I’ve spent years in and out of psychotherapists’ offices, trying to understand why so many people in my life behaved badly. I don’t just mean your occasional, too many martinis at a lunch or dinner, screaming at the TV on Super Bowl Sunday, cutting you off in traffic type of behavior. I’m speaking more about the little subtle things, like competing, gossiping, causing division behind closed doors, passively bullying, crossing boundaries, conning, using, sabotaging the successes of others, stealing other people’s ideas and claiming them as your own, etc.
Looking back, I now see that these individuals were always in a state of need and solicited others to solve their never ending waves of chaotic issues. Not only did I constantly attract these kinds of needy, self-serving individuals, who came so well disguised as loving, charming, witty, funny, caring people, but I repeatedly found myself ensnarled in their lives over and over again. When warned that I was being used, I did exactly what so many others do, I made excuses and even blamed myself for their misbehavior.
It wasn’t until I reached my forties that I discovered that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who have a conscience and those who do not. It took me years to learn this, because the mental health professionals failed to inform me that there are people camouflaged amongst us who have no conscience who prey on those of us who do. What does this mean? It means conscienceless people (sociopaths and psychopaths) cannot feel love, guilt, remorse, or empathy, but they are excellent pretenders. They desire power and control and take great secret pleasure in hurting, sabotaging, controlling, using, conning, and ruining others.
While I was able to get an understanding of sociopathy and psychopathy, these definitions didn’t quite fit the mold of the typical, possibly conscienceless people I was attracting. Not all of the people in my life were committing illegal crimes, raping or murdering others. I noticed most were doing subtle things that stole my peace. I label these individuals as Type 1 Sociopaths, undercover sociopaths who rarely do anything illegal. Immoral – yes, but illegal – no. They are everywhere and can be your cheating spouse, gossiping divisive friend, mean boss, belittling teacher, and even your spiritual leader who uses religion as a weapon.
I’d like to pause for a moment and thank you in advance for reading this far in my blog, as I know the beginning is a bit long. However, I wanted to give you a good idea of what I have been dealing with for most of my life.
Once I learned how to identify these traits, I see them everywhere. However, they seem to be invisible to many people, especially in the dating scene, which brings me to why I am writing this blog.
Since I have been enlightened on what appears to be the best kept secret, I find myself trolling the comment sections of the many YouTube videos and blogs that are discussing the bad behaviors of individuals in the dating scene. Over and over again, I see the same trend: individuals making comments and even excuses for others’ misbehaviors – such as he was abandoned by his father, has a drug problem, was bullied in school or at work, so on and so on. But many are overlooking the fact that these types of individuals are clearly displaying sociopathic and/or psychopathic traits!
This is re-enforced by the media, who constantly shows images of rapist, killers, etc. and then label them as psychopathic and or sociopathic. And yes, they can definitely be one of the two. However, and this is a huge however, sociopaths come in different levels, from Type 1 sociopaths to psychopaths being the extreme. Not all conscienceless individuals kill or rape people!
What I find interesting is there are millions of conversations carried out every day whether the conversations are held in the offices of psychologists, on YouTube, our hair salons, restaurants, abuse centers for women, etc., all complaining about the same conscienceless traits and are failing to see the ELEPHANT in the room: There are people camouflaged among us who have no conscience. And guess what?! Many of our mental health professionals know this behavior and have labeled it as, wait for it, yes, sociopathic or psychopathic behavior!
In other words, everyone is complaining about sociopathic traits, and yet seldom is anyone recognizing they may be complaining about actual conscienceless people in their lives.
Wow, I find this to be the best kept secret. Imagine how many women could avoid getting trapped into abusive relationships if they knew this information and then understood how to identify the traits associated with this behavior BEFORE dating. How many teenage girls could avoid pre-marital pregnancies or becoming trapped in abusive relationships?
What if we stopped making excuses for the difficult people in our lives as more than just bad behavior and called it for what it is: SOCIOPATHIC or PSYCHOPATHIC?
What if we were told, no matter what we do, we cannot change them and to try will only get us deeper ensnarled in their web of becoming their repeated victim or hostage?
What if we were educated on the fact that often times these individuals, who keep us in a constant state of brow beating and chaos, can’t help it and are very much like sharks, as it is within their nature?
And, what if we were told that not all people with conscienceless traits kill, rape, or commit violent crimes?
I wonder how many loving, kind, gentle people like myself could have avoided being derailed and, in many cases, for years, before waking up to this secret truth.
I wonder how much money could be/could have been saved from countless counseling sessions spent on dealing with the difficult people in our lives.
I continue to hear people say things like, "Can you believe he lied? He's a doctor!" "Can you believe she ripped me off? She's a lawyer!" "Can you believe he cheated on his wife? This is the third time. He's a minister!" Yes, I can believe it! If we look closer, we may discover that they have the traits of a Type 1 sociopath. Remember, they rarely do anything illegal. Immoral – yes, illegal – no!
I wonder what would happen if we shared this information with all the kind, compassionate, loving, gentle people in this world?
Individuals displaying sociopathic and/or psychopathic traits are everywhere in our society, and we need to learn how to identify the traits and stop making excuses for their more-than-just-bad behavior.
I do want to add before closing, that there are many people online trying to awaken/educate the masses regarding this subject. I offer what I have learned in more detail in my book from the victim’s perspective: Type 1 Sociopath. I recommend we do all what we can and seek out this information from the viewpoints of the victims, mental health professionals, and the sociopaths themselves. And then, take the next step and share your story or knowledge with as many others as you can. If we are to balance out the negative with the positive in our world, we must unite, look at the full picture, see the elephant in the room, and then pass it on.
And please NEVER label anyone as a Type 1 sociopath, sociopath, or psychopath. If you believe the difficult person in your life is conscienceless, immediately seek the counsel of a licensed mental health professional who specializes in personality disorders.