A high functioning sociopath can be hard to miss whether it’s a family member or someone you’re dating, very often we are blinded by our relationship with them.
According to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, up to 3% of the US population meets the criteria for antisocial personality disorder.
Who are sociopaths?
The Merck Manual says, “Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for consequences and for the rights of others.” Traits like extreme charm, lack of empathy, difficulty with relationships, manipulation, callousness, lying and having difficulty apologizing are just some of the things to look out for.
One of the more predominant traits of sociopaths is superficial charm. They make you feel understood and wanted very quickly. A healthy person will make you feel special while allowing you to get to know them not blow you away with charm.
Lack of accountability and responsibility for their actions
They also lack a sense of accountability. They are good at playing the victim and draw you towards helping and supporting them because they make it appear that they are victims of difficult, unfair circumstances. If you point out something that they may be responsible for, they make you feel even more sorry for them by pitying them.
This is the opposite of healthy people who are accountable and take responsibility for their actions. They work towards solutions instead.
Extremely controlling and manipulative
High functioning sociopaths are also extremely controlling. They isolate your from friends and family. And if it’s a family member they will isolate you from friends or any emotional support system you have.
They will also try and come between you and your closest relationships by speaking badly about the people you care about, making you feel guilty for making time for other people and generally gaslight you into thinking other people are not trustworthy and cannot be relied on.
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