Author Topic: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?  (Read 8288 times)

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ptkpt

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How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« on: January 03, 2011, 11:48:36 AM »
I've been dating a guy for a few months and I'm suspecting he might have tendencies of a sociopath. He says he liked to beat up kids when younger for no reason, thinks killing might be fun if you're guaranteed to not get caught, thinks wars and wiping out regions are sometimes best to solve political situations, the list goes on and on. He was so charming and caring in the beginning, shared a lot of personal space and possessions. The radical talk on one hand and his caring gestures on the other was what completely threw me off.
Then out of the blue, he said he needed a break. I thought it was all for the best and grieved for the relationship. Then I found out that he was in town when he said he would be traveling for a few weeks. He used to be really protective of his phone, would even always take it into the bathroom even when we were at the house. I was suspecting he was lying, but now I know for sure he lies. Now I'm pretty sure that all those unanswered phone calls and excuses for not getting back during his business trips were also full of lies.
During his so-called travel (the one he is supposed to be on after the break), he texted me and checked up on me as if to suggest that he will be further pursuing the relationship after he 'gets back.'

Now that I'm armed with this knowledge (have gone as far as to read "sociopath next door"), I am ready to run like mad. I may be starting to get paranoid, but I am genuinely fearful of what he might be capable of. He lives minutes away (he knows where I live) and we work at the same company. I have not confronted him or said I want to break up. He said he is friends with all his exs, so even if I break up, I get the feeling that he'll initiate contact. My life has become darker since I've met him. I just want to run away and not have to deal with this at all. Especially now that I know his true colors, I want to cut all ties and associations and wipe myself clean of him.

What would be my best way of dealing with him without provoking him in any way?
Tell him that I know he lies and thus I can no longer continue the relationship?
Don't confront him at all and just disappear as best as I can from his radar? Or make excuses every time he contacts so that he may not suspect anything?

The answer might be really simple, but without many friends or family in town, I'm really starting to fear for my safety.

Thank you for any advice you can give!

acousticeagle

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 06:10:19 PM »
What would be my best way of dealing with him without provoking him in any way?
Tell him that I know he lies and thus I can no longer continue the relationship?
Don't confront him at all and just disappear as best as I can from his radar? Or make excuses every time he contacts so that he may not suspect anything?

You've asked good questions there. If the man is a sociopath, and if you can tick off the boxes after reading Martha Stout's book then it's likely that he is. And now you're wised up about him and about the overall way he makes you feel - past all the superficial charm - your next move to rid yourself of him has to be canny. Sociopaths can't handle rejection. They will try coming back with oozing charm and the 'too good to be true' behaviour in an effort to get you back, or at least keep you in a position where he can use you for what he wants. To 'outwit' him is the thing, for the sociopath is a calculating beast.

The softly, softly approach might be the way to go, thus not alerting him to your knowledge of him. You could say to him "I know that we are not right for each other" thus keeping it simple, and reinforcing the "no" simply. If you just keep reinforcing "no" then you are not allowing a door to be opened to any attempt by him to force his foot in. As you might have read in Stout's book, they are into head games, so you really need to outwit by keeping things pretty simple and with the reinforcings. Hopefully he'll lose interest quickly and find another victim. Maybe a blase attitude on your behalf? They thrive on attention and even negative reactions give them ego-fodder.

I hope you get free of this urban predator soon.


voodoo scientist

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 07:22:30 PM »
Don't base important life decisions on some self-help book. If you want to cut all ties and associations with this man, then that's all the justification you need for doing so - there's no need to dehumanize him in this way because he lies. He sounds more immature than anything. Sometime, you should try reading The Sociopath Next door, only replacing every instance of the word 'sociopath' with the word 'jew' in your mind.
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hortonpilot

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 01:27:57 PM »
Sometime, you should try reading The Sociopath Next door, only replacing every instance of the word 'sociopath' with the word 'jew' in your mind.

Explain, please?

Are you saying all Jews are sociopaths ?


Horton

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2011, 03:58:30 PM »
Sometime, you should try reading The Sociopath Next door, only replacing every instance of the word 'sociopath' with the word 'jew' in your mind.

Explain, please?

Are you saying all Jews are sociopaths ?


