What is a Dangerous Liaison?
By Marina Bakker
Dangerous liaisons are a certain population of our society who have little or no conscience and little or no empathy. They don‘t have the same moral compass as their targets; they are manipulators, liars who deceive to get their needs met; they are not capable of feeling love to the same depth and capacity as their targets. Their needs are based on sex, power and control, and their greatest delight is in duping others and causing them pain. Dangerous Liaison types fall into the category of Cluster B Personality Disorders. This book‘s focus is on Sociopaths, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Dark Triads that comprise of two Cluster B Personality Disorder categories; Antisocial (psychopathy) and Narcissistic Personality Disorder and also includes the Machiavellian personality trait. Cluster B Personality Disorder characterises the dramatic, emotional, and erratic behaviour of people who present with this disorder. Another important characteristic of Dangerous Liaison Types is that their emotional development is often retarded.
Advancements in neuroscience and brain imaging inform us that the neurology of the Cluster B Personality Disorder‘s brain may be impaired or lacks the same neurological responses of a person with empathy and conscience. For instance, studies on the brain waves of psychopaths have indicated that there is a marked difference in how their brains react to certain stimuli. Because they may have no feeling and no concern for others or themselves, the threat of fear does not trigger the same response in the brain of a psychopath that it does in another person.
This suggests that there is something in the chemical or genetic makeup of the person that makes them who or what they are; it isn‘t necessarily a choice they‘ve made. My point in outlining this is that the likelihood that Dangerous Liaison Types will change is small and they rarely seek help as they don‘t believe there is anything wrong with them. If they do seek help it is often because of an ultimatum from their partner who is about to take them back for the umpteenth time and this was the condition they reunited under. Also, they tell lies – how are you supposed to believe anything they say in therapy and many, many therapists are unable to diagnose that their clients have Cluster B Personality Disorders. Dangerous Liaisons get extreme pleasure out of duping their therapist or a professional in this related field. Dangerous Liaisons are extremely difficult to detect and many therapists have also fallen under their spell. They are the most convincing liars and unfortunately we do not have a built in BS detector that sends a signal to us: Con Person full of deceit has arrived. It would be wonderful if we did – it would save many of us from so much pain, loss of money, trouble and waste of our precious time.
In fact, many Dangerous Liaisons present as perfect citizens and models of success; it is only the people who live with them in a more intimate capacity that are subject to the atrocities of their cruel behaviour. Many people who know the Dangerous Liaison in friendship and or a business capacity do not know what they were capable of until they became romantically involved with them.
The first step to protecting yourself in the dating and relationship space is to understand and accept that underneath the surface we are not all the same. This is not about labelling or judging this cohort of our population but more about accepting who they are. What we do currently know about this particular group is that they do not have the capacity to change in adulthood as their neurological brain wiring is different.
If you do wish to have a relationship with a Dangerous Liaison then you will need to change your expectations of what the relationship will and will not deliver, as well as accept that, no matter how bad you feel with them now, you are guaranteed to feel a whole lot worse as time goes by. So the message here is don‘t try to change anyone you want to have a relationship with; accept each person for who they are.