Good & Interesting article about sociopaths

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Star*, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Please take this for what it is worth and do NOT try to armchair diagnose anyone. The article states very clearly to get a professional diagnosis.

    I just thought it was an interesting read. Don't freak out - a lot of the symptoms are similar in nature to GFGism. Doesn't mean they are sociopathic (REMEMBER don't self diagnosis)
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting.

    My little sister was married to a sociopath. In fact, she was so concerned about the marriage that they went to counseling b4, the counselor pulled her aside and told her to get out of the relationship, and she married him anyway! They're now divorced.
    He was quite the charmer. Very funny. Won every award at every job, then ended up getting fired. Time after time.

    He spent half of his $ on his horses, but yelled at my sister for spending $ on their baby. He drove her brand new car and dented it, after having fallen asleep at the wheel, and blew it off as a joke. He took weekend trips to Vegas and slept around (or so we think). And he had tons of 1-900 #s on the ph bill.
    The first time I met him, I knew something was wrong. He just tried too hard-tried to find out everything about us and then imitate it. First time he met my mom at dinner, he got her # right away--decided to drink her under the table. They were both sloshed but it worked--she liked him from that moment on.

    When they went through their divorce, he truly didn't "get it." He was a passed master at manipulation and thrived on pity. When they were going through the divorce, he called me and most of my sister's friends, complained that he didn't understand why she was so mad at him, and often threatened to kill himself.

    I recall yrs ago, reading a theory that if you don't develop a conscience by a certain age, it's too late. It's now been altered by the psychiatric community to be a more long-term thing--I can't remember the exact developmental milestones, but it starts around 3 and peaks at 12 or so.
    I'll do a search online to see if I can find any ideas about babies who are born that way; things have changed so much over the yrs. (The suitcase exhibit being but one example.)

    When reading this, I had to remind myself that many of these characteristics could describe normal children! But they do not describe normal adults. I think that's the main thing to remember.

    This is a good list from the article:

    1. Do you often feel used by the person?

    2. Have you often felt that he (or she) doesn't care about you?

    3. Does he lie and deceive you?

    4. Does he tend to make contradictory statements?

    5. Does he tend to take from you and not give back much?

    6. Does he often appeal to pity? Does he seem to try to make you feel sorry for him?

    7. Does he try to make you feel guilty?

    8. Do you sometimes feel he is taking advantage of your good nature?

    9. Does he seem easily bored and need constant stimulation?

    10. Does he use a lot of flattery? Does he interact with you in a way that makes you feel flattered even if he says nothing overtly complimentary?

    11. Does he make you feel worried? Does he do it obviously or more cleverly and sneakily?

    12. Does he give you the impression you owe him?

    13. Does he chronically fail to take responsibility for harming others? Does he blame everyone and everything but himself?
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Interesting. Fits both husband and my best friend. Although they could actually be describing husband. At least behavior wise.:crazy2:

    Not sure whether I should :rofl: or be :scared: by that.


    But I did find the article itself very interesting. I've often wondered if it was far more common than once believed.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I worked with a sociopath. I will qualify this to say, he was not diagnosed as such to my knowledge, this is just my assessment of him. But he had all the hallmarks and made my life a misery, sabotaging me professionally as much as he could. I did eventually succeed but it was a real struggle.

    The interesting thing - he was a child refugee. He told a story about how he and his mother escaped from behind the Iron Curtain and the story that really chilled our blood was not any adventure of running from a hail of bullets, it was simply a quiet, eeerily silent night, in a deserted border village. And he made his mother walk through first. And she did.
    What does this do to a boy? How can he equate his desperation for survival, with his acknowledgment that he was prepared for his mother to die first, in the event it was a trap? How can he ever, in all conscience, HAVE a conscience, after that?

    I no longer have anything to do with this bloke, he left the job in shame and has not been heard of since. But I know another refugee who escaped a similar situation. And while I don't see this second guy as psychopathic, he certainly isn't normal. He plays silly tricks, he will pick an argument with someone just because he's bored, he can only really join in a conversation on a superficial level, he HAS to be the centre of attention - as if he still is the small child whose family sheltered from bombs in the basements of various houses as they journeyed across Europe.