Horton

People are beginning to use "sociopath" the exact same way they used "jew" and "communist" in the past, or "terrorist," if you want a more contemporary version. I'm saying if one replaces "sociopath" with any one of those words while reading any one of the sociopath-based self-help books, the extent to which this is true will become abundantly clear.

Observe:

Quote
You've asked good questions there. If the man is a communist, and if you can tick off the boxes after reading Martha Stout's book then it's likely that he is. And now you're wised up about him and about the overall way he makes you feel - past all the superficial charm - your next move to rid yourself of him has to be canny. Communists can't handle rejection. They will try coming back with oozing charm and the 'too good to be true' behaviour in an effort to get you back, or at least keep you in a position where he can use you for what he wants. To 'outwit' him is the thing, for the communist is a calculating beast.

Even if you trace it as far back as the word "witch," while some of the minor concepts and purported methodologies do change over time - sociopaths often possess 'mind control,' while witches possessed more broad sorcery powers, the basic notion of an "evil human" that is virtually indistinguishable from "good humans," and which above all is predatory and highly dangerous to "good humans" (an idealized wolf in sheep's clothing, so to speak) remains fully intact.


To the thread poster: I'm not trying to dismiss the legitimacy of your concerns about this man, I'm trying to tell you that you have nothing to fear. He's almost certainly not a sociopath and even if he is, sociopaths have very little to do with the way they are portrayed in the self-help books. Just break up with him the same way you would with anyone.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 04:07:06 PM by voodoo scientist »
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acousticeagle

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2011, 05:12:47 PM »
VS. You have pulled a quote out of a reply I made  to this topic and replaced a word with one of your own to make some broad-natured point. Are you deliberately in the frame of mind to provoke?

Yes, people can quite easily use 'words' and say for eg., "Obama is a sociopath" and the word and understanding of the word ''sociopath" is in misuse. The understanding of sociopathy has been to a large part relegated to the realm of psychiatry. But in this me first society, books like Stouts are there to provide a 'heads up' to personalities that display symptomatic behaviours that can leave victims in their wake, the effects on these victims can be devastating. There's a self help book entitled "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker, and I would suggest to everyone I know to read this one. There are things to glean out of these books, interpreted responsibly - but none of us can do anything about how these books are read and interpreted by the masses.

I agree with you that is  immaturity to banter people 'tags' around without fuller understanding into these personality disorders. I recommend you read "The Sociopath Next Door" before you criticise, however, for I consider it has the potential to save many and spare them great grief in life. Dare I say to you that I speak from experience?

VS, if you want to elaborate on the misuse of people tags, I would suggest doing it in such a way that is enlightening to the readers here, instead of showing off this unwarranted broad-natured contentiousness that draws attention to personal embitterment regarding how thougtless ppl can be when they open their mouths without engaging their brains. Sometimes amusing, VS, but in this instance - don't quote me and twist my words. I have spoken.

hortonpilot

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011, 01:40:40 AM »

You can't reform a sociopath and there are people who will make you happy in life that will not cause you pain.
Face up to reality and read the books .
All dealings with sociopaths end up at your expense though you may be blinded by the charm and 'personality'.

Machiavellian index might be worth looking at?


Horton


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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2011, 07:44:55 PM »
VS. You have pulled a quote out of a reply I made  to this topic and replaced a word with one of your own to make some broad-natured point. Are you deliberately in the frame of mind to provoke?

...

VS, if you want to elaborate on the misuse of people tags, I would suggest doing it in such a way that is enlightening to the readers here, instead of showing off this unwarranted broad-natured contentiousness that draws attention to personal embitterment regarding how thougtless ppl can be when they open their mouths without engaging their brains. Sometimes amusing, VS, but in this instance - don't quote me and twist my words. I have spoken.

I apologize for hurting your feelings. The text seemed like an appropriate demonstration of the principle I was getting at, and I would like to assure you I have read The Sociopath Next Door, which is how I know it's an extraordinarily scaremongering and pseudoscientific book (just look at the title, for Heaven's sake). If you absolutely must base life decisions on book like these, I implore you to at least fact-check their statements, because those books are themselves designed to predate on you and manipulate your fears.

All evidence seems to point against the existence of the bogeyman. There is no sociopath next door, there's only your neighbor.
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hortonpilot

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 12:46:52 AM »
Sociopathic behavior is on the rise , filters down from government levels.

