A sociopath is someone who can act normally in public but behave in immoral ways behind closed doors. They will do anything to impress friends, family, or even strangers or to get what they want.
Psychologists are struggling to determine what constitutes a sociopath. But it’s known that they usually have a lack of empathy, guilt, shame, or remorse. And sometimes they show signs of narcissism, which means that their self-centeredness is at the root of their actions.
There are three different clusters of sociopathic behaviors: antisocial, narcissistic, and anxious. Some of their most common characteristics are charm, charisma, persuasiveness, pathological lying, conning/manipulative behavior, and lack of guilt or remorse. A person can show signs from one or more groupings but it’s not necessary for them to represent all three types to be one.
They will often show no signs of having any mental illness or personality disorder until it is too late. Their lack of empathy and remorse is one of their biggest and most famous flaws. They go to any extent to get their needs met because they are incapable of feeling bad for others.
For these reasons you should always know when you’re dealing with a sociopath so that you can protect yourself or even protect them from their own blind greed and thirst for success.
A few signs to recognize a sociopath when you meet one, are:
How to spot a sociopath?
1) They are very charming and charismatic:
The first sign of a sociopath is they are often very charming and manipulative. Sociopaths often use their charm to get what they want or need or to make people feel good about themselves, but this is only done with the intention of it benefiting them.
Sociopaths do not care about how anyone else feels because they are only focused on themselves. They may appear friendly and kind even though deep down, they feel no empathy for others.
A person with sociopathic tendencies is characterized by an inability to form meaningful interpersonal relationships, and a disregard for the feelings of others.
This is why whatever ideas you may get about a sociopath’s love or feelings for you, you should rest assured that they more than luckily are just playing along and pretending to reach their ends. Or they may even be taking you for a ride in order to form the best possible image of themselves in your mind, as they can be selfish and care about what others think of them.
Individuals who are sociopathic often have an unstable self-image and cannot identify with the pain of others. For this reason, they tend to be manipulative; and will use charm to seduce people into trusting them, but their ultimate goal is almost always to exploit them for their own personal gain.
2) They lie with no remorse:
It’s easy for sociopaths to lie convincingly because they don’t experience guilt or worry about getting caught in their lies.
One of the biggest signs that you have a sociopath at hand is that they cannot stop lying or conning others for personal gain or pleasure. That becomes easy for them to do, especially because it’s hard for them to relate to others or feel compassion.
As we clarified before, they can be very seductive and that’s because a sociopath will try to get close to you by finding out what you want to hear and pretending they have the same beliefs as you. It can be difficult to figure out that you’re being lied to by a sociopath because they are skilled liars, and their lies are believable and fabricated in a smart logical way.
Generally, the more intelligent the person, the better liar they are because their intelligence and verbal skills allow them to deceive better and prevent them from being caught. They have a knack for being charming and it’s hard to know if they are lying when dealing with them because their attractiveness makes them such great liars.
3) Reckless disregard for the safety of oneself or others:
When a sociopath wants something, it is easy for them to put anything including their own life if necessary, on the line just to obtain it. This is one of the reasons they always end up getting what they want.
Many people that we know to be in high positions or very famous or have successful careers can often be sociopaths too, simply because this type of person would do anything it takes to reach their goals including throwing everyone they know under the bus. So be careful when dealing with a person like this, as they have very little care or interest in keeping you safe when it comes to choosing between you or getting what they want.
4) They can be very cunning, impulsive, and revengeful:
This is not just a psychological disorder but it is also a personality disorder which means that the person will have traits of this disorder their whole life. It is hard to know what it will lead to, but there are some warning signs including an inability to control their anger, aggressive behaviors, and preoccupation with revenge fantasies.
Sociopaths may have a disregard for laws and social norms and can cause a lot of harm to others. Just as long as they take revenge on that one person who hurt them in the past or as long as they reach their goals, then the entire world doesn’t matter to them and they can happily watch it burn.
Sociopaths, however, blend easier in society than psychopaths because they tend to be socially smart and charming so they may find themselves thinking about the consequences of their actions at times. And that’s only because they don’t want to end up in jail or hurt their own selves badly.
5) Sociopaths can be very social:
Psychopaths are not only emotionally detached but they can also be extremely impulsive which makes them less social than sociopaths. This impulsivity may lead them to take risks that are unacceptable in society. They will do things that other people would avoid at all costs without thinking twice.
On the other hand, sociopaths are highly functional in society and don’t mind socializing and pretending to care about anything to gain people’s trust. It is a common misconception that sociopaths are antisocial and do not care about society.
In reality, sociopaths can be social and have a “mask of sanity”. They use people to get what they want, and they know how to fool everyone. Sociopaths do not really care about society because they only want the best for themselves.
Sociopaths we may know:
The term “sociopath” has been used to describe abusive spouses or parents who control their children through fear, intimidation, and violence. They’re often selfish and lack remorse for their actions. The most dangerous type of sociopath is the psychopath who has no empathy or conscience to guide their behavior. Psychologists say that 1% of the population is made up of psychopaths, which is about 3 million people in America alone (Psychology Today).
Sociopaths are often considered antisocial, but they can be social as well as described earlier. Research has found that sociopaths can be social as long as the person is not in a position of power over them. That’s because they have a big ego and cannot stand being close to someone that is doing better in life, than them. So they’re only interested in being close to people that will admire the positions they’re holding and give them credit.
Sociopaths are not the same as psychopaths. Sociopaths are those who derive pleasure from manipulating and hurting others only if it will benefit them in some way. For this reason, they can be social and charming.
Psychopaths can also be very dangerous to be around. A person is considered a psychopath if they score thirty points over the standardized psychopathy checklist. These points are based on characteristics such as impulsivity, callousness, and promiscuity.
Sociopaths might not commit dismemberment or serial killing, because they’re smarter in thinking about the consequences of their actions at times and what will happen to them if they got caught. However, they can still do some real damage to you emotionally or if they are sure that they won’t deal with such consequences.
Sociopaths have a different set of motivations that may or may not involve violence, which is why they aren’t classified as psychopaths. But they’re both dangerous and manipulative people with an inability to feel empathy for others.