    I'm not saying all refugees are psychopathic, but I do wonder if the sort of trauma these kids endure doesn't have some lasting effect on at least some of them. It would depend on so much - how old they were, how bad the trauma was, how long it lasted, how much healing help they had access to.

  5. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    The article must have been written about difficult child's father. My answer was yes to every one of those questions. I've always thought he was one. He had a very bad childhood. His mother did more unthinkable things than I can count. Most of his brothers and sisters are sociopaths as well.

    Interesting article.

  6. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Thanks for sharing this article!!! I only had time to briefly glance at it - I bookmarked it so I can reread it later. Unfortunately, it sounds like it was written using my father as an example!!!

    Anyway, got to get on with my day. I know I'll return to this post later to read what others have written. WFEN
  7. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    this was really interesting. I work in a university library so I checked and we own the second book mentioned. I am having it delivered to me to read.

    My therapist suspected my difficult child 1 might be a sociopath but I don't think she really is. However, when I did consider it, it did help me in dealing with her. For the 1st time I did give credence to the idea that she may have no real feelings of love or a conscience, that she might be faking those things. When I was able to do that I could detach much easier and take a tough stance with her. Sometimes I think her boyfriend may be a sociopath but then again he does seem to care about her and they have been together for a year and a half. I guess they both have or have had sociopathic traits but I wouldn't say either is a full blown sociopath.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I had a friend in college who's father was a sociopath. He was very scary. Very wealthy man who did horrible things to make $$, and I remember how scared she was every time he came to visit her in college. If anything about her behavior, friends, etc displeased him he would refuse to pay ehr tuition. Unless she did something for him. She never told me what the somethings he wanted were, but she was certainly afraid of him.

    The last year I knew her she was trying to break free of him. It seemed like a very difficult thing to do. I know he threatened her mother's life at one point.

    So sad, that there are people like that. I think the advice to get the person out of your life is very smart.

  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Interesting reading.

    I followed on of the links to Socialised Psychopath test at .

    I do think one has to keep in mind when reading the information that there are tons of "symptoms" that cross over from one disorder to another. And definately, the knowledge that they typical gfgism we deal with day-to-day in children is different than adults.
  10. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member

    Yes, I have read one of those books already. Also, my mother, a physical and mental abuser of the worst kind. She's textbook on all those questions!

    She has driven off all her kids with her actions, and after 42 years, I am not guilty at all after having cut off all contact with her for 5 years now. I am finally FREEEEEE Yay.

    I can love her from afar.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    For all of you that have had to deal with these charmers - many sorries. The article says the HAVE to and are driven to win at no matter what. That is an understatement.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    On the subject of sociopaths and relationships - my co-worker WAS married, but I think for him it was something he fell into. His father-in-law pushed him into marrying because he'd been living with them anyway, and the father in law said, "marry my daughter, or leave." They had a lot of interests in common, but I think from my co-worker's position, it wasn't love; it was convenience. But he knew there were certain conventions he had to live by. His main motivating factor was to not get caught doing what he knew society disapproved of.
    His wife worked in the same building, she was a regular visitor and we knew her well. Her boss intensely disliked him (takes one to know one!) and arranged for the wife to get an overseas posting. Hubby (my co-worker) bullied her boss into getting him a job near his wife, but there was a time delay in organising their affairs. She left a couple of months before he did and ironically, she had found someone else by the time he got there. Tragic in one sense, but we knew he would take every opportunity to play around when his wife was out of town at a conference. It finally all had come back to bite him.
    He tried to cut his overseas stay short and come back to our work, but his replacement had been hired on a fixed term contract. When the replacement eventually left, our old colleague came back but didn't "cut the mustard". He left, a broken man. But still sociopathic - he was STILL trying to find a way to manipulate the system to get his previous good standing back - good standing he had only acquired through bullying, dishonesty and downright cheating.
    He had bragged that he would get rid of me - it was very cheering for me to finally see him go.
    Then his wife returned - also very happy.