I feel much better that Voodoo has cleared the matter of my neighbor and that i have been untrusting of her intentions, imagined that i am being victimised.
What we imagine to be happening is always just that?
What we see as devious and sociopathic behavior is just not the case............

It is better in life to be completely trusting and throw caution to the wind.

Horton

acousticeagle

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 07:05:07 PM »
VS, I can assure you that my feelings were not hurt; I do not allow my self-esteem to be so easily wounded (the very idea!). I did understand what you were saying in what you said. But there are ways and means of describing what you are trying to put across without the assumation of everyone who reads 'catching your drift' everytime with that edge of mockery, or intellectualised cynicism or whatever is amusing to you to write.

The book by Stout is written partly in entertainment style, somewhat splashy, but it is partly what makes it so readable.  I've read, or at least tried to read, many a dry old book on some psych matter, being so dry it's failed to get its point across - unless you're a reader that enjoys ploughing through dry text. There are those that go seek 'demons under every rock', in the reading of such books. A reader can eat these books whole (not something I would recommend) or else use them for the purpose of gleaning.

At the time I found this book in the library -  sure the title is attention-grabbing - but the book helped in the understanding of a certain person in my circumstances that I could not understand previously. After ticking off the boxes, I could see that this person was described by Stout in her book; by the list of characteristics of the sociopathic personality disordered. I was therefore able to rest without former confusion and better organise my affairs and attitude regarding this person. Now I'm going to say something that maybe you'll screw your smug face up about. This book saved me.

Now, that's a big statement. So save your apology and don't judge me out of your own god-like knowlege of human nature.

Gosh, it's a pity I haven't got any more karma points. But you could always smite me, couldn't you?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 07:17:39 PM by acousticeagle »

hortonpilot

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2011, 02:33:08 PM »
It is so simple.

But those in the web or plain ignorant would see more PC.

voodoo scientist

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2011, 10:35:28 PM »
VS, I can assure you that my feelings were not hurt; I do not allow my self-esteem to be so easily wounded (the very idea!). I did understand what you were saying in what you said. But there are ways and means of describing what you are trying to put across without the assumation of everyone who reads 'catching your drift' everytime with that edge of mockery, or intellectualised cynicism or whatever is amusing to you to write.

The book by Stout is written partly in entertainment style, somewhat splashy, but it is partly what makes it so readable.  I've read, or at least tried to read, many a dry old book on some psych matter, being so dry it's failed to get its point across - unless you're a reader that enjoys ploughing through dry text. There are those that go seek 'demons under every rock', in the reading of such books. A reader can eat these books whole (not something I would recommend) or else use them for the purpose of gleaning.

At the time I found this book in the library -  sure the title is attention-grabbing - but the book helped in the understanding of a certain person in my circumstances that I could not understand previously. After ticking off the boxes, I could see that this person was described by Stout in her book; by the list of characteristics of the sociopathic personality disordered. I was therefore able to rest without former confusion and better organise my affairs and attitude regarding this person. Now I'm going to say something that maybe you'll screw your smug face up about. This book saved me.

Now, that's a big statement. So save your apology and don't judge me out of your own god-like knowlege of human nature.

Gosh, it's a pity I haven't got any more karma points. But you could always smite me, couldn't you?

Apology retracted.

I don't question that the book helped you, nor am I saying that everything in the book is wrong. However, don't defend this kind of trash by playing creative license. Plainly and simply, there's a poor person who is genuinely scared someone is going to physically hurt them based on the fact that they recognized a few patterns from this book.

Maybe it helped out with your or someone you know's life. Maybe it caused you to terminate one or more relationships out of fear, rather than fixing them. Maybe it caused you to avoid a few relationships. You don't know any of that, and you'll never know that because it's scaremongering trash, not science you can compare to other science. You checked off some boxes and wrote a whole person out of your life and probably didn't for a second question what you perceived to be full justification for all the negative feelings you've now caused in them.

The problem with these books is not fundamentally that they're wrong in their content. Every day, we all encounter actions that fit what's described in these books. That's why they're so effective: they're real. The failure is that the authors don't dare take the step and admit that the actions are distributed amongst all of us, not easily contained within individual people we can identify and avoid, because that would mean not just the authors themselves, but the reader is, from time to time, the sociopath next door to someone else - which means there is no sociopath next door, there is only your neighbor.

