Being more alert to signs of sociopathy in someone who seems pretty normal

narcsignsshadow After dealing with a narcissistic sociopath/psychopath, I am on high alert for more sociopaths. I know they are out there, and I know how easily they pose as normal people. But, I have also learned that sociopaths usually aren’t criminals and usually aren’t obvious, so I have become very alert to watching for other signs. When someone sets off my red flag sensors, I trust my instincts now. According to the book The Sociopath Next Door, sociopaths are 4% of society. That’s one out of every 25 people, so if I think I’m dealing with a sociopath, there is a good chance I’m right.

Trust your gut!

I have mentioned before that I’m not a licensed psychologist, (yet!) but I still trust my feelings when I think someone is not right. Before I married a sociopath, I had even studied personality disorders in graduate school and I STILL didn’t recognize one when I met him. First hand experience taught me so much more than books did. Now when I read books about disorders, I can nod my head and know exactly what they mean.

I wish I hadn’t had that experience, but I’m not letting it go to waste. I’m using it to protect myself in the future! If someone gives me a bad feeling, I make note of it and watch more carefully. If I continue to see signs, I back away and avoid that person–even if it is someone well-loved and other people think I’m weird for avoiding that person. I know well that psychopaths and sociopaths can be extremely charming, so just the fact that someone is charming doesn’t keep me from looking closer. Words and actions have to match and make sense.

Here are some of the things that tip me off that maybe someone is a predator:

1. They get into trouble, but instead of taking responsibility for what they did, they blame the person who caught them or reported them…and they are very convincing about it.

This is the very first thing that made me realize something was wrong with my narcopath ex. He was bullying his co-workers and kept getting into trouble at work. Every time, he blamed his “jerk” boss or his “idiot” co-worker for telling on him. He never stopped to accept or learn that he was facing the consequences of HIS own bad behavior. Same thing with traffic tickets. It was always the police officer’s fault for catching him instead of his own fault for speeding. After hearing dozens of stories like this, I started to realize something wasn’t right!

2. They make a big deal of telling you how good they are.

Why would someone need to keep telling me they are good when their life can show me? Could it be that they want to distract me with what they want me to see instead of what really is? The ONLY thing that matters is how they act. If a person keeps telling me how righteous they are, but I don’t actually see any evidence, I question their honesty.

3. They have no empathy for people who have been hurt or bullied, or they speak harshly of victimized people.

Victim blaming is a big red flag! Sociopaths rationalize bad behavior, and they don’t have the same morals and empathy as we normal people have. They often feel disgust or disdain at people who are so “weak” that they “let” themselves get hurt.

4. They look down on people with less money or what they consider to be unimportant jobs while treating other people well.

Again, sociopathic people hate the weak. They love to hurt those who are hurting. If they devalue some people while charming others, they are showing their true colors.

5. They make a big show of feelings or hardships, but their actions never match their words.

Do they keep saying they love you while treating you badly? Do they say they were hurt by their mean ex, yet they are out having fun with the new lover? Do they claim to be poor while living in luxury? When actions don’t match words, or even words don’t match other words, something is wrong.

Sometimes these signs can be very subtle, which is why we need to evaluate people’s actions and words. A sociopath might be showing these very characteristics but coated with so much charm, that they aren’t immediately obvious. For clues 1, 2 and 5 in particular, they sociopath might come across as a wonderful person who was unfairly victimized. Their words might be very convincing…but listen and watch harder to make sure you get the real story.

3 thoughts on “Being more alert to signs of sociopathy in someone who seems pretty normal

  1. And a bigger concern is how many of these types end up in law enforcement. Handed a gun, authority and unearned creditability. Placed in a position to decide to help or harm with little to no accountability. Sociopaths know how to play the game and typically move up the ladder. No surprise how many victims of abuse end up arrested when they report violence.

  2. One of the most dangerous types of sociopath and one likely to get away with it is the medical doctor. I wonder how many women have been destroyed by doctors.My ex husband is a very severe sociopath and needed me to be silenced re his crimes and hopefully dead so he paid a vile Dr Johan Khor, who was a registrar and obviously in need of some money (drugs?) to get me falsely locked up tortured and drugged.His treatment failed to kill me in hospital and still efforts seem to be made by this doctor to continue my destruction. As I was so drugged I could not defend myself re the allegations of my ex, Royston Wilding who paid a detective Neil K Beeson to get me continually charged falsely with stalking and then convicted. Yes law enforcement but also doctors.

  3. I was taken because I have the ability to empathize with people, so when he told me of his woes with the ex-wife I believed everything he said. I even gave him money to keep him out of jail for non payment of child support believing that she was just evil and wanted to see him in jail, she had a boyfriend and seemed to be just picking on him…how wrong I was! I found out a couple of years later when he “accidentally” told me the truth that as soon as she filed for divorce he quit his job so he didn’t have to pay her. I made some really bad mistakes, that I’m sorry for now. He sold me hook line and sinker. I was madly in love with him or the person I thought he was and now I’m suffering complete rejection because I started to add things up. When I realized I was feeling worse and worse about myself, to the point I could no longer even look in the mirror for fear I would see the ugly monster he made me feel like. That scared me. I remember going to the bathroom and completely avoiding looking at myself and then a couple weeks after one of the first times we “broke” up then being able to look at myself and thinking there is nothing wrong with the way I look why was I so scared to look in the mirror? It is baffling, heartbreaking, I have nightmares, I think of him every single day even though I don’t want to, I have flashes of memories with the aha of the truth while I was being conned. Thank you for your work. I would not have been able to help myself out of that relationship without the many many articles I’ve read written by survivors. You are doing a work that is life saving.

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