Sociopaths are frequently depicted in fiction, but they are often two-dimensional characters who play the villains. To make matters worse, they are frequently lumped in with psychopaths and portrayed as soulless individuals who feel nothing and only speak the language of violence. The problem is that, while sociopaths are incapable of feeling empathy, some respectable members of society in positions of power, such as lawyers and politicians, exhibit sociopathic characteristics.
These people can hide in plain sight, behind a mask of normal emotions, and even be productive members of society – only a small percentage of them are violent or criminal in nature. It can be difficult to discern a sociopath's true face, but signs of a sociopath include reckless behavior, contempt for rules and social norms, and self-centeredness. Here are some things you should know if you are in love with a hidden sociopath.
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1. They are logical and intelligent (a little bit too logical)
Dating a sociopath is a little like dating Mr. Spock: he has all the answers when it comes to science and can be a valuable asset in a crisis, but he won't understand all the human emotions that keep brewing inside you. While having a partner who can maintain their cool in heated situations and always seeks a rational solution may appear to be a good deal at first, there will be times when you just want your partner to let go and share in your joy or sadness.
2. They are not frightened or anxious
Don't get me wrong: sociopaths have a strong survival instinct and can feel fear just like the rest of us – it's just that they don't worry about things they can't control. They do, however, attempt to exert as much control over a situation as possible. Don't expect them to cry if tragedy strikes or there is a financial crisis.
3. They are endearing, well-spoken, and fascinating
A sociopath is difficult to detect because they are excellent at hiding in plain sight. They have a lot of charm and can be quite eloquent, and they have a lot of interesting stories and interests that make them appear to be an average extrovert. Sociopaths are extremely socially active.
4. They frequently take risks
Because sociopaths don't care about the consequences and don't have a strong fear of failure like many other people, they frequently make questionable decisions. They are not, however, rash or impulsive; each decision they make is carefully considered; it is simply that they prefer high-risk, high-reward options to slower and safer low-reward options.
5. They are not interested in the same activities as everyone else
Most lovers will enjoy gazing out into the distance at the sunset or lying on the grass and watching the star-studded sky together. These are the tried-and-true romantic activities that will never let you down. These things, however, can be extremely boring for the empathetically challenged.
Sociopaths enjoy activities that give them an adrenaline rush, something that is a little risky and engages both the body and the mind. Instead of a picnic, you could organize a hunting trip or take them paragliding. The thrill of the hunt, the wind rushing past them – these are the stimuli that keep them going. Sociopaths, in fact, are drawn to by their desire for excitement.
6. They are at ease lying to you about important issues
You may believe that a relationship must be built on trust, and you are correct. There are numerous minor details that you share with your partner on a daily basis, and major issues must be laid out and openly discussed. A sociopath's natural instinct, on the other hand, is to try to tell a version of the story that pleases others, inspires respect and trust from those around them, and ultimately helps them get what they want.
They don't try to put themselves in the shoes of others, tell it like it is, or do the right thing – sociopaths see an intricate web of events linked by cause and effect that can be manipulated to serve a higher purpose.
7. They are unconcerned about the emotional distress that their actions cause
Sociopaths, with the exception of a few close friends, are unconcerned about hurting or manipulating others in order to achieve their own ends. While a romantic partner may be immune to this cold-hearted and calculated behavior, acquaintances, friends of friends, and coworkers are frequently emotionally scarred, having been used as stepping stones by an ambitious sociopath attempting to improve their own social status. It can be difficult for someone who loves a sociopath to accept such ostensibly ruthless behavior.
8. They are very good at reading people's emotions and faking them
Most people find it difficult to read sociopaths because they spend their entire lives training to be good actors. They could go through life with a straight face, making sarcastic comments, or simply not caring, but they know it's not socially acceptable. If you want to advance in life, you must blend in with the crowd. As a result, sociopaths conduct research and attempt to adopt a personality that people around them find agreeable and trustworthy.
This is why people who love sociopaths struggle to accept them for who they truly are and become perplexed when they see their partner's true face. When sociopaths reveal their true colors to someone, it is the ultimate sign of trust and respect – if they take a huge risk by letting you past their shield, it means they believe the cost of your companionship is well worth it.
9. They can love someone, but not in the way that most people do
People will tell you all sorts of things about sociopaths, and they are almost always painted in a negative light. However, emotions have a sliding scale – just because someone doesn't show the same amount of emotion in the same way doesn't mean they don't care about anyone. I often use the example of infamous mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, who was reportedly a paranoid sociopath and an extremely violent man with a few other interesting psychological issues thrown in for good measure, but the way the man talks about his wife and children is truly endearing.
Is it love in the way that most people understand it? Probably not, but a sociopath can have a strong connection with another person – it's just difficult to tell when there's something genuine in the depths of their logical little hearts when they're so comfortable lying and faking emotion all the time.
10. They can be very self-centered and unwilling to admit mistakes
It's not so much that sociopaths won't admit mistakes as it is that they don't understand why something is wrong or bad. It is entirely natural for a sociopath to employ Machiavellian tactics in order to advance. They won't exactly drive someone under a car, but they might give bad advice, spread misinformation, blackmail, or manipulate people to get what they want. If you point out that these actions are immoral, or even confront them about being disrespectful and hurtful to others, don't expect them to apologize.
I hope you can see that sociopaths are not all violent criminals, nor do they resemble a race of emotionless aliens more than other humans – they are simply people who are different. Many people find their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors strange, but that does not make them monsters. If you truly have strong feelings for a sociopath, it is critical to remember all of the points mentioned above, as it can be extremely difficult to get close to someone if you are not ready to see their true self.
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