The one question that is often asked when you find out that the person you are in love with is a sociopath, is:
“Can a sociopath change?”
The short answer is NO.
It is important that we get the short answer of No, out of the way as quickly as possible.
No they cannot change. Currently there is no cure or therapy for sociopathy that has been found to work effectively. In fact, therapy, couples counselling etc, can make things worse, as the sociopath learns to sharpen their tools to manipulate. Therapy can make them more manipulative. If the sociopath is begging for another chance, and promising that there will be change, this is quite simply, A LIE.
The reason why they cannot change, is because they lack conscience. Which means that they feel no guilt, no remorse or shame for their actions. Not only this, but because of this, they are unable to learn from past experiences. A sociopath is unable to make future realistic plans in life, and is not goal orientated or focused.
- Lack of conscience
- Lack of genuine feelings
- Inability to feel remorse or shame for past actions
- Unable to learn from past experiences
- Lack of life plan and inability to make target focused goals to create a life plan
A sociopath might feign sorrow or apologies. And you, as the victim, after all of the hurt and pain you have been through, might feel relieved. After all, this is the news that you wanted to hear, that there will be change. You just want a normal relationship, with someone who doesn’t lie, cheat, betray and use you.
You reason that if a person feels sorrow for their actions, that they will learn that they have hurt you and will not repeat those actions again?
This is reasonable thought when making judgement about somebody who thinks with an ordinary mind. But it is not reasonable thought when making judgement about a Sociopath. A sociopath does not, and cannot feel genuine sorrow (Unless it is sorrow for himself).
They might feel sorry that they have done something which has reduced their source for supply, or that they have lost someone out of their life which is useful to them. But once they have regained your trust, and got their source of supply back, the acting ‘sorrowful’ will be gone.
A sociopath is unable to experience empathy, which means that a sociopath has an inability to feel how anybody else feels apart from himself.
Feigned emotions that are expressed are those that are learnt from other people. They are not genuine feelings or emotions. Remember that the Sociopath is a chameleon, They have the ability to be whatever anybody wants to see, if it serves their purpose.
Whatever he/she is doing or saying, to convince you there will be change, and is now sorry, is simply an ‘act’. It is all a drama play, and the Sociopath will act out whatever it is that he/she thinks that you want to hear. There is nothing genuine about it. And as soon as trust with you is won, he/she will return to the exact same person, with the same hardwired personality, doing the same actions as before.
The longer that you stay with the Sociopath, the more repetitive the behaviour will become. This is because they cannot change. They are manipulative and conning. They love to dupe and deceive you. They have little else of value in their lives. It gives them a rush of endorphins to manipulate and con you.
What might be genuine, is that when they claim that they do not want to lose you out of their life, this could be true. But it would not be because of love, it would be because you have further supply that they wish to use you for. Quite simply, you are useful to them.
If you are in love with a sociopath, and hoping that there will one day be change, and that things will get better, you are simply wasting your life. Any change will be temporary. It is an act that the sociopath will find it impossible to keep up.
Whatever it is that he/she has been doing, lying, cheating, stealing, causing drama, creating chaos, whatever destruction – the sociopath will soon (no matter what false promises are made) return to the same pattern of behaviour.
There is unfortunately no hope that this person will change, because they will not and they cannot. The hardwiring is in the brain.
You could waste years of your life ‘waiting’. The best outcome that you could wish for, is for you to love them unconditionally no matter what they are doing. To put up with their crap. However, this wouldn’t be a good outcome for you, as you would be denying your own needs.
At what point was the sociopath thinking about YOUR needs, YOUR welfare? ….. see? Never at any point. The Sociopath thinks about one person, THEMSELVES and what they can get from you. How you meet their needs.
Is this all that you are worth? Are you just someone to be used?
It is time to make the change, change you. Focus the love that you are giving externally, and give this to you. Be your own best friend. You deserve it… Because truly, the secret of true happiness lies within.
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170 thoughts on “Can a sociopath change?”
I can see by your writting that you have experience.
This is not true. I personally cured a sociopath myself. Yep. He was and currently still is my boyfriend. It took me almost 3 years to stabilize him and make him feel sensitivity in his life. You have to be very patient and deal with a lot of bullshit but if you continuously throw love and affection into someone’s face regardless of them being rude or mean. something has got to give. They WILL change. So your statement that there is no cure for a sociopath is FALSE. His personality made a complete 360 degree turn.
