Sociopath, psychopath…they are both similar in regards to the mental state of the individual in question. Either way, dealing with one or the other is truly a special kind of hell.
Sadly, we live in a world made up of many ‘split’ families. Parents are either separated, divorced or in extreme cases, one parent simply moves on and forgets they ever had a child.
Trying to co-parent with a ‘parent’ that is mentally unstable can be extremely difficult. Often times, one parent is responsible for the child while the other parent ‘thinks’ and truly ‘believes’ they too are responsible for the child, yet they don’t seem to show up to the party.
As the responsible parent, how do you deal with this? Well, you fight through it, stay true to your child/children and always put them first.
Signs You’re Co-parenting with a psychopath
Here are some signs that may help you distinguish whether or not you are dealing with a sociopathic individual and ways to deal with the hardships of that realization.
- Lack Of Remorse – They hurt people, especially their children without a care in the world.
- Liars – They lie about anything and to anyone and do so very casually.
- Lack of Empathy – They are like stone inside. On the outside they appear to care, but within they most certainly do not.
- Incapable Of Loving – They are unable to love others, and it is apparent to those close to them. To outsiders they will appear to be the most loving people on the planet, but this is very untrue. These types of people will not show affection to their children. They will not hug, kiss or say I love you. Most often times, their affection will be in the form of sexual contact with a partner, with the sexual contact being the extent of their ‘love’.
- Egocentric – They love being the center of attention. Often times they will talk their lives up in person and on social media, making it appear as though their life is wonderful, fullfilling and amazing!
- Delusions Of Grandeur – They often feel superior to others.
- Never Wrong, Always Right – No matter what the situation at hand, their opinion is always correct. They have an answer for everything and even though they may clearly be in the wrong, they believe whole-heartedly that they are right.
- Selfish – Their lives come first. Their relationships come first. Their jobs, their playtime, their entire world comes first before their children.
Things To Do When Co-Parenting With A Psychopath
You need to be wary when dealing with a person with sociopathic tendencies. Here are a few things to watch out for when dealing with a loony.
1. Practice the ‘Rule of Threes’
Only give someone 3 chances. After that, it’s best to cut your losses and run. One mistake such as a lie, a broken promise or a neglected responsibility should be forgiven since it could be a misunderstanding. The second mistake could be a serious mistake. The third strike should be the final one. Cut ties with them completely. This may be hard to do when children are involved, but if you are dealing with a sociopath and have been for some time…it won’t ever change and this will cause more stress and harm to your child that the pain of one parent walking away.
2. Avoid Them
When you realize you’re dealing with someone who could be a sociopath, make a point of staying away from them. Do not try to cure them or beat them at their own game, you will never ‘win’. Again, this may be hard to do if you are co-parenting, just try your best to keep contact to a minimum. This will allow you to breathe and minimize stress for you and your child.
3. Don’t Try To Reform Them
With studies showing that efforts at curing sociopaths with therapy do not bear fruit, it is best to leave them alone. They will only waste your time and use the sessions to sharpen their conning and conversational skills. You simply cannot cure a sociopath. Only a person who has some humanity in them can be reformed. Those devoid of a conscience are beyond reform.
4. Protect Yourself
A sociopath will attempt to drain you of everything you have including your money, emotional well being, power, reputation and status. If they see you as a threat to their deceitful lifestyle, they will come after you. They would want to see you become completely desolate. They might try to get your fired from your job and begin to bad mouth you to friends. Take any possible preemptive measures, but most importantly…know who YOU are and do your best to not let their evil ways bother you.
5. Keep It to Yourself
How to deal with a sociopath? Do not confront the sociopath about their behavior and your plan to cease interaction. This will only backfire on you.
6. Refrain from Accusations
Do not try to accuse them of any wrongdoing. They won’t respond well and it might turn into a fight. You will lose more than they will.
7. Hold Back Your Emotions
A sociopath wouldn’t want to hear about our feelings especially if what you feel reflects negatively on them. Avoid getting emotional whenever you are in a confrontation with them. However, if they feel wronged by you, show them as much empathy as you would another person.
8. Avoid Ultimatums And Power Plays
A sociopath will view any sort of ultimatums, emotional pressure and power plays as games or threats.
9. Avoid Intrigue
Do not play mind games with a sociopath. Do not compete with them, don’t try to outsmart them or even psychoanalyze them. Your focus should be on protecting yourself.
10. There’s No Right or Wrong
Don’t talk about being wrong or right. Sociopaths do not perceive right or wrong. They only understand power, and they want to have power over you.
11. Be Skeptical
Sociopaths have perfected the art of pushing people’s buttons in order to get their way with them. It is important to be on the lookout for this. How to deal with a sociopath? Make sure to stay calm and collected no matter what the person says. For example, they might tell you about a party you were not invited you just to rile you up.
12. Don’t Share Personal Information
One thing you need to realize about sociopaths is that they will use anything you turn them against you. They are professional manipulators, and so you should be wary of what you share with them. Keep communication short and stick to the facts; avoding shareing your address, your bank account, etc. Do not give your personal opinion on anything.
13. Suspect Flattery
Flattery and compliments are different, and you should learn to tell them apart. Sociopaths use flattery as a tool for manipulation.
14. Avoid Pity Parties
Sociopaths have an easy time manipulating those who pity too easily. They will give you all sorts of sob stories to get you to do their bidding. If you are constantly feeling pity for someone who hurts you, then you are probably dealing with a sociopath. Stay away from them. That’s how to deal with a sociopath.
15. Get Back Up
Depending on your relationship with the sociopath, you might need professional help to keep help you recover psychologically and physiologically. This is especially so when the sociopath is unwilling to let you go. Your friends can be of great help especially if the sociopath cannot reach them or is unknown to them. This is because the sociopath can easily start spreading rumors about you to your friends in a bid to turn them against you.
Be careful out there and remember…as long as you are there for your child and create a loving, healthy environment for them…you and your child will have an incredible, fulfilling life. It will be the other parents loss in the end.
You May Also Like: