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Sociopaths Classified and How You Can Deal With Them

Updated on July 11, 2011

A sociopath is someone who has no conscience. Although they may appear to know the difference between right and wrong, they won’t think twice about doing whatever it takes to fulfill their agenda or even harming someone for the sheer pleasure of it. They are frequently very good actors, charming, and give the impression they are a good friend.

Characteristics of a Sociopath

According to Martha Stout, PhD, author of The Sociopath Next Door, sociopaths comprise about four percent of the population, about one in 25 people.

Dr. Stout outlines personality traits of sociopaths to include the following: they very much appear to be sane and normal; they secretly view their partners, family, and friends as possessions; they have a knack for recognizing someone who is sincere and trusting and will exploit them to get what they want; if caught in one of their atrocities, they will forever deny their behavior and even believe their own lies as they never take responsibility for their actions; they have a talent for garnering pity from others through fabricating the truth—the pity party is only to get what they want and, or turn others against the innocent; although they may have a mental understanding of, for example, compassion and unconditional love, they are incapable of truly grasping and feeling these sensations as a well-adjusted and healthy individual would.

This may sound like someone you know, unfortunately.

The truly sad thing is that they are greatly hurting themselves. Our work with past life regression has shown us that these types are in for a very big surprise when they have their life review on the other side. You really can’t escape what you sow, as karma forever follows you like an invisible chain around your ankle until you balance it in future lives.

Where Does Your Conscience Come From?

Although you may have a fleeting image of offing your mentally deranged supervisor, since you have a conscience, you would never actually do it. Where did your conscience come from? Our findings show us there is a spiritual angle to this.

For many people, religion has helped to empower them with a strong sense of right and wrong, and they understand that there are consequences for bad behavior. This is generally very positive, but potentially negative if taken too far regarding behavior that isn’t really a “sin,” such as sex before marriage. False guilt can be very detrimental to a person’s mental health and spirituality.

It’s been said that a good upbringing, having good parents, assures an upstanding individual. However, many sociopaths have good parents and didn’t endure any excessive early life trauma, so one might conclude that there’s more to it than that.

Our findings indicate that your past lives and past life awareness (even if it’s only an unconscious awareness—it still weighs on your behavior) greatly contributes to your conscience. Someone who incurred lots of negative karma in previous lives may have finally hit bottom and might be extra careful now and overcompensate to make sure they do the right thing this time around.

An aside, our view is that everyone has guardian angels, other-dimensional guides, or whatever you would like to call them and they are constantly guiding you to do the right thing.

There seems to be three possible explanations for those who exhibit sociopathic behavior: they may have simply been born that way; early abuse shaped them to be as they are; or they may have gradually developed severe mental problems that foster such behavior.

For others who don’t fit in any of the above three categories, our findings indicate that demons or dark energy can encourage vicious behavior. Although it’s very rare, our experience with Spiritual Detox (tm) suggests it’s entirely possible. Note: it seems to us that responsibility must be taken for one’s behavior, no matter what. Even in the above-mentioned circumstance, the person somehow invited the dark energy into his or her life (consciously or unconsciously) and must be held accountable. The law of karma dictates that you can’t escape personal accountability.

How to Cope With Sociopaths

The author of The Sociopath Next Door offers a lot of helpful advice in how to deal with a sociopath, including the following:

1) Trust your intuition. If you have a sinking feeling that something isn’t right about a person with whom you’re interacting, exercise caution.

2) Accept the fact that some people don’t have a conscience.

3) Suspect undue adulation. If someone is giving you over-the-top praise and attention, be wary.

4) Avoid those who appear to be sociopaths. If you’ve already invested time and money, cut your losses now before things get much worse.

The best way to boost your intuition is with meditation. The more you develop your sixth sense, the more easily you’ll quickly spot a sociopath. Also, handwriting analysis is a fantastic way to uncover personality challenges, alerting you to potential danger.

Although sociopaths are relatively uncommon, it pays to keep your guard up until you get to know someone, reducing your risk of misfortune.

Copyright © Stephen Petullo, Scott Petullo


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    • profile image

      Bobbie W. 5 years ago

      To late I realized I had a sociopath on my hands. I want to rid myself of all the maddness but unfortunaely it isn't easy. He is entrenched in my family, knows my fears and hopes and all about me.He uses everything and everyone to make me appear heartless. I was open and honest which has also become a weapon for him.He has exposed my confidences and thinks its OK to help himself to all I own. He is surprisingly clever and all I can do is damage control. No shame ,no guilt, selfserving. He has all the traits of the "intitled" sociopath.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Very interesting, I've dealt with some of these sociopaths; it's good to have an understanding of them and how to deal with them.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      I have had to deal with a few. They themselves seem to have feeling that can get hurt yet do not appreciate that another can.

    • rutley profile image

      rutley 5 years ago from South Jersey

      I'm scared now......they are all around us!

    • snigdhal profile image

      snigdhal 5 years ago from hyderabad - India

      Thanks scott :)

    • snigdhal profile image

      snigdhal 5 years ago from hyderabad - India

      Scott ,

      I am in the middle of your many insightful hubs . I have another question if you don't mind . If someone who I thought may have been my soulmate but also found to be sociopathic hurt me very much and I forgave them but never wish to see them again . Would that cancel out our karmic debts to each other ? Or does the affair continue through re incarnations till the debts between the two souls involved are balanced out ?

    • snigdhal profile image

      snigdhal 5 years ago from hyderabad - India

      I was totally dating a sociopath !

      It hurt for a very long time . I also had the sinking feeling that the sociopath I was involved with was my soul mate :( .Is that even possible ??

      Anyhow great hub ! Scott would you say sociopathic behaviour is a result of childhood traumas and karmic baggage from previous incarnations ?

    • Lenore Robinson profile image

      Lenore Robinson 6 years ago from Delaware

      Sure Scott, here are a few links:

      psychologist Robert D. Hare, one of the world's foremost experts in the study of psychopathy:

      American organizational psychologist Paul Babiak


      Book: Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work

      Robert D. Hare,Paul Babiak

    • Lenore Robinson profile image

      Lenore Robinson 6 years ago from Delaware

      Interesting hub Scott, unfortunately socio-pathological behavior is more common than most people may think. Studies show that a large percentage of successful businessmen and politicians exhibit socio-pathological behavior.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      Excellent description of a sociopath! The bad news is that we never recognise them in time. They are even able to convince the dry sceptic that they are trustable and even lovable. Great artists, con-artists, they are, and they manage to go from one victim to the next until Death finally brings an end to their show. Considering 1 out of 25 people are sociopaths, I thank my lucky stars because I’d known only 1. Thanks for this profound article.

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 6 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Scott, I do take stock in what you say, to a point of course. You mentioned "past lives" and I don't remember if you actually said "reincarnation". I would like to think that reincarnation is some sort of punishment for questionable living here on earth. I don't claim to be perfect but I do try to be good. Without going into a long list of stuff I think I do that's right and good, one main thing is I try to keep learning, and when this life is over I'd like to think that the next one will be where I can keep right on learning without the sidelines of a job, etc. OK, I have occasionally felt deja I'd like to think that "this" life I'm in now will be the last one and the next one will be as I just described. I'm pretty sure you don't have a magic hat, but what do you think?