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In fact, many researchers believe that 1 in 25 Americans fit the criteria for sociopathy. Think of all the people you have met in your life. Average one in Hard to believe, right?
Have you ever known someone who left you feeling confused, devastated, or chilled — maybe all at once? Maybe it was a romantic partner you think back on and describe as evil.
Maybe it was a boss whom you describe as psycho. Or that domineering neighbor. But they make people miserable. And they tend to get away with an awful lot. First, shift your Hollywood version of the sociopath or psychopath the terms are interchangeable — a cold-blooded serial killer — to the actual definition of a sociopath. Sociopathic characteristics include powerful charisma, charm, spontaneity, chronic manipulation, intensity, and risk taking.
Sociopaths are good at making you doubt yourself. Making you do things for them. Making you feel crazy. What does this mean?
An inability — not a choice, but an inability — to care or even think about the feelings of anyone else. An ability to move through life with complete disregard for their actions: Sociopaths can, because they are unhindered by guilt, manipulate their way to the top. It could be Wall Street. It could be the local school board. It could be government. It could be their relationship with you. It could be any role. And one of the most difficult things about dealing with a sociopath is when you see it….
Many sociopaths live their lives relatively undetected — except, perhaps, by those closest to them… and only then, sometimes, to those who have learned to identify a sociopath.
Sociopaths use many tools. They are described as charming, with an almost animal-like charisma. They have magnetism, an affinity for danger, spontaneity. They inspire a feeling of familiarity: They engage in gaslighting — making you doubt your perceptions of reality.
Sociopaths are expert in identifying an easy mark — they can pick out the most trusting, decent person in the room. Crocodile tears are a favorite method. They are masterful at evoking pity and have incredible acting skills. In fact, sociopaths have an especially strong fondness for evoking pity.
Pity is carte blanche. Good people will let pathetic individuals get away with, sometimes literally, murder. All sociopaths are violent — some emotionally, and some physically as well. This book discusses the predictability of violence — great for avoiding sociopaths.
So now you have a lead on how to recognize a sociopath, and hopefully red flags will rise when you encounter one. Following is a paraphrase of what is written in her book. They look like us.
One lie, one promise broken, one neglected responsibility — it could be a misunderstanding. Cut your losses immediately. Heed your own anxieties and instincts. Especially around those who claim that by dominating others they are helping a greater good.
Know the difference between compliments and flattery. Compliments usually feel good. Flattery feels like too much. Know that sociopaths use flattery to manipulate.
Discern between fear and respect. Sometimes the more we fear someone, the more we defer to them and offer them respect. Just because someone causes you to fear does not mean they are worthy of your respect. Your 1 goal is to protect yourself. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid all contact. Minimize or eliminate the sociopath from your life. Although sociopaths are great actors, and can feign hurt feelings, know that they have no feelings to hurt — they are manipulating you.
Evoking pity is a classic sociopathic tool. Sociopaths take full advantage of our social reflexes. Second and third and fourth chances are for those who have a conscience. Again, learn how to cut your losses quickly. Never agree, for any reason, to help conceal the true character of a sociopath. Do not listen to this self-serving request. Others deserve to be warned more than the sociopath deserves to be protected. Know that most of us do, thankfully, posses a conscience, and can love.
One in 25 people being someone we need to avoid. Disturbing to think about the ease with which a sociopath creates a swath of destruction…and that they get away with it….
Eventually, karma catches up with bad folks. Sociopaths come to a bad end. In a nutshell, because of the unrelenting boredom they feel, sociopaths create drama, take massive risks — even, sometimes, kill. It makes sense if you think about it — without human connection, what else is there? I write this not in the spirit of schadenfreude, but rather in celebration of our ability, the majority of us, to live lives full of depth, meaning, relationship, and love.
Is there a distinction to be made between a sadistic personality and a sociopath? They obviously overlap, but to what degree?
I would say that sadism relates to taking pleasure in causing other people pain. I know I have been in a relationship 4 10 years with one. He actually always talks about the game. The rules change at any moment without notice. He gets you to flip out then says see your the crazy one. He is a great fisherman he throws you far away then reels you back in. He knows the game after all. I have been in a relationship with a man for seven years. He moved into my home a few months after I met him due to some unfortunate circumstances at the time.
