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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TWELVE RULES FOR DEALING WITH SOCIOPATHS


This excerpt from an interview with Martha Stout was so good we are reposting it here. Many of these rules can be applied to relationships with cyberpaths, online bullies or predators.

In our opinion, Cyberpaths are at their cores Destructive Narcissists & Sociopaths


Read & heed! - EOPC


Twelve Rules
by Martha Stout
Author of THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR.

1 - The first rule involves the bitter pill of accepting that some people literally have no conscience, and that these people do not often look like Charles Manson or a Ferengi bartender.
They look like us.
2 - In a contest between your instincts and what is implied by the role a person has taken on -- educator, doctor, leader, animal-lover, humanitarian, loving parent, activist, religious person -- go with your instincts.

Whether you want to be or not, you are a constant observer of human behavior, and your unfiltered impressions, though alarming and seemingly outlandish, may well help you out if you will let them. Your best self understands, without being told, that impressive and moral-sounding labels do not bestow conscience on anyone who did not have it to begin with.

3 - When considering a new relationship of any kind, practice the Rule of Threes regarding the claims and promises a person makes, and the responsibilities he or she has.

Make the Rule of Threes your personal policy. One lie, one broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding instead. Two may involve a serious mistake. But three lies says you're dealing with a liar, and deceit is the lynchpin of conscienceless behavior.

Cut your losses and get out as soon as you can. Leaving, though it may be hard, will be easier now than later, and less costly.


Do not give your money, your work, your secrets, or your affection to a three-timer. Your valuable gifts will be wasted.


4 - Question authority.
Once again -- trust your own instincts and anxieties, especially those concerning people who claim that dominating others, violence, war, or some other violation of your conscience is the grand solution to some problem. Do this even when, or especially when, everyone around you has completely stopped questioning authority.

Recite to yourself what Stanley Milgram taught us about obedience. 'At least six out of ten people will blindly obey a present, official-looking authority to the bitter end.' The good news is that having social support makes people somewhat more likely to challenge authority.


Encourage those around you to question, too.

5 - Suspect flattery.
Compliments are lovely, especially when they are sincere. In contrast, flattery is extreme, and appeals to our egos in unrealistic ways. It is the material of counterfeit charm, and nearly always involves an intent to manipulate. Manipulation through flattery is sometimes innocuous and sometimes sinister. (i.e. Love Bombing done by Cyberpaths)

This "flattery rule" applies on an individual basis, and also at the level of groups and even whole nations. Throughout all of human history and to the present, the call to war has included the flattering claim that one's own forces are about to accomplish a victory that will change the world for the better, a triumph that is morally laudable, justified by its humane outcome, unique in human endeavor, righteous, and worthy of enormous gratitude. Since we began to record the human story, all of our major wars have been framed in this way, on all sides of the conflict, and in all languages the adjective most often applied to the word war is the word holy. An argument can easily be made that humanity will have peace when nations of people are at last able to see through this masterful flattery.


6 - If necessary, redefine your concept of respect.
Too often, we mistake fear for respect, and the more fearful we are of someone, the more we view him or her as deserving of our respect.

I have a spotted Bengal cat who was named Muscle Man by my daughter when she was a toddler, because even as a kitten he looked like a professional wrestler. Grown now, he is much larger than most other domestic cats. His formidable claws resemble those of his Asian leopard-cat ancestors, but by temperament, he is gentle and peace-loving. My neighbor has a little calico who visits. Evidently the calico's predatory charisma is huge, and she is brilliant at directing the evil eye at other cats. Whenever she is within fifty feet, Muscle Man, all fifteen pounds of him to her seven, cringes and crouches in fear and feline deference.

Muscle Man is a splendid cat. He is warm and loving, and he is close to my heart. Nonetheless, I would like to believe that some of his reactions are more primitive than mine.

I hope I do not mistake fear for respect, because to do so would be to ensure my own victimization. Let us use our big human brains to overpower our animal tendency to bow to predators, so we can disentangle the reflexive confusion of anxiety and awe. In a perfect world, human respect would be an automatic reaction only to those who are strong, kind, and morally courageous. The person who profits from frightening you is not likely to be any of these.


