Something long and interesting I just read.
This article is from a later chapter of the Psychopath Free book (click to view on Amazon).
Narcissist, sociopaths, and psychopaths.
When they’re feeling threatened or bored, psychopaths will often use what’s called “word salad” in an attempt to keep your mind occupied. Basically, it’s a conversation from hell. They aren’t actually saying anything at all. They’re just talking at you. Before you can even respond to one outrageous statement, they’re already on to the next. You’ll be left with your head spinning. Study the warning signs, and disengage before any damage can be done:
1. Circular conversations
You’ll think you worked something out, only to begin discussing it again in two minutes. And it’s as if you never even said a word the first time around. They begin reciting all of the same tired garbage, ignoring any legitimate arguments you may have provided moments ago. If something is going to be resolved, it will be on their terms. With psychopaths, the same issues will come up over and over again—why are they so friendly with their ex again? Why are they suddenly not paying any attention to you? Why do they sound so eager to get off the phone? And every time you bring up these issues, it’s as if you never even had the argument in the past. You get sucked back in, only to feel crazy & high-maintenance when they decide “I’m sick of always arguing about this.” It’s a merry-go-round.
2. Bringing up your past wrongdoings & ignoring their own
If you point out something nasty they're doing—like ignoring you or cheating—they’ll mention something totally unrelated from the past that you’ve done wrong. Did you used to drink too much? Well then, their cheating isn’t really all that bad compared to your drinking problem. Were you late to your first date two years ago? Well then, you can’t complain about them ignoring you for three days straight. And God forbid you bring up any of their wrongdoings. Then, you are a bitter lunatic with a list of grievances.
3. Condescending & patronizing tone
The entire conversation will have this calm, cool demeanor. It’s almost as if they’re mocking you, gaging your reactions to see how much further they can push. When you finally react emotionally, that’s when they’ll tell you to calm down, raise their eyebrows, smirk, or feign disappointment. The whole point of word salad is to make you unhinged, and therefore give them the upper hand. Because remember, conversations are competitions—just like anything else with a psychopath.
4. Accusing you of doing things that they themselves are doing
I mentioned this in the previous section about psychopaths putting you on the defense. In heated arguments, psychopaths have no shame. They will begin labeling you with their own horrible qualities. It goes beyond projection, because most people project unknowingly. Psychopaths know they are smearing you with their own flaws, and they are seeking a reaction. After all, how can you not react to such blatant hypocrisy?
5. Multiple personas
Through the course of a word salad conversation, you’re likely to experience a variety of their personalities. It’s sort of like good cop, bad cop, demented cop, stalker cop, scary cop, baby cop. If you’re pulling away, sick of their abuse and lies, they will restore a glimpse of the idealize phase. A little torture to lure you back in with promises of marriage and children. If that doesn’t work, suddenly they’ll start insulting the things they once idealized. You’ll be left wondering who you’re even talking to, because his personas are imploding as they struggle to regain control. Our beloved administrator, Victoria, summed this up perfectly: “The devil himself was unleashed in a desperate fit of fury after being recognized: twisting, turning, writhing, spewing, flattering, sparkling, vomiting.”
6. The eternal victim
Somehow their cheating and lying will always lead back to a conversation about their abusive past or a crazy ex. You will end up feeling bad for them, even when they've done something horribly wrong. You will instead use it as an opportunity to bond with them over their supposed complex feelings. And once they have successfully averted your attention elsewhere, everything will go back to the way it was. No bonding or deep spiritual connection whatsoever. Psychopaths cry “abuse”—but in the end, you are the one left with nothing.
7. You begin explaining basic human emotions
You find yourself explaining things like “empathy” and “feelings” and “being nice”. Normal adults do not need to be taught the golden rules from kindergarten. You are not the first person who has attempted to see the good in them, and you will not be the last. You think to yourself, “if they can just understand why I’m hurt, then they’ll stop doing it.” But they won’t. They wouldn’t have done it in the first place if they were a decent human being. The worst part is, they pretended to be decent when you first met—sucking you in with this sweet, caring persona. They know how to be kind & good, but they find it boring.
Everyone messes up every now and then, but psychopaths recite excuses more often than they actually follow through with promises. Their actions never match up with their words. You are disappointed so frequently that you feel relieved when they do something decent—they condition you to become grateful for the mediocre.
9. “What in the world just happened”
These conversations leave you drained. You will be left with an actual headache. You will spend hours, even days, obsessing over the argument. You’ll feel as if you exhausted all of your emotional energy to accomplish absolutely nothing. You will have a million pre-planned arguments in your head, ready to respond to all the unaddressed points that you couldn’t keep up with. You will feel the need to defend yourself. You’ll try to come up with a diplomatic solution that evenly distributes the blame, and therefore gives you both a chance to apologize and make up. But in the end, you’ll find that you’re the only one apologizing.
SOmething to think about, PLUS, in my case I cannot understand how my XWH could have this total personality flip. It is also possible that the OW has completely hijacked his brain --brainwashed him. She is running his actions and his responses, etc to all of us.
[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 10:21 PM, August 26th (Monday)]
If you refuse to be baited into their arguments and chaos you will be described as distant, cold, and without any common interests so they feel entitled to go on out and cheat because you no longer care.
Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
Unfortunately once the next victim comes along his values and behaviours change to reflect those of his latest pursuit.
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". –Maya Angelou
well this doesn't match up with my WH's actions, however I am now totally convinced that one of my ex boyfriend's is a sociopath...and I always knew my sister-in-law was a narcissist, so the "circular conversation" point hit the nail on the head. I will mention that the ex-boyfriend I mentioned was severely abusive, and was before I met my WH. My WH is not mirrored in these points, thank goodness...but he is a cheater and a terrible liar. Hopefully I can add a "Former" to those titles.
D-Day May 1 2013
D-Day#2 Aug. 7th 2013
in R and working at it
2 - Yep. This tactic was used to deflect me when I would be noticing or commenting on something he was doing that was not right (like yelling at the children). But he was far more advanced than just bringing up some misdeed of my past or flaw in my own parenting style. He'd then go on to accuse me of thinking I was perfect and so much better than him. Suddenly it would be ME that was on the defensive, ME that was apologizing, ME bringing up additional flaws & past misdeeds of my own to prove that I wasn't better than him, ME that was trying to make him feel better so he wouldn't kill himself.
3 - Check. I can't even go into this one because it still triggers me too badly. Give me a couple years and about 100 more IC sessions, maybe then I can go there.
4 - All the time. Oh gosh, you should have heard me laughing so hard during the parenting evaluation when the evaluator told me what STBX was accusing me of. I completely lost control. They were all things HE did!
5 - This was one of the most frightening things about STBX. I often thought he had multiple personalities, or else perhaps was possessed by multiple demons or something. He'd switch personalities during the same conversation. And sometimes he'd become a different person entirely, and I mean DIFFERENT. Like, his voice would friggin' change and everything. Freaked me the fuck out.
6 - OMG, yes. Yes! That's one of the first thing people tell me about him once they get to know him.
7 - I spent the better part of a year on this one, trying to weed this delusional thinking out of my system. My IC is a flipping saint for all of this drivel she put up with from me. God bless her!
8 - Oh mercy. Just last night we had an example of this with the kids. I'm not going to go into detail. Let's just say that my daughter's end of it, as she lay sobbing & hyperventilating on her bed last night, included her wailing, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH DAD??? DOESN'T HE GET IT??? WHY CAN'T HE UNDERSTAND I HAVE FEELINGS???"
9 - Always. I don't know how I didn't end up in a mental institution. Sometimes I still wonder if I'm still trapped in a perpetual version of The Truman Show.
10 - Yeah Baby! That's right! You said I was repulsive, disgusting, and it made you sick to look at me when I was pregnant. You said it would be no great loss if a murderer who was loose in the neighborhood broke into the house & killed me. You screamed & cursed in my face. You said I was a waste of air. You said there was no reason to talk to me. You had sex with yourself so much you didn't have anything left for me. And so I didn't want to have sex with you. Therefore you were left with no choice but to go outside the marriage.
Only wished I knew all this when we were married, rather than live with years of this abuse.
As my ds told me 'at least you got to divorce him, I'm stuck with him forever' sad a kid feels that way about his father.
Best thing I gained in my divorce - my freedom.
If you refuse to be baited into their arguments and chaos you will be described as distant, cold, and without any common interests
The only way to retain anything resembling sanity around a person like this is to discuss as little as possible.
No subject is safe-they can turn even the most mundane bullshit into a word salad fest.
I don't need you to be happy. I just need you to leave me alone when I am.
It took the whole situation right out of me trying to control anything about the crazy life XWH lives because he WANTS to live that way with OW. No wonder in my alanon class they say you can't control these people, you can't cure these people, because you didn't cause their issues.
My children and I are best served by keeping the sociopaths away from us and living a mentally healthy life.
OW is a sociopath.
I do think MOW was NPD. She didn't have one ounce of regret for what she did. Practically rubbed it in my face implying I had dropped the ball in my M and she wouldn't have come into the picture if our M was strong.
Check. He used to toy with me sometimes. He'd state one position on a subject, we'd go back & forth about it, then suddenly he'd state an entirely different, often opposite position on the same subject. During the same conversation.
If I had a dollar for every time I said "so you are arguing with me even though you agree?!" to ex... He often told me how much he hates to argue but by the end of our relationship (and after he had devalued the shit out of me) he disagreed with damn near everything that came out of my mouth, even when I was agreeing with him! But if I pointed that out he would swear that he never argues and *I* am the one being disagreeable.
Psychopaths know they are smearing you with their own flaws, and they are seeking a reaction. After all, how can you not react to such blatant hypocrisy?
I still wonder if Ex realized that he did this or if he is just so damn delusional that he doesn't register anything he does.
You begin explaining basic human emotions
wow..this triggered a memory of having to explain to him why it was sad that elderly people were dying in the streets after Katrina. We were watching the news and they were showing the dead bodies and sweltering people begging for water and help and he couldn't understand why I found it upsetting...after all it was their fault for being there according to him.
WOW! This is why my XWH cannot understand why our youngest son is so broken up by his Dad leaving. I have tried to explain it so many different ways, but nothing gets thru. Obviously it's never going to get thru to him.
Can we send them all to an island and see who survives?
Everytime I am about to do this, I just stop and remember it's a sign of being a sociopath. My healing requires I stop talking to him....