Yes I remember writing something similar in 2014….. believe me they can fake it for as long as they need to.
Wow. That is more than amazing if this is true.Is he controling himself better. If you can explain what is the difference you notice?
Thank you for saying this. But I should warn you. It’s the rare few that are susceptible to change. There must be a reason and a motivation, regardless of what it is.
I don’t think any of them can change. Not for any length of time. They might change, for a short time, if it suits their agenda, but not long term.
I disagree. Your boyfriend wasn’t a true sociopath then. He may have just been a selfish jerk.
If he made a 360 degree turn that means he’s right back where he started. So he is a sociopath still, hahahaha.
(360 or 180?) 360 is a full circle.
Maybe he isn’t really a sociopath. Maybe there are other explanations for his turn around. Maybe he just needed to feel real love. I dated a true sociopath and I do not believe they change. I believe that get tired as they age and slow down later in life as illnesses start to creep up or they are unable to maintain/juggle the hard work that goes into their method of operation, but never completely change by a real true desire, want or need. They may even slow down or stop just to fool and give you the false illusion that they have changed all the while they are waiting and plotting to strike again. They are very patient and they have to be in order to con and convince you they have changed.
Lord there is hope
Thank you for this article. I dated a man whom I completely fell in love with. He deployed to Afghanistan for 8 months at the beginning of our relationship but because I felt he was such a wonderful, faithful man that I felt was my soul mate I chose to wait for him to return. All of the lies and hurtful things he did he claims were due to his deployment. Once he came home, nothing had changed. I couldn’t understand how this amazing man I met ended up being so horrible. He lied so much that I think he believed himself. The stories he created to justify his actions were absolutely ridiculous. He made sooooo many broken promises. He twisted everything to put the blame on me. More and more things began happening which were bringing me way down, he had complete control of me like a puppet. He knew exactly what to say and do at just the right time. I can go on and on. I also found out during our entire relationship he was seeing other women. I caught him red handed. After doing extensive research on sociopaths, the man I was dating not long ago fits the profile 100%. I once thought if I stuck by him, eventually he will change but it never happened. Instead, I was destroying myself. I share my story in hopes that if anyone is going through this, PLEASE end it now. Yes, it will hurt but I promise you will heal and be much happier! Remember, someone who truly loves you will treat you with kindness and respect. You deserve that!
Thank you melissa, no they will never change.
I’m just figuring out that my BF of 5 yrs is a sociopath. I finally looked up the definition a couple of days ago and almost threw up. I’m surprised his picture wasn’t there. 🙁
I can totally relate! I have never heard so many lies in my life by once person. I could take everyone I’ve ever met from birth till now and I would still come up short with how many times I’ve been lied to with combined lies verses the one sociopath pack of lies in 2 years. A real waste of time and useful years that can never be retrieved.
A while back I wrote that my soc came home to take care of me during breast cancer. Someone said he’s not a sociopath then, because they can’t do that.that they wouldn’t take care of someone for free. Oh it wasn’t free. He had a roof, food and I was paying his bills. He fits EVERY SINGLE story and detail of these blogs so I just don’t believe that!
Yes this is it exactly. You being sick, is perfect. Mine loved me sick too. He kept me sick, in return for caring for me when I was sick (and he did this well too) It cost me, financially, every way when you are sick, you are least likely to be able to take care of yourself. They have what they want. 1. To win 2. To control you.
This is so true!!! I dated a sociopath for 2 years and he had done such a good job convincing me that he was the way he was because of his previous marriage breakdown and that tough time he was going through gave him the right to have a 6 month affair and fall in love with someone else whilst still trying to be with me… Even after I found out, he begged me to come back and that it was a mistake (a six month mistake?really?!) and that he wouldn’t contact her again, he continued to find ways to contact her… A text here and there then sending her gifts to her work place two months after they’d parted because he knew she was seeing someone new and couldn’t stand it… The whole time telling me I was his world and he’d give his life to fix us.
I believed I could change him and I thought with enough love and nurture, he’d feel safe and secure enough not to lie and cheat, but the bottom line is, it was impossible for him to not lie. Even over simple things about taking his kids to the park… He would lie.
