2010.08.15

Google search: “my best friend is a sociopath”
The response to that is “likely not.”

The search string above is a fairly common search used with Google and Yahoo. Actually, it’s too common … it shows just how many people completely misunderstand the traits of a sociopath. Sociopaths do NOT have any real friends, they do not want friends, nor do they have the emotions that are required to be a friend. Instead of friends, a sociopath wants loyal followers, people who will do anything to help the sociopath achieve their own narcissistic goals. They gain followers by using an act — known as their “persona”— pretending to be an upright, trusting person, and a great friend. Their persona is nothing like their real personality. But they are quite believable.

Mutually Exclusive Terms

The terms “friend” and “sociopath” are mutually exclusive. What does that mean? It means you can have a real friend, and you may know a sociopath, but you cannot have a real friend who’s also a sociopath. What you can be is a loyal follower, or even a disciple to a sociopath, and as such, they will treat you as if you were a friend … but it is not sincere. As long as you provide some value to them, something they need, value as simple as companionship, they will keep you around. But once they tire of your companionship, you will be left with no doubt. 

As most people are aware, a sociopath, or more precisely, someone afflicted with Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) and/or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), does not feel any guilt or remorse for the things they’ve done to others, but on a larger scale, it’s not just those emotions that they lack … sociopaths do not have any of the typical emotions that most people take for granted.

So along with lacking negative emotions, such as guilt and remorse, they also lack what most would consider positive emotions, such as compassion, love, joy, security, and passion. This is what’s often overlooked, but critically important: a sociopath’s lack of emotions does not end with the negative emotions. Hence, a person with APD or NPD does not have the capacity to feel any positive emotions, preventing them from thinking about anyone else, but themselves. A sociopath cannot feel the emotions required in a friendship, so they act them out. And often, they over-act with a certain plastic appeal.

Most sociopaths or psychopaths have likely identified how they differ from most people, and in their minds, they’re superior to virtually all of “us”. They do not need friends … they need loyal followers. A sociopath cares only about themselves, and how they can use others to strengthen their narcissistic goals.

Scenario #1:  You have a long-time best friend who you think is a sociopath. Why do you think that? What gives you that idea? It’s not as easy as a carrying a five or ten-point cheat sheet in your pocket. A sociopath would never reveal their real selves to anyone … it’s their most guarded secret. And if you are sure — by something you yourself witnessed (hearsay never counts) — you are positively sure they are a sociopath, then why aren’t you running? This is no game.

Scenario #2:  You are certain that this person is indeed a sociopath, but you still hang-out with them and consider them your best friend because you say they treat you like their best friend. But you have no doubt that they are a sociopath. Well, I’m sure you do consider them your best friend. But you’re traveling in a dark, one-way tunnel.

Just because you feel that close kinship with them, don’t for a second think they feel the same about you. You are only their most loyal, shallow, and gullible ignoramus. You are not the sociopath’s friend. They have NO friends. Got it?

• You call the sociopath your best friend.

• The sociopath calls you a gullible ignoramus … but loyal.

• The rest of us call you a disciple. A sociopath’s disciple.

My experience with disciples is one of great concern. Disciples seem to have their own personality problems, and with them, they are just as dangerous, if not more so, than their sociopath.

A sociopath cannot have friends. They are incapable. It’s all an act to get other people to do things for them so they can achieve their own narcissistic goals — moral or immoral, legal or illegal. If you still stick with that friendship concept, I’ve seen T-shirts printed with “Just Plain Stupid”.

 

The Downfall

As soon as you don’t offer them the same value, or you hesitate doing something they ask of you, or they simply sense something different — watch how fast that “best friend” relationship will collapse. You were certain they felt for you as you did for them. No one wants to believe how sinister and cold another “human” can be. Most people won’t believe it until it happens to them … it’s the definition of intense gut-wrenching. I know that feeling.

You were in their inner circle. You know a lot. Sociopaths often suffer with paranoia, and even if it’s their own paranoia that causes them to sense a lack of loyalty from you, it’s no different to them … it’s just as real.

Consider this, and trust me, whatever your sociopath friend may say to counter this, it’s just what they do best — lie. A sociopath not only does not feel guilt or remorse, but it does not stop there … they do not have any typical human emotions.

They do not feel love, friendship, compassion … nothing, it’s all faked. It’s called their public persona. A sociopath’s persona has virtually no resemblance to their true personality. They know they are different, but they may know nothing more than that. It’s not of interest to them. What is of ultimate interest is control.

They build a group of followers by faking friendship, charm, compassion … until people are so sucked-in and so brainwashed that they now respect and admire a very evil sociopath. Some sociopaths wear their persona all the time, i.e., 24/7. Those sociopaths know all too well that what they do, the things they get away with, would likely be just as revolting to their family as with anyone else.

Oh, and that family consisting of a spouse, and 2.5 kids? It’s all part of the act. They want to blend in. They know a family is an important element. They know belonging to a church, a synagogue, or any place that brings people together to worship, will assuredly benefit the cause of blending in.

My own dad’s persona at church services was something I recognized as a very young boy, though I could not understand it. Why he drank excessively each night, why he’d hit me for no reason, and why he was so popular and well-liked at church. I witnessed a public persona, verses the real personality, at such a young age. Yet it took another 45 years to piece everything together.

Never think it’s easy to spot a sociopath. Never. After a lifetime of being a victim, as well as years of personal research, I only recently discovered that specific sociopathic traits of some people seemingly jumped out at me. I was not looking, but it was my experience and instinct that raised the flag. And even then, when someone strikes me as having clear sociopathic characteristics, I do not claim to have identified a sociopath, only that I have reason to suspect. If they are not an integral part of my life, I just use caution when interacting with them. I do not try to prove anything, as I know the dangers.

A sociopath knows their family members cannot be aware of their real activities, because if they are, they would become a threat just as anyone else would. And the sociopath responds to a family-based threat no differently then by someone they hardly know. They must protect themselves from exposure … any slight threat or risk must be dealt with immediately, with what I call: offensive-revenge.

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72 Responses to “My Best Friend is a Sociopath.”

  1. Jade Says:

    Hey…I found this very interesting. I’m sixteen, and have realized recently that I too am a victim. My best friend fits all the traits and shows incredible signs of Sociopathic behaviour. But I cant break off from her because I’m scared of what she’s capable of? I find your blogs very accurate.:)

  2. Larry Says:

    Thank you Jade. My best recommendation is to slowly distance yourself from her … very slowly. Have other plans every so often, and just begin to cut ties at what you would consider a safe manner. At some point, she will have likely moved on.

    Good luck!

  3. Lucy Says:

    Hi, last year i was “friends” with this girl who took all my money off me and made me do things but i was so sucked in i thought it was normal. When i think back now i was such a pathetic slave, she was also really horrible and cruel degrading me and my family all the time and what i find strange now is i always apologised to her for all this.

    People tried warning me from her but i didn’t listen. Then we went on holiday together and it was a nightmare she robbed me out of every penny i had and treated me so badly she nearly drove me insane. When we got back we fell out because she went mad at me for having a fake tan on n started shouting abuse and throwing things about.

    Then after this she played the victim wrote lies about me saying i stole all her money, i was an attention seeker, i was evil etc etc and the thing i find weird is that those traits are everything she is. This was almost a year ago now and i have been left with this rage and anger i think i could really hurt her if i saw her again and i’m not that type of person.

  4. Larry Says:

    “… the thing i find weird is that those traits are everything she is.”

    I find that to be a common trait among sociopaths: they use their own malicious actions as weapons to degrade the character of their victims. It is so common that there has to be something deeper to it. Both my ex-wife and sister are the same way.

    If you run into her again, I suggest doing a 180 and get yourself out of there. Confronting her will provide no benefit to you.

  5. Selena Says:

    I also have a sociopathic bestfriend, and her whole family are also sociopaths! her ex-boyfriend pointed out to me recently all of the traits she has of a sociopath. he told me to look up the definition and i found websites describing how a sociopath acts. it actually SCARED me how every single trait i read described her exactly! she steals from me, lies to me about it, her little brother also lies, even if i see him doing the act i end up believing them because they are SO CONVINCING! she sleeps with everyone, then gets mad when people talk about how much of a slut she is, and she doesnt think shes a slut at all, she treats all of her boyfriends horribly, is a compulsive cheater, drinks heavily, and i cant stress this enough LIES ABOUT EVERY GODDAMN THING. EVERYTHING! i could never accept it though! i would just tell myself “no we are bestfriends, she wouldnt lie to me!”. its like she is living in a completely different world than everyone else and they are just “there” to do things for her.

    I dont know, i guess this was just a rant. i just hope that her other “friends” will eventually realize it and GET THE HELL OUT OF HER LIFE!

    living with a sociopath is hell, i cant even believe i did it for so long

  6. Larry Says:

    Selena,

    It’s not only tough to accept, but realizing the truth can truly shake your world. What they excel at is deception … lies meant to provide self-gratification only. For them, it’s all about self.

    Glad you were able to see through the fog. One-in-ten people likely have similar traits … stay on guard.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you so much for this article.

    My “Best friend” lied to me for years. We were friends for I would have to say 10 years. She would tell me how she cheated on her bf multiple times and would play the victim. Yet, when she found out he cheated on her once she flipped out and dumped him. Playing the victim and saying what a horrible cheater he was. I was shocked but I didn’t want to upset her by calling her out. She also lied about everything.

    She kept suspiciously getting fired but blamed it on misunderstandings and errors on her management’s side and let me reiterate playing the victim card. Saying, “My boss didn’t like me. blah blah” or “my co-worker that hated me she said I stole but I didn’t. I was framed!” I believed her she was so cunning and charismatic. I always thought she was fun to be around. I saw through her mask when I found out from my bf that she stole a great deal from her job. He works at the same place. She was arrested. He told me and I didn’t hear one word from her.

    I started acting different to see if she would admit it. She wouldn’t and she completely said “It is all lies. I am innocent. blah blah”. Then all the past hit me. All at once. Her lies, her being fired, everything! I asked a friend for advice and they told me that she sounded like a sociopath. I looked it up and was shocked! I told my “best friend” that I didn’t want anything to do with her. She got really angry and kept contacting me. I had to tell her 3 times to stop contacting me with her harrassing texts. She would later call me horrible names from random numbers.

