Synopsis :: The most common question seems to be: “How do I identify a sociopath?” I believe it’s the wrong question.
Out of every 100 people, approximately 90 have at least one sociopath in their circle of friends. Those remaining 10 people are the sociopaths. Ballpark.
Estimates vary anywhere from 4% to 12% of those waiting in line with us at the grocery store are sociopaths. These personality disorders, categorized as sociopathic (or psychopathic), are very misunderstood by the public, especially in accepting the fact that they are extremely prevalent and dangerous. And that “danger” does not usually refer to physical violence.
I believe the first matter to deal with is to shed the denial. Of course, that’s very difficult to convince people of the reality … and for some, it’s virtually impossible. What is equally as prevalent and dangerous, as the condition itself, is the rampant denial. Those in denial will usually deny they’re in denial, too.
I used to get baffled as to why otherwise intelligent people would allow themselves to be controlled and manipulated. Intelligence actually has little to do with it. Psychopaths go after our emotions, are very shrewd and cunning, and are playing us right from the beginning. When they’re done, we believe we met one of the nicest people we know. It will be very difficult if we stay on the emotional level to ever see the truth.
Those who allow themselves to be manipulated are not only shallow, but are a big part of the problem. A sociopath’s power only grows with more blind followers, people I call “disciples.” My theory is that only a small minority of the population are true critical thinkers, though the majority would say they are.
Most psychopaths are never diagnosed, though, and that’s for one very simple reason: they do not want to be diagnosed. Most of the clinically-diagnosed psychopaths were already incarcerated and went through the clinical testing due to a court order. There is no blood-test-type diagnostic procedure providing a positive or negative result. The testing is quite complex.
“How do I identify a sociopath?”
That’s the most common question, and I believe, it’s the wrong question.
No matter what anyone tells you, attempting to conclusively identify a person as being a sociopath is nearly impossible, and the process itself can get you into deep trouble, as the sociopath’s next unwilling and unaware victim. Even if you waste an enormous amount of time doing your undercover, investigative work, and you conclude that the person in question is a sociopath, what would be your next step? How about: How do I protect myself from this sociopath?
It’s inevitable, but it’s your best first-line of defense. If you incorporate a system based in observation and correct reaction, you’ll be protected from sociopaths whether you suspect them or not. And when your system is fully implemented, it’s done from the subconscious level. It’s not something you think about … you just react appropriately.
“I don’t get it.”
And you won’t by the time you finish reading this post … but you’ll begin to. You’ll need to come back and build your arsenal. Nothing’s easy, but stick with this and you’ll get it.
I’ve seen data clearly state that male sociopaths outnumber female sociopaths. On one statistic, it stated there were four times as many male sociopaths as there are female. But allow me to make this suggestion: women are more likely to come forward with their stories of being victimized, more so than their male counterparts. I personally know this to be true, as I never came forward. And when violence erupts, women are also more likely to sustain injuries.
We do live in a country of liars, but so does everyone else on the planet. Lying crosses all perceived barriers: economic, gender, race, creed … it’s part of our global society. Sociopaths have embraced technology, using the power it provides to fulfill their personal agendas.
If there is one thing we can thank sociopaths for it would be for their indirect, and possibly unknown involvement on outlawing the use of polygraph testing in court. The polygraph itself — i.e., the lie-detector — uses very little science, though I certainly would not call it an art, either.
Its entire premise is based on recording a person’s physical changes — such as heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, and breathing — brought on by the testee’s guilt from telling a lie, as determined by the tester’s opinion, watching and noting any physical changes, as well as those recorded by the seismograph-type gauges. A sociopath does not experience guilt; hence, the polygraph tester would report that the sociopath-testee “never lied once.”
The majority does not win.
One must always keep an open mind. Those who use their own brains, and not rely on others, have a much better chance of maintaining control of their own lives. Forget the notion that the majority wins. The majority is often comprised of a bunch of followers, those who rely on others to do their thinking for them.
Consider a large room full of people, all casually socializing. Everyone in that room knows the details of one specific event. A new person enters the room and mingles through the group, and over a period of time, hears the same story from multiple people … each indicating the same conclusion, and from the way they tell it, they know it from personal experience.
