A major part of what makes us human is the ability to feel empathy and choose between right and wrong. However, many are not capable of leading life on these terms. They are people with antisocial personality disorder who are commonly referred to as sociopaths.
Contrary to what most Hollywood flicks propagate, all sociopaths don’t involve in murder or cause grievous hurt to others. They may sometimes be the most gracious person in the room while they are secretly calculating their next move. They are usually highly intelligent with the capacity to sniff people’s weaknesses within a few interactions itself. Here are 6 traits to watch out for in an individual that could indicate the presence of sociopathic tendencies.
1. They Are Narcissists With An Inflated Ego
Right from conversations to day-to-day routine interacting with a sociopath will revolve around themselves. They rarely admit their flaws and blame others for unpleasant events that happened to them. They will speak eloquently about their lives with such grandeur that it almost seem’s unreal. If you object or seek more clarity on one of their renditions, they end up getting offended or may even demand an apology.
2. They Are Pathological Liars
Lies are the innate fabric of a sociopath’s existence. They are individuals who lie for the sake of lying even when being honest is possible. Their lack of accountability to commit to even a small plan or a stick to a deadline is a repetitive behavior. Most of the time they have a fictitious story to support their lies.
3. They Are Masterful At Manipulating Others
Having a high IQ helps them to understand who can do what for them. They are adept at getting to the depths of a person’s character and using it for their own good. They can manipulate people into getting things done for them. If they are cornered about their manipulative behavior, they will still try convincing that they are not at fault.
In relationships, this trait comes across as envy and possessive nature which they often label as “true love”. It can get very toxic to be in a relationship with such an individual.
4. They Indulge In Reckless Behavior
Being high-sensation seekers, they constantly need something to keep them on a high. Many derive it by delving deep into substance abuse, sex addiction, gambling, rash driving or by violating societal norms. Their mind finds it hard to just stay put for some time. This is the reason why they get easily bored and are already pursuing their next ticket to excitement.
5. They Have An Overly Charming Persona
Unlike psychopaths, sociopaths aren’t incapable of turning things around in life for their own good. People with sociopathic tendencies can be seen in all walks of life. They often scale great heights and end up occupying positions of power. In social gatherings, they come across as the one with a magnetic personality who can make anyone go weak at the knees.
Their superficial charm isn’t something to rely upon and is, in fact, a fabricated outer personality to disguise the darkness within themselves.
6. They Don’t Feel The Depth Of Emotions
Sociopaths are more impulsive in nature than psychopaths. In the process of placing themselves first and thinking only about personal gains round-the-clock, they naturally lose the ability to be compassionate. Neither do their deeds or words express authentic concern, kindness, remorse, and sadness.
This leaves them incapacitated to feel other’s emotions too. This trait is what causes many sociopaths to become destructive to someone’s life or the society at large.1
Coping With A Sociopath
The best way to cope with a sociopath is to remember the traits above and behave accordingly. Here are a few tips on how you can protect yourself from someone you suspect to be a sociopath.
- Don’t express your weaknesses to a sociopath as that’s what they feed on.
- Be assertive without losing your cool and keep your guard up while interacting with that person.
- It’s best to avoid that person completely from your contact list and friend’s circle before they start messing with your life.
- If you think you are dating a sociopath or are working with one, it’s best to call it quits before anything serious happens.
- Always take everything a sociopath tells with a grain of salt as they are compulsive liars.
- Never reveal intimate details about your personal life if you suspect antisocial personality disorder as that will make you more vulnerable.
- If you feel you need expert help from the negative influence of a sociopath, inform your family or a trusted friend and even the enforcement agencies before it’s too late.2
Be proactive and don’t ever put yourself in a state of vulnerability. Awareness about this personality disorder is essential in keeping oneself protected.
|↑1||Werner, Kimberly B., Lauren R. Few, and Kathleen K. Bucholz. “Epidemiology, comorbidity, and behavioral genetics of antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy.” Psychiatric annals 45, no. 4 (2015): 195-199.|
|↑2||Antisocial personality disorder: prevention and management. National Institute Of Health And Care Excellence|