The advise I would give to anyone in that situation is that if your man/woman displays signs of lack of empathy, compassion,respect for your feelings and shows no emotion, get the hell out of there, because he will only get worse the longer you stay. Have confidence in yourself to know that it’s not a reflection on you…
Yes I believed that I could change him too. That was a fanciful notion on my part though 😦
Positivagirl how long were you involved with your sociopath?
He was in my life for four years Tee
Oh my gosh, how did you put up with it for so long and what kind of lengths did he go to with his lies and deceitfulness?
Oh gosh Where would I start…. he lied from start to finish. There is a post I think it’s called sociopaths say the funniest things
I knew that he was a sociopath for 3.5 of those years.
Regarding the sociopaths that are on here and want to change that’s so amazing just know it’s so extremely rare. In fact it’s so rare that you might want to contact Dr Hare or Dr James Fallon they might be very intrested in you and perhaps there they know something you can do. Also I’ve read about schema therapy developed by dr Jeffery Young.
The reason I know this is because most of us here I done so much research spending our life’s trying to understand the person we love/loved. Believe me we didn’t just give up on you.
Me and my 3 daughters where physically mentally emotionally abused for years. It is such a destruction of ones soul that the cheating becomes secondary. Most ppl would leave for just that.
He was diagnosed sociopath. Therapist, psychologist , psychiatrist victims advocates all urges me to leave. But I stayed n almost destroyed myself and my girls just to help this man.
Most of us here have done more for sociopaths psychopaths npd than anyone should ever have to do. The devastation he left is unimaginable it is pure evil. If my ex had wanted to be helped I would have done everything I could to help him with that too.
As a matter of fact those where my last words to him. That I loved him and I wanted to help him get help but these ppl don’t want to get helped. After all the abuse with zero remorse and negative empathy (wanting to hurt)( he actually told me once he wanted me to hurt that’s why he did it) but still no desire to solve or problems or self reflect. I even lied to police about one of his assault on me so he wouldn’t get in trouble later he used that against me. It doesn’t matter what u do they are only self serving. lll come on here another time to tell my story. I always feel it’s out of a movie thinking I can’t have possibly allowed this to have happend. But between the gaslighning tribulations threats deceits love bombing you brain is trying to catch up.
I so agree to that there is something in the brain which has been proven at least with psycopaths the stories are just to similar. They opparate almost identically. They all follow same agenda.
Use abuse and leave when it’s nothing left to gain unless the prey escaped. It’s very primal. And that’s how the human brain is if you take away empathy and consiousness.
Lots of love to all of you that have suffered
And please get help research for the very few on here that want to change. I really want to believe it’s possible.
Also if we didn’t have cluster b ppl we most likely wouldn’t have wars hence no need to send out soldiers with no feelings.
The devastation ppl without empathy cause world wide is the problem not the once that care and have compassion. Further we have enough extremely start ppl with both high IQ and EQ that work as surgeons lawyers n CEOs. We don’t need destruction and cruelty.
For N Benetti
Please be more open to others stories just as I wish others be open to hear yours. But it’s possible that your bf have less of sociopathic traits. Believe me I showered my partner with constant love n care and took much more than bullshit. Way beyond that. I almost lost my girls my job and my house. We all are trying to survive from all these.
Maybe my situation was extreme but my story isn’t completely unheard off. But I’m happy you had that experience.
There is this Australian couple Steve and Kim Cooper that
cured his npd. They have a website called narcassismcured.com
They claim they healed his npd and now they counsel others.
Also dr Hawkins at marriage recovery center in Seattle has helped npd but probably not the most extreme ones.
It happens but pls consider your bf might suffer from narrasistic personality disorder. Regardless off the diagnose anyone that is being profoundly abused over long period of time needs to get out if the abuser refuse to change. This is very serious situations that ppl are in causing deep trauma for many.
I have to let go of my sociopath. I enjoyed the ride and the pretty face but I’m getting low on funds and energy. haha. oh well.
I remember. I just couldnt afford it anymore. I had gone into negative equity.
My husband I do feel has some traits. He is also an alcoholic and uses Norco daily.. He does lie alot. Never keeps a promise of wuitting the drink. And I just realized he shows really any emotion. Its like forced or superficial or shallow. Is this a sociopath?