What is a Sociopath (Psychopath)?

One thing I’ve learned from being “Stuck by A Sociopath” and my full blow dive into researching this creepy disorder is this: Just like all of us, Sociopaths are unique.  Though the popular checklists of Sociopath traits are great resources, I feel compelled to compile my own checklist, if not for my own sanity but for others who need to see many versions of the Sociopath condition manifest itself.  I put a * when using an already established term.

1.  Always “The Victim”:  A Sociopath is always the “victim” of something that goes wrong and especially in relationships.  They were always the “great” one in the relationship and the other person was always somehow “crazy,” “bad” or “neglectful.”

2.  Difficulty Living Alone:  Sociopaths usually live with a stronger and more capable person that handles most of the responsibility (financial and other).  This could be a person that makes more money, has health insurance (will want to marry), and does majority of household business matters (dealing with day-to-day running, cooking, cleaning, child/pet care etc…)

a.  Sociopaths will make it seem the opposite: They are doing most of the household work and making a bigger financial contribution.

b.  This trait will diminish as a Sociopath gets older.  Older Sociopaths have fewer people to choose from that can be manipulated into a living situation.

3.  Careless:  Sociopaths do things quickly thus breaking and losing things.  

a.  Sociopaths do not care for your personal property but will be obsessed over their own personal property being taken care of and maintained.

4.  Reckless with life:  Sociopaths drive dangerously and put pets into harmful situations (e.g., leaving gates open for dogs to get out of, leaving cats out at night, not checking for available water).

5.  Smear Campaign:* A Sociopath will always be smearing someone and inciting people against each other.

a.  Sociopaths do not want people to like or get along with each other and will try to “divide and conquer.”  They will say odd things to people in the social group: “She doesn’t like you” or “She doesn’t want me doing anything with you.”

6.  Jealous:  Sociopaths are extremely jealous and insecure people.  Everything is a threat to them.

a.  Don’t ever tell a Sociopath about your PAST.  However benign the story is, they will obsess over it and then turn it around and use it against you when you become a Target*.

b.  A Sociopath will feel threatened by a pet, child, close friend or a supporting family member.  They do NOT want you to have anyone in your life! (Please be careful with your pets: A Sociopath can KILL your pet(s) and easily get away with it).

7.  User:  Everyone serves some kind of purpose, no matter how great or small, for a Sociopath.

a.  A Sociopath has a strange network of Support People ranging from “consultants,” to skilled-workers, to enabling co-dependents that back him up when he wants to go after his Target*.

b.  Most of the Support People have their own Psychological problems.

8.  Drama Queen:  There is always conflict going on in a Sociopath’s life and it involves a “bad person,” “bad business” or “bad transaction.”

a.  A Sociopath is always “pitting” people against each other.

9.  Can’t do Anything Alone:  A Sociopath has a hard time being alone and will desperately hunt people out for stimulation.

a.  A Sociopath will seek strangers out on the internet for “companionship” and will “cry” about his great need for “love” and extreme “loneliness.”

10.  Appears hardworking. helpful and generous:  The Sociopath has many people working behind the scenes much harder and his help and generosity comes with the expectation that he will receive more in return.

11.  Double Standards:  Everything is a double standard for a Sociopath.

a.  A Sociopath will expect that you keep isolated and “only onto him,”  and be completely dedicated and loyal to him.  Yet, he will be constantly slandering you and violating your honor and reputation.

b.  A Sociopath will expect complete faithfulness from you, but will be cheating with any woman that pays him any attention.

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Author: My Sociopath

Oceanside, California

36 thoughts on “What is a Sociopath (Psychopath)?”

  1. This is an Excellent reply! Thank you. I wrote a poem about what had happened, and this comment would work well on this poem, if you would be willing to possibly copy and paste it? I’d be very grateful. It’s very informative comment you wrote here, and one that is important to remember. Let me see if this will link you to Poem:
    BPD Deservingly Gets The NPD Boot

      1. Thank you! I do not have Facebook, but would you mind if I posted your comment to my poem? I’m sorry…I’m still a bit unsure of how to work WordPress and I don’t know how to REBLOG things to others sites, only to my own.

