6 warning signs someone may be a sociopath, according to a psychotherapist who’s trained the FBI and CIA

Share this post
Listen to this article
Stressed woman wearing black shirt while a man sits across the kitchen table with a coffee mug.
Sociopathy is characterized by impulsive, asocial behavior.

  • David J. Lieberman is a psychotherapist who’s trained members of the US military, FBI, and CIA.
  • He talked to CNBC about six signs that someone might be a sociopath.
  • Lieberman said recognizing a sociopath is more difficult than a psychopath.

This is an edited, translated version of an article that originally appeared on October 17, 2022.

A sociopath is defined by the Mayo Clinic as someone who has an antisocial personality disorder, which is characterized by a tendency to “antagonize, manipulate, or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior.”

They’re often also more impulsive and dangerous than psychopaths, said David J. Lieberman, a psychotherapist who’s trained members of the US military, the FBI, and the CIA.

He talked to CNBC about six warning signs that might help you spot a sociopath.

1. They have no regard for right or wrong

Lieberman said that sociopaths are merely concerned with achieving the best outcome for themselves, regardless of whether others are harmed along the way. They can justify any actions that benefit themselves.

They also rarely feel anxious as they have no sense of shame or remorse, Lieberman added.

2. They use ‘absolute’ phrases

Sociopaths can often be over the top when trying to come across as honest, Lieberman said.

They use “absolute” phrases such as “I am 100% not guilty” or “I promise I never did that,” he added.

Lieberman said this is because they have “no real sense of self, so they struggle with maintaining the impression that they create and project to the world. They are already wearing a mask, and dishonesty is another mask on top of that.”

3. They appear charming and engaging

While some sociopaths are impulsive and reckless, others are able to “delay gratification” and can appear to be friendly, understanding characters. They are particularly dangerous if they are careful and precise, Lieberman said.

But this can be a facade designed to manipulate and control others, he added.

4. They deliberately anger you

Sociopaths seek to take control of relationships by pushing “the right psychological buttons,” Lieberman said, adding that they then use this to break down your emotional stability.

Lieberman said that like other personality disorders, sociopaths like to be unpredictable, and they use this unpredictability to gain tactical advantages over you.

5. They show ‘false humility’

Displays of modesty and vulnerability are other tactics used by sociopaths to deceive people, according to Lieberman.

“The tip-off is that they go overboard, since they have a hard time calibrating their impression management,” he added.

6. If they lose control, you’ll see the worst of them

If you don’t comply with a sociopath, they’ll go on the offensive and their facade will crumble, Lieberman said, adding that they are likely to accuse you of anything they can and to as many people as possible.

Read the original article on Business Insider
READ ALSO  Persons involved in double registration won’t get PVCs – INEC warns