The Pity Play - Tipoff Play of Sociopath

JustSheila

Crusader
Understand well that sociopaths need to recruit MORE sociopaths - those without conscience, as they need people willing to view their fellow human human beings without compassion, to view them as cattle, so they have someone to do their dirty deeds..

Sociopaths band together naturally, seeing each other as those that really 'get' it... (and act for mutual survival out of necessity being normally a small minority) as long as there are sufficient normal people to exploit.

The incidence of psychopathy is less than 1% that is genetic, or pathological (structural). There is an additional 6 percent due to learned conditioning, as a survival response, to having to deal with proximity to a psychopathic leader, boss, president, etc.. The latter respond to therapy, the former must be incarcerated.

Good stuff, Arnie. This fits in well with other facts posted on this thread. The book sounds fascinating.

Here's another great book about sociopaths, by the author of "The Road Less Traveled", with full details of clinical appointments with a sociopathic client over a period of years - "People of the Lie":

People+of+the+Lie.jpg
 
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Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
Hope this isn't inappropriate- but...

Unlike some of my friends (back when I was in CofS/Scn and later the offshoots) I never got out of the habit of praying and seeking that connection w/ the divine.

So, to me (and I know that this wouldn't resonate with everyone) but I think that the connection with the divine through prayer, meditation or other means, can be of assistance in this.
 

Free Being Me

Crusader
What is Psychological Manipulation?
http://www.bandbacktogether.com/psychological-manipulation-resources/

Psychological Manipulation is a type of influence that attempts to change the behavior or perception of others through underhanded, deceptive and abusive techniques. This advances the interests of the manipulator, generally at the victim's expense, in methods that may be considered abusive, devious, deceptive, and exploitative.

In order to be successful, the art of manipulation involves two things - concealing aggressive or subversive intentions and behaviors while knowing the psychological vulnerabilities of the victim well enough to know what will be the most effective psychological weapons or tactics to be used against them. This is most often accomplished through covert-aggression or carefully veiled aggression - which may be so subtle that it's not easily detected.

Psychological Manipulators know what they want and fight hard to get it.

The tactics Psychological Manipulators use are very effective methods of power and control, because they're almost impossible to be seen as aggressive on the surface, at the unconscious level, the victim feels backed into the corner. Once a victim is backed into a corner, it is more likely that they'll back down or give into the manipulator's demands.

Why Do People Manipulate?

There are many motivations behind manipulation - as varied as the manipulators themselves. Perhaps the manipulator needs to gain something purposefully or feels that they have to advance their own causes or plans - no matter what the cost to others may be. Maybe they need to feel powerful and in-control of their relationships with others. Maybe feeling powerful over others increases their own self-esteem. Maybe the person does not have the social skills to obtain what is wanted or needed by traditional means. Some Psychological Manipulators are psychopathic, having trouble empathizing with or understanding the feelings of themselves or others, and placing their own desires foremost because of it.

How Do Manipulators Manipulate?

There are many techniques that manipulators can use to gain power and control over their victim. Here is a breakdown of some manipulation techniques.

Brandishing Anger - manipulators use anger and rage to shock their victims into submission, although real anger is not necessarily experienced by the manipulator. The anger is simply a show to get whatever he or she wants by cowing the victim into submission.

Covert Intimidation - The victim is thrown on the defensive by manipulator using subtle, indirect, or implied threats.

Denial - The manipulator refuses to admit that he or she has done anything wrong.

Diversion - Rather than giving a straight answer, the manipulator will often change the subject, often without the change being noticed.

Feigning Confusion - The manipulator plays dumb - pretending she or he has no idea what the victim is talking about, or is confused by the topic at hand.

Feigning Innocence - The manipulator suggests that anything harmful was done unintentionally or that it didn't happen. This makes the victim question their judgement and/or sanity in feeling hurt or betrayed.

Evasion - Providing vague, rambling, incoherent responses to the victim. This often leads to confusion over the matter at hand, as well as making it less likely that the victim will be inclined to pursue further conversations on the topic.

Gaslighting - A form of psychological abuse involving the manipulation of situations or events that cause a person to be confused or to doubt his perceptions and memories. Gaslighting causes victims to constantly second-guess themselves and wonder if they're losing their minds.

Guilt-Tripping - The manipulator suggests to a conscientious victim that he or she doesn't care enough, is too selfish, or has it easy. The victim generally feels guilt or shame as a result, and is thrown into a submissive, anxious, and self-doubting state.

Lying - By the time the truth is apparent, it may be too late to do anything about it. Many manipulative personality types are experts at lying and may do so in subtle ways that are hard to detect.

Lies of Omission - This is lying by withholding a part of the truth, usually with the intention of making something seem innocuous, or less harmful than it really was.

Minimization - The manipulator asserts that his or her behavior is not as harmful as is suggested.

Playing the Victim - The manipulator portrays themselves as a victim of circumstance or other people in order to gain pity, sympathy, or compassion from their conscientious victim.

Projecting the Blame - Scapegoating in subtle ways, blaming the victim or other people for the negative actions or consequences of their actions. This helps to portray the manipulator in a more positive light, and can actively harm the victim's relationships with other people, who may not even have been involved.

Rationalization - An excuse from the manipulator for inappropriate behavior. Rationalization involves giving reasons as to why their behavior was justified and appropriate. When coupled with Guilt-Trips or Scapegoating, the manipulator will often wind up looking like a victim, evoking sympathy from the real victim.

Seduction - Using charm, praise, or flattery to lower the defenses of the victim so that the manipulator gains trust and loyalty.

Shaming - Sarcasm and insults can be used by the manipulator to increase self-doubt and fear in the victim, to make the victim feel unworthy. This may be accomplished by anything from a very subtle fierce look or unpleasant tone of voice to a rhetorical comment. This may make the victim feel badly for daring to challenge them, which also fosters a sense of inadequacy in the victim.

Vilifying the Victim - A powerful method of putting the victim on the defensive while masking aggressive intention.

Vulnerabilities Exploited By Manipulators:

The following are a list of vulnerabilities that may exist in the victims of manipulators. By no means comprehensive, these traits tend to be common in people who are often victimized by Psychological Manipulators.

  • A desire to please and earn the approval and acceptance of others.
  • Naivete - the victim doesn't want to believe that anyone is cunning or ruthless and may be in denial of own victimhood.
  • A fear of negative emotions.
  • Over-internationalization - believing what the manipulator says to be true, which can result in self-doubt or shame.
  • Excessive empathy - the victim tries really hard to understand the point of view of the manipulator and believes the manipulator has a justifiable reason to be hurtful.
  • Over-conscientiousness - victim is too willing to give the manipulator the benefit of the doubt.
  • Low Self-Confidence - victim lacks the ability to say no, doubts themselves, lacks confidence.
  • Emotional Dependency - the victim has a dependent or submissive personality. The more submissive or dependent, the more vulnerable the victim is to exploitation.
  • Low emotional skills - when the victim does not understand his or her emotional self well, they misinterpret feelings

Spotting Manipulation:

In an article by Fiona McColl about manipulation, she identifies several methods of spotting manipulation. If you think you are being vicitmized, these are common signs to look for.

1. Bullshit apologies are often noticable. If your inner gut is telling you that an apology is bullshit, it probably is. Further if you are honest with an emotional manipulator about your feelings, he or she may turn their angst and stress upon you, until YOU wind up comforting THEM.

2. I'll do you a favor, I guess is an example of a common manipulation tactic. A manipulator will propose or agree to assist you with a task, and follow the acceptance up with sighs and subtle behavior to let you know they do not want to follow-through on the agreement.

3. Manipulators are awesome at turning a phrase, by which I mean that they may say one thing, then later deny that they did not say anything at all! Also common is the telling of the truth in such a way as to mean something other than what, on the surface, has been said.

4. Guilt is a common tool for manipulators. Because manipulators often do not directly express their needs and wants, they use tactics, such as guilt, to get someone to act the way they want them to act. Typically this is manifested in terms of the victim needing to care for the manipulator's needs, at the expense of your own.

5. Fighting dirty is not uncommon because manipulators do not like direct confrontation. Often they are passive-aggressive and let you subtly know that they are not happy.

6. Being upstaged by the manipulator's pain - you have a headache, he has a migraine. Calling them on this behavior often results in someone becoming defensive and combative.

How To Combat Manipulation:

1. Hold them accountable! Manipulators often are not held accountable and thus have poor boundaries with others. They do what it takes to get their way. If you tell someone how they hurt your feelings and then that person turns that around to be about them and their suffering, bring the conversation back to the original point- that your feelings are hurt.

2. Take notes! Take notes about conversations and important points, so that you can refer back to those notes later when a manipulator claims a conversation went a different way or never happened.

3. Walk away! Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just walk away. Revisit the situation later, and don't get sucked in to the drama.
 

Lurker5

Gold Meritorious Patron
What is Psychological Manipulation?
http://www.bandbacktogether.com/psychological-manipulation-resources/

Psychological Manipulation is a type of influence that attempts to change the behavior or perception of others through underhanded, deceptive and abusive techniques. This advances the interests of the manipulator, generally at the victim's expense, in methods that may be considered abusive, devious, deceptive, and exploitative.

In order to be successful, the art of manipulation involves two things - concealing aggressive or subversive intentions and behaviors while knowing the psychological vulnerabilities of the victim well enough to know what will be the most effective psychological weapons or tactics to be used against them. This is most often accomplished through covert-aggression or carefully veiled aggression - which may be so subtle that it's not easily detected.

Psychological Manipulators know what they want and fight hard to get it.

The tactics Psychological Manipulators use are very effective methods of power and control, because they're almost impossible to be seen as aggressive on the surface, at the unconscious level, the victim feels backed into the corner. Once a victim is backed into a corner, it is more likely that they'll back down or give into the manipulator's demands.

Why Do People Manipulate?

