Hello Dr. Robert,
I was reading a letter you wrote in response to a woman who had a passive-aggressive womanising partner for two years where you said to her:
"there is a kind of woman who is easily victimized by sexual predators such as your boyfriend." You said that the male who does this is not a sociopath. Yet I can understand why people draw analogies between these two kinds of people because of the social manipulation that is evident in their behaviour.
I recently saw a documentary about psychopaths and they did an experiment on some criminal psychopaths where they got them to watch several people walking in front of them one by one. The group of psychopaths were asked to choose who they were most likely to choose as their victim and they all chose the person who had the goofy walk. (A bit of a limp and their left arm flopped about as they walked.) The psychopath that this documentary was about also had a wife (he was a successful psychopath, he'd never been caught for anything he'd done.) They then went into the psychology of victimhood and said that partners/followers of manipulative people are often very compassionate and nurturing people, who are often quite the opposite of the person they love.
Is the follower/partner of a manipulative person often like this? If so I don't think this is a specifically female thing, I'm sure there are just as many men out there who are manipulated by their partners in many different ways. If you could clarify the key traits of a person who is easily victimised by a secretly cheating but obviously passive-aggressive partner I'd really be interested to know.
Thanks heaps :-)
Dr Robert doesn't answer questions here generally, so you should email him instead. I will however answer your question. It's a subconscious thing. Some people just scream "abuse me". There are no definitive traits because everyone tries to be something they are not. So from a "predators" point of view, you just know.
Cool thanks for your honest response. So basically I think the answer is you become a victim if you let someone do it. I personally think if you are a bit inclined to look weak in some way or act unconfident or depressed it invites it too. There are lots of behaviours you can learn to ward this stuff off. The other side to it is the "predator" can become honest to themselves about liking many people and just declare themselves as polyamorous. Anyway thanks for your reply and I'll direct the discussion toward Dr.Robert in an email.
I will reply here.
You asked about this: "partners/followers of manipulative people are often very compassionate and nurturing people, who are often quite the opposite of the person they love."
This is frequently the case regarding "nurturers." I believe it may be because a confirmed nurturer--particularly one who prides herself/himself on being a nurturer, or "compassionate"--often will continue to put up with constant manipulation, whereas a less "nurturing" person would simply walk.
Actually, true compassion is not at all sentimental--in fact is the very opposite of sentimentality--and does not lead to being victimized.
Thanks for that, Dr.Robert. These are wise words indeed. I will pass this on to my friends who may feel they are being used or led astray. I think you've just answered my question of why it is unethical for a friend or a lover to become the counselor of that friend too, I think its for that exact same reason (and that they aren't trained in the area so may offer the wrong advice.) Cheers :-) P.