Your Halloween treat: profile of a sociopath

The word "sociopath" gets thrown around quite a bit and all too loosely. It's commonplace to accuse a person of being a sociopath because of dickish behavior, when the person in question was guilty more of run-of-the-mill selfishness than of the character trait of sociopathy. It's also very important not to assume that an enemy or disliked individual is a "sociopath" because, once labeled falsely it's an almost impossible for a person to disprove the accusation.

Still, there are some people who fit the profile of a sociopath so perfectly that it's safe to assume the label is accurate. Most of us won't have significant relations and encounters with more than a few of these people in our lives, and it's possible that a certain degree of sociopathy can lead to some needed iconoclastic leadership when societal structures are too strict.

But for the most part, people should avoid involvement and contact with sociopathic personalities at all costs. Involvement almost never leads to anything but pain. I can say that from personal experience, having lived for many, many years with a clinical sociopath of the cultic variety who perfectly meets every criterion for diagnosing a sociopath. If you suspect that someone you know may be a sociopath, use this handy determinative guide:

Read on...

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