      2. Sure, thank you. I edited it a bit before I posted it to my facebook. Here it is:

        People who suffer from trauma can unintentionally provoke bad people (narcissists and sociopaths) into hurting and destroying them even more without realizing that they are in fact causing more harm for him/herself.

        Many people with trauma-related disorders attract bad people, then try to make a stand against the bad person, thinking they are acting teacher-like and even vigilante-like…but in reality, only inciting the bad person to hurt them even more.

        It’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophesy:

        We are super-vigilant in trying to protect ourselves…
        But because we are so anxiety-ridden, we attract just what we are trying to avoid or someone bad…
        We try to make the bad person see how bad they are in the hopes that they will be good to us…
        We stay far too long with the bad person…
        The bad person becomes more dangerous…
        Thus, we are destroyed even more…

        Hence, The Smear-Campaign…our ruination…

        Lynna, Author of “My Sociopath – An Empath’s Soul Journey Among Sociopaths.” Now on sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

      3. I just put your reply on my poem with your name and everything…thank you! You are the author of this book? I might check it out on Amazon.
        Tamara

      4. Thank you. I don’t use WordPress a lot, I’m mostly on Facebook & a little bit on Twitter, so I appreciate you peaking my interest back into Blogging again. I checked out your page and I really like your work. Yes, I wrote “My Sociopath – An Empath’s Soul Journey Among Sociopaths” but have not yet fully promoted it…I just make little mentions here and there.

  2. “#5 a” seems very fitting for what my sister recently went through. But, I do think she sort of provokes people to wrath, unintentionally..(possibly due to being an BPD), … But, she actually does not seem to understand this until “after the fact”..

    1. Daisies,
      Good point about your sister.
      Also, people who suffer from trauma can provoke bad people (narcissists and sociopaths) into hurting and destroying them even more without realizing they are provoking and causing more harm for him/herself.
      Many people with trauma-related disorders attract bad people, then try to make a stand against the bad person, thinking they are acting vigilante like…but only inciting the bad person to hurt them even more.
      It’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophesy: We are super-vigilant in trying to protect ourselves…But because we are so anxiety-ridden we attract just what we are trying to avoid or someone bad…We try to make the bad person see how bad they are in the hopes that they will be good to us…We stay far too long with the bad person…the bad person becomes more dangerous…thus, we are destroyed even more.

  3. thank you. i just married a sociopath….Now i have to find out how to deal with it? should i leave or should i try to work it out?

    1. Hi, I’m sorry for the delayed response. Spend most of my time/responding on the facebook page connected to this page. To answer your question: It is impossible to work it out with a sociopath. I did everything imaginable and worked as hard as 3 women would have for him. Sociopaths destroy everything, no matter what, no matter what you give to them or do for them. A relationship with one is extremely stressful and it will wear you down.

      My Sociopath did “seem” to “manage” with one woman. But she was just desperate to have a “man’s presence” in her home, any man’s presence would have sufficed, and she let him do what ever he wanted. She was not very smart…didn’t question him on anything, didn’t assert herself, allowed herself to be treated as his “mommy” and became his “caretaker.”

      However, he was cheating, lying, making her pay most of their cost of living and bills (sociopaths destroy finances and never do good with money)…

      She just wanted “company” to go out to dinner, a “man” to cut the grass (though the sociopath did a horrible, crappy job even at that; sociopaths need “attention” always and the lawnmower didn’t give him the attention he needed so it was a quick, sloppy job so he could get onto the computer to troll for targets), etc… She was a huge lover of dining out and didn’t want to go out by herself so she “babied” him, mostly supported him and the household, and just put up with his insanity without saying a word.

      As a woman, true to myself, I could never act like she did nor would I ever want to. I have pride and dignity.

      Hope this helps. Leaving the sociopath was hard at first, because they deplete you financially,,,but I’d rather live under a bridge and regain a sense of myself and work hard to gain my life back than allow myself to be destroyed by a sociopath.

