Are you in a love-relationship with a psychopath? Psychopaths are nearly impossible to detect. They appear to be normal, happy, charming, wonderful people who have it together. They do not appear disturbed, callous or devious. They tend to be extremely successful, convincing and in control of their lives. So, unless you are clear on what to look for, you could end up in the worst and most confusingly devastating experience of your life. These experiences can be so devastating that you lose trust in yourself, you lose hope in people and become confused about who and what to believe.
Signs to look for:
1. Queen Bee: Psychopath's are smooth and move quickly in the beginning of a relationship. They take charge of the pace and comment endlessly on your beauty, intelligence and uniqueness in ways not previously verbalized to you where you felt you were genuinely seen for who you really are. Any insecurity you have he will build you up to think that he sees just the opposite in you. To be idolized feels amazing. It is designed to trigger that all-essential-feeling of wanting to be the most important person in another's life. This is how he hooks you. Once this phase ends he will abruptly shut the attention off. Left confused and shocked you work tirelessly to get back to being his Queen Bee.
2. Soul Mates: Psychopath's are chameleons and shape-change to make you believe that the two of you are soul mates, that no two people could possibly find a connection like you share. He will mirror all your pain with a similar story and mirror all your interests as if they are also his. All this is, is a game of copy-cat. He has no real identity of his own and so he becomes you and mirrors you back to yourself.
3. Chemistry: Best sex you have ever had? He will initially go out of his way to please you and give you the best sexual experience of your life only to get you hooked. Once you are hooked sex is also abruptly shut off and you'll find yourself feeling insecure, rejected and doing what you can to get him to give it you again. Thus, you chase and he runs with all the control.
4. Devaluing: Now that the idealizing phase is over, the psychopath sees you as prey and begins the process of chipping away at your self-esteem by devaluing you. This usually starts with the silent treatment. He silences you over something small making you feel as if you are the worst most flawed person in existence. Then he will begin to disappear and stop showing up in your life with any consistency leaving you guessing and insecure.
6. Discard: Once you have been devalued the next step is to discard you. He has sucked you in with idealizing you, begins devaluing you making you feel desperate, confused and needy and then he ends it all by discarding you. You no longer inspire him because he was able to capture and control you. Meanwhile he has pulled you completely off your rhythm and you're left trying assemble the shards of yourself which have been strewn about, while he moves happily on to a new target.
7. "Hovering": Psychopaths never go away because once they discard you, they still see you as "supply" for their attention needs. He doesn't want you but he also doesn't want you to move on. If he senses you are done with him he will begin showing up either passively or directly to try and "win" you back. This is called hovering. Like a vacuum he wants to suck you back in. He will promise you the world, go back idealizing you only to get you in his clutches to discard you again and start the process all over.
The only way to get rid of a psychopath is to cut communication and contact completely. As long as you stay in any kind of contact you fuel his games and his power over you. He will make your life very difficult. Do not get tricked by the hovering because all he's looking for is to get you back into your position of being his "supply."
Little Life Message: Being ignored is a psychopaths kryptonite.
Dr. Sherrie Campbell
Author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person
Previous Articles by Dr. Sherrie Campbell include:
Sherrie Campbell, PhD is a veteran, licensed Psychologist with two decades of clinical training and experience providing counseling and psychotherapy services to residents of Yorba Linda, Irvine, Anaheim, Fullerton and Brea, California. In her private practice, she currently specializes in psychotherapy with adults and teenagers, including marriage and family therapy, grief counselling, childhood trauma, sexual issues, personality disorders, illness and more. She has helped individuals manage their highest high and survive their lowest low--from winning the lottery to the death of a child. Her interactive sessions are as unique and impactful as her new book, Loving Yourself : The Mastery of Being Your Own Person.
She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2003 and has regularly contributes to numerous publications, including Intent.com, Beliefnet.com, DrLaura.com and Hitched.com. She is also an inspirational speaker, avid writer and proud mother. She can be reached at Sherriecampbellphd.com.
Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person is available on Amazon.com and other fine booksellers.