More Personality Disorders 101
Anyway, I have been talking about some of the basics about personality disorders. You might want to look those over before we continue.
Almost all individuals with personality disorders can be manipulative and deceptive in their own ways; you never seem to get what you bargained for. But there is one type of personality disorder that stands out even among these and that is Antisocial Personality Disorder.
No, these are not shy people who sit in the corner at parties. These are individuals with a corrupt conscience or even no conscience at all. This disorder is usually found in men but in our society we seem to see a growing number of women with this disorder. Sometimes they are known as sociopaths or psychopaths.
Antisocial personality disorder is a bona fide psychological disorder in which a person has a history of manipulation, exploitation, and violation of the rights of others. Many of these individuals are habitual criminals, but most of them seem to fly beneath the radar. Then, they can be found in all walks of life. and when you encounter them, they can do some serious damage.
Here are some of the dangers:
First off, they perceive you as simply an extension of their needs; it’s all about what you can do for them and believe me, they are full on determined to get what they want from you even if they have to break every rule: sex, money, your possessions—including your loved ones—and your status and position in life. They will not feel guilt as they feel that they are entitled. Their motto seems to be “screw others before they screw you.”
Secondly, they can be highly charismatic, witty, flattering and charming. They can be highly energetic and magnetic, we seem to be drawn to them. They seem to win our confidence ( indeed, they have been referred to as confidence men or simply con men). Unlike the criminal type we might expect, they won’t come blasting into your life with a six shooter; they most likely will come into your life with a six pack and a huge amount of charm. Hey, why don’t we get together for a drink? I really admire you”. You will find yourself wanting to be their friend! You can be very savvy and still be calm by one of these. I have worked with individuals with antisocial personality disorder for over 35 years, even have studied and written about them and yet was manipulated by one not too long ago managed to sting me for over $2000!!.
Worst yet, this individual believes that their symptoms are actually virtues! For example, if you tell them that they are manipulative, they might retort that they are simply smart and know how to cut a good deal. Or assert that the world is manipulative so why shouldn’t he be. Or that their victim is simply evil and deserved it. How do you do psychotherapy under these conditions? Fat chance.
Finally, you should know that this disorder is next to impossible to cure; it should be seen as a lifelong condition that might attenuate in some ways as the person becomes much older, but it never really seems to go away.
So what is the answer? Well for starters, get to know the type. There are a lot of good books out there about the topic as well as some great websites. The best defense is to simply keep them out of your lives and to know how they work. And remember, if the guy seems too good to be true, he probably is.