I am an entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India. I run a strategic Brand Consulting Firm for the last 14 years. I have a robust circle of close friends & associates, am well travelled and well read.

I am a regular speaker at various forums of repute. I have coached several organization heads and manage their web reputation.

As an active member of the startup ecosystem in the country, I am also on mentor panel for various startup-focused organizations.

People describe me as strong, independent, empathetic, mature & balanced.

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This Is My Story.

Last year, a common friend introduced me to a fellow entrepreneur who was writing a piece on startups for an international publication & needed someone to co- author it. My friend suggested that I should connect & see how it works out. Though that article didn’t happen, this entrepreneur, lets just call him XX, continued to be in touch.

In his next visit to Mumbai, XX made a surprise call & requested for a meeting. He said that we worked in a parallel industry and he would like to explore synergies. We spoke about several possibilities in this informal meeting. He also promised to introduce me to some of his large global clientele. He joked that he had been ‘stalking’ me on social media for years. I didn’t think much of that statement.

Over the next couple of months, I learned more about XX ‘s global business interests. He had offices in US, UK, Singapore and Dubai. He also had a senior team based out India. He had a formidable client list. I was impressed. He had a parallel business interest, which was growing rapidly. We discussed how my firm could help Brand it for next stage. In fact, he wanted someone from our team to run it operationally. Though this deal didn’t materialise either, our discussions were still stimulating & grew longer with time.

XX was well educated with a degree from a top-notch university of the world. He performed for a rock band in college & was well read. I enjoyed listening to space science, metaphysics, evolution, human behavior & more. He had taken a year off after college and traveled to places far & wide. This adventurous spirit intrigued me.

His observation skills were very sharp. We would often talk about common acquaintances on social media & he would tell me what he thought about them personally. Almost always, he was right. It was interesting as he wasn’t a close friend with any of these people. His childhood abuse & lack of parental love had turned him into a loner. I empathized as I have met few others with similar childhood traumas.

Conversations grew deeper, we shared more, spoke regularly. XX was also battling some family disturbance at the time. Added to that, his grandparent wasn’t keeping well. I tried to provide all emotional support I could. I lost my parents early in life. I missed my family every single day. I therefore encouraged him to be closer to his family & especially resolve issues with his father. He was distant from his dad on account of several deep set issues.

Somehow, these conflicts at his end brought us even closer. Soon after, he confessed his love to me. He broke down recollecting his earlier abusive relationships. He wanted something long term. Women he dated seemed to run at that thought. I asked that we let some time go by. However, it did feel right. He said we were soul mates & it felt just like that.

XX was just like me. Like a mirror reflection. He was also self-made, independent & strong. Here we were, together wanting to change the world, travel to new places, rescue animals, build an old age home. I was over the moon at finding a person who shared same values as mine.

He then suggested that I meet his parents. He was insistent that they know about me as I was anyways going to be a part of the family. I was secretly delighted. It was more than perfect. I couldn’t have gotten a stronger reaffirmation of his intent.

We met his family over lunch. His parents came across as decent people. They instantly liked me. From thereon, they regularly exchanged messages & emails, spoke with me almost everyday. Together, we managed to make each other laugh & be happy. In fact, when his parents expressed their wish to spend new years with me in Mumbai, I was at my happiest. Bringing in the New Year with the new family was great. I also spent a couple of weeks at his parents’ house on their invitation. We took hundreds of pictures & videos together. We watched movies, went out for drives, laughed & had a great time. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. We were a small little happy family that loved me to bits.

I introduced him to my close friends who are like family. He was an absolute charmer. Everyone thought he was committed to building a life together with me. It boosted my confidence in the person I was with. I had nothing but thankfulness for all the good things he brought with him.

And Then The Games Began.

Image Source (http://wallpaperswide.com)
Image Source (http://wallpaperswide.com)

While it was a dream tale on one end, there started a strange pattern of pathological lying & cheating on other. This was very confusing for me.

I often caught him stalking (specifically) separated/divorced, middle aged single women on social media. He himself showed me his indecent messages a couple of times. I was appalled. I wondered why he wanted to prove himself untrustworthy. Why would someone who introduces you to their parents, actually try hard to prove that they are cheaters? I couldn’t find a logical explanation for the same.

One day he said that he was going to ‘smoke up weed’ with another woman & switched his phone off for rest of the evening. It drove me nuts not knowing where he was or whom he was with. Not one to accept such irresponsible behavior I decided to call things off. Before I knew it, he flew down to Mumbai by the first available flight next morning. He apologized for his behavior, promising that it won’t repeat.

Once he returned to his city, he sent me dozens of messages a day telling me that I was family, how I had changed his life, he had never felt real love before and that I was different. It inspired some confidence in me that he might have realized his earlier mistakes. He called at frequent intervals to check what I was doing, where I was, whether I had eaten, how I slept.

I wish I knew at that moment that this is called “love-bombing” where you overwhelm the person with insane amount of attention so that its impossible to see through it.

I also didn’t know that XX had spent a lot of time studying my life minutely. He was serious about ‘stalking’ me on social media! He ‘mirrored’ me perfectly and offered me exactly what I wanted to hear: family, world travel, giving back to society, love for animals. It gave me a tremendous sense of false security.

Introduction to family was a winning card in his credibility building. Though I was independent, strong & mature; deep down I missed my parents. He tapped that vulnerability flawlessly by putting forth his parents.

He evoked an emotion in me, which I thought I was incapable of having- insecurity. There was always an ex lover, a lonely married woman or a female colleague who was seemingly chasing him. It sent me into a fury of emotions. I feared losing my person, detested the other woman and was always fighting for a place in his life. This technique of ‘triangulation’ wrecked my physical and mental health.

When I confronted him, I was dealt with rage & emotional abuse. In fact, he pretty much convinced me that it was my controlling nature or how he didn’t want to hurt me so he lied. There was no apology or regret ever.

I wish I had questioned myself at that time if I always found myself insecure about my partner, playing detective, was it really worth it?

Its like he was a different person altogether. I missed the doting, loving, intelligent, caring man I had met.

Each time I wanted to call off this abusive relationship, his master acting skills came to rescue. He wept like a child & told stories of how he might have cancer, how his mother is mentally unstable or his father doesn’t love him. It would be tragic enough for me to forgive him.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that every single thing he told me during that time was a lie. It was an intricately woven web of lies, which I was caught up in. Much later did I discover that 100% of stories around: educational background, finances, international offices, ex girlfriends, EVERYTHING was a lie. He even made up false personas of his colleagues, family who don’t actually exist.

He sent me emails from different ids to make believe this existence. He made fake calls pretending to have long engaging conversations with these supposed non-existing people. I was always under the impression that he has a busy, blooming business.

Each time I suspected something amiss, there was a perfectly plausible explanation. I remained suspicious but involved as it was interspersed with few happy moments like his parents visit to Mumbai to spend the New Years with me. It would give hope that may be the parents would be able to counsel him. I couldn’t have been farther from the truth, as time would reveal.

He slowly began to isolate me from my friends. He questioned every successful friend I had & hated them. He detested my social media presence. He said that I needed to learn from him how to lead a quiet life. Pretty ironical now that I think of it since all his victims were picked up from social media sites alone. Each time a friend called, he would find a way to make me feel miserable or simply give me the silent treatment for hours. I stopped taking my friends’ calls in his presence to simply avoid arguments. I wanted peace of mind.

He moved to Mumbai for a couple of months under the pretence that he wanted to eventually shift base to be closer to me. In reality, he was keeping a close watch on me & made every effort to break me emotionally. Shouting & screaming, including physical aggression became a regular feature. He was nasty even in front of other people. He would abuse, misbehave but be all-tearful as soon as he suspected that I was on the verge of walking out.

One such incident where he abused me in the presence of a friend’s staff was too much for me to handle. I told him to walk away. He quickly grabbed the phone & told his father about the situation at hand. Surprisingly, the father seemed pretty casual & told him not to repeat it. This raised a red flag for me. I made a mental note about the incident but let it go momentarily as he cried himself to death about how sorry he was.

We traveled to a couple of tourist destinations in the country. He would rarely ever pay any bills at that time. Either he didn’t want to use his credit card because his CA would question him or he didn’t have enough cash. He expected me to host him even during his stay in Mumbai. If he ever did end up paying, he would make sure I paid back 2x elsewhere. He justified his behavior as a ‘single child’ syndrome where he didn’t know how to share.

One of the most excruciating experiences of his behavior was ‘gaslighting’.

He would completely deny his behavior or an abusive incident. Like it never happened. His sly confidence & outrageous lies made me doubt my own memory. I was jittery, unhappy, constantly keeping unwell & confused. He would twist reality to make it look like I am making up stories or that my memory is twisted.

For example: yes, I was texting this other woman, I am really sorry. But, why are you so insecure? You should know I wont actually do anything. You are always making me apologize, I feel controlled. She’s in my past; I was only flirting in a healthy manner. No, I never did that. You remember wrong. I never said so. Do you not want me to have any female friends?

