While we wait and see if Victoria lets us in on more of her big secret, why don’t we explore the terminology “sociopath”. Her hurt and pain, as hinted at by her initial comments, has changed her life immeasurably I’m sure. Could it be that she has encountered a sociopathic individual?
Would we know one if we were to meet one in our day-to-day life? Following are characteristics which define sociopathy (this is also referred to more commonly as anti-social personality disorder)
Glibness and Superficial Charm – The ability to live a life seems impervious to usual problems. In fact, when encountering a sociopath, the regular person may be in awe and wish that their life were as charmed as this individual’s life is. It is merely that they are not encumbered by the pressures that are part of a day-to-day life because of the shallow attachments and “devil may care attitude”. They breeze through life seemingly live an untroubled existence.
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” not necessarily earned. Overly inflated sense of self-worth.
Pathological Lying – 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 test.
Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt – A deep seated repressed rage is at their core. They view people as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends and family, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they seldom let anything stand in their way. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
Shallow Emotions and Incapacity for Love – 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. Their feelings are shallow and the love and compassion are “well-practiced”, they are not capable of deep love for anything else other than themselves and their goals.
Need for Stimulation – Constant need for stimulation and living on the edge/prone to boredom. 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 inner contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature – Rage and abuse, alternating with expressions of love and approval create 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 or Juvenile Delinquency – May have 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.
Irresponsibility/Unreliability – 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 or 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. Has no issue living off of other people(s) resources and will have no trouble moving on to the next victim once those resources are no longer made available to them or have been completed depleted. Poor work ethic but exploits others very effectively.
Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility – Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
Chances are we have all run into individuals that fit the case studies of these behavioural problems. In some instances, no doubt, you may have unluckily married or have a close association with one. The bottom line is these persons seldom get help themselves as they perceive that they do not have a problem. Usually the help will be court-ordered. The treatment may or may not be effective. In the meantime, they will leave a swath of destruction and woe be to those who encounter them in their life.