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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5581
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am pretty sure that the man I broke up with nearly a year

Customer Question

I am pretty sure that the man I broke up with nearly a year ago is a sociopath. Things got so bad post-breakup that I had to file a restraining order since he stalked, harassed and and continually interfered with my life, including mounting a pretty intense smear campaign against me in our shared social circles. Unfortunately for him, to many people, his behavior earned him the reputation for being mentally ill. However,I have learned recently that in addition to spreading lies about me, he has been lying about his professional credentials, educational experience and is even introducing himself using different variations of his name. I am wondering if these attempts on his part to change his identity indicate that he is moving on from his focus on me to create a new personae for another victim in his sights? Is it common for sociopaths to develop new identities as they move from victim to victim or as an attempt to distance themselves from any negative fallout from their previous behaviors?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Sociopaths as a rule have issues with identity. They typically do not have a self identity nor do they identify with the world, especially in a moral way. They do not get parts of who they are from others, such as you or I might do (mannerisms, etc) as a way to fit in. Instead, they tend to manipulate and use copied behavior in order to fulfill their objectives, which usually involves something narcissistic and possibly hurtful to others. Therefore, they tend not to have morals, values or integrity. So doing wrong does not affect them as it would someone who is not sociopathic.

Changing an identity is therefore much easier for someone who is sociopathic and most likely has to do with meeting some narcissistic desire. Your ex may very well be planning on doing something to someone else, but whether or not it is personal in nature like it was with you or just in general, such as to gain a high paying job by faking credentials, is difficult to tell. A sociopath would not necessarily focus totally on hurting others through a relationship but rather would do whatever it takes to gain something they determine they want, whether that is money, a relationship or just playing a person for a possession.

He would most likely be creating a false identity in order to take advantage of someone or some situation. Sociopaths do not experience guilt or a sense or morals so creating an identity to distance himself from something he did wrong is unlikely. He most likely views what he did to you as acceptable behavior because he was focused on what he wanted and not the fact that what he did hurt you or that it was wrong in general.

I hope this helped you,
Kate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply, Kate. I have just one more thing that I am curious about concerning him. I think what has dumbfounded me is that he has these conflicting identities and it is a relatively small community. How do sociopaths justify having these different stories when they could easily be found out? He has gone so far as to make up a job (ironically, as a self-employed therapist) and at least one academic degree on LinkedIn recently, where he has real-world professional contacts. Do sociopaths lack foresight or an ability to see the larger picture?

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome!

Sociopaths rarely care what others think of them. They are only focused on what they want and how to get it. And this can lead to them lacking insight. His interest may be to seem better than he is and if people notice, he may not feel it matters because he doesn't think they are part of his objective. Only the people he is focused on matter.

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5581
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Thank you so much for the positive rating and bonus! I appreciate it.

My best to you,
Kate

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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
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Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.