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How to spot a sociopath without getting hooked
How to spot a sociopath without getting hooked

Psychopath, sociopath - characteristics that have become popular. The life hacker understands what is behind these words and how to understand that in front of you is a sociopath.

How to spot a sociopath without getting hooked
How to spot a sociopath without getting hooked

Who are sociopaths and psychopaths

Doctors will never write on a card that a person is a sociopath or a psychopath. The diagnosis that psychiatrists can make is called dissocial personality disorder. With such a problem, a person does not comply with the norms accepted in society, behaves aggressively and generally does not like people.

The brain of a psychopath is different from that of an ordinary person. That is, people at the physiological level cannot understand and evaluate their behavior.

The difference is so great that it even affects the basic functions of the body. For example, when watching a bloody horror movie, an ordinary person's breathing and heart rate increase, palms sweat. In a psychopath, blood on the screen evokes other emotions. He calms down. Because of this quality, psychopaths are so fearless and courageous. They are not at all afraid of the consequences of their actions.

Why sociopaths are dangerous

In movies, psychopaths and sociopaths are villains who mock innocent heroes. In fact, most people with dissocial disorder are not violent. Instead of violence, they prefer manipulation and risk. They are cold-blooded and calculating, thinking over every step to achieve what they want. For example, if they need money or a position, they will remove any barriers, even destroying someone else's career and reputation.

The main danger in dealing with a sociopath is being manipulated.

Sociopaths are potentially ideal scammers who always have hidden goals. After all, they need to make people love themselves in order to achieve their goal. To reach the goal, they first need to blend in with the crowd, which means they have to learn social codes: how to smile, how to say hello, how to gain recognition.

What is the Difference Between Sociopath and Psychopath

There are many similarities between a sociopath and a psychopath. Both lack empathy - the ability to understand other people's feelings and put oneself in the other person's shoes. Their inner voice does not distinguish between what is good and what is bad. They do not understand the feelings of other people and do not know how to share their experiences.

All psychopaths are sociopaths, but not all sociopaths are psychopaths.

Understanding your personality is the key difference between psychopaths and sociopaths. An inner voice that tells you that you are doing something wrong.

The psychopath does not understand what he is doing. He lies, steals, without experiencing any moral torment (but can pretend that he is). The psychopath analyzes the behavior of others and imitates it so that no one will expose. He's a great actor.

A sociopath usually realizes that something is wrong with him, but is not sure about it. He knows what is wrong to do and may even feel guilty. But this will not deter him from antisocial actions. Sociopaths are impulsive: they act without thinking about how their actions affect other people.

How to spot a sociopath

Calculating sociopaths is difficult. They can be smart, charming, wonderful at portraying emotions. They even know how to imitate a genuine interest in you. But they don't really care. There are several signs that a sociopath can betray.

The person is not ashamed

Most sociopaths do nasty things and show no signs of regret. A sociopath can hit and humiliate, deceive, use. If the sociopath is real, that is, with a personality disorder, it does not bother him. He does not feel guilty, but he loves to blame others.

The sociopath doesn't care who to do the nasty to if it helps to get what he wants. Therefore, many sociopaths are very successful.

The man is constantly lying

Sociopaths go through life with lies. It is more difficult for them to tell the truth than to lie. If you catch them in a lie, they will come up with a hundred more stories to justify their mistake. And only on the verge of a major revelation can they feign remorse in order only to earn your sympathy. Some are willing to act out lengthy performances to make a lie true. For example, every morning to go to "work", although there is no work at all.

Many people themselves believe in their lies. Serial killer Charles Manson (Charles Manson), for example, in one of the interviews stated that he did not kill anyone - why would he?

Man knows how to maintain supernatural calm


The sociopath experiences an exciting event with icy calm. He reacts to the news of a plane crash and the birth of a child in the same way - in no way. He perceives reality differently.

If you are in a panic or terrified, and the person next to you behaves as if nothing had happened, perhaps he does not consider the nightmare that happened to be important. This is the difference between a sociopath and a brave person. The brave one perfectly understands what is happening around and how it may end, but he is ready to fight difficulties and overcome them. Difficult situations seem to be of no concern to sociopaths.

Check if the person always remains impassive in extreme situations. Some people are more balanced than others, but they also worry and worry about something.

The man is very charming

Sociopaths know how to charm people because it's easier to get things done. They will make you believe in their uniqueness: they know how to ask the right questions, answering which you yourself seem attractive, funny, interesting. Real pros can drive anyone crazy - both a child and an old man. Sometimes the charm of a sociopath is so great that he just radiates sexuality and attracts people to him.