      Lynna

  4. Sociopath/Narcissist ? 9 1/2 year relationship. 6 different relocations. Lost job of 21 years because of alcohol( so he claims) wonderful times. Never hateful. Seemed to love my children but not very close to his ( or at least didn’t show much affection) first indication of problems? His accessive drinking? Wanted him to get help… I had gallbladder surgery and he dissappeared for a month, slowly to contact me again and make sure everything was ok. This time last year we were in charleston , celebrating his birthday. Today he is married!!! Had a double life the entire last year. When I met the OW he flipped. First time I heard him demonically scream at me. ( someone I did not know!!! 5 weeks later , he married her. They have relocated and live in Houston now. I’m in counseling but also continue to be in a state of shock. Sme characteristics fit narcissim / some sociopath. Would like to know for sure. Sad and devastated

    1. Hi Kim, I was also hit by a sociopath. Your story hit me I mine moved on fast and he was also with me and another girl while he professed he was with just me, he turned into a whole different person now. Research everything it has helped me, I never knew these people existed. It get’s better, but it’s takes time. Keep building new memories replace the memories it helps. The book Women who loved Physcopaths helped me, please read it.

  5. Wow. I think it’s taken me 12 years to figure out my ex is a sociopath. There has been a history of domestic violence (even having to have my scalp stapled together after one incident). He is very charming and has lots of friends, and is always looking for more. These “friends” are his confidants and counselors, and he has turned them all against me. He twists everything in our relationship around so that it looks as though I am responsible for it. I feel used all the time as he treats me like a doormat. I’ve always known something was wrong, but couldn’t put my finger on it.

    We have split up and reconciled several times, and each time I return it gets worse. After our last separation, he promised we’d get counseling. He said I could delete everything I didn’t like in his email, etc., and we would work it out. I believed it. No sooner had I moved in though than I found out he had become involved with the daughter of his best friend. She is 20 some odd years younger than he is (he is 67 yrs old) and a dominatrix/phone sex operator. He had been giving her tons of money, and our home was in foreclosure due to that. I did not know all of this when I moved back in. It just went on and on with him going to visit her in another town all the time and lying about it. He would say his mom (in Ohio) was in the hospital from a heart attack, but then I’d find out he was actually in Wilmington with this woman.

  6. I have a sociopath that fits every trait in the book. I have had several doctors confirm this diagnosis with my story. The worst part is, between long silences and my ability to block him from all forms of communication, from time to time I listen to a plea or two of how he is so sorry and begs my forgiveness and is so willing to change, yadda yadda. I will invest a day or two and all of the same things occurr but escalate way worse in an attempt to punish me for the silence and throw in some stories of what he had been doing, some very painful facts, very cruel. I am running straight into therapy this week for myself to find out why I am expecting this sick person to change after a year of the exact same behavior that continues to escalate and the worst year of my life. Everything I care about has been removed or greatly damaged. God bless everyone who has dealt with a person like this and the gaslighting behavior. I will be having a discuission with him and he will conflict himself within the same sentence, within the same 5 minutes. when questioned, he will say, “I didnt say that, what is wrong with you?” He will make grandiose promises and the very next deny go back on them and look me square in the eye and lie and deny having said them. It has truly changed my personality and my freinds and family have very much noticed it, I deserve, we all deserve much better. Oh and for the animals. When my cat cuddles with me he referres to it as “cock blocking” and gets truly jealous. Not jokingly. So sick!!

    1. Monty:
      Wow! I am shocked by what you wrote. We are soul twins! As with me, the same behaviors occurred over and over and I kept expecting and hoping for different…but I did this for 4-years! You are smart and onto the fact that this is not healthy for you and want to seek therapy after only 1-year, trust me, you are okay: )
      And I even wrote about contradicting himself in the same sentence and then denying it on my Facebook. (My Sociopath-Struck by A Sociopath).
      And YES, I have a 5 lb dog and when the dog came near me, MS (My Sociopath) would turn this gray color, he eyes would do the Sociopath Glare and he got insanely jealous!
      I’m shocked,,,,THEY are all so similar!

