Spotting Social Predators and How To Disengage Manipulative Behavior.
Life would certainly be easier if the people we encountered that displayed sociopathic, manipulative behaviors, had some kind of physical red flag, an indicator that they could possibly destroy our lives, and those of the ones we love, before it happened, wouldn’t it? Though they come in every race, culture, gender, and in every aspect of our lives (home, work, relationships), it is easy to spot them once we educate ourselves on their common personality traits and behaviors.
Here I have catalogued a list of typical traits found in social predators, and how to prevent and disengage with their manipulative behaviours. While sociopathy and psychopathy, in their varying degrees, are complex disorders that are hard to diagnose unless done so through medical professionals, it's extremely important to understand that these individuals will always establish a close, intimate relationship with you first, before slowly revealing the skeletons in their closet. This makes it complicated to seek help when you are awakened and reeling from the pain he/she has caused, as the intimate relationship you may have shared with this person can be used against you.
Common Sociopathic/Psychopathic Traits
- Bragging or boasting about their charm/ability to lie without getting caught. The person in question will boast of their charms and ability to get anywhere in life with their smooth voice, popularity, and even go as far as stating publicly how skilled they are at lying to others. While truthfully, many of them are well liked and charming, this red flag ties in with an astonishing ability to rationalize their behaviour, regardless of the situation, and is always at the expense of others. This rationalization, deep down, is used only to serve their own motives and needs.
- Lack of accountability. While depending on the varying degree of traits and behaviours the person possesses, they all lack a general sense of responsibility for society, often disregarding set qualifications required for career aspects. When confronted or questioned, they will create lies upon lies, all without breaking a sweat.
- Constant need for stimulation and attention. This stems from a mixture of poor self control, impulsive tendencies and a lack of emotional depth. It may seem on the surface this person possesses an adventurous spirit, however, this person cannot stand, and is possibly unable, to focus on tasks that require a large degree of concentration for long periods. This can lead to criminal behaviour in an attempt to satisfy the need for excitement.
- Possess false compassion/shallow emotions. One of the most obvious signs that you have a sociopath on your hands is their lack of emotional empathy and depth of emotions. While on the surface it may seem this person is exhibiting a general concern and compassion, even feelings of love and joy. This is always accompanied by an ulterior motive. In fact, it is more likely that these individuals use emotions against the people around them to serve their needs and plans. It is always to gain control.
-Know yourself. These individuals are skilled at reading people, and exploiting your weaknesses as an assertion of power (no matter how extreme). Knowing who you are inside-out will help you realize when those individuals are trying to hone in on short-comings or use your emotions for their exploitative and personal gain.
-Educate yourself. This type of disorder can be immensely complicated to understand, because often many of the harmful things that can happen once you are under their radar, happen in intimate work/romantic relationships. This means it is not always seen in the public eye. When you are confronted with this type of person, peacefully withdraw from communication, and move on. It is not up to you to fix that person, or to confront them (as this could be seen as a power struggle and it can be hard to predict if the person in question will become volatile).
-Seek professional advice. Sometimes, even when we take the largest precautions and guard ourselves from the harm social predators may cause, all we can do is pick up the pieces and begin healing. It's important to know that you were the victim, not them, you are not to blame, and you are not alone.
When we reach a certain level of self awareness, and shine a light on the self destructive behaviour those individuals possess, we arm ourselves with the protection of never becoming victims to the emotional and/or physical abuse and destruction those individuals bring.