Psychopath Victim School

As much as I try to avoid it, there is an area of expertise which I have been introduced to, and people gravitate toward me for training in it. Due to my own experience with predatory psychopaths, my eyes were opened to the existence of a type of person whom I’d believed previously were the result of paranoia or an overactive imagination.

Soon thereafter, I began to attract victims of psychopaths who sought me out for assistance. Not long after that, other practitioners in the therapeutic community were seeking me out for coaching, which developed into a course which I created for therapists and victims.

To help the greatest number of people in the least amount of time, I set out to make a comprehensive 3-minute video which I would make available to the masses, in an effort to get the word out, to help as many people stop these predators in their path, and stop any continued pain, suffering, or loss the victim might experience.

The video, How to Deal with a Psychopath, ended up being 10 minutes, which also led to a Kindle release, and later a textbook for the course the Psychopath Victims Toolkit.

In my personal ministry, I have grown since those days of dealing with psychopaths and their victims, and currently, limit my efforts to ten percent of my time and energy to the continued raising of awareness about predatory psychopaths who are always on the prowl for their next victim(s).

They target certain individuals who possess particular traits which most of us look up to, to aspire to be more like them one day, while it is the chief goal of the psychopathic predator to cut them down, and leave their broken, weeping, body curled up in the fetal position on their bed (if they are lucky enough to have a bed when the psychopath is done with them).

I have found that my efforts are better spent in the training of professionals and laypersons who seek to help others stop the poisonous abuse or recovery from the loss or having been exposed to a psychopathic predator. They are more qualified to assist victims of psychopaths who need empathy and support. In this way, I can help more people in less time.

If you are a victim of a predatory psychopath, then, by all means, seek out the assistance of a coach, counselor, or therapist with experience in dealing with psychopaths and their victims. Someone without knowledge or expertise in this area will be of little real help for you. (Admittedly, just as useless as I was before I learned about these people who walk among us, like wolves in sheep’s clothing.)

While predatory psychopaths are those who are actively engaged in the fleecing and destruction of people whom they’ve qualified as vulnerable or deserving, remember that psychopathy is a spectrum. On one end you have psychopaths who are not destructive, maybe they have a dark side, a sinister sense of humor, and are prone to (almost) harmless pranks. On the other end of the spectrum are serial killers.

And psychopaths do possess particular sets of skills which are invaluable as active functioning members of our society.

In our politically correct world, we no longer refer to them as psychopaths or sociopaths. Now, we refer to their place among the Anti-Social Personality Disorder spectrum.

I would not wholeheartedly throw out the entire lot of psychopaths, for they are not all (as most of the district attorneys I’ve met refer to them as) “evil.” Only those who seek to destroy the lives of others for their own enjoyment or gain are the ones that we need to be aware of and prepared to take action when we, or someone we know, has been assigned as their next potential victim.

I have had non-predatory psychopaths on my caseload and they, just like the rest of us, are just doing the best they can, and are well-suited for many positions which would make the rest of us somewhat squeamish.

If you are in the process of being victimized by a predatory psychopath now, the best thing you can do is watch my video: How to Deal with a Psychopath, take action to save yourself from further pain, suffering, or loss, and find someone you can trust to talk to, who will not judge or downplay the effects of being victimized by a psychopath.

There is hope for a life after your encounter with a psychopath. Be true to you and stay the course for your continued safety and recovery.

You are a good person. That is likely why they sought you out. Don’t let him or her stomp out the best parts of you. Healing is here for you, where you are loved and cherished.

Stabbed in the Back

You’ve opened your heart, trusted someone you cared about, allowed yourself to be vulnerable, and he or she stabbed you in the back. Now, you look back and can see every red flag that indicated this might be coming, and you ignored them because you saw the only goodness and the sacred potential in this person. Still, you were stabbed in the back.

People disrespect you, friends let you down, even your own family could betray you. No doubt, betrayal leaves wounds and scars that can endure and cause the deterioration of your entire system, body, mind, and spirit.

What should you do when you’ve been stabbed in the back?

