Remember Sociopaths are opportunists and you are at risk for being that opportunity for him. I need five commitments from you if you want to avoid the wake of destruction that comes from dating a Sociopath.
1. Commitment to your Heart:
Healing a broken heart takes time in pain and sorrow. Yes he is fun, exciting, seductive, and yes he is superficial, without conscience, without compassion, a liar, and looking for the opportunity you are. It is not IF your heart will be broken, it is WHEN. Remember Ted Bundy (serial killer) was attractive, athletic, charming and he killed at least 30 women if not close to 100! Ted Bundy’s final words before he was electrocuted were, “I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends.” NO REMORSE! He wants to send love as though we are going to forget the horrific things he did to beautiful souls. Oh I am going to die, I guess I’ll send love! Really? Think about that for a long while.Say No to the first date if you recognize the signs early. Say No immediately when you finally do recognize the signs. Be wary of seductive, fun, exciting, and look for superficial, lying, without compassion and conscience for openers.
2. Commitment to your wallet:
Healing from a broken heart is one thing, but add an empty wallet to the broken heart-not so good! Don’t pay when he forgets his wallet. Tell him “how funny I did too”. When you offer to pay when he forgets his wallet you “teach” him, “that was easy, I’ll forget it every time.” Sociopaths spot your weakness. They have to have that skill. It is how they make it in the world. In a healthy relationship, the way money flows is a discussion that happens. It is not decided by default (who forgot their wallet). Keep your wallet closed in the beginning of a relationship! If a man asks you out, he should take you to the place he can afford.
3. Commitment to NO Savior!
You may be a savior/caretaker in your career (or not), and do not be the savior in your relationship! When you hear about the lost wallet, broken down car, job he just lost, the rent he needs to pay or he will be on the street, OFFER empathy and/or encouragement. Nothing else!!! (Ted Bundy got many of his victims by asking them to help him unload his boat/car!) Note to self. Helping people is a lovely quality in the right situation and dating a sociopath is not the right situation. One of the reasons people feel so traumatized when they have been “dumped” by a sociopath is the inequality of what they did for the relationship and what the sociopath did not do for the relationship. Equality in a healthy relationship is a good thing. Sometimes you are being helped and sometimes you are the one giving the help. This does not happen with the sociopath. Listen to all the victim stories you want, and then offer Empathy and/or encouragement: “Life’s lessons can be tough and I am sure you will figure it out.” REALLY listening to all those victim stories may jar you out of his superficial seduction. Boring!
4. Commitment to Making Requests
Many people think being a chameleon is the best way to be in a relationship. Sociopaths want a chameleon. A good partner wants a partner who has opinions, wants, needs and a road map of how to take care of her. The sociopath is NOT there to take care of you so watch how your requests are honored or not, in a new relationship. In a healthy relationship both people take care of each other financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Sociopaths have no interest in this paradigm. Remember Bernie Madoff? He wouldn’t take your money if you made too many requests like “tell me how you get such a high rate of return on my money”. Bernie was only interested in chameleons! Simply making a lot of requests could have saved a lot of people a lot of money!
5. Commitment to Timing and Patience
Give people time to reveal who they are to you. Companies usually don’t give benefits for 90 days. I have a theory that most people’s “stuff” will start to show in this time period. You want to see how your partner treats his parents, siblings, friends, your friends, his colleagues, the people who serve him, and most importantly YOU! You can’t get the full picture in one evening. Take the time to choose wisely, who will go on your journey with you!
Recap Sociopath Alert!
When you meet someone charming, fun, exciting, and seductive, look for lying, superficiality, no conscience, no compassion and opportunism.
If you need to explore come armed with your heart, wallet, and caretaker hat under lock and key. Be prepared with lots of time and patience to really rock the boat and see who falls out!
© 2019 Dr. Anne Brown; Psychotherapist, Speaker, and Author of Backbone Power The Science of Saying No