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Do we need the term 'Sociopath'

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posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 03:44 PM
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I have noticed of late how everybody appears to be using that word. More often that not , it is to refer to a colleague at work.

It has become a fashionable term , which seems to me to be a label for anyone who refuses to conform to society's artificial rules of engagement. It also appears to me to be used to deride people who have a different agenda and no time for nonsense.

One website claims to have researched the phenomenon and list the following traits of a Sociopath.

-Glibness and Superficial Charm
-Manipulative and Conning
-Grandiose Sense of Self
-Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."
-Pathological Lying
-Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
-Shallow Emotions
-Incapacity for Love
-Need for Stimulation
-Living on the edge.
-Callousness/Lack of Empathy
-Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
-Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval.
-Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
-Irresponsibility/Unreliability
-Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
-Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
-Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
-Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
-Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution.

Forgive me if I seem ignorant but most the above are really character traits-aren't they ?. Some of us are good at supressing them . Others are not so good and it is all very visible.

I find it very sad that a lot of the weak or narrow-minded people use the term 'sociopath' to deride anyone that wants to make progress in life.

In my opinion, we already had appropriate terms to define callous behaviour . Terms such as psychopath, sadist, maniac were already in use and ,I may add, were used properly to describe more extreme and objectionable behavior.





[edit on 15-6-2010 by crowdedskies]




posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 03:47 PM
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Maybe due a bit more research.
The term certainly is applicable. IMO

Peace to you.

PS: My boss is a sociopath!



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 03:52 PM
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Well quite a few of those terms apply to me, but I am far from a sociopath.

They are just looking for more reasons to dope people up and designate them as mentally unstable

[edit on 15-6-2010 by brainwrek]



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by cindymars
Maybe due a bit more research.
The term certainly is applicable. IMO

Peace to you.

PS: My boss is a sociopath!


May be the term has some use but I believe it is abused.

Your PS however reinforces my point. It is always the boss who is labelled a Sociopath. This is what I meant when I referred to colleagues getting the label.

All bosses have an agenda to make the company successful and it affects the way they present themselves. On the other hand , someone who is self-employed also goes through tantrums when running a business but there is normally nobody to watch them. So they do not get that label.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by crowdedskies
 


A sociopath by definition is someone who will do anything to anybody as long as it serves their purpose.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 03:58 PM
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90% of people are murderers, so i never understand rubbish terms like these.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:03 PM
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Originally posted by brainwrek
Well quite a few of those terms apply to me, but I am far from a sociopath.

They are just looking for more reasons to dope people up and designate them as mentally unstable

[edit on 15-6-2010 by brainwrek]


Same here, a few of those terms apply to me. It is part of my drive to succeed and to make the worls a better place.

As you say it is a ploy to direct all of us to that cushy, cosy world of bonding and team spirit where we are all alike,and where a different mentality is not allowed.

My own war cry : "Vive la difference !"



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by crowdedskies

Originally posted by brainwrek
Well quite a few of those terms apply to me, but I am far from a sociopath.

They are just looking for more reasons to dope people up and designate them as mentally unstable

[edit on 15-6-2010 by brainwrek]


Same here, a few of those terms apply to me. It is part of my drive to succeed and to make the world a better place (oh no! that was my illusion of grandeur ....Sorry)

As you say it is a ploy to direct all of us to that cushy, cosy world of bonding and team spirit where we are all alike,and where a different mentality is not allowed.

My own war cry : "Vive la difference !"



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:05 PM
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There seems to be a "constellation" of related behaviors that vary in intensity. I would say that "pathological narcissism" is a kind of more garden variety, lightweight version of sociopathy. What most of these people are encountering in their daily lives is probably path. narcissism of varying intensity.

