Tag Archives: character disturbance

Losing is sometimes better than winning


This blog has primarily been about psychopathic/narcissistic personalities although recently I have been concerned not so much about the pathology but the way in which people manipulate.


Dr George Simon talks about the Aggressive pattern in his new book Character Disturbance. These aggressive types are split into a number of different patterns – The Unbridled Aggressive, The Channelled Aggressive, the Sadistic, the Predatory aggressive, The Mistrusting (Paranoid), and the Covert aggressive.


For the purpose of this article I shall be talking about the Covert Aggressive. Dr George Simon describes these types are the archetypal manipulators. They are not open in their aggressive intentions and do their best to keep the behaviour hidden under a mask. He describes their tactics as accomplishing two objectives


  1. The tactics effectively play on the sensitivities, vulnerabilities and conscientiousness of others (especially neurotic individuals). The other persons then go unconsciously on the defensive (i.e. retreating mode) This quashes all potential resistance.
  1. The tactics conceal obvious aggressive intent. The other persons have little objective evidence that the covert-aggressive is intending to take advantage of them. Instead of trusting their “gut” instincts, the other persons question themselves and get hoodwinked.


Dr George Simon describes the world according to the aggressive characters as only having four possible outcomes.


      1. I win, you Lose
      2. You win, I lose
      3. I win, You win
      4. I lose, you lose


Since their sole modus operandi is to ensure that they always win choosing option 1 is their first choice, if they do happen to lose they wont go down without a fight. If they see someone else who appears to be “winning” they may try to take you out at the earliest convenience. Alternatively, if by some chance they lose and get taken down they will ensure they take you down with them. It’s also one of the reasons why they see others who wish to win as a threat.


As I have mentioned earlier Psychopaths display any or all of the above aggressive patterns, it’s often one of the reasons why psychopaths stalk victims long after the relationship is over as a way of getting one over on their victims. Its their way of saying “You may think you have won but not until I have finished with you”.


Aggressive personalities and psychopaths also have a way of being able to spot neurotics weaknesses extremely easily.


Often neurotics do not trust our gut instincts and recently I had the misfortune of dealing with what can only be described as a covert-aggressive.


Its worth mentioning that just because we have got rid of a psychopath or narcissist in our lives it doesn’t necessarily mean we wont ever bump into another disordered character again either in relationship or in the workplace. Armed with better knowledge in educating ourselves how to spot them before they spot us, we also need to learn how to better deal with them in the future if we are put in a situation where me may possibly get victimized.


Prior to the recent run in with the covert aggressive personality which prompted this article, when I first met them my immediate reaction was to put my guard up to protect myself. However as time went on, over a period of months I started to think that maybe I was judged them too harshly and let my guard down a little. It goes back to the old adage that neurotics want to see the good in everyone but occasionally we still get blinded by their façade. As Dr Robert Hare commented in I am Fishhead often it can take months for people’s true character to be exposed and even so-called experts still get find themselves being manipulated.


Without going into detail about what happened, I was left in a no win situation and had to choose whether or not it was worth fighting or end up being victimized. Needless to say my gut instincts proved to be spot on or I wouldn’t be writing this article.


Dr George Simon talks about different ways of handling these people in the workplace in this article  . Unlike aggressive personalities I tend to be the one that always backs down but this time although I stood my ground and not wanting to be victimized I chose to “Accept the risk, and if necessary, be prepared to leave


I may have “lost” in their eyes but for my own emotional well-being I felt I made exactly the right decision. It might have been a risky decision for me but I was fortunate enough to not have to rely on one particular income. Sometimes we have to realize that no matter what we do others will stop at nothing in order to win. If protecting my emotional wellbeing, and not getting victimized  again makes me a loser then I I’d rather be a loser anyday


As Dr Simon says “If you’re prepared to deal with the risks involved, you might just find that seeking a new opportunity is the best move you ever made.”


For anyone who has ever been out with a psychopath or narcissist the best thing we can ever do is leave them, and avoid all contact.  The same applies to dealing with those displaying covert aggressive behaviour.  Often what appears to be the hardest choices at the time are sometimes the best. In this case backing down and leaving is almost certainly the best thing I could have done. Not only do I have peace of mind without all the head-games anymore I now have more free time on my hands to start working on my new book, details coming soon.







Filed under character disturbance, covert agressives, dark souls, Dr George simon, dr robert hare, George Simon, I am fishhead, psychopathic personality, psyhopaths, Sarah Strudwick

Prophet or Predator?

Some of the longstanding and commonly accepted explanations we’ve been given about human nature are simply wrong. Worse, believing them leaves us vulnerable — both individually and as a society — to the manipulations of predators among us. And there are predators among us. They are not “sick.” They are just disturbingly different and unfathomably dangerous.