Go over the above paragraph once more and see if it makes any sense at all. Combined with rage, deflection, lies and disrespect, it totally wrecked me. Each time my gut was rattled, he confused me into trusting him even more. My gut was drowned in this web of lies.

His primary tool was love & fear. He’d let go & then pull back. Like flying a kite. He would fly into rage and call me names, and just when I would want to call it off, make a dinner and apologize looking straight into my eyes. Ofcourse he would promise to never repeat that behavior. And ofcourse, it happened over and over again.

I never really got to meet any of his close friend/ colleagues. He said he was a loner and had only two good friends far away from his current location. When I asked about associates in the ecosystem, he got terribly angry, accusing me of being very controlling. He would remind me of his childhood abuse and justify that’s why he didn’t keep friends. In the entire year of knowing him, I only met one couple friend of his. And they didn’t look like close friends who hang out together too often.

“He Is A Sociopath”.

Words that changed my life. For the better.

socio

I was confused, hurt, grief struck & weak. I never wanted to share horrors of my relationship with anyone. I wasn’t even sure of what I was going through. But one day, I just couldn’t take it any more. I felt I was going to have a break down. That’s when I happened to share my story with a friend. At the time of conversation, I wasn’t aware that sociopathy was a subject my friend had studied for years. He has helped many victims fight this battle. He listened to me patiently for a while & then said: He is a sociopath. He is mentally dysfunctional. Stop all communication with him right now. I was baffled. Even as he said what he did, I was unable to process that statement. It couldn’t possibly have been true. It doesn’t really happen in real life. And don’t such people look life Hannibal?

I was terribly wrong. On all fronts.

I began reading on the subject. I went to practicing professionals- psychiatrists & therapists to understand things scientifically. As I began uncovering the lies, it was like peeling an onion. At the end of it, there remained nothing.

I was distraught. He had no overseas office, no colleagues/co founders in India or abroad, no degree in the subject he claimed, no rock band performances to name, nothing. Just nothing.

Every single thing he spoke was a lie. Meant to manipulate and control.

And no, sociopaths don’t look odd. They look just like you and me. They are dressed in clean clothes; appear to have good hygiene habits. They make themselves invisible in a crowd. Though they are attention seekers, they are wary of being in limelight.

He didn’t have a great circle of friends/associates because sociopaths can’t nurture any relationships. Most of his (supposed) close friends were therefore superficial or distant.

I learned that sociopaths are parasites. They love to feed on you financially, socially, emotionally and psychologically. That’s exactly what XX did.

Like a typical sociopath, he sought pleasure in seeing a strong, successful individual believe ridiculous stories. It gave him sadistic pleasure.

What really happened about the mother & father? Well, I understood that they were very much part of this play right from the start. Whether sociopathy runs in that family or they are manipulated too, I do not know. But, they were certainly a part of the game plan. You see, only son & all of that. They would probably forgive him of murder.

You would ask, how is that an intelligent, successful strong, happy person like me becomes a victim? Why didn’t I walk out quite early on? I should have seen this through at the very first time.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

It’s only the intelligent, seemingly successful, empathic and strong people who are most attractive to a sociopath. It’s the challenge and conquest that gives them validation for their existence.

Empathic people like me are prone to gaslighting & forgiving liars more easily. Sociopaths know these vulnerabilities. They are master mind readers. Their self worth feeds on the fact that they have destroyed intelligent, stable people.

Emotional abuse changes our hardwiring. Mind processes information differently. Prolonged abuse has been known to drive people to insanity or even suicide. When people (like me) who have a conscience & who have been well brought, are abused- our mind is totally confused. We don’t really know what is going on or how the other person is so reckless. We have never experienced such heartlessness/ manipulation before

We forgive the first few instances out of empathy. Once it forms a pattern, it becomes impossible for our brain to distinguish logical triggers. .

Its taken me time to accept, understand, study & now speak about this subject.

Image Courtesy (http://www.fjpministries.com/)
Image Courtesy (http://www.fjpministries.com/)

In many parts of the world, sociopaths are categorized as “disabled” since a part of their brain which triggers several emotions integral to social living, is not functional. Sociopaths are people who have antisocial personality disorder and demonstrate a pattern of disregard that is pervasive, particularly in terms of the feelings and rights of others. They are characterized by lack of conscience, empathy, fear, regret/remorse & love.’

Very little is being written about it even today. Whereas, 4% of the general population is suspected to be sociopaths. Why aren’t more people talking of it? May be because its really difficult to spot a sociopath & even tougher to explain their behavior.

Despite being a well-read person, I wasn’t aware of this mental disorder. None of us can be master of all subjects.

So, why am I doing this now? Why not just move on with my life, repair the damage? Because, I owe it to my conscience to speak about it. I am not an expert on mental disorders. I am just another person like you, working hard & living a disciplined life. I hope that my experience will not only help but also inspire a few others to share their stories. It takes courage to share trauma. My purpose of writing this piece is also to help anyone reading it in identifying if they are in a dysfunctional relationship.

Sociopaths are dangerous. They are known to destroy careers and drive people to insanity or even kill.

Today, I recognize that I am hurt but not broken. I fought & reclaimed my life. I am a winner not a survivor. I choose to overcome the trauma instead of wallowing in self-pity. I have the guts to share my experience.

Hoping that more people talk about mental disorders in our country. And that more people also find it in them to speak of their own experiences.

Lastly, please know that not everyone is out to get you. World is full of nice people who keep our faith in goodness alive. Like you and like me.

Wishing you luck.

Author

I am the Founder & Director of Azure, Strategic Brand Consulting Firm based in Mumbai. I have had the good fortune of traveling across far away lands. I have also met some incredible people- monks, healers, leaders, magicians, entrepreneurs and more. This blog is an attempt to share these moments. If it strikes a chord with even one person or makes you smile, the purpose would have been served.

163 Comments

  1. Deep Ganatra Reply

    The first red flag is tall claim. Generally it’s a good idea to run a background check of a new person. Not so difficult to find the actual details these days.

    • Akancha Reply

      When you read a bit more about Sociopaths, it will help you understand their ability to weave intricate web of lies. They usually cover their track very well. Thats why they do what they do.

      • Deep Ganatra Reply

        I understand what you meant but using right tools / sites, it’s not so difficult. Anyways, it was brave of you to post it and I am sure it will help others too.

        • Akancha Reply

          You are absolutely right. But, we usually don’t approach people from position of suspicion. Especially when you have met their family, seen their house. I wouldn’t have too many reasons to doubt their team members who were sending me mails or fact that they were abused in childhood. The educational background was such a scam, it was impossible for anyone to guess such storytelling.

      • Jalah Gray Reply

        This is SO true! The web of lies and manipulative tactics they use are astounding. I just got out of a 2 year relationship with one. I never knew what a sociopath was until him. He was so good he’d have me so confused and doubting my OWN instincts and things I kNEW to be fact, and I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent woman. He’s an abuser, manipulator, pathological liar, serial cheater, rapist, and beyond…..with absolutely not a shred of empathy or remorse. It took me sending him to jail for attacking me in front of his kids to get him OUT of my house and my life finally. Now I’m going through PTSD because I can finally process all the horrible things I endured while with him. Started cognitive therapy today. Reclaiming my life!

        • Akancha Reply

          Oh no, that sound like a really traumatic experience. I am glad you are out of it. I wish you all the best for the beautiful life ahead!
          Standing up for what is right will be your strength. Please continue your therapy over a long period of time, it will really help. And lots of love to you! 🙂

  2. Very absorbing read. All the power to you. It is very difficult to rise above such a complicated situation.I can only feel good that it has ended on a positive note for you. I am sure you will be very successful in whatever you do. I would surely like to meet you one day.

    Regards
    Somen.

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks for your kind words. It was a traumatic experience for sure. But, I was lucky to get the right support. Grateful for your wishes.

  3. (Hug)
    That was an incredible piece. Sorry you went through it and lore power to you that you managed to snap out of it as early as you could.
    It’s a hard world out there and I agree to your last lines. The world is still good.
    But this is an excellent piece to earn more of us independent strong women. A friend forwarded this to me and am glad he did. I can see how some of us can get sucked into it and j have a feeling I have been at this place in a way

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Rads! Much 💓 All of us go through our share of excruciating experiences but glad you are out of any such situation. Take care!

  4. My best wishes to you and wish you all the happiness in the world! You deserve them all!

  5. Great story…there are many sick people around us..good u managed to get away from his clutches safely… harassment n abuse should not be tolerated at all..no one can force u to be in a relationship…u have the right to steer ur own life..damn this XX

    • Akancha Reply

      It took me a lot of efforts but I fought back. Yes, nobody should be able to take control of our lives through abuse. Thanks for your encouragement.

  6. Souniya Khurana Reply

    Woww.. I just realised I have encountered a sociopath in my life too. And yes very rightly said, they are dangerous, you just fail to discern the right from the wrong. Thankfully, despite the time it took for me to come out of it, without encountering this facet being a disorder, I managed to reclaim my sanity and now that I look back, I am able to relate to every word you stated. Thanks for sharing.

