Chameleon or Sociopath? Toxic or Predatory?

Books about Sociopaths on sites like Amazon or Google range from short, painful, personal accounts, to the work of academic or mental health professionals. Your experiences may tie in with some of it, so just find what suits you as an aid to understanding, and keep an open mind. I am no expert and hate categorising people, but found I'd puzzled over factors that some writers did mention. Those accounts were helpful in stopping me going in circles! I do not think there is a definitive answer, but sometimes we need to accept that and move on. I was seeking a way to explain things to a friend who I knew would doubt and question, and rightly so. I found explanations better than mine, from people who had been through far worse. There were also some descriptions written from the point of view of the sociopath or narcissist. Whatever terminology seems apt, 'chameleon' is a good place to start, and may clue you in.

There does seem to be a toxic atmosphere, an uneasy quiet or frenetic cleaning purges that rattle our doors and windows. I am never easy about labelling people as 'toxic' though can see how that happens. My thinking is more in terms of predatory behaviour.

I have been known to flatter myself for playing an occasional part in altering someone's behaviour. Some things have changed here - for the better on this side of the fence, but I am not holding my breath. If any words or ideas are useful, it all helps to get some of it in the past. That has happened in this instance, though it has been a medium-term 'haul'.

Below is a short list of some Books on Sociopaths that are inexpensive and easy to read. Start simple, and search deeper if you need. I'm sorry not to have packaged this more neatly: It did not happen neatly or nicely. You are welcome to the information, and may be able to pass it on at a crucial time for someone else.

Prima Donnas
Something that may not seem to fit with this, is behaviour generally associated with stage or celebrity, or diva status: The 'lady' in question here behaves as though she has extra privileges or entitlement, exhibiting increasingly diva-like traits. I liken it to vandalism (something I have experience of), where perpetrators do things basically because they can. i.e. No-one stops them. That is not enough reason for not doing what we can to survive situations, to disseminate information, to support someone else, or to believe what may seem a heightened sensitivity in them. It could be real, and it could happen to you. My concern is that someone with intent to harm, will do it to someone like my elderly mother, to someone gentle and kind to others whose tendency is to allow others leeway. And it is too much for me to feel I will forgive, yet-awhile anyway.

I am a firm believer that Forwarned is Forearmed, and if one sees or recognises parts of the dynamic or puzzle, it shoves a substantial and significant spanner in. Proceed with caution, because part of this neighbour or territorial psychology dynamic seems to be that, whatever one does to be less obtrusive, or do simple, reasonable things to assert a style or right, can swiftly turn into a Really Big Issue in a bizarre or perverse way.

This is for you, if you find yourself wondering about individuals or movements, whatever things look like, and particularly if people try to convince you, or they bully or shun you, or they try to cut you off from others.


THE NARCISSIST'S SECRETS: (Know the things they don't want you to know!): Leyla Loric, Richard Grannon … via @AmazonUK

Black Hole : The Narcissistic Hoover by H G Tudor … via @AmazonUK

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M. E. Thomas … via @AmazonUK

Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath by Thomas Sheridan … via @AmazonUK

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare … via @AmazonUK

The Empathy Trap: Understanding Antisocial Personalities by Jane McGregor … via @AmazonUK

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout Ph.D. … via @AmazonUK

SOURCES: Counsellors/Therapists 'Going Rogue'

'Managing Monsters: Six Myths of our Time' by Marina Warner, (Reith Lectures 1994)

'Recovering Your Lost Self from Adversity', Art Martin, Tony Stubbs
31 people recovering from financial ruin, life-threatening illness, betrayal, insanity, incarceration, child abuse, tell how they face gigantic obstacles.
'Disrupted Lives: How People Create Meaning in a Chaotic World', Gay Becker

'Is it Time to Regulate Psychotherapy?' The Guardian, 9 May 2010
(Note: Some organisations are better than others. The fact that someone belongs to a reputable organisation does not necessarily mean that they are ethical, or would suit each person.)

More Links at Middle Ground: Allegations of Abuse, Bad Memory, Bad Therapy

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