There are many motivations behind manipulation - as varied as the manipulators themselves. Perhaps the manipulator needs to gain something purposefully or feels that they have to advance their own causes or plans - no matter what the cost to others may be. Maybe they need to feel powerful and in-control of their relationships with others. Maybe feeling powerful over others increases their own self-esteem. Maybe the person does not have the social skills to obtain what is wanted or needed by traditional means. Some Psychological Manipulators are psychopathic, having trouble empathizing with or understanding the feelings of themselves or others, and placing their own desires foremost because of it.

How Do Manipulators Manipulate?

There are many techniques that manipulators can use to gain power and control over their victim. Here is a breakdown of some manipulation techniques.

Brandishing Anger - manipulators use anger and rage to shock their victims into submission, although real anger is not necessarily experienced by the manipulator. The anger is simply a show to get whatever he or she wants by cowing the victim into submission.

Covert Intimidation - The victim is thrown on the defensive by manipulator using subtle, indirect, or implied threats.

Denial - The manipulator refuses to admit that he or she has done anything wrong.

Diversion - Rather than giving a straight answer, the manipulator will often change the subject, often without the change being noticed.

Feigning Confusion - The manipulator plays dumb - pretending she or he has no idea what the victim is talking about, or is confused by the topic at hand.

Feigning Innocence - The manipulator suggests that anything harmful was done unintentionally or that it didn't happen. This makes the victim question their judgement and/or sanity in feeling hurt or betrayed.

Evasion - Providing vague, rambling, incoherent responses to the victim. This often leads to confusion over the matter at hand, as well as making it less likely that the victim will be inclined to pursue further conversations on the topic.

Gaslighting - A form of psychological abuse involving the manipulation of situations or events that cause a person to be confused or to doubt his perceptions and memories. Gaslighting causes victims to constantly second-guess themselves and wonder if they're losing their minds.

Guilt-Tripping - The manipulator suggests to a conscientious victim that he or she doesn't care enough, is too selfish, or has it easy. The victim generally feels guilt or shame as a result, and is thrown into a submissive, anxious, and self-doubting state.

Lying - By the time the truth is apparent, it may be too late to do anything about it. Many manipulative personality types are experts at lying and may do so in subtle ways that are hard to detect.

Lies of Omission - This is lying by withholding a part of the truth, usually with the intention of making something seem innocuous, or less harmful than it really was.

Minimization - The manipulator asserts that his or her behavior is not as harmful as is suggested.

Playing the Victim - The manipulator portrays themselves as a victim of circumstance or other people in order to gain pity, sympathy, or compassion from their conscientious victim.

Projecting the Blame - Scapegoating in subtle ways, blaming the victim or other people for the negative actions or consequences of their actions. This helps to portray the manipulator in a more positive light, and can actively harm the victim's relationships with other people, who may not even have been involved.

Rationalization - An excuse from the manipulator for inappropriate behavior. Rationalization involves giving reasons as to why their behavior was justified and appropriate. When coupled with Guilt-Trips or Scapegoating, the manipulator will often wind up looking like a victim, evoking sympathy from the real victim.

Seduction - Using charm, praise, or flattery to lower the defenses of the victim so that the manipulator gains trust and loyalty.

Shaming - Sarcasm and insults can be used by the manipulator to increase self-doubt and fear in the victim, to make the victim feel unworthy. This may be accomplished by anything from a very subtle fierce look or unpleasant tone of voice to a rhetorical comment. This may make the victim feel badly for daring to challenge them, which also fosters a sense of inadequacy in the victim.

Vilifying the Victim - A powerful method of putting the victim on the defensive while masking aggressive intention.

Vulnerabilities Exploited By Manipulators:

The following are a list of vulnerabilities that may exist in the victims of manipulators. By no means comprehensive, these traits tend to be common in people who are often victimized by Psychological Manipulators.

  • A desire to please and earn the approval and acceptance of others.
  • Naivete - the victim doesn't want to believe that anyone is cunning or ruthless and may be in denial of own victimhood.
  • A fear of negative emotions.
  • Over-internationalization - believing what the manipulator says to be true, which can result in self-doubt or shame.
  • Excessive empathy - the victim tries really hard to understand the point of view of the manipulator and believes the manipulator has a justifiable reason to be hurtful.
  • Over-conscientiousness - victim is too willing to give the manipulator the benefit of the doubt.
  • Low Self-Confidence - victim lacks the ability to say no, doubts themselves, lacks confidence.
  • Emotional Dependency - the victim has a dependent or submissive personality. The more submissive or dependent, the more vulnerable the victim is to exploitation.
  • Low emotional skills - when the victim does not understand his or her emotional self well, they misinterpret feelings

Spotting Manipulation:

In an article by Fiona McColl about manipulation, she identifies several methods of spotting manipulation. If you think you are being vicitmized, these are common signs to look for.

1. Bullshit apologies are often noticable. If your inner gut is telling you that an apology is bullshit, it probably is. Further if you are honest with an emotional manipulator about your feelings, he or she may turn their angst and stress upon you, until YOU wind up comforting THEM.

2. I'll do you a favor, I guess is an example of a common manipulation tactic. A manipulator will propose or agree to assist you with a task, and follow the acceptance up with sighs and subtle behavior to let you know they do not want to follow-through on the agreement.

3. Manipulators are awesome at turning a phrase, by which I mean that they may say one thing, then later deny that they did not say anything at all! Also common is the telling of the truth in such a way as to mean something other than what, on the surface, has been said.

4. Guilt is a common tool for manipulators. Because manipulators often do not directly express their needs and wants, they use tactics, such as guilt, to get someone to act the way they want them to act. Typically this is manifested in terms of the victim needing to care for the manipulator's needs, at the expense of your own.

5. Fighting dirty is not uncommon because manipulators do not like direct confrontation. Often they are passive-aggressive and let you subtly know that they are not happy.

6. Being upstaged by the manipulator's pain - you have a headache, he has a migraine. Calling them on this behavior often results in someone becoming defensive and combative.

How To Combat Manipulation:

1. Hold them accountable! Manipulators often are not held accountable and thus have poor boundaries with others. They do what it takes to get their way. If you tell someone how they hurt your feelings and then that person turns that around to be about them and their suffering, bring the conversation back to the original point- that your feelings are hurt.

2. Take notes! Take notes about conversations and important points, so that you can refer back to those notes later when a manipulator claims a conversation went a different way or never happened.

3. Walk away! Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just walk away. Revisit the situation later, and don't get sucked in to the drama.

Thanks for posting this on the thread Freebeing. Reading your blog I was thinking, this should be on the board thread. :yes: :thumbsup: Outstanding post/blog. :yes: THANK YOU :thankyou:
 

Caroline

Patron Meritorious
As quoted in an earlier post, Scientology auditors must promise to "never sympathize with the preclear but to be effective" thus positioning sympathy in opposition to effective action. Sympathy as an emotion is at .9 on Hubbard's expanded tone scale, which places it well into the reactive range. (The make-break point on the scale between positive and negative or reactive emotions is 2.0 Antagonism. Emotions below 2.0 are recognized as "reactive" or "entheta.")

Hubbard made much of the aberrative effects of "sympathy engrams" in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and asserted that the people we depend on most are responsible for our worst aberrations and chronic psychosomatic illnesses. "As one preclear said, a man is not victimized by his enemies but by his friends." (DMSMH) Hubbard also explained in DMSMH how post-hypnotic suggestions are laid in with sympathy. Scientologists are thoroughly indoctrinated into the false understanding that Hubbard's tech is the antithesis of hypnosis.

Hubbard said:
This post-hypnotic suggestion needs only an emotional charge and physical pain to make it a dangerous engram. Actually; it is an engram of a sort. It is laid in by sympathy between the operator and subject, which would make it a sympathy engram: pro-survival.

Hubbard, L. Ron. (1950, May). Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (2007 ed.). Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, Inc.

Markus Dubber in The Sense of Justice: Empathy in Law and Punishment touched on the relationship between sympathy and empathy in justice. This helps to explain what happens when Scientologists complain about their auditing or about other treatment they get in Scientology. Auditors, who in my experience generally presented as very empathetic and caring, are prohibited from acting on their feelings of sympathy because they are indoctrinated to believe that this sympathy is not only ineffective but damaging to their preclears.

Markus Dubber said:
The sense of justice is not the only foundation of social life because it is merely a particular, though abstract, version of a more general phenomenon, empathy. Empathy occurs among members of substantive communities, most obviously in the family, but also in the groups that constitute civil society, such as trade organizations and schools. The sense of family, solidarity among striking auto workers, or school spirit, however, are forms of empathy, but they are not the sense of justice.

The sense of justice is empathy among moral persons as such, abstracted from incidental characteristics that define the person's membership in some group or other. It's the ability and the willingness among persons to place themselves in each other's shoes, to see things from each other's point of view.

Empathy isn't sympathy.[SUP]114[/SUP] Empathy makes sympathy possible, but it doesn't necessarily entail it. By empathizing, I place myself in another's position, imagine myself in her stead. That's all. This role taking assumes that I can distinguish between her self and my self,[SUP]115[/SUP] between her position and my own, that I am capable of abstracting from all characteristics other than her personhood (the capacity to assume the standpoint of justice), that I recognize a certain point of identity between her and myself, allowing me to identify with her, and finally that I have the power of imagining myself in her position[SUP]116[/SUP] and see things as she would see them.[SUP]117[/SUP]

But once these capacities are in place and have been exercised, and I am empathizing with the other person, as a person, all I have done is set the stage for a justice judgment. I have not made the judgment. Whether I sympathize with the person, that is, experience resentment on her behalf (assuming I'm dealing with an interpersonal conflict as opposed to a natural disaster or an accident of some kind) toward another person, will depend on what that judgment turns out to be. And that judgment will consist of an application of certain principles of justice to the conflict in question, which in turn presumes the capacity to understand these principles, at least well enough to apply them.[SUP]118[/SUP]

The sense of justice merely makes the justice judgment possible, it doesn't predetermine its outcome. But this is significant in and of itself, because a justice judgment differs from other judgments based on empathic identification, not among persons but, say, among family members. One way of seeing this point is to think about the connection between empathy and sympathy. In the case of familial empathy, for example, empathy and sympathy are closely connected. To identify with another family member is to experience her pain as one's own, and in conflicts with a nonmember to assume her position is also to take it, and to defend it against the outside threat. It's precisely this close connection between empathy (as a condition of judgment) and sympathy (as a form of judgment) that makes it necessary in matters of justice to abstract from membership in substantive communities like the family—and why family members of the accused, or the victim, don't sit on juries.

