Look to your left, look to your right, the chances are at least someone you work with, know or have dated are a sociopath. In Martha Stouts 2005 book “The Sociopath Next Door” she warns us approx. 4% of the US population are Sociopaths. It is said an additional 1% are psychopaths the more severe form of sociopath.
A sociopath is a person with a personality disorder that manifests in extreme antisocial behaviors, a lack of empathy towards others and abnormal moral conduct. Sounds extreme, yet when you realize just how very good these people are at “acting and manipulation” it’s very often easy for others to get sucked into their web of control lies and abusive behaviors. Here are some ways you may be able to spot that sociopath among us.
- They will prey on empaths and those with a kind heart. A sociopath is drawn to those who by nature give. Once they are latched on to a giver at work or in a relationship, they will happily use those people for money, sex, work, anything they can take from someone else they will, with zero remorse and very little or no thanks.
- They tend to have very chaotic romantic relationships, the bond they form to others, is purely based on what they are getting from the other, no amount of love, sex, attention, gifts will ever be enough. As these relationships continue, they will take a dark turn into exploitation, deceit and control. Gaslighting, lying, cheating can all become the daily norm.
- Manipulation, the sociopath can’t stand to lose, so they will manipulate, lie and seduce anyone around them for their own gain. Manipulation could be extreme acting out for sympathy, threats of self-harm, fake nervous break downs, anything to evoke sympathy and therefore control over their prey, is acceptable behaviors to a sociopath.
- Deceit, well pretty much everything a sociopath says is a lie, exaggeration or half-truth. The lies have little boundaries and they feel comfortable lying about anything if it ensures they get their own way, or something from someone they want.
- Socially irresponsible, there is a reason approximately 15-20% of prison inmates have sociopath or psychopath tendencies, they hate to be socially or morally responsible. They often don’t pay bills, child support, have insurance, driving licenses or pay taxes. In extreme versions they are also happy to steal, scam or con anyone around them for money, hard work is not their strong suit and would rather scam their way through life than hold down a real job for too long.
- Aggressive behaviors, sociopaths often go from zero to a hundred in one sentence, displaying rage, attacking others verbally or physically. Even people close to them family members or romantic partners will be the victims of a sociopath’s rage when they don’t get their way.
- Lack of empathy and remorse, the strangest and most disturbing aspect of a sociopath is their total lack of care or concern for others. Even when caught in their own lies or when they witness the pain they inflict on spouses, children, coworkers they literally don’t care. They are already on to their next victim or thing they are trying to get. In extreme cases this can manifest into them physically harming others.
- Impulsive to the point of dangerous, combined with participating in risky behaviors i.e. gambling, debt, promiscuity combined with unsafe sex, alcohol or criminal behaviors. A sociopath really knows no bounds or conforms to no social norms. The total lack of boundaries for their own behaviors makes them scary to be around or involved with as you will never really know what they could do next.
The best way to deal with a sociopath is zero contact, or if you work with one try and limited interactions. Sadly, there is no cure for these people and it’s in your best interest to see the warning signs and exit any kind of friendship or relationship with these people as quickly as possible. An empath may be tempted to try and help or save a sociopath (do not try). They eventually do move on to new victims once they see the control, and reaction they can get from the person has worn off.