At least in my case, I never set out to identify a sociopath. For me, it was usually just a naïve accident, being somewhere to either see or hear something, or innocently ask about something I saw or heard.
I’ve stepped in it twice … with almost ten years in-between. Frankly, I didn’t step in it the second time, I fell into it.
Example: you know someone you suspect is a sociopath because you’ve witnessed (not hearsay) the person displaying sociopathic traits.
If you become suspicious of someone as being a sociopath, you’ve got a couple choices, but with either one, you must be careful and stay observant. How do you become suspicious in the first place? The red flag. Something hits you as just not right. And it matters not how long you’ve known that person, as it could be someone you’ve known all your life.
I know that, for sure. I had just turned 50 when I discovered and confirmed that my oldest sister, Kathy, is a sociopath. Since then, she has done so much damage to my character that it could never be undone.
And just that quickly, you became a huge threat to the sociopath, because you have the ability to expose them … something they cannot risk. They will not wait to be in a position to defend themselves … they will go on the offensive immediately and you’ll be the target.
The sociopath knows they would be an instant outcast, and depending on their level, possibly even incarcerated. It has been estimated that half of all prison inmates are sociopaths. That does not mean that half of all sociopaths are behind bars. Which for me, simply begs the question: are we incarcerating bad people, or sick people?
These two options are virtually opposite, and are meant to suggest how to avoid certain risks:
1) You carefully avoid that person, especially in an office environment. Do your very best not to show any discomfort being around them, or that you treat them differently than anyone else. But do not allow that person to get close to you. Keep your distance, but watch your back. Keep an eye out for any other flags.
2) You work undercover, being as discrete as the best of investigators, and definitely not telling even one other person what you suspect or are doing — that means absolutely no one. Not your spouse, or even your dog (someone could overhear you).
At that level of commitment,
Now what? I would suggest looking for a new job out-of-state.
If you stick around, there’s a good possibility that you will slip-up … in a month, maybe a year … and without knowing it, you just became a target, who will eventually become the victim of callous, malicious and undermining assaults — at a level you could never imagine, and one you are completely unprepared to deal with.
Why? Because that sociopath now knows you have the knowledge to expose them for who they really are. And that is the biggest fear of a sociopath — exposure.
By the time you discover your victim status, and attempt to recover from it, it will likely be too late. At that point, I would suggest looking for a new job out-of-state.
Even though my professional career has always been in the creative field, I believe I was born a natural analyst (using that ‘other’ hemisphere). Anything that comes into my data center (i.e., brain) is instantaneously scanned for bad, conflicting, or simply questionable data — all performed unconsciously.
If a flag of any size appears, or that data raises a question I cannot immediately resolve, that incoming information is not filed away until I can take the time to make sense of it.
In some cases, that has proven to be a huge curse.
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?