Since I don’t know if this is taking place in a school, a neighborhood or a workplace but since my own personal knowledge comes from workplaces I’ll use that. For workplace bullying targets, I suggest the following:
1. Make one, but probably only one, very firm push against the sociopath, both with co-workers and management. This is a ‘do unto others before they do unto you’ situation — don’t hold back, realize your attacker will not play fair, respond accordingly.
2. If a case can be made without reference to the bully being a sociopath, go down that path. Too many people simply can’t wrap their minds around an individual in their circle actually being a sociopath, this often (almost always?) includes management and HR (how can this be?).
3. If the bully is so crafty that the campaign is invisible to third parties, in complaints to management and HR directly assert that the individual is a sociopath. Refer them to http://www.bullyonline.org/ if need be. Suggest that they request a brain scan from the bully. You want to have the workplace bully fired, they don’t play ‘live and let live.’
4. If the bully is protected by a high placed devotee (some individuals fall under a cultish spell regarding an admired sociopath — they are impossible to get through to, being almost as dedicated to the sociopath as a mother is to her own two year old. (I am totally serious.)); or if the sociopathic bully is protected by fellow sociopaths in management and/or HR (though management can override HR if management is strongly on your side) then leave. Give up. It doesn’t matter how much you like the job, how much you invested in it, etc. you can not trade blows with a sociopath. Everything connected to you is fair game to them, your reputation, your family, your spouse. Furthermore, workplace bullies may spend years on bullying campaigns. I’ve found them to be ‘beyond the pale’ sociopaths, completely emotionless mimics of normal human beings. Being emotionless they have no normal satisfactions and pleasures — to them it makes sense to dedicate years and immense effort and brainpower on these campaigns. If you say that “no enemy is going to make my choices for me” and stay, you, your marriage, and your family will be damaged by the corrosive stress of the situation — people die from this everyday, believe me. Don’t do it.