Have you ever been invaded by someone who appeared to only enjoy speaking of themselves for extended periods of time without ever noticing how tired, disinterested, or detached you are? Have you ever had to endure listening to someone cry and complain about something they believe is entirely unfair because “I deserve better” or “it’s not fair?” Of course you have. Many of us live under the restraints and control of individuals who are unable to empathize, consider the other person’s thoughts or feelings, relate, or connect on an emotional level. Many of us are subjected to people who seem entirely engulfed in themselves and only attached to others in their world due to the prestige, attention, or “benefits” received. This same person often fails to express any concern for those around him or herself, and rarely if ever expresses genuine emotions, thoughts, or behaviors. Everything is calculated, manipulated, and controlled. Nothing is natural, nothing is genuine. No matter how genuine the facade may seem, there is always some undercurrent vendetta.
This, my friend, is known as socio-pathy. Sociopaths live among us in multiple forms – older teens, young adults, seniors, professionals, politicians, mayors, teachers, psychiatrists, Principals, etc. It doesn’t matter the career or work title of the person, a sociopath can be poor or rich and of multiple ethnic groups.
The sociopath is heartless, although the person may appear compassionate or loving. Anyone can appear compassionate or loving as long as they appear to be putting themselves last and others first. But true compassion and lovingness includes a commitment to giving to others and a genuine desire to help or contribute in some way. A sociopath may engage in activities or exhibit behaviors that will ultimately benefit them (more attention, prestige, self-promotion, greater confidence, social attention, etc) and their emotions and behaviors are often shallow and have no ultimate meaning.If you are dating or married to someone who is a sociopath, their hugs and love may seem “cut-off” from time to time and completely absent, while at other times, may seem very present. Sociopaths typically express what appears to be true emotions (although they are often shallow) when real consequences are foreseen. But for the heck of connecting with others, emotions are not likely to be revealed.
The sociopath is unaware of how they influence people around them, neglect others, and treat almost everyone with a long-handle spoon. No one can really get close to the true mind and heart of the sociopath. Relationships and conversations are often topical and lack depth. A genuine seeking of approval from respected people is often missing. The person already believes they are likely to be liked. Conversations about marriages, relationship woes, finances, travel, family problems, etc. with a socio-pathic neighbor, friend, or co-worker can seem one-sided. The person may express themselves and encourage you to express yourself. You express your feelings only to later feel cheated, silly, or downplayed. The sociopathic personality lacks a repertoire of emotions to share with you. They may appear to be listening but the ultimate goal may be to learn more about you, manipulate you, or be nosy. It’s difficult to determine what the ultimate goal of a sociopath is, but it is very easy to feel the coldness running through their veins.
Next weekend we will look at a list of characteristics of the socio-path.
As always, stay informed!