According to the American Psychiatric Association, sociopaths make up only three to five percent of the population. However, the Consumer Detective Association indicates that nearly every person will come across a sociopath sometime during their lifespan. If you’ve been on the receiving end of the psychotic behavior of a sociopath, the statistics don’t matter. All that matters is figuring out how to unravel the mess a sociopath will try to make of your life.
How to Deal with a Sociopath
- Know your enemy: Sociopaths manipulate, lie and scheme against you. They think nothing of spending 10 hours a day on the phone, or in person, telling anyone and everyone lie after lie about you. Your reputation may be in tatters by the time they are done. According to therapist Martha Stout in The Sociopath Next Door , sociopaths have no remorse. They do not feel sorrow when they destroy your life.
- Don’t play the game: Once a sociopath targets you, the situation turns into a game for him or her. Your attempts to “fix” the situation with rational conversation is seen as weakness by the sociopath. She will feel she is winning and will amp up her efforts, even twisting your words and using them against you.
- Escape the insanity: I can’t stress enough that you simply cannot win with a sociopath. A sociopath will never stop attacking your reputation in the most ruthless manner possible. The ONLY way to win is to get away from the sociopath. I know this from personal experience. I had to cut off every avenue of possible contact to escape the craziness created by a person who came into my life by chance.
- Take a witness: If you are in a situation where you must deal with the sociopath, such as someone in your family, or a co-worker, refuse to speak with the person unless you have a third party present. This way, you have a witness and your words and actions cannot be twisted and misconstrued. The Abuse Recovery site offers additional tips for dealing with a sociopath that you might find helpful.
- Don’t let it get to you: A sociopath will tear down your innermost confidence in yourself bit by bit until you wonder if all the conflict is your fault. Take a step back and really reflect on the situation. Take responsibility for your own faults (we all have them), and lay the blame where it belongs for the rest.
While the average person spends a good portion of the day thinking about those she loves (children, husband, parents, friends), a sociopath doesn’t have these emotional ties with anyone. Instead, she will spend all that time plotting to take you down and destroy you either literally or figuratively.
Even removing yourself from the sphere of the sociopath’s influence may only work for a while.
You must remain consistent. Do not let the sociopath fool you a second time with his or her charm. Do not believe the person has changed.
Most therapists agree that sociopaths cannot be treated effectively. Instead, take steps to protect yourself and your family. Consider drastic solutions like moving, changing jobs and making new friends.
Remember that it is all a game to the sociopath. She or he does not care if you’re hurt. The only goal they have is winning. The only way you can beat a sociopath is to get away from a sociopath.
Image Source: Morguefile