    She also tried to paint a picture of herself to our mutual friends that she is a misunderstood victim and that I am a horrible friend. I tried to warn those friends but they seemed uninterested, so I distance myself from them since they still stay in contact with her. It is really sad. I can’t even compete with a master liar and manipulator.

    She is very good at lying and it is just disturbing that I believed it for so long. Any advice?

  8. Larry Says:

    Anon,

    >> “I can’t even compete with a master liar and manipulator.”

    You’re not alone. Very few upstanding people have a chance. Sociopaths are only out for themselves, and part of that is the skill to draw sympathy from otherwise intelligent people … who also prove their shallowness and gullibility.

    My advice is stick to what you are doing. Distance yourself from her and her blind followers. Focus on you moving on and making new friends. Shutting them out of your life is the best strategy for your own well-being.

  9. Galya Says:

    I’m questioning a close friend of mine. Thing is, she’s always been a good friend to me, even at her own expense. But other than that, she has all the traits. She’s been in trouble for stealing- something she did several times a week all through school, and went to jail for shortly after turning 18. She even stole from younger kids, friends, etc. I’m one of a very small (2) group she never stole from- which could well be because we gave her things anyway/were useful. At one point it was discussed by her family/etc that she might be a sociopath or APD… I just have trouble telling.

    She’s very charismatic and charming, was involved with volunteer work with a charity even while she was stealing there / other places- and had been caught before, but always talked her way into getting more chances. She’s very adaptable, and has bragged to me about how she uses people. She’s got people she’s never even met, just chatted with online, paying her bills, buying things for her, etc… She doesn’t steal anymore because she ‘doesn’t want to get locked up again’, but it hasn’t changed what she does, just the method?

    Her ex claims that once she went to jail and I cut contact for a while, telling her we couldn’t be friends until she got her act together (We’d been best friends since 6th grade, to the exclusion of essentially other people, and spent all our free time together), that she got very cold. But to be honest, I’m starting to wonder if she really even cares for me at all, or just puts on the act. She’s always been there for me in times of serious trouble, but just little things… If I’m upset, she doesn’t react, she doesn’t ask what’s wrong, none of that stuff. Yet she’s put herself on the line for me before- luckily resulting in us both getting out of the situation ok. I don’t know if she really thought there was a risk being taken or not.

    I’m just at a loss for how to assess things… Her behavior to other people is very, very predatory, and she acknowledges and brags that they’re disposable, but she’s been good to me, even let me stay at her place on very short notice. I’ve been distancing myself because I can’t stand how she treats others, but I’m starting to wonder where I even stand with her. For someone who supposedly was so close to me, she seemed to do just fine when I moved away for a while for college and she got arrested. I’m starting to wonder if I’m just a pawn she’s grown fond of, or an actual friend. I want to help her, but I don’t think she wants help or to change, and I’m really concerned with how she treats other people.

    I seem to sort of draw in these people- one of my roommates in the past year was a straight up con artist who told outlandish lies about her supposed criminal, and rife with abuse, past. I always end up with the ‘exciting’ friends, as the calmer one who lends them credibility, and gets sort of an ‘inside view’ of them, but now I’m starting to realize I really don’t like what I see in the company I keep.

  10. Larry Says:

    Galya,

    I would suspect that if you read what you just wrote above, from a third-person perspective, you’d have your answer.

    >>”… she’s always been a good friend to me …”

    She needs supporters, and you’ve always been a good one to her. You’ve treated her like a friend, and she’s done a good job acting like a good friend to you.

    Be careful … you are in a very precarious situation. There’s that thing I refer to as offensive-revenge. If she senses you are on to her and are distancing yourself, you will likely become a target; or in other words, a sociopath’s victim. Distancing is your only option, though you must do it with little fanfare and no drama.

    Good luck. Keep us informed of your progress.

  11. Galya Says:

    The strange part is, she hasn’t done anything for revenge- even when I left for a full year with no contact before stupidly getting in touch again. That’s the part that confuses me. But now she’s trying to build a reputation, so part of me wonders if it’s because she wants everyone to know what she’s been up to. Lately, she’s been telling me stories about some things she’s done that most normal people would be ashamed of, but she actually seems really proud. I feel like I’m in some sort of crazy story, because no matter what I do, I always found out later she’s said/done things that show she basically anticipated what was coming? We’ve never had a single fight, but somehow she always gets her way, but makes it seem like my idea. And when I’m not around, it’s like the friendship is suspended. If someone ignored me for a full year and then came back, I would be pissed, but she just gave me a hug and invited me out to eat- it was like we were right back where we’d left off, no hard feelings about being gone. She’s not too good with academics, and I’m a big reader full of useless trivia, and it’s starting to feel like she enjoys having me randomly show up to amuse her / remind her of back when we grew up, before she moved off to inner city housing. I’m starting to feel more like I’m a pet than a friend, but it’s tricky because she will occasionally just do nice things for me- and she’s not the sort of person to do that for anyone else. She also used to try to hear me out when I would vent abut things, and be supportive briefly but then give up- which I blamed on her short attention span, but now it seems to me more like she was trying out what it’d be like to really be concerned, but couldn’t quite bring herself to feel that for anyone but herself.

    She’s really social and hates being alone, and part of me wonders if maybe I’m sort of her designated companion just to give her someone around who won’t interfere with her. She’ll talk to me the way people talk when they’re bouncing ideas off themselves…. Back when we were close, she used to make plans just assuming I’d be there, like she’d have something to get done and in her plan of how to do it, there’d by my part and her part- which meant if I was on vacation or away, she’d get sort of confused and have to change the plan. It was like I was a laptop she could carry with her everywhere- she just assumed that if she was there, of course I’d be there, and we did everything together.

    I didn’t start figuring it out until I caught her on a day when she was exhausted, and slipped up. I’ve noticed she has a pattern of how she gets people to agree with her, starting with general statements about how they X just like her, and in my case she started with how I’m spontaneous instead of worrying all the time about a changeable future. I’m not huge on very detailed planning, but I am definitely not the kind of spontaneous person she was trying to describe, not at all- she made a huge deal about how I ‘got her’ because I just ‘live my life one day at a time’ just like her, but I don’t. She’s going out and hooking up with drug dealers and drinking, and I went to college and double majored with honors. Normally, she has the sense to play off the few things we do have in common, but I think it’s more a matter of ‘testing’ until she finds a statement I react to, then going on a shpiel about it. Seeing her flub one made me start to realize how she reuses a lot of the same ‘lines’, just with things in them changed…

    I guess the other thing I’m wondering is if it’s really harmful, because now that she’s decided she doesn’t want to get arrested again, she’s behaving somewhat better to people. She seems to like things better when I’m around- she’s much less bored- and she’ll make an effort to improve a little when I’m there. I don’t want to be someone’s morality pet, but she’s a semi-decent person when she’s not always feeling bored and like there’s no point / nothing to look forward to. I know you can’t change a sociopath, her amazing family have tried for years, but I’m wondering if it’s necessarily bad to have her around. Since she loves having an ‘old friend’ to brag about- I’m the only person from our grade who still keeps in contact even though she was once friends with essentially everyone- she wants to keep me around for the longterm, in fact, she at one point wanted us to get a place together (I said no).

    I see glimpses of things sometimes when I’m with her that I don’t usually see when she’s around other people- when she sees them, it’s just ‘how are they useful’. With me, sometimes she’ll stop and think. Or she’ll mention how she saw something she thought I’d like and wanted to show it to me- which seems so minor but the thing is she never does that stuff for anyone. If something’s being given away free and she has no use for it but a friend does, she’ll still walk by without even thinking to get it for them. She doesn’t do any of the stuff friends do, but when we hang out together, sometimes she’ll mention how she saw something and realized I would like it- and she seems actually confused about how she had something to show me. It’s like I’m watching someone try to figure out how to be a person, and just not quite make it. It’s a shame because she has to cause trouble or be constantly entertained to keep from being bored out of her mind, and I’d like to see her learn to have something to fill that time more… Part of why I got in touch again was that she was actually genuinely confused to realize she missed when I was gone, like she was puzzled at the idea of missing someone / not just replacing them. She started dating a girl who was a LOT like me but it didn’t fill the ‘gap’- and I felt so bizarre watching her be puzzled at the idea of actually missing someone. It was as if she was just learning the concept that even if she found someone who was ‘useful’ and a new best friend, it wasn’t the same.

    I’m just not sure what to do- and concerned that this is becoming a pattern. The mess with my roommate did dissolve into a revenge/exposure situation, very very badly. I don’t want that to happen a second time. Plus, as an introvert, I do enjoy being around this other friend when she’s behaving herself, because I like getting to be part of a social environment without being in the center- she happily takes the spotlight and I can just jump in when I want. We both get something out of it, I’m just concerned for where things will go in the long run.

  12. Galya Says:

    I forgot to mention the strangest part- she seems completely okay with the idea that I get the same ‘free will’ she does, even when she controls everyone else’s behavior. Our group during school got ‘whittled down’ gradually- anyone who did things she disliked or that inconvenienced or challenged her was eventually subject to character assassination and expelled from the group.

    But the 2nd year I knew her, she stole an unpopular girl’s food in the lunchroom- the girl put her tray down on an empty table behind us, went to get something, my friend just picked up the tray and started eating her pizza. And I turned her in- which she knew / saw me do, she saw me go and tell someone she’d taken this girl’s food. No repercussions, even though she got in trouble for it. She didn’t seem to care in the least. In fact, while she complained about the punishment she got, she didn’t even seem to care that she’d been caught.

    If anything, she seemed interested to see that I’d actually spoken up, when the rest of the group were already trained to go with whatever she did (I moved there only the year before, 2 houses down from her, and so joined a group of friends who’d known each other most/all of their lives). I wasn’t sure what to think of it then, and to be honest, I’m still not sure.

  13. Spot On Says:

    Many years ago I got “targeted” or “chosen” by a highly functional one. Studied them like a lab rat for nearly ten years. Learning to sense when they were up to something; paticularly nasty. The periodic Cognitive Dissonance of such a life experience can be maddening.

    I was seeking answers to my own family of origin issues. The “missing chromosome” is dominant in our gene pool. Once I grew in knowlege and experience to the point where I realized it was all just an “illusion.” It had a healing aspect, in letting go of old hurts…developing realistic expectations for the future.

    Acceptance that I’ll never be part of the type of family; many of us hope and long for. There’s nothing that can or should be fixed.