Jesus had the nerve to suggest you should forgive those who stab you in the back 7 times 70 times (Matthew 18:22), and I’m certain that it’s not about the math problem so much as it is about if someone stabs you in the back you should just forgive them over and over again.

Forgive them, yes, but do not let them walk all over you.

What can you do when you’ve been stabbed in the back?

You can forgive them for not honoring your ability to ability to only see them in the best light. No need to punish yourself for putting your faith in – and trusting – someone else, which would be the natural response of your ego which stands in judgment of everyone and everything, even you.

At the very least, take sacred action to set boundaries for those who disrespect you, and distance yourself from those you know have a propensity to stab you in the back.

You are responsible for the perseverance of your sacred space. Do not let anyone take your power away or have dominion over you. Remember that even in the worst situations someone may be able to impose their will over your body, but you must allow them to have dominion over your mind. Stop giving your power away. Do not allow them to exert authority over your mind.

Pay more attention. Remember the old adage, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you.” Not all people are loving, open, honest, and respectful of others, like you. Every now and then, your bound to run across the occasional psychopath, sociopath or narcissist, who could certainly throw your otherwise peaceful or harmonious life off-balance, or worse, even turn your whole world upside down.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who do not have your best interest at heart. Some people are just toxic, and it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you to do.

When you’re just getting started setting boundaries, “back off,” and a firm, “no” are good ways to protect your sacred space. Drawing firm lines in the sand (metaphorically or otherwise) around you is also effective.

When you’re totally comfortable with the idea of protecting yourself from the negative influence or impact of others on your psychological wellbeing or your life at all, then you can consider the idea of loving them unconditionally.

Loving others, and blessing those who hurt you, is a tough row to hoe, but if you wrap your heart and mind around the idea that everyone (including you) is only doing the best with what they have, you might be able to imagine having compassion (not feeling sorry) for that person. Consider, if you were in his or her shoes, having lived the very life that he/she had lived up to that point, you would have responded in exactly the same way.

You might be able to find the wherewithal to forgive the person by whom you were stabbed in the back, or maybe even not judge them for any wrongdoing at all, for they were simply doing the best the could with the tools they had at the time.

Don’t worry if all that love seems inconceivable at present, but at the very least, stop letting yourself be stabbed in the back.

It’s up to you to do it.

Psychopath, Sociopath or Narcissist

We all get excited about putting labels on people, especially when we’re trying to figure out why people have a tendency to hurt our feelings or act in ways that we think might be very different from the rest of us. This is a constant moving target for mental health professionals, armchair psychologists and victims of all kinds.

There is no definitive distinction about psychopaths, sociopaths, or narcissists, which everyone can agree on, so we all do the best we can with what we have. In fact, in the professional sector, they have abandoned these labels altogether in favor of adopting a wide spectrum appropriately labeled Anti-Social Personality Disorder, or ASPD. This seems to be a better way to describe the folks who don’t get along or play well with others.

People tend to get these three labels mixed up and use them interchangeably, and I am often asked what the difference is between them.

There seems to be a bit of confusion about psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists as I get asked about the differences between them and how difficult it is to tell them apart. So, I will take a shot at it, advising that this is how it goes in my ministry, it does not apply to anyone else’s practice (because to get a professional group of educated people to agree on anything is difficult, if not impossible, to do).

What makes it confusing is that psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists share some common characteristics. For the most part these people are attractive to us as we are drawn to their charm and attracted to their perceived friendliness, while they also maintain an inflated sense of ego. They also seem to possess a lack of empathy, which is counter-cultural (anti-social) and gives them the inability to connect with others in an authentically compassionate manner.

Psychopath

Psychopaths are charming, are daring, tend to take on risks that would normally intimidate others, are bold, fearless and have an extremely high degree of self-confidence. They are intelligent, are able to process large volumes of data and may have achieved high levels of education, and if not, can easily appear as though they are highly educated.

Psychopaths anti-social and have a limited worldview, as it’s hard to imagine anything more important than themselves, fail to possess the ability to maintain an authentic connection to other people, and are more focused on who can serve them or what can make them feel exhilarated. They are also prone to anger-fueled emotional outbursts.

