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The Art of the Deal with a Psychopath — 12 Comments

  1. Skylar, finding your blog 4 years ago was a true balm for me. I had been targeted by psychopaths a couple of times and I think I didn’t fully understand what had happened until I started reading your posts. But the wisdom of your words go far beyond leading with this kind of beings. You’ve made me rethink about human condition. Many thanks for your blog!
    On the other hand, as a Mexican, I very much regret the fact that Trump is the American president right now. I’ve read this post keeping on mind what he has done about Latin Americans, and how he has blackmailed Mexican government to cause so much suffering to immigrants. It is so hard at times to keep hope, but re reading some of your posts helps a lot.

  2. Sonia, yes, that’s exactly what this blog is about: the human condition. Psychopaths are extreme forms of certain parts of the human condition and we can see ourselves more clearly because of them. So, despite themselves, they tragically do serve a purpose.
    I am very glad that my writing has been of use to you.

    As to the political climate, well I hope that this article gets read by all the people who would find it useful.

  3. hi Skylar, I’m so glad you are posting again, I always enjoy reading your writings. In this current post, it seems you are talking about a moderately intelligent and sadistic psychopath. It seems to me there are different types depending on the level of sadism, intelligence, and also emotional intelligence. They lack empathy entirely, but they vary in their ability to read others’ emotions. For example, my mother cannot read others’ emotions or body language. This causes her to alienate others with her inappropriate laughter or smiles when they are not called for. I have seen her completely oblivious to the fact that other people are reading her body language and know what she is feeling. this allowed me to understand that she cannot read others’ body language. it is like a complete cognitive defect. she would do sadistic things and even told me of crimes she had committed, but I think it was all self serving, like the ends justify the means, or self aggrandizement. Her fits of hysteria were probably calculated to guilt me into something, rather than see a look on my face because I don’t think that meant anything to her. She enjoyed doing things for other people but so that they would be either indebted to her or to build up her sense of superiority. People always get hurt around a psychopath, but it isn’t always because they are intentionally sadistic. My ex was more sadistic than she was, but she actually scores higher on the psychopathy checklist.

    My ex understood human emotion and was all about manipulating it in order to get a thrill, whether he was hurting people or making them think he was gods gift. He was definitely sadistic when it came to his scapegoats, but he did not scapegoat everyone. He was very intelligent and knew that his survival and continued ability to torment me depended on the rest of the population believing that he was a good person. so he spent all of his energy acting a part, pretending to be the person everyone wanted him to be, while when no one was looking he would threaten me, or do things to my children that he could get away with, just in order to hurt me. His favorite mantra was “love and compassion”, and they went on about this at his memorial service, while I was gagging in the bathroom, knowing he had molested my son. This goes back to your 180 rule. I tried the poker face, just instinctively, but he knew he could always use my children against me. He did this up until a few weeks before he died of thyroid cancer with metastases in his brain. Now his mother hates me because all she saw was my reaction to his behavior, and she won’t see us, her own grandchildren, because I was “mean” to her son. I continue to protect her from the knowledge of what he really did: there doesn’t seem to be a point to vindicating myself and his apple didn’t fall far from her tree so I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth and keep trying to see her. Anyway, there is no explanation for him to keep doing what he was doing when he knew he was going to die soon, other than that sadism, and lack of concern for his son’s welfare. My son was suicidal at age 8 and my ex kept vetoing my ideas to help our child. But despite the fact he was sadistic, my point is that the more intelligent the psychopath, the more their attempts to remain hidden will limit what they are willing to do because they don’t want to risk exposure. So while their lack of empathy makes them relatively predictable, there are still variations in they type of spaths they are, depending on the extent of cognitive damage and the degree of intelligence. I kept worrying that at his end he would do something dramatic and kill us all in order to hurt me, but his motivation to remain the hero in everyone’s eyes after his death was stronger than that.

    I think there is a wide variation in them, and I am still trying to figure this out. My kids’ middle school principal just outed himself by gaslighting my daughter and victim blaming her for no reason. Now I am unable to take him seriously, and I have the superintendent telling me that I have to work it out and deal with him. He wants to have a meeting where I hash out my differences with this principal. The last thing I will do is invite interaction with these people, it just gives them more opportunity to flagellate their egos and manipulate others. but I am stuck because no one around me will understand me explaining that he manifested spath tells. This guy is acting all the time, his personality is sort of larger than life, but he is very minor league. He is mainly about playing a role to hide what he really is, just to get by, and the tells come out because he just can’t hide himself perfectly, not because he is necessarily doing these things on purpose to be sadistic. he’s just a flailing idiot. I think many spaths are in this category, not really sadistic but just out of their depth in an empathic society and trying to pretend they really know what is going on. In some ways I feel sorry for them. It’s like a learning disorder or mental defect that they are terrified of people finding out.

