Psychopaths are Inconsistent and Contradictory

It’s very difficult to spot a psychopath from the beginning. Even the international expert on psychopathy, Dr. Robert Hare, admits that it often takes him up to six months to identify a psychopath. As we’ve seen from earlier posts, psychopaths are glib, superficial and excellent pathological liars. They look you in the eye and lie to your face. They make up stories on the spot, with no second thoughts and no regrets. They manipulate other people into covering for them. They put up an excellent front: the mask of sanity. Underneath that mask, lurks a dangerous psychological world, filled with deception, manipulation, sexual deviance and predatory intent. How can you tell then when you’ve been targeted by a social predator? The answer is, only time will tell.

Why? Because psychopaths are unable to be consistent over extended periods of time. In time, they will forget that they told you one thing about their past and say something else, which directly contradicts it. They may tell you they were faithful to their wife until they met you, then weeks or months later boast that they were hitting on other women during that period of time. The more power they have over you, the fewer concessions they will make to keeping you happy, the more openly they will violate their (hollow) promises.

When they commit crimes, they lie to the police and the press with no compunction; however, they rarely keep their stories straight. I watched episodes of Forensic Files where the psychopathic criminals give different accounts of where they were during the time of the murder to different people. When you tell the truth, there’s only one set of facts to remember and tell. When you lie, it’s more difficult to recall on the spot what you said before and to keep all your stories straight.

Psychopaths are not only inconsistent over time, but also contradictory. The biggest contradiction you will notice is between what a psychopaths says and his behavior. He will say he supports you professionally yet do everything to undermine your reputation, sabotage your job or even insist that you quit your work altogether, to focus on the relationship with him. The fewer acquaintances and activities you have outside of the toxic relationship with the psychopath, the more power he will have over you. He will say that he values commitment and mutual fidelity yet chronically cheat on you. Even if you’re involved in an open relationship with him, he may say he loves only you and that the other sexual partners don’t matter, while treating you as a sex object and pimping you to others: actions that reveal his contempt and misogyny rather than his love, as he claims.

Psychopaths also show their inconsistency by stringing you along. They promise you things that they never deliver, without actually letting you know that they can’t or won’t do them. If you encounter someone who keeps postponing fulfilling his commitments or promises, it’s a big red flag. On psychopathy support groups I’ve read so many testimonials about victims who were strung along for months or even years with false promises of marriage, or jobs that didn’t pan out, or promotions that never happened.

People with integrity have a sense of responsibility. They do what they say and if they can’t do it, they tell you. Psychopaths, on the other hand, not only fail to fulfill their commitments over time, but also continue to string you along with false promises, to maintain power over you. When you encounter a person whose actions don’t match his words; who doesn’t fulfill his commitments over time, and who is contradictory in his stories and behavior, disengage immediately, because you’re most likely dealing with a dangerous pathological.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction

Advertisements

Shattering the Psychopathic Disguise

If you watch shows like Forensic Files, or any true crime shows on Investigation Discovery, you will notice a pattern of criminal behavior: the psychopath usually kills his partner in a calculated, cold and cruel manner if she breaks up with him after discovering a mountain of lies. Psychopaths are great at devaluing and rejecting others, but can’t tolerate devaluation and rejection. They cultivate not only a “mask of sanity” as Hervey Cleckley aptly puts it, but also more than that: an image of perfection. They deceive partly for the power and sport of it partly to maintain a facade: as cultivated, desirable, sweet, moral, or whatever other qualities they want to project. This facade functions as their disguise, enabling them to become wolves in sheep’s clothing.

It also has the advantage of bolstering their narcissistic egos as perfect and superior to others. When a woman leaves her psychopathic partner after discovering his wrong-doings and his lies, she not only rejects him, but also shatters the disguise that enables him to maintain a sense of superiority to others and a mask of decency. Almost every time a psychopath murders his ex, friends and neighbors state: “They seemed like the perfect couple”.

If you read interviews about Scott Peterson or Neil Entwistle–men who callously murdered their wives–everyone expressed surprise and described their marriages as perfect. But their behavior during and after the crimes was, of course, shocking and incongruous with that perfect picture. Fortunately, few psychopaths murder. But even those who don’t undergo a process of devaluation–if not degradation–of their partners once they begin to see them as the frauds they are. For a psychopath, his false image of perfection is both fantasy and disguise. Fantasy because psychopaths believe the illusion of their ideal nature and superiority to others. Disguise because this false image enables them to dupe, use and abuse others.

To become critical of a psychopath means to chip away at his mask, which is his only true identity. He will defend it with all his might in three ways: 1) by undermining and, in rare cases, even eliminating the former target; 2) by replacing that target with other individuals who temporarily idealize him, and 3) by assuming a new persona, a new disguise. Nothing a psychopath does, no role, new partner or transformation, however, can change the inner hollowness that defines him and all of his human bonds.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction

If you have children with a psychopath

You may experience the mixed blessing of having children with the psychopath. Bringing a child into this world can be one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences in human life.  But having a child or children with a psychopath carries with it great risk. Since antisocial traits are partly genetic, your child or children can inherit those negative characteristics. Moreover, as we’ve seen, a psychopath is incapable of loving anyone. He regards all people, including his children, as tools to get what he wants and as his personal possessions. Like you, they represent objects he will manipulate and control. Like you, they confirm his virility and personal power.  As he got tired of you and of every other woman he played with, he will quickly tire of your child, his newest toy.