I frequently recommend George Simon's book, In Sheep's Clothing, if you want to read a simple book on the subject. Though he is also guilty of the same thing to some extent, he tends to come from a methodological perspective, rather than a personality perspective, so you can learn some types of covert aggression and how to potentially work with them without having to fit people into boxes.

I hope that explains my earlier posts better.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011, 10:37:22 PM by voodoo scientist »
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hortonpilot

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2011, 12:00:38 AM »
VS,

what i am after is a "user manual"to deal with these people?

Normal things don't work in dealing with sociopaths or people with these tendencies.
The police and courts struggle with them and are mostly outsmarted.

Prosecution of sociopaths is difficult as police investigations cannot procede along the normal pathways.
Every step in dealing with these people is difficult because they don't think as we expect they do.

Enigma

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2011, 05:09:36 AM »
what i am after is a "user manual"to deal with these people?

So are you asking a question or making a statement?


I think Voodoo's arguments can be generalized to the classification of mental disorders as a whole, especially as perceived in popular culture.  Humans are complex, multifaceted creatures.  Labeling the whole of a person as sociopathic (or schizophrenic, or obsessive compulsive) is a very one dimensional way of thought because no "sociopath" is sociopathic 100% of the time (much like one suffering from schizophrenia is not schizophrenic 100% of the time).  Like Voodoo said, the thought patterns typically associated with these mental disorders are distributed among the population in varying degrees.  Judging a person based off an arbitrary label is irresponsible. 
That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

hortonpilot

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2011, 10:05:53 AM »
But people who come across these types need help because we areout of our depth.

voodoo scientist

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2011, 12:58:06 PM »
I believe these books reflect a growing awareness of the effectiveness of covert aggression as a strategy for advancing one's agenda, and in that sense, it's true that people do need help dealing with these types of covertly aggressive actions. It's not something that's taught culturally in the West because it's considered taboo to even know about it - most people would consider very dangerous the potentiality of being perceived as someone who is adept at covert aggression.

The basic tenet of covert aggression is to exploit superior information to gain, exploit and maintain an advantage. Believing that covert aggression is only done by the minority of the population that relies a great deal on covert aggression not only leaves one vulnerable to several indirect covert aggression techniques in itself, because one is only looking for people who are "more covert aggressive than X out of Y observed behaviors." The mode of thinking must change towards a more methodological one, where the focus is on teaching to identify and competitively react to the covert aggressive behavior, both so one may defend oneself better and so one may prevent oneself from perpetuating and propagating the behavior.

what i am after is a "user manual"to deal with these people?

So are you asking a question or making a statement?


I think Voodoo's arguments can be generalized to the classification of mental disorders as a whole, especially as perceived in popular culture.  Humans are complex, multifaceted creatures.  Labeling the whole of a person as sociopathic (or schizophrenic, or obsessive compulsive) is a very one dimensional way of thought because no "sociopath" is sociopathic 100% of the time (much like one suffering from schizophrenia is not schizophrenic 100% of the time).  Like Voodoo said, the thought patterns typically associated with these mental disorders are distributed among the population in varying degrees.  Judging a person based off an arbitrary label is irresponsible. 

This is also true, although Martha Stout and her ilk must be referring to the common-sense definition of a sociopath rather than a strictly clinical one, which would require a trained professional to use their books to 'diagnose' the sociopath next door.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 01:04:35 PM by voodoo scientist »
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hortonpilot

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2011, 01:53:31 PM »
But people who come across these types need help because we are out of our depth.!

 Do you copy space child?

voodoo scientist

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2011, 04:34:01 PM »
I will try to put it in more concrete you-terms.

"These people" include you and me. When you meet any person, they are likely to use covert aggression against you (the types of behavior Stout tries to ascribe to her bogeyman 'sociopaths'). If you try to get "help" in the form of trying to identify "these people" so you can block them (Stout's medicine), you will hurt yourself and others and you will fail to provide for yourself any meaningful defense against covert aggression.

