In case you haven’t heard, Harvey Weinstein is a Hollywood producer who has been sexually harassing, molesting and raping rising actresses for years. It was a well-known “secret,” but women are starting to come out publicly now. Lots of women…including some of Hollywood’s most famous actresses. Many of them are admitting that they all knew, but what’s really horrifying is that, while they all knew, no one talked. In fact, some actresses praised him, just as they praised the rapist Roman Polanski and recommended that he not be held accountable for his crimes! When it comes to charm, wealth, and/or power, these sociopathic predators can get away with far too much for far too long. Imagine anyone thinking it’s okay for these men to rape a child or anyone just because they are famous and put out movies!
The other day on one of those afternoon gossip shows, the Weinstein scandal was a topic, and the host was talking to some of Weinstein’s victims asking them what they would say to him now. Many of them talked about empowerment, telling him off, kicking him in the balls, and things like that. But you know what I would say? Absolutely nothing.
We like to think that we can talk reason with a sociopath and get them to see things the way a normal person does, as if we can be so reasonable that they will realize what they did wrong and feel bad about it. But this is impossible with a chronic predator. They don’t have the empathy and moral values we have as normal people. If you reason with them and tell them how they hurt you, they won’t feel sorry. They will scoff and smirk with pride because they hurt you and you were “weak.” You are only revealing your innermost feelings for the abuser to prey on you more.
If you tell them off, that doesn’t help either. These people cannot understand that they did something wrong, nor will they ever care. They will just become defensive and angry back, and you will be stuck in a verbal, (or even physical,) tug of war with someone who has no conscience. That’s simply a waste of your time and energy.
If you kick them in the balls…well, now they can say you assaulted them and have you arrested. I really don’t recommend that!
If you want to talk to your abuser–your Harvey Weinstein–they will never be sorry. They will never admit they did anything wrong. And they most definitely will never learn a lesson. However, they can use your words against you to start rumors about you, or to put you on the defensive until you are backed into a corner. Your emotional output will only make them feel bigger and stronger because they were able to hurt you. They might laugh at you when you pour out your heart, but they will always walk away feeling a bit proud. Giving them a piece of your mind and your feelings gives them more power over you.
So what would I say to Harvey Weinstein? Nothing. Like my former abuser, he is not worth a bit of my time. He’s a lost cause. The real benefit comes from talking to others who are in the same situation and warning others who could be. Don’t bother with the sociopath. Instead, validate and support their other targets who are human enough to learn life lessons and get stronger. If you feel you need to tell your abuser, it’s best to do it on paper and write it down for your own good, but never deliver it. The sociopath isn’t worth the stamp.