How to spot and avoid sociopaths?

How to spot and avoid sociopaths?

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This is a discussion on How to spot and avoid sociopaths? within the General Psychology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; They can be so good at faking emotions and blending in....

  1. #1

    How to spot and avoid sociopaths?

    They can be so good at faking emotions and blending in.
    PWarren and palito34 thanked this post.



  2. #2

    First: learn about them. Educate yourself:

    Psychopathyawareness's Blog
    10 Easy Steps to Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorde - Narcissistic personality disorder - Zimbio
    Lovefraud Blog Blog Archive 10 Signs that you

    Second, beware the warning signs. Typically if someone has a history with "crazy exes" or "evil ex-friends", it's a pattern. If they blame all of their problems on other people, it's not a good sign. A good person should only have mostly good things to say about their friends and past relationships :) Sociopaths are also very calm and charming, often surrounding themselves with very insecure people who look up to those traits as "cool".

    Finally, just start asking questions. Try to get to the core of who they are. Most people enjoy talking about themselves and sharing their pasts. Sociopaths will be extremely dodgy, brag a lot, lie even when it's not necessary, and their stories will never add up. Eventually they'll get irritated with your questioning, because it poses a threat to their charade.

    Then again, I've discovered a very nice sociopath on this site who's completely open about it. So I guess don't judge a book by its cover :)
    dizzygirl, Risen from Ashes, Cleo and 6 others thanked this post.

  3. #3

    Quote Originally Posted by jaxymack View Post
    First: learn about them. Educate yourself:

    Psychopathyawareness's Blog
    10 Easy Steps to Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorde - Narcissistic personality disorder - Zimbio
    Lovefraud Blog Blog Archive 10 Signs that you

    Second, beware the warning signs. Typically if someone has a history with "crazy exes" or "evil ex-friends", it's a pattern. If they blame all of their problems on other people, it's not a good sign. A good person should only have mostly good things to say about their friends and past relationships :) Sociopaths are also very calm and charming, often surrounding themselves with very insecure people who look up to those traits as "cool".

    Finally, just start asking questions. Try to get to the core of who they are. Most people enjoy talking about themselves and sharing their pasts. Sociopaths will be extremely dodgy, brag a lot, lie even when it's not necessary, and their stories will never add up. Eventually they'll get irritated with your questioning, because it poses a threat to their charade.

    Then again, I've discovered a very nice sociopath on this site who's completely open about it. So I guess don't judge a book by its cover :)
    NPD =/= sociopathy.
    Promethea, Evgenia, brite and 10 others thanked this post.

  4. #4

    I'd say the best way to spot them is the lying about anything and for no reason, even when telling the truth would actually be better/easier/less hassle. But then not all compulsive liars are sociopaths so that's only a warning sign. Also being able to talk anyone into doing anything. I know a certain psychopath who missed a flight and managed to talk a random businessman into paying for his flight home (which was ridiculously expensive as it was leaving in about an hour).

    @jaxymack beware of people who admit to being psychopaths and seem like decent human beings. Although they probably can't do too much damage over the internet.

  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by tuna View Post
    NPD =/= sociopathy.
    Good point -- sorry for throwing that one in there. They're both worth learning about though
    faeriegal713, tuna and Perpetual Iridescence thanked this post.

  6. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by jaxymack View Post
    Good point -- sorry for throwing that one in there. They're both worth learning about though
    Thanks. Well I met someone who uses the enneagram as an excuse to act that way, but I am convinced he is a full blown sociopath. I have known a lot of threes and there is a difference between someone hitting a down point in their life or having bad days and someone who is emotionally undeveloped. I noticed he was impulsive and eager from the beginning and talked bad about people a lot, but I get so absorbed in empathizing with people's complaints, that I forget to use my judgement. His stories didn't really add up either. They weren't calculating in nature, but more so like compulsive lying. I had a feeling he could have been honest about so many things that probably wouldn't make any difference at all. Maybe there was more to the story or he just feels that uncomfortable with being honest. Basicly I am just realizing I got screwed over and I could have caught it if I put more thought into it.
    faeriegal713 and WinterFox thanked this post.

