How to spot a sociopath

The Hague Psychologist / How to spot a sociopath

How to spot a sociopath

A sociopath is likely to have been a ‘problem child’ and exhibited difficult behavior when younger. As they grow older they are likely to be highly successful which is a result of their willingness to get one over on their competition and colleagues, a desire and belief in success, and lack of risk aversion. Thus they are likely to be found in positions as stock brokers, as CEOs or even as politicians. Alternatively a sociopath might be likely to live on the fringes of society having little interest in people. They could be seen as eccentric and will most likely be independently wealthy. In other words they will either conquer the system or avoid it entirely. They will of course have few close friends and are more likely to make contacts with those they can use, or those they see as equals and that they can admire. They will tend to be cold and manipulative in relationships and potentially emotionally abusive though this might not necessarily be purposefully vindictive. In all cases though the psychopath will appear highly intelligent, charming and charismatic to talk to and it is only careful guardedness that can uncover their true motivations.


Someone who is described as a sociopath will have several traits. These traits include the following…

Lack of empathy – Inability to feel sympathy for others or to understand the emotional consequences of their actions

Cold, calculating nature – The ability and willingness to use others around them to personal gain

Shallow emotions – Lack of real emotion in response to events, limited capacity to feel love

Narcissism – A personality disorder in itself in which the individual feels strong love and admiration toward themselves (often a defense mechanism against deep seated low esteem)

Grandiose self image – They might see themselves as someone who is superior to others and sometimes even experiences delusions. A sociopath might see themselves as a fitting ruler of a country or even the world, but might also have delusional beliefs such as seeing themselves as a God or having super powers

Charming – While the sociopath is unable to fully understand the emotions of others, they are capable but rather highly adept at mimicking them and might appear to be charming and normal at first

High IQ – Often sociopaths will exhibit a high IQ which they can use to manipulate and plan

Manipulative – Sociopaths use their superficial charm and high IQ to manipulate others to get their ends, and their lack of empathy allows them to do this with no sense of guilt or remorse

Secretive – Has little need for others and is highly secretive in their actions meaning

Sexually deviant – The lack of remorse, guilt or emotional attachments means that the sociopath is happy to have affairs and to engage in questionable sexual activity without questioning their desires

Sensitive to criticism – That said, like all narcissists, the sociopath will desire the approval of others and will be highly sensitive to criticisms. They often feel they deserve adulation and admiration of the world and might feel victimized

Paranoid – Often their lack of understanding of emotion along with their incongruous self view means that they feel a lack of trust and paranoia

Authoritarian – Often the sociopath will see themselves as a necessary authority and will be in favor or totalitarian rule

• Lawfulness – Despite popular belief, a sociopath is not likely to be a problem to the law in later life, but rather will seek to find loopholes, to rise to a position of power, or to move to another area so that their behavior is tolerated

Impulsive behavior – A lack of regret and empathy means makes sociopaths more likely to make sudden rash decisions based on the current facts

Compulsive lying – As part of their facade, and as a means to an end, sociopaths are compulsive liars and will rarely speak truthfully making them hard to pin down

Sociopaths of course vary in their symptoms and might act differently in different cases. However their main trait is presenting themselves as having the same empathy feelings and emotions as others when in fact they lack this emotional capacity. They are thus cold and manipulative and rarely see any problem with their actions.