    Oddly, I can almost “sense” them immediately now. Smack them around like “cat toys.” Shift gears quickly, and smile at them like nothing just happened, when only a few seconds before they were at the edge of a rage. Sooths them like the two year olds they are.

  14. Identity Says:

    I believe that one of my best friends (now simply acquaintances) was a sociopath. I’m almost positive of it.

    At first, when we were children, many of his traits (sociopathic ones) were clearly identifiable. He was a conniving, heartless genius, and I admired him in a way for that.

    I used to be “teased” or at other times treated well (as an experiment of his, I’m sure) but as I grew older, with him influencing my life, I smartened up a bit, for the better or worse and because of this, so was he. I saw though each and every one of his ploys and in turn, he made more intricate and cruel new ones. We stayed as friends until he got bored of me.

    As we started going to highschool, I noticed a change; he started ridding himself of his sociopath qualities one by one. He made sure to make many friends, but to keep them all at arms length. He no longer lies for purpose, rather it became more of a sport.

    I think that if I had met him now, as a person, I wouldn’t be able to identify him as a sociopath at all; he’s too smart for that. He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and I’m actually glad to have met him. Through meeting him, I’ve been able to not take anything for granted and to analyze and skepticize before making a move. To know that there are other people out there that are that cold, living behind a mask of popularity and veiled intelligence, it unnerves me.

    Actually, I think he’s rubbed off on me and although I’m no genius, I’m certainly a cut above average and I think that being without emotion really isn’t so bad… cold logic and acting will take you a long way in this world. :P

  15. So Lost Says:

    My eyes have recently been open when I realized my friend was a sociopath. We have been “friends” since first grade.

    I always enjoyed hanging out with her because we always seemed to relate. I would say “I love the rain, etc…” and she would agree completely. Everything I said she agreed with. The only thing I found strange at the time was when she was angry at me, she thought it was funny. She would laugh at me when I was angry at her. Around middle school was when she started to act strange.

    She would tell me unrealistic things, like “My grandfather was Walt Disney” or “I had a sister who died” Her strange behaviors just kept escalating…. She soon started to make my life HELL. Every friend I had, she had to be better friends with that person. She would make up lies about me so my other friends would stray away from me.

    She once found out that I was hanging out with this one girl every single day. She got jealous. So she told my friend that I called the cops on her for doing drugs and that she should hide because the police were coming for her. My friend believed her. The sociopath then rounded up some of my other friends, and made a plan to beat the crap out of me, then lock me in a closet. They just went with the idea… Luckily it didn’t quite fall through because my other friends had somewhat of a conscience.

    When I approached her and asked her about the situation, she said she had no clue what I was talking about, and that: “she is sorry that I felt that way about her” Which just made me feel bad about it. I went away to college, and she followed me. She now has two extreme followers who happen to be my best friends. I am worried about them. They have became her little minions.

    Every time they try to stand up to her, she just manipulates them into thinking they are the bad guys. She recently made up a ridiculous lie that she is getting a playwright made into a famous TV show, and that she is dating the famous Bo Burnham. She put photoshopped pictures on Facebook and everything! They look so fake! I found the original pics for proof…. AND THEY BELIEVE HER! Its just getting so out of hand!

    And If I say anything to my friends, I know for a fact they would just tell sociopath, then sociopath would just make up lies about me and constantly tell my friends how awful of a person I am. And they will agree with her. I want to stray away from this awful friendship, but I don’t want to leave my other friends behind. They practically worship this girl, but they don’t understand how much harm it is really causing.

    I am really stumped on what to do. I know this sociopath is fun to be around because she is funny and clever and all… but socially and relationship wise, she is very destructive. What should I do?

  16. Larry Says:

    So Lost,

    The specific details of the stories are always different, but the answer is always the same …

    You must rid the evil person from your life. You cannot worry about others, as they will make their own decisions. You must do whatever it takes to keep yourself from getting pulled back into her evil games. Maybe if you become distant, the other friends will begin to catch on. But for now, you can’t count them as friends anymore because they’ve become disciples.

    Change your phone number, email address, etc., and only give them out to people you know you can trust. None of it is easy, but your well-being should be your primary importance.

  17. Betrayed Says:

    I think my former best friend is a sociopath. She lied to and used me and all our friends like pawns in her elaborate game. She slept around behind our backs, pitting us all against the person she was sleeping with so we wouldn’t listen to them and would defend her against accusations.

    All the while she would string her lover along telling him she loved them and wanted to marry them but couldn’t because of some lie she came up with. She would have a few guys going at once and would make up stories about why she needed to be out of the house late at night so the man she was living with wouldn’t catch on. There was always some kind of family emergency she needed to attend to till the late hours of the morning. If she got caught she would promise to change, then just find another way to sleep around.

    Once it got to the point she couldn’t hide the web of lies anymore she dumped us all like we meant nothing to her and ran off with another man without any indication she planned to leave. She acted like everything was normal, and just left. Then we got together, compared notes, and realized we’d all been played.

  18. Larry Says:

    @Betrayed,

    Based on what you say, I would likely come to the same conclusion. But, be careful. She could have turned on you and your friends, by lying about your characters, i.e., character assassination.

    In any event, count your blessings that she’s gone, but don’t let your guard down.

  19. ParanoidAltoid Says:

    “Your well-being should be your primary importance.”

    I think you’re starting to sound like a bit of a sociopath yourself. Are you lying to us right now? Was your father really a sociopath? I think it’s time to distance myself from you.

  20. Larry Says:

    @ Paranoid …

    You present fair questions, so I’ll respond to each of them …

    “Your well-being should be your primary importance.” – Larry

    If your well-being is not your primary importance, who is?

    “I think you’re starting to sound like a bit of a sociopath yourself.”

    Really? Quote me. If you’ve never read the blog of a true sociopath, try this one.

    “Are you lying to us right now?”

    I do not lie. Do you?

    “Was your father really a sociopath?”

    Not only my father, but so was his mother. You should read more of this site.

    “I think it’s time to distance myself from you.”

    Your choice. I step back often and take a good look at myself … I’m proud with what I see.

    By the way, does your screen name reflect your personality?

    Please read the rest of this site — it may clear things up for you.

  21. Shane Says:

    @ Galya
    Your story is very similar to mine but I think I might be a bit older than you, I am 34. You seem to be debating whether or not to kick your sociopathic friend out of your life, and wondering how she can really hurt you since you are on to her. I was best friends with a sociopath from 12 to 32 and I can say that sometimes it gets much much worse with age.

    You can get used to their behavior and have a working plan to protect yourself from them… and then they can grow up and get married and have kids etc. But in my friend’s case she just got worse in her late 20s. She would put herself and her children in dangerous situations to get me to come and rescue her and be close to her again etc. She used the children over and over and I felt so guilty abandoning them. I can only hope that once I kicked her out of my life that her husband got custody of the kids eventually. Just, please don’t underestimate the ways that a sociopath can find to use you as you grow older.

    It’s not just kid games, everybody grows up.

  22. desperate Says:

    Currently I’m a sophomore in highschool. I have a friend, a close friend, who I have been friends with for a good 4 or 5 years now. Her name is Jenny.. At first when all my friends became friends with her I was reluctant and the last person to be friend her. From the start I didn’t get a good vibe from her. It all started when she came into our group of friends because she suddenly stopped hanging out with her two best best friends. She wasn’t very popular and neither were her friends, and once she joined our group she gained lots of new friends. (key point to keep in mind).

    Alright that was the introduction, now from there my group of friends consisted of her and nine other girls. All of them being completely oblivious to her trickeries from there on out. They were sick things she did and i always caught them within moments and I would aware my close friend Anna. A couple of examples: created a fake “hot” boy cousin on facebook and started chatting my friend natasha and telling her that she liked her etc. found so much evidence that it was fake that it was incredulous.

    2nd example: pretended to be a guy from our school and texted herself back and forth. She has an iphone and the text would send twice to her and she would delete which ever side she wanted to be from her or him. So friend Jackie really liked this guy she was pretending to text. And she would have this guy say that he thought that Jackie was gorgeous and so hot and etc. she would show these texts to Jackie and Jackie would get so excited and happy. I caught them one day talking about it so i interrupted. Jenny told me but said i couldnt tell anyone! i looked at the texts and then she abruptly told me i couldnt text him back and forcefully took her phone back. i knew immediately something was up . so i told my friend anna we had to see, we checked her phone at there were 2 contacts for the guy one didnt include a last name and tht was the one she was texting. we checked the number and it was hers…

    Another.. she told a friend that she made out with this guy named Jacob. My friend natasha told me and I called out lie right away. and i was right. I don’t how I know but I know when people lie, I’m like a master lie detector I can read people like no other. It’s a gift I guess you could say but it sucks to know how many people are fake in this world.

    Now that u have a glimpse of whats she like u know what im dealing with…

    I think my friend is on to me, and has been for awhile. I think she is suspecting that I know much more about her than others. She has been doing some nasty stuff behind my back, making up lies about me but then acting the same up front ( humorous, witty, sweeet!… the usual) I cant stop being friends with her cause im so scared of whats she capable of… the things she could do. I dont’ fall for her nonsense but everyone else does, what do i do? Its so crazy and has been going on for far too long. Its so hard to break away now but I need to. At the same time I feel like If im not around her she could plot some evil plan against me who knows.

    help im going crazy with all her nonsense. its stomach wrenching.

    as i type this i have so much to say but its to much to express all in words. theres just so much about her that is just so wrong, and its so freaking scary how no one shes through her like i do

  23. desperate Says:

    adding on… when my friend Anna and I confront her she completely denies it to the point where she turns all the guilt on us and makes us seem completely crazy! happens every time, and for someone reason we always become friends with her again and “forget” about it even though its always something horrible she did.

    We’re there only 2 people who will stand up to her…

  24. Jessica Says:

    I have a slight problem with this entry. Mainly that you are mistaken when you say that “My best friend is a sociopath” is an incorrect phrase.

    I understand your logic in saying that, but really it is extremely likely that you could have a best friend who is a sociopath, you just wouldn’t be their best friend. A one-way friendship is entirely possible.

    Also with many of the comments on this site people are discussing their friends who show sociopathic traits, however this does not mean they are a sociopath.

    Just because someone steals, cheats, lies and manipulates doesn’t mean they are a sociopath. In fact I would argue that all of us are guilty of the same thing. I know that I love it when my friends do exactly what I want. Sociopaths are the people who torture animals just for fun, they are the ones who would rather their grandparents or children go homeless as opposed to them missing a meal, they don’t care what others think of them and if they are caught in a lie wouldn’t feel any emotion about it.

