When you say the word "sociopath" most people think of serial killers. However, although many serial killers are sociopaths, there are far more sociopaths leading ordinary lives. It's possible that you know a sociopath, but their "ordinary lives," are far from ordinary.
Every baby is born 100% selfish. They are incapable of doing anything for anyone else and therefore think only of themselves. It is the job of parents to teach and train their children into respecting those around them and treating them as they would like to be treated themselves.
Developing their 'socializing' emotions of empathy, love, guilt, shame, and remorse will allow them to function well in society, with benefits for all concerned. Having these emotions means that we treat others well, we treat them fairly and we look out for, and help others. This is God’s plan for each of us and is what Jesus came to demonstrate; that we should love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
However, there are some who slip through the cracks and remain extremely selfish for their entire lives. These are the Sociopaths and Narcissists in our society. Many studies have been done trying to find out what kind of childhood leads to sociopathy and so far, it appears to have little to do with upbringing.
They could be from any kind of family. But researchers have found that the brains of sociopaths function differently from normal brains and that their brains function in a way that makes their emotional life un-redeemably shallow.
Imagine if you never felt guilt, or embarrassment, or remorse for anything you did, ever! There is no emotional attachment to other people, and their emotions have no effect on you. In other words, you have no "conscience", no inner policeman telling you what you should and should not do, and never any regrets either.
For a narcissist, the possibilities are endless. They could just do whatever they want, regardless of anybody else. They could take what they want, treat people the way they want, manipulate them, or abuse them simply by dominating them.
If you or I, harmed someone, even someone we did not know, we would feel guilt and remorse. Why? because we have a natural affinity for other human beings. We know how it feels to suffer, to fear, to feel anguish. We naturally care about others.
And if you hurt someone you love, the guilt and remorse would be even worse because of your affection for him or her.
Take that attachment and affection away and you take away remorse, guilt, and any kind of normal feelings of fairness. Most people HAVE a conscience and find it exceedingly difficult to even imagine what it would be like to be without one.
Sociopaths are people without a conscience. They do not have the normal empathy the rest of us take for granted. They do not feel affection with other people. They do not care about others. They do not feel attached to others. They do not feel love.
However most of them are good observers, and they have learned how to mimic feelings of affection and empathy remarkably well, just like professional actors. Combine this with a sociopath's efforts to blend in, and the result is that most sociopaths go undetected.
Because they go undetected, they wreak havoc on their family, on people they work with, and on anyone who tries to be their friend. A sociopath deceives, takes what he (or she) wants, and hurts people without any remorse. Sociopaths do not feel guilty. They do not feel sorry for what they have done. They go through life taking what they want and giving nothing back. They manipulate, deceive and lie convincingly, without the slightest second thought.
Sociopaths and psychopaths are the same thing. The original name for this disorder was "psychopath" but the general public and media confused it with "psycho" and "psychotic" so in the 1930's the name was changed to sociopath. It is estimated that one out of seven sociopaths are female.
Narcissism is strongly associated with sociopaths. Originally, narcissism was used for those people who are "in love with themselves", who have a tremendous fascination for themselves, for either their physical or mental attributes. Just like sociopaths they can be selfish, haughty, self-centred, have high self-esteem, want to be the centre of attention, and feel superior to others.
The name was derived from Greek mythology. Narcissus was a youth who was cruel and disdainful and as divine punishment he fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He spent the whole time admiring himself, but he was deeply dissatisfied as his love was not returned and he eventually faded away and was turned into a flower, a narcissus.
What Drives a sociopath?
For most of us our purposes are strongly influenced by our connections and affections with others. Our relationships with others, and our love for them, give us most of the meaning and purpose in our lives. So, if a sociopath does not have these things, then what is left? What kind of purposes do they have?
The answer is chilling: They want to win. Take away love and relationships and all you have left is winning the game, whatever the game is. If they are in business, it is becoming rich and defeating competitors. If it is sibling rivalry, it is defeating the sibling. If it is a contest, the goal is to dominate. If a sociopath is the envious sort, winning could be simply making the other lose or fail or be frustrated or embarrassed.
A sociopath's goal is to win. And he (or she) is willing to do anything at all to win and they can be very clever and conniving at achieving this. Sociopaths aren't busy being concerned with relationships or moral dilemmas or conflicting feelings, so they have more time to think about devious ways to gain your trust and then stab you in the back, and how to do it without anyone knowing what's happening.
