By Jennifer Young
The focus of this series of articles has been your Super Traits. The Super Traits are your temperament and character traits that are powerful components of who you are which carry positive and negative consequences. The power that you have over these traits comes in the form of awareness. Your first task is to acknowledge them and address the areas in your life of which they put you at risk. The second task is to use these traits to your advantage.
Thomas Jefferson said, “Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.” I think we can agree that these words are true for most of us, and a great way to live your life. But, they could not be more inaccurate when talking about a psychopath – in fact they probably see these words and think…”suckers.” The truth is, psychopaths are amazingly resourceful, and their greatest tool for being resourceful is you.
Resourcefulness by definition means that you are able to meet the needs of a situation and can develop the necessary means to accomplish a task. Being resourceful is a highly valuable trait, so consequently those who are very high in the trait of resourcefulness (like women who have been in relationships with psychopaths) often have very successful lives…great careers, wonderful children, and a great circle of friends.
You are often the person that:
• Others turn to in a time of need or struggle
• Are able to find ways to get things done that others might have thought impossible
• Find resources where there were none
• Get help when others were turned down
• Can rally any number of people to the cause
Most importantly, you have a great combination of inner and outer resources. Your inner resource examples are creativity, intelligence, confidence, courage, or passion. Your outer resources are people, money, or technology. When used together – you can accomplish anything.
It is important to realize there is a difference in the resourcefulness of you and the resourcefulness of a psychopath. The psychopath is resourceful off the backs of others. The word that comes to mind is “exploitive.”
Thomas Jefferson’s words would be twisted into something like this – “Never do for yourself what you can convince others to do for you.” In this way of pathological thinking, the psychopath’s view is a negative use of a positive trait. You can easily be fooled into believing that your psychopath is so “resourceful” because he always seems to get things done. If you stop and become an observer, you will see that there is a trail of destruction behind every step he takes. Resourcefulness is part of his mask, so even you (as one of his resources) will be used as the mask. As Sandra says, “He is sicker than you are smart.” So, no matter how smart you are in using your resources, his resources of exploitation and diabolical behavior is stronger. This exploitive and diabolical use of resources wins every time.
Herein lies the risk: You will use all of your resources trying to “fix” or “help” him. You’ve got the resources to do it – the connections, the know-how – and in most cases, the means to fix things. Add to your resourcefulness a little bit of oxytocin, and you’re toast. That’s because we are compelled, as humans, to bond with those we love. Oxytocin does that for us because as humans we need to be bonded to others. Part of bonding and maintaining a lasting relationship is being resourceful together – “I’ll help you, you help me.” The problem is this is a perfect fit for a psychopath, because they view the world as “suckers.” In most cases they are energy exploiters and look for others to do their work, or they exploit because it’s fun to watch others do what they have directed them to do.
So now, you have created a cycle – he’s broken, you fix, he says thank you, then he breaks again, you fix, he says thank you, and so on. This cycle is one of the reasons you stay so long, because you are always in between him “breaking” and you “fixing.” He never fixes himself – but you are on a mission – “I love him, and this what you do for someone you love.” So, years have passed, nothing has changed with him, but you are completely exhausted. Your resources are tapped out. You have no more creativity, you feel dumb (nothing has worked), have no confidence, and your courage has turned to fear. Those outer resources are probably gone too – the money, the friends – all of it.
But herein lies YOUR benefit: Your resourcefulness can become a real problem for a psychopath, and isn’t that what you want about now? When you are ready you will, and can, outthink him. What I know is that “he is sicker than you are smart,” BUT only until you get smart.
You have the ability to be confident enough to make real changes. Let’s face it, you have been courageous for a big piece of your life – you’ve been with a pathological partner, and that takes a form of courage. So, those internal RESOURCES are exactly what is needed THAT CAN BE USED FOR GETTING AWAY.
How do those resources look in action?
• You will call everyone you know to get the truth and get help.
• You will call ex’s, you will tap phones, and you will search computers.
• You will put the pieces together, stop doing for him and begin to do for yourself.
Once that final pathological event happens that produces eyes-wide-open reality, it will be your resourcefulness that lifts you out and moves you on. Not sure your traits can hang on long enough to be a benefit for you? The good news is your traits are hard-wired in you. They are not going away. So even though at the end of the relationship it feels as if he has drained you and your resources are depleted…he has not. Your ability to be resourceful is still there because it has always been one of your strongest traits.
You can begin by accessing your internal resources. Strengthen them by exercising your creativity, by challenging yourself and taking those steps to live pathology-free, and by massaging your courageousness. While you’re at it, you can also engage your external resources by reaching out to old friends and co-workers, re-engage at work (to build up your financial resources), or stepping out and doing something you’ve always dreamed about.
My favorite idea for the rebuilding of resourcefulness is reaching out to those friends and family who always told you he was the problem. You can bring them back to you as a supporter by telling them they were right. If an old friend or distant family member was once a valuable resource, then humble yourself, call them and tell them your story, and get your resource back. Step by step you will begin grabbing hold of one of your best traits – your own resourcefulness to rebuild your life.