    It drives me crazy when people try to diagnose people with things such as this. Maybe they are just a selfish person that doesn’t mean they are a sociopath.

  25. Larry Says:

    @ Jessica …

    From your comments, it’s difficult to tell whether you read any of the post, or what your source of knowledge is … hearsay?

    This post is about the all-to-common google search “my best friend is a sociopath.” My first line in response is “wrong” and I go on the explain why sociopaths don’t have any real friends.

    You also state in your third paragraph that just because someone exhibits the traits of a psychopath, it does not confirm they are a psychopath. No one says it does. I proclaim throughout this site that traits will raise red flags, but the disorder can only be confirmed through clinical testing. Incarcerated individuals are usually the only ones who go through the clinical test, because of a court order.

    >>”Just because someone steals, cheats, lies and manipulates doesn’t mean they are sociopath.”

    Maybe not, but what clinical disorders also includes those symptoms? This could be written in self-defense based on some of your own comments.

    >>” Sociopaths are the type of people who torture animals for fun.”

    False again. The far majority of sociopaths never physically hurt any other living being. It’s only the worst of the worst who engaged in such activities, that usually leads to murder. Those are usually the incarcerated ones.

    I don’t believe addressing the rest of your comment has any merit, as it is all misguided.

  26. gettingthere Says:

    Thanks for this post. I recently had been trying to figure out the alternately patronizing and scorning behavior of a woman I knew decades ago who decided to relocate (intentionally), quite near me this past year. At first I was excited to have a friend nearby, as I’m new here too, but soon things didn’t make sense. Your post identifies perfectly the clues and cues.

    This person was very full of compliments and ‘nice’ at first, especially as she hoped I would be able to provide her professional and social connections and even include her in some of my own endeavors . She praised me for being so outgoing and personable as she was just ‘so shy’ Even then her ‘praise ‘ sounded oddly fake though, and I didn’t remember her as particularly shy. In retrospect, before she even arrived, she had calculated exactly what she needed from me and how she was to get it.

    As we began to spend some time together, I noticed she regarded almost everyone with disdain, though she gratuitously included me as one of the ‘cool ones’. This seemed weirdly juvenile to me, like those junior high ‘mean girls’ who constantly put everyone down. I have never liked that, but I have also never been like that, so didn’t quite ‘get’ what was behind it. Insecurity maybe? that’s what I thought at the time. This was a red flag for me though.

    Internally I made a note to pay attention, observe, and not commit myself emotionally in this new/ old friendship til we established a good track record and some trust. (in the old days we were acquaintences only) . Then within a few months, I had some professional recognition for an achievement and at about the same time I refused her invitation to do a ‘fun’ work project with her. (It had become clear that ‘fun’ projects meant she would sit back and boss and i would work like a mule on some project that benefitted her , of course!) .

    At that point she gradually starting to scorn me , shame me and argue with me, and she tried to establish a weird sort of imperious and insistent dominance in every conversation. Even so , she still mastered a complex persona and covered fairly well, and would still give little gifts to maintain the illusion of friendship. I admit, even though I had earlier red flags, I was caught off guard ,trying to piece together this crazymaking behavior.

    What were my hooks? In my healthy friendships I think of myself as a ‘good ,loyal friend’ . I was also sympathetic to what I thought of as a friend from school days who might need support due to possible PTSD.(She had returned from non-military work in a war zone) . BOTH of those things meant I was a good candidate for hooking.

    At that point I decided to consciously test things, because this treatment was not acceptible to me and it felt dysfunctional. I decided to confront it , even though that meant I had to confront my own laziness and aversion to confrontation. :)

    I first tried to call attention to the verbal put downs by pausing abruptly, just stopping the conversation, thinking if she heard her own words she would see how inappropriate they were. Nope, you KNOW that didn’t work!

    Then I tried to respond directly to her arguments in a reasoned, levelheaded way. Nope , she only doubled down! Then I tried holding a verbal mirror to her comments. If she snapped at me, I snapped back. Nope, that didn’t work either, except I realized that 1. she was actually getting strokes when she pushed my buttons and got a rise out of me, and 2. I was now being defensive, not spontaneous, happy or proactive in a conversation, and that was not OK. I finally tried direct discussion , but her thoroughly practiced and perfected veil of denial, disdain and perceived insult fell into place quite smoothly and quickly. I decided to remove myself from the ‘relationship’.

    This woman comes off as cool, attractive, sensitive and ‘aloofly charismatic’ ,yet I sensed a huge amount of seething anger inside. I also realized she needed to dump it on to consenting ‘dumpees’, (which you aptly name disciples.) Without a disciple, though, any ‘empathetic’ person would do. I saw that she had no real and true friends , lovers or partners, though she has a well constructed illusion of them. She has material success as well, and is an attractive enough female to extract a lot of her material wealth, social cover and perks from an oft berated yet willing man she keeps hooked, though safely at a great distance , and various secretive liasons.

    I realized the picture she presented to me was also an illusion concocted especially for me, purely so she could extract what she needed from me without revealing a single thing about herself. I realized that if I continued to try to be her friend, she would have even less respect for me than the minimal amount she may have already had, and would abuse the relationship even more because of it. Well, I ask you , how icky is that? !
    The odd thing is, if sociopathy was simply about the LACK of emotional connection, that would be no big deal. A relationship based on simple exchange of favors is not necessarily deeply meaningful, but it is also not necessarily unhealthy. But there is the added kicker of scorn , manipulation, scapegoating, repressed anger, who knows what else… and that’s the killer.

    Like you, I have had my own issues and as you may guess, this was not my first interaction with a sociopath. This one threw me for awhile, because she seemed different on the surface and yes, had a highly nuanced and initially believable persona though in retrospect, she was plain as day. I puzzled endlessly for the profile that would tie together and explain her behavior. When I remembered the word ‘sociopath’. I was SO relieved. AHA, I said to myself, I have visited this place before!

    I am relieved that , even though it took some diligence on my part, and some time and effort was needlessly spent puzzling, even starting to agonize over this ‘piece of work’, I did manage to figure her out and consciously remove myself from the relationship before damage was done (within about 6 months). I congratulate myself on my own progress, as I did not internalize the abuse, though even 6 months was too long, if you ask me!

    She played into my own ‘weakness’, my friendly and ‘loyal’ nature and willingness to accept and help an old school friend , yet she miscalculated ,in that she thought I had so little self esteem I could be groomed and manipulated. She is on her way to climbing over other backs and up a little ladder of fame.

    Thank goodness I am not there to dutifully accept the offal. Actually I can say,and it feels good to say this with a big heart and smile, not a chance that would have happened!!!

    Your writing helps me clarify what did happen and know that I did the right thing in unhooking and disengaging myself . As Don Adams, in the TV show ‘Get Smart” use to say, as he held his fingers close together…”Missed it by that much!”

  27. Unknown Says:

    I always had feelings gut feelings I couldn’t excatly place. I guess they started after my fail out with a girl named Liz she seemed nice like someone who wanted friends, but suddenly she flipped at the change of a dime. It scared me she threaten to kill herself and I couldn’t take it and ran and told someone. She threaten me for months…I moved away. When I came back with my other friends she was with a guy named John…who she cheated on and never even blinked about it once. Man could she spin you a web!

    I never felt so much like shit after she stopped talking I felt like I had to give her my life savings after she talked. Now every once in awhile me and my friend will get that gut feeling. Something isn’t right with her or him…and I would aviod them. This made me lose a lot of friends, but I didn’t really care. My friends say I’m gifted with attracting real head cases and its like they are ‘leeches’ in a sense. I’m glad I open my eyes before its too late, and its like red flags go off in my head. No its not everyone, but still many. I always end up right too which is the scary part. Is that a bad thing?

  28. Larry Says:

    Unknown,
    It’s not a bad thing, it just happens to be the real thing.

  29. Giles Says:

    I have to say with a lot of regret that sociopaths are sick evil, twisted, miserable people. I think that they know they are like that and love to hurt and wound. I was born into a nice middle class family. My father should really have had therapy because of his abusive step-father and the odd fact that his own father, killed in the war was never spoken about, I still know nothing about him, not even his name and my mother was from a very dysfunctional family where her mother was emotionally abusive. My mother didn’t speak to her sister for years and her mother played them off against one another and it was particularly noticeable when there was some money to inherit.

    I have a brother three years older than I am who is a sociopath, actually mentally ill in a way that my parents were not, despite the fact that either one or both of them at times offered emotional abuse that would make me feel like I had never been born, it used to make me feel shocked and terrible, but I can forgive them for it, because it was done to them.

    When we were very young my brother seemed normal, but something of a brat if you listen to tapes made of us when we were very young. As he got into his teens he left me behind, it wasn’t convenient to have me as a friend and I grew up being completely ignored or if he wanted to say or do something nasty he simply did it and nobody noticed or ever took my side. When I was 24 a particularly nasty episode made me decide to have nothing to do with him, he had already started to snub me over the incident by even taking his meals into his room to avoid me.

    I have had nothing to do with him for 20 years. I never spent another Xmas with him around & even went somewhere else at that time in recent years. In recent years I had to go back to live with my parents as my economic situation was not good at all. In 2010 I could not afford to go on holiday at Xmas and spent a few hours walking about in the snow until he had left. I explained this to my father by saying that I knew that my brother didn’t care about me and didn’t see the point of pretending to socialise with him. He said that my brother quite probably didn’t have time for anybody and was a completely selfish person, something he said that my mother had a growing awareness of. I should say that though I was forced to live with my parents I did muck in with the running of the house as much as I possibly could. I wanted to contribute.

    In March 2011 my brother was given money to help him emigrate to New Zealand, the money side of it I only discovered a few days ago and it was expalined to me that because I had been allowed to live at home, giving him money was justified. At the same time my father was diagnosed with brain tumours which completely robbed him of his faculties until he died in late Jan 2012. My brother was quite happy to take his money, never visited him in hospital when the problem first showed up and when my brother was still local and only returned the day after he died.

