This website summarizes some of the common features of descriptions of the behavior of sociopaths.
Glibness and Superficial Charm
Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
Incapacity for Love
Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a lack of regard for the moral or legal standards in the local culture. There is a marked inability to get along with others or abide by societal rules. Individuals with this disorder are sometimes called psychopaths or sociopaths.
Diagnostic Criteria (DSM-IV)
1. Since the age of fifteen there has been a disregard for and violation of the right's of others, those right's considered normal by the local culture, as indicated by at least three of the following:
A. Repeated acts that could lead to arrest.
B. Conning for pleasure or profit, repeated lying, or the use of aliases.
C. Failure to plan ahead or being impulsive.
D. Repeated assaults on others.
E. Reckless when it comes to their or others safety.
F. Poor work behavior or failure to honor financial obligations.
G. Rationalizing the pain they inflict on others.
2. At least eighteen years in age.
3. Evidence of a Conduct Disorder, with its onset before the age of fifteen.
4. Symptoms not due to another mental disorder.
An article on Casey Anthony
CA has finally been indicted for the first-degree murder of her daughter, Caylee Anthony. Casey is a sociopathic, superficial sensationalist. To a mental health professional, she fits the description of someone with an antisocial personality disorder - just a fancy name for "sociopath."
In reality, Casey believes she is above the law. She presents herself as a mother who is only interested in finding her child. Yet she has done nothing but lie to the police and fabricate stories.
Everything she does is designed to protect herself by outwitting and outsmarting the legal authorities. She continues to display a great disdain for law enforcement, as evidenced by her unwillingness to tell the truth or be in any way helpful in locating her daughter.
Psychopaths are superficially charming in their ongoing attempts to get their own way. Casey has the capacity to read others quickly and recognize their vulnerabilities. Once recognized, she knows how to exploit others' weaknesses. She seems to have no qualms about violating the rights of others. Casey stole her friend's checkbook and wiped out her bank account, and not a cent of the money was spent on Caylee.
Read more: http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/casey-anthony-profile-of-a-sociopath/#ixzz1ZCG2l7sE
How to spot a sociopath
(Extracted from an article by Robert Matthews in the Sunday Telegraph Review, May 4th 1997)
The following questionnaire is based on research and experiences of socialised psychopaths. For each trait, decide if it applies to the person you suspect may be a socialised psychopath, fully (2 points), partially (1 point) or not at all (0 points).
Do they have problems sustaining stable relationships, personally and in business?
Do they frequently manipulate others to achieve selfish goals, with no consideration of the effects on those manipulated?
Are they cavalier about the truth, and capable of telling lies to your face?
Do they have an air of self-importance, regardless of their true standing in society?
Have they no apparent sense of remorse, shame or guilt?
Is their charm superficial, and capable of being switched on to suit immediate ends?
Are they easily bored and demand constant stimulation?
Are their displays of human emotion unconvincing?
Do they enjoy taking risks, and acting on reckless impulse?
Are they quick to blame others for their mistakes?
As teenagers, did they resent authority, play truant and/or steal?
Do they have no qualms about sponging off others?
Are they quick to lose their temper?
Are they sexually promiscuous?
Do they have a belligerent, bullying manner?
Are they unrealistic about their long-term aims?
Do they lack any ability to empathise with others?
Would you regard them as essentially irresponsible?
A score of 25 or above suggests strong psychopathic tendencies. This does not mean the person is a potential mass-murderer: socialised psychopaths are not mad, nor do they have to resort to violence. Even so, a close professional or emotional relationship with a socialised psychopath is likely to prove a damaging experience.
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