___________
[SUP]114.[/SUP] No defendant, and no victim, has the right to a jury composed of members of her race, or even one that reflects the racial makeup of her community. the Sixth Amendment right to a trial “by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed” has been held to require that the jury be selected at random from a fair cross-section of “the community” (as determined by the locus of the crime, not the residence of either defendant or victim). Under the Equal Protection Clause, underrepresentation of a group within “the community” may raise a presumption of intentional discrimination against that group. For a recent illustrative case on representativeness, see United States v. Rodriguez-Lara, 421 F.3d 932 (9th Cir. 2005); see generally Markus Dirk Dubber, The Criminal Trial and the Legitimation of Punishment, in The Trial on Trial 85 (R. A. Duff et al. eds., 2004).

[SUP]115.[/SUP] On the question of representativeness in nonjury proceedings, see Dubber, American Plea Bargains.

[SUP]116.[/SUP] Caleb Lownes, An Account of the Alteration and Present State of the Penal Laws of Pennsylvania, in William Bradford, An Enquiry How Far the Punishment of Death Is Necessary in Pennsylvania 73, 76 (1793).

[SUP]117.[/SUP] See, e.g., The State of the Prisons in England and Wales (1777); An Account of the Principal Lazarettos in Europe (1789).

[SUP]118.[/SUP] Francis Hutcheson, An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, Treatise II: An Inquiry Concerning the Original of Our Ideas of Virtue and Moral Good 165 (1725); Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury, 2 Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times 420 (1737– 38); David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature 316–20, 369–71, 470–76 (L. A. Selby-Bigge ed., 1888; 1749); Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (9th ed., 1801; 1759); Jacques Rousseau, Emile or On Education (Allan Bloom trans. 1979; 1762); David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals 146 (1777; 1751); see also Garland, Punishment and Modern Society, 221, 233, 236; David Marshall, The Figure of Theatre: Shaftesbury, Defoe, Adam Smith, and George Eliot (1986); John Mullan, Sentiment and Sociability: The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century (1988); Karen Halttunen, Humanitarianism and the Pornography of Pain in Anglo-American History, 100 Am. Hist. Rev.


Dubber, M. (2006). The Sense of Justice: Empathy in Law and Punishment. New York: New York University Press.
 
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I think the label "sociopath" is very similar to the label "suppressive person".

I also think that use of the label sociopath requires the same mistakes in logic and thinking about others that the term SP needed to be used as well.

It comes down to an inability and unwillingness to understand another person and the very different kinds of things by which they might be motivated.

It is a label, and a lazy way to understand other people.

As a label it can also be as destructive to a person who uses it as SP was to Scientologists.

Alanzo

i haven't read the thread yet but on page one alanzo comes up with a very strong post


gurdjieff said "no man is fit to receive what is prepared for him on above until he shows the ability to keep alive both the sheep and the wolf entrusted to his care"

the wolf and the sheep as in "a wolf in sheep's clothing"

was ron "a wolf in sheep's clothing"?

perhaps

to study the body of work, i believe it takes a course in accord with what gurdjieff says; it cultivates the capacity to be able, aggressive, dynamic and productive in harmony with things greater than personal will and desire
 
As quoted in an earlier post, Scientology auditors must promise to "never sympathize with the preclear but to be effective" thus positioning sympathy in opposition to effective action. Sympathy as an emotion is at .9 on Hubbard's expanded tone scale, which places it well into the reactive range. (The make-break point on the scale between positive and negative or reactive emotions is 2.0 Antagonism. Emotions below 2.0 are recognized as "reactive" or "entheta.")

Hubbard made much of the aberrative effects of "sympathy engrams" in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and asserted that the people we depend on most are responsible for our worst aberrations and chronic psychosomatic illnesses. "As one preclear said, a man is not victimized by his enemies but by his friends." (DMSMH) Hubbard also explained in DMSMH how post-hypnotic suggestions are laid in with sympathy. Scientologists are thoroughly indoctrinated into the false understanding that Hubbard's tech is the antithesis of hypnosis.



Markus Dubber in The Sense of Justice: Empathy in Law and Punishment touched on the relationship between sympathy and empathy in justice. This helps to explain what happens when Scientologists complain about their auditing or about other treatment they get in Scientology. Auditors, who in my experience generally presented as very empathetic and caring, are prohibited from acting on their feelings of sympathy because they are indoctrinated to believe that this sympathy is not only ineffective but damaging to their preclears.

as my best pal, the late great billy martin often said, "if you're looking for sympathy you can find it in the dictionary somewhere between hit and syphilis"

he's right and so is dmsmh and the auditor's code

it' not an easy concept to grasp until you actually do grasp it but sympathy SUCKS! i tended my pal in his last weeks and he and i and everyone else kept sympathy out of the sickroom. we all acted effectively and with great empathy, intelligence, and passion an BY GOD! my pal actually kept right on living life and enjoying it while his body shriveled and wasted away
 

Caroline

Patron Meritorious
What is Psychological Manipulation?
http://www.bandbacktogether.com/psychological-manipulation-resources/

Psychological Manipulation is a type of influence that attempts to change the behavior or perception of others through underhanded, deceptive and abusive techniques. This advances the interests of the manipulator, generally at the victim's expense, in methods that may be considered abusive, devious, deceptive, and exploitative.

In order to be successful, the art of manipulation involves two things - concealing aggressive or subversive intentions and behaviors while knowing the psychological vulnerabilities of the victim well enough to know what will be the most effective psychological weapons or tactics to be used against them. This is most often accomplished through covert-aggression or carefully veiled aggression - which may be so subtle that it's not easily detected.

Psychological Manipulators know what they want and fight hard to get it.

The tactics Psychological Manipulators use are very effective methods of power and control, because they're almost impossible to be seen as aggressive on the surface, at the unconscious level, the victim feels backed into the corner. Once a victim is backed into a corner, it is more likely that they'll back down or give into the manipulator's demands.

Why Do People Manipulate?

There are many motivations behind manipulation - as varied as the manipulators themselves. Perhaps the manipulator needs to gain something purposefully or feels that they have to advance their own causes or plans - no matter what the cost to others may be. Maybe they need to feel powerful and in-control of their relationships with others. Maybe feeling powerful over others increases their own self-esteem. Maybe the person does not have the social skills to obtain what is wanted or needed by traditional means. Some Psychological Manipulators are psychopathic, having trouble empathizing with or understanding the feelings of themselves or others, and placing their own desires foremost because of it.

How Do Manipulators Manipulate?

There are many techniques that manipulators can use to gain power and control over their victim. Here is a breakdown of some manipulation techniques.

Brandishing Anger - manipulators use anger and rage to shock their victims into submission, although real anger is not necessarily experienced by the manipulator. The anger is simply a show to get whatever he or she wants by cowing the victim into submission.

Covert Intimidation - The victim is thrown on the defensive by manipulator using subtle, indirect, or implied threats.

Denial - The manipulator refuses to admit that he or she has done anything wrong.

Diversion - Rather than giving a straight answer, the manipulator will often change the subject, often without the change being noticed.

Feigning Confusion - The manipulator plays dumb - pretending she or he has no idea what the victim is talking about, or is confused by the topic at hand.

Feigning Innocence - The manipulator suggests that anything harmful was done unintentionally or that it didn't happen. This makes the victim question their judgement and/or sanity in feeling hurt or betrayed.

Evasion - Providing vague, rambling, incoherent responses to the victim. This often leads to confusion over the matter at hand, as well as making it less likely that the victim will be inclined to pursue further conversations on the topic.

Gaslighting - A form of psychological abuse involving the manipulation of situations or events that cause a person to be confused or to doubt his perceptions and memories. Gaslighting causes victims to constantly second-guess themselves and wonder if they're losing their minds.

Guilt-Tripping - The manipulator suggests to a conscientious victim that he or she doesn't care enough, is too selfish, or has it easy. The victim generally feels guilt or shame as a result, and is thrown into a submissive, anxious, and self-doubting state.

Lying - By the time the truth is apparent, it may be too late to do anything about it. Many manipulative personality types are experts at lying and may do so in subtle ways that are hard to detect.

Lies of Omission - This is lying by withholding a part of the truth, usually with the intention of making something seem innocuous, or less harmful than it really was.

Minimization - The manipulator asserts that his or her behavior is not as harmful as is suggested.

Playing the Victim - The manipulator portrays themselves as a victim of circumstance or other people in order to gain pity, sympathy, or compassion from their conscientious victim.

Projecting the Blame - Scapegoating in subtle ways, blaming the victim or other people for the negative actions or consequences of their actions. This helps to portray the manipulator in a more positive light, and can actively harm the victim's relationships with other people, who may not even have been involved.

Rationalization - An excuse from the manipulator for inappropriate behavior. Rationalization involves giving reasons as to why their behavior was justified and appropriate. When coupled with Guilt-Trips or Scapegoating, the manipulator will often wind up looking like a victim, evoking sympathy from the real victim.

Seduction - Using charm, praise, or flattery to lower the defenses of the victim so that the manipulator gains trust and loyalty.

