There are many things that you need to take into consideration when it comes to dating. You have to make sure that you think twice before getting involved with someone. Take note that the other person can affect your emotions or your mental health. This is why it is essential to look for specific qualifications in a person before you start the dating process.
Even though sociopaths do not feel and show sincere social emotions, there are still some people who end up marrying individuals with this disorder. They consistently lie, prove to be irresponsible and have no conscience for their actions. “Some people seem to have no regard for others and can cause harm to them without any regret or feelings of guilt. When this behavior is pervasive, a person may have a chronic mental health condition known as antisocial personality disorder,” said Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC. Having a sociopath partner, more often than not, is discovered later in the relationship. Stephen Snyder, MD says that “People with sociopathic tendencies are accustomed to lying, so it’s not as hard for them to fake feelings. Some sociopaths are skilled at pretending they’re wounded and hurt.”
Dating a sociopath, or a person diagnosed with an anti-social personality disorder (ASPD), is like riding a rollercoaster. However, instead of high loops and elevated tracks, the only direction that you will be heading is down, down, down. Here are the testimonies of people who have dated sociopaths before.
There are so many misconceptions about antisocial personality disorder as they are confused with sociopathy or psychopathy. “A person with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) often feels little or no empathy toward other people, and doesn’t see the problem in bending or breaking the law for their own needs or wants. The disorder usually begins in childhood or as a teen and continues into a person’s adult life,” says Steve Bressert, Ph.D.
Sociopaths are known to be inhuman, masters of manipulation and deceit, violent people who do nothing good but just harm every person around them. This is made true with the statement “Sociopaths are manipulative because they are trying to achieve what they want for themselves in the world,” saysJoshua Klapow, PhD. Isn’t the society being too judging of these people we have labeled as sociopaths? As whatPaul Chernyak, LPC said, sociopaths “..will often overreact strongly to minor or perceived offenses. If they are challenged or confronted about it, they will attempt to divert attention away from themselves…” Are they really that bad?
The Successful Sociopaths
It’s hard to believe that sociopaths have no conscience. Maybe not as in zero at all, but they do have a weak conscience. And their weak conscience, influenced by neglect and feeling unloved, have led them to harden their hearts. However, not all sociopaths were neglected growing up.
Some sociopaths were raised in an environment that is nurturing, loving, and caring.
Some successful people in their chosen careers are later diagnosed to be sociopaths. Experts in the field articulated that growing up with guidance, nurturing, and proper education is what makes the difference. They learn how to focus being self-serving and the self-centeredness to something positive – something they will benefit from living a more comfortable life, where they can have the fame, the thrill, and the control that makes them feel alive. According toDarrel Turner, PhD “This is someone who has a high level of confidence and belief in themselves, but to a very unhealthy and harmful extent—to the point at which it actually distorts their sense of reality about themselves, other people, and the world around them. It can also lead them into manipulative and exploitative behavior, because they will prioritize their own needs above anyone else’s.”
The charismatic, controlling CEOs find the game in business thrilling and satisfying. Stock markets give them delight. Success is their way to fame, with no cares if they have to break some morals.
Sociopaths Are Just Thrill Seekers; They Never Mean To Hurt
In one interview with a psychopath, he said that hurting was never his motive. He’s just seeking self-enjoyment and self-satisfaction. That is why he doesn’t feel remorseful for the wrong things he had done because he sees nothing wrong in satisfying his desires. Being said that they don’t have the capacity to love, they also can’t do the opposite.
Normal people (as we consider ourselves) have the capacity to love, but when we get hurt, we also intentionally tend to hurt other people. We feel the guilt after because, in our mind, we did something terrible consciously, and we did such out of anger.
No One Is Born Evil
Studies done at The Baby Lab show that babies already have an idea of what is right and wrong. So, babies are born not just of evil, but the knowledge of what is good is also imprinted in their memory. This knowledge is further developed as we are growing up, influenced by people around us; they can be our parents, siblings and other relatives, friends, and now the media.
Innate in us is good and evil. How we control and our perception of those ideas vary and depend on how we are raised. There are times when people are forced to do bad things when pushed to the edge. Circumstances make us do things, which we may regret later on. This regret makes us change. But sociopaths never feel remorse, they rationalize their actions, and rationalization can somehow make them think of changing their behavior, too. AsNoah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC,said “it’s clear that sociopaths are quite capable of evil.”
