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How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

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How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby talltree » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:49 am

I have a member of my extended family who I am quite sure is a sociopath. The reason why is (since childhood, he is 21 now);
- he is cruel to animals and abuses them
- he is cruel to people and enjoys upsetting / emotionally hurting others
- he lacks empathy and is cold
- he has revealed he is curious about torture / harming others
- his own mother and step mother have said he is cruel / sadistic (and they are both lovely women and were never abusive to him)
- he lies and is manipulative

I know this person fairly well, and we have the sort of dynamics that in the past he has told me a lot about himself / his problems. However last time we talked we had a falling out over something trivial which basically resulted in us not speaking.

What I want to know is how should I deal with him now? We live in different countries but I am going to be moving for a period of time to his country and I will probably bump into him now and then (hard to say how often as he has his own independent life now and he is pissed off with me anyway). I am concerned because even though I don't think he will commit a crime (and I hope he hasn't) against people, I feel I can't trust him or know what he is capable of.

So how do I behave around him? Should I hide the fact I'm 99 % sure he is a sociopath? Should I avoid him at all costs and try not to have anything to do with him? Should I be frank with him and tell him what I think if we have a conversation about the subject?

Thanks for advice
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Re: How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby kanin » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:41 am

Avoid him. If you have to be around him, act normally.
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Re: How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby mdorr1334 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:20 pm

You can't help him nor can he help himself (although i have heard of psychopaths going to counseling on their own without being forced to).
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Re: How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby Lannibal » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:38 pm

Give him the URL to this board. The more, the merrier I say.
Ex uno disce omnes
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Re: How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby Sunlight_hurts » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:24 pm

talltree wrote:I have a member of my extended family who I am quite sure is a sociopath. The reason why is (since childhood, he is 21 now);
- he is cruel to animals and abuses them
- he is cruel to people and enjoys upsetting / emotionally hurting others
- he lacks empathy and is cold
- he has revealed he is curious about torture / harming others
- his own mother and step mother have said he is cruel / sadistic (and they are both lovely women and were never abusive to him)
- he lies and is manipulative

I know this person fairly well, and we have the sort of dynamics that in the past he has told me a lot about himself / his problems. However last time we talked we had a falling out over something trivial which basically resulted in us not speaking.

What I want to know is how should I deal with him now? We live in different countries but I am going to be moving for a period of time to his country and I will probably bump into him now and then (hard to say how often as he has his own independent life now and he is pissed off with me anyway). I am concerned because even though I don't think he will commit a crime (and I hope he hasn't) against people, I feel I can't trust him or know what he is capable of.

So how do I behave around him? Should I hide the fact I'm 99 % sure he is a sociopath? Should I avoid him at all costs and try not to have anything to do with him? Should I be frank with him and tell him what I think if we have a conversation about the subject?

Thanks for advice


99% chances are, he's not a sociopath.

My advice, Arsenic.
Statistically speaking, an average person tells approx. 3 lies every 10 minitues of communication. Can you blame me for not trusting anyone?

PhoenixTrue wrote:In my opinion there's no such thing as 'sociopathy' or 'psychopathy', only people with a grudge AND Jeffrey Dhamer.
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Re: How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby talltree » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:44 am

Sunlight_hurts wrote:99% chances are, he's not a sociopath.

My advice, Arsenic.


Why do you say that? is that a joke? And that's not the point, he is a sociopath now no matter the source.

And no I don't want to 'help' him. I just want to know how to act, especially as I don't know what -acting normal- would be after having a falling out. But I guess avoiding him, as someone else here said, makes sense. So i'll probably do that.
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Re: How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby kanin » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:24 am

I said "acting normal" because it won't help you if he thinks you suspect him of something. I'm pretty sure that would turn out worse than just outright accusing him.
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Re: How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby The_King » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:25 am

kanin wrote:Avoid him. If you have to be around him, act normally.


Yes great advice. Don't instigate and don't even bother sending him to a shrink. It is proven that therapy makes him worse, because he will use the knowledge for personal gain.

Cutting ties and running is the best solution.

That's what my family did. Those sneaky bastards.
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Re: How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby Timmy » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:07 pm

talltree wrote:Why do you say that? is that a joke? And that's not the point, he is a sociopath now no matter the source.

You've listed 3 traits: sadistic behaviour, lack of empathy and manipulativeness. None of these traits are exclusive to ASPD, furthermore I bet you can find quite a few 'normal' people with the aforementioned traits.
talltree wrote:And no I don't want to 'help' him. I just want to know how to act, especially as I don't know what -acting normal- would be after having a falling out. But I guess avoiding him, as someone else here said, makes sense. So i'll probably do that.

You have 2(surely there are more but I'll list 2) options, you either avoid him(redundancy ftw) or get along with him. Contrary to the general notion of this forum, some sociopaths can be quite fun to interact with, given that you are smart enough not to get hurt.

If you decide to avoid him:
  • act as if you do not notice him
  • do not greet him or if you have to, do it unenthusiastically
  • make up excuses not to be around him

If you decide to become friends:
  • the first time you meet him, greet him enthusiastically(hug?), act as if you never had a falling out
  • if he acts displeased to see you:
    • mention your falling out
    • appologise
    • tell him that it was entirely your fault
    • ask for forgiveness
  • never mention your suspicions of him being a sociopath

Are you a female?

P.s.: Obviously, avoiding him is much easier.
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Re: How to deal with a sociopath in the family?

Postby talltree » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:41 pm

Timmy wrote:You've listed 3 traits: sadistic behaviour, lack of empathy and manipulativeness. None of these traits are exclusive to ASPD, furthermore I bet you can find quite a few 'normal' people with the aforementioned traits.


Ok...well I wasn't trying to diagnose him with ASPD. I'm just pretty sure he is a sociopath and this is the first forum I found that was relevant. And...he sure as hell ain't normal. He's had issues all his life and has been in counselling for years for i don't know what. I also forgot to mention, he is full of himself, very egotistical, has a sense of entitlement and lacks remorse. He can also pretend to care, but then switches it off, and acts all smug, like 'huh people are such dumb sissies, and i've got them all wrapped round my lil' finger'. He also treats people like $#%^, is rude, he keeps his dog locked in a tiny cage day and night. The poor animal has gone mad. I actually don't like to hang around him because he is basically a douche, who's also a sociopath.

Timmy wrote:You have 2(surely there are more but I'll list 2) options, you either avoid him(redundancy ftw) or get along with him. Contrary to the general notion of this forum, some sociopaths can be quite fun to interact with, given that you are smart enough not to get hurt.

If you decide to avoid him:
  • act as if you do not notice him
  • do not greet him or if you have to, do it unenthusiastically
  • make up excuses not to be around him

If you decide to become friends:
  • the first time you meet him, greet him enthusiastically(hug?), act as if you never had a falling out
  • if he acts displeased to see you:
    • mention your falling out
    • appologise
    • tell him that it was entirely your fault
    • ask for forgiveness
  • never mention your suspicions of him being a sociopath

Are you a female?


yeah I am?

Timmy wrote:P.s.: Obviously, avoiding him is much easier.


I opt to avoid because as I said above he's a douche and I can't stand who he is. I'm kind of disturbed though, because avoiding him is still easier said than done, and I have a tendency to just blab exactly what I think. So I hope i keep my mouth shut. And i'll at least have to be polite and acknowledge him at family gatherings. But I'll make it clear I don't really want to talk to him. And thank you for writing the above out in detail. There should be more guides on 'how to act around a sociopath'...lol.
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