Sociopath: Definition & Traits

Overview of Defining Sociopath

A sociopath is a liar and a user, plain and simple. They have no sympathy or empathy for anyone but themselves. They do not know, or want to learn, how to care about someone else. They are great actors for a while until they think they’ve got you hooked. Then you become nothing more than their victim. Their ultimate goal is to rule the world, including all the people in it.

A person with sociopathic tendencies tells you everything you want to hear and behaves exactly as you want them to behave. They sweep you off your feet and make you fall instantly in love with them. They’re charming and sweet and LYING! A sociopath wants everything that everyone else has. They’re very jealous of material things. They have a huge sense of entitlement. They will tell you that they don’t love themselves. That’s ridiculous. They ONLY love themselves. Don’t be fooled.

A sociopath will use many people for many different things. They will use one person for their money, another for their car, another so that they can have a roof over their head. In the meantime, they have nothing nice to say about these people who, so generously, give up their money, cars and homes for the sociopath. The minute the sociopath is denied what he wants from you, he’ll turn on a full-blown rage act. Or, if you’re lucky, you’ll get the crying act instead. Anything they can do to make you give, give, give to them. Their short-term goals are having everyone else do everything for them while they reap the benefits.

One thing about a sociopath always amazed me. It can be completely wrong about something. For example, let’s say you tell the person “the sky is blue”. They will respond with “no, it’s green”. Now, we all know the sky is blue but the sociopath will argue, scream and fight, if necessary, to prove that he’s right and you’re stupid. You know you’re correct, but they are never wrong and will bully their opinions onto you.

They do not make good friends or lovers. They demand, not expect, but demand, way too much from people. Another tactic they use when they are denied something is to degrade, accuse and verbally abuse their victims. Since they are incapable of feeling for anyone else, this is an everyday occurrence for a sociopath. They will not tell you they’re sorry because they’re not. If they do tell you they’re sorry, wait 10 minutes, they’ll ask you for something. Sorry is only used, flippantly, when they want something from someone who’s feelings they just hurt.

If you are involved with someone who shows these types of behaviors, I suggest running now. It won’t get better. You have to look out for yourself, they certainly aren’t looking out for you!

Sociopath Traits – 11 Signs for Spotting

How do you know you are dealing with a Sociopath?

Part of the problem is, most sociopathic traits are present in all of us at some time. For that reason, its almost impossible to label them on just a couple of interactions.

Sociopaths are masters at deception. They’ve lived their entire life hiding who they are, so have no problem lying to your face. But there are some warning signs that seem to be common to sociopaths. You need to spot several of these over a period of time. Here are 11 sociopath traits:

  • 1. Charismatic:

Did you like them the first time you met? Do they seem to have more energy and confidence that those around them? Are they overly confident, though, never seeming to have any self-doubt and failing to see their own limitations?

  • 2. Pity:

Do they actively try to make you feel sorry for them? Do they claim to be a victim?

  • 3. Rules & Regulations:

Do they quote laws, constitutions, etc to get people to do things or to close down a discussion or idea. Are people left feeling that they have to do something, rather than they want to?

  • 4. Uncreative:

Are the ideas they come up with actually theirs have you ever caught them claiming someone else’s ideas as their own?

  • 5. Sarcasm:

Do they not seem to understand sarcastic comments?

  • 6. Emotional Switching:

Can they switch from being enraged one moment, then totally calm the next? Can they be warm and friendly with someone one minute, then be viscously pointing out the persons faults as soon as they leave the room?

  • 7. Blame:

Are they always blaming others for their mistakes

  • 8. Lies:

Have you caught them saying one thing, when you have clear evidence this is not the case and they know itH

  • 9. Questions:

Do you feel conversations you have with them are not so much small-talk, as them probing you for information?

  • 10. Criticism:

Do they seem to point out other peoples failings?

  • 11. Cold:

Have they said anything recently to your face that left you feeling hurt, incompetent, embarrassed or guilty?

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that people often ask when learning about Sociopaths for the first time.

What is a Sociopath?

A Sociopath is someone without a conscience, without the natural ability to tell right from wrong. They don’t think about how their actions would harm others, only the consequences to themselves. In order to fit in, they constantly have to act as if they do feel the same way as everyone else, so are very difficult to spot.

Are Sociopaths evil?

No. It may appear that way, since their actions can have a devastating effect on the individuals and organizations that they exploit. It is better to avoid them, though, once you identify them. If they realize you have something they want, they will ruthlessly try to get it from you.

Is there a cure for Sociopathy?

No. There is no known way to cure sociopaths. In fact, therapies tried in the past had the opposite effect and actually taught them about human nature, allowing them to exploit people even more.