  4. Hi Mnav,
    I’m not referring necessarily to someone with any intelligence, it’s just the nature of the psychopath to feel better when other people are sad. They feel less alone. But as Sonia noted, observing the psychopath teaches us about human nature. Psychopaths are not the only ones who like to see others suffer, when “normal” people feel this way we have other words for it, “schadenfreude” is one such word. Other times, I’ve heard people comfort themselves by saying, “well at least I’m not…, like __(fill in the blank).

    Also, many people inadvertently make others feel bad due to bad social skills. I often walk around with my foot in my mouth. Nothing new there.

    The difference between normal people and psychopaths is the extreme to which they take their sadism. They would literally rather have nothing than see someone else have anything.

    I suppose that’s why the Narcissistic Personality Disorders are considered a “spectrum” of disorders. We all have some infantile behaviors in us at different times, in different situations, but the psychopaths are at the level of a fetus and it’s all the time. YET, they hide it with a mask. That’s a very important part of the equation because this is how they’re able to feed on their victims. Generally, the more intelligent they are the better the mask, but that doesn’t make them less infantile.

  5. hi Skylar;
    yes, I agree. And I think the very fact that the psychopath hides what they really are, is evidence that they know better than to act this way and that they are fully responsible for their actions. see this article on Yahoo which is a joke:

    and yes everything is along a spectrum. I have noticed narcissistic behaviors come out when a person has suffered some sort of brain damage, as if it is a primitive function of the brain. In these cases, the person doesn’t try to hide it because they just think they are entitled to act this way.

    I don’t think that I enjoy the idea of anyone suffering, but I think I do get a sort of sense of justice if a psychopath suffers. After the things they do, they seem to deserve it, and when one never suffers for what they have done, it seems wrong. It’s more along the lines of karma, rather than feeling joy at others’ suffering. Maybe this is a sense of comfort that the world is unfolding as it should. When my ex died, I just felt intense relief that we would finally be safe. What will we feel in January 2021?

  6. Hi Mnav,
    that article is classic narcissist. They have no concern for the victims, only concern for the abuser. It’s typical role reversal, like the judge who chastised the rape victim for ruining her rapist’s life by reporting him.

    It’s true that psychopaths with brain injuries don’t hide their entitled attitude as well as you’d expect, but really, they just change the recipe: they use more pity ploy to get away with their abuse.

    Here’s an example: a developmentally disabled man was dropped off at the community pool by his caregivers. He’s well known there since he went there weekly for years. I was in the sauna, as were several men, when he walked in and boisterously greeted everyone. Nobody responded much and he left after a couple of minutes. People walked in and out every few minutes, since it was very hot. A while later I left.

    When I walked back in about a half hour later, he was the only one sitting there. Then he propositioned me, in some very vulgar terms.

    I walked out and reported him. The lifeguard tried excusing him due to his very obvious mental disability. But I pointed out that he waited until there was nobody else around, so he knew how to keep the mask on. I spoke with other staff and they also initially tried to excuse him but when I, again, pointed out that he waited for nobody else to hear him, the saw him in a new light. Then I found out that he had done some other offensive things before. Each time, people tried to excuse him because of his very obvious disability. This is a family center, so this time, he was banned.

    Granted, his mask wasn’t great, but he knew that, so he added extra helpings of “pity me” to cover his offensiveness.

    That’s how they work. It’s like a recipe. The mask consists of charm, pity and rage, but they tailor it to fit the circumstances. It really becomes surreal when they switch from being disabled to suddenly being very capable. Like Ted Bundy.

  7. Hi Mnav,
    there was another article where he was quoted as saying that he “collects people”. That is the ultimate psychopathic behavior. He can’t see the difference between people and objects.

  8. Hi WindHorse, I wish I could write more often, there is still more to reveal about the nature of narcissism. Right now, I’m just so busy with so many deadlines, that I can’t find the time.
    Thanks for the encouragement though. It does mean a lot to me.

  9. This is brilliant. Another take is political ponorology which explains how they gain power and infect society with their sadism and crazy making. Written by a polish guy after WW2. I’ve read a few posts now and the only thing I disagree with is the idea they have a suppressed shame. It’s simple right hemisphere dominance or inability to process messages coming from the left. It’s a neurological disorder. Iain McGilchrist has written a book ‘the matter with things’ and documentary, the divided brain. It’s not psychological, it’s neurological and can be advantageous in certain contexts, can be compared to autism where you’ve got very high functioning savants through to non-verbal. Funny thing about women though. So many people on these sites have had a narcissistic or borderline mother, many more than father, yet statistically women are a minuscule proportion of the cluster b or psychopath. Our brains are different, we have greater connections between hemispheres, more plasticity and heightened emotional empathy following childbirth. My mother was a cold uncaring cow too, but I think it’s something different. That is more likely shame, inter generational trauma and imprinting.

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