“Understanding the Predatory Aggressive Personality” Comments, Page 1

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30 Comments (2 Discussion Threads) on “Understanding the Predatory Aggressive Personality”

  1. “…..because of how differently they are wired as organisms. In the end, that’s what enables them to be victimized by the predators they encounter.”

    Oh yes, and my own neurotic denial served a purpose, for sure. I was raising 4 kids and they had one dependable parent.
    I say I had NO idea my ex was one of these aggressives and I was sure he had some idea of his own need to abide by social norms but I couldn’t reconcile him Not having anxiety or awareness of his need to follow social norms.

    Ladies who are dating take note: Get the book and read it. A lot quicker and easier and less expensive than taking college courses on Abnormal Psychology.

    Thank God I was too busy raising the kids to think deeply about his behavior. On the other hand, I could have left if I figured it out earlier, although it may not have been under my own power.
    I say this because I fight for what’s right and would have forced him to face himself and get into counceling to save our family and marriage. I would have forced him, threatened, given ultimatums, etc. He would not have changed but felt forced to deal with my unwanted presence another way, perhaps.

    “….these individuals understand extremely well what other people consider to be necessary standards for civil human relations. They could, if they so chose, conform their conduct to such standards. However, they see these standards as just another example of a deficient species restraining itself from self-advancement.”

    My ex always felt ‘behind the eightball’ . Year after year he would verbally analyze why he married and had kids when he did, concluding he would have been in a different economic situation had his choices been different. This is what I dismissed year after year. He couldn’t possibly be saying he regrets our marriage and his kids. Wow.

    Upon being told I was going to see a psychologist alone since he was not interested and upon being confronted by our pastor, he reluctantly brought home a marriage tape and haltingly mentioned how he wanted to listen to it together. This all was after his affair and after asking him to find a time to talk, only to be told there was nothing to talk about.

    So it seems that finally only when being scrutinized by someone outside of our relationship, did he suddenly take a different posture. To save face, after all his best defense against we who’ve held him back from advancement, has been to do nothing.
    Wouldn’t discipline the kids, wouldn’t stick up for me or back up my discipline.

    Ok, I’m done whining; it is cathartic, but will eventually become a hindrance.

    So then I will know I am moving on when I stop discarding so many of the singles profiles (250+) on the dating website, and consider some of them worthy of a date! Haaahaaa!

  2. You end up with so many questions about these people, the main one being:

    Why do they fight so long and hard to stay with an individual that they claim to love? Why do they not just move on to the next victim?
    I think this is what keeps victims trapped in the web for so long. WHY?

    They lie so convincingly, even when you are 100% positive they are lying they still instill that doubt in your mind, like you’re the one who’s lost all sense of reality.

    George, can I ask – you’ve probably been asked this question a thousand times – but as they are pathological liars, and appear to completely believe the crap that comes out of their mouths, would they pass a lie detector test?

    What do they get out of it? I know they can completely and utterly destroy a caring human being, but what do they get out of it themselves.

    They have full control over another person or situation, but I find it difficult to see what they gain personally, because ultimately they seem hell bent on destroying their own lives as well. Like the killer who ends up in prison for life.

    At the end of their life, how may have families who really love them and will mourn their passing, as opposed to rejoicing in it.

    I can’t escape the feeling that they are very sad individuals who just destory themselves and everyone around them. It’s so hard to think that a person brings no good into the world at all.

    Oh grief, it haggles my head….

  3. Hi, Susan.

    I’ve been asked this question thousands of times and I address the issue in depth in my professional training workshops. Interestingly, findings were recently published of a research study conducted at UCLA on the reasons for lying in general. I posted about this on my own blog: http://www.manipulative-people.com/lying-another-look-at-this-character-defect/ just a couple of weeks ago. To quote from that post: “(the study’s results) confirmed a third reason people lie which I’ve long pointed to as a cardinal trait of the most disordered characters (psychopaths). That reason is to purely to have power or advantage over another. You see, disordered characters (most especially, the aggressive personalities) never want the field of play to be level. They want to be in a position to take advantage of others and to exploit their weaknesses. So they always try to assert or establish a one-up position. This completely explains why some of the most disordered characters lie even when it appears to serve no useful purpose. Lying is an effective way to keep others in the dark or in a disadvantaged position with respect to knowing what kind of person or issues they’re dealing with. So, even when there appears no other useful purpose to lying, keeping someone else second-guessing or at a disadvantage with respect to having your number so to speak is reason enough to lie.”

    So, that’s it. It’s all about the con, pure and simple. I’ve long suspected it, some psychopaths I’ve encountered were willing to confirm it, and now research supports it.

    As to your question about whether psychopaths believe their lies and could pass a polygraph, some have been known to pass the polygraph, not so much because they believe they’re telling the truth while they’re lying, but because there is such a total emotional disconnect and compartmentalization going on when they lie that they aren’t unnerved enough to swing the needles. I address this unique feature of psychopathy in an upcoming follow-up post on this most serious character disorder.

  4. “Why do they fight so long and hard to stay with an individual that they claim to love? Why do they not just move on to the next victim?”

    Susan, I don’t exactly ‘get it’ either, but even early on in our marriage, my ex could have left but didn’t.He was very quiet, but managed to keep up a facade.

