Personality Disorders: The Sociopath

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 in society such as being confident, not conforming to social norms and thinking independently. However, there are more destructive traits that the sociopath possesses.


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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 persons 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.

Their Goals

The goals of a sociopath is to get what ever they want at any cost, even at the expense of others. What they want can include:

Money

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.

Sex

Sociopaths crave stimulation. They often use sex to relieve boredom. Lasting relationships for 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.

Control

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 loose 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 persons 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.

Final thought

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.


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Personality Disorders: The Narcissist

Understanding different personalities helps us protect ourselves, teaches us how to deal with people who have these personalities and how they might affect our lives.

Narcissism is actually very common to some degree, but it depends how it affects daily life.

We have to think:

  • How do we react to criticism? Do we go on the defense and justify the criticism? OR Do we learn from mistakes and experience?
  • How do we behave towards how others feel? Are we considerate? OR Do we gloat on our superiority and criticise that person?
  • How do we view ourselves? Do we recognise our faults? OR Do we feel we have no faults or do not recognise them?
  • What do we look to achieve in life? Do we work towards selfless goals and have positive plans for the future? OR Do we want constant attention and drama in our lives?
  • How do we treat others? Do we work towards what we want with consideration for others? OR Do we exploit others to get what we want?
  • How do we feel about ourselves? Do we feel equal to others? OR Do we feel we are entitled to special treatment and that we are better than those around us?

We all have a certain amount of narcissism in us but it depends on how harmful it is to the people around us.

The person who is a Narcissist is focused on themselves through vanity. They are only interested in their own physical and intellectual characteristics. It is very high levels of self-confidence but underneath are very insecure and feel threatened by others achievements. They lack the compassion and humility of normal, balanced people. They are defensive towards others, especially if their self-esteem has been threatened by someone and as a result they will become hostile to that person. It is very destructive on society and the people around them.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

We can all have traits of narcissism but with Narcissistic Personality Disorder it is more severe and the Narcissist damages their relationships with the people around them. They think they are the most important people in the world who deserve special treatment. They think they are the only priority because they feel they are more important and they should be dealt with first. They are always seeking attention and appreciation from others. What really scares me the most and is very dangerous about one of the traits, they have a total lack of empathy for others. They manipulate people and treat other people in a negative way. An example of this lack of empathy could be being critical towards another person, maybe because of a haircut that the Narcissist does not like, the person being criticised tells the Narcissist that they have hurt their feelings and rather than the Narcissist reflecting or apologising for their actions they disregard the victims feelings because they feel that the haircut hurts their feelings and not the victims as they don’t like it. They are very selfish, manipulative and too self-assertive. Assertiveness is about putting your point across without being aggressive, having reflection and respecting others. However, the Narcissist is aggressive in putting their point across and they put others down to make themselves look better. It is about jealousy, competition and comparison. An extreme Narcissist denies or is unaware of their condition so they will not seek treatment.

What causes Narcissism?

It is not fully known what causes Narcissism, however, there are a few factors that could be the cause such as genetic, parenting, society and culture.

How To Identify A Narcissist

These are the qualities that identify a Narcissist:

  • They have very extremes of self-confidence, self-absorption and self-praise.
  • They manipulate others to get what they want.
  • They brag about things in their life, if they have nothing to brag about they become angry and hostile towards others.
  • They hang around the people who agree with them, give them praise and admiration.
  • They are snobs who put others down and talk behind their backs.
  • They are unaware of their extreme behaviour as they are unable to reflect.
  • They think their behaviour is acceptable and find it difficult when someone does not like them or does not agree with them.
  • They manipulate others to achieve their goals and to cover up their real selves. Once they have got what they want out of you, you get dismissed and they will not want anything to do with you.
  • They don’t like criticism. If you criticise them they will become very hostile. Some will accept this face on but will be very bitter about it underneath.
  • They will not spend time with people unconditionally, they are more likely to spend time with people they get something out of. They want to satisfy their own selfish desires.
  • They are very judgmental.
  • Have a very jealous nature.
  • They are hostile and aggressive if they are criticised or fail at something.
  • They are the focus of every conversation and take over.
  • They always want to feel superior.

