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Profile of the Sociopath

  • Glibness and Superficial Charm
  • Manipulative and Conning
  • They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible.
  • They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used.
  • Grandiose Sense of Self.
  • Pathological Lying
  • Has no problem lying and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis.
  • Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities.
  • Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
  • A deep-seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities.
  • Instead of friends, accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
  • Shallow Emotions
  • When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive.
  • Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person.
  • Incapacity for Love

  • Need for Stimulation, living on the edge.
  • Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal.
  • Callousness/Lack of Empathy
  • Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
  • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
  • Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
  • Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
  • Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet gets by, by conning others.
  • Problems in making and keeping friends.
  • Irresponsibility/Unreliability
  • Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams.
  • Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause.
  • Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
  • Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
  • Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
  • Tends to move around a lot or makes all-encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

Other Related Qualities:

  • Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
  • Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
  • Authoritarian
  • Secretive
  • Paranoid
  • Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
  • Conventional appearance

  • Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
  • Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim’s life
  • Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim’s affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
  • Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
  • Incapable of real human attachment to another
  • Unable to feel remorse or guilt
  • Extreme narcissism and grandiose

(The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare. from

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