If you have been involved with a sociopath, you might have noticed that they are very good at assessing people. They have a particular skill at reading the subtle body language clues, observing what is said, and what is not said and reading interactions with others.
In some senses it seems like a superhuman power. Whilst you have been happily in the relationship, you are not aware of what is going on in the sociopath’s brain. How the sociopath is thinking and why he is able to manipulate, dupe and con people.
Lack of emotion/lack of empathy/lack of conscience
Most people, when in communication with another, have a sense of emotion and empathy for the other person that we are talking to. We care about the welfare of others.
When in communication with others, we are thinking about their needs, as well as our own.
If someone we know is happy, we are happy for them. Naturally, we have empathy for others. A sociopath does not understand this concept. Because they lack the range of emotions that non sociopaths have, they are not held back by emotion. To them it seems an inconvenience that would just get in the way.
A sociopath thinks differently when he meets someone, he thinks
- What do you have to offer me?
- Are you useful to me?
- What can I take from you?
- How can I be what you want?
- What do you want and need (and how can I sell that back to you?)
Because the sociopath is without the emotional constraints. He is able to to focus on you. The sociopath is the businessman, the top notch salesperson. Did you notice how the sociopath was at the beginning of the relationship, like a pushy salesperson? It was that kind of feeling, like you were being ‘sold’ something. The truth is, you were.
Did you ever notice the predatory stare? You feel like all attention and focus is on you. This is sociopath concentration. Whilst he might be smiling, his eyes tell another story. His predatory stare are like his 3d glasses. Not being held back by emotions, he connects with people using his brain.
Sometimes the sociopath is spot on. Other times is purely guesswork. When the sociopath is staring at you in that way,he is trying to read you. You might have noticed that he did this, when you were focused on something else. When you ask ‘why are you staring at me?’ the response that you get is ‘that they were just admiring how beautiful you are’. Or something corny along those lines. This, is of course a lie.
I love you!
Did you notice how many times the sociopath said ‘I love you’ and how you felt COMPELLED to reply…. ‘I love you too’ did you notice how the sociopath says this NOT to tell you that he loves you, but instead to check to see if you were still in love with him?
He does this as, when you are in love you are blinded by emotion. This makes it very easy to dupe and to con. You would notice at the very beginning to sociopath comes on strong, to get you to fall in love with him. He moves in close to you, so close you almost feel that you do not have room to breath.
Understanding the world – without a full range of emotions
The sociopath has had to learn to adapt to living in a world, without the full range of emotions. Imagine if you lived and you had no hearing, you would learn to lip read, you would learn body language. If you couldn’t see, you would rely more heavily on sound, and touch.
It is the same for the sociopath. His lack of emotion, has made him focus more on what he can to function in the world. Whilst he might not be able to feel the same, he can use his brain. This enhances, and enables him to see things that other people might miss.
Having emotions can hold you back, and for true empaths, they can be weighed down by other peoples emotions. Not having emotions, the sociopath views life with his BRAIN and doesn’t think with his HEART. This is why sociopaths are natural predators (you wouldn’t see an eagle thinking compassionately about the mouse before he swoops in for the kill).
The sociopath growing up in a world with limited emotions, needs to study for additional clues
- Your body language
- What you say (which is why he asks a lot of questions)
- Your interactions with others, and theirs with you
- Any additional information that he can find about you (social networking sites, information lying around, diaries, emails) anything really that can build a picture of you
The sociopath is very aware that you do not see the world like this. He is often unsure when to launch in with ‘I love you’. so will often be the one to ask you very early on after a heavy session of seduction ‘do you love me?’.
The sociopath knows that if you love him, then he can control you. He has ownership and possession of you. The sociopath loves to play games, this relieves his boredom. They are strategists, with an agenda.
The sociopath has the ability to read people and situations better than people who are not sociopaths, simply because he is not held back with emotion, the lack of one, heightens the other. Additionally it has been recorded (but I can’t find it to link to it), that the sociopath thinks with both sides of his brain at the same time, whilst the non sociopathic person only uses one side.