  7. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo View Post
    Thanks. Well I met someone who uses the enneagram as an excuse to act that way, but I am convinced he is a full blown sociopath. I have known a lot of threes and there is a difference between someone hitting a down point in their life or having bad days and someone who is emotionally undeveloped. I noticed he was impulsive and eager from the beginning and talked bad about people a lot, but I get so absorbed in empathizing with people's complaints, that I forget to use my judgement. His stories didn't really add up either. They weren't calculating in nature, but more so like compulsive lying. I had a feeling he could have been honest about so many things that probably wouldn't make any difference at all. Maybe there was more to the story or he just feels that uncomfortable with being honest. Basicly I am just realizing I got screwed over and I could have caught it if I put more thought into it.
    threes when unhealthy can lean toward narcissism, eights are more likely to be sociopaths when extremely unhealthy - at least according to the personality disorder and enneagram correlations i have read,

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Promethea View Post
    threes when unhealthy can lean toward narcissism, eights are more likely to be sociopaths when extremely unhealthy - at least according to the personality disorder and enneagram correlations i have read,
    A lot of things I have read show that when threes get unhealthy they lean toward narcissism and then antisocial PD as they get worst. Threes have the charm for it too. But yes, people from the anger triad do seem to fit better, because of the calm demeanor of that disorder and the need for power. I don't think this guy would be your stereotypical sociopath though, which was why it was hard for me to detect. I don't think he could be as callus as others, but maybe if something was a big enough threat he would be. I don't think he would hurt people just for the fun of it, but only to get what he wants. I don't think I have seen the worst of him. He told me he felt numb lately too. Being an emotional person, that is a feeling that I have only experienced once in my life, which was when I was in the military and not allowed to have feelings. He is starting to send chills down my bones.
    Promethea thanked this post.

  9. #9

    are you certain hes a sociopath and not just a narcissist? narcissists are more charming and less violent in general. and the way they hurt you is typically by using you or neglecting you because your emotions dont actually matter to them. a sociopath can have violent outbursts and be more of a threat. narcissists are cold toward you, but can fake warmth. sociopaths are likely to hurt you to get some sick fix. ive dealt with both myself unfortunately.
    MNiS, fourtines, Cleo and 4 others thanked this post.

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Promethea View Post
    are you certain hes a sociopath and not just a narcissist? narcissists are more charming and less violent in general. and the way they hurt you is typically by using you or neglecting you because your emotions dont actually matter to them. a sociopath can have violent outbursts and be more of a threat. narcissists are cold toward you, but can fake warmth. sociopaths are likely to hurt you to get some sick fix. ive dealt with both myself unfortunately.
    But aren't narcissists capable of having emotional attachments? I know they can be cold, but this guy had absolutely not emotional attachment to me after we were close. It was so bazaar. I have never seen anything like it. I also saw something a little sadistic in him. Just a hint of it. He watched my reactions when he asked me to do things. He wanted to see what he could get me to do, even if he didn't want to do it. I kept telling him no and then as the night went by I would give in a little more and a little more, and then he would say no.

    Before we got to his house I told him I shouldn't go there and I shouldn't be drinking around him and that I don't ever do that. By our conversations he knows I am very modest and that I have done so well at sticking to my values. I have a feeling that the determining factor of whether he would keep talking to me relied on how far he could get me to go. Like maybe he has a deep hatred there for women or women who give in. It was like a game to him. He wasn't honest about why he didn't want to keep going either. He kept changing his story on why. At the same time though, he was so kind to me and took me to breakfast and wanted to keep talking. I am so confused. I feel so violated. Or maybe he just wanted somone better than me. This has made me feel so bad that it literally makes my whole body hurt.


 
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