    • Akancha Reply

      So glad that you are out of the situation. Its not easy to diagnose sociopathic traits. The entire purpose of writing this blog was to help a people in identifying any such parallel in their life.

  7. ViolentVeggy Reply

    This is mind boggling and scary. I trust too easily. I realize I got to work on it but I always believe people are inherently nice and they don’t lie 🙁

    • Akancha Reply

      Even I believe that people are inherently nice but thats not always the case. Now, I am a little more aware. However, This one person can’t take away from the immense love and support I have from so many others. Lots of love!

      • Predators can sense a victim a mile away in real life. News of impending sociopathy as “normal behaviour” is enough to keep one from trusting smiling faces. And that is the shame of it all. Crucial to educate one’s self to recognize such things before they break one’s heart. Thanks for the excellent post.

        • Akancha Reply

          Hi Shilpa, you are so right. We need to be aware and that was the entire purpose of speaking up. I hope this blog helps a few more people.
          Good news is that not everyone is out to get us. Lots of love 🙂

  8. It’s really great that you wrote this. Most such experiences end up making you doubt yourself so deeply that they make you feel shame for having been gullible, or feeling unlovable or whatever it is that is played with in your head. Most importantly, the weakness of the strong is that they don’t recognise how deep the survival instinct and hence manipulative power of the sociopath or the narcissist are. What you’ve experiences in a rather concentrated way are experienced by people in varying degrees in relationships (women seem to go through it more, but can’t confirm that :). Sympathy that you had to go through it, kudos for working through it and writing this.

    • Akancha Reply

      I went through all those emotions you mentioned. I was a wreck. But I decided to fight back. With a lot of support from my friends. Thank you for sharing & your encouragement!

  9. Thank you for for sharing your story here. More power to you for having the courage to process it all and still have the resolve to provide a warning to everyone. Take care and all the best.

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks for the support. Yes, I chose to speak up as I owe it to my conscience in helping others through any such similar situation. I refuse to let anyone take away my life control.

  10. This reminded me of a friend I had… The intricate web of lies, the attention seeking behaviour, the need to be ‘protected’, the claims of being ill, stories of being followed by an (imaginary) stalker, of cousins and friends that didn’t really exist (she even let me talk to one of these people on phone, except it was herself on the other side and when I asked is this YY she said no I’m her cousin we just sound alike a lot *eye roll* & whenever I asked to meet up with this so called cousin she was always too busy! – Although an alarm did ring at these instances I felt I was being too skeptical.. Like I was doing something wrong by doubting her) She was my best friend and did not like me getting close to anyone else.. But I caught one of her lies red handed and our friendship went downhill from there.. I was never able to understand why she behaved the way she did.. Especially since I loved her to pieces n she did not have to do any of this to get my attention.. But this article puts things in perspective. Thank you. It feels like a mystery solved. A burning question finally answered.

    • Akancha Reply

      It’s tough to diagnose sociopathic traits. They are master manipulators. I can relate to your experience. Glad you are out of the situation.
      The only way is to call them out. Your truth is your strength. Dont let anyone tell you otherwise 🙂

      • Just like one of the people mentioned above, I’ve had a sociopathic friend and a sociopathic boss too. Intensities differed, but the tendency to lie, deny, confuse, control, the let-go and pull-back mechanism all of that is SO easy to relate.

        It literally made me agree that I wasn’t emotionally mature. I started thinking that I was the useless / guilty one.

        I’m better off without the two.

        • Akancha Reply

          Thats their tool. To make people feel worthless, seed self doubt.
          I am so glad that you are out of it. Ofcourse, you are better off without them. Life is amazing & a few such people can’t change that fact.
          I wish you luck & love 🙂

  11. I can so relate to this as One can only be able to understand whats it like to be in a situation like this. There are very few people who are able to over come and reclaim their lives while many of them keep struggling post the disaster. More power to you Akancha. God Bless You.

    • Akancha Reply

      Thank you so much.
      I refuse to let anyone take away all things beautiful in this life. I wanted to speak up from a position of strength. I hope it helps people in being more aware.

  12. Vishwas Kasat Reply

    You do not know, the sociopath maybe reading the post now.

    • Akancha Reply

      Ofcourse he must be reading. But, I am not scared. I refuse to let such a person take control of my life. I am strong enough to stand up for myself & fight. He dare not have the guts to try anything silly, he will be in for big trouble 🙂

  13. You are a brave person, and your courage and strength has inspired me. More power to you. Wishing happiness and success for you. Well done!

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Snehil! I wish you the very best too 🙂

  14. Paarul chand Reply

    Very very brave of you to share this Akankcha. This will help a lot of people who may be caught up in similar situations. Stay well.best wishes

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Paarul! I do hope it helps people in being aware. I send you the best of wishes 🙂

  15. You said your friend introduced you to him…. Wonder how your friend knew him in the first place.
    Kudos to writing this out… Takes a lot to openly share this… Guess the emotional trauma would’ve been bad for you too

    • Akancha Reply

      Yes, the emotional trauma was devastating. But, not enough to destroy my will power to rise again.
      My friend also knew him through social media. His web of lies were so complex that it was tough for my friend to see through it either.

  16. Thank you for writing this

    I went through each and everything you wrote here AND MORE
    It sent a chill down my spine
    I suffered for almost 20 years
    But have safely come out of it with my two children
    Truth set us free!!
    Now its happy peaceful times with no fear and manipulation
    The freedom to be able to just breathe itself is incredible
    Thank God for that and for a loving caring family and friends who helped me reclaim my life and sprinkle it with happiness and laughter

    • Akancha Reply

      I am so happy that you are out of this situation. Be well. My best wishes!

  17. It takes courage to share your emotions. You are one incredible human being. More power to you woman!

  18. Iqbal Siddiqui Reply

    My wife of 30 years, who suspects that I may be a sociopath (and she may be partially right!!), forwarded this to me.

    I was in the Army and the only thing I can think of doing after reading your article is to stand to attention and salute you for the way you fought and won. Well done young lady.

    • Akancha Reply

      I hope you can get the required help atleast to whatever extent possible. Good luck. Thank you for reading.

  19. Prerna Shah Reply

    Hi Akancha, I found your story to be very interesting and also, one that speaks of hope and courage. If you would like to share your story with a website that I work with, you can get in touch with me at prernabonobology@gmail.com
    Look forward to hearing from you.

  20. Vinod Keni Reply

    A very nice article! It was very insightful. As a guy, I see this often and wonder why people put up with it. Now I know more. Thanks. More power to you and I am glad to hear that you have taken your life back.

    • Akancha Reply

      Thank you! Yes, I have reclaimed my life & everything beautiful in it. 🙂

  21. An Eye Opener ; your story will also encourage others who are affected by sociopaths to recognize and take evasive action. Thanks much for sharing your experiences and personal story

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Rajesh. I do hope it helps others. That was the objective. Our life is not to be controlled by anyone through abuse/manipulation.
      Wish you all the best 🙂

  22. This is downright scary..and courageous. Can’t believe it changes our hard-wiring!
    If its not too intrusive, i’m curious to know how you shook him off. Did you stop contact cold turkey or did you have a talk with him? Or inform the cops?

    • Akancha Reply

      I went absolute cold turkey. I cut all communications. It was tough but I knew that was the only way out. I listened to doctors & professionals. Trusted their advice & took help from my friend circle. There’s no other way to get out of this vicious trap.

  23. Preetha Nair Reply

    Hat’s off to you.I never knew something like this existed. But I have known such characters..it always kept me feeling that maybe I am wrong. Thanks for this piece of information. It was really helpful

    • Akancha Reply

      I am glad it helps in raising awareness. That was the entire objective. Thanks for reading!

  24. Dear Akancha, Your searingly honest account gives such a live idea of what it is like. Sociopathy seems so much more diabolical than narcissism where a person doesn’t really see the other and treats the other as a screen of one’s projections. This being so tuned and finding out the likes and vulnerabilities and then feeding into it and using to in a sense to demolish the other. It is incredibly courageous of you and the honesty is what makes it so insightful. My bestest wishes to you, Rakesh

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Rakesh. I hope that it helps a few others. I also hopes it reinstates their faith that we have all the power we need, within ourselves. No matter how far we get pushed, we can always reclaim our life 🙂

  25. Its brave of you….u pick yourself up and overcome the situation…Most of us usually feel embrassed n ashamed to share our stupidity
    But u did share yr story so tat some1 can be saved

    Have a great life
    Regards

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Ruma! This is the exact reason I shared my story. Nobody dysfunctional can make me feel inadequate or embarassed forever. I am responsible for my life. I am intelligent, strong & capable. I hope to instil this same faith in a few others. Lots of love 🙂

  26. Hi…Thanks for writing this. I am a mother of two, separated from my husband last year. After reading your article, I realized that I spend 18 years of my life with a sociopath. I can corelate my life story to yours! Only difference I realized it much later…actually 5 years of courtship and 13 Years of marriage! Would love to meet u some day!!