Shaming - Sarcasm and insults can be used by the manipulator to increase self-doubt and fear in the victim, to make the victim feel unworthy. This may be accomplished by anything from a very subtle fierce look or unpleasant tone of voice to a rhetorical comment. This may make the victim feel badly for daring to challenge them, which also fosters a sense of inadequacy in the victim.

Vilifying the Victim - A powerful method of putting the victim on the defensive while masking aggressive intention.

Vulnerabilities Exploited By Manipulators:

The following are a list of vulnerabilities that may exist in the victims of manipulators. By no means comprehensive, these traits tend to be common in people who are often victimized by Psychological Manipulators.

  • A desire to please and earn the approval and acceptance of others.
  • Naivete - the victim doesn't want to believe that anyone is cunning or ruthless and may be in denial of own victimhood.
  • A fear of negative emotions.
  • Over-internationalization - believing what the manipulator says to be true, which can result in self-doubt or shame.
  • Excessive empathy - the victim tries really hard to understand the point of view of the manipulator and believes the manipulator has a justifiable reason to be hurtful.
  • Over-conscientiousness - victim is too willing to give the manipulator the benefit of the doubt.
  • Low Self-Confidence - victim lacks the ability to say no, doubts themselves, lacks confidence.
  • Emotional Dependency - the victim has a dependent or submissive personality. The more submissive or dependent, the more vulnerable the victim is to exploitation.
  • Low emotional skills - when the victim does not understand his or her emotional self well, they misinterpret feelings

Spotting Manipulation:

In an article by Fiona McColl about manipulation, she identifies several methods of spotting manipulation. If you think you are being vicitmized, these are common signs to look for.

1. Bullshit apologies are often noticable. If your inner gut is telling you that an apology is bullshit, it probably is. Further if you are honest with an emotional manipulator about your feelings, he or she may turn their angst and stress upon you, until YOU wind up comforting THEM.

2. I'll do you a favor, I guess is an example of a common manipulation tactic. A manipulator will propose or agree to assist you with a task, and follow the acceptance up with sighs and subtle behavior to let you know they do not want to follow-through on the agreement.

3. Manipulators are awesome at turning a phrase, by which I mean that they may say one thing, then later deny that they did not say anything at all! Also common is the telling of the truth in such a way as to mean something other than what, on the surface, has been said.

4. Guilt is a common tool for manipulators. Because manipulators often do not directly express their needs and wants, they use tactics, such as guilt, to get someone to act the way they want them to act. Typically this is manifested in terms of the victim needing to care for the manipulator's needs, at the expense of your own.

5. Fighting dirty is not uncommon because manipulators do not like direct confrontation. Often they are passive-aggressive and let you subtly know that they are not happy.

6. Being upstaged by the manipulator's pain - you have a headache, he has a migraine. Calling them on this behavior often results in someone becoming defensive and combative.

How To Combat Manipulation:

1. Hold them accountable! Manipulators often are not held accountable and thus have poor boundaries with others. They do what it takes to get their way. If you tell someone how they hurt your feelings and then that person turns that around to be about them and their suffering, bring the conversation back to the original point- that your feelings are hurt.

2. Take notes! Take notes about conversations and important points, so that you can refer back to those notes later when a manipulator claims a conversation went a different way or never happened.

3. Walk away! Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just walk away. Revisit the situation later, and don't get sucked in to the drama.

A very relevant and instructive post, FreeBeing. Thank you.

Scientologists make emotional and behavioral manipulation a religious mandate, and claim it as a religious right, not only to be practiced on each other, but on our defenseless kids and most vulnerable wogs, and those few who have the Scientologists' numbers.
 

Caroline

Patron Meritorious
I think Hubbard's anti-sympathy indoctrination is antisocial engineering that works to keep the victims accepting their victimization, and to get them to help in the victimization game, without recognizing their own victimization, and without dissonant feelings of sympathy for the others they're harming, or remorse for the harm. If someone is unable to recognize when he is being victimized, and cannot therefore act in his own interests, there is, in my opinion, almost no chance that he will be able to detect the destructiveness of the same antisocial behaviors he is being ordered to apply to others.

Sympathy is a human emotion and reaction that is heavily policed and stomped on in Scientology contexts where it should be expressed, and faked or causatively mirrored in other contexts for manipulation purposes.

Hubbard said:
SYMPATHY, 1. a terrible thing but is considered to be a very valuable thing. The survival value of sympathy is this: when an individual is hurt or immobilized, he cannot fend for himself. He must count on another or others to care for him. His bid for such care is the enlistment of the sympathy of others. This is practical. If men weren’t sympathetic, none of us would be alive. The non-survival value of sympathy is this: an individual fails in some activity. He then considers himself incapable of surviving by himself. Even though he isn’t sick actually he makes a bid for sympathy. A psychosomatic illness is at once an explanation of failure and a bid for sympathy. (HFP, p. 122) 2. sympathy is commonly accepted to mean the posing of an emotional state similar to the emotional state of an individual in grief or apathy. It is on the tone scale between 0.9 and 0.4 . Sympathy follows or is based upon overt action by the preclear. Sympathy can be mechanically considered as the posing of any emotion so as to be similar to the emotion of another. (AP&A, p. 23) 3. sympathy is a co-flow, it’s sort of a co-beingness. One individual goes onto the wave-length of another individual. (PDC 23) 4. “I am him” which is what sympathy is; it’s a low level interchange of energy. (5209CM04B) 5. equal motion, equal plane, similar space. (Spr Lect 1, 5303CM23)

Hubbard, L. R., (1975) Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology of California Publications Organization.

Hubbard said:
A person makes what he believes to be an overt act[SUP]1[/SUP] against any one of these dynamics — except number one[SUP]1[/SUP]: overt acts against number one are kind of “so what?” But from two on up the line, any overt act whereby the individual hurts an entity on any one of these dynamics results in instant aberration, particularly if he notices he has hurt it. He looks at it and he sees he has hurt it. All of a sudden he feels sympathy. The only reason he will feel sympathy for anything is that he hurt it in the first place.

Now, any of you that are very, very sympathetic toward kittens have probably killed one someplace on the track. And any of you that feel very super sentimental about dear little babies have probably knocked one off in some life or other. And any of you that can’t stand to have a woman leave or something of the sort have probably bumped one off. Very simple. It is ridiculously simple. There is the viewpoint.

Hubbard, L. R. (1980). The research and discovery series 1952. 10. Los Angeles: Scientology Publ.
[SUP]1[/SUP] Definition: overt act
[SUP]2[/SUP] I.e., the first of 8 dynamics.

Related to this is the "overt/motivator sequence," which essentially states that if the person is upset about some wrong done to him, it evidences his own prior overt act(s). So if you have someone complaining of injustice, even if there is a valid complaint of injustice, a technical handling is to interrogate the guy complaining and get him to cough up similar overts where he perpetrated injustice on others. Flattening the emotional affect in this way makes it possible for the victimizers to go right on victimizing.

Hubbard said:
After some months of careful observation and tests, I can state conclusively that:

ALL ARC BREAKS STEM FROM MISSED WITHHOLDS. [Definition: Missed Withhold]

This is vital technology, vital to the auditor and to anyone who wants to live.

Conversely:

THERE ARE NO ARC BREAKS WHEN MISSED WITHHOLDS HAVE BEEN CLEANED UP.

By WITHHOLD is meant AN UNDISCLOSED CONTRA-SURVIVAL ACT. By MISSED WITHHOLD is meant AN UNDISCLOSED CONTRA-SURVIVAL ACT WHICH HAS BEEN RESTIMULATED BY ANOTHER BUT NOT DISCLOSED.

[...]

PICKING UP MISSED WITHHOLDS KEEPS PCS IN SESSION.

There is no need for a rough, angry ARC Breaky session. If there is one it is not the fault of the pc. It is the fault of the auditor. The auditor has failed to pick up missed withholds.

As of now it is not the pc that sets the tone of the session. It is the auditor. And the auditor who has a difficult session (providing he or she has used standard technology, model session, and can run an E-Meter), has one only because he or she failed to ask for missed withholds.

[...]

Part of that standard technology is asking for missed withholds any time the pc starts to give any trouble. This is, to a pc, a totally acceptable control factor. And it totally smooths the session.

You have no need for and must not use any ARC Break process. Just ask for missed withholds.

_____

Here are some of the manifestations cured by asking for missed withholds.

1. Pc failing to make progress.

2. Pc critical of or angry at auditor.

3. Pc refusing to talk to auditor.

4. Pc attempting to leave session.

5. Pc not desirous of being audited (or anybody not desirous of being audited).

6. Pc boiling off.

7. Pc exhausted.

8. Pc feeling foggy at session end.

9. Dropped havingness.

10. Pc telling others the auditor is no good.

11. Pc demanding redress of wrongs.

12. Pc critical of organizations or people of Scientology.

13. People critical of Scientology.

14. Lack of auditing results.

15. Dissemination failures.

Now I think you will agree that in the above list we have every ill we suffer from in the activities of auditing.

Now PLEASE believe me when I tell you there is ONE CURE for the lot and ONLY that one. There are no other cures.

The cure is contained in the simple question or its variations “Have I missed a withhold on you?”


Hubbard, L. (1962, 3 May) ARC Breaks Missed Withholds. Technical Bulletins (1991 ed., Vol VI, pp. 497-502). Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, Inc. This bulletin is studied on Academy Level II.

_____

I think Gerry's 2009 a.r.s. post Sympathy and Scientology adds helpful insights relative to this discussion.
 

sallydannce

Gold Meritorious Patron
Originally posted by Caroline

I think Hubbard's anti-sympathy indoctrination is antisocial engineering that works to keep the victims accepting their victimization, and to get them to help in the victimization game, without recognizing their own victimization, and without dissonant feelings of sympathy for the others they're harming, or remorse for the harm. If someone is unable to recognize when he is being victimized, and cannot therefore act in his own interests, there is, in my opinion, almost no chance that he will be able to detect the destructiveness of the same antisocial behaviors he is being ordered to apply to others.