Photo by xvaughanx - http://flic.kr/p/6Pwp9y
Photo by xvaughanx – http://flic.kr/p/6Pwp9y

Recently, a jury in Texas convicted Warren Jeffs of the systematic rape and abuse of several young girls as young as 12 and sentenced him to life in prison. We may never know the full extent of his victimization or how young some of his victims might have been. One of his victims, who also happens to be his niece, has asserted to the press that Jeffs is exactly where he needs to be. Otherwise, he would still not only be on the prowl, but also most likely successfully garnering more victims.

Jeffs is regarded by some as a “prophet” in the extreme polygamist offshoot of the Mormons known as the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. Devoted followers believe his will reigns supreme and is to be unquestionably obeyed. And some were even willing to joyfully offer their young daughters to him for a supposedly God-inspired “spiritual” marriage.

When my first book In Sheep’s Clothing [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK] debuted nearly 16 years ago, some of the assertions I made about the most manipulative of characters were not only shocking and ground-breaking, but also regarded by some as theoretical heresy. There are people, I argued, who are not really who they purport to be. They’re not obvious bearers of any unconscious malevolent or unseemly intent. Rather, they are intelligent, deliberate, crafty predators who know well the vulnerabilities most folks possess, and are adept at manipulating the impressions others have of them as well as their behavior. Some of these individuals have such a malignant sense of superiority over others and such an emotional disconnection from the human race that they regard other, inferior human beings as rightful prey. Hence, I gave these folks, sometimes alternately labeled sociopathic or psychopathic, the label predatory aggressive personalities. I wasn’t the first to take notice of these perplexing individuals, but I was among the very few to challenge many of the traditional assumptions about what makes them the way they are. In my current book, Character Disturbance [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK], I examine these and other problematic personalities in even greater depth.

If you happen to be an adult fixated pedophile (i.e., someone with an unrelenting and/or exclusive sexual attraction to pre-pubescent — or in the case of ephebophilia, near and just post-pubescent — children), you undoubtedly know you can’t simply arrange time alone to “hook-up” with the objects of your desires in the same manner that adults and teens secure “dates.” Instead, unless you want to resort to abduction (as some have), you have to keep your true intentions carefully veiled, come up with a variety of clever schemes just to gain access, and craft an incredible arsenal of far-fetched yet believable lies that will convince others and your intended victims to let you have your way. And there isn’t one thing Warren Jeffs did that many psychopaths and/or predatory pedophiles haven’t done before him. Jeffs’ niece believed him when he told her she was “special” and that what was taking place between them needed to be kept secret. He was an authority figure who appeared to care for her and to be trustworthy and who also brought ready words of comfort and acceptance to a young person searching for validation. His niece’s retrospective account indicates he was already quite skilled at manipulating his intended child targets long before he put on the cloak of religious prophet. But he eventually hid his true nature behind the most powerful manipulative tool ever devised, the word of God, to convince trusting, yet spiritually thirsty souls that he had been given exclusive access to the waters of redemption they sought. Still, his actions prompt the question of why, in this day and age — when so many authors have now broadcast the same message about predators that many found unbelievable and unacceptable 16 years ago — there are still plenty of folks out there who succumb to this vile type of victimization. I think the reasons are primarily threefold:

  • predators are often extremely good at their manipulative craft;
  • the legacy of traditional and still dominant psychology metaphors — such as that most behaviors are unconscious, everyone tends to be loving and caring unless scarred by past abuse or neglect, etc. — often sets us up to form incorrect impressions about some people;
  • and it’s extremely painful (and therefor prompts “denial”) to think that there really are heartless, conniving predators out there who are very different on every level from most of us.

As long as I am able, I will continue the drumbeat I sounded many years ago. There are predators among us. There’s something qualitatively different about them. They use powerful tactics (some of which can be extremely convincing) to make you abandon your natural fearful instincts about them and allow yourself eventually to become captive. The proof of my assertions about their true nature often comes to light when the jig is up for them. It happened with Phillip Garrido when he was finally convicted for abducting Jaycee Duggard. (He also initially appeared to have some unusual religious beliefs motivating him but gave up the ruse upon conviction.) I predict it will also happen with Jeffs. But whatever happens, we simply have to do a better job of recognizing and reckoning with the predators among us. We have to overcome our reluctance to accepting the seemingly unacceptable, and we have to set aside some of the longstanding and commonly accepted explanations we’ve been given about human nature that set us up to misunderstand them. They are not “sick,” just disturbingly different and unfathomably dangerous.

Many are now coming to believe that there simply is no possibility of change for a psychopath or sociopath. And while this belief is rooted in some truth, I still can’t help but wonder what would happen if we were to so firmly “cast the beam out of our eye” that the “prophet” some still see in a creature like Jeffs would be revealed as no more than the heartless predator he really is.


George Simon

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Filed under character disturbance, In sheeps clothing, pedophiles, predators, psychopath, sociopath