And with the lack of empathy, it means they will take from you whatever they like... money, time, emotions, sex, energy, attention. They will take everything from you and do it without remorse, without guilt and without concerning themselves about you whatsoever!
They want to be the centre of attention in every situation. They want admiration, so they are constantly boasting, bragging, exaggerating, and making themselves out to be the best at everything. They hunger for praise, adoration, gifts, compliments, reassurance, and money. They live to dominate, control and even to destroying others.
Because they think they are so clever and are always trying to get an advantage over others, they have a real problem with boredom. Most people occupy their minds with relationships with people as this interests us intensely. Take that away and all you have is "playing to win" which is shallow and empty in comparison. So, boredom is a constant problem for sociopaths and they have a constant urge for stimulation.
Even negative stimulation — drama, worry, upset, etc. — is more tolerable to a sociopath than boredom. Some feelings that you and I might find intolerable might not bother a sociopath at all. For example, they may not experience fear as unpleasant.
Research has shown that sociopaths don't feel emotions the same way normal people do. They cannot put themselves in the shoes of others. They do not understand the emotions of others which means they do not care about others. This allows them to take advantage of others in ways that normal people would never consider. They feel superior to others and have an enormous sense of entitlement.
How do you know if you are dealing with a Sociopath?
They have been described as predatory reptiles, because they hunt and destroy their victims with as much emotion as a snake might have. Others have called them chameleons because they change their outward appearance to fool their victims. They will typically befriend their victims first, because people expect to trust their friends and not to be harmed by them. Often they will select one person in a group or family and make their lives hell while being charming to the others in the group.
Foxes in the Henhouse.
The problem is, we have chosen these people to be our leaders. For example, a good CEO needs to be able to take charge, make decisions, and get other people to do what he or she wants. These are often considered to be the signs of a good leader.
They are also the skills a psychopath has practiced; to control, manipulate and to dominate others! Many banks and corporations use psychometric testing to recruit sociopaths because their characteristics are exactly what they want of their senior executives.
Politics is another area that is attractive to sociopaths. In pre-history when we lived tribal lives, we knew everyone in the tribe, so we knew who we could trust. We also knew that if a deceiver was found out, they would be excluded from the tribe which was tantamount to a death sentence.
But in a country of millions of people, the political class is shielded from the voters. People don’t really know what our leaders are doing with most of their time. We only see them for a couple of minutes when they are giving speeches, or appearing before a camera and being interviewed. It is therefore much easier for the ‘foxes’ to hide when the ‘henhouse’ is so crowded. Indeed, sociopaths would be discovered very quickly in small groups. But in huge societies like ours, they can rise to positions of power and influence. How often do we hear about political misconduct and instead of them slinking off, they come back bigger and bolder than before?
There is no cure.
There is no known cure or therapy for sociopathy and they rarely seek treatment. After all, if you thought you were superior to others and received admiration from those around you, would you think there was anything that needed fixing? If they did attend therapy, it would only be if there was something to gain from it. The evidence suggests that therapy makes them worse because they use the therapeutic interactions to learn more about human vulnerabilities which they can then exploit. They learn how to manipulate better and they learn better excuses that others will believe.
There is only one solution for dealing with a sociopath: Get him or her completely out of your life for good. This seems radical, and of course, you want to be sure your diagnosis is correct, but you need to protect yourself from the drain on your time, attention, money, and good attitude. Healing or helping a sociopath is a pointless waste of your life. That is not your mission. It's not your responsibility. You have your own goals and your own life, and those are your responsibility. And be careful as to how you do it because any threat to their ego or dominance will result in a sudden and violent rage of retaliation!!!
If you must live or work with a psychopath, try these strategies:
Normal people are not expecting others to be evil or deliberately doing harm, and so they try to justify the initial bad behaviours of the psychopath. They give them the benefit of the doubt, and this is something you can never do with psychopaths. Remember for them, the end justifies the means.
Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, by Robert Hare,
The Sociopath Next Door. by Martha Stout,COMMON EVERYDAY SOCIOPATHS by Adam Khan http://youmeworks.com/sociopaths- What Is Mind Control?https://www.decision-making-confidence.com/mind-control.html
12 million Americans are sociopaths.