>How about when a sociopath is on his or her "best" behavior?

11:14 AM

>Today something we're going to take the time out to explore is the personality of a sociopath when he or she is being "good" - that is, pretending to be a normal, caring individual in society.

I think it is very vital that people realize a sociopath is rarely going to show their nasty side because in reality it is usually very counter-productive towards their goals and they really only pull out the "stops" (the major markers of sociopathy such as disregard for the rights of others) when they realize their facade isn't working (for example, my ex only went in to destructive mode with me when he failed to charm me in to doing what he wanted or acting the way he wanted).

There are however some personality markers that are going to be very hard for a sociopath to escape even when they're playing the "good guy" card:

  • Manipulation - No one is perfect and that includes sociopaths. These folks usually have such a big ego that they assume they can manipulate everyone - and that's where they truly mess up. Even while playing the "good guy" card these folks just can't resist using their charms to manipulate. A perceptive person is going to catch on to the manipulation game rather quickly.
  • Lying - Sociopaths are pathological liars. Lying is so much a part of who they are they will do it some times with out even realizing themselves that they're lying or will even start believing their own lies. They also don't stop lying even when they're caught. When you lie you're just begging to get caught, and these people lie so much that it's only a matter of time before they screw up - which leaves an open door to discovery.
  • "If you loved me you would..." - This is a very common manipulation line used by sociopaths in relationships because it works so well at masking the ultimatum hidden in their wishes. It also projects the guilt on to you if you don't go with what ever it is they want you to do, and under the guise of love, it's a very effective tool to use against the unaware person.
  • You get a funny feeling sometimes that they just don't care about anyone - Most people are perceptive enough to pick up on the sociopath's lack of genuine empathy. The problem is a lot of people will dismiss that funny feeling because it seems so counterintuitive to what they normally encounter with people ("everyone cares about someone so it must be a mistake!" or "he acts like he really loves me so I must be insecure to think that he doesn't").
  • Nonstop boredom - Even a good sociopath is a very bored sociopath. He or she will want to constantly stay busy. Since he or she is playing the game of being "good", this will more than likely come in the form of a flurry of activities that mostly don't involve other people.
  • Anti-social - This doesn't necessarily mean the sociopath doesn't want to associate with anyone. This does mean the sociopath is incapable of holding a decent conversation, especially when that conversation involves someone disagreeing with them. They will argue, subtly insult and  belittle, lie, and manipulate just so they can "win" the conversation. A lot of times they're not even capable of holding an intelligent conversation about various interests without trying to "win" the conversation with their vast "knowledge".
  • Knows it "all" - Sociopaths are very full of themselves. They like everyone to be aware of how much more they think they know than them (for example, my ex liked so much for everyone to think that he was a computer guru that he would even claim to have self coded some trick on his computer that he had actually pulled off with an easy to use program just to make people think he knew more than he actually did - the guy didn't know a single programming language short of some web based scripting languages).
  • Likes to show off - As a part of making people aware how great they think they are, sociopaths love to show off (great example of a sociopath showing off can be found at my ex's website - you can note a self praising biography and how so many web design stunts are pulled in an attempt to show off his elite skills that the website becomes confusing for anyone trying to actually browse it - not a single real web designer I know does this because it's counter productive to the user - a sociopath will do this though because it's productive for their ego).
  • Doesn't take responsibility for their actions - Listen real, real carefully on this one because sociopaths are experts at pushing the blame on someone else and if you don't watch out you'll find yourself agreeing with them (a popular consensus is that someone "had it coming to them" or was "asking for it" - I remember being told by my exs girlfriend that I asked for him to abuse me by staying with him and reasoning that he must have not loved me like he does her if he abused me!).
  • Moves fast - A sociopath will be talking about marriage 6 months in to a relationship (or even less). You are the only person they've ever really loved, you complete them, and they are ready to spend the rest of their life with you, even though they haven't even really taken enough time to get to know you (or you them, which is the point of them moving so fast).
  • Excessive praise - This is a hard one to catch, especially for people that have just gotten out of abusive and/or traumatic environments because they really need the confidence boost. A sociopath knows that and takes advantage of it. Beware of the person that will take praise beyond the bounds of reality (you're the "most beautiful woman in the world", the "smartest person they've ever met", etc.)
  • Inability to keep friends - This doesn't mean they don't have any friends. It means they're unable to keep a good circle of friends because eventually they end up screwing them over. Probably the best way to sniff this one out is to look how many friends they have that they grew up with. Chances are there will be very few if any at all.
  • Inability to "just be friends" with exs - Most people are unable to be friends with some of their exs, but the sociopath is unable to be friends with the majority of them. If you listen to the sociopath it's usually because they have been done wrong. If you listen to their exs though it's usually because they're a sociopath!
  • Lacks "depth" - They laugh but you don't feel like they really find something funny (a big indicator of this is when they only really laugh at their jokes). They cry but you get the funny feeling that those tears aren't as heartfelt as they appear (especially after repeat shows).
  • Throws a temper tantrum over the small things but doesn't react to the big things - If they lose to a video game you will never see bigger theatrics than you will get out out of a sociopath. But something that should really upset them doesn't - they react to it cooly and calmly.
  • Wants answers to important decisions right away - Sociopaths don't have time for you to think things over. Not only may you think them over enough to figure out whatever it is they're up to, but they really don't care if you have enough time to think and make the right decision for yourself (for example, my ex pushed me to decide in one phone conversation whether or not I was going to move up to South Carolina with him). It's all about them, remember?
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  1. >Do sociopaths reveal themselves as sociopaths or is it possible for someone to pretend to be a sociopath?

  2. >They rarely reveal themselves to anyone but the one person they may have chosen to tell about all their games. Sociopaths like having someone they can brag to, but they are smart enough to know that person needs to be someone that probably shares their interest in "games" and lack of empathy.I can't answer definitively on your second question. Philosophically though one must wonder why someone would even WANT to pretend to be a sociopath. Someone that did pretend to be one probably would be carrying a personality disorder of some type on their own, even if it was not anti social personality disorder (i.e. sociopathy).