The sociopath will work hard to at first groom you, then once they have ownership and control over you, will ensure that they maintain possession of you.

The sociopath manipulates through

  • Mirroring you
  • Compulsive lying
  • Fake love
  • Playing victim

The sociopath controls you with fear

  • Threats
  • Intimidation
  • False allegations
  • Leading you to believe that you are worthless, and not worthwhile
  • Telling lies
  • Isolating you  (either from people, financial isolation, stopping you from working) –  all of these things create dependency

The sickness saga

The sociopath will most commonly pull the most elaborate sickness saga tale, when they are either about to be caught in a lie, or when they have been caught in a lie.

The sociopath already knows that you are a kind, caring empathetic person. They checked this with you, when they first interviewed you, and decided that you were the right person for them. I.e. you can offer them what they want. (Be a source of supply). However, after the initial mirroring and seduction stage has passed. Once you have been groomed and captured, you might object to being controlled. To cope with being with a sociopath you become either

  • Brainwashed
  • Brain dead

If you decide to leave, or the sociopath thinks that there is a chance for you to do so, they often pull the sickness saga trick. Sometimes they can pull the sickness tale in the beginning while playing victim, but this is not usual. As they would not know how you would respond.  You might not want to be with someone who is sick. The sociopath will assess you, and find out who you are.

Faking sickness will almost always create a positive reaction from the victim

It would be a heartless person, who was hard and not forgiving towards someone who is sick. The sociopath knows this. It is their life to observe, and monitor other people. They are experts at understanding human responses.

Without conscience

The sociopath is without conscience, and a compulsive pathological liar. They will literally do and say anything to get what they want. They do this to get their own way.

It is being without conscience that the sociopath can fake illnesses that nobody in their right mind would fake. The sociopath is also attracted to drama. The sociopath enjoys drama. He/she enjoys drama as it creates what the sociopath does not have themselves ’emotions’.

As the sociopath has no conscience and thinks nothing of lying to you, to tell you what you want to hear, they also have no conscience when telling you of the most awful illnesses. Cancer is a favourite, as it elicits a powerful response from the victim. No matter how angry you are towards the sociopath, once they tell you this, you feel sorry for them. You feel that they might die. You then start to make excuses for their behaviour.

Swift change from perpetrator to victim

 By elaborate claims to illnesses such as cancer, the sociopath very quickly

  • Deflects attention from what they have done
  • Gains sympathy, care and compassion
  • Has your full attention
  • Makes you feel ‘responsible’ for them
  • Becomes the victim – and forces you to now become the carer
  • Has a ‘get out of responsibility’ card

Compulsive pathological lying

As you are likely not a sociopath reading this (you might be, but I am assuming you are not), once the sociopath starts the lie, it begins to spiral. Always remember that –


There will never be a point where they will feel a pang of conscience, to confess the lie. So they continue, and the lie spirals, and snowballs, getting bigger and bigger – until they become the lie.

The sociopath will now become the sickness

Once the sociopath has started with the lie, this becomes part of their persona. They will be elaborate with their lies, so that you would not suspect that it is in fact a lie. After all, you wouldn’t think that anybody would fake an illness such as cancer? … a person without a conscience would. A sociopath would. The sociopath will do anything to retain control and will use any method to do so.

The sociopath will not just use the words ‘I have cancer’ they will now become the cancer. So you will hear fully descriptive sagas of their visits to the hospital, their appointments or treatments. If you offer to go with them, there will be some glib excuse why you can’t.

If you come close to discovering the truth

If you come close to discovering the truth, your own empathy, and kindness will now be used against you. The sociopath will display moral outrage, at how you are

  • Heartless
  • Uncaring
  • Thoughtless
  • Selfish

You know that this is not true, and you protest. Of course, this creates exactly what the sociopath wants, yet more emotion from you. More drama. The sociopath can then use these emotions against you.

The person I was with didn’t fake a major illness – does this mean he/she was not a sociopath? 

