How do i know if im a sociopath
Signs of a Sociopath: What to Look For
Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors
Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 20, 2020
In this Article
- What is a Sociopath?
- Signs of a Sociopath
- Dealing With a Sociopath
What is a Sociopath?
People often confuse the terms sociopath and psychopath and use them interchangeably. They aren’t different in the clinical sense. Both terms refer to people who have antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Those with ASPD have no regard for others’ rights or feelings, lack empathy and remorse for wrongdoings, and have the need to exploit and manipulate others for personal gain.
Nature and nurture play a role in ASPD. The reasons behind the disorder are not fully understood. The current belief is that psychopathy generally comes from genetic factors, such as parts of the brain not developing fully, while sociopathy results from an interruption in personality development by abuse or trauma in childhood. People often think that those with antisocial personality disorders are always criminals and are easy to spot, but many are unaware of the disorder and may never be diagnosed.
Sociopaths have less consistent behavior than psychopaths. Psychopaths are more controlled and charming. Their manipulation is more detached, and they plan ahead. Sociopaths experience anxiety and find rage far harder to control. They may act without thought and, as a result, they may have a harder time blending in. Inconsistencies between their words and their lives may be easier to see.
Signs of a Sociopath
It is important to realize that people have many personality traits. Someone may exhibit selfishness or act aggressively, but that doesn't mean they are a sociopath. Since many people who have ASPD don't recognize these traits as a problem, watching for consistent behavior patterns might be necessary.
Consistent behavior patterns in sociopaths include:
- Lack of empathy for others
- Impulsive behavior
- Attempting to control others with threats or aggression
- Using intelligence, charm, or charisma to manipulate others
- Not learning from mistakes or punishment
- Lying for personal gain
- Showing a tendency to physical violence and fights
- Generally superficial relationships
- Sometimes, stealing or committing other crimes
- Threatening suicide to manipulate without intention to act
- Sometimes, abusing drugs or alcohol
- Trouble with responsibilities such as a job, paying bills, etc.
Dealing With a Sociopath
Someone with sociopathy is unlikely to seek professional help or even realize they have ASPD. As a result, an important part of dealing and living with someone with ASPD is to know the process of getting them a diagnosis.
Who Needs a Diagnosis?
Children are usually not diagnosed with antisocial personality disorders because childhood development stages mimic some of these behaviors, and their personalities are continuously changing. If early warning signs are noticed in childhood, a conduct disorder may be diagnosed, and intervention may help.
If a teenager exhibits uncontrolled symptoms, such as stealing, harming animals, constantly lying, destroying property for no reason, and breaking rules without thinking of consequences, they may be diagnosable.
People who have a family history of personality disorders or those who have experienced abuse or neglect as children are more likely to develop sociopathy. Men are more likely than women to have sociopathy.
Sociopaths are more likely to abuse their partners, spouses, and children. Since they may engage in criminal behavior, they are also more likely to spend time in prison, and their aggressive behavior can put them at risk of harm. They may have other mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety.
Steps to a Diagnosis
If there is a behavior pattern to suggest sociopathy, a doctor would begin with an assessment of behaviors and a complete physical exam, including blood tests, to rule out any physical illness. If there are no health concerns, the next step would be a referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist, who can diagnose antisocial personality disorders with assessment tools and an interview.
Treatment for a Sociopath
It is hard to treat those with ASPD, including sociopaths. Long-term therapy is needed, which can be especially hard as the sociopath may not recognize the problem. If a sociopath is willing to enter therapy, family involvement may help.
Sometimes, a psychiatrist will prescribe medicine, such as antipsychotic drugs or mood stabilizers, which may prevent impulsive or aggressive behavior. But medication is not considered a cure for antisocial personality disorders.
Therapy sessions to learn about harmful behaviors and their impact on the sociopath and those around them can be useful. Therapy can teach ways to cope and manage behavior to improve relationships and behavior patterns. This can help improve social skills and coping mechanisms, making the person with ASPD happier and productive. Seeking help is the most important step.
