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do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

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do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby yYyYy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:33 pm

do we- unintentional "mirroring"?


A psychopath will mirror your identity at the beginning, middle and end of a relationship, only in different ways at each stage. Initially, in order to win you over, he will pretend to be like you and to like everything about you. Robert Hare and Paul Babiak describe in Snakes in Suits how during the “assessment phase” of the relationship a psychopath will convey to his target four main messages: 1) I like you; 2) I share your interests; 3) I’m like you, and 4) I’m the perfect partner or soul mate for you.

This process constitutes the mirroring phase of the psychopathic bond. Granted, most romantic relationships entail some aspects of mirroring. After all, that’s how couples discover their points in common. But with a psychopath the reflection tends to be instant and total. It’s a simulated bonding that’s way too fast, too soon and too good to be true. This happens before any real emotional connection can take place. It occurs before the partners have gotten to know each other well, over time and in different circumstances. Instant bonding is usually a symptom of shallowness of emotions rather than of miraculous compatibility. It means that the psychopath will detach from you and latch on to another target as easily as he initially attached to you. Yet through their conversational glibness and innate charm, as well as through their extraordinary capacity to identify and reflect your deepest desires, psychopaths can initially make you feel like they’re your dream come true. They present themselves as the only partners who could possibly fulfill whatever’s been missing from your life.

During the course of the relationship, however, the psychopath reveals more and more his true colors. He becomes increasingly critical and controlling. What’s more, he also incites you to go along with his wrongdoings. That way you mirror his ugly personality and become his accomplice. His message switches from being “I’m just like you” (as moral, smart, kind, beautiful, ideal as you are) as it was during the luring phase to being “you’re just like me” (as deceitful, malicious, dishonest as you begin to see that he is). Keep in mind that, most likely, you’re not. Even if you’ve engaged in some wrongdoings, unless you thrive on pathological lying, promiscuity as a means of domination of others, playing mind games, harming others and power games you’re not likely to be a psychopath, like him.

When you’ve finally had enough and leave the psychopath–or when he leaves you–he will see you as a devalued, distorted mirror image of himself and of your former, idealized, self as well. Every quality he initially saw in you–from beauty to brains–will be turned into its opposite. If he saw you as smart, you’re now stupid in his eyes. If he was attracted to your beauty, he now sees you as ugly. If he admired your hard work, he now views your efforts as a mindless submission to the system. As I’ve explained in the previous post about the process of idealize, devalue and discard, this negative mirroring at the end is a natural and inevitable unfolding of the psychopathic relationship.

--------------

Babiak and Hare explain that although psychopaths are highly manipulative, the process of idealize, devalue and discard is a natural outgrowth of their personalities. In other words, it’s not necessarily calculated at every moment in the relationship. Overall, however, whether consciously or not, psychopaths assess and drain the use-value out of their romantic partners. (Snakes in Suits, 42) During the assessment phase, psychopaths interact closely with their targets to see what makes them tick. They ask probing questions, to discover their unfulfilled needs and weaknesses. They also commonly lure their targets with promises to offer them whatever’s been missing from their lives. If you’re recovering from a recent divorce, they offer you friendship and an exciting new romantic relationship. If you’ve suffered a death in the family, they appear to be sympathetic friends. If you’re going through financial difficulties, they lend you money to seem generous.

During the manipulation phase, Babiak and Hare go on to explain, psychopaths construct the “psychopathic fiction.” They pour on the charm to hook their victims emotionally and gain their trust. They present themselves as kind-hearted individuals. Of course, in order to do so, psychopaths resort to outrageous lies since, in reality, they’re just the opposite. In romantic relationships in particular, they depict themselves as not only compatible with you, but also as your soul mate. While seeming your complement, they also present themselves as your mirror image. They claim to share your interests and sensibilities. Babiak and Hare observe: “This psychological bond capitalizes on your inner personality, holding out the promise of greater depth and possibly intimacy, and offering a relationship that is special, unique, equal–forever.” (Snakes in Suits, 78)

Because psychopaths are great manipulators and convincing liars, as we’ve seen, many of their victims don’t heed the warning signals. During the early phases of a romantic relationship, people in general tend to be too blinded by the euphoria of falling in love to focus on noticing red flags. Also, during this period, the psychopaths themselves are on their best behavior. Yet, generally speaking, they get bored too easily to be able to maintain their mask of sanity consistently for very long. The honeymoon phase of the relationship usually lasts until the psychopath intuitively senses that he’s got you on the hook or until he’s gotten bored by the relationship and moved on to other targets. He shows his true colors when he’s got no incentive left to pretend anymore. As Babiak and Hare note, “Once psychopaths have drained all the value from a victim—that is, when the victim is no longer useful—they abandon the victim and move on to someone else.” (Snakes in Suits, 53)