    Since then he has been living in my parent’s house for a month contributing nothing, not even a loaf of bread or bottle of milk though he has the use of my father’s car which was the very first thing he organised on his return. He once gave my mother a lift to the hospital for an appointment but left her there to catch two buses home when she has a very painful hip complaint. The rest of the time he has been going off to see his friends, our neighbour actually looked quite shocked when my mother told her that my brother had gone off to spend the w/e with his friends not one day after we buried our father. My brother actually said to me that he didn’t care about our horrific experience over the last year, shouting ‘ALL I CARE ABOUT IS NOW!’ he then started to pitch into me about not paying rent. This happened the day after we buried our father. A discussion with my mother a few days later revealed that he had been jealous of me because I had been allowed to live at the parental home while he lived in some pretty grotty places as she put it. He is a well paid software writer, I find the bedsit analogy pretty unconvincing. It is as though my having to live in a hovel would have made him happier, that has to be the product of a warped personality surely?

    What is really twisted is that I who was totally ignored for years as I was growing up have been called into existence conveniently so that he can feel a strong emotion and dish out a damning level of general blame and censure over one argument. What has made him immune from criticism is the fact that he has gone through the family files and re-organised them, they were pretty orderly to start with but the sun shines out of his ar*e as far as my mother is concerned. Of course I was not asked to input or participate at all, except for going off to the town hall to get death certificates, something I offered to do. Sadly, my family life imploded twenty years ago. It still hurts very much to still be rejected, I have never socialised with my brother beyond the age of about 12, never been included in any aspect of his life and this last month has reminded me that I wasn’t even worth a conversation, a single enquiry about my life or well-being, I simply do not exist and he has not developed or changed at all in all that time. I recall reading that this is how to induce psychosis in somebody and I am feeling very unhinged with only 4 days to go before he leaves. The sense of relief that he will be 12K miles away and not able to show up at random is incredible. I really never ever want to see him as long as I live. It’s my fault for being around, but then it was always useful to have me around so that I could be used.

  30. Jasmine Says:

    I have come across this site because I am in turmoil. I am feeling very upset. I am nearly 60. I have known my ‘best friend’ all my life and it has recently been suggested to me that she may be a psychopath. Sadly it makes sense.

    She is very popular, someone who makes friends very easily – being warm, funny, engaging, charismatic, loving – but never keeps them for very long, except for me. I have been her only constant friend through her life and we have always had a very warm, funny, close relationship, sometimes at a distance when we have lived in different parts of the country. That is, until about 6 months ago, when we fell out (yes, at nearly 60!) over a triviality, but it resulted in her badly hurting the feelings of someone who was a friend of mine, someone she took over, and whom she then decided she wasn’t interested in anymore. Thinking back, this is part of a pattern.

    I am not aware of her telling lies, rather she appears to be almost pathologically honest. I have always excused her behaviour in the past, in fact turned it into a positive, such as not visiting dying relatives she claimed to ‘love to bits’ because she was so much more sensitive and prone to take things to heart than anybody else and so couldn’t cope; or turning against people, whom she had previously appeared to idolize, because she had higher expectations of them and they had, to her mind, let her down.

    She can be incredibly generous, but at the same time will always put her own wants over settling her debts, always making a joke about it, so that too somehow seems like an endearing part of her personality. Sometimes she seems incredibly vulnerable and insecure and other times she says things like, ‘I often think I’m better than everybody else.’

    I suppose in the past I have let a lot of things go, where I have felt hurt by her actions. She has done things for me and helped me, but I suppose I have looked out for her a lot more, rescuing her from untenable situations, taking her in when she was homeless, although she then proceeded to take over my other closest friend and her family, which upset me a lot. She soon tired of them though and I was back in favour. She has a knack of making you feel so special to her that you forgive her anything.

    Somehow this last incident though was a step too far, seeing how upset she had made somebody else, whose only ‘crime’ was to be extremely fond of her. Since then I have started to think about what her eldest sister once said to me when I was fighting her corner many years ago, ‘You don’t know her, Jasmine. She’s not what she seems.’ That seemed ridiculous at the time since I had known her all my life. Her sister apologized the next day and it was never referred to again.

    I don’t suppose she needs me now. Always, in the past, if we’ve had a disagreement, I’ve been the one to go round. This time I haven’t and my slight overtures at reconciliation (the odd text) have been ignored. She is well set up, living in a lovely house belonging to one of her family and has a vast family network, and whilst one or two are always out of favour and badmouthed in turn, there are plenty more to fall back on. She also has a man in her life at the moment.

    I find it almost more than I can bear, to think that my ‘best friend’, someone who has shared the best and worst moments of my life, who has been a part of my family, like I have been part of hers, could have no real feeling, that the last 60 years have been a sham, that I could have been so blind.

    It’s not as if I don’t have experience of psychopaths. My last man turned out to be one and my ‘friend’ was a rock throughout the whole traumatic aftermath of emotional desolation and financial mess. I did a lot of research on them at that time. Prior to that experience I had never, to my knowledege, come across any or given them a thought, and yet, since then, I have come across quite a few. It’s bizarre, like the last few years have been some kind of weird revelation that, quite frankly, I’d rather not have had. And now to think that someone I’ve loved second only to my mother is likely one too is a devasting blow. My world seems to be caving in on itself. But maybe she is just someone with problems. How can one be sure?

  31. Larry Says:

    >”I often think I’m better than everybody else.”

    I cannot for the life of me imagine that a typical person without psychopathic traits ever saying such a thing, and more than once.

    You likely believe that there are more psychopaths around now than before, but that’s because you now know they exist and you can identify the warning signs … the red flags.

    I hate to say this, but you are probably in a very bad place. It would be very difficult for you to stop the friendship, as she won’t let you do it. From my experience, people in your position who realize they are the psychopath’s best friend have an extremely difficult time getting away. Please understand that this is just my opinion, but it comes from years of experience.

    >”How can one be sure?”

    Therapeutically, you can’t. There is a test for it, but even the clinician administering the test must have special training. It’s primarily given to inmates. So what you need to do is pay very close attention to her as I’m sure you have already begun doing. Try to act the way she’s accustomed to … don’t approach her with it, and don’t raise any red flags that you are on to her.

    >”But maybe she is just someone with problems.”

    Oh, she is. But there is no therapeutic diagnosis for “just someone with problems.” Based on just the little you shared here, I’d be very cautious and concerned. Once you determine that she has enough of the traits of a psychopath, then you will need to make some very difficult decisions.

    Such as moving. I feel that you already know too much to continued a ruse for long, and she will pick-up differences in your character. Your character would be on the line, and she may have already used you to cover for her misdeeds. You’d never know.

    My ex-wife began using me to cover for her indiscretions just one month after we were married. I know this because I found a notebook about 15 years later containing rough drafts of letters. I immediately knew why her mom never really liked me.

    Increase your knowledge, and this site is an excellent place to begin. I’m not necessarily referring to my posts, but there are over 600 comments, some referring to the exact same situation you are in now. Don’t take it lightly. She won’t. If she’s a psychopath, she has virtually no limits, moral or legal. You do, so you could never beat her at her game. Bottom line, you must free yourself from her if what you suspect is true.

  32. Jasmine Says:

    Thanks for prompt reply. I still cannot quite believe that she falls into the psychopathic bracket. I have never known her hurt anybody physically; it is emotional harm she inflicts. Nor have I known her steal anything. She says she doesn’t trust anyone (except me and one of her relatives) and I have often wondered where that comes from. Something she has said once or twice lately has made me feel uncomfortable. Its, ‘Oh Jasmine is so loyal. I’m not loyal at all,’ wearing it like a badge of honour.

    Anyway, as I said before, she hasn’t responded to my overtures and I don’t intend to make any more. I’m obviously currently out of favour. The trouble is she has always been very close to my heart and I find that difficult to just shut out. I miss her. I feel constantly upset about it and even more so now that I have started to consider her in this light.

  33. Larry Says:

    The far majority of psychopaths do not resort to violence. Their tools are usually one of destroying — or assassinating — one’s character. And depending how determined and successful they are, they leave their victim feeling completely alone. And essentially, they are. I know that feeling.

  34. Dave Says:

    The article is very correct. It takes time to see what the roles people have in the Sociopath life. Get far from everything and everyone, if you can and do lost of reading about Sociopath. It tuck me about a year to see what went on with my Sociopath. I found you only see a Sociopath is when your are close to one for a long period of time.

  35. Essa Says:

    Thank you for this article. It has really helped me out in my own “relationship” in realizing that I was not alone. Seeing you talk about the sociopaths perspective has really helped me with trying to break it off with her. I’ve read the responses of others, and it shocks me when I see how similar our scenarios are. It’s true you don’t realize who the person really is until you are deep into the relationship.

    I try to be friends with everyone, and she was no different. When I was about fourteen, and at school, it was her, about three other people, and me in our friendship. In about a year, the other three changed schools, leaving just me and her. She was so nice at first, so normal. I’m sixteen now, and am just realizing how detrimental this friendship is.

    She would put me on this pedestal at times, telling me I was so awesome and the only one she could trust. But then the next day she would cut me down and ask me if she could really trust me, and the only thing I’ve done is be a friend, always keeping the secrets she told me to myself. About the past month I realized that she had been telling her therapist, her cousin, and her boyfriend (who I suspect she is starting to attach to now) everything I had been telling her.

    But since she would at times treat me like such a wonderful, trustworthy person, I would try to overlook some things, such as the lack of trust. But I’ve been emotionally exhausted and put down so much for about a year now, I can’t keep going with it. I’ve just recently tried to cut ties with her in the best way I believe is possible.

    I just want to say thank you for helping me realize exactly what was going on. It’s better that it ended now, rather than when I’m sixty and completely depressed.

  36. Larry Says:

    Essa,

    You sound very smart and write well beyond your years. I’m glad that you found us, and we’ve been able to help. The “we” are all those who comment, and me.

    Good luck.

  37. Essa Says:

    Thank you so much for the quick reply, and for the compliment, as being an author is a goal I have. Thanks again for this site.

  38. Danielle Says:

    I’m so glad I found your site, I too believe my best friend of 10 years is a sociopath. In fact after all the recent research I’ve done I know she is. We met at work and became fast friends and when I going through my divorce I thought she was really there for me. I know now it was because she need something from me. When I left my husband she left her boyfriend(who she was cheating on with a new boyfriend). She was living with the boyfriend so she needed a place lined up before she could leave. So we got an apartment together.

    It didn’t take long before I was paying all thhe bills and the rent without her help. Then she started stealing money from me and hiding it from me. I know what your thinking how can you still be “friends” with someone like that. Because at the time I. Could not even fathom someone being capable of doing things like this to someone much less a friend that I trusted.