Living With a Sociopath
If someone you love has ASPD, it can be very isolating. You can get help from a therapist or find a support group. You won't be able to change your loved one's behavior, but you can learn ways to understand and cope, or ways to set boundaries and protect yourself.
If you have experienced anxiety and depression as a result, support groups or therapy can help you. Having someone to talk to can make things easier.
15 Signs You May Be Dealing With a SociopathSkip to content
Published: November 8, 2021 Updated: August 2, 2022
Published: 11/08/2021 Updated: 08/02/2022
A sociopath is a term used to describe a person with a severe form of antisocial personality disorder. Sociopaths do not have a fully functional conscience and tend to be manipulative, exploitative, or even abusive towards other people. Other sociopathic traits include charm, impulsiveness, poor emotional control, and a tendency to behave in illegal, immoral, or violent ways.1,2,3
Dealing with someone who exhibits sociopathic traits can be difficult and exhausting, but it’s not something you need to deal with alone. BetterHelp has over 20,000 licensed therapists who provide convenient and affordable online therapy. BetterHelp starts at $60 per week. Complete a brief questionnaire and get matched with the right therapist for you.
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What Is a Sociopath?
Sociopaths are psychologically disturbed people with a severe form of antisocial personality disorder (sometimes called ASPD). It’s estimated that about 30% of people with ASPD are sociopaths, and these tend to be individuals who have a history of behavior problems, criminal involvement, aggression or abuse towards others, and difficult relationships. Some sociopaths also have narcissistic traits – narcissistic sociopaths can be especially dangerous and manipulative. Many also have problems with drugs or alcohol, and have a pattern of irresponsible or impulsive decision making that has caused problems in their work, life, and relationships.1
Psychopath vs. Sociopath
While the terms psychopath and sociopath are sometimes used interchangeably, many experts argue that there are differences between the two. Both sociopathic and psychopathic people have antisocial personality disorder, but psychopaths are believed to have a more severe form of ASPD than sociopaths. Below is a chart outlining some of the main differences between sociopaths and psychopaths.1,4
|Psychopathic traits & characteristics||Sociopathic traits & characteristics|
|Inability to empathize with others||Limited ability to empathize with others|
|Lack of conscience or remorse for actions||Limited conscience or remorse for actions|
|No close bonds or relationships||Few close bonds and relationships|
|Callous and emotionally detached||Emotionally reactive and easily angered|
|Strategic decision making||Reckless or impulsive decision making|
|Sadistic and enjoys pain of other people||Willing to harm/use others for personal gain|
|More prone towards violence||More prone towards exploitation|
The signs of a sociopath are not always obvious, especially since some sociopaths have become very skilled at deceiving, charming, and manipulating others to get what they want. 5 This can make it very difficult to spot a sociopath in your life, especially if they are someone you don’t know very well or interact with on a regular basis.
Here are 15 sociopath signs and traits to watch out for:
1. A Hunger for Power & Dominance
Both sociopaths and psychopaths are commonly found at the head of corporations, governments, and in positions of great power and authority, and this may be no coincidence. Sociopaths have a tendency to be power hungry and may spend a lot of time and effort attaining positions where they can control, dominate, and have authority over others.2 Once they obtain power, they often are seen misusing and abusing it in ways that are irresponsible, destructive, and harmful towards others.
