How To Spot A Sociopath In Your Life

A simple definition of a sociopath is someone who has no conscience and is tremendously antisocial. Sociopaths are incapable of feelings such as fear, anxiety, stress, depression, guilt, regret, remorse, empathy, care, and love. They don’t have feelings or emotions but a high-functioning sociopath is extremely skilled at faking emotions. So some sociopaths do cry, if they want to.

How to tell if a person is a sociopath or not?

Look at the traits below:

  • Lack a sense of shame: They have no emotions or feelings. They can’t really feel remorse and guilt.
  • Constantly lie: They’re very comfortable in telling lies as they won’t have any guilty feelings. If they are caught in a lie, they’ll continue to lie to cover them. Some might even do whatever they can to make you, or even themselves, to believe in the lies.
  • Calm in any circumstances: Unable to feel fear and anxiety, sociopaths are good at staying calm in any circumstances.
  • Charming and generous just at first: They know exactly what other people want. So at first they often seem to be really nice. They greet you with a charming smile and ask the appropriate questions. But the fact is, they have no interest in you at all.
  • Manipulative: They love to be in control of every situation. So they only look for weak people and avoid strong people as weak ones are easier to control. Once sociopaths target at a prey, they’ll dominate over every part of the person’s life.
  • Have a huge ego: Sociopaths tend to have a delusion that they are the greatest people in the world. They tend to be narcissistic and much more interested in talking about themselves instead of listening to others.
  • Unable to take criticism: Owing to their huge ego, sociopaths can’t take criticism. It doesn’t mean they would be very angry when they receive criticism, as they have no emotion. What it truly means is that they are indifferent to any criticism. And they might also blame others and shift their responsibility.
  • Have very few real friends: Sociopaths often have difficulties in making friends, or in any relationships. They seldom truly connect with people. This goes for family members too. That’s why they seldom talk about their family.
  • Isolate you from others: To be the centre of your world, they would try to isolate you and ask you to stop hanging out with your friends.
  • Secretive: They don’t connect with people as they don’t even mind. So they seldom explain why they do things in such ways.
  • Have low tolerance for boredom: Sociopaths have a strong need for stimulation. They require constant stimulation and quickly get bored. Any kinds of stimulation might be what they desire, such as physical punishment and gambling.
  • Poor in behavioral controls: They have a hard time predicting people’s reactions and understanding their feelings. As a result they badly affect people around them without even noticing it.
  • Express shallow emotions: Sociopaths have no emotion but this doesn’t mean they don’t express emotions. They can fake it. So the emotions they expressed are usually shallow.
  • Authoritarian: Sociopaths have a huge ego and that’s why they see themselves as a necessary authority and will be in favor of totalitarian rule.
  • Paranoid: Sociopaths often lack trust in people. They doubt what people say and what people do. They tend to be antisocial.
  • Cruel to animals: They might show this in their early childhood like pulling off the wings from flies.

Up to this you might think…Am I a sociopath too? I have some of the traits! Note that having sociopath tendencies is different from being a full-blown sociopath.

Sociopathic tendencies VS full-blown sociopath

Some people only have the sociopathic tendencies but they’re not full-blown sociopaths. Those who have the sociopathic tendencies only exhibit sociopathic behaviors and attitudes sometimes. While a full-blown sociopath never possesses genuine respect for others.

To explain in another way, having sociopathic tendencies means to have an outburst once in a while. Afterall we’re human and we have emotions. On the contrary, a full-blown sociopath would make use of every opportunity to exploit others for his own gain and they may explode any time. [1]

How to deal with a sociopath?

Sometimes we have no choice but to cope with a sociopath like he’s your coworker and you have to talk to him every day. So what to do?

Don’t reveal too much information about yourself

Sociopaths are often charming at first and look like they want to know more about you. But that’s not the case. All they want to do is to find someone who is weak and then they can manipulate you to achieve their goals. Never reveal personal information about you or your friends and family or difficulties you’re having. These are the best materials for them to gain dominance over you. Instead, keep conversations with sociopaths to neutral subjects like television and news. They will gradually lose interest and walk away from you.

Don’t give them more than 3 chances

Sociopaths are good at lying. They can absolutely tell a lie to cover whatever bad move they have done. But don’t give them more than 3 chances. If they lie to you once or twice, they can be forgiven as it might be a misunderstanding or a mistake. But when it comes to the third time, you should better cut your loss and run. Don’t let them have any chance to do more harm to you.

Don’t try to take them down

It is dangerous to be an enemy of a sociopath. Their calculating nature always grant them whatever they want. Instead of trying to take them down, try to come up with a win-win agreement. Propose as many win-win scenarios as you can. Get them on your side.

Research shows that sociopaths make up about 4% of the general population. [2] Hope that you won’t meet too many in your life!

Reference

[1] Love fraud: Sociopathic tendencies or full-blown sociopath?
[2] Psychologia: Infographic: Psychopath Vs. Sociopath

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