Manipulative Characters Lack Authenticity

Manipulative Characters and Authenticity

The manipulative personality is a particular breed of character. Most folks manipulate to some degree. But some folks “con” as a lifestyle. Such disturbed characters get the things they want from people through deception and trickery. They are who they are, which I suppose makes them “authentic” in one regard. But they’re not who they appear to be when they present themselves to you. So that makes them inherently dishonest – proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing.

You can be manipulative without intending to be. But manipulative personalities generally know what they’re doing. They fight for what they want in subtle, underhanded, or dirty ways. Such behavior defines covert-aggression. Realizing what they’re up to with their clever tactics is the secret to personal empowerment. And cluing folks in on the nature and tactics of manipulative personalities is why I wrote In Sheep’s Clothing.

Authenticity Is Necessary but not Sufficient for Character

As the “10th Commandment” asserts, it’s important to be authentic, genuine, sincere. Manipulative personalities are inherently non-authentic in the way they present themselves. But is authenticity itself sufficient for good character? It most definitely is not. I can sincerely be an egomaniac who flaunts my purported greatness without reservation. Or I can be a tenacious warrior who has no compunction about running over others to secure my goals. Just being authentically who you are doesn’t make you a decent person.

To have character integrity you have to not only be genuine but also principled. Moreover, to be properly principled you have to both respect and be willing to subordinate yourself to some “higher power” or authority. Ultimately, the mark of the disturbed character is their deficient or absent recognition of and submission to a higher power.

All The “Commandments” Work Together

As you can see, all the “commandments we’ve been talking about for weeks now work together. They not only complement one another, they dynamically interact with and reinforce each other. They’re truly the “building blocks” of character. And each has to be mastered to a certain degree before others can be understood and embraced.

I’ll have some concluding words on the “10 Commandments” of Character next week.

Character Matters

Character Matters on Sunday, March 5, 2017 will be a rebroadcast of an earlier program. Therefore, no calls can be taken.

And be sure to check out my books and other timely articles on this blog. I appreciate all of you who recommend the books and articles to others.

43 thoughts on “Manipulative Characters Lack Authenticity

  1. Hi Dr. Simon: When you say “higher authority”, what do you mean by that? Do you mean a boss, a parent, the police, the law, God? Why don’t covert-aggressives understand the harsh consequences of refusing to submit to a higher authority? Having asked that question, much of the time, even harsh consequences won’t deter them from making the same mistakes over and over again – another job lost, another brush with the law, another family estrangement. Seemingly, even the most dire of consequences cannot penetrate their outright stubborn refusal to acquire some humility, to bow their heads to a greater authority than themselves.

    1. tflan386,

      By higher authority, my interpretation is God our creator. Why they don’t submit??? It is all about their False Pride.

  2. Hello Friends,

    I’ll just flat out say it, I need some encouragement right now. The SB (those of you who are familiar with my posts know this refers to Shitbag, the CDN I’m trying to divorce)
    Trial is upcoming, the house is in the process of being sold but not complete yet, with him doing his best to interfere and stop it. I have major stress right now. To make matters worse, he’s now pro se, which means he gets his revenge outlet now straight to the court system.
    This man has been hammering on me for two years now in court, it’s taken an emotional and financial toll. He is relentless and aggressive and unfair. His settlement proposal will hurt me financially as will the legal costs of going forward. I’m a Big Loser no matter which route I take.
    I told my attorney today I’d rather her have my money than him.
    He will and has milked me dry. I’m frustrated and physically sick over this.
    I need some encouragement. please.

    1. Lucy,

      I think you should be ready to pay a bit of prices just to see last of him. BUT, only if he will be out of your life permanently. There is no point in fighting just to get even. Sometime it is better to concede and move on.
      One must have enough money to meet once needs, otherwise life will be hell.

      Just take that decision in more calmer time.

      When fighting with pig, all you’ll get is shit. And, when you must fight a pig, carry a big knife.

      Sorry. I cannot help you more than that. 🙂 I tend to prepare for worst. That way most things can be handled in more calm manner. For example, I think I am looking for several years of litigation that can be avoided by giving up more than 60% of assets (she already got 40% that I gave her just like that). Now I am fine with giving up something. But, I think my wife will first try to grind me in litigation, and then try settlement as well. Well I will be ready for that!