2. Devious or Deceptive Tendencies
Another common characteristic of a sociopath is the tendency to be devious, dishonest, or deceptive. Sociopaths are often caught telling lies, exaggerating or distorting the facts, or misrepresenting the truth in order to get what they want. 5 When caught in a lie or confronted about their dishonesty, they often use denial, projection, or redirection to squirm out of accountability.4
3. Ruthlessness in the Pursuit of Their Goals
Sociopathic people tend to be ruthless in their efforts to get what they want. Because they aren’t held back by normal reservations, moral or ethical principles, or concern for others, there aren’t many lines they won’t cross to reach a goal. They may lie, cheat, steal, and use and abuse other people in order to get more money, power, or something they’ve decided they want.1,2
4. Hostile or Aggressive Towards Others
Hostility, anger, and aggression are other common traits found in sociopaths. Sociopaths are more likely to hold racist, sexist, or misogynistic ideals or to have hostile feelings towards both individuals and groups within society. They are also more likely to be violent, abusive, or aggressive towards people, although some sociopaths will use more covert forms of violence (like teasing, bullying, guilting, etc) to get what they want from people. 1,2,4
5. Easily Angered or Irritated
Unlike other people who experience a wide range of emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, guilt, and anger, a sociopath may only have access to a few of these emotions. Anger is one of the most easily accessible emotions for the sociopath, and one that shows up frequently in their relationships, work, and daily life. They are often easily angered, irritated, and prone to yelling, aggression, or outbursts when upset.4
6. Irresponsible Decision Making
One of the main symptoms of a sociopath is a pattern of reckless, irresponsible, and impulsive decision making throughout their life. While everyone occasionally makes irresponsible or rash choices, a sociopath consistently makes poor choices, including ones which endanger themselves or others.1,3
Unlike other people, they do not seem to ‘learn’ from these mistakes, and will instead continue making them over and over again.
7. Superficial Charm & Powers of Persuasion
Sociopaths can be charming, cunning, and highly persuasive people who can easily get people to like them, agree with them, and help them out. These charms are superficial in nature, and tend to wear off the more often a person has to interact with them, like when you start dating a sociopath and they drop the charm now that they “have you.”4,5
Over time, it will become clear that the sociopath is not an honest or trustworthy person, and most people will distance themselves from them. Still, they can be very good at making a first impression, charming others, and persuading people to do things for them.5
8. Broken Moral Compass or Limited Conscience
People with antisocial personality disorder do not have a working moral compass, and show limited regret when they’ve made a bad choice or harmed someone else. This limited ability to empathize or feel remorse shows up in sociopathic people in a number of ways.
They may knowingly act in ways that harm other people by lying, stealing, or taking advantage of them. While some sociopaths do feel a twinge of regret afterwards, it is usually not enough to stop them from doing the same thing to someone in the future. 4,5
9. Few Close Bonds or Relationships
Because one of the hallmark sociopath signs is the inability to empathize or a disregard for the feelings and needs of others, it is very difficult for a sociopath to form close bonds with another person.1,2,4
They may have a few close relationships (often with family members or a significant other) but are generally unable to form healthy, lasting relationships with people. This is why many sociopaths have a long list of exes, “frenemies” and people they’ve betrayed, wronged, or abandoned who now distrust or dislike them.5
10. Manipulative Tendencies
Manipulative tendencies are another classic sign of sociopathy, and may include a pattern of lying, guilting, or coercing people into doing things for them. They use their charm, powers of persuasion, and emotional manipulation to try to control the actions and choices of other people, often for their own self-serving interests.4 Some sociopaths manipulate other people because they find it entertaining, and not just when they are trying to get something out of it.
11. Entitlement & Impunity
Feeling entitled or above the law is another common characteristic of a sociopath. Sociopaths are people who feel like they should be exempt from following rules and sometimes even rules. They may demand that other people make exceptions or bend the rules for them, and also to make exceptions in holding them accountable or punishing them when they break the rules.5
12. Socially Deviant
Sociopaths have little or no regard for social norms or moral codes, and often act in ways that violate the unspoken rules of society most people follow. These include small infractions like waiting in lines or taking turns or telling half truths, as well as larger violations that harm other people or break laws. This same tendency can also show up as sexual promiscuity, even when the person committed to a monogamous relationship.1,2,5
13. Cheap Thrill-Seeking Tendencies
Many people who have sociopath symptoms seek out cheap thrills, even when doing so puts them or others at risk. These may include frequently overindulging in drugs or alcohol, sex, food, or expensive shopping or casino outings. Seeking out cheap thrills is often driven by impulses and urges that arise in the moment, and also may be related to their tendency to become easily bored. 1,2,4
14. Opportunistic in all the Wrong Ways
Opportunists are people who find ways to turn situations (including hardships) into advantages, but sociopaths often seek out or create hardships for others for their own advantage. This makes them antisocial opportunists who attempt to profit or gain from the misfortune of other people, and to view the struggles of others in a positive light.
