Sociopathy Answers

I think I may be a sociopath what should I do

Hi Harv,  Thank you so much for your question. I can tell that you've been struggling with this question and I'm so glad that you brought it here. Considering the idea that you might be a "sociopath" is a difficult thing to grapple with. We use the words "sociopath" and "psychpath" in daily conversations quite freely and with little consideration of what it actually means. Neither of these terms are much used in the field of mental health, and they don't have specific diagnostic criteria that would classify them as a distinct disorder. So the answer to your question of whether or not you are a sociopath is almost definitely no.  I would suggest there is pretty strong evidence against you “being a sociopath”—primarily in the fact you are concerned that you might be one and this idea creates distress for you. Generally speaking, people with sociopathy are unconcerned about their behaviors and the impact of those behaviors on others. However, it's possible that you have traits that cause you (or others) to ask the question in the first place. The defining traits of sociopathy are: superficial charm, intelligence, confidence, self-assurance, lack of guilt or shame, absence of remorse for one's actions, lying, manipulation, an inflated sense of superiority, tendency to exaggerate, impulsivity, aggression, failure or refusal to comply with social norms, anti-social behavior, lack of empathy, and an inability to read the emotions of others. If you recognize yourself in this description, it still doesn't mean that you are "too far gone." There are a number of strategies you can use to change these traits and your behavior.  Get fluent in the language of emotions: to be emotionally intelligent you have to be able to recognise and name your emotions, and then to understand what is going on. So, for example, if you feel sad, you can identify it and then continue to define it more and say something like ‘Sadness is a feeling of loss of something that matters to me, and so feeling sad helps me to identify what I do care about and what is important to me as a person.’ Don’t always use the first person. Instead of saying ‘I am so angry right now,’ think to yourself, ‘Anger is one of my emotions’. This distances you from it and helps you to understand that emotions are a passing thing, and a thing that contains information that can be helpful to you. There are many different theories about what causes someone to engage in the behaviors that constitute "sociopathy" but the exact cause is not known. It is generally believed to be a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. Some experts believe there may be some genes that predispose certain people to this constellation of traits/behaviors and that experiences in life, specifically during childhood and adolescence, can help turn someone towards sociopathy. It may be worthwhile to talk with a professional therapist about this. You might be able to explore, for example, why you use the strategies you do and how they serve (or don’t serve) you. Additionally, a licensed professional would be able to help you put into perspective how your behaviors, thoughts, and feelings fall within the realm of normative human experience. Remember that it's still possible for you to have fulfilling, loving relationships. The right treatment can help you adjust your behavior and reduce the harm to those around you. Maintaining healthy relationships and a robust support system are important ways of managing your expectations and behavior.  Overall, the fact that you reached out here for help and that you want to get/do better mean that there is hope! You care that your relationships are being affected and you want to do something about it- that's the first and most important step. You can make the changes to move toward the life you want.  Good luck!
Answered on 01/21/2022

How to finally feel free and not scared of your ex who hurted you deeply?

