Thursday, January 24, 2013

Psychopaths: Idealization and Devaluation.

Quoting a Reader who wrote the following thoughts on the topic of Psychopaths and the cycle of Idealization and Devaluation. I found it interesting and decided to respond in little more detail...
"From what I am coming to understand, which seems to deepen and/or evolve as time goes on, a person who is a psychopath may idealize someone when beginning a relationship with them, or, as you said, enjoy their company for the things they have in common. I get this. And for the record, many neurotypicals also end up hurting those they get close to. Maybe it's for reasons that are different than yours, but it happens all the time.

My theory about what happens is this: As the psychopath gets to know the other person, he starts seeing what he considers  weaknesses, such as insecurities, doubts, etc. (vulnerabilities that actually create intimacy and closeness in neurotypicals), and although the relationship started on equal footing, he starts gaining control and power...and as he does, his respect for the other declines, and so does his interest, and he becomes disgusted because he was let down (disappointed), and then finds the other worthy of nothing more than fun and games. I may not have chosen the best words here, but my idea in general is there. I'll be looking for your blog post about this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I might be in the ballpark somewhere, at least, and may have even hit a home run."

You're pretty much spot on. I used to wonder what they meant by psychopaths idealizing someone because it has happened so very rarely to me. But then I remembered a few occasions from the time when I was in my teens and early twenties. I don't fall in love with people, but I can become fascinated with someone if I think they may know things I don't, so I'll want to learn from them.

There was this woman I met when I was in my twenties, she was a lot older than I was but still very attractive, and she made a pass on me. I responded because she appeared so strong, elegant, almost flawless. Since I've gained some knowledgeable about psychopathy I sometimes think about her, because it is very obvious that she was a psychopath. I didn't know it at the time because I didn't know any more about psychopathy than the average person does.

But as always in these rare cases when I do meet someone I think of as both strong and knowledgeable, also in this case I very soon lost any infatuation I had with this woman, because she blew it! It was very pitiful, really, she told me a really careless lie, and I thought: "You can't even get something as simple as that right?!". I also immediately knew she'd lied about other things that I had been impressed by when she told them to me, and as you can probably imagine my admiration disappeared instantly.

After that I dropped the relationship very quickly by showing her open disinterest whenever she was around. I knew she was somewhat bewildered about this, being obviously intelligent and therefore used to charm people easily, and then suddenly here was this young brad whom she'd taken on a vacation to Spain in Europe, and he'd so been enthusiastic about her, but now she just couldn't seem to move him at all.

Of course, soon after that she lost interest in me too, since - though still interested in me - I just wasn't easy enough to manipulate or bend, so after seeking me out twice, she gave up. We ran into each other a couple of times after that, and we were on good terms. Being a psychopath herself and much more experienced than me I'd have had no chance of playing with her anyway, and I sensed this just as she must've realized the same thing about me. So we respected each other, but there was no idealization anymore.

I'd almost forgotten... She actually did tell me once that psychologists in prison had said she was a psychopath. She never got around to tell me in detail about why she was in prison or about being diagnosed as a psychopath (that's how short lived our acquaintance was), but it just isn't likely that a clinical prison psychologist would call a prisoner 'psychopath' for no reason or out of anger. Of course I have no way of knowing how much she knew about how her psychopathy was reflected in how her personality was different from that of most other people, but I know she was very much aware that she was different and she would've said she was completely satisfied with being who she was.

I think she probably was as uneducated when it comes to the subject of psychopathy, as I was, and though she clearly had noticed some of the same traits in me, I'm not sure she had psychopathy in mind.

As for me, I didn't put much trust in what authorities said, and I still thought of the word 'psychopath' as mainly a way for psychologists and mainstream to say: "I don't like him!" about someone without actually having behaved "unprofessionally" or given away that they were emotional in their disliking of that person. A psychopath in my mind was our typical drunkard bully who couldn't think of anything more interesting to do than beating up his wife every Saturday night.

7 comments:

Ettina said...

Do you think part of what drew you to her was that she was another psychopath? I find myself feeling drawn to other autistic people, especially certain autistics who seem particularly similar to me.

Anonymous said...

