Sizing up the mark

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Sociopaths never hesitate to exploit a vulnerability

Sociopaths divide the world into two groups of people: predators and prey. They are the predators; everyone else is prey.

There are no rules of engagement. There is no compassion for the vulnerable, no sympathy for the bereaved, no mercy for the innocent. Your weakness is their opportunity.

Do any of the following traits describe you? If your answer is yes, be aware that a sociopath will quickly figure it out and then use it to manipulate you.

None of the above


If you're feeling lonely for any reason--an empty love life, a deceased spouse, a solo vacation--you might as well paint a bull's eye on your forehead. As Dr. Robert Hare says, "The callous use of the lonely is a trademark of sociopaths." They stake out singles bars, read the obituaries and troll Internet personal ads looking for opportunities to cash in.


Are you a whiz at work, but lacking in social skills? Do you feel unattractive--perhaps a bit overweight? Is your self-esteem a little shaky? If you have any insecurity, any self-doubt, any feeling of inadequacy--and who doesn't--a sociopath will find it.


Maybe you're not street-smart, because you always stayed away from the street. Maybe you avoid politics, even office politics. If you generally accept what people tell you, if you're at all naïve about the motivations of others, you're an easy target for a sociopath. Do you believe people are basically good? You better learn that there are exceptions.


Perhaps you're wealthy. Perhaps you simply have a good job, discretionary income and access to credit. From a sociopath's point of view, the more you have, the more there is to take. And the sociopath you run into may not be a common criminal. He may be your investment banker.


What do you want--college tuition for your kids, a comfortable retirement, maybe just a little excitement? A sociopath can cook up a plausible plan to deliver it. Even a get-rich-quick scheme will seem legitimate. Just don't expect to see your dreams come true.


You're an honest, forthright person. You take your obligations seriously. You would never dream of taking advantage of someone--so when a sociopath takes advantage of you, you won't see it coming. If you play by the rules, know this: Sociopaths don't.


"Sociopaths have an uncanny ability to spot and use 'nurturant' women--that is, those who have a powerful need to help or mother others," says Dr. Robert Hare. These women often work as nurses, counselors and social workers. They tend to look for the goodness in others and overlook faults. Is that you? Watch out.


When you give your word, it's good as gold. You see yourself as a good wife or good husband, loyal to your spouse. You stay the course, even when it looks like you've made a mistake. A sociopath will understand, and keep bleeding you until there's nothing left.

None of the above

Perhaps you're tough enough or savvy enough to avoid the pitfalls listed above. Don't think you're immune. All kinds of people have been manipulated by sociopaths--including corrections officers and psychiatrists who know what they are dealing with. Even "honor among thieves" doesn't apply to sociopaths. Everyone is a target.

I've realized (I took the test) that I'm STILL a mark (scored a natural 32 on my old settings, but only a 19 in the new reality).

Now, I have to note that there are NO scores on this test potentially lower than 12 (yes, even those who appear to be your 'friends' are deceiving), so it's creepy results I'm looking at.

Still, I'm pretty sure that I've known folks of this sort over my life (Ai told me that I was fixated on my previous relationship-really, I'm fixated on the whole idea of relationship).  I did mention my ex as an example more often than the others, but then, I had a whole lot more of her to work with than the others.

But then, over this year, I've run into more nutzo women than I've done in years past (not like I've been looking for the past two decades).  I don't think I've met one so far in this *city* who was attractive, single, sane, and honest.

Here's more advice from the same site:

Defrauded by your sweetheart? 
Don't expect help from the legal system

Suppose Mr. or Ms. Caring turns out to be Mr. or Ms. Con Artist; now your bank account is empty and your credit cards are full. Suppose you summon the courage to complain to authorities--the police, the FBI, the banks that issued your credit cards. Will they help you? Don't count on it.

• Cops and prosecutors know that fraud is difficult to prove. If you had a romantic relationship with the person who defrauded you, you'll need a tremendous amount of proof to get beyond "he said, she said." And prosecutors may still simply decline the case.

• You could go to civil court, filing a lawsuit or for divorce. You could win. Then you'll have a judgment that you probably cannot collect--after laying out thousands of dollars in attorney fees.

• Did the cad run up your credit cards? Even if the court rules that fraud was committed, you are still responsible for the debt. Pay up.

Our society's legal and financial systems are based on people following the rules. Sociopaths do not follow the rules. Therefore, when it comes to dealing with sociopaths and the damage they cause, the systems are practically useless.

In reality, you have only one option: Learn to recognize the symptoms of a sociopath, and when you see them, cut your losses and get away. Because once you get caught in a sociopath's web of deception, you're on your own.

Yano, in the 'old days' they had 'debtors prison' where the offenders went to work off the offense.  If nothing else, it kept them away from the rest of us.  The current 'legal system' offers exactly zilch in this respect (in fact, one might construe that this current government was by, of, and for, con-men if one looked at that in detail).

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This page contains a single entry by writch published on December 31, 2008 5:53 PM.

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