“You were so vulnerable — that’s why I chose you, and why I was able to bond with you so quickly and so deeply.”
The psychopath I was involved with spoke these words to me the last time I saw him. It sickened me to hear that and to learn that my suspicions about him were correct. He wasn’t even trying to hide the truth any longer. He may as well have just come right out and said “I’m a psychopath.” How was he able to keep me so enamored with him?
I found one answer to that question just a couple of months later. Psychopaths are natural hypnotists. I wrote about it in the post, ‘Psychopaths use trance and hypnosis to get and keep victims,’ and again in ‘Charm and the psychopath.’ I think it’s important enough to write about one more time, thanks to a reader named Deborah. You can read about her experience at the end of this post.
Psychopaths are natural hypnotists.
They don’t need to swing a gold watch back and forth, because they have one built in. It comes naturally to them because of what they are. Because they’re predators, they focus on us like a laser beam, completely without distractions. Nothing gets between them and their target. The result is that they’re completely and totally present, on a level that puts the Dali Lama to shame.
We spend a lot of time lost in our own heads. We’re lost in thought, lost in worries about the future or regrets about the past, or preoccupied with some crisis in our lives.
The psychopath, however, is never lost in his head. In fact, he’s not in his head at all — he’s in yours.
A psychopath lives squarely in the present moment and experiences reality like the clear, cold light of a cloudless winter day.
When we’re the focus of the psychopath’s intense presence, we don’t notice it as such. We just notice that this person is very interested in us, so we become interested in them. It feels good to be so captivating. We’ve finally met someone who really appreciates us and who is deeply interested in us. On a subconscious level, it feels good — amazingly good — to be the focus of this presence. We become completely absorbed in it. Our own focus narrows, and we become oblivious to the world around us. Our sense of time is altered — minutes seem like hours or hours seem like minutes. The frequency of our brain waves slows in response to the changed level of mental activity. We are in a trance.
The problem (beside the psychopath) is that we mistake the psychopath’s predatory focus for the focus of someone who is truly enamored with us. After all, they don’t look like or act predators. They smile and say all the right things. If we only knew what they were really thinking…
It’s the focus of a predator on his prey, adorned with a smile. Literally.
Trance states are highly pleasing to both the conscious and subconscious mind. It’s an altered mental state, like the high experienced from a drug. We seek it. We even become addicted to it. Not only does it feel good — wonderful things happen when we’re in our psychopath-induced trance. They make sure of that. Everything good we experience in the relationship happens within this state of mind. These moments are bathed in oxytocin and dopamine, powerful brain chemicals that make us feel connected and euphoric and keep us coming back for another fix.
Naturally, we want to return to that state over and over again, and the psychopath is glad to help us get there — non-stop in the beginning, but less and less as time goes on. With this positive reinforcement in the beginning to get us hooked — and then intermittent reinforcement to keep us hooked — it’s a hopeless situation. We don’t realize any of this consciously while it’s happening. Even years later, we miss those magical moments that seemed to sparkle with fairy dust and glow with a warm, ethereal light. It seemed too perfect for this world, but we were happy that it was ours nonetheless.
These moments are bathed in oxytocin and dopamine, powerful brain chemicals that make us feel connected and euphoric and keep us coming back for another fix.
The intense bond that forms between a victim and a psychopath at the beginning of the relationship is due in part to the “hypno-powers” of the psychopath, according to Sandra L. Brown, M.A., author of “Women Who Love Psychopaths.” In fact, she says hypnosis and trance are the “attraction heat, attachment magnet and bonding glue” of the relationship.
It’s also what keeps us coming back for more when things are falling apart.
Even years later, we miss those magical moments that seemed to sparkle with fairy dust and glow with an ethereal light.
An excerpt from H.G. Beverly, ‘The Other Side of Charm: Your Memoir’ ~
“You will fall in love. Your love will come to you from the southeast in some kind of subtle-sparkle-smoke fog coming in through the cracks around your door sweeping across the room to you there where you’ll be reading on your sofa he’ll be reaching his hands down around your waist filling your eyes with his glow so intense that you will not keep yourself from looking over and away….. You won’t have known what it could be what might happen in your heart when the sparks start flying to the sky when the light show creates a fog and you won’t have known what love could feel like to be lost what the smoke might do to your heart all engulfed in that glittering, hazy mist no time to come up for air you won’t even bother trying. You won’t have known what it could be until it finds its way in through the cracks and then you’ll know that nothing was like this before so this is the one there’s no way of saying no when God sends you the smoke you don’t question your destiny. You won’t question your destiny.”
I was inspired to write this post by a comment from a reader named Deborah:
“In my case, due to being hypnotized and put into a trance-like state I see how the playing field wasn’t level. I’d never been hypnotized before so how can I beat myself up over becoming involved with such a sick individual? It appears to me from all the research I have been doing that this natural instinct of the psychopath isn’t discussed enough, if ever!
I know this is what I experienced. He knew I wasn’t attracted to him and he wasn’t going to be able to get close to me otherwise. One day after getting off the phone with him, I felt like I was in LaLa Land and I was feeling was exquisite/euphoric. But within a couple of hours I started to experience anxiety and felt the need to speak to him and hear his voice…. My life was surreal after speaking with him; I’d daydream about him nonstop. Lie awake at night thinking about him for hours and hours. I became addicted to him….
The man I was involved with was a charismatic psychopath. Very dangerous. I wouldn’t be alone with him nowadays…. But with all that said and done, I miss whatever it is we had or didn’t have. My best friend still can’t grasp it, nor can anyone else who hasn’t experienced it. It’s just TOO ‘out there.’ If only all individuals who think these were these Amazing Relationships with psychopaths could accept that most likely throughout the relationship they were hypnotized/put in a trance-like state, perhaps they would be able to put the shame they are experiencing to bed.”
Well said, Deborah. There’s a good reason it’s called “manipulation.”
♥ Thank you for reading.