Monday, July 11, 2011

Confronting Your Friend When He/She is Dating a Sociopath

I'll be back from vacation by next post, in the meantime this guest post from Criminal Justice Degrees Guide:

Sometimes it can be hard to talk to your friend about a serious problem they are unaware of—especially if it is negatively affecting them. However, if you really care about his/her well-being, you must be willing to face an uncomfortable situation, such as confronting a friend or talking to him/her about the troublesome issue. If your friend is dating a sociopath, there are certain ways to make them aware of it. Here are some steps to follow both before and after you confront your friend about his/her new (or old) boyfriend or girlfriend, who is exhibiting symptoms of antisocial personality disorder.
First Things First: Get Your Facts Straight
Make sure your friend's significant other actually exhibits symptoms of antisocial personality disorder. The worst thing you can do is confront your friend about a problem that doesn’t really exist. You may want to look at a comprehensive reference such as The Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders. According to the fourth edition of the manual, there a four main symptoms that point to antisocial personality disorder including (but not limited to): "a pervasive pattern or disregard for or violation of the rights of others, evidence of conduct disorder, and occurrence of antisocial behavior (not in exclusive schizophrenic episodes)." Furthermore, the person must be at least 18 years of age. Try looking at examples and other characteristics which help prove someone is in fact a sociopath.
Gentle Confrontation
After you are certain your friend is dating a sociopath, try to bring up something he does in your presence. Do it right after it happens! For example, if he/she is behaving in a reckless manner, which seems abnormal, take your friend aside shortly after. Ask him/her if she found that behavior awkward or unusual. Don't be accusatory of his or her significant other from the beginning. Just ask how his/her boyfriend or girlfriend's actions made your friend feel.
Provide the Material to Get Your Friend Thinking
Once you have your friend thinking about the situation, send an article or YOUTUBE video of a person acting similar to the sociopath he/she is dating. This will get him or her thinking about the situation. You could send an email, and say "this reminds me of (insert sociopath's name here)". Try to make it light and funny, but still eye-opening and educational for your friend. This post could be an example.
Serious Confrontation
If your friend isn't getting a clue, try confronting him/her more seriously. Say that you have their wellbeing at heart, and you are concerned about his/her relationship. Don't immediately say you are dating a sociopath. Try to highlight examples of unusual behavior or symptoms your friend's boyfriend or girlfriend displays. Explain how this behavior could be damaging to your friend's happiness or well-being. Also add, you will be there for them no matter what, but you want them to think about the situation seriously.
Don't Cut Them Off
Your friend is likely to be defensive during the confrontation. After all, taking a blow at someone's boyfriend or girlfriend can mean attacking both people in the relationship. Give your friend another chance. Try to text them or call them regularly to show you are there for them, no matter what. You may not be able to change their behavior, but always be willing to lend advice or help!
Author Bio:

Nancy Farrell is a freelance writer and blogger. She regularly contributes to the criminal justice degrees, which discusses about child abuse, human rights, divorce, and crime related articles. Questions or comments can be sent to: nancy.farrell13@gmail.com.

62 comments:

  1. Heh, I've dealt with this before, one with a Narc and one with a Sociopath/ASPDr. Thankfully no psychopaths...

    Normally when I notice them doing this behavior, I don't confront my friend/loved one about it. I wait until it pushes them over the edge and they're confused and vulnerable. Then I let them tell me what's going on, and then I begin to interrogate them (in the guise of concern) about the other person as much as possible to make sure my observations are actually right.

    And then you nonchalantly say, "It sounds like So and So is a pathological Narcissist (or whatever PD). Practically a text-book case. I can tell you more about them if you want, but So and So is practically the poster-boy for the pathology. So and So is like this because s/he is sick, mentally. Not because of you."

    And then after that you bring up all those lovely little traits like selfishness, no remorse, no empathy, et cetera et cetera et etera.

    And when they ask you how you know so much about the subject, you just say, "I'm something of a psychology nerd."

    Personally though, unlike the article here, if you catch them when they're vulnerable and broken, they not only are NOT defensive in their partner's favor, they're actually eager to believe it and want to know more, because the possibility that their partner is sick in the head is a much more comforting notion than the fact that they are being treated like garbage because someone (and possibly more people) see them as garbage, thus alleviating their self-esteem/self-image issues.

    You just don't tell a friend/loved one that So and So is a sociopath once you noticed it, they'll never believe it if they don't have a reason to. They'll justify the person's behavior until the cows come home if you do, and it might even ruin the relationship to do so.

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  2. Not to mention your friend/loved one might even tell the suspected sociopath what you said, and if they are not self-aware, it will piss them off and make you an enemy, and if they are self-aware, you better watch your fucking back.

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  3. It's ironic how this guide is a lesson in manipulation and control.

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  4. You would prolly lose your friend if you insisted beyond just giving your opinion.
    I would stay with the friend ,if I could cuz she will prolly lose most of her friends .

