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What Does a Psychopath Want? Emotional Currency — 4 Comments

  1. I wish I’d known about Grey Rock sooner – that is the only technique that ‘worked’ for me dealing with my ex psychopath. After years of feeding him the negative emotions, including plenty of desperation he continually drove me to, I finally understood what motivated him. Once I understood his motivations, his behavior which had been incomprehensible to me, became totally predictable.

    I read the following quote for a daily reminder for awhile, until I internalized the understanding of what makes him tick.

    “Under no circumstances should you allow the psychopath or sociopath to see you upset, angry or anything but a shining example of joy. No matter what negative emotion you show, it’s like giving crack to a crackhead — they’re going to do whatever they can to get just a little bit more.”

    From: https://theartofcharm.com/art-of-personal-development/psychopaths-sociopaths-idiots-part-3/

  2. Hi Annette,
    so good to “see” you!
    Yes, in hindsight we can say that we wish we had known that spaths are motivated by our emotions before we were victimized. But really, I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself. Even then, with all my memories, I still had to run the “test”.

    The truth is I had to experience it to really internalize the concept. I’ve run many tests on other spaths since then because I still can’t seem to fathom that people can be soooo shallow.

    I like that quote, it goes to the heart of this disorder, it’s an addiction. The only problem with being an example of joy is that they see the potential for a motherload of crack when the joy comes tumbling down. That’s why my Ex-spath liked the casino, it was the highs that preceded the lows that really turned him on. The highs create an expectation of even more highs and when the losses inevitably come, it makes them harder.

    Before I understood the spath, I did drive him crazy with my optimism. When a large tree branch landed on the porch, I said it was “a gift from God, so that I wouldn’t have to go far for firewood.” When I had to do strenuous manual labor, I showed him my sexy muscular physique and attributed it to the work. The result was his further commitment to my destruction. He would just put more poison in my food.

    The point is that these spaths have only 2 modes: envy and boredom. Nothing else. We get to decide which one to use on them.

  3. Good to “see” you, too!

    I wouldn’t have believed the reality of a psychopath until I encountered it firsthand myself, either. What I like about that quote is the point made that the psychopath is addicted in the extreme to the victim’s suffering – the analogy to the desperation of a crack addict to get the drug. It really hits the nail on the head as a description of the psychopath that I encountered.

    I agree, displaying joy attracts the psychopath and inspires his jealousy and hatred. Despite challenges in my life, I was an optimistic and joyful person when he targeted me. (An acquaintance once labelled me “Pollyanna.”) I understand now (thanks to your blog) how his jealousy of my joy (that he can never feel) underlay his desire to destroy me. You’re right that ‘being boring’ until one can get far away from the psychopath forever is the best protection.

    The Grey Rock technique was the single most helpful concept in dealing with my abuser.

  4. Annette,
    The reason the Gray Rock concept helps so many people is because it’s an abstraction. You can strip down the understanding of a rather complex set of behaviors, like scapegoating, projection, gaslighting, emotional contagion, etc… and realize that they (the manipulators) are ACTING.

    The acting serves one purpose, to get us to respond with emotions. It’s unbelievable, of course, that so many people do this “one simple trick” called “lying” with their entire bodies and so convincingly – aka, ACTING. In fact, these people could get almost anything they want by just ASKING, but they don’t want it that way, they’d rather lie and act.

    There are two ways to look at their behavior (the need to manipulate). One way is to see that it’s an addiction. This is definitely true. Once you know what to look for, you can see it in their body language. They appear as giddy as an alcoholic buying a beer.

    The other way to see it is from their own perspective, which reveals something about the core of their personalities: they hate to be grateful. If they ask and it’s given, then they feel like they are less than the giver, because they had to ask. They’d rather steal. And they’ll work twice as hard at stealing than they would work at any honest job.

    While being grateful makes normal people feel blessed, the spath feels resentment when they’re given something. The only way they can get over that feeling is if they can convince themselves that they tricked the victim into giving it. Then the blessing from the universe becomes a sense of entitlement, in their warped 180 degree mindset.

    All of that is just too much to grasp and remember, because… WHO DOES THAT?! 😛
    So it’s easier just to remember that they’re acting and channel a Gray Rock.

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