Well after seven years of some physical abuse and a ton of emotional abuse I am now trying to get him out of my life totally. I was told about three years ago by my counselor that he was a sociopath and after he was in a psyche ward I was told that he also had a narcissistic personality disorder.
I love this man with everything I have in my soul and have suffered emotionally and financially because of my love for him. I am still so devastated for giving seven years to a man whom I thought was my soul mate and I would eventually marry to find out it was nothing but a LIE.
I really want to start healing and move on with my life. I fee you, Carol. We owe it to ourselves to walk away and save what little self worth and self respect left to ourselves. I have been having a relationship with someone who is married. I want to get rid of this person. I am suspecting that he is one of these Sociopath.
They have a pathological need to wound and twist the knife in the wound. The above article gives a broad view of the personality disorder and gives reliable advice for staying out of the clutches of a sociopath. How I regret that I was such a naive and trusting 20 year old at the time when I experienced all of this first hand. They love twisting the knife, putting the salt in the wound, causing a person to fall down. I feel I attract them big time.
Did he ever love me?/p>
Approval from others is more important than respecting themselves. The expansion of the meaning of codependency happened very publicly. Woititz's Adult Children of Alcoholics had come out in and sold two million copies while being on the New York Times bestseller list for forty-eight weeks.
A Guide for Professionals. Mainstream psychological scientists have questioned the validity of the codependency construct as a form of pseudoscientific "psychobabble"  , and its scientific status remains uncertain.
Codependency does not refer to all caring behavior or feelings, but only those that are excessive to an unhealthy degree. Responsibility for relationships with others needs to coexist with responsibility to self. Codependency has been referred to as the disease of a lost self.
Often, there is imbalance, so one person is abusive or in control or supports or enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.
These helper types are often dependent on the other person's poor functioning to satisfy their own emotional needs. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.
Commonly cited symptoms of codependency are: In a codependent relationship, the codependent's sense of purpose is based on making extreme sacrifices to satisfy their partner's needs. Codependent relationships signify a degree of unhealthy "clinginess", where one person does not have self-sufficiency or autonomy.
One or both parties depend on their loved one for fulfillment. In the dysfunctional family the child learns to become attuned to the parent's needs and feelings instead of the other way around. A parent can, nevertheless, be codependent towards their own children if the caretaking or parental sacrifice reaches unhealthy or destructive levels.
Children of codependent parents who ignore or negate their own feelings may become codependent. Not all mental health professionals agree about standard methods of treatment. The caregiver may only require assertiveness skills and the ability to place responsibility for the addiction on the other.
For example, some may choose cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy , sometimes accompanied by chemical therapy for accompanying depression. Sometimes an individual can, in attempts to recover from codependency, go from being overly passive or overly giving to being overly aggressive or excessively selfish. Unresolved patterns of codependency can lead to more serious problems like alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders , sex addiction , psychosomatic illnesses, and other self-destructive or self-defeating behaviors.
Cermak reasoned that when specific personality traits become excessive and maladaptive and caused significant impairment in functioning or caused significant distress, it warrants a personality disorder diagnosis. Cermak proposed the following criteria for this disorder: Some scholars believe that codependency is not a negative trait, and does not need to be treated, as it is more likely a healthy personality trait taken to excess.
Codependency in nonclinical populations has some links with favourable characteristics of family functioning. However, there is no evidence that codependence is caused by a disease process. Amir Levine and Rachel S. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Look up codependency in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Skip 13 July Retrieved 9 September Codependency for Dummies 1st ed. University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 12 January A Layman's Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis. D, Len 13 May University of West Florida. Living is about learning and growing through excitement and discomfort. In the end, you can spend your life feeling sorry for yourself, cowering in the comfort of a recliner, wondering why there are so many problems out in the real world, or you can be thankful that you are strong enough to endure them.
