4 Signs That You're Dating a Sociopath
It is a scary thought. Around four percent of the people in America are sociopaths. And no, I am not talking about those individuals who are locked up in the penal system. These are seemingly normal people who work next to you. They are the people you meet in the nightclubs and at the grocery store. It could even be the guy who just gave you his number.
Most of the serial killers that you’ve heard of were not a psychopaths. Rather, these people were sociopaths. They had normal lives, worked normal jobs (some being in positions of authority) and had lots of people who were close to them who never suspected a thing. People considered Ted Bundy to be a respectable member of the community. Bundy had a degree in psychology from the University of Washington, was very confident in social affairs, and the Republican governor of Washington even gave him a letter of recommendation after working his campaign.
Bundy may be a very exaggerated example of the perfect sociopath but it has happened many times before he was born and has continued to happen after Bundy’s execution. Not all women end up dating a serial killer. Nevertheless, those women who find themselves in abusive relationships, whether verbally, physically and/or psychologically, are most likely dating a sociopath.
In this article, I will provide 10 distinct signs that the person you are seeing may be a sociopath. A person who is a sociopath may not exhibit all or even a lot of these signs, which would classify them as a borderline sociopath.
This Is a Great TedxHouseofParliament Video Covering Sociopathic Thinking
1. They Play With Your Emotions
Sociopaths like to use mind games in order to control those who are close to them - for them, they never truly get close to others. Sociopaths will lie and inflate their own prowess hoping that you will be impressed with them. At first, you will find it difficult to see through their lies, unless they’re so ludicrous you can see through their grandiose stories. But a sociopath who is a bad liar is rare.
These people are predators and they never stop victimizing others. People who find themselves in the crosshairs of a sociopath often feel that the sociopathic individual will eventually change and start doing the right thing - this is what they thrive on, that second, third and fourth chance. If you blame them for their abuse, they often times turn the blame on you. After a while, you will begin to believe you are the one to blame; that the sociopath is the one right.
It is this merry-go-round that plays with your emotions. You begin not to recognize your own feelings: are you the one who’s crazy? Are you judging him too strongly? Maybe you’re not being understanding enough? Thousands of questions and bad thoughts run through your head and no answers seem to make sense.
The truth is if you keep catching him in lies and he blames you for finding out the truth, this is only one sign he may be a sociopath. Nevertheless, as big as a problem as this may be, this alone doesn’t prove anything. So, let’s move to number two.
2. Manipulation Seems to Be a Norm
Sociopathic and antisocial behavior are hard to differentiate. Even though they are different psychologically, they are both very manipulative. When they have their eyes on a target, they’ll do anything to get it. They don’t see what they are doing as wrong. As a matter of fact, they view those who are getting in the way as the ones who are in the wrong.
Those who rob banks are looking to get money. Nevertheless, they love to blame society, the government and even the banking system for victimizing those who were caught in their terroristic armed robberies. Rapists, even though they are victimizing innocent women, find a way to blame women in their past for their vicious actions.
Not only is their manipulative ways used to get what they want but they enjoy playing games with others. They see it as any other game: they play to win at any cost, and usually, that cost comes at the price of your own sanity and self-esteem. Since they have been playing this game of manipulation since their earliest years, you will most likely not win, so it is better to count your losses and move on.
Ways they try to manipulate women are:
- Intimidation: If they see they cannot get what they want, they will use intimidation tactics to force you into giving them what they want. Because sociopaths don’t want to show all their cards, they may not straight out threaten you. They prefer using subtle methods like.
- Using the Shame Game: Sociopathic personalities love to turn everything they do into either they're the hero or you're the one to blame. If they do something decent for you, it's because they are such good men. On the other hand, if they did something that hurt you, like cheating, it's most likely your fault.
- Using the Blame Game: These types love to shift the blame over to you when they are called out on their misbehavior. If you found out they were sexting some girl from their office, it's your fault for snooping through their phone.
- Pretending to be something they're not: When you're dealing with a sociopathic boyfriend or spouse, you'll notice that, when they're in public or around their friends and/or family, they behave totally different than how he behaves towards you in privacy. In some cases, if you were to complain about his treatment of you to someone he knows, they'll be shocked. In most cases, the person you confide in may not even believe you.
- Games of Silence: Silent treatment is one of their favorite manipulation tactics. They use the uncomfortable silence to throw you off psychologically. By the time you are ready to confront them about their silence, they have already planned their assault.
- Sex as a tool of manipulation: So, you two were in a heated fight about some girl he has been seeing on the side. You're serious about to pack your stuff and move back to your parents' house, but just as quick as he got angry, he is begging you to stay. Before you know it, he's somehow softened your heart. Next thing you know, he has taken your clothes off and you two have the best sex you've had in a long while. The odd thing is, usually he is all about himself in bed. Not this time - this time he's all about pleasing you. This is one of the most manipulative tricks used by sociopathic men. They use sexual prowess to swoon you into bending to their will.
- Flattery: A smart sociopath knows women's weakness: wanting to feel good about themselves. Not all women are the same, though. Some women are proud of their intelligence while others are proud of their good looks. Either way, sociopathic men love to target these weaknesses and use them to bolster their control over you. If they're not calling you stupid or ugly, they are raising you on a high pedestal. This wishy-washy game of theirs is not by accident, it is meant to keep you off balance so they can keep you under their control.
3. He Never Takes Responsibility for His Actions
One of the most prevalent signs you are dealing with a sociopathic person is their refusal to take responsibility for their own actions. I can tell you first hand from experience about this because I was once friends with a girl who was married to a sociopath. For the sake of protecting her identity, we'll call her Nadya.
