Archive for September 2009
One way to begin to look at how the mind of predators work, begins with assessing how they manipulate the views of others. In this excerpt we can understand much:
Dr. Vaknin explains: “Even the victim’s relatives, friends, and colleagues are amenable to the considerable charm, persuasiveness, and manipulativeness of the abuser and to his impressive thespian skills. The abuser offers a plausible rendition of the events and interprets them to his favor. Others rarely have a chance to witness an abusive exchange first hand and at close quarters. In contrast, the victims are often on the verge of a nervous breakdown: harassed, unkempt, irritable, impatient, abrasive, and hysterical.
Confronted with this contrast between a polished, self-controlled, and suave abuser and his harried casualties it is easy to reach the conclusion that the real victim is the abuser, or that both parties abuse each other equally. The prey’s acts of self-defense, assertiveness, or insistence on her rights are interpreted as aggression, lability, or a mental health problem.”
Narcissism by Proxy, FAQ#42 By: Dr. Sam Vaknin
Let’s face it, dealing with sociopaths can be said to be one of the hardest things one will ever have to engage in. So up front we should state that the best way to do so is to avoid contact.
Now this is much easier said than done for many reasons. In many instances Sociopaths and their victims are in situations where this cannot be avoided or some form of contact must be made. This can be the workplace, home or public transportation. But it is imperative that you cut the sociopath off completely and you can do so knowing that you are lessening their power. They are highly manipulative and can only gain an assessment of the success of their behavior by contact, if they don’t have contact they don’t know how well they are doing. It isn’t unheard of to have sociopaths continue to make contact via “agents” even after they have been removed from contact with their victims. And as we all know, these agents are usually easily impressionable people, students, folks going through hard times, the gullible, highly insecure or any number of good people (and yes bad people as well) who have a flaw the sociopath can exploit.
In fact, there are cases where a less intelligent or less developed sociopath has been removed from their place of power of their victims of choice. Their entire focus becomes the recruitment of agents to do their bidding to regain control in the place they are removed from and to ultimately reconfigure an attack on their victim. This could be something like a post-divorce scenario, a sociopath befriending a maintenance worker who works at the former spouses home to gain information, or engaging on a complicated campaign to use former co-workers to attack targets at a former workplace…If it can be dreamt up to get power, the sociopath, to the surprise of most normal folk will do it. In one instance, I believe this story is from California, a sociopath was fired from a business and then created a “competing business” for the sole purpose of revenge against his former employer. The business recruited anyone with an axe to grind, or employees who had visible flaws and fell victim to the sociopaths manipulation. In this scenario, the sociopath used contacts at his previous place of employment to keep abreast of happenings and used puppets he had created to file law suits, complaints and generally disrupt things. When these agents had reached their usefulness and when the finger was pointed at the sociopath, they were abandoned. Some of these folks were surprised to learn, that while they were doing the bidding of the sociopath, he had been building files on them to use against them when the time called for it. A hard lesson learned, I suppose.
What can one do?
Avoid talking on the phone, don’t send, open or reply to e-mail. Don’t use online instant messaging or open any emails from them, don’t accept any cards, letters or packages. And most certainly do not visit or make contact with him.
If you have the unfortunate happenstance of having to make contact, bring a witness, actually a minimum of two. Otherwise do not go.
Remember that many sociopaths are also narcissistic and pretty much the only thing which can effect them is abandonment.
Abusers increasingly use a tactic some call “preemptive strike,” where he accuses the victim of doing all the things that he has done. Be aware of this and alert to the sociopaths desire to indulge in this behavior.
Consider the following article:
UNDERSTANDING THE BATTERER
R. Lundy Bancroft, author
Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
To avoid exposure of his abusive behaviour, the abuser begins a smear campaign against his victim. Directed at her closest friends, coworkers, even children and family, he accuses the victim of being the abuser.
Here’s a typical scenario: Your abuser has been emotionally/physically cruel to you. He’s cheated on you, lied, and usually much, much more. So, you break up or end the relationship only to find that he has gone around to your friends/family telling them that you are the one who has been cruel to him, lied/cheated.
An Abuser’s typical lie: “I love her so much, but now she’s going around telling people I hit her, lied to her and cheated on her and she told me we’re finished. I’m just devastated. I need someone to talk to who can help me get over this.”
Your abuser has already anticipated what you will do. He beat you to the punch. You soon find others believe his convincing tales of being the victim. He works hard to present himself as “Mr. Perfect”. Therefore, people believe him. They ally themselves against you. This was his plan all along. Brace yourself. Emotionally anticipate this common response from the mentally disordered. Hang on tight, it’s going to be a very cruel and bumpy ride.
Do you feel you want to warn others or defend yourself? Your abuser has anticipated this. If you do this, you will likely only be validating what the abuser has already said about you. Without knowledge of the strong psychological defence mechanisms of the personality disordered could put you in danger or at the least, being discredited by an abuser who has already anticipated your actions.
An abuser will quickly ‘devalue and discard’ his target claiming he is the victim of your cruelty. His victims are now put in a defensive role by his lies and character assassination. By involving others he is enlarging his circle of those who give him attention. Any attention you may have given him is now replaced and multiplied by other people he manages to fool. A win/win scenario for a narcissist.
He will increase his attempts to provoke his victim into some reaction – the more emotional the better to make her look crazy and him sane. For heaven sakes, don’t fuel this behaviour by taking his bait. Do NOT take his bait. It is his trap and setup. Provoking you into a reaction is his goal.
Abusers abuse in private. They fear exposure of their abuse. So they need to discredit anyone who can point the finger at them. You may be left with little more than police, lawyers, accountants, and your protective zone of No Contact.
An abuser’s preferred tactics is the Smear Campaign. They spread lies, character assassination, malicious gossip, backstabbing with factless innuendo and cruel insinuation. Smearing the reputation of someone else (often using projection accusing them of doing what the abuser has done) is a major indicator of personality disorders.
Sadly, some ignorant people believe the abuser’s lies that you are the abusive person and without proof of any kind, will, like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of OZ, defend the abuser by harassing his target. The abuser has orchestrated this knowing these people may commit illegal acts while the abuser himself is protected. They believe him and see him as the injured party, pitiful and in need of help. The abuser is now thoroughtly enjoying all the resultant chaos and attention he has created.