If a person is irresistible when you meet someone, and then starts to scare you, you may be faced with a sociopath.

While many sociopaths are incredibly attractive, they have strong antisocial tendencies. They find it difficult to maintain a relationship for a long time. They often have to interrupt the conversation in order to recuperate alone. Periods of disposition to the interlocutor are replaced by periods of coldness and alienation.

They are insincere. If a person is thrown from one extreme to another, if he turns from a darling into an arrogant bastard, then this is a sign of sociopathy. This is always combined with a lack of empathy and understanding of other people.

The man is incredibly smart

Who is a Sociopath
Who is a Sociopath

Many sociopaths are great thinkers and can easily use complex academic knowledge without the help of Google. They achieve great results in work or study. They are intelligent and therefore dangerous if they choose to use their abilities for the sake of manipulation. They will always be several steps ahead of people who can resist them.

Fortunately, “sociopath” is not equal to “criminal”.

Man likes to manipulate others

Sociopaths know human weaknesses and exploit them to the fullest. Once they have established their power, they get almost everything from people. Therefore, sociopaths like weak people and avoid strong people.

It is easier to manipulate sad, defenseless, disoriented people, because they are easy prey.

An unsatisfied person is easy to control by promising or giving him what he wants. If a wizard has appeared in your environment who unexpectedly gives people exactly what they hope for, do not blindly trust him.

True sociopaths quietly establish power over other people. They do this gradually, trying to put the other person in a dependent position. They like to control everything, and in the company of morally strong people they are uncomfortable: they are afraid of exposure.

The person shows aggression

Signs of a sociopath
Signs of a sociopath

In childhood, sociopaths torment unrequited animals - frogs, kittens, and sometimes defenseless people. This behavior can manifest itself in adulthood, but already in the form of mental and emotional abuse. This violence is always aggression, not a way of defense.

If you notice that a calm person is having outbursts of aggression, you may be in front of a sociopath.

In the event of a conflict, the sociopath will excuse himself to the last, shift the blame and knock out sympathy from other people, which he himself is not capable of.

A person's self-esteem goes off scale

Sociopaths have such a big ego that it makes you wonder about megalomania. They believe that they deserve the admiration and worship of others, that everyone owes them. At the same time, they themselves are not going to take care of anyone.

Sociopaths consider themselves to be the best people in the world, they can be completely immune to criticism, and their egos are unusually inflated.

Sociopaths can have completely unrealistic views of their abilities. For example, they may think of themselves as unrealistically talented singers and dancers, but fail to grasp the simplest rhythm and melody. Equally, they can sincerely believe in their genius or create the mask they need.

Psychopaths are often narcissistic. They only talk about themselves, like to look in the mirror, do not listen to their interlocutors.

Man has no friends and no past

Not everyone is lucky to find many friends, but you should be wary if a person has no friends at all. Of course, he may have reasons to live without friends: difficult circumstances, trauma, and at least shyness. But, if there are no such reasons, like friends, something is unclean.

A sociopath has no past. No classmates, no kindergarten friends, no exes. He simply processes one victim after another, forgetting about the previous ones.

A sociopath may be surrounded by lackeys and victims whom he exploits or who dream of gaining some kind of benefit from communication. But you can ignore them: this has nothing to do with friendship.

The same applies to family members. If a person does not talk about them, does not mention them, this is a reason to be wary. Of course, this is a shaky criterion: maybe he stopped communicating with relatives because of a conflict or a difficult childhood.

The person seeks to isolate you

Sociopaths quickly become intimate with new acquaintances, so that the person does not have time to figure out who is in front of him. Romantic relationships are especially easy to develop. A sociopath can convince you that you are soul mates, because such a person is good at calculating what exactly you need at the moment. But at the same time, he is not going to share you with anyone.

If you are in a romantic relationship, the sociopath will try to keep you out of your friendships because "no one loves you the way I do," "they turn you against me because they are jealous." The sociopath is playing the victim, you believe that only you can understand the person, feel guilty about communicating with friends, and as a result, spend all the time with the manipulator.

When is it time to be alert

There is no need to attribute the diagnosis of dissocial disorder to all selfish people, ill-mannered people, aggressive idiots and withdrawn intellectuals. It's not often that sociopaths come across to check their entire environment.

But a healthy fear must be present in order not to succumb to manipulation. A true sociopath:

  • rarely feels ashamed;
  • constantly lies, manipulates, tries to isolate other people;
  • remains calm even in extreme situations;
  • charming, smart, infinitely selfish;
  • cruel for no reason;
  • touchy, fixated on himself.

It is difficult to be around sociopaths, and some people are better off not messing with them at all.