“I have never killed anyone, but I have certainly wanted to. I may have a disorder, but I am not crazy. In a world filled with gloomy, mediocre nothings populating a go-nowhere rat race, people are attracted to my exceptionalism like moths to a flame. This is my story.” – M.E. Thomas “Confessions of a Sociopath.”
Sociopaths, in a nutshell, make every attempt to control your life. If you’ve been in a relationship with a sociopath, chances are you often feel on-edge – and don’t quite understand this (often subtle) feeling.
Maybe you’ve experienced the feeling of being alone, being wrong, or afraid of making your partner angry. Again, these thoughts and feelings come and go; they are frustrating and enigmatic at the same time.
Having any type of a relationship with a sociopath, no matter how “below the surface” any emotions may be, is a dangerous situation. Here’s an excerpt from a book written by the ex-wife of a diagnosed sociopath:
My breath caught. My chest tightened. Fear welled inside me. I swallowed, trying to coax moisture back into my mouth so that I could speak and conceal how scared I was of Paul in that moment and of what might happen in the future.
How are sociopaths able to maintain relationships? Through fear, manipulation, and demoralization.
Self-doubt is often a close cousin of low confidence. Undermining your confidence is one of the ways that sociopaths are able to keep you trapped in their web of deceit.
Are there phrases sociopaths use to “clue you in” on their real intentions?
Yes – and here are five such catchphrases:
1. “You’re the one/We’re meant to be.”
At the beginning of a relationship, it is not uncommon for sociopaths (or narcissists) to “love bomb,” or relentlessly verbalize their “affection” for you. This is not normal behavior. In the best-case scenario, the person is off-balance, e.g., a stalker, or “clinger.” In the worst case, well, they’re manipulative control freaks.
“(People) who go ‘too fast’ (defined as whatever makes you uncomfortable), do not respect boundaries. One definition of ‘abuse’ is ‘that which violates personal boundaries,’ writes Dr. Steven Stosney.
2. “You’re misunderstanding me.”
“Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality,” writes Dr. Stephanie Sarkis, sociopaths that utilize gaslighting because “They know confusion weakens people.”
Essentially, sociopaths use this phrase to (a) cause someone to question themselves, and (b) satisfy their insatiable need to feel right. They will often use gaslighting to recover from a situation that they believe diminishes (or threatens to diminish) their power.
3. “I hate drama/You’re a drama queen.”
Few other phrases cause someone to doubt themselves more than being labeled a “drama queen.” In reality, this is a phrase that sociopaths use to impart a sense of uncertainty.
The truth is that sociopaths love drama, as without it, they would not be able to achieve their manipulative and self-serving plans. Think about it: drama is the sociopath’s primary source of ammunition.
Drama is the fuel to their fire. Time to put it out.
4. “You need me.”
Sociopaths crave control; in fact, sensing or knowing that their victim has surrendered their personal will is their foremost desire.
Obviously, sociopaths don’t say this because they want a healthy relationship. What they want is to, again, create an influx of emotions that override rational thought. Remember the words control through manipulation, and you’re properly equipped to detect a possible sociopath.
Don’t give in. The fact is you don’t need them. It is essential to separate emotions from logical thinking when dealing with a sociopath.
5. “You’re ignorant/stupid/uneducated.”
This final phrase is included for a couple of reasons. First, to reinforce the fact that sociopaths are capable of abusive behavior. Again, sociopaths have no inhibitions about hurting people emotionally, physically or psychologically.
Now, combine this capacity for abuse with a sociopath’s unfounded, but very real, sense of superiority, need for control, and ruthlessness in getting what they want. In the end, it’s a play on your emotions capable of spiraling into a dangerous situation.
By preparing mentally, you protect yourself against these self-serving creatures.
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Dodgson, L. (2017, March 20). 7 Psychological Phrases To Know If You’re Dating A Narcissist. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/7-psychological-phrases-to-know-if-youre-dating-a-narcissist/all/
Sarkis, S. (2017, January 22). 11 Signs of Gaslighting in a Relationship. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-signs-gaslighting-in-relationship
Stosny, S. (2008, December 17). Are You Dating an Abuser? Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/200812/are-you-dating-abuser
Thomas. M.E. (2013, May 07). Confessions of a Sociopath. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201305/confessions-sociopath
Ward, O. (2015). Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned (excerpt).