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  5. @Rope just what I was thinking.

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  6. Yeah it would be pretty embarrassing to accuse a friends significant other of being a sociopath when they were really just a douchebag.

    That said, I wish some of my friends said ANYTHING to me about my narc ex. Eventually one of his friends did pull me off to the side, drive us out of town (to avoid bugs in the house) and we had like a weird mutual intervention for each other because he was so destructive. It was certainly eye opening and made me feel much less crazy. Of course, that didn't actually mean I was able to extricate myself. Or him for that matter.

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  7. A divorce is a divorce is a divorce no matter who you're dealing with. It's personal. When you're done you're done.

    But I would definitely do exactly what you do, TNP, if friend of mine described someone's behavior and i thought they were an s, p or bpd. I usually meet women who date narcs and men who date bpds. I'll eventually point them to wiki the labels if they're suffering enough and i get enough info. Most of the time, though, they make their decisions when they're ready.

    You can never force someone's hand no matter what you say. My therapist doesn't even make much of an impact regarding my relationships. I think everyone hits their personal limits when it's time.

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  8. I got pushed out an elevator by my guy. I knew that was a sign. I stored the info even though i laughed in his face. I could tell there'd be more where that came from if I continued to antagonize him.

    I told my friends. They knew I had it under control. But hey, I really don't know what might have occurred further down the road ...

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  9. http://books.google.com/books?id=OuNdrmHcJlgC&pg=PA442&lpg=PA442&dq=rate+of+psychopathy+in+prisons&source=bl&ots=mw_11GiFm9&sig=qOd9a8EP5E3UR4SIkcqyMfNGc_s&hl=en&ei=VyoXTtrEApC6sAPVoMXZDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Here is a free book on psychopathy/sociopathy(The author makes a clear distinction). I haven't seen it mentioned before. I will say this though. If you have to have your reading on the non-empirical data side or the have to have the laymen version of things don't bother to read it.

    He mirrors so many of the conclusions that I have been coming to. I am very astounded. He even tackles the issue of non-violent psychopaths and many other issues while not demonizing the lot.

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  10. Dudes, I need your help. It's summer so I don't have to go to college or anything, there's nothing to do. I don't usually like to talk to people but recently I noticed that I kinda need some socialization before I can get on with my own business, playing computer games or reading.

    I can't do it if I don't talk to someone for like an hour. It's like I need to get it out of my system before I can go on and do something I really enjoy. I don't understand it, I don't like doing it but still I need it.

    Some advice from Postmodern Sociopath or some other loner would be good. Thanks.

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  11. Get a friend frank. You just need one. A very close friend. That you can yell at and tell your crazy ideas to. Get one of those. Just look for someone who is generally like you. That means you will have to make the first move. Now go and socialize you loser.

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  12. my advice is that you die you virgin faggot.

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  13. First of all Kesu: Fuck you and your momma. Ok?

    Second: I don't want friends. I don't want a friend. That doesn't work. I need a patsy if you will. Someone I can discharge everything on and then never see them till next time I need to yell at someone or punch. Will you be my patsy Kesu?

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  14. Frank you're a pussy. You need a dick. Stay behind your computer you reclusive hermit loser. You can cry more in your loneliness or I could cut the teeth out of your head.

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  15. Kesu, what do you want me to do? Come to your house and fuck you in the ass and after that your momma? Can I do this so that I can show you that I mean what I say? I would love to stick my dick in your ass, really. Maybe you would like to suck my cock also.

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  16. Maybe you are a homosexual frank. Maybe you should find a gay lover.

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  17. I'm bisexual dude. I could do it with you and your mother at the same time.

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  18. Maybe you are a little confused frank. Maybe you need to stop being so isolated. Maybe you need to go out there and find the love your mommy never showed you. Then you can cry on your gay lovers shoulder. Awwwww. Little gender confused boy just needs some love for his portly ass. Awwww.

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  19. Awww friend you sad now? Going to go cry in your lonely corner. Come on Frank. Go out and have that three way. Come on you can do it you fat fuck. The world isn't such a big scary lonely place frank. So come on out you cowardly reclusive prick. Get your fat pathetic loser ass up Frankie boy. Or you can just say fuck it and hang yourself but I don't think you can find a rope strong enough to hold you up in your little shit hole. Lord knows your shoe strings won't work... do you even have shoes Frank? I bet you just wear flip flops and forget to bath for days at a time. God you are a pathetic disgusting slob. Why do you go on living Frank? You should kill yourself. You are a blight on this world. A horribly ugly stain that is below anyone notice. You will be forever alone. Just end it all. End the pain. End the misery. End the loneliness. Do it Frank. Come on and man up for once in your life and do something that is actually worth doing. DO IT YOU PATHETIC FUCK!

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  20. you both sound like total morons.