A broader explanation, which would include both kinds of psychopaths, might look something like this: as research confirms, all psychopaths suffer from a shallowness of emotion that makes their bonding ephemeral and superficial, at best. When they want something–or someone–they pursue that goal with all their might. They concentrate all of their energies upon it. When that goal is your money or a job or something outside of yourself, their pursuit may appear somewhat fake. You’re a means to an end. You were never idealized for yourself, but for something else. But when their goal is actually you–seducing you or even marrying you–then their pursuit feels like an idealization. Temporarily, you represent the object of their desire, the answer to their needs, the love of their life and the key to their happiness. But this feeling of euphoria doesn’t last long because it’s empty to the core. As we’ve observed. once psychopaths feel they have you in their grasp—once your identity, hopes and expectations are pinned on them—they get bored with you and move on to new sources of pleasure and diversion. We’ve also seen in Cleckley’s study that the same logic applies to their other goals as well. Psychopaths tire rather quickly of their jobs, their geographic location, their hobbies and their educational endeavors. But it hurts so much more, and it feels so much more personal, when what they get tired of is you, yourself.

Their loss of interest appears as a devaluation. From the center of their life, you suddenly become just an obstacle to their next pursuit. Since psychopaths are intuitively skilled at “dosing,” or giving you just enough validation and attention to keep you on the hook, you may not immediately notice the devaluation. It’s as if the psychopath intuitively knows when to be charming again (in order not to lose you) and when to push your boundaries, further and lower. Your devaluation occurs gradually yet steadily. One day you finally notice it and wonder how you have allowed yourself to sink so low. Occasionally, he throws you a bone–takes you out, plans a romantic evening, says kind and loving things—to lead you to dismiss your healthy intuitions that you’re being mistreated. If the psychopath allows himself to treat you worse and worse it’s not only because you’re much less exciting in his eyes. It’s also because he’s conditioned you to think less highly of yourself and to accept his dubious behavior. Because you want to hold on to the fantasy of the ideal relationship he cultivated, you go into denial. You accept his implausible excuses. You put up with your growing fears and doubts. You rationalize his inexplicable absences, his increasingly frequent emotional withdrawals, his curt and icy replies, his petty and mean-spirited ways of “punishing” you for asserting your needs or for not bending to his will.

That’s when you realize that the devaluation phase has set in. You do whatever you can to regain privileged status. You try to recapture the excitement and sweetness of the idealization phase. You want to reclaim your rightful throne as the queen you thought you were in his eyes. But that’s an impossible goal, an ever-receding horizon.

You have done everything you could to satisfy him. Yet, after the initial idealization phase, nothing you did was ever good enough for him.

---
Last edited by yYyYy on Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby xdude » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:50 pm

yyy -

In my limited experience, yes, however it's different. I'll make a sweeping generalization -

Psychopaths are often quite intelligent, calculating, machines who practice pushing others emotional buttons to get what they want. They can be quite good at it because they don't feel anything for others. There is little or no sense of remorse if others are hurt.

For those with HPD it appears to be different. It's not something planned, and on some level, it would seem those with HPD don't wish to hurt others, most would feel bad about themselves if they felt they did hurt others. It's not that they never hurt others, but if they do, deny it to themselves; a psychopath doesn't care if they hurt others. I guess in my mind I see someone with HPD as getting caught up in their own dramatic way of seeing the world. They may mirror but I think it's more about they really believe in the idealization at the beginning of a relationship, so easily step into that role. The devaluation phase though is somewhat similar, but seems to be rooted in a different reason. Psychopaths need excitement, as they are empty inside, and excitement is their addiction. but once they've gotten what they want from someone quickly grow bored. For someone with HPD perhaps there is some element of needing to feel excited, dramatic, but it seems to be more about the need for attention that causes the devaluation stage to happen. Or maybe there is some similarity? If a relationship with one is exciting, attention and an emotional relationship with others would feel even better? But that results in the person in the primary relationship feeling devalued, who then starts to withdraw, and so the person with HPD feels that and withdraws too, and down the relationship goes.

