Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 32 · 4 years ago

The Sociopathic Art of Deception

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

As a science teacher in a public high school, Amanda was well liked by her students. Not only was she young, beautiful, and a good communicator, but she also had a way of interacting with the students that was a bit different yet very effective. Everyone loved her – teachers, administrators, students, and parents – which, in many ways, made her feel like she was above following the rules.

Then one day, when a parent accused her of improper texting with their teen son, some of her comments were found to be sexually suggestive in nature. Even though Amanda was able to explain communicating with the student through a text to administration (she lied and said it was part of the curriculum), which somewhat satisfied the concerned parent, still Amanda was out for blood. Behind the scenes, she went after the administrator that confronted her by spreading untrue gossip just to watch him squirm. And as for the parents, she intentionally engaged in an improper relationship with their son just to get back at them.

What on earth would make someone do this or participate in other, similar behaviors? Ever wonder how a person was able to earn trust so quickly and then exploit it for their own benefit? Perhaps they were someone who stole money, took over a business, or openly violated ethical conduct codes. One day they were considered as a best friend and now for no apparent reason, they purposefully go out of their way make themselves your enemy. And even after the betrayal, it is hard to imagine that this person is anything less than what they initially presented. How were they able to be so deceptive?

Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD) is the technical definition for sociopathic and psychopathic behavior. Imagine ASPD as a spectrum where there is evidence of subtle to extreme versions of the behavioral dysfunction. Sociopaths are generally thought of as a milder type than psychopaths. This makes them harder to recognize in the average work environment. So how do they do it?

  1. Survey– Sociopaths begin their deception by carefully observing their new environment. Since most sociopaths burn through relationships fast, they are frequently forced into new surroundings to survive. They look for potential targets: those with money, power, position or anything the other person has that the sociopath wants. Sociopaths scrutinize the target’s friends, work habits, routines, family, strengths, weaknesses, and social affairs. Basically, they are stalking their prey.
  2. Scoping – After choosing the target, sociopaths scope out an informant. This person usually has the dirt on everyone, likes to gossip, and puts themselves in the middle of things. The sociopath will quickly become best buddies with this person in an effort to glean as much information as possible. In the future, they will use this relationship to disseminate bad intelligence about others.
  3. Chameleon– Sociopaths transform themselves into the most attractive version of self for their target and the informant. For instance, if their prey likes to rescue people, the sociopath will need to be rescued. If their victim likes independent gregarious people, they will become that. The interesting part is that sociopaths can be two completely different personalities within the same environment.
  4. Seducing– Once the sociopath feels they understand their target, they begin a seduction. It usually starts with making small talk about a hobby or other interest. Then they use that incident to initiate further contact alternating between praising the target and asking for their advice. Shortly after that, the sociopath shares some made-up secret personal fear or anxiety to draw the target further in. If the victim responds with any degree of kindness, they proceed to the next step. If the prey repels the sociopath, one of two things happens: either the sociopath will move on or they will refine and intensify their approach.
  5. Courting– This is a one-way dance where the sociopath does all of the work. They magically appear where the victim is, they seem to be friends with the same people, and they often invite themselves to meetings, projects, and events. The sociopath escalates the praise to a level of adoration which draws in the target even more. Their charm is enticing and disarming so the prey begins to feel at ease with the sociopath.
  6. Isolating – The sociopath begins to use the data gathered from the informant to isolate the target from friends or co-workers who may try to protect them one day. These are subtle non-flattering comments made about the friends or co-workers which are easily countered if confronted. The intent is for the victim to feel betrayed by their friends while learning to solely rely on the false loyalty of the sociopath.
  7. Vengeance– Anyone who tries to stop the sociopath along the way will be met with swift and severe revenge, threats, or punishment. They will use tactics such as inappropriate rage, the silent treatment, intimidating stares, twisting the truth, and playing the victim card to manipulate others into compliance. By this point, the sociopath has too much invested in the deception to walk away. So instead, they push away protectors while pulling in the target.
  8. Projection – Here is where things become tricky. The sociopath now secretly turns on the victim to the victim’s friends and co-workers by projecting the sociopath’s selfish motives onto the victim. This completes the betrayal cycle. When the sociopath removes themselves from the environment, everyone’s fingers will be pointed at each other with none pointed at the sociopath. This sets the stage for the final act.
  9. Deceit– Now the sociopath is free to embezzle, exploit, take over a business, and/or commit acts of fraud or felony because all eyes will be on the fight between each other and not on the sociopath. By the time the dust has settled, the sociopath will be long gone with whatever money, power, position, or prestige they desired.

