The 7 Ways Sociopaths Manipulate You

thinking-272677_1920How do you become a target for a sociopath?

If you work with correctional inmates, long-term psychiatric patients engaged in criminal thinking, or anyone else with sociopathic tendencies, you can be a target for manipulation.

This applies to nurses, correctional workers, educators, therapists, and others who are exposed on a daily basis to sociopathic thinkers.  See the post: “Don’t be a Target for Criminal Manipulations…”

How do you recognize that you might be experiencing manipulation by one of these individuals?

The first step is to be aware of the systematic process sociopaths use to gain your trust and then to exercise leverage against you.

Leverage that can make you do things you thought you would never do.  Reference Bud Allen and Diana Bosta,   Games Criminals Play

It all begins with the establishment of a relationship.  (read more)1. The Relationship

How would a bad guy establish a relationship with you?  It starts with careful observation of YOU.

Let’s call our bad guy “Pepe,” as in the infamous Pepe LePew.  If you recall, Pepe was an amorous skunk who courted with dripping overtures any moving thing.

Our “Pepe” is an inmate or patient or coworker with sociopathic tendencies, and Pepe has decided to see if he can get something going with you.  Why? He has nothing better to do, and if his strategy works out right he may get something out of his long stay within the walls.

2.  Watching and Listening

So Pepe watches you.  He listens to you.  He knows more about you than you thought was possible.  He listens and learns about your likes, your friends, your children, some of your problems.  He may even know your address and what kind of car you drive.

Pepe begins the relationship by using information to establish communication.  He shares your interest in crafts, relates to the trouble with your teenage daughter, and agrees that your supervisor shows favoritism to that other employee.

3.  Touching

Once there is a little communication going on, Pepe may initiate a little “touching.”  Not sexual in nature, but it is enough to help reinforce the feeling of a bond.  People who like you touch you, right?  Pepe is just letting you know he likes you and is on your side.

4.  You’re the Only One!

Is there anyone else who has the same kind of relationship with Pepe?  Probably not.   You are the only one who understands him, and you’re the one person he feels safe talking to.

He says you are special.

If Pepe was a female “Pepina,” tears may break out as well.  Maybe Pepina feels sad, maybe Pepina is trying to reinforce her image with you as a victim, abused, needing support, and yes you are the only one she trusts.  She tells you this as she wipes away her tears.

5.  The Test

The next big step in this process is the test.  Once the relationship feels solid, Pepe or Pepina will test the strength of the bond they have established.  The test is usually simple:  will you overlook a minor rule violation or do a minor favor just this once?  Just this once?

If you agree, you passed the test, and you’ve just become a fish on the hook.

If you agree, you’ll probably be given a reward of some kind: gratitude and a favor, praise, maybe even money or a gift.  And now you are really on the hook.

6. The Shopping List

This process can evolves into the “shopping list” of favors and actions Pepe expects from you.

Why would you continue to fill the shopping list?   Because Pepe and Pepina are not your good friends.  They are SOCIOPATHS.

They have no hesitation in mentioning how embarrassing it might be for others to learn how you have violated the rules.  Pepina can start malicious rumors about you.  Pepe can even threaten violence against you, your coworkers, or your family.

7.  The Big Ask

Finally, all the favors and your personal guilt and fear about your own vulnerability to exposure lets Pepe and Pepina pull the trigger on the “Big Ask.”   This is the prison-break-out-of-the-century ala Joyce Mitchell and a yellow jump suit “ask.”

If Pep and Pepina get caught, they just return to where this process began:  in the institution.  You, however, may lose your job, your family, and maybe even your freedom.

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