    • Akancha Reply

      Oh, I can not even begin to imagine your horror. I am so glad you are finally out of the influence. I hope you are doing fine now. It might sound cliche right now but thank your blessings that you saved yourself & you kids from any further devastation.
      Life has a lot to offer despite these damages. I wish you hope, love & luck. Yes, we will certainly meet.

      • Hi Akansha…writing to you after an year. Just wanted to share that even after 2 years of separation I am still not out of it. The memories still haunt me. Specially the dreams..they kill me. I’m still trying hard and fighting everyday. This is a devastating effect of staying with a sociopath for 18 years. And most difficult part is to pose to your family that everything is fine.

        • Akancha Reply

          Hey Manisha,

          I am sorry to hear about your experience. I remember interacting with you. Have you met a mental health professional? Please do. Its very important to take help of trained professionals in cases of trauma.
          You don’t need to pose with everyone. Please forma close circle of family/ friends and be transparent with them. Those who truly love you, will not judge you. I wish you the very best!
          Best, A!

        • Hi…
          My family loves me and I Also love them a lot…And that’s the only reason to pose that i am fine.. any way thanks for your kind words.

  27. This reminds me of a very similar kind of relationship I had pretty early in my career. Fresh out of college met this guy with training with a popular TATA groups company. He came across as a diligent, intelligent fun loving guy.
    But with time he destroyed my entire existence and my ambitions. It took me 3 years to come out of that. However today I am successful and happy. Thanks for making me feel I wasn’t the only woman victimized by some ruthless male behaviour.

    • Akancha Reply

      That is awful. Yes, sociopaths are master manipulators. Its really tough to unmask them. But, sooner or later, someone will certainly find & call them out.
      I am glad you are safe & happy. I wish you all the very best 🙂

  28. This has been powerful information for me. Thankyou so much.

  29. Hi good Morning Akancha,

    I have gone through something which is parallel of Sociopath – it is called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. My Mis-fortune Started When I married this Lady With fabulous Qualifications & Who was Managing One of the Top Educational Institute {No Lies here They were True}. But after 2 years the NPD started showing off. It became horrible & emotionally traumatic within next 12-14 months. Being Trained in Counseling I Tried Every way I could But it kept getting worse. But You Know it is very difficult to believe that a person very close to you may have a dis-order. that is why it took me 2 & 1/2 years to find that She is severe NPD – It happened with my Father too – in his case very late only we could dis-cover that he is suffering from Neurosis. Now that I am separated & have managed to over come the emotional abuse – looking back seems like a learning experience I wish never ever to have & Wish no one ever go through the same.
    When I saw you post I thought I should write to you. But as a positive consequence I Started a Philanthropic website to Provide FREE Resources Including Counseling => Successunlimited-mantra.com

    Subhashis

    • Akancha Reply

      So sorry to hear about your experience. It must have been a terrible time.
      But, so proud of your strength & initiative. Thank you for writing in. I wish you all the very best in your future endeavours!

  30. KIRTI GUHA Reply

    Bravo! Akancha, thank you for sharing. I learn’t a lot about folks surrounding me after reading your story…now I know what to watch out for and how to keep a safe distance. And not to mention you are an inspiration indeed.

    • Akancha Reply

      Thank you Kirti!! Happy that you found it useful. Big hug 🙂

  31. I am really sorry that it happened to you, I can totally understand the trauma you must have gone through..but I would like to say this in a humble way, for, this encounter…the experience, in life’s wider perspective, seems to have resulted in positive things, not just for you but for a lot more ppl..for society too…..for you surely must have become stronger and wiser, but you have surely used this experience to contribute positively to the people around you and to the society. All the best.

    • Akancha Reply

      You are absolutely right Prem. It was a trauma for sure. But, it has made me even stronger. I am determined to help more people by sharing my learnings. Thank you for making me feel it makes a difference 🙂

  32. KamakshiSri Reply

    Yes, it’s obvious for empathetic persons to fall prey to such sociopaths. Such people are master mind readers and they exactly know what one would be interested in and thus, they weave stories and plant people and things to make you believe them. In fact, I was on the way of getting into the pit but the moment when I realized the truth, I didn’t talk of walking away but instead started acting as if I’m a sociopath so much like him and who else than him will know such qualities and would know that i can put him in troubles anytime.

    Fortunately, he distanced thinking that he saved himself and I thanked my presence of mind.

    Happy to know, finally, you made through it. I just want every women to learn a lesson from this piece.

    Kudos to you for putting it here. I know this will help many women here.

    I have never read any of your posts. It was the first one and I must say that the most informative one. Will surely read your other posts too.

    Thanks. 🙂

    • Akancha Reply

      That was a really interesting way to deal with a sociopath, good job!
      Thank you for you kind words. Yes, I hope this blog gives courage to more people 🙂

  33. I’m glad you were brave enough to share such a personal experience. It will certainly make those of us who read it more aware and alert. And cudos for being strong enough to reclaim your life.

  34. Your story scared me but at the same time instilled me with the fact that eventually, right things happen with good people. You are right that such people cannot be identified so easily. They are manipulators. Writing this piece I’m sure you have given strength to many. Hugs.

    • Akancha Reply

      Thank you Parul. I just had to speak up, thats the right thing to do 🙂 Good things always happen to good people. Eventually. I snapped out of it and had so much support from friends. I do help it helps those reading it 🙂

  35. wow!!! Seems I have most traits of a sociopath I had low empathy for many things in life when compared to other people.But I did feel a sense of wrong doing when I did it but there is always an override switch in my brain. But I can see I have given up some of the Sociopath traits in last couple of years but still it is difficult to change who you are .Thanks for sharing your story .

  36. That you even wrote this article shows how strong a person you are! Kudos for that. I have no doubt in my mind that you will achieve much greater heights. You have it in you!

    • Akancha Reply

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂 Yes, I am determined to do so!

  37. Thank you so much for your writing. I just realized I met a sociopath too. I did not know any of this back then, it would have helped a lot. The amount of lies is unbelievable. It is hard to accept that such an intricate network is just smoke, as another commentor said, one feels guilty for being so skeptical. But when the truth finally stares at you on the face, one blames oneself for having taken so long to trust our intuition. I’m sure your article will help many people to be alert. I hope you are feeling great now and proud of yourself for getting out of that. Love

    • Akancha Reply

      Thank you Neha. Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience but glad you are out to it. yes, their lies are so confusing & complex that our logical mind can’t comprehend it. Its their favourite tool to use against an innocent victim.
      That’s why its really important for us to speak up. Courage defeats all lies. I have written this blog hoping that it indeed helps a few more people.
      I wish you luck. Much love 🙂

  38. Thanks for sharing. You’ve made really good decisions.
    To learn about his decision.
    To come out of it
    and finally sharing your experiences. It would definitely help lot of people. But I have a doubt. Since you said you have scientifically approached his behavior I thought I will ask you. What IF all his background checks were true (education & career)? Would it not make him a sociopath then?

    • Akancha Reply

      Thank you for writing in Veera. Sociopaths have a few characteristic traits like lack of conscience,fear, remorse, regret. They are unable to love. Few traits in combination qualify a person to be a sociopath.
      You will need to read up a little more to be able to identify various degrees of sociopathy. I will be addressing this in follow up blogs too.

  39. etcetrader Reply

    Akancha,

    You have guts made of steel! First to go thru all the trauma, and then to tell the tale!!

    I have been with a sociopath. She wasnt a liar but had borderline personality disorder. That means a lot of drama, selfishness, me, me, me. Basically I lost myself around her and after. Still picking up pieces.

    Great you snapped out. Wish you a great life ahead.
    Thanks for writing this piece.

    • Akancha Reply

      Sorry about your experience. Hope you are doing well now. I wish you the very best.
      I just had to share my experience. My conscience demanded it. It has resonated with so many people in last 48 hours. I am shocked at the horror stories people are sending about their own such experiences.
      We have to speak up. We have a conscience, right? Not speaking makes us just like the sociopath.
      Have a terrify life ahead!

  40. Dear Akancha,
    It is your brave and searing honesty which communicates the experience in such a live way. The article is richly insightful.In narcissism we may not see the ‘other’,but sociopathy, seems more diabolical in terms of finding out likes/dislikes/vulnerabilities and using them. My bestest wishes!

    • Akancha Reply

      Thank you Rakesh. Glad you found it insightful.
      Have bared my life for benefit of others so that they may learn from my experience. Also, so that we know that life is beautiful & strength lies in standing up for whats right. I wish you the very best too 🙂

  41. Thanks for the post and for spreading awareness about sociopaths. At first I thought I may not have the patience to read such a long story, but it really kept me intrigued and read till its end. I congratulate you for your ability to have overcome this trauma and I wish you all success in future.

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Sid, Glad you found it engaging.
      I do hope it helps in spreading awareness.