When the two of them met, he seemed very religious and devoted to following the tenets of his faith. Though Nadya had never been that religious in the first place, she decided, out of love and devotion for this guy, to follow his way. It seemed like she turned 180 degrees in only a day: one day hanging out at the nightclub with friends, the next day wearing modest clothing and staying at home most of the time.
Being her friend, I respected Nadya's change and desire to please her husband. From what I knew, Adam seemed like a sweet guy. When our friend would invite me or other friends over to her house, Adam would always go beyond the call of duty to treat his guests.
One day, this fake picture I was being shown was shattered by a call from another one of our friends. She was at the hospital with Nadya. Nadya had a shattered cheekbone, broken jaw and a few cracked teeth. Apparently, Adam had been abusing her for some time now, with this being the worse.
Nadya's friends, including me, were all shocked beyond belief. I remember one friend even asked, "What did you do," as if it had to be Nadya's fault. But, as these things turn out, the abuse didn't stop, as well as becoming more frequent. There was a time I visited her house and found the bathroom door shattered, pieces of it hanging from the hinges while other pieces lay on the floor. When I asked her what happened, she told me that Adam found the bathroom light on (which he disliked since it was a waste of electricity). He then told her it was better the door than her face.
And there lies the lack of responsibility coupled with threats of violence. Instead of understanding that his reaction to the bathroom light being left on was over the top, he made it out to be an "example" of what he wanted to do to Nadya's face. Furthermore, he refused to clean it up or fix it because it was her fault it happened. Ultimately, it was left to Nadya to clean and fix on her own.
When I found out how bad things were, I decided to stay there with her late into the night. This is because sociopaths don't want people from outside to see who they are - not in person at least. Yes, maybe it's common sense Nadya's friends and family knew about this abusive behavior. I mean, who can ignore bruises, trips to the emergency room and broken furniture? Nevertheless, sociopaths can't allow people to see it, for this would be like taking responsibility for what others witnessed them do.
Anyhow, during one of my stays at Nadya's house, Adam was their most of the night. By this time in their marriage, they had a two-year-old girl. Their daughter was a very active, funloving child who was full of curiosity. On this particular occasion, I was watching Nadya's daughter trying to play with her daddy, when I witnessed something I have never seen done by any other father of a two-year-old: Adam, with this cold, emotionless face, picked the girl up, took her to her baby pin, and dropped her from half way up. He then walked back to the couch, sat down as if nothing happened and continued to watch television.
At this point, the baby was crying pretty loud. Nadya asked why the girl was crying and why Adam had put her in the play pin. Adam's answer was, "You're neglecting your duty as a mother, so I had to take care of it." Again, you can see how Adam shifted the blame onto Nadya, taking responsibility for his callous actions out of the equation totally.
Sociopaths are experts at shifting blame and shirking responsibility. It wouldn't matter if they committed the worst crime against humanity - the sociopathic personality will find somewhere to lay the blame. They view their over-the-top behavior as a necessity - maybe they would use the term, "Necessary evil."
When you ponder that many of the world leaders and CEOs of major corporations are said to be very functional sociopaths, it is easy to understand how they can justify their evil actions against innocent people, whether it is going to war and accepting a certain amount of "collateral damage," or their justifying polluting valuable water sources in order to save the company hazardous disposal costs. You will never find sociopaths taking responsibility unless it fits a part of their manipulation tactic.
4. You Notice He Sides With Victimizers
Believe it or not, you don't have to wait for physical abuse to rear its ugly head to see that the man you're dating has the potential to be a sociopath. My mother always told me: "You can always see who someone truly is if you only pay close enough attention to the small details." When I was young (like in my teenage years), I really didn't get the full grasp of her words. It wasn't until I reached my 30s that it really began to sink in.
Have you ever met someone who said something that just didn't sit right? Later down the line, what they had said actually resurfaces in their actions. I have experienced this many times, and I assume my readers have to, though in differing degrees.
True story: I once had a friend back in my younger 20s who was dating this guy from Germany. He was kind of a college prep type - a poster boy for some Ivy League University. Honestly, I never liked the guy in the first place due to some sexist things he said on occasion, brushing it off as "Just a joke."
One day, my friend confided in me, explaining that she thinks she was raped. I was like, "By who!?" She then explained that her boyfriend had often "joked around" about raping her when she wasn't in the mood to have sex. One night, that joke turned into the actual deed taking place. She was confused. He was her boyfriend, right? Didn't she owe him that much? And since they were all serious and stuff, how could it be proven it was rape? Either way, no means no. Additionally, the warning signs had always been there.
Everything from his feminist comments to his "joking" about "taking it" when she wasn't in the mood for sex - they were all signs of an impending abusive relationship with a sociopath. He placed the blame on her and removed guilt from himself, all the while placing the seed of doubt in her mind. Textbook sociopathic tendencies at work. More than likely, he never even felt one little speck of guilt. He may even have bragged about it.
These are the kind of guys who hear that a woman was raped at a nightclub or frat party and say, "She shouldn't have gotten so drunk," or "She shouldn't have worn that miniskirt." These are those small signs. They don't see they victimizers as being the bad guy, but the victim as deserving what they got. These types of statements don't just involve things concerning women either. It can cover any type of situation where they believe the victim had it coming or was somehow to blame for putting themselves in that position.
Listen to those subtle words that come out of their mouths. Not even the most cunning sociopath can hide everything that is hidden in their black hearts.
Great Video on Victim Blaming
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