    When I would confront her about fetting a job(she was fired from every job she ever got) and paying her half of the bills she would tell me the sad story of her life and how sorry she was and the she doesn’t know what she would do without me and that she loved and she would pay me back. The weird thing was I also was left feeling sorry for her. Anyway we moved out of the apartment. I moved back to my home town when my job transfered me and got my own place. I noticed how much better emotionally and even phisically I felt once she was out of my everyday life. She went on to jump into another bad relationship with a guy with money and she moved in with hiim righ away.

    Through the next few years we would talk and keep in touch but I felt she really only called or drove the three hours w lived apart now when another bad relationship would end or she would need an escape. Fast foward we would up living in the same town again but in the recent years I felt she finally got her life together I was really impressed. She got married to a wonderful man she had. A little boy and she even found God and was working for her church. So when I got transfered through work. Again back to the same area I thought it would be so good for our friendship because she was in such a good place now. Well needless to say less then a month after I was back. Her and her 4 year old son showed up on the door step of my new apartment. She said she was in. A un healthy marriage and she was scared for her son could they stay with me until she gets on her feet. She knew I would not turn her a away with a little by and no where to go.

    So they moved in. But it didn’t take long for her to be living off me again. She would go out party sometime with other time alone and I would stay home with her son. The weird thing was I felt dorry for her son the same way I use to feel sorry for her. I felt like she hadn’t changed at all she just got better at playing me. This is the real problem fast forward another year. I started to. Distance myself and look for my own place I just didn’t wan any of it in my life anymore. This is my problem I started dating her brother we fell in love and were happy and we just. Had a baby nine months ago. That was it for her I guess she stopped talking to me wants me out of the apartment and has stopped at nothing to destroy my relationship with her brother and even the rest of my life that has nothing to do with her or her brother. So when I was pregnant I packed my things and left the house, her and her little boy, and even her brother.

    And I told none of them were I was going. I moved out of state with family and had my son in a safe loving enviorment. Tthis whole time her brother has tryed to reach out to me to be there for me and now he wants to know his son. I feel terriable about that part and I do love him. But she has such a hold on her brother andhe listens to her and I can’t have a sociopath around my son. The weird thing is she’s calling me now so nice and sweet like nothing ever happened want me and my son to be apart od their family for her brother and her. Please help me I feel like I made the right decsion. Please tell me I’m not wrong?

  39. Jessie Says:

    I am devestated. I believe my best “friend” to be a sociopath. i gave up so much for her, my own repuation, school, LIFE..she never answers my texts, makes plans and breaks plans but does not tell me, simply ignores me until I have wasted a day waiting. How do I get over this? I loved her.

  40. gettingthere Says:

    JEssie, I would say take the hint and move on. If all your friend is doing is not answering you and being flaky, she may or may not be a sociopath, but you should take a step back and recognize the messages she IS sending you… she is not that into you. It is hard to get over lving someone who doesn’t love you back, but you deserve someone who does love you. Take it as a lesson, what you gave up, you gave up. move on stop contacting her. time is your friend here. it will get better.

  41. Figured it out... Says:

    I just figured out that one of my long time friends / on again off again love interest is most likely a sociopath.

    Now that I know the game and see behind the mask and now I can disarm her control over my head and the pain she causes.

    I got off lucky in the fact that she never had a chance to interject herself into my current circles of friends and she burned the mutual old friends a long time ago. So for me it’s an easy and logical fix.

    It actually comforts me to know that this person I saw as so great isn’t real because it’s so much easier to walk away.

    I am grateful for this blog because now I know what kind of tactics she might use to bait me. Thank you for blazing the path.

    Goodbye to the imaginary friend.

  42. Joe W Says:

    In re to: Jessica Says:
    I have to agree with your response.
    i myself…
    might have been guilty of saying something like:
    “Spoken like a true sociopath”
    Which would be in error on my part for sure.
    But, it’s easier to help the ignorence as opposed to idiocy.
    I have no problem helping the “unaware”.
    But, idiocy?
    There is a blind. (some wear)
    And there are “The Blind”.
    But, none are so blind as those who…”Refuse to See!”.
    I fell under the latter.
    Because, I was being manipulated with the friendship card!
    I got sucked in…lock stock and barrel!
    As I was duped by a sciopath myself.
    I never read between the lines…so to speak!
    But once I really understood just what I was dealing with.
    I tried everything my intellect could conjure up.
    Reverse psycology, faining their actions, and everything one could possibly do to make them, well, you know!
    “There is wisdome in this verse.
    The gift to Geis, to see ourselves as others see us…
    Was both, a blessing…and a curse!”
    See the light…if you will.
    It just fell on deaf ears…so to speak.
    He had more tales than the brothers Grimm,
    and more stories than a Mother Goose book.
    To explain why, I was seeing someone other than him for who he really was!
    And I have to agree!
    Dis-association was the only recourse to remedy my delema!
    We say hi and bye.
    But, he has moved on to,what you called “new deciples”.
    There’s a song by a group called Chicago.
    “You’re a Hard Habit To Break”
    And it pretty much says it all.
    A sociopath will play you like a $2 fiddle.
    They will play you ’til all the strings pop.
    Then sit on the sound box. (your feelings)
    Just to hear it crack…if you let them!
    These people truly have no “Reverrnce To Your Concern”
    what so ever.
    Only their own!
    Sad really!
    I considered my sociopath a ‘True Friend”
    But a sociopath’s true friend can only be themselves.
    I learned the hard way.
    I was a smart person and learned from my mistakes.
    Had I been a wise person?
    I would have learned from other peoples!
    Thank you for being here.
    To help people understand what a sociopath is,
    their traits, and know how to deal with them.
    I don’t have words to express my thanks and feelings with this.
    But, I somehow, think I just did!
    You know you’re keeping it real…and I do too!
    Sincerely,
    Joe W
    d;o)

  43. Pam Says:

    Hard, too, to believe all this (I do, as it’s happened to me and I’m also trained in Psychology), when the sociopath happens to be a very popular, single, and charming pastor. He has his group of loyal ‘disciples’, who would never believe any of this. I concur that they are all very sick too. As soon as I was sure, I made a total break with that church and any people there.

  44. pete Says:

    hi larry, i have found this very interesting and has made me think about life in a different way. i have been a victim of a sociopath for the last decade but now im so much happier that i have finally realized the truth. it scary but one of those things you are better off knowing! thanks again:) pete

  45. dave Says:

    I would like to say how much I understand about having a friend that is a Sociopath.

    I was involved with one and his family for ten years and did not know it untill a year after our so-called friendship ended. I just happen to read about Sociopaths and noticed how the make up of our friendship came together. The more I read, the more I was hurt. (It was a co-worker) we did everything to gether, birthdays, trips. You name it, we did it.

    When I found everything was a lie. When I was manipulated, conned, gaslighted. I was a target. It destroyed me in the community and with in the company. (It) had been watching me very close for ten years so (It) could mimic me. And once he was felt he didn’t need me I was forced out of the company by another employee. I made him feel bad about himself. So (it) planned out and destroyed my career, by pushing his actions in life onto me. I may never find good employment again. Before I left, the horrible things he said to me… I just could not understand. I read eveyones posts and I know how horrible it is.

  46. abc123 Says:

    Hello, I need some advice.

    I have this friend who I think may be a sociopath. I’ve been friends with her on an off for the last 20 years. We were best buds in high-school, that was until I realized that she constantly caused drama with my twin sister, I feel that she was jealous that I had a twin and also the fact that my twin always got the boys attention. After high-school I met my fiancée, after that I got nothing but grief and drama from her and her “followers” which I also considered great friends.

    The problem was that I wasn’t around as much anymore, my fiancée definatly had some jealousy issues, but he changed. Our relationship is better than ever, but none of them ever gave him a chance, they continued to hate on him for the next 10 yrs then finally slowly started to accept him.

    He proposed to me last year, I asked her 2 followers to be in my bridal party but I didn’t ask her because we began to drift and I didn’t like her too much anymore because I started to see her true colours. After she found out I was engaged she called to congratulate me and asked what the wedding plans are, I said we will be doing a destination wedding sometime March – June 2013.

    Two weeks later I find out from one of her followers that she is now planning a destination wedding 6 months before mine (she wasn’t even engaged yet). I was livid, we have the same group of friends and they obviously wont be able to afford another destination wedding in 6 months. After that she went crying to my best friend about how bad I made her feel about the wedding plans.

    And not two long after that I received a msg from her followers backing out of my wedding because they dont support who I chose to marry. It broke my heart and I know they did it for her. And now my best friend has distanced herself from me and became close with my sociopath friend. I’m heart broken and dont know how to approach my bff about her distancing herself from me without her thinking I’m crazy.

  47. gettingthere Says:

    I know, ABC, it hurts when you are being played by a player. the problem is, your circle of friends is also influenced by the player, and the player knows how to play and manipulate them.

    this is a dysfunctional situation. when you partake in a dysfunctional situation, you yourself play a role in the dysfunction, you become part of it. It is extremely difficult to act or be in such a situation without getting enmeshed in the dysfunction. it is painful to extricate yourself from it.

    like it or not, when you invited 2 ‘followers’ to be in your wedding but did not invite the ‘drama queen’, you made a power play. look inside yourself and ask yourself, honestly , if you were aware of it at the time. were you trying to prove something to the drama queen? trying to show off? trying to show that you had influence ?just be honest with yourself, it will help you understand the dynamics better. perhaps you did sincerely consider the 2 ‘followers’ to be friends and wanted them in your wedding party, but given the history, it is worth examining.

    Whatever YOUR intentions or feelings though,the drama queen would have seen this as you trespassing in her territory. She would have perceived this either as a direct challenge or an opportunity to cause some trouble, and so she did. you probably erred in speaking to the drama queen and giving her information about your wedding, though she would have heard about it anyway.