15. Emotional Detachment
A final sign of a sociopath is emotional detachment, which may show up as being cool, callous, or emotionally absent. When other people are freaking out, the sociopath may be unusually calm and when others would feel guilty or sad, the sociopath may seem perfectly content and happy. These abnormal emotional reactions are often a sign that there is some ‘missing’ emotional wiring in a person, which is one of the telltale traits of a sociopath.2
Sociopath Characteristics in Kids & Teens
A person cannot be formally diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder until the age of 18, but the diagnosis of conduct disorder is sometimes used to describe antisocial (or sociopathic) traits and tendencies in kids and teens. Not every child or teen who is diagnosed with conduct disorder will have ASPD symptoms as an adult. Studies have found that 25-40% of those with conduct disorder will receive a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder in adulthood.
Children who are naturally more impulsive, inattentive, and hyperactive are believed to be at higher risk for developing antisocial traits and tendencies, as are children of neglectful or overly permissive parents.1,6
The symptoms of conduct disorder include some of the most common characteristics of early antisocial or sociopathic traits in children, and include:3
- A consistent, repetitive pattern of behavior that violates rules, norms, or the rights of other people as evidenced by three or more of the following behaviors over a span of 6 months or more:
- Aggression to people or animals
- Bullying, threatening or intimidating others
- Initiating physical fights
- Use of a weapon to seriously harm others
- Physical cruelty to people
- Physical cruelty to animals
- Direct theft from a person (i. e. mugging, purse snatching, etc.)
- Deceitfulness or theft
- Breaking into other people’s property
- Lying to obtain favors, goods, or to avoid obligations
- Stealing items without direct confrontation (i.e. shoplifting)
- Staying out past curfew before the age of 13
- Running away from home overnight at least twice
- School absences or skipping classes before age 13
- The symptoms and behaviors are severe enough to interfere with social, academic, or occupational functioning
- The person is either below the age of 18 or if over the age of 18, does not meet the criteria for antisocial personality disorder
Can Sociopathy Be Treated?
A sociopath is a person who has antisocial personality disorder, which is widely considered one of the most difficult disorders to treat. All personality disorders are difficult to treat, and are associated with poorer outcomes in therapy, but sociopaths are also much less likely to seek treatment. 7
Their lack of empathy for others coupled with a lack of remorse for their actions makes it less likely that they will want to change their behavior, even when it’s become problematic. Still, a sociopath who has a true desire to change should not feel like it’s pointless or hopeless to seek out help from a therapist or other professional. There is evidence that some people with APSD are able to improve their symptoms with individual therapies like CBT or group therapy programs.7
The signs and traits of a sociopath are not always obvious or easy to spot, especially because true sociopaths have such a foreign way of thinking, feeling, and behaving. A lack of conscience and empathy, disregard for rules and norms, and impulsive and aggressive tendencies are all common traits of a sociopath.1,4,5
These traits make a person more likely to use, exploit, abuse, or harm other people, so many sociopaths are dangerous people to allow into your life. Knowing the signs of a sociopath can help you identify people with these traits and tendencies so that you can set boundaries, distance yourself from them, and limit their ability to negatively impact you or important parts of your life.4,5
Education is just the first step on our path to improved mental health and emotional wellness. To help our readers take the next step in their journey, Choosing Therapy has partnered with leaders in mental health and wellness. Choosing Therapy may be compensated for referrals by the companies mentioned below.
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For Further Reading
- Mental Health America
- National Alliance on Mental Health
Choosing Therapy strives to provide our readers with mental health content that is accurate and actionable. We have high standards for what can be cited within our articles. Acceptable sources include government agencies, universities and colleges, scholarly journals, industry and professional associations, and other high-integrity sources of mental health journalism. Learn more by reviewing our full editorial policy.
Johnson, S. A. (2019). Understanding the violent personality: Antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, & sociopathy explored. Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal, 7(2), 76-88.
