walking away

There seems to be a growing trend of sociopaths “coming out” on blogs, message boards and even in real-world environments. More often than not, the sociopath slips into an already comment-heavy post or string of victims and survivors with a seemingly harmless comment like this:

Hi, my name is Johnny, and I’m a sociopath. I’m not here to convince you that you’re wrong about sociopaths. I’d like to help you understand us better. Ask me anything you want to know. I’ll even give you my personal e-mail address.

What have I learned to do when this happens on a post I am actively commenting? I have learned to ignore and keep moving. Hopefully, the following five reasons will influence you NOT to begin any type of engagement with a sociopath, no matter how tempting and curious you may be:

1.) Do not engage a sociopath. Period.

If someone comments on a blog you follow and announces that he’s a sociopath, shrug to yourself and move along. Do you really want to be friends or associates with someone who professes to be the very thing that tried to destroy you in the first place?

2.) Do not believe a sociopath when the sociopath claims to have a moral code.

It’s your moral code he is projecting in order to gain your sympathy and trust. When we recognize ourselves in another person, our empathy, sympathy and compassion kick in and we think, “Oh, that poor, poor man. He needs someone to understand him.”

3.) Do not share your private thoughts, philosophy or insight with a sociopath.

When a sociopath says, “Just ask me anything you want to know. I’d love to help you understand me better,” he’s actually saying to himself, “If I gain their trust by seeming like a helper and a savior, I can learn more about what makes these non-sociopaths tick so I can be better at fooling and manipulating them.” Remember, if there is nothing in it for them, why would they waste their time on us boring, non-sociopathic saps?

4.) Do not praise a sociopath for being open and honest.

First, that’s a flipping oxymoron, contradiction in terms on so many levels. Second, if you praise a sociopath, you’ve invited him into your sphere. The sociopath’s negative energy has infiltrated your positive energy, and he’s already started sucking it from you. When you praise a sociopath for being human like you, what you’re really doing is validating the sociopath, giving the sociopath an ego boost and acknowledging that the sociopath succeeded in duping you. Open door to manipulate you further!

5.) Remain ever-mindful and fascinated with each other and not with the sociopath.

Curiosity killed the cat, remember? If you begin a conversation with a sociopath, be prepared to be triggered and for your recovery to be compromised. Be prepared to question yourself and your reality of good. Be prepared to start thinking sociopaths can be “fixed.” Be prepared to start becoming a delusional mess all over again.

Use your powers and strengths of compassion and empathy to understand each other instead. We already know how sociopaths operate. They’re textbook! They have nothing to teach us. Besides, why would you willfully enter that hell again?

No contact. Period.

~ Paula

abuse, Child abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Lessons, Love, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 45 Comments

  1. I needed to read this tonight. It has been four years since my “‘marriage” ended and he walked out. Yes, HE walked away…. not because the marriage was over, but because, looking back, I had run out of money, and was starting to see with my eyes wide open.

    My life was a train smash of unpaid bills and a daily struggle against myself – who I no longer even recognised.

    Four years later, the longing to have a final goodbye, to say the things that were never said, during a 2 year divorce, which he controlled every step of the way – I still feel the need to want to sit and talk and ”remind him” how loved he was – but then I remember, that I fell in love with the first 20 minutes of a person. those first 20 minutes are bliss, the rest was real – I survived physically, but mentally – i’m damaged.


    • I am really sorry, Sillysue, that you find yourself in this place of needing closure. I equate “closure” of a pathological relationship to the sudden death of a loved one: there is no closure or an opportunity to say goodbye and share our wish for their future success. I was fooled into believing my ex wanted to be friends, but that was just his way to keep the door open for future control. Be glad the door is closed and keep it locked by remaining No Contact.


  2. I guess I feel I don’t matter because I”m gay and God is punishing me…..


    • Dane, You are not being punished because you are gay! None of us asked to be subjected to these liars and manipulators. Someone who pretended to be you, essentially, right? I think God is involved in the equation, but not to punish us. I think God tests the most intuitive among us, because it’s us who can survive the hell and come out on the other side shinier, happier, and more alive than before. Please don’t punish yourself for being abused and conned.


    • I truly loved this person..He beat me with s shotgun and held it to my head and told me he would blow my brains out…I forgave him…he shot himself and blamed me and later admitted to police the truth and I forgave him…He said he was molested and beat as a kid like me so I thought he needed unconditional love.. But it was all a lie….I feel so ashamed! I’m not a perfect person but never do this somebody…


    • Please don’t feel ashamed. I know it is easy for me to ask but hard to feel and do. But you must know that so many of us have been in this place of being ashamed because we really believed it was all our fault and we somehow caused it to happen. You didn’t cause someone to harm you. That’s a silly notion if you think about it, right?


    • Thank you…if you ever get the chance please listen to the song “ANGEL” by Sarah McClachlan because that is what you are to me right now! Thanks for listening.


    • You’re welcome. Anytime! ❤


  3. Paula …this is slowly but surely helping me see the rays of light through darkness…I’am a gay man who was played by a straight man who pretended to be gay for 4 years…I gave my all he took my all…what a joke I have become…But thanks for listening… Daine.


