When most people think of sociopaths, they think of the kind of murderers you see on crime shows. The truth is, most sociopaths are not murderers (although they would be if they knew they could get away with it).
It may surprise you that 1 in 25 people are sociopaths. Sociopaths are dangerous not because they have a killer instinct, but because they lack empathy and compassion. They put on a good show, but deep down inside they are void of any genuine emotions, except jealousy and revenge. They have no interest in having a genuine relationship with anyone.
At least 60% of the people I counsel are in my office because of the damage that a sociopath has caused in their life. These soul wreckers will stop at nothing to get what they want. They are sneaky and conniving and will have many people fooled into thinking that they are just the “nicest guy” or the “sweetest gal.” The problem is sociopaths will get you to believe that you are the actual problem, not them. Because they are master manipulators, sociopaths are often in relationships. A sociopath could be someone you are dating, married to, friends with, or even your own child.
I often refer to sociopaths as aliens who have come to this planet and now have to learn how to adapt. They watch and mimic behaviors that will yield the results they desire. Sociopaths typically target those in a vulnerable state or perpetual givers because they are takers.
For the purposes of protecting yourself, here are seven distinct tools of a sociopath:
- Blame. Sociopaths have an overinflated ego and they feel they can do no wrong. They love to twist words and turn things around to blame others, even for the poor choices they’ve made.
- False empathy. Sociopaths can’t relate on any emotional level. However they are intelligent enough to know that they have to “appear” as if they care, so they put on a great show of pretending to listen and to feel your pain.
- A string of failed friendships. On the surface, sociopaths are extremely fun to be around and they can fool a lot of people, but only for a short time. Many people quickly come to see something wrong and bolt, or they are discarded by the sociopath because they don’t serve a need.
- Charm. Sociopaths know how to pour on the charm, and pour it on thick. They are seductive and they will appeal to whatever emotion is called for. They are chameleons. If you’re not wise, you can be swept up by the charisma of a sociopath, caught in their web and not be able to get out.
- Huge ego. Sociopaths have a big sense of entitlement. If they steal something from you, they actually believe that they were in some way entitled to it. They also have a grandiose sense of themselves and their accomplishments.
- No remorse. Sociopaths copy a lot of behaviors in order to be able to function in life. But when it comes to remorse, they can’t fake it. They will say, “I’m sorry,” but make sure you look closely—there’s no true remorse.
- Lying and manipulating. Sociopaths are professional liars and will manipulate people and situations just for sport.
When you stand up to the sociopath and one of two things happens:
- They attack you with such vehemence that you would swear that this person just changed faces right before your eyes.
- They turn back to the sweet charmer to get you back on their side. Their plan is only to get you comfortable so they can regain control.
The best, and often only, way to deal with a sociopath is RUN! Get as far away as possible and don’t look back. Trust me, it may be difficult emotionally as you feel like somehow you are responsible or that you could have made it better. You couldn’t. That’s what they want you to think.
When it comes to dealing with a sociopath, remember you have emotions that can be played with—they don’t. Let God be the one to change them….You can’t.
What experiences have you encountered with a sociopath?