Sympathy is a human emotion and reaction that is heavily policed and stomped on in Scientology contexts where it should be expressed, and faked or causatively mirrored in other contexts for manipulation purposes.

Originally Posted by Hubbard
SYMPATHY, 1. a terrible thing but is considered to be a very valuable thing. The survival value of sympathy is this: when an individual is hurt or immobilized, he cannot fend for himself. He must count on another or others to care for him. His bid for such care is the enlistment of the sympathy of others. This is practical. If men weren’t sympathetic, none of us would be alive. The non-survival value of sympathy is this: an individual fails in some activity. He then considers himself incapable of surviving by himself. Even though he isn’t sick actually he makes a bid for sympathy. A psychosomatic illness is at once an explanation of failure and a bid for sympathy. (HFP, p. 122) 2. sympathy is commonly accepted to mean the posing of an emotional state similar to the emotional state of an individual in grief or apathy. It is on the tone scale between 0.9 and 0.4 . Sympathy follows or is based upon overt action by the preclear. Sympathy can be mechanically considered as the posing of any emotion so as to be similar to the emotion of another. (AP&A, p. 23) 3. sympathy is a co-flow, it’s sort of a co-beingness. One individual goes onto the wave-length of another individual. (PDC 23) 4. “I am him” which is what sympathy is; it’s a low level interchange of energy. (5209CM04B) 5. equal motion, equal plane, similar space. (Spr Lect 1, 5303CM23)

Hubbard, L. R., (1975) Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology of California Publications Organization.


Originally Posted by Hubbard
A person makes what he believes to be an overt act1 against any one of these dynamics — except number one1: overt acts against number one are kind of “so what?” But from two on up the line, any overt act whereby the individual hurts an entity on any one of these dynamics results in instant aberration, particularly if he notices he has hurt it. He looks at it and he sees he has hurt it. All of a sudden he feels sympathy.The only reason he will feel sympathy for anything is that he hurt it in the first place.

Now, any of you that are very, very sympathetic toward kittens have probably killed one someplace on the track. And any of you that feel very super sentimental about dear little babies have probably knocked one off in some life or other. And any of you that can’t stand to have a woman leave or something of the sort have probably bumped one off. Very simple. It is ridiculously simple. There is the viewpoint.

Hubbard, L. R. (1980). The research and discovery series 1952. 10. Los Angeles: Scientology Publ.
1 Definition: overt act
2 I.e., the first of 8 dynamics.

Related to this is the "overt/motivator sequence," which essentially states that if the person is upset about some wrong done to him, it evidences his own prior overt act(s). So if you have someone complaining of injustice,even if there is a valid complaint of injustice, a technical handling is to interrogate the guy complaining and get him to cough up similar overts where he perpetrated injustice on others. Flattening the emotional affect in this way makes it possible for the victimizers to go right on victimizing.

Originally Posted by Hubbard
After some months of careful observation and tests, I can state conclusively that:

ALL ARC BREAKS STEM FROM MISSED WITHHOLDS. [Definition:Missed Withhold]

This is vital technology, vital to the auditor and to anyone who wants to live.

Conversely:

THERE ARE NO ARC BREAKS WHEN MISSED WITHHOLDS HAVE BEEN CLEANED UP.

By WITHHOLD is meant AN UNDISCLOSED CONTRA-SURVIVAL ACT. By MISSED WITHHOLD is meant AN UNDISCLOSED CONTRA-SURVIVAL ACT WHICH HAS BEEN RESTIMULATED BY ANOTHER BUT NOT DISCLOSED.

[...]

PICKING UP MISSED WITHHOLDS KEEPS PCS IN SESSION.

There is no need for a rough, angry ARC Breaky session. If there is one it is not the fault of the pc. It is the fault of the auditor. The auditor has failed to pick up missed withholds.

As of now it is not the pc that sets the tone of the session. It is the auditor. And the auditor who has a difficult session (providing he or she has used standard technology, model session, and can run an E-Meter), has one only because he or she failed to ask for missed withholds.

[...]

Part of that standard technology is asking for missed withholds any time the pc starts to give any trouble. This is, to a pc, a totally acceptable control factor. And it totally smooths the session.

You have no need for and must not use any ARC Break process. Just ask for missed withholds.

_____

Here are some of the manifestations cured by asking for missed withholds.

1. Pc failing to make progress.

2. Pc critical of or angry at auditor.

3. Pc refusing to talk to auditor.

4. Pc attempting to leave session.

5. Pc not desirous of being audited (or anybody not desirous of being audited).

6. Pc boiling off.

7. Pc exhausted.

8. Pc feeling foggy at session end.

9. Dropped havingness.

10. Pc telling others the auditor is no good.

11. Pc demanding redress of wrongs.

12. Pc critical of organizations or people of Scientology.

13. People critical of Scientology.

14. Lack of auditing results.

15. Dissemination failures.

Now I think you will agree that in the above list we have every ill we suffer from in the activities of auditing.

Now PLEASE believe me when I tell you there is ONE CURE for the lot and ONLY that one. There are no other cures.

The cure is contained in the simple question or its variations “Have I missed a withhold on you?”

Hubbard, L. (1962, 3 May) ARC Breaks Missed Withholds. Technical Bulletins (1991 ed., Vol VI, pp. 497-502). Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, Inc. This bulletin is studied on Academy Level II.
_____


I think Gerry's 2009 a.r.s. post Sympathy and Scientology adds helpful insights relative to this discussion.

If you wanted to paralyse healthy cognitive processing, if you wanted to freeze emotional responses, the above would be a good method of doing it.

If you wanted to create an artificial identity, which you could then have total obedience from, Hubbard’s methods are workable. It is called mind-control and though it is extremely tough to de-construct, it can be done.

To control another, without their being aware of it, you need to thoroughly introvert the person (internalise them) without their consent or their awareness of what you are doing. You need to fill their thoughts with ideas which narrows (limits and/or halts) their range of critical analysis and natural emotional responses. You need to control the persons emotional responses because a lot of human behaviour and thought processing is driven at a primal emotional level (fight or flight response). Hubbard’s methods are “brilliant” at doing this.

Remove - tamper with - the persons natural “fight or flight” responses, mess with the core beliefs, their inherent native instincts (without the persons consent and by offering powerful wonderful alternatives – “total freedom”, world without war, etc, etc). Keep shifting the persons reality, slightly adjusting it so there is no “jolting” affect on the person. Too much too soon, will create the opposite result that is desired. Build a new identity, a new way of thinking and behaving and emotionally responding by using repetitive concepts (first course is often a training routines “communications” course which heavily alters emotional responses to external stimuli). This sets a person up to not respond to new cognitive concepts or “usual” emotional responses and allows the new concepts (mind-controlling agenda-aimed concepts) to be fed to the person without their rejecting them.

You have now built a mind-controlled “slave”, obedient and willing to do your dirty work for you. They think the way you want them to think, they behave the way you want them to or if they don’t, the system re-programs/tweaks them “back into line, back to the agenda”. They are unquestioning of anything that may have been done to lower their own volition because it is all done so furtively.

There should be a law against this shit being done, all under the fake umbrella of “religion”.

I don’t know if the above makes sense, writing it on the run. Posting it anyway cos I don’t have any urge to be either right or wrong.
 

Free Being Me

Crusader
I think Hubbard's anti-sympathy indoctrination is antisocial engineering that works to keep the victims accepting their victimization, and to get them to help in the victimization game, without recognizing their own victimization, and without dissonant feelings of sympathy for the others they're harming, or remorse for the harm. If someone is unable to recognize when he is being victimized, and cannot therefore act in his own interests, there is, in my opinion, almost no chance that he will be able to detect the destructiveness of the same antisocial behaviors he is being ordered to apply to others.

Sympathy is a human emotion and reaction that is heavily policed and stomped on in Scientology contexts where it should be expressed, and faked or causatively mirrored in other contexts for manipulation purposes.




[SUP]1[/SUP] Definition: overt act
[SUP]2[/SUP] I.e., the first of 8 dynamics.

Related to this is the "overt/motivator sequence," which essentially states that if the person is upset about some wrong done to him, it evidences his own prior overt act(s). So if you have someone complaining of injustice, even if there is a valid complaint of injustice, a technical handling is to interrogate the guy complaining and get him to cough up similar overts where he perpetrated injustice on others. Flattening the emotional affect in this way makes it possible for the victimizers to go right on victimizing.



_____

I think Gerry's 2009 a.r.s. post Sympathy and Scientology adds helpful insights relative to this discussion.

Caroline, I agree with you. Indoctrination through psychological manipulation, i.e. - emotional and mental cognitive control to methodically engineer a preset identity with a predetermined behavior model (elcon's scientology), is observable with comparatively known psychological antisocial behaviors. Basically, crafting a Pathocracy one person at a time. This is why peeling the scientological onion can be so difficult, elcon was a master manipulator and that's what elcon was doing, manufacturing pseudo-manipulators in his image.