Perry, C. (2015). The’dark traits’ of sociopathic leaders: Could they be a threat to universities?. The Australian Universities’ Review, 57(1), 17-25.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596
Pemment, J. (2013). Psychopathy versus sociopathy: Why the Distinction has become crucial. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(5), 458-461
Stout, M. (2006). The sociopath next door: The ruthless versus the rest of us. Harmony.
Holmes, S. E., Slaughter, J. R., & Kashani, J. (2001). Risk factors in childhood that lead to the development of conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Child psychiatry and human development, 31(3), 183-193.
NHS. Antisocial Personality Disorder. (May 25, 2018). Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/antisocial-personality-disorder/ on 2021, October 26.
If you are in need of immediate medical help:
9 signs that you are a sociopath
He has no conscience, he lies and does not blush, he does not blush at all, except perhaps from wine, but never from guilt. Do you know such a person? Congratulations. Although, however, there is nothing: most likely, you happened to meet a sociopath, and before it’s too late, run away from him. You won't like talking to him.
Sociopathy is a dissocial personality disorder that can affect anyone: your neighbor, boss, girlfriend, husband, child, police officer, and so on. The disorder is not congenital: if a psychopath is to be born, then sociopathy is the result of childhood trauma, perhaps even abuse, physical or emotional.
"Suffer" is not quite the right word: sociopaths don't suffer from their disorder at all. But those around you get it. Because sociopaths do not put them in a penny, they live for their own pleasure, and nothing will force them to at least look at their behavior from the outside.
Cold, sinisterly attractive, unaware of doubts and remorse, fearless and ready to take risks, these people are dangerous to others. But it is rather difficult to understand: sociopaths are so charming that it is easy to fall in love with them, to see a teacher, a guru, a savior of the fatherland. And only when your life is destroyed or at least turned upside down, you will start to look around and ask what it was.
The biggest problem with a sociopath is that they are hard to recognize.
More precisely, it is easy to misunderstand him: not knowing how to experience such feelings as love, compassion, shame, guilt, they know very well how to show them.
These are excellent actors: not every psychiatrist will be able to accurately determine the first time that he is a sociopath. What can we say about us mere mortals.
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The easiest way to confuse a sociopath is with a narcissist - a charming, narcissistic idiot who endlessly flaunts in front of a mirror and posts selfies (according to a study conducted in 2015 at Ohio State University, men who often take selfies and select them for social networks are prone to narcissism) .
But wait. A sociopath is not an idiot at all. And he may have plans for you.
In 2005, American psychologist Martha Stout wrote a book that has become a classic, The Sociopath Next Door. In it, she clearly explains how high our chances are to suffer from the actions of sociopaths - because these are not movie characters.
Sociopaths often become criminals - but much more often their lack of conscience leads them to power.
And they begin to manage other people's lives in a way that suits them. To do this, you do not even need to declare yourself a guru or become the founder of a sect.
9 signs that you are at the mercy of a sociopath
1. He is charming
Sociopaths have a special attraction - and people who need to be nurtured and guided like to be around such a strong, powerful person. This calms them down, gives them confidence in the future.
In addition, sociopaths are often sexually attractive. By the way, they use it: promiscuity is one of the hallmarks of a sociopath.
2. He is unpredictable
And this distinguishes him from his psychopathic brother, with whom he is easily mistaken. Both do not experience emotions.
But if a psychopath is inclined to build and implement his plans in cold blood, then a sociopath is capable of spontaneous, inexplicable, often risky actions.
He can break the rules and go beyond the accepted.
3. He does not feel shame, regret or guilt
And it is pointless to be offended by them for this: they are simply arranged in such a way that such feelings are unknown to them. Because of this, alas, they can, without a twinge of conscience, betray, lie, intrigue, threaten - in general, harm other people in every possible way.
They act solely in their own interests - and because of this they often succeed in business and politics.
4. He likes to brag
More precisely, to exaggerate the significance of one's achievements or the exclusivity of one's experience. When telling a story from his life, a sociopath dramatizes events, embellishing, exaggerating, inventing colorful details - but at the same time he sounds extremely convincing.
5. He must win at any cost
It is better not to compete with such a person at all: in any situation he needs to win, and he will not disdain any means. This is a desperate debater who always wins, and if he is caught in a lie, he will dodge to the end, but will never admit it.