    2. Lucy/Andy,

      I really feel for both of you guys going through this. I’ve yet to try to get the rest of my money back also so I’m going the have to bite the bullet there eventually. I’ve just taken a bit of time out to think and re-group and compose myself.

      Lucy does your lawyer understand he’s CD? Is there some way she can prevent him from turning up to the house while it’s being sold? I suppose you have already exhausted these avenues. Is there anybody at all in your circle you can trust implicitly? I know that’s a tall order because when it comes to money it really is the root of all evil. These guys are just a walking nightmare. Have you ever considered setting up a trust and moving some funds into there? I don’t know a lot about them but it would be worth looking into. What a pitty being nasty and malicious isn’t fatal. If malice could invoke a fatal heart attack just think about what a pleasant planet Earth would be.

      On a personal and spiritual level just know in your heart you’ve never done anything wrong and you certainly don’t deserve it and try not to let him get your hackles up – I know how hard that is believe me. We know there is little point in trying to fight them, they’ll never cease to amaze with their apparently endless bag of dirty tricks. Try with all your might to start your day with a positive attitude and see what comes back. I used to hate it when people would say to me “hang in there” it sucks. But just remember the light at the end of the tunnel is not necessarily an oncoming train and eventually you’ll get to wear a pair of ruby red slippers so you can click your heels together 3 times when the asshole is finally out of your life.

  3. Lucy,

    I think you should be ready to pay a bit of prices just to see last of him. BUT, only if he will be out of your life permanently. There is no point in fighting just to get even. Sometime it is better to concede and move on.
    One must have enough money to meet once needs, otherwise life will be hell.

    Just take that decision in more calmer time.

    When fighting with pig, all you’ll get is shit. And, when you must fight a pig, carry a big knife.

    Sorry. I cannot help you more than that. 🙂 I tend to prepare for worst. That way most things can be handled in more calm manner. For example, I think I am looking for several years of litigation that can be avoided by giving up more than 60% of assets (she already got 40% that I gave her just like that). Now I am fine with giving up something. But, I think my wife will first try to grind me in litigation, and then try settlement as well. Well I will be ready for that!

    1. Andy,

      Thanks for the encouragement.
      Giving up 60 percent is a lot. It’s hard to start over and rebuild.
      I’m willing to give up without a fight a lot, but not 50 percent, after he’s dissipated hundreds of thousands.
      I hope your litigation ends well. In fact, I hope for your sake it ends soon, but we both know what CDs do. They create havoc.

      1. Yes. It takes time to rebuild. In my case, some assets and some working career will ensure that my needs and wants are adequately met. So, I wouldn’t mind giving up some assets to buy peace of mind. But, only if I am getting harassment free divorce and good child custody plan. Knowing her it is unlikely, but one can always hope for best and be ready for worst.

          1. Andy, Lucy.

            Andy, I don’t know your story as well as I know Lucy’s, however, with what you just revealed she will not stop, she will want more. She wants to crush you. She will drain every penny she can and the she will haul you into court for being a minute late dropping off your daughter. The best you can hope for is she finds a BF to focus all her attention on and wants to get your daughter out of the way so she doesn’t have to be bothered.

            I wished I could be more optimistic, but all my previous experience says it wont happen, I pray for your sake I am wrong.

            Lucy, there is a saying, “Only a Fool Represents Himself.” You can never bargain with a terrorist. The CDMN will never stop till the bitter end. That means SB will draw this out till he has drained every penny from you. You can only stand your ground and not budge, if you budge or show weakness now he will go in for the ultimate end game.

            I wished I could say something other than this to both of you, but my extensive experience with these CDMN predict otherwise. Know you both are in my thoughts and prayers and if I could in anyway help I would.

            (((((Hugs))))) and Blessings

          2. “You come to know what to expect from them…”

            That has become easier. position, position, position.

            I believe, your husband is also trying same. He just wants upper hand in everything. The main problem you face is that if you concede once and let him have his way once, he won’t simply go away, he will vie for more, he won’t stop as BTOV said especially since at his age he has only one mission left.

            Cheer up. Knuckle up. Only 130 more rounds to go.
            Have good time when not fighting in ring.

