Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sociopaths vs. Psychopaths

Sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage. They are likely to be uneducated and live on the fringes of society, unable to hold down a steady job or stay in one place for very long. It is difficult but not impossible for sociopaths to form attachments with others. Many sociopaths are able to form an attachment to a particular individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general or its rules. In the eyes of others, sociopaths will appear to be very disturbed. Any crimes committed by a sociopath, including murder, will tend to be haphazard, disorganized and spontaneous rather than planned.

One of the best ways to tell if you're dealing with a sociopath is to watch how they respond to criticism. Often, these people will reflect back your own criticism resulting in a feeling of confusion. Arguing about reality with a sociopath is a constant struggle to remain upright in a crooked room because a sociopath is adept at making themselves appear victimized when they themselves are behaving badly.

Symptoms include:
- Repeated acts that could lead to arrest.
- Scamming for pleasure or profit, repeated lying, and the use of aliases.
- Failure to plan ahead or being impulsive.
- Repeated assaults on others.
- Reckless when it comes to their own or others' safety.
- Poor work behavior or failure to honor financial obligations.
- Rationalizing the pain they inflict on others.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust. They learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them, and will appear normal to unsuspecting people. Psychopaths are often well educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature.

I'd say with modern social media programming, we are all required to be psychos to some degree just to retain freedom of thought. Once you give in and get addicted to facebook, you've basically become a consumer drone bee and lose your ability to be creative. I'm not sure where Cuckerberg plans to take us, but the Seinfeld interview was spot on.

- credit to Jessica Hui, Cecili Chadwick, and Psychology Today, January 2014