Self-Awareness, One’s Urge To Change
Self-awareness makes a sociopath accept he is a sociopath; it is one of his best assets. And when someone points out to him that what he has done is wrong, he will give it a deep thought and analyze what is wrong with his action. However, there is no feeling of remorse as he rationalizes his deeds. He has that thinking that maybe next time, he can change or refrain from doing some of his actions because he doesn’t want to harm anyone. That is according to one sociopath, who brought his children once to some thrill-seeking adventure. All he wanted was to have fun and never intended to put his children at risk. But when his wife pointed out these things to him, he gave it a thought. He doesn’t feel sorry for what he has done and even rationalized that he didn’t think it is wrong as he saw his kids enjoying the moment.
Most of us do things to our self and others without thinking of the consequences. All we think of is the thrill and excitement we’re getting from it at the moment.
The difference is always that there’s a guilt feeling after when we are normal, and there’s none when you’re a sociopath. “Lacking empathy, they don’t feel badly for those they hurt but think of them as easy prey,” says psychotherapistKaren R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. But still, the same, sociopaths have the choice of whether or not they are going to do it again, or be more cautious in the future. They, too, question and analyze their actions when their actions are brought to their attention. We just have different ways of rationalizing every situation.
A Sociopath Is A Sociopath
Sociopaths can change or may have the urge to, but they can never really remove the internal aspects that define them as sociopaths.
We just have to stop saying that they have no conscience, but instead believe that they, too, may have one. No matter how weak conscience is, it is the same conscience. Anything that is weak can be strengthened in some ways. A weak conscience can be fixed with acceptance, followed by love and care. No one wants to be looked at by a judging eye; no one wants to be looked at as if he is a criminal – not a sociopath, not a normal person.
Sociopaths, too, have the right to be part of this society. In fact, in the 1% of the population who are considered sociopaths, some of them have contributed to the wellness of their community or nation. Some of them have declared their advocacy for the welfare of humankind. It may be just to challenge themselves, a sort of way to tickle their mind a little, but never to harm anyone.
Having the urge to change is often brought by the love we receive. All of us are longing for that thing. Even those who don’t have the capacity to give love are waiting to receive it. Love is always the trigger for change.
A sociopath’s capacity for empathy may be weak, but he, too, can engage in it. A sociopath’s urge to change may depend on the value inculcated in him and the amount of love, patience, and care he is receiving, considering the benefits that he can get when he tries to make a 180-turn around for what seems to be better. It is doubtful to change their thought processes but what they can definitely change is how they can respond to them.
In today’s society, people are inclined to conform to the high moral standards that they have established and developed for the betterment of their lives. The society has put together a standard of ethics and principles which are said to be needed to live within the context of universal harmony and peace. This harmony lets the society predetermine the very foundation of what we now know as good and evil; commending those that do well for and in the society while punishing those who harm the balance that keeps the world afloat.
Masters Of Disguise
Living as a psychopath within this society is a life that leads to secrecy and disguise. Labeled anti-social, they often wear social masks to enable them to blend into the environment which allows social interaction on what seems to be a standard level for the community. They have to blend into this sense of normality, a concept that the people have established to make life easier and tolerable. These kinds of concepts are complicated for a psychopath to blend in, to conform to what is right in the eyes of those that may discriminate acts that are not considered to be normal.
A psychopath may find it difficult to live in society, but it indeed is not impossible. Psychopaths may develop a sense of conformity where the laws that govern the lives of people are carefully analyzed and grasped to live a conventional life. Upon awareness of their psychopathic tendencies, psychopaths are smart enough to mold themselves into a disguise, hiding in plain sight for people not to take hints. They adjust their empathy, most often than not, faking emotions that they know are the best or the most natural emotional response to a given situation.
In addition to that “The psychopath is charming in a way that doesn’t quite add up. He is a story teller and tells tales that always place him in a good light, and the stories don’t feel totally believable. The most important point about the charm of the psychopath is that he often seems too smooth to be entirely real.” saysDr. Seth Meyers, a licensed clinical psychologist.
Master of Pretense
Gaining a greater understanding of themselves leads them to generate confidence that allows them to manipulate those that are around them. Psychopaths arm themselves with a charming personality that often comes naturally and sometimes learned from social experiences. According to psychotherapist Amy Morin, “Psychopaths are almost always well-liked. They come across as delightful people great at making small talk. Their quick wit tends to draw people to them. They usually have interesting stories as well. Their convincing tales portray them in a favorable, yet believable light. People walk away from conversations with a psychopath feeling pretty good.” Lies and deception are weapons that psychopaths use to get what they want, which are usually only for their benefit rather than the benefit of the society. They have a conscious choice of living as to how they want to live their lives, a sense of higher self-control that allows them to live according to their impulses and desires.
Master Of Puppets
The life of a psychopath is often make-believe and an assumed set of identities based on the norms of society. Theirs is a personality that is versatile in the fields of mimicry and manipulation, which they use to divert the attention of the society from suspecting their true inner nature. They condition themselves to fit the features of a person that lives a ‘normal’ life, creating an overall presentation suited to hide their real identities and intentions. “There are people who are part-way up the scale, high enough to warrant an assessment for psychopathy, but not high enough up to cause problems. Often they’re our friends, they’re fun to be around. They might take advantage of us now and then, but usually it’s subtle and they’re able to talk their way around it” says psychologistProfessor Robert Hare.
Living a narcissistic life gives psychopaths a sense of power to dominate those that are around them. A puppeteer with no remorse, no guilt, and lacks a moral core that holds the strings of the people they wish to control.
Last week, a brief overview of a sociopath was revealed. This week, more information about Antisocial Personality Disorder will be discussed.
Categories For Sociopathy
James Fallon of The Psychopath Inside categorizes sociopathy in four different states:
Interpersonal or interactions with people. A sociopath is insincere and can’t get into serious relationships with other people. They can easily charm others and get attached or be caring; however, all these are untrue. Known as pathological liars, they use dishonesty to get what they want.
Affective or their feelings. A person considered to be a sociopath does not recognize compassion. According toLiana Georgoulis, PsyD “People considered sociopaths are classified as having antisocial personality disorder (APD). Although individuals with this condition can be dangerous, be aware that many are not violent or “bad people”, but simply do not feel the guilt or sense of compassion that most of us have.” They can’t view things like other people can or pay attention to how other people can be sensitive.
Behavioral or having unpredictable behavior. These kinds of people are usually considered unreliable and cannot be trusted at all, unable to set targets or comprehend the responsibility of the actions they have committed.
Antisocial, which is the most crucial fact that identifies a sociopath. “Sociopaths are people with antisocial personality disorder. The essential features of a personality disorder are impairments in interpersonal and self functioning along with the presence of pathological personality traits,” according toSharie Stines, Psy.D. A sociopath seems to be alone in this world, distant from community and any interactive relation. The rule of society means nothing. Therefore, they have juvenile criminal behavior and criminal details, just like a psychopath.
Sociopath Versus Psychopath
Many people have been mixing and interchanging the word sociopath and psychopath. They are both mentally unstable, to put it in “good words,” but these two mental health illnesses have their differences. They are just like twins, with connections and ties, but are also different and distinct in some characteristics and indicators.
While psychopaths are also sociopaths, sociopaths are not psychopaths because sociopaths show fewer and more terrifying indicators than a psychopath.
Psychopaths are fearless (a psychopath may start a fistfight and may sound like a drunken man who is looking for someone to beat). A sociopath can be cautious and will protect himself if he feels that it can be dangerous for him.
A psychopath can be hasty, having no concern for the consequences of his actions. But a person with sociopathic tendencies will form a scheme and make a bond with family and friends. Of course, this is all a plan to manipulate other people. This idea is even made more true withKelly McAleer, Psy.D.’s statement “He or she will con and manipulate others with charisma and intimidation and can effectively mimic feelings to present as “normal” to society.”
Imagine a sociopath and a psychopath together? Sounds like a horror movie!
Is There Treatment For A Person With Sociopathy?
It is not very obvious for a person to display his indicators of antisocial personality disorder in the first instance. With that, people can be fooled by someone with ASPD, which is why they must also be aware of the signs. Usually, you will find people with this disorder in courts due to a crime that they did. As a result, the judge will issue them a psychological treatment.