At any point in the game, this can be stopped. But it usually takes an outsider looking in on the situation to bring about clarity. Sociopaths should be taken seriously and treated as potentially dangerous. If you believe you, or someone you’re close to, may be facing a situation with a sociopath similar to the one described, do not hesitate to seek help.

www.growwithchristine.com

Whether you're thinking of divorcing your narcissistic spouse, right in the middle of it or have finalized your divorce, the tactics are the same. If this sounds like you, you need to know about Christine Hammond's new master class series how to survive a divorce with a narcissist. In this four hour video series, Christine Hammond introduces the toxic tactics that narcissists use to abuse, humiliate and manipulate you and teaches you exactly how to recognize these tactics and navigate through them with mastery and confidence. How to survive a divorce with a narcissist is a deep dive, a master class that I'll show you how narcissists use tactics like bait and switch, scare tactics, roller coaster ride and child's play. It's how to survive a divorce with a narcissist, a four hour recorded video master class with Christine Hammond. For more information or to purchase to day, just go to grow with Christine calm, forward slash narcissism. That's grow with Christine Dot Com. Forward Slash Narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with Christine Dot Com. Forward Slash Narcissism. This is understanding today's narcissist, brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. So today we're going to take a little bit of a diversion away from narcissism and I want to talk about sociopathic behavior. This is titled the Sociopathic Art of Deception, and the reason I'm doing this is very...

...particular. Some of the traits that a narcissist has is sometimes can be just like a sociopath, and so they do some of the same things. They're not quite as skilled or as gifted as a sociopath, generally speaking, from a deception standpoint, but they can border right on it, and so I think it's relative, relatively good for you to be able to see kind of where that line is between narcissism in sociopathic behavior. So I'm going to do it through this example of the art of deception because I really want you to get a good grasp of this. There are sociopaths out there. They're not all killers, believe it or not. Not all of them actually even commit crimes. There are a lot of sociopaths that just exists. Now, what makes a sociopath different than a narcissist? It's they not only do they don't have any empathy, but they also tend to not have any morality or conscious and other words, they can do whatever they feel like they need to do without having any type of remorse whatsoever. Even a narcissist has like kind of this sense of guilt in some regards, but as sociopath really doesn't, and they move over into that line of just and it's not even unfeeling. It is like a I even if I feel this way, it doesn't really matter like it, and I don't care that you feel that way. I'm going to do whatever I feel like doing in any moment. So that's kind of where the line is, which can be very blurred for a lot of narcissists. So I'm going to talk about the art of deception. I really want you to kind of get a good grasp of it. We're going to talk about this from a sociopathic standpoint, not from a narcissistic standpoint, and I hope once I get done you'll really be able to see the difference between the...

...two. All Right, the example I'm going to give you is one that I came across. So we're going to talk about Amanda. She was a high school science teacher and she was really well liked by her students. Not only was she young, but she was beautiful and she was also a great communicator. Plus, she had this really great way of interacting with students that was different yet very effective. Everyone loved her. The teachers loved her, administrators loved her students parents, which and many ways made her feel like she was above following the rules. So then one day a parent accused her if improper texting with their teenage son. Some of our comments were found to be sexually suggestive in nature. Even though Amanda was able to explain communicating with the student through a text to administration, she lied and said it was part of the curriculum, which somewhat satisfied the concerned parent. Still, Amanda was out for blood, because now Amanda was mad that she actually got caught. This is the sociopathic mentality behind the scenes. She went after the administrator for even confronting her about the text and she did this by Spec by spreading untrue gossip just to watch the administrator squirm. As for the parents, she retaliated against them as well, and she intentionally engaged in an improper relationship with their son just to get back at the parents. Sounds crazy. Unfortunately this is true. So what on earth would make someone do this or participate in other or similar behaviors? Have you ever wondered how a person was able to earn trust so quickly and then exploit it for their own benefit? Perhaps they were someone...

