Sociopaths live to exploit others
The ultimate purpose of every sociopath’s life is to do whatever it takes to get what he or she wants at that moment. Since sociopaths do not understand love, they view other people as objects to be obtained, used, and then discarded. And so in all their interactions with others, they follow a particular pattern—idealize, devalue, and discard—over and over and over again. They are constantly scoping out potential targets and assessing them as sources of supply. Their desires change unexpectedly and abruptly; at any given moment, they might want money, or a place to live, or sex, or a cloak of normalcy, or a short-term thrill.
They often throw people away suddenly and brutally, ignore them for days, months, or even years, and then contact them again as if no time has passed and all is well. They find it entertaining to lure targets back into their games, if it serves their purposes. Nothing stops them from pursuing whatever they want in any way they can.
Sociopaths provide “tells” about who they really are
Sociopathic tells are yet another manipulation tactic sociopaths use to exploit others. They specialize in playing mind games with others, and tells are an effective way in which to confuse their targets. It is only after the abuse that survivors begin to see the truth behind these tells.
They come in three forms: projections on to others, truthful remarks, and statements that are the exact opposite of the truth.
When sociopaths project, they are giving their targets camouflaged clues. They talk about how other people cheat or lie or hurt others, as if they abhor such behavior, when in fact they are describing themselves. And during the devalue phase of their “relationships,” they often project this negativity on to their targets, in an effort to make their victims doubt themselves. It also has the effect of making targets feel as if they are going crazy.
Sociopaths tell their targets exactly who they are, but they do it in such a way that it is impossible for victims to understand the consequences of the horrible statements. Targets might hear comments like, “You shouldn’t be with me” or “I’ve never had a good relationship” or “I wanted to hurt someone.” Sociopaths turn these declarations into pity plays and feel secretly justified in exploiting victims when they do not realize the statements are real.
The Opposite of the Truth
Sociopaths convince their targets that they will never lie or cheat and that they love them so much. They also promise that they will never do anything to hurt their victims. They regularly mislead targets by making claims that are precisely the opposite of the truth.
Sociopaths believe they are superior beings
Sociopaths see nothing wrong with using people and then throwing them away. They feel completely justified in lying, cheating, stealing, and manipulating others. In fact, not only do they see nothing wrong with their behavior, they actually believe that they are incredibly superior to other people! Every time they are able to con their targets, they view that as evidence of the targets’ weakness. And, they do not suffer from low self-esteem or insecurities (although they often pretend to “feel” that way in order to manipulate others). On the contrary, they are egotistical and arrogant. And this makes it impossible for them to benefit from therapy, and it makes it impossible for them to change. Why should they change, when they believe they are already better than everyone else? This, I believe, is the main reason why there is no cure for sociopathy.
Although it is very difficult to wrap our brains around such a foreign and disturbing way of looking at the world, doing so can help us protect ourselves. I have discovered that all I have learned about sociopathic behavior has helped me put the pieces together of a terrible puzzle, and although it is horrific to see the completed picture, it has also empowered me and enabled me to trust in the truth of my own experience. I hope that it will do the same for you. It is okay to ask why!