Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Conversation with a reader: loyalty (part 1)

Excerpts from an IM conversation with a reader:

It's hard being in any sort of relationship with a sociopath

Reader: It makes me wonder what is the best relationship for a sociopath. I wonder why socios don't pair up more.

M.E.: Probably not enough glue to keep them together. There are times when I question pursuing even some of my most enduring and meaningful relationships, family and friends. Empaths can't ignore sunk costs, typically. If they've poured so much into a relationship, they feel the urge to keep investing even if the costs exceed the benefits. That makes them poor entrepreneurs (or great ones!), but good in relationships because they’re not just willing but wanting to stick through things when they get tough.

Reader: The attachment/bond added to the investment keeps them around...

M.E.: Exactly. Sociopaths don't feel that pull. Not as strongly, at least. I am constantly asking myself, “Is this relationship or plan of action providing more to me than I am giving to it?”

Reader: But I thought sociopaths could be extremely loyal

M.E.: Yes, they can be very loyal. There will typically always be some level of interaction at which it is worth pursuing a relationship.

Reader: Ah, so they're loyal when the relationship is clearly rewarding.

M.E.: Well, maybe instead of best friends they could be good friends, like downsizing, or going on a little hiatus. I think that most people’s experience with sociopaths is that they want to eventually come back and maintain some sort of contact. Just because they ignore the sunk costs does not mean they go so far as to ignore the investment/equity that is already there.


  1. That's been my experience. My socio and myself had the best of all worlds for 3 1/2 years. Things exploded a year ago. For the first 6 weeks of that year there was no contact. After that, and for the remainder of this past year, we have been working on a down-sized relationship. Neither of us enjoys the other being gone from our lives so we are re-building to a level that is realistic and where we are each comfortable given what we've learned.

  2. I think issues occur when the "downsizing" is done on the part of the socio for what will appear to the empath as no apparent reason. In my experience, there is no long drawn out discussion to explain how or why the relationship will change. The socio will just slowly over time, push and pull, until things resemble what they want it to be.

  3. So a three week silence doesn't necessarily mean my P is gone? I've presumed he is, but as I reflect back on the past two years, I'm not convinced he'd find someone he can laugh with as he can with me, and most important have that person be unaffected and accepting of his dark thoughts. He's free to be himself with me, but one little issue (our first), threw him into a verbal tirade and he disappeared. He hasn't responded to my two emails.

    I'm still open to this relationship, as I also get a lot out of it. I have my own reasons for being there, and I get a high off our conversations. We both take from the other.

  4. I'm curious, Aerianne, how did contact resume?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. We new better than to ever be as involved as you guys were. I knew the beast from the get-go, although it wasn't specifically stated for almost 9 months. But I got it - I was already doing my research.

    Somehow I new to instinctively navigate the waters from the beginning. He's the most interesting, unique and well-read person I've known. He offers a lot that others don't.

    But a normal can't play by the 'down-graded' rules forever. My feelings deepened, and while I kept any outpourings of emotion to a minimum, there was a highly uncomfortable moment a few weeks ago. I don't think he quite comprehends how unconditionally I have accepted him, and that I don't presume our relationship will ever move to another level. I think he believes I've gotten all mushy. I'm not a fool...

    I have a few things in his home, he has nothing here. I won't be asking for them.

  7. AntiSocialPersonalityAugust 18, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    ME needs to stop speaking in generalizations about empaths. Isn't ME a sociopath?

    Attachment has nothing to do with being an empath or sociopath. Neither does loyalty. Plenty of empaths don't form attachments and plenty of sociopaths become so attached that they stalk people, and either can be loyal or disloyal.

    It's still an important question to ask. Why aren't sociopaths pairing up with sociopaths?

  8. What I don't understand is why empaths would get attached to sociopaths. What is there exactly to get attached to? What is the point? Is the sociopath the mother or father of your children?

  9. Sociopathlove -

    Every situation is different. I'd have zero interest in a sociopath who traveled on the wrong side of the law or was a general waste of time, professionally.

    I can only speak for my own particular set of circumstances, and I'll also say that in my wildest dreams, I didn't ever imagine this would be me.

    Strangely, we work/worked. We're both career driven and enjoy the unusual. I don't require equal love from him, but I do require unique and stimulating companionship. I can't understand my pet at all times, but that doesn't mean I don't love it. And it's form of love may not be the same in return, but that doesn't matter to me.

    My P is extremely self-aware, and his honesty from day one drew me to him. He made me aware that he isn't like other people, and that I shouldn't expect the same things. I respect him for that honesty. Empaths rarely lay their dirt on the table in such a way.

    As for living with him or marrying him - no, that would never happen. We both know our limitations.

    I also don't understand the women on here who meet and marry sociopaths who are stealing, abusing etc.

    Oh... and true to the beast... the three week silence ended this evening. I thought he was done. Maybe not. But maybe I am. Not sure.

  10. Antisocial, they probably are under the rule of They hide themselves, and theydon't know they're together.

  11. My P is extremely self-aware, and his honesty from day one drew me to him.

    Openminded, most people, no matter what label you saddle them with, are the exact opposite of self aware, so congrats to you for having been with someone who understood himself clearly. It sounds like you are pretty self aware yourself.

  12. Sociopathlove, there's lots to love such as charisma, vitality, enthusiasm, shared interests and goals, physical chemistry, etc.; not to mention the way a sociopath can mirror your feelings and play to your needs. A sociopath can be a very easy person to love.

  13. Daniel -

    You just nailed it! Thank you! That's exactly what it was that drew me. The complete and utter honesty as to his failings. When looking at his successes, he was/is still highly appealing.

    You are right. Few people are self aware. The honesty with us created a zero-bs relationship. Well, he has gotten back in touch (saying little, of course) and I'll let some time pass. Let the awkwardness of this month pass.

    In my unique experience, a highly intelligent P who has managed to carve out a great life can be a wonderful companion. There's never a dull moment and if you do it the right way, both sides can find the humor in things. Without it, we're all lost - normals and antisocials.

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