...who stole money, who took over a business, who openly violated ethical conduct codes, and one day they were considered to be a best friend, and now, for no apparent reason, they purposefully go out of their way to make themselves your enemy. And even after the betrayal, it's hard to imagine that this person is anything less than what they initially presented. How are they able to be so incredibly deceptive? Well, that's the sociopathology which is covered under antisocial personality disorder, that it is the technical definition for both sociopath behavior and psychopathic behavior, sociopath being the lesser version of the PSYCHOPATHIC behavior. Imagine antisocial personality disorder as a spectrum where there is evidence of subtle to extreme versions of behavior dysfunction. So sociopaths are generally thought of as a milder type of psychopaths. This makes them even harder to recognize in the average work environment. So how in the world do they deceive others? I'm going to break this down for you in nine simple steps. Step number one is they survey. So they start off, sociopaths begin their deception by carefully observing their new environment. Since most sociopaths burned through relationships very fast, they are frequently forced into new surroundings in order to survive, even to the extent that they will move quite a bit like move from one location to another. They look for potential targets, those with money, power, position or basically anything the other person has that the sociopath wants. It doesn't really matter what it is. It could even be a spouse. sociopaths scrutinize their targets, friends, work habits,...

...routines, family strengths, weaknesses and social affairs. Basically, they are stalking their prey, and I want you to think of it as that way. So the first step in deception is to survey their surroundings. They've they've isolated a target and they've started to survey them in everything that goes on around them. Their information gathering. The second step they go through is something called scoping. After choosing the target, sociopas scope out the informant. So this person usually has the dirt on everyone, likes to gossip and put themselves in the middle of things. The sociopath will quickly become best buddies with this person and an effort to glean as much information as possible. In the future, they will use this relationship to disseminate bad intelligence about others. So scoping is they've found their target and now they have found somebody who knows this other, the target, really well and has the dirt on them, and they become best buddies with them and they try to do that in order to get as much information on their target as possible. They're also going to use this person, use this person to then disseminate bad information. That's the scoping. That's number two. Number three is chameleon. sociopaths will literally transform themselves into the most attractive version of themselves for their target and for the informant. So they will become whatever they need to become. They will, if they need to be outward and they need to be outgoing and they need to be charming, they will be that way. If they needed to be more introverted, if they needed to be more retrospective, if they needed to be more quiet, they will become that way. Whatever their target or whatever their informant needs,...

...this is what they become. So, for instance, if their prey likes to rescue people, the sociopath will also conveniently need to be rescued, even if they don't really need to be rescued, they'll create a situation. If their victim likes independent, gregarious people, though, going to become independent and gregarious. The interesting part is that the sociopaths can be two completely different personalities within the same environment, meaning that they can be one way to the informant and they can be another way to their target. That's the chameleon side of them, and they are able to do this and maintain this facade at all times. That was number three. Number four seducing. Once the sociopaths feels like they understand their target, they begin a seduction of sorts. It usually starts with making small talk about a Harb Hobby or other interest. Then they use that incident to initiate further contact, alternating between praising the target and asking for their advice. Shortly after that, the sociopath shares some made up personal secret fear or anxiety to draw out the target in and to draw them further in to the deception. If the victim responds with any degree of kindness, they go ahead and proceed to the next if the prey repels the sociopath, one of two things either happens at this point. Either the sociopath moves on or they're going to refront, refine and even intensify their approach. Now, note this is the part that makes them very different than a narcissist. A narcissist does not refine because they are narcissistic and they think they have it all...