True sociopaths are rarer but they certainly do "walk among us." Rarer still are psychopaths, which represent the most extreme manifestation of this cluster of pathologies. Essentially, all three involve selfishness, lack of morality, and blunted or perhaps nonexistent empathy. It must also be rememered that society actually does reward such behaviors in many cases, encouraging them in even so-called "healthy" people.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by silent thunder
There seems to be a "constellation" of related behaviors that vary in intensity. I would say that "pathological narcissism" is a kind of more garden variety, lightweight version of sociopathy. What most of these people are encountering in their daily lives is probably path. narcissism of varying intensity.


Perhaps "patholigical narcissism" is more common place. I take it you know about these things.

Still , from a layman's point of view, aren't we all a collection of urges ? Is is not always the case that some 'pathological' state makes someone special (eg a hero, a tough lawyer, a shrewd businesman, a sharp psychiatrist or a cop that always gets his criminal.

This topic may well be beyond my understanding but common sense must somehow be taken into consideration. We cannot be turned into vegetables and must keep our wits about us. This may involve occasionally upsetting somebody.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:20 PM
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"Sociopath" is sooo not politically correct.
What could one say instead?
They're just: "Emotionally challenged" individuals who lack "the guilt complex", creatively construct their own reality, and enjoy "non-sexual sadism".

[edit on 15-6-2010 by halfoldman]



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by crowdedskies
 


A true psychopath doesn't really get ahead...It's like being a one-man circus...You come into town, you do all these wonderful feats up on the flying trapeze such that with that type of ability and precision control you ought to be able to apply it otherwise and take over the whole world...but amazingly you end up empty-handed, still in the circus, and heading towards the next town...

Don't take my word for it...I encourage you to read The Mask Of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley, not least for its beautiful old-timey writing style...No offense, but without reading that book, you are so much more likely to say only stupid things about the subject of psychopaths...and reading it is really very enjoyable...


[edit on 15-6-2010 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:30 PM
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Technically, sociopath is an outdated term. It has been replaced by anti-social personality disorder. Sociopathy supposes that the behavior is caused by social experiences and was fashionable during the heyday of social psychology. Psychopathy supposes that the same behaviors are caused by a psychological defect. Anti-social personality disorder however does not assume a root cause and simply defines the behavior. There are clear cut criteria that must be met in order to be diagnosed and they clearly represent a pathology with the person's thought pattern. In order to be labeled as antisocial one must display the following:


A. There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as
indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest


2. deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning
others for personal profit or pleasure


3. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead


4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or
assaults


5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others


6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain
consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations


7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing
having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.

B. The individual is at least age 18 years.

C. There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.

D. The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by crowdedskies
 


Well, I think you are correct in that we all have the same urges. What makes a true narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath different is that they seem to lack other qualities that the rest of us have: empathy, understanding or awareness of how one's behavior impacts others, etc. Tests have been done where the show diagnosed psychopaths images of peoples' faces in various emotional states: anger, rage, happiness, understanding, confusion, etc. They have a much harder time than "normal" people telling the difference between the faces. More recently, there has been some brain scanning investigations that suggest psychopaths are actually "wired" differently. Perhaps they were damaged during childhood (when much of our neural pathmaking takes place) by extreme trauma or perhaps born that way, etc. If you are interested I recommend this book.

However, I personally belive its a matter of degree, and that all of us have the potential to behave in these ways given time, place, and circumstance. I suppose narcissism, sociopathy, and psychopathy should be taken more as laying along a contiunuum rather than being "yes-or-no" conditions that you either have or don't have. Where it gets tricky is that these terms have legal and medical implications in terms of formal diagnosis, etc.



[edit on 6/15/10 by silent thunder]



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


They call innocent people with just being quiet and not wanting to have sex with females anti social.

These terms are rubbish, 90% of humans are murderers, and most of those are in the police and gov.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by nine-eyed-eel
 


While Cleckley's book is a landmark text, much of what he wrote has been revised in the past 50 years. I will admit though that it still probably gives the best depiction of psychopathy out of everything written on the topic.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 

I disagree with Hare and his revisions anyway...but as a psychopath myself, I think Cleckley beautifully portrays for the uninitiated both the aggressive futility, and the musty, wistful, changeless, sweet quality, of a psychopath's overall career...no other authority on the subject that I've ever read has any poetry at all...