Living life in this way, does make the sociopath both predatory and manipulative. You might not be able to visualise living in a world without emotion, but you should be able to imagine how it would feel to lose your sight or hearing. You can easily see why your other senses would be heightened to compensate.
The one thing that all victims of sociopath should have noticed is the repeating patterns of behaviour, it is like groundhog day. Repeating the same behaviour over and over. Even when he makes promises to change, he will still repeat the same behaviour, even when it is not in his interests to do so.
When someone is going through life using their feelings, their behaviour is likely to be changeable. If you look at certain personality disorders, where there is an excess of emotions (like BPD), the personality type is likely to be more erratic, as the person is very reactionary to how they feel. They are often ruled by their emotions more than their brain. it is how they feel, and those feelings can feel very real.
Sociopaths are the reverse to this. They operate using calculation, having an agenda, they are clever, smart intelligent. They respond to situations in the same way, repeatedly, almost in a clockwork way, making them seem, sometimes inhuman (by reactions). it might seem incredible to you, that they have once again repeated exactly the same thing that almost broke you up before. The sociopath does not think like this. Having a shortened sense of the future, being opportunistic, not being able to plan long term ahead, lack of long term life goals, and not being able to learn from past mistakes (to any degree for lasting change) they repeat the same pattern of behaviour over and over.
If you were with the sociopath for any length of time, you would have experienced this repeat of behaviour – over and over again. It really can feel like the film ground hog day!
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21 thoughts on “The sociopath and the 3d glasses – why sociopaths are very good at assessing people!”
Tiresome is how I like to describe their behavior. Just effing tiresome! Great post!
Yeah that too 🙂 Thanks
Draining is an even better word. Thanks Nikki. You keep me grounded. (Sometimes, I still lose my way.)
Absolutely draining…. yes!!! That intense focus of attention on you, can suck the life out of you.
It’s good to be free Cindy! 🙂
Ok so today I officially resigned from my job. It’s funny because I have no emotion about it. The A-Ha moment for me was when the person responsible for deciding my fate asked me (for the 5th time) how the person was able to make me lie about the relationship when I knew full well what the policy stated. I felt like a broken record…if a person hasn’t had experience with sociopaths they cannot comprehend the power of the person over the victim. It seems as if he felt like as a professional woman I should be able to decipher that I was being victimized like work status makes u immune to being conned & manipulated?!?!?! I gave up at that very moment. The sociopath I was involved with was able to victimize so many women in the same place because not only did he make you feel like everyone had it out for him, he was also good at playing women against each other. I really felt like it was “poor little him”. I noticed myself always coming to his rescue & defending him. In return he treated me like a queen. Little did I know he was sleeping around with women right under my nose. All of the lines he told them, he also told me. All of the same behaviors he had with them, he had with me. I even found out the last time I was in contact with him so he could come clean & apologize, he also apologized to another woman right before we met..I bet u can guess that his apologies were verbatim!!! This experience, WHEW!!! I just can’t wrap my head around it. It has been over for 2+ months, but it still feels like yesterday some times.
Well, it will be a new fresh start for you Veronica. Remember what you said the other day, how you were unhappy in your job, but stayed with it anyway, only this has given you the courage to leave?
I am going to keep reminding you….. I think that you did the right thing, and likely you this was meant to happen to get you to leave and do something new.