The entire point of view is humbug. You don't need help when you come across "these people," you need to learn how to compete with certain types of behavior, practiced by all humans rather than just a few malignant elements, that your culture and upbringing has failed to provide you with tools for competing with, but the practice of which (even if knowledge of which is forbidden) is learned naturally in normal social interaction. Thus, some people become immensely competent covert aggressors and leverage this skill to great advantage, while and because virtually noone becomes immensely competent at negating it (since to do so would imply knowledge of covert aggression).
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 04:37:24 PM by voodoo scientist »
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gone

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2011, 12:35:01 AM »
It seems the poster has scared herself.

I recommend this video to you all, to understand irrational fear. Of neighbours.

The Monsters are due on Maple Street.

Witches, aliens, communist, the cuban missile, sadam hussain & his missile, asama bin laden, terrorist, sociopaths, SOCIOPATHS WTF!!
Fear is a control tool the governement use. If people are reading books about sociopaths it saves the goverment a job. I guess 'psychology' is the lastest fear tool in use to sedate a nation. "Scare yourself stupid" (my next parody project). God I love the internet I get so much creative inspriation from it.

Please watch above video, quality entertainment and lesson in psycholgy.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 01:02:50 AM by psycho-mother »

acousticeagle

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2011, 09:12:38 AM »
I think what could be done is to look at how a 'sociopath' might be diagnosed. Ok, so we may not be qualified psychologists here, but we are interested in psychology generally and read on the subject. Some of us have had experience enough that have led us to look into psychology for ourselves.

Personally, I'm not into classifying people. A friend of mine and I were in discussion once and he said  'in all of us is the schizophrenic', and so if you can follow what I'm saying here, there's the capacity in all of us to exhibit behaviours that at some time, by someone or other, it could be interpreted in such and such a way as to be classified as some mental illness. Stress conditions might also make someone appear 'tag' worthy. Do you get what I'm saying?

We learn from a young age how to socialise with others, how to properly empathise with others and attempt not to step on their toes  ie 'trespass'- this is so we all get along without too much hullaballoo. And yes, we ourselves have done selfish things that have hurt others - and they have hurt us. That's life, chum.

And then there are those that are without this social conscience that I have briefly described above.  Whether that lack of social conscience comes about by nature (genetic, brain function for eg.,) or nurture or both, the latter possibly contributing to the former mentioned  possible cause that I have put here, is for the experts to write research papers on.

As for we that have had dealings with such people, we may be able to recognise patterns of behaviour in those we may  now call 'sociopath' - and we can compare them to others in our sphere of relationships - and with even some practicality of judgement - see the difference between people who are more normally socially adjusted and those who are too strange and can be known by the negative pattern of effect they have on others, those exhibiting the sociopathic traits (see below). Stout's is one book, and this other title you mention also, VS, and there's Hare's book "Without Conscience".

Here's his list:
Glib and superficial charm
Grandiose self-worth
Need for stimulation, proneness to boredom
Pathological lying
Conning or manipulativeness
Lack of remorse or guilt
Callousness or lack of empathy
Parasitic lifestyle
Poor behavioural controls
Promiscuous sexual behaviour
Early behaviour problems
Lack of realistic long-term goals
Impulsivity
Irresponsibility
Failure to accept responsibility for actions
Short term marital relationships
Revocation of conditional release
Criminal Versitility

For a fuller explanation of Dr Hare's checklist as listed above, here's one site:
http://www.sociopathicstyle.com/traits/classic.htm

The problem with people who exhibit these behaviours in pattern form is that they tend to make victims, something that the topic poster here is trying to avoid being. Something that I myself have been - and are more the wiser for it. This has not made me in any sense fearful of having future relationships, so the implication that it creates fear can be argued against.

As far as Stout's book goes, it has its worth, and you cannot assume people could be so stupid as to misinterpret helpful information that may be found within it. At the time I read the book along with other texts - I made myself sure. And like I said, the term 'sociopath' can be misused.

Nontheless, the sociopath exists, and he/she could live right next door to your Aunty Mavis - they've got to live somewhere and yes, they do have families, and they are not only found in crime tv shows featuring serial killers. They are people with personality disorder, capable of such parasitical behaviour as to do harm to others inc. financially and emotionally.

People with personality disorders exist, people with mental illnesses to whatever degree the DSM- IV might classify accordingly. The sociopath exists. And the other thing about them is, they are good at hiding what their real intentions are. They're out there tho'.

