Learning is a complex process that requires constant attention and nurturing. As we grow, our learning either improves, stagnates, or deteriorates. We could have been great learners as children but lack the ability to process information and comprehend new information as adults. Why does this happen? How does this happen?

For some reason, some of us lose our motivation to learn. Our cognitive skills flounder and we become less effective in the following interdependent areas of cognition:

  • Attention (sustained, selective, and divided attentions)
  • Working memory (retaining information for short periods of time)
  • Processing Speed (the rate at which our brain handles information)
  • Long-Term Memory (restore and recall information for later use)
  • Visual processing (perceive, analyze, and think in visual images)
  • Auditory Processing (perceive, analyze, and conceptualize what is heard)
  • Logic and Reasoning (reason, prioritize, and plan)

When one area of cognition fails to grow and be nurtured, all areas of cognition are affected. More frightening, if one cognitive area is manipulated in such a way to cause false interpretations and analysis, the other cognitive areas will fail and become distorted. A perfect example is the criminal mind and that of the narcissistic sociopath.

The criminal and the narcissistic sociopath (often one and the same), successfully ignore visual and auditory cues and distort all logic and reasoning rendering their remaining cognitive skills useless and ineffective. All interpersonal communication becomes twisted, and the opportunity to build a healthy relationship with a narcissistic sociopath is a pipe dream.

For example, you arrive home from work to discuss a work-related issue that has you worried. You want and need some basic love and support. You explain to your intimate partner/spouse that you feel like you’ve been taken advantage of and that your co-worker took your ideas and claimed them as his own. You expect your partner/spouse to use your visual and auditory cues to see how sad and frustrated you are. You also expect your partner/spouse to remember past conversations you had shared related to this particular co-worker. But your partner fails you because he fails himself and misinterprets everything either by accident or on purpose.

Instead of your partner saying something useful and constructive to you like:

“Oh, it will be okay. Why don’t I take you out to dinner so you can relax and try to forget about your frustrating day.”

Your partner says something uncaring and destructive like:

“What did you do that would have made him take your idea and use it for himself? Did you piss him off?”

The first sentence is a statement that implies he was listening to you and watching you in hopes of comforting you with a response. That’s what loving couples do. They help ease each other’s worries.

The second sentence consists of two accusatory questions that would lead anyone to think their partner/spouse doesn’t really care if you are put at ease. The second sentence implies he’d rather see you suffer and get more upset with the situation.

His ineffective (or effective depending on his motivation) cognitive skills are putting you on the defensive. Relationships are not supposed to do that. A relationship isn’t a court of law. A successful relationship requires healthy communication skills. Healthy communication skills require sane and healthy cognitive thinking from both.

You make an attempt to answer the questions without being defensive. You say something like:

“Of course not. I do my work and try to collaborate when collaboration is necessary. I would never steal someone else’s ideas. That’s not right.”

Then your partner says something like this:

“You obviously did something that pissed him off.”

This finally puts you on the defensive and you repeatedly explain that you did nothing. Your partner repeatedly counters you and says you must have. It all spirals into a shitty conversation because the narcissist is projecting and you have no idea that sick people do this in hopes of making others feel sick, too.

If you had the same sick and twisted cognitive thinking skills as the narcissistic sociopath, you would ask him:

“Is that what you do narc? Piss people off on purpose so they’ll steal your ideas and give you a reason to bitch? To me, that’s going out of your way to invite unnecessary drama into your life. It seems a little stupid to me.”

The narcissistic sociopath’s illogical thinking doesn’t work in reverse, does it? The next time one of them starts frustrating you with their illogical thinking, reverse the argument. Project it back at them. But be careful. You might get thrown out of the house or called a whore for pointing the ugliness back in their direction.

Narcissistic sociopaths do not think cognitively the way the rest of us do. What is logical and reasonable to us, is the absolute opposite to them. It’s one of the reasons healthy people get so frustrated and confused by narcissistic sociopaths. We would never consider making someone angrier or more upset to be a good idea. To the narcissistic sociopath, making someone more angry and more upset is their goal in life. Losers.


abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Health, Love, Mental Health, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Peace, Psychopaths, PTSD, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Writing
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Join the conversation! 21 Comments

  1. Having a mother who ticks the boxes who has been very destructive in my life and go out of her way to hurt her family. The best course of action I find that made everyone happy who followed it, is to walk away and not have them in your lives, regardless of who they are. Life is short and it is better to be around people who love and are positive towards you than be with someone who hurts and is destructive in your life. It took me along time to have the courage to walk away and realise that I wasn’t the problem but they were and they weren’t going to change. Lives get destroyed by these people and they really aren’t worth it. My mother is now old and I feel she is getting her karma, her body has betrayed her and she is stuck in one room and needs people to help her. She has alienated so many people that at her funeral there probably will only be the funeral director and the priest and no one will mourn for her. So anyone who has these people in your life, get rid and find people who accept and support you in your lives, and there is a world out there full of people who will. Self esteem means loving yourself enough not to put up with this. I had alot of stick from people when I decided to walk away, so I also walked away from those who critisised me for doing it. Bottom line is the first person who has to be happy is yourself and only you can make the changes to make it happen if you have these types of people in your life…….In our work life we can’t always control who enters it, but we certainly can in our private lives.

