I hate to have to apply this to my own life but, since I finally got out of a relationship with a sociopath, I can be flat out honest with a list where Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology, points out actual signs and traits to be aware of in your relationships. And it’s no joke. So, here we go…
1) They tend to have a charm about them and are quite charismatic as well as intelligent. – When I first met my ex he was my neighbor. I remember the first time I ran into him in the hallway, he extended his hand, and introduced himself. Soon after our initial meeting, he invited me to hang out at this pad, and his place was the place to be. Charm, charisma and intelligence are all attractive trait in a mate but, if I come across another person with this combination, I’m going to tell myself this is a triple threat, literally.
2) They are “willing and able to draw people in to get their needs met.” – He needed a place to stay, and so I let him stay with me only to find out that I was just a place to hang his hat.
3) They are inconsistent in their lives. For example, they jump between jobs and residences and have lots of holes in their stories. – He was in sales and would go from job to job till one day he was working for a company, and thought he was being discriminated against by one of the senior supervisors, so threatened to kick his ass in front of the entire staff. After his outburst he was given a severance package, and he was off to a completely different field of work.
4) They’ve lied to you and others multiple times about nearly everything. – Lies are like gas lighting, and a sociopath is a master manipulator of conversation where you can walk into a conversation with known facts, and walk out confused and questioning your own truth. If it continues on long enough, you can begin to feel like you’re the crazy one in the relationship.
5) “They will break all kinds of rules – stealing, lying, cheating – and will do so right in front of you at times.” – The first time I saw him steal was at a Home Depot. He seemed to have no problem going through the self check out line and pocketing some things right in front of me. I remember feeling uncomfortable and shocked. I said something to him about it cause I have never shoplifted in my life, and he just laughed it off like it was no big deal.
6) They feel “entitled and will jump to the head of the line in everything, and have little regard for others.” – He would pretend to put other people first when really that was just a trick to manipulate them to get what he wanted.
7) “They anger quickly and can even leave you feeling scared at such times.” – If I got a text and didn’t respond immediately, he would switch from “Hey how’s it going?” to “Forget you!” Literally within minutes his mood would vacillate. If there is one thing that I’ve learned that differentiates sociopaths from someone with a mood disorder, is their mood can flip flop in minutes or hours in one single day. Someone with a mood disorder may be manic for a week or depressed for a month, but not switch moods within a 24 hour period.
8) “They rarely express remorse or guilt for bad things they have done. They rarely apologize (or it is empty at best).” I don’t think I ever heard the words I’m sorry come out of his mouth the entire time we were together. As far as guilt or remorse is concerned? He would have cheating sex with another girl in the building, then come to me and hold me in bed and call me his wife. (I didn’t find this out till later but when I think back it is mind blowing to think he would have sex with another girl, and literally right after he would be in bed with me acting like we were a married couple or something.)
9) “They don’t have any really close friends or family members that they have good relationships with – but lots of acquaintances and ‘connections.’” – He did not have a single person in his life that he considered his best friend, and I never met his family. I always knew he had a poor relationship with his family, and also knew he was brought up in an abusive household, which I’m sure added to his sociopathic behavior. As a result, which often times I would use his abusive upbringing to make an excuse for certain mistreating behaviors. Like it’s not his fault he came from a damaged upbringing, and he had no problem capitalizing on his past to paint himself as the victim, which only made matters worse. Meanwhile, he spent Holidays with my family on a regular basis.
10) They drive really dangerously by cutting off other people, getting a DUI or not ensuring young passengers in the car are safe. – He never got a DUI but, he had no problem driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana or both at the same time.
11) They tend not to adhere to laws, ethics, rules or morality, and violate the rights of others. – In terms of breaking the law, let’s just say he did some time in jail. And when it comes to ethics and morality, I came to realize he lacked a moral fiber, and I was the perfect target cause I have principles, ethics, and more or less try my best to be a good person. A sociopathic predator preys on people like me.
12) “Bottom line: they make you feel uncomfortable and unsafe.” – One of the last things I said to him was, “I feel like I’m walking on egg shells around you .” And I am not one to be fearful.