Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Question for Those Who Have Delt with a Sociopath

We can't know the mind of a sociopath because it is such an unnatural way to think and behave. So I pose this question, in an effort to understand the mind of a sociopath, to those who have delt with one. Marriage to one reveals the most because in trying to get away the deepest darkness is revealed, but there are other relationships to sociopaths that might also shed light.

Do you think that, as they outright lie and distort reality, they truly convince themselves that what they are saying is the truth? That they say it so passionately and with such certainty that they begin to really believe what they are saying?


Over time do they test certain phrases and behaviors and learn that they can push buttons with various people to get what they want? Do they knowingly manipulate; they pull a string and the marionettes move exactly as they've dictated? 

If you do not want to respond publically please email me at: and I will post your response anonymously. If you have not dealt with a sociopath and simply find it interesting and have an opinion please do not hesitate to comment.


  1. My experience has me convinced that the sociopath knowingly manipulates situations. Your question got me thinking. Upon reflection I would suggest that my sociopath learned, initia, to manipulate me through trial and error. Recent events have convinced me ,however, that she had come to believe the lies she has used as a justification of her behavior.The concept of neuroplasticity could readily for the transition from fantasy to perceived reality particularly with the frequency of reward that reinforces the lies. Just a thought...

  2. I believe my ex knowingly manipulates and lies. I also believe he can't keep up with it all and that is where the distorted reality comes in.

  3. I married and divorced a sociopath but have stayed friends with him. I ask him questions like this and I believe he is answering them honestly. I think I know how is brain works, so I hope i can help:

    Being manipulative came naturally for him. When I read the 48 Laws of Power I told him about what I was reading and he told me he has known all of that for a very long time. I am sure there is some trial and error involved but my guess would be that people who lack empathy pick up their tricks from watching others who are successful, people who make a lot of money or get a lot of ladies and try to emulate them. He absolutely manipulates people on purpose, even goes out of his way to do it. I think it is a power thing. It makes him feel good and gives him his dopamine fix when emotions that can make other people happy cannot.

    I don't think my ex-husband ever believed his lies. He was so persistent that he was telling the truth that I once caught myself thinking I must be wrong, even though I knew I was right. This is called gas-lighting. I don't think they care whether they are telling the truth or not, they just want to win.

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  5. I wanted to add something so I removed my first post.

    I personally wouldn't like to believe my x-husband, was pulling the strings all the time. But I am just starting to learn more and more now days and I starting to review this might have be the case.

    It felt like there were moments in my life, he would find something I was doing and all of a sudden completely disagree with it, even though he was supportive or even pushed me to begin with.

    I noticed he would work around every angle to win the battle. So if one attack didn't work because I wouldn't back down, he would find another way, and keep going for months till he won the battle.

    I always thought he was just trying to get his own way; I never really look at the bigger picture back then. Thanks to the internet and blogs like these for opening a lot of these doors.

    Then other times, I would catch him out in a lie, but he would throw everything at me saying how I ever learnt how to trust and couldn't believe in him.. Only to find out months and months later and numerous lies, that it was my fault and yes he did do it. And now I have only myself to blame for being upset, because I made him lie.

    So in regards to the question and only sharing two examples, I would have to say yes to both.

    They outright lie and distort reality and they knowingly manipulate the situation. Now if there lie eventually becomes reality in their own mind that might end up being the case in some situations. But unfortunately I can only see the lie and then the denial.

  6. I think the answer to both questions is Yes. I think my ex was very much aware of some of what he was doing but a lot of it seems to be pure (disordered) instinct.

    Maybe intellectual capacity has something to do with the level of awareness? Frankly, my ex was not nearly as intelligent as yours.

  7. I know this question is a bit old, but I want to comment on it anyway. My ex sociopath lies and then lies some more. He does it so well, that before long even I begin doubting what is true. Towards the end of our relationship, I began audio recording him in secret. At first, it was just to reassure myself that he DID say what I thought he did. Most recently, it has been to let the court hear what he does firsthand, because it is indescribable.

    I have directly confronted him before with photographic evidence when he denied hitting our child and tried to convince me that I was nuts. His response? He didn't miss a beat before changing his story. Not a pause, hesitation, or second to think about what he was saying. Its like the answer was already there in his brain, waiting to roll off his forked tongue.
    I have also asked him about whether his lies are intentional or if he isn't aware he does it. His answer? HE DOESN'T LIE- PEOPLE JUST PERCIEVE REALITY DIFFERENTLY and that was his "perception" at that exact moment in time.

  8. I think they know full well that they lie and manipulate. The real question is whether or not they are self aware of their true illness. This I do not know the answer to. My ex would change his story to fit the emerging facts and when that failed, he turned on the offensive and it became an accusation of me not being supportive of him. He would actually say that spouses had to support the other even when the other was dead wrong. He tried for 15 yrs to convince me of this warped logic but failed. As truth emerged, I started hearing from people all around me, that had for one reason or another been moved out of his inner circle - some on their own choosing, some were pushed out for a perceived slight, and I was amazed at the complexity of his lies. EVERYONE had a different story. When people finally came to me, most of them believed my side for one simple reason - my narrative never changed. The truth was the truth. The ex spent tremendous amounts of energy (and drugs which he doled out in copious quantities to anyone he met) trying to re-write history and for many months after it all came to light, I struggled with anxiety and overwhelming sadness and hopelessness. One day, as I was confronted by yet another one of his drugged up cronies, spouting off the "truth", I suddenly became calm and it dawned on me that he will spend the rest of what life he has left trying fervently to convince people of an alternative "truth", but it doesn't matter. I know the truth, he knows the truth, my daughter knows the truth and NOTHING he does will ever change it, even in the slightest. Now that is true IMPOTENCE. Then I laughed, for the first time in many months, and I let go of worrying about what anyone else thought or believed. I cannot control that, all I can do is know the truth and speak the truth when asked. Let the cosmos sort out the rest.


Thank you for your comment. Positive feedback and helping those that have experienced the same tragedies are what keeps me going.