“How many people have to die, for a shiny skyline…?” Cocaine Cowboys
Answering FAQs about sociopathy and other manipulative personality disorders:
There are around 5 personality disorders which are manipulative, and these are the personalities who actively cause damage to normal peoples’ lives:
- Histrionic Personality Disorder and Machiavellianism
It’s very important to note that many of the traits of these disorders overlap. They can also be paired up with other mental disorders. Sociopaths, Histrionics, Macchiavellists and Borderlines are always also narcissistic for instance. According to psychiatry, someone needs have at least 4-5 of the key traits of a disorder to be considered for active therapy.
The key traits of controlling and manipulative personality disorders: surprisingly these are much of the same for all controlling disorders.
“impulsivity, passive aggression, lying, stalking, lack of empathy, poor self-worth, drug/alcohol abuse, extramarital affairs, rageful outbursts, depression/suicidal ideation, inability to tolerate difficult emotions or self-soothe, self-harming behaviors (or accident prone), cognitive distortion and projections, splitting (love you/hate you), physical volatility or violence, rebound relationships, anxiety and/or OCD issues, self-sabotage in personal and professional realms, an incapacity to want you unless they can’t have you, extreme jealousy, narcissism/grandiosity, selective memory/recall, black or white thinking, verbal exhibitionism/incessant talking, codependency (and other addictions), sarcasm, control issues, eating disorders, emotional blackmail (ie suicide threats), childhood molestation, pedophilia, dissociation from feeling/”black-outs,” perfectionism and rigid or opinionated, insatiable need for attention.” taken from the Male Borderline by Shari Schreiber
- Are sociopaths aware of their issues?
Yes, to a certain extent they are aware of them being different from the others but unlike neurotic mental cases they are not ashamed but proud of being different. Being also narcissists, sociopaths look down on others who have feelings and simply deem people with feelings easy targets. Most recently more and more sociopaths openly boast about being sociopathic even if they are not so, just because there is a recent trend of sociopathy being considered cool in society. It’s important to note, that other mental disorders such as Borderlines or someone with PTSD are not always aware of their disorder.
- What makes someone become a sociopath?
There is no “recipe” or manual that says, someone needs this or that in order to become a sociopath. One part this can be inherited, on the other hand some traits can be planted into someone growing up considering these as normal. But all in all, not even professionals know how does someone becomes a sociopath. It’s the culmination of many things and some of these are most likely predefined and built in in someone’s personality.
- Should we feel sorry for those suffering from sociopathy (antisocial personality disorder)?
Yes, but only to a certain extent because they are fully aware of how easily people can get manipulated and they are using it to their advantage to later laugh at people with feelings. Consider this for a moment before you start feeling sorry: sociopaths laugh at, mock and look down on people who have normal feelings. When we say they do not have feelings this is not true. The most intense feelings they can feel are feeling high, excited and the rage. They cannot genuinely love. They also feel contempt and jealous of people with feelings and with integrity which are characteristics they lack. Many people with antisocial disorder love bragging about being sociopaths. There are full homepages of sociopaths bragging about their successes over normal people. So, should we feel sorry for sociopaths? I rather feel sorry for their victims. Feeling sorry for them will not help them only feed them.
- On power and control
“They harm others because they feel entitled to hurt people.” Roger Melton , Romeo is Bleeding
In the sociopaths lives everything is about power and control. This is hard to comprehend to for those who are normal. Control has many ways which can be falsely misinterpreted as love by many people. But initially it’s all about power for them. Now, it’s about the views for the Pauls what expresses fame, power and control. But what happens when they turn older?
- Being above law and rules
They think they are above society’s rules. It’s so easy to control with some fake drama or crying and then they can instantly reach what they want. They are unaware of their lives being extremely empty because of their lack of feelings. In order to make up for the serious lack of feelings they must live an extremely impulsive lifestyle, do dangerous things to make them feel high ( which is their version to feel happy) at least for a few moments. Manipulating others, sometimes also hurting others also make them high, so does sex and the use of substances. Others, like Borderlines are not always aware of them being mentally ill, which makes them all the more dangerous. Most violent acts and domestic homicides are done by those having Borderline Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder or who are psychopaths. They are the so called Predators who are our nightmare.
- On their power of acting and persuasion
The thing about sociopaths and psychopaths is, that they have the power of now so much stronger than us normal people do. They can so strongly exist at the moment that this makes their acting absolutely persuade everyone. If one behaves fine for a day or two, these two days can actually really make people around them forget how shitty they are any other time. Of course, for this they need those specific types of people, who can also be well persuaded, who can believe them long enough.