In the employment or public service sectors, they are high achievers, are able to quickly move up the corporate ladder, and when they shine, we admire their devil may care attitude as they demonstrate their ability to tackle impossible challenges and come out on top of the heap (even though the heap may include devastation and dead bodies).

All the while, we admire them and can even be jealous of their ability to divide and conquer without the emotional filters the rest of us have, and they are friendly. We are attracted to their charm, often unaware they are not normal and are only manipulating us, as they play us like their private orchestra.

While they are adept at masquerading as being just like us in every way, this is all an act to control us and influence us in such a way as to be compelled to support them in any way we can, and they will use any methods to appeal to and manipulate our feelings to motivate us to do so.

While using the ability to interact with social media to attract support or lure potential victims, the psychopath will post photos of themselves, but their photos are less likely to be pre-meditated, precisely posed and appear to be more candid. They are not necessarily as obsessed about how they appear in their photos, as long as they’re not too bad. And their online vocabulary is likely to include foul language or words that would be thought of as negative or angry.

On the wrong side of the law, prosecuting attorneys tend to refer to these people as “evil” as they try to unmask them in front of juries who are shocked to find that such a good person could be so different when compared to their public persona.

Sociopath

Like psychopaths, sociopaths have little or no empathy, though are not as ruthless as psychopaths. They can be just as manipulative, but are more considerate of others, but will turn on you in a heartbeat, if it will get them what they want. In this way, they are stealthier and less likely to be identified early on.

They are more spontaneous and fun-loving and find it easy to blend in to a crowd, or belong to a group or movement.

While sociopaths are also quite friendly, their friends are for the most part not long-term (though they could have a very small number of long-term relationships), due to their inability to maintain the reciprocity necessary to continue a friendship for any length of time. They usually make friends with those who can support them in some way, then forget about you when you are no longer needed, or they’ve found some other way to satisfy whatever it was that you were providing them.

They are intelligent but not prone to enduring the long commitments necessary to complete higher levels of education and are likely to find other way to meet their needs.

Sociopaths may be as ruthless as psychopaths but often the underlying motivation is quite different. While a psychopath is motivated by fearless dominance, the sociopath may take unrealistic risks or measures that can negatively affect their peers for their fear of loss, thusly imposing their dominance as an act of perceived self-perseverance.

Sociopaths are less likely to actively engage in social media, due to their anti-social tendencies, though they may use is sporadically, tolerating social media exposure long enough to accomplish a specific goal or task, otherwise, they don’t see much need in it, unless it serves a particular purpose for them.

Carelessness may cause the sociopath to appear before a judge and jury.

A sociopath can be described as a person who remains nervous and is vulnerable to getting irritated very easily. These people are anti-social and often are uneducated, living on the edges of society. They can be called abstainers who are perceived as disturbed people by others. A crime by these people will often be instant and unplanned.

Narcissist

The narcissist is quite different from the psychopath and sociopath, but do share some similar characteristics.  There is no doubt the narcissist is extremely selfish and may have the inability to have compassion for anyone else. The narcissist is the center of their universe which revolves around them, so to them, little else really matters.

Narcissists are unable to understand or perceive anyone else’s point of view, staying true to their own ideals, with having little regard for any other individuals. They are unable to be empathetic and are quite adept at manipulating of others.

They are easily categorized as being vain (check out the old Carly Simon song, You’re So Vain. Pretty much sums it up) they can’t help but check themselves out in a mirror or look at their reflection in a shop window, or post a lot of selfies on social media.

Narcissists are attracted to social media to express their tendencies to be an exhibitionistic, to attract the attention of others, and to promote their own agendas, or just to show off. The need the admiration of others to support their grandiose image of themselves, and are found very active on Facebook, amidst a sea of likes, posts, shares, profile updates, and followers. Since their face-to-face connections are superficial as it may be hard to get a word in edgewise, and they are likely to interrupt you when you’re trying to express yourself, they can express themselves continually on Facebook and Twitter without having to tolerate the interruption of others.