The last bit you put about the repeat of behaviour is so true! Everything was great for a good 8 months then out of the blue my ex was first texting a guy inappropriately at uni. Then left their got a job had a couple of guys numbers which she couldn’t explain (this has just made me remember she use to have a pay as you go phone and couldn’t explain how her top up ran out so). Then got another job where this guy was texting her and couldn’t explain why, then got another job (this is all in under 5 months) and had a guy from works number who I found out she kissed on a work night out as he txt her phone saying how amazing she was and what a connection everyone said they had-he had met her like 3 days before and I found this txt she was like I’m sorry it was only for a second, promised it wouldn’t happen again, one week later texting another guy from work and he txt how happy she made him and how amazing she was (they had just met) this is the guy she went off with. She stayed round his for good when I chucked her out wow they move fast. It’s amazing how they worm themselves in when in normal relationship you wouldn’t move in together after a week of meeting or have people declaring how amazing you are (to the sociopath even)! Normally id never stand for that kind of stuff I don’t get how they manage to worm themselves out of everything I guess it’s the compulsive lying about everything. Even when I told her I’d seen the txt that she kissed him she denied it for like an hour even saying it was a girl from work she didn’t like. The guy she went off with she had been out with all day when said she was shopping with a girl then at work, actually had me pick her up outside her work in her work clothes which she had just put on had sexy clothes in bag. I confronted her why they were clean just lied the whole night till I saw he txt her in the morning.(sorry its long just thought id give an example of repeating behaviour where she promised to stop and was not in her interest at all as ive heard she is way worse off now from someone)
From a sociopaths point of view most people are dumb. There is no weaseling- lying- or anything of the sort. such is not needed. If you are unaware of your behaviour and what it means beyond personal experience [emotional situations where it is used vs. non emotional situations where the same motion is used]. We see the world this way emotional and not.] We can differentiate what is important and what isnt at a mere glance. The fact all this information is there for anyone to pick up on leaves, me at least, feeling like “how can this not be seen”. So peoples brains dont work that way- you cannot pick up on whats infront of you. Ok. well I have adjusted to accompany that the only way I could- I ignored everything I could. I had a wonderful time, friends- no problems besides being a little too honest at times and a disconnection that has always been there- meh- it was great. Then I stopped doing drugs- I started noticing things again- I went through a 2 year depression. Seeing how upset and angry the world is- seeing how horrible people [without mental problems] treated eachother because its funny in the media or in their family or something. As a sociopath I cannot stand idley by you honestly seem like children. Like there is actually a mental deficiency in you that does not allow you to grow beyond literal interpretation. Dont get me wrong- I now wonder everyday if I am mentally disabled because on my inability to have a friendship as friends have friendships. It always feels fake- because it is. I believe there is alot of influence from the media telling people when to not think- but the truth is there is never a time to not think. There are difficulties handling emotions but dont go “now is not the time to think” because what does that say. really. This is another frustrating point I have noticed- the inalibity to see that that phrase up there is saying that blind action can solve complex emotions. I see this as plain as day. The truth of your website is it was built in pain. but dont completely disregard a whole group of people with this… “disorder” because you fail to understand that that particular sociopath you were dealing with never got the chance to see their abilities can be redirected for positive outcomes [not changed- that WILL NEVER HAPPEN WITH ANYONE FOR ANYTHING. Only redirection exists.]
This is written in my point of view should not be taken as information or literally if such is w/e to you.
I’m still evaluating the extent of my ex’s sociopathic nature. I feel like he was able to look within me, find my insecurities and then mirror them back at me to control me.
He is doing that to me now (a smear campaign, I assume) and telling me my friends all dislike me. I care deeply for my friends.
I wish I would have seen the red flags two years ago. Terrible relationship with his family, a poker player with no real direction in life, finds humor in putting down others, a sense of righteousness and a cheater. Hoping No Contact works for me.
Thanks for your amazing blog posts. They are truly helping me.
Thank you sunshine!! 🙂 what you describe, the mirroring, exploiting your weaknesses to control you, the smear campaigns. Its all so very hurtful. No contact does work, its painful at first, see it as an addiction that you need to wean yourself off of. Just take it one day at a time, and use the time to focus on you.
Wow, a very insightful post! I’ve been reading a lot about sociopaths after a gut wrenching experience with one. But I got a few aha-moments here.
