Friday Five #9: 5 Ways to Spot a Sociopath 

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If 2015 has taught me anything, it’s the ability to identify a sociopath when I meet one.

I’ve written this short guide to spotting sociopathic people so you too can avoid getting stabbed in the back this coming year.

1. Sociopathy and compulsive lies go hand in hand. You may pick up on an inconsistency in their fabrication or they might just admit they lie but someone who is your friend would have enough respect to be honest with you. The key is to keep liars at a long distance; if you find yourself in the company of someone who lies to others, get as far away as possible. The trouble is that these people convince you and themselves that their lies are white ones and make excuses for their behaviour and it’s easy to let them get away with it until you’re in too deep.

2. Sociopaths tend to be scheming and manipulative. This means that usually they are either highly intelligent or convinced that they are. A sociopath who thinks they are much more intelligent than they are is much easier to spot, they might even be blatant enough to admit occasions where they have been manipulative to others in order to try and impress you; an action which later backfires. Luckily it’s rare you come across an intelligent sociopath (they’re all like cult leaders and mass murderers or in jail for identity fraud) A sociopath will jump at the chance to get involved in any sort of plan, often coming up with ones which are much more elaborate than the situation could possibly require. Of course they follow through with few of these but give a lot away in the process.

3. They have an inconsistent and distorted view of themselves. One minute they’re bragging and the next insulting their best work. Sociopaths spend most of their time acting, pretending to be somebody they’re not and this means that how they portray themselves to others is contradictory an dependent on what they are trying to get from the situation. If a sociopath is feeling left out or lonely they will play victim until they have all the attention they need. If their needs are not met they will act out. If someone elee is celebrating an achievement, the sociopath will either attempt to steal the glory, one up their successor or undermine their achievements in order to feel better about themself. A true sociopath will believe they are much the opposite of this and consider themself to be a good friend, a good person and selfless. 

4. Their decisions are often compusive or abrupt. They cut ties with people without even a thought because a sociopath is essentially someone who cares about nobody outside of themself. They make rash decisions with no consideration for the consequences even when their decision is completely irrational and outside of their own comfort zone. Sociopaths will go to great lengths to be spiteful to someone else, even if it is detrimental to their own happiness. Sociopathy is a long term condition and the inconsistencies in their jobs, friendships and relationships on a historical level will tell you if they’ve been behaving this way on a long term basis.

5. They have to win. Sociopaths see things in a very Me Vs The World format, often convincing themselves that nobody is on their side. This can cause them to display a very conceited paranoia, thinking people are conspiring against them or leaving them out. Their obsession with “winning” in all situation can cause them to throw their toys out the prom and cut people off, depend their web of lies viciously and they will never ever ever admit they are wrong. They won’t take responsibility for their actions, apologise or even feel guilty because they care about nobody but number one.

If you know someone who embodies these traits then I strongly urge you cut them out of your life before they seek revenge, turn somebody against you or makes you part of their next scheme. You may even think that a sociopath would read this and realise who they are but sadly sociopathy means that you are truly convinced otherwise.

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