Mental health experts agree that a narcissist is easily identifiable by the frequency and type of photos or selfies they post on their Facebook profile. Their photos are less candid, always portray their best side, are often carefully posed or exposed and are likely to feature above average attire and expensive accessories. And on Twitter, they’re more likely to tweet about themselves or from their perspective using first person personal pronouns, such as “I” and “me” or the plural “we” or “us.” Photos are also likely to document their whereabouts, especially prone to posting “look at me,” (without actually using the words) when out and about or out on the (or out of) town.

Seeing themselves as superior to other people, narcissists may be more likely to judge others and see anyone else as lesser people, unworthy of their self-perceived higher social status. While they think their friends and followers are adoring their posts and tweets, in reality their viewers are more likely to be rolling their eyes in silent disapproval of the narcissistic selfish displays, and may even unfollow them at some point. No problem for the narcissist, they are certain there and hundreds (if not millions) of other people waiting in line to get a look at their latest post and these followers are certainly far more deserving.

Psychopath Sociopath Narcissist
Charismatic Confident Extremely self-centered
Confident Friendly and polite Seek admiration
Fearless risk takers Can blend in Less likely to care about others
Intelligent Less highly educated Prone to obssess in social media
Masters of disguise More likely to break the law Post a lot of updates and selfies
Dangerous (less likely to get caught) Most likely not dangerous

 

Psychopath or Narcissist?

There seems to be a bit of confusion among all peoples, professionals and laypersons, about how to correctly label a psychopath, sociopath, narcissist or any of the other personality types clustered among the Antisocial Personality Disorder spectrum.

In my work with victims of predators who clearly vibrate within the ASPD spectrum, we all get attacked by peers and predators who strongly disapprove or using any list of characteristics or labels whatsoever to identify a psychopath, sociopath, or narcissist. It is even more confusing when even the psychiatrists, psychologists and criminologists cannot agree on a particular diagnosis.

The problem? We’re talking about people. Regardless of their predatory tendencies, these warped individuals are people – just like the rest of us – who are each just as unique as the rest of us. In my work, I generally refer to these individuals with a basic set of extreme anti-social characteristics as “psychopaths,” because that was the clinical diagnosis of the individual who introduced me to the nature of these individuals. Prior to encountering this psychopath, I didn’t believe they existed.

Since then, no one can seem to agree on an effective means to qualify these people (if only there were a blood test or some other quantitative way to correctly diagnose where an individual is on the ASPD spectrum). Interestingly enough, every “expert” has their own method of diagnosis they are confident works well (or well enough).

As far as the differences between psychopaths and narcissists, most can agree on the following differences.

Psychopath or Narcissist?

As opposed to most narcissists, psychopaths are either unable or unwilling to control their impulses or to delay gratification. They use their rage to control people and manipulate them into submission.

Psychopaths, like narcissists, lack empathy but many of them are also sadistic: they take pleasure in inflicting pain on their victims or in deceiving them. They even find it funny!

Psychopaths are far less able to form interpersonal relationships, even the twisted and tragic relationships that are the staple of the narcissist.

Both the psychopath and the narcissist disregard society, its conventions, social cues and social treaties. But the psychopath carries this disdain to the extreme and is likely to be a scheming, calculated, ruthless, and callous career criminal. Psychopaths are deliberately and gleefully evil while narcissists are absent-mindedly and incidentally evil.

As Millon, in Personality Disorders in Modern Life notes, certain narcissists “incorporate moral values into their exaggerated sense of superiority. Here, moral laxity is seen (by the narcissist) as evidence of inferiority, and it is those who are unable to remain morally pure who are looked upon with contempt.”

Narcissists may not be considered evil, like psychopaths, and may lack the intention to cause harm. Narcissists are more likely to be indifferent, callous and careless in their conduct, which overflows into the way they interact with others. Their abusive behavior is primarily not considered to be as intentional or deliberate a psychopath’s.

Psychopaths really do not need other people while narcissists are addicted to narcissistic supply (the admiration, attention, and envy of others).

“When the egocentricity, lack of empathy, and sense of superiority of the narcissist cross-fertilize with the impulsivity, deceitfulness, and criminal tendencies of the antisocial, the result is a psychopath, an individual who seeks the gratification of selfish impulses through any means without empathy or remorse.” ~ Millon, Th., Davis, R. – Personality Disorders in Modern Life – John Wiley and Sons, 2000.

