Friday, November 15, 2013

The Sociopath of the Gym

Guru Mike Tyson
I'm not able to shake away from encountering sociopaths. Is it me? Am I attracting these people? Is it the gym I'm at? No, there are sociopaths everywhere in the world. Work, school, boyfriend/girlfriend, family, friend of a friend and even at your gym. Sociopaths come in all shapes, sizes, gender and ages.

In order to prevent yourself from becoming a victim, it's important to recognize common traits a sociopath might pull at your gym. Here's a list I composed from the many sociopaths I ran across at different gyms.

Belittles your accomplishments and negatively shoots down any of your goals or attempts. They'll use flattery then quickly throw a backhanded compliment, e.g., "that was a great fight but your opponent sucked", swiping away any of your achievements in hopes to lower your confidence.

Superiority complex
Views himself as a high ranking world class athlete, name drops, uses lame excuses for a loss e.g., "I was injured and got sick leading up to that fight.".

Claims people are jealous and he has a lot of haters. He'll also expresses a "me against world" type of attitude.

He'll send out mixed messages in order to confuse you and others.

Passive aggressive
Another tool that he'll use to undermine you, coaches & team mates. Mostly resentment towards coaches, lies, playing dumb, guilt trips and cryptically talking shit about you or other people.  

For every evil act you do, GW Bush eats a kitten.


Don't Help Or Try to Change Them. 
It's not worth your precious time to help or try to change them. You can chip away at the concept of understanding their ways but you're not going to change people, they have to change for themselves. Either accept them or live your life without them.

Avoid His Minions
Some people will fall for the sociopath's manipulative bullshit. He'll use flattery as a way to form trust and recruit victims as his minions. These pawns are not aware of the circumstances but in my opinion they are still guilty by association. These parasitic buddies of his will report back to him. Avoid or limit contact to any of the sociopath's closer gym buddies.

Don't inform
Don't give him any information about your life, your goals and even your favorite color. Also, don't clue any of his pawns in on what's going on in your life. Sociopaths thrive on reading their preys' persona. With any little information, he will build up stronger ammo for his next move against you. By not informing him or his minions, he can't form a personal attack. Block him and his pawns from your Facebook and other social networks. 

Be calm and assertive, advise him that you're not interested in his behavior and you're cutting off ties. He'll most likely give you a passive answer, e.g., "yea sure,whatever." Keep in mind that this is not a negotiation. You are telling him where you stand and notifying him of your solution.

Now that you confronted him and he knows nothing about you, ignoring him will weaken his attempts. This is the hardest part when it comes to dealing with people. Like a crazy ex, the more you ignore them, the more they'll try to grab your attention.

Your enemies are constantly changing and adapting to what you are doing. Innovating and inventing on their own, they try to learn from their mistakes and from your successes. So your knowledge of the enemy cannot be static. Keep your intelligence up to date, and do not rely on the enemy's responding the same way twice. Defeat is a stern teacher and your beaten opponent today me by wiser tomorrow.- Robert Greene, 33 Strategies Of War

Ignore x 2
When I'm in this phase of ignoring aggressors, they tend to stand directly at my line of vision and at times try to politely bond with me. For instance they'll say hello or ask a subtle question, e.g., "how did so and so do in his fight?" Stick to your plan of ignoring them. You don't have to be nice to someone in order to coexist with them in the same gym. Once you don't answer their questions a few time they'll get the hint that their attempts are not wanted.

Ignore x 3
Once you start ignoring his attempts at conversing he will try to get physical like bumping into you, standing right behind the heavy bag you're hitting, or crossing your personal space. That's how they stir the pot. Don't respond with anger or seek out revenge unless you were pushed or physically harmed. Stick to your guns and ignore them. The ball is in your court when he knows nothing about you and isn't getting a response from any of his endeavors.

Leave your gym. 
If things get to heated then it's time to confront the gym owner or coaches. If their solution doesn't meet your needs then it's time to leave and choose a different gym. It's not worth the headache to stay and deal with disruptive sociopath.


Don't lose track of your purpose & goals.
Whatever goal it is you're trying to achieve there will be obstacles. It's important to make adjustments for each step towards your goal. Keep reminding yourself of  your ambitions when faced with difficult people at your gym and accommodate your situations towards your goals.

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