If, instead, you find yourself often pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, and who actively campaigns for your sympathy, the chances are close to 100 percent that you are dealing with a sociopath… I am sure that if the devil existed, he would want us to feel very sorry for him.

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Dr. Stout reveals that one of the most disarming tactics a sociopath uses involves preying on a victim's sympathy after abusing them. This is known as the art of the "pity ploy" and it's actually one of the biggest red flags that you are dealing with someone manipulative. If someone who actively tries to destroy you is also trying to make you feel sorry for them, Stout asserts that this is a clear sign he or she is exhibiting pathological behavior. Those who are aware that they are harming others use the pity ploy to escape accountability for their actions. This demonstrates not only their lack of willingness to change their toxic and harmful behavior, but also their stunning lack of empathy. Not only do they deflect blame, they actually wish to be "rewarded" for their horrific behavior with pity.