  4. Andy,
    It has been almost 6 years and the CDMN I D did the same thing to me as Lucy’s. The CDMNSP become so predictable. I am still dealing with the wreckage and unfinished business he refused to take responsibility for and purposely created. It doesn’t matter a hoot to the CD how much they have lost, what they still will lose, its about revenge by making it difficult for me to go on with my life. I have made it very clear, crystal clear, you F___ with me I will clamp in like snapping turtle and never let go. I will use every legal resource available to me and will not back down.

    In many cases the CDMNSP “with their heads so far up their asses they can’t see the light of day” underestimate our strength, the same subconscious need that drew them to us, our strength, not our weaknesses like many think. Many CD like Lucy’s SB was drawn to her strength, only he didn’t know it, he claimed lucy’s strength as his own. I pray Lucy holds her ground and never gives in, this is the prize SB is truly after, her strength and he will never attain it unless Lucy gives in.

    The CDMNSP minds are so warped they believe these tactics will cause others, to be the miserable excuse for a child-man/woman they truly are. The CD never give up unless a new target comes their way and with age, that is less likely. Their diseased minds are so far gone they are delusional, not dementia, but delusional and unfortunately we remain the focus.

    No matter how tired, how drained, you never show weakness, this is the Ace card and for me I know I hold it. I will never give it up, give into him, nor will I ever educate him.

    Andy, the Wild Card is like you just stated, enjoy your life and have a good time when not in the ring. So very true.

  5. I am wondering if my sibling is a narcissist. She lies quite often, I am not sure why but sometimes I am aware of the truth and know its a lie, and other times she has a certain habit in the way she speaks that tells me she is probably lying – I am not the only person who has noticed this habit. She does not like to make a decision and does not take personal responsibility but blames others. She lacks caring about others beyond herself, except her children and grandchildren. She complains a lot, even her tone of voice sounds like she is complaining most of the time whether she actually is or not. Because she is my sibling I feel an obligation to have a relationship with her but I get so annoyed being around her that I can hardly stand to be around her. Her negative attitude and complaining make me want to cut ties with her completely but I am wondering if anyone here has been able to set boundaries with an individual like this and if it helps. I feel bad for her that she is living her life this way but she seems very resistant to change. I have tried confronting her about having a victim mentality but she failed to recognize it in herself. She is not at all introspective about herself and doesn’t seem to see how she affects others.

    1. Kat,

      I have a CD daughter. She’s been toxic for the past 8 years, she had done everything in her power to manipulate me she succeeded for a good part of those 8 years. My advice to you and I can’t stress this enough is buy Dr Simmon’s books in the first instance. Character Disturbance and In Sheep’s Clothing. Character Disturbance containa more detailed information. Developing strategies are important. You must be able to recognise when you are being manipulated and dealing with it at the time it surfaces. The books will help you narrow in on her character if you suspect she is disturbed. You need to do this asap because the more she gets away with this behavior the more she’ll dish it out. The saying “a stitch in time saves 9” is a big deal when dealing with these people. Also never divulge anything highly personal about you to her as from many a person’s experience on the other end of these guys, they will turn it around and use it against you without fail every time. Also bear in mind this – they are a black hole, vacant, empty shells. They have no substance and no virtues. In order for them to feel good about themselves they need to tear your character apart and demean and malign you. You don’t want it to get to this stage because it’s incredibly painful. Buy Dr Simon’s books and tuck into them so you are armed. Knowledge is power in the right sense.

  6. Eudoxia,
    Thank you for your response. You are correct in that many times I do not detect when I am being manipulated. This even after living with a sociopathic husband for 14 years. I guess she is a little more subtle than he was. I have been reading all the articles on this site but I will take your advice about the books by Dr. George Simon. I not only have her in my life but a grown child who takes after the ex in this manner and I can see the power plays and the lies and manipulation there. I really wish to no longer associate with any person of this type as I have dealt with it for too long. But I do want a relationship with my adult child and so I need to learn how I may be able to do that. I am not ruling out I may have to cut ties even there. Thanks again, I really appreciate what you have said, I was totally in the dark with the ex, as in I didn’t even know what a sociopath was. I only discovered about it many years after the divorce and finally all the pieces fit together – after I was blaming myself and thought I had to be the dumbest person on earth. But I was just young and gullible and trusting and the sociopath ex took full advantage of that. I was so angry but I have come to a place of forgiveness so that I don’t carry bitterness with me, and yes they are empty shells so who pays the biggest price in the end, I know its not me.

