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Female Sociopaths

News Books Toxic Managers Recommended Links Psychopaths in Movies Borderline Psychopath Films depicting female sociopath The Techniques of a Female Sociopaths
The Hare Psychopathy Checklist Divorcing Borderline Psychopath Negative Politeness Diplomatic Communication Groupthink Female bullies Narcissistic Managers Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks
Gaslighting Projection Office Stockholm Syndrome Learned helplessness Fake Sexual Harassment Claims The Fiefdom Syndrome Insubordination Threat Surviving a Bad Performance Review
The psychopath in the corner office Authoritarians Insubordination Threat Bully Managers The Hare Psychopathy Checklist Empty Suits (Aggressive Incompetent Managers) Rules of Verbal Self Defense against Corporate Psychopaths Socratic Questions
Dangerous Liaisons The Last Seduction Fatal Attraction The Devil Wears Prada Marriage and family conflicts Marital Infidelity Movies about marital infidelity Belief-coercion in high demand cults
Surviving a Bad Performance Review High Demand Cults Leaders Practices Conformism Corporate bullshit as a communication method Groupthink Aikido Humor Etc
"Her regular tantrums involve swearing, shouting, intimidation and threatens. She will wear people down until, for a quieter life, they agree with her. Interestingly, what she threatens to inflict on others is what she would find most damaging and hurtful to herself.

Equally interestingly, she feels criticism and humiliation intensely, even if none is intended or given, and she will fight ferociously to defend what she sees as an attack, whether or not there is one. Sometimes she will create a threat in her mind merely to defend and excuse what she knows to be her own dreadful behavior."


Introduction

Female sociopaths are a class of its own. They are much more manipulative than male psychopaths. We will distinguish the term "sociopath" and "psychopath" based on physical violence: psychopath is sociopath who routinely or even predominantly uses physical violence.  Often they are criminals. 

Female sociopaths rarely use physical violence and can much better mask their real intentions then make psychopaths. they are more patient (although the term patience and sociopath are mutually contradictive -- they are after instant gratification) and can hunt for a pray somewhat longer.  And probably are more dangerous when you have them close by.  As a rule female sociopaths are much more vicious and vendettful than man sociopaths.

Typically, they are somewhat sadistic, especially toward women  -- which means that they experience pleasure from suffering of their victims.  Like all sociopaths they are natural born, talented actors and have the astonishing ability to tell bare-faced lies and remain calm, utterly shameless if caught. This is the case with psychopaths in general, but with female sociopaths you really see the master class of this art. Ruthless and conniving. Can extort favors using fake pregnancies, injuries to themselves, threats to kill themselves, etc. They are really like  a person, who killed her/his parents, and then asks for lesser sentence because she is now an orphan.  While they are adept in masking their real mean and cruel personality some signs and discrepancies in their acting are often visible.  The problem is that due to their charm the victim typically fails to pay any attention to them. Here this page might, probably, help as, hopefully, it provides a framework and several checklists for analyzing such a person.  A lot of tragedies could be avoided if people who are facing something strange or inconsistent in behaviour simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?”  "Can it be explained as an attempt of manipulation,  or bold faced lie?"

Paradoxically, most of the victims of female sociopaths are woman. So a female sociopath in the role of the manager is more dangerous to female subordinates then to male subordinates. That can be quite indirect, but typically extremely vicious. Add to that compulsive desire of winning at all cost (they are about power; such a natural born power addicts) and see other people just of tools for achieving her goals. 

They roll over their victims like steamroller and feel nothing.  The last sentence is impossible to understand by just reading this page, You need to see couple of movies depicting such a character and first of all Dangerous Liaisons  In this film Glenn Close (she also presents similar, but more close to the borderline personality character in Fatal Attraction ) created an unforgettable character of a female sociopath (Marquise de Merteuil), while John Malkovich created even more impressive and pretty sinister and more convincing male sociopath character ( Vicomte de Valmont). The latter like often happens in real life is not devoid of some positive traits such as courage, ability act decisively and ability to forgive (in the final scene, when he is dying after being fatally wounded during a duel cleverly staged by Glenn Close character -- Marquise de Merteuil ).   Here you really see that a female psychopath approach to personal relations much like to a war of conquest.  It is all about domination and power.  There is no emotional attachment to anybody. Everybody is just a tool. We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else. And what female psychopath wants most is the power to define your reality. Often this is done via exploiting sexual attractiveness.  This is not clear from the first watching of the film, but if you watch it the second time from the specific angle of Marquise de Merteuil behaviour as a sociopath, you can probably learn a few things about this condition.  Similarly in Fatal Attraction you see how relentless they can stack the victim, using everything to keep the person on a short leash. Claims of being pregnant, cutting own wrists, you name it.  They have no boundaries and are ready to go to the bitter end to achieve their goal. Like Green Berets or Terminator.

They typically have high IQ which makes them even more dangerous if they are a member of your family or girlfriend. And they are really lethal weapon as managers. Demanding, ruthless, two-faced, manipulative, relentless and very methodical bullies. At the same time they are different from male sociopaths. Among female managers with sociopathic tendencies percent of micromanagers is considerably higher then among male managers with the same tendencies. And typically they are more sophisticated.  Even the murder cases involving female sociopaths are typically are more complex, more devious and less direct, for example the "black widow" marries a wealthy old man and puts poison in his drink. Money are often a strong motivating factor.

To detect a female sociopath for the outsider is a very challenging task as they are masters of mimicry -- natural born great artists.  They usually produce a very good, positive first impression. They excel in interviews. They do not allow themselves to show their anger for people on the same level, oe above them. Anger is reserved to subordinates and members of the immediate family. Despite inability to feels love, they can imitate it and they are often seductive. Love for them, like for an escort, it's not about reality, but about creating the illusion of reality. In a way, you view them as self-employed escorts with deferred payment. There are no telling signs that they deceive you, other then some minor inconsistencies in their life stories, a little bit free dealing with the facts, a little bit exaggerated emotions and attempts of love bombing. Like in everything, here the devil is details, but people in romantic mode and under influence of psychopathic charm are rarely able to see them, until too late. The same is actually true for upper management in the corporate environment: often they do not suspect whom they are dealing with... 

But for subordinates the situation is different, they are tools that do not deserve to be treated as human beings. Make no mistakes here.  You will immediately:

Their behaviour is somewhat close to so called Borderline Psychopath (which is diagnosed in three times as many females as males) and description of a borderline personality behavior (which is abundant on the Internet) can serve as a good proxy for what to expect from a female sociopath. Remember that such both psychopathy and borderline behaviors are never pure and can be demonstrated to a various degrees. There is no "black and white" distinction, no sociopath vs. normal person dichotomy. It's all shadows of grey. Here is one telling quote:

...Manipulation and deceit are viewed as common features of BPD by many of those who treat the disorder as well as by the DSM-IV.  Borderlines are ruthless, conniving, mean, heartless, two-faced, manipulative, and worse. It's like a feminine version of sociopaths, and nearly as dangerous.

Borderline personality disorder is diagnosed in three times as many females as males. Persons with BPD are described  as “difficult,”  “manipulative,” “demanding” and “attention seeking". People with BPD are seen as among the most challenging groups of patients, requiring a high degree of skill and training in the psychiatrists, therapists and nurses involved in their treatment. See Understanding Borderline Rage

An unusual degree of instability in mood and black-and-white thinking often manifests itself in idealization and devaluation episodes and chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships, issues with self-image, identity, and behavior; as well as a disturbance in the individual's sense of self.  Diagnosed only in individuals over the age of 18; however, symptoms necessary to establish the disorder can also be found in adolescents.

Typical set of traits

Typical set of traits

Sets of traits are notoriously unreliable and somewhat unscientific approach but they can serve you well. In any case we do not have anything better.  Traits is probably the oldest way to explain differences in human behaviour. But it is important to understand that traits are not inert peace like mechanical parts, they are more like chemical substances, they interact/react  with each other and while each of them individually can be found in many "normal" people, certain in combinations they react with each other. for example what we mean by word "extrovert" and "introvert" are actually some constellations of trait. Similarly there is a constellation of traits that produce toxic personality, called sociopath., In this particular case a female sociopath. So a female sociopath in not a mechanical combination of certain traits but a "yet another type of personality", a  very toxic indeed.  And gender here is one of the traits that goes into this toxic combination. In no way they are "male sociopath with vagina". They are a different chemical substance. 

You can view traits as behavioral tendencies (Allport, 1966), more generalized and deeper connected with inner brain structures then habits. Some of then are acquired, but many originates from within, are innate to to speak.   Traits initiate and guide behaviour, but environment also play important role.  For example a teenager, accustomed for respect of his classmates find himself in a summer camp with older boys, who look down upon him. One day his new friends propose swiping a few candy bars from a corner store. When a gang ridicules him, the honesty (which is a social trait common for most cultures) is destroyed by stronger trait of desire for social status.

Combinations of traits that are typical for psychopathic personality is now well known and well researched. That does not mean that they are easy to detect. Quite opposite.  It is very difficult task and in most case the detection happens way too late. Still "knowledge is power" and there are a couple of  traits that should be highly alarming and that are somewhat visible even under the think smokescreen of deception. They should ring alert for any person who read this page (although most people reading this page probably got here somewhat late, but better late then never) are:

  1. Sociopathic charm. Dr. Stout believes it is a primary characteristic of woman sociopath. The intense charm of people who have no conscience, has been observed by researchers and commented on by countless victims. In corporate environment it is usually directed mostly up and represents typical "kiss up, kick down" pattern also found is male authoritarians According to the book "Snakes in Suits - When sociopaths Go To Work" by Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak, one of the most effective skills sociopaths use to get the trust of people is their ability to charm them. Some low IQ sociopaths lay the charm on too thick, coming across as glib, superficial, and unconvincing. However, the truly talented ones have polished their ability to charm people into an art, priding themselves on their ability to present a fictional self to others that is convincing, taken at face value, and difficult to penetrate. One must always keep in mind that the charm, like manipulation in general, can be very subtle.

    The components of this "psychopathic charm" is difficult to define. But you can easily see it in movies that depict such individuals. Women who have a closely related set of traits, but without personal fearlessness, courage and ability to handle stress typical for sociopaths are grouped under  the label Histrionic personality disorder. The researchers of this disorder proposed a useful mnemonic that makes it easier remember the behavioral characteristics that are somewhat typical for sociopathic charm. Of couse this is simplification, but still is a useful simplification. This mnemonic phrase is "PRAISE ME":

     
  2. A fast life strategy which includes an accelerated mating strategy, reporting more sex partners, more favorable attitudes towards casual sex, lowered standards in their short-term mates, a tendency to steal or poach mates from others. They are willing to engage is risk-taking behaviors including unsafe sex and substance abuse, a tendency to prefer immediate rewards, limited self-control, and a pragmatic and game-playing love style.  The appears to be exploitative and highly opportunistic, in to life in general[, including mating and workplace behaviour.
     
  3. Compulsive, pathological lying. Difficult to spot if you feel sympathy or affection to the individual, but it always demonstrates itself  in some self-contradiction especially about the facts of personal history; invented past and/or excessive boasting about past successes. If you attentive this is trait that is one of the easiest to spot despite all the smoke screen that such person erect before you. In more rare cases they are pathological, compulsive liars and lie even when there is no obvious need to it... such a behaviour is somewhat "creating artificial reality". It represents itself as a  consistent trait rather than an episode, like for most "normal" people. 
     
  4. Manipulative, arrogant, callous  behaviour is a norm, but is typically well masked. Complete lack of remorse and empathy are also masked and are difficult to spot untill it is too late.  They are probably more manipulative and cunning then professional con artists.  Actually they are professional con artists. Their personality attributes typically include superficial charm, unreliability, untruthfulness, and insincerity. Pathological egocentricity, selfishness, and related to those traits rejection of authority and discipline. Along with deriving pleasure from criminal behavior, they “really like getting away with it”—that “the ones who have intelligence, they don’t want to get caught.” Several researchers have suggested that sadism, defined as the enjoyment of cruelty, is pretty common feature of such individuals..
  5. Unreliability, untruthfulness, and insincerity. Please understand that betrayal and backstabbing are natural, typical behaviors for them, and they resort to it in situation were normal person would never do such thing. For example petty stealing when having money to buy particular item. As they have complete lack of remorse and empathy they can do really bad things smiling... If you observe such episodes several times this is an important warning signal. As Ian Fleming said (via James Bond in Goldfinger) “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action”  Kind of manipulation of reality that MSM are notorious for. To the pathological liar his own lies are reality, so he walks securely, is open and amiable inside this artificial reality of his life and past.  Extensive, very complicated fabrications may be evolved. They have no troubles to lie then they appeared in court, False accusations are to be expected...  Often the pathological liar lies not according to a plan, but spontaneously when the impulse seizes him/her.  Under oath such a person  can falsely accused other party of serious offences. For example, using drugs or a women can accuse her husband that he has sex with their underage daughter.
  6. Prone to fly into rages See Borderline Rage: unlike borderlines who often have difficulties controlling it, bouts of anger are consciously controlled and used as a very sharp weapon. Many of these women ‘appear’ normal in the public setting, but are verbally and emotionally abusive in the private setting.
  7. Inability to accept any responsibility for their actions. Typically they has little or no concern about the consequences of their actions. They are natural born risk takers, "life gamblers" if you wish. For them life is giant casino.
  8. "Courage under fire." In high tension situations, that happens when police is on the scene or during court proceeding, they typically maintain their cool,  behave rationally and are not prone to panic even in the face of dangerous to them revelations.

Please read Linda Taylor, welfare queen   and watch several films listed in Films depicting female sociopath. As for more specific nuances Sheppard and Cleary write:

Entrapment of the victim

Female sociopaths often use sex to entrap a victim in the relationship. They are natural predators that use sex as a weapon.  When meeting someone they immediately assess the victim. How likely are you to fall for the con? They ask probing questions to try to test the victim attitudes about casual sex and other interesting  for them topics. What is interesting is tht, they are typically more successful is luring high IQ male victims then low IQ male victims. See scene in the cafe in Fatal Attraction as an example of such behaviour.

 Often the entrapment of the victim goes in several, overlapping phases:

In the movie Solaris (1972) by Tarkovski based on  famous novel Solaris by Polish author Stanislaw Lem there is an interesting moment when a  created by the alien super brain (thinking ocean) "animated holographic image" of a dead person gets more and realistic details as more information is collected by super brain from the person who is interacting with the image. The same process takes place at this stage with a female sociopath: she creates an artificial personality that the victim wants to see adding details as she gets more information, using their amazing natural capabilities as first class actresses.  All this is done under smoke screen of psychopathic charm, which disarms the victim.   They may even claim that they fall in love with you at the first sight. High IQ female sociopaths usually avoid such a primitive lie, instead they are usually trying to imitate a genuine interest in you as a person and make themselves a perfect match for you interests in life. So if you are baseball fan, they will instantly became a baseball fan too and on the next meeting will tell you intriguing details about  Yogi Berra and will use in conversation some of his bon mots like "It's déjà vu all over again." .  And if another victim later loves classic music they will get themselves to speed in this area too and during the next meeting can talk about Beethoven with ease.  Everything they say is typically false, and is designed to entrap the victim. But it is very difficult to understand that the behaviour is based upon lies, while being on the other side of the "charm offence".

Female sociopath are masters of playing male vanity like gifted musician plays violin. They typically demonstrate (pretty convincingly) a huge (albeit fake) admiration of you as a person, as a specialist, as a manager.  That increases your self-worth and in grey, boring real world were there are very few people openly admire others, such attitude usually has immediate success. You are in a trap before you realize what is happening. Again, this works even better if the victim has high IQ as people with high IQ typically have doubts about their self worth, and as such are more vulnerable to flattery and excessive but subtle praise (aka love bombing). What greater flattery could there possibly be than having someone who believes you’re the most wonderful person they’ve ever known, someone who truly appreciates you and believes you are worthy of their time, attention, admiration, energy and love?

They are also perfect on invoking a pity, able to act like a  "drama queen" ( What is a Drama Queen) 

In literature, the character Scarlett O'Hara from Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind would be considered a drama queen by today's standards. This type of person is notoriously self-centered and self-absorbed, often viewing friends and relatives as lesser beings assigned to take care of her personal needs. Her worst enemy is solitude, so she tends to be very outgoing and sociable, although many of her friendships tend to remain at surface level. Others who have experienced the drama queen's sudden outbursts in the past may have a feeling of walking on egg shells around her, not wanting to be the person who delivers upsetting news or offends her in any way.

Fake stories about ill relatives, previous abuse, etc are just a natural ways to them to play the victim.

It goes without saying that it is very effective strategy of attacking most males. But if "strong encouragement" needs to used on the final stage (for example to get the victim in the bed)  it will be used just as ruthlessly as male seducers do.  Those girls can force the victim drink too much or even put something into the drink, watch a provocative movie and then rush a man into the bed and brutally mock the victim to overcome their doubts and to force the intercourse no less effectively then male seducers do the same for female victims. 

You will not be aware of the lies until much later. Like in war, there is a "fog of war"  during initial meetings when neither party  have adequate information about the whole situation  and has only some vague hypothesis about the personality (i.e., you are facing incomplete, dubious, and often completely erroneous information and high levels of fear, doubt, and excitement). Here keeping daily log might be of tremendous help as it might slightly help to see though the fog. Still the level of uncertainty is high, which complicate rational assessment of the situation so delays with the reaction and keep your cards close to your chest. This simple tactic might in many cases be not detrimental, but advantageous. Actually studying war tactics which were discussed for example in famous Clausewitz On War (available free from clausewitz.com) and The Art of War  might help. Among them (cited from Wikipedia):

Borderline rage as the most telling symptom

Sociopaths are notoriously difficult to spot because most of them are incredibly adept at hiding their true self and their motives. Since childhood the female sociopath may have developed complex and often subconscious methods to deceive her targets. On the surface she appears excessively friendly and charming. In fact, an early warning sign is that you start to suspect that she is too good to be true. She probably is. But there is another telling sign, which unfortunately is typically discovered when it is too late: a difference between her behavior in public and in private settings. Charming and attentive in public they are usually quite abusive, rude and vindictive in private.

The first and very unpleasant surprise that a man discovers after marrying a female sociopath is that while he though to marry a nice  kitty (especially when  somebody married a foreigner who is considerably younger and is very attractive, aka "mail bride"), but he actually married a tiger, who in home setting is ready to jump and eat him alive :-).   Uncontrollable anger attacks usually hit a poor guy like a typhoon.

Unfortunately  you rarely have a chance to discover the "dark side" of psychopathic personality before you became a subordinate or a marriage partner.  In reality they control their anger more than it has controls them. This is just a sharp weapon to get what they want.  Often anger rises to the level of throwing things or physical violence: they are really beating crap of their spouses. Yes weaker sex can be not so weak in anger.  Of course you can buy her a punch bag and the boxing gloves, to redirect her anger into less vulnerable target, but that rarely helps. They actually enjoy their reputation of being mean (but only in private). And they are not afraid of destroying relations.  This is somewhat correlate with being reckless.  Ambrose Bierce  quote “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” is not applicable. They have no regrets. Moreover they are ready to attack again the next day after the previous incident.

That makes bouts of Borderline Rage (which is also typical for Double High Authoritarians, but they are primarily males)  a very telling symptom that dramatically increases probability that you are dealing with a female sociopath. As now you probably get her real life story from third sources, cruelty to animals, siblings or other  weaker or dependent persons, especially such episodes in childhood, is another telling sign. As one reader commented "female sociopaths almost always fit the DSM IV diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder." So you can start with studying it, as this is one of well studied disorders and information about it is more readily available.  See Borderline Psychopath

One telling symptom of a female sociopath is bouts of Borderline Rage (which is also typical for Double High Authoritarians, but they are primarily males).  Cruelty to animals, siblings or other weaker or dependent persons, especially such episodes in childhood, is another telling sign...  Female sociopaths almost always fit the DSM IV diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, so you can start with studying it

Female sociopaths tend to be relentless, methodical bullies and micromanagers who can really tear the victim to shreds given enough time.  This true both in family life and in  the office environment. But bouts of anger are reserved only to people, who she already controls. For superiors they are all nice polite, clever, witty woman with considerable charm (and who often act as relentless and effective seducers.)

In office environments they are often more vindictive and much more cruel to subordinates, then male sociopaths. They really view all and especially female subordinates as disposable items.  The facts that they are devoid of feeling of compassion does not make they incapable to detect and exploit their victims weaknesses. Quite to the contrary. Sometimes I have an impression the psychopathy greatly increases such an ability, giving them almost surgical precision in attack on human weaknesses, sometimes dramatically so as in cases of seduction. 

The facts that they are devoid of feeling of compassion does not make they incapable to detect and exploit their victims weaknesses.  Sometimes I have an impression the psychopathy increases such an ability, sometimes dramatically so.

Negative politeness is an important defense tactic against those individuals.  Limiting contacts to bare minimum is very important, as it lessens the chances that you get into some kind of trap.  Avoiding intimacy with them is equally important. It is pretty difficult to withstand a female seducer is say in business trip in a hotel room.  They are more subtle that simply proposing their body. They are able to create condition in which you drink too much, or watch some arousing movie, etc that make simpler to achieve their goal.

Machiavellian manipulation, female sociopaths as naturally born power addicts

Simplifying Machiavellism is about getting/preserving power at any cost, as in "the end justifies the means". Such people play the society and individual with whom they are involved like a violin. The ability and willingness to employ savage methods for obtaining power is a distinct feature that distinguish sociopath from normal persons. They are all about power, naturally born power addicts. The casual way in which Machiavelli discusses the need to kill opponents was necessary to those who wished to be princes 500 years ago. Today, of course, "killing" is translated as rendering less powerful, or taking an opponent out of the game. But the key ideas stay the same and even now after 500 years the books gives a valuable insight in behaviour of all sociopaths. We can legitimately call female sociopath "Princesses of manipulation".  The book refines their strategy to two main points: 

  1. Get ahead of others to attain power by any means; and
  2. Maintain and expand one's power in the face of others who would usurp one or who wants to move yourself into competing  posiition.

This book is about ruthlessness and putting the attainment and preservation of power ahead of any other consideration. In this sense all sociopath, enad especially female sociopath are loyal followers of Machiavelli, even if they never heard about this book. They use the same set of power gaining  strategies exemplified in maxims such such as  "the end justifies the means," "it is better to be feared than loved," "if you fight the prince, kill the prince" to name a few.

It is essential reading to anyone who want to get into sociopathic mind. Human history deliver plenty of examples of ruthless self-interest (Machiavellianism) behind success in power situations.

The key of teaching of Machiavelli is the difference between Prince substance and Prince appearance:  

As we mentioned this is fully applicable to female sociopath  who are ruthless, hell-bent on personal power, amoral, intimidating, vengeful, pitiless, exploitive, manipulative, dishonest cheaters, mean-spirited, two-faced and more.

As for the character and behavior of the prince, Machiavelli  recommends the following :

Glenn Sacks in his  January 8th, 2008 post on this blog Venus: The Dark Side--Female Sociopaths created a very good summary of main points of the book by Venus: The Dark Side.

In this book the authors Roy Sheppard and Mary T Cleary call such person "a queen of manipulation ". Some points looks like overstatements and hard to believe, if you never dealt with such a personality. But I strongly doubt that this is possible to avoid dealing with female sociopath in modern life ;-). At the same time if you has had, they looks like dispassionate observations or even understatements. It is really difficult to believe the extent of dirty tricks and unsubstantiated rumors that female sociopath routinely uses against their victims. 

"The consequences of her behavior are always somebody else’s problem, not hers. She is never to blame for anything...Because she’s out to control, she manipulates and punishes at will. She is the witness, the judge, the lawyer, the jury, the executioner - but never the accused... She will break the rules without a second thought, if the end justifies the means."

... ... ...

Sadly, the female sociopath they describe sometimes sounds like the vindictive or alienating or abusive ex-wives readers write me about.

The key goal is enslavement of the victim as in high demand cults

Again in many ways sociopath in general and female sociopath in particular behave like cult leaders in high demand cults:

Cult leaders, however, practice forms of control, such as intimidation and humiliation, which demand submission. In Ghent’s view, masochistic submission is a perversion of surrender. Cult leaders often use the idea of surrender as "bait, and then switch" to a demand for submission. Nevertheless, in so doing, they may not actually be practicing mind control in any conscious way. They may simply be behaving in ways typical of pathological narcissists, people whose personalities are characterized by paranoia and megalomania—characteristics, by the way, that are readily attributable to one of the modern masters of thought reform techniques, the totalitarian dictator known as Chairman Mao. Totalitarian dictators study and invent thought reform techniques, but many cult leaders may simply be exhibiting characteristic behaviors of the pathological narcissist, with the attendant paranoia and mania typical of this personality disorder. Thought reform is the systematic application of techniques of domination, enslavement, and control, which can be quite similar to the naturally occurring behaviors of other abusers, like batterers, rapists, incest perpetrators, in all of whom can be seen the behaviors of pathological narcissism.

... ... ...

For the cult leader, his ability to induce total dependence in followers serves to sustain and enhance a desperately needed delusion of perfect, omnipotent control. With many cult leaders, (e.g., Shoko Asahara [Lifton, 1999]), the dissolution of their delusion of omnipotence exposes an underlying core of psychosis. Sustaining a delusion of omnipotence and perfection is, for the cult leader, a manic effort to ward off psychic fragmentation. Again it is useful to consider that this kind of pathological narcissism and defensive mania is often seen in persons whose childhood development was controlled by extremely dominating, often sadistic caregivers, or whose developmental years were characterized by traumatic experiences of intense humiliation. Cult leaders then create elaborate rationalizations for their abusive systems, while unconsciously patterning those systems from the templates of their own experiences of being abused.

... ... ...

Cult leaders succeed in dominating their followers because they have mastered the cruel art of exploiting universal human dependency and attachment needs in others. The lengthy period of dependency in human development, the power that parents have, as God-like figures, to literally give life and sustain the lives of their children, leaves each human being with the memory, however distant or unconscious, of total dependency. Cult leaders tap into and re-activate this piece of the human psyche. Followers are encouraged to become regressed and infantilized, to believe that their life depends on pleasing the cult leader. Cult leaders depend on their ability to attract people, often at critically vulnerable points in their lives, who are confused, hungry, dissatisfied, searching. With such people, cult leaders typically find numerous ways to undermine their followers’ independence and their capacity to think critically.

Like high demand cult leaders, female sociopath  enjoy manipulating and exploiting others. The power, dominance over the others is the goal, the  main purpose of their lives. They are addicted to power and in this sense behave like a typical narcoaddicts. So even in love relations they are not after love, not after sex, they are after power. Which makes them very similar (albeit more canning) then male seducers (who are typically malignant narcissists). While people typically view seduction narrowly as purely sexual in nature,  actually the concept is wider then that and widely used, for example, for recruiting members into high demand cults. Wikipedia gives the following definition:

Seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person, to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour. The word seduction stems from Latin and means literally "to lead astray". As a result, the term may have a positive or negative connotation. Famous seducers from history or legend include Lilith, Giacomo Casanova and the fictional character Don Juan. Seduction as a phenomenon is not the subject of scientific interest, although similar, more specific terms like short-term mating, casual sex or mating strategies are used in evolutionary psychology.[1] The Internet enabled the existence of a seduction community which is based on pseudoscientific discourse on seduction.

Seduction, seen negatively, involves temptation and enticement, often sexual in nature, to lead someone astray into a behavioral choice they would not have made if they were not in a state of sexual arousal. Seen positively, seduction is a synonym for the act of charming someone — male or female — by an appeal to the senses, often with the goal of reducing unfounded fears and leading to their "sexual emancipation"

It is prudent to view them as a female version of male seducers, so well depicted in literature.  The key strategies are all the same: creation of a something like a high demand cult consisting of just two members the victim (and in case of male seducer worshiping on altar of sex) and the cult leader. See High Demand Cults Leaders Practices

At some point y our perspective on life comes from the virtual cage you were held captive in.

A note on love bombing

Most people think that they can resists excessive flattery and love bombing. This is typically not true. And paradoxically high IQ individuals are more susceptible to this tactics. Enslavement of the victim starts with love bombing and isolation from previous contacts (LOVE BOMBING ):

Love bombing is an all-encompassing, exhaustive campaign of flattery that "bombs" the target with non-stop positive reinforcement. Typically, the love-bomber showers his or her mark with compliments, praise and appreciation, declarations of undying love early on, promises of a future together, frequent contact by calls, texts and emails, gift-giving, great sex, and a lot of time spent with each other. It's extreme and over-the-top. It can (and does) happen online as well, sometimes without ever having met in person.

Some experts believe that not all behavior in the beginning with a psychopathic or narcissistic personality type is grooming, although grooming (which is intentionally manipulative) will be part of it. According to Dr. Rhonda Freeman, clinical neuropsychologist, "the emotional high they demonstrate is quite likely genuine. Many are significantly stimulated and intrigued by their new partner. However, in addition to this ‘high’ there also tends to be manipulation... In his or her "game" the psychopathic or narcissistic individual has the advantage. There will be pain for the unsuspecting trusting target... This is the nature of these disorders. No one is bonded to, appreciated, or valued...

Freeman goes on to say, “Unlike the excitement they have for their new target, the grooming component of their relationships is intentional. It is tailored to set the victim up for future use.” She adds that “grooming is purposeful manipulation with an end goal of taking advantage of the target,” and that grooming “facilitates an impression that the psychopathic individual is safe, generous and trustworthy.” In other words, they are not really safe, generous or trustworthy, even though they may be genuinely interested in you. 

...What greater flattery could there possibly be than having someone who believes you’re the most wonderful person they’ve ever known, someone who truly appreciates you and believes you are worthy of their time, attention, admiration, energy and love? The victim is swept off their feet, oblivious to the truth. Love bombing reinforces powerful beliefs about ideal love; fosters trust, loyalty, relationship investment and a positive image of the abuser; creates deep bonding and emotional dependence; and sets the stage for disbelief of the manipulator’s misdeeds when they eventually and inevitably come. The love bomber presents him or herself as your ideal partner, one who is generous, loving, caring and empathetic, and who shares your interests, values, goals and dreams. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Finding out the truth, which happens eventually, is a shocking, heartbreaking experience. The betrayal is deep, and it is hard to overcome.

Sociopathic Charm

Dr. Stout believes that charm is a primary characteristic of woman sociopath. The intense charm of people who have no conscience, has been observed and commented on by countless victims, and by researchers who attempt to catalog the diagnostic signs of sociopath. In corporate environment it is usually directed mostly up and represents a variation of a typical "kiss up, kick down" pattern also found is male authoritarians.

The components of this "psychopathic charm" is difficult to define. But you can easily see it in movies that depict such individuals, for example The Last Seduction. Women who have a closely related set of traits, but without personal fearlessness, courage and ability to handle stress typical for sociopaths are grouped under  the label Histrionic personality disorder. The researchers of this disorder proposed a useful mnemonic that makes it somewhat easier remember the behavioral characteristics that are somewhat typical for sociopathic charm. This mnemonic phrase is "PRAISE ME":

Charming woman is always fascinating a man. You can think about it as a weaker, more subtle type of love bombing. The psychopath's charm is disarming person defenses. It is like a magic spell, one that’s hard to break.  One advantages that the female psychopath has is a razor sharp concentration of her prey. Trying to achieve her goals is the most important and unlike normal persons psychopathic woman is  not bothered by things like social anxiety, self-doubt and insecurity. While personality is liquid like in Terminator  II movies, her determination to get what she wants is steely. Courage and determination of female psychopath can be envied by Breen Berets. 

Female psychopath instinctively adapts her personality to what victim wants to see. Those natural born actresses are brilliantly playing their role in the play that is their life, so to speak.  This fascinating chameleonic process of adapting her personality to the circumstances on the fly (much like shape-changing liquid Terminator in Terminator II movie) goes semi-automatically on intuitive level. This way a female psychopath is able to present the fake personality --  to be what the victim wants to see and thus is able quickly create an emotional connection, or rather the illusion of connection  with the victim and gain the victim's trust.  This is a type of female seduction but in corporate environment it is often performed without obvious sexual overtones, typical for plain-vanilla "classic" seduction. Although,  if they feel your lust, sex will be offered too. They do not have any moral bounds for that activity. They are completely "sexually liberated" so to speak.  It is just another tool in their arsenal, like a nice dress or shoes.

Second, when  talking to victim, the psychopath is simultaneously creating already constructed in her head image of the person you want to see in her.  It's like a talented actor playing a complex role and creating and adapting this role of the fly.  Her response is highly tuned to the feedback she gets by  listening very closely to victim and them adapting her person and saying that the victim wants to hear.  This "adaptable, chameleonic personality" is the psychopath's main weapon in getting person trust. Simultaneously the work is done on discovering weak spots that can be used to manipulate the victim. She turns on the charm  like you turn light in the room -- completely deliverable. Under this fig leaf of charm is hiding her real (rude, callous, mean ) personality, a personality of a Terminator in the nice female body.  What is interesting that typically they complexly despise other females and treat them badly.  

Fake charm that I’m really describing here is a special case of pathological lying. Everything the psychopaths say of done to steer you in the direction of her goal. They are very goal oriented, even more so then male seducers, which also consider the victim as an object. A typical psychopathic trait.  Think about beaten theme of male seducers like Don Juan -- they tell the victim the truth  if and only if it will work to steer the woman to the bed. The same  level of razor sharp goal orientation is completely true for a female psychopath. Like in case of male seducers, female psychopath has a sophisticated often elaborate multistep plan. If for male seducer the goal is simple:  how to get particular woman into his bed, here your mileage may vary. And this plan is created instinctively, almost automatically in the psychopath's mind. In a way they behave as if they are at war, and at war all means are OK to archive victory. In case of female psychopath this ruthlessness in pursuing their goal is masked by the smoke screen of with feminine charm, nice female body, wit and humor, with imitation of weakness or weaker sex, often with some light doze of flirt. But  again, in reality they have steel nerves, and can strangulate, hit with heavy object or poison their victim if that helps -- real Terminators in feminine skin.  Just read a fascinating story about Linda Taylor

Like in case of gifted male seducers the female psychopath has some  “sixth sense”, an uncanny ability see areas where the victim is vulnerable, susceptible to advances, and the ability to anticipate what the victim  will respond to her, to know just the right words to say, to quickly learn your deepest desires so she can pretend to fulfill them, and to learn your deepest fears and insecurities so he can inflict the most damage. While the real focus is completely on getting self-gratification.

Typically female sociopath are very adept to use their intuitive perceptiveness, wit  and charm to gain approval and praise from upper managers. If they feel sympathy they seek intimate relationships with supervisors in order to  increase their status and power over subordinates.  And when the upper manager gives them praise or recognition, such a praise is often  based on charm and canning, and not on ability or usefulness to the organization.

They also have unique and sometime grotesque ability to appropriate achievement s of her subordinates and pretend that they are her own.  As corporate hierarchy works much like Indian casts with little communication between casts such behaviour, the behaviors of a fraud, is almost never detected by their upper managers.  Gender equality policies in modern corporations make their efforts even more effective as upper management is eager to eat fake phony achievement stories to achieve certain organizational goal like percentage of manages at certain level that are woman. such behaviors. Such set of organizational behaviors  in office slang is called "vagina carpet bombing".

Classic cycle of sociopathic  relations (idealize-seduce-devalue-discard)

The description of this cycle now is moved to a separate page Classic idealize-seduce-devalue-deiscard

Female sociopaths in literature and films

Attractive female sociopaths in literature are often called Femme fatale (Wikipedia).  See Films depicting female sociopaths. Some of those films can serve as a teaching guide that help to see under the mask they wear and more quickly detect the typical collection of traits which include:

You should specifically look at, attempts to manipulate you or others,  lying, violating boundaries to get information, impulsivity, lack of tolerance for frustration, inability to deter gratification, trigger-happy behaviour when a person tend to acts before she think and tendency to overreact (especially bouts of anger).  Constellation of those traits make them deviants: people who demonstrate voluntary behaviour that violates significant organizational and moral norms and in doing so threaten the well being of other people or an organization or both. As many companies do not follow their own regulations (Enron is one notable example) and try to hide things that are morally wrong, female sociopaths who have no morals at all  have good prospects of career growth.

All together, this is generally not a good combination of characteristics for either female or a man to have, but in hands of a female they represent a very powerful weapon as the initial assumption is that they represent weaker sex. This is as far from the truth in case of female sociopaths as one can get.   They are really extremely tough, tougher then many males, ruthless, dangerous Terminators in an attractive female body.

They are really extremely tough, tougher then many males, ruthless, dangerous Terminators in an attractive female body.

Using gender as a bulletproof vest

They use their gender as a bulletproof vest and male-dominant atmosphere of many corporate departments (for example, IT departments) provide them an excellent opportunity to advance by exploiting the affirmative policies toward woman. 

They use their gender as a bulletproof vest and  male-dominant atmosphere of many corporate departments (for example IT departments) provide them an excellent opportunity to advance by exploiting the affirmative policies toward woman. 

In case promotion is denied for such a woman, or worse a female sociopath was demoted for some actual misdeeds//blunders, she can became a subtle foe,  especially in a culture that refuses to believe that women are capable of and in fact do commit nasty tricks against men.

Spreading dirty rumors is the specialty of female sociopath and those skills are usually polished since childhood to perfection.  They are accomplished students of lying, cheating, conniving and manipulation with malicious intent. Like all sociopaths they have an uncanny ability to find a character flaw that can to be exploited to their advantage, especially in higher ups to speed their  career advancement and/or to hide of misrepresent damaging blunders.

Using sex as a weapon

Sex is just a weapon for them and sexual relations with higher ups  are used as a cover and as a method of advancement. Sociopaths have lack of empathy and other cognitive deficits which prevent experiencing  "real" feelings. They are cold in a very deep sense of this word. So they need to "play love" which is in reality they are unable to experience. But "technically" they can be extremely seductive as they are masters of imitation, perfect actresses, who have intuitive understanding of their "craft". 

At the same time they consider "winning" a particular male just a business goal, much like acquiring a new car or getting an important customer for the company. A good depiction of such behaviour is provided in the film Dangerous Liaisons - Wikipedia  based on a French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

... the Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) plots revenge against her ex-lover, the Comte de Gercourt, who has ended their relationship. An amoral, sexually ravenous schemer, Merteuil amuses herself by manipulating men out of boredom, and her resentment of the subservient status of women in 16th-century French aristocratic society. To soothe her wounded pride and embarrass Gercourt, she seeks to arrange the seduction and disgrace of his young virgin fiancée, Cécile de Volanges (Uma Thurman), who has only recently been presented to society after spending her formative years in the shelter of a convent.

Merteuil calls on the rakish and similarly unprincipled Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) to do the deed, offering him her own sexual favors as the reward for a successful conquest. Valmont declines, as he has a seduction of his own in progress: Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer), the virtuous wife of a member of Parliament. Merteuil is amused and incredulous at Valmont's hubris; how can he ever hope to bed a chaste, devoutly religious woman like Madame Tourvel? Never one to refuse a challenge, Valmont modifies the proposal: If he succeeds in sleeping with Tourvel, Merteuil must sleep with him as well. Merteuil accepts, on the condition that he furnish written proof of the liaison.

... ... ...

Variety considered it an "incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games."... Roger Ebert thought the two lead roles were "played to perfection by Close and Malkovich... their arch dialogues together turn into exhausting conversational games, tennis matches of the soul."[11]

There is also "Americanized" adaptation of Les Liaisons dangereuses, the film Cruel Intentions (1999), directed by Roger Kumble and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Selma Blair and Reese Witherspoon relocates the story to modern-day New York and is set amongst upper-class high school teens. The film had two sequels in 2000 and 2004 starring Amy Adams and Kerr Smith.

Another useful film to watch is The Last Seduction

Victims of female sociopaths are typically women

More than half of the bullies reported to a new UK national helpline are women -- and most of the victims are other women.

We hear so much of women as victims and the disadvantages women encounter in employment, that it sometimes comes as a surprise to realize that women are equally as capable of bullying behavior as men.

Women are supposed to be co-operative rather than competitive, more inclined towards empathy, and less towards seeking dominance. Women are often portrayed as caring more than men about personal experience and feelings.

It may be true that women are less inclined to indulge in vocalized rages - public swearing and shouting - and in physical violence, though I am sure that all of us could think of exceptions. Research indicates, however, that women are inclined towards

Such behavior is evidence of women's socialization: often we do not know how to elicit positive attention, or to assert ourselves so that our views and rights are recognized and respected. So we use inappropriate and ineffectual means to attract attention any way we can. We have been conditioned very early that girls do not shout and scream. No one is surprised, however, if girls go quiet or even sulk.

The problem, however, is that unless people communicate, they will not resolve their differences.

What comes as a shock to many people is just how personally and educationally damaging social and professional isolation and exclusion from networks can be.

More than half of the bullies reported to a new UK national helpline are women - and most of the victims are other women

This page might be a small step alerting to one unanticipated side effect of "gender equality" drive in large corporations, where essentially female managers have a quota to fill. When organizational psychologist Mary Sherry wrote in a national newspaper last month that female managers were far more likely to bully staff than male ones it triggered a large reader response -- almost all backing her view. (Girl power are women the worst bullies - 08-02-2005 by John Charlton )

One unanticipated side effect of "gender equality" drive in large corporations, where essentially female managers have a quota to fill is promotion of female sociopath into management positions

 

Generic methods of fighting sociopaths are applicable

While differences are substantial, most of the findings about behaviour of male psychopaths and methods of resisting them are applicable.

While female sociopath belong to generic category of sociopath the list of genetic traits is always a good starting point. It shows you from which direction they can attack you and how they prepare and (what is the most important) camouflate their attacks.  But details can be revealed only by extensive personal study, working with literature and keeping a diary (that letter is the most important; you should read your observations daily). Without hard work your understanding will necessary be superficial and you might be up for very unpleasant surprises. For staring point see

As bulling and over control in inherent in the female psychopath behavior it make sense to study two related types:

The reason might be that female sociopaths are only are superficially feminine. Under attractive packaging there is a steel core of Terminator in them.

Importance of physical exercise in fighting female psychopaths

Out brains are deeply connected to our bodies. One way to improve your mental stability and the capacities to endure stress is to use vigorous exercise regiment.  This is the point that implicitly was made by prominent neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki in her book Healthy Brain, Happy Life A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better. It looks like aerobic exercises are important for mental stability and the ability to cope with stress. Of cause, an important warning attributed to Talleyrand  "Not too much zeal" is applicable here too. Some additional ideas might be extracted from the following reviews:

"... “Exercise is responsible for the majority of the positive brain changes seen with environmental enrichment.”"

A neuroscientist transforms the way we think about our brain, our health, and our personal happiness in this clear, informative, and inspiring guide—a blend of personal memoir, science narrative, and immediately useful takeaways that bring the human brain into focus as never before, revealing the powerful connection between exercise, learning, memory, and cognitive abilities.

Nearing forty, Dr. Wendy Suzuki was at the pinnacle of her career. An award-winning university professor and world-renowned neuroscientist, she had tenure, her own successful research lab, prestigious awards, and international renown.

That’s when to celebrate her birthday, she booked an adventure trip that forced her to wake up to a startling reality: despite her professional success, she was overweight, lonely, and tired and knew that her life had to change. Wendy started simply—by going to an exercise class. Eventually, she noticed an improvement in her memory, her energy levels, and her ability to work quickly and move from task to task easily. Not only did Wendy begin to get fit, but she also became sharper, had more energy, and her memory improved. Being a neuroscientist, she wanted to know why.

What she learned transformed her body and her life. Now, it can transform yours.

Wendy discovered that there is a biological connection between exercise, mindfulness, and action. With exercise, your body feels more alive and your brain actually performs better. Yes—you can make yourself smarter. In this fascinating book, Suzuki makes neuroscience easy to understand, interweaving her personal story with groundbreaking research, and offering practical, short exercises—4 minute Brain Hacks—to engage your mind and improve your memory, your ability to learn new skills, and function more efficiently.

Taking us on an amazing journey inside the brain as never before, Suzuki helps us unlock the keys to neuroplasticity that can change our brains, or bodies, and, ultimately, our lives.

Bassocantor TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 19, 2015

We Have An Enormous Capacity To Change Into The Very Best Version Of Ourselves

HEALTHY BRAIN, HAPPY LIFE is a fun read, filled with all kinds of exciting ways to expand your brain power. My favorite parts of the book are these little sections that the author calls "Brain Hacks." These sections are lists of easy ways to really supercharge your brain and make use of the latent power in it.

Here's the theme in a nutshell: "One thing I know for sure is that brain plasticity endows us with an enormous capacity to change into the very best version of ourselves that we can be." Dr. Suzuki explains that she uses 20 years of research in neuroscience to apply these same principles to her own personal life. She admits that she "Went from living as a virtual lab rat --an overweight middle aged woman would had achieved many things in science, but who could not seem to figure out how to also be a healthy, happy woman..."

One of her main discoveries is the powerful mind-body link. The author emphasizes how powerful exercise is. "Exercise is responsible for the majority of the positive brain changes seen with environmental enrichment." And so, Dr. Suzuki invests much time talking about the power of the brain-body connection. Towards that end, she combines physical workouts as a way to energize your brain: "The body has a powerful influence on her brain functions and conversely but the brain has a powerful influence over how are bodies feel and work and heal." Exercise causes definite changes in your body--it boosts the level of three key chemicals that affect mood.

The key is to make your workouts intentional. Towards that end, the author suggests ways to do this--for example, proclaiming affirmations out loud. "Intentional exercise happens when you make exercise both aerobic and mental...You are fully engaged in the moment and trigger a heightened awareness of the brain body connection." In the Brain Hacks suction, the author lists different exercises that would best fit you.

Another great section is the section on creativity. You can actually improve your creative thinking; it is "a particular version of regular thinking they can be practiced and improved like any other cognitive skill." Once again, the author lists great suggestions in the Brain Hacks section on ways to jumpstart your creativity. The key point is to learn something new and "Try to use as many senses as you can." For example, one fun suggestion is to "Sit outside and blindfold yourself for 4 minutes. Then, listen to the world sounds in a new way."

All in all, HEALTHY BRAIN, HAPPY LIFE is a fun, inspiring read. The author is full of great, uplifting ideas. My favorite chapter is the one on creativity. The end of the book contains an extensive Reference section, in which the author documents the various points she makes.
Highly recommend!

Advance copy for impartial review

love2dazzle on June 10, 2015

Happy Life” by Wendy Suzuki is all about focusing on ...

“Healthy Brian, Happy Life” by Wendy Suzuki is all about focusing on expanding your brain power. Our bodies and mind have a very powerful link. Dr. Suzuki has invested her life to focusing on the brain. She goes on to state that “Exercise is responsible for the majority of the positive brain changes seen with environmental enrichment.” Dr. Suzuki is making the point that we need to exercise to work our brain to its fullest potential. She goes on to make the point that you want to make sure the exercise is intentional because that is what exercise you both mentally and aerobically.

The second best way to expand your brain is by creativity. The point of creativity is to learn new things that will improve your brain and your senses. One is able to find different ways to help build and exercise their brain. The author calls some of the tips she gives “Brain Hacks” so I thought this was a great learning tool.

I thought “Healthy Brain, Happy Life” was very insightful. I thought this book had a lot of good tips and was also able to explain the brain and how things worked really well. I did enjoy reading it and learning new things on how I am able to improve my brain function.

Bruny Hudsonon June 13, 2015

Interesting theory for improving one’s life

The book “Healthy Brain, Happy Life” by Wendy Suzuki is about a success story, about the author’s life. It’s entertaining and enriching but sometimes out of touch with reality. Considering that the author is a neuroscientist, her line of reasoning sounds dubious in parts of the book, especially her generalizing concepts of life. Just because an effort has worked for her, it does not mean it will work for someone else. Nevertheless, the book deserves a five-star rating because of the author’s pleasant writing style and the well-explained examples of research in neuroscience.

Transporter chair reviewer, on July 9, 2015

Mainly autobiographical

I saw her interviewed on CBS and found her a charming and energetic person. I am not sure what take always I have from the book, though it interested me since I am also an Asian American woman who is an over achiever, and many of her experiences resonated. I enjoyed the read. I am not sure what type of person I would recommend it to . I am also a doctor. It was fun to review some of the neurobiology and learn some new things.

Literature and films about borderlines as an additional resource

See

A lot of valuable material about female sociopath is provided in books, article, movies and pages related to Borderline Psychopaths. that includes such themes as Divorce which is never easy but with such individual is a minefield.


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[Sep 22, 2016] 6 Signs Your Spouse Has Checked Out Of Your Marriage Huffington Post

Notable quotes:
"... Will you get dinner and pick up the kids? Could you call the plumber about the kitchen sink?" ..."
"... everything - ..."
"... "I'll be in bed in a little bit" ..."
"... Do you want to be more mindful about eating healthy foods that'll keep your mind and body at their best? Sign up for our newsletter and join our Eat Well, Feel Great challenge to learn how to fuel your body in the healthiest way possible. We'll deliver tips, challenges and advice to your inbox every day. ..."
Mar 14, 2016 | www.huffingtonpost.com

When your spouse isn't interested in doing the "work" of marriage, it's easy to feel powerless. But all isn't lost, said Jeannie Ingram, a couples therapist based in Nashville, Tennessee.

"The relationship doesn't have to end," she told HuffPost. "The truth is, all relationships need tuning up from time to time."

Below, Ingram and other experts share the most common signs a spouse has checked out of a marriage - and what you can do to take matters into your own hands.

1. They spend a lot of time around you but not with you.

It doesn't count as quality time if one of you is distracted by your smartphone or checking work emails, said Aaron Anderson, a marriage and family therapist based in Denver, Colorado.

"If you and your spouse spend a lot of time in the same room but they never do things with you, they've likely disengaged from the relationship," he told us. "Nobody wants to spend the two hours after work browsing social media."

Try planning new, exciting things to do together so hopefully "your partner will want to shut down the computer and turn off their phone to be with you," Anderson said.

2. They never include you in their weekend or after-work plans.

Spending time apart (pursing your hobbies or seeing friends) is essential in a healthy marriage. It keeps the mystery alive. But spend too much time apart and you're well on your way to living separate lives, said Becky Whetstone, a marriage and family therapist who works in Little Rock, Arkansas.

"If your S.O feels disillusioned with the marriage, they might cope by distracting themselves with things they enjoy that that don't involve you," she said.

To figure out why they're disengaging, broach the conversation in a calm manner, at a time that works for the two of you, Whetstone said.

"Therapists call this 'coming toward your partner,'" she said. "Watch the tone of your voice and your body language and find the right time - not in the middle of something hectic. Ask, 'Hey, what's up? I've noticed you pulling away lately.'"

Most importantly, don't lash out if their answer upsets you. "Make it safe for them to reply or they're not likely to open up again after that," Whetstone said.

3. They never ask, "How was your day?"

If your conversations are limited to household logistics (" Will you get dinner and pick up the kids? Could you call the plumber about the kitchen sink?" ) and your S.O. seems disinterested in how you're doing, your marriage may be in trouble, Anderson said.

"When someone checks out of a relationship, they stop caring about their partner as much," he said. "They don't ask you how work is going, how your family is doing or even if you got that promotion you wanted."

To show that your marriage is still very much a priority - and that you, at least, care about them - make it a point to vocalize that.

"Just because they've checked out doesn't mean you have to," Anderson said, "And after they see how much you care, they might just start caring more, too."

4. They aren't interested in sex.

The thrill is gone - and your S.O. seems entirely OK with that. Why might that be the case? Oftentimes, partners avoid physical intimacy after they've been hurt emotionally, said Ingram.

"In the beginning, couples in love are so intoxicated with each other that they share everything - they allow themselves to be fully vulnerable," said Ingram.

But that same vulnerability also opens you up to hurt from your partner.

"If you're emotionally hurt, intimacy doesn't feel safe - it's just too vulnerable," Ingram said. "Couples need to become conscious of this and be willing to talk about why they avoid closeness, perhaps in the office of a qualified marriage therapist."

5. They're hyper-critical of your friends and family.

Your partner may not be as forgiving of your parents as you are, but they shouldn't take the liberty to rag on them any chance they get, Whetstone said.

"It shows disinterest but it's also unacceptable behavior," she said. "Set a boundary and say something like, 'Please, why so much venom? It hurts me when you throw so much negativity on to me and my friends and family. What's going on? Obviously you're unhappy about something. Please, let's talk about it.'"

6. They go to bed at different times.

"I'll be in bed in a little bit" is not as innocent a phrase as you might think, Ingram said.

"Commonly, couples fall prey to what I call 'functional exits," she said. "These are behaviors that are part of everyday life, but serve the dual purpose of avoiding intimacy. For example, work, hobbies, or when you regularly say or hear, 'You go on to bed; I'll be along later.'"

The good news? Mismatched bedtimes and similar problems are easily fixed if you and your partner are willing to make the effort.

"Exits like these are not necessarily a sign the relationship needs to end, but rather, an indication that it's time for some work," she reassured.

Do you want to be more mindful about eating healthy foods that'll keep your mind and body at their best? Sign up for our newsletter and join our Eat Well, Feel Great challenge to learn how to fuel your body in the healthiest way possible. We'll deliver tips, challenges and advice to your inbox every day.

[Sep 14, 2016] Hillary Clinton views almost everytbody outside of the top one percent as Basket of deplorables

Notable quotes:
"... True. I attribute it all to deep-seated self loathing. Somewhere deep down the vestigal organ known as the "conscience" is paying attention. ..."
"... was taken as evidence in his own mind ..."
"... Liberals believe in addressing every issue within a socio-economic context (Crime, Terrorism, …) Except racism. That issue is context free ..."
"... Kids just feel and act, unconditioned. ..."
"... They are pure and genuine. They are not cheaters. Kids are our masters, we must learn from them. We should be more like kids. ..."
"... Today we can learn from them, just watch these kids in action. ..."
"... I was a-falling 'till you put on the brakes ..."
"... "I am skeptical that a large-scale expansion of government spending by itself is the best way forward, since larger fiscal deficits will lead to higher expected future taxes, which could further undermine private sector confidence" Neel Kashkari ..."
"... "In the minds of many, soil is simply dirt, but without it we would all cease to exist. Unlike the water we drink and the air we breathe, soil is not protected in the EU and its quality is getting worse" ..."
Sep 14, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
skeeter , September 13, 2016 at 4:54 pm

"Basket of deplorables," how pithy a metaphor for placing your detractors in a container from which their voices and needs can be discounted. Clinton gives us a great turn of phrase with which we can contemplate her inclination to strip the prerogatives of citizenship – such as the inclination not to select her at the ballot – from her detractors.

Agamben's thesis is that western constitutional democracies inevitably turn to the state of exception and strip citizenship from their peoples on the way.

We have been at it a long time in America. The delightful new twist is contemplating the election of a candidate who tells us that not being a card carrying identity politics connected elitist, or sycophant of, will get you relegated to the ranks of homo sacer – the bare human. And oh yes, the Secretary is inclined to be the decider. There is no functional distinction between the nightmares these candidates represent.

JohnnyGL , September 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Check this out….NPR quotes CNBC to smear Trump's day-care tax deduction plan with the old, "how you gonna pay for that?" line.

http://www.npr.org/2016/09/13/493755181/trump-campaign-sketches-out-family-care-plans-questions-linger-over-funding

Interesting to see that this is Ivanka's pet issue. Maybe Trump really intends on pushing for this?

It's nice to be pandered to!

RabidGandhi , September 13, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Re: Charles Blow, "if the basket fits…"
_____________

Blow makes it official: this is the Best Election Ever for Team Blue. First they get to bring their "kick-the-left" game up to the next level with the mugging of the Sanders campaign. Then they (finally!) get to copulate in public with their neo-con friends-with-benefits. And now, as Blow demonstrates, they are at last free to spew their hate against the ignorant chumps in flyover: all the bile they have piled up but just couldn't articulate because you gotta be PC ("impolitic" dixit Blow).

Read the comments on the NYT articles or in other liberal goodthink rags: HRC was just articulating what the entire Acela bubble wanted to say but was too tactful. Listen to HRC making the actual comments: there were no boos or gasps, just laughter (sadly showing how part of the LGBT movement has become appallingly intolerant: a vast cry from the movement's origins).

Blow is just one voice in a blue chorus singing battlesongs against the poor and the left. A very clarifying election indeed.

HopeLB , September 13, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Love your analysis!

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , September 13, 2016 at 7:52 pm

True. I attribute it all to deep-seated self loathing. Somewhere deep down the vestigal organ known as the "conscience" is paying attention.

Anonymous , September 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm

> "Wells Fargo Exec Who Headed Phony Accounts Unit Collected $125 Million" [Fortune]. I think it's very important that a woman –Carrie Tolstedt - shattered the glass ceiling for accounting control fraud.

When the story first broke a few days ago, I knew right away (as in, before even finishing reading the headline) that this was another accounting control fraud. It's really sad that NC is the only place where the term "control fraud" is used in connection with this scandal.

HopeLB , September 13, 2016 at 7:25 pm

I was entertaining a variation of that very idea. Some honest to God disgruntled and disappointed Justice Fighter from the FBI goes rogue, righting Comey's wrong, with the Russian Conspiracy twist(polonium) thrown in for ironic flair.

Jake Mudrosti , September 13, 2016 at 3:13 pm

The only positive thing to happen during this election season is the death of mainstream media. With their insufferable propaganda fully exposed, there is no coming back.

I have a bleaker view of human cognition, and so disagree. It must be noted that in the past couple weeks, an NC commenter honestly felt he needed to inform me of my own country of origin, because in his mind this was something that I clearly needed to be schooled about. Yes, the fact that I disagreed with his narrative was taken as evidence in his own mind that he needed to school me - to teach me where I'm from, and teach me how my friends and family died. A clearer example of basic cognitive failure would be hard to come by.

Yet, as 20th century world history shows very clearly, when a culture shifts in that direction, such self-certain lunacy just becomes the new order of the day. It becomes the style.

It seems that many of my previous NC comments mention Robert Jay Lifton's books, and, well, can't avoid doing it again. Critics of his analyses fault them for being "unfalsifiable," etc, but I counter by saying that they were offered in a totally different spirit as a summary of his painstaking observations rather than a cognitive theory.

If there's any hope of digging out of the cultural hole in the near term, I'd say that'd be the place to start.

Robert Hahl , September 13, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Thanks, I will look at Lifton.

Speaking of books that offer deep insights into human behavior without citing any evidence, I really loved Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti.

Kim Kaufman , September 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

""Wells Fargo Exec Who Headed Phony Accounts Unit Collected $125 Million" [Fortune]. I think it's very important that a woman –Carrie Tolstedt - shattered the glass ceiling for accounting control fraud."

See? We're living in a post racist, sexist world. Now it's not only white men who can eff over everyone else, African-Americans and women can join that elite club of amoral people. And get rich doing it!

Arizona Slim , September 13, 2016 at 6:44 pm

And if you say anything mean about Carrie, you are being sexist!

DWD , September 13, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Liberals believe in addressing every issue within a socio-economic context (Crime, Terrorism, …)
Except racism. That issue is context free

Maybe it is just me but I disagree vehemently with this sentiment.

The reasoning is fairly simple: these issues that are used to divide us (racism, sexism, religion, economics) are made much stronger when the economy is the weakest.

If you need proof look to the great industrial states of the Midwest with their racist (now, never before) governments: Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and even Rauner in Illinois. These political beliefs would never gain traction when the economies were going great. Working people have taken the brunt of the globalization bullshit and the endless contempt of "Clinton Liberals" everywhere (apparently)

Gareth , September 13, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Economic hardship is an amplifier of racism. This is what the limousine liberals never seem to understand. For them is it much more satisfying to demonstrate their moral superiority through contempt for the deplorables.

hunkerdown , September 13, 2016 at 8:16 pm

The socio-economic context they're talking about is whether they can afford the deserving poor and the opera.

Also, what Gareth says.

abynormal , September 13, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Kids just feel and act, unconditioned.

They are pure and genuine.
They are not cheaters.
Kids are our masters, we must learn from them.
We should be more like kids.

Today we can learn from them, just watch these kids in action.
http://www.lifehack.org/428542/these-kids-really-show-the-bright-side-human-nature

2 days ago i went to a local park just to swing and to be honest, cry… where no one would be put out. took about a minute for a toddler to bring me a tiny flower…i didn't even know she was near. at first i was embarrassed but then realized her heart will grow thru endearing gestures. i smiled and asked her if she could show me how to swing as high as she does. hope yall get a rise out of kids. they can be near at the strangest moment…when we let them.

Janie , September 13, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Been thinking about you with tears in my eyes but unable to find the right words. You have more friends than you know.