  4. Different motivations drive different sociopaths.
    Some enjoy the shock induced in others by outing themselves.
    Others enjoy staying hidden amongst your ranks. If I were you, I’dbe less worried about the sociopaths who reveal themselves and more concerned with those who seek to become closest to you.


  5. […] The Top 5 Reasons to Walk Away from any Self-Proclaimed Sociopath (paularenee.wordpress.com) […]


  6. How to walk away? Let me tell you my story, and tell me how I walk away.

    Was married at 19, for 17 years. When we split up I was an emotional wreck, and felt I was responsible for the marriage breakup, of course. We have two children. Slowly they have both been alienated from me.

    My ex is very wealthy. He manipulates and uses people with his charm and cunning.

    Last year, 13 years after we split up, I discovered he has been cashing cheques payable to me for all those years. I went to the police after trying to come to a resolution (like that’s going to happen). The police looked the other way. As a result my children were further alienated since I had the audacity to go to the police about their father. I discovered six cashed cheques and have no idea how many others there are. I told the police (it’s in a small town) that my ex and my children are being sent a very dangerous message, that they can ignore the law. I said I had a bad feeling about everything.

    My children alienated me totally and I thought they were going about their lives happily, and that I was being paranoid.

    In January my daughter and her husband took me out for dinner (I thought wow, they are finally going to let me back into their lives). Instead, I was told, in a restaurant, that my son was kicked out by his wife (they also have 3 children) because of his drug use (news to me). They had taken him in. They had gone away for a weekend and my son had a party, at which there were cocaine dealers and hookers. At 4:00 in the morning, a woman (the mother of a 3-year-old) fell down the stairs, and died in hospital 5 days later).

    The house was a house which my ex had renovated and sold to my daughter and her husband. At the time of the sale I had mentioned to others that I felt uneasy about it because my ex doesn’t abide by building codes (remember, he thinks he’s above the law). They tell me at the dinner that at the top of the stairs there was a building code violation (the door was swinging into the stairs instead of outwards, and there was no landing). This may have contributed to the fall. I was told my ex told them “it was up to the owner’s discretion.” Hogwash! A code is a code, and it is clearly another example of his lack of respect for authority.

    As far as I know, nothing has been done to hold him accountable for this.

    He has not been held accountable for cashing my cheques.

    I could go on… but tell me, how do I walk away from him? In my opinion, my children are at risk, since they both work for him and he likely holds the mortgage on the house also.

    My son is a drug addict, but my ex refuses to send him to rehab, although he certainly has the funds to do so, in abundance. I offered to pay but why would he go when he has a new truck, a job promotion at work, and lives comfortably in one of his father’s homes.

    How do I walk away?

    I now feel incredibly vulnerable since he knows he can cash my cheques with no penalty, and he also has all my information since we were married for 17 years.

    What to do?


    • Anonymous,

      Your children are grown, and there is absolutely nothing legal or ethical that you can force them to see or do. If they can’t see it for themselves, you certainly can’t wake them up to it. They must feel it and see it first-hand. It’s the natural progression and expectation of our minds: we must be 100% convinced before we are willing to accept something, and no one can just tell us it’s true.

      It sounds like your ex enables your son to remain an addict, because your ex likes the power he wields over an addict. Your ex probably shames and praises your son in the same sentence, day after day, causing your son confusion, anxiety and depression. All of which feeds his addiction.

      Until something drastic happens and your ex tosses your son on the street, you are powerless to have any affect on your son. I’m sorry. You need to keep your distance but always be ready to offer your son proper help when and if that day comes. Is there someone you can talk to who can help ease your anxieties over this? A counselor or trusted friend or family member who is willing to simply offer you some validation?

      What kind of cheques is he cashing? From whom? That simply seems odd to me. How can the police overlook such a thing?


    • Paula,
      I have kept my distance, after my son told me to “fuck off and leave him alone.” Apparently I’m not supposed to be concerned about my son. I went to see a skating show my granddaughter was in and was told that was not allowed, and that he was going to put a restraining order on me (I had gone in, sat and watched, and left). Before I went I had advised the police I was going, so as to avoid any comments that I was stalking or something. It’s just an incredibly bizarre situation.

      You are right about why my ex enables my son. You are very intelligent. Most don’t see it, but I certainly do.

      I know there is nothing I can’t do. I miss my children, and my grandchildren terribly.

      The police looked the other way, in my opinion, because my ex owns half the town. No other explanation for it.

      I do speak to a therapist about it. She’s the one that mentioned narcissism and sociopathy, which led me to this blog.

      I have a friend who is a police detective and we are going to talk today. I trust him and hope he can assist me. My biggest issue is the cheques since I do feel very vulnerable. Since I don’t think like a criminal, I have no idea what he might do to get back at me for going to the police. Being a classic NS he will want to punish me for it in some way, of that I have no doubt.

      My life is good in all other ways. I’m happily in a new marriage and just keep praying that the eyes of my children will open, although with the perks of being the children of their father, that will take a very long time.