No, not all sociopaths fake major illnesses such as cancer. However, all sociopaths will play victim. They play victim to elicit sympathy and to receive attention from you, at a time when you are angry, or even thinking about leaving them. This is manipulation and control. If they are not faking an illness of either themselves, or someone close to them, (often the illness of someone who is close to them is more effective and less likely to avoid detection of the lie), they will, whenever they are about to be caught in the lie, feign victim for something or other. Turning the tables and making you the victim feel like the perpetrator, and that you should be feeling sorry for them. If you don’t well how heartless are you?

All sociopaths play victim but not all sociopaths feign major life threatening illnesses for attention.

How could you? 

Are words that often come from your mouth, as the reality of the lie sinks in. You cannot believe that somebody could go so low as to fake a terminal illness (often the cancer will be terminal, if this is what they claim). The sociopath can – simply because they can. They can, because they don’t care too much about you or your feelings. What they do care about is ownership, possession and control over you. There is no greater control than to have full control of your emotions.

Having control over your emotions, the sociopath can then render you either:

  • Brain dead (switched off)
  • Brain washed (switched on and manipulated/controlled)

The sociopath can tell such outrageous lies simply because they have no conscience. They do not feel bad about their actions. They do not feel remorse, guilt or shame. Once the lie starts, they almost enjoy the drama that it creates and the sympathy that they now receive from others. This is the ultimate high -they are now receiving praise, sympathy and attention for doing what they do best – lying and being manipulative.

It is all about control

When the sociopath fears that they are losing control, they will do and say anything to regain control. There is no better way to have full control of someone than to fake a major sickness, and force the victim to become carer. When you become carer, you become owned by the sociopath and the sociopath is now very cleverly ‘victim’. You wouldn’t attack a victim, or throw them out on the streets would you?

Learned behaviour

It is my personal view, that this is learned behaviour from childhood. Perhaps there was neglect in childhood, where the sociopath’s emotional needs were not fulfilled. Perhaps the only time that the sociopath DID get attention in childhood that was of the level of care that other children had from parents, was when they were ‘sick’.

Coping with the sense of betrayal

When the lies are unravelled and you discover the truth, this is often at the same time that the relationship comes to an end, and the sociopath goes onto full on hurtful ruining and smear campaign mode.  It is the ultimate betrayal. Your senses, feelings, emotions, and who you are have been effectively controlled.

The truth can be ‘shocking’. It can be difficult to comprehend, how anybody could stoop so low.  The truth is, like everything with the sociopath – they can – because they have no conscience. Without conscience they can do or say anything that they like.

This is what makes it so shocking. It is beyond our comprehension. How someone could do this. The truth is – they do – simply because they can.

What starts off with a small lie, can quickly spiral into a huge elaborate lie…. that can go anywhere. Who asks for ‘verification’ of someone’s illness?

It is easy words to say ‘it’s just business’ to a sociopath and that it is not personal. It is not that you are stupid. It is just that you are not trained to detect someone who would tell such terrible lies.  As you would never think of ever saying this, let alone acting out the whole play of imagination that would go with it, the sociopath can – simply because they can. It is then that they ‘become the lie’ the lie becomes bigger than them. This is who they become and they will do anything to protect the lie.

If this has happened to you

I wanted to write this post, as it is a topic that I haven’t written about before. I also know that it is quite common. It doesn’t happen all of the time, it depends on the sociopath, but it happens enough to warrant its own post.

There are always extremes of behaviour dependent on the person doing the behaviour and their reasons for it. Faking a terminal illness, is an extreme form of playing victim. If determined the sociopath can do this well.

If this has happened to you, know that it didn’t happen because you were stupid. Yes it does hurt, and you do feel used and abused as often you will give more than you otherwise would. The sociopath sets themselves up as their own ‘charitable case’ and you become the charity that they feed off of.

Know that at first you will feel confused, as you go through everything that happened. How when you felt suspicious you questioned and were told that you were ‘heartless’. How your emotions were played with, manipulated and controlled.

Nobody stays confused forever. Once the truth is out and you have came out of the  fog of ‘this cannot be true‘ confusion, you will move into a sense of reality, it is then that you will see the sociopath is really – not like the person that  you thought you were with.

They were simply being ‘whoever they felt like being’ for whatever occasion that suited. …. at the time.

Copyright 2014

Republished from Dating a Sociopath, click here to view the original copy.