7 Signs To Help You Recognize A Sociopath In Your Midst

A sociopath is a person affected by a personality disorder which causes them to exhibit antisocial, impulsive and guiltless behavior. Although this description is fairly precise, how can you acutally apply it and recognize such characters? Plus, when you believe you’ve identified one, how should you react towards them and what type of attitude must you adopt? Discover our explanations for clearer insights into this illness and how to go about approaching it.

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Sociopaths act in ways that disregard laws and faith and they know all too well how to hide and dissimulate their true personalities. They typically present themselves as charming people in order to get whatever they want. They never reflect on the consequences of their actions or words, because they are incapable of empathy.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association points out 7 characteristics attributed to sociopaths, these include; difficulty conforming to social norms, sense of manipulation, impulsivity, aggressiveness, disregard for the safety of others, irresponsibility and a lack of remorse after having abused or robbed someone. In the United States, if a person has at least three of these personality traits they can be diagnosed as a sociopath.

The portrait of the sociopath is certainly not a brilliant one. Although the complexity of these personalities appeal to horror movie director, sociopaths shouldn’t be confused with serial killers. It is thought that this particular sociopathic disorder affects nearly 4% of the world's population! It can be difficult to identify these folks because their appearances often prove to be deceptive.

7 signs that you are dealing with a sociopath

1. The person loves themselves a little too much

A sociopath considers themselves superior to others and often believe they are more intelligent. This explains why when they fail, they accept no responsibility for their dealings.  At work, collaborating with a sociopath can be extremely unpleasant, especially since many of them have managed to evolve in the work place by crushing everything in their paths, thus ending up in key positions. If you dare to stand up to one in the workplace, you will suffer various humiliations and even excessive angry outbursts.

2. They are extremely irresponsible and impulsive

A sociopath spends unreasonable amounts of money in order to satisfy their impulses. Double, triple, quadruple purchases, of all the colors of the rainbow, while being able to dishonor financial responsibilities.

3. They have hearts of stone

This is certainly what can seem most confusing. A sociopath displays total indifference or even contempt for others. They are devoid of feelings of guilt, shame or remorse and are totally unable to imagine the suffering of others. This is why they are unscrupulous and apply all the means at their disposal to get what they want without the slightest concern for the consequences.

4. They don’t have many friends

These folks don’t conform to typical social customs and don’t really have friends. Indeed, when they befriend people, it’s because they want something in return.

5. They are manipulators and liars

This is what makes them particularly dangerous. They know how to intrude on your life without you suspecting them because they are so charismatic. They know how to adorn themselves with a façade that allows them to integrate themselves into a social fabric. They have all the "qualities" required to lure unknowing people in.

>>> Discover the reasons why we lie.

6. They seem like great partners… at least on the surface

In appearance they are fantastic and attentive partners with listening skills which they use to collect information on you and use it against you. Their only goal is to weaken you in order to take control. They use your weaknesses to put you down and will gradually cut you off from your friends and family. Their idea is to deprive you of reality and to take full power over you. Moreover, if you decide to leave them, their first reflex will be to try to discredit you.

7. They are often sexually deviant

The sociopath's sex life is mostly violent and impersonal, proof of their inability to love or feel emotions.

Where do sociopathic tendencies come from?

Not all specialists are unanimous when it comes to the origins of this disorder. Some say there is a breeding ground in childhood for the development of this disorder, while others believe that one is born a sociopath. Socio-economic difficulties, trauma, alcohol abuse or drug use may be risk factors too. As children, the symptoms will be associated with "conduct disorders" and it is only after adolescence that the diagnosis of "sociopath" can really be established.

This late treatment proves to be problematic because it deprives the young person of the necessary support, leaving the disorder to settle and develop. Children who present "conduct disorders" must be the object of special attention (as well as their parents) because they are obviously subjects who can become sociopaths in adulthood. Raising awareness of empathy and learning about non-violent methods can help to alleviate the young patient's disorders.

How should you react when faced with a sociopath?

It is very difficult to interact with a sociopath. During moments of anger and internal impulses, it is advisable to take your distance, to leave the person alone as the storm passes, and then when the time comes, to try to dialogue.

Cautionary note:

Certain people who suffer from this condition refuse to accept their diagnosis, and use this excuse to learn how to better manipulate their victims. If you are close to a sociopath, don't lose sight of the limits of what is acceptable.

➡ Keep it in the back of your mind that these folks are excellent manipulators too. Maintain the link with your loved ones, those who have known you all your life. They will be your point of contact with reality and will help you become aware of it as best they can. If you are suffering from certain behaviors, take the necessary distance you need.

The editor’s advice: Set limits!

We hear more and more often about narcissistic perverts, sociopaths or manipulators. The multiplication of these ego pathologies says a lot about our society today. These people are pure products of our consumer society, entirely turned towards their immediate pleasure. They make the conscious choice to think about themselves before anyone or anything else. To curb these behaviors, it is urgent to act and to set limits.

We have to set limits to all those people we meet every day and who are uncivilized. These acts of pure selfishness may seem like nothing, yet in reality, they prove that these folks are not conscious anyone else’s feelings or needs. Their capacity for connection has disintegrated. We must dare to be in conflict with them and speak up against their bad behavior.

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