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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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This is a question about the psychopaths (I think) who were

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This is a question about the psychopaths (I think) who were my best friends. My supposed best friends asked me to do an enormous favor for them several years ago. I won’t go into what it was, but it required a lot of sacrifice on my part, but was extremely beneficial for them. They said many times that no one else would have done what I did for them, which is perfectly true. In the course of doing them this favor, I had to give them financial information which made it possible for them to steal money from me. And a year ago I found out that they did steal a great deal of money from me, as well as valuable personal property etc. They did this in such a way as to conceal their theft from me, again, I won’t go into how. After they realized that I had discovered their theft, they tried to manipulate me into signing legal papers without benefit of a lawyer and without being allowed to keep a copy of the papers. I did not sign these legal papers, and I later realized that these papers would have allowed my supposed best friends to transfer to themselves *all* of my property that they had not stolen yet. At the same time as they attempted to manipulate me into signing the legal papers, they tried to lure me to a place where they could have killed me with very little danger that they would be caught. Since then I have taken many precautions to protect my life and property from them, and I am safe. And, since I have evidence of what they have done, I am currently negotiating with them for a legal settlement to compensate me for the loss and suffering that they have caused me. My problem is that I don’t know how to deal with people like this. They don’t need the money they took from me- they are very wealthy, much more than I. They have fooled all of our common friends: everyone thinks, as I did, that they are unusually good people. They fooled me so completely that it is still hard for me to believe what they did to me. It feels like a nightmare from which I will wake up. Can you help me understand how it is possible for people to appear to be good friends and good people and yet reciprocate the enormous favor I did for them by trying to steal everything from me, even my life? It would be very helpful since I still have to deal with them on account of negotiating a legal settlement with them. Perhaps there are good articles or books that a layman would understand that you could recommend to me? Something that in particular would help me to negotiate with them.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
Sociopaths (also known as Anti Social Behavior) 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.
It is thought by experts that sociopathic behavior may be caused by some type of trauma or abuse in childhood and/or possible genetic causes. Someone with a parent who is sociopathic has an increased chance of being sociopathic themselves.
The best way to deal with someone who is anti social/sociopathic is to avoid them. While that is not possible in your case, it is common for a sociopath to have little to no insight, so they truly do not see what they are doing is wrong even if the evidence is overwhelming and they are confronted with it. They tend to manipulate and seem charming, which may be why your mutual close friends cannot see these people for who they are. Therefore, avoiding them and avoiding manipulation is the best way to deal with them. But if you cannot avoid them, try removing yourself emotionally from the situation as much as possible. The less their behavior can effect you, the better. This is not easy to do, but with practice you will get better. Stick to the facts and if they try to introduce any emotion at all, ignore it. Stay calm as possible. Continue to state facts only. This may frustrate them, but it is the only way to avoid being hurt by them.
Also, consider building your support. Talk to those who understand what you are going through. And see a therapist if possible. You need someone neutral not only for support, but for their ability to understand the complexity of dealing with sociopathic behavior.
Additionally, the more you know, the easier it will be for you to protect yourself. Here are some resources to help you:
I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much!

You're welcome! And thank you for the positive rating and bonus. I appreciate it.
My best to you,