    1. Kat,

      You are most welcome. When I first came to this site it was like finding an oasis in the desert without the support of those here I was able to come to terms with having to deal with the lot I was dealing with. Please don’t fall into the trap of blaming yourself. You gain nothing buy backtracking and trying to ascertain what you did wrong or why you deserve such treatment. We’ve all done this and it only prolongs the agony because we’ve done nothing to deserve it. It’s just the way they are and they will target anybody who they want to control. Anybody who stands in the way of what they want and they will show no mercy and rip you to shreds any which way they can and nothing is beneath them. They are ruthlessly cruel. Also don’t feel stupid or silly because you missed it with your ex. Many, many people will report the same things – why didn’t I see this earlier. The problem in that is we think that person we first met, the charmer we fell in love with is the core person. It isn’t. That is only the mask. The nasty, cruel being underneath it is the real deal. Unfortunately we can’t just divorce our children. I have no contact with mine. She is toxic and the minute I allow her back into my life she will just do the same thing again. The docs books are the best resource and you will be glad you read them. There are also many supportive people here like BTOV, Lucy and Andy and many others who have all been through the wringer – quite a few are still going through it. Just be kind to yourself and don’t let them get under your skin. I would suggest have limited contact with your daughter until you read the books, once you have you will be better equipped to deal with her and you will always be welcome and find the support you need right here. You will find few people out there who don’t understand what CDs do and there are also many friends and family who won’t believe us and many ignorantly put us back into wounding because they may blame us i.e “what are you doing to make him or her act like that”? We don’t need that when we’ve already and repeatedly been the ones unjustly blamed for everything before. Get your bases covered and go from there.

      1. Eudoxia, I know what you mean, both the ex and daughter were successful in making me out to be the bad guy with others. They both have the charm and charisma thing going for them. I know when people look at me like I have two heads before I even meet them, the CD has been at work. I am glad to have found this site. I am sorry you had to deal with this with your own child. As a parent I want to have a loving relationship with her and yet I can’t because she is not able to. I still need to come to the place of being at peace with that. As a parent I have often felt guilty, like I had a part in it, but I know that cannot be the case because I am not a CD, I just got deceived by a master manipulator. I can’t wait to read those books.

        1. Kat – they are truly outstanding at turning others against you. It never ceases to amaze me how they can pull it off with such aplomb. But how I see it is that people who know us who fall for that shit are weak of character in themselves. Also, truth is the only thing that holds up to scrutiny, if people can’t be bothered to make even an attempt to ascertain truth then as far as I am concerned they are not worth my time and are a bad investment. Our energy is our vitality, I will no longer squander it on those who don’t appreciate it. I’ll save it for those who I can have an equal exchange with. Not takers or energy vampires. I’d rather brush my dog for an hour than wast a minute on them. The books will really help you come to terms with what CDs are. I found acceptance and solace by coming here. People here really understand what you are going through and are a huge comfort and support network especially in lieu of not having one in the wider world. It is, tragically impossible to relate the suffering caused to those who have not been on the recieving end of it. I also found that by relating my experiences here was also a great relief to be able to unload that burden in safety. I hope you will find that too Kat.

  7. Eudoxia and Kat

    Welcome Kat. I think our children pick up on the tactics they’ve seen for ages, and that worked, with a parent. They’ve seen how their parent, who is supposed to show love and guidance, have manipulated the other parent over and over again, so much that it must be normal behavior . . . . . . they’ve been taught this. I see my daughter use some of the tactics she has seen her father use, over and over again, on not only me, but her as well.
    It’s unhealthy both emotionally and physically to be around a CD, but I’ve found ways to call out behaviors in my daughter, and I do believe she’s been enlightened as to what she’s doing, and that she cannot get away with it with me. So now she has changed a bit for the better.
    It is terribly sad to not be able to around your own children and have joy. I can’t get along with my daughter and have to limit my time with her, she gets on my last nerve so quickly.
    I think once you’ve dealt with a CD and have enlightenment and knowledge, they become less and less tolerable. Contact has to be minimal, if at all. Not the way I thought my life would turn out.
    We give love and have hope and try so hard, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference to a CD with bad intentions. There is a point you just say blank blank, what do I get from this relationship, besides grief?
    Well, we understand because we all live it.
    Yes, the SB has gone around town saying I’m crazy, I’m a greedy blank. And the ones who don’t know me believe it. I really don’t care. That’s the least of my worries. But for some reason the CD greatly cares about wrecking our reputation. I think it’s what they feel they have to do to save their own.
    Kat, you will be ok. Once you understand it all, then you’ll have better tools to deal with it all.
    BOTV has gone through the ringer, I’m still going through it in the worse way, Andy is, Eudoxia is, and Jean, we have that common thread. Keep posting. We all need each other.