Like in the case of Jake Paul, he deliberately surrounds himself with people doing the extravagant things he does, this way, his own behavior doesn’t stand out of the crowd all that much, suddenly the abnormal seems normal and as you can see, both Shane and the therapist are very keen to believe he is just a normal guy, because of this weird scenario.
- The protectors
Just like in the case of Jake Paul, her girlfriend is his shield. Her normalcy makes him appear suddenly a lot more normal than he is. The girlfriend makes people forget his own craziness and mental issues. Actually knowing more about his girlfriend’s family would help a lot more in defining whether he is a sociopath or not, but all I can tell by what I see is, that I m pretty sure she grew up in a family where at least one person was a n addict or had behavioral issues, as no normal person would actually bear such extravagant place for this long time. I saw carefulness and awareness in her eyes so many times. She stays next to Jake to make sure he can keep up appearing normal to the outside world. I was pretty disturbed by the fact, that a therapist would believe this strange scenario and would so suddenly make up her mind about that guy. Now, the ex-girlfriend’s interview would make people see him in a way different light so she needs to do much more, to make him appear normal and changed to the world. She has too much on her shoulders. When a girl finds people tell her, that she is the only hope for someone, that’s very bad news. That means it’s a lie. No normal people and no love can cure someone out of mental issues. It will be her burden. I wonder how much more she would keep this relationship going. I myself couldn’t do it for more than 2 years and it wrecked me.
- About empathy and sympathy
As many manipulative disorders cannot feel empathy they constantly mix up the feeling itself with sympathy. But the two types of emotions are inherently different. This can be also an important thing for many to realize. As sympathy is a type of feeling which is easier to logically understand, many people with mental disorders mix up the two feelings. Even licensed professionals like to come up with stuff like sociopaths having no feelings, no empathy as a sign or trait, which is true. But in real you will never be aware of someone not being emphatic, at least on the short haul because they are covering this up so well.
- Sociopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder – are they the same?
Yes they pretty much are.
- Antisocial Personality disorder often gets confused with someone being called antisocial
The two things are absolutely different but this misunderstanding gives way to people thinking that sociopathy involves someone being actually antisocial but it’s far from the truth. Someone having antisocial disorder means that they think they have the right to cross the lines, not to care about social law and order, that they stand above it all. That’s why sociopaths like to create their own world with their own rules or be the leader of a group smaller or larger which must operate with their own rules.
- Does the use of substances like drugs or alcohol change anything?
People with sociopathic and other manipulative disorders often actively use substances for two key reasons: to make them feel less empty for a couple of hours due to their lack of emotions and to make them easier to do violent or reckless things. Because they know how easy it is to blame behavior on the use of substances. But in real, they would do whatever they have done also without the use of any substance, sooner or later. Someone is not violent because of alcohol, but alcohol would certainly make it even easier.
- On covering up and camouflage
People actively look for articles on how to notice people with manipulative disorders. Well, I have bad news for you. It’s close to impossible. If you want to pick up on them, first you must examine yourself. There is a definite type of people, mostly fixers, those who are weak, who don’t have strong borders who are perfect victims for manipulative people. We all know about people, who keep on picking the bad partners who only use them. Women who are in domestic violence cases and as soon as they get out and want to start new, they end up with another controller. This is why most people, who feel they have the tendency to meet and be manipulated easily, would need active therapy to see what’s wrong with them and work on getting stronger.
Most sociopaths and psychopaths love psychiatry and they would easily use these sciences as cover ups. Many sociopaths for instance like to tell people that they are depressed or even better, that they are bipolar (this name was recently changed from maniacal depression which does have traits which are similar to antisocial disorders concerning its maniacal phase). This way, they would make people feel sorry for them, which always serves as the perfect startup for manipulating and control to start.
As said in my previous piece manipulative mental disordered are perfect to sell themselves on the short haul. But due to their inability to plan ahead and the lack of real integrity, they are not able to keep up their mask for more than a few weeks or days for that matter. That’s why they choose partners who they can train for full control later on. Most women ( mostly it is women) who lived with a sociopath would tell you, that they have seen the red flags early on only they were charmed way too much, to fall in love quick, in order to not pick up on the warning signs. Those who grow up with mentally disordered or addicts are the most likely victims. Sociopaths know they have to be quick because they cannot keep façade of normalcy for a long time. That’s why they are unable to keep jobs for more than a few months, they keep moving pretty frequently because they are aware, that someone would eventually would expose them or for all the bad things they have done, before these would catch up on them.