Question: How many times must the average person hear an unsubstantiated story (i.e., hearsay) before they accept it as true?
Not long ago, before technology was intertwined into our lives, even before the advent of the answering machine, it was not very easy to spread gossip quickly. But now, even someone sitting at work, can spread just-heard dirt to an unlimited number of people — hundreds, even — in just minutes. The potential is there.
Bad news travels fast.
So, let’s say someone hears something defamatory about a public figure (actor, politician, etc.), falling
Allow me to put that into perspective: let’s say it takes one person five minutes to send 20 emails. From the time that first person sent those 20 emails to their like-minded, gossip-spreading friends, and each of those friends spends the next five minutes forwarding it to 20 others — and so on —
Ready? What’s your guess? But first, did you understand the question? If in doubt, why not read it again to be sure. If you did understand the question, then the answer should not surprise you: sixty-four million people. Now, do you need to go back and read the question again? Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Since it takes five minutes for each mailing, 30 minutes can be split into six segments of five minutes each. Hence, there will only be six mailings. In the first five minutes, 20 people received the email.
Those 20 people each forward it to 20 more people, which means 400 people (20×20) have it during the second five-minute segment. The third five-minute segment results in 8000 people (20×400) reading the message. The fourth five-minute segment indicates that 160,000 people (20×8000) now have the email. The fifth mailing gets to a whopping 3.2 million (20×160,000). And by the final five-minute segment, the email has been forwarded to 64,000,000 bone heads. But that 64-million does not include all the previous recipients, so the actual number comes out to around 67,368,421.
Sociopaths are so evil, so manipulative and sinister, that virtually no one wants to accept the reality of a sociopath — whose own reality is lightyears from reality.
Their very real danger comes from the fact that they’ve had their entire life to learn the skills to create a public persona, a completely fabricated stand-out kind-of-person, one that seems to spew charm, concern, compassion, honesty, integrity, and morality. None of which they actually possess. Not in the least. But try to tell that to those who have been completely taken in by a sociopath, and they will defend that person unequivocally.
But for those with an open mind, those very few who stay on their toes, they may see a red flag, a warning from their own intuition. They sense something is not right — the spew-level is too high, way above the norm. A sociopath underscores the old advertising campaign of: “Perception and Reality.” And, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Time never makes for certainty.
In 2003, my sister, Kathy, lied to me about something I already knew the answer to. I thought it was quite benign until she lied about it, sending up a red flag for me. She obviously felt the need to hide something about it, so that’s what I needed to find out. Following up on it exposed that she had lied about many things in a short period of time, all relating to one event. Within 12-18 months, I had gathered enough inconsistencies and deceptions, when I was told exactly the fabricated lies she was telling people to assassinate my character.
I grew up with her, and witnessed her evil as a child, and feared her because of her ruthlessly vicious hostility against me. Yet I never even suspected her being a sociopath until I followed up on that one little lie. Kathy always had many “friends” but I realized none were close friends. By 2006, Kathy confirmed to be one of the most evil people I’ve ever known. I write a lot more about Kathy throughout this site.
People believe Kathy, yet if one pays the slightest attention to her, she’s a complete fake. One must question why she has never been able to maintain a job. She’s not intelligent, and does nothing … other than scheme, evidently. She has followers and disciples (including family), and when she sensed I was on to her, she easily got all of them to join in my banishment. People are so shallow.
Don’t let anything slide.
Throughout my life, when something didn’t seem right, I was never able to file it away until I made sense of it.
It is not as important to be able to identify sociopaths, as it is to always think for yourself — never allow someone else to think for you.
And never, ever, believe hearsay.
A family of sociopaths :: Part 1
Protect yourself from any sociopath.
Sociopaths are all the same … right?
What makes a sociopath so dangerous?
Psychopath/Sociopath: Similarities Outweigh Differences
Discovering Your Best Friend is a Sociopath
How do you spot a sociopath?
Identifying a Sociopath
AUDIO: Evidence from Recorded Phone Calls
Do School Administrators Help Young Sociopaths?