    He never showed outward aggression, ever, not so much as even raising his voice or slamming a door. So I blithely went on being his wife, as much as he let me.
    He never had a sense of direction about life or desire to set goals of any kind, and I didn’t know what his issues were.

    Even after 32 years of marriage he still had to actually tell me that he had a problem with lying and anger. I didn’t know it was a part of his personality. He really had me!

    Moving on to the next ‘victim’ for my ex would have entailed some discomfort, financially, and in his reputation. So maybe for him the stakes were too high. It took a long time to get any information out of him but when he did admit his lack of judgment and indiscretion, I’m the one who took action and made the changes, which to everyone else, including our 4 kids, looked like an overreaction. I was thought to be the nut, for a time.

    I used to think of myself as a good judge of character, but I’ve been disesteemed and dethroned from that lofty notion. I’ve been gullible and trusting to the point of exhaustion.
    Now I am doing quite a bit of reading and learning to take care of myself. I do want to date eventually but right now I need lots of space and time. I am working to rebuild my relationship with my grown kids too, which is worth the time and energy it takes. They are busy learning how to relate to me and their dad and are very honest with both of us about how they feel.

    So glad to be free of the confusion and games.

  5. It’s just untrue what these people can do to you. Yes your right Mia, they turn your thoughts and feelings and trust in your ability to judge completely upside down.

    I understand why your husband may have stayed for the reason you state, but what I cannot figure is why they do under other circumstances.

    For example my family is currently going through hell with my daughters ex.

    She left him in the end, not solely because of his twisted behaviour, but the fact there was no choice left. He stole all the money for drugs, until my daughter couldn’t pay the rent or buy food for the family (It was a rented house, but in her name only). My daughter and the children moved in with me.

    He immediately moved on to another victim and moved in with her, within four weeks. So why does he carry on doing the most perverse things to get my daughter to return to him?

    The most evil thing he has done to her is steal her (their) beautiful daughter and totally brainwash the poor child so that he can use her to punish my daughter for him – he is hell bent on destroying her emotionally – he’s already done it financially. But why? He’s got his new life with his next poor victim.

    I can understand the ‘back burner’- my ex still stalks me sixteen years after we split up, but it’s more than that.

    I know he would dump his new victim tomorrow – lucky girl – if my daughter would agree to get back together with him and their daughter. Why, she has nothing left to give him.

    I think he is trying to destroy my daughter reputation as well. She is the lovliest person – but how does it look to others when her own daughter appears to hate her (I think I’m the only person left who does not believe this, I know my granddaughter is not like him, and know she loves her mother, because when she is on her own with us (which is rare) away from his twisted self, she is the lovely, caring child she always was)

    Does he want his daughter to be his next real victim?

    How can you get rid of them when you have children with them.

    So many questions…

  6. Hi, Mia, Susan. Just another comment about why such people stay. Aggressive personalities of all types detest losing. It feels too much like submission, which for them is the most repulsive experience. I’ve even known such personalities to hang on to a relationship even after they’ve become involved in a multitude of affairs. They simply can’t take anyone getting the better of them. And because for psychopaths life itself is all about the con, they hate to have the plug pulled on their ability to manipulate and control.

    One more thought. The folks you both have been describing appear – at least on the surface – to be personalities with a lot more going on than pure psychopathy. So, there may have been other dynamics involved.

  7. Susan, I feel for you and your daughter and gr. daughter.

    Has your daughter taken sufficient action to protect herself and child? It sounds as if her ex is using drugs. This is no game he’s playing, if he’s addicted someone could get physically hurt. I can’t imagine why a court would award custody of a minor child to a drug user. Had your daughter ever turned him in to police? If there is a ‘paper trail’ of police phone calls or reports of domestic violence or counselling visits, there is proof for the court that things aren’t safe.

    *I know in our area, if a parent is using drugs, we can get court action started, especially when a minor child is involved. Even taking advantage of a pro bono attorney who works for you without payment, if finances are a problem.

    *Here in our area any person can file a Civil Protection Order against a stalker, no matter who the stalker is, and it can be made to be in effect for 2–5 years. Then after 5 years do it again if need be.

    Your daughter needs to look into taking action for herself and her daughter. I know she probably already has by way of divorce action, but if he is likely using drugs now, her daughter may not be in a safe place and that needs to be checked into.

    Hugs for you!

  8. Dr. Simon,

    Yes my ex was diagnosed with paran/schizoprenia about 7 yrs ago. How thatcompares with pure psychopathy, I’m not sure. There is so much jargon that was new to me, so if I get things mixed up, that is because most of this stuff was what I was used to living with, without being familiar to the field.
    Gad, I have my own issues to deal with, you know?

  9. Hi, Mia. One of the reasons professionals abandoned the term psychopath and switched to the term sociopath in the late 70s is because with “psycho” being part of the word and it being so close to the term “psychosis” people easily confused psychopathy with psychosis.

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder. A psychopath has all of his mental faculties but choses to manipulate, abuse and exploit others. A schizophrenic is psychotic – that is has a brain chemistry disorder that makes it impossible for him think correctly and to appreciate right from wrong. The disease can be controlled by medication but aspects of the disease frequently remain. There can also be underlying personality issues but generally speaking they are overshadowed by the psychosis.

  10. Thanks Dr. Simon,

    He must not realize either, that his strange beliefs and suspicions about medication and the medical community have come before his relationships or he would have had the reasoning to get help.

    By personality issues you must mean something beside a personality disorder?

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