    1. Thank you Lucy, I ordered the Character Disturbance book today. I would hope that I would gain the skill to call out my daughter as well, although my gut says it wouldn’t go well-she is pretty ingrained in the behavior and I have not stood up to her in the past and called her out on it. I think I take on others burdens too readily so I need to have some insight into my own stuff as well. I guess I thought if I showed her empathy it would be a good example for her, but it has not worked. I am not blaming myself for her behavior but I have been too passive in the past and basically she ran over me. Its like I read that they get you off track by lying to you just to keep you guessing what is really going on so they have the advantage. It is just hard to think of my own daughter as a lying scheming manipulator. It was a lot easier to think of the ex that way. Not only was he a sociopath but a drug addict as well. That heartless creep recently died and his own children were not even sad about it. I hate to speak ill of the dead but I only had the compassion I would have for anyone that was as sick as he was, I mean physically in what caused his death. It is amazing how convincing a sociopath can be – even when some people knew what he was they still were sucked into the whole charm and charisma thing. My ex was not violent as far as I know, but he was every other form of evil. Thank you for your encouragement, it is good to know others have educated themselves and been able to identify the CD’s tricks and not be sucked in. I wish nobody had to deal with this but unfortunately they are out there.

      1. “I guess I thought if I showed her empathy it would be a good example for her”

        Psychopaths look at empaths as a lazy panther look at broken-leg deer, an easy meat. 😉

        Set some boundaries and you’ll probably see true depth of her character. In best case, you’ll gain respect from self as well as your daughter, and hope for better relationship. Disengage if you don’t like her true nature.

    2. While children may pick the traits from a Class A manipulating parent(s). But, after a certain age, children are expected to grow up, gain experience from dealing with rest of the world, and make their own choices, for their own betterment. One can be understandable that someone was from a malfunctioning family. But, there is no excuse for lying/distortion/manipulation that “grown-up” child systematically indulges in.

      In my case, I believe my mother-in-law is the central figure. She hoodwinked her husband (my father-in-law) for decades, and ensured that her children did not receive good environment and instead learned few tactics on their own. Had I known better, I would have tackled the problem head-on, and instead of showing deference and niceties to “respectable” people, I would have called a rotten apple a rotten apple, settling things long time back. Quite possibly for the better. But I was naive, allowing focus on 20% of my contribution to the situation (well no one is perfect), without realizing that other party is not even acknowledging their 80% contribution.

      Assuming root cause is parents, does that mean I that take on the project that her daughter (my wife) is. The answer is simply NO, irrespective of the short-term costs.
      My wife tries to run thing her way, I still put forward my ideas.
      She tries to run over me, I side step and do things my ways anyways.
      She lies when we were supposed to be discussing, I stop communication.
      She stops communication (hoping that I naively tries to engage her in a “sensible” discussion), I let her know that she is lying crab and I won’t talk to her.
      She withdraws, I wait.
      She stays away, I file divorce.
      She talks honest, I state sorry too late for that and it probably is not honest anyways.

      One person who suffers right now is my daughter. Maybe she develop her own quirks, I will try to help her. But, once she turns 25, I will kick her out too if she grows up to be a headache.

      Parent, child, sibling relationships are very strong ones. They also come up with lots of responsibility, investment, love, bonding. But if one side keeps on cashing on it, then one must eventually write off the investment and shrug off the responsibility. There is only a limited weight any human bonding can take.

      1. Well said Andy D

        many of us grew up in dysfunctional families. Not all of us use that – or anything else – as an excuse to lie manipulate and abuse others.

        ugh …..

