Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) or as others would say, sociopathy, is a disorder characterised by behaviour patterns that include manipulation, deceit, aggression and lack of empathy. Sociopaths tend to engage in risky behaviour and violate laws at the expense of themselves or others. These individuals may have a compromised moral compass and are usually perceived as unethical, immoral and irresponsible.

Despite the media’s glamourization and inaccurate portrayal of sociopaths, most of them are not serial killers. They can be CEOs, lawyers, business owners, politicians, wall street traders, housewives or doctors. They could be anyone.

Disclaimer: This blog post is made for informative purposes only. Please seek professional help if you think you or someone you know is struggling with a sociopathic personality. This blog post is not meant to provide a diagnosis for ASPD.

Here are six signs that someone is a sociopath.

  • Sociopaths lack empathy

ASPD is characterised along with other personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder as they all share similar traits; an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, difficulty managing emotions and behaviour, troubled relationships, but most importantly a lack of empathy for others. Typically sociopaths don’t feel remorse or guilt as they have trouble understanding other people’s emotions. As a result they may emotionally hurt those around them and have difficulty maintaining relationships. Sociopaths may come across as cold, harsh, callous and unfeeling. However, it is possible to make them feel love and empathy after training and therapy. This is restricted to a select few namely their children, parents or partners.

  • Sociopaths are manipulative

Sociopaths have a talent for manipulating others. They are opportunistic and highly ambitious individuals and as such, they rely on emotional or physical manipulation to get what they want. Some techniques that they use to manipulate others are gaslighting, lying, flattery, blame and threats.

  • Sociopaths are dangerously charming

Charm is a part of the game. Sociopaths use their charisma and charm to attract others. Specifically those who are more vulnerable than themselves. They will feign concern or kindness to get people to believe them and establish a sense of trust. That way it becomes easier for them to manipulate others.

  • Sociopaths are ill-tempered and impulsive

Though, people with ASPD usually resort to manipulation, they are also impulsive and ill-tempered. They’re prone to engaging in risky and illegal behaviour at the expense of themselves or others. Different factors affect the development of this trait but being around people who encourage and condone violence makes it more likely for someone with ASPD to be violent themselves. Exposure to domestic abuse and animal cruelty are some early manifestations of violent behaviour in a person with ASPD.

  • Sociopaths have strained relationships

If a sociopath manages to establish a relationship, they will most likely be very possessive over the other person especially in a romantic relationship. Sociopaths see people as a means to an end whether it’s to gain information from them, for emotional fulfilment or for money. As a result, they feel threatened when someone tries to insert themselves between them and their ‘host’.

  • Sociopaths are narcissistic

ASPD can occur with other personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder. This is a mental health condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and a lack of empathy for others. It is important to know that not all narcissists are sociopaths but most sociopaths are narcissists. Sociopaths develop a superiority complex which they use to justify the way they treat others. They barely feel remorse for their actions hence they do not normally apologise when they are wrong.

I hope this helps you and everyone else who reads this. If you’d want me to write on a topic that bothers you or anything you’d generally want me to write on please reach out to me using any of my social media buttons. Also I’d love to know your thoughts on this article and where you might agree or disagree. All entries are exclusively between myself and you, thank you and be safe!

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