  42. “Each time I wanted to call off this abusive relationship, his master acting skills came to rescue. He wept like a child & told stories of how he might have cancer, how his mother is mentally unstable or his father doesn’t love him. It would be tragic enough for me to forgive him”. “He isolated me from my friends”. I read your analysis of the sociopath and feel like you have been there watching me through all this.Its an exact replica. And people talking about me being mature and not walking out when threatened by the future repercussions,i now can assure myself after I understand that it was just impossible for me to get out of that web the master sociopath wove for me. Today I am incognito to the world just because i fell in love with a virtue less person.I just wish that awareness should be spread about such people predominantly existing in our society under a camouflage.Your writing has been an eye-opener for me where I started to doubt my individualism and my virtues,but now I know that my virtue has been intact where i did not intend any harm to the person who manipulated me and drove life out of my life.That is what I am proud of,of being a human.

    • Akancha Reply

      Hey, I can relate to your experience. Please know that I understand the trauma. I know how it kills a part of you every single day.
      I am glad you are out of it though.
      Dont let ANYONE take the life out of your life. Life is beautiful & we are all very powerful beings. Yes, its tormenting when we meet such evil people. But the world is also full of wonderful people. Life is much more than one nasty person. I believe in inherent goodness of people. I hope you also do.
      I am proud of you too 🙂 Have a superb life ahead. Much love!

  43. Payal Manocha Reply

    I don’t know what to say to this. It ws pretty long but not for a moment did it let me get diverted . I had a frnd who behaved like this n now i understand the reason fr such a behavior. I wonder is this a part of their growing up or any situation or circumstances plays a role in this. As in does something affect sociopaths that they become like this or its always been there within them and it shows gradually. Hope you can throw some light on this..
    Bt well done Akancha.. You deserve an applause for the fight that you ve taken.. Bravo!!! God bless!!!

    • Akancha Reply

      Hi Payal, thanks for reading through. There are several reasons for why they do what they do but basic reason is that this is the only way they know to function. We don’t become one. But circumstances can aggravate it. I will be writing about it in detail in future blogs. I hope you will find your answers there. All the very best!

  44. MsChipotle Reply

    This post made me feel there are so many who have experienced what I did not to long ago. I had no idea what sociopath or phsychopath truly meant. We would tease people jokingly “physcho” not knowing it’s true meaning.
    I dated an office colleague, who seemed everything I would like in an mature man. I’m a divorced single woman, successful and independent. I had a command at work. He being my peer wasn’t equally recognised. I didn’t realise he was noticing me for almost a year before he started giving me loads of attention, innocent love, everything I really liked. He even did charity with me, took dancing lessons to what I liked. Introduced me to his mother and sister. Met my family and seemed like a perfect gift of God.
    When he saw I dropped my guards and fell in love… The games began. Identical to yours… Triangulating, gaslighting, abrupt disappearing, making me spend on travels, fighting long hours over minuscule matters… All this was just too overwhelming. I forgive him several times… A point came where I just decided he’s too poisonous for me and asked him to leave and back off.
    Even after our break up, he continued to contact my family members ( especially who didn’t know about our breakup) on social media. I had to warn everyone that I’m no longer associated with him.
    I had a gut feeling that he’s out to distroy my professional stand at work. I should have followed my gut.
    It took me 6 months to get out of this poisonous relationship. However I still work with him. I see him trying to weaken my ties at work (successful at a few too). I had a set back for 6 months dealing with this trauma and lost some momentum professionally. Please recommend what should I do, to avoid any further impact on my career/ personal life.

    • Akancha Reply

      Hi, I am so sorry to hear what you went through. I can understand your trauma. Big hug to you.
      Let me tell you one though, do not let ANYONE take away all things awesome about this life. Now you know that he was dysfunctional, reclaim your life.
      Stand up, speak up. Who cares about the people you are losing? Dont you think you would rather lose these people instead of trying to justify & defend your position? Our careers are defined by what we do not our relationships. Never put up with any lies, stand strong. READ. A LOT. I also strongly recommend that you work with a therapist. Speaking to a qualified professional makes a lot of difference.
      I wish you the best!

  45. Prashant Srivastava Reply

    That was very brave of you to be able to handle this like you have.

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Prashant! The support has been amazing & I intend to write further. Hope it helps a few more people.

  46. I understand what you have been through and how difficult it is to answer some people who come up with questions like, “why and how couldn’t you realise any sooner??”. We can’t. Because they suck you in like that. Wrap their lies around your head so much that you can’t see past them. You won’t even have time to do so. And even if you do, they will have a perfect explanation. Even if you know that the perfect explanation could be flawed, you wouldn’t dare dwell on it. You get carried away. I know, because I did. I got married to one such pathetic person. Unfortunately the families are ALWAYS on their side. There was a lot of emotional and physical abuse. His parents wouldn’t want me to complain about it to them, because they choose not to hear about it. They ask me not to run for help but to resolve it behind the doors. I wasn’t sure who would help me. Because nobody knew that side of him. The moment we step out of the room, am supposed to smile. Am supposed to get pictures clicked with big smile on my face. Am supposed to laugh at every joke of his. Support his pointless strategies, bend my neck for every word he say. My life went down, my confidence was shattered, I was told that I deserve to be treated like that. I almost went into a state that I do! Am glad I was rescued. Am glad my son was rescued. Sociopath. Finally your article helped me find the right term for him. Thank you ! And strength to you!
    I need immense help. To keep my son, to claim my rights. In case you know any counsellor, or even your friend who was working on sociopaths for so long, can you please put me in touch?

    • Akancha Reply

      Hey,
      I am so sorry to hear about your experience. Sounds terrible. Please stay strong & positive.
      You need to speak to a professional therapist first and foremost. This isn’t something we can overcome with just suggestions from friends. It has specialised requirements. There are many good therapists in Mumbai or even in other cities.
      AS for legal issues, you will need a lawyer. Neither me or my friend are legal experts. I am confident you will find one in your city.
      Please take care. And you are fortunate to be out of it. That shows your strength already. I wish you luck!

  47. Mahesh Ramchandani Reply

    Hi….thanks for sharing….You’re a tough one and I’m sure you’ll land on your feet if you havent already….More power to you…

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Mahesh.
      It took me time & still healing. But, landed on my feet & running now 🙂
      Thanks for your kind words..

  48. Vijay Natrajan Reply

    World is full of Sociopaths, Psychopaths and Socio-psychopaths. Their #1 trait is that they hide themselves in plain sight.

    Read the story of Donna Anderson who runs lovefraud.com. She also has online webinars that educate women on how sociopaths hook you and how they exploit our weaknesses.

    Also read Robert D Hare’s book “Without Concscience” and learn about PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist REvised).

    In India awareness is not there but let’s work to build it!

    Be smart, be safe!

    • Akancha Reply

      Yes, there are so many dysfunctional people around us. And they do hide in plain sights.
      I hope to build some awareness through my blogs as well as guide people in the right direction.
      Thank you for your wishes!
      PS: have read through all the suggested material in last few months. If you have any more suggestions, please feel free to share any time.

  49. It really requires a great courage,patience and acceptance to bring urself out from what people deliberately throw at you…but once you come out of such horrifying situation u are a completely new person altogether with more power to magnify ur life..!

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Shruti! Yes, it does make one very powerful knowing that nobody has the power to destroy us. And that life is amazing! 🙂

  50. I am currently in an narcissist-empath relationship with my boss. And it is traumatic. I love my work, love my workplace but I go through panic attacks and depression regularly.
    I know this has to end. I am just not sure how to! This post sent lots of light my way. Thanks. More power to you.

    • Akancha Reply

      Hi Ria,
      That sounds really stressful. I can understand that it must be very tricky.
      Please take professional help & get out of this situation ASAP! Its not going to do good for you emotional/mental well being. Longer you stay, worse the damage. Glad this post helped in some manner. I wish you luck & hope you snap out of it at the earliest. Big love.

  51. While reading through this post, I was reliving what I went through with my sociopath ex… I was pretty shattered and was on the verge of losing everything including my sanity, friends, career. I went into the worst depression that I have known, cried for days, just the thought of him would bring tears to me in an instant and I wasn’t like that! I was strong, I was bold, I was ambitious and hardworking but everything changed and I am slowly getting my life back!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Akancha Reply

      HI Vinnie,
      I am so sorry to hear that. It must have been really traumatic. It does make life look very worthless.
      But, I am so proud of you to break out. It might take time but you will heal. Completely & stronger. I promise you. Cos life was meant to be beautiful. Such people are only a lesson. And you went through it only cos you must be a really nice, loving person. Hang in there, you are awesome. Help anyone else you know who may have had similar experience.
      Sending you a lot of love & sunshine 🙂

  52. Ambreena Khan Reply

    It takes a lot of strength and courage to write about something so painful and dark..
    I dated a cerebral narcissist for 7yrs..it pretty much destroyed me emotionally and mentally..it was only when physical abuse followed that I decided to walk out!
    Though I’ve healed over the yrs, it still continues to be the biggest deception of my life..
    You’re definitely not alone..
    Sending you lots of love and positivity:)

    • Akancha Reply

      Thank you Ambreena!
      I am so sorry to hear about your experience. It must have been very tough. But I am so glad that you had the strength to walk out at some point. I have so many personal accounts of people who are still trapped with sociopaths. I know how tough it is to break out. Well done!
      I send you lots of love back. Stay strong, we are all in it together. We will make it a better world to live in 🙂

  53. Akancha, you have a spine made of stainless steel! It was gut wrenching to read what you went through and no words are enough to praise you for sharing your pain publicly, giving others a chance to save themselves from such lurking sociopaths in our society. Also, it exposes that sociopath, at least in your circle and people will now know what he really is.
    I escaped one such professional situation a few years ago only because I paid attention to my gut feeling that something was very wrong. As soon as all those silent treatments, blaming, pull now – push now games began, I searched online and found out that I had been trapped by a sociopath with clear indications of borderline personality disorder. All the symptoms were there. luckily for me, it was a professional partnership so even at the cost of suffering a set-back, I quit as soon as I got an excuse to do so. What I learned from my experience is:
    1) Nothing hits them harder then getting the same treatment. So anyone who is trapped by any such sociopath, just mirror their behavior and they will run away from you with tails between their legs.
    2) They are basically cowards, with deep-seated inferiority complex and insecurity.They know they are good- for -nothing and fear being exposed as the same, being ridiculed socially for their lack of success. Do exactly that. Expose their such shortcomings, laugh at their failures socially and they will cower in fear in front of you.
    Sociopaths are emotional vampires, you give them power if you let them darken your mind, spirit. They cower in fear when you stand with all your positive power, cut them off completely from your life and expose them.