...figured out. They don't change their tactics. A sociopath does change tactics. They will change who they are. They will change whatever they need to do in order to accomplish their end goal. A narcissist will not do that. so that is the seducing path that goes down. This is the pivotal point think of. This is the change in which this is the part in which you are actually sucked in. Number Five, courting. This is a one way dance where the sociopath does all of the work. They magically appear where the victim is. They seem to be friends with the same people. They often invite themselves to meetings and projects and events. The sociopath escalates the praise to a level of adoration, which usually draws the target in even more, and others for that matter. So others are really liking this person as well. Their charm is enticing and disarming, so the prey, the target, begins to feel at ease with the sociopath. So now we're doing the courting dance, and this is a very graceful dance, where the sociopath actually lets the target think they are in charge, when really the sociopath is in charge. Number six, isolating. The sociopath begins to use the data that was gathered, like information that they got from the informant, to isolate the target from friends or co workers who may try to protect them one day, so that these are subtle, non flattering comments made about the friends or co workers, which are easily countered if confronted. The intent is for the victim to feel betrayed by their friends, while learning to solely rely on the false loyalty of the sociopath. This is super subtle, so let's review this again,...

...because I know there was a lot of information to taken. The sociopath isolates the person not by an isolates their target, not by going to the target, but by going to the people around the target who might try to protect them one day and planting little, subtle hints of things, of information to pull other people away, to make them want to back off and not be so present and not see what's going on. It's a way of of making the prey feel like the only person they can rely on is the sociopath. Next number seven is vengeance. Anyone who tries to stop the sociopath along the way will be met with swift and severe revenge, threats or punishment. They will use tactics such as inappropriate rage, the silent treatment, intimidating stairs, twisting the truth and playing the victim card to manipulate others into compliance. By this point, the sociopath has too much invested in the deception to just walk away, so instead they push away the protectors while pulling in the target. So if the protectors of the target don't back away, they are met with some severe vengeance on the sociopaths part, and they will even go to the extent of claiming that they are the true protector of the target and they're only doing it to meet the target's needs and once and desires, and because that's the way that the target wants it. So everybody else receives like. If you fight back, if you try to like get inside the circle, there's a swift vengeance that happens, which usually scares away other people fairly successfully.

Number eight is projection. This is where everything becomes a little bit tricky. As if it wasn't before, it sure is right now. The sociopath now secretly turns on the victim to the victim's friends and the coworkers, by projecting the sociopath selfish motives onto the victim. This completes the betrayal cycle. When the sociopath removes themselves from the environment, everyone's fingers will be pointed at each other, with none being pointed at the sociopath. This sets the stage for the Final Act. So now think about this. Here's the projection. The sociopath is turning on the victim. So the target that they had, the sociopath actually turns on them, to the friends and to the coworkers, and projects the sociopath motives onto the victim. So the sociopath is trying to deceive everybody and take advantage, and so they will actually say that that's what their target is doing really to the friends and the coworkers. So now the very people that the socio path has pushed away because they were trying to protect the target are now the very people that the sociopath is engaging with. It's called a push pull tactic. It leaves the the people who are protecting confused. It leaves the target completely now totally isolated, because now they have no one to actually turn to and they're stuck. This is the final act. Here's where the deceit comes into place. This is step number nine and this is the final act. That happens now the sociopath is free to Embezzel, exploit, take over a business, commit acts of fraud or felony, all because...

...the eyes will be on the fight between the two people, the target and their protectors, and not on the sociopath. By the time the dust has settled, the sociopath is long gone with whatever money, power, position or prestige that they desired along the way. That is the art of deception that the sociopaths used. I know that was a lot to take in. You might need to listen to this again, and I get it. It took me a while to figure it out, but once I started to see it for what it is, it opened my eyes a lot up to what an entire population is doing. Because anybody who's a sociopath does this and they do it naturally, like this isn't something they have to think about consciously work through. It just comes very naturally to them to do this and to act this way. They're not planning it out the way that somebody else would have to plan this out. So at this point it is very difficult, once you get to the deceit, it is very difficult for anything to be stopped. The only way that that can actually happen is if you have an outsider looking in and identifying what's going on. So she a past should always be taken seriously and treated as potentially dangerous if you believe that you or someone close to you maybe facing a situation with a sociopath. If this sounded weirdly familiar to you. Please seek help on this. Don't try to do this alone, because it often takes somebody outside of the situation to be able to help you with what you have going on inside the situation. Thanks for listening to understanding. Today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by Psyche Central docom.

For more information, visit grow with christinecom.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (91)