It just depends on your mindset. The obvious first step in this arena, though, is convincing yourself to get up and do the uncomfortable things that need to be done. In the past year alone the answer to all three questions is probably dozens for most people, including myself. And these questions can be easily reworked and applied to various areas of our lives too. The bottom line is that the draw of comfort—a common weakness of the mind—combined with lack of action, absolutely devastates our potential.
When we avoid discomfort, nothing worthwhile gets done. And the only way to fix this predicament is daily practice. Your mind needs to be exercised to gain strength. It needs to be worked on a daily basis to grow.
Choose to go to the gym when it would be more comfortable to sleep in. Choose to do the tenth rep when it would be more comfortable to quit at nine. Choose to create something special when it would be more comfortable to consume something mediocre. Choose to raise your hand and ask that extra question when it would be more comfortable to stay silent. Choose to stand your ground when it would be more comfortable to fit in. Just keep proving to yourself in lots of little ways, every day, that you have the guts to get up, get in the ring, and fight for the life you are capable of living.
Just like you, Angel and I are not immune to any of the points discussed above. None of us are above this stuff. Sometimes we let our weak impulses get the best of us. And it takes practice just to realize this, and then even more practice, still, to get ourselves back on track. Number 4 cuts to the the center of my life-long resistance to avoid being uncomfortable and thus procrastinating on the projects I know I need to work on, for my own sake.
There was a time in my life not too long ago when I felt completely stuck… and endlessly berating and fighting against myself for doing so. Your Getting Back to Happy course and teachings have been guiding me through this predicament, one tiny step at a time. I am seeing gradual progress…slow and steady. Kristina, your growth and commitment to your new rituals has been inspiring to witness. Kristina, You captured my thought more clearly than I could have stated it. I have been suspicious of my own motives, but only fleetingly.
Everything else worthwhile builds off of that. If and when I embrace the moments of my life without conditions, I am my happiest, most productive, and most peaceful self in all walks of my life.
Just be present, and pay attention to the little things. So glad that quote from our book resonates with you. No doubt, our presence is the foundation of everything we are capable of achieving and experiencing in life. And I have to agree with what Kristina mentioned in her comment—the way you rounded this article out with number 4 really struck the deepest chord with me. One small step at a time, one single day at a time, in the right direction, with the right support, and magic happens!
Slow and steady—one day at a time—is the best means of making progress in all walks of life. And we are looking forward to seeing you at Think Better, Live Better in a couple weeks.
I am glad to receive your motivational and education posts in my inbox. My perceptions are changing for the better. Is it still fair? Truly, the biggest problem in this area is that we tend to forget that people even loved ones sometimes judge us based on a pool of influences in their own life that have absolutely nothing to do with us.
For example, someone might assume things about you based on a troubled past experience they had with someone else who looks like you, or someone else who shares a hobby of yours, etc. Therefore, basing your self-worth or long-term decisions on what others think puts you in a perpetual state of vulnerability—you are literally at the mercy of their unreliable, bias perspectives.
If they see you in the right light, and respond to you in a positive, affirming manner, then you feel good about yourself. And if not, you feel like you did something wrong. Bottom line, there is a point when you have to draw a line in the sand. Keep in mind that a large part of such openness requires taking personal responsibility for your wrong doings. If you know, for instance, that your actions or words have hurt a loved one, you must immediately address this in the most honest way possible.
If you live for the truth now, you will find comfort and peace in the end. If you live for comfort and peace now by avoiding the truth, you will get neither comfort nor peace nor truth, only wishful thinking to begin, and lasting regret in the end. And if you need further insight, you may find value in this article: I hear you but sometimes we also need to take into account that persistent interference from others can skew your judgement.
For instance, last week someone misinterpreted something I said and went off on a totally unjustified tangeant about responding in anger.
So please remember that no one else can truly speak about a persons motives except themselves. But if you are truly unhappy, you need to talk to the person directly and freely so there is no room for these misinterpretations which over time can accumulate and cause unnecessary heartache! Never the other way around!
Point number three is ringing loud and clear with me today. I still have difficulty dealing with my brother in law when we are trying to care for my mother in law. I have difficulty getting him to listen to problems I have noticed, or for him to see what is happening , which leads to me having all sorts of drama internally and also sometimes with my husband.