Jim Haygood , September 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Good on you, aby.

The universe reached out to you.

Romancing The Loan , September 13, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Given that we're all becoming resigned to having a horrible president yet again I'm taking a surprising delight in the proliferating Clinton conspiracy theories after her collapse Sunday (the body double, the catheter, etc.). I hadn't seen this one before and thought I would share with the group – that Chelsea's 10M condo (where Hillary was taken), at The Whitman at 21 E. 26th St. in the NY – is supposedly (I have no idea) the same building as has listed " Metrocare Home Services "

The conspiracy theory is that Hillary has her own private hospital in the same building, which going to "Chelsea's apartment" is cover for.

I'm sure it's not true but, like all the others, it'd be pretty funny if it was and I'm sure the Clinton team would have zero compunction about the deception involved.

Jess , September 13, 2016 at 4:15 pm

That's so sweet and beautiful. I can imagine the scene in my mind, as I'm sure many other readers can.

Mark John , September 13, 2016 at 4:29 pm

It is amazing what one can come up with when one absolutely does not trust another. Let me say, first of all, that Hillary allowing herself to go out on a hot day in the middle of a large crowd after working like a "demon" (!!!) is not the best political move. It is like sticking one's head into the jaws of the conspiracy theorists and saying bite down hard.

But, if, perhaps Clinton is not soooo politically inept, which, Lord knows, she gives every evidence of being, here is an alternative perspective I cooked up with a little appetizer. . .

First item..The Clintons tell Loretta Lynch they want to keep her on at DOJ. But that will be hard to do if she is the face of not filing charges against Hillary. Let's do an impromptu meeting (Bill and Loretta Lynch) on airplane, then put it out in marquis letters so the conspiracy theorists run with it. Loretta Lynch honorably steps down, gets to keep her job if Hillary is elected.

From this line of thinking, conspiratorial as it also well is, Hillary is expected to clobber Donald Trump in the debates. Politically speaking, she has set for herself a very high bar, being so qualified and all. Let's use this illness thing, cook up a minor illness and Hillary faints at the 9/11 memorial. The conspiracy theorists run away with it, she is on death's door, yadayada. Some upside is that she will engender some sympathy.

Two weeks later at Hofstra, bar much lower, she comes back as robust as can be, bar set much , much lower. Headlines read "Clinton Comes Back Swinging" and "Clinton Alive and Well at Hofstra".

Roger Smith , September 13, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Absolutely incredible! Thanks for sharing!

Vatch , September 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm

In the movie "Being There", the super rich guy played by Melvyn Douglas has a mini hospital in his home. Maybe that's standard operating procedure for the oligarchs!

nowhere , September 13, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Two doors down from the panic room (the private server being behind the other door, of course).

Tom , September 13, 2016 at 7:16 pm

And one door away from the emergency chute that empties in the sub basement, where a disused subway tunnel has been refurbished to whisk away any particularly privacy-oriented presidential candidate, safe from prying eyes.

grayslady , September 13, 2016 at 7:18 pm

The whole building seems to have been the admin. headquarters for an outfit called Metrocare Home Services before it was refitted as a swanky, 4-unit residential building. Amusing, but no "there" there.

hunkerdown , September 13, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Red herring. "This facility is closed or merged with another facility. " (NYSDH)

Besides, she or anyone else with dough can have an ostentatiously well-appointed sickroom within the apartment, regardless of previous or present tenants of the building. And a home health care business wouldn't make a particularly useful front to stockpile advanced treatments etc. for what ails her. They tend not to keep much inventory, in my limited experience.

McWatt , September 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Had my catalytic converter stolen by thieves with battery operated sawsall's. They are under the car
and out in two minutes. Locally they get $40.00-50.00 for them. Cost to replace…Dealer $2,200.00,
local guy you know $1200.00 .

Police report in my area from two weeks ago said 12 were stolen in one night's rampage.

Paid Minion , September 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

I got that beat……..

Car broken into, rummaged thru, change stolen from center console.

Money stolen = About four bucks

Damage to car = Shattered window, prybar damage to "A" pillar and window seals, when they tried to pry the window open = $1500.

Damage/theft ratio = 375 to 1

But according to this morning's post, they were probably tearing up my s##t because they were hungry, so I guess I should blame myself for only paying half my income in various taxes.

Robert Hahl , September 13, 2016 at 5:17 pm

You don't pay taxes, your employer does. If taxes dropped your income would adjust down by the same amount.

Sammy Maudlin , September 13, 2016 at 6:42 pm

That statement is wrong on numerous levels, number one of which is that while an employer may withhold earnings of a W-2 employee for the purpose of paying income taxes, it is the employee that pays those taxes. Until a return is filed and processed, the withheld amount is a deposit made on the employee's behalf. The amount of the deposit is based on the gross wages of the employee. If the tax rate drops, also would the deposit, and ultimately the tax. But the amount of gross wages are unaffected.

Also, last I checked, employers generally don't pay sales or property taxes for employees on non-employment related purchases.

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Oh good God, over 40% of the population gets their payroll taxes back.

Yes, it sucks that they are taken out to begin with, particularly when there are definitely pay periods when the 50 bucks could be utilized to pay a co pay or buy things that one needs.

Additionally, if you are paying property taxes to begin with you're one up on much of the population, it means you have a house or a car. You've made a conscious choice to own things. The streets your car and house are located on aren't free. The schools in your communities aren't no cost. I'm so over people whining about paying taxes.

Sammy Maudlin , September 13, 2016 at 8:03 pm

My comment strictly relates to the erroneous characterizations of the responsibility for paying taxes and the effect of a tax reduction on gross wages asserted by Robert Hahl.

I did not intend to address the amount thereof, justification for, nor the proper amount of self-righteousness a taxpayer may exude for paying said taxes.

Jay M , September 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

getting some of the broken windows policing types on NC?

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 9:16 pm

I probably should have just called BS on his claim that he pays 50% in taxes or called him on his lack of empathy for those that actually go hungry(many of which are CHILDREN.)

My first instinct to tell those fortunate enough to have to pay is to tell them to go ahead and "spite" the system by getting that job at BK so they can live the "good life" on minimum wage and then they too can not pay taxes….of course, they'll also forgo retirement accounts, vacation days, owning a home, struggle with owning a car and the costs associated with it, etc, etc but hey, they won't be paying 50% in taxes.

Personally, I am profoundly grateful that our family pays a percentage in taxes(not 50% but above Mitt Romney.) It means we can afford a car, a house and we have a decent income. It means I can afford that DVD that I pay sales tax on. All in all it means our family is accumulating wealth.

Anyway, I should have directed this at the OP, not you.

Bubba_Gump , September 13, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Pretty sure my federal taxes go to defense contractors to make war. My state and local taxes cover what doesn't come from the feds anymore cause they're too busy spending on war. That's why I complain.

cwaltz , September 14, 2016 at 12:21 am

They go organizations that work on roads, they go to organizations that make sure you have clean water, organizations that make sure your kids don't eat lead, organizations that make sure you aren't eating food filled with e coli- Don't go to the states to help pay for schools or other local programs not covered by your local or state taxes.

Don't get me wrong, way too much money goes to war. On that we are in absolute agreement however, be angry instead that our government has so much potential to do so much more than destroy with that money. Our government could be doing more for things like schooling or health care and it would be a way better use of the monies we pay.

I think the right and left agree that the government is failing us. Where we disagree is on what to do about it. The right thinks that things will be better if the government gets smaller and gets out of the way. I tend to disagree. It needs good leaders that believe in accountability and have vision. It needs people to right size it, not downsize it and people that negotiate in good faith with the private sector, not roll over for it.

A government is only as good as it's leadership and right now we've got some pretty questionable leadership.

inode_buddha , September 13, 2016 at 10:10 pm

I would dearly love to know how to get it all back every year, having spent my entire life under 30k and paying (aggregate) about 20% per anum. What really gets me is listening to co-workers go on about how people go on welfare because the gov't gives them so much money.

cwaltz , September 14, 2016 at 12:40 am

All my experiences with those on welfare is it's a pretty miserable experience. After my stepfather died, my mom had to get help financially for her 3 minor children. They means tested everything, she couldn't even own a car for more than something ridiculous like $3000.

I also know someone who turned down work because actually working hours she did not know would be guaranteed the next month would have cut her food stamps the following month.

It seems positively contradictory to me to set up a system that encourages reliance forever because you are continually threatening the safety net of a person the minute they get a tiny bit ahead.

Personally, I'd love to see the government start doing what it does for the very rich and allowing or helping people to put assets away in an "emergency account(up to $5,000)." Instead it's only the really rich and middle class who get to put money away tax free for retirement(401ks, hsas, IRAs) schools for their kids, health care, etc, etc. All of this money is meant for long term savings which for someone on the bottom of the income ladder is something they can't do because they're too worried about having access to money when that crappy $3000 car breaks down.

It's a stupid, crazy system and I know we could be doing better.

Robert Hahl , September 14, 2016 at 1:45 am

Again, if all of your taxes were lowered, your employer would be able to pay you less, and that is what would happen.

Left in Wisconsin , September 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm

My guess would be $$ for heroin.

Paid Minion , September 13, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Oxycodone, or something like that. The "Drug du Jour" according to my kids.

It's hard for us old folk to keep track of all of the different ways people are effing themselves up anymore.

An interesting study could be made on how many people have made themselves essentially unemployable due to drugs/alcohol/excessive marijuana usage.

Better yet, align that study with the people essentially unemployable due to giant, unsightly tattoos.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , September 13, 2016 at 7:18 pm

I am told that the tattoo approval test is a generational thing…if you're old, you are not likely to have one or know a friend who has one (most of time…many wonderful older people – in this country or many other countries – have them).

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , September 13, 2016 at 7:23 pm

Property is theft.

Then you have theft of theft, that is, theft of property.

Property theft is under reported, it feels to me (based on my personal experience and talking with neighbors around here…do i live in a bad neighborhood?).

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 7:40 pm

You must have a fairly high income if your tax rate cumulatively is 50%.

Is that you Phil Mickelson whining that you only get to keep a portion of your 61 million that you got paid to play golf?

Jim Haygood , September 13, 2016 at 7:29 pm

Going from memory here, but I seem to recall reading in a car magazine - late 60s, early 70s - that master thieves in NYC could drop a 4-speed transmission from a curb-parked Corvette in 8 minutes flat.

Dropping a trans is not a trivial task.

Now butchers with sawzalls can swipe a cat converter in 2 minutes, with two quick, crude cuts through a thinwall exhaust pipe.

Just goes to show how skills have declined. :-(

I was a butcher cutting up meat
My hands were bloody, I'm dying on my feet
I was a surgeon 'till I start to shake
I was a-falling 'till you put on the brakes

- Rolling Stones, You Got Me Rocking

Jay M , September 13, 2016 at 8:42 pm

I was a-falling 'till you put on the brakes

hope you can believe in

steelhead23 , September 13, 2016 at 3:49 pm

"I am skeptical that a large-scale expansion of government spending by itself is the best way forward, since larger fiscal deficits will lead to higher expected future taxes, which could further undermine private sector confidence" Neel Kashkari

I am surprised you didn't comment on this, Lambert. The federal deficit is just a number. Kashkari's argument that increasing the deficit implies future higher taxes is bunk – displaying a lack in understanding monetary theory. I admit to only a cursory understanding, but the real purpose of income taxes is to slow the flow of money through the economy to reduce inflationary pressures. Federal infrastructure spending would boost the lagging economy, with virtually no downside. There is absolutely no need to pay-down the debt. I would be more comfortable with Kashkari as the treasurer of my local PTA than a regional Federal Reserve Bank president. Can't we do better?

Yves Smith , September 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Kashkari is a diehard libertarian. And he's upfront about it if you read up on his failed bid to be CA governor.

hunkerdown , September 13, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Kashkari's argument that increasing the deficit implies future higher taxes is bunk – displaying a lack in understanding monetary theory.

Kashkari, as a big banker, would presumably be the recipient of those higher taxes, since he would presumably be part of those financing said deficit. He's talking business, not monetary theory. It's the flexian way to presume that managers are there to be served.

John k , September 13, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Can either cut taxes, boost spending, or raise interest rates to suppress inflation.

Taxing citizens give value to the currency and thereby makes them willing to sell their goods and services to gov to obtain sufficient taxes to pay tax.
So gov levies a tax to obtain goods and services, not dollars that have no value to the entity that creates them.

Left in Wisconsin , September 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

OTOH, here is Kocherlakota on Janet Yellen:

She argued in part that, thanks to its new tools of forward guidance and long-term asset purchases, the Fed would be able to offset the next recession, even if interest rates eventually stabilized at historically low levels.

Yet] two years into this hypothetical recession, the Fed would be refusing to provide more accommodation, even though the unemployment rate would be above 9 percent and it would be expecting the inflation rate to be falling further below its target for another three years.

But I wonder why the good econo-doctor has only got religion now that he is off the Fed.

allan , September 13, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Wake up and smell the methane impunity:

SoCal Gas to pay $4-million settlement over massive Porter Ranch gas leak
[LA Times]

Southern California Gas Co. agreed to a $4-million settlement Tuesday to end a criminal case filed by Los Angeles County prosecutors over the utility's handling of the massive gas leak near Porter Ranch last year.

The gas company pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of failing to immediately notify the California Office of Emergency Services and Los Angeles County Fire Department of the leak that began on or around Oct. 23, 2015, in the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field. The utility will pay the maximum fine of $75,000 for that three-day delay, according to the L.A. County district attorney's office.

The gas company will pay $232,500 in state penalties on top of that fine and $246,672 for the fire department's response to the leak.

Three other misdemeanor counts will be dismissed when the utility is sentenced on Nov. 29.

End of story. Literally.

This is believed to be one of the largest releases in human history of the most powerful green house gas.

nowhere , September 13, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Definitely makes a strong case for companies to continue to defer maintenance. Seems there is no downside.

Synoia , September 13, 2016 at 7:01 pm

It is nothing compared with the GHGs exhaled by the US DOD.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , September 13, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Who gets the puny $4 million money?

The state government?

The people who are victims directly or (in greater S. Cal areas or even neighboring states) indirectly?

The animals and plants that suffered through the release of more green house gas?

I really hope it's not more money to the state so they can hire more traffic cops to get those who do not stop completely at stop signs.

craazyman , September 13, 2016 at 4:40 pm

another confusing plantidote. Is the plantidoe the yellow flower or is it the green thingies by the rocks?

I suppose it's up to the viewer to decide. Which seems like a lot of work. Some crackpot might choose the rocks themselves and then argue that there's microscopic plants on the rocks and that's what they mean. if you can't see them, that's your problem. The world is like that, crackpots pointing at things only they can see and blaming you for not seeing them. Then kicking your ass if they can.

Things should be obvous. And they are obvious, if you know what's what. Then you don't need to kick people's ass unless they really deserve it. mostly you just lay around waiting for people to see the things you see, knowing that they would if they could. That's a lot different than blaming them and kicking their ass. That's a lot of work - to kick someone's ass. What a pain. Work is to be avoided if at all possible. That should be obvious to everybody

Chauncey Gardiner , September 13, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Thank you for keeping the spotlight focused on efforts of the TBTF banks and transnational corporations to gain passage of the TPP, TTIP and TiSA, Lambert. Appears their lobbyists and the Obama administration have a full-court press underway on members of Congress now. One can only guess at what is being offered our congressional representatives for their vote during the lame duck session after the November election in exchange for trading away our national sovereignty.

clarky90 , September 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

A behind-the-scenes look at medical education

by Dr Jason Fung (one of my heroes!)

https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/big-pharma-behind-scenes/

"……..Doctors get continuing medical education (CME) through events like lectures and conferences. CME is necessary because many physicians practise for 30 or 40 years, and medicine is changing continuously, so they cannot rely on their medical school training, which might have happened in the 1960s. Doctors are required to get a certain number of hours of CME every year. You might imagine that doctors learn from unbiased experts dedicated to learning. Actually, nothing is further from the truth. The dirty little secret is that virtually all CME is sponsored heavily by Big Pharma giving them huge influence over what information is presented to doctors.

Every single level of CME has been corrupted by $$$. Let's start at the bottom.

In virtually every hospital in North America, there are lectures called 'rounds'. They happen in every specialty and almost every single day, mostly at lunchtime. What a great idea. Doctors would spend lunchtime teaching each other the intricacies of their specialty. Sorry, no. Most doctors don't prepare a full hours worth of lecture topic. Most are too busy to spend an hour listening a the lecture anyway. So, the friendly drug rep from Big Pharma helpfully gets lunch for everybody. Free lunch! That helps bring in the audience, but it doesn't help the fact that they still need a speaker………"

This probably explains, IMO, the pickle that HRC finds herself in

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

I'm pretty sure the fluid and rest that she was prescribed by the MD, but she chose to ignore ,wasn't brought to you by pharmaceutical America.

The pickle Hillary finds herself in is a pickle of her own making.

Anne , September 13, 2016 at 8:47 pm

It isn't about her health, it's about her judgment. It's about the apparent decision not to disclose the pneumonia diagnosis until they were forced to – and even then, they tried three other "explanations" before – hours later – they announced that fully 48 hours earlier, she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. First, she wasn't feeling well. Then she became overheated. Then she was dehydrated. It wasn't until some time after her reappearance on the street looking fine and dandy that they disclosed the pneumonia.

Do you see the pattern? It's the same one we saw with the e-mails. We're seeing it with the Clinton Foundation. This is a woman who doesn't seem to feel any obligation or accept any responsibility for playing by the rules, for following the protocols.

And she has the nerve to blame the right-wing conspiracy that's out to get her when in reality she creates much of the controversy all by herself.

I don't frankly care if she has or had pneumonia or her toenail fungus was acting up, but what she has once again managed to do is make it impossible for people to believe whichever story qualifies as the latest, and if anything she said before then has even a shred of truth in it.

What I fear, and what I do think would be a concern, is if the pneumonia diagnosis is a giant head-fake designed to cover up that she may be experiencing some neurological problems, perhaps related to the 2012 concussion (and Lord only knows if that story was factual) that even her husband says took her every bit of 6 months to recover from.

I get why she would want to hide anything even remotely like that, but what she doesn't seem to understand is that she really has no right, as a candidate for the highest office in the land, to hide it. Again, and again, she allows her personal ambition to cloud her judgment; years and years of important and wealthy people telling her she's one of the smartest people in the room, paying to be in her presence, have convinced her she just knows better than anyone. That she doesn't have to listen, that she has nothing to learn.

And sometimes, she probably does, but she doesn't ever seem to be able to know when she doesn't. That – the judgment problem – that's what she has, and that's what matters here.

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Oh, I absolutely agree with you she has a judgment problem, straight down to ignoring good advice.

I just think it is interesting that the post I was commenting on seems to be a jab at doctors and continuing education and

Pharma may be responsible for many things, Hillary Clinton's decision not to follow her doctor's instructions on rest and fluid aren't one of them though. They are in no way responsible for "the pickle that HRC finds herself in." Hillary owns that.

Roger Smith , September 13, 2016 at 9:33 pm

+++ great post

Bubba_Gump , September 13, 2016 at 11:52 pm

Agree.

John k , September 13, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Can anybody point me to links to critical reviews of the Clinton foundation?
Thanks

nycTerrierist , September 13, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Charles Ortel is a good source, lots of links here:

https://twitter.com/charlesortel

sd , September 14, 2016 at 1:37 am

Kristi Culpepper
https://medium.com/@munilass

Amy Sterling Casil
https://medium.com/@ASterling

PlutoniumKun , September 13, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Re: EurActive article on soils.

The EU did have a Soil Framework Directive in the works for years but it was eventually stymied by the UK, as George Monbiot has pointed out . One of the good things about Brexit is that it will undoubtedly improve the EU's capacity to bring forward more environmental protect directives – the UK has always been one of the main obstacles in this.

ekstase , September 13, 2016 at 8:00 pm

"As part of the lockout, LIU cut off professors' email accounts and health insurance,"

If, God forbid, someone gets very ill or worse, because they have had their health insurance cut off, will that be bad for p.r.?

Jay M , September 13, 2016 at 8:13 pm

"I am skeptical that a large-scale expansion of government spending by itself is the best way forward, since larger fiscal deficits will lead to higher expected future taxes, which could further undermine private sector confidence" Neel Kashkari

what a commedian

Jay M , September 13, 2016 at 8:16 pm

"In the minds of many, soil is simply dirt, but without it we would all cease to exist. Unlike the water we drink and the air we breathe, soil is not protected in the EU and its quality is getting worse"

and the air and water, better?

(not opposed to regulation)

petal , September 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm

Primary Day in NH. I went about 6:45p, 15 minutes before the polls closed. On my way out, I asked the nice ladies staffing the place if turnout had been light. They said "Very" and made disappointed faces.

NotTimothyGeithner , September 13, 2016 at 10:19 pm

Aren't you out by Keene? Southwest NH isn't exactly a Republican hotbed.

NotTimothyGeithner , September 13, 2016 at 10:26 pm

There were Democratic primaries today for various state offices, but the GOP had the Senate primary and statewide races.

[Sep 13, 2016] Is Hillary Clinton Dishonest

Neocons like Nicholas Kristof support Hillar y, no question about it. But that does not make her less disonest. Actually that makes her more "dishonest/liar/don't trust her/poor character."
Notable quotes:
"... But Clinton's big challenge is the trust issue: The share of voters who have negative feelings toward her has soared from 25 percent in early 2013 to 56 percent today, and a reason for that is that they distrust her. Only a bit more than one-third of American voters regard Clinton as "honest and trustworthy." ..."
"... Indeed, when Gallup asks Americans to say the first word that comes to mind when they hear "Hillary Clinton," the most common response can be summed up as "dishonest/liar/don't trust her/poor character." Another common category is "criminal/crooked/thief/belongs in jail." ..."
"... Hillary isn't crooked. She is dishonest in the sense that she gets to power by any means she can, including doing a complete turn on long-held opinions or saying she's evolved but not changing the bits and pieces that go with that evolution. She is dishonest in the sense that she defends taking money from Wall Street but refuses to show what she took it for, while maintaining that she has never changed a decision as a result. The thing is, she's never been faced with having to vote against Wall Street in any significant way or make a decision that, potentially, Wall Street would view as negative. ..."
"... She is intellectually dishonest in that she adopts her opponents' positions in name only but refuses to adopt the planks that go along with it, all the while calling herself a progressive who gets things done. Hillary Clinton has always been a neoliberal Democrat. She and Bill Clinton redefined center right democrat during his tenure. There is nothing wrong with owning up to that political bent. There is everything wrong with pretending someone you are not, as evidenced by her favorability numbers. ..."
"... Dishonesty and the paranoid secrecy that goes with it are fundamental to her personality. That many American are not wrong in their widespread judgment of her character. That is something that juries and other such groups judge well. ..."
"... She has many specific instances of dishonesty. She was not shot at in Bosnia for example. Her sneaky dishonest attacks on Bernie were accompanied by sly smiles when she did them, pleased with herself for laying out a considered and prepared lie. ..."
"... To support Hillary, you must believe receiving hundreds of millions from special interests (speaking fees, the foundation & campaign) does not make you beholden to those special interests. Democrats used to claim money given to politicians had a corrupting influence, but now with Hillary the chosen one, Democrats require a showing of quid pro corruption. ..."
"... Her foreign policy experience--it should scare us all. She voted for the Iraq war before politically being required to apologize for it. As Sec. of State, she supported bombing Libya into a stateless terrorist haven, supported rebels, turned terrorists in Syria and she is an Israeli hawk. ..."
"... It is not because she is a woman. That is an excuse. It is because she is an extreme hawk, a Washington Consensus neoliberal of trade deals and Wall Street. It is because she is Hillary, not because Hillary happens to be a woman. ..."
"... No other candidate running for president has given paid speeches to Wall Street and corporate America. Clinton is the ONLY candidate to do so. She accepted speaking fees until early 2015 knowing she was about to announce her candidacy. This is UNPRECEDENTED. ..."
"... This label of dishonesty that trails Clinton is not just about the most recent stuff. There's the story from way back when about how the Clintons took almost $200,000 worth of stuff when they left the White House. They eventually decided to return or pay for $114,000 worth of items. Things they'd claimed to have received before taking up residence were shown to have been received after they arrived; they claimed as personal gifts things donors specified as designated for the White House itself, etc. ..."
"... So, repeat after me--taking hundreds of millions from every special interest group does not in any way influence Hillary's independent judgment. Keep repeating and eventually you will believe it. See how easy that is. ..."
"... Now on to repeating how the neocon foreign policy hawks supporting Hillary as the best commander in chief is good. ..."
"... is a trusted commenter Mission Viejo, CA 22 hours ago ..."
"... People have noticed how assiduously both Clintons have courted money over the years, whether it is Whitewater and everything else leading up to the present day fundraising, including the Times' revelatory piece on Ukrainian money in an energy deal, it all reeks, but as is wont with the Clintons, stops just shy of actual misdeed. ..."
"... With the proliferation of small digital sound recording devices, someone out there made a recording. And when it winds up public (probably during the general election campaign when it would do the most damage), it will be Mrs. Clinton's "47% moment". ..."
"... People find her dishonest and untrustworthy because she is. It doesn't take an advanced degree to see that she's a self-interested political animal through and through. She has a long, well-documented history of taking whatever position is most politically expedient and changing it when the polling changes. ..."
"... Furthermore her and her husband's well-documented history of taking money from everybody from Wall St. banksters to foreign autocrats for everything from private speeches the proceeds of which go directly into their pockets to their "foundation" suggests at the minimum a clueless recklessness about the appearance or corruption and at worst outright contempt for the intelligence of American voters. ..."
"... Again, it doesn't take membership in Mensa to apply a little critical thought and personal experience to the issue of her honesty or trustworthiness. Anybody who's ever done anything they felt even the tiniest bit ethically or morally uncomfortable about in order to keep their job or anybody who's observed this behavior in even the smallest or least significant way from colleagues knows Wall St. banksters and the Saudis princes don't give millions of dollars to people who aren't minimally receptive to their interests and people who take those millions don't do so with the intention of turning off that spigot down the line. ..."
"... What if decades of facially shady conduct is true? What if Bill Safire is right that HRC is a congenital liar? Why doesn't HRC give all this the lie by releasing her speech transcripts? Since leaving office the Clintons and the Foundation have amassed millions. Can we not think, as did Honore de Balzac that "behind every great fortune is a great crime"? How Mrs. Clinton must actually hate Barack Obama, Bernard Sanders and those under 40 who have or may yet deny her the crown. ..."
"... Often, the corruption is in the form of compensation after the public official leaves office. I used to work in NJ State Government. I can cite numerous examples of regulators who left public service, and were rewarded with lucrative contracts by the firms they formerly regulated. This would sometimes be laundered. For example, the former public official would join a law firm or consulting firm, and suddenly that firm would get a big contract from the firm they formerly regulated. ..."
"... In the case of Mrs Clinton, she was a "private citizen" only temporarily. She resigned as Secretary of State, but it was public knowledge that she was going to announce a Presidential run. ..."
"... She may not be dishonest, but boy is she greedy. ..."
"... Hillary is less transparent. She hides a lot. Does that make her dishonest? Maybe not. But unlikeable for sure. ..."
"... Sorry--the burden is squarely on Hillary to explain how money corrupts politicians, but she, Bill, the foundation and campaign taking hundreds of millions from special interests does not. Or, is a politician free to take all of the money her heart desires, unless there is iron clad proof of quid pro quo corruption? And if you believe that. you agree with the right wing majority in Citizens United. ..."
"... So the whitewashing of Hillary by the nominal Progressives begins. Whether or not she is "fundamentally" honest, as Jill Abrahamson has written, means what exactly? That she won't rob a bank, or pick your pocket? Yet she will defend bankers who rob their own banks and brokers who pick their investors' pockets every trading day by skimming others' potential profits with their high speed trades. Her husband's candidacy was rescued by winning the New York primary after his loss in New Hampshire and as President he deregulated the banks, and once he was in private life again, he became a centa millionaire by speaking in front of bankers. One would be naive to believe the Clintons did not make a deal the the banks put out the word. Perhaps there was no quid pro quo, but there certainly was some quo pro quid. Ditto for Hillary. ..."
"... Why a "Progressive" would paper over the record of Goldwater girl turned "NeoLiberal," which is pretty much the same thing, who is fundamentally against everything real Progressives stand for boggles the imagination. ..."
Apr 23, 2016 | New York Times

AFTER the New York primary, the betting websites are giving Hillary Clinton about a 94 percent chance of being the Democratic nominee, and Donald Trump a 66 percent chance of ending up as the Republican nominee.

But Clinton's big challenge is the trust issue: The share of voters who have negative feelings toward her has soared from 25 percent in early 2013 to 56 percent today, and a reason for that is that they distrust her. Only a bit more than one-third of American voters regard Clinton as "honest and trustworthy."

Indeed, when Gallup asks Americans to say the first word that comes to mind when they hear "Hillary Clinton," the most common response can be summed up as "dishonest/liar/don't trust her/poor character." Another common category is "criminal/crooked/thief/belongs in jail."

... My late friend and Times colleague William Safire in 1996 dubbed Clinton "a congenital liar."

... Then there's the question of Clinton raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from speeches to Goldman Sachs and other companies. For a person planning to run for president, this was nuts. It also created potential conflicts of interest ...

... As for the fundamental question of whether Clinton risked American national security with her email server, I suspect the problem has been exaggerated

Rima Regas

is a trusted commenter Mission Viejo, CA 23 hours ago

Hillary isn't crooked. She is dishonest in the sense that she gets to power by any means she can, including doing a complete turn on long-held opinions or saying she's evolved but not changing the bits and pieces that go with that evolution. She is dishonest in the sense that she defends taking money from Wall Street but refuses to show what she took it for, while maintaining that she has never changed a decision as a result. The thing is, she's never been faced with having to vote against Wall Street in any significant way or make a decision that, potentially, Wall Street would view as negative.

She is intellectually dishonest in that she adopts her opponents' positions in name only but refuses to adopt the planks that go along with it, all the while calling herself a progressive who gets things done. Hillary Clinton has always been a neoliberal Democrat. She and Bill Clinton redefined center right democrat during his tenure. There is nothing wrong with owning up to that political bent. There is everything wrong with pretending someone you are not, as evidenced by her favorability numbers.

Hillary is not, nor has she ever been a progressive Democrat. That title is reserved for Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, and many other distinguished Democrats who have been in the progressive trenches for decades. http://wp.me/p2KJ3H-2cQ

You can't pretend to be someone you're not and expect everyone else to play along. http://wp.me/p2KJ3H-27p

Mark Thomason, is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 23 hours ago

Yes, Hillary is dishonest.

Dishonesty and the paranoid secrecy that goes with it are fundamental to her personality. That many American are not wrong in their widespread judgment of her character. That is something that juries and other such groups judge well.

She has many specific instances of dishonesty. She was not shot at in Bosnia for example. Her sneaky dishonest attacks on Bernie were accompanied by sly smiles when she did them, pleased with herself for laying out a considered and prepared lie.

If she is elected, we will be so sick of this that NYT columnists will be writing "how could we have not seen this?" Well, it is them leading the way.

They should expect to be reminded loudly and often.

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 22 hours ago

To support Hillary, you must believe receiving hundreds of millions from special interests (speaking fees, the foundation & campaign) does not make you beholden to those special interests. Democrats used to claim money given to politicians had a corrupting influence, but now with Hillary the chosen one, Democrats require a showing of quid pro corruption.

Sorry -- either money is corrupting or it is not, and the Clintons have personally received hundreds of millions from every possible special interest. By supporting Hillary you are saying special interest money is a good thing.

The Times also ran an interesting profile in the magazine section about how Hillary became a hawk. She follows the neocons playbook and as stated in the piece, one of her significant military advisors is a Fox news pundit. Hillary admits a mutual admiration with Kissinger.

So I don't trust Hillary when she says special interests do not influence her judgment. If they really don't--which is impossible to believe--they have wasted millions paying for 40 minute speeches. Lobbyists don't contribute money to candidates who don't not help their causes.

Her foreign policy experience--it should scare us all. She voted for the Iraq war before politically being required to apologize for it. As Sec. of State, she supported bombing Libya into a stateless terrorist haven, supported rebels, turned terrorists in Syria and she is an Israeli hawk.

All of this causes grave concerns that go well beyond trust.

Michael Ebner, Lake Forest, IL 7 hours ago

It comes down to the fact the HRC is the best Democratic aspirant for the party's presidential nomination in 2016.

I cast my ballot for her in the Illinois primary and will gladly do so again in November.

Do I have reservations? Surely.

But think of the reservations about some earlier Democratic as well as Republican nominees ....

Franklin Delano Roosevelt reneged on his longtime support for the League of Nations and adamantly refused to cross swords with Southern Democrats. Would you vote for Hoover, Landon, or Willkie?

Harry Truman had longstanding ties to Kansas City's Pendergast gang. I would have voted for him.

Eisenhower evaded a golden opportunity to denounce Joseph McCarthy while campaigning in Wisconsin during 1952. He forfeited the opportunity to call out McCarthy for his frontal attack on General George C. Marshall.

JFK as a US Senator stepped to the side on the Joseph McCarthy issue because his father was something of an enthusiast. If I could have voted in 1960, it would have been easy to vote for JFK rather than RMN.

LBJ was a political animal to his very core, but hands down a better choice than Senator Goldwater.

Jimmy Carter had made his way to the governorship of Georgia because of ties to the Talmadge organization that was out-and-out segregationist. In campaigning for the governorship JEC was something of a muted segregationist. I gladly voted for him over Gerald Ford.

And so on and so forth.

Saints don't rise to the presidency.

David Underwood, is a trusted commenter Citrus Heights 18 hours ago

Dishonest, you want dishonest, try Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the whole lot of them. She is evasive, she has made some exaggerations like being shot at, and yes she voted for W to attack Saddam if he did not stop killing his own people. She also has supported the Syrian rebels, as many of us have done, until they got subverted by Daesh.

The email issue is a GOP tail chase which is going nowhere, but keeps them accusing her, just as they did with Benghazi. She is tough putting up with all the crap I see from people here. Lies, opinions made of suppositions, unprovable accusations, a lesser person would have folded by now.

Anetliner Netliner, is a trusted commenter Washington, DC area 20 hours ago


I will vote for Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee, but find her deeply untrustworthy. Examples, gong back to the early '90s:

-The commodities trading episode. Clinton asserted that she learned to trade commodities "by reading the Wall Street Journal", which is impossible. I was a great fan of Clinton's until I heard her utter this falsehood on national television.
-Travelgate. Career civil service employees improperly fired at Clinton's behest, so that they could be replaced with the services of a member of the Clintons' inner circle.
-Poor judgment on foreign policy: Iraq (not bothering to read the National Intelligence Estimate before voting to go to war.) Libya. No fly zone in Syria. Failure to close the U.S. mission to Libya in the summer of 2012: the UK closed its mission in response to growing danger; why did the U.S. not follow suit?
-Poor judgment in governmental administration: use of a private e-mail server. Initial explanation: "I didn't want to carry two devices." (Absurd on its face to anyone who has ever used a smart phone.)
-Shifting positions: Keystone XL, Trans-Pacific Partnership, single-payer health care.
-Distortion of opponents' positions. From the current campaign: distortion of Bernie Sanders' positions on the auto bailout and gun control.

I could go on, but the pattern is clear. I respect Clinton's intelligence, but deplore her duplicity and poor judgment. I'll support her in November only because the alternatives are worse.

Mark Thomason, is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 22 hours ago

It is not because she is a woman. That is an excuse. It is because she is an extreme hawk, a Washington Consensus neoliberal of trade deals and Wall Street. It is because she is Hillary, not because Hillary happens to be a woman.


Mark Thomason, is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 22 hours ago

"and yet, she has been highly vetted prior to becoming First Lady, most certainly so prior to becoming a Senator for NYC"

Nonsense. Nobody vets the President's wife. She is who he married. Nobody vets a Senator either. We've got some pretty strange Senators, arrested in bathrooms and stuff. They'd never get past vetting.

RLS, is a trusted commenter Virginia 19 hours ago

Winchestereast,

No other candidate running for president has given paid speeches to Wall Street and corporate America. Clinton is the ONLY candidate to do so. She accepted speaking fees until early 2015 knowing she was about to announce her candidacy. This is UNPRECEDENTED. Of course, congressional Democrats don't say it publicly but many wish that Clinton had shown better judgment.


Siobhan, is a trusted commenter New York 21 hours ago

This label of dishonesty that trails Clinton is not just about the most recent stuff. There's the story from way back when about how the Clintons took almost $200,000 worth of stuff when they left the White House. They eventually decided to return or pay for $114,000 worth of items. Things they'd claimed to have received before taking up residence were shown to have been received after they arrived; they claimed as personal gifts things donors specified as designated for the White House itself, etc.

It's this kind of stuff that leaves people feeling that the Clintons just aren't trustworthy.

Link to above story:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121856&page=1


Scott Stafford, North America 7 hours ago

Ah. The Five Stages Of Every Clinton Scandal:

1. I did *absolutely nothing wrong*.
2. You can't *prove* I did anything wrong.
3. Technically speaking, no law was actually violated.
4. Well, it's a stupid law anyhow.
5. Everybody does it.

pjd, is a trusted commenter Westford 18 hours ago

"... if that's corrupt then so is our entire campaign finance system."

Yes, it is. It is driven by massive amounts of money. The only "sin" committed by Ms. Clinton in the case of her speaking fees is to take publicly traceable money. Meanwhile, the rest of the bunch are taking cash by the truckload thanks to the Supreme Court-approved Citizens United.

Politics _is_ a dirty business. No one is innocent.

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 21 hours ago

You and Kristof have joined the growing Democratic chorus that money is just a fact of politics. It may be true, but wasn't there a time Democrats advocated for taking money out of politics by overturning Citizens United? Or is it like Hillary's speaking transcripts, the Dems will agree to getting money out of politics when the Republicans do.

So, repeat after me--taking hundreds of millions from every special interest group does not in any way influence Hillary's independent judgment. Keep repeating and eventually you will believe it. See how easy that is.

Now on to repeating how the neocon foreign policy hawks supporting Hillary as the best commander in chief is good.

Rima Regas, is a trusted commenter Mission Viejo, CA 22 hours ago

Mark,

I have no disagreements with you. It is my personal code of ethics that stops me from going there, for as long as she isn't caught red handed. People have noticed how assiduously both Clintons have courted money over the years, whether it is Whitewater and everything else leading up to the present day fundraising, including the Times' revelatory piece on Ukrainian money in an energy deal, it all reeks, but as is wont with the Clintons, stops just shy of actual misdeed.

That is what the trust and favorability stats keep telling us, over and over again, no matter whether it is conservatives or democrats who are polled and, now, the Bernie Or Bust movement that is being vilified by the neoliberal punditry. There comes a time when people have had it up to here and it is my sense that it may finally be here. That is the topic of my Sunday essay. Krugman just posted a new blog post on a related topic. See my comment there.

Money and greed are the root of all evil.

RM, is a trusted commenter Vermont 21 hours ago

As for the speeches, you do not have to prove an actual "favor" in return for millions in payments. Any attorney (and Mrs. Clinton is an attorney) who has had any exposure to the canons of attorney ethics knows that both actual impropriety, and APPEARANCES of impropriety are to be avoided. "Appearance" requires no proof of an actual quid pro quo. Besides, the payments can be interpreted as payments in hope of future considerations. should she be in a position to provide such considerations.

And if she is elected President and never gives them a break, as she says she won't, that is maybe even worse. Is there anything as dishonest as a public official who takes a bribe, and then does not deliver for the briber?

With the proliferation of small digital sound recording devices, someone out there made a recording. And when it winds up public (probably during the general election campaign when it would do the most damage), it will be Mrs. Clinton's "47% moment".

AC, Astoria, NY 6 hours ago

People find her dishonest and untrustworthy because she is. It doesn't take an advanced degree to see that she's a self-interested political animal through and through. She has a long, well-documented history of taking whatever position is most politically expedient and changing it when the polling changes.

Furthermore her and her husband's well-documented history of taking money from everybody from Wall St. banksters to foreign autocrats for everything from private speeches the proceeds of which go directly into their pockets to their "foundation" suggests at the minimum a clueless recklessness about the appearance or corruption and at worst outright contempt for the intelligence of American voters.

Again, it doesn't take membership in Mensa to apply a little critical thought and personal experience to the issue of her honesty or trustworthiness. Anybody who's ever done anything they felt even the tiniest bit ethically or morally uncomfortable about in order to keep their job or anybody who's observed this behavior in even the smallest or least significant way from colleagues knows Wall St. banksters and the Saudis princes don't give millions of dollars to people who aren't minimally receptive to their interests and people who take those millions don't do so with the intention of turning off that spigot down the line.

Ronald Cohen, is a trusted commenter Wilmington, N.C. 19 hours ago

Nicholas Kristoff blames the media for the view that Hillary Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy. I agree that the media as a blameworthy record in this election cycle of pushing Donald J. Trump by trumpeting his antics until he became a real danger while ignoring Bernard Sanders because he didn't suit the coronation of HRC in an effort, ongoing, of shoving Clinton down the National throat.

What if decades of facially shady conduct is true? What if Bill Safire is right that HRC is a congenital liar? Why doesn't HRC give all this the lie by releasing her speech transcripts? Since leaving office the Clintons and the Foundation have amassed millions. Can we not think, as did Honore de Balzac that "behind every great fortune is a great crime"? How Mrs. Clinton must actually hate Barack Obama, Bernard Sanders and those under 40 who have or may yet deny her the crown.


ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 21 hours ago

If you are interested in a factually based article outlining the $21.6 million Hillary took in from special interests between 2013-2015, read the AP story. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/21/the-associated-press-firms-that-paid-for-...

Even if you support Hillary, it is good to know who is paying her what.

RM, is a trusted commenter Vermont 21 hours ago

Often, the corruption is in the form of compensation after the public official leaves office. I used to work in NJ State Government. I can cite numerous examples of regulators who left public service, and were rewarded with lucrative contracts by the firms they formerly regulated. This would sometimes be laundered. For example, the former public official would join a law firm or consulting firm, and suddenly that firm would get a big contract from the firm they formerly regulated.

In the case of Mrs Clinton, she was a "private citizen" only temporarily. She resigned as Secretary of State, but it was public knowledge that she was going to announce a Presidential run. A lot different than, say, Janet Reno giving a speech.

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 21 hours ago

@RM--you raise an excellent point. If you outlined a political couple who did what the Clintons have done making money from special interests, but did not reveal their identities, everyone would agree they would be unduly influenced by special interest money. Reveal their identities and suddenly Hillary's supporters suspend previous beliefs that money corrupts politicians. And that is why nothing ever changes.

Ronald Cohen, is a trusted commenter Wilmington, N.C. 19 hours ago

"The others are worse" argument should be addressed to the DNC and the party mandarins who won't field an honest candidate. If we don't vote for HRC then the party that ran her is to blame. Where are "the best and the brightest"? Why is our choice always between the dregs?

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 21 hours ago

Remember when you could say that money in politics was a corrupting influence and democrats did not challenge you to show a quid pro quo? Democrats have suddenly adopted the conservative majority's reasoning in Citizens United there must be a quid pro quo for money to be bad.

We need to tell all of the lobbyists and special interests funneling money to the Clintons they are wasting their money because unlike other politicians, they can never be influenced by that money.

organic farmer, NY 6 hours ago

If 50% of Kristof's statements were true or 'mostly true', would he be still employed by the NYT? If I told the truth half the time, I doubt my family and co-workers would be impressed! If 50% of what my employees say were lies, they would get fired.

As a female middle-aged Democrat, I will vote for Clinton in November if I have to, but it won't be with any enthusiasm or confidence, and certainly I will not be voting for a leader I believe in. As a woman, I admire her intelligence, ambition, and determination, and I'm fairly convinced her integrity is probably somewhat better than many in politics, but we desperately need a President with a different vision for our future. We don't need a divisive leader beholden to Big Banks, Big Ag, Big Business, Big Military - this will not serve the United States well.

RM, is a trusted commenter Vermont 19 hours ago

It would not be my fault that the Democratic party chose to force upon the voting public a candidate with high negatives. Such high negatives, that even Ted Cruz could defeat her.

Janice Badger Nelson, is a trusted commenter Park City, Utah, from Boston 15 hours ago

She may not be dishonest, but boy is she greedy.

You have got to hand it to her though, she has been through the mill and still stands there. I cannot imagine the humiliation she must have felt over the Lewinsky debacle. That alone would have done most of us in. But she ran for Senate and then President, became the Secretary of State and now is leading as the democratic candidate for President.

In her 60's. Quite remarkable, if you think about it. I do not know how she does it other than the fact she has supportive people surrounding her and that must help. I also think that she feels entitled somehow, and that is troubling to me. I also think her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, is a "what you see is what you get" kind of guy. I like that so much. Hillary is less transparent. She hides a lot. Does that make her dishonest? Maybe not. But unlikeable for sure.

RM, is a trusted commenter Vermont 20 hours ago

I won't. A decision to support the lesser of two evils is a decision to support an evil. Maybe if you sat it out, or voted third party, it would be a message to the major parties to nominate better candidates.

Perhaps, to record that you came to vote, and found both candidates unsupportable, you could write in "none of the above"

But vote the rest of the ticket.

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 18 hours ago

@Christine--you got me. You are right. Those special interests just gave Hillary and Bill hundreds of millions because they oppose everything the special interests want. None of the policies Hillary advocates are favored by any of those special interests. They are wasting their money!

Sorry--the burden is squarely on Hillary to explain how money corrupts politicians, but she, Bill, the foundation and campaign taking hundreds of millions from special interests does not. Or, is a politician free to take all of the money her heart desires, unless there is iron clad proof of quid pro quo corruption? And if you believe that. you agree with the right wing majority in Citizens United.

Of course you can believe that, but never again state that money corrupts politicians, nor ever state lobbyist spending tens of millions to influence policy is bad.

amboycharlie, Nagoya, Japan 9 hours ago

So the whitewashing of Hillary by the nominal Progressives begins. Whether or not she is "fundamentally" honest, as Jill Abrahamson has written, means what exactly? That she won't rob a bank, or pick your pocket? Yet she will defend bankers who rob their own banks and brokers who pick their investors' pockets every trading day by skimming others' potential profits with their high speed trades. Her husband's candidacy was rescued by winning the New York primary after his loss in New Hampshire and as President he deregulated the banks, and once he was in private life again, he became a centa millionaire by speaking in front of bankers. One would be naive to believe the Clintons did not make a deal the the banks put out the word. Perhaps there was no quid pro quo, but there certainly was some quo pro quid. Ditto for Hillary.

The Clinton Foundation took huge donations from dictatorial regimes worldwide and Hillary as SecState, rewarded them with arms deals they would otherwise not have gotten, due to their human rights violations. The list of apparent crimes by the Clintons goes on and on. Why a "Progressive" would paper over the record of Goldwater girl turned "NeoLiberal," which is pretty much the same thing, who is fundamentally against everything real Progressives stand for boggles the imagination.

Thomas Zaslavsky, is a trusted commenter Binghamton, N.Y. 16 hours ago

Wcdessert Girl, you are straining so hard to smear Bernie Sanders that you deserve to have a busted gut. (No that I'm wishing it upon you.) He got the normal Congressional salary (not all that large; barely upper middle class, these days) and the normal Congressional benefits (sure, we should all get them), and you question his financial integrity? Be ashamed.

Now, try to defend Hillary without a baseless smear against anyone else.

Liberty Apples, Providence 9 hours ago

``One basic test of a politician's honesty is whether that person tells the truth when on the campaign trail, and by that standard Clinton does well.''

Excuse me?

She lied about Sanders support for the auto bailout.
She lied about Sanders support for the Paris climate accord.
She was in knots trying to explain her position on the $15 minimum wage.

You get the idea. The truth has always been an inconvenience for the Clintons.

Barry, Minneapolis 10 hours ago

She lies about little things. Hot sauce. Medium sized things. Coming under fire; she only wanted to carry one cell; the papers that turned up in a parlor. Big things. "If I had known then." That was as bad as Nixon's "secret plan."

Nixon wasn't the New Nixon, but she is.

[Sep 12, 2016] Serving the Clintonian Interest: The last thing we need is a Clinton in charge of foreign policy

This is Christopher Hitchens biting analysis from previous Presidential elections, but still relevant
Notable quotes:
"... The last time that Clinton foreign-policy associations came up for congressional review, the investigations ended in a cloud of murk that still has not been dispelled. ..."
"... the real problem is otherwise. Both President and Sen. Clinton, while in office, made it obvious to foreign powers that they and their relatives were wide open to suggestions from lobbyists and middlemen. ..."
"... If you recall the names John Huang, James Riady, Johnny Chung, Charlie Trie, and others, you will remember the pattern of acquired amnesia syndrome and stubborn reluctance to testify, followed by sudden willingness on the part of the Democratic National Committee to return quite large sums of money from foreign sources. Much of this cash had been raised at political events held in the public rooms of the White House, the sort of events that featured the adorable Roger Tamraz , for another example. ..."
"... It found that the Clinton administration's attitude toward Chinese penetration had been abysmally lax (as lax, I would say, as its attitude toward easy money from businessmen with Chinese military-industrial associations). ..."
"... Many quids and many quos were mooted by these investigations (still incomplete at the time of writing) though perhaps not enough un-ambivalent pros . You can't say that about the Marc Rich and other pardons-the vulgar bonanza with which the last Clinton era came to an end. Rich's ex-wife, Denise Rich, gave large sums to Hillary Clinton's re-election campaign and to Bill Clinton's library, and Marc Rich got a pardon. ..."
"... Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory, convicted of bank fraud, hired Hillary Clinton's brother Tony and paid him $250,000, and they got a pardon. Carlos Vignali Jr. and Almon Glenn Braswell paid $400,000 to Hillary Clinton's other brother, Hugh , and, hey, they , respectively, got a presidential commutation and a presidential pardon, too. ..."
"... Does this sibling and fraternal squalor have foreign-policy implications, too? Yes. Until late 1999, the fabulous Rodham boys were toiling on another scheme to get the hazelnut concession from the newly independent republic of Georgia. There was something quixotically awful about this scheme-something simultaneously too small-time and too big-time-but it also involved a partnership with the main political foe of the then-Georgian president (who may conceivably have had political aspirations), so once again the United States was made to look as if its extended first family were operating like a banana republic. ..."
"... In matters of foreign policy, it has been proved time and again, the Clintons are devoted to no interest other than their own. ..."
"... Who can say with a straight face that this is true of a woman whose personal ambition is without limit; whose second loyalty is to an impeached and disbarred and discredited former president; and who is ready at any moment, and on government time, to take a wheedling call from either of her bulbous brothers? This is also the unscrupulous female who until recently was willing to play the race card on President-elect Obama and (in spite of her own complete want of any foreign-policy qualifications) to ridicule him for lacking what she only knew about by way of sordid backstairs dealing. What may look like wound-healing and magnanimity to some looks like foolhardiness and masochism to me. ..."
Nov 01, 2008 | www.slate.com

It was apt in a small way that the first endorser of Hillary Rodham Clinton for secretary of state should have been Henry Kissinger. The last time he was nominated for any position of responsibility-the chairmanship of the 9/11 commission-he accepted with many florid words about the great honor and responsibility, and then he withdrew when it became clear that he would have to disclose the client list of Kissinger Associates. (See, for the article that began this embarrassing process for him, my Slate column "The Latest Kissinger Outrage.")

It is possible that the Senate will be as much of a club as the undistinguished fraternity/sorority of our ex-secretaries of state, but even so, it's difficult to see Sen. Clinton achieving confirmation unless our elected representatives are ready to ask a few questions about conflict of interest along similar lines. And how can they not? The last time that Clinton foreign-policy associations came up for congressional review, the investigations ended in a cloud of murk that still has not been dispelled. Former President Bill Clinton has recently and rather disingenuously offered to submit his own foundation to scrutiny (see the work of my Vanity Fair colleague Todd Purdum on the delightful friends and associates that Clinton has acquired since he left office), but the real problem is otherwise. Both President and Sen. Clinton, while in office, made it obvious to foreign powers that they and their relatives were wide open to suggestions from lobbyists and middlemen.

Just to give the most salient examples from the Clinton fundraising scandals of the late 1990s: The House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight published a list of witnesses called before it who had either "fled or pled"-in other words, who had left the country to avoid testifying or invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination. Some Democratic members of the committee said that this was unfair to, say, the Buddhist nuns who raised the unlawful California temple dough for then-Vice President Al Gore, but however fair you want to be, the number of those who found it highly inconvenient to testify fluctuates between 94 and 120. If you recall the names John Huang, James Riady, Johnny Chung, Charlie Trie, and others, you will remember the pattern of acquired amnesia syndrome and stubborn reluctance to testify, followed by sudden willingness on the part of the Democratic National Committee to return quite large sums of money from foreign sources. Much of this cash had been raised at political events held in the public rooms of the White House, the sort of events that featured the adorable Roger Tamraz, for another example.

Related was the result of a House select committee on Chinese espionage in the United States and the illegal transfer to China of advanced military technology. Chaired by Christopher Cox, R-Calif., the committee issued a report in 1999 with no dissenting or "minority" signature. It found that the Clinton administration's attitude toward Chinese penetration had been abysmally lax (as lax, I would say, as its attitude toward easy money from businessmen with Chinese military-industrial associations).

Many quids and many quos were mooted by these investigations (still incomplete at the time of writing) though perhaps not enough un-ambivalent pros. You can't say that about the Marc Rich and other pardons-the vulgar bonanza with which the last Clinton era came to an end. Rich's ex-wife, Denise Rich, gave large sums to Hillary Clinton's re-election campaign and to Bill Clinton's library, and Marc Rich got a pardon.

Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory, convicted of bank fraud, hired Hillary Clinton's brother Tony and paid him $250,000, and they got a pardon. Carlos Vignali Jr. and Almon Glenn Braswell paid $400,000 to Hillary Clinton's other brother, Hugh, and, hey, they, respectively, got a presidential commutation and a presidential pardon, too. In the Hugh case, the money was returned as being too embarrassing for words (and as though following the hallowed custom, when busted or flustered, of the Clinton-era DNC). But I would say that it was more embarrassing to realize that a former first lady, and a candidate for secretary of state, was a full partner in years of seedy overseas money-grubbing and has two greedy brothers to whom she cannot say no.

Does this sibling and fraternal squalor have foreign-policy implications, too? Yes. Until late 1999, the fabulous Rodham boys were toiling on another scheme to get the hazelnut concession from the newly independent republic of Georgia. There was something quixotically awful about this scheme-something simultaneously too small-time and too big-time-but it also involved a partnership with the main political foe of the then-Georgian president (who may conceivably have had political aspirations), so once again the United States was made to look as if its extended first family were operating like a banana republic.

China, Indonesia, Georgia-these are not exactly negligible countries on our defense and financial and ideological peripheries. In each country, there are important special interests that equate the name Clinton with the word pushover. And did I forget to add what President Clinton pleaded when the revulsion at the Rich pardons became too acute? He claimed that he had concerted the deal with the government of Israel in the intervals of the Camp David "agreement"! So anyone who criticized the pardons had better have been careful if they didn't want to hear from the Anti-Defamation League. Another splendid way of showing that all is aboveboard and of convincing the Muslim world of our evenhandedness.

In matters of foreign policy, it has been proved time and again, the Clintons are devoted to no interest other than their own. A president absolutely has to know of his chief foreign-policy executive that he or she has no other agenda than the one he has set. Who can say with a straight face that this is true of a woman whose personal ambition is without limit; whose second loyalty is to an impeached and disbarred and discredited former president; and who is ready at any moment, and on government time, to take a wheedling call from either of her bulbous brothers? This is also the unscrupulous female who until recently was willing to play the race card on President-elect Obama and (in spite of her own complete want of any foreign-policy qualifications) to ridicule him for lacking what she only knew about by way of sordid backstairs dealing. What may look like wound-healing and magnanimity to some looks like foolhardiness and masochism to me.

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author, most recently, of Arguably, a collection of essays.

[Sep 10, 2016] Pathological Liar – Impulsive, Compulsive Lying, Self-Deception

Feb 05, 2016 | depressiond.com
Pathological Liar – All About PATHOLOGICAL LYING, Lying, Self-Deception, Types, Classification, from Pseudologia Fantastica to Habitual Lying.
  1. Pathological Liar – Definition

    Pathological liar refers to a liar that is compulsive or impulsive, lies on a regular basis and is unable to control their lying despite of foreseeing inevitable negative consequences or ultimate disclosure of the lie. Generally lies told by a pathological liar have self-defeating quality to them and don't serve the long term material needs of the person. Therefore pathological lying is lying that is caused by a pathology, occurs on a regular basis, is compulsive or impulsive & uncontrolled, and has self-defeating, self-trapping quality to it.

    Lying or self-deception is a part of everyday human interactions. In many cases lying can be beneficial for those who lie and those who are being lied to. Most of this type of lying with positive consequences occurs in a controlled way, thoughtfully, with careful weighting of beneficial consequences. Unlike these, the lies told by a pathological liar are uncontrolled and are likely to have damaging consequences.

    Pathological lying covers a wide range of lying behavior, from pseudologia fantastica to habitual lying. Lying is a commonly found clinical component with people who suffer from impulse control disorders such as gambling, compulsive shopping, substance abuse, kleptomania etc. Pathological lying is generally caused by a combination of factors, which may include genetic components, dysfunctional or insecure childhood, dyslexia or other type of cerebral dysfunction. Such conditions may host environment that is likely to emerge chronic or pathological lying as an adaptive defense mechanism. Dysfunctional family, parental overprotection, sibling rivalry, mental retardation are among many causes of pathological lying.

  2. Low Self-Esteem And Pathological Lying

    Low self-esteem is a commonly found feature in pathological liars. The lie maybe an attempt to feel good about themselves, generally for a short period of time, similar to the effect of drugs & alcohol. The same lie or deceit repeated over and over may create a myth of personal well-being or success or displacement of faults of own failures on others, thus creating an imaginary fantasy protection bubble, which may reinforce self-esteem. Pathological liars repeatedly use deceit as an ego defense mechanism, which is primarily caused by the lack of ability to cope with everyday problems in more mature ways (Selling 1942).

  3. Pathological Liar – Causes

    Causes of development of pathological lying can be, but are not limited to, one or more of the factors mentioned below:

    • A dysfunctional family;
    • Sexual or physical abuse in childhood;
    • Neuropsychological abnormalities; such as borderline mental retardation, learning disabilities etc.
    • Impulse control disorders; such as kleptomania, pathological gambling, compulsive shopping.
    • Accommodating or suggestible personality traits;
    • Personality disorders such as Sociopathic, Narcissistic, Borderline, Histrionic and more;
    • Substance abuse or substance abuse in family;
  4. Pathological Liar – Types
    • Daydreaming Pathological Liar – Pseudologia Fantastica

      Some of the more extreme forms of pathological lying is Pseudologia Fantastica. This is a matrix of facts & fiction, mixed together in a way that makes the reality and fantasy almost indistinguishable. The pseudologue type pathological liar makes up stories that seem possible on the surface, but over time things start falling apart. Pseudologues have dynamic approach to their lies, they are likely to change the story if confronted or faced with disbelief, they have excessive anxiety of being caught and they desperately try to modify their story to something that would seem plausible to create or preserve a sense of self that is something they wish they were or at least something better than they fear others would find out they are. The excessive anxiety is driven by unusually low self-esteem, the person tries to hide reality by creating a fake reality, and once the story has enduring quality to it, he/she is likely to repeat it and if repeated enough times he/she might start believing in it as well. This reality escape can be triggered of a past incident or of an unbearable present for the pseudologue.

      About 30% of daydreaming pathological liars have brain dysfunction. For some it may take the form of learning disabilities, ex. dyslexia. Often those with cerebral dysfunction have greater verbal production & lower developed logical, analytical parts of the brain, thus they often fail to control verbal output.

    • Habitual Liar

      Habitual pathological lying is, as the name suggest, habitual. Habitual liar lies so frequently, that it becomes a habit, as a result, he/she puts very little effort in giving a thought about what the output is going to be, nor does he/she care much to process whether it's a lie or not, it's simply a reflex & very often can be completely unnecessary or even opposite to his/her own needs. If he/she stops & thinks about it, he/she knows clearly it's a lie.

      Habitual liars lie for a variety of reasons, which include, but are not limited to:

      • Take advantage of the situation or misguide a rival
      • Avoid confrontation or punishment
      • Cover up lack of knowledge
      • Cover up embarrassment
      • To entertain oneself or others
      • Reinforce self-esteem, because of failing own expectation
      • Receive unearned praise or avoid disappointment or disproval
      • For no reason whatsoever

      Habitual liars gives very few if any psychical or vocal signs of lying, due to the effortless nature of lying. That said, since he/she gives a very little thought to his/her lies, they are usually inconsistent & obvious.

