Fight back in a toxic relationship.
Most people believe sociopaths are just the mass murderers in our society; however, that is not the truth. Estimates say that 1 in 25 of men and women are diagnosable with this personality disorder. Chances are you will cross paths or have already engaged in a relationship with one.
Charmer. Con artist. Chameleon. Master Manipulator. These are just a few names by which you may have come to know a sociopath, a single individual that experiences little to no conscious guilt, empathy, shame or remorse and has an ongoing pattern of disregard for the rights and concern of others.
If you find yourself in a relationship with a sociopath, you will know by the violations you are sustaining to your sentiments, physical being, sexual integrity and/or finances. You will know the signs of a sociopath.
The following guidelines will help you deal with the sociopath, as well as other types of toxic and abusive personalities. Here are 13 rules for dealing with a sociopath.
1. Accept that some people truly have no conscience.
If you have been in denial, it’s time to recognize that you are being violated and stop making excuses or accepting excuses for consistently bad behaviors.
2. Go with your instincts or intuition versus the implied role he has taken on.
Sociopaths are excellent communicators. Don't believe him.
3. Give three strikes.
First offense: Look at the claims, responsibilities, and promises made or implied and address any inconsistencies. Do not sweep them under the rug. Was it a simple mistake or recklessness?
Second offense: Neglect of responsibility... consider if you are placing yourself in physical, emotional, or financial risk. What is your personal cost to staying in this relationship?
By the third strike, cut your losses!
4. Be suspicious.
Some of them don’t want you to question them and do question authority.
5. Don’t confuse fear with respect.
Know what R-E-S-P-E-C-T means to you and teach others how you want to be treated. Abusive individuals are not very teachable.
6. Do not join the game.
Don’t try to redeem them. Don't try to get even. It only prolongs involvement and delays your recovery.
7. Avoid and refuse any contact.
Don't communicate with the abuser. Change jobs and residence if necessary.
8. Do not live in isolation.
Sociopaths seek those who are isolated, insecure and vulnerable. Be part of a caring community.
9. Enlist support.
From family and friends, an attorney, therapist and/or the police. Join a support group.
10. Document, document, document.
11. Recognize the "pity play."
This is his weapon of choice to hook into your sentiments and compassion, enabling him to get away with murder. Genuine remorse or repentance is introspective; the individual wants to pay restitution and is willing to be held accountable.
Don’t be so quick to give your time, money, home, car, or care. Make sure he isn’t putting you through a cycle of abuse, which includes a period of romance and good behavior before they act out again.
12. Never agree to help him conceal his true character.
He will tell you not to tell anyone, but don’t keep his secrets.
13. Share your experience.
It can help others not fall victim and can help you find purpose.
If you or a loved one has been in a relationship with a sociopath or a toxic individual, you have experienced the signs of a sociopath, which include a loss of trust and a loss of sense of security. Working with a professional will expedite healing and recovery.
It will help you to release the negative emotions lodged by this traumatic encounter and help you to embrace joy, peace, trust and intimacy. Take back your life and well-being — living well is the best revenge.
Some of these guidelines are based on the work of Martha Stout, Ph. D., The Sociopath Next Door. For support or questions contact Jianny Adamo at Jianny@fearlesslove.net or call 954-495-4566.