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  21. Guess I just struck a nerve with that remark.

    Kesu, if you have enough time to write a hate letter that big maybe I'm not the one wasting the air. Maybe you should start considering practicing what you preach. :) Go ahead Kesu, take some pills or something... You can blow me if that doesn't work.

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  22. when walking through the universe, rolling, and flowing, do so magnanimously.

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  23. Well fuck you then. You make me sick. Stupid quitter.

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  25. Why gretyl ? Don't you have any mercy? Why do you hate people with sociopath friends so much ?

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  26. Want some ginger bread? I have a house made out of it. You can come to frank. Three way.

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  27. C ya guys, I'm off to work.

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  29. We're gonna add some lifeblood to your blog. That's why you're gonna love us.

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  30. Gretyl, life is beautiful. When did you stop seeing that?

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  31. "Mercy is for the weak." I agree.

    "It's letting someone have a crutch against stone-cold reality."
    I agree again.

    "Sociopaths don't give a shit who they hurt, or what they do."
    Sounds right so far. 3 for 3 so far.

    "Why should I have mercy for that? Best way to learn is to see reality looking you back straight iin the face."
    I've said this before. How very sociopathic of you re-Gretyl. Callous, less than em-pathetic, cruel even. It seems you share the same way of thinking as those that you despise. Hmmmm. Wonder what that says about you?

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  32. Haaaave you guys ever heard of sociopaths that hate other sociopaths??? tehehehehe

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  33. I tink I may be one of em.

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  36. @ Gretyl. You sad ruin. I will leave you with George Orwell's words, similar to your own life's a bitch and then you die philosophy.

    There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

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  37. why does sociapaths bitch?

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  39. Little do you know you have already converted

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  40. I think it's funny when Sociopaths get called predators. Like we are some kind of animal. Subhuman even.

    It's amazing the bias that floats around here. The bias reads as sociopath=demon and empath=angel. Are you really so blinded by the alleged inherent goodness in people to not see that empaths are equally as capable of doing evil as a sociopath?

    Emphatically deficient Sociopaths and aspie's aren't scary. Empaths that do evil regardless of their guilt and remorse are. Guilt and remorse are nothing but emotions. Emotions can be felt and disregarded. Just because a sociopath or aspie has limited to an absence of guilt or remorse does not automatically equal to evil. Actions are what make up a persons character.

    Allegedly only 1% of the population is sociopathic. If that is true, prison if full of empaths.

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  41. good for you, anonymous :)

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  42. i thought 'paths always are happy and feel satisfaction when they harm someone else.

    isn't it the definition of 'path?

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  43. Paths, are there some masks you like more than others or is always a goal thing like there's something you want and that is mostly important?

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  44. In my experience, the best mask of them all is a mirror. If you show someone what they want, they are much more malleable. More flies with honey and all that.

    Is it always goal oriented. Absolutely. To quote my spouse that is also a sociopath. I want, what I want.

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  45. Oh dear, what an all-unknowing ass you are, my heart isn't black or even lightly charred - I'll always see the beauty in this world and others.

    Just because I fling empty words into cyberspace, like you, you think you know who I am? How absurdly arrogant you are!

    I've enjoyed the bizarre deductions you've drawn about me for years. You've continued to be utterly and entertainingly wrong in defining me from your underwhelming start - but, yes, what a delicious fairground fun mirror you are.

    How I've laughed to watch how easily drawn to my conclusions you've been through your own illusions! The lying leading the lying! I got what I wanted, did you?

    Anyway, carry on with your amusing little pantomime old boy - you clearly relish your overblown part.

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  46. the whole comments seems seems to be trolls

    you all just keep trying to one up each other... why not throw in a rick roll to show just how immature you are

    maybe there's a few genuine ppl on here but i doubt it.

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  47. Gjd-- now that was interesting. Care to elaborate?

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  48. neo-hitler willn't tolerate unevolved throwbacks, and shall waste them with fire if the commit an atrocity.

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  51. Hello Gretyl, So glad you've recovered your delusions.

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  52. I wish there was some way I could appeal to one of u sociopaths so u would give me some advice on sociopaths! lol but concidering we are online and I have nothing to offer...Anyone bored?

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  53. What would u do if ur significant others ex had u court ordered to be evaluated (due to custody battle )?

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  54. Online dating is a fantastic way to create tons of opportunities, have some fun and, like I did, find fantastic love. I met my husband online and now, web cam career

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  55. What do you for a friend you care for deeply who has been manipulated by a sociopath against you, right to the point THEY themselves have cut you off? I know everyone will say "they're not a real friend" "they're not worth it" etc etc but this friend i will not give up on because i know it is not who they are. It is more difficult as well because my friend is the sociopath's focus point... they are obsessed with this person but not dating them, they already have a partner. Im looking for any angle in which i might be able to help out the person i care for, even if its only from a distance.

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