    • Akancha Reply

      Thanks Namrata! I decided to speak up cos I hoped it will help others. And it looks like it may have. Have hundreds of personal trauma stories in last couple of days. I am glad that I was able to throw some light on this subject. I will continue to write and hope that more people are able to gather courage to share their experiences.
      You are absolutely right. There’s no bigger strength in reclaiming your life than standing up & speaking up. They are cowards feeding on victim’s fear. Once you have figured them out, you need to push them in there place & cut all communication. They don’t deserve any.
      I am so glad that you were able to snap out of the situation. Well done & lots of love 🙂

      • Hi, something I had written about narcissism: “On the other hand, a person with severe narcissistic traits sees the ‘other’ as a mere screen for one’s own projections. The yearning is for an unconditional love where the ‘chosen’ partner will give him perfect love and make up for all the hurts and slights of his life. A narcissist, not wanting to feel bad inside, builds defences such as denial and a strong need to be right.
        This, in turn, prevents the person from taking responsibility for his actions, instead of blaming the other, learning from mistakes and growing up. Others then become for us, not partners in a caring relationship, but ways of providing pieces of self. Most adults realise that unconditional love would be comforting but understand that it rarely happens as people we love usually hold us accountable for our actions in some way. As we should be — no one should be allowed to impose their neediness and bad behaviour on others”.
        I don’t have much idea about sociopathy but speculate that narcissism may be playing a huge role. Deep narcissistic satisfaction in picking a strong person and destroying them making them weak and cringing? Thanks again Akancha for your courage, alerting and such an insightful article.

        • Akancha Reply

          Thanks for sharing Rakesh.
          It is such a complex and vast subject that much remains to be scientifically studied yet.
          More knowledge is shared, more the awareness. I hope people begin talking & sharing on the subject widely.
          Thank you of taking the time to read.

  54. Suhas Shelke Reply

    Yes, it’s not easy to come out about abusive relationship and specially for successful, independent people. With emotionally gullible people, we think of this as inevitable. When it comes to strong, successful and independent individual however, the fall is harder and criticism harsher – “Not so strong after all”

    I’m not sure if I’ll be interpreted correctly, but I’ll share nonetheless.

    Having read about what you gone through, I really don’t think it was a good idea to share this in first person account. I understand you want to raise social awareness, but I believe it can be done in a slightly different way. Yes, when we use ‘I’, we immediately connect with the character and authenticate instantly, specially vulnerabilities.

    When you described Sociopaths and what they feed on, you highlighted people with social presence, success and strong personas. Breaking down such people gives such sociopath a sadistic high. They are driven by the challenge to exploit vulnerabilities hidden deep inside us and tap it to manipulate us at their will. They stalk lives of people, observe their response/reaction to certain situations, observe their behavior and inculcate the pattern seamlessly.

    Well, by sharing this in first person account, you’ve raised the bar for other prospective sociopaths. Now the challenge is even bigger and breaking you down again will be even more “sweeter”, so to say.

    Losing your parents in your early years is a used vulnerability and already exploited, so you’ll go on alert on any mention of similar loss. What will be your new vulnerability then? Sociopathy itself. For a Sociopath to connect with you now, it’ll be worth talking about abusive relationships, Mental disorders, social awareness, sharing to help others. Just sowing seeds and not to dwell on it for long.

    As you mentioned that Sociopath has “lack of conscience, empathy, fear, regret/remorse & love”, he may have already commented on this article. Person can be anyone. It can also be me.

    Never let the guard down.

    • A_survivor Reply

      A sociopath who feels another of his brethren shouldn’t be exposed? Wow!
      Hey smartypants, the moment a prospective victim decides to play the same game with them…the sociopath often disappears. They will reappear but rest assured that will happen after months of stalking and building yet another persona.
      ‘Never letting your guard down’ is a dumb joke. Sociopaths never compel you to lower your guard. In fact they make you compete to put theirs down. And when they do, you reciprocate. If you don’t reciprocate – surprise, surprise…you’re a a sociopath yourself.
      Goodbye my budding sociopath.

      • Akancha Reply

        Hahahah! You said it. Nobody should ever be able to bully/ threaten us.
        People like these are a joke. And cowards at the very least.
        Have a good day & thanks for the support 🙂

        • Suhas Shelke Reply

          You quickly made a judgement about me being ‘Coward’ and a ‘Joke’.

          Anyways, I’m quoting exactly what I wrote. “I really don’t think it was a good idea to share this in first person account. I understand you want to raise social awareness, but I believe it can be done in a slightly different way. ”

          Share this in “first person account” – Which means sharing this in ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘Myself’. The purpose of saying so is not letting a Sociopath know that you’re victim of them. Paving a way for another Sociopath to experiment on you. You only said they love challenges, wouldn’t it be a challenge to break you down again? You already went through hell, so I thought if incidents were shared in 3rd person account, like happened to a friend, ‘they’ or ‘them’, at least this ‘good intention’ will not be another reason for someone else to test your resolute.

          I tried to emphasize this point again.

          “Well, by sharing this in first person account, you’ve raised the bar for other prospective sociopaths. Now the challenge is even bigger and breaking you down again will be even more “sweeter”, so to say.”

          Unfortunately, there was selective reading and only “I really don’t think it was a good idea to share” was picked to make a quick judgement about me.

          If I said “It can also be me” makes me a Sociopath, “I’m not a Sociopath” makes me normal harmless person?

  55. A_survivor Reply

    Thank you very much for having the courage to post your experiences.
    As a man, I have been at the receiving end of my sociopath wife whom everyone sympathizes with. I actually had to skip specific instances in my divorce notice because nobody would believe the stuff she did, particularly no one in India. I chose to stick only to facts which are never condoned by Indian law and have almost secured my divorce. These people are the coldest, nastiest, parasitic forms of human filth that can ever manifest on earth. I refuse to call it a disorder. A disorder means they should choose their victims at random. A gangster, a blue collar worker or a disabled person will NEVER cross paths with a sociopath, not even if you set them up. That’s because a sociopath looks for co-dependent behavior in his/her victims. The victim must fit a profile of a non judgemental, highly empathetic, well earning, moderately to good social status profile for these ‘disordered’ people to work their magic. I also know full well that if that they can become normal if the going got tough. Sociopathy is an adrenaline boost for these vile creatures however it is at the expense of simple people like us who bear the brunt of their brutal, merciless exploitation of our life.

    • Akancha Reply

      Hi,
      I am sorry to hear about your experience. I can relate to the emotions you have. It is indeed tough for people to see through these master manipulators and they end up getting sympathy instead. Dont worry, your truth is your strength. The entire world need not believe in your truth. Its your journey and don’t worry who comes along.
      Being married to a sociopath must have been devastating. You are absolutely right that they only target empathetic, nice people. But, don’t ever give up being that person for someone who is obviously mentally dysfunctional. We are far stronger than that.
      I hope you are alright now. Did you speak with a trained professional? I wish you lots of luck & happiness ahead.
      Take care.

      • A_survivor Reply

        Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated. No I did not meet a counselor. From what I’ve taken months upon months to investigate and arrive at a conclusion – she happens to be a covert narcissist. In the meantime I have stopped being a co-dependant and changed who I am to face the world with a stronger, bolder me. I cannot let who I previously was to become entangled with yet another sociopath ever. It’s a journey in itself, the profound manner in which you undergo a sea change in your thoughts and actions. From where I stay the mental health professionals have yet to figure out who a narcissist is, so a covert one would be something straight out of their imagination. I had people telling me that it was my problem and not hers. Eventually when she disappeared one fine day from my life, I was able to put the pieces together. I have to thank her for doing that, as that was the single mistake of hers which brought the relationship crashing down – which would’ve taken months otherwise being the miserable co-dependant I was. It’s not just the divorce I’m battling. I have 4 other cases heaped upon me when I did not fall for her ruse to beg her to come back. It’s a long battle, but its a battle I’m slowly winning. I hope kids are taught about sociopaths at a tender age. It could be immensely helpful when your empathetic bent gets fished out by such vile creatures.