For example:

Sociopath (Antisocial personality disorder)
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829/DSECTION=symptoms

Symptoms
  • Disregard for right and wrong
  • Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others
  • Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or for sheer personal pleasure
  • Intense egocentrism, sense of superiority and exhibitionism
  • Recurring difficulties with the law
  • Repeatedly violating the rights of others by the use of intimidation, dishonesty and misrepresentation
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, impulsiveness, aggression or violence
  • Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others
  • Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behaviors
  • Poor or abusive relationships
  • Irresponsible work behavior
  • Failure to learn from the negative consequences of behavior

Narcissism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism

Symptoms
  • An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
  • Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
  • A lack of psychological awareness (see insight in psychology and psychiatry, egosyntonic)
  • Difficulty with empathy
  • Problems distinguishing the self from others (see narcissism and boundaries)
  • Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults (see criticism and narcissists, narcissistic rage and narcissistic
    injury)
  • Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
  • Haughty body language
  • Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them (narcissistic supply)
  • Detesting those who do not admire them (narcissistic abuse)
  • Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
  • Pretending to be more important than they really are
  • Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
  • Claiming to be an "expert" at many things
  • Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
  • Denial of remorse and gratitude
 
Last edited:

Enthetan

Master of Disaster
But who gets to decide if a person truly has remorse or empathy or conscience, especially when it's a bunch of people passing the latest number one selling book on sociopaths around the water cooler? During the discussions I've had about this thread the response has been, "Not a single one of you people is qualified to diagnose something like this," and that is still the most important concern for me (unless one of the posters here is qualified to make that diagnosis, in which case please ignore). Aside from that, does it really matter, in practical terms if you are raped by a "sociopath" rapist or some other kind of rapist, if your murderer is a sociopath or not, if your conman is a sociopath or not? It seems to me the most important thing is to educate and take other measures to try and protect yourself from becoming a victim of a specific crime - but the truth is you are still way more likely to be raped, murdered or ripped off by someone in your own family or someone you know and trust.

Ask yourself, are you more likely to be raped, murdered, or conned out of money by somebody with a lot of empathy for you, or not much empathy?

The point of being able to spot sociopaths is to be able to avoid that segment of the population most likely to harm you without hesitation.
 

Caroline

Patron Meritorious
Here's some perspective on some of the memes and themes of this thread from Eva Hoffman, a Polish American writer and academic whose parents survived the Holocaust.

Eva Hoffman said:
Perhaps the most heuristic part of the second-generation experience inheres in the proximity to persecuted parents and elders, in intimate relations with people who have been greatly wronged and hurt. The close witness of suffering, the intimate coexistence with those who have been injured, is part of a transformative process whereby that early, psychically imbibed knowledge can be—in the best case scenarios—converted into a more conscious ethics and vision of the world. It is not our own suffering, in other words, but the suffering of others that poses an emotional and a moral challenge. How to acknowledge another's grief without being swallowed up by it oneself; how to gain one's own autonomy without abandoning those who need us; how to offer compassion without reducing the other to the status of “victim;” how to continue to treat victims of extreme violence as moral agents, even while recognizing the extent of their extremity.

On a larger scale, such questions are among the central issues of our time. How should we treat individuals who have been “traumatized,” or groups that have been collectively victimized? What kinds of reparations are owed, and what kinds of standards can we bring to them? On such questions, our attitudes toward vulnerability and pain are often inconsistent and confused. On the one hand, we live in a time when identification with the victim is taken as a moral good; when groups that are perceived as “our” victims are presumed to be automatically innocent and automatically in the right. At the same time, much in our contemporary world mitigates against the acceptance of suffering, or incorporating it into our vision of the human lot. Our ideals of control, self-improvement, freedom from dependence, and the very speed of middle-class life do not leave much room for frailty, or for solidarity with those who may need our help. Our lives are so structured that we depend increasingly on mediating institutions for the care of the vulnerable. At the same time, our rhetoric is ever more pervaded by the professional and sociological vocabulary of victimhood—and in that vocabulary, suffering becomes reified into pathology or aggrandized into martyrdom. Suffering becomes Trauma; a person who has experienced adversity or been treated harshly becomes the Victim.

Indeed, it seems to me that the excesses of identity politics and various identifications with the victim—wherein groups who are perceived as “our” victims are presumed to be automatically innocent and automatically in the right—are themselves a kind of displacement, wherein the actualities of suffering are placed at a safe distance and relegated to the sphere of abstract compassion and morality. But victimhood is not—for all that we would wish otherwise—a conveniently moral condition. This is something that those who have lived in intimate proximity to loss and mourning know or have to learn. If we lose our sympathy for suffering, we lose part of our moral being. The bearers of atrocity's scars deserve our help, our understanding, the alleviation of pain. On a personal level, if we are to be of help to those who have suffered great losses, then we need to remember, or perhaps relearn, the very old arts of simple sympathy and empathy; the ability to take in a story without excessive comment, to imagine what the other feels without diminishment or exaggerated sentiment; most of all, perhaps, to imagine the reality of the other person's situation accurately, and, sometimes, to help the sufferer see more accurately as well.

But if we are not to engage in yet another displacement, then we need also to remember that to deserve our sympathy or help, the victims of atrocity do not have to be especially virtuous, nor saintly—nor should such virtue be expected of them. Persecution is not a character-improving process, and collective suffering cannot assure collective merit. This is why a politics of trauma is not a sufficient antidote to the politics of power and why an ethos of martyrdom cannot serve as a basis for a decent society. After the collective memories have been excavated and the individual narratives recounted we need the restoration of principles that will assure mutual respect, even if we do not share enough past to warrant mutual love. Otherwise, the memories of pain will soon turn into someone's rage, and the conflicting narratives will come into possibly deadly conflict. Sympathy for those who suffered is our moral duty; but we cannot cease to treat the victim as a moral being. The recipients of great wrongs need, for the restoration of their moral world—and a shared moral world—a recognition of those wrongs; but they cannot be placed outside the community of justice and reason.

Hoffman, E. (2010) The Long Afterlife of Loss. Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates. New York: Fordham University Press.
 

Free Being Me

Crusader
Observable Behaviors & Tools Used By Manipulators (Collected Posts)

Sociopath (Antisocial personality disorder)
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829/DSECTION=symptoms
Definition
Antisocial personality disorder is a type of chronic mental condition in which a person's ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are dysfunctional — and destructive. People with antisocial personality disorder typically have no regard for right and wrong and often disregard the rights, wishes and feelings of others.

Those with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others either harshly or with callous indifference. They may often violate the law, landing in frequent trouble, yet they show no guilt or remorse. They may lie, behave violently or impulsively, and have problems with drug and alcohol use. These characteristics typically make people with antisocial personality disorder unable to fulfill responsibilities related to family, work or school.

Symptoms
  • Disregard for right and wrong
  • Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others
  • Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or for sheer personal pleasure
  • Intense egocentrism, sense of superiority and exhibitionism
  • Recurring difficulties with the law
  • Repeatedly violating the rights of others by the use of intimidation, dishonesty and misrepresentation
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, impulsiveness, aggression or violence
  • Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others
  • Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behaviors
  • Poor or abusive relationships
  • Irresponsible work behavior
  • Failure to learn from the negative consequences of behavior

Psychopath
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/psychopath
Definition
A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

Narcissism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism
Definition
Narcissism is a term that originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Currently it is used to describe the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride.

Symptoms
  • An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
  • Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
  • A lack of psychological awareness (see insight in psychology and psychiatry, egosyntonic)
  • Difficulty with empathy
  • Problems distinguishing the self from others (see narcissism and boundaries)
  • Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults (see criticism and narcissists, narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury)
  • Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
  • Haughty body language
  • Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them (narcissistic supply)
  • Detesting those who do not admire them (narcissistic abuse)
  • Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
  • Pretending to be more important than they really are
  • Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
  • Claiming to be an "expert" at many things
  • Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
  • Denial of remorse and gratitude

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html
(Click link for full article)

Traumatic Bonding
http://victimsofpsychopaths.wordpress.com/traumatic-bonding/
Traumatic bonding is “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” (Dutton & Painter, 1981). Several conditions have been identified that must be present for a traumatic bond to occur.

–(1). There must be an imbalance of power, with one person more in control of key aspects of the relationship, such as setting themselves up as the “authority” through such things as controlling the finances, or making most of the relationship decisions, or using threats and intimidations, so the relationship has become lopsided.

–(2). The abusive behavior is sporadic in nature. It is characterized by intermittent reinforcement, which means there is the alternating of highly intense positives (such as intense kindness or affection) and the negatives of the abusive behavior.

–(3). The victim engages in denial of the abuse for emotional self- protection. In severe abuse (this can be psychological or physical), one form of psychological protection strategy is dissociation, where the victim experiences the abuse as if it is not happening to them, but as if they are outside their body watching the scene unfold (like watching a movie). Dissociative states allow the victim to compartmentalize the abusive aspects of the relationship in order to focus on the positive aspects.

The use of denial and distancing oneself from the abuse are forms of what is called cognitive dissonance. In abusive relationships this means that what is happening to the victim is so horrible, so far removed from their thoughts and expectations of the world, that it is “dissonant” or “out of tune” or “at odds” with their pre-existing expectations and reality.

Since the victim feels powerless to change the situation, they rely on emotional strategies to try to make it less dissonant, to try to somehow make it fit. To cope with the contradicting behaviors of the abuser, and to survive the abuse, the person literally has to change how they perceive reality.

Studies also show a person is more loyal and committed to a person or situation that is difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating, and the more the victim has invested in the relationship, the more they need to justify their position. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful “self-preservation” mechanism which can completely distort and override the truth, with the victim developing a tolerance for the abuse and “normalizing” the abusers behavior, despite evidence to the contrary.

–(4). The victim masks that the abuse is happening, may not have admitted it to anyone, not even themselves.

Trauma bonding makes it easier for a victim to survive within the relationship, but it severely undermines the victims self-structures, undermining their ability to accurately evaluate danger, and impairs their ability to perceive of alternatives to the situation.

Once a trauma bond is established it becomes extremely difficult for the victim to break free of the relationship. The way humans respond to trauma is thought to have a biological basis and reactions to trauma was first described a century ago, with the term “railroad spine” being used. Another term used has been “shell shocked”.

Victims overwhelmed with terror suffer from an overload of their system, and to be able to function they must distort reality. They often shut down emotionally, and sometimes later describe themselves as having felt “robotic”, intellectually knowing what happened, but feeling frozen or numb and unable to take action. A victim must feel safe and out of “survival mode” before they will be able to make cognitive changes.