    By having them in your wedding you would bind yourself even closer to this troublemaker and her group and this bad situation and bind yourself to the dysfunctional relationship for the rest of your life. why would you want that? is your relationship with your fiancee strong? i would focus on that and the people in your life who are a source of strength and happiness to you. Your bff will need to make her own decisions, but putting pressure on in the midst of a ‘dueling wedding drama’ is folly and will only ramp up your own distress.

    you have a choice here. you can get embroiled in the drama and by doing so you will be playing right into the hands of the drama queen.if she is really a sociopath, she is manipulating her own wedding , her own fiancee and will continue to flog you with all of this forever.

    understand that your fiance will also become a target. your allegiance here is to yourself and your fiancee and healthier family and friendships. maybe your destination wedding will be a smaller but happier event. since i see nothing but a history of unhealthy entanglement , my suggestion is that the best wedding present you could give yourself would be to disengage from this bunch . if your bff is a real friend she may come back to being your friend after awhile, but give yourself a gift and take the high road, the road toward emotional well being.

  48. Rook Says:

    I’m actually really glad I read this.

    I had never really educated myself about the term, but due to a recent falling out of a ‘friendship’ that was formed in daycare and lasted through school into my late-twenties, I felt the need to find a answer to the questions about my friend. I don’t quite recall her being like this as a child, but as she aged I noticed and chose to ignore the manipulations she pressed on me and those around her.

    I even ignored the time she tried to run me and her very own sister off the road because we were out a little too late for her tastes and I was brining her home. It’s a real eye-opener to realize what I thought was a degrading bond, was simply a facade on her part.

    When I had my son’s father in my life and my life was hell, she was there to manipulate and ‘offer her shoulder’, but only to further the drama in our mutual extended circle of friends. Now that I have a stable life and a stable boyfriend, am raising my son outside of a hate filled home, she had no need for me. So she spread rumors and lies, tore my reputation apart in my own hometown and I lost every single friend that we used to share mutually to her lies while she was leaving me on the curb like trash.

    But the thing is, I’ve never really been so content with my life since she’s been gone, since everyone who’d believe her lies over even talking to me has been lifted out. Yes, a few people showed that they cared for me after the fact, I can’t go around my hometown without fear of her showing up plaguing the back of my mind, but I’ve never been more content in my own mind than when she blessed me with the act of her leaving me alone.

  49. abc123 Says:

    I just saw pictures from my sociopath/ drama queen x friends wedding. Same colours I was planning on having since a kid. Wtf? Can this get any worse, of all colours in the rainbow she chose my favourite colour combination. Thats devastating.

  50. gettingthere Says:

    don’t torture yourself. get rid of the pictures. disengage.

  51. Grace Says:

    My father had sociopathic tendencies as well as being bipolar. My ex husband also had sociopathic tendencies. I have just had an experience with a full blown extreme sociopath/psychopath.

    I met him about 9 months ago when I rented my home to him. I had a situation come up where I had to be away for 6 months and he needed to rent a place for that time frame. We became friends and I went to work for him about 2 months ago. He presented an image of himself that I now know was completely fabricated. Since going to work for him, I have been in a constant inner battle of I like him/I can’t stand him. I realized over the past 2 weeks that he is a sociopath/psychopath. He owes money to everyone. His business is a train wreck. He hires people to do work, works them without pay until they leave, then brings in more unsuspecting people. I also discovered that he forged the signature of a “friend” of his and used the man’s social securty number to obtain credit. He ran up a $100,000 balance with the company and they are now suing him AND his friend. His friend was served with papers and that was the first he had ever heard of this company. I walked away from the job 2 days ago. I gave his friend information that may help him get out of this mess. At first the friend was very grateful. Now I am sensing that he has been duped once again by the charm of the sociopath. He is allowing the sociopath to “take care” of the matter for him.

    I am stepping away from all of it for my own sanity. I was going to try and stay until money came in so I could hopefully get paid, but I just can’t stomach it anymore. It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. The sociopath has no real friends. He has followers, like a cult. These people are unbelievably loyal to him even though he works them to death and never pays them anywhere near what he owes them. His followers are all misfits (using this term because I don’t know how else to decribe them). They are alcoholics, drug addicts, convicted felons, generally down on their luck types. The sociopath is a recoveing alcoholic/addict 20+ years clean. I have discovered that he also has a bit of criminal history, minor offenses but lots of them. One of the followers who is most used by him is an attorney who was disbarred because of a DUI. He works for the sociopath and is completely loyal to him. The friend whose credit he has ruined is none of those but he is a bit of a loner and rather insecure. The sociopath NEVER takes responibility for the messes he makes. I have been in meetings and listened to him throw everyone who is no longer around under the bus. I’m sure I will be his next scapegoat now that I’m gone. I tried to explain to him why I was leaving and lay everything out for him, including the fact that his 2 young sons are neglected. It was like talking to a brick wall. He is completely emotionless and takes no resposibility for anything ever. Their mother died a year ago of a drug overdose. After all that I have seen that he is capable of, I’m not so sure that he didn’t have something to do with her death.

    This man is very charming but socially aloof. From the very beginning, my feeling about him was that he always seemed to be running from something. He has a dissheveled appearance. Sometimes he wears the same clothes for days and goes unshaven for days. It didn’t take long for me to realize something was very wrong once I started interacting with him on a daily basis. My son and I got close to his 2 sons. That is the most difficult thing. He is not fit to raise them. They loved being with my son and me. I am having a very difficult time walking away from them. I have considered calling DFCS but I don’t know if that is the thing to do. The boys are 9 and 12. They go to a private christian school. The father is $12,000 behind in tuition to the school and has even conned the school into allowing them to stay. I have left out a lot of details because I could honestly write a book about this situation. Does anyone have any insight or suggestions regarding the children?

  52. deadtired Says:

    I’ve recently identified a friend of mine as a possible sociopath…

    When I told him we had to stop being friends he started to threaten me. I would receive 250 phone calls in a single day, sometimes just for logging off without saying goodbye, or for not initiating conversation.

    He has told me he has the right to be treated like a god because he isn’t scared to liken himself to one, and often asks me where I am, what I’m doing, and accusing me of hanging out without inviting him. He told me I’m his ticket into our circle of friends. Some of my not-so-close friends love him so they don’t believe my recounts.

    When I told him we could be friends (after giving up on cutting ties), but that it meant no more than the status of my other friends he went into another rage and said “How dare you demote me to friend level.”

    It’s been 2 years of this and the police have recently been contacted but I’m scared to stir up trouble. I want to fade out and have him just lose interest in me but the rest of my friends want me to get a restraining order. I’m trying to lay low for now, but people keep tagging me and taking photos of me out with friends, which has him threatening me all over again in a new rage. The ultimatum he gave me was leave the group and be friends with him only, or get him in the group’s good books.

    I’m 19 and in a perpetual panic, and sometimes I feel like this is an elaborate cruel prank everybody is playing on me to see how long it takes for me to snap and go crazy.

  53. Larry Says:

    DeadTired,

    You are going through what most victims go through, but it can be manageable. We all feel at one time or another that we’re going to snap, but we don’t. We take one day at a time.

    Try doing what I have done online but just use a spiral notebook. Journal. Keep track of your days, logging in what happens. You’ll probably soon see a pattern of sorts that will help you to make sense of it, and ultimately good decisions.

    The best decision is to get away; move if you must. Don’t let any questionable friends know where you move to. It’s not an easy decision, but it really takes a great strain off you. You will come out of it a stronger individual.

    And, don’t forget what medicine can do. Antidepressants an anti-anxiety drugs definitely allow you to deal with life better and feel peace within. A psychiatrist is who you’d want to see for meds, and a psychologist or social worker to talk with and get advice. Virtually all of us do.

    The combination of the two, if good, are extremely valuable. If you go to one, and they don’t seem to relate to what you are going through, find another one. Doctors are all different, and many do not understand, or want to accept psychopathy.

    But hang in there.

  54. gettingthere Says:

    dear deadtired.

    what this person is doing to you is absolutely unacceptable, especially if there have been threats of violence. but it is unacceptable, all of it.

    he perceives you as vulnerable and will continue to exploit that. there IS no halfway, or peacemaking with these kinds of people.
    If you have trusted friends or allies , i mean really trusted friends and allies, strengthen your relationships with them. If you are not able to relocate , find a new focus in your life and surround yourself with some good people, different people. get some counseling if you can and take it one day at a time. Do not continue to communicate with this person.

    there is no reason he should be seeing photos of you n FB. you do have some control over that. i would suggest for the short term, insist that your friends not post them. nowdays if you are tagged in an FB post, you have to give permission for it to be published. do not give that permission. if you block him on FB he will not be able to see any of your posts.

    If you are nervous about contacting law enforcement please try to find an objective counselor to talk with, to help you decide n these matters. i can’t advise you on that, but sometimes these psycopathic bullies will harrass a person mercilessly, until a strong figure enters the picture. sometimes they do not understand NO unless there is a badge or a bigger guy behind it, sad to say. but please talk to someone who is not just a party friend, talk to someone who’s main concern is your well being.

    Every day remind yourself that you are a worthwhile person . Every day work on feeling and visualizing your own strength and wholeness .Visualize banishing this monster from your head and shrinking him down to the cowardly worm he is. If you work on it, and work on yourself ,it will get better. His influence and ability to bully you will diminish, and new friends and opportunities will come your way.

  55. Dav Says:

    Deadtired;
    I would like to offer some advice. Read as much as you can about Sociopaths. Don’t let this person know where your are or what you are doing. If you have to, for now find new friends. You don’t want this person in your life. I had a Sociopath in my life. Sociopaths make havic in your life as well as your friends. It is not worth the trubble. Get a new phone number, e-mail adderss. Keep as far away as you can.

  56. Jordan Says:

    Hello. I have a complete lack of empathy, I find that society is usually hypocritical and annoying, and I find that most fail to understand that a sociopath, such as myself, do have emotions muted as they are. Many don’t bother with a “public persona”. Don’t feel the compulsive need to manipulate, nor sexual promiscuity. We do have our own Moral codes we follow and we do love our family, even if we can’t express or understand it. We are not evil and we are not the same. It is insulting to assume so.

  57. Ruined friend Says:

    My now ex-best friend is a 28yo sociopath. I knew there was something wrong with her but now I have a name for it.

    She was so selfish, the relationship was all about her, she would call me day and night and talk about her and never ask about me, she would send photos to me needing my constant approval on how “hot” she looked, she never came to my house, I had to drag the 3 kids to hers (she had no kids and no entertainment for my kids at her house) she made up stories and then would contradict them without realising, she told me lies about her religion, her parents occupations, her nationality but then would tell me say a year down the track the truth without realising shw had told me something else.