      Fear is a major contributor in developing habitual lying in a child & further advancement into adulthood, more so in conditions when the child finds truth telling results in more frequent or more severe punishment. Lack of appreciating and likelihood of unwanted consequences of telling the truth may result in frequent opting out for lying, which often involves less punishment & therefore becomes more desirable.

    • Impulsive Pathological Liar – Impulse Control Disorders & Lying

      Impulsive pathological liar lies due to impulse control problem, he/she lies to fulfill his/her present (in the moment) needs, without thinking of future negative effects that can be caused because of the lie. Impulsive pathological liar generally suffers from impulse control disorders, such as kleptomania, pathological gambling, compulsive shopping etc. Those suffering from impulse control disorders fail to learn from past negative experiences, frequently suffer from depression, likely to have history of substance abuse in family or have substance abuse problems themselves, likely to have deficiency in brain serotonin. Increase in brain serotonin may have positive effect in decreasing impulsiveness, such medication may have positive effects, however there hasn't been clinical research performed to confirm or deny this theory.

    • Substance Abuse Associated Pathological Liar

      Self-Deception is an undeniable part of addictive process. People abuse alcohol or other drugs constantly lie to themselves & others to avoid embarrassment, conflict, as well as to obtain the substance. Getting off substance requires learning to distance oneself from the deceit, therefore learning to be truthful is generally a part of any Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous program.

  5. Signs of Lying

    Human detection of deceit can be summarized by the following seven signs.

    7 Signs of Lying

    • Disguised smiling
    • Lack of head movement
    • Increased rate of self-adapters (eg., movements such playing with an object in hands, scratching one's head etc.)
    • Increased/Heightened pitch of voice
    • Reduced rate of speech
    • Pause fillers ("uh", "hm", "er")
    • Less corresponding, matching nonverbal behavior from the other communication methods (ex. the movement of hands doesn't match the substance of the lie that is being told orally)

Reference: (Fiedler, Walka, Zuckerman, Driver, Ford)

Pathological lying - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[Sep 10, 2016] Surviving the Storm - Divorcing a Narcissist

May 02, 2016 | dalkeithpress.com

Dalkeith Press

You may have thought that living with your troubled spouse was hard. But now that you've reached the point of divorce, you probably already know that this can be ever harder. Narcissistic behavior can be labeled as borderline, sociopathic, narcissistic, or just intolerable, but it all derives from one fundamental driving force: narcissists can't tolerate criticism, especially public criticism. And divorcing them is about them most direct and public criticism you can make. You'll know you're there when your soon-to-be ex spouse begins a campaign of destruction against you. And if you don't know how to resond and deal with it, it can take a terrible toll.

Surviving the Storm offers practical strategies that can help you reach a settlement with your soon-to-be ex, in spite of his or her seeming determination to scorch the earth. The key is understanding that narcissists fear, above all, critical judgment by others. Your decision to divorce sets these fears in motion. To counter them, you need to know how to split the battlefield, offering on the one hand a safe alternative in which you get what you need, and on the other a continuing stream of criticism, judgment, and shame heaped on your soon-to-be ex. In essence, you trade the safety of silence for the things you need in the settlement.

Surviving the Storm also offers practical boundaries on what you can and can't expect to do. It explains the impact of divorcing a narcissist on your children, and offers strategies and tactics to help achieve a custody arrangement that is best for your kids. It explains what parental alienation is and where to get more help with it. It offers some reflection on the moral issues we face in divorce, including the Catholic Church's surprising position holding that marriage to a narcissist is a moral impossibility. Finally, it offers a perspective on healing and the need for new experiences to move on.

Richard has been helping people deal with the trauma and pain of abusive relationships for nearly ten years. His other books are Tears and Healing , Meaning from Madness , In Love and Loving It - Or Not! , Tears and Healing Reflections , and the Way of Respect If you've read them, you know his style, and this book is also short and to the point, giving you the information and insight you need without wading through hundreds of pages you don't need.

[Sep 10, 2016] Are BPD Drama Queens Manipulative, Sadistic, and Worse

Notable quotes:
"... Often described as "drama queens" or "abusive," they too frequently create chaos in situations where others would smoothly deal with the normal differences and disappointments that arise from time to time for all of us. ..."
"... These habits now would suggest to me comorbid diagnoses, that is, a combination of borderline personality emotional hyper-reactivity with narcissistic and/or psychopathic (conning) patterns. ..."
"... manipulation is defined as deception used for personal gain, without concern for victims." ..."
www.psychologytoday.com

Women, and men, with borderline personality disorder seem not to know how to stop arguing (link is external).

Often described as "drama queens" or "abusive," they too frequently create chaos in situations where others would smoothly deal with the normal differences and disappointments that arise from time to time for all of us.

... ... ...

There may well be some individuals with BPD who are genuinely manipulative or sadistic.

These habits now would suggest to me comorbid diagnoses, that is, a combination of borderline personality emotional hyper-reactivity with narcissistic and/or psychopathic (conning) patterns.

In the Journal of Personality Disorders a 2006 an excellent article by Nancy Nyquist Potter, PhD entitled "What is Manipulative Behavior Anyway?" (link is external) looked to define the term manipulative.

In the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (cited in Bowers, 2002) ... manipulation is defined as deception used for personal gain, without concern for victims."

[Sep 10, 2016] Meet the Malignant Narcissist

Notable quotes:
"... A personality disorder characterized by grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one's superiority; a lack of empathy, lack of truthfulness, and the tendency to degrade others. ..."
"... Malignant narcissists not only see themselves as superior to others but believe in their superiority to the degree that they view others as relatively worthless, expendable, and justifiably exploitable. ..."
"... This type of narcissism is a defining characteristic of psychopathy/sociopathy and is rooted in an individual's deficient capacity for empathy. It's almost impossible for a person with such shallow feelings and such haughtiness to really care about others or to form a conscience with any of the qualities we typically associate with a humane attitude, which is why most researchers and thinkers on the topic of psychopathy think of psychopaths as individuals without a conscience altogether." ..."
Dec 09, 2015 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"A personality disorder characterized by grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one's superiority; a lack of empathy, lack of truthfulness, and the tendency to degrade others."

"Narcissism becomes particularly malignant (i.e. malevolent, dangerous, harmful, incurable) when it goes beyond mere vanity and excessive self-focus. Malignant narcissists not only see themselves as superior to others but believe in their superiority to the degree that they view others as relatively worthless, expendable, and justifiably exploitable.

This type of narcissism is a defining characteristic of psychopathy/sociopathy and is rooted in an individual's deficient capacity for empathy. It's almost impossible for a person with such shallow feelings and such haughtiness to really care about others or to form a conscience with any of the qualities we typically associate with a humane attitude, which is why most researchers and thinkers on the topic of psychopathy think of psychopaths as individuals without a conscience altogether."

"There is nothing about the man that is service-oriented. He's only serving himself."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/x54z2pRAvtg?rel=0"

[Sep 09, 2016] Hillary clinton and huma abedin abuse secret service agents

Notable quotes:
"... Kessler points out that Clinton's protestations that the material under investigation was not marked classified is immaterial, writing, "The pertinent laws make no distinction between classified material that is marked as such or not. If material is classified and is handled improperly, that is a violation of criminal laws." ..."
"... The FBI investigation has been galvanized further by recent revelations involving emails sent by Abedin and Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, as well as the fact that State Department BlackBerry devices belonging to Abedin and Mills have likely been liquidated or sold. ..."
"... There's not an agent in the service who wants to be in Hillary's detail. If agents get the nod to go to her detail, that's considered a form of punishment among the agents. ..."
"... The most egregious example of Clinton's arrogance was evidenced in one particularly nasty incident when she was First Lady. One former agent related, "The first lady steps out of the limo, and another uniformed officer says to her, 'Good morning, ma'am.' Her response to him was 'F-- off.' I couldn't believe I heard it." ..."
Jun 25, 2016 | breitbart.com

Ronald Kessler, writing for The Daily Mail, testifies that Hillary Clinton and her long-time aide Huma Abedin were detested by members of the Secret Service because the two women arrogantly treated the Secret Service agents like dirt.

Kessler, the author of The Secrets of the FBI and The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents, dismisses claims by members of the media that the current FBI investigation of Clinton is restricted to a "security investigation." He attests that the investigation of Clinton means that she violated criminal laws, as the FBI will not launch an investigation unless laws have been violated. Kessler points out that Clinton's protestations that the material under investigation was not marked classified is immaterial, writing, "The pertinent laws make no distinction between classified material that is marked as such or not. If material is classified and is handled improperly, that is a violation of criminal laws."

The FBI investigation has been galvanized further by recent revelations involving emails sent by Abedin and Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, as well as the fact that State Department BlackBerry devices belonging to Abedin and Mills have likely been liquidated or sold.

Some of the anecdotes involving the imperiousness and haughtiness of Clinton and Abedin include:

In 2008, Abedin lost her way driving Chelsea Clinton to the February 2008 Democrat presidential debate in Los Angeles. One agent who tried to help Abedin recalled, "She was belligerent and angry about being late for the event, no appreciation for any of it, not a thank-you or anything. That was common for her people to be rude."

Another Los Angeles imbroglio occurred when Abedin, who was not wearing a pin certifying her identity, tried to bluster past a female Secret Service agent. The agent, unaware of Abedin's identity, said, "You don't have the proper identification to go beyond this point." Another agent told Kessler, "Huma basically tried to throw her weight around. She tried to just force her way through and said belligerently, 'Do you know who I am?''"

Kessler noted that Secret Service Agents are not required to carry luggage for their protectees, but they will if they like them. One agent recollected that, in Abedin's case, "The agents were just like, 'Hey, you're going to be like that? Well, you get your own luggage to the car. Oh, and by the way, you can carry the first lady's luggage to the car, too. She'd have four bags, and we'd stand there and watch her and say, 'Oh, can we hold the door open for you?'" The agent added, "When it's convenient for them, they'll utilize the service for whatever favor they need, but otherwise, they look down upon the agents, kind of like servants."

An agent who still works for the Secret Service asserted:

There's not an agent in the service who wants to be in Hillary's detail. If agents get the nod to go to her detail, that's considered a form of punishment among the agents. She's hard to work around, she's known to snap at agents and yell at agents and dress them down to their faces, and they just have to be humble and say, "Yes ma'am," and walk away. Agents don't deserve that. They're there to do a job, they're there to protect her, they'll lay their life down for hers, and there's absolutely no respect for that. And that's why agents do not want to go to her detail.

The most egregious example of Clinton's arrogance was evidenced in one particularly nasty incident when she was First Lady. One former agent related, "The first lady steps out of the limo, and another uniformed officer says to her, 'Good morning, ma'am.' Her response to him was 'F-- off.' I couldn't believe I heard it."

Hillary was famous for wanting the Secret Service to be invisible; one former agent said, "We were basically told, the Clintons don't want to see you, they don't want to hear you, get out of the way. Hillary was walking down a hall, you were supposed to hide behind drapes used as partitions. Supervisors would tell us, 'Listen, stand behind this curtain. They're coming,' or 'Just stand out of the way, don't be seen.'"

Hillary berated a White House electrician changing a light bulb, screaming that he should have waited until the First Family was gone. Franette McCulloch, the assistant White House pastry chief at the time, remembered, "He was a basket case."

FBI agent Coy Copeland told Kessler that Hillary had a "standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another."

One agent was abused by Hillary during the Kenneth Starr investigation of the Whitewater scandal; he said, "Good morning, Mrs. Clinton," and she ranted, "How dare you? You people are just destroying my husband… And where do you buy your suits? Penney's?"

Weeks later, the agent confessed to Copeland, "I was wearing the best suit I owned."

[Sep 04, 2016] Under my definiton of sociopath , Hillary Clinton qualifies on just her laugh about death Muammar Gaddafi, who was sodomized with a bayonet

Notable quotes:
"... As part of the murder process of Muammar Gaddafi, he was sodomized with a bayonet. Out of respect for any children reading this blog, I'm not going to spell that out any further. What was Hillary's RECORDED reaction? ..."
"... "We came, we saw, he died," followed by a laugh and gleeful hand clap. ..."
"... Finally, using Richard Cohen as an source for anything is beyond the pale. This shill for Israel was all-in for the destruction of Iraq. He was a big fan of the destruction of Libya. He's a huge booster for the destruction of Syria. And he most definitely wants somebody in the White House who will finish off Iran. That person is Hillary Clinton. ..."
Sep 04, 2016 | angrybearblog.com

Zachary Smith / August 30, 2016 2:24 p.m.

As part of the murder process of Muammar Gaddafi, he was sodomized with a bayonet. Out of respect for any children reading this blog, I'm not going to spell that out any further. What was Hillary's RECORDED reaction?

"We came, we saw, he died," followed by a laugh and gleeful hand clap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

Under my definiton of "sociopath", Hillary Clinton qualifies on that one alone. Of course there are others….

*** My father, too, turned bribes into gifts. ***

I know some saintly people myself, and have no difficulty accepting this claim at face value. Stretching the analogy to the Clinton Foundation is, in my opinion, a stretch too far. If Hillary was as pure as the driven snow, why did she work so hard to ensure her communications were beyond the reach of the Freedom Of Information Act? Why has the State department refused to release her meeting schedules until after the election?

Finally, using Richard Cohen as an source for anything is beyond the pale. This shill for Israel was all-in for the destruction of Iraq. He was a big fan of the destruction of Libya. He's a huge booster for the destruction of Syria. And he most definitely wants somebody in the White House who will finish off Iran. That person is Hillary Clinton.

[Sep 03, 2016] Hillary Clinton Incompetent, Or Criminal

The lost in mail laptop and disappear thumb drive with archived emails story is incredibly fishy. The whole story in incredible. Both Hillary and her close aides (especially Huma ) come out as completely incompetent idiots, who can't be trusted any sensitive information. This level of incompetence combined with recklessness is pretty typical for female sociopath
Notable quotes:
"... The Donald Trump campaign has already called for Clinton to be "locked up" for her carelessness handling sensitive information. The missing laptop and thumb drive raise a new possibility that Clinton's emails could have been obtained by people for whom they weren't intended. ..."
"... The archives on the laptop and thumbdrive were constructed by Clinton aides in 2013, using a convoluted process, before her emails were turned over to State Department officials and later scrubbed to determine which ones had classified information and should either be withheld from public view or could be released with redactions. The archive of messages would contain none of those safeguards, potentially exposing classified information if it were ever opened and its contents read. ..."
"... The archive was created nearly a year before the State Department contacted former secretaries of state and asked them to turn over any emails that they had sent using private accounts that pertained to official business. A senior Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, told the FBI that the archive on the laptop and thumb drive were meant to be "a reference for the future production of a book," according to the FBI report. ..."
"... Whatever the rationale, the transfer of Clinton's emails onto two new storage devices, one of which was shipped twice, created new opportunities for messages to be lost or exposed to people who weren't authorized to see them, according to the FBI report. (The Clinton campaign didn't immediately respond to a request to comment for this story.) ..."
"... The disappearing laptop and thumb drive story is incredibly fishy. Either Team Hillary is lying about it, or they are spectacularly incompetent and reckless with national security information. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton: Incompetent, Or Criminal? Both. ..."
"... Dear God, from the Daily Beast article, apparently they were using one of the laptops as a way to transfer the emails to a contractor they had hired. Since no one knew how to do it, they effected the transfer by sending the entire archive to a personal gmail account, then transfering it again to the contractor. So we have a massive store containing quite classified information going to a major tech company, entirely over the internet with only ssl protection I can only presume, because they could not figure out how to transfer a file system. The incompetence here is astonishing. Even a Google employee who forwards sensitive information to a personal gmail account would risk being fired. ..."
"... Of course the most important detail to come out of this is the use of BleachBit. You don't use that software to delete emails about yoga classes. ..."
"... The employee "transferred all of the Clinton e-mail content to a personal Google e-mail (Gmail) address he created," the FBI found. From that Gmail address, he downloaded the emails into a mailbox named "HRC Archive" on the Platte River server. ..."
"... Honestly, Rod you should highlight this. I can assure you that if something this mindbogglingly reckless were ever done at a major tech company the employee would either be fired or told to find work elsewhere but never enter the office again (because severance is expensive and bad pr). I assume the same is true of the government as well. ..."
The American Conservative

Why, exactly, did the FBI wait until Labor Day Weekend to dump this startling news about Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal? Hard to believe it was a coincidence that official Washington wanted this story to have the best chance of going away. From the Daily Beast:

A laptop containing a copy, or "archive," of the emails on Hillary Clinton's private server was apparently lost-in the postal mail-according to an FBI report released Friday. Along with it, a thumb drive that also contained an archive of Clinton's emails has been lost and is not in the FBI's possession.

The Donald Trump campaign has already called for Clinton to be "locked up" for her carelessness handling sensitive information. The missing laptop and thumb drive raise a new possibility that Clinton's emails could have been obtained by people for whom they weren't intended. The FBI director has already said it's possible Clinton's email system could have been remotely accessed by foreign hackers.

The revelation of the two archives is contained in a detailed report about the FBI's investigation of Clinton's private email account. The report contained new information about how the archives were handled, as well as how a private company deleted emails in its possession, at the same time that congressional investigators were demanding copies.

More:

The archives on the laptop and thumbdrive were constructed by Clinton aides in 2013, using a convoluted process, before her emails were turned over to State Department officials and later scrubbed to determine which ones had classified information and should either be withheld from public view or could be released with redactions. The archive of messages would contain none of those safeguards, potentially exposing classified information if it were ever opened and its contents read.

The FBI has found that Clinton's emails contained classified information, including information derived from U.S. intelligence. Her campaign has disputed the classification of some of the emails.

The archive was created nearly a year before the State Department contacted former secretaries of state and asked them to turn over any emails that they had sent using private accounts that pertained to official business. A senior Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, told the FBI that the archive on the laptop and thumb drive were meant to be "a reference for the future production of a book," according to the FBI report. Another aide, however, said that the archive was set up after the email account of a Clinton confidante and longtime adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, was compromised by a Romanian hacker.

Whatever the rationale, the transfer of Clinton's emails onto two new storage devices, one of which was shipped twice, created new opportunities for messages to be lost or exposed to people who weren't authorized to see them, according to the FBI report. (The Clinton campaign didn't immediately respond to a request to comment for this story.)

Read it all. The disappearing laptop and thumb drive story is incredibly fishy. Either Team Hillary is lying about it, or they are spectacularly incompetent and reckless with national security information.

Clint says: September 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm
The Clintons have gotten away repeatedly by not playing by the rules that others must play by or get punished for breeching.

It's incrementally being exposed and Americans see that The Clintons act as if they're too big to jail.

Noah172 , says: September 3, 2016 at 12:08 pm
KevinS wrote:

It is like going through a red light because you weren't paying close enough attention as opposed to consciously choosing to run a red light

Lousy analogy. Running a red is a momentary lapse, not a years-long, well-thought-out conspiracy, with considerable effort given to covering tracks (BleachBit).

Sebastien Cole , says: September 3, 2016 at 12:09 pm
No one in the media wants to say it, but this report almost entirely exonerates Clinton. Yes, she's lawyerly and is inclined to walk too close to the line, but no – she didn't do anything immoral or unethical. If at some point it turns out that she's actually done something wrong then we revisit, but the obsession with this 'crimeless coverup' prevents us from stating the obvious – Clinton is a solid candidate for President, intelligent, diligent and serious enough to guide the nation through difficult times. Trump is uncontroversially not.

The moral equivalence games the media plays with the two candidates amounts to a cancer in our civic fiber that allows us not to put away our childish things.

mongoose , says: September 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm
…like choosing a hangover…rather than a heroin overdose
Buckeye reader , says: September 3, 2016 at 12:22 pm
You're insulting Nixon.

We could have had Carly Fiorina dealing with the challenge of cyber warfare in the 21st century. Voters are choosing a woman who put an insecure server containing national security communications in her basement, and sold our intention and opportunities to do good in the world to rich people for her own financial gain.
(I lean toward voting for Trump. My issue is the immense paperwork drag on health care delivery and the increase in cost caused by the "affordable" care act. I expect more of the same with Clinton. )

Abelard Lindsey , says: September 3, 2016 at 12:37 pm
Hillary Clinton: Incompetent, Or Criminal? Both.
Michael Guarino, says: September 3, 2016 at 12:51 pm
Dear God, from the Daily Beast article, apparently they were using one of the laptops as a way to transfer the emails to a contractor they had hired. Since no one knew how to do it, they effected the transfer by sending the entire archive to a personal gmail account, then transfering it again to the contractor. So we have a massive store containing quite classified information going to a major tech company, entirely over the internet with only ssl protection I can only presume, because they could not figure out how to transfer a file system. The incompetence here is astonishing. Even a Google employee who forwards sensitive information to a personal gmail account would risk being fired.

This sort of astonishing incompetence is exactly why I originally thought this was a big deal. The reason you don't want HRC running her own server is because she plainly doesn't know how to manage, or even hire for, all the inane details of information security.

Of course the most important detail to come out of this is the use of BleachBit. You don't use that software to delete emails about yoga classes.

Will Harrington , says: September 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm
Jay, or, and hear me out, like the other Bill, there has to come a point in time where the shear amount of claims of criminal behavior has to be considered. The other Bill got away with rape for years, maybe its time to consider that this Bill and his wife lack credibility in the face of accusers that HRC has denigrated and called Bimbos.

Leftists make me sick in this. They will cry that we should always believe the victim unless one of their political leaders are accused. You want to take out a conservative? Give credible evidence that he is guilty of rape or sexual harassment. We quit voting for them. Your side, deny, deny, deny….and ultimately demand we move on, just like a previous poster's five stages of a Clinton scandal.

The only exception to this I can think of is Weiner, not because he did something that is horrible. No, you guys abandoned him because he was pathetic and embarrassing.

Michael Guarino, says: September 3, 2016 at 1:08 pm
This is the direct quote from the Daily Beast article:

After trying unsuccessfully to remotely transfer the emails to a Platte River server, Hanley shipped the laptop to the employee's home in February 2014. He then "migrated Clinton's emails" from the laptop to a Platte River server.

That task was hardly straightforward, however, and ended up exposing the email archive yet again, this time to another commercial email service.

The employee "transferred all of the Clinton e-mail content to a personal Google e-mail (Gmail) address he created," the FBI found. From that Gmail address, he downloaded the emails into a mailbox named "HRC Archive" on the Platte River server.

Honestly, Rod you should highlight this. I can assure you that if something this mindbogglingly reckless were ever done at a major tech company the employee would either be fired or told to find work elsewhere but never enter the office again (because severance is expensive and bad pr). I assume the same is true of the government as well.

It really makes the Nixon comparisons seem apt, except she has an out for her supporters in simply claiming that she is a bumbling idiot.

Andrew E. , says: September 3, 2016 at 1:23 pm
The good liberals here who are starting the writing on the wall with Crooked Hillary should begin considering the fact that Trump isn't that bad and is actually pretty good in many ways. Come on over, you will be welcomed warmly.

[Aug 30, 2016] So, Trumps crazy What about Hillary

Notable quotes:
"... compulsive lying can be associated with dementia or brain injury ..."
"... compulsive lying can be associated with a range of diagnoses, such as antisocial, borderline and narcissistic personality disorders. ..."
"... "This might explain Hillary's consistent unlikability factor, along with her consistent denial of lies, even in her lying about FBI Director Comey pointing out that she lied multiple times. Most of America believes her to be a liar, and yet she seems to have zero remorse, even and up to the point of costing American lives." ..."
"... In addition to pathological lying, Clinton's temper has reportedly been a problem in the past. A former military K9 handler described how then-Secretary of State Clinton once flew into a blind rage, yelling "get that f**king dog away from me." She then berated her security detail for the next 20 minutes about why the dog was in her quarters. After Clinton left after slamming the door in their faces, the leader of the detail explained to the K9 handler, "Happens every day, brother." ..."
"... "Hillary's been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left staff members in tears and unable to work. She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her and she's become shrill and, at times, even violent." ..."
Aug 07, 2016 | www.wnd.com

Hillary Clinton has indeed become well known as a serial liar, as fully two-thirds of Americans, 68 percent in a recent poll, said she was neither honest nor trustworthy. Not only does Clinton lie to protect herself, as she has regarding Benghazi and her private email server, but she lies when there appears to be no benefit to doing so.

For example, she famously claimed she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary for his conquering of Mt. Everest, even though that didn't happen until six years after Clinton was born. She also notoriously claim she landed under sniper fire in Bosnia in 1996, when newspaper and video accounts revealed exactly the opposite.

"Robert Reich, M.D., a New York City psychiatrist and expert in psychopathology, says compulsive lying can be associated with dementia or brain injury," Dr. Gina Loudon, a political psychology and behavior expert, told WND. "Otherwise, compulsive lying can be associated with a range of diagnoses, such as antisocial, borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.

"This might explain Hillary's consistent unlikability factor, along with her consistent denial of lies, even in her lying about FBI Director Comey pointing out that she lied multiple times. Most of America believes her to be a liar, and yet she seems to have zero remorse, even and up to the point of costing American lives."

In addition to pathological lying, Clinton's temper has reportedly been a problem in the past. A former military K9 handler described how then-Secretary of State Clinton once flew into a blind rage, yelling "get that f**king dog away from me." She then berated her security detail for the next 20 minutes about why the dog was in her quarters. After Clinton left after slamming the door in their faces, the leader of the detail explained to the K9 handler, "Happens every day, brother."

These types of outbursts continued after Hillary left her office as secretary of state. An aide on her presidential campaign told the New York Post last October: "Hillary's been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left staff members in tears and unable to work. She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her and she's become shrill and, at times, even violent."

[Aug 26, 2016] Rep. Gowdy Hillary Clinton is a 'habitual, serial liar'

Fox News Video

- 2:08 - Republican lawmaker questions absence of emails sent by secretary of state on foundation

[Aug 14, 2016] The cry of management bullying reduces wholesale ownership to bad personal behaviour, something to be corrected by the schoolteacher or the next authority up.

Notable quotes:
"... As extracurricular lesson. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

clinical wasteman , August 13, 2016 at 11:31 am

BULLYING: (1.) Workplace. Cuts conflict over time and money down to schoolyard scale. If one schoolchild 'bullies' another the injury is real but the two are formal equals under the same coercive structure. Neither owns the other's means of survival.

Apply the metaphor to boss and worker, then, and the stakes of the conflict evaporate, or rather stay in the hands that always held them. The cry of 'management bullying' reduces wholesale ownership to bad personal behaviour, something to be corrected by the schoolteacher or the next authority up. A plea for Help that counts as the surrender (usually by proxy) of the managed.

(2.) As extracurricular lesson. Actual schoolyard violence is 'bullying' when the perpetrator fits the profile for Multi-Agency Intervention better than the target. In the opposite case, counsellors and Restorative Justice practitioners may declare the ordeal a lesson in Life Skills for the injured party. A salutary warning that s/he must either curb a too-sharp tongue or be unemployable as well as regularly beaten up in years to come.

From the many more than 25 "words and phrases" at: http://www.wealthofnegations.org/

[Aug 07, 2016] Is hillary a female phychopath

Notable quotes:
"... It makes me wonder if we ought not to be discussing Clinton in the frame of "The Ego Candidate". It's tempting to characterize Trump for that label, given his boastfulness which does seem to be part of his character. But for all that, Trump comes across to me as mostly law-abiding, and someone who recognizes and observes limits. Clinton neither recognizes or observes anything of the kind, and she is limited only by what she cannot get away with. ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
marknesop , August 5, 2016 at 5:06 pm
Sayyyyyy…..didn't someone here theorize, right after the news broke that the DNC's emails had been hacked, and Hillary blamed the Russians so people would forget what she and the rest of the coven did to Sanders, that the actual attacker was more likely someone much closer to home?

Enter the Disgruntled US Intelligence Worker . According to US government whistleblower William Binney, somebody in the NSA released Hillary's and the DNC's emails, infuriated at Teflon Hillary's non-stick escape from any accountability for her hijinks.

The headline suggests he knows, but the body of the story suggests he is just speculating, though. But it raises a valid point – the NSA probably has all those emails, including the 30,000 she deleted on the grounds that they were 'personal'.

Cortes , August 5, 2016 at 11:41 pm

The following piece by Andrew Napolitano speculates on what might have triggered a disgruntled NSA person to leak materials:

http://www.unz.com/anapolitano/lessons-from-the-deep-state/

At some point between now and November, is anyone in the media going to put the questions about the likelihood of NSA possession of, and therefore ease of FBI access thereto, the "missing" emails to Director Comey? Or will TPTB just smile grimly and pray no further leaks arrive to shatter the Narnian alternative reality world they inhabit?

marknesop , August 6, 2016 at 9:16 am

What an excellent article, quite a bit more authoritative than the one I cited although it helpfully offers the same source, and it shapes some more pieces of the puzzle which now make more sense. The compromising of intelligence personnels' identities was something that, to the best of my knowledge, was never discussed in any stories on her email peccadilloes. Intelligence agencies quite properly despise anyone who casually blows the cover of its operatives. It makes me wonder if we ought not to be discussing Clinton in the frame of "The Ego Candidate". It's tempting to characterize Trump for that label, given his boastfulness which does seem to be part of his character. But for all that, Trump comes across to me as mostly law-abiding, and someone who recognizes and observes limits. Clinton neither recognizes or observes anything of the kind, and she is limited only by what she cannot get away with.

Thanks for posting that revealing corroborative piece.

[Aug 01, 2016] Bullying Definition

Notable quotes:
"... Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. ..."
"... Kids who bully use their power-such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity-to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people. ..."
"... The set of behaviors definition given is not age dependent. The definition may have been provided to provide a basis for recognizing and determining a set of behaviors that may be defined as bullying, but says nothing about age levels. It's a description of a set of human behaviors being applied to a particular age group for the sake of defining a particular basis of illegal behavior. ..."
www.stopbullying.gov

Below is the definition of bullying from stopbullying.gov. (US Department of Health & Human Services)

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Types of Bullying

There are three types of bullying:

Jack, August 1, 2016 11:23 am

Warren,
That is a nonsensical reply. The set of behaviors definition given is not age dependent. The definition may have been provided to provide a basis for recognizing and determining a set of behaviors that may be defined as bullying, but says nothing about age levels. It's a description of a set of human behaviors being applied to a particular age group for the sake of defining a particular basis of illegal behavior.

Ed, Maybe bullying should be described as a high priority issue in our schools, but assigning it to the number one spot may be a bit hyperbolic.

Edward Lambert, August 1, 2016 12:07 pm

Jack,
It is a very high priority. I went to a presentation by the local school superintendent. She said bullying was the #1 priority by law. She has to drop anything and everything that she is doing when a case of bullying presents itself by law. That is how serious the situation became.

[Jul 16, 2016] Female Sociopaths - different but just as dangerous!

www.decision-making-confidence.com
Particular Characteristics of Female Sociopaths Vs Males

Incidence

How many female sociopaths are there? Robert Hare believes that about 1% of the population fits the profile of psychopath, and male psychopaths are 7 times more common than female psychopaths.

But there are some things to keep in mind here. When most people think of 'sociopath' they typically think 'male' and 'serial killer'. They do not generally think of women psychopaths. This can lead to a situation where they are dealing with a psychopath in their life but do not realize who they are dealing with.

Add to this the fact that sociopaths have been called chameleons for their ability to blend into society and it adds to the difficulty in counting them.

Plus, whether you consider it sexist or not, the female aspect needs to be considered when talking about manipulation. Women have been known to 'bat their eyelids' and show their cleavage or 'show a bit of leg', for example, to good effect.

How female sociopaths show up in society

The most obvious group are the serial killers. And yes, there have been lots of female serial killers as well as males!

Unlike the males however, there is usually not a sexual element to their crimes. It's much more usual to be money or power related. And the female sociopaths typically know their victims; it's rare for them to kill strangers. An interesting group are the female sociopaths who become nurses or doctors. These cold-blooded killers hide themselves where nobody would suspect them, in a caring profession!

And then they set to work. For example, Beverley Allitt, a 23-year-old nurse in the UK killed 4 and attacked 9 other children within a couple of months before she was caught. A Texas nurse Genene Jones is believed to have killed between 11 and 46. It's of this group that people usually say "But they seemed like such nice people!"

Another subset are those who kill one or several husbands for the inheritance and life assurance.

Obvious Delinquents

Some female sociopaths demonstrate antisocial behavior as children and as adolescents. Lying, stealing, truancy, cruelty to animals and siblings, drug abuse, early sexual activity. Of course, there may be frequent run-ins with the law. Their parents are very often distraught because there is so little they can do. As adults, these female sociopaths may end up abusing alcohol and drugs and end up in and out of prison.

Some therapists believe that there is such a disregard for society among them that a sociopath that has not broken the law just hasn't been found out yet!

Cult leaders

Many of the women who lead destructive cults are sociopaths.

There seems to be two themes among female sociopaths that are not so prevalent in male led groups, one being the avoidance of sex and the other being food.

The women psychopaths may target women who want to get away from sex for whatever reason. Instead they offer female nurturing and support.

As well as offering meals when potential 'clients' have none, there are cults based on eating healthily or losing weight. This is typical of cults, they offer something people want but behind the outer facade is a second set of ideas or principles. People enter for one thing and end up having the leader control their lives.

Socialized sociopaths

These are the ones that are so difficult to count! Despite their sociopath symptoms, they manage to integrate themselves into society to varying degrees. Everything from solitary lives where they live on the money they make from crimes for which they are not caught, to getting married, settling down and having children.

It's interesting to read or listen to the stories of some of these female sociopaths. Typically, they realize as children that they are different in some way. They think differently and make different decisions. Then they begin to understand that they are not so 'affected' by emotions. It's seems that it's common for them to think that this is because they are smarter than those around them.

They begin from an early age to look for clues to recognize the emotions that others are actually having. They learn to mimic the emotions so as not to stand out, or to please others. They learn to create relationships that are beneficial for them.

Female sociopaths have all the symptoms of sociopaths. The lying, the parasitic lifestyle, the need for excitement and the desire to control. It's possible that there are many female sociopaths who live, for all intents and purposes, what looks like a normal life from the outside. They are content to just blend in and do what "normal" people do.

Others however, want more. More money, more power, more control, more excitement. And they get themselves into trouble because of the impulsivity or the failure to control their emotions, or the irresponsibility.

One of the ways this shows up is in problems in their marriage. In true sociopath style, they attract a man, create an intimate relationship, influence his decision making and get married. It's common for them to isolate the man from his friends and family to varying degrees. They can be very domineering and controlling, using sex as a means to manipulate. The man may suffer verbal abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse and even physical abuse.

Had a bad experience?

Have you had a run-in with a sociopath? The more people know about these demons the better! Tell your story here

When there are children involved it gets infinitely more complicated. Especially in separations and divorces. The female sociopaths have no difficulty (remember no remorse, guilt or pity for anybody) in using the children as pawns or objects to try to continue to manipulate the man.

They will extract information from the children about the father to use against him, they will influence how and what the children think about the father, and they may prevent the father from having any contact with the children. The welfare of the children is not considered. What's important is that they continue to maintain control and power.

In family matters where the police or the courts involved, they have no difficulty in lying, inventing stories and doing whatever is necessary to get what they want. They can play the victim role very well, as most sociopaths do, and will use society's preferences towards women and mothers to their advantage.

Some female sociopaths simply go from one relationship to another. They use their sociopathic charm, good looks and female wiles to create a relationship, take what they want and then disappear, leaving a trail of brokenhearted and confused men behind them. Men who are somewhat poorer after the experience!

This piece was originally written about a male but I think it works equally well like this!

She will choose you, charm you with her words, and control you with this presence. She will delight you with her wit and her plans. She will show you a good time, but you will always get the bill. She will smile and deceive you, and she will scare you with her eyes. And when she is through with you, and she will be through with you, she will desert you and take with her your innocence and your pride. You will be left much sadder but not a lot wiser, and for a long time you will wonder what you did wrong.

From an essay signed, "A psychopath in prison".

Testosterone

Apparently both male and female psychopaths have high levels of testosterone. It has been found that in normal populations, higher levels of testosterone are associated with higher sex drive, more sexual activity and more attractiveness to the opposite sex.

This will make female sociopaths more appealing to males. Add to this the lack of inhibition, and the grandiose sense of self and you have a lethal combination! Think femme fatale!

It may also explain the lack of desire to have children and the failure to look after them if they do. It's not uncommon for female sociopaths to leave young children unattended, for example, because they have other more important things to do.

How we perceive women

We normally think women are empathic and nurturing and don't expect to see cold-hearted, uncaring, callous behaviors in women.

We don't consider that they could be more devious, manipulative, destructive, vindictive and downright nasty than their male counterparts.

But just ask any man who has been a victim of female sociopaths...!

Learn what to do if you think you might be in a relationship with a sociopath and how to stop mind control...

[Jul 16, 2016] Confessions of a Sociopath A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight

Just a reminder: like in any fashionable themes that are authors who try to did gold out of it. This is one of the genre:. From comments: "As a training psychologist, I was very disappointed with this memoir. I'm very interested in sociopathy and from how this is written, it seems that Thomas is more likely to be a narcissist than a sociopath. I don't think this book is an accurate account of sociopathy and I'm questioning the formal diagnosis. Additionally, It seemed that Thomas kept repeating the same points over and over, which made it very difficult to read at times. It also was difficult due to my growing distaste for Thomas as an individual (mostly due to her conceitedness - another reason I believe she's a narcissist). However, I will give the book a few stars for being written well and keeping my attention enough to at least finish the book."
Notable quotes:
"... I think everyone learns to lie about his or her emotions to a certain extent; I just take it a step farther. People ask, "How are you?" and you respond, "fine," even though you had a fight with your spouse that morning, have a sick child, or any multitude of things that make it hard for you to feel fine about almost anything in your life. You could honestly answer the question, but you don't because overt displays of strong emotion in ordinary social interactions are not accepted. Most of the time I don't need to show any emotion at all, and I try to limit the times that I do by begging off attending funerals, weddings, etc. When I do show up to these functions, I try to mimic the other attendees. If I'm dealing with a person one-on-one, I just try to reflect their emotions; usually they're distracted enough by their own overflowing emotions not to notice my lack of them. ..."
"... The author goes into some detail in trying to distinguish psychopaths, sociopaths, and person with anti-social personality disorder; but for the majority of the world these distinctions are exercises in semantics only. ..."
"... I've dealt with sociopathic and psychopathic individuals, and they aren't these brilliant, charming, care free people that this book would like you to believe. I'm sorry, but she is not a sociopath. So she is full of herself and likes to toy with the lives of others, apparently she has never met a high school aged girl. If she had, she would see that she is stuck in her own adolescence. She truly wants to believe that she is a sociopath because then she is not like the majority of people. ..."
"... As she says, 1 in 25 people are statistically sociopaths. I'm guessing she hasn't even verified those statistics. What sample size is it derived from? Is the sample really indicative of the entire earth's population? ..."
"... I didn't learn anything from this book; it contains the usual suspects in terms of how she defines herself, the kinds of things she does, etc. This book was written for those who are not familiar with sociopathy, and since it's a pop psych deal all over social media, the author is capitalizing; there are statements in that book that seriously cast doubt on her claims, and others that pinpoint, so it seems to be she did a lot of research to write this, rather than glean her own experience. Considering her penchant to drone about her intelligence, her special abilities, and her success, sociopaths lie, manipulate, and cheat to the nth degree; this is what I'm getting from this; sociopaths are easily detectable, at least to me; I think my discernment skills are far superior to those of the author. One star for the subject, it is familial, and one star for the brazen ability to recognize she cannot fool all, but can fool many. ..."
"... The females are less inclined to criminal behavior and better able to pretend to empathy they don't possess, but they do not have the loyalty or empathy the rest of us have, which means they cannot learn from their behavior the way the rest of us can. ..."
"... I'm sorry to say, this book was a disappointment. It was a long, painful, boring read. First of all, Ms. Thomas isn't a very good writer. Full of run-on sentences and endless, dull descriptions of how great she thinks she is because she lacks empathy and a conscience (she seems to think of these as traits only weak or stupid people have, reminding me of Ayn Rand without an iota of the latter's intelligence), Thomas comes off more as an obnoxious, self-centered, common narcissist than a true sociopath. ..."
"... Thomas (who owns the website Sociopath World) is not a criminal. She may well be sociopathic in that she seems to take pleasure in cheating, manipulating, hurting, and discarding others, once gleefully watched a possum drown, and admits she enjoys ruining the reputations of people she has worked with. She clearly has no empathy and seems to have no emotions. ..."
"... M. E. Thomas is clearly a malignant narcissist, but by calling herself a "sociopath" you feel like you've been the victim of a bait-and-switch (which is in itself sociopathic, I suppose). ..."
"... The only reason I didn't feel completely ripped off was because the yard sale copy of this book set me back only $1; if I'd purchased it at full price, I'd be pretty annoyed right now. It was all I could do to even finish this book. It was that boring. Don't waste your time. If you want to read a good book about sociopathy, read Marsha Stout's The Sociopath Next Door instead. If you really need to read something that comes "out of the horse's mouth," you'd do better with Sam Vaknin ..."
"... I so wish i hadn't wasted my money on this book. The writing was weak and she often contradicts herself and i was utterly bored half way through. Her examples of her sociopathic behaviour aren't very radical - provoking her father to anger in teen years, taking a neighbors bike without permission and returning it (so naughty!), following a man who angered her with murderous intent for a block or so until she lost him. 300 pages of self-aggrandizing that comes across as juvenile and insecure. Perhaps she is malicious and conniving and maybe even a sociopath whatever that actually is (I am not a fan of the DSM), but ultimately its not that interesting, definitely not enlightening. ..."
www.amazon.com

Amazon.com Books

As M.E. Thomas says of her fellow sociopaths, "We are your neighbors, your coworkers, and quite possibly the people closest to you: lovers, family, friends. Our risk-seeking behavior and general fearlessness are thrilling, our glibness and charm alluring. Our often quick wit and outside-the-box thinking make us appear intelligent-even brilliant. We climb the corporate ladder faster than the rest, and appear to have limitless self-confidence. Who are we? We are highly successful, noncriminal sociopaths and we comprise 4 percent of the American population."

Confessions of a Sociopath -part confessional memoir, part primer for the curious-takes readers on a journey into the mind of a sociopath, revealing what makes them tick while debunking myths about sociopathy and offering a road map for dealing with the sociopaths in your life. M. E. Thomas draws from her own experiences as a diagnosed sociopath; her popular blog, Sociopathworld.com; and scientific literature to unveil for the very first time these men and women who are "hiding in plain sight."

Q&A with M. E. Thomas

Q. Were you always aware that you were different?

A. Yes, though when I was young, I thought maybe it was just because I was smarter than everyone else. I saw things that other children did not see, was aware of the adult world in a way that even my smart siblings were not-awkward interactions from the end of an affair, why my grandpa treated my dad differently from his other children (he was adopted), and so on. I knew other people did not see these things because I would reference them and get blank stares in return. I learned to keep things to myself, even to pretend I didn't see them. Those were probably some of my first attempts to wear a mask of normalcy.

Q. What are the common characteristics/behaviors shared by most sociopaths? Do they describe you, too?

A. Lack of remorse or concern for hurting or stealing; being deceitful, manipulative, impulsive, irritable, aggressive, and consistently irresponsible; failure to conform to social norms; and being unconcerned about people's safety, including their own. You need to have at least three of these to be a sociopath. I have them all, to varying degrees.

Q. You believe that sociopaths have a natural competitive advantage. Why?

A. Sociopaths have several skills that lend themselves to success in areas such as politics and business: charm, an ability to see and exploit weaknesses/flaws (which in politics is called "power-broking" and in business, "arbitrage"), confidence, unflagging optimism, an ability to think outside the box and come up with original ideas, and a lack of squeamishness about doing what it takes to get ahead.

Q. If you don't have a sense of morality, or feel the emotions that most people do, how are you able to operate in the world without being detected?

A. I think everyone learns to lie about his or her emotions to a certain extent; I just take it a step farther. People ask, "How are you?" and you respond, "fine," even though you had a fight with your spouse that morning, have a sick child, or any multitude of things that make it hard for you to feel fine about almost anything in your life. You could honestly answer the question, but you don't because overt displays of strong emotion in ordinary social interactions are not accepted. Most of the time I don't need to show any emotion at all, and I try to limit the times that I do by begging off attending funerals, weddings, etc. When I do show up to these functions, I try to mimic the other attendees. If I'm dealing with a person one-on-one, I just try to reflect their emotions; usually they're distracted enough by their own overflowing emotions not to notice my lack of them.

Q. Research shows that one in twenty-five people is a sociopath, yet most of us believe we've never met one. Are we just kidding ourselves? Are you able to spot them?

A. Statistically, everyone has met at least one sociopath; in fact, most people will have a close encounter with a sociopath at some point in their lives, either as a friend, family member, or lover. Sometimes I can tell who they are. I find that many successful sociopaths will leave deliberate clues as to what they are, the thought being that only other sociopaths would recognize them. I think sociopaths, like serial killers, often have a yearning to be acknowledged for who they are. They want people to admire their exploits, and that is hard to get when they are completely hidden, so they make small compromises.

By Sara on December 15, 2015 Format: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Questioning the legitimacy of "sociopath" diagnosis

As a training psychologist, I was very disappointed with this memoir. I'm very interested in sociopathy and from how this is written, it seems that Thomas is more likely to be a narcissist than a sociopath. I don't think this book is an accurate account of sociopathy and I'm questioning the formal diagnosis. Additionally, It seemed that Thomas kept repeating the same points over and over, which made it very difficult to read at times. It also was difficult due to my growing distaste for Thomas as an individual (mostly due to her conceitedness - another reason I believe she's a narcissist). However, I will give the book a few stars for being written well and keeping my attention enough to at least finish the book.
3.0 out of 5 stars D_shrink VINE VOICE on March 31, 2013

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )

At least she is coming out to all but her family. This is written as a confessional/memoir of its author Monica E. Thomas,a pseudonym, necessitated by the subject matter and to protect her present socioeconomic life.

Having just read the reviews written before mine, it would seem I am the first to have actually read the entire book, well, at least, so far.

I would agree with the other reviewers that the book is technically well written, but does get long in the tooth by the half way mark, with many points being repeated several times which lengthened the book with no apparent advantage that I could ascertain; otherwise I would have given 4 stars.

I would agree that the author as self described is unlikeable, but whom I found very interesting simply because I am a retired psychologist and spent the last ten years working with female murderers. The author goes into some detail in trying to distinguish psychopaths, sociopaths, and person with anti-social personality disorder; but for the majority of the world these distinctions are exercises in semantics only.

To help clarify this point, as the author takes some time discussing her rational for the distinction. A psychiatrist, Hervey Clecky wrote the magnum opus on psychopathology in 1941 in a book called MASK OF SANITY; he might be better known to you for his book on multiple personality disorder which was turned into a movie in 1957 called THE THREE FACES OF EVE.

A Dr. Robert Hare building upon Clecky's work devised a 20 question scale to judge antisocial personality disorder. He only used convicts to base his results on, so it is not representative of the general population and certainly doesn't have the background of the MMPI. Hare felt that there were differences between people who committed violent and aggressive act and those who did not. He felt that the aggressive ones should be considered to have ASPD and the others would simply be called sociopaths. The term psychopaths had fallen out of favor.

However, much of the world still considered all three terms to be interchangeable, and if you look up psycho/sociopath in the APA Dictionary it will refer you to Antisocial Personality Disorder. The author particularly chose to make this distinction to differentiate her disorder from those with the more severe form. Basically the author feels that being diagnosed as a sociopath doesn't mean you are bad, but simply that you don't act in socially approved manner unless it benefits the actor.

At one point the author describes her entire dysfunctional family and wonders if she might have turned out differently if raised in a different environment. You know, the argument of nature versus nurture.

1.0 out of 5 stars By N@t@ni on September 12, 2013 Format: Hardcover
Yawn M. E. is a self serving, arrogant and shallow author... her memoir does not show any insights by carefully and thoughtfully analyzing one's life and behavior. Her memoir is simply a regurgitation of already published data, and boring stories to relate to such data and to rationalize poor behavior. She has to hit us over the head about how brilliant she is, and how successful she is, and how much better she is because she is a sociopath, when one wonders if she is just an arrogant and unlikable person. If she demonstrates a typical non-dangerous sociopath, we don't really need to read a book about it, we see it every day and just avoid such people. She talks about power struggles in the most inane and trite situations possible, reeking of low self esteem. She makes gross generalizations about "empaths", which are generally overstated and wrong. This memoir at best, reads like a narcissist's journal entry/book report and at worst, just a terribly boring book.
1.0 out of 5 stars By Dr. Charles Finley on September 26, 2013 Format: Hardcover
Pointless Endeavor I was going to give this book two stars simply because it was written better than some of the garbage available today such as 50 shades of anything, yet cannot because the content is monotonous trash. I would never recommend this book to anyone. It is certainly a work of fiction and the author is even more boring than she is self absorbed. The author doesn't display the true traits of a sociopath. She sounds more narcissistic than anything else. She contradicts herself numerous times throughout the book alluding to why she isn't really a sociopath. It's amusing that sociopaths and psychopaths are being glamorized these days as if they don't have a disorder and they are instead instilled with super human powers.

I've dealt with sociopathic and psychopathic individuals, and they aren't these brilliant, charming, care free people that this book would like you to believe. I'm sorry, but she is not a sociopath. So she is full of herself and likes to toy with the lives of others, apparently she has never met a high school aged girl. If she had, she would see that she is stuck in her own adolescence. She truly wants to believe that she is a sociopath because then she is not like the majority of people.

As she says, 1 in 25 people are statistically sociopaths. I'm guessing she hasn't even verified those statistics. What sample size is it derived from? Is the sample really indicative of the entire earth's population? I only ask these questions because I am sure that she hasn't despite her self-proclaimed brilliance. Getting fired from a law firm and teaching at a 4th tier law school doesn't make you a model of success. Even Dr. Phil could see through miss JRL's ploy for fame. Sorry M.E. Thomas but you aren't special, unique, or different than everyone else. We all have these same feelings. Your actions are driven by the very insecurities that you claim you don't have. Welcome to the real world.

1.0 out of 5 stars By BookReader on June 10, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition

I'm an empath and proud to be one!

I thought this book is interesting. I purchased it because recently I had a bad experience befriending someone who I believe is a sociopath. This friend eerily has every trait of one. I trusted this person. He was charming, witty and a sponge. He is a fifty year old man who hasn't worked since his early twenties. He lies a lot and quite a master at it. But I didn't realize this until later after I was allowing him to use my internet/ WiFi for free for well over a year. I found myself paying for his bills and feeding him and even giving him the use of my new car. This guy didn't have anything and had an excuse for everything. I began to open my eyes and see that his friendships were solely based on merits of what they offered him. They were merely vehicles to get what he needed. After he started making comments to me that when I die, he was going to grab up all my possessions before my daughter had chance, red flags started going off in my head. He claimed he was teasing, but a tease is the truth behind a smile. He liked talking a lot about my death and harped on my material things. He became possessive of my things as if it was his. He even tried to control my spending. I might add, we were never more than friends and we never shared the same dwelling. Finally after catching him in several lies, I dropped our friendship. That's when he underhandedly took my personal information and gave it out over social media to hurt my business.

His grandiose arrogance I think is his weakness, though, he doesn't see it that way. His arrogance blinded him into to believing that I couldn't connect the dots. That's when I started looking further into personality disorders. I honestly believe he is a sociopath.

All his friendships are superficial. He only becomes friends with those who can benefit his needs. He's a pathological liar. He will steal from you and take whatever he wants and is very aggressive and feels he is entitled. He is charming and smart and loves to brag about his intelligence. He snarls his nose at his friends, thinking he is far superior. Even though he doesn't have a job and is dependent of others' financial support. I sit in my house everyday feeling like a prisoner. He knows when I'm home and when I leave. He watches me like a hawk. He's a collector of information of his neighbors. He studies people and pits out his next victim.

This book helped me to understand the mind of the sociopath. However, I don't agree entirely with the writer's view on empaths. She boast that empaths bring havoc to the business world because they allow their emotions to get in the way of decision making.

First, I'd like to say that most sociopaths do not function well in this world. They are cunning, underachievers, narcissist, unable to hold down any kind of job, yet they have this since of value that their opinion and intelligence far exceeds anyone else even though they have never kept even the most mundane jobs for more than a few short mouths. Instead of focusing on a career, they use all their energy into manipulating their victims.

They can be violent but they are all a predator and can't be trusted. I believe a sociopath's spurious confidence blinds them, keeping them from seeing the true reality. The reality is that a person or empath, has great leader ability. They are able to understand the heart of this country and will take in consideration that their decision making is not based on selfish motivation but based on heart and endeavor to help others rise above the occasion. Empaths are the ones who make this country. And yes, I am an empath and I am proud to be one!

I gave the writer a three star. I feel that's a fair mark. It's sort of hard to reward someone who's character is questionable.

2.0 out of 5 stars By TK on April 23, 2016 Format: Paperback

Cookie cutter information

I didn't learn anything from this book; it contains the usual suspects in terms of how she defines herself, the kinds of things she does, etc. This book was written for those who are not familiar with sociopathy, and since it's a pop psych deal all over social media, the author is capitalizing; there are statements in that book that seriously cast doubt on her claims, and others that pinpoint, so it seems to be she did a lot of research to write this, rather than glean her own experience. Considering her penchant to drone about her intelligence, her special abilities, and her success, sociopaths lie, manipulate, and cheat to the nth degree; this is what I'm getting from this; sociopaths are easily detectable, at least to me; I think my discernment skills are far superior to those of the author. One star for the subject, it is familial, and one star for the brazen ability to recognize she cannot fool all, but can fool many.

4.0 out of 5 stars By M'ette on March 21, 2016 Format: Paperback

Narcissism is the most prominent indicator of a sociopath, especially at an older age!

A reviewer describes this person as a malignant narcissist which would be an apt description for a layperson to make, but having been married to a very intelligent sociopath for nearly ten years, and currently having one as a mother-in-law, I can claim that without doubt that the lack of conscious marks a sociopath as a sociopath.
The females are less inclined to criminal behavior and better able to pretend to empathy they don't possess, but they do not have the loyalty or empathy the rest of us have, which means they cannot learn from their behavior the way the rest of us can.

My mother-in-law knows something is missing but she doesn't know what that is, not having the education to tell her. She can pretend to be a kind old lady, but she very quickly loses patience with this effort and has alienated everyone who has has dealt with her for any length of time at all. She is, at heart, mean, nasty and cold. I do not think she has the capacity to be different or be kind.

She is nearly a century of age and cannot learn differently. People are agast to see her coming because they have never been around someone so narrowly selfish, self-serving and manipulative. They try to be kind and professional in dealing with her, and being a sociopath, she is unaware of genuine feelings, and believes they actually like her.

These people are out there, in droves, and dealing with one is like nothing else one would ever experience. When I saw this side of my ex-husband I was shocked to the core and felt like I'd been unknowingly married to an insect for years!

His mother was glad I divorced him, and while she loves him, has no illusions about what her son is. That takes courage and keen insight.

Lauren Bennett on February 20, 2016 Format: Paperback

A couple of weeks ago I went to a yard sale and a book caught my eye, because of its subject matter–a copy of M. E. Thomas' autobiography, Confessions of a Sociopath: a Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight.

Ever-fascinated with all things Cluster B, including first-person accounts by narcissists, psychopaths and other antisocial types, I got busy reading that same evening. It took me two weeks to finish the book, when normally I'd devour a book of this length and subject matter in just a few days.

I'm sorry to say, this book was a disappointment. It was a long, painful, boring read. First of all, Ms. Thomas isn't a very good writer. Full of run-on sentences and endless, dull descriptions of how great she thinks she is because she lacks empathy and a conscience (she seems to think of these as traits only weak or stupid people have, reminding me of Ayn Rand without an iota of the latter's intelligence), Thomas comes off more as an obnoxious, self-centered, common narcissist than a true sociopath.

Thomas (who owns the website Sociopath World) is not a criminal. She may well be sociopathic in that she seems to take pleasure in cheating, manipulating, hurting, and discarding others, once gleefully watched a possum drown, and admits she enjoys ruining the reputations of people she has worked with. She clearly has no empathy and seems to have no emotions.

She crows on endlessly about how her lack of a conscience or any empathy has freed her from having to worry about what others think and therefore indicates what she thinks of as her superior intellect. But like the narcissist she really is, she overvalues her achievements and intelligence. She works as an attorney but doesn't seem to be able to stay employed for long, and really doesn't have any other impressive achievements under her belt. Her "theories" about sociopathy are nothing more than rehashes of what other people have already described in psychology texts, and less readable than theirs. Overall, Thomas comes off as self-congratulating, obnoxious, unlikeable, and very shallow. She also comes off as rather dumb.

M. E. Thomas is clearly a malignant narcissist, but by calling herself a "sociopath" you feel like you've been the victim of a bait-and-switch (which is in itself sociopathic, I suppose). The cover of the book is a picture of a sinister female mask on a white background, and you open the book expecting something more than you actually get, at least some sort of depth or insight into her own behavior. But Thomas has no real insight and the book reads more like a resume of her fake "achievements" than a psychological memoir. She talks about her family, who she describes as neglectful, but she doesn't seem to think they were particularly abusive. She takes arrogant pride in her "sociopathy," repeating the word again and again throughout the text, as if to drive home the fact that she really is one, when it seems that she "protesteth too much" and underneath all that bluster, suspects she may not be one. That kind of insecurity over the possibility of not really being what one says they are is a lot more typical of NPD than psychopathy or sociopathy, who don't care what others think of them. Thomas also talks about wanting to have a family and her religion (Mormonism) a lot. Maybe her religion keeps her from acting out against others in more heinous ways and gives her a sort of "cold" conscience, but I sure hope God doesn't let her have children. She doesn't seem capable of maintaining a relationship, so that doesn't exactly work in her favor.

Although narcissists are thought of as having no emotions, it isn't really true that they don't, and there are narcissists and sociopaths who have been able to write about themselves in an emotionally engaging, albeit dark and depressing, way. There is rage and hurt seething behind the surface of their words. But Thomas writes in a cold, emotionless way, probably because she's such a bad writer. As a result, you feel about as excited reading her "memoir" as you'd feel reading the most boring high school textbook–and learn a whole lot less.

The only reason I didn't feel completely ripped off was because the yard sale copy of this book set me back only $1; if I'd purchased it at full price, I'd be pretty annoyed right now. It was all I could do to even finish this book. It was that boring. Don't waste your time. If you want to read a good book about sociopathy, read Marsha Stout's The Sociopath Next Door instead. If you really need to read something that comes "out of the horse's mouth," you'd do better with Sam Vaknin. [...]

0 out of 5 stars By H. Swanby on January 22, 2016 Format: Paperback

300 pages of dull narcissism

I so wish i hadn't wasted my money on this book. The writing was weak and she often contradicts herself and i was utterly bored half way through. Her examples of her sociopathic behaviour aren't very radical - provoking her father to anger in teen years, taking a neighbors bike without permission and returning it (so naughty!), following a man who angered her with murderous intent for a block or so until she lost him. 300 pages of self-aggrandizing that comes across as juvenile and insecure. Perhaps she is malicious and conniving and maybe even a sociopath whatever that actually is (I am not a fan of the DSM), but ultimately its not that interesting, definitely not enlightening.

4.0 out of 5 stars
By White Rabbit on January 8, 2016 Format: Paperback

Entertaining Self-Aggrandizement Thinly Veiled as Pseudo-Analysis

This was a super-fast, easy, entertaining read, but it reminded me of the glib answer to the interview question "what's your weakness?" : "I'm a perfectionist." The author is undoubtedly bright, although probably not nearly as "brilliant" as she avows on every page. By structuring her personal & professional life to avoid any long-term serious human interaction or competition, she intentionally insulates herself from any real challenges to her thinking or persona. For instance, by bragging that her starting salary as a new lawyer was 170k, she dates herself precisely to the "fattest" 7 years the legal profession has ever had. She did not land that job because she was so brilliant, but because law firms during that period were hiring any carbon-based life form. Also, her assessment that sociopaths are "too rational" (i.e., not guided by emotion or constrained by herd mentality/morality) gets it diametrically wrong. Those sociopaths who either turn criminal (& are found out) or carve out less "successful" lives actually suffer from too LITTLE rational thinking, analysis, and sober calculation, not too much. This is likely correlated to their own inflated ego/self-assessment (as this author exemplifies), or imperviousness/reduced sensitivity to pain/negative consequences, and it leads to failure to accurately assess/predict the negative consequences of their actions, from underestimating the likelihood of getting "caught" to not being able to sustain any romantic relationship longer than the author's case of 8 months. Thus I think it is not "too much logic" that is the root of the problem (but merely its outside manifestation), but bad math, which is rather ironic for someone who envisions/imagines herself to be a brilliant differential engine unhampered by bloody wet emotion. What perpetuates both the sociopathological & narcissistic self-perspective (which, incidentally, is far more common and far more adaptive than the author thinks) is the carefully constructed bubble of invincibility these people construct around themselves, often choosing to rise no higher than the pond in which they assure themselves they are the biggest or flashiest fish. It is easy to imagine yourself King of the Jungle when you surround yourself with declawed kittens. Nonetheless, interesting breezy read, although the book would have better without the utterly banal and transparently false hand-wringing/crocodile tears of the Epilogue.

