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How to Tell if You Have a Sociopath in Your Life


by Glenn Shepard

November 18, 2014

Category:  Management





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People use the term "Sociopath" loosely, but it's no laughing matter.


Mental health experts estimate there are over 12 million sociopaths in the U.S.


The problem is that they're extraordinarily good at deception, so they can spend their entire lives flying under the radar and fool everyone around them.


Contrary to common belief, most are not serial killers or societal misfits that can't keep a job.


Many are "High Functioning Sociopaths" who are quite successful. They surround themselves with minions who are spellbound by their charm and wouldn't doubt, question, or suspect them of anything.


Tell Tale Signs


They exploit others for their own personal gain (i.e. theft and embezzlement).


They'll also exploit others just for their own personal gratification, even when there's no material gain (i.e. Intentionally being late just to keep others waiting, or lying just to get away with it).


They're incapable of love. They may act loving to get what they want, but they can't actually feel love for anyone else because they're completely self-serving.


Charisma is key because it's how they get people to let their guard down. Because they're so charming, most people are completely oblivious to their secret double life.


They're incapable of feeling gratitude, guilt, remorse, empathy, shame, and sympathy for anyone other than themselves. A University of Wisconsin study found abnormalities in the brain that may be responsible for this.


They tend to be highly intelligent and are good liars.


They always have to win, from simple arguments to competing in business.


No matter how hurtful or damaging their actions may be to you, they don't apologize (unless they see some benefit to them for doing so).


Because they feel unbound by social norms, they'll do things that seem bizarre to you - but they're great at rationalizing whatever they do.


They have a callous disregard for the rights and feelings of others, so cheating, lying, and stealing are acceptable means to an end for them.

Despite their insensitivity to others, they're highly sensitive to criticism and prone to emotional outbursts.


"Outing" a Sociopath


If you're like most people, you probably have a name and face in mind right about now.


Do NOT confront someone you suspect of being a sociopath about your suspicions. Because they are so incredibly manipulative, they'll make it look like you're the one who's mentally ill.


And, they'll try to turn others who are gullible enough to fall for their Svengali-like charisma and charm against you.


The Best Remedy


These are severely damaged and highly dangerous people. Because there is no known cure, the best advice from mental health experts is avoidance.


If you work for a sociopath, you'll be well served to find another job.


And what if you supervise a sociopath? As they say in Kansas City, "Ride 'em like a Missouri mule". Watch them like a hawk until you get rid of them. They might be good workers, but they won't be good employees.


And what if you're married to one? Seek counseling with a licensed therapist immediately. Go alone and find out if your suspicions are correct, and then decide where to go from there.



To Your Success,



Glenn Shepard




P.S. While there is no known cure for sociopathy, knowing what to look for can make your life a lot easier. At least you'll know you're not crazy when you see the behavior no one else sees. I've been there myself and know the incredible relief that comes when you finally realize what you're dealing with.



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