How to Spot a Sociopath

Jeffery Dahlmer, Ted Bundy, Jim Jones, Danny Rolling, Charles Manson, David Koresh, Aileen Wuornos, and Hannibal Lecter are some of the names that pop in your mind when you hear the word "sociopath". While it is natural to think these are fictional characters, you actually meet so many sociopaths in your real life on a regular basis. The only thing is that you do not usually know it. Many people do not know much about sociopaths. Studies show that 1 in every 25 Americans has the signs of sociopathy. If one in 25 people is a sociopath, it means about 12 million Americans fit the criteria.

How to Spot a Sociopath

Knowing itcan sometimes help you protect yourself before these people do any damage. What are those specific signs?

1. They Look Confident and Charismatic

Pay attention to how a person behaves. Most of these people are extremely confident and charismatic. They know how to win people over by speaking that charming, poetic language. They also make you believe that they are very intelligent and know how the world works.

2. They Are Manipulative

Sociopaths know the art of manipulating people. They know how to take advantage of different situations. They make you do things that they want you to do and still make it feel as if it was your idea in the first place. To ensure they do not manipulate you, it is important to learn how to spot a sociopath.

3. They Lack Remorse

Sociopaths rare show remorse or guilt for anything bad they do to you or may have done to others in their lives. That is mainly because they suffer from an antisocial personality disorder. They just fail to realize how their actions can make others’ lives miserable.

4. They Are Great Liars

Sociopaths are great liars, and thanks to their charismatic personality, they often make you believe what they are saying is true and real. They know how to convince others to believe in what they are saying.

5. They Show Intense Anger

There is nothing wrong in being angry every now and then, but sociopaths take things to extreme. Their anger is often far more intense as compared to a normal person. They can be quite violent when they are angry. You have to find somewhere safe if you feel someone is experience intense anger.

6. They Maintain Eye Contact for Long

That is right – extended eye contact is yet another sign that you are dealing with a sociopath. They hold eye contact for a long time and often make you feel quite uncomfortable. Once you become nervous, they feel even more confident.

7. They Seek and Enjoy Danger

Sociopaths usually stay calm in terrifying and dangerous situations; in fact, they enjoy being in these situation. This side of their personality often makes them try things that are not good for them – quite often, they fall victim to drugs and alcohol and end up wasting their lives.

8. The Narcissistic Sociopath

In order to understand how to spot a sociopath, you also need to develop an understanding of what other mental disorders these people can develop. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is common in people with antisocial personality disorder. These people are called narcissistic sociopaths and can be quite dangerous because they do not want anyone's help to improve their condition. These people are manipulative and never show any remorse, even if their actions cause any harm to their own family member. You just cannot do anything to stop a narcissistic sociopath from achieving their goals.

Some other specific warning signs that you are dealing with a sociopath or narcissistic sociopath include the following:

  • They are cruel to animals.
  • They take any social situation as a contest.
  • They do not feel any shame when someone catches them in an embarrassing situation.
  • They are aggressive and irritable and are always ready to pick a fight.
  • They are capable of sensing vulnerabilities in others and use them for personal gain or pleasure.

Questionnaire to Help You Spot a Sociopath

Here is a questionnaire prepared considering the experiences and research of socialized psychopaths. If the following conditions applied fully to someone, give them 2 points for each question. Give them 1 point if the condition partially applies to them, and zero points if the condition does not apply to them.

  1. Do they find it difficult to sustain relationships, in business and in personal life?
  2. Do they manipulate others for personal gain?
  3. Do they find it easy to tell lies to your face?
  4. Do they believe they are superior to others irrespective of their true standing in society?
  5. Do they have no sense of shame, remorse, or guilt?
  6. Do they become bored easily and look for a change?
  7. Do they love taking risks and enjoy dangerous situations?
  8. Do they always blame others for their own mistakes?
  9. Do they resent authority and love to play truant?
  10. Do they lose their temper quickly and show severe anger?
  11. Do they have weird sexual fantasies?
  12. Are they into bullying?
  13. Do they set unrealistic goals?
  14. Do they find it difficult to emphasize with others?
  15. Do you think they show irresponsible behavior most of the time?

If you get a score of 25 or above, it means the person has strong psychopathic tendencies. Still, it does not mean the person is a serial killer. They are not always violent, but a close emotional or professional relationship with a sociopath may prove quite damaging, which is why it makes sense to learn how to spot a sociopath.

Dealing with a Sociopath

Unfortunately, there is no cure for sociopathy. Studies show that therapies can actually make symptoms worse because people use therapeutic interactions to understand more about human vulnerabilities and then use them to their own advantage. This often helps them learn how to manipulate others in a better way.

What it implies is that there is no other way to deal with a sociopath but to get them out of your life. This may sometimes feel a bit difficult depending on your emotional attachment with that person, but you have to take the difficult decision and it will protect you from the drain on your time, attention, money, and positive attitude.

HERE are 15 rules about how to deal with a sociapath.

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