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6. He is very smart
High intelligence is rare, and it is especially offensive that sociopaths use their intellectual abilities to cheat and manipulate other people.
7. He doesn't love anyone
A sociopath is incapable of experiencing love. He can imitate it: he knows the right words and movements - so you don’t even know that, in fact, he is completely cold. But in fact, he does not know what love, empathy or sympathy is.
8. He never apologizes
And no wonder, we already understood that he does not feel guilty. So why empty words, some kind of apology? For what? Even when he is caught by the hand or pushed against the wall, he does not admit that he was wrong. On the contrary, he goes on the attack.
Try to directly and convincingly accuse him of something, giving evidence and examples. In response, he will attack you with accusations, stating that you specifically want to denigrate him and are probably already weaving a secret conspiracy.
9. He often presents himself as a knight with high moral principles
In fact, he can be a swindler, a deceiver, even a thief, but in words it always turns out that he is desperately fighting for the truth. He imagines himself almost the only person thanks to whom the world has not yet collapsed.
In work groups, sociopaths often provoke conflicts, pit people against each other, and declare themselves to be saviors, ready to keep the company from disintegration and ruin.
What not to do when communicating with a sociopath
You probably already figured out who the sociopath is in your environment, and you were scared enough. The worst thing about this story is that you can't change a sociopath. It remains to understand what to do if, for example, it is impossible to completely avoid communication. Or at least - what not to do, as M.I. suggests in his blog Sociopath World. Thomas, author of Confessions of a Sociopath (Confessions of a Sociopath), published in the US in 2014.
Remember what doesn't work when dealing with a sociopath:
1. Accusations and counter-accusations
Trying to blame a sociopath will only lead to a scandal, from which you will come out, having failed.
Sociopaths are not at all interested in hearing about how you feel about their behavior. Never show emotion or raise your voice in an argument with such a person.
3. Threats and ultimatums
Any pressure, including emotional pressure, is perceived by the sociopath as a challenge, as part of the game, and immediately joins the competition. Which is guaranteed to win.
4. Reasoning about good and evil
Don't try to judge what is good and what is bad, the sociopath doesn't know, which means he doesn't care.
Read "Confessions of a Sociopath. Living Without Looking in the Eyes" - Thomas M. (EN) - Page 6
My favorite part of the blog is talking to fellow active sociopaths like me. I managed to get into the secret community of complex characters, where everyone has a unique story. Despite the diversity of destinies, I recognize myself in these people, and they recognize themselves in me. Of course, I am different from a murderer, a serial rapist, or a professional con man who is unable to control his behavior, but we have all crossed the threshold of sociopathy defined by Hyar . We are all owners of the same capital, which we have been accumulating for years in isolation, trying to understand life and decide how we should be. Perhaps the world hates us, it is possible that we, sociopaths, are strangers to each other and even dislike each other, but at least we understand each other and now we know that there are many like us in the world. Having met a great many sociopaths, as well as people of a different psychological make-up, encountering them on the blog and in real life, I was able to get rid of many misconceptions - for example, that all criminal sociopaths are excessively impulsive and occupy the lower rungs of the social ladder. In addition, I have established myself in the opinion that sociopaths are really different from the vast majority of people, and these differences are frightening and alarming. If a sociopath on my blog starts harassing a user, then he shows the stubbornness of a pit bull. Sociopaths do not rest until they figure out the whole story of a potential victim, and then they begin to act. As a result, marriages collapse and destinies break - and all this is purely for sporting interest. Sociopaths love to ruin other people's lives, and this is what they often do on the Internet, doing nasty things to complete strangers.
I don't want to give the false impression that sociopaths are completely harmless and not to be feared simply because I'm not that bad myself. Just because I'm smart, dignified, and non-violent doesn't mean there aren't stupid, wild, or dangerous sociopaths in the world to avoid. I myself try to avoid them. The fact is that in their attitude towards people, sociopaths do not make exceptions for “their own”. Really frostbitten sociopaths may not appear on my blog and hide in their holes. Therefore, who knows whether they will be similar to those known to me or will be strikingly different. Yes, we have certain traits in common, but we differ in how those traits affect our behavior.