        • Akancha Reply

          Glad you are out of it. I am sure it will only make you stronger.
          Completely agree with you that we need more education on this topic. I am going to make every effort in my own way to raise awareness. I hope atleast a few more people speak up, share & educate others.
          I wish you the very best!

  56. Thank u akancha ma’m for sharing this. I’m a 19 yr old medical student.I hv been gone through it too though I didn’t knw it back then.I fell in love 2 yrs ago when I was in my 11th(i knw i m too young bt don’t knw hw it happened).Believe me i m strong enough bt may be somewhat immature. He was 1 yr senior to me. The same web of lies,manipulating,isolating frm friends! Horrible experience. He almost destroyed my career. Bt thanks to god n my studies I could understand that he is a sociopath n was able to fight back. Nw I cracked medical entrance n on the way to acomplish my dream of being a doctor. This article will surely help many to identify a sociopath. Thank u.

    • Akancha Reply

      I am so sorry to hear about your experience. Hey, but guess what… You have your whole life ahead of you. Super glad that you had the courage to break out of it. So proud of you. There’s a world full of people who are going to love you and respect you for that.
      I wish you the very best. Hugs! 💓

  57. Isn’t there a thin line, which is why it makes it difficult to identify such people. Lying could be related to Barney stinson kind of “lying to get laid” or to be “crazy and fun”. Or to hide their failures.

    So then a sociopath attempts to destroy you emotionally, financially and tries to control you. How do u deal with him if he is a friend. I think I have one such friend. He knows he is avoided by one and all. Still tries to get involved. Raises a stink when realizes that others have been on a trip without him. Everyone is scared to confront him and tell him to get lost

    • Akancha Reply

      The only way to deal with a sociopath is to stand up and call their bullshit out. They feed on fears. They are essentially cowards. Fight your fear and face them head on. They will run the other side. I wish you luck.

  58. Hi…I have read your story many times and even read the follow up comments.
    I wrote to you earlier also, I was also in such a relationship for 18 years (13 years of marriage and 5 years of courtship). Though I am now out of this relationship, but it is not even easy now. Every night when I go to sleep, those lies he spoke to me for years haunt me.I always considered myself a smart woman, but now I feel I am the dumbest person on earth who could not understand, who never had the guts to come out of such a abusive relationship. I could only come out when I saw him trying same emotional torture on my kids. At times I feel out of this whole relationship, the real victim is my children. He has spoiled their childhood. At the tender age of 8 and 10, they have seen so much and have matured. He is still living in the house of which I am the joint owner and for last one year I am staying with my parents; fighting case in court. And all of us know how strong is our law system. Even though his bail is rejected, he is out…But I am firm, I will fight for my children. And I wont spare such a man But at the end one bitter truth I know is that he spoiled my life..Its easy to say that this is not the end of world..But no one can replace what my children have lost…their childhood! I always wanted a simple life,never aspired too high…And this is what I have got!

    • Akancha Reply

      I can’t even imagine your pain. But hey, don’t you every doubt yourself due to someone else. Especially a coward sociopath. Dont give up the fight & don’t ever feel defeated. Eventually good things happen to good people. I promise you that. There’s a supreme power watching over all of us. You have to stand strong, believe & know that truth always wins. You are a brave woman to have fought so far, how can you be dumb?! You are a loving mother, daughter & thats your identity. Sending you love & healing.

  59. Hello,I just read through this post. And with a sense of dismay. My question is, is a sociopath aware of his sociopathy? And can it be cured / treated? A very close friend confided in me, that her fiance feels he is a sociopath. My friend says she has never been at his receiving end, but they both know he is a compulsive liar. My friend wants to help the guy, even though she has called off the wedding. And the guy, surprisingly, seems very self-aware, and wants to “cure” himself. Is that even possible??

    Would appreciate some help here. Thanks!!

    • Akancha Reply

      Hi, I am terribly sorry to hear about your friend’s situation. Must be tough to call off the wedding but better than being involved in a dysfunctional relationship.
      A pathological liar is not necessarily a sociopath but reverse is true. No, sociopaths do not confess to being one. And no, they never seek help.
      Please see a trained professional right away who will be able to assess & guide you step by step. I wish you & your friend the very best!

  60. I agree and think – psychotherapy can help. An excerpt from an article had written in the Hindu: ” Most adults realise that unconditional love would be comforting but understand that it rarely happens as people we love usually hold us accountable for our actions in some way. As we should be — no one should be allowed to impose their neediness and bad behaviour on others… Therapy initiates a process of taking back the bad parts of oneself, rather than projecting them on to the other, to understand the defences at work, to tolerate uncomfortable, emotional states and to move towards achieving a more satisfying and balanced relationship with others”.

    • Akancha Reply

      Unfortunately, therapy DOES NOT WORK for sociopaths & I have explained why in the blog.
      Do read a book called “The Sociopath Next Door” for a deeper understanding.

  61. Mam , beautifully written. This works as an eyeopener to the folks out there who have no / limited knowledge of these pricks moving camouflaged in public.

    Thanks for sharing. Much Appreciated . And kudos to you and the fact that despite of the trauma in the end you could maintain balance in your head and come out.

    • Akancha Reply

      Hey Aditya, thanks for reading through. Glad it helped in understanding the human nature some more. I was lucky to have friends & right professional help to deal with the trauma. I hope that this helps the others in their recovery too. Wish you the very best 🙂

  62. Akancha, it takes guts to write this. Thanks. We have very limited discussion about this topic in our culture. I think ‘Dark Triad’ is a topic worthy of reference during high-school so that everyone has some anchor to think about when/if it happens to them.

    For those who’re reading this section, Psychopathy (which I think is the more clinically correct term for what is out of niceness referred to as sociopathy) is discussed on Reddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/Psychopathy/. You should also be aware of Narcissism, a related and almost as psychologically damaging character trait for the victims. https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/ discusses the plight of children of Narc parents. It is an eye-opener, especially in the Indian context where we take parents who beat, mentally abuse, and treat their children as an ego-extension of themselves as a cultural norm.

    There are also quite a few books that deal with the topics. Jon Ronson’s “Psychopath Test”. Ron Schouten & James Silver’s Almost a Psychopath. Joseph Burgo’s The Narcissist You Know.

    Fair warning – reading these books might cause you to feel powerless about these predators. But don’t worry – a limitless ability to lie doesn’t mean nothing for those who’re aware of it. Once you are able to expose inconsistent behavior, you should tie it down to the personality trait so that people can come to see what it really is over time. This will be difficult since most people don’t know about psychopathy and what it really means. The prevailing idea of a psychopath is a serial killer (even for them we have an ability to rationalize and feel sorry for). Psychopathy is a white elephant – a person without conscience is so far removed from our idea of reality that even when we see it in front of us, our conscious mind is unable to process it, and gives it a thousand excuses. “They probably didn’t mean it”. “They are having a bad day”. And even worse, when people of authority do this, we think that is leadership and gather around them. This is how assholes thrive. A very recent example of an entire community not calling out psychopathy due to the white elephant effect for far too long is in the recent Jacob Applebaum Tor affair. Or R. K Pachauri of TERI. Or Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka. These are all sexual assault cases, but there are many low-profile assholes in our families and workplaces that don’t find it into the limelight, but cause extreme anguish to large number of people.

    One of the defining nature of Narcissists (this is a spectrum of behavior that has elements of psychopathy, but my terrible experience is with a Narc, and I need to vent, sorry) is that they create drama. They want everything to be about themselves. “Stealing someone else’s thunder” is their modus operandi. If you unfortunately have someone like that as a parent, you will have to walk on eggshells around them. You wouldn’t know what triggers them, you can never do anything right. They create drama and loud scenes, and as conflict-averse people, we try to placate them and put all blame of their abuses on ourselves. A conversation with a Narc is like drinking from a dry tap. You feel parched and thirsted afterwards. Psychopaths have the ability to feel like we’re listened to; but Narcs simply can’t spend a moment for someone else.

    The treatment for these issues is Talk Therapy and Counselling, but for affected members. This is probably one of the only conditions in the world where nothing can be done to help the patient, but we can only try lessening the suffering of those around them.

    There is deep philosophical/moral issue around this that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere, and I don’t think there is a clear answer to either. These behaviour traits are genetic. It is not like they decided to become the demons they are. The brain scans of psychopaths supposedly reveal a crucial difference in structure, compared to normal people. They don’t have the parts of the brain that seats empathy/conscience. It is like being born without a leg or an arm. It is as physically true as of any other deformity. Neural plasticity nor nurture can do nothing about it. Aka, there is no free will for these people (there is no free will for any of us, but that is a different topic). So if someone of your family has this pathological trait, are you to abandon them? The damage they cause is extensive; their cruelty is unpardonable. But do we blame them for what they are not out of their own conscious choice? This plagued me for a while, but having realized the extent of damage, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing ‘fair’ about the universe. It is just indifferent. So everyone deals with the burdens we’ve been placed with, and some people have more than their fair share, and all we can do is to suffer, fight, and live through it.