[Jul 16, 2016] Are you a female sociopath - Telegraph By Helena Kealey

telegraph.co.uk

By Helena Kealey

5:24PM BST 06 Oct 2014

Comments Comment

Witness the rise of the female sociopath. Cruel, calculating and calm under pressure; these emotionally detached women are in our lives, on our television screens and with the release of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl this weekend, making waves in our cinemas. Sociopaths can be charming, funny and even practised at appearing sympathetic. In fact, one per cent of all women are sociopaths. To put that in context, one to two per cent of the population has red hair. It's likely that you know one, and it's even possible that you are one. Take this test to find out if you are in the emotionally detached one per cent. To take the quiz on your phone: click here.

[Jul 16, 2016] Rethinking Female Sociopathy, Part One by Dr Tara J. Palmatier

Notable quotes:
"... Rethinking Female Sociopathy ..."
January 4, 2012 | shrink4men.com

Shrink4Men: Helping men break free from abusive relationships since 2009

... ... ...

What are the characteristics of a sociopath?

Psychologists Hervey Cleckley and Robert Hare both developed sociopathy checklists. The following characteristics are culled from their work.

Sociopaths have Jekyll and Hyde personalities and can be superficially charming. Their outward appearance is often very conventional or they disguise themselves as helpless victims. Alternately, sociopaths may come across as grandiose and narcissistic. Sociopaths come in all shapes, sizes, sexes, ethnicities and walks of life.

Sociopaths seem to have contempt for their victim's feelings and believe their victims deserve to be hurt, taken advantage of and exploited. They have no empathy or very selective empathy (e.g., your wife shows empathy toward someone who hurts or bullies you). They lie, cheat, manipulate, and/or verbally and/or physically intimidate others to get their way or to "win." To a sociopath, the ends justify the means.

Sociopaths may refuse to recognize that others have rights and believe they're entitled to violate the rights of others. In fact, they often try to control and humiliate their victims. They see people as objects and value others based upon their utility and ease of exploitation rather than fellow human beings. People are either targets and opportunities for exploitation. They don't have friends, but rather victims and accomplices who later become victims.

Sociopaths often have a gross and exaggerated sense of entitlement. They seem incapable of true love relationships and often confuse love with ability to control and exploit someone. They are unable to form healthy attachments with others.

Sociopaths seem to be able to lie very easily. You can have a video or audio recording of them perpetrating a crime or some abusive act and they will still pee on your leg and tell you it's raining. They often believe their own lies and may even be able to pass a polygraph. They seem to lack the capacity for remorse or guilt. For example, many of my clients are more likely to squeeze blood from a stone than to receive a sincere apology from their wives, girlfriends or exes.

When sociopaths seem to be expressing positive feelings it is typically because they are mimicking others to appear socially and psychologically normal. For example, a man on the Shrink4Men forum found a note his wife wrote to herself reminding herself to act nice and to pretend to be interested in her husband's day in order to get something she wanted from him. Warm and loving behavior may be a manipulation in order to be better able to exploit their victims. For example, they pull you close to be able to get a better swing at you – emotionally or physically.

Sociopaths have a need for extreme stimulation in order to feel emotion and are prone to feeling chronically bored. Some may resort to physical violence, gambling, drugs and alcohol, and/or promiscuity; while others create unnecessary conflict and drama for stimulation.

Sociopaths blame others for their bad behaviors and do not take personal responsibility for their actions. At their core, they are filled with rage, which is often split off and projected onto their victims. Sociopaths have poor behavioral and emotional controls and can be impulsive. They often alternate rage and abuse with small expressions of love and approval to keep their victims under their control.

Sociopaths lack boundaries and do not care how their behavior affects others. They may become enraged and/or desperate when their victims try to enforce boundaries on their abusive behaviors. They have difficulty maintaining friendships, and, is it any wonder given how they treat others?

They typically end relationships and/or try destroying former friends who have seen behind their masks. Some may have long-term friendships, but they either seem to be long-distance or friendships with incredibly damaged individuals with low self-esteem who admire the sociopath, i.e., sycophants.

Some may have a history of childhood emotional and behavioral disturbances while others do not. Some sociopathic individuals come from otherwise healthy and loving families.

Sociopaths are often irresponsible and unreliable. They have a history of breaking promises yet become enraged and vengeful if they believe someone has broken a promise to them. They have unrealistic life plans and often live beyond their means. Many live what can be described as a parasitic life in that they get through life by exploiting others.

Sociopaths may have diffuse identities. Many dramatically change their appearance or outward persona in order to exploit new victims or to avoid punishment. For example, when many of my clients met their wives and girlfriends, they feigned similar interests, beliefs, etc., and pretended to be someone they weren't in order to secure the relationship.

Sociopaths are ungrateful and contemptuous of people who try to help and understand them. Oftentimes, they do not believe anything is wrong with them, which is why therapy rarely works. If they acknowledge a problem, they usually blame others for it. Or, if they are formally diagnosed with a mental illness or other personality disorder, they may use their diagnosis to absolve them of their abusive behaviors.

Sociopaths typically do not trust others. They can be authoritarian, paranoid and secretive. They seek relationships with others who will accept, tolerate, condone or admire their bad behavior. They like nothing better than to have a willing victim.

Sociopaths often try to control every aspect of their victims' lives. They can be pretty territorial about their victims, which their victims often confuse with love and jealousy. It's not about love. You're their half-dead mouse and they don't want any other predators messing with "their property." A good example of this is when a woman becomes unhinged when her ex begins dating or gets remarried - especially if she's already moved onto to another victim, er, I mean, relationship .

Lastly, and I think this characteristic will resonate with many of you, sociopaths have an emotional need to justify their crimes and demand that their victims show them gratitude, love and respect. In other words:

Sociopaths expect that their victims show gratitude for being victimized by them.

In a few days, I will post the second part of Rethinking Female Sociopathy , so please check back.

[Jul 16, 2016] Female sociopaths display all the symptoms of a sociopath: lying, a parasitic lifestyle, the need for control, and the craving for excitement.

Notable quotes:
"... "She will choose you, charm you with her words, and control you with her presence. She will delight you with her wit and her plans. She will show you a good time, but you will always get the bill. She will smile and deceive you, and she will scare you with her eyes. And when she is through with you, and she will be through with you, she will desert you and take with her your innocence and your pride. You will be left much sadder but not a lot wiser, and for a long time you will wonder what you did wrong." ..."
"... Most of us think of women as sensitive and nurturing. We don't expect to see uncaring, cold-hearted, callous behaviors in women. It's hard to imagine them being more conniving, controlling, destructive, malicious and downright mean than the male sociopath. ..."
male%20sociopaths%20display%20all%20the%20symptoms%20of%20a%20sociopath:%20lying,%20a%20parasitic%20lifestyle,%20the%20need%20for%20control,%20and%20the%20craving%20for%20excitement.%20https:

Female sociopaths display all the symptoms of a sociopath: lying, a parasitic lifestyle, the need for control, and the craving for excitement. Many live what looks like a typical life from the outside, content with blending in and doing what "normal" people do.

Others need more... more money, more control, more power, more excitement. They often get into trouble as they become impulsive, unable to control their emotions and behaving irresponsibly.

These behaviors often bring problems witin their marriage. Showing true sociopath style, they entice a man, create an intimate relationship, manipulate his decisions, and get married. They may try to isolate the man from his family and friends. They become bossy and controlling and will use sex as a tool to manipulate. The man is often subjected to emotional, verbal, psychological, and physical abuse.

If there are children of the marriage, it becomes ever more difficult. If there is a separation or divorce, the sociopath will easily use the children as pawns or objects as a way to continue to control the man.

They will not hesitate to obtain information from the children to use against their father, will lie to brainwash them into thinking Daddy is "bad" and will keep the father from having contact with them. They do this to keep their power and control and the wellbeing of the children is never a concern.

Female sociopaths have no problem lying, making up stories and doing whatever is necessary to get what they want. This works well in family matters where police or courts are involved. They are very convincing when playing the victim, and use society's favoritism towards women and mothers to their full advantage.

Many female sociopaths go from one relationship to another. They use their sociopathic charm, good looks and female allures to build a relationship, take what they want, and disappear. Men are disposable! They leave behind a trail of broken hearts and baffled men, many who are poorer after the experience!

The writing below was cited from "Decision Making Confidence"

"She will choose you, charm you with her words, and control you with her presence. She will delight you with her wit and her plans. She will show you a good time, but you will always get the bill. She will smile and deceive you, and she will scare you with her eyes. And when she is through with you, and she will be through with you, she will desert you and take with her your innocence and your pride. You will be left much sadder but not a lot wiser, and for a long time you will wonder what you did wrong."

Most of us think of women as sensitive and nurturing. We don't expect to see uncaring, cold-hearted, callous behaviors in women. It's hard to imagine them being more conniving, controlling, destructive, malicious and downright mean than the male sociopath.

However, just ask any man who has been a victim of a female sociopath...

If you're a man in an abusive relationship, it's important to know that you're not alone. It happens to men from all cultures and all walks of life. Figures suggest that as many as one in three victims of domestic violence are male. However, men are often reluctant to report abuse by women because they feel embarrassed, or they fear they won't be believed, or worse, that police will assume that since they're male they are the perpetrator of the violence and not the victim.

An abusive wife or partner may hit, kick, bite, punch, spit, throw things, or destroy your possessions. To make up for any difference in strength, she may attack you while you're asleep or otherwise catch you by surprise. She may also use a weapon, such as a gun or knife, or strike you with an object, abuse or threaten your children, or harm your pets. Of course, domestic abuse is not limited to violence.

Domestic violence and abuse can have a serious physical and psychological impact on both you and your children. The first step to stopping the abuse is to reach out. Talk to a friend, family member, or someone else you trust, or call a domestic violence helpline.

Admitting the problem and seeking help doesn't mean you have failed as a man or as a husband. You are not to blame, and you are not weak. As well as offering a sense of relief and providing some much needed support, sharing details of your abuse can also be the first step in building a case against your abuser and protecting your kids.

When dealing with your abusive partner:

Help for abused men: Moving on from an abusive relationship

Support from family and friends as well as counseling, therapy, and support groups for domestic abuse survivors can help you move on from an abusive relationship. You or your children may struggle with upsetting emotions or feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. After the trauma of an abusive relationship, it can take a while to get over the pain and bad memories but you can heal and move on.

Even if you're eager to jump into a new relationship and finally get the intimacy and support you've been missing, it's wise take things slowly. Make sure you're aware of any red flag behaviors in a potential new partner and what it takes to build healthy, new relationships.

In the U.S. and Canada: Call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-888-799-7233

[Jul 15, 2016] The female sociopath

Notable quotes:
"... Unlike these women, the functional sociopath isn't "dismissible" as a slave to her emotions. She is not outwardly violent. Patently remorseless, clear-eyed and calculating, she is chameleonic in the extreme, donning one feigned feeling after another (interest, concern, sympathy, simpering insecurity, confidence, arrogance, lust, even love) to get what she wants. ..."
"... "You might call it seduction," she suggests, but really "it's called arbitrage and it happens on Wall Street (and a lot of other places) every day." Whatever you choose to call it, its appeal is undeniable when linked to the professional and personal advancement of women. "In general, the women in my life seemed like they were never acting, always being acted upon," Thomas laments. ..."
"... With it, researchers over the last decade have estimated that sociopaths comprise three to four percent of the U.S. population, or roughly 10 million people who regularly demonstrate a lack of empathy, a conniving and ruthless attitude towards interpersonal relationships, and immunity to experiencing negative emotions. A mere 1.5 million of them are women. ..."
digg.com

...Gone Girl, one of the most popular and addictive novels of the past decade, as Amy Dunne - the beguiling and cerebral housewife who stages her own murder and frames her philandering husband. Amy's creator, the novelist Gillian Flynn, has proudly described her character as a "functioning sociopath," which she is quick to distinguish from "the iconic psycho bitch." The iconic psycho bitch, Flynn explains, is crazy because "her lady parts have gone crazy." Think of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, so consumed with desire for Michael Douglas that she boils his daughter's pet rabbit to death; think of Sharon Stone and Jennifer Jason Leigh (and Kathy Bates and Rebecca De Mornay) chasing men through dim rooms with sharp objects.

Unlike these women, the functional sociopath isn't "dismissible" as a slave to her emotions. She is not outwardly violent. Patently remorseless, clear-eyed and calculating, she is chameleonic in the extreme, donning one feigned feeling after another (interest, concern, sympathy, simpering insecurity, confidence, arrogance, lust, even love) to get what she wants.

And why should she feel bad about it?

For M.E. Thomas, author of Confessions of A Sociopath, such affective maneuvers are tantamount to "fulfilling an exchange." "You might call it seduction," she suggests, but really "it's called arbitrage and it happens on Wall Street (and a lot of other places) every day." Whatever you choose to call it, its appeal is undeniable when linked to the professional and personal advancement of women. "In general, the women in my life seemed like they were never acting, always being acted upon," Thomas laments.

Sociopathy's silver lining was that it gave her a way to combat that injustice, in the boardroom of the corporate law firm she worked for in Los Angeles, but also in the bedroom, where she marveled at how her emotional detachment let her commandeer her lovers' hearts and minds. Somewhere along the way, pathology became recoded as practice - a set of rules for how to manage the self and others.

She is the apotheosis of the cool girl power that go-getter "feminists" have peddled to frustrated women over the last half-decade.

No wonder the female sociopath cuts such an admirable figure. Intensely romantic, professionally desirable, she is the stuff of fiction, fantasy, and aspirational reading. And while actual female sociopaths like Thomas are rare, and sociopathy isn't even recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the female sociopath looms large in our cultural imagination. Amy Dunne may stand as the perfect example - a "Cool Girl" on the outside, ice cold within - but she is not alone. Of late, she has faced stiff competition from fictional females like Lisbeth Salander, the ferocious tech genius in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, or Laura, the shape-shifting alien who preys on unwitting men in Under the Skin. Network television has been even kinder to the female sociopath, placing her at the center of workplace dramas like Damages, Revenge, Bones, The Fall, Rizzoli and Isles, Person of Interest, Luther, and 24. Here, she has mesmerized audiences with how nimbly she scales the professional ladder, her competence and sex appeal whetted by her dark, aggressive, risk-taking behavior, and lack of empathy.

And so we lean in to the cultural logic of the female sociopath, for she is the apotheosis of the cool girl power that go-getter "feminists" have peddled to frustrated women over the last half-decade. The female sociopath doesn't want to upend systems of gender inequality, that vast and irreducible constellation of institutions and beliefs that lead successful women like Gillian Flynn to decree that certain women, who feel or behave in certain ways, are "dismissible." The female sociopath wants to dominate these systems from within, as the most streamlined product of a world in which well-intentioned people blithely invoke words like arbitrage, leverage, capital, and currency to appraise how successfully we inhabit our bodies, our selves. One could easily imagine the female sociopath devouring books with titles like Bo$$ Bitch, Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, The Confidence Gap, and Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman to hone her craft - to learn how to have it all. From atop the corporate ladder, she can applaud her liberation from the whole messy business of feeling as a step forward for women, when it's really a step back.

The result is a self-defeating spectacle of feminism that finds a kindred spirit in Rosamund Pike on the cover of W, erasing her own perfect face to reveal that what lies beneath might be nothing. Like Gone Girl's Amy Dunne, who confesses that she "has never really felt like a person, but a product" - plastic, fungible, ready to be consumed by anyone, at any time - the female sociopath is a product of a broken promise made to women, by women. She is a product poised to disappear into the immense darkness from which she came.

If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

Female sociopaths are rare, making up only 15% of all those diagnosed.

Ask any psychiatrist, and he will tell you that the female sociopath is a rare, almost mythological, creature. Ask Dr. Robert Hare, perhaps the most prolific researcher in criminal psychology and creator of the Hare Psychopath Checklist (PCL-R), and he will place the ratio of male to female sociopaths at seven to one - practically unworthy of discussion, let alone veneration. The PCL-R, which Hare developed during his work with inmate populations in Canada, is widely considered the gold standard for identifying and discussing anti-social behavior - and by the same token, for identifying and discussing what constitutes "normal" social behavior. With it, researchers over the last decade have estimated that sociopaths comprise three to four percent of the U.S. population, or roughly 10 million people who regularly demonstrate a lack of empathy, a conniving and ruthless attitude towards interpersonal relationships, and immunity to experiencing negative emotions. A mere 1.5 million of them are women.

[Jul 15, 2016] Female Sociopaths - different but just as dangerous!

Notable quotes:
"... Some female sociopaths demonstrate antisocial behavior as children and as adolescents. Lying, stealing, truancy, cruelty to animals and siblings, drug abuse, early sexual activity. Of course, there may be frequent run-ins with the law. Their parents are very often distraught because there is so little they can do. As adults, these female sociopaths may end up abusing alcohol and drugs and end up in and out of prison. ..."
"... Female sociopaths have all the symptoms of sociopaths. The lying, the parasitic lifestyle, the need for excitement and the desire to control. It's possible that there are many female sociopaths who live, for all intents and purposes, what looks like a normal life from the outside. They are content to just blend in and do what "normal" people do. ..."
"... One of the ways this shows up is in problems in their marriage. In true sociopath style, they attract a man, create an intimate relationship , influence his decision making and get married. It's common for them to isolate the man from his friends and family to varying degrees. They can be very domineering and controlling, using sex as a means to manipulate. The man may suffer verbal abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse and even physical abuse. ..."
"... When there are children involved it gets infinitely more complicated. Especially in separations and divorces. The female sociopaths have no difficulty (remember no remorse, guilt or pity for anybody) in using the children as pawns or objects to try to continue to manipulate the man. ..."
"... In family matters where the police or the courts involved, they have no difficulty in lying, inventing stories and doing whatever is necessary to get what they want. They can play the victim role very well, as most sociopaths do, and will use society's preferences towards women and mothers to their advantage. ..."
"... Apparently both male and female psychopaths have high levels of testosterone. It has been found that in normal populations, higher levels of testosterone are associated with higher sex drive, more sexual activity and more attractiveness to the opposite sex. This will make female sociopaths more appealing to males. Add to this the lack of inhibition, and the grandiose sense of self and you have a lethal combination! Think femme fatale! It may also explain the lack of desire to have children and the failure to look after them if they do. It's not uncommon for female sociopaths to leave young children unattended, for example, because they have other more important things to do. ..."
"... We normally think women are empathic and nurturing and don't expect to see cold-hearted, uncaring, callous behaviors in women. We don't consider that they could be more devious, manipulative, destructive, vindictive and downright nasty than their male counterparts. But just ask any man who has been a victim of female sociopaths...! ..."
www.decision-making-confidence.com
Incidence

How many female sociopaths are there? Robert Hare believes that about 1% of the population fits the profile of psychopath, and male psychopaths are 7 times more common than female psychopaths.

But there are some things to keep in mind here. When most people think of 'sociopath' they typically think 'male' and 'serial killer'. They do not generally think of women psychopaths. This can lead to a situation where they are dealing with a psychopath in their life but do not realize who they are dealing with.

Add to this the fact that sociopaths have been called chameleons for their ability to blend into society and it adds to the difficulty in counting them.

Plus, whether you consider it sexist or not, the female aspect needs to be considered when talking about manipulation. Women have been known to 'bat their eyelids' and show their cleavage or 'show a bit of leg', for example, to good effect.

How female sociopaths show up in society

The most obvious group are the serial killers. And yes, there have been lots of female serial killers as well as males!

Unlike the males however, there is usually not a sexual element to their crimes. It's much more usual to be money or power related. And the female sociopaths typically know their victims; it's rare for them to kill strangers. An interesting group are the female sociopaths who become nurses or doctors. These cold-blooded killers hide themselves where nobody would suspect them, in a caring profession!

And then they set to work. For example, Beverley Allitt, a 23-year-old nurse in the UK killed 4 and attacked 9 other children within a couple of months before she was caught. A Texas nurse Genene Jones is believed to have killed between 11 and 46. It's of this group that people usually say "But they seemed like such nice people!"

Another subset are those who kill one or several husbands for the inheritance and life assurance.

Obvious Delinquents

Some female sociopaths demonstrate antisocial behavior as children and as adolescents. Lying, stealing, truancy, cruelty to animals and siblings, drug abuse, early sexual activity. Of course, there may be frequent run-ins with the law. Their parents are very often distraught because there is so little they can do. As adults, these female sociopaths may end up abusing alcohol and drugs and end up in and out of prison.

Some therapists believe that there is such a disregard for society among them that a sociopath that has not broken the law just hasn't been found out yet!

Cult leaders

Many of the women who lead destructive cults are sociopaths.

There seems to be two themes among female sociopaths that are not so prevalent in male led groups, one being the avoidance of sex and the other being food.

The women psychopaths may target women who want to get away from sex for whatever reason. Instead they offer female nurturing and support.

As well as offering meals when potential 'clients' have none, there are cults based on eating healthily or losing weight. This is typical of cults, they offer something people want but behind the outer facade is a second set of ideas or principles. People enter for one thing and end up having the leader control their lives.

Socialized sociopaths

These are the ones that are so difficult to count! Despite their sociopath symptoms, they manage to integrate themselves into society to varying degrees. Everything from solitary lives where they live on the money they make from crimes for which they are not caught, to getting married, settling down and having children.

It's interesting to read or listen to the stories of some of these female sociopaths. Typically, they realize as children that they are different in some way. They think differently and make different decisions. Then they begin to understand that they are not so 'affected' by emotions. It's seems that it's common for them to think that this is because they are smarter than those around them.

They begin from an early age to look for clues to recognize the emotions that others are actually having. They learn to mimic the emotions so as not to stand out, or to please others. They learn to create relationships that are beneficial for them.

Female sociopaths have all the symptoms of sociopaths. The lying, the parasitic lifestyle, the need for excitement and the desire to control. It's possible that there are many female sociopaths who live, for all intents and purposes, what looks like a normal life from the outside. They are content to just blend in and do what "normal" people do.

Others however, want more. More money, more power, more control, more excitement. And they get themselves into trouble because of the impulsivity or the failure to control their emotions, or the irresponsibility.

One of the ways this shows up is in problems in their marriage. In true sociopath style, they attract a man, create an intimate relationship, influence his decision making and get married. It's common for them to isolate the man from his friends and family to varying degrees. They can be very domineering and controlling, using sex as a means to manipulate. The man may suffer verbal abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse and even physical abuse.

When there are children involved it gets infinitely more complicated. Especially in separations and divorces. The female sociopaths have no difficulty (remember no remorse, guilt or pity for anybody) in using the children as pawns or objects to try to continue to manipulate the man.

They will extract information from the children about the father to use against him, they will influence how and what the children think about the father, and they may prevent the father from having any contact with the children. The welfare of the children is not considered. What's important is that they continue to maintain control and power.

In family matters where the police or the courts involved, they have no difficulty in lying, inventing stories and doing whatever is necessary to get what they want. They can play the victim role very well, as most sociopaths do, and will use society's preferences towards women and mothers to their advantage.

Some female sociopaths simply go from one relationship to another. They use their sociopathic charm, good looks and female wiles to create a relationship, take what they want and then disappear, leaving a trail of brokenhearted and confused men behind them. Men who are somewhat poorer after the experience!

This piece was originally written about a male but I think it works equally well like this!

She will choose you, charm you with her words, and control you with this presence. She will delight you with her wit and her plans. She will show you a good time, but you will always get the bill. She will smile and deceive you, and she will scare you with her eyes. And when she is through with you, and she will be through with you, she will desert you and take with her your innocence and your pride. You will be left much sadder but not a lot wiser, and for a long time you will wonder what you did wrong.

From an essay signed, "A psychopath in prison".

Testosterone

Apparently both male and female psychopaths have high levels of testosterone. It has been found that in normal populations, higher levels of testosterone are associated with higher sex drive, more sexual activity and more attractiveness to the opposite sex. This will make female sociopaths more appealing to males. Add to this the lack of inhibition, and the grandiose sense of self and you have a lethal combination! Think femme fatale! It may also explain the lack of desire to have children and the failure to look after them if they do. It's not uncommon for female sociopaths to leave young children unattended, for example, because they have other more important things to do.

How we perceive women

We normally think women are empathic and nurturing and don't expect to see cold-hearted, uncaring, callous behaviors in women. We don't consider that they could be more devious, manipulative, destructive, vindictive and downright nasty than their male counterparts. But just ask any man who has been a victim of female sociopaths...!

Learn what to do if you think you might be in a relationship with a sociopath and how to stop mind control...

[May 18, 2016] Less Than Artful Choices Narcissistic Personality Disorder According to Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... So, without further ado, Trump's quotable illustration of the hallmarks of NPD, defined according to DSM-IV as, "A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy." The disorder is indicated by at least five of the following: ..."
Big Think

Donald Trump was born in 1946. 34 years later, in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the American Psychiatric Association's hefty volume of mental disorder classifications, the term "Narcissistic Personality Disorder" (NPD) first appeared as a diagnosable disease – Trump would doubtless say it was created in his honor (characteristic #1 of NPD: An exaggerated sense of self-importance). After all, the newly-minted personality disorder made its debut only nine years after he took the helm of his father's company… and renamed it from Elizabeth Trump & Son to The Trump Organization.

The most recent DSM, DSM-IV, is currently under extensive revision, with DSM-V scheduled for publication sometime in 2013, and both its listed diseases and their definitions are undergoing extensive scrutiny and contentious debate. On the chopping block are five of the ten or so so-called personality disorders, including NPD. Among the reasons for the cut are the frequent overlap between disorders, the general lack of stability of symptoms, and the range of those symptoms in reality, as compared to the either/or approach of the manual (either you have a disorder or you don't). So, before NPD becomes a thing of the past, at least in its current form, I thought we'd take a moment to reflect on some less than artful choices – or the things that make Trump look like he just stepped out of the fourth edition, symptom by symptom.

A caveat: I am obviously exaggerating, both Trump and narcissism. But debate on personality disorders, classifications, diagnoses, and treatments is well worthwhile, and a colorful spokesperson never hurts.

So, without further ado, Trump's quotable illustration of the hallmarks of NPD, defined according to DSM-IV as, "A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy." The disorder is indicated by at least five of the following:

1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

A sense of one's own importance, a grandiose feeling that one is alone responsible for any achievement is a hallmark of the narcissist. Grandiosity is one of the central tenets of a narcissistic personality. Narcissists tend to take credit for everything, as if no one else contributed to the end product. Witness Trump's declaration that, "When people see the beautiful marble in Trump Tower, they usually have no idea what I went through personally to achieve the end result. No one cares about the blood, sweat, and tears that art or beauty require." What do you know: not only is Trump a developer and an artistic visionary, but he seems to be a stellar architect and construction worker as well.

And history will agree (naturally). "Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken," says Trump. Sadly, indeed.

2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love How many presidential runs does it take for the process to be defined as a preoccupation rather than an occupation?

I'd leave it at that, except for the existence of this little gem: "My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body." Not only all-powerful, but all-beautiful, too. The man has it all.

3. Believes he is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions) To narcissists, the "little people" or anyone beneath them (which is mostly everyone) don't matter. Trump's lambasting of Rosie O'Donnell is a good case in point: "Rosie O'Donnell called me a snake oil salesman. And, you know, coming from Rosie, that's pretty low because when you look at her and when you see the mind, the mind is weak. I don't see it. I don't get it. I never understood – how does she even get on television?"

Clearly, Rosie lacks the power to understand the dazzling intellect that is Donald Trump. Trump needs someone of equal status to appreciate his immensity. But it can't be Larry King, because as he told King, "Do you mind if I sit back a little? Because your breath is very bad. It really is. Has this been told to you before?"

4. Requires excessive admiration No matter the sincerity, as long as the praise comes frequently and at a high enough volume. Says Trump, "All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected." Clearly. Admired, wherever he may go, even when he's talking about himself in the third person, as in, "Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."

As he puts it, "Nobody but a total masochist wants to be criticized."

5. Has a sense of entitlement The world owes the narcissist everything; he, in turn, owes it nothing. I think Trump's attitude can be summed up with this approach to marriage: "I wish I'd had a great marriage. See, my father was always very proud of me, but the one thing he got right was that he had a great marriage. He was married for 64 years. One of my ex-wives once said to me, 'You have to work at a marriage.' And I said, 'That's the most ridiculous thing.'"

6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends I don't have a quote for this one, but perhaps we can talk to one of his ex-wives.

7. Lacks empathy Narcissists don't sympathize with the feelings of others. Who are these "others," anyway? No one matters except for me. I won't recreate the Rosie rampage in full, but sentiments like, "I'll sue her because it would be fun. I'd like to take some money out of her fat ass pockets," capture the spirit.

8. Is often envious of others or believes others to be envious of him Here, it seems like Trump is dominated by the second sentiment, the expectation that everyone is envious of his success. Everyone wants to be Trump. As he puts it, "The old rich may look down their noses at me, but I think they kiss my ass."

9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes Again, other people don't matter. They can be treated like nothing, because who are we kidding – nothing is the closest description of what they are.

Clients don't matter. As Trump puts it, "When I build something for somebody, I always add $50 million or $60 million onto the price. My guys come in, they say it's going to cost $75 million. I say it's going to cost $125 million, and I build it for $100 million. Basically, I did a lousy job. But they think I did a great job." Take them for the suckers they are; that's the ticket.

The media doesn't matter. According to Trump, "You know, it really doesn't matter what (the media) write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass." The piece of ass doesn't matter, either; any will do.

Other businesses don't matter. As Trump says, "If you want to buy something, it's obviously in your best interest to convince the seller that what he's got isn't worth very much."

But it's ok. Trump doesn't have to be nice. After all, it's not like he wants to run for office or anything: "I'm not running for office. I don't have to be politically correct. I don't have to be a nice person. Like I watch some of these weak-kneed politicians, it's disgusting. I don't have to be that way."

Too bad. We need a good candidate. Because according to Trump, "One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don't go into government."

[May 18, 2016] Barack Obama – Narcissist or Merely Narcissistic?

Notable quotes:
"... Narcissism is a defense mechanism whose role is to deflect hurt and trauma from the victim's "True Self" into a " False Self " which is omnipotent, invulnerable, and omniscient. This False Self is then used by the narcissist to garner narcissistic supply from his human environment. Narcissistic supply is any form of attention, both positive and negative and it is instrumental in the regulation of the narcissist's labile sense of self-worth. ..."
"... Many narcissists are over-achievers and ambitious. Some of them are even talented and skilled. But they are incapable of team work because they cannot tolerate setbacks. They are easily frustrated and demoralized and are unable to cope with disagreement and criticism. Though some narcissists have meteoric and inspiring careers, in the long-run, all of them find it difficult to maintain long-term professional achievements and the respect and appreciation of their peers. The narcissist's fantastic grandiosity, frequently coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically incommensurate with his or her real accomplishments (the "grandiosity gap"). ..."
"... An important distinction is between cerebral and somatic narcissists. The cerebrals derive their Narcissistic Supply from their intelligence or academic achievements and the somatics derive their Narcissistic Supply from their physique, exercise, physical or sexual prowess and romantic or physical "conquests". ..."
"... Subtly misrepresents facts and expediently and opportunistically shifts positions, views, opinions, and "ideals" (e.g., about campaign finance, re-districting). These flip-flops do not cause him overt distress and are ego-syntonic (he feels justified in acting this way). Alternatively, reuses to commit to a standpoint and, in the process, evidences a lack of empathy. ..."
"... Narcissism is regarded by many scholars to be an adaptative strategy ("healthy narcissism"). ..."
"... Pathological narcissism is the art of deception. The narcissist projects a False Self and manages all his social interactions through this concocted fictional construct. ..."
"... When the narcissist reveals his true colors, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry at themselves for having they failed to see through the narcissist earlier on. ..."
"... The narcissist instantly idealizes or devalues his interlocutor. This depends on how the narcissist appraises the potential his converser has as a Narcissistic Supply Source. The narcissist flatters, adores, admires and applauds the "target" in an embarrassingly exaggerated and profuse manner or sulks, abuses, and humiliates her. ..."
"... In general, the narcissist always prefers show-off to substance. One of the most effective methods of exposing a narcissist is by trying to delve deeper. The narcissist is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades. The narcissist never admits to ignorance in any field yet, typically, he is ignorant of them all. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the narcissist's self-proclaimed omniscience. ..."
"... In general, the narcissist is very impatient, easily bored, with strong attention deficits unless and until he is the topic of discussion. One can publicly dissect all aspects of the intimate life of a narcissist without repercussions, providing the discourse is not "emotionally tinted". ..."
lettingfreedomring.com
Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist . Granted, only a qualified mental health diagnostician (which I am not) can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews. But, in the absence of access to Barack Obama, one has to rely on his overt performance and on testimonies by his closest, nearest and dearest.

Narcissistic leaders are nefarious and their effects pernicious. They are subtle, refined, socially-adept, manipulative, possessed of thespian skills, and convincing. Both types equally lack empathy and are ruthless and relentless or driven.

Perhaps it is time to require each candidate to high office in the USA to submit to a rigorous physical and mental checkup with the results made public.

I. Upbringing and Childhood

Obama's early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations. Mixed-race marriages were even less common then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant (two years old). Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. Then, his mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia : a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white) grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. She died of cancer in 1995.

Pathological narcissism is a reaction to prolonged abuse and trauma in early childhood or early adolescence. The source of the abuse or trauma is immaterial: the perpetrators could be dysfunctional or absent parents, teachers, other adults, or peers.

II. Behavior Patterns

The narcissist:

Narcissism is a defense mechanism whose role is to deflect hurt and trauma from the victim's "True Self" into a " False Self " which is omnipotent, invulnerable, and omniscient. This False Self is then used by the narcissist to garner narcissistic supply from his human environment. Narcissistic supply is any form of attention, both positive and negative and it is instrumental in the regulation of the narcissist's labile sense of self-worth.

Perhaps the most immediately evident trait of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is their vulnerability to criticism and disagreement. Subject to negative input, real or imagined, even to a mild rebuke, a constructive suggestion, or an offer to help, they feel injured, humiliated and empty and they react with disdain (devaluation), rage, and defiance.

From my book "Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited":

"To avoid such intolerable pain, some patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) socially withdraw and feign false modesty and humility to mask their underlying grandiosity . Dysthymic and depressive disorders are common reactions to isolation and feelings of shame and inadequacy."

Due to their lack of empathy, disregard for others, exploitativeness, sense of entitlement, and constant need for attention (narcissistic supply), narcissists are rarely able to maintain functional and healthy interpersonal relationships.

Many narcissists are over-achievers and ambitious. Some of them are even talented and skilled. But they are incapable of team work because they cannot tolerate setbacks. They are easily frustrated and demoralized and are unable to cope with disagreement and criticism. Though some narcissists have meteoric and inspiring careers, in the long-run, all of them find it difficult to maintain long-term professional achievements and the respect and appreciation of their peers. The narcissist's fantastic grandiosity, frequently coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically incommensurate with his or her real accomplishments (the "grandiosity gap").

An important distinction is between cerebral and somatic narcissists. The cerebrals derive their Narcissistic Supply from their intelligence or academic achievements and the somatics derive their Narcissistic Supply from their physique, exercise, physical or sexual prowess and romantic or physical "conquests".

Another crucial division within the ranks of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is between the classic variety (those who meet five of the nine diagnostic criteria included in the DSM), and the compensatory kind (their narcissism compensates for deep-set feelings of inferiority and lack of self-worth).
Obama displays the following behaviors, which are among the hallmarks of pathological narcissism:

III. Body Language

Many complain of the incredible deceptive powers of the narcissist. They find themselves involved with narcissists (emotionally, in business, or otherwise) before they have a chance to discover their true character. Shocked by the later revelation, they mourn their inability to separate from the narcissist and their gullibility.

Narcissists are an elusive breed, hard to spot, harder to pinpoint, impossible to capture. Even an experienced mental health diagnostician with unmitigated access to the record and to the person examined would find it fiendishly difficult to determine with any degree of certainty whether someone suffers from a full fledged Narcissistic Personality Disorder or merely possesses narcissistic traits, a narcissistic style, a personality structure ("character"), or a narcissistic "overlay" superimposed on another mental health problem.

Moreover, it is important to distinguish between traits and behavior patterns that are independent of the patient's cultural-social context (i.e., which are inherent, or idiosyncratic) and reactive patterns, or conformity to cultural and social morals and norms. Reactions to severe life crises or circumstances are also often characterized by transient pathological narcissism, for instance (Ronningstam and Gunderson, 1996). But such reactions do not a narcissist make.

When a person belongs to a society or culture that has often been described as narcissistic by scholars (such as Theodore Millon) and social thinkers (e.g., Christopher Lasch) how much of his behavior can be attributed to his milieu and which of his traits are really his?

The Narcissistic Personality Disorder is rigorously defined in the DSM IV-TR with a set of strict criteria and differential diagnoses.

Narcissism is regarded by many scholars to be an adaptative strategy ("healthy narcissism"). It is considered pathological in the clinical sense only when it becomes a rigid personality structure replete with a series of primitive defence mechanisms (such as splitting, projection, projective identification, or intellectualization) and when it leads to dysfunctions in one or more areas of the patient's life.

Pathological narcissism is the art of deception. The narcissist projects a False Self and manages all his social interactions through this concocted fictional construct.

When the narcissist reveals his true colors, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry at themselves for having they failed to see through the narcissist earlier on.

But the narcissist does emit subtle, almost subliminal, signals ("presenting symptoms") even in a first or casual encounter. Compare the following list to Barack Obama's body language during his public appearances.

These are:

IV. Narcissistic and psychopathic Leaders

The narcissistic or psychopathic leader is the culmination and reification of his period, culture, and civilization. He is likely to rise to prominence in narcissistic societies.

The malignant narcissist invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. He maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and this is further exacerbated by the trappings of power. The narcissist's grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience are supported by real life authority and the narcissist's predilection to surround himself with obsequious sycophants.

The narcissist's personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as "victims of persecution".

The narcissistic leader fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, mythology. The leader is this religion's ascetic saint. He monastically denies himself earthly pleasures (or so he claims) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling.

The narcissistic leader is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people – or humanity at large – should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, the narcissistic leader became a distorted version of Nietzsche's "superman".

But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral.

In this restricted sense, narcissistic leaders are post-modernist and moral relativists. They project to the masses an androgynous figure and enhance it by engendering the adoration of nudity and all things "natural" – or by strongly repressing these feelings. But what they refer to as "nature" is not natural at all.

The narcissistic leader invariably proffers an aesthetic of decadence and evil carefully orchestrated and artificial – though it is not perceived this way by him or by his followers. Narcissistic leadership is about reproduced copies, not about originals. It is about the manipulation of symbols – not about veritable atavism or true conservatism.

In short: narcissistic leadership is about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle (and be subsumed by it), the leader demands the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis is tantamount, in this narcissistic dramaturgy, to self-annulment.

Narcissism is nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives are nihilistic. Narcissism is conspicuous nihilism – and the cult's leader serves as a role model, annihilating the Man, only to re-appear as a pre-ordained and irresistible force of nature.

Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the "old ways" – against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon a narcissistic (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.

Minorities or "others" – often arbitrarily selected – constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is "wrong". They are accused of being old, they are eerily disembodied, they are cosmopolitan, they are part of the establishment, they are "decadent", they are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, origin … They are different, they are narcissistic (feel and act as morally superior), they are everywhere, they are defenceless, they are credulous, they are adaptable (and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They are the perfect hate figure. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy.

This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler, diagnosed by Erich Fromm – together with Stalin – as a malignant narcissist. He was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. He acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. He provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. He was not the devil. He was one of us. He was what Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. He was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.

The narcissistic leader prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime – the narcissistic leader having died, been deposed, or voted out of office – it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely-held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. "Earth shattering" and "revolutionary" scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.

It is important to understand that the use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with the self-image of the narcissist. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform with the narcissistic narrative.

Thus, a narcissist who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite – is highly unlikely to use violence at first.

The pacific mask crumbles when the narcissist has become convinced that the very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, the prime sources of his narcissistic supply – have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, the narcissist strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. "The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, the military, the elite, etc.)", "they don't really know what they are doing", "following a rude awakening, they will revert to form", etc.

When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail – the narcissist is injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized – is now discarded with contempt and hatred.

This primitive defense mechanism is called "splitting". To the narcissist, things and people are either entirely bad (evil) or entirely good. He projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. A narcissistic leader is likely to justify the butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo the revolution, devastate the economy, or the country, etc.

The "small people", the "rank and file", the "loyal soldiers" of the narcissist – his flock, his nation, his employees – they pay the price. The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from the ashes, of overcoming the trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated – is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf the erstwhile followers of the narcissist. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.

DISCLAIMER

I am not a mental health professional. Still, I have dedicated the last 12 years to the study of personality disorders in general and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in particular. I have authored nine (9) books about these topics, one of which is a Barnes and Noble best-seller ("Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"). My work is widely cited in scholarly tomes and publications and in the media. My books and the content of my Web site are based on correspondence since 1996 with hundreds of people suffering from the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (narcissists) and with thousands of their family members, friends, therapists, and colleagues.

[May 18, 2016] 10 Signs That Youre in a Relationship with a Narcissist

Notable quotes:
"... the narcissist is someone who has "buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self." ..."
"... In our highly individualistic and externally driven society, mild to severe forms of narcissism are not only pervasive but often encouraged. ..."
"... It is more accurate to characterize the pathological narcissist as someone who's in love with an idealized self-image , which they project in order to avoid feeling (and being seen as) the real, disenfranchised, wounded self. Deep down, most pathological narcissists feel like the "ugly duckling," even if they painfully don't want to admit it. ..."
"... Some narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, believing that others cannot live or survive without his or her magnificent contributions. ..."
"... "Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others" - Paramhansa Yogananda ..."
"... Making decisions for others to suit one's own needs. The narcissist may use his or her romantic partner, child, friend, or colleague to meet unreasonable self-serving needs, fulfill unrealized dreams , or cover up self-perceived inadequacies and flaws. ..."
www.psychologytoday.com

Be on the lookout for these, before you get manipulated.

"That's enough of me talking about myself; let's hear you talk about me"

― Anonymous

"It's not easy being superior to everyone I know."

― Anonymous

Psychologist Stephen Johnson writes that the narcissist is someone who has "buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self." This alternate persona to the real self often comes across as grandiose, "above others," self-absorbed, and highly conceited. In our highly individualistic and externally driven society, mild to severe forms of narcissism are not only pervasive but often encouraged.

Narcissism is often interpreted in popular culture as a person who's in love with him or herself. It is more accurate to characterize the pathological narcissist as someone who's in love with an idealized self-image , which they project in order to avoid feeling (and being seen as) the real, disenfranchised, wounded self. Deep down, most pathological narcissists feel like the "ugly duckling," even if they painfully don't want to admit it.

How do you know when you're dealing with a narcissist? The following are some telltale signs, excerpted from my book (click on title): " How to Successfully Handle Narcissists (link is external) ". While most of us are guilty of some of the following behaviors at one time or another, a pathological narcissist tends to dwell habitually in several of the following personas, while remaining largely unaware of (or unconcerned with) how his or her actions affect others.

1. Conversation Hoarder . The narcissist loves to talk about him or herself, and doesn't give you a chance to take part in a two-way conversation. You struggle to have your views and feelings heard. When you do get a word in, if it's not in agreement with the narcissist, your comments are likely to be corrected, dismissed, or ignored. As in: "My father's favorite responses to my views were: 'but…,' 'actually…,' and 'there's more to it than this…' He always has to feel like he knows better." ― Anonymous

2. Conversation Interrupter. While many people have the poor communication habit of interrupting others, the narcissist interrupts and quickly switches the focus back to herself. He shows little genuine interest in you.

3. Rule Breaker. The narcissist enjoys getting away with violating rules and social norms, such as cutting in line, chronic under-tipping, stealing office supplies, breaking multiple appointments, or disobeying traffic laws. As in: "I take pride in persuading people to give me exceptions to their rules" ― Anonymous

4. Boundary Violator. Shows wanton disregard for other people's thoughts, feelings, possessions, and physical space. Oversteps and uses others without consideration or sensitivity. Borrows items or money without returning. Breaks promises and obligations repeatedly. Shows little remorse and blames the victim for one's own lack of respect. As in: "It's your fault that I forgot because you didn't remind me"― Anonymous

5. False Image Projection. Many narcissists like to do things to impress others by making themselves look good externally. This "trophy" complex can exhibit itself physically, romantically, sexually, socially, religiously, financially, materially, professionally, academically, or culturally. In these situations, the narcissist uses people, objects, status, and/or accomplishments to represent the self, substituting for the perceived, inadequate "real" self. These grandstanding "merit badges" are often exaggerated. The underlying message of this type of display is: "I'm better than you!" or "Look at how special I am-I'm worthy of everyone's love, admiration, and acceptance!" as in: "I dyed my hair blond and enlarged my breasts to get men's attention-and to make other women jealous " - Anonymous. Or "My accomplishments are everything" ― Anonymous executive Or "I never want to be looked upon as poor. My fiancé and I each drive a Mercedes. The best man at our upcoming wedding also drives a Mercedes." ― Anonymous.

In a big way, these external symbols become pivotal parts of the narcissist's false identity, replacing the real and injured self.

6. Entitlement. Narcissists often expect preferential treatment from others. They expect others to cater (often instantly) to their needs, without being considerate in return. In their mindset, the world revolves around them.

7. Charmer. Narcissists can be very charismatic and persuasive. When they're interested in you (for their own gratification), they make you feel very special and wanted. However, once they lose interest in you (most likely after they've gotten what they want, or became bored), they may drop you without a second thought. A narcissist can be very engaging and sociable, as long as you're fulfilling what she desires, and giving her all of your attention.

8. Grandiose Personality. Thinking of oneself as a hero or heroine, a prince or princess, or one of a kind special person. Some narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, believing that others cannot live or survive without his or her magnificent contributions. As in: "I'm looking for a man who will treat my daughter and me like princesses" ― Anonymous singles ad. Or: "Once again I saved the day-without me, they're nothing" ― Anonymous

9. Negative Emotions. Many narcissists enjoy spreading and arousing negative emotions to gain attention, feel powerful, and keep you insecure and off-balance. They are easily upset at any real or perceived slights or inattentiveness. They may throw a tantrum if you disagree with their views, or fail to meet their expectations. They are extremely sensitive to criticism, and typically respond with heated argument (fight) or cold detachment (flight). On the other hand, narcissists are often quick to judge, criticize, ridicule, and blame you. Some narcissists are emotionally abusive. By making you feel inferior, they boost their fragile ego, and feel better about themselves. As in: "Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others" - Paramhansa Yogananda

10. Manipulation: Using Others as an Extension of Self. Making decisions for others to suit one's own needs. The narcissist may use his or her romantic partner, child, friend, or colleague to meet unreasonable self-serving needs, fulfill unrealized dreams , or cover up self-perceived inadequacies and flaws. As in: "If my son doesn't grow up to be a professional baseball player, I'll disown him" ― Anonymous father. Or: "Aren't you beautiful? Aren't you beautiful? You're going to be just as pretty as mommy" ― Anonymous mother

Another way narcissists manipulate is through guilt, such as proclaiming, "I've given you so much, and you're so ungrateful," or, "I'm a victim-you must help me or you're not a good person." They hijack your emotions, and beguile you to make unreasonable sacrifices.

If you find yourself in a relationship with a difficult narcissist, there are many strategies and skills you can utilize to help restore health , balance, and respect. In my book (click on title): " How to Successfully Handle Narcissists (link is external) ," you'll learn how to maintain composure, ways to be proactive instead of reactive, seven powerful strategies to handle narcissists, eight ways to say "no" diplomatically but firmly, keys to negotiate successfully with narcissists, and seven types of power you can utilize to compel cooperation .

For more on dealing with difficult people, see my publications (click on titles):

Follow me on Twitter (link is external) , Facebook (link is external) , and LinkedIn (link is external) !

Preston Ni, M.S.B.A. is available as a presenter, workshop facilitator, and private coach. For more information, write to commsuccess@nipreston.com (link sends e-mail) , or visit www.nipreston.com (link is external) .



Old News ;-)

4 Warning Signs You're Dating a Narcissist World of Psychology

That is what a relationship with a narcissist is like. In the beginning there's flash and excitement. Their presence is magnetic and he or she seems larger than life. They are intelligent, charming, and popular, and when they're the center of attention, some of the spotlight shines on you, too, leaving you glowing with pride, importance, and accomplishment. Yet after a while, you discover that under the surface the relationship is hollow. Soon, the excitement and status wear thin.

This is because a true narcissist lacks inner qualities necessary for a healthy bond: empathic perspective-taking, a moral conscience, stable confidence, and the ability to be intimate and genuine with another human being. Being in a relationship with a narcissist (especially if you don't realize they are one) can leave you feeling worthless, emotionally exhausted, and unfulfilled.

So how can you know if you are in this kind of "hollow chocolate bunny" relationship before it crashes and burns in heartache? Do you have to wait until your relationship sours to find out? Not necessarily. Spotting the signs early means being able to avoid getting entangled in a narcissist's web, and could spare you from doing the challenging, messy work of digging yourself out later.

Here's a few signs to look for in your partner, which may signal that the person you are dating has narcissistic tendencies, and the negative effects those behaviors can have on you:

1. He poses as "The Most Interesting Man in the World."

A narcissist may initially intrigue you with his or her apparent confidence, swagger, or audacity, regaling you with stories about accomplishments, rubbing elbows with influential people, or their innumerable talents and gifts. He or she may seem fun and magnetic, always the center of attention and the life of the party, but this may actually be a facade - a ploy to satisfy the narcissist's pathological need for praise and reassurance. You may come to find out that the stories are exaggerated (or altogether false), their confidence is artificial and fragile, and his or her need for attention may trump good judgment or others' needs.

2. You feel talked down to.

Because narcissists deeply lack self-esteem, almost everything else in their lives is orchestrated to hide their weaknesses and give them a temporary sense of power and success. This can take the form of subtle insults that cause you to question your worth, such as a dismissive sneer when you make an observation, a condescending "that's nice" when you share an accomplishment you're proud of, or demeaning comments about your behavior or appearance.

When you look to a partner who is a narcissist, it can feel like you're looking into a funhouse mirror and getting back a distorted view of yourself. Your flaws seem to be highlighted and your strengths diminished - a careful ruse constructed to ensure the narcissist holds themselves in a more flattering light.

3. She acts like the victim.

Narcissism also is characterized by extreme self-centeredness. Anything that is outside the narcissist's experience or that contradicts his or her beliefs is wrong, foolish, or crazy. For this reason, a conflict with a narcissist is almost certain to end with all the blame being directed to you. This, combined with the funhouse mirror effect, can make even minor arguments emotionally exhausting.

Nothing you say can convince the narcissist that you're not making intentional and irrational attacks against him or her. In the narcissist's eyes, you're somehow responsible for their sadness, anger, or even immoral behavior.

4. Your relationship feels one-sided and shallow.

When it's time to move from casual to committed, this is where the "hollow chocolate bunny" effect of narcissism really shows through. A relationship with a narcissist is unlikely ever to reach greater depths of sharing, emotion, and intimacy.

A narcissist is likely to spend time with you when it suits his or her emotional, physical, or sexual needs, and dismiss or ignore your needs, desires, and preferences. Your time together is likely to be marked by a lack of genuine interest in anything other than him- or herself. For example, you could get late-night calls when he or she is distraught, excited, or wants something but similar calls from you may not even be answered. Attempts to share your deeper thoughts, beliefs, or feelings may be given lip service, ignored, or dismissed.

If these seem to describe your current relationship, don't panic. In fact, seize the opportunity to reflect and evaluate your twosome. These red flags may help shed light on the dysfunction you're bearing and guide you away from further pain. If you want to make things work, there are ways to cope with dating or living with a narcissist, including developing conflict-resolution skills and bolstering your own confidence and self-esteem to shield you against narcissistic attacks.

Ultimately, knowledge is power. Being aware of signs of narcissism (and some of the problems that can arise from dating a narcissist) allows you to be prepared and to make informed decisions about the relationship.

8 Undeniable Signs You've Fallen For A Narcissist

The Huffington Post | Brittany Wong | Posted 01.14.2016 | Divorce

Read More: Narcissism, Narcissist, Dating a Narcissist, Relationship With a Narcissist, How to Spot a Narcissist, Relationship Problems, Toxic Personality, Toxic Relationships, Divorce News


It's easy to fall for a narcissist: they're charming, polished and quick to get in your good graces with compliments and constant attention. Once you ...

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10 Signs You're In Love With A Narcopath

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What do you get when you cross a sociopath with a narcissist?

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Are You Dating a Narcissist?

Lena Aburdene Derhally | Posted 07.07.2015 | Women

Read More: Narcissism, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Dating a Narcissist, Dating Advice, Relationship Advice, Women News


There are definitely fairy tale stories out there of two people falling madly in love with each other right at the get go and spending their lives happily ever after, but that is generally not the norm. Keep your guard up the more intensely the person is into you and the earlier on it occurs.

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6 Warning Signs You're Dating a Narcissist

Divorced Moms | Posted 03.19.2015 | Divorce

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Could you be dating a narcissist and not even know it?

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Can A Narcissist Love Me?

Melissa Schenker | Posted 09.22.2014 | Women

Read More: Dating a Narcissist, Narcissism, Women, Relationships, Men Women Relationships, Love, Women News


A narcissist can seem to love you. A narcissist can make it look like love. A narcissist can say the words of love. A narcissist can think it's love. Unfortunately, when involved with a narcissist, you are enmeshed but not in love. You can be enmeshed and mistake that for love. But enmeshment and love are not the same thing.

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Is There Something Wrong With Me if I've Been Involved with a Narcissist?

Melissa Schenker | Posted 08.13.2014 | Women

Read More: Women's Empowerment, Narcissism, Self-Esteem, Am I Dating a Narcissist, Is My Boyfriend a Narcissist, Dating a Narcissist, Signs of Narcissism, Relationship Advice, Women News


If you are still involved with a narcissist, you may not realize how completely your attention has been diverted from your self and your own life.

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7 Strategies for Dealing With the Narcissist You Love

Dr. Craig Malkin | Posted 06.23.2014 | Healthy Living

Read More: Healthy Relationships, Attachment, Narcissist, Relationships, Dating a Narcissist, Narcissism, Unhealthy Relationships, Insecurity, Narcissists, Emotional Intelligence, Healthy Living News


If you've tried a more loving approach to sharing what hurts in your relationship, and the narcissist in your life still won't soften, you truly have done everything you can.

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Can Narcissists Change?

Dr. Craig Malkin | Posted 11.10.2013 | Healthy Living

Read More: Narcissism, Healthy Relationships, Narcissists, Unhealthy Relationships, Attachment, Narcissist, Relationships, Dating a Narcissist, Emotional Intelligence, Insecurity, Healthy Living News


As a therapist, I've seen firsthand that changing relational patterns often transforms even the most inflexible "trait" into something softer, gentler -- not a fixed feature, but a protection that eventually yields to touch and intimacy in all the ways one would hope.

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5 Early Warning Signs You're With A Narcissist

Dr. Craig Malkin | Posted 07.30.2013 | Women

Read More: Attachment, Narcissism, Insecurity, Relationships, Emotional Intelligence, Tina Swithin, Narcissist, Video, Healthy Relationships, Unhealthy Relationships, Dating a Narcissist, Narcissists, Women News


The most glaring problems are easy to spot -- but if you get too hung up on the obvious traits, you can easily miss the subtle (and often more common) features that allow a narcissist to sneak into your life and wreak havoc.

[May 18, 2016] Obamas Malignant Narcissism

www.americanthinker.com
Here's a partial checklist . You decide.

1. "Common to malignant narcissism is narcissistic rage . Narcissistic rage is a reaction to narcissistic injury (when the narcissist feels degraded by another person, typically in the form of criticism )."
2. "When the narcissist's grandiose sense of self-worth is perceived as being attacked by another person, the narcissist's natural reaction is to rage and pull down the self-worth of others (to make the narcissist feel superior to others). It is an attempt by the narcissist to soothe their internal pain and hostility, while at the same time rebuilding their self worth."
3. "Narcissistic rage also occurs when the narcissist perceives that he/she is being prevented from accomplishing their grandiose fantasies."
4. "Because the narcissist derives pleasure from the fulfillment of their grandiose dreams (akin to an addiction), anyone standing between the narcissist and their (wish) fulfillment ... may be subject to narcissistic rage. Narcissistic rage will frequently include yelling and berating of the person that has slighted the narcissist, but if strong enough could provoke more hostile feelings."
5. "Individuals with malignant narcissism will display a two faced personality. Creation of a 'false self' is linked to the narcissist's fear of being inadequate or inferior to others and this mask becomes ingrained into their personality so as to project a sense of superiority to others at all times."
6. "The narcissist gains a sense of esteem from the feedback of other people as it is common for the malignant narcissist to suffer from extremely low levels of self-esteem."
7. "The ... false self of the malignant narcissist is created because the real self doesn't meet his or her own expectations. Instead, the narcissist tends to mimic emotional displays of other people and creates a grandiose self to harbor their internalized fantasies of greatness."
8. "The [false self] is used by the narcissist to present to the outside world what appears to be a normal, functioning human being and to help maintain his or her own fantasies of an idealized self. The narcissist constantly builds upon this false self, creating a fictional character that is used to show off to the world and to help them feed off the emotions of other people."
There's ongoing debate about "malignant narcissism" as a diagnosis, and some people prefer to use the standard DSM-IV version . It doesn't make much difference in this case.

... ... ...

It's possible that Obama may be a "fanatic type" of narcissist. That could mean a world of trouble for the Democrats, for the nation, and given his position in the world, for other countries as well.
Here is Theodore Millon's definition of the fanatic type:
fanatic type - including paranoid features. A severely narcissistically wounded individual, usually with major paranoid tendencies who holds onto an illusion of omnipotence. These people are fighting the reality of their insignificance and lost value and are trying to re-establish their self-esteem through grandiose fantasies and self-reinforcement. When unable to gain recognition of support from others, they take on the role of a heroic or worshipped person with a grandiose mission.

[May 18, 2016] Can Narcissists Change

Notable quotes:
"... Trait labels like narcissist, or the admittedly less stigmatizing ones like extrovert and introvert, merely provide a shorthand description. They're a stand-in for "this person scored high on a trait measure of narcissism or extroversion or introversion." They can never hope to capture the whole person. ..."
"... For more by Dr. Craig Malkin, click here . ..."
"... For more on emotional intelligence, click here . ..."
www.huffingtonpost.com

The author is a Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer Harvard Medical School

At the end of May 2013, I wrote an article titled "5 Early Warning Signs You're With a Narcissist." It sparked a number of rich conversations through comments, emails, Facebook and Twitter . Not surprisingly, the vast majority of reactions came from people who feared they were currently in a relationship with a narcissist. Nevertheless, some of them - often among the most heartfelt and desperate of messages - came from people who'd either been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), or felt convinced they met criteria for the diagnosis. From both sides, the same question surfaced again and again: Is there hope for those with NPD and the people who love them? Is there anything we can do if we see early warning signs or actual diagnostic criteria besides end the relationship? As simple as they might seem on the surface, questions like these resonate with some of the deepest concerns in psychology. Can we change our personalities? More to the point, can people who meet criteria for personality disorders open themselves up to new and better experiences in relationships and in the world? I'm going to go on record as saying, yes, I do believe it's possible for people to change, even if they've been diagnosed with something as deeply entrenched and formidable as a personality disorder.

