There are people in the world who don’t care about love, who feel no remorse, empathy or emotional attachment to others. In fact, they don’t even know what these feelings are. These people are called sociopaths. Most of us think of sociopaths as deranged serial killers, but, with four percent of the population having sociopathic character traits, most of them never physically harm anyone. Sociopaths do, however, ruin lives, empty bank accounts, and cause untold emotional trauma, with the simple excuse that they just don’t care.
Even though most sociopaths never kill anyone, they are social predators who exploit just about everyone they meet. They have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. Needless to say, this is not the kind of person you want to open your heart to. But sociopaths have impressive social skills, thereby making them extremely hard to spot. They are charming, funny and exciting. This is why we need to be aware. You’ll never be able to cure a sociopath or help him see the error of his ways because he doesn’t see the world as the rest of us do. The only thing you can do, is save yourself and walk, no, run away as fast as possible. If your new romantic interest exhibits all or most of the following behaviors, be careful. He or she might be a sociopath.
1. Charisma and charm. He’s a smooth talker, always has an answer, never misses a beat. He seems to be very exciting. His manners are impeccable — he’s well groomed and fulfills the codes of romance and courtship to a tee. He’s likely to be an eloquent talker who laces his speech with impressive sounding facts and figures.
2. Enormous ego. He acts like the smartest, richest or most successful person in the room. He may actually come out and tell you that.
3. Overly attentive. He calls, texts and e-mails constantly. He wants to be with you every moment and resents any time you spend with your family and friends.
4. Jekyll and Hyde personality. One minute he loves you, the next minute he hates you. His personality changes like the flipping of a switch.
5. A blamer. Nothing is ever his fault. He always has an excuse. Someone else is always the cause of his problems.
6. Lies and gaps in the story. You ask questions, and the answers are vague. He tells stupid, outrageous lies when he’d make out better telling the truth. If you probe deeper, you’ll find that his stories never quite add up.
7. Intense eye contact. Call it the predatory stare, but if you get a chill down your spine when he looks at you (and not the good kind), pay attention.
8. Fast moving. He quickly proclaims that you’re his true love and soul mate. He wants to move in together or get married quickly.
9. Pity play. He appeals to your sympathy. He wants you to feel sorry for his abusive childhood, psychotic ex, incurable disease or financial setbacks.
10. Sexual magnetism. If you feel intense attraction, if your physical relationship is unbelievable, it may be the excess testosterone that sociopaths possess.
Donna Andersen is the author of Red Flags of a Love Fraud: 10 Signs You’re Dating a Sociopath, based on her own experiences and 3,000 other cases collected from readers of her blog.