Hello Evy, firstly, your experience is not uncommon. The likelihood to run into someone who display these type of behavior is greater than one might think. They is roughly  1 out of 25 people in the usa who are psychopatic or sociopathic. There is a great book that you should read called "the sociopath next-door" The Sociopath Next Door It appears that you are traumatized by your experience despite not being with him anymore. Individuals who display psychopathic nature create a lot of pain and discomfort in the lives of the people with whom they interact. Psychopaths and sociopaths lack insight on how they make others feel but also don't care how they impact others.  The difference between psychopaths and sociopaths is that psychopaths are born this way where sociopaths become this way due to their upbringing, life experience and trauma. In the USA, many sociopaths are very successful as they are ruthless - your successful billionaire, politician, movers and shakers tend to display psychopathic or sociopathic traits.  They lack the ability to feel empathetic and to feel emotions. They do feel rage and anger. Every sociopath and psychopath is also a narcissist.  One knows that they have been in the presence of a sociopath because of the following: You felt devalued and invalidated as a result of being in a relationship with one. You were abused psychologically or physically or both. They tend to display superficial charm, have a grandiose nature, lie pathologically and are manipulative. They have a lack of remorse, shallow affect, lack empathy and they fail to accept responsibility for their actions. They also tend to be extraverted in most cases and need to be stimulated. They are parasitic and take advantage of others. They often lack the ability to have long term goals. They also present as impulsive and irresponsible. Not all all psychopaths and sociopaths are criminal though they don't care about the norms and rules establish by society. Think of your common conartist who feels zero remorse for embezzling old people's hard earned savings. Being in a relationship with such individual will be devastating. You will start questioning your own sanity. At first, you will feel like your psychopathic partner understands and loves you but then you will realize that it is only a ploy to get to what they want from you. Why would someone date such an individual? Many people feel that they don't deserve a relationship or that they will not meet someone who truly can love them. When a psychopath comes around, one might feel seen and understood for the very first time. Then their behavior will change overtime and their true nature will come through. Dating a psycho/sociopath will have  a desasfrous efffecf on your psyche. You will start doubting yourself and questioning your own abilities which explains why you are still traumatized now. I recommend talk therapy to help your process the trauma and moving past the abuse. Your experience is not unique and you can heal from it. You might feel that there is something wrong with you for dating him in the first place however it is very hard to spot someone with these traits and figure out that you are dealing with these personality types. There is nothing wrong with you however you will need support in exploring your past relationship and overcoming the impact of the abuse. I wish you well and hope that my answer helps you.    
Answered on 01/21/2022

I think my bf maybe a narc. How can I find out 100% without him finding out? I NEED TO KNOW

Narcissistic traits in individuals can be harmful for all parties involved, including the narcissist.  And truly, covert narcissists tend to be the least likely to realize that their traits are toxic and/or maladaptive.  That all being said, it's not uncommon for a person with toxic traits of narcissism to not realize they are narcissists and to accept and to be conscious of their toxic traits, let alone change them if they don't have the insight that they are there.   I have worked in a lot of capacities where narcissism is involved.  This includes working with individuals that are still in a relationship with a narcissist, individuals that have left an individual with narcisissistic traits and even narcissists themselves.  It some capacities, it would not have been safe to let the person with traits of NPD to know that they are a narcissist, especially if they do not see a need for treatment or change, unfortunately.  In other situations, narcisisstic individuals that I have worked with have come to gain the insight into their own behaviors and have worked hard to heal those traits by looking deeply at where they come from.   Many clinicians - especially clinicians that are very data driven in their treatment methods - would say that the only true way for us to be able to diagnose a personality disorder is to use a personality inventory much like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (or the MMPI) and by matching up their symptoms with the criteria for the diagnosis in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the manual that mental health professionals use to determine what diagnosis best fits our client's needs.  With that being said, a clinician would be able to most accurately diagnose someone through a series of face to face interviews with the person in question.  Personally speaking, I prefer to have a treatment history of 6 months or so with an individual before making a diagnosis of a personality disorder. This is because this gives me time to see multi-faceted qualities of their personality under differing circumstances in their life.     Even if you will not be able to know for sure if your partner has NPD without getting him to commit to a diagnostic session and ongoing therapy, I wonder if you are asking this question because you are concerned about the way that your boyfriend is treating you or others in your life.  If something feels toxic, it may be toxic.  Often times, narcissists do things that they hope will cause insecurity in their partners to make it hard for them to know who or what the problem is.  This is one way that they maintain a power differential and are enabled to continue to possess the toxic traits that they think are helping them to feel better, less out of control and secure. Feeling unsure is what the narcissist often wants and keeps you from abandoning them.  You are allowed to trust yourself in knowing what is best for you.  You are also deserving of existing without those doubts looming over your head.  If the relationship doesn't feel like it is serving you, building you up or makes you feel confused and insecure, that is enough reason to reevaluate the relationship. 
Answered on 01/21/2022