Trait labels like narcissist, or the admittedly less stigmatizing ones like extrovert and introvert, merely provide a shorthand description. They're a stand-in for "this person scored high on a trait measure of narcissism or extroversion or introversion." They can never hope to capture the whole person. (Bear in mind that even Jung, who introduced the latter concepts, firmly believed we all possess both an introvert and an extrovert side , regardless of how much we tend to one side or the other.) Nevertheless, when they become diagnostic labels, like "narcissist" or "Narcissistic Personality Disorder," these stark descriptions imply something that goes far beyond a tendency or a style - they suggest permanence and a set of stable enduring features. I have more hope than this. I believe that rather than simply being "who we are," our personalities are also patterns of interaction. That is, personality, whether disordered or not , has as much to do with how (and with whom) we interact as it does with our genes and wired-in temperament.

So what pattern does the narcissist follow? Many have suggested that NPD emerges from an environment in which vulnerability comes to feel dangerous, representing, at worst, either a grave defect, or at best, a stubborn barrier to becoming a worthwhile human being - that's simplifying a great deal of research and theory, but it's a workable summary - hence the correlation between NPD and insecure attachment styles , in which fears of depending on anyone at all engender constant attempts to control the relationship or avoid intimacy altogether. If you devote yourself to directing interactions or holding people at arms length, it's a lot harder to become vulnerable (needless to say, the "safety" is largely an illusion). People with NPD have learned to ignore, suppress, deny, project and disavow their vulnerabilities (or at least try) in their attempts to shape and reshape "who they are" in their interactions. Change - allowing the vulnerability back in - means opening up to the very feelings they've learned to avoid at all costs. It's not that people with NPD can't change, it's that it often threatens their sense of personhood to try. And their failed relationships often confirm, in their minds, that narcissism is the safest way to live. Put another way, narcissists can't be narcissistic in a vacuum. They need the right audience in order to feel like a star, for example, so they often cultivate relationships with people who stick around for the show, instead of the person. Over time, as their perfect façade starts to slip, their constant fear that people will find them lacking becomes a horrifying reality. The very people who stuck around for the show lose interest when it ends - which merely convinces the narcissist they need to hide their flaws and put on a better show. Alternatively, even when they fall for someone who could be more than just an adoring fan - someone who offers the hope of a more authentic, enduring love - narcissists still live with the paralyzing fear they'll somehow be deemed unworthy. Their terror is frequently out of awareness, and nearly always managed with bravado and blame, but it's profound and palpable. Sadly, their anger at having their mistakes and missteps exposed ultimately alienates their loved ones, and the demise of yet another relationship prompts them to redouble their efforts to avoid vulnerability - in short, it pushes them towards more narcissism.

The sad irony of the narcissistic condition is that, in an effort to protect themselves, narcissists inevitably invite the very rejection and abandonment they fear in the first place. The key then, to interacting with someone you suspect is narcissistic, is to break the vicious circle - to gently thwart their frantic efforts to control, distance, defend or blame in the relationship by sending the message that you're more than willing to connect with them, but not on these terms - to invite them into a version of intimacy where they can be loved and admired, warts and all - if they only allow the experience to happen. As a therapist, I've seen firsthand that changing relational patterns often transforms even the most inflexible "trait" into something softer, gentler - not a fixed feature, but a protection that eventually yields to touch and intimacy in all the ways one would hope. Narcissism is a way of relating. Not everyone can shift into a more flexible form of intimacy, but some can, and in the next post, I plan to share steps you can take to help you decide whether or not the person you're with is capable of seeing themselves - and you - through a less-constricting lens than the narcissistic worldview. If you like my posts, let me know! Let's connect on facebook and twitter. I frequently respond to comments and questions there. And feel free to check out www.drcraigmalkin.com for more tips and advice, as well as information on my book in progress . For more by Dr. Craig Malkin, click here . For more on emotional intelligence, click here .

[May 18, 2016] 5 Early Warning Signs Youre With a Narcissist

Notable quotes:
"... Feelings are a natural consequence of being human, and we tend to have lots of them in the course of normal interactions. But the very fact of having a feeling in the presence of another person suggests you can be touched emotionally by friends, family, partners, and even the occasional tragedy or failure. Narcissists abhor feeling influenced in any significant way. It challenges their sense of perfect autonomy; to admit to a feeling of any kind suggests they can be affected by someone or something outside of them. So they often change the subject when feelings come up, especially their own, and as quick as they might be to anger, it's often like pulling teeth to get them to admit that they've reached the boiling point - even when they're in the midst of the most terrifying tirade. ..."
"... If you like my posts, let me know! Let's connect on facebook and twitter. I frequently respond to comments and questions there. And feel free to check out www.drcraigmalkin.com for more tips and advice, as well as information on my book in progress . ..."
"... For more by Dr. Craig Malkin, click here . ..."
www.huffingtonpost.com

Dr. Craig Malkin , Author, Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer Harvard Medical School

At the beginning of April this year, I was tapped by the Huffington Post Live team for a discussion on narcissism . I happily agreed to appear, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that narcissism happens to be one of my favorite subjects. Early in my training, I had the pleasure of working with one of the foremost authorities on narcissism in our field, and in part because of that experience, I went on to work with quite a few clients who'd been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder . That's where I learned that the formal diagnostic label hardly does justice to the richness and complexity of this condition. The most glaring problems are easy to spot - the apparent absence of even a shred of empathy, the grandiose plans and posturing, the rage at being called out on the slightest of imperfections or normal human missteps - but if you get too hung up on the obvious traits, you can easily miss the subtle (and often more common) features that allow a narcissist to sneak into your life and wreak havoc. Just ask Tina Swithin , who went on to write a book about surviving her experience with a man who clearly meets criteria for NPD (and very likely, a few other diagnoses). To her lovestruck eyes, her soon-to-be husband seemed more like a prince charming than the callous, deceitful spendthrift he later proved to be. Looking back, Tina explains, there were signs of trouble from the start, but they were far from obvious at the time. In real life, the most dangerous villains rarely advertise their malevolence. So what are we to do? How do we protect ourselves from narcissists if they're so adept at slipping into our lives unnoticed? I shared some of my answers to that question in our conversation, and I encourage you to watch it. But there were a few I didn't get to, and others I didn't have the chance to describe in depth, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to revisit the topic here. Tread carefully if you catch a glimpse of any of these subtler signs:

1) Projected Feelings of Insecurity: I don't mean that narcissists see insecurity everywhere. I'm talking about a different kind of projection altogether, akin to playing hot potato with a sense of smallness and deficiency. Narcissists say and do things, subtle or obvious, that make you feel less smart, less accomplished, less competent. It's as if they're saying, "I don't want to feel this insecure and small; here, you take the feelings." Picture the boss who questions your methods after their own decision derails an important project, the date who frequently claims not to understand what you've said, even when you've been perfectly clear, or the friend who always damns you with faint praise ("Pretty good job this time!"). Remember the saying: "Don't knock your neighbor's porch light out to make yours shine brighter." Well, the narcissist loves to knock out your lights to seem brighter by comparison.

2) Emotion-phobia: Feelings are a natural consequence of being human, and we tend to have lots of them in the course of normal interactions. But the very fact of having a feeling in the presence of another person suggests you can be touched emotionally by friends, family, partners, and even the occasional tragedy or failure. Narcissists abhor feeling influenced in any significant way. It challenges their sense of perfect autonomy; to admit to a feeling of any kind suggests they can be affected by someone or something outside of them. So they often change the subject when feelings come up, especially their own, and as quick as they might be to anger, it's often like pulling teeth to get them to admit that they've reached the boiling point - even when they're in the midst of the most terrifying tirade.

3) A Fragmented Family Story: Narcissism seems to be born of neglect and abuse, both of which are notorious for creating an insecure attachment style (for more on attachment, see here and here ). But the very fact that narcissists, for all their posturing, are deeply insecure, also gives us an easy way to spot them. Insecurely attached people can't talk coherently about their family and childhood; their early memories are confused, contradictory, and riddled with gaps. Narcissists often give themselves away precisely because their childhood story makes no sense, and the most common myth they carry around is the perfect family story. If your date sings their praises for their exalted family but the reasons for their panegyric seem vague or discursive, look out. The devil is in the details, as they say - and very likely, that's why you're not hearing them.

4) Idol Worship: Another common narcissistic tendency you might be less familiar with is the habit of putting people on pedestals. The logic goes a bit like this: "If I find someone perfect to be close to, maybe some of their perfection will rub off on me, and I'll become perfect by association." The fact that no one can be perfect is usually lost on the idol-worshipping narcissist - at least until they discover, as they inevitably do, that their idol has clay feet. And stand back once that happens. Few experiences can prepare you for the vitriol of a suddenly disappointed narcissist. Look out for any pressure to conform to an image of perfection, no matter how lovely or magical the compulsive flattery might feel.

5) A High Need for Control: For the same reason narcissists often loathe the subject of feelings, they can't stand to be at the mercy of other people's preferences; it reminds them that they aren't invulnerable or completely independent - that, in fact, they might have to ask for what they want - and even worse, people may not feel like meeting the request. Rather than express needs or preferences themselves, they often arrange events (and maneuver people) to orchestrate the outcomes they desire. In the extreme form, this can manifest as abusive, controlling behaviors. (Think of the man who berates his wife when dinner isn't ready as soon as he comes home. He lashes out precisely because at that very moment, he's forced to acknowledge that he depends on his wife, something he'd rather avoid.) But as with most of these red flags, the efforts at control are often far subtler than outright abuse. Be on the look out for anyone who leaves you feeling nervous about approaching certain topics or sharing your own preferences. Narcissists have a way of making choices feel off-limits without expressing any anger at all - a disapproving wince, a last-minute call to preempt the plans, chronic lateness whenever you're in charge of arranging a night together. It's more like a war of attrition on your will than an outright assault on your freedom. None of these signs, in isolation, proves that you're with a narcissist. But if you see a lot of them, it's best to sit up and take notice. They're all way of dodging vulnerability, and that's a narcissist's favorite tactic.

If you like my posts, let me know! Let's connect on facebook and twitter. I frequently respond to comments and questions there. And feel free to check out www.drcraigmalkin.com for more tips and advice, as well as information on my book in progress . For more by Dr. Craig Malkin, click here .

[May 18, 2016] Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist Therapists Weigh In!

Notable quotes:
"... As Dr. Robert Klitzman, a professor of psychiatry and the director of the master's of bioethics program at Columbia University, pointed out, the American Psychiatric Association declares it unethical for psychiatrists to comment on an individual's mental state without examining him personally and having the patient's consent to make such comments. ..."
"... To degrade people is really part of a cluster-B personality disorder: it's antisocial and shows a lack of remorse for other people. The way to make it O.K. to attack someone verbally, psychologically, or physically is to lower them. That's what he's doing. ..."
"... Narcissists are not necessarily liars, but they are notoriously uncomfortable with the truth. The truth means the potential to feel ashamed. If all they have to show the world as a source of feeling acceptable is their success and performance, be it in business or sports or celebrity, then the risk of people seeing them fail or squander their success is so difficult to their self-esteem that they feel ashamed. We call it the narcissistic injury. They're uncomfortable with their own limitations. It's not that they're cut out to lie, it's just that they can't handle what's real ..."
"... Most narcissists don't seek treatment unless there's someone threatening to take something away from them. There'd have to be some kind of meaningful consequence for him to come in. ..."
"... They're aware; the problem is, they don't care. They know how you'd like them to act; the problem is, they've got a different set of rules. The kind of approach that can have some impact is confrontational. It confronts distorted thinking and behavior patterns in the here-and-now moment when the narcissists are doing their thing in the session. It's confronted on the spot; you invite them to do something different, then you reinforce them for doing so. ..."
www.vanityfair.com

Vanity Fair

As his presidential campaign trundles forward, millions of sane Americans are wondering: What exactly is wrong with this strange individual? Now, we have an answer.

For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. "Remarkably narcissistic," said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. "Textbook narcissistic personality disorder," echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. "He's so classic that I'm archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there's no better example of his characteristics," said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. "Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He's like a dream come true."

That mental-health professionals are even willing to talk about Trump in the first place may attest to their deep concern about a Trump presidency. As Dr. Robert Klitzman, a professor of psychiatry and the director of the master's of bioethics program at Columbia University, pointed out, the American Psychiatric Association declares it unethical for psychiatrists to comment on an individual's mental state without examining him personally and having the patient's consent to make such comments. This so-called Goldwater rule arose after the publication of a 1964 Fact magazine article in which psychiatrists were polled about Senator Barry Goldwater's fitness to be president. Senator Goldwater brought a $2 million suit against the magazine and its publisher; the Supreme Court awarded him $1 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages.

But you don't need to have met Donald Trump to feel like you know him; even the smallest exposure can make you feel like you've just crossed a large body of water in a small boat with him. Indeed, though narcissistic personality disorder was removed from the most recent issue of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for somewhat arcane reasons, the traits that have defined the disorder in the past-grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one's superiority; a lack of empathy-are writ large in Mr. Trump's behavior.

"He's very easy to diagnose," said psychotherapist Charlotte Prozan. "In the first debate, he talked over people and was domineering. He'll do anything to demean others, like tell Carly Fiorina he doesn't like her looks. 'You're fired!' would certainly come under lack of empathy. And he wants to deport immigrants, but [two of] his wives have been immigrants." Michaelis took a slightly different twist on Trump's desire to deport immigrants: "This man is known for his golf courses, but, with due respect, who does he think works on these golf courses?"

Mr. Trump's bullying nature-taunting Senator John McCain for being captured in Vietnam, or saying Jeb Bush has "low energy"-is in keeping with the narcissistic profile. "In the field we use clusters of personality disorders," Michaelis said. "Narcissism is in cluster B, which means it has similarities with histrionic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. There are similarities between them. Regardless of how you feel about John McCain, the man served-and suffered. Narcissism is an extreme defense against one's own feelings of worthlessness. To degrade people is really part of a cluster-B personality disorder: it's antisocial and shows a lack of remorse for other people. The way to make it O.K. to attack someone verbally, psychologically, or physically is to lower them. That's what he's doing."

What of Trump's tendency to position himself as a possible savior to the economy despite the fact that four of his companies have declared bankruptcy? "It's mind-boggling to me that that's not the story," said Michaelis. "This man has been given more than anyone could ever hope for," he added, referring to the fact that Trump is not wholly self-made, "yet he's failed miserably time and time again." Licensed clinical social worker Wendy Terrie Behary, the author of Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed, said,

"Narcissists are not necessarily liars, but they are notoriously uncomfortable with the truth. The truth means the potential to feel ashamed. If all they have to show the world as a source of feeling acceptable is their success and performance, be it in business or sports or celebrity, then the risk of people seeing them fail or squander their success is so difficult to their self-esteem that they feel ashamed. We call it the narcissistic injury. They're uncomfortable with their own limitations. It's not that they're cut out to lie, it's just that they can't handle what's real."

Indeed, the need to protect or exalt the self is at odds with the job requirements of a president. Michaelis said, "He's applying for the greatest job in the land, the greatest task of which is to serve, but there's nothing about the man that is service-oriented. He's only serving himself." As Prozan sees it, "He keeps saying he could negotiate with Putin because he's good at deals. But diplomacy involves a back and forth between equals." Dr. Klitzman added, "I have never met Donald Trump and so cannot comment on his psychological state. However, I think that, in general, many candidates who run for president are driven in large part by ego. I hope that does not preclude their motivation to govern with the best interests of the public as a whole in mind. Yet for some candidates, that may, alas, be a threat."

Asked what, if Mr. Trump were their patient, they would "work on" with him, several of the therapists laughed. "I'd be shocked if he walked in my door," said Behary. "Most narcissists don't seek treatment unless there's someone threatening to take something away from them. There'd have to be some kind of meaningful consequence for him to come in." Simon concurred but added, "There is help available, but it doesn't look like the help people are used to. It's not insight-oriented psychotherapy, because narcissists already have insight. They're aware; the problem is, they don't care. They know how you'd like them to act; the problem is, they've got a different set of rules. The kind of approach that can have some impact is confrontational. It confronts distorted thinking and behavior patterns in the here-and-now moment when the narcissists are doing their thing in the session. It's confronted on the spot; you invite them to do something different, then you reinforce them for doing so."

But for at least one mental-health professional, the Trump enigma, or should we say non-enigma, is larger than the bluster of the man whose own Web site calls him "the very definition of the American success story, continually setting the standards of excellence"-to this mind-set, Trump may be a kind of bellwether. Mr. Gardner said, "For me, the compelling question is the psychological state of his supporters. They are unable or unwilling to make a connection between the challenges faced by any president and the knowledge and behavior of Donald Trump. In a democracy, that is disastrous."

[May 17, 2016] 6 Warning Signs Youre Dating a Narcissist

Notable quotes:
"... By Nancy Kay from DivorcedMoms.com ..."
Jan 17, 2015 | www.huffingtonpost.com

By Nancy Kay from DivorcedMoms.com Could you be dating a narcissist and not even know it? After starting to date again after divorce , I often found myself drawn toward highly successful professional men who are competitive in business and strongly determined to continue to build their own financial empire. Their determined, confident attitudes and visible business successes appealed to my strong desires for security and stability. A recent first date I went on was with this type of guy. My date with a dentist turned into a three-hour marathon of misery for me when he insisted that we sit in a back booth that he had reserved in advance with the hostess by visiting the restaurant the night before and then he told our server that he would leave an extra generous tip if she served our meals at a very leisurely pace. Right away he launched into a one-sided brag fest about how he got elected president of his college fraternity and why he easily scored highest in his graduating class on the dental board exam. He then dropped names of all the famous people he knows who live in our city and then went on to reveal the names of all the famous people his dad knows too. By the time the pasta finally arrived, I wanted to collapse into my plate from sheer boredom and exhaustion. After that mind-numbing experience, I ran to my car and swore off dating for several months. Unfortunately this was just one more very disillusioning date with a narcissistic man . I had already experienced many others. Several times I dated a man exclusively for three to six months, expecting things to become more serious over time, only to have them abruptly break things off with very little explanation or distance themselves with vague excuses about why they couldn't continue to spend time with me. After spending many frustrating weeks trying to figure out how to get each of these men I had dated exclusively to connect with me on an emotional level so that our relationship could continue to grow, I finally discovered that there was a big disconnect between the type of relationship I was expecting to unfold and what these narcissistic men were able to contribute in terms of intimacy, emotional connection and respectful two-way communications. I discovered that I was living on crumbs and pretending it was a whole nutritious meal. Are you dating a narcissist? Here are six warning signs: 1. He is pre-occupied with how things around him appear and how he is perceived by others. He aggressively pursues financial success and is not content with what he already has acquired or achieved. He has a strong craving for admiration, praise and his home, car, clothes and high status are a direct measurement of how successful he appears to others. 2. He exploits or takes advantage of others to get what he wants. Narcissists are highly skilled at using others' talents; taking advantage of their desire to avoid conflicts and their good natured helpfulness as a means to an end to achieve their own goals. 3. He does not appreciate or even see your unique abilities and natural gifts. Highly self-absorbed, narcissists are so driven by how they can use others to benefit themselves that your own individual strengths, abilities and achievements are often ignored or dismissed as inconsequential. 4. He resents authority and despises correction or being told what to do. He is reluctant to accept any blame or criticism and strongly prefers to be in control of things and those around him at all times. Having his faults pointed out to him or even having to admit that he made a mistake can set him off into a fit of rage. 5. Petty arguments often erupt into power struggles. The narcissistic man thrives on being right so disputes are rarely resolved. Mediation and counseling rarely helps to improve communications with a narcissist because this type of person sees themselves as under attack and can't stand for their actions to be subject to the opinions of others and held up to the light. 6. He disregards your healthy needs for attention and affection. Since narcissistic men often lack empathy and the self-examination necessary to create an intimate relationship, you'll often find yourself running on empty. Attempts to get more affection from him often leads to him creating a secret life to run to and evading your questions about what is really happening or not happening in your relationship. If you recognize these signs in a man that you are dating, it is helpful to remember that narcissists have very rigid expectations (especially for themselves) and so this type of man rarely changes his ways. Understanding or experiencing intimacy and love within the context of a balanced and healthy relationship is not on the agenda of a narcissist. Unfortunately, many times we keep trying to change a narcissistic man into who we'd like them to become or the reverse - trying to twist ourselves like pretzels into a perfect version of what he wants instead of cutting our losses. Recognizing the traits of a narcissistic man and realizing how deeply rooted they are is critical so that we can begin taking back control of our own life and start to move forward in a healthier direction.

[May 17, 2016] Are You Dating a Narcissist

www.huffingtonpost.com

< Have you ever had a situation that goes something like this?: You meet someone and it feels like the stars align. This person is so into you and lavishes you with attention, romance and gifts. The relationship moves very quickly and it feels like you have met "the one." Months down the road when things have settled in comfortably, things start to change. The person who used to adore and worship you now fluctuates between needing you desperately and devaluing you. Perhaps as time goes on, the person who you thought cared so much becomes more emotionally unavailable, distant and cruel. The "Jekyll" part of the personality starts to overtake the "Hyde." How did this person who used to be so wonderful and made such an effort to be with you all of the sudden turn out to be so opposite than what you thought? This can leave someone confused, hurt, angry and depressed. If this situation sounds similar to something you have experienced, you may be or may have dated someone with narcissistic tendencies. Here are some of the warning signs:

1. They are madly in love with you right off the bat and the relationship moves very quickly: People with narcissistic tendencies use fantasy like projections when picking a mate. Usually it takes a certain amount of time to fall in love with someone. Sure, you can feel chemistry and a connection with someone but to fall in love with who a person truly is (flaws and all) takes some time. A person with narcissistic tendencies loves the intense feelings and the attention. Sadly, their intense interest in you is more so about them and their needs than it is about you.

2. They fluctuate between adoring you and devaluing you: People with narcissistic tendencies are very hot and cold. They can be mean and critical one second and then sweet and loving the next. This becomes very confusing because you are still seeing glimpses of the wonderful person you first fell in love with but you are also getting to see another side that makes you feel bad about yourself.

3. They have little ability to empathize and everything is on their terms: Someone with narcissistic tendencies doesn't really see things from your world or from your point of view. Everything is about them and what they want. They ignore your needs in the relationship and only focus on getting what they want or what works best for them. They will always be their number one priority and everyone else will always come after that.

4. They cheat, lie or manipulate and don't feel remorse: Narcissists don't really empathize so when they do something to hurt you, they don't really feel remorseful. This can actually be the most hurtful part because it may make you feel like they never cared about you at all. Moving on can be very hard because a lot of people feel that they need closure or apologies that they will never get from narcissistic people.

5. When it's all over, it's like you never mattered: A classic case narcissist mostly uses people for their own gain and has very little emotional connection to those that are in their lives. Because of this, they discard people in their lives very easily. I recently watched an episode of the new HBO show Girls and in this particular episode, one of the characters who had broken up with her serious long-term boyfriend 2 weeks prior now finds he already has a new girlfriend. Shocked that he could move on so quickly from something so serious she exclaims. "you're a sociopath!!" and walks away. Even though she was the one who broke up with him, she is shocked that it feels like their relationship meant nothing to him at the end of the day and that she was easily replaceable. People recovering from narcissistic relationships are often in shock that someone who once claimed to love them so much has moved on so quickly and without any sense of remorse.

How to spot a narcissist:

I always tell my clients to take the time to really get to know the people they are dating before getting too emotionally invested or putting all their eggs in one basket. There are definitely fairy tale stories out there of two people falling madly in love with each other right at the get go and spending their lives happily ever after, but that is generally not the norm. Keep your guard up the more intensely the person is into you and the earlier on it occurs. Past relationship patterns are also very important to look at. As mentioned above, people who are narcissistic are intense very quickly and end up leaving a trail of shattered relationships and people who are left to pick up the pieces (and often need quite a bit of therapy after being in the destructive path of a narcissist). If you get an idea of the dating history of someone and it follows a certain pattern, pay attention to that. Yes, people can change, but past relationship patterns can raise a lot of red flags. The reason people have a hard time of extricating themselves from a narcissistic relationship is because it is hard to get past the fact that someone who used to be so wonderful and loving can turn so cold, hateful and lacking in remorse. These people hang on because of the glimpses they get of the good side and hold out the hope that if they were only "good enough" or "better", or unconditionally accepted and loved this person then they could get the nice and kind person back.

It turns into a vicious cycle and the more you get into a relationship, the harder it is to get out of. Being in a relationship with a narcissist will make you feel crazy and most narcissists actually don't actively leave relationships; they wait to be left first. It can be really hard to get out of a relationship like this and if you have never been in one, it's hard to know how. If someone makes you feel worthless or crazy and you know they are not treating you with respect, or empathizing with you, that might be hard to change. Learning to spot negative patterns early and having the strength to know what you deserve in a relationship is one of the best things to do if you find yourself involved with one of these people.

Recovery after a narcissistic relationship:

Recovery after a narcissistic relationship can be very difficult. Many people are driven to therapy because they have been left completely shattered and fragile after a relationship with a narcissist. The most important thing to remember is that it's not about YOU. This has everything to do with the flaws of the narcissist and their inability to make real, meaningful connections with others. What they have done to you is what they have done and will continue to do in all their relationships unless they recognize this within themselves and get help. The problem is, most narcissistic people never recognize that they need to change. Remember that you deserve a relationship that builds you up, that makes you feel safe, and that brings you happiness and warmth. A person who is narcissistic cannot give this to you, simply because they are not capable of it.

**This article originally appeared on Pamela's Punch

[May 17, 2016] 10 Signs Youre In Love With A Narcopath

Notable quotes:
"... "You're the prettiest. The sexiest. The skinniest. The best mom. The funniest." ..."
"... "You have such a sexy voice. Not too high, nor too low; it's just perfect. My friend Courtney's voice is super high-pitched and she has this weird way of talking through her teeth. Annoying." ..."
"... "You have a great body. I guess I'm used to having more to hug with my ex!" ..."
www.huffingtonpost.com
What do you get when you cross a sociopath with a narcissist? The least funny joke and the worst kind of hybrid: a narcissistic sociopath, narcopath for short. Both a narcissist and sociopath have an inflated sense of how important they are, as well as a constant need for praise and admiration. One commonality between the two is their ability to fool others in order to get what they want, without remorse. But what sets them apart is that a narcopath is unable to handle criticism or be viewed in a negative light, whereas a sociopath couldn't care less who thinks what or how they're perceived. When you hear the word narcopath you may picture a deranged, knife-wielding lunatic - at least that's what I pictured before I met my own. Unfortunately, this couldn't be further from the truth. Narcopaths are boogie men in disguise and wolves in sheep's clothing. Their abuse is sometimes so subtle that you don't see it until the curtain closes and your world is torn apart. Still unsure if you're in a relationship with a narcopath? Here are ten telltale signs that you might be.

1. Things move from zero to one hundred in seconds.

From the beginning, nothing is normal with a narcopath. Things progress at warp speed, hop-scotching over the usual stages of a relationship. Instead of slowly getting to know one another, you go from the first date to planning your future together within weeks of meeting. And when your gut warns you things are moving too fast, you tell it to shut up because you've finally found your soulmate.

2. They're a broken record of compliments.

A narcopath will sweep you off your feet, place you on a pedestal, then worship you from down below. They'll tell you the things you've always wanted to hear, saying them over and over and over again. But listen closely and you'll notice there's not much variation in these love monologues, and their sweet-nothings sound more like a script than anything from the heart. "You're the prettiest. The sexiest. The skinniest. The best mom. The funniest." If everything feels staged and too good to be true, it probably is.

3. They flatter you with comparisons.

There's no period at the end of a compliment. Instead, a narcopath compliments you by comparing you to someone else in their life. In my case, he'd say things like, "You have such a sexy voice. Not too high, nor too low; it's just perfect. My friend Courtney's voice is super high-pitched and she has this weird way of talking through her teeth. Annoying." Or, "You have a great body. I guess I'm used to having more to hug with my ex!" Praising you by putting down others is a huge red flag, not to mention incredibly distasteful. And while it's no doubt flattering to hear these praises, keep in mind that one day they'll be offering them to someone else and using your name to fill the second blank.

4. Your chemistry between the sheets is off the charts.

You've never felt this much passion with anyone else. Pushing all the right buttons in just the right ways, it's like they're reading your mind and its desires. The reason sex is so mind-blowing, at least in the beginning, isn't because they know what to do with their hands; they know what to do with your mind . They'll make you feel like you're the only one who's ever existed to them. Yes, narcopaths are indeed that great - at acting, that is. By mirroring your every emotion they're able to make their own emotions seem genuine and fool you into thinking yours are real.

5. Their eyes are windows to nothingness.

My Narc-in-a-Box would stare at me with such intensity I'd become nervous, fidget, and quickly turn away. Speaking directly into my eyes with a deadpan and unwavering stare, I don't think he blinked once during our four months together. At times his gaze was so piercing that his pupils practically vanished. But sadly, behind all that intensity lied a vast amount of dark nothingness. I turned away from that stare because it made me feel uneasy in all the wrong ways.

6. They always lead the conversation back to themselves.

On the surface, a narcopath seems hyper-focused on you and genuinely interested in learning all there is to know. Yet the moment you begin divulging this information, they quickly interrupt with a story of their own. It's like a revolving door: They ask you a question to gain the opportunity to talk about themselves. They're quick to interject with their thoughts and opinions, and always have a similar experience to share with you. Experiences that, once dissected, are nothing more than sweetly camouflaged one-uppers and indirect ways to let you know that they know better.

7. They have a checkered relationship history.

I've never met anyone with such an odd and storied relationship history. He traveled to Texas after meeting a girl online, then met his ex-wife online, and later flew in another girl he met online (through a quiz website!) all the way from Europe, before finally meeting me online. Narcopaths often leave long trails of broken relationships behind them, but of course they were never the ones responsible for breaking them. And no matter how long ago it ended, they'll claim all their former flames still burn strongly for them from afar.

8. They use big words that have little substance.

Have you ever read something that initially seems incredibly deep and profound, until you reach the end and realize it's nothing but a nonsensical jumble of fancy words? A narcopath craves superiority and thrives on being smarter than everyone in the room. The only the problem is that often times they're not, forcing them to fake it and pray no one catches on. On the surface, a narcopath seems highly intelligent and cultured, but dig deeper and you'll discover it's nothing but fluff.

9. They give because it makes them look better.

Give and you shall receive. Or, in the narcopath's case, give and tell everyone within a thousand mile radius who you gave to and exactly how much. A narcopath doesn't give because it makes them feel good on the inside; rather, they give because it makes them look good from the outside. No kind deed goes unnoticed, because they'd never allow it. Whether it's helping an old lady cross the street, giving a homeless person a buck, or donating to their children's PTA, they'll make sure someone knows about their generosity.

10. They're no stranger to the silent treatment.

Narcopaths love to dish it out. You may see glimpses of this passive-aggressive form of punishment early on in the relationship, or it might come on suddenly out of left field. Either way, the silent treatment is without a doubt the most vile and abusive trait that narcopaths possess. Like a child, anytime they can't get their way or feel threatened, they stomp away with their arms crossed and punish you with a deafening silence. The harder you reach out, the more you cry, and the angrier you become, the better they feel. It's normal for your partner to get angry, sulk, or brood sometimes. What isn't normal is using silence as a weapon to punish and control you, then sitting back and gaining pleasure from your pain.

This article originally appeared on YourTango .

[May 17, 2016] 7 Strategies for Dealing With the Narcissist You Love

Notable quotes:
"... Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline . ..."
Jun 23, 2014 www.huffingtonpost.com

Late last year, I wrote a piece where I shared a perspective, based on growing research , that narcissism isn't simply a stubborn trait, but a style of coping. The seeds of that idea turned into a book , scheduled for release in spring next year. Since I promised a follow up, I'm taking a brief break from the larger project to deliver on my promise. Here's a glimpse at what's to come. If you think your partner's a narcissist , you might want to try these seven strategies. Check For Abuse : None of what I'm about to suggest is likely to help if the person you love is physically or emotionally abusive. Not all narcissists, even those diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) , resort to abuse. But some do - and if you're on the receiving end, your first step should be to explore what makes it hard for you to leave . If you're facing abuse, it doesn't matter whether it's driven by your partner's narcissism, chronic pain, or drug addiction - the problem is the abuse, plain and simple. And the abuser is 100 percent responsible for his or her choice. Until that changes, you probably won't feel safe enough - nor should you - to take the kinds of risks I'm recommending here. Check for Denial: Most people recognize denial when they see it. It's easily the most famous of all the defense mechanisms. The alcoholic who protests, "I just enjoy the taste of fine wine!"; the terminally ill patient who assures everyone, "It's just a cough"; and the narcissist who, despite having alienated all her friends and lost her job, proclaims, "I'm just fine" - all are exhibiting denial. The more denial a narcissist displays, the less hopeful you should feel about change. How bad is denial? In adolescents , it predicts some of the most ruthless, demanding forms of narcissism - adults who happily admit "I find it easy to manipulate people." Make sure your partner can admit something's wrong, even if it's as simple as saying, "my life isn't where I hoped it would be." Contrary to what you might think, some narcissists do seek therapy . Which kinds? The "vulnerable" ones, riddled with shame and fear; they freely admit they have problems instead of burying them beneath near-delusional denial. In fact, they're also more likely to stick with treatment once they start. Beware the Manipulator : Across studies , narcissists who score high on measures of entitlement and exploitation (or, EE, as researchers call it) have the highest levels of aggression, a strong impulse to cheat, and even, when angered, a penchant for stealing or sabotaging property at work. In fact, EE singlehandedly accounts for most of the worst behaviors a narcissist can display. Manipulative narcissists are also more likely to score higher on measures of Psychopathy and Machiavellianism. The former is a cold callous personality linked to criminal behaviors, while the latter, as you can guess from the name, describes a cutthroat, "do whatever it takes" personality. Along with narcissism, these two traits comprise personality's dark triad . Not all narcissists are cold and manipulative. But the ones who are pose the greatest threat because they're so practiced at play-acting and deceit you'll have a hard time separating fact from fiction. Check Their Willingness to Change: This one might seem obvious, but it's crucial enough that it bears mentioning. The easiest way to test a partner's capacity to change is to seek help from a couples therapist - or any therapist for that matter. Even people who aren't narcissists can be leery of therapy, so this one shouldn't be considered a litmus test. If your partner's willing to work with you, though, your odds at improving the relationship have probably jumped by an order of magnitude. Check Your Anger: "You've always been the paranoid, jealous type," sneers your partner after you openly wonder about the amount of time he's spending with his attractive coworker. Our natural tendency, when faced with such shocking indifference to our fear of losing love or needing more closeness and comfort, is to protect ourselves. For many people, this means donning battle armor and launching an attack. "You're the most selfish person I know! I don't know why I'm with you!" As understandable as the protective measures are, they cut us off from crucial information: Can our partners hear our sadness and fear and feel moved? If there's any way at all to reach through the detachment, it's by sharing our feelings at a more vulnerable level. Try this: "You mean so much to me; I hear you talking to her and I'm scared I'm not enough for you." Or, "Your opinion means the world to me; when I hear you talk to me that way I feel so small and worthless in your eyes." Most partners, if they can feel anything at all, will melt when they hear comments like this. They don't just convey your pain with greater clarity; they remind your partner why the behavior hurts - because it comes from the one person who matters most. How effective is this kind of communication? Across decades of studies, 90 percent of couples who learned to share the sadness and fear beneath the anger, healed their broken bond and enjoyed happy, closer relationships. Likewise, in multiple recent studies , narcissists who focused on caring and closeness ("communal behavior") actually scored lower over time on several measures of narcissism; those who saw their partners as communal (compared to those who didn't) even said they'd be less likely to cheat . Check Your Silence: Say you come home from a hard day at work, and your boyfriend, grumbling about the weekend plans being up in the air, starts lecturing you about how indecisive you are. "You sure take a long time to make decisions, don't you?" Condescending remarks like this don't always enrage us. When our self-esteem is already crumbling, they often shut us down completely; we crawl away, crestfallen, or slip into hours of silence. But we have to find a voice again if we want things to get better. Research suggests that silent withdrawal is just another way of coping with feeling sad or fearful about our connection with people we love; your best bet, as with anger, is to go beneath the impulse to shut down and share the upset. "I'm feeling so put down right now I'm afraid you've stopped caring about me altogether." Why is this so important? Though they appear to be universal ways of coping with fears about the people we love, anger and withdrawal also ramp up our partners' insecurities . The result? Our loved ones fall back on their usual way of protecting themselves - like criticism or indifference - instead of hearing our pain. If they're narcissists, that means they resort to their favorite MO - narcissism. Be Honest with Yourself: If you've tried a more loving approach to sharing what hurts in your relationship, and the narcissist in your life still won't soften, you truly have done everything you can. This might be the only hope for change. Those of you who wrote in to say you already tried this and it didn't work have made a valiant effort; you may have exhausted your supply of empathy from working so hard. If so, my heart goes out to you. But staying in an unhappy relationship comes at a steep price, including your self-esteem. Ask yourself, honestly - are you staying because your partner's doing his best to change - or because it feels too hard to leave? Even if the people we love want to change, none of us should be expected to endure the same hurts over and over. Narcissistic arrogance and hostility elicit our worst behaviors ; they get beneath our skin, working away like a thousand needles. The natural response is to pull away or lash back; but if you do your best to share the pain openly, letting your loved ones see your softer feelings, you're giving them their best - and only shot - at hearing you. If they can't understand your pain then, perhaps they never will. As sad and difficult as it feels, you might need to take care of yourself by leaving. Because regardless of which habit steals their attention away from genuine love and intimacy, if our loved ones can't risk change, their problems are here to stay. Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline . If you like my posts, let me know! Let's connect on facebook and twitter. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter, for more tips and advice, as well as information on my forthcoming book , about understanding and coping with narcissism in all its forms, in our friends, lovers, colleagues-and even ourselves. HARPERWAVE AND HARPER UK, SPRING 2015

Follow Dr. Craig Malkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrCraigMalkin

[May 16, 2016] Stockholm Syndrome The Psychological Mystery of Loving an Abuser, Page 1

Notable quotes:
"... In the final analysis, emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The "Stockholm Syndrome" reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage negotiators no longer view it as unusual. ..."
"... Stockholm Syndrome (SS) can also be found in family, romantic, and interpersonal relationships. The abuser may be a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, father or mother, or any other role in which the abuser is in a position of control or authority. ..."
"... In relationships with abusers, a birthday card, a gift (usually provided after a period of abuse), or a special treat are interpreted as not only positive, but evidence that the abuser is not "all bad" and may at some time correct his/her behavior. Abusers and controllers are often given positive credit for not abusing their partner, when the partner would have normally been subjected to verbal or physical abuse in a certain situation. An aggressive and jealous partner may normally become intimidating or abusive in certain social situations, as when an opposite-sex coworker waves in a crowd. After seeing the wave, the victim expects to be verbally battered and when it doesn't happen, that "small kindness" is interpreted as a positive sign. ..."
"... During the relationship, the abuser/controller may share information about their past - how they were mistreated, abused, neglected, or wronged. ..."
"... Sympathy may develop toward the abuser and we often hear the victim of Stockholm Syndrome defending their abuser with "I know he fractured my jaw and ribs…but he's troubled. He had a rough childhood!" ..."
"... Keep in mind: once you become hardened to the "sad stories", they will simply try another approach. I know of no victim of abuse or crime who has heard their abuser say "I'm beating (robbing, mugging, etc.) you because my Mom hated me!" ..."
"... In abusive and controlling relationships, the victim has the sense they are always "walking on eggshells" - fearful of saying or doing anything that might prompt a violent/intimidating outburst. For their survival, they begin to see the world through the abuser's perspective. They begin to fix things that might prompt an outburst, act in ways they know makes the abuser happy, or avoid aspects of their own life that may prompt a problem. If we only have a dollar in our pocket, then most of our decisions become financial decisions. If our partner is an abuser or controller, then the majority of our decisions are based on our perception of the abuser's potential reaction. We become preoccupied with the needs, desires, and habits of the abuser/controller. ..."
"... Controlling partners have increased the financial obligations/debt in the relationship to the point that neither partner can financially survive on their own. ..."
"... The legal ending of a relationship, especially a marital relationship, often creates significant problems. ..."
"... The Controller often uses extreme threats including threatening to take the children out of state, threatening to quit their job/business rather than pay alimony/support, threatening public exposure of the victim's personal issues, or assuring the victim they will never have a peaceful life due to nonstop harassment. ..."
counsellingresource.com
While the psychological condition in hostage situations became known as "Stockholm Syndrome" due to the publicity, the emotional "bonding" with captors was a familiar story in psychology. It had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as:

In the final analysis, emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The "Stockholm Syndrome" reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage negotiators no longer view it as unusual. In fact, it is often encouraged in crime situations as it improves the chances for survival of the hostages. On the down side, it also assures that the hostages experiencing "Stockholm Syndrome" will not be very cooperative during rescue or criminal prosecution. Local law enforcement personnel have long recognized this syndrome with battered women who fail to press charges, bail their battering husband/boyfriend out of jail, and even physically attack police officers when they arrive to rescue them from a violent assault.

Stockholm Syndrome (SS) can also be found in family, romantic, and interpersonal relationships. The abuser may be a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, father or mother, or any other role in which the abuser is in a position of control or authority.

It's important to understand the components of Stockholm Syndrome as they relate to abusive and controlling relationships. Once the syndrome is understood, it's easier to understand why victims support, love, and even defend their abusers and controllers.

Every syndrome has symptoms or behaviors, and Stockholm Syndrome is no exception. While a clear-cut list has not been established due to varying opinions by researchers and experts, several of these features will be present:

Stockholm Syndrome doesn't occur in every hostage or abusive situation. In another bank robbery involving hostages, after terrorizing patrons and employees for many hours, a police sharpshooter shot and wounded the terrorizing bank robber. After he hit the floor, two women picked him up and physically held him up to the window for another shot. As you can see, the length of time one is exposed to abuse/control and other factors are certainly involved.

It has been found that four situations or conditions are present that serve as a foundation for the development of Stockholm Syndrome. These four situations can be found in hostage, severe abuse, and abusive relationships:

By considering each situation we can understand how Stockholm Syndrome develops in romantic relationships as well as criminal/hostage situations. Looking at each situation:

Perceived Threat to One's Physical/Psychological Survival

The perception of threat can be formed by direct, indirect, or witnessed methods. Criminal or antisocial partners can directly threaten your life or the life of friends and family. Their history of violence leads us to believe that the captor/controller will carry out the threat in a direct manner if we fail to comply with their demands. The abuser assures us that only our cooperation keeps our loved ones safe.

Indirectly, the abuser/controller offers subtle threats that you will never leave them or have another partner, reminding you that people in the past have paid dearly for not following their wishes. Hints are often offered such as "I know people who can make others disappear". Indirect threats also come from the stories told by the abuser or controller - how they obtained revenge on those who have crossed them in the past. These stories of revenge are told to remind the victim that revenge is possible if they leave.

Witnessing violence or aggression is also a perceived threat. Witnessing a violent temper directed at a television set, others on the highway, or a third party clearly sends us the message that we could be the next target for violence. Witnessing the thoughts and attitudes of the abuser/controller is threatening and intimidating, knowing that we will be the target of those thoughts in the future.

The "Small Kindness" Perception

In threatening and survival situations, we look for evidence of hope - a small sign that the situation may improve. When an abuser/controller shows the victim some small kindness, even though it is to the abuser's benefit as well, the victim interprets that small kindness as a positive trait of the captor. In criminal/war hostage situations, letting the victim live is often enough. Small behaviors, such as allowing a bathroom visit or providing food/water, are enough to strengthen the Stockholm Syndrome in criminal hostage events.

In relationships with abusers, a birthday card, a gift (usually provided after a period of abuse), or a special treat are interpreted as not only positive, but evidence that the abuser is not "all bad" and may at some time correct his/her behavior. Abusers and controllers are often given positive credit for not abusing their partner, when the partner would have normally been subjected to verbal or physical abuse in a certain situation. An aggressive and jealous partner may normally become intimidating or abusive in certain social situations, as when an opposite-sex coworker waves in a crowd. After seeing the wave, the victim expects to be verbally battered and when it doesn't happen, that "small kindness" is interpreted as a positive sign.

Similar to the small kindness perception is the perception of a "soft side". During the relationship, the abuser/controller may share information about their past - how they were mistreated, abused, neglected, or wronged. The victim begins to feel the abuser/controller may be capable of fixing their behavior or worse yet, that they (abuser) may also be a "victim". Sympathy may develop toward the abuser and we often hear the victim of Stockholm Syndrome defending their abuser with "I know he fractured my jaw and ribs…but he's troubled. He had a rough childhood!"

Losers and abusers may admit they need psychiatric help or acknowledge they are mentally disturbed; however, it's almost always after they have already abused or intimidated the victim. The admission is a way of denying responsibility for the abuse. In truth, personality disorders and criminals have learned over the years that personal responsibility for their violent/abusive behaviors can be minimized and even denied by blaming their bad upbringing, abuse as a child, and now even video games. One murderer blamed his crime on eating too much junk food - now known as the "Twinkie Defense". While it may be true that the abuser/controller had a difficult upbringing, showing sympathy for his/her history produces no change in their behavior and in fact, prolongs the length of time you will be abused. While "sad stories" are always included in their apologies - after the abusive/controlling event - their behavior never changes! Keep in mind: once you become hardened to the "sad stories", they will simply try another approach. I know of no victim of abuse or crime who has heard their abuser say "I'm beating (robbing, mugging, etc.) you because my Mom hated me!"

Isolation from Perspectives Other than those of the Captor

In abusive and controlling relationships, the victim has the sense they are always "walking on eggshells" - fearful of saying or doing anything that might prompt a violent/intimidating outburst. For their survival, they begin to see the world through the abuser's perspective. They begin to fix things that might prompt an outburst, act in ways they know makes the abuser happy, or avoid aspects of their own life that may prompt a problem. If we only have a dollar in our pocket, then most of our decisions become financial decisions. If our partner is an abuser or controller, then the majority of our decisions are based on our perception of the abuser's potential reaction. We become preoccupied with the needs, desires, and habits of the abuser/controller.

Taking the abuser's perspective as a survival technique can become so intense that the victim actually develops anger toward those trying to help them. The abuser is already angry and resentful toward anyone who would provide the victim support, typically using multiple methods and manipulations to isolate the victim from others. Any contact the victim has with supportive people in the community is met with accusations, threats, and/or violent outbursts. Victims then turn on their family - fearing family contact will cause additional violence and abuse in the home. At this point, victims curse their parents and friends, tell them not to call and to stop interfering, and break off communication with others. Agreeing with the abuser/controller, supportive others are now viewed as "causing trouble" and must be avoided. Many victims threaten their family and friends with restraining orders if they continue to "interfere" or try to help the victim in their situation. On the surface it would appear that they have sided with the abuser/controller. In truth, they are trying to minimize contact with situations that might make them a target of additional verbal abuse or intimidation. If a casual phone call from Mom prompts a two-hour temper outburst with threats and accusations - the victim quickly realizes it's safer if Mom stops calling. If simply telling Mom to stop calling doesn't work, for his or her own safety the victim may accuse Mom of attempting to ruin the relationship and demand that she stop calling.

In severe cases of Stockholm Syndrome in relationships, the victim may have difficulty leaving the abuser and may actually feel the abusive situation is their fault. In law enforcement situations, the victim may actually feel the arrest of their partner for physical abuse or battering is their fault. Some women will allow their children to be removed by child protective agencies rather than give up the relationship with their abuser. As they take the perspective of the abuser, the children are at fault - they complained about the situation, they brought the attention of authorities to the home, and they put the adult relationship at risk. Sadly, the children have now become a danger to the victim's safety. For those with Stockholm Syndrome, allowing the children to be removed from the home decreases their victim stress while providing an emotionally and physically safer environment for the children.

Perceived Inability to Escape

As a hostage in a bank robbery, threatened by criminals with guns, it's easy to understand the perceived inability to escape. In romantic relationships, the belief that one can't escape is also very common. Many abusive/controlling relationships feel like till-death-do-us-part relationships - locked together by mutual financial issues/assets, mutual intimate knowledge, or legal situations. Here are some common situations:

In unhealthy relationships and definitely in Stockholm Syndrome there is a daily preoccupation with "trouble". Trouble is any individual, group, situation, comment, casual glance, or cold meal that may produce a temper tantrum or verbal abuse from the controller or abuser. To survive, "trouble" is to be avoided at all costs. The victim must control situations that produce trouble. That may include avoiding family, friends, co-workers, and anyone who may create "trouble" in the abusive relationship. The victim does not hate family and friends; they are only avoiding "trouble"! The victim also cleans the house, calms the children, scans the mail, avoids certain topics, and anticipates every issue of the controller or abuse in an effort to avoid "trouble". In this situation, children who are noisy become "trouble". Loved ones and friends are sources of "trouble" for the victim who is attempting to avoid verbal or physical aggression.

Stockholm Syndrome in relationships is not uncommon. Law enforcement professionals are painfully aware of the situation - making a domestic dispute one of the high-risk calls during work hours. Called by neighbors during a spousal abuse incident, the abuser is passive upon arrival of the police, only to find the abused spouse upset and threatening the officers if their abusive partner is arrested for domestic violence. In truth, the victim knows the abuser/controller will retaliate against him/her if 1) they encourage an arrest, 2) they offer statements about the abuse/fight that are deemed disloyal by the abuser, 3) they don't bail them out of jail as quickly as possible, and 4) they don't personally apologize for the situation - as though it was their fault.

Stockholm Syndrome produces an unhealthy bond with the controller and abuser. It is the reason many victims continue to support an abuser after the relationship is over. It's also the reason they continue to see "the good side" of an abusive individual and appear sympathetic to someone who has mentally and sometimes physically abused them.

Is There Something Else Involved?

In a short response - Yes! Throughout history, people have found themselves supporting and participating in life situations that range from abusive to bizarre. In talking to these active and willing participants in bad and bizarre situations, it is clear they have developed feelings and attitudes that support their participation. One way these feelings and thoughts are developed is known as "cognitive dissonance". As you can tell, psychologists have large words and phrases for just about everything.

"Cognitive Dissonance" explains how and why people change their ideas and opinions to support situations that do not appear to be healthy, positive, or normal. In the theory, an individual seeks to reduce information or opinions that make him or her uncomfortable. When we have two sets of cognitions (knowledge, opinion, feelings, input from others, etc.) that are the opposite, the situation becomes emotionally uncomfortable. Even though we might find ourselves in a foolish or difficult situation - few want to admit that fact. Instead, we attempt to reduce the dissonance - the fact that our cognitions don't match, agree, or make sense when combined. "Cognitive Dissonance" can be reduced by adding new cognitions - adding new thoughts and attitudes. Some examples:

Leon Festinger first coined the term "Cognitive Dissonance". He had observed a cult (1956) in which members gave up their homes, incomes, and jobs to work for the cult. This cult believed in messages from outer space that predicted the day the world would end by a flood. As cult members and firm believers, they believed they would be saved by flying saucers at the appointed time. As they gathered and waited to be taken by flying saucers at the specified time, the end-of-the-world came and went. No flood and no flying saucer! Rather than believing they were foolish after all that personal and emotional investment - they decided their beliefs had actually saved the world from the flood and they became firmer in their beliefs after the failure of the prophecy. The moral: the more you invest (income, job, home, time, effort, etc.) the stronger your need to justify your position. If we invest $5.00 in a raffle ticket, we justify losing with "I'll get them next time". If you invest everything you have, it requires an almost unreasoning belief and unusual attitude to support and justify that investment.

Studies tell us we are more loyal and committed to something that is difficult, uncomfortable, and even humiliating. The initiation rituals of college fraternities, Marine boot camp, and graduate school all produce loyal and committed individuals. Almost any ordeal creates a bonding experience. Every couple, no matter how mismatched, falls in love in the movies after going through a terrorist takeover, being stalked by a killer, being stranded on an island, or being involved in an alien abduction. Investment and an ordeal are ingredients for a strong bonding - even if the bonding is unhealthy. No one bonds or falls in love by being a member of the Automobile Club or a music CD club. Struggling to survive on a deserted island - you bet!

Abusive relationships produce a great amount on unhealthy investment in both parties. In many cases we tend to remain and support the abusive relationship due to our investment in the relationship. Try telling a new Marine that since he or she has survived boot camp, they should now enroll in the National Guard! Several types of investments keep us in the bad relationship:

Emotional Investment
We've invested so many emotions, cried so much, and worried so much that we feel we must see the relationship through to the finish.
Social Investment
We've got our pride! To avoid social embarrassment and uncomfortable social situations, we remain in the relationship.
Family Investments
If children are present in the relationship, decisions regarding the relationship are clouded by the status and needs of the children.
Financial Investment
In many cases, the controlling and abusive partner has created a complex financial situation. Many victims remain in a bad relationship, waiting for a better financial situation to develop that would make their departure and detachment easier.
Lifestyle Investment
Many controlling/abusive partners use money or a lifestyle as an investment. Victims in this situation may not want to lose their current lifestyle.
Intimacy Investment
We often invest emotional and sexual intimacy. Some victims have experienced a destruction of their emotional and/or sexual self-esteem in the unhealthy relationship. The abusing partner may threaten to spread rumors or tell intimate details or secrets. A type of blackmail using intimacy is often found in these situations.

In many cases, it's not simply our feelings for an individual that keep us in an unhealthy relationship - it's often the amount of investment. Relationships are complex and we often only see the tip of the iceberg in public. For this reason, the most common phrase offered by the victim in defense of their unhealthy relationship is "You just don't understand!"

Combining Two Unhealthy Conditions

The combination of "Stockholm Syndrome" and "cognitive dissonance" produces a victim who firmly believes the relationship is not only acceptable, but also desperately needed for their survival. The victim feels they would mentally collapse if the relationship ended. In long-term relationships, the victims have invested everything and placed "all their eggs in one basket". The relationship now decides their level of self-esteem, self-worth, and emotional health.

For reasons described above, the victim feels family and friends are a threat to the relationship and eventually to their personal health and existence. The more family/friends protest the controlling and abusive nature of the relationship, the more the victim develops cognitive dissonance and becomes defensive. At this point, family and friends become victims of the abusive and controlling individual.

Importantly, both Stockholm Syndrome and cognitive dissonance develop on an involuntary basis. The victim does not purposely invent this attitude. Both develop as an attempt to exist and survive in a threatening and controlling environment and relationship. Despite what we might think, our loved one is not in the unhealthy relationship to irritate us, embarrass us, or drive us to drink. What might have begun as a normal relationship has turned into a controlling and abusive situation. They are trying to survive. Their personality is developing the feelings and thoughts needed to survive the situation and lower their emotional and physical risks. All of us have developed attitudes and feelings that help us accept and survive situations. We have these attitudes/feelings about our jobs, our community, and other aspects of our life. As we have found throughout history, the more dysfunctional the situation, the more dysfunctional our adaptation and thoughts to survive. The victim is engaged in an attempt to survive and make a relationship work. Once they decide it doesn't work and can't be fixed, they will need our support as we patiently await their decision to return to a healthy and positive lifestyle.

Family and Friends of the Victim

When a family is confronted with a loved one involved with a 'Loser' or controlling/abusive individual, the situation becomes emotionally painful and socially difficult for the family. (See " Are You Dating a Loser? Identifying Losers, Controllers and Abusers ".) While each situation is different, some general guidelines to consider are:

Final Thoughts

You may be the victim of a controlling and abusive partner, seeking an understanding of your feelings and attitudes. You may have a son, daughter, or friend currently involved with a controlling and abusive partner, looking for ways to understand and help.

If a loved one is involved with a Loser, a controlling and abusing partner, the long-term outcome is difficult to determine due to the many factors involved. If their relationship is in the "dating" phase, they may end the relationship on their own. If the relationship has continued for over a year, they may require support and an exit plan before ending the relationship. Marriage and children further complicate their ability to leave the situation. When the victim decides to end the unhappy relationship, it's important that they view loved ones as supportive, loving, and understanding - not as a source of pressure, guilt, or aggression.

This article is an attempt to understand the complex feelings and attitudes that are as puzzling to the victim as they are to family and friends. Separately, I've outlined recommendations for detaching from a Loser or controlling/abusive individual, but clearly, there are more victims in this situation. (See " Are You Dating a Loser? Identifying Losers, Controllers and Abusers ".) It is hoped this article is helpful to family and friends who worry, cry, and have difficulty understanding the situation of their loved one. It has been said that knowledge is power. Hopefully this knowledge will prove helpful and powerful to victims and their loved ones.

Please consider this article as a general guideline. Some recommendations may be appropriate and helpful while some may not apply to a specific situation. In many cases, we may need additional professional help of a mental health or legal nature.

[May 16, 2016] https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/comments/29dhay/good_movies_about_narcissistic/

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    [–] dopebojangles ADoNM with BPD 3 points 4 points 5 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    Also Betty Draper in the show Mad Men.

    [–] rammaam 1 point 2 points 3 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    And American Horror Story Coven. Jessica Lange plays a NM.

    [–] [deleted] 4 points 5 points 6 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    American Beauty - Annette Bennings character is a classic N

    [–] [deleted] 3 points 4 points 5 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    Ordinary People is a great one that may still be on Netflix.

    [–] Sub_Salac 3 points 4 points 5 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    I suspect the mother in Excision (2012) is an N. One of my favorite movies.

    [–] throwaway98721214 ACoN now NC with the entire FOO. 2 points 3 points 4 points 1 year ago (3 children)

    Films:

    Notes on a Scandal (Barbara) Oranges are not the only fruit (Mother) Drop Dead Fred (Mother) and as always, Tangled (Mother Gothel)

    (With the first two, the original books are quite harrowing (and accurate) in depicting the actions of an authority figure with NPD)

    TV shows: Nashville Season 2, eps 19 & 20 (Clare's mother)

    (I'm sure there's loads more than that, and they'll come to me!)

    [–] KissMyAspergers NAunt, Parent(s) with FLEAS 1 point 2 points 3 points 1 year ago (2 children)

    Seconding Tangled.

    [–] 1234567ate Nmom, Edad, SGsis 2 points 3 points 4 points 1 year ago (1 child)

    I can't even watch the part where she sings "mother knows best" it gives me the creeps..... Reminds me of my NMom....

    [–] KissMyAspergers NAunt, Parent(s) with FLEAS 2 points 3 points 4 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    Right? It's fucked up.

    [–] ArabRedditor 2 points 3 points 4 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    BATES MOTEL.

    The mother is the N, the younger child is the golden child, and the older son is the Scapegoat.

    [–] Dotdotbludot 2 points 3 points 4 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    I love the original, Gaslight (1944). Ingrid Bergman is slowly driven mad by her handsome new husband. It perfectly demonstrates Gaslighting abuse. Oddly, my Nmom loved the film, too. It can be hard to watch for those of us who have a lot of practice with recognizing red flags. Bergman's character is so trusting and walks right into so many N-traps!

    [–] PagingDrLector 2 points 3 points 4 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    I always thought the mother in Igby Goes Down was an Nmom.

    [–] modecat forging a new path 2 points 3 points 4 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    I think White Oleander is amazing. An amazing portrayal of narcissism. Just excellent. I can still feel the sting from that one. Just smolders.

    It's always so interesting when you watch a movie and start to figure out it's about narcissism.

    For me, as soon as I found RBN, all of a sudden every movie i watched was about a narcissist or his victim. It was so weird.

    [–] jm_kaye 1 point 2 points 3 points 1 year ago (1 child)

    Frances (1982) about Frances Farmer. Although she clearly had serious mental problems, her mother was absolutely no help.

    [–] modecat forging a new path 2 points 3 points 4 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    Yup, i think Frances makes such a great depiction of it. This movie is so sad. Just awful.

    [–] ArtichokeOwl 1 point 2 points 3 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    The Sopranos. Tony's mom is sooooo much like my Nmom!! Also the mother in Requiem for a Dream resonates with me a bit.

    [–] KissMyAspergers NAunt, Parent(s) with FLEAS 1 point 2 points 3 points 1 year ago (0 children)

    Just about anything involving serial killers (e.g. Criminal Minds) is gonna feature narcissism at some point.

    [–] DmKrispin ADoNM -1 points 0 points 1 point 1 year ago (0 children)

    Now Voyager (1942) starring Bette Davis and Paul Heinried.

  • [May 16, 2016] Barack Obama – Narcissist or Merely Narcissistic?

    Notable quotes:
    "... Narcissism is a defense mechanism whose role is to deflect hurt and trauma from the victim's "True Self" into a " False Self " which is omnipotent, invulnerable, and omniscient. This False Self is then used by the narcissist to garner narcissistic supply from his human environment. Narcissistic supply is any form of attention, both positive and negative and it is instrumental in the regulation of the narcissist's labile sense of self-worth. ..."
    lettingfreedomring.com
    Dr. Sam Vaknin, Ph.D

    January 28, 2012

    Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist . Granted, only a qualified mental health diagnostician (which I am not) can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews. But, in the absence of access to Barack Obama, one has to rely on his overt performance and on testimonies by his closest, nearest and dearest.

    Narcissistic leaders are nefarious and their effects pernicious. They are subtle, refined, socially-adept, manipulative, possessed of thespian skills, and convincing. Both types equally lack empathy and are ruthless and relentless or driven.

    Perhaps it is time to require each candidate to high office in the USA to submit to a rigorous physical and mental checkup with the results made public.

    I. Upbringing and Childhood

    Obama's early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations. Mixed-race marriages were even less common then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant (two years old). Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. Then, his mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia : a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white) grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. She died of cancer in 1995.

    Pathological narcissism is a reaction to prolonged abuse and trauma in early childhood or early adolescence. The source of the abuse or trauma is immaterial: the perpetrators could be dysfunctional or absent parents, teachers, other adults, or peers.

    II. Behavior Patterns

    The narcissist:

    * Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements);

    * Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;

    * Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);

    * Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation â€" or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious ( Narcissistic Supply );

    * Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment;

    * Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;

    * Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;

    * Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;

    * Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "above the law", and omnipresent ( magical thinking ). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.

    Narcissism is a defense mechanism whose role is to deflect hurt and trauma from the victim's "True Self" into a " False Self " which is omnipotent, invulnerable, and omniscient. This False Self is then used by the narcissist to garner narcissistic supply from his human environment. Narcissistic supply is any form of attention, both positive and negative and it is instrumental in the regulation of the narcissist's labile sense of self-worth.

    Perhaps the most immediately evident trait of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is their vulnerability to criticism and disagreement. Subject to negative input, real or imagined, even to a mild rebuke, a constructive suggestion, or an offer to help, they feel injured, humiliated and empty and they react with disdain (devaluation), rage, and defiance.

    From my book "Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited":

    "To avoid such intolerable pain, some patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) socially withdraw and feign false modesty and humility to mask their underlying grandiosity . Dysthymic and depressive disorders are common reactions to isolation and feelings of shame and inadequacy."

    Due to their lack of empathy, disregard for others, exploitativeness, sense of entitlement, and constant need for attention (narcissistic supply), narcissists are rarely able to maintain functional and healthy interpersonal relationships.

    Many narcissists are over-achievers and ambitious. Some of them are even talented and skilled. But they are incapable of team work because they cannot tolerate setbacks. They are easily frustrated and demoralized and are unable to cope with disagreement and criticism. Though some narcissists have meteoric and inspiring careers, in the long-run, all of them find it difficult to maintain long-term professional achievements and the respect and appreciation of their peers. The narcissist's fantastic grandiosity, frequently coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically incommensurate with his or her real accomplishments (the "grandiosity gap").

    An important distinction is between cerebral and somatic narcissists. The cerebrals derive their Narcissistic Supply from their intelligence or academic achievements and the somatics derive their Narcissistic Supply from their physique, exercise, physical or sexual prowess and romantic or physical "conquests".

    Another crucial division within the ranks of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is between the classic variety (those who meet five of the nine diagnostic criteria included in the DSM), and the compensatory kind (their narcissism compensates for deep-set feelings of inferiority and lack of self-worth).
    Obama displays the following behaviors, which are among the hallmarks of pathological narcissism:

    * Subtly misrepresents facts and expediently and opportunistically shifts positions, views, opinions, and "ideals" (e.g., about campaign finance, re-districting). These flip-flops do not cause him overt distress and are ego-syntonic (he feels justified in acting this way). Alternatively, reuses to commit to a standpoint and, in the process, evidences a lack of empathy.

    Ignores data that conflict with his fantasy world, or with his inflated and grandiose self-image. This has to do with magical thinking. Obama already sees himself as president because he is firmly convinced that his dreams, thoughts, and wishes affect reality. Additionally, he denies the gap between his fantasies and his modest or limited real-life achievements (for instance, in 12 years of academic career, he hasn't published a single scholarly paper or book).

    – Feels that he is above the law, incl. and especially his own laws.

    – Talks about himself in the 3rd person singluar or uses the regal "we" and craves to be the exclusive center of attention, even adulation

    – Have a messianic-cosmic vision of himself and his life and his "mission".

    – Sets ever more complex rules in a convoluted world of grandiose fantasies with its own language (jargon)

    – Displays false modesty and unctuous "folksiness" but unable to sustain these behaviors (the persona, or mask) for long. It slips and the true Obama is revealed: haughty, aloof, distant, and disdainful of simple folk and their lives.

    – Sublimates aggression and holds grudges.

    – Behaves as an eternal adolescent (e.g., his choice of language, youthful image he projects, demands indulgence and feels entitled to special treatment, even though his objective accomplishments do not justify it).

    III. Body Language

    Many complain of the incredible deceptive powers of the narcissist. They find themselves involved with narcissists (emotionally, in business, or otherwise) before they have a chance to discover their true character. Shocked by the later revelation, they mourn their inability to separate from the narcissist and their gullibility.

    Narcissists are an elusive breed, hard to spot, harder to pinpoint, impossible to capture. Even an experienced mental health diagnostician with unmitigated access to the record and to the person examined would find it fiendishly difficult to determine with any degree of certainty whether someone suffers from a full fledged Narcissistic Personality Disorder or merely possesses narcissistic traits, a narcissistic style, a personality structure ("character"), or a narcissistic "overlay" superimposed on another mental health problem.

    Moreover, it is important to distinguish between traits and behavior patterns that are independent of the patient's cultural-social context (i.e., which are inherent, or idiosyncratic) and reactive patterns, or conformity to cultural and social morals and norms. Reactions to severe life crises or circumstances are also often characterized by transient pathological narcissism, for instance (Ronningstam and Gunderson, 1996). But such reactions do not a narcissist make.

    When a person belongs to a society or culture that has often been described as narcissistic by scholars (such as Theodore Millon) and social thinkers (e.g., Christopher Lasch) how much of his behavior can be attributed to his milieu and which of his traits are really his?

    The Narcissistic Personality Disorder is rigorously defined in the DSM IV-TR with a set of strict criteria and differential diagnoses.

    Narcissism is regarded by many scholars to be an adaptative strategy ("healthy narcissism"). It is considered pathological in the clinical sense only when it becomes a rigid personality structure replete with a series of primitive defence mechanisms (such as splitting, projection, projective identification, or intellectualization) and when it leads to dysfunctions in one or more areas of the patient's life.

    Pathological narcissism is the art of deception. The narcissist projects a False Self and manages all his social interactions through this concocted fictional construct.

    When the narcissist reveals his true colors, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry at themselves for having they failed to see through the narcissist earlier on.

    But the narcissist does emit subtle, almost subliminal, signals ("presenting symptoms") even in a first or casual encounter. Compare the following list to Barack Obama's body language during his paublic appearances.

    These are:

    "Haughty" body language. The narcissist adopts a physical posture which implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Though the narcissist usually maintains sustained and piercing eye contact, he often refrains from physical proximity (he is "territorial").

    The narcissist takes part in social interactions, even mere banter, condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux "magnanimity and largesse". But he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the "observer", or the "lone wolf".

    Entitlement markers. The narcissist immediately asks for "special treatment" of some kind. Not to wait his turn, to have a longer or a shorter therapeutic session, to talk directly to authority figures (and not to their assistants or secretaries), to be granted special payment terms, to enjoy custom tailored arrangements – or to get served first.

    The narcissist is the one who vocally and demonstratively demands the undivided attention of the head waiter in a restaurant, or monopolizes the hostess, or latches on to celebrities in a party. The narcissist reacts with rage and indignantly when denied his wishes and if treated equally with others whom he deems inferior.

    Idealization or devaluation. The narcissist instantly idealizes or devalues his interlocutor. This depends on how the narcissist appraises the potential his converser has as a Narcissistic Supply Source. The narcissist flatters, adores, admires and applauds the "target" in an embarrassingly exaggerated and profuse manner or sulks, abuses, and humiliates her.

    Narcissists are polite only in the presence of a potential Supply Source. But they are unable to sustain even perfunctory civility and fast deteriorate to barbs and thinly-veiled hostility, to verbal or other violent displays of abuse, rage attacks, or cold detachment.

    The "membership" posture. The narcissist always tries to "belong". Yet, at the very same time, he maintains his stance as an outsider. The narcissist seeks to be admired for his ability to integrate and ingratiate himself without investing the efforts commensurate with such an undertaking.

    For instance: if the narcissist talks to a psychologist, the narcissist first states emphatically that he never studied psychology. He then proceeds to make seemingly effortless use of obscure professional terms, thus demonstrating that he mastered the discipline all the same, as an autodidact, which proves that he is exceptionally intelligent or introspective.

    In general, the narcissist always prefers show-off to substance. One of the most effective methods of exposing a narcissist is by trying to delve deeper. The narcissist is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades. The narcissist never admits to ignorance in any field yet, typically, he is ignorant of them all. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the narcissist's self-proclaimed omniscience.

    Bragging and false autobiography. The narcissist brags incessantly. His speech is peppered with "I", "my", "myself", and "mine". He describes himself as intelligent, or rich, or modest, or intuitive, or creative but always excessively, implausibly, and extraordinarily so.

    The narcissist's biography sounds unusually rich and complex. His achievements incommensurate with his age, education, or renown. Yet, his actual condition is evidently and demonstrably incompatible with his claims. Very often, the narcissist lies or his fantasies are easily discernible. He always name-drops and appropriates other people's experiences and accomplishments.

    Emotion-free language. The narcissist likes to talk about himself and only about himself. He is not interested in others or what they have to say, unless they constitute potential Sources of Supply and in order to obtain said supply. He acts bored, disdainful, even angry, if he feels that they are intruding on his precious time and, thus, abusing him.

    In general, the narcissist is very impatient, easily bored, with strong attention deficits unless and until he is the topic of discussion. One can publicly dissect all aspects of the intimate life of a narcissist without repercussions, providing the discourse is not "emotionally tinted".

    If asked to relate directly to his emotions, the narcissist intellectualizes, rationalizes, speaks about himself in the third person and in a detached "scientific" tone or composes a narrative with a fictitious character in it, suspiciously autobiographical. Narcissists like to refer to themselves in mechanical terms, as efficient automata or machines.

    Seriousness and sense of intrusion and coercion. The narcissist is dead serious about himself. He may possess a subtle, wry, and riotous sense of humor, scathing and cynical, but rarely is he self-deprecating. The narcissist regards himself as being on a constant mission, whose importance is cosmic and whose consequences are global. If a scientist, he is always in the throes of revolutionizing science. If a journalist, he is in the middle of the greatest story ever. If a novelist, he is on his way to a Booker or Nobel prize.

    This self-misperception is not amenable to light-headedness or self-effacement. The narcissist is easily hurt and insulted (narcissistic injury). Even the most innocuous remarks or acts are interpreted by him as belittling, intruding, or coercive. His time is more valuable than others' therefore, it cannot be wasted on unimportant matters such as mere banter or going out for a walk.

    Any suggested help, advice, or concerned inquiry are immediately cast by the narcissist as intentional humiliation, implying that the narcissist is in need of help and counsel and, thus, imperfect and less than omnipotent. Any attempt to set an agenda is, to the narcissist, an intimidating act of enslavement. In this sense, the narcissist is both schizoid and paranoid and often entertains ideas of reference.

    These, the lack of empathy, the aloofness, the disdain, the sense of entitlement, the constricted sense of humor, the unequal treatment and the paranoia render the narcissist a social misfit. The narcissist is able to provoke in his milieu, in his casual acquaintances, even in his psychotherapist, the strongest, most avid and furious hatred and revulsion. To his shock, indignation and consternation, he invariably induces in others unbridled aggression.

    He is perceived to be asocial at best and, often, antisocial. This, perhaps, is the strongest presenting symptom. One feels ill at ease in the presence of a narcissist for no apparent reason. No matter how charming, intelligent, thought provoking, outgoing, easy going and social the narcissist is – he fails to secure the sympathy of others, a sympathy he is never ready, willing, or able to reciprocate.

    IV. Narcissistic and psychopathic Leaders

    The narcissistic or psychopathic leader is the culmination and reification of his period, culture, and civilization. He is likely to rise to prominence in narcissistic societies.

    The malignant narcissist invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. He maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and this is further exacerbated by the trappings of power. The narcissist's grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience are supported by real life authority and the narcissist's predilection to surround himself with obsequious sycophants.

    The narcissist's personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as "victims of persecution".

    The narcissistic leader fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, mythology. The leader is this religion's ascetic saint. He monastically denies himself earthly pleasures (or so he claims) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling.

    The narcissistic leader is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people – or humanity at large – should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, the narcissistic leader became a distorted version of Nietzsche's "superman".

    But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral.

    In this restricted sense, narcissistic leaders are post-modernist and moral relativists. They project to the masses an androgynous figure and enhance it by engendering the adoration of nudity and all things "natural" – or by strongly repressing these feelings. But what they refer to as "nature" is not natural at all.

    The narcissistic leader invariably proffers an aesthetic of decadence and evil carefully orchestrated and artificial – though it is not perceived this way by him or by his followers. Narcissistic leadership is about reproduced copies, not about originals. It is about the manipulation of symbols – not about veritable atavism or true conservatism.

    In short: narcissistic leadership is about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle (and be subsumed by it), the leader demands the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis is tantamount, in this narcissistic dramaturgy, to self-annulment.

    Narcissism is nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives are nihilistic. Narcissism is conspicuous nihilism – and the cult's leader serves as a role model, annihilating the Man, only to re-appear as a pre-ordained and irresistible force of nature.

    Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the "old ways" – against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon a narcissistic (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.

    Minorities or "others" – often arbitrarily selected – constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is "wrong". They are accused of being old, they are eerily disembodied, they are cosmopolitan, they are part of the establishment, they are "decadent", they are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, origin … They are different, they are narcissistic (feel and act as morally superior), they are everywhere, they are defenceless, they are credulous, they are adaptable (and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They are the perfect hate figure. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy.

    This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler, diagnosed by Erich Fromm – together with Stalin – as a malignant narcissist. He was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. He acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. He provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. He was not the devil. He was one of us. He was what Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. He was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.

    The narcissistic leader prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime – the narcissistic leader having died, been deposed, or voted out of office – it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely-held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. "Earth shattering" and "revolutionary" scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.

    It is important to understand that the use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with the self-image of the narcissist. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform with the narcissistic narrative.

    Thus, a narcissist who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite – is highly unlikely to use violence at first.

    The pacific mask crumbles when the narcissist has become convinced that the very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, the prime sources of his narcissistic supply – have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, the narcissist strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. "The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, the military, the elite, etc.)", "they don't really know what they are doing", "following a rude awakening, they will revert to form", etc.

    When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail – the narcissist is injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized – is now discarded with contempt and hatred.

    This primitive defense mechanism is called "splitting". To the narcissist, things and people are either entirely bad (evil) or entirely good. He projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. A narcissistic leader is likely to justify the butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo the revolution, devastate the economy, or the country, etc.

    The "small people", the "rank and file", the "loyal soldiers" of the narcissist – his flock, his nation, his employees – they pay the price. The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from the ashes, of overcoming the trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated – is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf the erstwhile followers of the narcissist. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.

    DISCLAIMER

    I am not a mental health professional. Still, I have dedicated the last 12 years to the study of personality disorders in general and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in particular. I have authored nine (9) books about these topics, one of which is a Barnes and Noble best-seller ("Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"). My work is widely cited in scholarly tomes and publications and in the media. My books and the content of my Web site are based on correspondence since 1996 with hundreds of people suffering from the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (narcissists) and with thousands of their family members, friends, therapists, and colleagues.

    Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain – How the West Lost the East as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, and international affairs. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, Global Politician, PopMatters, eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He was the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101. Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com You can download 30 of his free ebooks in http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/freebooks.html .

    [May 16, 2016] Dr. Sam Vaknin - Barack Obama Is a Narcissist

    Notable quotes:
    "... His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words. ..."
    "... One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological narcissists. They project such an imposing personality that it overwhelms those around them. Charmed by the charisma of the narcissist, people become like clay in his hands. They cheerfully do his bidding and delight to be at his service. The narcissist shapes the world around himself and reduces others in his own inverted image. He creates a cult of personality. His admirers become his co-dependents. ..."
    "... Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help them to reach their personal objective. They are focused on one thing alone and that is power. All other issues are meaningless to them and they do not want to waste their precious time on trivialities. Anything that does not help them is beneath them and do not deserve their attention. ..."
    www.snopes.com

    snopes.com

    Dr. Vaknin states "I must confess I was impressed by Sen. Barack Obama from the first time I saw him. At first I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident - a wholesome presidential package. I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words.

    Obama's speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history. Never a politician in this land had such quasi "religious" impact on so many people. The fact that Obama is a total incognito with zero accomplishment, makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming. Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact he is quite ignorant on most important subjects. Barack Obama is a narcissist. Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the Malignant Self Love believes "Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist."

    Vaknin is a world authority on narcissism. He understands narcissism and describes the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism everyone listens.

    Vaknin says that Obama's language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves.

    ....All these men had a tremendous influence over their fanciers. They created a personality cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new zest for life. They gave them hope! They promised them the moon, but alas, invariably they brought them to their doom.

    When you are a victim of a cult of personality, you don't know it until it is too late. One determining factor in the development of NPD is childhood abuse. "Obama's early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations," says Vaknin.

    "Mixed-race marriages were even less common then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant (two years old). Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. Then his mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia, a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white) grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. She died of cancer in 1995".

    One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological narcissists. They project such an imposing personality that it overwhelms those around them. Charmed by the charisma of the narcissist, people become like clay in his hands. They cheerfully do his bidding and delight to be at his service. The narcissist shapes the world around himself and reduces others in his own inverted image. He creates a cult of personality. His admirers become his co-dependents.

    Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help them to reach their personal objective. They are focused on one thing alone and that is power. All other issues are meaningless to them and they do not want to waste their precious time on trivialities. Anything that does not help them is beneath them and do not deserve their attention.

    [May 15, 2016] The Truth About Donald Trump's Narcissism

    Aug. 11, 2015 | /time.com
    Even as the comet that is The Donald continues to streak across the political sky-as babes peer in wonder out their windows, dogs bay in fear in the night and scholars debate the source of the great apparition-it's worth taking a moment to feel some compassion for the man who's causing all the mischief.

    The fact is, it can't be easy to wake up every day and discover that you're still Donald Trump. You were Trump yesterday, you're Trump today, and barring some extraordinary development, you'll be Trump tomorrow.

    There are, certainly, compensations to being Donald Trump. You're fabulously wealthy; you have a lifetime pass to help yourself to younger and younger wives, even as you get older and older-a two-way Benjamin Button dynamic that is equal parts enviable and grotesque. You own homes in Manhattan; Palm Beach; upstate New York; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Rancho Palos Verdes, California; and you're free to bunk down in a grand suite in practically any hotel, apartment building or resort that flies the Trump flag, anywhere on the planet-and there are a lot of them.

    But none of that changes the reality of waking up every morning, looking in the bathroom mirror, and seeing Donald Trump staring back at you. And no, it's not the hair; that, after all, is a choice-one that may be hard for most people to understand, but a choice all the same, and there's a certain who-asked-you confidence in continuing to make it. The problem with being Trump is the same thing that explains the enormous fame and success of Trump: a naked neediness, a certain shamelessness, an insatiable hunger to be the largest, loudest, most honkingly conspicuous presence in any room-the great, braying Trumpness of Trump-and that's probably far less of a revel than it seems.

    Contented people, well-grounded people, people at ease inside their skin, just don't behave the way Trump does. The shorthand-and increasingly lazy-description for Trump in recent weeks is that he is the id of the Republican party, and there's some truth in that. Trump indeed appears to be emotionally incontinent, a man wholly without-you should pardon the expression-any psychic sphincter. The boundary most people draw between thought and speech, between emotion and action, does not appear to exist for Trump. He says what he wants to say, insults whom he wants to insult, and never, ever considers apology or retreat.

    But that's not someone driven by the pleasures of the id-which, whatever else you can say about it, is a thing of happy appetites and uncaring impulses. It's far more someone driven by the rage and pain and emotional brittleness of narcissism, and everywhere in Trump's life are the signs of what a fraught state of mind that can be.

    There is Trump's compulsive use of superlatives-especially when he's talking about his own accomplishments. Maybe what he's building or selling really is the greatest, the grandest, the biggest, the best, but if that's so, let the product do the talking. If it can't, maybe it ain't so great.

    There's the compulsive promotion of the Trump name. Other giants of commerce and industry use their own names sparingly-even when they're businesspeople who have the opportunity to turn themselves from a person into a brand. There is no GatesWare software, no BezosBooks.com; it's not Zuckerbook you log onto a dozen times a day.

    But the Trump name is everywhere in the Trump world, and there's a reason for that. You can look at something you've built with quiet pride and know it's yours, or you can look at it worriedly, insecurely, fretting that someone, somewhere may not know that you created it-diminishing you in the process. And so you stamp what you build with two-story letters identifying who you are- like a child writing his name on a baseball glove-just to make sure there's no misunderstanding.

    On occasion, there is an almost-almost-endearing cluelessness to the primal way Trump signals his pride in himself. He poses for pictures with his suit jacket flaring open, his hands on his hips, index and ring fingers pointing inevitably groinward-a great-ape fitness and genital display if ever there was one. After he bought the moribund Gulf+Western Building in New York City's Columbus Circle, covered it in gold-colored glass, converted it into a luxury hotel and residence, and reinforced it with steel and concrete to make it less subject to swaying in the wind, Trump boasted to The New York Times that it was going to be "the stiffest building in the city." If he was aware of his own psychic subtext, he gave no indication.

    It's not just real estate Trump seeks to own or at least control. There was his attempt to trademark the words "You're fired," after they became a catchphrase on his reality show, The Apprentice. There was his offer to donate $5 million to a charity of President Obama's choosing if Obama would release his college transcripts to him, Donald Trump. In both cases, Trump wants something-possession, attention, the obeisance of no less than the President-and so he demands it. The behavior is less id than infant-the most narcissistic stage of the human life cycle.

    The petulance of Trump's public feuds-with Rosie ODonnell ("a total loser"), Seth Meyers ("He's a stutterer"), Robert De Niro ("We're not dealing with Albert Einstein") and Arianna Huffington, ("Unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man . . .")-is wholly of a piece with the fragility of the narcissistic ego. In Trump's imaginings, it is Fox News's Megyn Kelly who owes him an apology for asking pointed questions during the Republican debate, not Trump who owes Kelly an apology for his boorish behavior and school-yard Tweets ("Wow, @ megynkelly really bombed tonight. People are going wild on twitter! Funny to watch"). As for his sneering misogyny-his reference to blood coming out of Kelly's "wherever"? Nothing to see here. It's Jeb Bush who really should apologize to women for his comments about defunding Planned Parenthood.

    Trump was right on that score; Bush was indeed clueless to suggest that the annual cost of protecting women's health should not be as high as $500 million-or just over $3.14 per American woman per year. So Bush did what people with at least some humility do: He acknowledged his mistake and at least tried to qualify the statement. That option, however, is closed for the narcissist. The overweening ego that defines the condition is often just a bit of misdirection intended to conceal the exact opposite-a deep well of insecurity and even self-loathing. Any admission of wrong shatters that masquerade.

    To call Donald Trump a narcissist is, of course, to state the clinically obvious. There is the egotism of narcissism, the grandiosity of narcissism, the social obtuseness of narcissism. But if Trump is an easy target, he is also a pitiable one. Narcissism isn't easy, it isn't fun, it isn't something to be waved off as a personal shortcoming that hurts only the narcissists themselves, any more than you can look at the drunk or philanderer or compulsive gambler and not see grief and regret in his future.

    For now, yes, the Trump show is fun to watch. It will be less so if the carnival barker with his look-at-me antics continues to distract people from a serious discussion of important issues. It will be less still if Trump actually does wind up as the nominee of a major political party or mounts an independent campaign and succeeds in tipping the vote one way or the other.

    But that kind of triumph is not the fate that awaits most narcissists. Their act becomes old, their opponents become bold, and the audience-inevitably-moves onto something else. Trump the phenomenon will surely become Trump the afterthought. He is a man who desperately hungers for respect and attention and who, by dint of that very desperation, will likely wind up with neither. The pain will be his; the relief will be ours.

    Adapted from The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in Your Family, in Your Office, in Your Bed-in Your World by Jeffrey Kluger by arrangement with Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, Copyright © 2015 by Jeffrey Kluger.

    [May 15, 2016] 10 Great Self-Absorbed, Narcissistic Movie Assholes The Playlist

    blogs.indiewire.com

    There's more than a few examples of the archetype doing the rounds at the moment, from the three lovably awful kids in Amazon's brilliant "Transparent" to the title character of Alex Ross Perry's brilliant "Listen Up Philip," which opened in limited release last Friday and will continue to expand in the coming weeks. Said archetype is of course often complex, and "asshole" frequently doesn't cover it. These characters often are masking deep pain, insecurity, self-doubt and or misplaced arrogance. But we know these types and while often not likable, they're real and often quite hilariously awful.

    So, to mark the release of "Listen Up Philip," which features a deliciously prickly Jason Schwartzman in the lead as a egocentric young writer who damages all his relationships, romantic or otherwise, we thought we'd pick out ten of our favorite self-absorbed, unpleasant and yet curiously watchable characters to go alongside his great turn in the aforementioned film. It should be noted that most of our examples come from the last decade or two, but that's not entirely surprising, given that we're arguably living in the most self-obsessed, insular age in human history (this is of course the era of the selfie). Take a look at our picks below, and let us know your favorites in the comments section.

    Sweet and Lowdown

    Sean Penn as Emmett Ray in "Sweet & Lowdown" (2000)

    Woody Allen is an obvious touchstone for "Listen Up Philip" ("Husbands And Wives" is named specifically by Ross Perry, and Sydney Pollack's character in that arguably qualifies for this list too), and Allen's certainly representative of self-absorption. But none of his creations have been more self-absorbed, or more asshole-y, than Sean Penn's central figure in "Sweet & Lowdown." The role of Emmet Ray, a reasonably well-known, heavy-drinking, scumbag of a jazz guitarist whose life is continually overshadowed by that of his idol Django Reinhardt, was originally penned by Allen (under the original title of "The Jazz Baby," back in the early 1970s) to be played by the writer/director, but after nearly thirty years in a drawer, went to Penn (though Johnny Depp was also reportedly considered). And it's hard to imagine anyone doing a better job. Penn brings a mix of swagger and deeply insecure neuroticism that makes him very much a creation of Allen, but one that doesn't simply echo the filmmaker in the manner of so many of his leading-men surrogates. As with the lead of another later film about a guitarist, the Coens' "Inside Llewyn Davis," Ray is talented, but enough of a fuck-up (drunken, a sometime pimp, kind of a coward, tight with money, and with a self-inflated view of his own "genius") that he'll never make the kind of impact that he'd like to. And when potential redemption comes along in the shape of Samantha Morton's sweet, mute Hattie, he throws it away in order to marry socialite Uma Thurman. And when he's dumped by her, he's stunned when Hattie's moved on. He's almost irredeemably awful, and yet Penn's performance, one of his very best, manages to find pathos, as well as a pleasing level of comedy, in the character, the kind of thing the actor doesn't get to do enough.

    The Life Aquatic

    Bill Murray as Steve Zissou in "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" (2004)
    Wes Anderson characters can generally be grouped under the banner of "self-regarding" to one degree or another, from Max in "Rushmore" to even the animated Mr. Fox. But his prize asshole might just be Steve Zissou, in Anderson's fourth film. An oceanographer and documentary maker modelled loosely after Jacques Cousteau, Zissou is a man whose limited fame and prestige has gone very much to his head, who drags his inexplicably loyal crew on an Ahab-ish revenge trip against the shark that ate his long-time partner (Seymour Cassel). He has a certain affection for the people he travels with (he does at least launch a rescue mission when even hated insurance company employee Bud Cort is captured by pirates), but is resolutely unlovable otherwise, particularly in his relations with basically everyone, from consistently hitting on pregnant reporter Jane (Cate Blanchett), treating Klaus (Willem Dafoe) like a bullied lapdog, or feuding childishly with his maybe-son Ned (Owen Wilson), who's eventually killed in a helicopter crash on the hunt for the shark. Anderson's characters, even cantankerous assholes like Royal Tenenbaum, usually find some form of redemption, but there's surprisingly little for Zissou: Ned, who turns out not to be his son anyway, dies, and Zissou is once again acclaimed at a film festival for his finished picture. It's a decidedly sour note, and perhaps one of the reasons that the lavish, lovingly made 'Aquatic' is possibly Anderson's least-loved picture.

    The Social Network

    Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network" (2010) "You're going to go through life thinking that girls don't like because you're a nerd," says Rooney Mara's Erica to Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) at the beginning of David Fincher's Aaron Sorkin penned "The Social Network." "And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won't be true. It'll be because you're an asshole." And it's perfect introduction to the condescending, snobbish, ambitious, narcisisstic founder of Facebook, the website that will eventually make him a billionaire.

    And as the film goes on, Zuckerberg never exactly improves: he creates an insulting blog about Erica, hacks into Harvard's network to steal photos of women to let people rate their attractiveness, possibly steals the idea for his site from a trio of other students, freezes out best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), and ends up rich but estranged, endlessly refreshing his friend request to Erica. He's selfish, self-regarding, prickly and defensive, but in the hands of Eisenberg's meticulous, brilliant performance, you can also see why.

    He embodies the true revenge of the nerds, a twisted and bitter one, but he's only that way because that's what he thinks he has to be. As his attorney, Marylin (Rashida Jones) tells him at the film's conclusion, "you're not an asshole, Mark. You're just trying so hard to be."

    A Fish Called Wanda

    Kevin Kline as Otto in "A Fish Called Wanda" (1988)
    Self-absorption is often something that seems to come with intellect, as demonstrated by the characters on this list. Many of these figures genuinely are the smartest person in the room and treat anyone they deem not to be on their level with according levels of contempt. Otto, in "A Fish Called Wanda," is something slightly different, and all the funnier for it: he's a moron who only thinks he's the smartest person in the room. The result, unusually for a broad comedy like Charles Crichton's 1988 hit (penned by co-star John Cleese), won Kevin Kline a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. The character is the film's secret weapon, a borderline psychotic, Limey-hating dimwit with a severe inferiority complex, which manifests in his continual threats to those around not to call him stupid. But as his lover Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) tells him, "I've known sheep that could outwit you. I've worn dresses with higher IQs." Otto is a man who thinks "the Gettysburg Address was where Lincoln lived," that the central message of Buddhism is "every man for himself," and that the London Underground is a political movement. He's the ultimate Ugly American abroad ("you are the vulgarian, you fuck," he tells Cleese's Archie when he calls him on his swearing), a terrible driver with the most hilarious off-putting cum face in cinematic history, and a total tour de force from Kline that still remains the actor's finest hour. He's the truly hateable kind of asshole in the best possible way. It says it all that, after somehow surviving being run over by a steamroller, he becomes Minister of Justice in apartheid-era South Africa…

    Young Adult

    Charlize Theron as Mavis Gary in "Young Adult" (2011)
    Arguably Jason Reitman's best film to date, a brilliant gender-swapped inversion of the arrested-development theme that's dominated the comedy movie in the last decade or so, "Young Adult" revolves around a titanic performance from Charlize Theron, playing one of the most unrepentantly unlikable, unchangeable characters in recent cinema. Theron, arguably in a career-best turn, plays Mavis, a divorced writer of the teen-aimed books whose series has just been cancelled. On a whim, she returns to her small Minnesota hometown in an attempt to win back her high-school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson), who's just a had baby with his wife (Elizabeth Reaser). Mavis is clearly having some kind of deluded break with reality, but part of the brilliance of Theron's performance is how unquestioning she is of herself: a Mean Girl grown up, chasing simpler times when she ruled the world, and prepared to do just about anything to get there. Theron never courts your sympathy, but there's still a deep sadness in Mavis' absolute lack of self-reflection, not least when she's comes close to a breakthrough, only to be talked out of it by one of her few remaining admirers (a brilliant Colette Wolfe). People talked about her bravery in changing her appearance for her Oscar-winning turn in "Monster," but there's just as little vanity in her performance here, and the film simply wouldn't work without her.

    Baumbach Squid

    The Assorted Jerks Of Noah Baumbach
    Another obvious touchstone for "Listen Up Philip," Noah Baumbach is arguably, and we mean this in the nicest way possible, the king of the self-absorbed asshole. In fact, we decided to amalgamate his collected jerks into one selection, because otherwise it could have taken up half of the entire list. The filmmaker's been interested in the archetype ever since his debut "Kicking And Screaming," about chronically procrastinating recent college grads, but (after co-writing the script for two of Wes Anderson's most self-absorbed characters with "The Life Aquatic" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox") reached something of a zenith with what we like to call 'The Asshole Trilogy' : "The Squid & The Whale," "Margot At The Wedding" and "Greenberg." 'Squid' is the best, as we gradually see the effects of self-absorbed, generally toxic novelist Bernard (Jeff Daniels) on his son (Jesse Eisenberg) during the parents' bitter divorce, ending movingly with Walt rejecting the Way Of The Jerk. 2007's 'Margot' was disliked by many at the time, but has only grown in stature, with Nicole Kidman's brittle, sharp turn proving to be a perfect fit for the filmmakers' world-view, appalling (but still human) as she takes her frustrations in life out on her son. 2010's "Greenberg" is the least of the three, despite a raw and uncompromising performance by Ben Stiller in the title role, a thwarted man-child who can't see much beyond his own needs and worldview. The three films aren't the easiest watch (no wonder that Baumbach's next film, the delightful "Frances Ha," felt like such a breath of fresh air), but together do a pretty great job at encapsulating the era of mammoth selfishness.

    Roger Dodger

    Campbell Scott as Roger Swanson in "Roger Dodger" (2002)
    Jesse Eisenberg makes another appearance on this list (his more malevolent side in the recent "The Double" could also have qualified), but for once, he's not the asshole. That would be Campbell Scott, who is remarkably brilliant in Dylan Kidd's minor classic "Roger Dodger." Scott plays the titular Roger Swanson, a New York ad-man who's asked by his 16-year-old nephew to help him learn how to seduce women so he can lose his virginity. Roger's a self-described player and essentially a misogynist, and attempts to induct his young relative in what he describes as essentially a war of the sexes. A smarmy early '00s precursor to today's pick-up artist scumbags, Roger doesn't have the charm that he thinks he does, particularly given that he's in an unacknowledged meltdown after being dumped by lover/boss Isabella Rosselini. Like many such people, he hates almost everyone around him, but no one brings out quite so much bile in him as himself, and it's this brilliant duality that makes the performance one of Scott's best. Kidd's film is a woozy, witty examination of sex and masculinity, and though it missteps a little towards the end in offering something of a redemption for the character, it still gave us one of the more iconic cinematic douchebags of the last couple of decades.

    Rachel Getting Married

    Anne Hathaway as Kym in "Rachel Getting Married" (2008)
    We think of being an asshole as a specifically male trait, but we've already seen with "Young Adult" and "Margot At The Wedding" that there's no gender divide. "Rachel Getting Married" is another great example, one that's arguably sadder and psychologically richer than either. Jonathan Demme's film stars a revelatory Anne Hathaway as Kym, who returns home from drug rehab to attend the wedding of her sister (Rosemarie DeWitt), only for the family's long-brushed-over painful past to emerge, as it tends to do in movies like this one. Kym initially seems like a comically awful person, a selfish, up-staging drug addict who hijacks the rehearsal dinner to make twelve-step apologies, and who seems to delight in deliberately upsetting almost anyone in her family and not accepting any blame for her actions. But over time, Kym richens, as we learn that she killed her younger brother in a car accident when she was high, and while that itself is clearly a terrible and selfish action, it's only continued to haunt her, and Hathaway is superb in painting a picture of a woman who longs to be forgiven by people who would like to, but might just find it impossible. Demme and the movie never let her off the hook, but that whatever small progress she might make happens at all feels all the more moving for being so hard-won.

    As Good As It Gets

    Jack Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets" (1997)
    Ol' Jack plays cantankerous assholes the way Tom Hanks plays nice guys or Tom Cruise plays people who jumps off tall buildings: brilliantly, vigorously and frequently. In James L. Brooks' award-winning rom-com, Nicholson builds on earlier performances like "Five Easy Pieces" "Carnal Knowledge" and "Heartburn" to create something like a crown prince of unlikable fellas, OCD-suffering, racist, homophobic, misogynist misanthrope novelist Melvin Udall, whose carefully controlled life is upended by the intervention of gay neighbor Simon (Greg Kinnear), and single-mother waitress Carol (Helen Hunt). Nicholson might be playing a slightly sitcom-ish, Archie Bunker-ish character, but the mix of his typical devilish charm, smartly and sparingly used, and a detailed psychological realism that makes Melvin into more than just an archetype, elevated the performance to Oscar-winning effect. Though of course it helps that Nicholson is clearly relishing the lovingly and intricately-written speeches that he gets to deploy ("never, never interrupt me, okay?," he tells Simon. "Not if there's a fire, not even if you hear the sound of a thud from my home and one week later there's a smell coming from there that can only be a decaying human body and you have to hold a hanky to your face because the stench is so thick that you think you're going to faint"). There's a certain degree of cheesiness to the way that Melvin softens up thanks to the love of a good woman, but Jack never makes you doubt it for a minute.

    Last Days of Disco

    The Many Assholes Of Whit Stillman
    Like Baumbach, Whit Stillman is a director who's made a career with characters who can't quite see past their own bubble of existence (and, usually, privilege), up to and including his current Amazon pilot "The Cosmopolitans." The pattern began with his debut "Metropolitan," in which Stillman favorite Chris Eigeman plays arguably the platonic ideal of the director's favorite archetype, a big-mouthed upper-class cynic who one can imagine going into Wall Street and essentially becoming Patrick Bateman in years to come ('"the surrealists were just bunch of social climbers," he condescendingly says at one point). Follow-up "Barcelona" sees Eigeman in a similarly smug role, the ugly American abroad, while "The Last Days Of Disco" sees Kate Beckinsale (who's fantastic here) as a particularly callow example of the type ("remember the Woodstock generation of the 1960s that were so full of themselves and conceited? None of them could dance," she tells someone at one point with the naivety of youth). If one was ungenerous, one could argue that the narrow worldview of his films makes Stillman and his archaic language rather self-absorbed himself, but that's a misreading: Stillman is ultimately a social satirist, a sort of cinematic heir to Jane Austen (whose influence is felt in his most recent picture, "Damsels In Distress," more than ever), savagely poking at the ridiculous attitudes and views of his characters without ever quite judging them.

    Honorable Mentions: There were various other possibilities that we dismissed as not quite being quite the right brand of asshole for this specific theme: think of Kirk Douglas in "Ace In The Hole," Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster in "Sweet Smell Of Success" (too toxic), even William Atherton in "Die Hard" and "Ghostbusters" (which veers closer to a simple villain). Among the ones who came closest to qualifying were Ed Norton and Micheal Keaton in "Birdman" (we wrote about their self-absorbed asshole-ish tendencies here), Rachel McAdams in "Mean Girls," Matt Damon in "The Departed," Paul Reiser in "Aliens," Aaron Eckhart in "In The Company Of Men," and Tom Hulce in "Amadeus," along with both Jason Schwartzman's villain, and arguably Michael Cera's hero, in "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World." Any others? Let us know below

    [May 15, 2016] Famous Narcissistic Movie Characters -

    May 14, 2013 | The Narcissistic Life

    If you want observe people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or strong narcissistic traits, look no further than your TV set. There are many memorable movie characters who display the basic characteristics of narcissism: the grandiose and overinflated sense of self, lack of empathy, exploitation of others with no remorse, and excessive self-focus. Listed below are some of the more well-known narcissists portrayed in the movies:

    Movie: The Devil Wears Prada
    Played By: Meryl Streep
    About: Now this is an NPD character that sticks with you.

    Movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    Played By: Kenneth Branagh
    About: This is the definition of narcissism. Lockhart is hilarious. One of the comical moments from the series is when Lockhart is talking to Harry during his detention and says "Fame is a fickle friend, Harry. Celebrity is as celebrity does. Remember that." *turn and smile* He goes to such lengths as to fake his fame and risk the deaths of many students just to keep his ego fed.

    Movie: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    Played By: Sam Rockwell
    About: Zaphod (and Sam Rockwell) is great and Rockwell plays him well- he's fun for the role he has.

    Movie: American Psycho
    Played By: Christian Bale
    About: Bale plays the role with what appears to be ease. He's a completely memorable character with some very iconic scenes.

    Movie: Dinner for Schmucks
    Played By: Jemaine Clements
    About: Whether or not you liked the movie, most have agreed that Jamaine Clements was the best part.

    Movie: The American Pie Trilogy
    Played By: Seann William Scott
    About: Stifler thinks he's hot stuff, almost obnoxiously so. But he's not without his insecurities underneath it all. He's probably not a true narcissist as the rest on this list–it's much more of a front, at least partially. But there's no doubting he thinks highly of himself, and he's funny while he thinks so.

    Movie: Zoolander
    Played By: Ben Stiller
    About: "I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is."

    Movie: Forgetting Sarah Marshall/Get Him to the Greek
    Played by: Russell Brand
    About: Russell Brand was hilarious in them–clearly the best part of the movies.

    Movie: The Princess Bride
    Played By: Wallace Shawn
    About: Vizzini: "I can't compete with you physically, and you're no match for my brains." Westley: "You're that smart?" Vizzini: "Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates?" Westley: "Yes." Vizzini: "Morons."

    Movie: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
    Played By: Will Ferrell
    About: The narcissism is right there in the title of the film! He's a fun character, wrapped up in his own little world.

    MOVIE: Gaslight
    Played by: Charles Boyer
    ABOUT: This classic movie is where the term gaslighting comes from, to indicate how an N (or other abuser) lies to you to make you doubt your experience of reality. Although the film is a bit dated now (it was made in the 1940s) it is still extremely gripping and terrifying. The narcissist in this film, Gregory Anton, is trying to deliberately send his new wife insane in order to inherit from her. An absolute must-watch for anybody interest in learning more about malignant NPD.

    MOVIE: Mommie Dearest
    Played By: Faye Dunaway
    ABOUT: A classic film. It's the real-life story of total narcissist Joan Crawford and her daughter Christina. This is a chillingly accurate portrayal of the hell of being raised by a narcissist.

    MOVIE: White Oleander
    Played by: Michelle Pfeiffer
    ABOUT: Michelle Pfeiffer plays the narcissistic mother in this amazing film, and by all accounts does a terrific job.

    MOVIE: Gone With the Wind
    Played by: Vivien Leigh
    ABOUT: Scarlett O'Hara is a total narcissist in this classic tale.

    Other Movies Portraying Narcissistic Characters

    • American Beauty (narcissistic mother)
    • East of Eden (narcissistic father)
    • Ordinary People (narcissistic mother)
    • Mermaids (Cher as Mrs. Flax)
    • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (narcissistic sister)
    • Sybil (narcissistic mother)
    • The Little Foxes (narcissistic mother)
    • Flowers in the Attic (narcissistic mother)
    • Matilda (both parents are narcissists)
    • Coraline (both "other" parents are narcissists)
    • Precious (narcissistic mother)
    • Girl Interrupted (Angelina Jolie)
    • Life or Something Like It (Angelina Jolie)

    References:

    http://www.narcissism101.com/NarcissistsinMedia/narcissistsinmov.html
    http://dementeddoorknob.blogspot.com/2010/10/top-10-favorite-narcissistic-characters.html
    http://daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/movies-featuring-npd.html
    http://www.outofthefog.net/Movies.html

    [Apr 13, 2016] Gone Girl

    Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry Amazon Digital Services LLC
    Gone Girl is best watched for two of its two and a half hours.
    Notable quotes:
    "... The dialogue is snappy and razor-sharp. The acting is awesome, from the main characters all the way down to minor roles. ..."
    "... A movie about passion, lies, obsession, the death of love, and living with sociopaths, this is a remarkable movie. It also reinforces my belief that I never ever want to get married ..."
    "... Ben Affleck, a capable actor and a fine director, knows what is to be caught in the media's unforgiving line of fire and has earned poor reviews in the past for exuding a certain bordering-on-self-parody, macho-man overconfidence and self-satisfaction, so he is an ideal choice to play the husband, an individual who is either a decent man in over his head or a chiseled sociopath who can barely hide his smile in front of the cameras. ..."
    "... My favorite films of his are still Zodiac and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but this plants its flag close to the top. ..."
    "... Tyler Perry plays a jovial, smirky Johnny Cochran-type lawyer, who makes huge amounts of money defending men accused of killing their wives ..."
    "... The Gone Girl screenplay had plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. In fairness, it was well acted and it started off well enough, shining a light on the deterioration of a marriage, how the media picks and chooses its heroes and villains for ratings, and just how easy it is to manipulate a public that thinks appearing on The Bachelor will lead to true romance. The send up of Nancy Grace and her ilk alone is worth sitting through. ..."
    "... More than that, I perceive it as a condemnation of marriage, romantic relationships, and the (alleged) fakery of them. ..."
    "... It is also a blatant commentary on sensational media and public hysteria/groupthink (I.e., "sheeple" and witch hunts). There is also a strange comment on parenting, if you compare nick's mother to his father and Amy's parents. ..."
    "... There's another part of the movie, much smaller than what was advertised, which was why I wanted to see the movie in the first place. The role the media plays in these kind of situations. I was led to believe that it was an examination of the subject. It's not. ..."
    "... Ben Affleck does a fantastic job playing Nick Dunne, a somewhat employed writer married to the no-so-right-in-the-head Amy (Rosalund Pike). The one thing Amy can do well is mess with your life. She messes with Nick's to the point the world believes Nick has killed her and he has to hire high profile attorney Tanner Bolt, played extremely well by Tyler Perry. ..."
    "... Gone Girl is best watched for two of its two and a half hours. ..."
    "... Great for 1.5 hours and the rest was trash. ..."
    "... Gone Girl is brilliant, for 3/4 of the movie. The rest, of the story falls off the tracks and then struggles to reach the end...struggles, because it pushes the boundaries of weakness of Nick(Affleck). ..."
    "... It sparks questions in you as you watch, as to just how well do you know your spouse? How well do they know you? ..."
    "... It's a cast of talent with Ben Affleck Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coone, Rosamun Pike, Tyler Perry and others that highlights every angle of this demented story. ..."
    "... There were parts that dragged on somewhat. The movie has a longer running time than most. ..."
    "... Gone Girl is directed by the same man who brought you Fight Club, Social Network (the Facebook movie), and Se7en. ..."
    "... In many instances, the film was making a statement (an unbiased one at that) on everything wrong with modern-day media, law enforcement, marriages, and the image of gender roles in society. Tough stuff! The only complaint I can make about the film is how it is not really all that cinematic and the film's uncertain ending. But then again, the ending can be seen both ways either as a metaphor about reality's way of saying no one is either good or bad or an attack on the senses with a strange turnaround for a particular character. ..."
    Amazon.com
    Paul Donovan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 12, 2014 Format: Amazon Video
    A twisty and twisted new classic Nine Things About the Movie "Gone Girl" (USA, 2014)

    1. One of the best movies of 2014, this multi-layered, wickedly brilliant film is a great adaptation of the 2012 novel.

    2. It was directed by David Fincher. He collaborated with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross again for the smoothly foreboding soundtrack. Fincher has developed a unique cinematic style, and this movie is a showcase of it.

    3. The heart of the movie is a mystery - a wife disappears from her home on the morning of her anniversary. But not only do we not know who did it, we don't even really know what happened.

    4. The movie flips back and forth between the husband's perspective and the wife's, slowly unfolding its secrets like a black, poisonous flower.

    5. Besides the core mystery, the movie is also a commentary on media hype, along with trial by popularity. Nancy Grace probably wishes she could sue somebody for this movie.

    6. Perhaps more chilling than the mystery is the depiction of what has to be the most dysfunctional marriage in cinematic history.

    7. The movie is almost 3 hours long, but it doesn't feel like it. The plot is tight - no scene is wasted. The dialogue is snappy and razor-sharp. The acting is awesome, from the main characters all the way down to minor roles.

    8. Part of the reason the movie works so well is that the author of the book, Gillian Flynn, also wrote the screenplay. It's set in Missouri and feels pretty authentic, probably because the author is from Kansas City.

    9. A movie about passion, lies, obsession, the death of love, and living with sociopaths, this is a remarkable movie. It also reinforces my belief that I never ever want to get married. 23 Comments

    CMM, December 10, 2014 Format: Blu-ray
    Gone Girl is the Complete Package. Gone Girl took the world by storm. And I'm not just talking about the film. The book (I highly recommend this read) by Gillian Flynn quickly became one of the bestselling novels of 2012. Through word of mouth, people left and right were finding out about this tale of a dark and twisted marriage. It was seen almost everywhere, so I was no surprise that the rights would be snatched up (by Reese Witherspoon, nonetheless). And the stage was quickly set for David Fincher to work his dark directing magic.

    The story tells of a married couple, Nick and Amy Dunne, on their fifth wedding anniversary. That morning, Amy mysteriously vanishes, leaving behind a rather suspicious trail of evidence.The authorities and the media quickly swoop down on Nick, who seems nice enough, but is oddly evasive and may not be telling the whole truth. As events unfold, you will be left wondering how well you truly know the person you love.

    With jaw-dropping performances from Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Neil Patrick Harris, and Patrick Fugit, you will be in for a treat. These actors portray their respective roles with such power and perfection, and I was pleasantly surprised. I think you will be as well. I expect to see award nominations for these players within the coming weeks. If not, I will riot.

    Not only is the acting fantastic, but the score paints a beautiful picture as well. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (who scored Fincher's last two films--The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) have returned to deliver an astounding and haunting score that perfectly suits the story. Equally peaceful and disturbing, it mirrors the characters' behaviours as their secrets are unveiled.

    Gone Girl is the complete package. Creepy, witty, breathtaking, you will finish this movie with your jaw open. I guarantee it. Truly beautiful, Fincher has outdone himself. I recommend purchasing this at your earliest opportunity.

    D. H., October 4, 2014 Format: Amazon Video

    I have not read the Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl. Not out of any particular aversion. I just never found my way around to it. So I entered this film adaptation by premiere stylist and suspense conjurer David Fincher quote-unquote blind beyond a general knowledge of the story involving a suburban Missouri man who becomes a suspect in his wife's mysterious vanishing. And beat by beat, scene by scene, twist by twist, the film blew me away. It is an airtight and atmospheric blend of the hilarious, the macabre, and the romantic. It satisfies first as a crime mystery. With a perverse, yet playful hand, it transforms the essential and inevitable questions of the genre (who is who? who is where? who has done what? who is alive? who is dead?) into delightful webs of opaque morality and disturbing brutality. There are other concerns and components, too, and this joins such films as Sweet Smell of Success and To Die For among the best indictments of media sensationalism and the way it can bastardize humanity. It achieves this via acidic and vivid (and therefore highly enjoyable) illustration of its points rather than didactic condemnation.

    The film is buoyed by spot-on casting decisions. In a strange way which pays enormous dividends, many of the stars seem to be chosen based on their undesirable traits. Ben Affleck, a capable actor and a fine director, knows what is to be caught in the media's unforgiving line of fire and has earned poor reviews in the past for exuding a certain bordering-on-self-parody, macho-man overconfidence and self-satisfaction, so he is an ideal choice to play the husband, an individual who is either a decent man in over his head or a chiseled sociopath who can barely hide his smile in front of the cameras.

    And the beautiful Rosamund Pike can seem distant on screen, a type of icy English rose to be admired and never touched, and she is therefore ideal as a so-picture-perfect-as-to-be-unknowable wife pushed to unusual and dangerous places. Hers is a particularly alarming and inspired turn (the actress' best since the undervalued Barney's Version), and it would be a shame if she were not recognized by the Academy with her first nomination early next year.

    This line of casting thought extends to other plays in the substantial ensemble. Why not, for example, hire Tyler Perry, who has turned himself in a household name with outsize charisma and a self-forged aura of spiritual authority, to play a showboating A-list lawyer? Throughout Gone Girl, the roles fit so very snugly.

    And behind the camera, Fincher is in as fine a form as ever. My favorite films of his are still Zodiac and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but this plants its flag close to the top. His antiseptic, meticulous, and perfectionist shot compositions turn the banal suburban environments into under-lit and malevolence-infused spaces, and every scene (whether overtly suspenseful and violent or of a quieter domestic variety) has an incisive and taut quality. This is a long film at 148 minutes, but never an overweight or ponderous one. It holds viewers' heads and hearts with vice-grip intensity from frame one onward and leaves us (or me, at least) at once amused, energized, and despairing.

    David R. Eastwood, March 29, 2015 Format: DVD

    THOROUGHLY NASTY, REPULSIVE, & SMARMY ... BUT WITH A VERY CUTE LITTLE ORANGE KITTY

    The plot of David Fincher's film GONE GIRL (2014) is one more variation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's old Sherlock Holmes story "The Problem of Thor Bridge." One among many ... and perhaps the nastiest.

    As all the blurbs reveal, Ben Affleck plays a husband named Nick Dunne, who is suspected of killing his wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike, when she mysteriously disappears under highly suspicious circumstances.

    Although the cast is uniformly talented, nearly all of the characters are unlikeable ... and several of them are downright repulsive. Tyler Perry plays a jovial, smirky Johnny Cochran-type lawyer, who makes huge amounts of money defending men accused of killing their wives

    ... the shark-like, frenzied TV scandal-mongers are totally disgusting ... and the couple who are the parents of Amy (the missing wife) are blood-sucking horrors who have used their daughter for their own financial benefit for years.

    Only two of the main characters are "normal" and basically "neutral" in their presentation: Margo Dunne, the sister of Ben Affleck's character, played by Carrie Coon, and Rhonda Boney (!?), the female detective who is in charge of the investigation, played by Kim Dickens. The only wholly likeable character is the little orange cat of Nick and Amy, which only has about 5 minutes of on-screen time.

    The solution to Amy Dunne's disappearance gradually comes to light over the next TWO AND A HALF HOURS, and without giving any spoilers here, I will assert that it is a repulsive conclusion to the film.

    I viewed the film with a small group of adults (approximately 55 people), and especially during the final 45 minutes some parts of the film caused nearly the whole audience to laugh at the preposterous events and new revelations. The scenes with Neil Patrick Harris seemed to get the highest number of unintended laughs.

    In my judgment, this film is quite smarmy and a huge waste of one's time. Not even the sweetness of the little orange cat can compensate for the general nastiness of the characters and their actions.

    KTFaye, February 14, 2015 Format: Amazon Video

    Like the marriage in the movie, it starts well, then completely falls apart

    The Gone Girl screenplay had plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. In fairness, it was well acted and it started off well enough, shining a light on the deterioration of a marriage, how the media picks and chooses its heroes and villains for ratings, and just how easy it is to manipulate a public that thinks appearing on The Bachelor will lead to true romance. The send up of Nancy Grace and her ilk alone is worth sitting through.

    But then it all falls apart. I won't spoil it for those who haven't yet seen it, but the complete unraveling of film after the "twist" actually became laughable with such huge gaps in common sense, implausible occurrences, security camera footage that not a single cop decided to look at, and just plain linear storytelling of getting from A to B that it's actually boggling. It wasn't the twist itself, that was actually pretty clever, it was all the lapses that came after.

    Even in a work of fiction there logic rules that need to be followed, and therein lies my issue with Gone Girl. It's difficult to elaborate on everything that's wrong with the last third without revealing what happens after the so-called big twist. (Just google Gone Girl plot holes and you'll find plenty of examples). But the film ends with an eye roll instead of a bang. There's suspending disbelief, which I'm happy to do if there is other convincing evidence, and then there's beating disbelief to death with a tire iron--which is what Gone Girl gives you in the end.

    I understand that Gillian Flynn translated her book to screen and reworked the whole last third, which is exactly where it all falls apart. Perhaps being a staff writer at Entertainment Weekly for 20 years -- where the emphasis is clearly on get it out fast rather than get it out right -- dulled her logic and skills! Either way, while some Oscar snubs are occasionally puzzling, I'm not in the least surprised that there were none for this screenplay.

    Ripley7700 on March 5, 2015 Format: Amazon Video | Verified Purchase

    Split on this one...

    At the end of this movie, I found myself very confused. Not about the mystery but whether I liked the movie. It wasn't because the characters were so complex or multi-layered that they pushed my perceptions of "good" and "evil." In fact, I found Amy and Nick strangely two-dimensional.

    I was so mystified by my mystification that I did a first: I read a bunch of professional reviews to see if that would help me put my finger on it. I was further surprised to see a common theme among them: is this movie misogynist, misandrist, or misanthropic? If it is any of these, I think it is the latter.

    More than that, I perceive it as a condemnation of marriage, romantic relationships, and the (alleged) fakery of them. In that vein, I found it spiteful rather than satiric. It is also a blatant commentary on sensational media and public hysteria/groupthink (I.e., "sheeple" and witch hunts). There is also a strange comment on parenting, if you compare nick's mother to his father and Amy's parents. That one was a bit lost on me, and perphaps it is clearer in the book where there is more detail on that (note: I haven't read the book).

    At this point, I'm still baffled by my reaction to this movie, and the best way I can rationalize it is that I think this is a solid suspense/murder mystery but I didn't buy the "psychological" part of this psychological thriller.

    That part seemed forced to the point that it detracted from the good things. I admit that I liked Basic Instinct more (maybe I'm just getting old and need to rewatch that one).

    Some positives: I thought the casting was superb and the directing was also very strong. I thought the actress who played the twin sister was particularly good. On a final note, I found the end rather abrupt. Don't know if this will help people who haven't watched it yet, but maybe this will help validate other viewers who wish they could have "cracked open" their own skulls at the end of this movie.

    Buddhasmom, March 4, 2015 Format: Amazon Video | Verified Purchase

    Don't see it alone

    This movie isn't anything you'd expect. I think that's why my review is mixed. I liked that it was not what you expected, I guess. I think I was irritated at the female character. All of them really, but the wife really annoyed me. It was kind of sick and really twisted. I kept saying to myself, "okay well lets appreciate it for what it is and keep an open mind." That was really difficult. This isn't an easy movie for me to pin down for you. Especially because I don't want to give anything away and to really give you a mental picture, I almost have to give stuff away. I'm going to try to stretch my creative muscle here, though, and give you some kind of perspective.

    One half of the picture is the hero and he screws up bad, but the punishment is horrific compared to the crime. I'm not crazy about those type of movies. The kind of movie where the hero just keeps getting hit with new bad stuff. Too much like my life, I guess.

    The other half of the movie is a revenge thriller. You want to get behind it, because you kind of think, "well, they deserve it.' But it's not that cut and dry. You want to get behind it but it's hard because the way the revenge is executed is so sick and twisted and over-the-top. It comes so close to the edge of being completely unbelievable and so sick that the sympathy you once held is lost completely. But a part of you still wants the revenge taker to succeed and wants to be on their side, moreover, there are a lot of folks out there that didn't lose their sympathy at all, which says a lot about society in general and ones friends in particular.

    There's another part of the movie, much smaller than what was advertised, which was why I wanted to see the movie in the first place. The role the media plays in these kind of situations. I was led to believe that it was an examination of the subject. It's not.

    So look, I don't know that I would recommend renting it 100%. I am very much on the fence about this movie. I'm sorry. I would suggest watching it with a bunch of your friends. It's one of those movies that you go to with those friends who like to talk about movies. You'll have so much to talk about so you don't want to see it all alone.

    CJs Pirate, December 7, 2015 Format: Amazon Video

    Gone Girl is Best Watched for Two of its Two and a Half Hours

    Wanna watch a great movie? Quit this one 2/3rds of the way through. Wanna watch something turn from very good to stupid? Watch this all the way.

    Ben Affleck does a fantastic job playing Nick Dunne, a somewhat employed writer married to the no-so-right-in-the-head Amy (Rosalund Pike). The one thing Amy can do well is mess with your life. She messes with Nick's to the point the world believes Nick has killed her and he has to hire high profile attorney Tanner Bolt, played extremely well by Tyler Perry.

    The acting is quite good, with the exception of Neil Patrick Harris, who just seemed miscast as Amy's high school friend Desi Collins to whom she turns for "help". Here's the part where everything turns weird. Shortly after her time with Desi is the best time to stop the movie and enjoy what had been made. Any further, and I'm not spoiling anything here, the movie hits a wall.

    Gone Girl is best watched for two of its two and a half hours.

    SpaxyDaxy, January 28, 2015 Format: Amazon Video | Verified Purchase

    Rosamund Pike carries it...

    I really like David Fincher movies. They always have a lot of action, a little suspense, and a sense of humor. And this one is no different. I was confused by some parts of the movie, and displease with other parts, mainly the ending. It was a book before it was a movie, so that's no ones fault who were involved in the production of the movie. But I can see how in a novel the ending would've been handled in a better way. In a novel there's more character development, so you get to see the motivation behind each decision that a character makes. Any movie you only really see what the director wants you to see, and what the actors are capable of portraying. Ben Affleck was out of his league with that powerhouse of a actress Rosamund Pike. If she doesn't get at least a nomination, the whole system is flawed. Had the movie been handled with a bit more care, it probably would have been one of the greatest movies I've ever seen... that's saying a lot because I really don't like Ben Affleck and he's on screen 80% of the movie. He does add a snarky lightness that's needed in such a heavy movie. It's a solid 3.5 stars. Definitely must see for originality.

    Amazon Customer, March 6, 2015 Format: Amazon Video | Verified Purchase

    Great for 1.5 hours and the rest was trash.

    Ok you want an honest review. Here goes. Well acted, excellent plot...up to a point, then it falls apart. The twists no longer are logical, they are just dark and twisted, taking you on a journey that has lost its way, but determined to land you at the end, an end already prepared. So it gets there, but by the time you get there, you wonder, what happened? That's because you are waiting for it to take a right, on to the road of plausibility. Gone Girl is brilliant, for 3/4 of the movie. The rest, of the story falls off the tracks and then struggles to reach the end...struggles, because it pushes the boundaries of weakness of Nick(Affleck).

    So my rating is 3 stars. I walk away feeling like I wasted the last 45 mins on junk. Prior to that, it was fascinating. The high rating is what's wrong with people today...everyone runs in packs and no one, no one dares to be honest, less they are an outcast. Go see it for yourself and then dare to put an honest review here.

    TeaRose, March 9, 2015 Format: Amazon Video | Verified Purchase

    Review form Book Reader

    As someone who has read the book prior to seeing this film, I may have a slightly different take on the movie then others. I found it difficult to decide how many stars it deserved. The first act and most of the second act are well edited from the book. The changes that are made make sense in order to condense a complicated story into a film. But somewhere in 2nd and totally the 3rd act the motivations for the characters gets muddled. The book spends a lot of time letting you read what Nick and Amy are thinking. The movie. though it tries at first, seems to give up on that element. But it is a crucial element in understanding the ending at the very least. Nick is self-centered and deeply flawed in the book. Amy is, a sociopath. The depth of her manipulation, cruelty and insane notion of punishment and justice is not explored near enough in the film. Her crazy and expert manipulation is intense in the book. Nick never really worries what happened to her when she vanishes and hates her. I wish the movie was able to flesh out more of these massive personality flaws. Without this the movie in the end falls flat. However, I don't have a good idea as to how the movie might have done this given the time restrictions.

    Julee M on May 16, 2015 Format: Amazon Video | Verified Purchase

    Intense, Dark, Cast of Talent...Must See

    My husband and I heard so much about this movie. I am very fond of true crime and we both like drama movies. We gave it a go.

    It is dark. It is twisted.

    A marriage of hope, happiness and on the fifth wedding anniversary it all vanishes. Hope, sorrow, and mystery. Amy Dunne is missing the trail of evidence leads to suspicions of her husband Nick Dunne.

    It sparks questions in you as you watch, as to just how well do you know your spouse? How well do they know you?

    It's a cast of talent with Ben Affleck Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coone, Rosamun Pike, Tyler Perry and others that highlights every angle of this demented story.

    There were parts that dragged on somewhat. The movie has a longer running time than most. My husband wasn't impressed--until the ending. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time saying, "you've got to be kidding!"....it was intense. it was well executed. It was dark. It was great!

    Visual Bureau, October 24, 2014 Format: Amazon Video

    Although feels like a TV movie, its performances, look into media and the law, and unbiased analysis on a marriage is sharp!

    "Did he or not kill his wife? Is this all a set-up? More questions can be unraveled in one of the most surprisingly complex yet straightforward mystery-thrillers of the year. Bear in mind, I was never anticipating to see this film just by chance after some friends brought me.

    Gone Girl is directed by the same man who brought you Fight Club, Social Network (the Facebook movie), and Se7en. A purveyor for dark, brooding films, Gone Girl is no stranger to this with a knack for complexity and disturbing emotions channeling through the central performances by Ben Affleck (whose career escalated to much more respectable degrees after State of Play and Argo) and Rosamund Pike (an up-and-coming British actress) playing two conflicted souls frustrated over their relationship only to then, days on end, leave a field of investigation and suspicion into the lives of Affleck's character whether he or not had any part into the disappearance of his wife?

    While the premise sounds absurdly ordinary and entirely like something from Lifetime but unlike some of Lifetime's corny products, this film feels more uncertain and depressing in tone and is more graphic in content. However, any comparisons to Lifetime can be set aside with the film's surprisingly self-aware nature and persistent dark humour, which albeit odd for a film of this calibre, works in some ways to break the tension and melodrama.

    Using Neil Patrick Harris from "How I Met Your Mother", the model from the Robin Thicke "Blurred Lines" music video, and Tyler Perry from the "Madea" films maybe the most bizarre choices for a high-stakes drama but it works in a surreal way.

    In many instances, the film was making a statement (an unbiased one at that) on everything wrong with modern-day media, law enforcement, marriages, and the image of gender roles in society. Tough stuff! The only complaint I can make about the film is how it is not really all that cinematic and the film's uncertain ending. But then again, the ending can be seen both ways either as a metaphor about reality's way of saying no one is either good or bad or an attack on the senses with a strange turnaround for a particular character.

    Without giving much away, Gone Girl is aimed at the more ambitious viewer and for anyone who likes their Lifetime or Investigation Discovery TV shows with a bit more class, acting skill, and raw spirit. It sure knows how to be pessimistic and insightful without remorse. And the message is relevant and important too with a nice look into how marriage and relationships just aren't a realistic goal in today's society which I wholeheartedly promote."

    [Apr 12, 2016] Mind Games Emotionally Manipulative Tactics Partners Use to Control Relationships and Force the Upper Hand

    Notable quotes:
    "... They view relationships as power struggles and always want to be on the winning side of it. They have impaired consciences and don't mind fighting dirty. They can lie with a straight face and have a professional-level poker face. ..."
    www.amazon.com
    To an abuser, emotional manipulation serves one goal and one goal only. It's the determination to win and possess the most power in a relationship. They believe that when they have such power, they will be happy... and it's all at your expense. It's an amazingly unhealthy approach to a relationship, and anything for that matter. If you approach something solely to win, that means you put winning as a higher priority than someone's feelings and ultimately wellbeing.

    If you approach an argument solely to win, then you ignore the underlying issues and are not resolution-focused. And if you approach a relationship solely to win, then you are spitting on the underlying concept of a relationship.

    You are mistaking it for a battle of vulnerability and control, while relationships should be the polar opposite. Relationships are a give-and-take and require compromise. Relationships are not a zero-sum game, and they do not function like a dom-sub relationship from the BDSM world. Abusers forget this, or worse... they realize it and know exactly what they are doing when they manipulate you.

    Abusers embody a frightening combination of traits that make them dangerous.

    They are focused and intentional about what they want from you. They have a penchant for deception and backhanded tactics of questionable morality. They view relationships as power struggles and always want to be on the winning side of it. They have impaired consciences and don't mind fighting dirty. They can lie with a straight face and have a professional-level poker face.

    They live in a zone of danger where they are smart enough to be able to fool you yet dumb enough to not see the damage they are doing.

    But let's get one thing straight. Your abuser wants power over you, and this means one simple truth. They don't love you. They just don't, or else they would treat you better and respect you. They may think they love you, but that's a testament to their skewed understanding of love and how relationships work. At best, the} believe they know what's best for you and seek to control every aspect of your life.

    If they don't love you, what do they love? What motivates them?

    They love controlling someone. That's what gives them pleasure, and they will go to any lengths to maintain that pleasure. That's why they make you feel downtrodden on a daily basis and constantly tell you that you aren't good enough or smart enough. You hear it so much, you begin believing it instead of trusting yourself and your self-esteem... and that's exactly where your abuser wants you. It makes them feel better about themselves and happy to be adored.

    .... ... ...

    Emotional manipulation is rarely as direct and obvious as you might think. Perhaps it might be obvious to the casual bystander, but when you're emotionally invested, everything simply appears incredibly complex and layered.

    [Apr 12, 2016] Surviving Sara Marrying a narcissistic sociopath

    Notable quotes:
    "... Some of the chapters were next to impossible to write because of the nature of the situations I found myself in, and how personal the memories were, and I hesitated including them in this book, however I felt it was needed to show the lengths Sara would go to to manipulate, degrade and brainwash me, ultimately leading to the destruction of our marriage. It took me a very long time to recognize and admit I was a victim of abuse, especially from a woman. ..."
    "... Being a man's man, that wasn't easy. After my admission, I had to take a look back at the big picture and realize my intentions were always good, but I was just manipulated, brainwashed and beaten down to the point of alienating virtually everyone away from me. ..."
    "... This was the life I lived for 12 years.... ..."
    "... As time went on, and we spent virtually every waking moment together, I began to feel the suffocation of a poisonous relationship creeping in, but by the time I realized this, I was too deep into it and didn't know what to do; the brainwashing had begun. ..."
    "... Admittedly, there was a fairly significant amount of fear I developed towards Sara. Along the way, I had friends I turned to here and there, but eventually, telling people some of the things that were going on was far too embarrassing to share. ..."
    Amazon.com

    Author's Note The events that happened throughout this book are all true, recalled from the best of my memory and/or old journals I had kept. Those who read it, may not like everything they read, but unfortunately sometimes the truth is the hardest thing to hear. All of the dialogue has been reconstructed from memory; it may not be word for word, but the nature of what was said is accurate. It was suggested by some of my closest friends and family that I take my unbelievable story and life lessons learned with Sara and not only write them down, but publish a book for others to read and try to grasp the hell I lived. I know I'm not alone in what I had gone through and there are other people out there who are living a similar life that I lived. I thought that if I wrote this book, sharing the struggles I faced being married to someone who was mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically abusive (not to mention controlling, completely unpredictable and manipulative), there may be some small chance that one of these people living in a similar hell may read it and find that there is a way out. There is hope for a better life.

    I will say, wiiting these memories, (or in most cases nightmares) down was very therapeutic but not often easy. I do not regret anything I wrote in this book. I wanted everything to be honest, factual, uncensored and descriptive, and I believe in order to do it right, it couldn't have been done any other way. Some of the chapters were next to impossible to write because of the nature of the situations I found myself in, and how personal the memories were, and I hesitated including them in this book, however I felt it was needed to show the lengths Sara would go to to manipulate, degrade and brainwash me, ultimately leading to the destruction of our marriage. It took me a very long time to recognize and admit I was a victim of abuse, especially from a woman.

    Being a man's man, that wasn't easy. After my admission, I had to take a look back at the big picture and realize my intentions were always good, but I was just manipulated, brainwashed and beaten down to the point of alienating virtually everyone away from me. I was lost and spiraling quickly down a very dark, destructive path. I am still working on standing tall and holding my head up after many years of abuse. I am not ashamed of myself any longer, and have become comfortable speaking out on this subject. I am a much different man today than I was back then. This is my story. This was the life I lived for 12 years....

    ... ... ...

    My point? We were like any other teenage romance. It was not uncommon for us to do sweet gestures for each other like writing little notes in our lockers at school to each other, or meeting each other for lunch. I'm sure we made some people sick. Then things began to slowly change. As time went on, and we spent virtually every waking moment together, I began to feel the suffocation of a poisonous relationship creeping in, but by the time I realized this, I was too deep into it and didn't know what to do; the brainwashing had begun.

    Admittedly, there was a fairly significant amount of fear I developed towards Sara. Along the way, I had friends I turned to here and there, but eventually, telling people some of the things that were going on was far too embarrassing to share. I kept things to myself and tried to work through them alone, or just simply ignore them...

    [Apr 07, 2016] Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups - Revised

    csj.org

    Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.

    Concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused. The following list of social-structural, social-psychological, and interpersonal behavioral patterns commonly found in cultic environments may be helpful in assessing a particular group or relationship.

    Compare these patterns to the situation you were in (or in which you, a family member, or friend is currently involved). This list may help you determine if there is cause for concern. Bear in mind that this list is not meant to be a "cult scale" or a definitive checklist to determine if a specific group is a cult. This is not so much a diagnostic instrument as it is an analytical tool.

    1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
    2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
    3. Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
    4. The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry-or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
    5. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar-or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
    6. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
    7. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
    8. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
    9. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
    10. Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
    11. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
    12. The group is preoccupied with making money.
    13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
    14. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
    15. The most loyal members (the "true believers") feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

    This checklist will be published in the new book, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias (Berkeley: Bay Tree Publishing, 2006). It was adapted from a checklist originally developed by Michael Langone.

    [Apr 07, 2016] The Confidence Game Why We Fall for It... Every Time by Maria Konnikova

    Hardcover: 352 pages, Viking (January 12, 2016)
    Notable quotes:
    "... I went back and saw ways I got conned in matters of the heart while dating; in buying things; in following certain leaders in church. ..."
    "... As a former prosecutor of elder abuse crimes (both physical and financial), I have a lot of experience with people who "fall for it." But that certainly doesn't mean everyone does. Nor does it mean that the ones who don't "fall for it" are more cynical, less humane, less open to true friendship, etc. In fact, Konnikova's description of victims of con artists as being more open and in touch with their humanity sounds like the manipulation of a con artist. ..."
    "... As a scientist, used to sorting through ambiguous evidence and well-meaning but underdetermined interpretations, I find this book excellent. The author no doubt has to cast speculations of her own, and overplay some connections and implications, but the connections between gullibility, optimism, cults, and scams strike me as well articulated. ..."
    "... But you are not at all privileged to launch unsolicited attacks on the personal attributes of the author. (Your line "until she matures as a thinker and researcher....." was completely uncalled-for, and hints more at your feelings of insecurity and inadequacy than anything else.) ..."
    "... Three-card monte gets some attention - but that's not that interesting to me...I know why they succeed, because people want to see if THEY can beat the game - it's not a con as much as a battle of wits, which the rube always loses (I was cheated on a rigged carny game years ago - they suck you in with a few easy wins, then it gets progressively harder to win the stuffed animal). ..."
    "... as long as there's an advantage to fooling somebody, people will try to fool other people. ..."
    "... A confidence game starts with basic human psychology. The con identifies what the victim wants and how to play on that desire to achieve what the con-artist wants. Size someone up well, and you can sell them anything; it helps to have someone in the throes of some sort of life turmoil - the conman preys on what people wish were true, reaffirming their views of themselves and giving their lives meaning. Doing so requires the creation of empathy and rapport - laying an emotional foundation before any scheme is proposed. ..."
    "... The con is an exercise in soft skills - trust, sympathy, persuasion. He doesn't steal - we give. We believe because we want to, and we offer whatever they want - money, reputation, trust, fame, support, and don't realize what is happening until it is too late. No one is immune to the art of the con - it is not who you are, but where you happen to be at the moment in your life (eg. undergoing misfortune). ..."
    "... The con is the oldest game there is, and it's likely to be entering a new age - thanks to new opportunities brought by increasing technology that make it far easier to establish convincing false identities (eg. LinkedIn), as well as identify those who might be more likely conned (dating sites that identify widows and divorcees). ..."
    "... Con artists aren't just master manipulators - they are expert storytellers (eg. 'I'm supporting my mother, who now has AIDS,' 'I had PTSD from Iraq,' etc. Once we've accepted a story as true we will probably unconsciously bend any contradictory information to conform to the conclusion we've already drawn - it's known as 'confirmation bias.' Ultimately, what a confidence artist sells is hope. Many cases go unreported - most cases, by some estimates. AARP found that only 37% of victims over 55 will admit to having fallen for a con, and just over half those under 55 do so. Most con artists don't ever come to trial because they aren't brought to the authorities to begin with. ..."
    "... The first commandment of the con man - 'Be a patient listener.' (Victor Lustig, con artist) Emotion is the primary hook used, much more powerful than logic. Cons tend to thrive in the wake of economic or natural disaster illness, personal travail. Sadness makes us more prone to risk taking and impulsivity - perfect for certain types of cons. Con artists love funerals and obituaries, divorces, layoffs, and general loneliness. He does everything in his power to bring our self-perceived better-than-averageness perceptions to the fore - eg. 'How intelligent you are, Professor Frampton.' And we believe it, because we want it to be. ..."
    "... They recognize common traits, like our tendency to see others as similar to ourselves, our illusion of control, and our unwillingness to think badly about ourselves. These traits aren't weaknesses; without them, we'd be functionally paralyzed. Effective swindlers work by turning our best characteristics and human capabilities against us. ..."
    "... Fraudsters prey on traits that open us to community, family, and fiscal reward. As Konnikova writes: "The same thing that can underlie success can also make you all the more vulnerable to the grifter's wares. We are predisposed to trust." With swindles, as with propaganda, those who think themselves most immune are, actually, most vulnerable. ..."
    "... "It's not that the confidence artist is inherently psychopathic, caring nothing about the fates of others. It's that, to him, we aren't worthy of consideration as human beings; we are targets, not unique people." ..."
    "... Konnikova suggests it's difficult to prevent con-games without isolating ourselves and descending into cynicism. In the later chapters, though, she reverses the trend, showing how skilled, self-aware people can resist flim-flam artists' techniques. Not hypothetically, either: she shows how real people, cult busters and cultural anthropologists and police, have maintained their sanity when confronted by seemingly insurmountable double-dealing. Resistance is possible. ..."
    "... Even if we never vote for crooks, invest with Bernie Madoff, or buy salvation sellers' wares, the potential for confidence games still surrounds us. Konnikova provides needed tools for self-awareness, clear boundaries, and bold self-defense. Swindles are inevitable; victimhood isn't. ..."
    amazon.com
    Dan E. Nicholas, February 4, 2016
    And some are not even bad people. She says it's when folks who lack ...

    I'm reading and loving this book. I'll expand my review when I'm completely done in a couple days but just have to say: get it. Read it. Learn about yourself; if you dare. (I gave it four stars rather than five to protect myself!)

    I was shocked how well she documents that it is we the conned that want the con to be real. The Grifter doesn't even have to always be that skilled. I went back and saw ways I got conned in matters of the heart while dating; in buying things; in following certain leaders in church.

    Stunned to learned that 1% of the population is psychopathological in the way their brains are wired, some folks just can't feel or give meaning to your pain or the pain of others. And some are not even bad people. She says it's when folks who lack this "proper" wiring aim to use it for financial gain or to win and break hearts? Awful.

    I fell in love with a Man Eater once. Looking back I see how it was my fault in setting up my own fall. I want things to look like they would work. The bad rests on me now. She's still a Man Eater. But the wounds I earned with my stupidity. I went on to find success with love but I've some scars for sure due to female cons running scams unwittingly online with dating sights.

    She shows we can be wise without being cynical. I like that.

    Wild'n'Free
    Disappointing but with some qualities, November 28, 2015

    Konnikova promises a lot in the titles to her books. I read Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes and was disappointed. I did not learn to think like Sherlock Holmes; not by a long shot. In this book, Konnikova has come closer to delivering the "Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time" but I disagree with her observations and conclusions.

    As a former prosecutor of elder abuse crimes (both physical and financial), I have a lot of experience with people who "fall for it." But that certainly doesn't mean everyone does. Nor does it mean that the ones who don't "fall for it" are more cynical, less humane, less open to true friendship, etc. In fact, Konnikova's description of victims of con artists as being more open and in touch with their humanity sounds like the manipulation of a con artist.

    Not that I think Konnikova is a con artist. She is just a very ambitious young woman and a self-promoter. I have read a lot of her magazine articles and have enjoyed many of them. Unfortunately, her organizational and analytical skills as a writer do not make her a good writer of books. Viewed as a series of magazine articles with the inevitable repetitions this book holds up fairly well.

    But as a book, it lacks a great deal. It certainly deserves 3 stars, but its failure to respond to bigger questions with bigger answers makes it fall short. For me, it was an uneven, often repetitious, fairly shallow approach to a fascinating subject. Until she matures as a thinker and researcher, Konnikova does better when she sticks to the magazine articles that she handles so well.

    SundayAtDusk says:

    "In fact, Konnikova's description of victims of con artists as being more open and in touch with their humanity sounds like the manipulation of a con artist."

    Excellent observation and excellent review.

    JohnVidale says:

    As a scientist, used to sorting through ambiguous evidence and well-meaning but underdetermined interpretations, I find this book excellent. The author no doubt has to cast speculations of her own, and overplay some connections and implications, but the connections between gullibility, optimism, cults, and scams strike me as well articulated. The field of psychology is messy, but this book was very interesting and enlightening, clear as is possible (aside from chapters organized like magazine articles), and the connection between empathetic people and people who get scammed seems completely reasonable, albeit with a less than perfect correlation.

    Joe Madison says:

    I have the same question as Ellis Reppo: If this book is only average, can you recommend a good one? I have not read The Confidence Game, but I have a psych degree and a longstanding interest in persuasion. I often find popular psych books to be like you describe The Confidence Game (repetitive, without great breadth of understanding), and so your own book recommendations would be of real value. Thanks!

    pat black says:

    There's one called Eyeing the Flash: The Making of a Carnival Con Artist. A case study, if you will, of a 17-year-old middle class math whiz who became a midway con man in 1960s midwest

    JLMK

    I'd stick to making an unbiased appraisal of the merits of the book if I were you, and cut out the ad hominem nonsense. As a reviewer you are privileged to make an opinion on the book's attributes, how it answers the questions raised by the author, etc.

    But you are not at all privileged to launch unsolicited attacks on the personal attributes of the author. (Your line "until she matures as a thinker and researcher....." was completely uncalled-for, and hints more at your feelings of insecurity and inadequacy than anything else.)

    Kirk McElhearn says:

    Read David Maurer's The Big Con. It explains how the cons work, rather than focusing on lots of psychological studies that Konnikova looks at, trying to suss out why we respond the way we do.

    Nathan Webster TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE on November 27, 2015

    Entertaining and interesting look at conmen and the rubes who buy what they sell

    This is a fun book that covers a lot of ground about 'cons,' from the personalities of those who can commit them, to the marks and rubes who get taken advantage of.

    You would think in our informed culture, we couldn't be fooled, but we know that's not the case. Author Maria Konnikova does a good job presenting all sides of these stories and it's often entertaining reading about the pure brazeness of it all. I had not heard of many of the conmen (and women) that she describes and I always like reading new stories.

    I do wish there had been more recent accounts - there are so many cheaters like Lance Armstrong that aren't exactly doing it for profit, and more attention to them would have been interesting. Three-card monte gets some attention - but that's not that interesting to me...I know why they succeed, because people want to see if THEY can beat the game - it's not a con as much as a battle of wits, which the rube always loses (I was cheated on a rigged carny game years ago - they suck you in with a few easy wins, then it gets progressively harder to win the stuffed animal).

    I think the book is not disorganized, but it does cover a lot of ground, and the different names and situations can be difficult to follow at times. Interesting and entertaining, yes, but just be ready to pay attention.

    Ultimately, it's an interesting sociological study - as long as there's an advantage to fooling somebody, people will try to fool other people. I would not use this book as the primary source - I think a reader should have interest in this specific topic first, and not use this book to try to get interested. It's a little too specific to get a reader invested who comes to the topic totally new.

    Loyd Eskildson HALL OF FAMEon January 12, 2016
    Rogues Regularly Triumph Over The Meek

    Author Maria Konnikova has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia, along with considerable experience researching topics in and writing about psychology. This, her second book, is about conmen - elegant, outsized personalities, artists of persuasion and exploiters of trust, not just your dime a dozen cheats and swindlers. Their 'bible' is Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

    A confidence game starts with basic human psychology. The con identifies what the victim wants and how to play on that desire to achieve what the con-artist wants. Size someone up well, and you can sell them anything; it helps to have someone in the throes of some sort of life turmoil - the conman preys on what people wish were true, reaffirming their views of themselves and giving their lives meaning. Doing so requires the creation of empathy and rapport - laying an emotional foundation before any scheme is proposed.

    The con is an exercise in soft skills - trust, sympathy, persuasion. He doesn't steal - we give. We believe because we want to, and we offer whatever they want - money, reputation, trust, fame, support, and don't realize what is happening until it is too late. No one is immune to the art of the con - it is not who you are, but where you happen to be at the moment in your life (eg. undergoing misfortune).

    By the time things begin to look dicey, the victims tend to be so invested, emotionally and often physically, that they do most of the persuasion themselves. The con-artist may not even need to convince his victims to stay quite - they usually are more likely than not to do so themselves. When we hear others talking about their unbelievable deal or good fortune, we realize at once they've been taken for a sucker, but when it happens to us, it's simply because "I'm lucky and deserving of a good turn."

    The best of cons are never discovered - we simply write our loss off as a matter of bad luck.

    Psychopaths make up an estimated 1% of male population; among women, they are almost nonexistent. Grifters also are highly likely to be narcissist and Machiavellian. Narcissism entails a sense of grandiosity, entitlement, an overly inflated sense of worth, and manipulativeness. Machiavellian has come to mean a specific set of traits that allows one to manipulate others - employs aggressive, manipulative, exploiting, and devious moves. They are also more likely to attempt to bluff, cheat, bargain, and ingratiate themselves with others, and more successful at doing so.

    Leadership and high-profile roles, salesmen/marketers, and the legal profession are all more likely to be populated by confidence men.

    Researcher James Fallon believes that certain critical periods in childhood can nudge one more or less towards full-blown psychopathy - luck out, you become a high-functioning psychopath, get the bad draw and you become a violent psychopath. Fallon believes the first three years of life are crucial in determining one's psychopathic future.

    The con is the oldest game there is, and it's likely to be entering a new age - thanks to new opportunities brought by increasing technology that make it far easier to establish convincing false identities (eg. LinkedIn), as well as identify those who might be more likely conned (dating sites that identify widows and divorcees). Since 2008, consumer fraud in the U.S. has risen more than 60%, with online scams more than doubling. In 2012 alone, the Internet Crime Complaint Center reported almost 300,000 complaints of online fraud, with over $500 million lost. Between 2011 and 2012, the Federal Trade Commission found that a little over 10% of American adults (25.6 million) had fallen victim to fraud. The majority of the cases involved fake weight-loss products, second place went to false prize promotions, and in third place was buyers' clubs in which what seemed like a free deal actually involves membership charges you didn't even know you'd signed up for. Fourth was unauthorized Internet billing, and finally work-at-home programs.

    Con artists aren't just master manipulators - they are expert storytellers (eg. 'I'm supporting my mother, who now has AIDS,' 'I had PTSD from Iraq,' etc. Once we've accepted a story as true we will probably unconsciously bend any contradictory information to conform to the conclusion we've already drawn - it's known as 'confirmation bias.' Ultimately, what a confidence artist sells is hope. Many cases go unreported - most cases, by some estimates. AARP found that only 37% of victims over 55 will admit to having fallen for a con, and just over half those under 55 do so. Most con artists don't ever come to trial because they aren't brought to the authorities to begin with.

    Most people require three things to align before going from legitimacy to con-artistry - motivation (underlying predisposition created by psychopathy), narcissism, and Machiavellianism - along with opportunity and a plausible rationale. In corporate fraud, for example, few choose to con in a vacuum - they also perceive an aggressive sales environment (opportunity) and a feeling they must do something to stand out. For a significant percentage of the conning population, surroundings matter. About half those who commit fraud cite intolerable competitive conditions as justification. They can rationalize away just about any behavior as necessary.

    In one study of 15,000, only 50 could consistently detect liars - they relied on detecting incredibly fast facial movements as their clues. One of those 50 is now employed in law enforcement, and she told the author that smart psychopaths are super liars and have no conscience, and are very hard for her to identify.

    The first commandment of the con man - 'Be a patient listener.' (Victor Lustig, con artist) Emotion is the primary hook used, much more powerful than logic. Cons tend to thrive in the wake of economic or natural disaster illness, personal travail. Sadness makes us more prone to risk taking and impulsivity - perfect for certain types of cons. Con artists love funerals and obituaries, divorces, layoffs, and general loneliness. He does everything in his power to bring our self-perceived better-than-averageness perceptions to the fore - eg. 'How intelligent you are, Professor Frampton.' And we believe it, because we want it to be.

    Consistency plays a crucial role in our ongoing evaluations of a person we're helping - 'If I've helped you before, you must be worth it.'

    Overall - some good points about con-men - but far too reliant on anecdotes.

    Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE. November 2, 2015

    Know How Crooks Think, So They Can't Outthink You

    Our world positively teems with swindlers, ripoff artists, and con-men. From ordinary curbside Three-Card Monte to charming, narcissistic domestic abusers, to Ponzi schemers and Wall Street market riggers, the confidence game exudes from society's very pores. Psychologist turned journalist Maria Konnikova wants to unpack what makes us susceptible to con artists, a journey that leads through all human psychology, sometimes vulnerable to diversions and cow paths.

    Konnikova's first book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, dealt with how crime fighters organize thoughts, observe reality, and undermine criminal mentality. This book essentially addresses the same issues from the opposite angle: how criminals create situations that need busting. Konnikova's conclusions may seem surprising, until we consider them further. Vulnerability to confidence artists and other professional chiselers actually means our psyches are healthy.

    Confidence artists work with an encyclopedic understanding of human psychology with which research scientists are only now catching up. They recognize common traits, like our tendency to see others as similar to ourselves, our illusion of control, and our unwillingness to think badly about ourselves. These traits aren't weaknesses; without them, we'd be functionally paralyzed. Effective swindlers work by turning our best characteristics and human capabilities against us.

    We must recognize, therefore, that making ourselves insusceptible to cons isn't actually desirable. Fraudsters prey on traits that open us to community, family, and fiscal reward. As Konnikova writes: "The same thing that can underlie success can also make you all the more vulnerable to the grifter's wares. We are predisposed to trust." With swindles, as with propaganda, those who think themselves most immune are, actually, most vulnerable.

    The answer lies in understanding ourselves and the swindlers better. They don't see us like we see ourselves. They don't want to. We must cultivate complex understanding of different human thought patterns, and a stronger sense of ourselves. Konnikova again: "It's not that the confidence artist is inherently psychopathic, caring nothing about the fates of others. It's that, to him, we aren't worthy of consideration as human beings; we are targets, not unique people."

    All isn't bleak. Throughout most of this book, Konnikova suggests it's difficult to prevent con-games without isolating ourselves and descending into cynicism. In the later chapters, though, she reverses the trend, showing how skilled, self-aware people can resist flim-flam artists' techniques. Not hypothetically, either: she shows how real people, cult busters and cultural anthropologists and police, have maintained their sanity when confronted by seemingly insurmountable double-dealing. Resistance is possible.

    As Konnikova explains confidence artists' psychological techniques, her focus expands to include much about recent discoveries in psychology and behavioral economics. She wants readers to emerge with as thorough an understanding of human minds as the fraud merchants enjoy. This sometimes makes her technique sprawling (this book runs over 300 pages plus back matter, unusually long for its genre.)

    Reading Konnikova sometimes requires especial concentration and focus.

    She richly rewards those who stick with her narrative, though. I've recently seen one friend lose rafts to shady investments and two others get burned by charming, narcissistic romantic partners. Even if we never vote for crooks, invest with Bernie Madoff, or buy salvation sellers' wares, the potential for confidence games still surrounds us. Konnikova provides needed tools for self-awareness, clear boundaries, and bold self-defense. Swindles are inevitable; victimhood isn't.

    [Apr 07, 2016] How Cults Manipulate People

    www.aibi.ph

    Many people now agree that cults frequently psychologically manipulate their membership to ensure conformity and control. Steve Hassan's excellent book "Combating Cult Mind-Control" is a great starting point. The following points come from numerous sources. Not all of these are found in every cult but enough of them are found in most cults to make them very frightening places that inflict deep psychological damage on their membership.

    1. Submission to Leadership - Leaders tend to be absolute, prophets of God, God Himself, specially anointed apostle, or just a strong, controlling, manipulative person who demands submission even if changes or conflicts occur in ideology or behavior.

    2. Polarized World View - The group is all that is good; everything outside is bad.

    3. Feeling Over Thought - Emotions, intuitions, mystical insights are promoted as more important than rational conclusions.

    4. Manipulation of Feelings - Techniques designed to stimulate emotions, usually employing group dynamics to influence responses.

    5. Denigration of Critical Thinking - Can go so far as to characterize any independent thought as selfish, and rational use of intellect as evil.

    6. Salvation or Fulfillment can only be realized in the group.

    7. End Justifies the Means - Any action or behavior is justifiable as long as it furthers the group's goals. The group (leader) becomes absolute truth and is above all man-made laws.

    8. Group Over Individual - The group's concerns supersede an individual's goals, needs, aspirations, and concerns. Conformity is the key.

    9. Warnings of severe or supernatural sanctions for defection or even criticism of the cult - This can go so far as to apply to negative or critical thought about the group or its leaders.

    10. Severing of Ties with Past, Family, Friends, Goals, and Interests - Especially if they are negative towards or impede the goals of the group.

    11. Barratrous Abuse - Some cults use "cult lawyers' to sue ex-cult members and critics often using fabricated evidence and causing financial stress by repeated trivial law suits. The cult's aim is not so much to win the lawsuit (though they often do) as to harass and intimidate their critics into silence.

    Cult Conversion Techniques

    Conversion into a cult is usually the result of two interacting dynamics. The first is the personal vulnerability of the potential recruit. This vulnerability may be enhanced by, but not limited to, transitional situations such as divorce, abuse, job or career change, moving away from home or leaving college, an illness, or death of a loved one.

    The second dynamic are the tactics used to convert, indoctrinate (brainwash) and hold the members. Some groups attempt a radical and rapid conversion over an intensive week-end or week, such as The Forum or Scientology. Others have a more subtle approach which may take weeks or months, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. The following are techniques of unethical thought reform and mind control:

    The importance of cognitive dissonance

    Any person will act so as to reduce conflict between their thoughts, their emotions and their behavior. When these things are at odds with each other a person experiences 'dissonance" (the opposite of harmony). Cognitive dissonance is when what a person knows is right is at odds with either what they feel is right or what they are doing. Cults quickly move to control four key areas of a person's life during the conversion process -

    Behavior - by intense involvement in activity and isolation from others. Behavior is closely prescribed and carefully supervised.

    Emotions - a new recruit is often "love bombed" and greeted enthusiastically and told they are very special. They are made to feel that everyone in the cult loves them and that "nothing could be wrong with such a loving group of people". However this does not last. Emotions are sent on a roller coaster and the only hope of emotional stability is total conformity and pleasing the cult leadership.

    Thought - indoctrination, extended "teaching sessions", memorization of cult dogma, "auditing sessions" where inner secrets are revealed and thought processes exposed - all are a part of attempts at thought control so that the thought life of the convert is taken up entirely with the group.

    Information - isolation from peers, TV, radio, newspapers, (often labeled as "Satanic") and careful control of associations ensures that little or no material critical of the cult reaches the new recruit during the conversion process.

    The combination of all these factors make it very likely that if the new recruit stays in the cult for any length of time they will come to believe in it utterly. We are not as objective as we like to think and when all these powerful forces combine then very intelligent people will be "converted" but not by God.

    A Quick List of Nasty Practices

    1. A Focus on felt needs, defects, with exaggerated promises of fulfillment.

    2. Rigid Control of Time and Activities - Often physically and emotionally draining activities leaving little time for reflection, questioning and privacy.

    3. Information Control - Cutting off or denigrating outside sources of information especially if it is critical of the group. This can also include misrepresentation and information overload.

    4. Language Manipulation - Ascribing new "inside" meanings in ordinary words or the use of an exclusive vocabulary subtly moving a person to want to become an insider.

    5. Discouraging Critical, Rational Thought and Questions - For instance, comments like, "Satan is the cause of all doubt; he wants to keep you from the Truth", or, "one must move beyond the cognitive left-brain and get in touch with one's higher self, his right-brain, intuitive self for true knowledge".

    6. Instruction and Repetition in Trance Induction Techniques - These include progressive relaxation, chanting, hypnosis, meditation, trance states, guided imagery or visualization, deep breathing exercises, all of which make a person highly suggestible, often unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and can cause psychopathology such as relaxation induced anxiety.

    7. Confession Sessions - Promoting full disclosure of all secret sins, thoughts, temptations which can become a powerful tool to manipulate, blackmail, and emotionally bond people to the leader or group. It is actually a depersonalization or stripping of the inner self , a forced submission to the group.

    8. Guilt, Fear - Weapons used to maintain group loyalty, suppress questions and defections.

    9. Control of Sexuality and Intimacy within the Cult - This may extend to marriage decisions (Moonies), sexual relations, promiscuity (Children of God), group sex (New Age Therapy groups), child sex, adultery, and polygamy (Branch-Davidians).

    10. Excessive Financial Obligations - More and more money is needed to attain higher degrees of spirituality (Scientology), or complete submission to God requires one to give up everything to the group or leader (pp. 26-29).

    The more points of ideology and conversion methodology that are in place, and the degree of intensity of their application is proportionate to the effect and damage of mind control.

    These factors tend to make normal evangelism, or even dialogue, much more difficult. Therefore, some people have looked to deprogrammers or exit-counselors to help break the mental head-locks of their loved ones in an attempt to rescue them from the cult.

    Can an Orthodox Christian Group Get Like This ?

    Yes they can!!! Just because the theology is straight down the line does not mean the behavior will be. I was in a mission society that in a particular place under the influence of a leader with a great deal of charisma and authority became "cultic" for a year or so. That has been corrected but much damage was done.

    Some Christian groups start off great -like the "children of God' and end up utterly wrong and evil. The church needs strong leaders, but they must always be accountable to Scripture and to other wise Christians.

    We must allow people to be critical, to think for themselves and to understand scripture freely apart from the dictates of any leader. we must allow a great deal of emotional and intellectual freedom and renounce our desires to control others if we are to have healthy churches where people rejoice in the Truth.

    This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph.

    [Apr 05, 2016] Catherine Zeta-Jones speaks out about her battle with manic depression

    Notable quotes:
    "... The 43-year-old actress said she wanted other sufferers to know that help was available, and claimed that being diagnosed with bipolar disorder had made her appreciate life all the more. ..."
    "... "The smartest thing I did was to stop going online," ..."
    "... "I'm the sort of person who will just look for the negative. Michael really can't understand it, but that's the way I am. And, with my bipolar thing, that's poison. ..."
    Nov 14, 2012 | Telegraph

    Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has spoken out about her battle with manic depression after being admitted to a US rehabilitation clinic last year, in an effort to lift the "stigma" of mental illness.

    Catherine Zeta-Jones has spoken about her battle with manic depression in an effort to lift the "stigma" of mental illness.

    The 43-year-old actress said she wanted other sufferers to know that help was available, and claimed that being diagnosed with bipolar disorder had made her appreciate life all the more.

    In April last year, Zeta-Jones was admitted to a US rehabilitation clinic where doctors concluded she was suffering from bipolar II disorder, a form of manic depression.

    Her husband, fellow actor Michael Douglas, was recovering from treatment for throat cancer at the time.

    "I'm not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops but, with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it is completely controllable," Zeta-Jones told US InStyle magazine.

    "I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don't have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it."

    Describing the past 18 months as "an intense time in good ways and bad", the Welsh actress said: "You find out who you really are and who are you are married to. You find things inside yourself you never imagined were there.

    "I've gained an appreciation for little things, like tea outside on a terrace."

    Zeta-Jones admitted that, at the height of her illness, she Googled her name to find negative comments about herself.

    "The smartest thing I did was to stop going online," she said.

    "I'm the sort of person who will just look for the negative. Michael really can't understand it, but that's the way I am. And, with my bipolar thing, that's poison.

    "So I just stopped. Cold turkey. And it's so liberating."

    The couple have two children, Dylan and Carys, and Zeta-Jones claimed they have a down-to-earth lifestyle. "We're country people, really, I garden and knit. I golf. We ride horses," she said.

    "I love clothes and, yes, we go out, but it's not like I'm walking around all day in a negligee with fluffy mules."

    [Mar 24, 2016] DL Minors review of The Devil Wears Prada

    www.amazon.com

    Amazon.com

    No Issues With The Killer Title, But..., March 19, 2010 By DL Minor This review is from: The Devil Wears Prada (Widescreen Edition) (DVD) Well, I'm all over the map about this movie, I really am, finding something to agree with in almost every review here, including the least positive.

    The positives are these: I adore the look and pace of the film, the to-die-for clothes of course, and the performances (first and foremost) of the great Meryl Streep as the towering, terrifying Miranda, the winning Anne Hathaway as the perpetually harassed Andrea, the dependable Stanley Tucci as Miranda's long-suffering, witty-wise second-in-command Nigel, and the wonderful Emily Blunt as the bitchy, put-upon first assistant...uh, Emily. All of them--especially Streep, Tucci and Blunt--bring both bite and (mostly hidden) heart to what could have been a collective phone-in of annoying caricatures. And though we really only get glimpses of him here and there, I also enjoyed Rich Sommers's endearing turn as Doug, the sweetest of Andy's circle.

    I am seriously ambivalent however, about what the message of this movie is supposed to be, especially to women, and the alarm bells really go off when--SPOILER ALERT--Andy reconciles with her boyfriend, Nate, telling him he was "right about everything."

    What? What exactly was he so "right" about??

    I don't know about you, but I found Nate, the boyfriend character, absolutely insufferable through almost the whole of the movie. I'm pretty sure he was supposed to be the voice of reason that tries hard to keep Andy grounded and remind her what's truly important. Instead he came off as a sulky brat who could not accept his girlfriend's growing pains as she struggled to cope with an impossibly demanding, first ever grown-up job that nothing in her easy-going schoolgirl existence had prepared her for. Were there no demands being placed on Nate in HIS choice of career? Was his job supposed to be the more important one?

    Ditto Andy's best friend, Lily, who seemed to me increasingly more jealous of Andy rather than supportive of her. Lily too was pursuing Bright Lights-Big City dreams that demanded a lot from a young newcomer, after all, so how is it that she had such a hard time with Andrea's chaotic ups and downs? Where did Lily get off being so judgmental and disapproving? This is friendship? I watch these performances and can't decide whether actors Adrian Grenier and Tracie Thoms made poor choices in their playing of difficult characters or if the characters as written were simply impossible to like. Either way, both were a whiny pain in the rear, especially Nate, and Andy's mea culpas to him near the film's conclusion were tough to take.

    No one disputes that Miranda Priestley was a Boss From Hell who routinely wiped her feet on her young assistants, particularly Andrea. But we also see that ultimately Miranda was as human as anyone else; a glamorous workhorse whose alley-fighter smarts hid real pain. And it should be said that Andy--who was in the beginning quite smug in her disdain of all the fashionista "shallowness" that surrounded her--had a knocking down or two coming. (I loved the way Nigel simultaneously comforted Andy and took her to task after an especially bad morning.) If Miranda put Andy through the wringer--and she did--well, she also taught her some important things (sometimes unwittingly) about hard work, hanging tough, and the choices we make in life to get to where we want to go or need to stay. Andy could have quit at the end of her first week (I think I would have) but no matter how bad or insanely silly things got, she didn't, at least not immediately. On some level she became aware that she was getting an education she wouldn't get anywhere else from anyone else, and there was value in that. I think she knew that; I hope she knew that. I hope the audience does, too.>

    [Mar 23, 2016] The Proposal

    This movie came in 2009 and was definitely heavily influenced it the first part by 2006 ground breaking (for female sociopaths) movie The Devil Wears Prada .
    Notable quotes:
    "... The setup of the first 25 minutes clearly apes the set-up of David Frankel's The Devil Wears Prada but has some notable scenes (firing episode; bulling her assistant to marry her) that has some educational value. ..."
    "... The scene when she blackmails Andrew into pretending that he's her fiancé is probably the best in the movie. One of the few that deserve watching it several times. ..."
    www.amazon.com

    Sandra Bullock definitely knows her audience. The type of character she plays here - an abusive female bully hiding a very vulnerable, lonely interior - is played to perfection. This is the type of character she is known-for: her "brand." Only first 25 minutes of the film make sense. After the the plot disintegrates in third rate melodrama.

    The setup of the first 25 minutes clearly apes the set-up of David Frankel's The Devil Wears Prada but has some notable scenes (firing episode; bulling her assistant to marry her) that has some educational value.

    Sandra Bullock project the character of a cold and often cruel personality of a female bully pretty well. She's also mean-spirited, pointing out personal faults that she generally has no business to reveal.

    But she is less stereotypical boss from Hell, then the main character of The Devil Wears Prada or Office space. But may be beacuse for those monents we saw her there was no downsizing efforts of the floor ;-)

    Bullock is playing female bully who is book editor (Margaret Tate), a workaholic careerist who instills fear into her entire office. Her bullied assistant Andrew Paxton, Reynolds caters to her every whim in the hopes that she eventually will help boost his publishing career. The scene when she blackmails Andrew into pretending that he's her fiancé is probably the best in the movie. One of the few that deserve watching it several times.

    [Mar 22, 2016] The Vampire's Bite Victims of Narcissists Speak Out

    Notable quotes:
    "... N would [even] lie when the truth would save his neck ..."
    "... "I lie. Compulsively and needlessly. All the time. About everything. And I often contradict myself. Why do I need to do this? To make myself interesting or attractive. In other words, to secure narcissistic supply (attention, admiration, adulation, gossip )." ..."
    "... Because they're not genuinely interested in others, they're poor listeners ..."
    "... They can be extremely mean-spirited (as in taking an almost perverse delight in raining on another's parade). ..."
    "... They're untrustworthy: As one discussant bluntly puts it: "Don't tell them anything you aren't prepared to get shoved up your butt later ..."
    "... Despite their self- confident , better-than-thou exterior, they often betray feelings of weakness, insecurity, inferiority, jealousy , and cowardice. One commenter even sums them up as "emotional cripples." ..."
    "... What I, and others on this board, have learned from dealing with N bullies in our personal lives applies to terrorists. There can be no appeasement, no attempting to reason with them, no attempt to "fix" them, to unseat their deep-seated hatred, shame and envy. Sounds terribly harsh to the uninitiated, but not recognizing that can only lead to our own destruction. ..."
    "... Looking back on ALL the Ns I've ever known and merged with, I see there WERE signs within minutes of meeting the N that they were grossly selfish, immoral, sex -addicted or [that] something was definitely 'off' [about them]. I didn't honour my intuition, gut feelings and instinct. The truth is that I had almost no experience setting healthy boundaries. ..."
    Apr 23, 2014 | Psychology Today
    Of all the oppressive, crazy-making features of the narcissist, the one perhaps most frequently cited is their exasperating dishonesty. And such untruthfulness has at times led their no-longer-so-gullible victims to describe them as con artists. Here's a highly selective sampling of such complaints:

    The controversial Dr. Sam Vaknin, creator of this forum on narcissism and himself a self-confessed NPD, has written profusely-at times, brilliantly-on the subject. In his article "Pseudologica Fantastica," he freely admits:

    ... ... ...

    Below, I'll summarize some other distressing characteristics of the narcissist regularly alluded to by their victims:

    The one consolation for victims of the narcissist's "dagger" (or "vampirish teeth") is the hard-won insights they eventually gain, which makes it possible for at least some of them to repudiate a relationship that's been so toxic to them. Again, in their own (sadder-but-wiser) words:

    [Mar 22, 2016] The Secret to Spotting Subtle Narcissists

    Notable quotes:
    "... The entitlement surge of subtle narcissism is a bit like the normally happy drunk suddenly becoming surly and going on a bender, cleaning out the liquor cabinets and storming off to buy more booze. ..."
    "... Your partner begins complaining about the messy house after your pregnancy, feeling he works hard enough that he deserves to come home to a clean house.... ..."
    Mar 16, 2016 | Psychology Today

    ...narcissism is marked by an entitlement surge-those moments when a normally understanding friend or partner or coworker angrily behaves as if the world owes them. It's usually triggered by a sudden fear that their special status has been threatened in some way. Until this point, their need for the world to revolve around them is mostly under wraps, because it hasn't been called into question. Kevin didn't ask for Sherry's support or even try to understand how hard her year after her mother's death had been. In his mind, he deserved her full understanding because he felt so close to his dream of a becoming a law partner.

    The entitlement surge of subtle narcissism is a bit like the normally happy drunk suddenly becoming surly and going on a bender, cleaning out the liquor cabinets and storming off to buy more booze. Your usually affable boss suddenly tears into you, worried that the latest project (his idea) is failing. Unbeknownst to you, he's secretly had plans to become the CEO ever since he arrived. Your partner begins complaining about the messy house after your pregnancy, feeling he works hard enough that he deserves to come home to a clean house....

    ... ... ...

    To read more about subtle (and dangerous) narcissism, including specific, research-backed strategies to protect yourself from it, order Rethinking Narcissism (link is external) today.

    [Mar 22, 2016] The 5 Most Dangerous Myths About Narcissism (Part 2)

    Notable quotes:
    "... The other narcissist is my mother. For years I lived in terror of her rages, and how the family pretty much revolves around her. I didn't understand how a parent could be so cruel, and assume everyone else was a bad person. ..."
    "... As far as healthy narcissism goes, it's something I'm working on. My mother has stripped all of our self-esteem, as she relishes putting loved one's fault under the microscope as often and loudly as possible. I grew up with massive amounts of fear and anxiety assuming everyone was very concerned about every minor mistake I made. I wish I had worked on this earlier. Mom taught me how to make a mountain out of a tiny molehill. ..."
    "... It's true, many children who've lived with extremely narcissistic parents--and I count myself among them--grow up to struggle with a more generous self-image. ..."
    Feb 17, 2016 | Psychology Today

    Narcissism has never been an official mental health disorder. Narcissist isn't a recognized diagnostic descriptor either; it's shorthand for someone who scores higher than the average on narcissism measures and may or may not be disordered

    ...It's a mistake to talk about "symptoms of narcissism." What people usually mean is symptoms of pathological narcissism or NPD.

    Anonymous on February 17, 2016 - 9:04am

    I have two narcissists in my family. One borders on sociopathy so I avoid her, she scares me. The other narcissist is my mother. For years I lived in terror of her rages, and how the family pretty much revolves around her. I didn't understand how a parent could be so cruel, and assume everyone else was a bad person.

    But now that can attach a label to the problem and get a better understanding of what is happening and why, I can create much better boundaries and sit back and watch the crazy unfold. My mother is pretty frustrated that her usual tricks aren't having the impact on me that they once did.

    As far as healthy narcissism goes, it's something I'm working on. My mother has stripped all of our self-esteem, as she relishes putting loved one's fault under the microscope as often and loudly as possible. I grew up with massive amounts of fear and anxiety assuming everyone was very concerned about every minor mistake I made. I wish I had worked on this earlier. Mom taught me how to make a mountain out of a tiny molehill.

    Craig Malkin PhD on February 19, 2016

    It sounds like you've been through hell

    And come back. It's true, many children who've lived with extremely narcissistic parents--and I count myself among them--grow up to struggle with a more generous self-image. It's like we swallow that parent whole, their voice plaguing us at every turn. It's hard work silencing that inner critic. But that's the task -- well worth undertaking-- of overcoming echoism and finding our voices. I wish you well in continuing to find yours.

    [Mar 22, 2016] 9 Enlightening Quotes on Narcissists

    Notable quotes:
    "... In fact, one of their central defenses (or stratagems) is to endlessly project onto others the very flaws (and fears!) they're unable, or unwilling, to allow into awareness. ..."
    "... "Narcissists are great con-artists. After all, they succeed in deluding themselves! As a result, very few professionals see through them." ~ ..."
    "... most therapists learn quickly enough the signs and signals that give away a narcissistic patient (e.g., regularly blaming others for their problems, taking very little responsibility for why their lives aren't working, telling them how to do therapy , ..."
    Apr 14, 2014 | Psychology Today

    Curiously, deep, deep down-and undoubtedly unconscious to them-they know they're not really what they project. In fact, one of their central defenses (or stratagems) is to endlessly project onto others the very flaws (and fears!) they're unable, or unwilling, to allow into awareness. As critical as they are about others' shortcomings, they're amazingly blind to their own. (And in this respect, the reader might take a look at my earlier piece, "The Narcissist's Dilemma: They Can Dish It Out, But . . . ").

    ... ... ...

    "To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance." ~ Oscar Wilde

    Although as stated, this quote is undoubtedly ambiguous, the term "romance" leads me to believe that Wilde's notion of self-love leans toward the pathological-and maybe the auto-erotic as well. But healthy self-love really has very little to do with the romantic: it's grounded in positive self-regard and an acceptance of one's flaws and frailties. On the contrary, being "in love with" oneself (as implied by Wilde's quote) suggests a self-absorption that can only be detrimental to narcissists in their relationships with others. In fact, one of the most common descriptions of unhealthy narcissism emphasizes their inability to care about other people-apart, that is, from how these others might satisfy the demands of their (insatiable) egos.

    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm, but the harm [that they cause] does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." ~ T. S. Eliot

    This quote makes a vital distinction between narcissists' being malevolent (cf. the sociopath) and their simply lacking concern about how their behaviors might adversely affect others. It's yet another way of drawing attention to their supreme self-absorption, which makes it impossible for them to empathically identify with another's feelings, Most of the time they don't consciously intend to take advantage of others. Such exploitation is merely a side effect of their overriding need to feel more important and better than others-and so feel "good enough." Nonetheless, their insensitivity to the wants and needs of those around them can at times be nothing less than astonishing.

    ... ... ...

    "Narcissists are great con-artists. After all, they succeed in deluding themselves! As a result, very few professionals see through them." ~ anonymous.

    This statement seems somewhat exaggerated to me. For most therapists learn quickly enough the signs and signals that give away a narcissistic patient (e.g., regularly blaming others for their problems, taking very little responsibility for why their lives aren't working, telling them how to do therapy, etc.).

    Still, the quote is instructive in pointing out not only the enormous self-deception in the way narcissists see themselves, but also their singular expertise in deceiving others. Speaking with bogus authority, they typically have an excellent track record in getting others to see things as they do, even though the result to those so taken in can be disastrous (e.g., being persuaded to make a truly ill-considered investment).

    All of which is to say that-on many different levels-getting involved with a narcissist can be as dangerous as a snake bite. And the unexpected sting of it all can, alas, last a good deal longer.

    Note 1: In examining literally hundreds of quotes for this post, I came across many that centered not anywhere so much on the narcissist as on their hapless victims. Consequently, my next post will explore the damage that narcissists-especially those far out on the narcissistic continuum -do to those who unwittingly put their trust in them. It's called "The Vampire's Bite: Victims of Narcissists Speak Out."

    Note 2: If you'd like to explore other posts I've written on narcissism, here are the links:

    Note 3: If you'd like to check out other posts I've done for Psychology Today blogs generally-on a broad variety of topics-click here.

    [Mar 20, 2016] Misogynist Jonathan Bennett, Jon Briddell, Eve Mauro, Tracey E. Bregman

    www.amazon.com

    Amazon.com

    TAXES AND TANGERINES

    By The Movie Guy on August 16, 2015

    Format: Amazon Video

    Trevor (Jon Briddell) takes the love torn Harrison (Jonathan Bennett) under his wing and teaches him about women. Harrison in return recruits more students as Trevor has created a cult where he teaches men how to control beautiful women by basically being an a-hole. Much of this low budget film is guys talking about what women want, lumping them all together as if they are the same and can all be treated the same. There are some flashbacks.

    I found the discussions boring. Women might like watching this, thinking it is akin to a Cosmo article on what men are like, but I found it insulting as it too lumps men all together as simply animals that want to completely control women and use them as sex objects. BTW that naked girl on the cover is not in the film.

    Guide: F-bomb, sex. No nudity. Some violence.

    The Battle of the Sexes ... With A Touch of Revenge

    By Edward L Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 6, 2015

    Format: DVD

    The battle of the sexes has quite probably been around as long as – well – as long as we've had sexes. I've heard it said that the male mind will never effectively grasp what goes on inside the female of the species, and no doubt it's been challenged vice versa. Rather than seeking to understand it, what happens when we just want to make the best use of what's in there instead? That's part and parcel of what's lurking near the core of MISOGYNIST, a film that may challenge some viewers to sit until the finish … and if they do they just might be rewarded with something to talk about afterwards along with some pretty spiffy independent performances.

    (NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you're the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at 'things to come,' then read on …)

    From the product packaging: "Trevor is an extreme misogynist who campaigns underground seminars, teaching his ideology of women. Only through referrals and word of mouth, he provides bizarre, offensive, and outlandish strategies to young men, with the promise that they can control any woma. His best student is Harrison, a young man Trevor took under his wing when he was most vulnerable. Viewing Trevor as a father figure, Harrison will do what Trevor instructs him to do. Soon Harrison starts to realize that he is just a pawn in Trevor's plot …"

    I'm stopping there because methinks the last bit on the box spoils too much of the finish, though I've no doubt others may see this conclusion coming, especially if they're watching closely. I did, but I have to say that that didn't happen by enjoyment of MISOGYNIST, a slightly uneven film that vacillates between an effective performance piece for gifted actors (all around) and perhaps the sickest revenge flick one might stumble upon.

    At the center of the conversation that dominates the first half of the picture are Trevor (Jon Briddell) and Harrison (Jonathan Bennett), two men who upon first meeting would appear to be polar opposites. But when the real action of the film begins (three years later), we find out that they've become curious soulmates – two peas in the same pod – and they're destined to make Trevor's philosophy for mastering the attentions of any women into a successful underground business. (How do they make money on this is never clear, but it ultimately isn't all that important to the story being told.)

    And just to clarify for those still reading: there is at least one woman around throughout the lion's share of philosophizing (Cheryl, played by the comely Alia Raelynn). As a character, the dynamic is such that she's meant to reinforce Trevor's world view, and she does this in both the more public and private moments of this story.

    Now, all that said, I can certainly understand how some might object to the subject matter explored in a film titled MISOGYNIST. Let's agree that this isn't the kind of feature that's going to be for everyone; Trevor's particular take is rude, offensive, and decidedly misogynistic (hence the effective name) … but there's more to the story here than just offending others. And – for the record – yes, we've all known men who've been able to treat one woman after another the way he does while receivable favorable results. Such is the battle of the sexes I cited at the opening: it's a never-ending battle, and no doubt it'll continue to defy understanding until our sun grows cold.

    However, in MISOGYNIST's second half, the story takes a turn, chancing a somewhat predictable reveal that tries to modestly redefine who Trevor is and why he behaves the way he does. As much as I appreciated the twist, it's also easily to dismiss it as the film's most cinematic conceit – the kind of thing that always happens in movies.

    Still, kudos to writer/director Michael Matteo Rossi for making what could go down as the worst date movie ever but doing so in a way that makes it worth talking about. That's no easy feat.

    MISOGYNIST (2013) is produced by Four Legged Pictures, Italian Cowboy Productions, and Ryan Ricketts Productions. DVD distribution is being handled by the reliable Midnight Releasing. As for the technical specifications, this is one smartly shot indie feature, so audiences can expect some high quality sights and sounds to accompany it. Lastly, if you're looking for special features, then you do have some short behind-the-scenes bits along with an audio commentary to look forward to.

    RECOMMENDED. At times, MISOGYNIST felt more than a bit incomplete to me: what started out as a pretty dynamic performance piece morphed into a macabre revenge flick in the latter half, and I'm not entirely sure both halves gelled the way they should've. Still, when it worked it worked, and the film boasted smart scenes, interesting dynamics, and a kind of water cooler appeal rarely seen in most indie fare these days. Well worth the 76 minutes, my friends, though not without some discomfort, I'm sure.

    In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Midnight Releasing provided me with a complimentary DVD copy of MISOGYNIST by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.

    [Mar 20, 2016] Psychopath John Purdie, Rosalind Arden

    Notable quotes:
    "... Unfortunately, as far as a psychopath is concerned I am far better off seeing them as an alien life form who does not possess the same emotions that puts the word human in term human being. ..."
    Amazon.com

    A look at recent research into the brains and behavior of psychopaths and the prospects for treatment or containment of this antisocial group. Psychopaths who have been convicted of appalling crimes explain with disturbing clarity what motivated them. 48 minutes.

    Nonfiction Only, January 13, 2016

    Interesting and informative, however...

    The danger of this film is that people watching who have not studied psychopathology will look at the descriptive words drifting across the screen and remember that glibness, manipulative, remorseless, conning, lying, and charismatic are traits of a psychopath and may look at loved ones, friends, coworkers and others in a different, and perhaps wrong, light. Hare's psychopathology scale is the industry standard but it consists of 40 items that must be a cohesive group of traits within an individual. Not all 40 of the marker traits were shown. The other danger is that many of the traits shown and discussed, such as an abnormal amygdala, flat affect, lack of emotion, and disconnected are also traits of those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other disorders.I gave it a 4 star rating because it was informative regarding research and the results of experimental treatments.

    Victoria J. Dennison, January 11, 2016

    This is a very good documentary which attempts to explore the mindset of a psychopath. I was surprised at the amount of psychopath's in the U.S. and England. I didn't think the dysfunction of Psychopathy affected so much of the population. I too believe a person can be born as a psychopath and that it is basically a wiring problem with the brain. Bio-psychology with an emphasis on Neuro-Science does hold the key to remedy many brain dysfunctions such as alcoholism and other mental health issues including psychopathy.

    As a person who has a lot of empathy, I can understand the therapists dilemma in trying to work with psychopaths within the prison system and the inevitable failure of behavioral modification. I always view another person as having the same feelings and needs as I do.

    Unfortunately, as far as a psychopath is concerned I am far better off seeing them as an alien life form who does not possess the same emotions that puts the word human in term human being.

    It was interesting that one psychopath who was being interviewed (in prison) mentions that a person learns from birth and develops a conscience. At which point he mentions "a baby learns not to touch a stove when it is hot". In my opinion touching a hot stove and learning not to burn yourself does not involve the conscience at all. Could it be since he never experienced the pangs of "conscience" and that basically; he doesn't know what it is?

    Caton March 15, 2016

    Insightful, educational and scary...

    The statistics noted in this documentary, if accurate, are really frightening. Apparently, unlike zombies, psychopaths are quite common and do walk among us. The information is put forth in an entertaining yet sober fashion, with interviews with actual psychopaths and numerous members of the forensic psychological expert community. I wish it was a lengthier documentary or had additional parts to it because it was so interesting that I wanted to learn more about the topic.

    George Edmondson, March 3, 2016

    Interesting study of this disease.

    Interesting study of this disease. It also sheds a bright light on why politics are (as opposed to appear to be) crazy.

    Karen Roberton November 19, 2015

    PSYCHOPATHS RUN THE WORLD.

    Great film, when we discover the precise way to identify and diagnose true psychopaths,...society will be stunned to know just how many police, politicians, inter-governmental parasites, and assorted corporate CEO scum that there are sabotaging societies in every country; but whom will have the courage and fortitude to identify and eject these maladjusted maggots to the heavily fortified mental institutions where they belong.

    [Mar 19, 2016] Are You High Maintenance -

    www.nationalmarriage.com
    Are you high maintenance? Some people seem to always be on the edge of becoming upset. They require a lot of attention, approval, and maybe reassurance. Often such individuals take offense easily at being overlooked or somehow not recognized. These individuals enjoy being in control of a relationship. They can be easily overwhelmed with stress and responsibility and often feel as though they are the most put upon in a relationship. They may see themselves the victim of their mate's insensitivity and distraction.

    Maybe you are married to someone who is high maintenance. You constantly find yourself the object of criticism and it seems as though you can never do anything to the other's satisfaction. Spouses of high maintenance individuals often find themselves in no-win dilemmas. No matter what they do they will incur the disapproval, if not wrath, of their spouse. The high maintenance spouse often claims their expectations are normal and any reasonable caring loving spouse should anticipate what to them are the most basic of considerations. Spouses of high maintenance partners can feel as though they are walking on egg shells waiting for the next failure to occur and they once again are the source of hurt, injury and pain to their spouse.

    Sound familiar at all? Many relationships can be described as one member being more "high maintenance" than the other. In some relationships this is a long standing pattern and contributes to erosion of affection and commitment over time. In other relationships the "high maintenance" tag gets shared depending on changing circumstances and felt needs. One week it is the wife who is high maintenance, the next week it is the husband. It is conceivable that a relationship might occur in which both spouses are high maintenance and the relationship dynamics revolve around competition over whose 'felt need' is greatest at any given time.

    If you honestly recognize you can be "high maintenance" take heart, be encouraged there is good news. One, the simple fact you recognize you can be demanding and easily offended puts you in a position to change. Many high maintenance individuals are oblivious to the pain and suffering they inflict upon those around them. Self-objectivity, the ability to look at oneself honestly and objectively is a characteristic of maturity and essential to personal change. If you are unsure about whether you can be high maintenance, your spouse and loved ones can probably tell you. But, don't ask until you are really ready to hear their input. A part of being high maintenance is being defensive when others are critical. If you ask for this feedback, challenge yourself to hear the person out without rebuttal. Maybe take notes and set them aside for a few days, then go back and review the notes before responding to the feedback.

    Secondly, be encouraged because your sensitivity which leads you to be high maintenance is also a gift. High maintenance persons are often capable of deep emotional connection and appreciation. What may be judged as high maintenance may actually be an undeveloped sense of emotional sensitivity that can be harnessed and directed for deep emotional connection with others. High maintenance individuals are often capable of deep empathy and compassion. Their sensitivity affords them the recognition of how circumstances, events, and behavior can impact people emotionally. This is valuable insight and can be cultivated for great connection and support with others.

    The problem with being high maintenance lies with the expectations which we can attach to our felt wants and desires in relationship. If you are high maintenance, learning how to recognize how expectations develop in you and how to hold your wants and desires more lightly may help soften the disappointment when a spouse does not recognize how important something is to you. Most importantly, beware of looking to a spouse for the significance and security you should be finding in your relationship with God. High maintenance conflict may be due to demanding some attention, approval, and affirmation from a spouse which first should be found in our relationship with God and ourselves. If we are secure in how God sees us, how He loves and cares for us, then the care, attention and affirmation of a spouse is a gift. We may be disappointed if our spouse neglects us in some way but this is way less distressing than if we tell ourselves we must have our spouse notice and provide our need. Feeling entitled to something from our spouse is a sure sign we are becoming "high maintenance."

    Being open about desires and wants can go a long way toward helping our spouse understand what impacts us and contributes to our feeling loved and supported. Recognizing and being grateful when a spouse is attentive and affirming is especially rewarding and encourages a spouse to be attentive and affirming in the future. Spouses may not understand the power of reassurance, attention, and support. Often times they are making efforts to be accommodating but do not recognize the effort is not in a manner desired or hoped for. Communication about feelings, hopes, and wants beforehand can go a long way to avoiding conflict when you're prone to be "high maintenance."

    If you are married to a high maintenance person you too can be encouraged as well. The cycle of disappointment and conflict can be sometimes diminished through some basic relationship skills. Giving your spouse a full hearing when they are distressed will often go a long way to dissipating the emotional intensity they may be feeling. Remember, listening and validating their feelings do not require anything to be fixed or changed. It's just an opportunity to offer understanding and care in the way of attention and presence. The high maintenance spouse can often use judgmental and accusatory language. If one can listen past the personal criticism to the hurt, disappointment, anxiety and/or fear behind the attack it may be possible to have compassion for their emotional distress. This is challenging, but spouses who learn not to take personally the distress in their mate even when it is delivered as a personal attack learn how to diffuse a great deal of conflict.

    Letting the high maintenance spouse know when the attack is crossing over to becoming abusive and exiting a conversation will also be helpful. A person may lose awareness in the midst of their negative emotional spin and a caring, calm confrontation and firm "time out" temporary withdrawal will sometimes help that person become more aware of how their words and tone are not helpful. Above all, avoid responding in kind to a high maintenance person who is discharging their disappointment and hurt with a lot of intensity. By remaining calm and not escalating with the other person, a spouse can often ride out the initial emotional venting, to arrive at a place where genuine emotional connection can occur.

    The emotional distress surrounding disappointment and unmet expectations can be at the center of so much conflict in relationship. Sorting out one's own emotional expectations and how they are operating in a moment is key to managing the pull toward becoming "high maintenance." Being able to absorb some emotional intensity and remain patient and loving with a spouse who is distressed is a valuable discipline to working through disappointment in relationship. Hopefully these comments and observations will give you and your spouse some food for thought and maybe some occasion for conversation. Be careful not to judge each other too harshly about being "high maintenance." Remember, there is an upside to most personal qualities that initially may seem problematic or annoying, "high maintenance" is no exception.

    Please post a comment to enter a conversation about this column. I so much enjoy the responses folks are sending to this column. I will contribute to the conversation as well. Let me know if you have a concern or question which could be addressed in a future column. You can also email concerns and questions to me at aftercare@nationalmarriage.com. God Bless You, and know we at National Institute of Marriage are praying for you.

    Dr. Robert K. Burbee
    Licensed Psychologist, Intensive Therapist
    National Institute of Marriage

    [Mar 18, 2016] The Last Seduction

    "Bridget is a woman with a warm exterior that has ice water running through her veins, who believes in manipulating others into doing her dirty work for her." See also The Last Seduction
    Amazon.com

    Desireeon August 23, 2007

    Modern Noir At It's Best

    When you think of film noir, you think of the wonderful dark movies made in the 1940's with thugs, and "dames", and vamps. I don't think there has ever been a better vamp than Linda Fiorentino in this movie. Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice and Kathleen Turner in Body Heat might come close, but first prize belongs to Linda for her performance as Bridget Gregory in The Last Seduction.

    Bridget is a woman with a warm exterior that has ice water running through her veins, who believes in manipulating others into doing her dirty work for her. Great supporting performances by Peter Berg and Bill Paxton, but the movie belongs to Linda Fiorentino. You'll love to hate her in this dark erotic thriller that will take your breath away.

    [Mar 17, 2016] Female Sociopath

    This article contains a valuable discussion with 606 (as of Mar 17, 2016) posts.
    SociopathHell.Com
    When a man has been a victim of a Female Sociopath, usually one of the above labels is given, {crazy ex-girlfriend, vindictive ex-wife, etc} instead of a Sociopath and/or Narcissistic Sociopath.

    Female Sociopaths are mentally and emotionally destructive liar’s, cheaters & deceivers, etc. They are extremely self-centered, and she is always right! Some female sociopaths may be unable to care for their children, providing the unconditional love and nurturing. Her children are just another ‘object’ to be used against the father.

    The children are often used as a supply source for her. Or in some cases divorced sociopath women with children will use them to gain sympathy from a new partner. These children can grow up feeling like an inconvenience to their mother’s, as they are also emotionally and mentally manipulated. They are also, in some cases made to feel inadequate, and never living up to their mother’s standards. Some female sociopaths are emotionally disconnected from their children, causing the ‘whiplash’ scenario, leaving the children with a deep craving for admiration. Could this be the beginning of some Narcissist?

    Many of these women ‘appear’ normal in the public setting, but are verbally and emotionally abusive in the private setting. The Female Sociopath needs to be dominate, and she does this by being verbally intimidating and emotionally manipulative. She will systematically attack your personality, your objections, your displays of emotion, and your questions. She does this to obtain her supply source, {boost to her ego/dominating factor} They want do this with little or no regards to your needs and wants. To a Female Sociopath the end justify’s the mean’s.

    Female Sociopath have a high sex drive, and in case studies, sex is not just good, it is over-the-top good. They are also very sexually promiscuous. As with this sex drive, they use this as one of the many manipulation tools to attract her next victim, she will use sex to her advantage, unbeknownst to the male. She will appear sympathetic, caring, concerned and display all the empathy/sympahty emotions, when in all reality she is pulling you in closer to keep the control for personal gain. This could be for material possessions, financial reasons, or reassurance that she is ‘the one’ (when she in fact may have several ‘one’s on the side). If a Female Sociopath feels she is being exposed, she may turn up the passion, and give you the false sense of security that you have nothing to fear. Or you will begin to see the Narcissistic Rage(s) if you haven’t already. She may be setting you up to leave, so she will keep you emotionally and physically close. Female Sociopaths can show fake their emotions if they are caught, and blame perhaps a one incident {yet you know the incidents are repeated behaviour}, on someone or something else, never taking accountability. Some men are so drawn to the physical aspect with a female Sociopath that when they catch their partner, girlfriend/wife cheating and lying, they tend to believe the lies more easily because the female Sociopath can turn on the sex factor, play the ‘pity card’, or cry rivers of tears while expressing how “sorry” she is etc. Therefore this puts the man back into the spin cycle of crazy and the false sense of security.

    shane – March 5, 2016

    This was spot on and informative! I met a girl on a dating site! She made me feel as if I was the greatest person in the world at first! Then she started telling me about her past and gaining more of my sympathy! I ended up leaving my job because she needed somebody to help her! I ran into some money! She also had money at the time! She would never let me know anything about the finances, she also would verbally downgrade my family via voicemail or Facebook! She had me believing my family or friends didn’t care for me!

    My drinking elevated cause I felt alone, and cause I would get off work she would be drunk! One night we got into an argument, she was beating me, I finally grabbed her by her shoulders and wrestled her down! She hurt her shoulder, went to the cops! I ended up going to jail! She came back around and convinced me it was a mistake and we could get thru it! So as I had obtained a lawyer to fight the domestic, my lawyer told me to fight it, but once again she got me to just accept the charge!

    I became so dependent for acceptance from her that it ruined my life! I was even accused of a false rape, which all she got was 4 days in jail! Know I’m jobless and on probation, owe fines and my family hates me! Beware!

    Kay – February 18, 2016

    articles taking about the sexual abuse and manipulation of male sociopaths, call them cheaters, etc and assume everyone understand the meaning without saying much more..

    I’ve been reading articles about narcissism for a couple years now and the term “promiscuous” is only ever applied to females.. articles talking about the female sexuality (Jessica Rabbit) go on and on about the seduction,, but rarely does it go past anymore definition than; “cheater” for the males..

    There’s a cultural investment in this description, it subtly shames female sexuality while stacking the truth, that women can also be sexual predators..

    In otherwords, the definition of the female gold-digger or fem-fetal hasn’t changed in over 100 years, and the male narc is still being let off the hook in our descriptions of them and I’m just thinking out loud..

    Ian James Littlejohn – January 22, 2016

    Santaland – No offence taken. “Extrapolating” the kids from Socio / Psychopathic rage is what my life is now all about. They are young. At this stage in their lives most of my effort is directed towards ‘protection’ – but I also have to nurture them and give them the insight and the tools to deal with it later. This is what I’m seeking advice on.

    In my circumstance I may be arrogant and foolish to be comfortable with who I am but I will not allow her dominion over the latter stages of my life and destroy that feeling.

    On the stats, the research says that it’s about 1% who are clinically, certifiably psychopathic, i.e. they’ve crossed the line. But the truth is that it’s a spectrum – not ‘black and white’ and not all who have crossed the line would score 100% in each of the behavioral tests. Some are worse or better in some aspects. The point is though that if the “about” 1% is accurate there must be millions of them out there and even more millions of victims. WE only hear about a few. What are the others doing? After doing the math I just can’t believe that the these vast numbers of dysfunctional people who are getting away with causing the damage they clearly do – and nobody notices. Therefore there must be millions people out there who are coping with it. Not all, many must be suffering in silence, but surely some have learned how to live with it. How?

    When I was in my teens, being Gay was not only socially unacceptable but also illegal in the UK. Gays were persecuted, isolated and jailed. I don’t know the stats on Gay people but how have attitudes changed? Now we have Gay-Pride processions. My God, can you imagine a Psycho-pride march. That would be an event to watch. My point is that they are still people – despite some the assertions that they are inhuman / zombies / wild animals / etc. I’m not into extermination or even isolation for that matter. Where do you stop?

    As I’ve said, I’m new to this conversation, but one of the learnings I’ve gained in the brief time I’ve been here is that Socio / Psychopaths will NOT change. They are what they are. To be honest, that was a bit of a ‘downer’ at first. I guess I was looking for a technique or strategy that would initiate a change in her behaviour. Realising that that ‘aint going to happen’ destroys hope; – the hope that she would have some kind of revelation or catharsis and we could return to ’normal’ married life and all would be well in the future. WRONG!

    It’s always difficult to recognise that you’ve been wrong. However, It doesn’t mean that I have to give up MY hopes and dreams. I just have to adjust MY plans on how to achieve them – up, down or sidieways. I don’t know yet. But that’s OK – it’s a pain in the neck to do at my age, but I can do that.

    Santaland – January 23, 2016

    Ian you know best what works for you and how to slalom through this jungle of crap. Hope in my case was futile, at least with the personality traits my ex had/has. Throughout Tela’s site there are countless victims who hurt from the experience or are still hurting.

    They do not change, it is a script and that script is the same over and over again, no matter what cultural background. The more attractive they are the more they bounce around…it is the lies, blame and shame that tore me apart, besides the physical attacks, threats and broken items. IF my ex ever apologized, well I learned that in a matter of days it will be the same abuse and lies, but I hoped that perhaps this time….but nope it just continued to the end. Walking through a mine field every day…except they are smart, they move the mines so just when you think you have figured the lay of the land, boom it explodes.

    The end came when I was finally fed up, when I realized it was a hopeless cause, a waste of time and that was it. Plus my son was exposed to her childish behavior, and this made me reflect on myself…what kind of father would expose his son to a person like this…mea culpa. For this I am ashamed, and will have to live with that. My son is 15 years old but he met her when he was 12 and 13….and she certainly was not a good ‘mentor’ or roll model.

    Once I was alone I was always thinking…what if she was right, what if I could have done things differently, why does she have a history of this behavior, is it lack of love and unconditional support, what if…..in my case there is no what if…they move on when they have secured a new source, yet keep you (not you you) on a shelf just in case.

    In the aftermath, she has attempted to engage in conversation but I ignore, have her totally blocked and if I see her I walk right by, stone cold. They thrive on drama and twist the truth, the facts and the realities. Then they use their flying monkeys to do their intelligence gathering or sending a message.

    rob – January 24, 2016

    Ian,

    Having been educated for quite some time some time now about these “its”, having experienced the diabolical creativity of one of these “things” first hand over a period of years, and sensing from others on this site a most sincere and profound desire to help victims in their struggles with these anomalies………..

    In my honest opinion,

    There is only one way a normal person can develop a “survival strategy” for dealing with them and that is by cutting them out of your life. If there are other ways of dealing with them – other than becoming a codependent slave to their every need or adjusting YOUR personality to win “battles” with them, I would honestly love to be enlightened.

    From your notes you have obvious concerns about direction as you are seeking “a quest for a survival strategy”. I think what most people are trying to say is that when it comes to dealing with a true sociopath there are no good “survival strategies” which include staying with them in any capacity.

    I think this is primarily stated because the true nature of these people is as unpredictable as the most violent typhoon or hurricane. Their capricious and erratic behavior, which you have experienced and read about, is because they lack a conscience which means they are truly cable of doing anything they please without regard to your concern or anyone else for that matter.

    I know that you mentioned you considered some of your previous decisions as “foolish” and you have no interest in rehashing those mistakes and I personally find that commendable. I too try and live my life that way as there is nothing I can do today to change my own foolish decisions of the past.

    HOWEVER :),

    There is much we CAN do today to change our future. UNDERESTIMATING them and their ability to wreak havoc on ones emotional and physical well being is perhaps the most “foolish” thing one can do. Especially when one has gained knowledge and been given credible (if not difficult to follow) direction and information on dealing with such.

    For example….

    If someone whom had driven down a road ahead of you approached you (prior to you going down that road) and told you, “hey bro, you might want to turn around and find another direction. The bridge up ahead is no longer there”

    Then lets add to this that one had also read about such and was knowledgeable about the fact that the bridge was no longer there.

    In other words, not only did he “get it” as you like to say that the bridge was out and he had witnessed a man rehashing the fact that the bridge was out……yet he still wanted to know if he could go down that road…..and then worse…..in light of all he knew………..he decided to go ahead anyway

    Hopefully you can understand the analogy here.

    I hardly think most of the people whom have been down that road and found that the bridge is out prefer to spend their entire day guarding the road bitching and moaning about the bridge being out or their experiences related to such.

    I think it is just they have been down the road and know the bridge is out and are trying to help others not be “foolish” by attempting to drive down a road that is missing a bridge (over some very troubled waters i might add).

    In other words, due to their personal experience and knowledge and given the fact that they do have a conscience, they just feel as though it is their responsibility to warn others that there is no bridge ahead.

    You mention in your notes that you “get it” and you have read on every site the same basic things. in other words, you would easily agree there are many people whom have been down this road and are all basically telling you the same thing. It is not as though you have large group telling you that “the bridge is in good shape” or “no worry you can still make it”

    Hmmmm…..

    Its truly not about being an optimist, pragmatist, idealist, skeptic, or a even a realist for that matter. Nor is it about being a victim, crying about being a victim being in a battle or signing a peace treaty – its about coming to terms with what she is CAPABLE of doing to you that you MUST “get”.

    You see, her reality involves a game, if you will, which quite candidly you, me or any other Tom, Dick, Harry or Jill are now and forever more will be ill prepared to play.

    Granted, there does not exist a single person capable of predicting your future. However, if she is in fact a Sociopath……and you decide for “better or worse” to stay in a relationship with such a person and go down that road with the bridge out……

    I would be willing to place a hefty wager on being able to predict as you say a “scary” future…..and i might add to that…….. “a f&^%$# nightmare” of a “scary” future.

    I wish you the best.

    Rob

    Don – January 25, 2016


    Ian,
    I am here on this site for support. When i feel weak i come here and read. I have read your postings and all the comments. They are very helpful to me in my recovery. I see some of myself in you. Heck, I married this woman twice knowing full well she was crazy as a bedbug, totally unpredictable, her selfish action were nothing short of abusive. What I suffer from is codependency.

    I suspect upon self examination you may find you suffer from some of those tendencies too. A classic for me is to justify her actions “because”. I let her off the hook “because”. The “because” thing relieves her of personal responsibility for her actions.

    The reality is that a loving and caring normal person could never act the way these people act. AND normal people don’t let others act in such an abusive way to them. After years of dealing with them it effects us too. I suggest you get some information about codependency and trauma bonding. Rather than the focus being on her do a honest self examination on yourself. Easier said than done.

    Last night during the second football game I started getting “love bombed”. There was five of us watching the game. Once the bombs started to drop one of my friends said to the group ” that’s his ex texting, it sucks the life out of him”. Recovery is one day at a time.
    Best of Luck,
    Don

    Ian James Littlejohn – January 28, 2016

    Don,

    Thanks! You’re a star! I believe that you may have hit the nail on the head in putting me onto ‘co-dependency’. I’d never heard the term before or realised it’s implications. I spent the rest of my afternoon and evening reading about it. The behavioural manifestations may be similar to a psychopath’s but the root causes are not – and the behaviours of co-dependants can be modified, – and I include mine in this. Whatever the ‘rights and wrongs’ of my analysis, – and I’m clearly no expert at this stuff, – this FEELS more like her/us and the situation we’re in.

    By all accounts, her, and her siblings’ childhood was not easy. Perhaps not too difficult to appreciate given that she was brought up in a small town in the immediate post “Cultural Revolutionary” China and is the daughter of two “Red Guards”. ‘Punishment’ was the norm. “Each grain of rice represents the tear of a peasant and must not be wasted’ – she’s actually said that to me. For her, failure to comply resulted in punishment – usually violent verbal abuse and/or beatings. I’ve had these stories confirmed by her younger sisters. This is clearly the ‘role model’ she has carried forward – both as a mother and as a wife. Also, Chinese Daoist / Confucian tradition does not view the marriage relationship in the same way as western, Christian traditions. Chinese attitudes are or were, much more heavily directed towards ‘family’ expectations – as opposed to personal desires.

    Even today, although she calls me ‘Daddy” partly in deference to my status as the father of her children but also I suspect that perhaps there are deeper reasons, EVERY major decision is referred to and discussed at length with her father. However in China’s rush towards materialism, attitudes have changed. In some part I believe as a consequence of the ‘one-child’ policy. Nowadays there are many – 15% some say – more men than women, and women are MUCH – and some would say unrealistically – more demanding about what they want in a husband in terms of fulfilling their life-style expectations.

    “To be rich is glorious” as Deng Xiao Ping said – and they ALL want to be rich. I only have anecdotal evidence but many if not most of the relationships between the Chinese women and the Western men I know have broken down – primarily because the women thought they’d married onto a ‘gravy train’ and couldn’t handle the reality of true life. In our case she did land on the ‘gravy train’ but that was more good luck than good judgement. I could probably ‘bang-on’ for hours with a sociological analysis of our ‘problems’ – and I haven’t even started to discuss MY issues – but that’s not the point.

    The point is to improve things. Before we can progress, there has to be a MUTUAL acknowledgement that something needs fixed. The ‘trick’ is going to be in how to even open up the discussion. I’ve looked at some of the self-help and other sites, albeit briefly, and whilst I understand the approach, similar to AA, and acknowledge the success they’ve had, for the moment I can’t get past the Christian God thing on all the advice / 12 steps/ etc. If anything, she’s Confucian / Buddhist and I’m a ‘dyed-in-the -wool’ Atheist / Humanist, so I doubt that reference to “God” is going to make much headway. More research – and a bit of creativity – required, I guess.

    Anyway, thanks again. You’ve been a great help.

    Regards

    Ian

    rob – January 19, 2016

    Your search for the answer to what it was you were dealing with sounds so similar to mine. I knew one of two things (a) I was going nuts or (b) I was dealing with something beyond my comprehension.

    I found out by googling “liar”, “sexually promiscuous” and “irresponsible” that I was not going “nuts” and that I was most certainly married to a person without conscience.

    It did, as you say “provide some solace”. It also enabled me to realize that what I was dealing with was not human……at least as most people would define human.

    By understanding that what I was dealing with was incapable of changing or ever developing a conscience and then realizing that their behavior was 100 percent predictable, I was able to develop an exit strategy from the relationship. I got out pretty much unscathed (did lose approximately $20,000 as a result of having to pay off part of her debt to the IRS and my brain was F%&^$* up like no other for the better part of a year) and I am very grateful as it could have been so much worse as she had bigger plans for my demise (found this out later)

    On the subject of survival strategies, I can only say that for me it was “no contact”. Once she was out of my life completely and in every shape and form my life improved dramatically.

    I do understand that you guys have kids together and this is not entirely possible. However, I do know from personal experience that these people will stop at nothing to push you to the brink of madness. In other words, if you give in an inch they will take a mile and they have no qualms whatsoever of running over you and and spitting on your kindness as though you were a tick on a lost dog.

    If you let her run and ruin your life – trust me she will and then she will discard you like she would a piece of toilet paper she had wiped her @$$ with …..and you will feel even worse. You can not win by playing the game her way. Knowing what you are dealing with is critical and allows you some major advantages. Use these advantages wisely and don’t make the mistake I made of letting her know that you know what she is.

    how do you best use these advantages?

    DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT :)

    I wish you the best !

    Rob

    Liz – January 20, 2016

    Ian you’re right, there’s no peace with the psychopath when employing methods to manage her.

    A safer method may be to break away mentally first, then emotionally, after which the physical act naturally happens at the right time.

    Also, because psychopaths need a human host to carry their evil burdens, while exploiting us financially, sexually, and in other ways – one helpful bit of advice that requires no physical action is to: Calmly and gently (and non-verbally) return her burdens to her. One way is to mentally see yourself taking off a mantle of her burdens from your shoulders and gently placing it back on hers with the words: “I return this to you. It is not my responsibility and I don’t want it for me or our children. It is for you to deal with it.”

    This visualization is especially helpful before sleep because the body naturally reaches optimum relaxation and lets go of the earthly world and its troubles. During the day this visualization is good at any time especially while in the shower or soaking in the tub, which also relaxes the body so that it is easier to let go.

    Ian I hope you keep dialoging on this site – your methods of dealing with your situation are deeply healing. Surely a breakthrough will come for all as a result.

    Ian James Littlejohn – January 22, 2016


    PS

    I went out and bought one of those wee counter thingies that they use to count people on planes. I keep it in my pocket and give it one click for every “Whoosh” I hear. If I react – no “Whoosh!” and no click – i.e. she scored a hit. We’ll see how it works.

    Rgds

    Ian

    Ian James Littlejohn – January 20, 2016

    Liz, Rob,
    My heartfelt thanks to you both for your responses and insightful and sage advice.

    Liz, I agree that one can’t ‘co-exist’ with a psychopath ‘ from the perspective that co-existence means sharing the joys and sorrows of a normal family life. They just don’t get it and never will. I also agree that ‘they can only be managed from within the relationship’. ‘Management’ is what this is all about now. Your advice to basically – ‘go along to get along’ is wise and probably the right thing to do. When I’ve tried it, it works in terms that the overall emotional temperature in the house improves for a while. But, man, it’s hard to maintain!

    Also without some measure of challenge or push-back the demands only get more and more bizarre. I’m only human and there are limits to my tolerance.

    You are spot on about staying calm is absolutely essential. Not only calm in the face of their / her aggression but finding an inner calm that helps one to keep going.

    I’m actually pretty good at keeping calm in the midst of a crisis. As an oil-field Ops Manager I’ve faced blow-outs, fires, explosions, etc. , and had to organize the response and deal with the trauma they cause. I found that my brain tended to get pretty ‘frosty’ in these situations. It had to be in order to cope. I’ve always tried token my work and my home life separate and I guess I’m having just a wee bit trouble transferring that approach to my home life. I’ll work on it.

    Rob, I’ll look up some of the books you suggest on Amazon. They deliver to China. Thanks for the guidance.

    Finding the inner peace is a bit more of a challenge as I’m somewhat isolated here in China. Maybe I’ll get into Yoga or Buddhist meditation. But I think your advice to allow her demands and shenanigans to roll over me and then just get on with the things I want to do is very sound. My life comes first. She has her little ploys to make sure that her life is always ‘front and centre’ of the family life but I can probably find ways to deal with that.

    When I talk with my mates in the pub I often reflect on my day / my life as looking after 4 kids, my 9 year old daughter, my 2 year old twin sons and my 3 year old wife. That’s what it feels like. Perhaps I should change that to 3 kids and a dog because, Liz, you’re right that they /she is like a wild animal. I guess as the relationship has deteriorated I’ve been guilty (if that’s the right word) of withdrawing any positive emotional feedback on her life. I’ll never LOVE her again as a woman / human being , there’s been too much water under the bridge for that but as you say even psycho/sociopaths need to be petted now and again. I’ve occaissionally tried to ‘make-up’ and be Mr Nice Guy again – but she seemed to take it as positive feedback on EVERYTHING she does and her behaviour got worse. I’ll need to think carefully about the what, when and how to do this.

    I hate the negativity that inevitably permeates these conversations so on a more positive note, life is not ALL bad. The kids help me immensely. Whose heart isn’t lifted by the laughter and sheer joy of life in a 2 year old or the burgeoning curiosity of a 9 year old. There are days when we at least maintain the appearance of a normal family – even if the tension in my shoulders never really relaxes. When she’s out of the house and I’ve got the kids to myself – it’s great. Occasionally I meet up with my mates in the pub and have real, adult conversations about life, politics, sports, the weather, etc., and there are still things that happen, things I see and hear, beautiful sunsets & fresh mornings – that make me glad to be alive.

    Paul, Rob’s right. Being caught in a psychopathic $%^ storm is absolutely horrible but by recognising your ex for what she is – you’ve already “won”. You have to trust that life will get better – and, believe me, it will. Hang on to the relationship with your daughter. She’ll do more to help you than any web-site or self-help book. I’ve made – and lost – a lot of money in my life but it doesn’t matter. Money is only the means to an end.

    As I’ve told my wife, she’s already wealthy and even if she was the richest person in China but no matter what, HER soul will ALWAYS be mired in poverty – mine / ours won’t. To me- that’s a win.

    [Mar 16, 2016] Linda Taylor, welfare queen Ronald Reagan made her a notorious American villain. Linda Taylor’s other sins were far worse By

    Dec. 19 2013 | slate.com

    In the 1970s, Ronald Reagan villainized a Chicago woman for bilking the government. Her other sins—including possible kidnappings and murders—were far worse.

    Jack Sherwin knew he’d seen her before. It was Aug. 8, 1974, and the Chicago burglary detective was working a case on the city’s South Side. Though her name and face didn’t look familiar, Sherwin recognized the victim’s manner, and her story. She’d been robbed, Linda Taylor explained, and she was sorry to report that the burglar had good taste: $14,000 in furs, jewelry, and cash were missing from her apartment. Thank heavens, most of it was insured.

    After listening to her tale of woe, Sherwin asked Taylor if she’d mind getting him some water. When she returned, the detective kept the glass as evidence.

    The fingerprints collected from Taylor’s kitchen helped jog Sherwin’s memory. Two years earlier, the same woman had been charged with making a bogus robbery claim—that time, the thieves had supposedly made off with $10,000 worth of valuables. Sherwin knew Linda Taylor because, out of pure happenstance, he’d been called on to investigate both of these alleged burglaries. She was living in a different part of town, using a different name, and sporting a different head of hair. But this was the same woman, pulling the same stunt.

    Sherwin cited Taylor, again, for making a false report. But the 35-year-old police officer, a former Marine and a 12-year veteran of the force, didn’t stop there. “The more I dug into it, the more I found that just wasn’t right,” he remembers. First, he learned that she was getting welfare checks under multiple names. Then he discovered Taylor’s husbands—“Oh, I guess maybe seven men that I knew of,” Sherwin says. The detective and his partner, Jerry Kush, got to work tracking down this parade of grooms, and they found a few who were willing to talk. Sherwin’s hunch had been right: This woman was up to no good.

    In late September 1974, seven weeks after Sherwin met Taylor for the second time, the detective’s findings made the Chicago Tribune. “Linda Taylor received Illinois welfare checks and food stamps, even tho[ugh] she was driving three 1974 autos—a Cadillac, a Lincoln, and a Chevrolet station wagon—claimed to own four South Side buildings, and was about to leave for a vacation in Hawaii,” wrote Pulitzer Prize winner George Bliss. The story detailed a 14-page report that Sherwin had put together illuminating “a lifestyle of false identities that seemed calculated to confuse our computerized, credit-oriented society.” There was evidence that the 47-year-old Taylor had used three Social Security cards, 27 names, 31 addresses, and 25 phone numbers to fuel her mischief, not to mention 30 different wigs.

    As the Tribune and other outlets stayed on the story, those figures continued to rise. Reporters noted that Linda Taylor had used as many as 80 names, and that she’d received at least $150,000—in illicit welfare cash, the numbers that Ronald Reagan would cite on the campaign trail in 1976. (Though she used dozens of different identities, I’ve chosen to call her Linda Taylor in this story, as it’s how the public came to know her at the height of her infamy.) Taylor also gained a reputation as a master of disguise. "She is black, but is able to pass herself off as Spanish, Filipino, white, and black," the executive director of Illinois’ Legislative Advisory Committee on Public Aid told the Associated Press in November 1974. "And it appears she can be any age she wishes, from the early 20s to the early 50s.”

    For Bliss and the Tribune, the scandal wasn’t just that Taylor had her hand in the till and had the seeming ability to shape-shift. The newspaper also directed its ire at the sclerotic bureaucracy that allowed her schemes to flourish. Bliss had been reporting on waste, fraud, and mismanagement in the Illinois Department of Public Aid for a long time prior to Taylor’s emergence. His stories—on doctors who billed Medicaid for fictitious procedures and overworked caseworkers who failed to purge ineligible recipients from the welfare rolls—showed an agency in disarray. That disarray didn’t make for an engaging read, though: “State orders probe of Medicaid” is not a headline that provokes shock and anger. Then the welfare queen came along and dressed the scandal up in a fur coat. This was a crime that people could comprehend, and Linda Taylor was the perfectly unsympathetic figure for outraged citizens to point a finger at.

    ... ... ...

    The 21-year-old sailor was working in the dental clinic at Chicago’s Great Lakes Naval Training Center when a beautiful woman walked in to get her teeth cleaned. Something about her was totally fascinating, Jones remembers. “I met her because she was pretty and I was shooting game to her,” he says. “I guess her game must’ve been stronger than mine, because I met her that Monday and [got] married that Saturday.”

    Jones thought he was lucky to get hitched to the 35-year-old Linda Sholvia. She was beautiful, with the smoothest skin he’d ever seen. She also gave him $1,000 as a wedding present, and he had his pick of fancy new cars. But Lamar and Linda’s marriage lasted only a little longer than their five-day courtship. A few weeks after they exchanged vows, Linda was arrested. When Jones paid her bond, his new wife fled the state. To make things worse, she stole his color TV.

    The young Navy man realized that something was amiss with his new bride even before the television went missing. When she showed him a degree from a university in Haiti, he noticed that it said Linda Taylor, not Linda Sholvia. Jones says Linda had five mailboxes at her residence at 8221 S. Clyde Ave., and she’d get letters in all five, addressed to different names. He got a bit uneasy when Linda told him, after they were married, that he was her eighth husband. She also had a “sister” named Constance who seemed more like her adult daughter.

    ... ... ...

    A month after his wife was brought back from Arizona, Lamar Jones testified against her in front of a Cook County grand jury. Jones says that around the time of that proceeding, he was shuffled into a car with another witness and told they had something in common: They were both married to Linda (or maybe it was Connie) at the same time. That was a surprise to Jones. His wife had told him that husband No. 7 was dead.

    ... ... ...

    Isaiah Gant, who has been an attorney for nearly four decades, says his onetime client “was a scam artist like I have never run across since.” Gant, now an assistant federal public defender in Nashville, Tenn., says Taylor could change personalities in an instant. “If she wanted to be a ho, she could be a ho. If she wanted to be a princess, she could be a princess,” he says. “The woman was smooth.”

    ... ... ...

    It got stranger from there. Constance told the Defender that Rose Kennedy, Lawrence Wakefield’s purported common-law wife, was no such thing. She also accused Kennedy of trying to poison her, saying, “The doctors said I had swallowed enough strychnine to kill a dozen people.” And in just the last few weeks, she reported, police had captured two white men trying to break into her house; a “swarthy Italian” had threatened to kill her; and her bodyguard had narrowly thwarted an attempt to blow up her 1964 Cadillac. A few days after that, the Associated Negro Press wrote that Constance Wakefield Steinberg—she was a “light-skinned Negro woman with a ‘Jewish’ surname”—“reported to police that her 11-year-old son, John, had been kidnapped and that she had received a number of threatening calls.”


    Whether she was going by Constance Wakefield, Linda Taylor, or any other name, the future welfare queen never went for subtlety. She was a woman of great ambition, and she conjured a universe in which the forces arrayed against her were equally extraordinary. Someone was always trying to kill her, or steal from her, or kidnap her, or take her children. These stories rarely checked out. Her son John, the Chicago Sun-Times would report, hadn’t been kidnapped. He was found by FBI agents wandering near his house, and explained that he’d run away after a fight with his sister. Census records and Lawrence Wakefield’s own death certificate reveal that Edith Jarvis was not Wakefield’s wife, as Taylor had asserted—she was his mother. When Taylor went to probate court to press her claim to the Wakefield fortune, even more of her story fell apart.

    Constance Wakefield was many people, but she probably wasn’t Constance Wakefield.

    In this and many of her other battles, Linda Taylor’s weapons were documents, paperwork of uncertain provenance that buttressed her version of events. Though her birth to Lawrence and Edith did not appear in contemporaneous records, she procured a delayed birth certificate from the doctor who she claimed had delivered her. She also furnished a pair of Lawrence Wakefield’s heretofore-undiscovered wills. The first, which dated to 1943, included a description of Wakefield’s daughter that matched her own, “specifically describing a scar and a mole and their location on her body,” the Tribune reported. The second will, from 1962, indicated that Wakefield had $2 million, that the vast majority of that lucre should go to his daughter, and that Rose Kennedy—who Taylor maintained was Lawrence Wakefield’s housekeeper, not his common-law wife—was entitled to precisely $1. "She is no good and will try to take everything from my baby,” the will read, according to the Tribune. “She has stoled enough from me since the death of my Edith."

    None of this evidence—the delayed birth certificate, the will that conveniently trashed her primary rival—convinced Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Gerald Mannix that he was dealing with Lawrence Wakefield’s real daughter. A long way from Chicago, he found someone who could help him prove it.

    “A surprise witness testified in Probate court yesterday that Miss Constance Wakefield, who claims to be the illegitimate daughter of the late Lawrence Wakefield, policy king, and thus heir to his fortune, actually is Martha Louise White,” the Tribune reported on Nov. 10, 1964. Hubert Mooney, who claimed to be Martha’s uncle, explained that his niece was born in Summit, Ala., around 1926, making her about 38 years old—nine years older than she’d claimed to be in the guise of Constance Wakefield. Martha, Mooney said, was the daughter of his sister Lydie and a man named Marvin White. The court didn’t have to take his word for it. Hubert’s 84-year-old mother came from Tennessee to testify that she’d assisted in her granddaughter Martha’s birth.

    Mooney said he’d seen his niece most recently in Arkansas—the state where “Constance Wakefield” had grown up, according to her interview with The Chicago Defender. He’d also run into her in Oakland, Calif. On that occasion, she’d asked her uncle to bail her out of jail. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the assistant state’s attorney produced fingerprints and “police records from Oakland, which he said were those of Miss Wakefield, listing arrests for prostitution, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and assault.” A police expert testified that those fingerprints matched those of Beverly Singleton, a woman who’d been arrested the year prior for assaulting a 12-year-old girl. Constance Wakefield, it seemed, was many people, but she probably wasn’t Constance Wakefield.

    This dramatic testimony didn’t clear everything up. For her part, “Constance Wakefield” said she knew Hubert Mooney but that she was not Martha Louise White. She also denied that she was the woman identified in all those criminal records, though she did confess that she’d been charged with assault in Oakland.

    Weighing all the evidence, Judge Anthony Kogut cited Taylor for contempt of court and sentenced her to six months in jail. She wouldn’t get any of Lawrence Wakefield’s money, the balance of which would go to Rose Kennedy, the policy king’s common-law wife.

    ... ... ...


    There’s almost no chance that Sandra was really kidnapped. Two years prior, Taylor had falsely reported that Johnnie had been abducted. He says now that his mother likely just wanted the cops to do the hard work of tracking him down after he’d left home of his own volition.


    In 1967, she’d try the same line again, telling Chicago police that another of her children had been taken. When the cops investigated, they found that the child wasn’t missing. They also discovered that the kid didn’t belong to her.

    ... ... ...

    In another Tribune story, Bliss and Griffin noted that Linda Taylor had been arrested twice in the 1960s for absconding with children, though she wasn’t convicted in either case because the little ones were returned. The reporters also laid out a possible motive. “Chicago’s welfare queen,” they wrote, “has been linked by Chicago police to a scheme to defraud the public aid department during the mid-1960s by buying newborn infants to substantiate welfare claims.”

    ... ... ...

    This theory is a little hard to believe. Given Taylor’s ability to fabricate paperwork, acquiring flesh-and-blood children seems like an unnecessary risk if all you're looking to do is pad a welfare application. Her son Johnnie believes his mother saw children as commodities, something to be acquired and sold. He remembers a little black girl—he doesn’t know her name—who stayed with them for a few months in the early 1960s, “and then she just disappeared one day.” Shortly before Lawrence Wakefield died, Johnnie says, a white baby named Tiger showed up out of nowhere, and then left the household just as mysteriously. I ask him if he knew where these kids came from or who they belonged to. “You knew they wasn’t hers,” he says.

    ... ... ...


    Nine days later, a newborn child was kidnapped by a woman dressed in a white nurse’s uniform. Dora Fronczak told police that the mystery woman whisked away her son Paul Joseph, telling the new mother that her baby boy needed to be examined by a doctor. Witnesses said the ersatz nurse carried the infant through a rear exit and disappeared.

    The Fronczak case transfixed Chicago and the nation. The Tribune, the Sun-Times, and the national wire services printed eyewitness accounts, sketches of the suspect, diagrams of the kidnapper’s probable path, and the family’s pleas for their child’s safe return. Within a day, 500 policemen were working the case, including 50 FBI agents. They were looking for a woman between her mid-30s and mid-40s, around 5-foot-4 and 140 pounds, with close-set brown eyes. Nine months after the kidnapping, the Tribune reported that a staggering 38,000 people had been interviewed in connection with the case, and that 7,500 women had been eliminated as suspects. Still, the baby-snatching nurse remained at large.

    Did Linda Taylor pull off one of the most notorious kidnappings of the 1960s? In early 1975, law enforcement officials got a tip from one of Taylor’s ex-husbands that she “appeared one day in the mid-1960s with a newborn baby, altho[ugh] she had not been pregnant.” Her explanation, the Tribune said, was that “she hadn't realized she was pregnant until she gave birth that morning.”

    ... ... ...

    In 1977, a man named Samuel Harper told police prior to Taylor’s sentencing for welfare fraud that he believed she had kidnapped Paul Joseph Fronczak. He explained that he was living with her at the time, that several other white infants were in her home, and that she left the house in a white uniform on the day of the kidnapping. Johnnie Harbaugh confirms that Harper, who was 69 years old in 1977 and likely died many years ago, lived with his mother for a period in the 1960s. If anyone was in a position to know what Linda was up to, Johnnie believes, it was Sam Harper.

    ... ... ...


    Jack Sherwin, who retired from the Chicago Police Department in the mid-1990s, says he saw a composite drawing of the Fronczak kidnapper in an FBI office. “I looked at it for a second and knew it was her,” he says. In police reports from the 1970s, Taylor is listed at 5-foot-1 and 140 pounds with brown eyes—not that far off from the suspect’s description. Sherwin says she also had a station wagon at that time that matched the description of the potential getaway car. He believes she was “guilty as hell.”


    And yet, Linda Taylor was never charged in the kidnapping of Paul Joseph Fronczak. Ron Cooper, a retired FBI agent who worked on the Fronczak case in the 1970s, says that they “had no cooperation from people around her.” Everyone who talked “would tell you a story and it would just sort of be a flim-flam thing, and it wouldn’t make any sense.” If she had taken Paul Joseph in 1964, he was long gone.

    ... ... ....

    Jack Sherwin, the fight to take down Linda Taylor was a multifront war. Some battles were contested face to face. “At one point the arrestee Linda Taylor stated that no matter how much money it took she was going to get my badge and me,” the detective wrote in one police report. “She then blurted out that she had a bullet for me. [There] were other things said such as she would tell my wife about all the ‘Black Ass’ I had.” Taylor also waged a disinformation campaign, calling Sherwin’s superiors to complain that the detective had it in for her. She even took the fight to the astral plane, jabbing sharp pins into a voodoo doll, one she told Sherwin that she’d made especially for him.


    Sherwin did the digging that led to Taylor’s arrest for welfare fraud, and his testimony helped send her to prison. But four decades after he first met Linda Taylor, the 74-year-old retired detective can’t help but feel that she beat him. She was his prize catch, but Sherwin ended up getting snared in her net.

    ... ... ...

    For the Chicago burglary detective, Linda Taylor was never really the welfare queen. He believed she was a kidnapper and a baby seller. Maybe something worse.

    ... ... ...


    Mrs. Parks, who was also named Patricia, earned her living as a schoolteacher. Her daughter describes her as polished, a woman with a master’s degree who hung out with college-educated types. Parks-Lee says that Linda Taylor, by contrast, looked weathered, like she’d done a lot of hard living. “She didn’t associate with people like that,” says Parks-Lee, who’s now 48. She believes her mother must have hired Taylor to keep house and watch the kids, nothing more. She says that Linda Taylor was the worst nanny they ever had.


    Taylor took up residence with the Parks family in 1974. At that point, Patricia Parks was a healthy woman with three young children. Less than a year later, she was dead. At the time, Taylor was out on bail, awaiting her welfare fraud trial. The Tribune explained that she was now under investigation yet again after authorities “learned that Mrs. Parks reportedly had willed her home to Miss Taylor and had made her the beneficiary of ‘several’ insurance policies and the guardian of her three children.”

    ... ... ...

    Taylor told the funeral director that Patricia Parks had cervical cancer. When her blood was drawn at the funeral home, however, the sample contained a high level of barbiturates. On Parks’ death certificate, the coroner indicated that she had died of “combined phenobarbital, methapyrilene, and salicylate intoxication.” There is no indication that she had cancer.

    “She killed my mother,” Parks-Lee says. She’s so sure about what Linda Taylor did that she says it three more times: “She killed my mother. She killed my mother. I just, I mean—she killed my mother.”

    ... ... ...

    As in the Fronczak kidnapping, Taylor was never charged with killing Patricia Parks. James Piper, the prosecutor in the welfare fraud case, also looked into the alleged Parks homicide. He tells me that he “was satisfied personally that there had been chicanery.” But Piper says that he wasn’t able to acquire blood samples from the hospital where Parks had been pronounced dead. He believed that without the samples there was no “connector”—nothing to convince a jury that Taylor had administered a lethal drug cocktail to Parks. Piper says that his decision wouldn’t have prevented the Chicago police from continuing their investigation. He believed, though, that indicting Taylor for murder would have created the perception that he was looking for more publicity for the welfare fraud case—a case with clearer evidence, and one that he didn’t want to jeopardize.

    ... ... ...

    Other than Sherwin, nobody seemed all that motivated to learn the full extent of Linda Taylor’s crimes. Though the Tribune wrote about Taylor’s purported connections to the Fronczak kidnapping and the Parks homicide, the paper treated her kid-snatching and voodoo spells as colorful details—odd facts to embellish the shocking welfare queen story. In 1975, the Tribune reported the allegation that Linda Taylor was “buying newborn infants to substantiate welfare claims.” Somehow, though, the welfare claims remained the bigger story, not the allegations of black-market baby trafficking.

    ... ... ...


    In the aftermath of Ray’s death, the National Home Life Insurance Company requested a complete coroner’s report from Illinois’ Kankakee County. Byron Keith Lassiter, who looked into the case on behalf of the insurance firm, says such a contestable death claim investigation would have been routine. With no charges filed against Loyd, the money from Sherman Ray’s life insurance policy would be paid out to his wife, Linda.

    A month after Sherman Ray’s death, Taylor bought a parcel of land in Holmes County, Fla. Her name is listed on the deed as “Rev. Linda Ray.” In the Sunshine State, public records reveal, she’d use at least six names and six different Social Security numbers. She wasn’t there alone. Her companion was her husband’s killer, Willtrue Loyd.

    This is Linda Taylor’s life in microcosm: a series of tangled connections, a death that serves as a potential windfall, a quick move, and a new start in a faraway place. Sherman Ray, the former Marine with emotional problems, was a man in uniform—a classic Taylor mark. Paul Stull Harbaugh, the man listed as her son Paul’s father on the child’s birth certificate, was in the Navy. So was another supposed husband, Paul Steinberg—the Tribune alleged that in the 1960s she was “obtaining federal support” as the widow of both Harbaugh and Steinberg.

    ... ... ...

    In 1978, one of her lawyers wrote that Linda Taylor was likely psychotic, that she “was incapable of knowing whether or not she was telling the truth.” Johnnie Harbaugh is certain that’s not the case. “She was cold,” he says. “She knew what was right and wrong, but she was choosing wrong.”


    or Linda Taylor, people were consumable goods, objects to cultivate, manipulate, and discard. Once she’d extracted something of value—an identity, a check, a life insurance claim—she’d move on to someone else. No matter her circumstances, and no matter her surroundings, there was always a new target.


    What kind of person behaves this way? In the 1970s, psychologist Robert Hare developed a checklist to assess a given subject’s personality. The symptoms on Hare’s list read like a catalog of Linda Taylor’s known behaviors and personal characteristics: glib and superficial charm, pathological lying, manipulativeness, lack of empathy, parasitic lifestyle, frequent short-term relationships, and criminal versatility.


    Of the 20 items on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist–Revised, nearly every one describes the welfare queen to some degree. Dr. Steve Band, a behavioral science consultant and an expert on criminal behavior, says “people with that personality know right from wrong.” Dr. James Fallon, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California at Irvine and the author of The Psychopath Inside, says that Taylor “screams psychopathy.” Along with deriving pleasure from criminal behavior, he says, psychopaths “really like getting away with it”—that “the ones who have intelligence, they don’t want to get caught.”


    Despite the striking synchronicity between this checklist and Taylor’s behavior, diagnosing someone as a psychopath isn’t as easy as ticking a set of boxes. As Dave Cullen wrote for Slate in 2004, it took an elite group of mental health experts to establish Columbine shooter Eric Harris’ psychopathic “pattern of grandiosity, glibness, contempt, lack of empathy, and superiority.”


    If a similar team of psychologists scrutinized the welfare queen, Hare’s checklist would be a logical place to start. For her part, Taylor’s daughter-in-law Carol Harbaugh has a simpler list, one with just three points: “She was brutal. She was mean. She was terrible.”

    ... ... ...

    Some of Taylor’s victims were spared her worst behavior—they just learned an expensive lesson and got on with their lives. Kenneth Lynch, who’s now in his early 80s, bought a property with Taylor in Holmes County, Fla. Lynch remembers her saying that her husband had been killed by mobsters in Chicago. He also says that Taylor never came up with her share of the money, though she did pilfer Lynch’s last name. Reta Hunter, who lives in Live Oak, Fla., says “Linda Lynch” led her to stop trusting people. Taylor told Hunter she was a psychic who’d descended from Caribbean royalty, and that she could help remedy her relationship with her daughter. “The last time I seen her it cost me $80 for about 20 minutes,” Hunter says. “She could take you, honey. She was a slick talker.”


    Not all of Linda Taylor’s relationships ended so harmlessly. Sherman Ray took a shotgun blast to the chest. Patricia Parks’ life ended in her daughter’s bedroom with her body pumped full of phenobarbital. And an elderly African-American woman named Mildred Markham died in Graceville, Fla., far away from her home and loved ones.


    Taylor and Markham met in Chicago in the early 1980s. Markham’s husband James, a retired Pullman porter, earned a good salary in his day. Soon after he passed away, Taylor convinced the railroad man’s widow that she was her long-lost daughter. “All [Mildred] used to do was talk about this Linda,” recalls Markham’s granddaughter, Theresa Davis, who is 75 and still lives in Chicago.


    By the time she fell under the sway of her new “daughter,” Mildred Markham was well into her 70s. Davis and her mother tried to convince Markham that Taylor was a con artist, but she wouldn’t listen. Markham went with Taylor to Momence, Ill. From there, they moved to Florida. All the while, according to Davis, “my grandfather’s money was going out the bank.” She says that as much as $50,000 went missing, along with Markham’s furniture, sewing machine, jewelry, and mink coats. And in 1985, Mildred deeded away 185 acres of Markham family land in Mississippi. The grantees were Linda Lynch and her son Clifford. For his part, Clifford says he had no idea that his name was on the deed, and that he played no part in this land deal.

    ... ... ...


    Once, when the Harbaughs were in Florida for a visit, Markham begged them to take her back to Chicago. Carol says Taylor was verbally abusive, and that she watched her lock Markham in a room. Markham also told them that she wasn’t being fed. “She was forced to be there against her will,” Carol says.


    They did not rescue Mildred Markham. Johnnie says that he was determined to take her but that she changed her mind at the last minute and decided to stay. In Carol's recollection, Taylor told Johnnie, “You even think about it, and I’ll blow your head off.” She says her husband took the threat seriously, and he decided not to get involved.


    Mildred Markham died on Oct. 5, 1986. Her death certificate says she passed away of “presumed natural causes,” and that she had previously suffered a stroke. The Graceville police department reported that her husband, Willtrue Loyd, found her body in bed.


    Carol Harbaugh says she thought Loyd and Markham had gotten married. Florida records suggest that was probably the case. In March 1986, Loyd married a woman named “Constance Rayner” in Marianna, Fla. The marriage application says Constance’s home state is Louisiana; Theresa Davis says that’s where her grandmother, Mildred Markham, was born. The bride signed her supposed maiden name, Constance Wakefield, in a looping script. It’s a shaky signature, one that doesn’t much resemble Linda Taylor’s tidy penmanship.

    Taylor always took something from her prey. But this marriage record, with the telltale Wakefield surname, shows that even as she sucked this older woman dry, Taylor was grafting parts of herself onto Mildred Markham.

    ... ... ...


    As in the cases of Patricia Parks and Sherman Ray, Taylor stood to gain financially from Mildred Markham’s death. Mildred’s medical examiner’s file includes letters from Union Fidelity Life Insurance and Gulf Life Insurance, both of which were looking to verify the claims of one “Linda Lynch,” the decedent’s daughter. The file also contains a note in which someone, presumably the medical examiner’s assistant, writes that Markham’s daughter “took out insurance policies at varied times using different names (marriages).” The daughter needed a letter to clear up this misunderstanding, and the medical examiner complied. “To the best of my knowledge Mildred Constance Raner Loyd, Constance Loyd, and Mildred Rayner are one in the same person,” he wrote.

    A letter from Dr. D. Bruce Woodham in the medical examiner&rsquo;s file for Mildred Markham (aka Constance Mildred Rayner Loyd).

    A letter from Dr. D. Bruce Woodham in the medical examiner’s file for Mildred Markham (aka Constance Mildred Rayner Loyd).

    Florida Medical Examiner, District 14. Graphic by Slate.


    That wasn’t the only confusion about Mildred Markham’s death. On May 15, 1987, Dr. D. Bruce Woodham sent a letter to the medical examiner’s office saying that his patient did not die of natural causes. Woodham, a neurological surgeon, wrote that Markham hadn’t suffered a stroke. Rather, she’d fallen and hit her head. “I believe that Ms. Loyd's death was the result of an injury, she fell, she sustained a subdural hematoma, and she herniated from this, and that caused her demise,” the doctor explained.


    On account of Dr. Woodham’s letter, Markham’s death was reclassified as an accident. Regardless, Taylor probably collected on those life insurance policies—so long as there were no accusations of foul play, the companies more than likely paid up.

    Dr. Woodham, who is still practicing, says that although he wrote that Mildred Markham fell and hit her head, there’s no way he can know with certainty. He’s not a forensic pathologist, and he doesn’t have the expertise to distinguish between injuries that are consistent with a fall or ones that might come from a car accident or a blunt instrument. Dr. Woodham says he doesn’t remember the particulars of this case, but in general he goes by what he’s told—information provided by a paramedic, or possibly a family member.

    Theresa Davis does not believe her grandmother fell and hit her head. She is convinced that Mildred Markham was murdered, and that Linda Taylor is somehow responsible.

    Six years after Mildred Markham’s death, her widower Willtrue Loyd died in Florida at age 72. The medical examiner’s report says he succumbed naturally, to heart disease. Loyd’s next of kin is listed as Linda Lynch, his granddaughter. Taylor was only about seven years younger than her “grandfather.” Nevertheless, as Loyd’s supposed heir, she presumably stood to receive the World War II veteran’s benefits. Another death, another check.

    ... ... ...

    For Linda Taylor, documents were never simple accountings of the truth. Pieces of paper always told a story—about her identity, her husbands, her children, her parentage, what was owed to her, and who owed it—and that story was usually self-serving, contradictory, and false. That didn’t change just because she was dead.

    Her death certificate, compiled from information provided by her daughter Sandra Smith, is a blend of truth, lies, and conjecture. The welfare queen’s name is rendered as Constance Loyd, which it wasn’t. Her date of birth is listed as Dec. 25, 1934. It wasn’t. She’s described as a homemaker, which she wasn’t. Her father and mother are given as Lawrence Wakefield and Edith Elizabeth Jarvis. They weren’t. Her race is white—the same as in the 1930 and 1940 census. Among her itemized medical conditions is bipolar disorder. That may be true, or it may be a fabrication.

    [Mar 12, 2016] The Female Sociopath

    Reproduced in full. Website is down as domain name expired.

    Emily Thorne of Revenge “behaves like a sociopath,” according to the actress who plays her, because she is “a vulnerable, hurt, angry young girl who ultimately wants to rid herself of those feelings.” Playing master manipulator Patty Hewes on Damages “toughened” Glenn Close, leading her to proclaim that the show and the women it depicted “were not for sissies.” Even Quinn Perkins of Scandal has, over the past season, managed to cultivate a “high-functioning sociopathy” that has transformed her from former CIA agent Huck’s damsel in distress to his adversary — a preternaturally gifted hacker who manages to make the art of torture sexy.

    ... ... ...

    in the southern United States, Thomas describes herself as a high-functioning, pro-social sociopath — an apostle for the belief that under the right circumstances, sociopaths can prove beneficial to society as ingenuous thinkers and ambitious leaders. If this doesn’t put her fellow sociopaths at ease, there’s also the fact that, when I spoke to her over the phone in March, she seemed unfathomably nice, her voice shot with just the right amount of charm.

    Confessions narrates Thomas’s upbringing as a budding sociopath in a devout Mormon household, and her dawning recognition that “the label of girl was too limiting to contain my own grandiose conception of myself.” Sociopathy became a way for her to score small victories over the men who tried to limit her agency in a variety of domestic and professio