(real names have been omitted or changed)
If anyone has perfected the art of saying the right things and making you believe that he means them it's a narcissistic sociopath. He is skilled in charm not sincerity… he excels at superficial not substance… he is a man of much nonsense and riddles like a joker or magician but not meaning or truth. A sociopath has a typical set of phrases he uses as there are always commonalities between them. It's been said so many times in the support groups I belong to that when the members post messages that their Ex has sent them… they could have been sent from anyone's Ex sociopath… as they all appear to speak the same language… astonishingly, it's as if they are all one and the same person… as if they went to the same school and were taught from the same bag of tricks.
When I was dating my Ex, (even a large part of the marriage) for the most part he was doting… he listened… in fact, part of my attraction to him was the fact he listened… something I didn't have from a father who simply talked at me. What I didn't know then is that people of a manipulative nature may very well listen… they may not be what is expected… dismissive… at least in the beginning… as it behooves them to listen to you and listen well. They excel at listening to what you have to say… hanging onto every word… learning all they can about you so they can reel you in… and in this crucial time period offering bits of sage advice, comfort and affirmation. When we date someone who appears to be the picture of care, of kindness and empathy we believe we truly have what were seeing… we take it to heart and don't doubt that what were experiencing is real.
Any of the typical phrases a sociopath uses may not come to the surface until much later on… once you're immersed in a marriage and dependent upon him. It's not until he has you captured in a corner like a defenseless little ladybug does he begin to show his true colors… and for a while he may even dance back and forth between charm and seemingly genuine care and contempt for you… leaving you completely confused and off balance… because you can't figure out where you stand with him… and he knows it.
Often times when were so close to a situation or person we don't have the distance to step back and be objective. It may be difficult for us to not beat ourselves up later down the road upon the full truth revealed… or block out the "What was I thinking?" thoughts going through our head… but we have to forgive ourselves for any blindness that kept us in the wolf's path… this is part of the healing process. It's a mental barrage of "coulda, shoulda, woulda's"… and it can go on forever if allowed. At some point we have to say "What's done is done and it's unfortunately reality" and then begin self care… making a conscious point to be gentle with ourselves, to journal, pamper ourselves, surround ourselves with healthy, supportive friends and family… doing the little things including the big, leaning on God… asking Him for comfort, strength and healing.
10 PHRASES A SOCIOPATH USES:
1. "Trust me" My Ex used this all the time and amusingly even later during the divorce process. What he's really saying is "Please be a sucker and let me trick you once again." Why on earth would you trust someone who has continually lied and cheated that you have proof of? For a sociopath to tell their target "Trust me" after they've shown (perhaps repeatedly) they cannot be trusted is merely laughable. You absolutely cannot trust them and shouldn't. It will bite you time and time again.
2. "I love you" He will use this phrase over and over again. Another lie. He will use this with every woman he's with. All that fake "soulmate" garbage that they like to spew at you along with the intense love bombing; adoration, affection, gifts, words of affirmation, compliments and placing you on a pedestal. The truth is a sociopath is incapable of love. What he's really telling you is: "I love the way you make me feel. Being with you is like a rush for me at this moment." Unfortunately, eventually the rush will wear off and you'll be replaced by a new piece of supply that gives him another "high" and bit of so called happiness... and the broken cycle continues infinitely. This seems so personal to you, being "loved", used and discarded yet the truth is it isn't... it is how they operate in every single relationship they have... or more accurately manipulative-ship.
3. "Happy?" or "Happy now?!" Said in a snarly little way. This is his little guise of a remark of ensuring he has taken care of your needs or desires but in reality is a short, dismissive way of telling you: "You're a pain in my butt and inconveniencing me big time. Now go away." My Ex used this one all the time and still does with our children.
4. "It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission." Ugh. My Ex used this all the time. Another statement they use to try to justify their actions and believe that whatever recent ordeal they just put you through (or shady business deal) will merely blow over… that by just saying: "Sorry!" in their usual dismissive tone that everything will smooth over, consequences will be nil and he will be able to wiggle his way back into your heart. They are never ever sorry and if they tell you this they are lying to you.
5."You're so sensitive." A classic line that all abusers and bullies use. A way to justify his negative actions or verbal abuse toward you when you naturally get upset or mad. Then you begin to question yourself and your own feelings. What eventually happens is later on (even perhaps after you're divorced) it strips you of confidence and you begin to question every interaction you have with people… the natural response is a phase of being unsure… the good news is your confidence will return as you heal and become stronger. Keep in touch with friends that know and love you and don't allow yourself to become isolated.
6. "I can never make you happy. My God! You are so negative! Why do you think I'm never around? Because I can't stand being around you!" Self victimizing statements to make you appear and feel like the hard ass in the relationship and they are really trying. Again, lies. Justification on his part and twisting for why he's cheating or a workaholic.
7. "What about you? What about your issues?" This is his comeback to you when you call him on the unacceptable choices he's made. He will spin it back onto you and try to bring up any faults or flaws you have (or make any up) to get the heat off him. He will use any and all regrets of behavior from your past you've confided in him against you. He will use them in a smear campaign about you all over town. Do not share any secrets with a narcissist even one you're married to. You cannot trust them.
8. "I could do that for you." Could. Interesting choice of words. He could, but chooses not to. He could do that Honey-do on your list that you really need finished but he won't.
9. "I only get this negativity from you." In other words…. he isn't getting what he wants so it's easier to attack you. Bullies, users, abusers all use this classic line against you to make you feel like you're the problem when really the truth of the matter is they lack any and all empathy and do not care about you. They are the negative ones and if you react to their abuse they will say you're abusive when it's really a normal reaction to the abuse they are spewing at you and you finally could not emotionally take it anymore and broke down and snapped at them; defined as "reactive abuse". Yes, you reacted - that's perfectly normal. They baited you.
10. "The more you tell me to do something the more it makes me want to do the opposite." Oh, okay… it's comparable to a three year old boy having a fit. He doesn't wanna just cause you want him to so he ain't gonna! These are toddler sized fits in a grown mans body and that is exactly what a narcissistic sociopath is; a over-sized bratty whiny manipulative entitled boy-man that never grew up and don't wanna!
Jennifer Gafford is a writer, speaker and divorce coach who helps guide parents through the pain of trying to co-parent with their narcissistic ex, and shares tips for custody and healing. She began her website gracepowerstrength in 2012 and over time her blog and audience grew to over a million views. Jennifer was married for twelve years, has two children and is very well versed in the facts regarding narcissistic abuse and the challenges involved in healing. Today, she shares daily posts and stories on Instagram for thousands of followers regarding npd abuse and believes everyone deserves a life of peace, love and freedom.