    Not a day went by without a made up drama, she had to look and dress the best, no one could look better than her so she spent thousands on plastic surgery and designer clothes and cars, she couldnt hold down a relationship with a man, told me she will only marry a man for money (had to be a surgeon or lawyer) and divorce him and claim what she can claim in support and when I started to not respond to her needs as much, she just dumped me – completely out of the blue.

    I was no longer needed because I wouldn’t give her the responses she needed, well that’s what I think anyway. I’ve never been given an explanation, she just stopped talking to me and that was it. I tried calling, texting and sent her a beautifil heart felt email asking for sn explaination and maybe a friendship rekindle but I got nothing so I gave up.

    It broke my heart but its been a year now and I can see she had a mental problem and I did not serve a purpose in her life any longer and she more than likely found someone else to follow her and give her what she wanted to hear. It’s sad because I put my heart and soul into the friendship and I truly loved her, I felt we were like sisters, when she was half, maybe not even that, hearted :( I am now very cautious who I let in my life, when you have been burnt once you never want to feel that pain again.

  58. Larry Says:

    @Jordan

    I beg to differ with you. Your personally as a psychopath may be much different than others, but you still admit that you have them. The people who come to this site are those who have been tormented by truly evil sociopaths that have likely changed their victims lives for ever.

    If you have no empathy, how can you judge your own actions?

  59. Larry Says:

    @Ruined Friend,

    Count you blessings. Your sociopath “friend” has cut off all ties with you. Most don’t. You need to do the same thing with her. If she comes back, it’ll likely begin as friends again, and quickly turn sour.

    Don’t fall for it.

  60. Joe Says:

    @Jordan
    I’m not a zebra, said the zebra…I’m a horse now!
    d;o)

  61. Anthony Says:

    I had a terrible experience with a sociopath that I thought was my friend. I had known him for ten years and I would make excuses for odd behavior or just dismiss negative incidents that happened.

    But things started to happen that I could not ignore. when I started to notice things in his home that had gone missing from mine. Then the penny finally dropped, I realized in that moment that he responsible for all the damage and sabotage that I could not explain. I would find all of my designer clothes with oil stains, or missing. Broken zips in clothes I had never worn. I would return home to find a rips in my sofa, deep scratches in all my furniture.

    All my tools stolen, my photograph albums going back years taken and frames left empty. And this all happened after I confronted him about the unique gift that came from Russia and why it was in his possession And it was the first time i ever saw him look shocked, The blood drained from his face and he froze, not knowing what to say or do.

    I ended the friendship if you could call it that. But it wasn’t until 1.5 year later that I had have all the locks on my house changed, because some how he must have had keys cut and had been entering my house for years to damage or steal my belongings. But even though i have cut him off, he still stalks me. And i feel like I will never get over this psychotic encounter.

  62. Larry Says:

    Anthony,

    Your sociopath sounds very devious. I would hope that you took photos of the dammage. You can probably take the photos to an attorney or the police and file charges; if not charges, at least get a restraining order. If you think he’s still entering your home, set up a hidden motion-detecting camera (something you can order on the web). Best of luck!

  63. to thine own self be true Says:

    Larry, so good to find your site, Thank You.

    I have siblings that are sociopaths. Took me a –very long time– to figure them out. Do you know if sociopaths attract sociopaths ? My siblings tend to ‘feed’ each other and have very similar attributes. After reading many posts and other websites about this personality disorder, I am certain my siblings have it. I loved them and since a death in my family has caused their ‘true selves’ to, at least in part, be revealed, I am just heartbroken. They conjured up many – many lies to make themselves look better, at the expense of two normal siblings.

    No thought whatsoever as to my feelings. One sibling in particular seems to be leading the other ‘disciples’ & others go right along with her like sheep. They have even contacted further distant relatives to ‘destroy my reputation’ with lies. (I have referred to it as ‘recruiting’)

    I have cut off contact with them, but still cannot forget them, because I LOVE them. I have given so much to them & received very little in return. I never ‘kept tabs’ on the give & take thing, I just became much more aware of it after the death in my family caused me to reflect upon the past and my family relationships. When I look back on the ‘behavior’ of siblings of many years ago, it all fits perfectly.

    Larry wrote in a previous comment:
    “I find that to be a common trait among sociopaths: they use their own malicious actions as weapons to degrade the character of their victims.”

    Prior to finding your website, I’ve have conveyed that to others very close to me, because that is exactly what ‘my sociopath, tormenter’ has done. Exactly. (among many other sociopathic tendencies)

    Larry ~ Thank You so much.

  64. Giles Says:

    @the poster of post 63.

    Sociopaths will always try to defame people around them. To a lesser or greater degree they need other people otherwise they would simply not exist, they have not much of an inner life, very attenuated emotional range and incapable of seeing situations as seen by others.

    Defaming other people around them is just one of their activities, like narcissists, they are full of rage because although sociopaths are probably hard-wired or are the product of very subtle brain damage they still need some nurture to become what they are. The key is that they are taught that they are worthless at an early age and this is the cause of their rage, an ontological crisis which lasts their whole lives and which they have no resources to deal with.

    Please see my post 29 where my prodigal brother leapt on the chance to defame me and claim that he returned home to keep me the nut-case in the family in line, all because I had a tiff with my mother one day. He didn’t visit his own father when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, took his money to move to New Zealand with, never visited when he was terminal and showed up after he died to count his money, which my stupid mother saw as an act of altruism, a few days of paper work compared to being around somebody having their brain rotting away for a year.

    I hope I never ever see him again.

  65. Larry Says:

    @ to thine own self be true

    You are more than welcome. It’s the only thing we can do for ourselves is to cut all ties. That can be so terribly difficult in many relationships, but it’s what we must do.

    @ Giles

    I hope you are doing better.

  66. JCat Says:

    I want to stress that this website is important, essential, crucial to victims of sociopaths. I only discovered this site two days ago, this after four years of trying to escape a sociopath, and that after only two years of marriage. Yes, a four year divorce over a two year marriage, with me trying every move and suffering every disorder to get out of it while Crazy Man played his little games.

    It is clear that if I told my long and distressing story that those here already know it, have already lived it, as I have lived your stories. And if I were to share the various revenges I consider, or the enduring spark of empathy I have for a disordered person, or the destruction of my life path and confidence that I must now live somehow to fight another day and overcome, the people here already know.

    I read many websites during my journey of escape, sometimes dabbling and not quite ready to believe, sometimes just jumping in with my co-survivors and trying to show the silver lining. The problem with almost all groups besides this one is that the people elsewhere are still so very wounded, so not yet escaped, so not accepting that the apology and recompense and justice ain’t never gonna come.

    Of course, in the early days, it was worse than that. I was at Vaknin’s (sp?) site soaking up the horror of it all, and I was afraid, and vulnerable to the fears he stirred up in me. Fight? Run? Stand still? What a horrendous choice to make day after day for four years.

    So, I discovered this site two days ago, and I guess at the correct time, and found that not everyone thinks that running is for sissies, and not everyone thinks calling a spade a spade is somehow impolite, but most of all, that emotional paralysis is the norm under the sociopath’s program of crazy-making. I am probably not defective at all. My responses to the situation have probably been normal even though the world, and my old self, easily deems them crazy.

    I have experienced more healing in the last two days due to having come to this website than I did over the last two years while I was fighting for my life. Please take that to heart and know that what you are doing here, which I would call gathering together a group of believers out of a world of unbelievers, is significant and important. Thank you.

  67. Larry Says:

    Welcome JCat,

    You sound as if you hit bottom as so many of us have. Being a yo-yo for who we trusted and loved as best friends, only to find they are no friends at all … that they don’t even have the ability to be the slightest of friends. You will gain strength, move-on and overcome it.

    It still won’t be easy, but knowing that everyday will get just a smidgen better is what gives us hope. Outside help, in the form of a compassionate talk-therapist, and even medications to relieve some of the pain, becomes a big piece of the recovery. Not something we ever wanted, but something that is helpful to stand tall again.

    But it is indeed I who wants to say “thank you” to you. It’s comments like yours that justify why I went public in August 2009 when I thought I would be better off dead. I’ve often turned to writing journals during difficult times in my life, but they were all very private.

    This one was open to the world, but I had no idea that it would grow as it has and draw in so many others suffering as I was. Life does improve, and the terrible experience makes us stronger, smarter and more resilient, but at a cost we never imagined nor would wish upon anyone else (except maybe those who did it to us).

    Again, a comment such as yours helps me as well as others who will read it. I humbly thank you for your very kind words.

  68. Charlotte Says:

    Oh Yes! This rings the alarm bell of:
    Reading people period! So I was early 20s naive enough to experience four years of a female friend who is a sociopath. Interesting in hind sight i feel a have a doctorate! So far as to minor details peeps-They are drinking your blood !Vampires!!!Makes my skin crawl!
    Just for a laugh:Dont let them take birthday photos
    Dont give them a job or feed them after midnight. Take your bag to bed they will drive whilst you sleep. nuff said! Good luck may you never meet another!!!

  69. joe Says:

    Do they usually look for misfits as friends?

  70. Lauren Says:

    I’m just now realizing that someone I was best friends with for over a decade is truly a sociopath. She used me and treated me horribly and all the while made me feel like I was the bad person. I can’t count the number of times I went back to her with an apology when it was she that had wronged me. And then after she was done sucking me dry of anything she could possibly take from me, she “dumped” me as a friend.

    There’s just ONE PROBLEM: She is still friends with everyone in my friends group and none of them think that there is anything wrong with her and they think that I am the one being malicious if I try to say anything (I’ve long since given up that fight!). But I just don’t know WHAT TO DO! Since she is still a part of this group I still constantly have anxiety about what she has (or will) done (do) to me. Do I have to sacrifice an entire group of friends because of this? I think the reason no one else sees it is because she has not victimized them to the extent that she did to me…

  71. Sara Says:

    I roomed with a sociopath who was interested in the same guy I was. Turns out she ruined his entire coaching career and completely played the victim and claimed she was sexually harassed by the guy after she found out I was dating him. It resulted in an ended friendship and her ruining this guy’s life (who i’m still dating)

  72. Jade Says:

    Wow. I was the first one to write on this thread in 2011 when I was 16 years old! I’m almost 20 now, and the sociopath is still my best friend! Only because we grew up together though. I keep her at a distance now, and realise it really is a one way friendship. She’s good to have fun with, but it is impossible to rely on a sociopath for a real, genuine friendship. Be smart.

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