Lol yep this writing is so true. I am an intelligent,whitty,very attractive,sexy woman. I could use this to my advantage however try my hardest not to.In my book that would be taking advantage of others. I fell hard for a Spath. He was amazing ( at first )in all areas. Especially sex..He, now i understand more of his sickness, found me interesting due to my qualities, confidence and strength.
After only being with him 3 months my life ( inevitably ) started to fall apart. I lost my job,my confidence, became teary.He found this unbearable and the relationship became a playground for him to make me worse, to utterly destroy me.
He nearly succeeded..however knowledge became my SALVATION and strength..I studied hard on the subject of his sickness, and my own for allowing and now knowing WHY? I was targeted and WHY? i allowed this monster anywhere near me..I ended up playing him at his own game.
NOW...he is baffled and at his whits end as i WILL NOT..ALLOW HIM BACK OR ANYWHERE NEAR ME...NEVER WILL.
His behaviour has become now uncontrollable and he will soon, i am very sure, be in jail.
He will murder someone soon im sure..i do not think it will be me as i show no fear anymore and tell him what he is with great insight now backed up with the experiences that i had with him and the knowledge i have from reading and liasing with professionals in this field.
Basically...HES FUCKED.LOL
I disagree that they always win.
However my Spath is no where near the intelligence level of our host, therefore with my high intelligence level i was able to stay one step ahead which is vital.Knowing all of there traits and games is a must and will give you the advantage.At the end it was simply like playing chess and knowing his next move.
CHECK MATE...I WON..
Unless he sticks that knife in my back when im not looking of course ????????

Anonymous said...

I have noticed this pattern in my life. Getting to know someone goes through stages, I like them, I get to know them, our differences become more apparent, we grow apart. With a strong person or someone I choose to like, it dissipates/grows into a sort of mutual respect or something similiar, an effective working relationship.

I go out of my way to cultivate this now, I have learnt the benefits of having positive relationships and not burning bridges, or letting them fall into disrepair. Only by deliberate effort and strategy( adaptive behaviour) have I over come the negative effects this pattern/inclination brings.

I find this with many of my psychopathic traits that can lead to unhelpful outcomes, as I learn about the nuts and bolts I become the master of my own destiny, and choose how this happens in the future. Not fitting me in a pidgeon hole !

Great to see your new articles mate. Thanks some more..

Anonymous said...

Relationships can come and go with all people. It is not as simple as the above self claimed psychopath wrote mar 19, 2013.
If anyone pays attention to their past relationships and decide to learn from them rather than hide, then you they can and do become their own masters of their creations. I hardly doubt that exerting controls can only come from pyschopaths. Having said that, I would avoid a psychopath completely, even if I was not quite on the mark. The difference is clearly stated by our host.
I am an empath with large antennae and always pay attention to my 6th sense. I began my career in banking, and believe me when I say, if you really want to know someone at their core, pay attention to how someone relates to money aka power. I learned that very few people are out to get you Make no mistake, there are those that are but in small numbers like psychopaths in general societies.
To be honest, this is one reason I am fascinated with the psychopathic brain. I think the main thing to know is that a psychopath despite education and social advantages will concentrate on the lower level of basic needs.

Anonymous said...

My theory about what happens is this: As the psychopath gets to know the other person, he starts seeing what he considers weaknesses, such as insecurities, doubts, etc. (vulnerabilities that actually create intimacy and closeness in neurotypicals), and although the relationship started on equal footing, he starts gaining control and power...and as he does, his respect for the other declines, and so does his interest, and he becomes disgusted because he was let down (disappointed), and then finds the other worthy of nothing more than fun and games. I may not have chosen the best words here, but my idea in general is there. I'll be looking for your blog post about this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I might be in the ballpark somewhere, at least, and may have even hit a home run."

This is very close, to me love makes people happy it's the core theme of movies, songs and T.V shows so it extrapolates a lot of interest.

At the start of a relationship I want to make her happy to be what she wants, I want to feel love. As time goes by I don't feel anything and pretending to be in love is becoming a chore. I start to resent the impositions on my time and activities and walk away.

Anonymous said...

Having even a short relationship with a psychopath may cause much grief toward the end, but it is something you will never forget! You will look back and smile about certain times spent together which will cause you to miss that person even after figuring out the whole thing was a scam....

Anonymous said...

to anon april 27

Clarity is not your strong point,
I agree entirely with Zhawq,
just stating how I try and do come to a more successful position over my inclinations.
If I knew you in person and you stated such bullshit about me, even if I had previously liked you much, I would have automatically have changed this position because of the weakness you have just shown. The want to cause you pain had instantly become my highest motivating factor.

I have had many relationships with non psychopaths that have never gone bad, we depart at some point, but your assertion it is best to get away quick is dumb and is a provocation to most psychopaths then and there. Like covering yourself in blood and going swimming in the ocean. Judgemental discrimination.