I know that he has the best intentions for his mother. I am still trying to find ways to work together to achieve the best results for my Mother in law but I am really finding things difficult. Hi Marc and Angel, Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you guys are amazing and reading your articles is such a great feeling and refreshing. So happy I get these insights and positive articles from you. Getting out of my comfort zone is a big challenge but I know I have to do it and try and work on it every day.
I always feel better once I do. It is the anxiety and laziness and fear that I have to break through. Always helps to read something like this to remind me how important it is to gain true sense of self and to live and not just exist which really resonated with how I have been feeling.
It is the reason I push myself to do things that are uncomfortable and why I tap into my creative being. I work hard to live as drama free as possible. Many times it is others who attempt to draw me into their drama that causes me anxiety. When I refuse to be sucked into it, they become angry, so the cycle continues. I love the way you used words to perfectly describe the growing absorption into media and entertainment that we all face.
I like the reminder that as individuals we can and need to control it. Personally, I do not like to hang out with people who are absorbed into their phones while physically in the presence of others. But it has to be a mindful experience to connect. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. I will be forwarding your article to several people. I absolutely agree with the comment above that Stan left.
So many things are accepted today such as gossiping, lying, and drama… like we all in live in the t. But I am learning to be true to myself and confront the drama and fear I have about it. I am sad its taken so long but the convictions I have now help me to stand up for myself with real backbone not empty threats and drama of my own.
I think some people just need to veg to stay sane. But great article overall. Gonna share with my audience. Your article was spot on about being too comfortable. I found just what I needed. Yesterday I did my first class and now feel pretty good about making Lemon Chicken.
Those have been resolved and your information has given me wings. Thank you for this empowering piece Anyways….. I get that we are to seek comfort in the uncomfortable stuff that push us forward, but this whole accept everything as it is? How do we put up with people when we have no standards?
Some people walk in and get too comfortable like having them is not an option……. Today i frowned at my wife because she did not make a dinner for couple of days in a row and exploded because i was having a bad headache. Thank you so much for another amazing article with such powerful advice.
I am always inspired by your posts. The second context of worrying about what other people say about what I do enlightened me. Now I have started the journey of pursuing my goals like a lion without worrying who will say what as long as am not hurting anyone. Thanks Marc and Angel. I believe we deserve to use social networks, reading updates, text messages, and we deserve to have a leisure. Following updates from techs for most of your hours on the day is not good, and vice versa. This article really resonated with me today.
Over the past month in this new year I found myself having really great, energized, and focused days. Then I would slowly slink into letting the psychological draw of comfort get the best of me. This article was a great realization that we are not all immune to it. This change has helped me to connect more with people again.
My wife and I have more conversations now than we used to even though she still has a smart phone. We wrestle more, play more ping pong and basketball together.
We do puzzles together. I read more to them. That hit me right where I needed it. Thank you for such an awesome article. I used to be in the habit of self-criticism for personal and social improvement.
I was losing my compassion and control and feeling myself on a persistent downward slope. I was successfully existing but not living. During the midway of studying this article, I asked myself to read it again after few days as a positive reinforcement. I enjoyed your article and agreed with several of your positions. Instead it would be good to take the other persons criticism of ourselves and use it to make us better, more compassionate people. Overall though I appreciated your article and it definitely has me thinking about what I can do to have a more active role in my own life.
I related to almost every word of this article. My job, my relationship, my lack of drive and motivation, etc. But each time I try my brain nags at me until I give up. Social media definitely plays a part in this as well.
Once again, girls are faking. This is a very effective method for the modern woman to receive attention. When “mood swings” and “depression” aren’t enough, she will result to swallowing a handful of Tylenol PM and revel in the attention of her family, friends, and orbiters. Short Drama Scripts - A Showcase for Original Scripts on the Net! See new additions below or pick your genre on the left. Please Note: If you wish to contact any of the writers, please change the (a) to an @.This was put into place to keep dopey spammers from harvesting e-mail addresses from the site. Codependency is a controversial concept for a dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of codependency, the most common theme is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity.