Discussion Topic

Victim Traits - Before and After Encountering a Sociopath

Posted on 07/09/11, 02:53 pm
Hi everyone,

I found this online and thought it would be helpful. This is the link from the site Country of Liars:
http://country-of-liars.com/about/v...

These are traits of a victim before encountering a sociopath and after the encounter. I will copy/paste and then discuss. I definitely saw myself in both sections. In moving forward, we have to take an honest look at ourselves of what drew the sociopath to us--what they exploited--and how we are afterwards.

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BEFORE: TRAITS of a Potential VICTIM

Below are the traits most commonly attributed to a sociopath’s victim. Every person is inherently different, and that includes each victim and the traits that are most pronounced in the individual. This is not an attempt to diagnose anyone. An individual would definitely not need all these traits to be considered a potential victim.

Shyness
Difficulty communicating
A lack of self confidence
Wanting to please
A belief that if you love enough the person will change
A belief that if you love enough the relationship will succeed
Difficulty establishing and maintaining boundaries
Not being able to say no
Being easily influenced by others
Wanting to be rescued from your life situation
Wanting to rescue others from their distress
Being over nurturing particularly when not asked
Feelings of shame and self doubt
Low self-esteem
A lack of memories about childhood or periods of adulthood
A lack of motivation from within and being motivated by others

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AFTER: SYMPTOMS of a Relentlessly Abused VICTIM

This is a very accurate list of symptoms experienced by someone who has had their psyche brutally victimized by a sociopath. With that said, this list is not all-inclusive, nor is it intended to be part of any diagnostic function, whatsoever. These symptoms can also be triggered by many other conditions or events.

The source of this data is from ongoing research, but the majority of the data is derived and confirmed from personal experience … the key word being “majority” There are some symptoms listed here that I have not experienced at all, though they have been mentioned enough for me to accept them as potentially common.

If you, or someone you know, has experienced even a few of these symptoms, seek professional help. Keep in mind, though, that not all “help” is equal. If the professional you choose does not seem to relate to your needs as you would expect or desire, keep looking.

Emotional paralysis
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Suicidal thoughts or actions (indirect homicide)
Loss of interest in life
Loss of energy
Insomnia
Anxiety
Depression or Severe Depression
Numbing of feelings
Disinterest in having a relationship
Panic attacks
Irritability
Increased anxiety from being alone
Increased anxiety from being in crowds
Mood swings

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Thoughts?


Showing 8 Replies
  • Reply #1 07/09/11  3:31pm
    Have you read Women Who Love Psychopaths? While it would seem likely that the person described above would be a target, guys with personality disorders seem to like a challenge. The authors looked at 75 women who were victims of these men, including one of the authors, who was an MD, and found a list of personality traits very different than those described above. The targets were often outgoing, secure, educated and financially stable. Over time the psychopaths wore them down. At the end of the relationships they were exhausted, looking like the second list. The targets had sets of very positive traits; lots of empathy, loyalty and deep attachments. The risk personality traits were tolerance for danger and excitement seeking. They didn't look at same sex couples or women with personality disorders with men who aren't personality disordered. It would be interesting to see the results of those studies, wouldn't it? I think it's very interesting to think about what we all have going for us that make us good people. Those are OUR PERSONALITY TRAITS! We can't lose those good qualities any more than we can change the S's negative personality traits. If we can manage to find a healthy relationship next time around, we could really be in for a great time.
  • Reply #2 07/09/11  3:37pm
    Unfortunately, LillScorpio, I cannot comment on this because you all here are the only ones I have shared this experience with, and I'm going to keep it that way. As for the list, the first set is me to a tee!! I have some of the traits in the second list, but fewer.
  • Reply #3 07/09/11  3:55pm
    Lorileb, I definitely want to read that book. I've read that somewhere too what you described: that the person with the personality disorder/Sociopath/Narcissist, look for a target who is stable, confident, loyal, and empathetic. It's like you said: the S wore the person down---almost like it was a challenge to do the person in, take what great traits they have (or try to mimic them), and then be on their way. It's like the S had fun tearing apart the person with the healthy positive traits because they know they (the S) doesn't have it. Really sick and twisted. I'd love to see the results of the studies you mentioned.

