Sociopaths are not all criminals and are not all violent. They are also not necessarily dangerous. Some people have traits of a sociopath that play a very productive part of society such as being confident, not conforming to social norms and thinking independently. However, there are more destructive traits that the sociopath possesses.
The characteristics of a person which might suggest they are a sociopath:
- Do they use people on a regular basis?
- Do they not have any consideration for others?
- Do they take from others all the time?
- Do they constantly lie?
- Are they always looking for pity and for people to feel sorry for them?
- Do they take advantage of another person’s kindness?
- Do they make people feel guilty?
- Do they get bored easily?
- Are they very charming?
- Do they always seek stimulation?
- Do they use flattery?
- Do they feel they are entitled to things and that others owe them?
- Do they blame others for their mistakes?
- Do they acknowledge any faults or mistakes they have or have made?
If we know someone who has many of these characteristics, it is not a good relationship to be in.
Sociopaths are very charming. They have an over the top sexual appetite and use sex to relieve their boredom. They often engage in risky behaviour. They betray people because they lack any feelings of guilt, shame and remorse. They can be threatening and can harm others. They are very interested in themselves and are great liars. When they deceive others it is a form of power and control for them which they thrive on. They are very intelligent people and often they have a high IQ. They can use this to manipulate others. They lack feelings of balanced people such as love, compassion, conscience, shame and guilt. They do not admit to any of their faults and they love to wear a mask. They will do anything to avoid being confronted and for people to find out the real person.
What causes a person to be a sociopath?
The wiring in the brain is different from the rest of the population. It is not really known what causes a sociopath because they come from all walks of life. There does not seem to be a link to the kind of childhood they had.
The goals of a sociopath are to get whatever they want at any cost, even at the expense of others. What they want can include:
They will manipulate another person to get it, make them feel loved and most likely never ask directly for it. They want things handed to them for free. They live off others because they feel they are entitled to it.
Sociopaths crave stimulation. They often use sex to relieve boredom. Lasting relationships with them rarely happens and can have multiple relationships at a time. It is entertainment for them.
To get something from another person
They will often use people to do things for them. They will not engage in a relationship unless they get something out of it. They use lying, manipulation and deception to get what they want.
Status and image
This is very important to the sociopath, they want to hide their true nature and they want to be in relationships with people that will heighten their status. They will use these people to cover up their true self. They will go to the lengths of spreading lies to destroy the credibility of others to make them look good.
They love to dominate. They manipulate and deceive others to stay in control. They want to feel superior and will harm others to get this. They hate to lose control and be exposed. People are possessions to them and they can be very paranoid, jealous and possessive.
They always want to win
They take great pleasure out of seeing others fail.
Dealing with a sociopath
Normal people have a natural connection to other people. This is because they share the same feelings of the ups and downs of life. When normal people hurt each other, they feel guilty. Sociopaths do not have these feelings.
When dealing with sociopaths it is best to seek help from a professional. Stopping the contact with a harmful person is sometimes the only option. They will continue to manipulate. They will isolate a victim from others and say what they want to portray that it is not them that has the issues. It is best that they know as little about a person as possible. This way they cannot use the victims’ strengths and weaknesses against them and sociopaths are very good at spotting a person’s strengths and weaknesses. Their nature cannot be changed as they do not believe that there is anything wrong with them. They cannot be cured as their brains are wired differently.
As I said before, sociopaths are not all criminals. Some people have mild traits and do not commit crimes. However, if a relationship is harmful and destructive it is better to give a wide birth to find peace because there is nothing you can do to change them.
Rivers, C. (2014). Personality disorders and mental illnesses. [Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified], chapter 6 to chapter 10.