        1. AndyD,

          I agree with most of everything in your well thought out post. However, I think if one is CD they will show those true colors way before 25. I believe once one reaches their legal age and taking into consideration letting them finish the school year, I would boot them out. I would give them positive input but let them suffer the consequences of their CD behaviour.

          I do know individuals that have let their children suck the life out of them, these parents always feeling guilty they didn’t do enough. CD children in their 40’s and 50’s. I do know someone that eventually changed, ” a come to Jesus moment” in their early 50’s. They remarked, had not their parents kept picking up the pieces they may have turned their lives around sooner.

          This person wasn’t trying to lay blame on their parents, but just stating that many times we enable bad behaviour by picking up the pieces instead of letting one experience the results of their bad behaviour from the beginning.

          I do realize we all go through difficult periods in our lives. Many times it takes one many years to mature and at a rate different than others. It’s a tough call, what you said about boundaries being set is key.

          I hope your daughter, regardless, of her environment turns out like you. Girls usually look up to their Dads more so than their mothers. If your daughter sees all the positives in you and your able to develop a close and loving relationship, hopefully, she will turn out like you. A authentic man of character. Your daughter is lucky to have you.

          1. You are absolutely right about: “Many times we enable bad behaviour by picking up the pieces instead of letting one experience the results of their bad behaviour from the beginning”

            I had done this. I probably learned from my mother, she still does this sometimes… the bad behaving person did not have to provide excuse, I was too ready to come up with excuses for that person!
            You see, I am at the weaker side of character. Just a bit more on honest side, naivete more likely. 😉

      2. Andy, I find your post very informative, especially how you react and put boundaries up. This is what I am trying to learn. I really must learn about the boundaries and the appropriate response. Now my teen granddaughter is picking up on her mothers tricks and is acting the same. I confronted her when she was trying to control and we spent a silent car ride because she was angry. I did not try to talk to her unless she spoke to me. I am learning but its going to be trial and error for me. Thank you for your post, I am starting to get a clearer understanding from others about what I need to do. I can’t have a relationship when its one sided no matter how much I want it.

      3. Andy! You summed a relationship up with a CD in one sentence: “She lies when we were supposed to be discussing, I stop communication.”

        I love on this site that other people can put into words the things I feel and I instinctively know – but can’t find the words for and in my grief I sometimes tend to forget what the core problem was.
        That sentence sums up the reason why I would NEVER have been able to make my marriage work. And it’s why I was beating my head against the wall trying for decades. “They lie instead of discussing.”
        I still have moments where I feel responsible for the divorce. All I need to do is re-read your sentence at those times to remind myself that it’s not me.

        1. It’s like chasing your tail trying to discuss and resolve issues with a CDN.
          My STBX lied all throughout marriage counseling. We did about five or six weeks and I left. I found out afterwards the lies. What a sham he was/is, a waste of my time, effort, heart, and life.

    3. Hi All,

      Welcome Kat. I am sorry to hear you have arrived here to find validation for the turmoil going on with your child. I have had to cut out many family members including children.

      It really does tug at ones heart when one has to cut off their own children. They may still call or end up at my door, I am kind and considerate. I will ask how they are doing and tell them I love them. My boundaries are like an brick wall and they know it, the tricks and guilt trips are still there and then I know the wall must stay in place. They haven’t changed just new tactics to get in the door.

      My X’s mother in law was very attuned to her sons CD behaviour, it made him all the more subtle and deceitful in not allowing is mother to see his true nature. Being a N herself she was not fooled by his tactics, “I was.”

      No more, do I let the CD play the blame game or the guilt tripping. Talk is cheap and worthless with them and many times then construed into untruths, so why even bother . It is sad that one must cut off ones own children, I have gotten to a place in life where I will not tolerate CD behaviour anymore from anyone. I want peace.

      Life is to short to allow disrespect and lies from the ones that supposedly love us. We get more respect from strangers. Sad but true with these kind. I feel for you Kat and hope for the best.

  8. Kat,
    My grandchildren only give me attention when birthday time or holidays come around. So, what I did last was to give a homemade gift, boy, if you want to know how the birthday and holiday reminders are right now? There are none.

    Like I said, actions speak louder than words.

