We’ve all dated a person that seems a little, well…off. Whether it’s the insanely wild lies, oversized egos or glints of manipulative behavior, you may wonder to yourself: Am I dating a sociopath? Well not to scare you, but your partner, or ex-partner if you’re smart, might actually be one. According Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door, 4% of the population are sociopaths.
What IS a sociopath you ask? A sociopath is a person with a psychopathic personality whose behaviour is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. Some famous sociopaths include Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Dean Arnold Corll, Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite and Robert John Maudsley.
Not sure if your perfect mate is actually a sociopath? Below are some common traits that you should regard as red flags.
Comes on strong and moves fast
If you meet someone who is keen to move the relationship forward at super speed, be aware. A sociopath does this to stop you from changing your mind about the relationship, from seeking opinions from other people, and by increasing the maximum amount they can scam you for. A sociopath is keen on what can be taken from you. The sooner the process can begin and you are hooked, the better.
They want to spend all their time with you and shower you with attention and flattery
At first it can feel flattering. Your partner has zoned in on you as an appropriate target, makes you the centre of attention and focus of their world. They bombard you with telephone conversations, texts and want to be with you every minute of the day. While at first this can be a welcome change from the distant relationships of your past, after awhile you’ll want to see your friends and family, and wish that your partner had their own circle to spend time with. But alas, you become as inseparable as twins and your relationship moves incredibly quickly, often before you are ready.
You have a soul mate connection, instantly
A sociopath does not experience real true emotions, and is capable of mimicking the emotions of others. A sociopath can mirror you to be your perfect partner. If you’re surprised at how much you have in common and feel that you have a deep connection which almost feels spiritual, it could be a genuine connection or it’s a sociopath who has already assessed you and is now mirroring everything that you need and want your partner to be, back to you.
Sexual charisma and magnetism
All sociopaths have a great deal of testosterone. They will stare you straight in the eyes, a look which can feel sometimes uncomfortable. As sociopaths do not particularly care what others think of them and have big egos you will feel a great sexual chemistry. Before you sleep with them, they will brag to you how amazing that they are in bed. Mostly, this is the one time that they are telling the truth.
They are compulsive pathological liars, and when confronted will do anything to protect the lie
Most people feel uncomfortable telling a lie, and usually need to confess the lie and have a need to be honest. A sociopath is opposite to this. A sociopath actually feels uncomfortable telling the truth. A sociopath will make up huge stories, lies that will get them caught later on. When you are close to revealing the lie, they will further lie to protect themselves. They are consumed with protecting their lie.
Is very dramatic
Sociopaths are always dramatic with their big, manipulative and deceptive stories. They appear to be larger than life, always charming and always have a story to tell. They are dramatically telling lies, manipulating, deceiving, being dramatic victims, or dramatic pleadings that they will change. Whatever they do, they will always seem larger than life.
Most sociopaths are also very immature. Because they cannot learn from mistakes and keep repeating the same mistakes over, they are unable to grow up, and act in a more mature manner that has respect for another human being, for their rights, their welfare or thinking about their needs. They are selfish and only think of their own needs. A sociopath is unable to put the needs of others before their own needs and thinks that the entire world revolves around them.
Lack of remorse, guilt or shame
When a sociopath has had a sociopathic meltdown (remember most of the time he/she will have a mask on), you will see signs of insanity. The sociopath is deceptive and manipulative, and will cheat, lie and con. But you will not be aware of this. When the sociopath is caught in his actions, he/she will show a total lack of remorse, guilt or shame. A sociopath will never admit to wrong doings, instead will either blame someone else, or ignore you, and your pain and move onto a new source for supply.
Sociopaths seek to dominate others and “win” at all costs
They hate to lose any argument or fight and will viciously defend their web of lies, even to the point of logical absurdity.
High level of intelligence
Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent, but they use their brainpower to deceive others rather than empower them. Their high IQs often makes them dangerous. This is why many of the best-known serial killers who successfully evaded law enforcement were sociopaths.
In relationships, sociopaths are the epitome of Machiavellian creatures. They are duplicity incarnate, with a polished self shown to the world and a covert, hidden self that has a rigid and calculating agenda: assume the highest level of the social hierarchy and win, win, win.
It is often the kindest and most trusting individuals who suffer the most at the hands of sociopaths, and the healing process for these individuals continues long after the relationship has ended. If you find yourself in a relationship with a sociopath and want to get out, be prepared and arm yourself with a support system of friends and family that can help you through it.