Okay, I made a lot of sweeping generalizations in my comments here, but it's impossible to cover everyone's individual experience. Not meant to be offense, that's just the general way I see it in my mind.
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Re: do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby yYyYy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:45 pm

xdude,

Babiak and Hare explain that although psychopaths are highly manipulative, the process of idealize, devalue and discard is a natural outgrowth of their personalities. In other words, it’s not necessarily calculated at every moment in the relationship.

Besides, this explanation doesn’t distinguish conmen, who fake their credentials and interest in a person, from psychopaths “in love,” who are pursuing their targets for what initially seems even to them as “romantic” reasons

But when their goal is actually you–seducing you or even marrying you–then their pursuit feels like an idealization. Temporarily, you represent the object of their desire, the answer to their needs, the love of their life and the key to their happiness. But this feeling of euphoria doesn’t last long because it’s empty to the core. As we’ve observed, once psychopaths feel they have you in their grasp—once your identity, hopes and expectations are pinned on them—they get bored with you and move on to new sources of pleasure and diversion.
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Re: do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby Black Widow » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:32 pm

Psychopaths cannot mirror your emotions, while that is what HPDs do.

I don't think that book excerpt is good. It is too general and could apply to any one-sided relationship. It is also crafted in order to make the reader personally connect and basically see psychopaths everywhere, by using the pronoun "you". But once to take out the artificial emotional appeal, there is not much content in the excerpt. he just describes something that happens everyday:
Two people meet, share interests, do things together, and one of them gets tired of the relationship.
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Re: do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby xdude » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:18 pm

yyy -

Good reply, and it may be true. From my own experience with psychopaths/sociopaths, it was very hard to get much out of them in regards to their own internal thought/feeling process. I never knew to what degree their own choices are well thought out, understood versus impulsive. There is a difference between psychopaths vs sociopaths, though not all psychologist agree they are separate disorders. Some interesting reading here -

http://helpingpsychology.com/sociopath- ... difference

"Psychopaths, on the other hand, often have charming personalities. They are manipulative and easily gain people’s trust. They have learned to mimic emotion and so appear “normal” to other people. Psychopaths are often educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they can have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature.

Psychopaths, when committing crimes, carefully plan out every detail and often have contingency plans in place. Because of this marked difference between the method of crimes committed by sociopaths and psychopaths, the distinction between these disorders is perhaps even more important to criminology than it is to psychology."


I tend to think of psychopaths then as individuals who plan/think/reason through their choices versus sociopaths that I think of as individuals who tend to be reactive, but again, not all psychologists agree there is any difference, and my understanding of today's use of the terms is limited to bits of reading here and there.
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Re: do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby orion13213 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:39 pm

YYY
Great articles you have been digging up lately...you should get into a psych degree program :-)

Like the others have said HPD's, AsPD psychopaths do mirror. But so do NPD' s and Non used car salesmen and cop s and anyone who is interested for whatever reason in someone else and who wants to win them over or gain their trust. Remember that personality disorders are just composed of exaggerated, amplified traits already widely distributed throughout humanity.

The difference is the reasons or goals behind the erection of the mirror:

Most HPD's just want to be loved.

Some want to be cruel, but their depredations are usually limited to emotional rather than physical cruelty.
Ditto for most NPD's.

AsPD psychopaths and sociopaths are more likely to seek humiliation, sadism, your material possessions, or your life.

-- Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:47 am --

...and cops want to investigate and maybe catch crooks and car salesmen want you tobuy cars.

So just because you mirror doesnt mean you're AsPD.


Probably disordered people mirror more intently and masterfully because they think they have no other assets to work with.
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Re: do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby orion13213 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:02 pm

...and cops want to investigate and maybe catch crooks and car salesmen want you tobuy cars.

So just because you mirror doesnt mean you're AsPD.


Probably disordered people mirror more intently and masterfully because they think they have no other assets to work with.
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Re: do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby yYyYy » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:26 am

black widow,
search about it.
psychopath cannot mirror your emotion? lol
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Re: do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby Black Widow » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:09 am

yyy wrote:black widow,
search about it.
psychopath cannot mirror your emotion? lol


yyy,
It is one of those things you learn with experience.
There is no need for me to research.
I was just answering your question.
I am not here to convince you.
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Re: do we hpds do "mirroring" like psychopath?

Postby yYyYy » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:52 am

psychopahs do mirroring. absolutely.
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