    I’m happier for it…..


    • @mercedes – thank you for translating most of my feelings into words – especially about my relationship with my mother. It’s very hard to explain it to someone else, especially when most people do not have this problem.


  2. You people should really do youre research.

    Hi, Im Gabby. A real life narcissistic sociopath. But we all know thats not my real name, correct. Good, well. Now that were on the same page, i would like to.open your puny minds for a second. Just one second.

    Yes, we are out there. Yes, we live in your world. Almost everything they say about us is true. But there are exceptions. I am one of them. You see, when you KNOW theres something wrong with you, you try to figure out what it is. I got lucky, with my mother being a pshycologist and all, she could just tell me what i was. So, i have roughly known about my… condition, since i.was about 7. I started doing research, trying to figure out why my brain ticked the way it does. I will admit, i still feel no emotions, except extreme anger. But i like that, because its a feeling.
    You think that any of us actually want to be emotionless and callous. Well, there are the exceptions, but most of us, want to.be normal. Whats it like to actually love someone, or actually give a.shit about how someone is feeling, or be friends with someone other than the fact that they benefit you?
    I dont know.
    id like to. But i more than likely never will. The only emotions i know are depression and anger. I cant keep relationships, i am a golddigger, i do not care about anyone else. But the difference is… im working on it, yeah they may be lies most of the time but i want to be.normal. is that so much to ask? To love, laugh, cry… to know real friendship?
    Ask yourself this.
    If i was your friend, and one day i told you about all of this. After you did all youre research… would you still be my friend? I would.

    Just remember, youre answer, shows who YOU are on the inside.


    • Gabby,

      Did you honestly expect compassion after declaring we have puny minds? Get real! Go find pity somewhere else. You obviously haven’t figured out (through all of your astute research) that insulting people isn’t going to win you friends or support. Stop trying to guilt people into being your friend and having sympathy for you.


    • First I would like to address Gabby’s comment. I would like to ask her if her mother is a psychologist and she knew by the age of 7 that she is a sociopath, does her mother and herself feel she was born this way? And what has her mother done to help her or is there any help?

      Then I have to ask, what does Gabby feel the rest of us who have to live with these people should do to survive. She admits to lying, being a gold digger, with no compassion for the people around her. Although I have always said I prefer to have feelings and a heart that can be broken than to never know the feeling of truly loving someone unconditionally, it is reallt hard for me to feel sorry for someone who destroys lives knowing full well what they are doing. Compassion and empathy for the Sociopath only works against the people who try to “help” these people. I would love to know how to feel compassion for the man who methotically destroyed my life.

      As far as the cognitive thinking goes I was continually blown away by the things my ex would come up with. At one point he was undecided about whether he wanted to go back to his ex (the one that got away) but he called me and said he had chosen me. ( I know I know!! I should have run screaming into the night) his reasons for chosing me was he didn’t trust her and seeing as he was trucking he didn’t want to have to wonder what she was doing when he was out of town. All the while he constantly screwed around on me and thought I was being paranoid and insecure.

      Or when I found out he had been carrying on a long distance relationship with a young girl he met while in Sudan, for two years promising her he was doing the paperwork to bring her to Canada. Not only was I shattered I asked him why he was leading her on like that. She was believing he was her ticket out of that hell hole and he was preventing her from finding a man who actually might get her out of there. His response was that her life is hell there and he was just trying to brighten her day. Say what????

      Or when I would find out he’d been screwing around again and he always said the same thing. They only had sex once because the woman refused to have sex again. It was never that he realized it was wrong so didn’t do it again. It didn’t make me feel any better knowing he would have screwed her again if she had been willing.

      The last time he said that I responded by saying, “Gee that must really concern you”
      He looked puzzled and said, “what concerns me?”
      Me: “Well it must really make you wonder about your love making skills”.
      Him:”what the fuck are you talking about?”
      Me: “Every time you have sex with a woman she never wants to have sex with you again, that must really be a concern for you. It would bother alot of men but if your ok with it, never mind. Forget I said anything”.
      Him: “It wasn’t just once!!!”
      Me: “I KNEW it!!”


    • I don’t think “Gabby” has any intention of respecting our comments by responding to them. How silly of us to think she would. 🙂


  3. This line in the article grabbed my attention:

    Instead of your partner saying something useful and constructive to you like:
    “Oh, it will be okay. Why don’t I take you out to dinner so you can relax and try to forget about your frustrating day.”