Many victims feel the compulsion to tell and retell the events of the trauma in an attempt to come to terms with what happened to them and to try to integrate it, reaching out to others for contact, safety, and stability. Other victims react in an opposite manner, withdrawing into a shell of self-imposed isolation. The trauma bond can persist even after the victim leaves the relationship, with it sometimes taking months, or even years, for them to completely break the bond.

Emotional Attachments in Abusive Relationships: A Test of Traumatic Bonding Theory - PDF (Dutton and Painter)
http://lab.drdondutton.com/wp-conte...SHIPS-A-TEST-OF-TRAUMATIC-BONDING-THEORY..pdf

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Fear, Obligation, and Guilt (FOG) in Relationships
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...ear-obligation-and-guilt-fog-in-relationships
According to Susan Forward, Ph.D. (Forward and Frazier 1997), emotional blackmail is a “powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten, directly or indirectly, to punish us if we don’t do what they want." The main tool of the trade, Forward says, is FOG: fear, obligation, and guilt.

People with borderline or narcissistic personality disorder may use emotional blackmail because it’s the best or the only way they know to get what they want or need. Unwilling or unable to make a direct request, FOG becomes the lever of choice to those who suffer from low self-esteem and have difficulty setting personal limits and stating what they want. Victims capitulate because they often possess these same qualities. And perpetrators use whatever works again and again. (Full article at link)

Out of the FOG - What is FOG
http://outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/FOG.html
FOG - Fear, Obligation & Guilt - The acronym FOG, for Fear, Obligation and Guilt, was first coined by Susan Forward & Donna Frazier in Emotional Blackmail and describes feelings that a person often has when in a relationship with someone who suffers from a personality disorder. (Full article at link)

Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics
http://psychopathsandlove.com/covert-emotional-manipulation-tactics/

Covert emotional manipulation tactics are underhanded methods of control. Emotional manipulation methodically wears down your sense of self-worth, self-confidence, self-concept and trust in your own perceptions. At its worst, you can lose all sense of self and your personal values.

Positive Reinforcement: Praise, flattery, adoration, attention, affection, gifts, superficial sympathy (crocodile tears), superficial charm, recognition, appreciation, intense sex, and declarations of once-in-a-lifetime love. When all of these are present continually at the beginning of the relationship with no negative behavior in sight, it’s called “love-bombing,” and it’s designed to hook us deeply and bond us tightly to our abuser.

Intermittent positive reinforcement: This is a very effective manipulation tactic, one abusers use to great effect. Intermittent positive reinforcement occurs when your relationship goes from nonstop positive reinforcement to only getting attention, appreciation, praise, adoration, declarations of love, etc. once in a while, on a random basis. This will create a climate of doubt, fear and anxiety. You’ll know he’s withdrawing and you’ll fear you’re losing him, but he’ll deny it. This replays over and over until you’re riding and emotional roller coaster, with no way to stop the ride and get off. S/He is doing this on purpose to increase his power and control over you and to make you even more desperate for his love. You have become the proverbial lab rat frantically pushing the lever for a randomly dispensed treat. The rat thinks of nothing else, and neither will you. The bond can become even stronger during this phase, believe it or not. It’s a well-known psychological phenomenon known as traumatic bonding.

Negative reinforcement: The manipulator stops performing a negative behavior (such as giving you the silent treatment) when you comply with his demands.
Not allowing negative emotion: The victim is typically chastised for emotional behavior. The focus is put on the emotional upset itself, not the cause behind it (which conveniently takes the focus off of him). He refuses to hear what it is she wants to talk about. The only subject is her emotion, which is unacceptable; in fact, it’s an issue she needs to work on, and one he finds unattractive.The silent treatment usually follows, which increases her frustration at not being able to express her thoughts and feelings.

Indirect aggressive abuse: Name-calling is direct and obvious, but an underhanded way to make it much less obvious is to drop the angry tone of voice that usually accompanies it, and disguise the insult as teaching, helping, giving advice, or offering solutions. It appears to be a sincere attempt to help, but it’s actually an attempt to belittle, control and demean you, and you will sense this.

Manipulators share intimate information about themselves, their lives and families early on to create a false sense of intimacy. You’ll automatically feel obliged or free to respond, and afterward you’ll trust him more and feel closer to him. Later, you’ll find out most of what he disclosed wasn’t true, and that he’ll use everything you told him about yourself to manipulate you or hurt you.

Triangulation: This is a common and effective tactic of a psychopath’s covert emotional manipulation. The manipulator introduces other women into the relationship in any way he can — by talking about a woman at work, talking about his ex girlfriends, flirting with other women in front of you, or comparing you unfavorably to another woman — just to hurt you, knock you off balance and make you jealous. In a normal relationship, a man will go out of his way to prove he’s trustworthy. The manipulator does just the opposite, and he enjoys watching your pain and angst. He is usually grooming his next target, who he conveniently uses to manipulate you devalue you.

Blaming the victim: This tactic is a powerful means of putting the victim on the defense while simultaneously masking the aggressive intent of the abuser. This usually happens when she questions him about something he wants to hide (such as his involvement with another woman). The victim finds herself put in the defensive mode, and she can’t win. He tells her that her concerns are rooted in her problem with “insecurity” and have nothing to do with his behavior or with reality, and that he finds her insecurity very unattractive. Since this is very unpleasant she learns not to question him, and silently puts up with his bad behavior in the future.

The manipulator will makecarefully chosen insinuating comments to evoke an uncomfortable emotional response or even several responses at once. He knows your weaknesses and your hot-buttons, and he will enjoy dropping a bomb like this and watching the fallout. If someone says something that has multiple negative meanings and causes negative emotions while leaving you flummoxed and without a meaningful response, you’ve experienced it.

Empty words: The abuser can turn on the charm and tell you exactly what you want to hear: “I love you,” “you’re so special to me,” “you’re so important to me,” etc. The problem is they are just words, backed up by nothing. Filling your need for approval, validation, and reassurance with these empty words gives him incredible power over you.

Denying/ Invalidating reality: Invalidating distorts or undermines the victim’s perceptions of their world. Invalidating occurs when the abuser refuses or will not acknowledge reality. For example, if the victim confronts the abuser about an incident of name calling, the abuser may insist, “I never said that,” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The same as gaslighting, really, a tactic which is explained below.

Minimizing: The manipulator will tell you you’re making a big deal out of nothing or that you’re “exaggerating” when you confront him with something he’s done.

Withholding: Includes refusing to communicate, refusing to listen, and using emotionally withdrawal as punishment. This is commonly called the “silent treatment.”

Lying: It’s often difficult to know when someone’s lying, but psychopaths are pathological liars who will say anything to get what they want. You may notice they lie so much they can’t keep the details straight. If you question them, they revert to denial.

Lies of omission: A more subtle form of lying where a truth is left out if it’s not convenient.

Gaslighting: An especially frustrating manipulation tactic where you know you heard him say something or saw him do something but when you confront him, he simply denies it. It seems obvious enough but if it’s repeated often, victims can begin to question their “version” of reality. We also want to believe whatever it was didn’t happen, so we may let this absurdity slip by. I forget who said “words are more real than reality,” but that sums it up.

Projecting the Blame: Nothing is ever a psychopath’s fault, and he will always find some crafty way to find a scapegoat
.
Diversion and Evasion: When you ask the psychopath a question, instead of answering it he may use diversion (steering the conversation to another topic) or evasion (giving an irrelevant, vague and often rambling response).

Selective forgetting: The manipulator pretends he forgot something important he once said. If you feel the need to use a tape recorder when speaking with someone, covert emotional manipulation is at play.

Refusing to take responsibility for his behavior, for the relationship or for your reactions to it.

Attempts to turn the tables and make you look like the abuser: These skilled manipulators have an arsenal of tactics at their disposal, and they will be pushing as many buttons as possible to get you to lose control. They can inflict so much psychological warfare and make you suppress so much emotion that you can be backed into an emotional corner. When this happens, the intense frustration you feel, but can’t express through normal communication, will cause you to react in self-defense. Emotional reactions in self-defense to an abusive situation do not make you an abuser.

Diminishing and belittling your opinions and ideas non-verbally by using eye-rolls, scoffs, smug smiles, etc. There are plenty of variations.

Hypnotism and trance induction: This is the most powerful manipulation tool a psychopath uses with his victim, and is related to charm. The technique of hypnosis comes naturally to the psychopath, and he mesmerizes his victim to gain emotional control. Hypnosis and trance are the “attraction heat, attachment magnet and bonding glue,” according to Sandra L. Brown, M.A., author of “Women Who Love Psychopaths.” (*This tactic applies only to psychopaths; the rest on this list are also used by all types of manipulators as well as psychopaths.)


What is Psychological Manipulation?
http://www.bandbacktogether.com/psychological-manipulation-resources/

Psychological Manipulation is a type of influence that attempts to change the behavior or perception of others through underhanded, deceptive and abusive techniques. This advances the interests of the manipulator, generally at the victim's expense, in methods that may be considered abusive, devious, deceptive, and exploitative.

In order to be successful, the art of manipulation involves two things - concealing aggressive or subversive intentions and behaviors while knowing the psychological vulnerabilities of the victim well enough to know what will be the most effective psychological weapons or tactics to be used against them. This is most often accomplished through covert-aggression or carefully veiled aggression - which may be so subtle that it's not easily detected.

Psychological Manipulators know what they want and fight hard to get it.

The tactics Psychological Manipulators use are very effective methods of power and control, because they're almost impossible to be seen as aggressive on the surface, at the unconscious level, the victim feels backed into the corner. Once a victim is backed into a corner, it is more likely that they'll back down or give into the manipulator's demands.

Why Do People Manipulate?

There are many motivations behind manipulation - as varied as the manipulators themselves. Perhaps the manipulator needs to gain something purposefully or feels that they have to advance their own causes or plans - no matter what the cost to others may be. Maybe they need to feel powerful and in-control of their relationships with others. Maybe feeling powerful over others increases their own self-esteem. Maybe the person does not have the social skills to obtain what is wanted or needed by traditional means. Some Psychological Manipulators are psychopathic, having trouble empathizing with or understanding the feelings of themselves or others, and placing their own desires foremost because of it.

