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Friday, March 25, 2016

Excellent description of a sociopath

A commenter wrote such a good description of a sociopath after the previous post that it deserves a post of its own: 

My mother was, very probably, a sociopath. She, like most sociopaths, never (so far as I know) ever killed anyone, but she ruined the lives of everyone in her family and several of her co-workers in a 35 year corporate career.

Of her three children, I am the only one without a felony record, and admittedly that is because I just never got caught more than once. My father finally divorced her at 58, but he was a wreck and died four years later. Her own mother refused to see her for the last fifteen years of her life, and had specific instructions that she was not allowed at the funeral in her will.

In a concocted "sexual harassment" case in the early nineties, Mother got a large six figure settlement from the company. Later, her former boss said that it was the best money the company ever paid because it was the only way to get rid of her. She had had several good workers fired over the years by skillfully implicating them in her own embezzlements, diversions of business and corporate espionage.

She also had engaged in sexual relations with several of her company's key personnel on a quid pro quo basis. The full extent of her destructive, deviant behavior will probably never be known.

But the most confusing part of the entire story, for most people, is that people outside her family and co-workers all thought she was the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful woman they had ever known. Even in her final few months, in assisted care, she managed to have her caretakers think she was an exceptionally wonderful old lady.

Looking back, the company should have figured where such smoke erupted time after time there had to be a smoldering fire and separated her from their employment. And my father should have dumped her twenty years before he did. But none of them had ever heard of sociopathy or if they had associated it soley with murderers and the like. The problem is that even though she never killed anyone, she did so much damage to so many people that a simple murderer could hardly have been worse.

I replied:

There's no question your mother was a sociopath. As you say, most sociopaths never kill anyone, though they are, psychologically speaking, really not that different from serial killers, in that they put the value of other peoples' lives at zero. A lot of sociopaths go into business and leave a trail of destruction in their wake which only becomes apparent to coworkers after its pattern becomes too obvious to ignore.

False rape charges and false sexual harassment charges, like hoaxed hate crimes, DO occur, and when they do, they're almost always concocted by sociopaths, as those are the only kind of people who would lie so blithely in order to ruin others' lives. And screwing your way up the company ladder -- which is what it sounds like you're saying your mother did -- is another time tested sociopathic technique for advancement.

The fact that she was able to convince people who did not know her well that she was an incredibly nice, sweet woman is actually not out of character at all. That's another sociopathic specialty: making a wonderful first impression. Sociopaths are forever putting on false emotional fronts, and are consummate actors. Convincing people that you're something you're not is another sociopathic hallmark.

You also captured the way sociopaths get away with their shenanigans perfectly: because others are unfamiliar with sociopathy, so don't recognize the behavior for what it is. If all those other people had been wise to her types of tricks, she would never have gotten away with them.

The anonymous commenter captured a few things most people don't realize about sociopaths perfectly:

Even though she didn't murder, she did manage to bring a large amount of harm to numerous peoples' lives. 

False sexual harassment charges, just like false rape charges and hate crimes hoaxes, work because they are so unfathomably despicable to most people that they don't even suspect their falsity, at least at first. 

In a similar vein, all of her victims were naive about sociopathy before they met her, which is how she got away with it. 

This is why the world needs to be educated more about these monsters.


Anonymous said...

that is an apt and well-observed description of a psychopath, nice point that it reminds me of, is, normal people, even when they recognize that they are in the presence of a malignant entity, often DO NOT GIVE THEMSELVES THE PERMISSION to defend themselves ("you wouldn't do that to your own mother" or "she seems perfectly nice" or whatever) properly...they just soldier along letting the wicked person bleed them and hurt them...sometimes it can take a different psychopath to weed out the first one...

John Craig said...

Anon --
That's a good observation. Nice men and women will just put up with the sociopath. And yes, whenever there are two sociopaths in the vicinity, there are often fireworks. They will often end up hating each other, because they essentially recognize themselves, and see what the other one is about, in a way that non-sociopaths are blind to.

Anonymous said...

I also learned (via experience) that sociopaths can team up, doing their dirty deeds together. During my first few years at my workplace, we had two women employed, becoming the best of friends. During their employment, the two of them committed crimes, falsly accusing many of their misdeeds on another innocent co-worker. I was trying to be a support to the accused co-worker, being confused by what was transpiring at the time. Thankfully, these two devils didn't target me. Anyway, these women wreaked havoc while employed at my workplace. They both quit about the same time (good riddance) and some years later when talking to a former boss, I learned some things about them, making me realize that the two of them were sociopaths. Also, their close "friendship" disappeared once they were both out of the workplace. I'm very much for educating others about sociopaths because these people are trouble.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
There have been a few infamous cases where sociopaths have teamed up to become serial killing teams, but those are rarities. And usually whatever alliance is formed is not long-lasting, because they feel zero loyalty to each other, just as they feel zero loyalty to anyone else, and they are wise to each other's tricks. So eventually, there's usually a rancorous falling out, as there evidently was with the two women you worked with.

Anonymous said...

I'd heard through the grapevine after these two quit that they had planned to create a business together. That never panned out (thank God). Then, I learned that their friendship ended in part due to their business plan never getting off the ground. If those two were ever in business together, people would have been negatively impacted by them. They're both liars, thieves, drug users, etc. Just remembering them, I recall some of their lies. It still boggles my mind that these creatures exist (even though I've had personal experiences dealing with them in my lifetime).


John Craig said...

Birdie --
Most of them never had a close bond with an adult in the first year or two of their lives, and so for the rest of their lives never related to other human beings the same way that normal people do. It IS mind-boggling, but they're out there.

Rifleman said...

Lots of drama up in Canada about this case below. Somebody is a sociopath here. Maybe all of them.

You can learn alot quickly through the twitter links.

Feminists are outraged, naturally.

Probably a similar reaction if Trump defeats Hillary. LOL.

John Craig said...

Rifleman --
Just read the Guardian account of the case. Ghomeshi strikes me as an obnoxious guy, but not a rapist. But I don't know, I wasn't there.

Unfortunately -- but predictably -- all of the feminists lined up in knee jerk fashion behind his accuser without knowing for sure either. it's pathetic the way the left will always line up behind their preferred race or gender without knowing the facts of a case. (The Right never lines up on the side of an accused rapist or cop who's shot someone; they generally wait for the facts to come out.)

triethylborane said...

My own mother, who has passed away, was the most decent and honest person I have ever known, and my dad was decent too, but had some definite quirks due to his upbringing. But his sister met the above description to a certain extent. She never had children but she certainly was known for deceitfulness. She went to jail in her early years for forgery and theft, and was very promiscuous. Later in life she got religion, of the televangelist, prophecy quoting brand but she went from church to church because people would just quit talking to her. She wasn't stealing or having "moral issues" but she was spreading dissent and being a general "shit disturber".

I don't think she was a sociopath as such: she knew she was a bad apple on a certain level. She made some effort to make amends at the end, but the people just told her to stay away.

John Craig said...

Triethylborane --
Actually, your father's sister sounds as if she might have been a sociopath. She has a number of the traits, and televangelist-style preaching attracts more than its share of hucksters. Plus spreading dissent is a well known sociopathic hallmark.