See also: Psychopath, Sociopath or Narcissist

Victims of Psychopathic Relationships

Psychopath Victims helps and supports those who have suffered abuse of psychopaths, sociopaths or other predators on the Anti Social Personality Disorder (ASPD) spectrum. Suffering at the hands of a psychopath can have devastating results. At the very least, they can drain all of your energy, leaving you broken and alone and they may have drained all of your financial resources, leaving you broke and alone.

If you think you might be suffering at the hands of a psychopath, it might be a good idea to know how to identify whether the person responsible for your suffering is a psychopath. So, how can you identify a psychopath?

is he or she a psychopath sociopath victims help

Here are some signs that you might be dealing with a psychopath:

  1. Psychopaths are charismatic and are able to attract supporters easily. They are wonderful speakers who are able to engage their audience who can easily engage the emotions and attention of those fortunate enough to be in their presence. They exaggerate stories skewing the truth for their self-serving benefit, and will go as far as to lie and place themselves in someone else’s story and claiming it is their own.
  2. Psychopaths are intellectual. They have a gift of having incredibly sharp wit and intelligence enabling them to masquerade as highly-educated, bob and weave in live situations. This also      makes them excellent con artists able to conceive, plan and execute elaborate schemes, while (mostly) staying one step ahead of the authorities.
  3. Psychopaths are devoid of feelings. They do not grieve, are in capable of feeling guilt, shame or remorse, empowering them to easily victimize anyone. They will enthusiastically engage in      anything that bolsters their position at someone else’s expense. They do not love. They are incapable of giving or receiving love, but terribly acute at acting as though they are in the throes of love, if it will help them achieve a desired result. They are great actors/performers with no      real feelings whatsoever.
  4. Psychopaths are impulsive, often acting or speaking without thinking through potential consequences of their words or actions, and are more likely to take risks, being free of repercussion, since they see themselves as above the law or the constraints of the social norm.
  5. Psychopaths never lose. They will dominate anyone who gets in their way, will vehemently defend their position, often by telling lies and spinning wild tales in an effort to discredit      naysayers.
  6. Psychopaths are never wrong. They never apologize; do not feel remorse for hurting others and are incapable of feeling guilt. If asked to apologize, will often strike out and attack their victim, rather than admit they may have made a mistake or misstep.
  7. Psychopaths believe their own press. Once they have said something, it becomes gospel in their mind; so much so, that they can often believe their own bold-faced lies, even to the point of      being able to pass a lie detector test. They keep a long list of secrets, and are not forthcoming about intimate details of their past, unless they are fictitious.

In most all cases, the victims invariably ask, “Why me?” This is often followed by feelings of self-doubt, taking responsibility for the loss to the extent of blaming themselves and even self-ridicule.

The truth is, it is not your responsibility, any more than it may have been your responsibility for being hit by a drunk driver; except in this case the drunk driver did carefully seek you out and ran over you on purpose!

If your currently in a relationship with a psychopath (either professional or personal) you might ask, “Why not have the psychopath seek treatment?” You might think that your psychopath is not truly a psychopath, but simply displaying the symptoms of psychopathic behavior due to some life circumstance.

You are an authentic human being and you would not purposely do something to harm or defraud another person, so why would this person of whom you are quite fond of – and may even love – act out in such a nefarious fashion? Surely he (or she) would not treat someone who cares about them so much this way unless there was some deep-seated issues that caused them to act-out like this…

Certainly, normal people may temporarily act in a manner similar to that of a psychopath if under some extreme type of stress, but for the psychopath it is a life-long condition and there is no successful form of treatment for their psychological disposition.

That is why specific coaches and counselors specialize in reaching out to and supporting victims of psychopaths. This is a special calling. Victims of psychopaths have a wide range of pain, needs, resources and options. The range of techniques and tools available vary significantly based on each individual circumstance.

The needs of the victim whose relationship has been forever severed are completely different from the needs of someone who must navigate an ongoing relationship with a psychopath.

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