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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

 
You Halloween treat: profile of a sociopath

by David Atkins

The word "sociopath" gets thrown around quite a bit and all too loosely. It's commonplace to accuse a person of being a sociopath because of dickish behavior, when the person in question was guilty more of run-of-the-mill selfishness than of the character trait of sociopathy. It's also very important not to assume that an enemy or disliked individual is a "sociopath" because, once labeled falsely it's an almost impossible for a person to disprove the accusation.

Still, there are some people who fit the profile of a sociopath so perfectly that it's safe to assume the label is accurate. Most of us won't have significant relations and encounters with more than a few of these people in our lives, and it's possible that a certain degree of sociopathy can lead to some needed iconoclastic leadership when societal structures are too strict.

But for the most part, people should avoid involvement and contact with sociopathic personalities at all costs. Involvement almost never leads to anything but pain. I can say that from personal experience, having lived for many, many years with a clinical sociopath of the cultic variety who perfectly meets every criterion for diagnosing a sociopath. If you suspect that someone you know may be a sociopath, use this handy determinative guide:

Glibness and Superficial Charm

Manipulative and Conning

They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self

Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Pathological Lying

Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Shallow Emotions

When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

Incapacity for Love

Need for Stimulation

Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Callousness/Lack of Empathy

Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature

Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency

Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

Irresponsibility/Unreliability

Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity

Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle

Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility

Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

Other Related Qualities:

Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
Authoritarian
Secretive
Paranoid
Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
Conventional appearance
Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
Incapable of real human attachment to another
Unable to feel remorse or guilt
Extreme narcissism and grandiose
May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

Whether this description sounds like anyone prominent on the national political stage like, say, a certain someone running for President, I leave to the reader to decide.


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