How Do Manipulators Manipulate?

There are many techniques that manipulators can use to gain power and control over their victim. Here is a breakdown of some manipulation techniques.

Brandishing Anger - manipulators use anger and rage to shock their victims into submission, although real anger is not necessarily experienced by the manipulator. The anger is simply a show to get whatever he or she wants by cowing the victim into submission.

Covert Intimidation - The victim is thrown on the defensive by the manipulator using subtle, indirect, or implied threats.

Denial - The manipulator refuses to admit that he or she has done anything wrong.

Diversion - Rather than giving a straight answer, the manipulator will often change the subject, often without the change being noticed.

Feigning Confusion - The manipulator plays dumb - pretending she or he has no idea what the victim is talking about, or is confused by the topic at hand.

Feigning Innocence - The manipulator suggests that anything harmful was done unintentionally or that it didn't happen. This makes the victim question their judgement and/or sanity in feeling hurt or betrayed.

Evasion - Providing vague, rambling, incoherent responses to the victim. This often leads to confusion over the matter at hand, as well as making it less likely that the victim will be inclined to pursue further conversations on the topic.

Gaslighting - A form of psychological abuse involving the manipulation of situations or events that cause a person to be confused or to doubt his perceptions and memories. Gaslighting causes victims to constantly second-guess themselves and wonder if they're losing their minds.

Guilt-Tripping - The manipulator suggests to a conscientious victim that he or she doesn't care enough, is too selfish, or has it easy. The victim generally feels guilt or shame as a result, and is thrown into a submissive, anxious, and self-doubting state.

Lying - By the time the truth is apparent, it may be too late to do anything about it. Many manipulative personality types are experts at lying and may do so in subtle ways that are hard to detect.

Lies of Omission - This is lying by withholding a part of the truth, usually with the intention of making something seem innocuous, or less harmful than it really was.

Minimization - The manipulator asserts that his or her behavior is not as harmful as is suggested.

Playing the Victim - The manipulator portrays themselves as a victim of circumstance or other people in order to gain pity, sympathy, or compassion from their conscientious victim.

Projecting the Blame - Scapegoating in subtle ways, blaming the victim or other people for the negative actions or consequences of their actions. This helps to portray the manipulator in a more positive light, and can actively harm the victim's relationships with other people, who may not even have been involved.

Rationalization - An excuse from the manipulator for inappropriate behavior. Rationalization involves giving reasons as to why their behavior was justified and appropriate. When coupled with Guilt-Trips or Scapegoating, the manipulator will often wind up looking like a victim, evoking sympathy from the real victim.

Seduction - Using charm, praise, or flattery to lower the defenses of the victim so that the manipulator gains trust and loyalty.

Shaming - Sarcasm and insults can be used by the manipulator to increase self-doubt and fear in the victim, to make the victim feel unworthy. This may be accomplished by anything from a very subtle fierce look or unpleasant tone of voice to a rhetorical comment. This may make the victim feel badly for daring to challenge them, which also fosters a sense of inadequacy in the victim.

Vilifying the Victim - A powerful method of putting the victim on the defensive while masking aggressive intention.

Vulnerabilities Exploited By Manipulators:

The following are a list of vulnerabilities that may exist in the victims of manipulators. By no means comprehensive, these traits tend to be common in people who are often victimized by Psychological Manipulators.

  • A desire to please and earn the approval and acceptance of others.
  • Naivete - the victim doesn't want to believe that anyone is cunning or ruthless and may be in denial of own victimhood.
  • A fear of negative emotions.
  • Over-internationalization - believing what the manipulator says to be true, which can result in self-doubt or shame.
  • Excessive empathy - the victim tries really hard to understand the point of view of the manipulator and believes the manipulator has a justifiable reason to be hurtful.
  • Over-conscientiousness - victim is too willing to give the manipulator the benefit of the doubt.
  • Low Self-Confidence - victim lacks the ability to say no, doubts themselves, lacks confidence.
  • Emotional Dependency - the victim has a dependent or submissive personality. The more submissive or dependent, the more vulnerable the victim is to exploitation.
  • Low emotional skills - when the victim does not understand his or her emotional self well, they misinterpret feelings

Spotting Manipulation:

In an article by Fiona McColl about manipulation, she identifies several methods of spotting manipulation. If you think you are being vicitmized, these are common signs to look for.

1. Bullshit apologies are often noticable. If your inner gut is telling you that an apology is bullshit, it probably is. Further if you are honest with an emotional manipulator about your feelings, he or she may turn their angst and stress upon you, until YOU wind up comforting THEM.

2. I'll do you a favor, I guess is an example of a common manipulation tactic. A manipulator will propose or agree to assist you with a task, and follow the acceptance up with sighs and subtle behavior to let you know they do not want to follow-through on the agreement.

3. Manipulators are awesome at turning a phrase, by which I mean that they may say one thing, then later deny that they did not say anything at all! Also common is the telling of the truth in such a way as to mean something other than what, on the surface, has been said.

4. Guilt is a common tool for manipulators. Because manipulators often do not directly express their needs and wants, they use tactics, such as guilt, to get someone to act the way they want them to act. Typically this is manifested in terms of the victim needing to care for the manipulator's needs, at the expense of your own.

5. Fighting dirty is not uncommon because manipulators do not like direct confrontation. Often they are passive-aggressive and let you subtly know that they are not happy.

6. Being upstaged by the manipulator's pain - you have a headache, he has a migraine. Calling them on this behavior often results in someone becoming defensive and combative.

How To Combat Manipulation:

1. Hold them accountable! Manipulators often are not held accountable and thus have poor boundaries with others. They do what it takes to get their way. If you tell someone how they hurt your feelings and then that person turns that around to be about them and their suffering, bring the conversation back to the original point- that your feelings are hurt.

2. Take notes! Take notes about conversations and important points, so that you can refer back to those notes later when a manipulator claims a conversation went a different way or never happened.

3. Walk away! Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just walk away. Revisit the situation later, and don't get sucked in to the drama.
 
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Alle G

Patron with Honors
Hi Free Being and Caroline

I save and print yours posts because I find them valuable. Thank you.

I got interested in narcissism when we got a new coworker who wrecked havoc around her and no one understood what was going on, but everything changed for the worst seemingly overnight. Apparently narcissists have the uncanny ability to get under people’s skin and stay there, especially a spouse. It has obviously something to do with the boundaries.
 

Ogsonofgroo

Crusader
Although I loved Caroline's last few posts, this bit speaks to me volumes~
something Caroline posted said:
.... The recipients of great wrongs need, for the restoration of their moral world—and a shared moral world—a recognition of those wrongs; but they cannot be placed outside the community of justice and reason.

Which is what I think sites like this do, get it all out there and discussed. :party: :party: :trash: :hug: :dance3: :itstrue: :cake:
 

Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
The lists of defense mechanisms and manipulative techniques are interesting. I think that most people do some of those things at times. I think the only difference is that a sociopath would use most of them most or all of the time.

But then again Hubbard said things very similar to that.
 

Alle G

Patron with Honors
from an interesting website
http://melanietoniaevans.blogspot.com.au/

Why Does A Narcissist Need To Be The Centre Of Attention?

Classic narcissistic behaviour is the needing to procure attention. The narcissist’s False Self requires the ‘feed’ of energy from the outside in order to maintain itself. This egoic self is a pathological construction representing who the narcissistic personality would like to be – in order to escape the inner demonising voices of shame, pain and unworthiness.

Narcissistic individuals take extreme personal umbrage if not seen as the centre of the Universe of others. Egoic narcissistic behaviour includes constantly comparing him or herself to other people – whilst creating fantasy scripts about why the individualistic is ultimately superior to others. Sometimes the gap between the fantasy and the reality of the narcissist’s true inner emotional state becomes a gulf as a result of others not supplying enough attention, acclaim or significance.

When this occurs the narcissistic personality suffers a grave narcissistic injury – and rather than admit the truth of inner defects - will attack, project onto and punish the offending person who didn’t uphold the False Self.

The real reason for the narcissistic behaviour - needing to be the centre of attention - is because he or she has submerged (in effect killed off) his or her True Self and created a False Self as a replacement. This False Self is not connected to the narcissist’s soul (who he or she REALLY is), it is a false construction and therefore cannot create its own healthy feelings or energy. The False Self can only know itself by having energy (attention) granted to it from outside of itself by others.


A Narcissist Inflicts Damage On Everyone Around Them

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have been referred to as ‘black holes which suck the life out of everyone around them’. Generally a narcissistic individual has less impact on acquaintances than an intimate partner, or a family member upon which the narcissist projects his or her tormented inner self onto.

The narcissistic behaviour of devaluing, discard, minimizing, criticizing and accusing is an emotional survival mechanism. The narcissistic personality has intense inner pain and shame – and when it becomes too much the narcissist needs to discharge it. This is known as deflection and projection. By using this narcissistic behaviour- he or she can assign his or her defects, lies, misdemeanor and maliciousness onto someone else, making them believe that they are responsible.

Narcissistic individuals can appear as conceited, arrogant and ‘full of themselves’ yet the exact opposite is in fact truth. The narcissistic personality has dire levels of low self-worth. The narcissist is a False Self which always feels ‘not enough’, unworthy, defective and unlovable. These are the narcissistic haunting of childhood when the narcissistic individual submerged his or her True Self because the wounds were too great and created a pathological self in its place.

To the narcissist being ‘imperfect’ or ‘wrong’ only supplements the inner demonising voices of self-loathing – and therefore the narcissist is always taking his or her emotional agony out on others – and knows no other way to operate. This is why life – if intimately connected to a narcissist – is an abusive war zone.
 
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