The resolve to keep respect separate from fear is even more crucial for groups and nations. The politician, small or lofty, who menaces the people with frequent reminders of the possibility of crime, violence, or terrorism, and who then uses their magnified fear to gain allegiance is more likely to be a successful con artist than a legitimate leader. This too has been true throughout human history. (This applies to Cyberpaths who apply the 'if you do...., then I will...." to keep you silent about the truth about them. Or who threaten to tell your friends, coworkers or hurt your family & friends. This includes those who defame and libel your reputation to people who don't even know you and rewrite history in their favor!)

7 - Do not join the game.
Intrigue is a sociopath's tool.
Resist the temptation to compete with a seductive sociopath, to outsmart him, psychoanalyze, or even banter with him.

In addition to reducing yourself to his level, you would be distracting yourself from what is really important, which is to protect yourself.


8 - The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication.

The only truly effective method for dealing with a sociopath you have identified is to disallow him or her from your life altogether. Sociopaths live completely outside of the social contract, and therefore to include them in relationships or other social arrangements is perilous. Begin this exclusion of them in the context of your own relationships and social life.

You will not hurt anyone's feelings. Strange as it seems, and though they may try to pretend otherwise, sociopaths do not have any such feelings to hurt.


You may never be able to make your family and friends understand why you are avoiding a particular individual. Sociopathy is surprisingly difficult to see, and harder to explain. Avoid him/ her anyway.

If total avoidance is impossible, make plans to come as close as you can to the goal of total avoidance.

9 - Question your tendency to pity too easily.
Respect should be reserved for the kind and the morally courageous. Pity is another socially valuable response, and should be reserved for innocent people who are in genuine pain or who have fallen on misfortune. If, instead, you find yourself often pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, and who actively campaigns for your sympathy & compassion, the chances are close to one hundred percent that you are dealing with a sociopath.

Related to this-- I recommend that you severely challenge your need to be polite in absolutely all situations. For normal adults in our culture, being what we think of as "civilized" is like a reflex, and often we find ourselves being automatically decorous even when someone has enraged us, repeatedly lied to us, or figuratively stabbed us in the back. Sociopaths take huge advantage of this automatic courtesy in exploitive situations.

Do not be afraid to be unsmiling and calmly to the point.

10 - Do not try to redeem the unredeemable.
Second (third, fourth, and fifth) chances are for people who possess conscience. If you are dealing with a person who has no conscience, know how to swallow hard and cut your losses.

At some point, most of us need to learn the important if disappointing life lesson that, no matter how good our intentions, we cannot control the behavior -- let alone the character structures -- of other people. Learn this fact of human life, and avoid the irony of getting caught up in the same ambition he has-- to control.

If you do not desire control, but instead want to help people, then help only those who truly want to be helped. I think you will find this does not include the person who has no conscience.
The sociopath's behavior is not your fault, not in any way whatsoever. It is also not your mission. Your mission is your own life.


11 - Never agree, out of pity or for any other reason, to help a sociopath conceal his or her true character.

"Please don't tell," often spoken tearfully and with great gnashing of teeth, is the trademark plea of thieves, abusers -- and sociopaths. Do not listen to this siren-song. Other people deserve to be warned more than sociopaths deserve to have you keep their secrets. (i.e. - EXPOSURE WORKS!)

If someone without conscience insists that you "owe" him or her, recall what you are about to read here -- that "You owe me" has been the standard line of sociopaths for thousands of years, quite literally, and is still so. It is what Rasputin told the Empress of Russia. It is what Hannah's father implied to her, after her eye-opening conversation with him at the prison.
We tend to experience "You owe me" as a compelling claim, but it is simply not true. Do not listen.

Also, ignore the one that goes, "You are just like me." You are not.

12 - Defend your psyche.
Do not allow someone without conscience, or even a string of such people, to convince you that humanity is a failure. Most human beings do possess conscience. Most human beings are able to love.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you that was informative, entertaining and uplifting. I head out with renewed confidence.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how many of these types lurk in cyberspace. Apparently a much more widespread phenomenom than one would think.

Anonymous said...

When 4% of the population is a sociopath, then chances of meeting one (or living next door to a nest of them) are fairly high.
Ignore them and install camera's if appropriate, so that you have proof in case it is needed.

Doug Lewis said...

Until Humanity discovers then accepts the possibility of multi-human brain configuration differences, i.e. more than one version as a NORM, then society will be vulnerable to the natural prey specie of itself. These prey versions are a constant, not anomalous, therefore they need separate classification. Science is making some strides in this direction - the ratio is about 22 to 1.

