No one wants to believe that their partner is a sociopath. However, sometimes the indicators might be right under their nose. This article will share some of the most common signs of sociopathy, how they can appear in relationships, and what you can do to get help if the signs add up and confirm your suspicions.
1. Charm and Charisma
Now, having great people skills isn’t a sign of sociopathy on its own. Other things must be taken into consideration. However, those who might be one tend to be able to manipulate others by talking their way into getting what they want by telling people what they want to hear.
2. Antisocial Traits
On the other hand, while many of the signs of sociopathy are to have a lot of charisma and can comfortably speak to others, a lot of sociopaths have trouble forming lasting relationships with people. Perhaps your partner doesn’t seem to have many friends. Or, more importantly, tries to avoid making them. This could be a red flag.
3. Chronic Lying
Many sociopaths are pathological liars and narcissists. They will often go to great lengths to create elaborate lies. When caught in them, they might try to take accountability (because it’s what you want to hear), or they can double-down and make excuses and even cover lies up with even more of them.
Just like being charismatic isn’t a problem on its own, arrogance is a common trait that a lot of sociopaths have in common. They will often have an inflated sense of self-importance. They can strongly believe that their way is the correct way of doing things. When challenged, their egos can get in the way and cause negative emotional reactions, like anger.
A lot of sociopaths try to create an ordinary and stable persona. However, deep down, they’re often erratic thrill-seekers who will engage in risky behaviours without any regard for the consequences, including the safety of other individuals like yourself.
6. Criminal Activity
Sociopaths can lack a moral compass and aren’t really concerned about how their actions can affect others. Similarly, many of them don’t care if they break the law. Therefore, a lot of sociopaths do participate in various types of criminal behaviours.
Another way sociopaths can manipulate others is by preying on their vulnerabilities to get what they want. If they know that you’re a compassionate person, they will use that to their advantage to try to make you feel guilty or to pity them.
8. Lack of Accountability
Although some sociopaths will try to hold themselves accountable at times, mainly because it was something that affected them, more often than not, they will try to shift the blame on others and refuse to accept that they are at fault for their actions and make changes. For this reason, they might have difficulties holding down steady employment.
Gaslighting is a type of emotional abuse where the sociopath will try to manipulate others by making them question their sense of reality. Someone who gaslights will attempt to twist the facts for their own benefits and cause others to doubt themselves. Particularly their memory and judgments.
Sociopaths and narcissists often use love-bombing as a manipulation tactic. This strategy involves being overly affectionate, especially early on in the relationship. Things might seem to move too quickly, and their gestures might be very romantic and hard to ignore. However, it’s possible they are doing it so they can make you emotionally dependent on them so they can control you.
11. Control and Power
While many sociopaths can be emotionally-distant, many of them will also try to have complete control over their partner’s lives by wanting to know every aspect of it. This can include where they’re going, who they’re talking to, and even over all of the financial matters. This way, they can make their partners dependent on them.
12. Easily Angered
Sociopaths can have a reputation for being cold and calculated. But, as mentioned before, many can be reckless and impulsive, and it’s common for many sociopaths to become hot-headed very quickly, often over the smallest issues. Sometimes this irritability can escalate to violence, which will be talked about next.
13. Physical Aggression
The signs of sociopathy are not only to be emotionally and verbally abusive, but they can be physically violent as well. This can involve all matters relating to being physically harmed, like being hit, stabbed, or shot. It can also include coercion and threats of violence like breaking objects and displaying weapons.
14. Lack of Remorse
Although they might understand that they did something wrong, they can show regret because their actions had a negative effect on them or they got caught. Many sociopaths are unremorseful for their actions. They will try to justify them even if it causes great harm to other people.
15. Little-to-No Empathy
The final sign you could be with a sociopath, and it’s a tell-tale one, is that they are unable to show empathy for others. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have a conscience, but it is a weak one, and they can have a hard time putting themselves in other people’s shoes and trying to understand what they might be feeling.
More Information On Sociopathy
If you’re looking to read more about sociopaths in-depth and get any other questions you have about it answered, BetterHelp offers free resources on this topic that can assist you in understanding the signs of sociopathy and what makes a sociopath different from a psychopath.
Additionally, you’ll also be able to find out how you can connect to a counsellor or therapist if you believe you may be in a relationship with a sociopath and you’re unsure how to cope with it.
You can also reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 if you’re experiencing any kind of abuse, whether it’s emotional, verbal, or physical, so that you can find specialised advice on how to navigate this situation and eventually escape from it safely.
Lots of people can hide the signs of sociopathy behind their masks, but even the most subtle signs can become apparent if you look closely. If you’ve had thoughts that you might be dating or married to a sociopath, hopefully, this article will help you stay vigilant and also on the lookout for these signs. If you need additional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Especially if it’s apparent you’re in a toxic relationship.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.