A reader writes:
I've been reading about sociopathy for many years now but only recently came across your site. I am an empath. In fact, I am perhaps a bit "more" empathetic than most empaths would be.
I believe I have developed a method for controlling, even manipulating, sociopaths: that is, beating them at their own game. I will not post my entire story yet because 1) I remain, and probably always will remain, unconvinced that you are a sociopath until I can observe you in person (this is my skeptical nature) and 2) I'm not sure that you would be interested in hearing many of the details. You'll have to respond to let me know.
The story, in brief: about six years ago I discovered the sociopathic nature of a male friend very close to me. In short, he briefly successfully conned me out of hundreds of dollars (not that serious, but unpleasant) to fund an affair (he had another long term girlfriend then) I had no idea he was having. Even though he was able to guilt me into not accusing him of failing to repay me, I quickly became very suspicious. I began to notice an almost inhuman detachment in his facial expressions. When he smiled, I would often notice that the smile was emotionally vacant. This may sound strange, but the smile felt subtly slower to me. I am very adept at picking up facial cues and intuitively knowing what people around me are thinking, how they're feeling - even what their true intentions are. It is nearly at the level of a psychic ability (though I am a strict materialist and do not believe in that). My Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ (the same as Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, and supposedly/theoretically Jesus Christ) and is often attributed an uncanny ability to see straight through to what people are thinking/feeling.
Back to the story, I began researching sociopathy and similar disorders online. I was completely certain that what I had on my hands was a full blown sociopath - and certainly one of the more impulse controlling varieties (a college grad and actually quite motivated and hard working). At this point, I became really excited. I could not wait to see what I could do to him - in short, to see if I could actually beat him at his own game. (This statement may give you the impression that I might be a sociopath. I am not. I sometimes cry during those infomercials about feeding African children and so forth. I could not list the number of times I've cried on someone else's behalf.)