The Internet is an exciting and vibrant source of information, entertainment and communication but, as we’ve all heard, it also has its dark side. It’s of vital importance to exercise the utmost caution when you ‘meet’ a new friend online.
The web is the perfect vehicle to prey upon the innocence of others. The number and variations of online predators staggers the imagination. Now get this...I’m NOT talking about your children. I’m warning you about online adults who target other adults. Cyberpaths.
Their goals can vary from swindling you out of your money, trying to talk you into all sorts of schemes, but the vast majority is after sex and/or power, plain and simple. Oh, you wouldn’t be fooled by someone online, would you? You couldn’t possibly be stupid enough to fall for their manipulations, right? You are dead wrong!
Statistics tell us that approximately 1 out of 20 people we interact with have, on some level that is destructive, sociopathic tendencies. I’m sure you’ve heard that serial killers are sociopaths, and that is true to the extreme. Naturally, there are different levels of dysfunction, just as there are different levels of say, depression. The predators I speak of are "Sociopath-Lite," for lack of a better term.
These people have little to no conscience and they view other people as objects to manipulate to get what they want. Most of them are narcissists, and will use you to fulfill what is called, “narcissistic supply.”
Narcissistic Supply is the term for what these people are addicted to. It is not alcohol or drugs, or even sex per se. They need your adoration, admiration, attention and time and the appetite for this supply is insatiable as they are basically emotional black holes.
They suck your love and energy into themselves to try to satisfy the emptiness inside their souls. They truly are the walking dead. This emptiness is so profound and permanent they are rarely helped by any kind of therapy because they are so used to acting rather than being who they really are. They refuse to lower their guard and let others know their real personalities.
Scientists are not sure exactly how this personality deformity develops. One theory is the small child suffers severe emotional neglect from the primary caretaker. Another thought is the parents worship and over indulge the child until he/she believes he/she is superior to other people.
They learned early on to mimic the kind of person the caretakers seemed to want in order to survive. In the process, they discard and despise their true selves and manufacture a false self that they present to the world. Sad? Yes, absolutely because you can never truly get to know the real person, therefore, intimate relationships are impossible.
These folks are usually so full of rage that they quickly learn how to channel and use the anger in a meaningful way; the ability to expertly manipulate and ultimately emotionally injure others makes them feel superior and powerful. This way, they feel they're in control and cannot be hurt again. They turn into an abuser.
A narcissist with sociopathic tendencies is a very dangerous person indeed; the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. They are constantly on the prowl for new sources of “supply” and can sense a potential victim almost immediately, even the first time they meet the person. Let’s pause for a moment to examine the perfect victim of these monsters.
Most people grow up in relatively normal homes where love, affection and truth were modeled most of the time. These future victims were taught to be courteous, trusting and compassionate and in the normal course of their lives, have personally encountered nothing untoward that would change their view of the world and the strangers they meet. They’ve heard of evil people on the news and have seen them depicted in movies but have never actually crossed paths with one. In other words, they’re sitting ducks.
These victims are far from stupid or thickheaded. They should be able to basically trust in the goodness of others. They practice the golden rule and simply assume others do the same. Although they are naïve, once they encounter and comprehend the evil that truly exists “out there,” their lives are forever altered and their innocence shattered.
When the narcissist/sociopath targets a victim, they immediately begin to hypnotize their prey by idealizing, overvaluing and grooming this new source of “supply.” They are gifted actors, having presented their false self for so many years, and are able to expertly simulate emotions as they “bond” with the victim.
They are curious and deeply interested in this new source and begin a process of courting the victim. They are incredibly charming and present themselves to be a deep, passionate person capable of loving or of being hurt. They appear to be empathetic and caring but all of these traits are the sheep’s clothing of the narcissist.
Naturally, the victim cannot help but fall head over heels in love with the mirage or false self the narcissist projects and they completely buy into the lies they are told. The narcissist’s seemingly genuine immersion and exaggerated high regard for the source is extremely alluring to the victim. It makes them feel safe, loved and admired as never before.
The narcissist showers them with attention and is so convincing they’re all but impossible to resist when they are on the prowl for a source of supply. However, and this is what you must understand, once the victim is completely hooked and emotionally enmeshed, the narcissist begins to deplete them of their “supply” like a vampire drinks the blood of his victim.
This begins to manifest itself by the narcissist toying and playing head games with the source. They'll deny saying certain things the victim knows for certain they said; they woo seductively and then turn cold and enraged, causing the source to come running to apologize for some supposed transgression.
They are covertly condescending but will turn right around and seek their opinion. They play with the source like a deep-sea fisherman reels in a sailfish and then lets the line go slack, back and forth until the victim exhausts themselves trying to make sense of the insanity they are encountering.
When the narcissist senses the source’s supply is threatened or nearly depleted, he abruptly loses all interest in the victim. To them, the victim no longer exists and is thrown away like a piece of trash. The usual tactic employed entails the narcissist punishing with silence with all communication being completely cut off despite the victim’s tearful pleas for an explanation.
Of course, to be idealized one minute and totally devalued the next is utterly incomprehensible to the victim. Normal people do not treat others this way. It is a mind bending experience that leaves the victim questioning their self worth, judgment and sanity not to mention having to grapple with the overwhelming grief of suddenly losing what seemed to be the perfect relationship.
There is a term for what a narcissist/sociopath does to his victims. It is called emotional rape. It's the systematic, deliberate abuse of a person’s highest emotions without their informed consent. The victim fully trusts the alluring false self that is presented to them and is seduced into a fake bond for the express purpose of being used and discarded. When they give the narcissist the privilege of looking into their soul they never dreamed that intimacy would be abused.
The narcissist feels no true emotions. They are incapable. The “love” they profess for the source disappears immediately when the victim’s usefulness runs its course or when a seemingly better qualified source of supply is noticed. They are immediately able to go their merry way to the next relationship without the encumbrance of guilt or remorse.
Being a tender human being, the victim usually grieves and misses the relationship for quite some time. The loss is devastating and they can get depressed to the point of suicide, blame themselves, obsess about contacting the narcissist, feel like they’re going crazy and experience many other emotional manifestations that physical rape victims endure. The emotional roller coaster is so horrific that some victims even display symptoms of post traumatic stress syndrome.
It’s shocking and disgusting how many narcissists seem to gravitate towards positions of power, i.e., the military, pastors, counselors, Bible teachers, CEO’s, school teachers, physicians, etc. Once they spot a potential source, they misuse their authority to attract and control the victim.
Again, the Internet is the perfect place for these creatures to troll for sources of supply. They expertly navigate chat rooms and sometimes set up websites that offer advice or counseling, presenting themselves as warm, caring and compassionate which is extremely attractive.
The narcissist/sociopath exploits and then completely rejects his victims. The most bizarre aspect of this “person” is there little to no malice involved! He views people as things to be used. The same way you and I feel neither hate nor love for a garden hose, he feels the same about the people he uses and destroys.