Don't get me wrong...it wasn't easy to accept what I had discovered about this person that I now know as a 'sociopath' - aka the antisocial personality disordered. It took time to gel.

Consider this, VS, if you would. Just how difficult can be family relationships at times with their peculiar relationship dynamics, and in a family there's a sociopath playing on the emotions of people and getting away with the 'act' while being a total parasite (and rest of Hare's checklist of traits). Things about people aren't so cut'n'dried, and it takes a hellovalot of effort to 'compete' with a sociopath. Who needs the constant bs?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 09:33:50 AM by acousticeagle »

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2011, 11:07:20 AM »
It is somewhat aggravating that you continue, without logical or empirical basis, to assert the existence of 'the sociopath.' I feel it may in part stem from a confusion of the clinical (ASPD/DPD) and common-sense definitions of the sociopath. While people with personality orders certainly do exist, it is understood that the personality does not have nearly the central kind of role it is commonly presumed in common-sense psychology. "Sociopathy," even in extreme clinical cases, in reality thus often dictates the same range of behaviors as personality does in perfectly normal people, only to a much greater degree, while leaving swaths of behavior range entirely or largely untouched.

Martha Stout and her ilk are not even using the clinical definition. They have simply taken the clinical definitions, rounded up a number of traits considered undesirable by their target audiences, mashed them together and given the bogeyman a new name. That list, at eighteen entries, is so long as to be diagnostically meaningless - the actual clinical definition of a sociopath has very strict conditions before diagnosis can be made, and even then, different experts rarely diagnose a given person as a sociopath consistently.

This is a scare tactic that sells a lot of books, in the way the idea of terrorists sell a lot of votes. Once one lets the fear of the bogeyman take hold, one can never quite feel safe again, because no one can ever conclusively prove the bogeyman really isn't out there. One has to continue getting better at fighting the sociopaths, most often in the way the book described (by way of avoidance). Since these actions are perpetuated by everyone, one never becomes short of new identifiable sociopaths one can avoid, and thus the paradigm constantly self-reinforces, and additionally never proves wrong, because it explicitly councils one to avoid validation of its central hypothesis: that people you can instinctively tick off a sufficient amount of boxes in the book for are intrinsically and irreparably harmful to you.

Edit: It is comforting and easy to believe in the existence of bad people, quite possibly more so than the belief in any supernatural entity or structure. Partly because it allows one to easily symbolize and contain concrete fears and empowers one to fight it by way of 'defining the problem,' and partly because it obviously defines oneself as being 'not bad' in almost all cases. It's more difficult to perceive the bad in oneself, in the thoughts and values one hold, the behaviors one engages in; to seek to always hold oneself to the same high standards one would judge another by.

Edit the second: After looking better into the Hare scale, it is actually a clinical scale that is not one long list to be filled in at random by laypeople, but part of factors that are meant to be analyzed and interpreted by an expert with a thorough understanding of the matter. I retract my earlier statement regarding the clinical meaninglessness on the basis of this information, but maintain my point regarding the type of book I was talking about, such as Stout's, and leave Hare's list where it belongs: in the psychologist and researcher's office.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 12:09:08 PM by voodoo scientist »
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hortonpilot

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2011, 01:18:25 PM »
"I will try to put it in more concrete you-terms."

Spacechild, i find your posts amusing.
Nothing you say alters the behavior or the difficulties that sociopaths create for others and themselves.

You skirt around the issue and in many ways indicate that people create the victim situation for themselves.
Basic transaction is one person wants something another person has and will go to any means to get it, depending on their level of desire.
What makes these people different is that they will go beyond normal lengths to get what they want.
This then puts them in the anti-social box.

"most often in the way the book described (by way of avoidance)"
Avoidance as a tool is very limited.

Marginal behavior might well be becoming more socially acceptable but i think you have to view it at the fundamental level of what is happening at the transactional level to understand it in full.
Outcomes for the various players can be destructive and also one of gain, almost never is it win/win.
Sociopaths tend create very polarised outcomes?
For them win/win is an alien concept.

Horton

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2011, 04:50:10 PM »
The sad fact is, is people are becomming suspicous of neighbours because of books it just serves to push people further apart, we already live in almost isolation, where are the books that promote acceptance of difference and bring people together?

