Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to spot a sociopath

I'll bet I could break the Guinness World Book of Records for the time it me takes to discover a person is a sociopath.

Let us face it.  Religion and politics are sociopath magnets.  Practicing Catholics are so focused on Christ, the Eucharist, the Sacraments, serving Him, we are forever riding benefit of the doubt right off the cliff.

The danger with sociopaths isn't that they can steal from, hurt or slander you/your family.  The situation is a breeding ground for sin.  We're not qualified to help them, they are a drain on every resource and inevitably, they polish our image into a false god - for themselves and for us.

Bookmark this for future reference: How to Spot a Sociopath 

It is so on the money it is chilling.

I would add a few things to the article.

Sociopaths always have sob stories about how everyone has done them wrong.  They don't have continuity in their relationships.  There is always a new BFF.  Every member of their family is persecuting and betraying them.

Most sociopaths I've come across are not the Jim Jones types who resort to physical murder.  But they are poisonous and before they are done with you they will slay something.   Slaying is their empowerment.  Food they cannot live without.   You're their heroin.  Their hot fudge sundae. When they are done feasting you become the enemy.

The absolute worst thing you can do after an experience with a sociopath is give them space in your head, heart or soul.  Truth be told, I have to let go of even praying for them as I have found it is another way of keeping them in my mind, heart and/or seeing myself as the source of their redemption.

God always has something to teach us about ourselves in these encounters.   For me, I always see myself as deeply immersed in Christ and repeatedly, I find how easily I'm led away from Him and into the desert.  I have absolutely no recollection of how I got there.  I can't think of a thing that was good or attractive about the pied piper.

“Man is the shadow, who would be the substance; the pendulum who would swing without being suspended from the clock; the painting which would deny that an artist’s hand ever touched it. The most daring of all sins is that of self-deification, and it is possible only because of a divine creation for who would want to be God unless he had come from the hand of God?” Archbishop Fulton Sheen


Jefe' said...

Thanks for bringing back the depression of Nov. 6th's results

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

I've had several run-ins with these creatures. Adam's advice is spot on. The only way to deal with them is to put them out of your life to keep them from ruining yours.

Caroline said...

It took me over a year to put one out of my life..It was like a poison and I'm still trying to squeeze out remaining remnants. +

TTC said...

Jefe' - Cheer up. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. :)

Steve, Keeping sociopaths on the margins to avoid the ugliness of cutting them loose never works out. When their current supply cuts them loose, they will worm their way back until you are suckling on their misery.

Caroline, I'm sorry, but am so glad you had the strength to get away from it. Doesn't the freedom feel great?

I'm sure you already know this, but any thought in your head about any of it, he or she is still robbing you of precious moments of life, of love. Keep practicing dismissing thoughts the nanosecond it crosses your mind. It wasn't you and there is nothing you could have done differently.

Caroline said...

That's so true, Carol.. I'm working on dismissing the thoughts using a prayer my spiritual director suggested, " Oh Virgin Mary Mother of God pray to Jesus for me."

Thank you for reminding me ...there was nothing I could have done differently..because I tried everything-- only somehow it was always me. When I was around them it felt like a spiritual oppression.

And I'm sorry for whoever it was that generated this in your life as well.

Prayers and +

TTC said...

Caroline - Awesome. I do think spiritual oppression is part of the phenomenon.

Thanks for the empathy. It's all good. Blips on the screen of a life that is filled with people who love and bless my life.

I do like to keep myself on my toes though -- and read up from time to time. Like Steve, I live life with my guard down. These people could pick me out of Yankee Stadium!

John Zmirak had this posted on his wall and I a few of Adam's observations I had never read before but resonated with me. Since we all come across this from time to time, I thought I would share.

It's a bit early - but blessed Advent!

TTC said...

and prayers and love back to you!

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Carol,I don't keep sociopaths on the margins, once I boot them out, they stay out! All the sob stories they could tell wouldn't move me to let them back in!

TTC said...

I could tell! I was affirming what you said.

Maureen said...

I wish more people understood the evil of these people. My story is horrible, but people still encourage me to forgive and pray for him. #1 He never asked for forgiveness and #2 praying for him would keep him in my thoughts and therefore in my life.
I appreciate your post, because it gives me a vocabulary for why I have to eradicate this evil from my life.

TTC said...


Sociopaths are incapable of remorse and repentance. They can be 'sorry'. Both Judas and Peter were 'sorry'. Peter's sorrow was about the ramifications of his selfishness and betrayal to Christ and the Apostles. Judas's sorrow was about the ramifications to himself. He does not seek not receive forgiveness from Christ.

People like to make up their own endings but they make a mockery out of Christ's Sacrifice to offer us the opportunity to seek His forgiveness.

People who are not remorseful, who continue to blame others, who attempt to destroy the people who love them rather than accept that it is their conduct is destructive, seek forgiveness and discipline themselves to modify their behavior with the Sacraments -- their conduct goes on to destroy them and everyone around them. That is not the witness of Christ's forgiveness. People like to pretend it is, but it is not.

I will later, copy and paste the responses Zmirak gave to those who talked about forgiveness when I am home this evening.

It is excellent. The Reader's Digest is, what we do is will their redemption and salvation. We give ourselves the gift of freeing them (and ourselves) from anger and bitterness. We go on with our lives learning our lessons and knowing that Christ knows what He is doing and separates us from situations that will take us down with the sociopath. It is absurd to suggest it is our duty to have relationships with our predators.

Sociopaths are sorry unto themselves - sorry the cut off has taken away their gravy train. They will find another source and supply.

When we need to let go of a predator, there are general prayers we can include that person in without ever bringing them to our thoughts and our minds. I do pray for those with mental and spiritual maladies. That is as close as your thoughts for prayer should ever get to a sociopath.

Let it all go. Nothing they ever said or did was real. It was all to manipulate you into giving them what they needed.

Catechist Kev said...

[CK's poor attempt to bring levity to the conversation...]

Carol says:

"These people could pick me out of Yankee Stadium!"

Well Carol, is that because you may be the only one in Yankee Stadium who is *not* a sociopath? ;)

(ya, not too fond of the Yankees or their fans [snicker])


TTC said...


Ha. No arguments there!

TTC said...

from John:

Briefly, the essence of love is to will someone's salvation, and include him in your prayers. For some people, like sociopaths and pedophiles for instance, that is ALL it is safe, prudent, or moral to do. Here's my acid test: What should be done with a pedophile priest? Isn't it "unchristian" to call the cops? If it were, that would prove Christianity false. We are NOT called to trust, associate with, lend money to, or otherwise get near predators--which is what sociopaths are. God can sort out their culpability. I'm not here to judge their souls, but I have a DUTY to protect myself from them.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...
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