The patterns of behaviour with a Narcissist and a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are the extremes. People with a healthy self-esteem will get success in life such as getting jobs and accomplishments but they consider other peoples feelings and help others. They have self-respect. Most people who have their feelings hurt don’t act out with anger and rage. Healthy people are not cruel to people if they do not give them what they want. Healthy people do not exploit others, do not gossip spread and start rumours that will harm other people’s reputations. Healthy people do not act the victim and they accept responsibility for their mistakes.


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How To Deal With A Narcissist

Dealing with a Narcissist is very difficult. If it causes significant harm the best way is to spend little time as possible with them or walk out of the relationship altogether. A good way to deal with them is to have compassion. In the end, the Narcissist has feelings of inadequacy and self-hatred towards themselves. However, this does not mean allowing them to do what they want to you. Having an attitude that is non-responsive is best. Narcissists love drama so don’t give it to them. Give them genuine praise on the qualities they do have. Be more docile in criticism. Don’t demand or expect support as a Narcissist is unable to provide it. Offer them support and a way to get help. However, some Narcissists do not recognise they have a problem so this is easier said than done. Above all keep your emotions neutral and give no emotional reaction. Keep your dignity and don’t sink to their level, leave them to look stupid.

My final point is that most people have some mild levels of Narcissism, however, this does not mean they are a Narcissist or have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It comes down to how extreme is their behaviour. If they have no empathy towards others, take great enjoyment out of harming others and are unable to recognise this, we have to consider how much time we want to spend around this person.

Rivers, C. (2014). Personality disorders and mental illnesses. [Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified], chapter 11 to chapter 14.

The Importance of Relationships

The foundations of success in everything we do is based on the relationships we have with other people. Good relationships are essential for a business and for any situations in our lives to thrive and be successful.

Creating trust with the people around us forms a strong bond. People know that they can use our products, take advice from us and that we will be able to help solve any problems that arise. Through this we will receive loyalty in return and people will talk fondly of us wanting to do business with us and wanting to be around us. Trust provides customers with a good customer service. Trust is also essential for successful friendships.

In business, promoting ourselves is very important so people know who we are so they can access our goods and services. This can be done in many ways such as word of mouth, business cards and social media. The more we promote ourselves, the more people will become familiar with us and will want to create a relationship with us.

Being grateful and having the right mindset will keep us motivated. This will also be reflected on our relationships with others and the world will not seem such a bad place. Having a happy outlook will please the people we come into contact with. Enjoy being around our customers and workers as the relationship is based on that we have a service to offer them as well as having a goal in common. Feeling gratitude for people makes us appreciate the relationships we have.

Cutting out gossip reduces divisions between people and when people gossip we are not always providing the correct information. We have a better understanding of each other through communication. Through good relationships, people will become more motivated and as a result higher productivity will be achieved. When we support each other we win. We get more done, we are able to solve problems, we are happier and have good memories which is altogether better for our mental health.

Having good relationships with others makes daily life and the work environment so much more rewarding.


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Thinking For Ourselves

In my opinion, thinking for ourselves is a valuable asset to carry us through life.


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Not following the crowd gives us the chance to grow in our own way. We are more likely to become the people we really want to be or are destined to be. Following the crowd is stressful and often leads to disappointment as we are not really living our lives for ourselves but for other people.

We can never be sure that we are being provided with the correct information. Stories can turn into Chinese whispers and the information we are given gets distorted through misunderstanding or being altered whether intentional or not.

A very good reason for learning to think for ourselves is we are less likely to be vulnerable to manipulation. Our thoughts, opinions and feelings towards a particular subject cannot be influenced or exploited which can affect enjoyment, choices and opportunities in our life. If we want to learn, we need to learn from valuable and trusted sources.

