What I am, however, is a person who has been in two relationships with sociopaths—one two years long and the second, thankfully, much, much shorter.
If I can help at all, I want to make sure that other people do not go through the pain and devastation that I did. And if they have already done so, I hope they will come out the other side with me, knowing that they were not alone and that they have now truly stepped into the light to be rid of these people.
They are intense and fast-moving. We meet someone and you just know. Everything seems to make sense. Whoa, slow down there! Sociopaths like to take up your world, and they can do this by committing really quickly. We, of course, may take this as a sign of Disney-like love that we hoped existed somewhere, out there, for us…. It is such an ego boost for the sociopath to feel as if they are indispensable in your life. When they have found someone they can manipulate easily, they will be loath to let you go.
The easiest way to trap you in their web is to commit to you and get you feel all your good feelings toward them, investing in what you believe to be genuine affection. All very sweet phrases. They need to control. The sociopath may fake being a laid-back person frighteningly well, but trust me, nothing could be further from the truth.
Their need to dominate their surroundings, their relationships, their home lives, their circle of friends—everything that they feel capable of dominating in, they will. If they feel they cannot impress or will not be the best at something in a certain circumstance, they will likely avoid that altogether. One of my exes claimed social anxiety; what this meant was that he knew others were doing better than him or were more confident than him, so he would avoid anything that would make him feel like he was not the best in a social circle; he avoided prolonged interaction with others because it made him feel bad.
They want to spend all that lovely free time with you. Get rid of them, please? Their ego needs to be massaged. If it starts to feel a little overboard however… 4. They will criticize you, subtly or otherwise. As long as there is someone around to make them feel good, they are content. If you are falling over yourself to tell them how much they are loved all the time, you should be fine. Or how you raise your kids. Or even how you do your hair.
But it takes the focus off them if they can accuse somebody else of it. They may also accuse you of doing things they themselves are guilty of. If they drink too much, they may accuse you of the same, or tell you your life is about to fall apart because of one of your supposed bad habits. They cannot deal with it. Huge warning flag here. The stories always sound plausible enough. I gave them everything. I did this, that, supported, loved, blah blah blah.
Note that they will often not talk too much about the emotion they felt for their exes. Essentially, they had a great relationship, but then the other person buggered it up. It was their fault. They took all the good things that they did for that person and disregarded it. The image that comes to mind here is of a person acting crushed, peering out at you between their fingers to see if you have fallen for it. When every one of their stories is like that, there are two possibilities. Either this person has the worst taste in partners possible, or you are not being told the whole truth.
With sociopaths, it is the latter. Lying comes easily to them. The main reason this is the case is because they cannot accept blame, because that would force them to admit they were not perfect. They may tell you stories about themselves while they were in past relationships and talk about their own outrageous behavior i. If a person is unable to accept any blame or cannot be positive about any of their past relationships at all, you may have a sociopath on your hands. This ties into the next point… 7.
They are always the victim. Nothing is their fault. Argument with a friend? You should have reminded them or done it yourself. The person who cannot accept blame will not do so if they do something against you. They WILL find a way to make it your fault. You wound them up. You drove them to it, what did you expect with how you act with them… 8.
Their emotions are more important than yours, whether they act like it or not. However, something that threatens their security and emotions is not acceptable.
That love vanishes real damn quickly. It was your fault anyway seeing a pattern here? Wait, what are you talking about? That never even happened, what are you talking about? This is called gaslighting and the minute someone does this to you, you need to exit Stage Left. They are hysterical creatures. This goes back to their need for control, and my mentioning that while they may appear to be calm people, even shy or retiring people at first, this is again a front for a capability of great swaths of irrational behavior and hysteria.
When sociopaths see something that they do not like or cannot control, they will act like toddlers trying to get what they want. When they feel they can no longer control you, they will control the way others see you. Again, I can think of no better example than what my ex did with me. But again, you cannot look better than them. Okay, maybe not exactly dead. But that nice person they might have pretended to be long ago instantly goes down the tubes.
If you share things, be prepared to never see those things again, or have a fight on your hands for it. If you share kids, the kids will either be completely ignored henceforth, or used as weapons to turn against you, no matter how graceful you were about the breakup. They will replace you as soon as they possibly can after you break up. They say that the sociopath cannot be alone for too long because the hollow emptiness of their shell-like existence is enough to drown them.
While this may or may not be true, a pattern with them is to replace a person they have lost in their lives incredibly quickly. This is actually one of the easier ways to discern a sociopath if you already have your suspicions.
Do not take this personally. The love that they used to drug you with was a fantasy, and now the dream and ensuing nightmare are over. And woe betide anyone whom they give the gift of themselves to in order to shut out the screaming void from within. This is in no way an exhaustive list of the behaviors that sociopaths are prone to. If you even suspect after looking through this list that you know or are in a relationship with a sociopath, get out of it. Good luck to you.