What is a sociopath, exactly, and why should you be wary of them? A sociopath is a person without a conscience, who doesn’t feel empathy or affection, although he or she might be good at faking it. When combined with intelligence, a sociopath can rise to the heights of society and become a world leader, or a successful CEO of a major company. It’s much easier to grab power when you have no qualms about hurting others, or no moral code whatsoever. A sociopath with violent tendencies might even become a serial killer, but most just tend to wreak havoc on the lives of those around them.

In general, most sociopaths have learned to blend into society, because of their ability to lie and manipulate. Most studies put sociopaths at around 4% of the overall population.

Here are a few clues to help you identify someone you suspect of being a sociopath.

Identifying a Sociopath (Look For These Signs)

1. Sociopaths usually betray no remorse for their actions, and never admit that they are wrong. They will talk around an issue, and make you think you are how somehow responsible for the wrongs in their life, even if you’ve had very little contact with them. They really know how to play the ‘pity card.’

2. Sociopaths manipulate family, friends and lovers to get what they want. If they see no value in a relationship, or they aren’t able to dominate it, they will discard that relationship, or try to destroy the other person, usually through manipulative means. People are ‘things’ to them, to be deceived for their own personal gain, and hurt for their amusement.

3. Sociopaths are great narcissists, and have a grand sense of entitlement. If they brag about how clever and beautiful they are, yet shallow, that’s a good sign you’re dealing with one.

4. Insincere charm and feigned interest are a sociopath’s greatest weapons. This is how they disguise their lack of empathy, garner sympathy, toy with the emotions of others, and get what they want.

5. A person who is sociopath will have very shallow emotions, but he or she will probably have learned how to disguise this fact with disingenuous charm. Lots of empty compliments that don’t come from the heart (empathy is not a sociopath’s forte), indicate you might be in the company of a sociopath.

6. People who are afflicted with this social disorder are incapable of feeling love, but they might be good at faking it for a while.

7. Men and women with parasitic lifestyles, who are unable to learn from past experiences and mistakes, and thus develop a greater conscience and more empathy for others, are most likely sociopaths.

8. People of this ilk are often contemptuous of those who try to help and understand them, and where they’re coming from.

9 Sociopaths enjoy situations where their authoritarian tendencies are accepted. They like to be in a position of power, especially power over people who can’t effectively challenge them.

10. Sociopaths want the people around them (their victims) to praise and love them. When this doesn’t happen, they will try and hurt the individuals they feel slighted by. Hurting people close to them without justification or provocation is the calling card of a true sociopath.

11. They lie, and they lie a lot. The best sociopaths are professional liars, and very hard to detect.

How To Deal With a Sociopath

If you see some of these traits in yourself, don’t freak out. Everyone lies from time to time, or needs help from others. The main difference is that for sociopath, this is a way of life, and they won’t stop, because they feel no remorse.

If you suspect, or know someone is a sociopath, don’t confront this individual. The best thing for you to do is to cut off all contact, and get that person the hell out of your life. If that’s impossible because the sociopath in question is your boss or a relative, at least minimize contact and try to avoid him or her as much as possible. You can’t reason with a sociopath the way you can with a person who has a conscience. Don’t let the sociopath corner you when you are alone. Keep your wits about you, and don’t play into the sociopath’s games. That will only encourage him or her.

Okay, so now you have a better idea about what a sociopath is. There are enough of these people out there that you probably already know a few. Proceed with caution when dealing with them. You’ve been warned.

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