    As for the list I posted...it's one way of seeing it. For myself, I know I've wanted to please others and at times have doubted myself. My self-esteem is better than what it used to be. It's an interesting list because these may be some of the traits that a psychopath looks at. I agree with your point that they seek to destroy those who are really on top of their game, but also that they exploit the hurting and wounded.

    The second list--oh man, I definitely had the panic attacks, some depression. Right now I'm not interested in finding a partner. I did think of hurting myself (although I would never do it). At the time, I just wanted the intense pain to end. I also had difficulty sleeping. Most of this has come to a stop and has greatly decreased. Thank God.

    Hi Song, you can comment. Both lists are definitely intriguing. It makes me reflect on what I need to change or at least be more careful about. One of them is that I know I cannot love the mental illness out of someone. I can't go into a relationship wanting to heal another person's wounds. I can be supportive, yes, but not healing, no.
  • Reply #4 07/10/11  1:31am
    Lorileb - I haven't read that book but I still have read the same information. Only, it wasn't so much the challenge - it was that what you had was appealing to them or would help achieve what the goal was. The object could be what you offer (money, power), it could be a way to get what they want (protection, support), it could be the victim themself at the time.

    My "S" didn't particularly like weak or timid seeming women. He claimed to like strong, out-spoken women and that is what at least two of his victims were. Ex #1 and me both expressed that we had never doubted ourselves before. There was evidence he used Ex #1 to fight his battles for him, and when trying to discard her, he used my and another peripheral, secondary victim, to help fight his battle against Ex #1.

    Later he used current target to "battle" me - although I wasn't interested in battling - I was concerned. And, he again used the secondary ex along with the "new" current to battle Ex #1 once again.

    I don't know about the current, I think he actually went for a very needy and dependent person this time. But, ex #1, me and secondary are all strong women.

    For those of you that match a lot of the traits on the first list (the nurturing, rescuing ones) Codependents Anonymous may be helpful. If you can't find a local meeting, they also have phone meetings. coda.org/index.php" title="http://www.coda.org/index.php" target="_blank">http://www.coda.org/index.php

    The 2nd list - oh yeah, plus a few more.
  • Reply #5 07/11/11  10:39pm
    I would say I am more similar to the first list, but also have excitement and thrill seeking behaviors. Fortunately, my N/S is not particularly vindictive to others, and actually has positive things to say about his exes. He is lazy and manipulative, self centered and pathological everything else a sociopath is...but seems more like a narcisscist in some respects. I would say he has characteristics of both, as I have characteristics of list one and 2.
  • Reply #6 07/12/11  4:40am
    The N and the S can look pretty similar, and some are both. I think most no better than to badmouth an ex, especially if there is no reason to. They don't want any trouble.
  • Reply #7 08/13/11  12:35am
    Wow - I would say both lists fit me pretty well. I was a codependent (ex husband was an alcholic) before I met the sociopath. And now - PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, shaking, fear . . . and the overwhelming feeling of being used, abused and disposed of like trash.
  • Reply #8 08/13/11  3:08am
    In my case the first list doesn't describe me much at all at the time. On the contrary I was very outgoing... but "confident, loyal, and empathetic." Thats what described me best at the time. I know that my WEAK spot was my empathetic nature and "wanting to rescue others from their distress"...particularly the same distress that I had gone through. This is what I believe set me up like a bait and trap. At the time i didn't even consider myself very trusting but I opened up to my S completely.

    From the second list I definitely have "Disinterest in having a relationship". I also feel emotionally detached and distant from people. I distance myself on purpose. I'm emotionally distant but I have a lot of friends and have no problem being social. I do get A LOT of anxiety when I try and open up to people as if I almost physically cannot do it. My heart beats faster, my shoulders tense up always and sometimes I cry depending on what it is. It does not feel natural opening up to people, if people ask something personal it feels intrusive. I have to literally force myself to say things to people... Part of me feels very comfortable in this way of being distant from people, but another part feels sad that I cannot feel connected to people in the same way anymore. I do not, nor I have I felt depressed or had a lot of the other symptoms luckily...Except temporarily like as in a month or so following when I found out the truth of my S. Then most of those symptoms. But over a year later I still have the other symptoms I spoke of.

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