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The answer: Why psychopaths do what they do

By Donna Andersen

Perhaps the biggest question asked by people who have been targeted by psychopaths is, "Why?"
1. Why did he work so hard to win me, proclaiming his love and promising a beautiful future together, and then suddenly dump me?

2. Why does she intentionally scare, upset, demean and embarrass her own children?

3. Why does he lie about stupid things, even when he’d be better off telling the truth?

4. Why doesn’t she care that she’s hurting me?


Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator.
(Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator.")


I’m sure you have your own list of "why?" questions.

We try to make sense of the psychopath’s unfathomable behavior. We look for explanations that we can understand: Perhaps he was abused or felt abandoned as a child. Perhaps she has low self-esteem. Perhaps he’s under a lot of stress at work.

There must be a reason, we tell ourselves, because normal people just don’t act that way.

Here’s what you need to understand: Psychopaths are NOT NORMAL.

Please don’t respond with, "Well, duh."

The degree to which these people are NOT NORMAL is truly astounding, and difficult to absorb. But it’s key to understanding the "why."


Terminology
First, some explanation of terminology. Generally, when I write articles on Lovefraud, I refer to the disordered people we discuss here as “sociopaths.” I use that word as an umbrella term encompassing all people with personality disorders who live their lives by exploiting others. It covers several clinical diagnoses - psychopath, antisocial personality disorder, narcissist and borderline personality disorder.

For more explanation, read Psychopath/Sociopath.

Usually I don’t bother differentiating among the various disorders. The conditions overlap, and they’re all bad news for anyone who gets snagged by these exploiters. From the victim’s point of view, arguing over the terminology is like splitting hairs.

But sometimes the differences are important, and this article is one of those times.


Psychopaths cannot love
Psychopaths are NOT NORMAL because they are missing the traits that are essential to our humanity. According to Dr. Liane Leedom, psychopaths have no ability to love. They cannot truly care for another person, or put anyone’s interests ahead of their own.

Think about what that means. Think of all the things you’ve done out of love for another person - your parents, your spouse, your children, your friends, your military buddies.

Now think about what it must be like to be someone for whom the motivation of love simply does not exist.

Psychopaths are like the "Terminator" characters from the movies. I’m referring to the bad guys - Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first Terminator movie, the shape-shifter in the second movie. They can think, analyze, learn and evaluate. They can mimic human emotion. But they cannot love, and they have no conscience.

Their emptiness is frightening. Just like the emptiness of a psychopath.


Psychopathic motivation
So what motivates a psychopath? Why do they do what they do?

Dr. Lianne Leedom says psychopaths are motivated by three things:
>> Power
>> Control
>> Sex

That’s it.


So let’s look again at the questions from the beginning of this article, questions that you may have asked yourself:

1. Why did he work so hard to win me, proclaiming his love and promising a beautiful future together, and then suddenly dump me?
Despite what he said, it was never about love. He liked the power of seducing you, and the sex.

2. Why does she intentionally scare, upset, demean and embarrass her own children?
She feels no love for them. She only wants to control them.

3. Why does he lie about stupid things, even when he’d be better off telling the truth?
Lies change what you believe, which is a form of power. Some experts call it "duping delight." Psychopaths like it.

4. Why doesn’t she care that she’s hurting me?
She has no ability to care about your emotional pain. But she does like the power of making you feel emotional pain.

Yes, it’s really that bad. Psychopaths feel no love. They are driven only by their desires for
>> Power
>> Control
>> Sex



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