We have to ask ourselves questions. Think why we want to do something or why we have a particular opinion. Weighing up the benefits and pitfalls so we can come to our own conclusions will give us the most accurate result. We have a habit of being buyest to our own opinions because it benefits us or makes us feel safe, but it does not necessarily mean that it is the best choice, so we need to be aware of this. We can often feel uneasy disagreeing with others and fear that we will be rejected, but if people do not support our opinions there is nothing we can do, at least we have been true to ourselves. However, they might also feel a great amount of respect us for giving our own opinion.

Expressing our own opinions does not need to be done in a hostile way. We only need to state our opinion and we can give an explanation why. If we use this method when deciding on anything in our life, we will find that we have made the right choice with the right evidence. We will not always be right, but we will have made a correct evaluation before taking the next step.

We must always be ourselves. It takes a great amount of bravery to do this, we live in a very judgmental world. We need to find our focus, know our boundaries and be the people we want to be. This way we will feel altogether happier and more satisfied throughout life.

 


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My Diary: Having Good Habits for Success

I have returned from a fantasic training event with Dave O’Connor. It was a one day event so I took the opportunity to attend to learn great habits for my business.


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The first habit I learned was having good self-talk. If we think every morning how we want to be that day, it will put us in a good mindset for the rest of the day. We get addicted to negativity and negative thoughts, so focusing on the good will reduce levels of negativity. Following the 3:1 ratio of 3 positives to 1 negative will make us feel better overall. Focus on what is going right, not what is going wrong and it is important not to compare ourselves to others. I learned that we can change our state of mind in an instant. With the right input, we can change from negative to positive, sad to happy. Positivity keeps us motivated, it is just down to good habits. Feelings such as fear, what others think about us, change and failure are some things that hold us back. We should work on our thoughts and be the sort of people we want others to be attracted to. Successful people have endless energy and they overcome their challenges.

The next important habit I learned is having a goal to work towards. If we see what we want and focus on it, we will achieve it. Every morning and evening we should write down any goals we have so we are revisiting them every day. Each day, we need to work on something that takes us closer to our goals. If it does not take us towards our goals, we should not bother with it.

Being persistent is a great skill for success. If we fail, we should embrace the failure and keep moving on. If we stop, we will not achieve what we want. If we put ourselves first, we will become better people. This does not mean neglecting others and treating them badly, it is about taking a little time for ourselves each day to meditate, relax or do something we really enjoy so we have the energy to keep going.

Taking action is essential for achieving results. If we do not act, we will not do the work to achieve the results. Act every day towards achieving.

Belief will motivate us. If we believe we can have it all and decide greatness is our destiny, in time we will achieve what we want. We also have to know what we want and why we want it.

Every day I am going to follow this routine:

Listen to Dave O’Connor’s Blueprint Course,

Write things I am grateful for in my gratitude journal,

Do a little personal development reading,

Revisit my goals and write them down,

Walk in nature,

Review the good things that happened throughout the day.

 

O’Connor, D. (2017). Mindset Momentum One Day Event.

Values

I have learned something very important about how we all think and look at life. We all value things differently. We have different ideas about values in our life that are important to us and how we prioritise them.

For me, I have spent time thinking what is important to me. I must understand what I value in order that I grow.

I have come up with a list of 10 words that best describe what I value:

Peace, security, freedom, relationships, comfort, achievement, rewards, flexibility, satisfaction and balance.

These values describe the sort of person I am.

I will explain in more detail the items on my list.

Peace

Peace to me is about living a balanced life of work and play, it means the chance to relax and spend time with family and friends. It is about living with little amount of stress as possible, being healthy, having a clear mind and feeling happy and fulfilled.

Security

Security is about being free from debt, having stability, feeling safe and protected. It is about having confidence, feeling positive and having peace of mind.

Freedom

For me, freedom is about having time to spend doing the things I love, being able to relax, having flexibility with my work and living a balanced life.

Relationships

Relationships are important to me because it gives me a sense of belonging, help and support from others if I need them and vice versa, feeling protected and happy. Having people to share my life with and having their loyalty. It is also about keeping the good people in my life and keeping the bad out.