In my opinion, sociopathy can manifest itself in different ways. A sociopath can be anything from a life-sentenced serial killer and ruthless venture capitalist to a mommy, an active parent committee member. For example, consider the case of a person suffering from Down syndrome. I have two relatives suffering from this syndrome - one is blood, the other is taken into the family. A blood relative, in general, looks like his brothers and sisters, parents, uncles and aunts, but, in addition, he is insanely similar to his named sister, who also suffers from Down syndrome. Moreover, an outside observer, perhaps, will say that he is more like her than blood relatives, especially if such an observer does not take the trouble to look closely and see something beyond the typical features of the patient - a wide flat face, swollen upper eyelids, a squat figure etc.
Down syndrome is a very interesting disease. Just one extra chromosome leaves an imprint on the expression of almost all other genes, as if you were taking the original genetic material and throwing a characteristic mask on it.
I think that sociopathy is a disease similar to Down syndrome. My personality generally resembles that of my brothers and sisters. In addition, it is similar to the personalities of my colleagues and friends, that is, those whom I have chosen in my environment, because they have a similar worldview. But beyond that, my personality is very similar to that of other sociopaths, and this similarity is striking because sociopaths are relatively rare in the general population. I never cease to be amazed at how similar my habits and actions are to the habits and actions of complete strangers to me - of a different sex, origin, race, citizenship, upbringing and age. As far as I can tell, we are all very different, but it is impossible not to notice some generic similarity between us.
When I started my blog, I tried to carefully write down what it means to be a sociopath in my posts day after day. On the one hand, speaking frankly about the limited role that sociopathy plays in my life, I risked appearing before the audience as a sociopath that was not quite fulfilled. On the other hand, I wanted to present myself as a real person, not a caricature from a TV show. I decided to focus on authenticity rather than arousing unhealthy curiosity. I set myself the same goal in this book. I know that I will live long. So far, I have been able to hide my sociopathy from others, but it is not known how long this will last. Perhaps I will end my days in a concentration camp for sociopaths - if, of course, I'm lucky. Some visitors to my blog claim that the case will end with the total extermination of people like us. I hope that, having met one sociopath, with me, you will still regret it when they take me to the camp in a calf car.
I hope that you will also get something useful from the book - in any case, you will learn about our existence and begin to better understand the type of people with whom you have to deal daily. I really don't think I'm a typical sociopath. Not everything I do matches the patterns given in psychiatric research. Obviously, not all of my actions fall under the diagnostic criteria developed by psychologists for determining sociopathic behavior. I think this will come as a surprise to many, especially those who get their idea of sociopathy from films about psychopathic killers. But to the extent that our commonality extends, especially in the field of thinking, I understand other sociopaths, and where they do terrible things. I want to present to you my internal dialogues, my motivations, because I believe that to understand the mindset and worldview of one sociopath is to penetrate the minds of all others. You may also find that my thinking is not too different from yours.
Archaeologist Klaus Schmidt once said that the presence of monsters and demi-humans in today's human culture, in contrast to the Neolithic culture, indicates a higher level of development. The idea is that the more a society moves away from nature and from a healthy fear of it, the stronger the human desire to invent sources of fear.
There is a romantic poem "Ivein, or the Knight with a Lion", written in the XII century. Chretien de Troy. In search of adventure, the knight Yvain comes across a monster: "so disgusting was this creature that no mouth in the world could find words to describe it." I imagine the monster as a young girl. She lies in bed, in the bedroom she shares with her sister, in her parents' big house. Strands of dark hair lightly touch the eyelashes. The girl closes her eyes and imagines her sister's throat being cut. Glittering scarlet blood gushes from the wound in a stormy stream.
To see if he can fight the monster, Yvaine asks:
"Let me know if you're a good creature or not?"
The being answers: "I am a man."
“What kind of person are you?”
“I am what you see me; I can't be different."
People are interested in the minds of sociopaths, and this interest is understandable, but I suspect that it is fueled by unhealthy urges.