How to recognize a sociopath: 9 steps (with pictures)

How to recognize a sociopath: 9 steps (with pictures)
How to recognize a sociopath: 9 steps (with pictures)

In mental health, sociopathy, also known as antisocial personality disorder, is a disorder that prevents individuals from adapting to ethical and behavioral standards specific to their community. Sociopathic individuals can be dangerous, they can display criminal behavior, organize dangerous cults, and harm themselves and others. There are several signs that can reveal a sociopathic person, for example, lack of remorse, disregard of the law, and frequent lies.


Part 1 of 3: Identifying the Traits of the Sociopath

Determine if Someone Is a Sociopath Step 1

Step 1. Observe the personality and manners of the individual

Sociopaths are extremely charming and charismatic individuals. Their personality is described as magnetic and they generate a lot of attention and praise from others. They also tend to have a lot of sexual energy and might exhibit strange sexual fetishes or be sex addicted.

  • Often times, sociopaths feel they have a legitimate right to hold certain positions, lead certain people, or own certain things. They think that their own beliefs and opinions are the absolute authority and do not take into account the opinions of others.
  • Sociopaths are rarely shy, insecure, or babble. They have trouble controlling emotional responses like anger, impatience, or boredom. They constantly prey on others and respond vigorously to these emotions.
  • They can cultivate an innocent personality as if they were playing a role in a play and it can be difficult to find them out. They can come across as innocent and nice, which you accept without batting an eyelid, because they are good actors! Do not be fooled by your first impression (these days, moreover, it is usually never the right one, the appearance having a greater importance today than the truth). If you don't know the person well, you can genuinely think that they are nice and won't be a problem, the only way to tell if a person is a sociopath is to know them deeply. Listen to your intuition, it can sometimes help you knowing that people who are not sociopaths are natural and their personalities are complex.
Determine if Someone Is a Sociopath Step 2

Step 2. Consider this person's past and present behavior

Sociopaths exhibit unusually spontaneous and daring behavior. They appear to act outside of social norms and might do bizarre, risky, or outrageous things without a clear understanding of the possible consequences.

  • Sociopaths can be criminals. Because of their tendency to disobey the law and social mores, sociopaths may have a criminal record. They could be con artists, kleptomaniacs, and even murderers.
  • Sociopaths are professional liars. They make up stories and make eccentric and false claims, but they manage to make their lies convincing with the assertiveness they show.
  • Sociopaths have a very low tolerance for boredom. They get bored easily and require constant stimulation.
Determine if Someone Is a Sociopath Step 3

Step 3. Observe this person's relationship with others

How that person interacts with others could also tell you if that person is a sociopath. Sociopaths are very good at getting others to do what they want them to do, either by seducing them or by employing more aggressive methods. As a result, a sociopath's friends and coworkers might find themselves doing what that person wants them to do.

  • Sociopaths are incapable of feeling guilt or shame for what they are doing. Lack of remorse after doing something that has caused pain to others is very common among sociopaths.
  • Sociopaths are manipulators. They might try to influence and dominate those around them and tend to seek superior positions.
  • Sociopaths lack empathy and might not feel love. While some sociopaths might have an individual or a small group of people they seem to care about, they actually have a hard time feeling emotions and there's a good chance they never had. of healthy romantic relationship in the past.
  • Sociopaths find it very difficult to take criticism. They often seek the approval of others and they might even think that this approval is due to them.

Part 2 of 3: Knowing how to manage a sociopath

Determine if Someone Is a Sociopath Step 4

Step 1. Chat with someone about what you are going through

If you're in a relationship with an abusive person, or have a colleague in your office who disrespects you, talk to someone. If your relationship has become violent, or if you are concerned for your safety, seek help in moving away from that person. Do not try to deal with the situation alone with this person. Ask a friend or family member to help you.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can call 3919 if you live in France

Determine if Someone Is a Sociopath Step 5

Step 2. Maintain a safe distance from this person

If the sociopath you know isn't a family member or spouse, walk away. Having this person near you could have a negative impact on your life.

  • Stop contacting that person and avoid situations or places where you might meet them if possible.
  • Let him know that you need some space and ask him to stop contacting you.
  • If that person is not cooperative and refuses to leave you alone, you might consider changing your phone number or other contact details. If she continues to harass you, you should consider contacting the police.
Determine if Someone Is a Sociopath Step 6

Step 3. Face this person carefully

If that person is someone you can't or don't want to avoid, be careful how you talk to them about their behavior. Before you confront a sociopath about their behavior, remember that sociopaths are inherently defensive, irritable, and potentially violent. Ask your friends or relatives for help and come accompanied to avoid a hostile and violent reaction.

  • Avoid accusing them or pointing out specific things that they shouldn't have done. Instead, try to focus on their behavior in general and let them know that you are very concerned about their health. For example, start by saying: “I am worried about you and I would like to help you. "
  • Avoid discussing how you feel or how badly this person has hurt you. Sociopaths are very likely not to understand this stuff.

Part 3 of 3: Understanding Sociopathy

Determine if Someone Is a Sociopath Step 7

Step 1. Understand that sociopathy and psychopathy are different things

Psychopathy and sociopathy are not fully understood, but they are two different things according to researchers and theorists. The Statistical and Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders Your (DSM-5), i.e. the book used by mental health professionals gives a description of antisocial personality disorder which shares many characteristics with sociopathy and psychopathy. Psychopathy and sociopathy are not disorders that can be diagnosed as antisocial personality disorder, but research suggests that these two terms are just specific kinds of antisocial personality disorder and that they share them. several traits. Here are a few:

  • contempt for the law and social mores
  • the inability to recognize the rights of others
  • the inability to feel remorse or guilt
  • a tendency to violent behavior
Determine if Someone Is a Sociopath Step 8

Step 2. Learn about the main indicators of sociopathy

In addition to the signs of antisocial personality disorder, a sociopathic person will exhibit additional characteristics. These characteristics are mostly related to the defects that affect the consciousness of the individual while a psychopathic person is suffering from a lack of consciousness. Here are some traits specific to the sociopath:

  • they are compulsive liars,
  • they have high self-esteem,
  • nervousness,
  • explosive character,
  • lack of education,
  • a preference for solitude,
  • an inability to keep a job or stay in one place for a long time,
  • any crime committed will be done without organization and spontaneously, without any plan.
Determine if Someone Is a Sociopath Step 9

Step 3. Realize that the causes of sociopathy remain unknown

Some research has suggested that sociopathy could be inherited while others suggest that it could be the result of childhood neglect or abuse. One study showed that 50% of sociopaths inherited their disorder. However, environmental factors and others are believed to be responsible for the remaining 50%. Because of this conflict, the exact cause of the onset of sociopathy remains unknown.


Remember that a sociopath is not necessarily a bad person or a criminal


  • Don't try to diagnose sociopathy yourself or tell someone you think is a sociopath to get professional help. If you suspect a loved one is a sociopath, use this information to help you manage your interactions if you ever feel unsafe.
  • If you feel that you are someone's victim or if you believe that someone could harm you, go to the police station. Don't try to fix the situation on your own if you feel your life is in danger.

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