Comfort

Comfort is about having a roof over my head, having financial independence, money to spend on recreation, having holidays and good health. Comfort is about having the little extras in life to enjoy.

Achievement

Achievement is feeling good about something I have earned through hard work and effort. This is important because of the rewards I will receive as a result of the achievement.

Rewards

Rewards for me are about gaining as a result of hard work and effort.

Flexibility

Being able to have a flexible working life is really important to me as I can work around my family commitments. I do not have to worry about fitting my life around my work but fitting my work around my life.

Satisfaction

Satisfaction is all about being grateful for everything that I have. My desires and needs are fulfilled. It gives me happiness and a feeling of contentment.

Balance

Balance is important so that I have equal time at work between doing the things I want and spending time with friends and family. I do not want to spend all my time working as it is not good for my health and to not spend too much time on recreation as I will not reap any rewards.


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To move forward and really know who we are, we need to think what we value the most. We all have different values and rate them of importance differently. We all live our lives by what we value.

The best way how to discover what our values are is to think of 10 values. List them in order of importance and think of words that describe each value and what each one means.

Appreciation…

Family and friends are very important in our lives. We cannot live as an island. There are times we and the people in our lives need support, help and need to feel a sense of belonging.


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It is important that we do not take the people in our life for granted. We do not know the future. We might not be here in a few years. We might never get the chance again to tell them how we feel. We do not want to feel regret or that we could have done something differently. Standing by the people who stand by us will prevent feelings of hurt that we will create if we do not show appreciation.

It is also important when dealing with people at work. This improves relationships and happiness in the workplace. When people are happy at their work they perform better. It also reduces stress and conflict.

Saying ‘thank you’ is a simple way of showing appreciation. Give a gift or a card telling them how much we have appreciated what they have done. Taking them out for lunch, dinner or a trip to the cinema is a great way to show we value and treasure them.

Showing appreciation in a relationship will create a strong bond. The relationship will be happier, there will be more respect and there will be no regrets.

Sooner or later…

via Daily Prompt: Later

Life gives us challenges from every direction. If life has taught me anything it is how short our lives are and we have to make the best out of the time we have. Sooner or later we have to decide to keep what is productive and loose what is not productive. So, no matter how big or small, why not make our mark and do something to improve our lives that we can be remembered for?

People have a bad habit of wasting time not making an effort to improve anything in life. The reality is, people are responsible for the problems in the world. We could achieve so much more solving problems rather than creating them. Everything in life can be turned into something for the better. We learn from problems which makes us stronger. If we are unable to change a problem or a situation, accept it and find something else to replace it with. If we loose a loved one, why not create a memorial for them, it could be something as simple as a scrapbook with pictures about their life.


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Keeping positive is great for our mental health. The world around us is so negative. Instead of feeding ourselves with negativity, we should spend time with people we love and have a laugh on a regular basis. Why not, it costs nothing.


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Never hold a grudge. We all make mistakes and see things differently. The best way is to come together and find a solution. If we miss the boat, we might never get another chance. If we are unable to find a solution, the best way is to just walk away. At the end of the day, life is too short for battles that do not have positive outcomes.


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It is important for us to fill our lives with things we enjoy. There are times when we have to do things we do not want to do, but if we spend time doing the things we love and balance it with our work, it makes our lives much more enjoyable.

Does Luck Determine Our Success?

via Daily Prompt: Luck


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While working on my personal development I think to myself, does luck have a role to play in our success?

In my opinion, being lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time can make a difference. However, we can get plenty of opportunities being in the right place at the right time but do not do the work so we will fail. We can go through endless struggles, but through hard work we become successful. Being in the right place at the right time can make us successful more quickly, provided we work for it.

Success is about taking action. If we do not take action, we will not be successful. In order to achieve anything, we have to learn the necessary skills. Luck when taking action at the right time will increase our chances, but it does not mean that if we take action at a different time we will not achieve success. We have to become knowledgeable about our passions. Sometimes the action taken at a certain time does not give us success, but if we keep working at what we want, we will be successful, it is just a matter of time. Keep working until the right time comes along.

