Sociopaths are everywhere. You probably have known several in your lifetime and might have even been the victim of them at one time or another. I never would have thought too much on this if I hadn’t had an encounter with one that changed my life. They are typically without conscious and will do whatever it takes to get whatever they want whether it is an object or to ruin your reputation. Nothing is out of bounds for them.
You might work with one of them or are even related to them. I know I was completely unaware of the one in my life until it was too late. I wish I had an idea or knew of these signs.
Sign #1 — Charming
A sociopath is very charming. From my experience with them, they are extremely charismatic and draw people easily to them. They usually smile a lot and are fun to be around. They can joke at the right time and are wonderful at parties. You want to be around them.
The one I knew was fun to be around and was loved by everyone. His wife kept saying we didn’t know him as well as we thought. She had seen past the charm that the rest of us couldn’t.
Sign #2 — Lies
Sociopaths lie with almost every breath. They are not easily detectable falsehoods. The lies are not fancy nor are they outlandish. They make sense. They appear to be so very true. Nothing stands out that what they are a lie as it can be proved, or at least appear to be accurate. It is only after they are discovered as a sociopath that all the lies fall apart and the truth is exposed.
The one I encountered had woven so many lies that there was little truth at all revealed by him. They all made sense and were very plausible when told. He even had proof to support every statement which later were revealed to be lies.
Sign #3 — Confidence
A sociopath exhibits an extreme amount of confidence. They rarely have doubts about their actions. They know what they are doing and feel they are experts about everything though their arrogance is rarely seen. They exhibit an appearance of humility and willingness to help. Most people find themselves turning to the sociopath for help which in turns feeds his arrogance.
With the one I knew, he had us all feeling like he could do anything as he knew so much and never doubted his own actions. Yet he never bragged about it. He showed us what he could do and then implied there was much more there.
Sign #4 — No Remorse
There is typically no remorse with a sociopath. When they are caught in a lie they cannot paint as the truth, they try to turn the tables on the accuser and never show remorse for what they have done. Though caught with the hand in the cookie jar, they will imply you are not seeing what you are seeing or that is all your fault. They feel they never do anything wrong.
When we uncovered his lies, the sociopath I knew didn’t blink an eye. He began to point out where we had lied though his accusations held no truth. He began a spin without admitting to any wrong doing.
Sign #5 — Emphasis on Faults and Weakness in Others
The sociopath deflects their own sins and actions by emphasizing the faults and weaknesses within those around them. Caught lying about where they were last night, they will point out what you did wrong last month and how others would find it interesting to know their perception of events. In fact, they gather as much data as they can about the weaknesses others have store it to use at a later date to deflect the attention from themselves.
Sign #6 — Always Has an Answer
No matter what happens, they have an answer for everything. The sociopath never is caught without an explanation or reason, and those explanations usually make sense. When the scene changes, he changes with it and can respond at the drop of a hat. Nothing takes him off guard. He is the master of adapting.
Sign #7 — Always a Step Ahead
The sociopath is always stays one step ahead of you and everyone else. They realize when the ruse is up and already have answers as well have already made plans to move on to begin a new series of deception.
Sociopaths are dangerous. They come into your life without you realizing it until it is too late, but if you are alert, you’ll be able to pick them out a little earlier though most will not be standing there with a neon sign to help you. Always be vigilant and never assume everyone can be trusted.
As a writer, I too have my experience with a sociopath and have created characters that resembled the sociopath I had met. I think that is why so many of my bad guys are great to hate.