    Perhaps in certain situations this kind of response is useful and constructive. Most times, however, it is well-intentioned but not helpful. It is does not address the other person’s concerns and their need for empathy and acknowledgement. In other words, it is dismissive.

    A better response would be: “I am so sorry to hear this”. Or: “This must be upsetting to you, since you put time and effort into developing these ideas.” Or to say “Care to tell me more?” and then listen from the heart. These are empathic responses, and this is likely what the person needs at that moment.

    “Let me take you out to dinner so you can forget about your day” is not empathic. In my Communicating with Compassion tele-seminars, I call this ‘discounting’. It is to tell somebody not to feel what they are feeling. The painful emotions don’t go away; they just simmer and stew just beneath the surface. And the relationship will be hurt, because the person had shared this hoping for an empathic response and didn’t get it.

    When people are hurt or upset, the first thing they need is to be heard, understood and acknowledged.


    • I understand, Uzi, and really appreciate your thoughtful response.

      However, knowing what your partner needs in the moment is also a sign that you have been empathic in the past. In my situation, if my ex had ever paid any attention to my needs, he would have known that immediately after a frustrating day at work a cooling down period does wonders for me. A nice meal to help me relax and rethink some frustrations before trying to talk through them is what works for me.

      And that’s exactly what my husband does for me today–he listens, gives me a giant hug, asks me to keep my shoes on, and then we walk to our favorite place to eat. Because I feel the love from my husband and know either during or immediately following our meal he’ll ask me those very questions you provided, I don’t feel or have any reason to feel like he’s ignoring my needs. It’s truly a huge difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Thank you for providing your clarifying points. 🙂


  4. […] sociopathic partner will convince you that you are worthless, shameful, and damaged. Through gaslighting, triangulation, projection, and manipulation, you will quickly be convinced that you are […]


  5. […] great example of the abuser’s twisted cognitive thinking skills. They lie by omission, in a sense. (Or do they just lie to themselves and then speak their truth? […]


  6. Since I figure Donkey’s head will explode if I reverse it, I’m going to try it on the off-chance it does actually explode.


  7. great writing on a great subject Paula! Yes, MS’s thinking process (or lack thereof) would blow me away. I would say something and his response was so insane that my jaw would drop. I thought he was doing it on purpose???

    And you write as well: “Purpose or Accident…” I’m wondering…do they do it on PURPOSE or is their brain so F!@#ed up that they don’t know what they are doing?

    Even scarier: I’m meeting more and more people like this all the time…it seems where ever I go, I’m meeting insanity.


  8. I ALways projected back!!
    That’s NOT the answer for EVERYone but in MY case, I knew HE was TOO lazy to be afraid of.
    Sad thing is….HE’d often RE-direct and HE actually asked me once, (after I told HIM I knew HE was a Sociopath), “What are you trying to say? That I am a parasite and I leech onto people?”
    NOT sad that HE asked that…..sad that I still stayed AFter HE asked that. 😦
    I FIGURED….”HE “gets” it and because HE “gets” it, I am making progress into FIXing the UN~fixable.”
    UNfixable does NOT mean, “with more patience” or “in time” or “with enough love” or ANYthing else!

    UNFIXABLE~Mirriam Webster Dictionary~adjective \”+\
    1: incapable of being held in a fixed state : unstable, indeterminate
    2: incapable of breeding true : manifest only in the heterozygous state —used of a genetic character.

    NUFF said.


    • I missed you, Gaye. 🙂


    • Thank you Paula~~
      That comment just made my YEAR!! REALLY!!!!
      UPdate~Tonight makes exactly 7 FULL days of n/c and no one is PROUDER of ME than MYSELF and I.

      (Met HIM 1/22/11~Left HIM 1/22/13)
      AND….I thought turning FIFTY on 3/18/11 was the first day of the rest of my life when in FACT, it was ALmost my LAST!

      My latest FIND, iRONically~
      I’m PROUD of my ♥!!
      It’s been played, stabbed, cheated, burned & broken but SOMEhow….

      ♥ it!!!


    • Awesome! There are many of us proud of you, too. XOXO


  9. I loved this post and I found it quite funny because it brought back so many discussions. I got an email from him one day saying, ‘Imagine if you will blah blah bunch of lies”..My response to him was, ” I can imagine a lot of things but it does not mean that it is true”…….I became public enemy number one when I started to confront this great work of art :).



  10. So wonderfully written and so very true. I have now learned this after watching the narcissists in my life try to “function”. They simply can not. They do not live in the same reality as the rest of us.


  11. misery loves company and they enjoy humiliating, it makes them “feel” better about their miserable selves.


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