Being lucky enough to live a more privileged life can give us bigger opportunities and the money to work towards what we want to achieve, but again, if we do not work hard we will not achieve what we want.

Being lucky enough to have a natural positive attitude is great for success, but if we are not naturally positive, this is an area that can be worked on. Keeping positive when the right time comes will increase our chances of success, but if we do not have a positive attitude at that time, it can hold us back. Keeping a positive attitude at times of difficulty will increase our chances of success in the long run. Keep positive and things will fall into place. When we are positive this also improves our relationships with others. The way we view our situation has an impact on the outcome. Feeling sorry for ourselves does hold us back, but how well we pick ourselves up once we fall depends on our results. Sometimes it takes us many attempts at success until we achieve it.

So, I think becoming successful comes down to a variety of factors. The right time for success or we are ready for success, taking action and learning the skills to maintain our success, having the tools to succeed and a positive attitude. I do believe that the outcome of our life depends on the actions we take and the attitude we have.

My Diary: Visit To Morocco

morocco15Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

My first visit to Morocco was a fantastic experience. It is a country with beautiful scenery, friendly people, wonderful culture and cuisine.

The flights were from Aberdeen to London, then London to Marrakesh. Then to drive over the Atlas mountains to Errachidia. The flights went pretty smoothly, just a short delay going from London to Marrakesh. The weather was good in the UK and Morocco. This visit was in February so it was not very hot. Probably the best time to go for a fist visit. However, it was sunny and warm the first few days we were in Morocco, more like a summer day in the UK.

My husband and I spent our first night in Marrakesh. The houses have a beautiful living space with a terrace where you can go out to sit or hang up washing.


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Marrakesh is full of restaurants and riads. The market in the Old Medina sells a wide variety of pottery, clothing, silver, etc. Just try to avoid being run over as there are bicycles and scooters everywhere.

Driving in Morocco is crazy. Drivers do not stick to their designated lane but drive down the middle and only move when they see a car coming in the opposite direction. When overtaking you have to flash your lights or sound your horn so the driver in front knows you are passing.

The mountains are very rocky. When driving over the mountains there are many places for tourists to stop. There are restaurants and an opportunity to purchase argan oil products as well as be shown how the argan oil is extracted. There was a lot of work going on in the mountain road as it was being widened so the road will be improved for tourism.

Berbers are the indigenous people of North Africa. They mainly inhabit the mountain areas of Morocco. The picture below shows how a small village has been built into the side of a mountain.

morocco1Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

Below are some scenic views of the desert areas.

morocco17Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

morocco19Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

morocco18Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

morocco12Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

The houses are very basic, but they have everything you need. They are very cool inside in the summer and there is a chiminea inside to keep warm in the winter. Some have beds and others just have a mattress on the floor. Some houses have a toilet that is just a hole in the floor as in the picture below.


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Some of the houses have a separate wash house with a gas boiler to heat the water. You get a very hot shower.

The berber women make their own bread. It is often baked in a clay oven outside, an example in the picture below.


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All the food is prepared from scratch using different spices. Below is stuffed rabbit served with chips and salad.

morocco24Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

Water is collected from a spring. There is running water in most houses, but it is not clean enough to drink. The water from the spring is fresh water which has come from the mountains.

The traditional moroccan mint tea is very strong and very sweet. It is a combination of green tea and mint leaves. The lump of sugar that is put in the tea is huge.


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On the way back to Marrakesh, the weather was colder and there was snow on the mountains. The scenery was really breathtaking.

morocco8Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

morocco5Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

morocco6Photo by Louise MacPherson, February 2017

By the time we got back to Marrakesh there was a thunder storm and it was raining so our flight was delayed by a few hours. When we got back to London, the weather was still wet and windy and we could feel the aeroplane being blown on the runway.  I am not the best of flyers so it was pretty scary.

I enjoyed my visit and I hope to return to Morocco next year.