While there may be many personalities you would want to steer away from, there is one personality for which you should do it, and that is of a sociopath. But how can you spot a sociopath? Well, there are many characteristics of a sociopath that highlights their character.
If you are a student who is staying abroad or want to know how to spot a sociopath, read on to know more about sociopaths and characteristics of their personalities.
Who is a Sociopath?
The word sociopath may bring an image of personalities who are criminals, cruel, killers, or heartless, the one similar to Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Shining.” However, sociopaths and psychopaths are different.
A sociopath is a person with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Some characteristics that set them apart are manipulative behaviour, the ability to lie to achieve what one wants, disregard for other feelings, and a lack of shame or remorse.
They are hungry for power and maybe highly productive members of society. Anyone who is a Sherlock Holmes fan will understand what a sociopath is.
Sociopaths can be very difficult to deal with or sometimes even dangerous. With ice water in veins, snake-charming smiles, and darkness in the heart, sociopaths contribute to 0.6% – 4% of the population globally. This personality disorder is observed more in men as compared to women.
So, how do you spot a sociopath? Signs that indicate a sociopath are as follows:
Sociopaths are known to act without thinking about the consequences. They are seen to participate in life-threatening activities regardless of the risk associated. They can put their or anyone else’s safety at stake. Indifference for consequences and impulsiveness put them at a higher risk of developing substance abuse or addiction to a behaviour such as gambling.
Disregard for Right or Wrong
Individuals who are sociopaths have no regard for rules, boundaries, or laws. While ignoring right or wrong, they don’t take into consideration the result of their action, be it short-term or long-term. Some characteristics that describe their characters are:
- Breaking law
- Involved in constant legal troubles
- Have been to jail for major or minor crimes
Lack of Empathy
This is one of the essential characteristics of a sociopath. They fail to realize their actions can be harmful or can hurt others. Some of the responses to other’s feelings are being:
- Overly critical
Extremely Generous and Charming (Well, at least at first)
Sociopaths can be fascinating and are known to make generous gestures as they see the skill of making things happen their way. If a person is incredibly charming and their later behaviour confuses or scares you, you may have spotted a sociopath.
The person can go out of his/her way to even help strangers but may behave oppositely with close friends and family members. Moreover, they can be charming initially, and later they become distant and cold.
You can also feel that their interactions are not genuine. So, someone with a polarized behaviour – from being incredibly charming to being antisocial, is a red flag indication.
Some sociopaths may have delusions of grandeur, which makes them think that they are the most significant people in the whole world. They are unresponsive to criticism and have an inflated sense of themselves.
Also, they have a sense of entitlement and believe that they deserve the best things without considering others’ wellbeing.
They also possess an unrealistic opinion about their abilities. For instance, they believe they are a great dancer or singer when they have no skills in that particular field. It is like they are wearing a delusional mask, without being receptive to criticism.
Sociopaths love to move in a relationship if they meet people they like. They do so because they don’t want to give you time to change your mind. To charm you, they will behave intensively around you.
If they find out that you have an unmet need or interested in a relation, they will mask themselves accordingly, so they become close to you. Once that happens, they will want you completely for them are not ready to share you. They will stop you from seeing your friends or make excuses to prevent you from being with them.
Younger children have different signs of being a sociopath. Some of them are as follows:
Violation of Rules
It is no brainer that children like to explore their boundaries and learn from their consequences. However, once they understand things that can get them in trouble, they will stop doing that.
However, sociopaths continue to continue this behaviour even they grow up. They can also be involved in extreme things, such as theft or drug use.
Some common signs in a child are:
- Running away from home
- Not coming home on time
- Skipping school
Their behaviour may have signs of physical or verbal aggression. This behaviour is harmful to a child as it can impact their childhood or cause them legal problems. Some everyday actions are as follows:
- Using weapons such as knives or blades
- Torturing, injuring or killing animals
- Humiliating or insulting their peers
- Forced sexual activity
- Acts of physical violence such as kicking and punching
While many children struggle to find ways to get things they want, sociopaths steal or lie for getting their things. As with adults, kids are also charming and will please you to get something from you.
Although many kids have this behaviour, they stop doing it once they understand that it may harm, a sociopath will continue to do so.
Every case of Antisocial Personality Disorder is different; however, some traits are commonly found in most of them. Sociopaths want to dominate and can be dangerous due to their impulsiveness and aggression. Next time you meet someone whose behaviour confuses or scares you; look for the signs mentioned above.