- Can we tell who a sociopath is?
No, and often even licensed psychiatrists have issues diagnosing them. Most psychiatrists, in case they are not specifically in the field of manipulative disorders are very easy to manipulate. Sociopathic disorder is a disorder where patients would not let themselves be treated at all, only would pretend to cooperate up until the point where they feel it’s their interest to learn something from the therapist or use them for this or that reason. To make things even worse, many sociopaths, psychopaths and Borderlines choose to work in psychotherapy because this is a field where people can be controlled so easily.
Antisocial personality disorder has many traits which overlap with narcissism for instance. So it’s hard to confirm someone is a sociopath on the short haul, but if you spend a few weeks with them and you end up being and feeling totally exhausted, sick, used or even robbed and you feel your life is like a rollercoaster where you never know what comes next, when you feel your life is not owned by you any longer. Some thigs which can give reason for suspicion are some of the following:
- Extreme, fast-paced lifestyle
- They come through as totally open, straight and honest.
- They come through as extremely likeable, you feel honoured they befriend or start a relationship with you.
- Extreme mood swings
When your boyfriend has reckless behavior most of the time, highly impulsive behavior, who is never ever content and wants more and more and pairs this all up with drugs or alcohol then you are most likely with one.
- The feeling of emptiness, boredom and the lack of authencity
A reason for the reckless behavior is the narcissistic feeling of being better than the others, the other side comes from the fact, that sociopaths as most narcissists lack genuineness or authenticity. That’s why they feel empty and bored so often. This is why someone with sociopathic mental disorder cannot keep up doing something for a long period of time. They are unable to do something for many years and wait for any long term results. There is nothing like the boredom of the mentally disordered people. They live it completely differently than normal people do. It’s like a pool of emptiness and suffering altogether. They need to be impulsive for short term fulfilment and they need to copy others because they simply lack the normalcy to build up their own personality.
- Lack of long term planning
An interesting trait of sociopathy and psychopathy is the lack of long haul planning or any realistic planning. They want fame, power and money above all because for them, this means the world for them. For them even thinking a week ahead is meant to be long haul planning. Another very interesting trait of this disorder is, that they can get away with so much more than normal people do for a while. This is why many kids look up to these guys. They make people do things for them so easily. This is thanks to their charm, looks and recklessness and to the fact that normal people just cannot comprehend to mental illnesses make them reacting by not reacting to it at all. Lack of responsibility is another interesting trait.
- On the “gut” feeling
In Shane’s part 2 the psychotherapist talks about the gut feeling which was something many people have picked up on. Let’s make something clear. Not even most psychotherapists can have such empathy to have this feeling and most of us, even if we feel it, it would be subconscious and most often than not, we would not even realize this. The only thing that may give a clue is that rare intensity these people operate in their daily lives, which have a mesmerizing, charming effect on normal people that they can very easily get sucked in by the personality of sociopaths.
- On self-analysis or analyzing others
Many people who have traits, tendencies or are simply narcissists like to deem themselves as sociopaths. As said above one must have a long history, a great deal of studying, a therapeutic license in terms of treating manipulative disorders and even then, the diagnosis is hard. Many people who look like sociopaths were raised by parents with sociopathic or simply narcissistic tendencies. In case of the Paul family, I have the feeling this whole stuff stems from their father and it is him who is the real sociopath or psychopath all along. Do not try to self-analyze or analyze others especially without experience in the field. Most importantly don’t analyze kids younger than 15, that’s a whole deeper level which only licensed, experienced kids’ therapists can deal with. It is well enough if you do your best to steer clear of everyone who you feel have destructive tendencies.
- On dangerousness
Watching Shane’s series Part 2 I’m afraid that the actual dangers of encountering someone with sociopathic tendencies are slightly minimized. Youtubers can be sociopaths yes, but in real, we should fear from those who can be in our lives with such tendencies. Even people with tendencies can end up taking all money, love, all the hope for a happy family or for a happy life. Many sociopaths roam around trying to steal people’s lives or be parasites on others. Many fullblown sociopaths end up as murderers, criminals, deviants, predators who pose an extreme danger to our society. This happens especially in cases when sociopathy is paired up with other, destructive mental illnesses. The fact that they cannot be made better, makes this mental illness even worse. The fact that sociopaths can raise their kids also become like a sociopath thinking that’s normal makes things even worse.