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by crowdedskies
 


Actually yes, although very few are like this. IN my life, I have only encountered about 6 or 7.

There is another concept which is not considered and that is MARGINAL PERSONALITY DISORDER.

n short, MARGINAL PERSONALITIES are IMMORAL and SOCIOPATHS are AMORAL.

Peoplewith this often have many of the same symptom, but DO have some form of conscience, albeit it foten limited pr dysfunctional. In one case, I shared an apartmetn with a guy who repeatedly lied, regularly went back to hard drugs, endless turned to his parents to bail him out of his addictions and went through 350 different women in about 6 years. Despite this, he still retained some conscience. On a couple of occasions, my car broke down and called him in the middle of nowhere for help and he did everything he could. He fathered a kid by one stupid girl who he only inteneded to keep for a night and then stayed faithful to her for four years and deeply cared for the kid until she dumped him for her own selfish reasons. This guy was a MARGINAL, with many symptoms but was still "HUMAN".

When you look in a Sociopath's eyes, its as if there is nothing behind them. There is genuinely no caring for anyone else but their own most base desires. They see people as playthings, as dolls to be used and abused for fun and are, frankly, beyond any reason other than that which appeals to their own most base desires.

Trying to reason with a SOCIOPATH is totally futule. The style of reasoning/;pgoc is just like that scene in "Independence Day" when the President tries to speak to the ALien, to negotiate to understand him and his response is simple..."DIE".



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by andy1033
 


The media overuses the phrase antisocial. As you can see from the diagnostic criteria, there is nothing about a person's sociability or sexual behavior included in antisocial personality disorder. In fact many people who are diagnosed with it are very charismatic. Just look at someone like Ted Bundy to see an example of this. What you're describing is more in keeping with avoidant personality disorder. However, it is more than just shyness. It becomes pathological when a person is unable to live the life they want.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 04:58 PM
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How to cope with a Sociopath....

Nature/God has sadly dumped me with having a very, very close relative who is an extreme sociopath all my life which has, consequently been trashed. To survive it, I have even had to emigrate to another continent.

After 50 years of study, I am probably better than anyone else at knowing how a SOCIOPATH ticks and how to survive them and I assure you that most of the books are wrong.

1. Make sure that the person really is a SOCIOPATH and not a MARGINAL PERSONALITY DISORDER PERSON who can therefore could be reasoned with. Remember,a Sociopath will NEVER perform a selfless act. Even giving to charity is done to gain approval.
2. SOCIOPATHS BREED - When they start cutting corners on regulations and lying, they will try to draw you in. You must say NO at square one. Do not be drawn in. Do not side with them against one of their victims. As Winston Churchill once wrote, "An appeaser is one who feeds everyone else to the crocodile first in the hope of being the last"
3. A SOCIOPATH is special type of Junkie. They MUST have attention. Not having attention is way worse for them than someone putting a knife through their crotch. Any attention is craved by them, so, to rid yourslef of a SOCIOPATH you need to do the following things:-
- Do not be drawn into arguments
- Do not respond to emails, letters or threats unless you are legally required to do so.
- At work try to pre-empt them. If you think that they are going to ask you for a piece of work, do it ahead of time and have it one stand-by, because if they ask for it they will ask for it on a riodiculous schedule and they will be really hurt when you meet it with ease as you have already done it ahead of time, but kept it secret.
- Remain no-committal, unless the law/regulations are being breached. If you are legally and morally right, hold that position and do not waver of compromise. Since Sociopaths like to really ruin your life, getting the sack in a way that you could fight in court is better than retaining your job for the moment and loosing it with no reference or a bad reference later.
- Do not be vendictive or sabotage - they will simply set you up, you will have your life trashed and be well on the road to ultimately becoming one yourself.



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