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2011, 12:45:31 AM »
Mum,

i nearly didn't bother with this one!

Difficulties with neighbors are created by books?

Please just too silly for words.

Could be that some posters live in suburban bunkers or locked dwellings......
You ignore the idea of impact on our lives by others and run with the belief that the "victim"creates their situation.


Horton

acousticeagle

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2011, 02:03:01 AM »
and leave Hare's list where it belongs: in the psychologist and researcher's office.
We could also leave the victims of the conscienceless sociopath in the psychologist's office as well.  

On one 'self help' website for their victims, I've read posts of some driven to desperate means, one recently mentioning suicide - sorry to say they are not as strong as you.

Refer original topic post. You've worded your original response to the topic poster in such a way as she has your reasons to doubt her own conclusions about the man that has caused her such perplexity and distress. Whether you want to believe for yourself that these people do not exist, just stay in denial and trust in the fact that people haven't got a clue, let them continue to do battle with those that lack conscience and want to use them up so guiltlessly, and when they arrive damaged - or worse - then get them to a practising psych and medicate them. Right?

I thought this was a forum that anyone could ask and get replies, not just the 'psych expert' (!) replying. That's you I trust?

The original topic poster did not ask if this man was a sociopath, her words "potential sociopath", rather how she can successfully rid this person from her life. But you have made this such an issue of contention that the whole thing  hardly appears worthy of any further debate if it merely is to refute continued contentious argument. Your advice was in line with nil respect of how she may have interpreted Stout's book,  implying that she she should doubt that this man could present any potential/ongoing threat (not meaning to scare original topic poster at all), she merely has to battle him like anyone else that can be harmful or selfish towards one in life. When in  fact, the sociopath can be a [potentially] dangerous person to deal with.

A quote from http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html "They are remorselessly vindictive when thwarted or exposed. "  

She is better off aware and prepared and her original question of 'how can I deal with this?' is entirely valid - not 'this man couldn't be a sociopath, I only think he is b/c I have read a self-help book, please excuse my stupidity that I want to put a label on this man.'

Clinically-styled eloquence will not meet ground-dirt need and we cannot be always running off to a pysch specialist (the Hare book et al., is available for all to read as well).

Some respect for the intelligence and informed judgements of others, this is life not text case scenarios.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 02:05:15 AM by acousticeagle »

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2011, 09:33:14 PM »
Horton my words were 'If people are becomming suspicious of neighbours because of books" a question.

I have seen this happen where someone I know was reading Greg (let's just leave out his last name to avoid promoting these idiots), she's very much into holistic and alternative heath & spiritualism etc.. to the point she believed her energies were being sucked away down the toilet, she becaue so convinced she used other people's bathrooms instead of own own. Yes a book can make people believe ridiculous things.

This is an odd quote too "to doubt her own conclusions about the man that has caused her such perplexity and distress".
She is actually causing her own distress. The man is guilty of being being a man, he's not done anything else.
He's lied, but who doesn't? Why would she grieve over the relationship if he caused her so much distress as you say? And she (the poster) presumes he wants to get back in touch, she doesn't know this. She's worked herself up in to such a state, the guy has done nothing except say a few wiered things and lie which in my experience is pretty normal human behaviour.

To address her concerns is to address that she has scared herself irrationally then to deal with the problem 'rationally'.. which would be to avoid the guy I would have thought.

Sure crazy dangerous people exist, I'm not denying that, but in the post there is nothing written to get so worked up about. And I would go as far to say the author of the book is more of a danger to society than what that guy will ever be.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 10:03:21 PM by psycho-mother »

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2011, 08:23:02 PM »
She's worked herself up in to such a state, the guy has done nothing except say a few wiered things

And I would go as far to say the author of the book is more of a danger to society than what that guy will ever be.[/b][/font]

This thread has become ridiculous to the point of ludicrous. PMother - "sure crazy people exist.....?"

Martha Stout Ph. D. Author of "The Sociopath Next Door"
Robert Hare Ph.D Author of "Without Conscience - the Disturbing World of the Psychopaths [sociopaths] Among Us"

Information on M.Stout Ph.D from Wikipedia:

She completed her professional training in psychology at the McLean Psychiatric Hospital. She served as an instructor on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School for over twenty-five years, and served as part of the graduate faculty of The New School, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, and Wellesley College.[1] She has written several books on psychology that appeal to the popular market.

