Sociopaths are manipulative, and some are dangerous. If you know someone with several of the following attributes, your best bet is to stay away from them.
1 Superficial Charm
3 Pathological Lying
4 Manipulative and Cunning
5 Shallow Emotions
6 Lack of Remorse, Shame, Or Guilt
7 Incapable of Human Attachment
8 Constant Need for Stimulation
9 Lack of Empathy
10 Poor Behavioral Controls / Impulsive Nature
11 Promiscuous Sexual Behavior / Infidelity
A sociopathic person is walled off from their inner core. How they present themselves to the world is a facade. Their operational system is power. To relate to them by playing the power game is a losing proposition because they are masters of the game and they will win at all cost.
The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt
to Clarify Some Issues About the
So-Called Psychopathic Personality
is a book by American psychiatristHervey M. Cleckley, first published in 1941. It is considered a seminal work and the most influential clinical description of psychopathy in the twentieth century.
Cleckley, a pioneer in psychopathy research, coined the phrase mask of sanityto describe the psychopath’s ability to perfectly mimic a normally functioning person and to mask or disguise the disorder; a fundamental lack of moral conscience and internal personality structure. Despite the seemingly sincere, intelligent, even charming external presentation, internally the psychopathic person does not have the ability to experience genuine emotions.
At every court appearance or evaluator session I noticed that the opposition would present crazy evidence, accusations or witness declarations that were complete exaggerations or outright lies. I asked myself how it was that they were able to so often present this stuff and get away with it?
The answer was simple: They appeared confident and believable, their stories combined with their appearance made others think there could be truth to their version of events, especially when contrasted against my own outward appearance. I was, in short, a valuable tool in helping them look better.
Because they play dirty. They don’t follow any rules of civil interaction. Lacking a conscience, they have no moral constraints on their behavior, and when confronted, they simply deny their evil deeds. They couldn’t care less about civility, decency, morality, or honor as long as their actions pay out and their unethical behavior is kept under the public radar. They are free to lie, con, deceive, manipulate, intimidate, incriminate, or use any other trick in the book.
We may not recognize the disingenuous conniving techniques they use to control and manipulate. An experienced abuser is extraordinarily devious and almost impossible to pin down. Primed with denial strategies, he’s always ahead of the game.
Psychopaths use numerous deception tactics to create and maintain a respectable, virtuous, likable—maybe even admirable—public persona that deceives the best of us.They take advantage of our tendency to not recognize evidence that contradicts our beliefs, such as dishonesty and other lowly character traits in an individual who has ‘won’ our trust, respect, and appreciation. The persona provides a cover for devious schemes, exploitation, and abuse.
A psychopathic individual may believe that all of us play the same game—only he is smarter and superior while most other people are weak and inferior pushovers. Until understanding of psychopathy becomes widespread public knowledge, the predator’s hunting grounds will remain saturated with easy prey.
Persona: the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others.
The Official Etiquette Rules for the Vintage Advice Group (Photo: Ann Douglas)
Don’t be fooled by nice manners. What looks like politeness can be pretense used to sugarcoat aggressive, manipulative, or false communication. Look at the content; not merely the cover. In other words; pay attention to what the person is saying, and don’t be fooled by who he is or how he is saying it.
Psychopaths are superficially charming. They lack delusions or other signs of irrational thinking and are free of nervousness and anxiety. In other words, they present an image of stability, confidence, and overall good “mental health” that can disarm even the most experienced judge of human character.