- Sociopaths and love
“Dutton’s team discovered that 90-100% of men who physically assault their spouses exhibited symptoms of what are clinically known as “personality disorders.” Many studies done to test their research project have confirmed their conclusions, which provides stunning evidence that men who batter women have sets of distinct, unique, identifiable personality characteristics.” Romeo is Bleeding by Roger Melton
“To the Sociopath, love is the thrill he gets when you’ve finally taken his bait, he’s yanked on the line and the hook is buried deep in your heart. Love, to him, is the look of stunned bewilderment and dread your eyes reveal when you realize it’s too late to run.” Romeo is bleeding by Roger Melton
Unfortunately there are many romantic females out there who take up on sociopaths and other dangerous personalities as a challenge and they think love can change them. This twisted and definitely also mental thinking can have extremely serious consequences. I blame the books and movies about vampires such as this famous Twilight series where the girl openly offers herself to be the victim of a vampire. In real life, however there are no happy endings. No love can change a mentally ill person such as a sociopath or anyone with a mental disorder no amount of love can make them feel better or become any different. Lots of women have their life ruined because they thought they are exceptions from this rule. Many women get killed by sociopaths on a daily level for this dangerous thinking.
- On vulnerability and the fear of turning to be a victim.
After learning how bad life with a sociopath can be, we may all ask ourselves, how can we make sure we won’t get affected by them? First of all, people with strict morals and integrity would avoid them by sense and they would leave them alone, especially those who has strict borders, limits and who cannot be persuaded to do things any other way. They however sense vulnerable and weak people even out from a crowd. Those who got hurt, who recently had a trauma or went through a break up or weakened by any other things. With women they are mostly successful. Especially with middle aged women with those who are not highly attractive and those who are fixers, helpers and most likely work in helping professions. Unfortunately that’s why many nurses end up with such predators too. What I can suggest you is to learn about the ways of manipulation and try to train yourself to resist it. And try to make yourself mentally stronger. If you feel your borders are not strong enough, work on it and go on therapy to ask for help.
- On the key differences between sociopathy and psychopathy
People seem to fear psychopathy a lot more than from sociopathy. In reality the two mental disorders are much similar in terms of their dangerousness and many of their traits. There are some important differences though. I will write a whole piece about the similarities and the differences.
- Sociopathy and aggression
Most of us pair up sociopathy with aggression but what many people is not aware of is that aggression has so many ways to be expressed. Sociopaths often experience sudden eruptions of rage and this is the key expression of their intense feelings. Other times instead of full blown violence aggression can be expressed subtly, like with the examples of passive aggressiveness. Reckless driving is a form of aggression. Aggressive talking is a form of aggression. Mocking and pranking are often forms of expressing aggression. So, aggression doesn’t always mean something violent.
On the Paul family and the role of family training
Being true to himself Logan decided not to give any more platform for Shane so he refused to be interviewed by him which didn’t surprise me at all. I felt Shane is afraid of speaking with him and I totally understand him. In the end of the day both guys seem to have raised by, trained by a sociopath dad who poured all his own will for fame and money in them and they so really want to be like him ( a “savage”) they are becoming more and more similar. Of course you need to have tendency, traits and the will to want to become like someone else, when it comes to reaching an age, when one can decide to become similar or different. And this is everyone’s own decision. This and the tendency to inherit these mental illnesses is still something that’s being investigated.
I wonder where this whole series will lead. But I fear we will be left with more questions than answers in the end.
Understanding Controlling mental disorders: useful links and more info
There is no better article on this subject than Romeo is Bleeding a masterpiece written by Roger Melton who is one of the very few experts on this subject.
If you want to read more on the disastrous effects controlling and manipulative personalities have on people and learn about how to cure them, visit Shahida Arabi‘s page who is one of the few popular experts on this subject.
I would also suggest everyone to learn this article by Shari Schreiber discussing manipulative mental disorders especially Borderline Personality Disorder which shares many traits with other manipulative disorders so you can get to learn a lot from it.
And last but not least the book I’d like everyone to read is the masterpiece of Scott M. Peck and it’s titled The Road Less Travelled. This is a fantastic piece and it’s a great start for all of us to learn more about ourselves and our feelings.
Check out the latest part of Shane Dawson’s series on Jake Paul and the Paul family.
And in the end as a disclaimer what I write is thanks to my own experiences, what I have managed to learn through psychotherapy and psychiatry related books. I am also not a licensed psychotherapist, so this is my own opinion and my own thoughts on this subject.
I hope you will learn from this post or at least, that it would motivate you to learn more about yourself and others. Please post your questions, comments and your opinions on the series and anything you feel like.