Sweet, good looking, smartly dressed, attentive, loving, and he even gets along with your parents.
Your mother is swooning over 'such a sweet boy", baking him brownies, and offering him cups of the tea in the best china.
Your brothers and sisters run to the door in anticipation, and your father's usual nonchalant grunts at your previous boyfriends have been replaced with backslapping visits to the pub, and offers to take him fishing or a similar manly pursuit, reserved exclusively for the days out with the boys.
And no doubt he is impressive!
His hot car with all the cool accessories, his huge boat, his luxury townhouse, his designer clothes, his gym junkie physique, all his expensive outdoor adventure sports toys, whether actually paid for or not!
Complete with the implication that you must live up to his image, on your meagre salary.
Do you have a person in your life who says they support you in everything you do, and then does everything possible, at first in a subtle manner and later more blatantly, to delay, disrupt, discourage and belittle you in doing those things?
It usually starts off by finding other things you need to be doing instead, which of course requires you to be with them, especially those which are more fun than what you have planned, and rapidly progresses towards the neglect of all your interests in favour of theirs, and the alienation of all your friends, acquaintances and colleagues to devote your entire attention of that one person only.
Does his support reach to turning up unexpectedly as you are preparing for a shoot, with offers to accompany you, to "look after you and your interests" (of course), or wanting to know all the details of where the shoot will be, who you will be with, the client's name, and helpful suggestions of what you should and should not do for the shoot.
Worse still does he turn up the night before to take you out for dinner, and a drink, (just to celebrate) which turns into lots of drinks, and a late night culminating in an early hours argument and upset?
Are these phrases becoming familiar to you? "I dunno why you waste your time with those photographers, they are hopeless losers and not showing you at your best. I know a guy who's a mate of mine, and a lot better than these schmucks, I could arrange for you to shoot with him , exclusively! He'll make you a real star!"
You are dealing with a Sociopath.
Are you in a relationship where the other person feels free to rifle through your phone contacts, and text messages..."ah , just having a bit of fun", and then before long it becomes "normal" for them to check all your messages, read your emails, answer your phone, deal with your personal mail, answer the door before you, and monopolise and stage manage conversations with your friends and work colleagues.
Just for moment, think what would happen if you even dared to pick up their phone.
You are giving away your personal life to a Sociopath.
Is your relationship one of ultimate bliss and happiness one day, and a hell of confusion, emotional turmoil, doubt, anger, and upset the next: a never ending cycle of extremes, all caused by what is in reality either nothing or an insignificance blown out of all proportion.
Almost without exception all the turmoil is caused by either you not agreeing with the other person, wholeheartedly and without exception; you having the audacity to want to lead a life of your own; and not changing or bending to agree with the others idealised image of you; or most usually nothing at all, except the other playing a game of manipulation, hopefully so you come to mistrust your own intuition, the advice of your friends and family, and come to fully rely on the other person to control every aspect of your life and fibre of your being.
But rest assurred, according to them, it is your fault, and they are the innocent wronged party.
Be aware that if another person makes you angry or upset,intentionally or otherwise it is NOT your fault, it is their problem. You do NOT have "anger issues", but it IS one of the defining tactics of a sociopath to make you feel as if it is you to blame.
Sociopaths: are nothing but a toxic, life destroying scourge.
Does the person you consider as your significant other not remember the names of your closest friends, or monopolise your time so much that your friends become a distant memory?
Ignore your little brothers and sisters, and if you have any children yourself, they quickly become nameless obstructions?
Not interact with your pets, calling them anything but their name, treating them like an unwanted nuisance, suggesting ways you could punish them, or get rid of them, or telling you they are worthless, and a useless expense?
Expect you to listen and comfort them for every single tiny little problem they have, but dismiss your problems as nothing to worry about, or with a curt "get over it" or "deal with it".
Never mentions you by name on social media, or when talking with his mates, but brags that he has a really hot chick as a girlfriend, or "is dating a model"?
Or more likely instead of showing you off to the whole world, doesn't even let on that you exist, afraid that you and all his "side girls" that he is juggling in relationships at least equal to yours, will find out about each other
Never acknowledges your accomplishments or likes any of your social media posts about your everyday happenings except the ones he thinks refer to him.
Never posts any comments, especially praiseworthy ones, on your social media posts, but has plenty to say about everyone and everything , usually derogatory, by private message, where he expects you to fawn over him, in return for receiving an occasional cliched and forced compliment, usually about how hot you are, and how good you make him look.
You are being manipulated by a Sociopath.
Does your significant other expect you to be there for him in every to support him through every apparent " life threatening" ordeal, to comfort and calm him, such attention craving being usually nothing more than an underhanded blackmail tactic to get sexual favours from you, and the 'ordeal' is usually totally forgotten or seen to be totally insignificant the next day.
However when you are in a real crisis, emotional, family or financial, the significant other is dismissive, busy with something important , or simply nowhere to be found.
Haven't you woken up yet: your life is being destroyed by a Sociopath.
For several reasons models seem to be a vulnerable and willing target for these parasites and far too many dont realise until it is far too late.
Industry professionals get so used of dealing with these obnoxious hanger-ons that they can usually spot them from vast distances, or even from an overheard conversation: polite clients call them "unnecessary distractions", photographers know them as 'pimps'.
You will soon find that they are not welcome on set at any time, although they will still believe their presence is a sheer bonus to everyone involved. Unfortunately as a natural consequence you will very quickly find all your work will quickly dry up for you, and you will rapidly fade into the realms of someone who 'once was a model'.
Work colleagues and friends can do nothing other than look on in horror at the number of women, young ones certainly, but also those old enough to know better, as they are beguiled by false charms into being totally controlled and ruthlessly manipulated by a narcissist?
To watch on as friends, unable to help with the complete upheaval, turmoil, and confusion of the daily cycle of upset, followed by sickly smooth schmoozing gradually drawing the poor girl in, and setting them up for the ultimate betrayal and inevitable emotional destruction.
There is absolutely never any chance of any kind of a relationship with a sociopath, simply because they have no emotion, no empathy, and are totally incapable of any kind of love except self love (narcissism), but this kind of "relationship" seems to be increasingly visible at an alarming rate.
Please wake up before it's too late. You can fool yourself for just so long, but it will always end in pain when you realise you were always destined to be nothing but a cast off conquest by an emotionless android.
Stephen Bennett is available for Guest Speaking, Seminars, and Workshops in a group or on a one to one basis for:
Models and aspiring models on all things Modelling, including Successful Portfolios and Building a Modelling Career … please visit my website to contact me.
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