No change in circumstances can ever alter a psychopath’s underlying bad character for long. He is what he is and that’s what he’ll remain. Think back to the many second chances  you’ve given him. Think back to all the times he shattered your hopes and abused your trust.  You hoped that he’d change his cheating ways after you got engaged, but he didn’t. You then believed that he’d take your commitment more seriously once you married, but he didn’t. He just hid his perversions better and mastered the game of deceit. You hoped that a change of job or location would improve him, but it didn’t. Instead, your repeated concessions to his will and willingness to swallow increasing doses of mistreatment made him more confident that you’d take whatever abuse he dished out. He turned your life into a game that has no rational or moral rules.

You played along with his arbitrary power games. You played along because you love him and because you want to believe that he loves you as well: in his way, on some level, you feel compelled to qualify. Sure, he left you for other women and he will leave you again. But you interpret the fact that he returns to you time after time as evidence of his love. In other words, you engage in wishful thinking and reject the obvious reality. He doesn’t leave you because he loves anyone else more than you. Conversely, he doesn’t return to you because he realizes how much he loves you, after all. He comes and goes as he pleases to whoever lets him because he’s bored.

Power over others fills his empty days. He’s like one of those magicians that spin plates on poles. He wants to see how many women he can spin around at once and for how long he can cultivate for each one the illusion of perpetual motion, or of real love. Each time a plate falls to the ground and shatters, he enjoys it. Each life he destroys represents a personal triumph for him. With you and every other woman in his life he plays this sordid game. There’s nothing inside of him that can love you or anybody else.

The same logic applies to having a child or children with him. If he cheated on you and wasn’t there to support you meaningfully during the emotional and physical challenges of pregnancy, he’ll remain equally unreliable and unsupportive as you raise your child. If he treated you with disrespect and even contempt before you had a child together, that’s how he’ll continue to treat you afterwards. If he shirked his professional and personal duties before, he won’t be able to handle the most important responsibility of all, which is raising a child. And if he abused you, he will abuse your child, at the very least emotionally. The Loser will remain a loser no matter whom he attaches to because his evil actions reflect his true identity. He deliberately hurts others not because they’re not right for him, as he claims to shift the blame, but because he’s not right for anybody else.

Consequently, if you have a child or children with a psychopath, it’s doubly important for you to protect not just yourself from his noxious influence, but also your children. Dr. Liane Leedom wrote a very informative book on this subject, called Just Like His Father. Her message is not purely cautionary, but also one of hope. She emphasizes that there’s no chance whatsoever of having a mutually loving and respectful relationship with a psychopath. But there’s a lot of hope for raising your child to be a healthy and empathetic individual who is not just like his father.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction


Why you should proceed with caution in new relationships

We tend to be enamored with instant bonding, both in friendships and romantic relationships. We tend to believe that becoming “close” to someone quickly is a good sign: of deep compatibilities; love at first sight; or being kindred spirits. Whirlwind romances are exciting and sweep us off our feet. And, in the internet revolution that created an explosion of online dating, clicking with new partners is only a few taps of the keyboard away.

Unfortunately, instant compatibilities rarely turn out to be as promising as they initially seem. More frequently, they fade away and sometimes they are signs of danger. There are two main reasons why this happens: one from your perspective, the second from the point of view of the new person you encounter.

From your perspective, this instant bonding is a sign of your intuition. You sense a vague but compelling emotional intimacy with your new friend or romantic partner. That intuitive sense, you wish to believe, is an emotional insight that defies reason (after all, you don’t know the new person well) and is deeper than rational knowledge. Right? Well, no. This intuition is usually wrong because its insights are not usually based on some sixth sense deeper than reason, but on your own fantasy or wishful thinking.

When you meet a new person, particularly a new romantic partner, both of you are on your best behavior. You undergo a mutual idealization phase during which each of you projects upon the other one’s desires for love and fulfillment; what one wishes to see in each other. The same logic can apply to new friendships as well, where you look for someone who understands you, cares about you and knows you without you even needing to explain yourself. It’s even easier to make such idealized projections in virtual reality, when you communicate via the internet and don’t see each other in person.

In both romance and friendship, however, true intimacy comes from knowing each other over time, in different circumstances, throughout the many tests and challenges life has to offer. The sense of instant bonding is therefore often a sign of projecting one’s desires upon the new person and, sometimes, of shallow emotions and predatory intentions. This brings me to the other perspective: that of the new person you’ve encountered, who appears to be your new soulmate.

As we’ve seen in previous articles, people who instantly mirror your personality and desires; who flatter you; who seem too eager, initially, to please you can be, in reality, not just incompatible with you, but downright dangerous. These are the strategies of social predators; how they initially attract new victims and get them hooked on their (false) “love” and approval. In some cases, such instant bonding is, indeed, a positive sign of compatibility, just as you wanted. In others, however, it’s a warning signal that you’re being targeted by a social predator, who intends to use you and harm you.

This is why the best thing to do is to proceed slowly in new relationships, with CAUTION. While it’s very easy to get excited by what looks like instant compatibility, keep a cool head, observe the new person’s behavior, and be attuned not only to the qualities you (desire to) see in him or her but also to inconsistencies, signs of deceit and implausible behavior. Dangerous predators are very adept at wearing a “mask of sanity” and appearing ideal; however, they are not good at maintaining it consistently in closer relationships.

There is a second advantage to proceeding with caution: if you don’t become too warm too soon with a new person, it’s far less noticeable when you cool off after discovering they’re not who you initially thought they were. This may help you pass under the radar of a vengeful social predator, who may pursue and stalk you if, after a rapid warmup, you decide to cool it off. Keep in mind that real life is rarely a fantasy. When a person or relationship seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction