM SUPERIOR.
That’s important, as that’s what they think. Their living a lie, to them, makes them superior because lil ole innocent and naïve us just would never think of such a thing.
You see how there are TWO lies there? One, is that their way is good, (lie), Two is that the rest of us are stupid and naïve. The sociopath needs BOTH those lies in place and must constantly tell himself that these lies are TRUTH.
SHOW him that he is wrong, and his foundation, or mask will start to crumble.
- Don’t forget, you can still use the “no contact” card if the sociopath really gets on your nerves, but be careful sometimes (like one of the men I mentioned above) deliberately needles you so that they can WIN by making you “cut off”. Yes, they even use that one in reverse.
Sociopaths are always glomming onto me for reasons I don’t need to go into here, and insisting on being underfoot. That is why I have the experience I do, and I’ve dealt with them many times. Sooner or later, the REAL person finally shows up. Some can take a LONG time though, I warn you.
Finally, I can’t even begin to cover everything that I know about Sociopaths in one article – theirs is a tangled, mangled world where down is up and up is down. For every example I give you, some Sociopath out there will read it and try to use the knowledge to cover his true, brutal face!
This is why it’s so important to look as YOU.
The Sociopath “mask” has ZERO DEFENSE against that.
If you have decided to take on a sociopath, never forget that the real person underneath that mask, is depending on the only friend he has – the real YOU who sees the real him.