It’s not necessarily about winning or losing, but, when it comes to trying to cope with a sociopath, I have found one word that has the potential to get to them:
I know by definition sociopaths don’t feel empathy, or have a fully formed conscious, but, they share traits of a narcissist so, in my experience the worse thing you can do is voice pity for someone that mistreats you due to sociopathic behavior. Whether it’s a friend, a relative, or a significant other, for the most part, no one wants to get tied up with a sociopath but, if you find yourself in their trap, your one saving grace is to pity them.
Sociopaths are skilled in master manipulation. If you get in deep with a sociopath, you might be so manipulated that you start to question your own sanity. You can feel trapped in their web of lies, and since they don’t feel the pain they inflict on their victims, often times you can become stuck. You can struggle and lose yourself which is not something to get down on yourself about but, if you honestly can’t free yourself from a sociopath try telling them you pity their existence.
I knew someone in my past that was a sociopath. It took me years of experience to understand their behavior, and even when I could recognize the attributes, I still felt trapped. I had to plan my escape. I was always on the losing end of an argument, and suffered on a daily basis, so I tried to find empathy in order to deal. Then, one day, it hit me. This is sad. This behavior stems from a rocky upbringing, and my anger and frustration turned to pity. However, I never even said the word pity to their face then, one day I was having an argument and that person said, “Don’t pity me!” They became irate, and right then and there I knew I had a tiny victory. Gotta cha! I couldn’t believe it. The mere thought of someone pitying the sociopath was too much, and it daunted me. Why would pity be such a trigger?
Well, if I really look beneath the surface of a sociopath, they live a life of lies that seem impossible to destroy. They are almost trapped in their own brain and behavior, and even if they had the insight to want to change, are they really capable of change? Assuming the answer is no, knowing that would only frustrate a sociopath, and for someone to pity them for something they can’t change would clearly put them over the top.
So if you are someone stuck in some type of relationship with a sociopath, try it. Try telling them you pity them, and you might be surprised. Like I said, it’s not about winning or losing but, sometimes it feels good to beat a sociopath and expressing pity will at the very least trigger some kind of response, which gives you some grounds to feel a moment of success.