The predatory gaze: check
The questions: check. That was so weird. He always asked: how are you? When we were in a bar, while having sex, this question always came back. I once laughed (in a bar), in a nice way: “It’s so nice of you to worry about me, but I was fine 20 mins ago, and I am fine now. And trust me, I’m an open book. If I’m not fine, you will notice.” 🙂
I realise now: he would not notice, because it would be too subtle for him to feel. As he has hardly any feelings, and only approaches things with his brain. That’s why he asks this all the time, which comes across as pretty weird…
(but like so many things with him, I took it as a compliment)
Also, in regard to having no feelings, an example: I once told him I was having a weird day bc I just found out that the ex of a mate just had died in an accident. I was never very close to this ex, but still, I thought about it all day. He just replied: “Yes, these things happen”, and wanted to talk about himself. I was like: what? I mean, a normal person would ask questions, like: what was that guy like? Or whatever. Show some interest at least. He did not.
I also remember how he always said: ‘”You’ll get over it.” About everything, but mostly when I pointed out something he said or did that I did not like (usually very insensitive comments). I once said to him: “You probably don’t mean bad when you say this, you just don’t want a fuss, I get that, but can you understand that it makes me feel like my feelings are not allowed?” And then he looked at me with this gaze, like he did not understand, but was studying me rationally, and nodded: “Yes hon.”
O my, so much recognition here!!
There are the very in your face kind of things, like lying, cheating, the mind games etc. But these kind of subtleties give them away as well…
I also can’t help wondering if there are some fellow victims of this guy on this site… As this is a British site, and my ex lives in the UK (but Aussie) and I don’t (we met on holiday). And as he is/was extremely promiscuous. Would love to hear from you if any of this sounds familiar!
I came here because I have been seeking answers. I am a guy who has realized that a man I once thought to be one of my best friends is a sociopath. I also worked for him for 5 years, leaving a great career and a great city to join a company he founded – ultimately, giving up just about everything in my life (money, household, girlfriend, and sense of self) to this man’s vision and persona. Only now, while I’m trying to rebuild my life and rediscover myself, do I realize what damage he wrought – and that I allowed him to wreak. Of course, he no longer speaks to me because I am no longer of use to him. This lines up exactly with the description that you provided. Unfortunately, others who haven’t been so close to him view him as “focused” and “incredibly successful.” He is viewed as a charming person. I was recently reminded of him because another very successful sociopath is a friend of my (probably soon-to-be-ex) girlfriend. This new sociopath has manipulated her into thinking that I am a failure or unworthy of her affections. I see exactly how he’s planted the seed – and she is falling for the trap. I am trying not to hate but I have such anger toward both of these individuals. Why do people like them get ahead in life? It’s like they have the convenience of not feeling or caring, so they can be very focused on “getting ahead.”
Hi sad, welcome to the site. This is the most frustrating thing, how others cannot see what you can. How they still see the charming person who is just ‘nice’ you know the difference and are left picking up the pieces. This can be particularly tough as you struggle to get support. I hope that you can get support here.
Aside from being inflammatory and pandering, your analysis of psychopathic or sociopathic behavior is highly contrary to academic literature on the topic. Levenson et al would be a good place to start to learn about sociopathic traits among non-institutionalized populations. You’ll find that sociopathy exists on a spectrum and is not a discreet (or us/them) disorder.
Say that again in a English? Who is to say that academic literature is correct when most of the studies are done for those in prison? Why is it inflammatory? Try living through it. The only one inflamed is the victim.
I take it your a psycho only a psycho would think words on this site are inflammatory. Funny that.
Please stop associating a sociopath as a He. I am a He and have suffered female sociopaths for many years.
Iam a sociopath, I excel at exploiting others weaknesses Iam an apex predator Living with no real emotion toward people or love is difficult, The question we ask is will we ever be completely human. We don’t see our flaws until we hurt someone because of who we are. I can tell you this post is real and tomorrow I will go to work and exploit more weaknesses because that is who Iam and a tiger never changes its stripes.