    1. BTOV
      That’s awful. And sad. Our grandmother would give all grandchildren one dollar. She had very little but we all loved her deeply.
      My grandson doesn’t get many “toy gifts” from me, but lots of time, devotion, caring and love, and never asks me if I have a present. On the other hand, he thinks his grandpa is Santa Claus and is eager to receive a gift. He’s only two but has learned quickly.
      I give him what money cannot buy, my time and my heart.

  9. BTOV, thank you for your kind words. It really is heart breaking. I recently read a book called “Confessions of a Sociopath” that I checked out at the library. It was pretty eye-opening. She saw her way as “efficient”and the best way. Its a strange way of thinking that I don’t understand. Most people want meaningful relationships. These people don’t seem like they have natural emotions and its very foreign to me. I am trying to wrap my head around it but I can’t so I will focus on what I can do which is set up boundaries. They are like a constant barrage of manipulation in so many insidious forms that I don’t want to spend my time thinking of what new twist they come up with to be more deceptive. I need to put up my boundary lines and stick to them. Now its just a matter of knowing how to do it. When I put up that boundary with the granddaughter today I did feel more respect for myself. I think I have been wore down over the years with these CD’s and they see me as easy prey and I do not want to let this continue, even if it means no contact. So glad to find this site and I truly appreciate the thoughtful responses, this is an eye-opener for me.

    1. Kat,

      I am glad you found the site too, I encourage you to keep posting. There are a lot of good people here that have been in or still are in or have to have some type of relationship with the CD and are more than will to share their experiences and knowledge with you.

      A word the can be very difficult to use but very effective is the word “NO.” I know the CD’s I have to deal with hate it. The other thing is I don’t explain why I said no because it is obvious and expecting/demanding/baiting us to explains takes away from our personal power.

      Another book you may want to consider reading aside from Dr. Simons books is one called Boundaries, by: Henry Cloud and John Townsend. If you aren’t a religious person bypass those parts. The book is good, it helps on to know when to say yes and when to say no.

      Kat, the more you educate yourself on CD individuals, the more you will understand how to deal with them. You will learn to feel comfortable not accepting the guilt and blame anymore, the CD like to dump on us. You will finally understand, it is not you but them.

      As we all have learned here;
      Knowledge is Power and The Truth Will Set You Free.
      Glad to have you here. Stay and you will grow in knowledge and strength. You will also makes some friends along the way.

  10. BTOV, I am glad you mentioned the Boundaries book, I was going to take a class put on by a church that is actually using that book, in fact I ordered what I thought was the book but it was just the workbook, so now I only have to get the actual book. Yesterday I felt great setting a boundary with the granddaughter , but today thinking about it I felt like maybe I was being mean or making too big a deal of it. That’s not true I know because she was way out of bounds. Being with my ex husband for 14 years made me doubt my own eyes, and not knowing what was going on and what a sociopath is, well it really beat on my self worth. If it wasn’t for my belief in God I don’t know what I would have done. I think they should teach about CD’s in health class in school so that you are educated when you are young about what to watch out for. It may save a lot of people from this. So I have my study material cut out for me. I like that you don’t explain why you said No, I believe they would just be looking for a way to make you doubt what you say. My daughter likes to demean me to others by making fun of my belief in God and there are plenty of others who take offense to Christians as well who are willing to believe and belittle us too. She knows that so she can use that in her arsenal of character assassination. I can only feel sadness that she is like this and continue to have hope that something will bring about a change, but I cannot “fix” her like I have tried to do in the past. I can only put up the boundaries and see where we go from there. It will be good to feel comfortable about not accepting the guilt and blame anymore .

    1. kat,
      I feel you are on right path.
      When you are setting boundaries, you are setting them to protect yourself. You are not setting to set some good example or correct your daughter/grand-daughter. So, all you are interested in is in protecting your interest and avoid getting run roughshod over by CD. Once you are in strong enough position to protect yourself, only then you can help others (if they want it). Remember that drowning concept… do not jump into water unless you are better swimmer as well as stronger person, or else both drown.
      I think you will benefit from book In Sheeps Clothing. It lists out manipulation tactics, and guilt-trip & shaming are first two entries. I think this book should give you insight into “why your (grand)daughter is like that”, “how she manages to get one up on you”. All the text is also available in several blogs, but book is a concise treatment.
      Boundaries etc also also empowering tactic, but without insight it just may be bit less effective.