    (Apologies for the length. That wasn’t the intention when I began writing this.)

    • Akancha Reply

      My apologies for the delayed response. Somehow this slipped into another mailbox & I missed it.
      Thank you for writing out your thoughts in such detail. Every discussion greats great value. It brings a new perspective to the topic.
      I do understand the moral dilemma you are talking about but the extent of damage caused by these people is immeasurable. Trauma, insanity, depression & even murders are unforgivable. No matter how big or small part of nature in this disorder. If that means that they need to be isolated for sake of larger safe keeping of society, so be it.
      I invite you to write your thoughts as a blog, would love to publish it. Let me know.
      Have a good evening!

  63. Akancha Reply

    I am posting READER’S POINT OF VIEW. Please note that if any of you would like to keep your identity anonymous, just mention it in your comment & I will do the needful.
    Do read this perspective:
    Akancha, it takes guts to write this. Thanks. We have very limited discussion about this topic in our culture. I think ‘Dark Triad’ is a topic worthy of reference during high-school so that everyone has some anchor to think about when/if it happens to them.

    For those who’re reading this section, Psychopathy (which I think is the more clinically correct term for what is out of niceness referred to as sociopathy) is discussed on Reddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/Psychopathy/. You should also be aware of Narcissism, a related and almost as psychologically damaging character trait for the victims. https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/ discusses the plight of children of Narc parents. It is an eye-opener, especially in the Indian context where we take parents who beat, mentally abuse, and treat their children as an ego-extension of themselves as a cultural norm.

    There are also quite a few books that deal with the topics. Jon Ronson’s “Psychopath Test”. Ron Schouten & James Silver’s Almost a Psychopath. Joseph Burgo’s The Narcissist You Know.

    Fair warning – reading these books might cause you to feel powerless about these predators. But don’t worry – a limitless ability to lie doesn’t mean nothing for those who’re aware of it. Once you are able to expose inconsistent behavior, you should tie it down to the personality trait so that people can come to see what it really is over time. This will be difficult since most people don’t know about psychopathy and what it really means. The prevailing idea of a psychopath is a serial killer (even for them we have an ability to rationalize and feel sorry for). Psychopathy is a white elephant – a person without conscience is so far removed from our idea of reality that even when we see it in front of us, our conscious mind is unable to process it, and gives it a thousand excuses. “They probably didn’t mean it”. “They are having a bad day”. And even worse, when people of authority do this, we think that is leadership and gather around them. This is how assholes thrive. A very recent example of an entire community not calling out psychopathy due to the white elephant effect for far too long is in the recent Jacob Applebaum Tor affair. Or R. K Pachauri of TERI. Or Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka. These are all sexual assault cases, but there are many low-profile assholes in our families and workplaces that don’t find it into the limelight, but cause extreme anguish to large number of people.

    One of the defining nature of Narcissists (this is a spectrum of behavior that has elements of psychopathy, but my terrible experience is with a Narc, and I need to vent, sorry) is that they create drama. They want everything to be about themselves. “Stealing someone else’s thunder” is their modus operandi. If you unfortunately have someone like that as a parent, you will have to walk on eggshells around them. You wouldn’t know what triggers them, you can never do anything right. They create drama and loud scenes, and as conflict-averse people, we try to placate them and put all blame of their abuses on ourselves. A conversation with a Narc is like drinking from a dry tap. You feel parched and thirsted afterwards. Psychopaths have the ability to feel like we’re listened to; but Narcs simply can’t spend a moment for someone else.

    The treatment for these issues is Talk Therapy and Counselling, but for affected members. This is probably one of the only conditions in the world where nothing can be done to help the patient, but we can only try lessening the suffering of those around them.

    There is deep philosophical/moral issue around this that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere, and I don’t think there is a clear answer to either. These behaviour traits are genetic. It is not like they decided to become the demons they are. The brain scans of psychopaths supposedly reveal a crucial difference in structure, compared to normal people. They don’t have the parts of the brain that seats empathy/conscience. It is like being born without a leg or an arm. It is as physically true as of any other deformity. Neural plasticity nor nurture can do nothing about it. Aka, there is no free will for these people (there is no free will for any of us, but that is a different topic). So if someone of your family has this pathological trait, are you to abandon them? The damage they cause is extensive; their cruelty is unpardonable. But do we blame them for what they are not out of their own conscious choice? This plagued me for a while, but having realized the extent of damage, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing ‘fair’ about the universe. It is just indifferent. So everyone deals with the burdens we’ve been placed with, and some people have more than their fair share, and all we can do is to suffer, fight, and live through it.

  64. I read the whole article and seriously i am thinking of is my husband a socipath?i really cant digonse.Even i am a emotional fool and all time i do get trapped but then why dies he love me too…he has no extra affairs or so but i do sometime so demoralised with what he says,he has his opinion so even me but why to argue unnecessarily.Never has he abused me but i am not even good upon talking to him sometimes.I undeestand how it is to have sleepless nights with confusions i am undersoing that.i am not knowing what i am suppose to do sometimes i feel get a divorce and move on but i remeber him saying not all men will accept a divorced girl and its a hard life to live.I was an independent, self respected and i had good edycatuon background too but why am i going low now. I am in a state if fear of what will happen if i leave this relation am i doinv it right etc etc…

    • Akancha Reply

      Hi,
      I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I understand the emotional conflict you are experiencing. I would sincerely request you to please consider meeting a therapist/counselor. Sometimes, speaking with a trained professional clears our mind. It will help you identify steps towards solving the issues you are facing. Please do connect with a therapist in your city. Dont be bogged down with who will “accept” you or not. Whats important is to resolve our own issues in life & improve its quality.
      I wish you all the very best. Take care.

  65. Penelope Pitstop Reply

    Thank you for telling this story. I am recently realizing that my 30 yr marriage, which ended 2 yrs ago, may have been a prolonged version of this. I don’t know why he stayed so long– maybe for the social facade, or maybe because my response to his withdrawal was to go find other things to do. I was sad and felt abandoned but I used that energy for community activities. So he had what he wanted– the appearance of family, money I brought in… until he committed some crimes, got arrested and left me. At the time it felt so shocking and impossible! Now looking back there was every sign.

    I am curious about a weird thing I noticed. When in his presence, when he was in a good mood with me, I had the most intense feeling of utter safety. I felt we were two halves of a whole, and together we were totally safe. Not bc I expected him to protect me– it was in our connection. To this day, because we have adult children and I see him occasionally, I continue to get those blips of feeling very safe. In reality I couldn’t have been more unsafe. That sense of safety led me to weakly protest very risky things he would do with my life– driving recklessly with me in the car, leaving bonfires burning outside our house while we slept, all sorts of stuff I’d never stick around for with others. It felt impossible that harm could come to me so long as I was in his arms.

    I am wondering if that itself is a red flag? And if I should run if I ever feel safe like that again? It’s not so much that I go around feeling unsafe– not at all. It’s more– I’m normal, and then he would hug me and this outrageous sense of safety would wash over me so that when he pulled back, then I’d feel I had never been safe without him.

    • Akancha Reply

      Dear Penelope,
      I am sorry that you had to go through this. This sounds like an absolute red flag & a typical trait of a dysfunctional person. Ask yourself, why would anyone who loves you, do crazy stuff that could put your life in danger? Would you do that to your kids? Never, I am sure. Anyone with a pattern of erratic behaviour is cause for concern. Please do read a book called “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stewart. I have also written some follow up blogs like this one: http://akanchasrivastava.com/sociopath/are-you-dealing-with-a-sociopath-signs-watch-out-for-what-to-do/
      I hope this helps you. And remember, NOBODY can take your power away if you decide to stand up & speak up. Its not you, it’s them. Life is beautiful & nothing changes that. Should you need any further information that I can help with, I am around.

      Sending you lots of love!
      A

  66. I recently have been tagged as a sociopath and a narcissist. I knew about these terms but never identified myself with them. However, now I have started reading up more on them. I came across your blog and realize how some of my behavior and acts are classic traits of a sociopath-narc. It was shocking to realize that you have some mental disorder but better late than never.

    I am just glad that my friend identified these traits in me before we could enter into something more serious and concrete. I can’t apologize enough for my behavior but hopefully this self awareness will prevent such things in the future. Of course a lot of inner work is still required to be done by me.

    Will follow your blog for more such behavioral insights.

    • Akancha Reply

      HI,

      I would strongly recommend that you meet a mental health professional & take proper guidance. That would be the right thing to do.
      I wish you the very best.

      • Absolutely right ma’am. I’m in search of a professional for that.

        And you are so right about people being unaware about these issues. I asked a few close friends whether they thought I was a sociopath but they all simply denied it, said I was imagining things. That’s a sad truth 🙁

        Anyways, thank you for your wishes and good wishes for your endeavours 🙂

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