I have a few friends that are my experts when it comes to describing the traits of narcissists and sociopaths. In fact, much of what I share with you here, I learned from reading and communicating with them. I do not claim to be an expert, and neither do they, but they are my experts. My knowledge and my interest in learning more about these personality disorders stems from being victimized and abused by people with these disorders. Without my tribe of experts, I’m not sure where my head would be these days. They absolutely saved my sanity.
One of my experts and friend and tribe member, is Martha. She has a way of putting things that can make anything clear as the nose on your face. Whenever I read one of her observations, a light bulb blasts into sparks above my head and I’m thinking “Holy crap! That’s what that meant!!!” It’s like watching someone translate Klingon, and you see they were talking about your life all along.
Her latest nugget of wisdom was comparing a sociopath to King Midas. I read it once. Then I read it again, and a past friendship starting playing in my head in fast motion, like an old movie, before they became talkies. This old friend was friends on Facebook with a few folks that made me uncomfortable and she always insisted on dragging me into the fray among them with her posts, so I asked if we could just be friends, but not on Facebook anymore. She kept insisting that she didn’t like these people either. I knew her in real life and we talked on the phone and hung out occasionally. She was high strung on the best days and always had some kind of drama cooking, but I really liked her.
The day she realized I had deleted her on Facebook, she went on the rampage. This friend ended up subjecting me to a full blown narcissistic campaign on Facebook. She posted vile comments about me and had all of her flying monkeys chiming in, even the people I told her made me uncomfortable. The same people, she wrote to me, that she didn’t even like.
I had sincerely wanted to continue being her friend. But when I read what she was capable of saying about me, I had no intention of ever going back. I have never fully understood why she would do such a thing to me.
I had not thought about this episode in a very long time, until I saw something Martha shared.
Sociopaths are like King Midas.
Everything they see, they want. But it’s not good enough as it is. They want to transform it into their idea of perfection. Themselves.
But despite their self-perceived knowledge, they fail to realize that their idea of perfection is a mirage. Not real. By using their special powers of lies, not truth, they end up warping the object of their desire away from the beautiful image they first had in mind.
Friendships, relationships, jobs, all eventually succumb to their “golden touch.”
Instead of everything they touch turning into gold, they turn it into shit.
There it was! There is the explanation for everything I had experienced during that connection with this friend. It was all right in front of me the entire time, and I never even realized it! She is a King Midas!
I would listen to these stories she would tell me about boyfriends. I even got to meet a couple of them and one of them was so whipped, it almost made me want to pat him on the knee and tell him it would all be over soon.
She tortured them! From making them cut off their hair, to changing the way they dressed, smelled and behaved. She made them stop eating certain foods, stop smoking with the threat that if they didn’t, she wouldn’t date them. She wanted them to be smarter, more successful so they would be what she perceived as her financial equal. She would correct their grammar in public, in front of their friends! I even watched as she ordered food for one of them in a restaurant one night and told all of us at the table that he didn’t eat enough vegetables and had no idea what stuff was on the menu because he didn’t eat in restaurants much. I wanted to crawl under the table and hide I was so embarrassed for him.
If they didn’t live up to her expectations eventually, she would dump them. But dumping them wasn’t enough. She would do something to embarrass them too. I’m guessing that would be considered just another kind of smear campaign. She gathered up one poor guy’s personal belongings he had left at her house and instead of delivering them to his house, she took them to his favorite bar and made a grand showing out of putting the paper bag on the bar and announcing who the bag belonged to and why she was delivering it.
Oh and she had no qualms about pursuing men in committed relationships. She hated her job and just about everyone she worked with and had absolutely no close girlfriends that would just come over and hang out with her.
She even tried her hand at changing me with her Midas Touch. But by the time she got around to me, I was becoming immune to it. The one thing I wasn’t immune to then was the smear campaign, and she knew that. I should have known she would treat me the same way she treated everyone else that disappointed her. We all got to go out with a sort of BANG! I guess.
You could consider this my own smear campaign if you wanted to stretch it that far, but that would be untrue. It is not a smear campaign and identifying the person I’m talking about would be difficult, even if you think you know who I’m talking about. I don’t write like that. I don’t name people and these days I make it hard to suss them out.
If you see yourself in this story, or someone you know, then I am going to suggest that you seek some kind of professional counseling right away. Counseling to deal with your own issues, or counseling to deal with the abuse you might be suffering at the hands of a Midas.
Here’s the moral of this story.
Ya know, everyone thinks they have a little bit of a Midas Touch when it comes to things they’re really good at, even me. That’s not the point here. The point is how you use your Midas Touch and that’s what distinguishes you from a regular Midas and a sociopath.
I never tend to tell people how to behave, dress or smell, unless they ask me for help, and even then I am delicate with my suggestions and tend to demure to what makes them feel comfortable, rather than lording some kind of reign over them. Someone that constantly tries to manipulate you and threaten you about changing, even after you’ve asked them not to, is probably a sociopath with an agenda.
I would never threaten someone with losing my friendship or love, just to get them to do some task or be a certain way. I’m not talking about behaviors, as much as surface activity like dressing, or smoking. No doubt, this is a sociopath. If someone smokes when you first fall in love with them, then you love them in spite of the smoking. Maybe one day they will quit smoking, but that’s their decision, not yours. And it certainly isn’t yours to use against them as a threat. You don’t want to be with a smoker? Then you find someone else to date.
If you’re around someone that is always totally unhappy with their job, their friends, their life in general, and they always think they know better than anyone else how things should be done and that everyone else in their life is stupid and incompetent, then you just might be hanging around with a sociopath.
It’s perfectly normal to have bad days, even bad weeks, where you think your whole life is falling apart, but it is not normal to think that manipulating everyone around you is the way to fix things. The person you need to fix is probably you.
There is having the Midas Touch where stuff metaphorically does turn to gold, and there is abusing the Midas Touch. It helps to know the difference so you can protect yourself from the people that will eventually try to turn you into shit.
Good luck out there!