Dealing with a compulsive liar, or any number of toxic co-workers and colleagues can by incredibly trying. While many of these people may be well-intentioned, or perfectly fine people in their own right, they’re stuck with some very real flaws — flaws that make life hell for those around them. But often these flaws are signs of a deeper and more troubling problem, and could even be red flags indicating that someone is a sociopath.
That’s not really a term you’re going to want to throw around lightly, however. You may have had your suspicions that someone is a sociopath, or at least demonstrates some classic sociopathic behavior, but do you truly know what you’re dealing with? Think of the term “psychopath,” and how easily many people assign that definition to people whom they think are acting out of sorts. Often, it’s completely misappropriated –and cheapens or lessens the term’s meaning when it’s actually relevant.
Defining a sociopath
So, who or what is a sociopath, exactly? The term actually describes a particular condition, antisocial personality disorder, or sociopathy. Sociopathy, according to Mayo Clinic, “is a mental condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior.”
Sound like someone you know? Most likely.
And though sociopathy is closely associated with psychopathy, the two are different. There may be some overlaps in behavior between the two as well, but sociopaths are typically defined by a set of specific behaviors and actions that create many problems and issues in their lives. Unfortunately, you may be someone who gets caught up in the turmoil.
Here are seven of those behaviors to keep an eye out for, all telltale signs that you’re dealing with a sociopath.