7 Subtle Ways to Tell If You’re Dating a Sociopath

You met at your favorite bar and were instantly blinded by his charm and confidence - not to mention how much fun he is. But just a few more appointments and you can't help but feel like something that isn't quite right. According to psychologist Martha Stout, sociopaths (an antisocial personality disorder characterized by a lack of moral responsibility or social conscience) make up 4 percent of the US population. And because they're inherently manipulative, sociopaths can be especially difficult to spot. Visions of American Psycho come to mind? While psychopaths and sociopaths share some similarities (and are often used interchangeably), there are some notable differences - mainly that a psychopath has no conscience while a sociopath has a weak one, says psychologist L. Michael Tompkins. And you should also know that violence is not a necessary factor either. If you think your partner might be a sociopath, watch out for the red flags.
He has had six jobs in the past five years.
Unlike psychopaths (who are often very successful at work), sociopaths struggle to hold onto a nine-to-five or anything else that requires long-term commitment to others. And they blame everyone else for why the job didn't work out (like his useless manager or incompetent coworkers).
He likes to look you in the eye ... but super intense.
A lack of eye contact can be a symptom that someone is hiding or unsure of something. But because sociopaths are extremely confident, they will do the opposite - stare in a way that is different from predators. "Sociopaths are unimpressed by continuous eye contact," writes the diagnosed sociopath M.E. Thomas. “Our failure to politely look away is also perceived as aggressive or seductive. It can throw people off balance, but often in exciting ways that mimick the unsettling feeling of being in love. "
Unpaid bills pile up at home.
Sociopaths are notoriously irresponsible, and ignoring financial obligations is a tell-tale sign that you might be dealing with one. Remember: Don't pay bills, run into massive debts, or abuse a company's vacation policy. Since sociopaths are barely aware of the consequences, they don't fret over responsibilities as much as you do.
He speaks to extremes.
Sociopaths are compulsive liars who often use big promises or excessive language - good or bad. "You are the most beautiful person I have ever seen," he could tell you. Coming from someone else could be a sincere compliment. But a sociopath often showered compliments on his goal in order to move his agenda forward (which is always a personal gain). "They are either extremely positive or extremely negative, and they have the ability to lock you in when they switch between those two extremes," says Dr. Kathryn Smerling. "You have an uncanny ability to play with both your strengths and your weaknesses."
And he likes to drink ... a lot.
Sociopaths often behave in risky ways, such as excessive drinking, substance abuse, and irresponsible hobbies (such as compulsive gambling or breaking the law). And they keep it cool - none of the next day regrets that you might experience if you have one too many glasses of wine.
He never says he's sorry.
You had dinner plans for 7:00 am but your friend is a no show. If you call him at 7:30 to ask what's going on, he'll accuse you of not reminding him of dinner because you know how forgetful he is. Even worse? He then makes you guilty for making plans because you should know how busy he is. Sociopaths take no responsibility for their actions and tend to play the victim, says Dr. Smerling.
... But you are sorry for him.
You wanted to talk about his behavior, but instead you comfort him about another job that didn't work out (and all of the people who wronged him). Psychologist Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door, says, “If you often feel sorry for someone who is consistently hurting you or other people and actively advocating your compassion, the chances are that you are 100 percent with one problem Percent to do with sociopath. "
So he could be a sociopath. What the fuck am i doing now?
If the list above sounds creepy to you, it doesn't mean your partner is all of Patrick Bateman's attention. However, it does mean that it's time to get out of the relationship asap. "You're never going to be really happy in a relationship with a sociopath," says Dr. Smerling. "Although your partner may show that they are capable of empathy at times, their abilities in this area are extremely limited." Our advice? It is time to reduce your losses friend.
RELATED: 7 Subtle Ways to Tell If You're Dating a Narcissist

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