  7. Paula, that is so sick. I feel so sad to hear people who lived through this. It’s as if their behaviors were so strange that we dealt with it by accepting it and losing our filter for what is normal and “not normal” behavior.

    1. I just got run over by a sociopath, he managed to turn my world upside down in 4 weeks. His name is Rabia Issa so beware if anyone should cross his path. He was a restaurant manager and he hired me as a bartender. I was very turned on by his charm and charisma. Rabia was always very well dressed and carried himself with a high level of self esteem. He asked me to go out for drinks one night and his behavior out of work was totally different, but exciting and spontaneous. He was fired from the job because someone found out about us together, he said it was my fault he got fired because he was dating me. He told me not to go back to work there. The next week he moved in with me, he found another job but I haven’t yet. He did not contribute and his behavior got more and more bizarre showing signs of anger, he even said that he wants to kick my dog. 3 weeks after he moved in he jumped out of bed at 3:30 am and said “I have to leave”. He picked up his suitcase and left, just like that. I tried to call him and text his he hasn’t responded. I felt like my whole insides got ripped out of my body. It’s only been 3 days. A friend of mine said he was a sociopath so I googled “sociopath” and he falls under every category. I am thankful the relationship did not go further. I hope this will be helpful to anyone that may meet and be captured under the spell of a sociopath.

      1. Kellie, I’m glad you got out so soon into the relationship. Many of us hang on and on, until we are fully ruined and destroyed. I know you feel bad about the betrayal to your heart, but be thankful he took off in the middle of the night, and please don’t allow him back.
        My Sociopath took off many times (usually after I caught him in a lie or doing weird things with creepy people), he would leave, I would feel a sense of relief (sadness but relief), and then he would start pounding on my door and crying to me through the closed door, and I would welcome him back, hoping things would be better.
        I did this so many times until I was completely ruined. I know you don’t feel good about yourself and what happened to you:

        But I would give anything to be able to go back in time, and be done with the nightmare, and start recovering, the FIRST time he left. I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now, 4-years later, if I refused him back the FIRST TIME.

        Don’t cave in to his cries and pleas. Take care of yourself. Lynna

    1. Sociopaths cannot stand to be ALONE. They need constant interaction, stimulation, engagement, gossiping, telling a good listener about their abuse at the hands of another “crazy ex,” invoking pity and I’m a “good, innocent little boy, please take care of me…” sob stories…MS couldn’t even take a walk for exercise on his own unless it involved talking weird to someone along the way.

  8. Yes! My Sociopathic X fits everyone of your categories. I didn’t have a pet, but I did/do have a son. He was hell bent on getting rid of him and pushing him out of my life. Toward the end, he threatened to have me admitted (he claimed I was bi-polar) and to allow my son’s father to have full custody. The sociopath is the one who had a dog, a Shih-Tzu, that he used to control me and keep me from family events because he didn’t want to put his precious dog in a kennel while we traveled to my family’s home for holidays. He also had his own business but didn’t do much work and loved that I had a job with benefits. Uuhhhggg! The list goes on…

    1. Paula, thank you so much for your input. I didn’t even find the “comment” page until just now. I am just starting up this campaign of awareness and still fumbling around a bit. Same thing with the business…I took over managing/operating the business, grew it by 3-times the revenue almost immediately, he wanted me to go back to teaching, I explained that I’m making more money for the business than I would as a teacher, his response: “Yeah, but I could get on your teacher’s health care plan.” Ohmigawd: There is something about Sociopath’s and health-care plans: /

      1. Gloria.MThank you soo much Jeff,Im so inspired by this, Im a grade 8 seuntdt and soon going into high schoolmy teacher wants us to do something about bullying and i’ve been stuck on that topic for a while bullying is such a complex and easy but deep topic, you really have to dig deep and learn about it, you made the whole topic way easier, you just inspired the mind of a teen!Im just a thankful for people like you. Thanks a million!

