At a dinner gathering, a friend started to complain about things her boyfriend did. Other women offered advice or simply remarked with that age-old saying, “Men are idiots”. Yet one person – a psychotherapist, remained quiet and simply listened. After she had finished, he said, “Those are the warning signs of a sociopath or a narcissist.” When she asked what she should do, his answer was just one word, “Run.”
It is estimated that 1 in 25 people are sociopaths, so it is (scarily) likely that you have already met a few. Yet, most people tend to remain unaware of this, and instead, may try to rationalise their bad behaviour. The issue, however, is that there can be no rationalising with a sociopath. Unfortunately, most people are unable to fully understand that and as such, they can often become enablers or victims.
As a consequence, being exposed to a sociopath can be quite damning in the long term. Many people have reported experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks and even developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is quite unlikely that victims will even realise what is going on until it is far too late. And by then, the web of confusion, manipulation and deceit has already done its damage – and in some cases, psychological damage that may become life-term.
Scientists say there is no evidence that a sociopath can change. In fact, many psychotherapists will not treat them for this same reason. Their brains are developed with less grey matter in the area responsible for feelings and cognitive functions. Grey matter is what makes up the central nervous system and processes information in the brain.
1. He is unable to take responsibility for his actions. He justifies things with excuses or puts the blame on someone else. He is always the victim.
2. He can’t empathise or show genuine compassion.
3. He is charismatic and charming. If you complain about what he is really like, others may find it difficult to believe because he is just so “likeable”.
4. He constantly convinces you that you are overreacting and over-emotional.
5. He is a manipulator and a pathological liar.
6. He contradicts himself often and his attitude seems to lack morals.
7. He hurts people often (this could be physical, emotional or mental) and does not feel remorse.
8. He practices “gaslighting” which is a kind of psychological abuse that goes unnoticed, yet it is so dangerous that it is a devised torture method in military prisoner camps.
9. He punishes you with the silent treatment.
Being around someone like this can exhaust you mentally and emotionally. Often, victims complain about mental or emotional problems that lingered long after the relationship ended. Whatever you decide, do not for a second doubt your worth or the kind of love you so richly deserve. And keep an eye out for these warning signs of a sociopath!
Have you or anyone you know encountered a sociopath? We would love to hear about your experiences.