Is my friend a Sociopath?

Its very difficult to tell, and you shouldn’t jump the conclusion based on a couple of factors. One fairly reliable way to spot a sociopath is that they will try to get you to feel sorry for them, despite having inflicted pain on others. Think of the abusive husband breaking down and saying that he felt so unloved by his wife.

Read the rest of this site for more tips, but generally people that lie, steal, bully and don’t seem to care about what happens to others should be avoided regardless of whether they are sociopaths.

Is my child a sociopath?

If they are under 15, you cant describe them as a sociopath, since normal children are still developing a conscience at this time. All children make mistakes, and don’t always realize that their behavior can hurt other people.

Some early signs that they could be heading for trouble are pyromania (setting fires) or animal cruelty.

What is the effect on Victims?

Victims of Sociopaths are affected in many different ways, most of which are psychological. Typically, unless they realize what the Sociopath has been up to, victims are left feeling confused, depressed, worthless, incompetent, passionless, and with a massive loss of self-confidence. This then translates into real effects, such the end or career progression, quitting their career altogether, which in turns leads to financial and relationship troubles. This spiral all too often leads to suicide.

The other effect is that the person loses faith in everyone, and starts to see life in a similar way as the Sociopath a dog-eat-dog struggle, in which manipulation and stepping on others is normal behavior.

The great tragedy is that Sociopaths who are often the least talented, least caring people have an uncanny ability to seek out and destroy the most talented, most caring people in society. These people would have otherwise gone on to do great things for society, but their spirits were crushed just as they were starting out.

Do Sociopaths do anything positive?

In some cases, the sociopathic mindset is very useful. Corporations love hiring them as managers, as they can be ruthless in pursuing their aims. They overlook the tremendous toll their behavior has on the people that work with them, and often only notice that something may wrong when staff turnover in a department is very high.

In war, they also make excellent killers, since they are not traumatized by seeing others suffer. They can be extremely intelligent, and if they are not put in positions where they can benefit from playing games with other people, they can be highly productive.

Why are they targeting me?

If you are the focus of a sociopath, there is one small thing that will give you comfort. Sociopaths only tend to target good people i.e. that have a strong conscience. People that have flexible morals are not so easy to control, and could equally turn around and back-stab the sociopath. Good people are reliable, and their conscience can be used against them e.g. guilt trips. You are also giving them something it may be money, power, sex, connections something that they need. You are a giver and often fail to stand up for your own rights.

Ultimately, the sad fact is you just happened to be there. They had victims before you, and there will be many more to come in the future once they’ve done with you.

Do Sociopaths have any emotions, or is it all fake?

Sociopaths have emotions, but they are different from others. When a relationship breaks up because they went too far, they feel regret rather than guilt. They are not hurt when someone betrays them, they are angry. Of course, they know exactly how to mimic the right emotions in public, so its difficult to know what is going on in their head. But without any feeling connection to other humans, they ultimately feel an emptiness inside.

Should I tell other people that I think someone is a Sociopath?

Generally, no. Most people will think you mean serial killer so will discount what you say as a joke. They may even tell the Sociopath, thinking it was so funny. Instead, its better to flag up that they should keep an eye on the person, because you think they may be manipulating others, stealing, lying, etc in a very subtle way (or else you’ll appear to be the one being manipulative).

Its very difficult to persuade other people, but much easier if they work it out themselves. Sociopaths often have a halo effect to those closest to them. Once this is shattered, and people start watching them a little closer, everything else becomes clear.

The exception to this if you believe someones life is in danger, in which case contact the police and let them deal with it.

Is there any simple way of testing if someone is a Sociopath?

No. Even people who have been dealing with Sociopaths for years, and supposedly know their tricks, are often surprised at how easily they are caught out by them. There is a scientific method, involving brain scans, which can pretty much do the trick. But this is often only given to criminals. The easiest way for you to notice is if someone harms you in some way, but at the same time tries to make you feel sorry for them.

Most sociopathic traits can be found in normal people at some time or another, so you really have to look over a long period of time.

Do Sociopaths know they are Sociopaths?

Most don’t know the name, but they do know they are different. They spend all their time trying to fit in, and realize that others around them don’t have the same problem.

What do Sociopaths think of the rest of us?

Rather than feeling like their are missing out, they generally feel superior to other humans. They see most humans as weak, indecisive and easy to manipulate. They also think that, like them, most humans are wearing a mask, and that underneath their politeness and apparent willingness to help others, they are just out for themselves.

Ultimately, they see humans as little more than objects that are only useful for what they can do for the Sociopath.