      Thanks for letting me share.


    • Made a typo….

      I meant, “there is nothing I CAN do.”


  7. […] The Top 5 Reasons to Walk Away from any Self-Proclaimed Sociopath (paularenee.wordpress.com) […]


  8. Love number five… Also i found that i get triggered reading the posts.. I am going to try only to read recommended stories posts blogs etc…. and then not to click links to similar ones, one of my downfalls…… Thank you paula


    • That’s a good idea. We never know what could trigger us. Sometimes it could EVERYTHING!! 🙂


    • Yep I needed to read this again 😉
      Thank you Paula,

      I forgot the ‘Do Not Engage’ with the Soc even on other blogs but, they trigger me & I end up apologizing argh!!!

      They really are POO POO>

      Thanks 🙂
      PR x


  9. […] The Top 5 Reasons to Walk Away from any Self-Proclaimed Sociopath (paularenee.wordpress.com) […]


  10. Thank you so much for the food for thought.
    It is #5 that really rings for me, as I am indeed a Curious Kat – always curious… But you are so right, there is a much bigger world out there that is so much more interesting than the dark machinations of control and manipulation of sociopaths.


  11. Hi Paula,
    Very timely as I had noticed it occurring on ‘dating a sociopath’ blog & it was getting out of hand but, I picked it up & didn’t participate. They really are like vultures!!!
    Good Post & you are so right ‘Never trust a Soc’
    Thank you.


    • That’s the same post that inspired me to write this. I just don’t think it’s a good idea on many levels to engage them. If they want to share, that’s one thing. But to think our questions can be answered through THEM…that’s preposterous to me. 🙂


    • I agree totally 🙂
      I was sucked in by one pretending to be a victim (trrc60?) but, soon realised he was a nutter & I was being sympathetic whilst he was pathetic!
      The two on ‘datingasociopath’ are really low lifes & I’m hoping positivagirl blocks them soon. As Positiva is a survivor I am sure she will & we can all get back to supporting,learning & encouraging each other onto our healing path 😉
      You are one of my hero’s so, keep up the good work.


    • I remember trrc! He WAS a nutter! Hehe! Thank you, PR. ❤


  12. Point number 3 really sums it up the best. They are fishing for information to better manipulate. And just like a vampire can not come into a home unless invited neither can the sociopath come into our world unless WE allow it. (sorry I’m so into vampires not narc’s but vampires).


  13. Excellent, excellent advice!


  14. First the whole notion, frightens and disgusts me! Yet it’s reality, any way to look like a victim to get sympathy, (to get more victims). On the up note, at least for once they are being truthfulish?


    • Truth-foolish or Foolish-truth? 🙂


    • Okay, I pick foolish-truth, in 12 short hours I have been unprivileged to hear the most amazingly pathetic, moronic, foolish BS, one person could ever strategize verbally as a arguement? (or text, even better). All I can say is, It’s going to be a LONG eight years until my son is 18! Maybe he will find a new ex to torture, when he realizes, I don’t bend? Any thoughts? Or is this wishful thinking on my part?


    • I couldn’t communicate with my ex if we had a child together. I’d go nuts. I would probably use Our Family Wizard for all communications. Do you know it? http://www.ourfamilywizard.com/ofw/index.cfm/parents/


    • I have something similar called OPTIMAL, I have the hardest time using it – (I aren’t good at computers). It’s not him, we are on the last leg of our journey I believe. I just have this feeling. He’s to cocky to get a lawyer, he expects me to buckle, and I will not. Also he won’t spend the $150 for the program.


    • When I say it’s “not him” I am only bothered by the effects it has on the children. They are upset, they are now old enough to understand. He and I, oh nothing he says bothers me, that magical button pressing has worn off, for me anyway. I can still press away, I just don’t. Why? He just turns around and takes it out on the kids.


  15. When my Ex-Patho-Narc’s story kept changing, rather the timeline as to when he took up with his new victim, it was THEN that I accessed his various email accounts and learned the truth. The man had more versions to his story than Harry Potter. I wish I knew then, what I know now (thanks to your wisdom Paula): YOU CANNOT F*CKING TRUST A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I wonder if his new victim knows about his alias emails. His Facebook accounts. The cash he hides in a safe. The fact that he still hasn’t closed those on-line dating accounts. I wonder if he gave her the same line he gave me, “I always knew I’d marry a dark haired Italian woman.” Gag!



  16. Awesome point #2. You are so right- they are projecting YOUR preferred moral code back to you! They are not stupid. They know very well what works.


    • They do!!! They know but would never admit to the real reason why they do it. Probably because they honestly think they are normal, and we are just too emotionally unstable. The simple fact is that anyone who has emotions would SEEM emotionally unstable to those who have zero emotions. They are robots with intelligent chips but no emotional chips. 🙂


    • Yes, this is what I experience. I get justifiably upset (like in the long post I just put) and then I’m told I’m unstable. Who’s the unstable one? The one who doesn’t get upset that their son is a drug addict?
      What to do?


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