They can improve, but it will be a tedious process because people with ASPD are not aware of their issue. Even if there are therapy programs, with their in denial state, treatment can be slow.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on modifying behavioral techniques. It is not a cure for ASDP but can manage its harsh indicators. There are also other types of therapy, such as psychotherapy, talk therapy, and group therapy catered for people with sociopathic tendencies.
Superficially, narcissistic sociopaths seem normal – they act and do things that people usually do. More so, they are friendly, cheerful, and are engaging in most occasions. For this reason, identifying and dealing with sociopaths who have a strong regard for themselves can be quite tricky. But, are you aware that there are more than one ways to know that you currently face-to-face with a narcissistic sociopath?
When you hear the word sociopath, the first thing that comes to your mind is the word crazy.
To define the word sociopath, the term “socio” comes from a Latin word “socius” meaning “comrade, friend or ally.” While in the modern world, we define “socio” as “society or social.” Setting the word “path” from sociopath or any path is the “path” that is not the word that we understand as “the way.” It is a Greek root word for “path,” meaning “feeling or disease.”
Many people get crazy at times, but at least those people are not a person with a social disease. People love people, and they like to talk and bond together, but what if you encounter one without knowing it? Let us define, describe, and understand what a real sociopath can do. Are they just fine to be our brother, sister, mother, father, cousin, aunt, uncle, or friend? Is their disorder manageable? Are they dangerous to themselves and others?
What Is A Sociopath?
People who are sociopaths can be considered antisocial. Psychologically speaking, it is a term to describe somebody who has ASPD or Antisocial Personality Disorder. “He doesn’t want to conform to social norms and willfully destroys property, steals or manipulates others for personal profit, or overindulges in pleasure-seeking behavior. For example, he speeds, drives while drunk, engages in risky sex, or uses drugs,” according to Donald Black, MD.
How can they be so harmful if they are antisocial anyway? These people with ASPD do not understand other peoples feelings and being selfish to the point where they use mind games to control people, break the rules, being manipulative and being manipulative includes being charming as well. Being charming is like the web of a spider, and people fall for that.
Sociopaths can be dangerous to the people around them because they break the rules without thinking of others, as long as their wants and desires are achieved. There is no empathy. AsBill Eddy LCSW, JD said, “sociopaths can have some hidden and dangerous personality features.” They also make impulsive decisions as if it’s their usual way of living, and their actions are hasty too, without feeling some sympathy or feeling guilty for the harm they may cause as they want to satisfy themselves. As the reason why they are antisocial is that they are selfish to the point that they could hurt people feelings.
How Can We Recognize If A Person Has Antisocial Personality Disorder?
People with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) don’t see themselves as someone who has this disorder. In fact, they feel invincible and dominant. There is nothing wrong with them, or so they think. They will never realize that they have a problem until others intervene for them.
A person’s behavior must show at least three of the following seven traits for being a person with antisocial personality disorder:
They do not respect social norms or laws. People with ASPD consistently break the law or overstep social boundaries.
They lie, cheat, deceive others, use false identities, and use people, even their family, for personal gain.
They do not make long-term plans. People with ASPD also act impulsively without thinking of the result of the effect of such action.
They also have aggressive behavior. These people get into fights.
They do not consider their safety and the safety of others.
They don’t follow up on responsibilities. This may include being late to work or not paying the bills on time.
They don’t feel remorse or guilt for harming and mistreating others. “The sociopath will still lack empathy and attachment toward the greater society and will not feel guilt in harming a stranger, or rebelling against laws, ” saidKelly McAleer, Psy.D. in her online article titled ‘Sociopathy vs. Psychopathy’.
Next week, another blog about the topic of sociopathy will be discussed. The categories of sociopathy, the difference between Sociopath and Psychopath, will also be touched. Plus, the treatment for such disorder will also be tackled.
Feeding my curiosity in sociopathy leads me to study more in-depth on what and who these sociopaths are. In most readings and videos, even movies about sociopathy
According toDaniel J Winarick Ph.D., “Antisocial does not mean shy, withdrawn, detached, loner, or quiet. The “social” in antisocial refers to social norms and rules. Individuals with ASPD have no regard for the rules, norms, and laws of society.”