In her most popular book, The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us, she advises developing an awareness of the nature of anti-social behavior in order to avoid becoming its victim and proposes thirteen rules as self-help guidelines to assessing relationships and behavior for these characteristics, as well as offering advice on handling situations when one encounters the behavior.

Dr. Stout currently is in private practice as a clinical psychologist in Boston and resides in Cape Ann, Massachusetts

VS and PMother.
Your claims.
Dismissed.








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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2011, 08:52:10 PM »
It's a shame there isn't a PhD in common sense.
Education, qualifications, experience mean nothing without common sense/independent thinking. People believe books to be a source of knowledge, they are very misguided in believing this. Just because a book has been published, doesn't mean it's true. The bible is the most published book, yet it's full of nonsense, but people believe it true. My nephew has got a PhD in mechanical engineering, he's a Dr in his trade and is one of the best in his feild with international offers, yet he can't complete the simplist of tasks, he has no common sense whatsoever.
I too have 'qualifications' but those who got better grades were of less intelligence than those I'd worked in bars with. Infact they were the most stupid people I'd ever met, yet they have university qualifications. There is no substitute for being self taught.

Going back to the post, there is nothing, again I repeat 'nothing' in the post to suggest the guy is a danger or someone to fear. She didn't feel at threat before reading the book. The book IMO is the danger to society as it not only injects fear into the reader, but also cast suspician on those they know. This book hasn't reached the UK yet, but I predict when it does we will all have a sociopath next door.
That wasn't there before.




Edit: our claims dismissed!.. and you're quoting wikipeadia!! as truth!!!...
I love the internet, it's just the best source & resourse for comedy :-)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 01:22:11 AM by psycho-mother »

voodoo scientist

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2011, 02:06:40 PM »
While I frequently assert that certain judgments are best left to professionals or experts, I have never claimed or even insinuated that I am an expert on anything, nor have I ever appealed to any such authority on these forums. Additionally, I explicitly stated that I was not dismissing the original poster's basic concerns about the man, only her attempt to frame him as a sociopath as opposed to a jerk.

Quote
To the thread poster: I'm not trying to dismiss the legitimacy of your concerns about this man, I'm trying to tell you that you have nothing to fear. He's almost certainly not a sociopath and even if he is, sociopaths have very little to do with the way they are portrayed in the self-help books. Just break up with him the same way you would with anyone.

Credit to Stout and Hare for the careers and degrees. They no doubt have the judgments to identify 'sociopathy,' but given those distinguished careers, their true understandings of sociopathy are much more complex than they are presented in these books. They understand implicitly that 'a sociopath' is someone who they perceive to have a higher than X% probability of choosing covert aggressive actions in Y range of behaviors. What they either forget or willfully ignore in order to convert their careers into marketable books is that laymen do not understand this and lack the knowledge base and perspective to assess the probabilities and identify the behavior ranges to begin with: they read these books, then sweepingly put people into categories like "sociopath," "not sociopath," and "potential sociopath."

While 'sociopaths' do not exist, in the idealized box-checking sense they are presented by Martha Stout and her ilk, sociopathy and sociopathic actions do exist, and one needs to learn how to deal with them. Forget about the sociopath the person, and start thinking about sociopathic, or covert aggressive actions. Focusing on the person and ignoring the actions will cause you to judge many innocents and leave you completely exposed to harmful actions by anyone you have not yet judged to be a sociopath, while ignoring the person and focusing on the actions will still protect you from the person.

Once one understands that, one can use those books to gain insights on how 'sociopathy' (in the complex sense) work, but the books do not themselves teach one that. In that sense, these books are indeed a real danger to society.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 02:14:12 PM by voodoo scientist »
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hortonpilot

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Re: How to break it off with a potential sociopath?
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2011, 04:10:30 AM »
"Forget about the sociopath the person, and start thinking about sociopathic, or covert aggressive actions."

This was my point earlier on ,the actions and consequences are destructive.
 Some seem focused on the theoreticals rather than anything helpful?
At the end of the day we deal very poorly with this anti-social behavior.

Leonora Tannenbaum has a great chapter on Bullying in her book ,"Catfight".
Perhaps the best part of that book?

Horton.

 

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