(noun) Slime is a feeling of being contaminated or dirtied after having been in the company of one or more psychopaths. Sometimes the feeling is literally one of needing to shower or bathe.
(verb) Slime is what psychopaths do to their victim when they cross the victim’s boundaries and transfer their bypassed-shame onto the victim.
Psychopaths slime others by behaving shamelessly. A normal empathetic person, watching the psychopaths shameless behavior, feels ashamed for the psychopath, while the psychopath feels nothing at all. By acting out their shame while concurrently not feeling the shame, psychopaths are able to transfer their shame onto the empathetic person. This is known as “getting slimed”.
The reason this works is because the psychopath shows no outward sign of feeling shame, while the empath does feel shame. Consequently, it seems to the empath that the shame must be coming from herself. She then “owns” the psychopath’s shame.
Slime is a type of emotional contagion but it differs from other types in that it has a hidden element: the original owner of the emotion is not aware of having the emotion and makes no expression of shame. It is also similar to psychological projection, except that the emotion, shame, is never acknowledged at all. Slime has all the hidden elements of the scapegoat mechanism because the psychopath transfers responsibility for feeling ashamed, to his victim.
Though psychopaths know they are affecting their victims, creating shame in them by behaving shamelessly, psychopaths do not feel shame and are not consciously aware that they are transferring their own bypassed shame. Yet, as with all scapegoating, the psychopaths feel vindicated when they see their victims’ discomfort.
Slime is one of the most insidious and damaging aspects of a psychopathic encounter because it is covert and it sabotages from the inside. The victim is left owning the shame and feeling that it really did originate from some flaw in herself. The slime may merge with other slime that the victim has accumulated over the years from other psychopaths.« Back to Glossary Index