10 Ways to Know If You’re Dating a Sociopath
You’ve met someone recently and they seem like the most incredible person you’ve ever met. Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe you’re dating a sociopath? You might think that you would never fall for a sociopath and you’d know right away if you were.
On the contrary, you may be surprised to learn that according to Harvard psychologist, Dr. Martha Stout, approximately one in 25 Americans are actually sociopaths.
Now keep in mind that not all sociopaths are dangerous criminals who should be locked up. Sure, they make life difficult because their defining characteristic of being antisocial makes things harder than normal.
Here are 10 red flags to keep an eye out for when you are dating someone new and you want to know if they are a normal person or a sociopath:
Red Flag #1: They have an inflated ego.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) states that sociopaths tend to have an inflated sense of self. They are extremely narcissistic and they feel the world owes them everything.
More often than not, these individuals are going to blame everything and everyone for their failures, rather than take some responsibility for their shortcomings.
Red Flag #2: They lie and exhibit manipulative behaviors.
For the average person, lying is usually done out of self-preservation or to spare someone hurt feelings.
With a sociopath, you’ll find that they will lie just to lie. These people will tell lies just to see if they can trick people into believing them and sometimes they will even tell larger lies to get a bigger effect.
Red Flag #3: They do not show empathy.
“They don’t really have the meaningful emotional inner worlds that most people have and perhaps because of that they can’t really imagine or feel the emotional worlds of other people. M. E. Thomas, a diagnosed sociopath and author of Confessions Of A Sociopath, told NPR. “It’s very foreign to them.”
Red Flag #4: They do not feel guilt, remorse or even shame.
According to the DSM-V entry on antisocial personality disorder, sociopaths tend not to feel guilt, remorse or shame when they do something that is illegal, wrong, or hurtful toward others.
Red Flag #5: They are eerily calm during dangerous or scary situations.
In experiments where people are shown disturbing images or threatened with electric shocks, most people show fear. Sociopaths tend not to. And when they are in a situation where normal people
become anxious, like witnessing a car accident or a crime, sociopaths remain calm and show no discomfort at all.
Red Flag #6: They tend to behave irresponsibly or on impulse more often than not.
Sociopaths rarely make plans and they prefer to go from goal to goal, acting on a whim. They often are irresponsible when it comes to managing their finances and even when it comes to keeping obligations they may have with other people.
Red Flag #7: They tend to keep a very limited selection of friends.
A sociopath doesn’t have many close friends, as they tend to choose people to be in their circle when they need them and not because they necessarily want them. According to the psychotherapist, Ross Rosenberg, the author of Human Magnet Syndrome, “Sociopaths don’t want friends unless they need them. Or all of their friends are superficially connected with them, friends by association.”
Red Flag #8: They are superficially charming.
A sociopath will be charming and friendly only when it will benefit them to some degree. “They are expert con artists and always have a secret agenda,” Rosenberg said. “People are so amazed when they
find that someone is a sociopath because they’re so amazingly effective at blending in. They’re masters of disguise. Their main tool to keep them from being discovered is a creation of an outer personality.
Red Flag #9: They live by the “pleasure principle.”
“If it feels good and they are able to avoid consequences, they will do it! They live their life in the fast lane — to the extreme — seeking stimulation, excitement, and pleasure from wherever they can get it”
Rosenberg wrote in Human Magnet Syndrome.
Red Flag #10: They disregard societal norms.
Many sociopaths break laws and rules because they often feel like they don’t apply to them.