Sure, a lot of us question whether or not we might be sociopaths but are we able to read ourselves as accurately as we would like to? In this day and age, the word sociopath is tossed around a lot but truly understanding it is important.
Sociopathy is a term while not formal but well-known. It refers to a pattern of antisocial behaviors that make up a pretty interesting and somewhat scary kind of person. Hollywood has made sociopaths out to be serial killers and so much more but overall, they seem to function quite well within our model of society. They tend to hold high positions in their work world and are usually very hard-working.
High IQ: High functioning sociopaths often have a higher IQ than other sociopaths or people without personality disorders. This helps them plan, manipulate, and exploit others.
Lack of empathy: Difficulty in empathizing with others or understanding the emotional consequences of their actions.
Narcissism: They often have strong self-love and grandiose self-image. This occurs because of low esteem and delusional beliefs.
Charming: Although most sociopaths lack empathy, they are capable of mimicking and manipulating emotions to appear charming and normal.
Secretive: A sociopath doesn’t feel the need to share intimate details with others unless it is to manipulate.
Sexually deviant: Since they lack guilt, remorse, and emotional attachments, sociopaths tend to have affairs and engage in questionable sexual activity.
Sensitive to criticism: Despite their lack of empathy, sociopaths desire the approval of others. They feel entitled to admiration and are quick to anger when criticized.
Impulsive behavior: Sociopaths often live in the moment and will do what they feel is needed to reach their immediate goals.
Compulsive lying: Disregarding the truth to make themselves look better or get what they want.
Needing constant stimulation: Sociopaths often get bored easily and need to be actively engaged.
Addictive Behavior: Their compulsive mindset may result in addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, or other addictive behaviors.
For some reason, there are people out there who also like to use the words sociopath and psychopath interchangeably. Just in case you are not aware, the two are not the same. While they do have some traits in common, they are very different from one another.
Sociopaths tend to be quite superficial, charming, unreliable, unfaithful, and very insincere. The closer you get to them the more distance you feel. It’s like they are unable to follow a real-life plan, and they do not necessarily let other people close. Sociopaths also tend to have little or no regard for the people they hurt or the damage they do in general.
If you think you might for any reason be affected by sociopathy (antisocial personality disorder) perhaps taking the time to look a bit deeper might be beneficial to you and those around you. Psycom recently put together a list of questions that relate to life experiences that tend to be common among those who are diagnosed with APD. While their quiz is no substitute for a formal diagnosis it might put you in the right direction when it comes to getting the help that you need. Click here to take the quiz yourself and let us know how you score in the comments below.