  11. Andy, I do plan on getting In Sheeps Clothing as well, I do need to know what the tactics are. My mind doesn’t work that way so the knowledge of the guilt trip and shaming manipulations will be enlightening . It is a mystery to me how they manage to get one up on me and make me out to be a fool. Thank you, I appreciate your response very much.

    1. Kat,

      There are group of good books out there. Andy,, is right, I read In Sheep’s Clothing and it was a real eye opener. I suggest if you can afford it to buy Dr. Simon’s other books Character Disturbance and written for his faith based readers The Judas Syndrome. Truly, start with In Sheep’s Clothing and if you’re taking the class in Boundaries this will only reinforce your position, validate your experiences and point you in the right direction on how to protect yourself and deal with the CD individuals.

      I can only implore you to keep reading the blog, posting and educating yourself. In time you will begin to understand what is happening to you with these CD and learn how to take back your life and not be manipulated and someone else’s doormat.

      Keep asking questions, we all started at square (1) too. We are more than glad to help, we may all think a little different or dealt with a situation differently, but in the end it all boils down to the CD. It will be a journey of enlightenment and at the same time will be painful. Be patient, hang in there and you will be ok.

      I would also encourage you with warning, not to let onto your new found knowledge and where you found it. Grow strong first and then make decisions later, when you have a handle on things.

      Blessings to you and am glad you found Dr. Simon’s blog.

  12. Thanks BTOV, I I really appreciate the encouragement to keep coming back and posting. I know I am going to question a lot of things when I start setting boundaries. In fact I even have a problem with non CD people in setting boundaries. So guess I was the perfect target. Then as a Christian it adds another layer in there to be confused by so the faith based books will really help untangle the “false guilt” from my thinking. I was thinking the same thing that I would not reveal anything about the books or what I am doing so that CD daughter cannot try to manipulate. I know its going to be difficult to start with because it is something I have not done before and it will not feel right until I get some time under my belt. I have now ordered the In sheeps clothing, character disturbance and boundaries so that will give me a good start. I will keep reading and posting, and hopefully I can be an encouragement to others as well. Blessings to you also BTOV.

    1. Kat – it’s really important you don’t let her know what you are reading. As soon as they find out you are onto them they can get quite dangerous, emotionally and physically with some of them, but not all. However, they use emotional warfare and she’ll up the ante in the crazy making stakes substantially. Because their motto is “do unto others before they do unto them” You are not being sneaky Kat by not telling her anything you are protecting yourself and it’s important you do so. Also bear in mind that a CD will use any information you give them against you. I suggest you put some walls up and stay well behind when dealing with one. Here is an article you might find helpful in lieu of receiving the books and suggest you keep reading all Dr Simon’s articles. You have a lot of support here on this site.

      1. Kat, Eudox,

        Kat, we all learn from each other, so please don’t think you are not contributing, you are just by sharing your experiences and we learning even more tactics. We also get immense satisfaction helping and giving back to society.
        Eudox, affirms what your gut is telling you, do not share your knowledge with the CD. Also, great link and encourage all to watch. So many of us have children that are CD and it is very painful indeed.

        Kat, we all want to see you get through this, we are all paying forward for those who helped us. Keep posting and it will help make you strong, it will give you a place to release and be accepted and to find validation.

        (((((Hugs to all)))))) “You too, AndyD”

  13. Eudoxia, I realize in reading my comment it sounded like I would have a hard time not telling my daughter about what I am reading, but I meant it was going to be hard at first setting up boundaries. I agree, I know my CD daughter would see that as a threat. I am not even putting these books on a bookshelf just in case she could see them.
    That article sounds like only some kind of monster would do that to another person but much of that is what happened to me with the ex. I only wish I had been educated instead of not knowing for so many years afterward. My recovery would have been much faster. Instead I felt like I couldn’t believe my own eyes, that I was not capable of making decisions. I even thought someone was following me after I left him – a friend of his that told the ex he should kill me and that he could track me down anywhere, but I was all the way across country and I left with my two kids without telling him. Thanks for the warning though!
    Thanks BTOV and all, the support and encouragement mean so much. Theres nothing like learning from others who have had CD’s in their lives too.

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