Anonymous said...

What needs to be done is to create a public list of these psychopaths - their names and abuses - so unsuspecting and caring individuals can reference to assist them in confirming their gut instincts.

Anonymous said...

I recently left a marriage for the second time as with the help of a friend came to understand the nature of the real problem of my marriage, my soon to be ex spouse is a sociopath. I have been reading everything possible on the subject and it's so true. My soon to be ex has been on this path a long time the marriage began to break down when I stopped his access to my finances after many lies about our finances were unveiled. We have children so I will never be rid of him. I plan to devote some time in my career to educating the public about such people because I never would have believed it could escalate to this. I thought I could love him through his pain and change his heart with my loyalty and commitment. Bah! It only seemed to infuriate him towards the end of the marriage when he determined he wanted out. He literally found creative ways to force me out. I am on the road to recovery. I don't want any further chaos.

Anonymous said...

Genetic testing should be developed to detect these, um, "people" in the womb and abort them. They are walking aberrations who cause nothing but hurt to normal feeling people.

Anonymous said...

i have recently realized that my own mother is a sociopath. crazy as it sounds my mother has controlled me as long as ican remember. When i was 13 years old my mother began to make me steal for her on a daily basis. im not talking small petty merchandise, she was a professional thief and would make me travel from store to store with her and steal tvs, computers, and anything else that she would be able to sell for money. i even was left in the store with security and took all the blame for my mom many times at her request. i opened my eyes finally now that im 21, but she moved on to having my younger siblings support her. at one point in my life i tried to commit suicide due to her abusive cruel behavior. she has put my entire family through hell and back. i think the world is not safe as long as she is alive. She has moved from man to man destroying each one of them without blinking an eye. She is a shell of a human being, evil to the core.

Anonymous said...

Considering I just escaped one (on the internet), this article helps alot to inform of the dangers these people are.

It's terrible these people exist.

Thea Groom said...

Always TRUST your gut. Your gut feeling does not filter the DIRECT INSTINCT -
Listen to your gut - AND run, real fast. Pretend you don't know he or SHE is a #Sociopath.
BUT beware, they T

Anonymous said...

I figured out recently that my ex wife was a sociopath. She had all of the traits. I just never realized that it's a real personality disorder. I let her know that I figured it out about 6 months ago. This domineering woman who terrorized my kids, pets, and nearly destroyed me went from a monster to the perfect mom who is now overly accommodating to me and the kids. Could not be nicer. She is so afraid of me exposing her to other people that she will do anything I ask of her. I still video everything I do and record all phone calls and let her know that's what I do and why. Guard will always be up, but I think people who say exposing a sociopath is a bad idea aren't right in every situation. They say a sociopath always wins, so what do we have to lose by exposing them? Worked for me. For now.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. I wish there was a list of these scumbags so I could see if anyone else was manipulated by the same bitch that sucked me in and spat me out when I wouldn't play along with her sick game anymore.

Anonymous said...

Mine was on the internet too. Far too easy for these predators to control people. Wish I could see if I was the only one and talk to others about it.

Anon said...

I have been out of a relationship with a sociopath from Fredericksburg VA for 2 years now and I can tell you it has been the worst experience of my life. This man lied to me for 4 years while in the background he destroyed me, my hopes and basically took away everything. He has moved on bought him a new house, engaged to be married and never skipped a beat after I made him get the hell out of my life because I found out the real truth about him. Just sick that predators llke this are allowed to walk free after the emotional, physical and financial damage they do. We must be able to prosecute these predators. My ex even assaulted his second ex with a baseball bat and by law he knows he is not permitted to ever own a fireatm but still has them and he purposely hides them from the law. He assaulted his second wife with a baseball bat, left me to die of heat stroke in our home while he went golfing, what maybe the new wife he will shoot? And the soon to be new wife thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread and is so lucky to be in love with her best friend? Snow job yet again. Tax write off, someone to support his poor miatreated guy syndrome?

Tulip said...

It's been 2 months since I requested the departure of the Narcissistic/Sociopathic
Evil that invaded my home, my spirit exhausting every fiber of MY being. I found a document with evil documenting his HIV/AIDS status and disabling Bipolar condition. Needless to say a warrant for his arrest issued, arrested, out on bond awaiting trial date. Even though I'm bent NOT btoken I will continue this journey of TRUTH and EXPOSURE....Amen