      2. HWS fill in the blanks is relaly so true and it is a good game for them because it keeps us off balance and also keeps us busy. I always used to wonder how some of these people can sleep at night after the trauma and upset they cause.The answer is easy.. they got what they wanted, we are off balance, not in any shape to stick up for ourselves, while we are crying ourselves to sleep we won’t be researching their lies, asking hard questions or throwing them out.. security for them for one more night.. plus they enjoy the fact that they WON, once again..

    2. sociopaths become obsessed with what we love. It was so sad what innocent animals go through with sociopaths but the poor children! I’m sorry about your son, I hope he is doing okay now.

      MS hated my dog and would tell lies to people that the “dog pushed him out of his marriage bed” and all sorts of crazy stories. In fact, the dogs were not even allowed to enter the bedrooms and there were baby-gates everywhere to keep them isolated to one room only.

      1. My X was so jealous that his little dog liked my son that he used baby gates to keep his dog from loving on my son in the middle of the night! It was nuts! I tried to explain that my son (who was potty trained at the time) would not be able to make it to the bathroom in the middle of the night with a baby gate up. The X just shrugged. I would take it down; he would put it up. What a couple of sick bastards!

    3. My ex husband threw our new kitten off the bed because it was snuggling with me one evening. He back peddled when I complained, with some NEW rule like, “no animals on the bed – we might smother them in our sleep.”. Previously our cats always slept with us. ??? Also, he tried to have me involuntarily committed to a psych hospital because I criticized something he did. It took me many years to pinpoint the trigger for his sudden war on me. And yes, he warped and distorted every part of my family history to try to influence a (quack master’s degree ” counselor) to commit me. Needless to say my family was offended at their exploitation. This all happened within 9 months after we got married – we never saw our first anniversary. He got very controlling, manipulative and possessive upon marrying me and did very hurtful things. I finally had enough and was exhausted. Thank god I divorced him.

      1. same exact story as me! When we met, I had my own condo, paid all my own bills, and when he first oooozed his way into my bed, the pets were sleeping with me (as per the past 20-years of my life)…

        MS (my sociopath: ) said nothing…they (the pets) barely move and did not disrupt his sick brains sleep: } As soon as MS slithered his way into moving in with me, the pets were kicked out of bed…

        I can’t believe I went along with it! What we women do for a Crazy Penis! Sorry, for being so blunt, but basically that’s what these sickos are and that’s what we women give everything up for!

    4. Thy love the “bipolar” thing. It’s also the most overly and probably erroneously diagnosed disorder nowadays. Any time you aren’t sad or happy when they want you to be, they agitate for you to be diagnosed as bipolar. It’s also another way to discredit you to other people and isolate you socially – in case you have some dirt on them, no one will believe you.

      1. yes, the “bipolar” thing. I would catch My Sociopath in 5 lies or other acts of destruction/chaos a day…finally, I would be at wits end…and he would say to me: “Bipolar.” OhMIGAWD! What is it about the ‘bipolar” thing I wonder….oh, so CREEPY! I don’t even know what the hell “bipolar” is!

      2. It’s as if they all read from the same script or have a micro-chip in their heads with the same (now predictable) lines and strategies on them. So many remarkably similar experiences here.

        I have wondered if they shouldn’t teach “public-awareness” courses in high schools (to girls, particularly) about these personality disorders. Awareness is important. If they teach “sex-ed.,” they should be arming woman for real life too. None of us knew about these sick people until we were nearly ruined by them. They are considering relationship violence awareness programs for teens – but they should expose the personality disorders underneath these cads for teenage girls. Emotional abuse should be taught also, perhaps all under a Health Class format. Later in life the self-doubt and self-isolation because “I’m crazy and no one will believe me” will be balanced with information given many years before.

      3. Exactly, well said! I was a teacher before I took over and ran MS’s business for almost 4-years. I mentioned exactly what you said as I just recently started this endeavor: My Sociopath writings. There has to be an awareness program for the young girls in our schools!
        It took me 4-years to figure out what was going on! I never even understood what a sociopath/psychopath was until someone sent me a link of the 10 Red-Flags of a Sociopath. Just as you said: sociopaths make us doubt reality, keep us isolated and we end up feeling crazy!

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