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Am I a Sociopath?

I have recently been thinking and realized that I exhibit most sociopathic traits. I’m a liar, I steal money occasionally, and I lack guilt. I can’t feel remorse or guilt for anything I do. I never feel REAL attachments. I may have developed these traits due to my rough childhood. My father was absent for the past 8 years. He used to call and ask for money, in which my mother made me pick up and relay her messages. I felt like a helpless puppet, and I was angry that they didn’t care how I felt. My father was manipulative and was in general an evil person. I’m not like him completely. As I said, I can’t feel bad for others. I’ve watched VERY graphic, violent videos and feel nothing. I even laugh at the way the victims die. I get annoyed by people who bother me. I feel like shoving a pen into their idiotic eyeballs. I am impulsive and cannot think ahead. I rarely experience fear, and never distress (except pain). I (willingly) think of horrible things happening to people I love, and I don’t care. I’m only nice to people for what they can offer me. I see my brother and his girlfriend express affection for each other, and I can’t understand love. I used to be a really nice, caring, understanding kid. Now I’m impatient and & rude. I keep up the sociopathic mask so I don’t seem insane. I have dead eyes, and often make people uncomfortable with my stare. I recently took interest in a girl, and I liked her. After enough time, I broke her and her boyfriend up. I manipulated her, while maintaining a friendly smile
. It almost worked, but things went South and they got back together. This heartbreak made me block out emotions (sound familiar). I’m not seeking help, because tbh I like my mindset. But I just want to know once and for all if I’m a sociopath. Thanks for reading!

Am I a Sociopath?

A.

No one can provide a diagnosis over the Internet. One of the main issues is lack of context. I simply don’t have enough personal information about you to know what might be wrong. For instance, you wrote that you lie, steal money “occasionally,” and lack guilt but the context of those behaviors matters.

Studies show that everyone lies, on average, once or twice a day, but what matters most is what they lie about. You didn’t include that information in your letter.

The most common type of lie is known as a “white lie.” White lies are used when you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Let’s say that your friend asks you if you like her new haircut. You might tell her “it looks great” but the truth is that you don’t like it. In that scenario, you lied because you wanted to spare her feelings. That type of lie is considered understandable and even normal in many social interactions.

Alternatively, psychopaths and sociopaths tend to lie about everything. They lie whenever it benefits them and even when it doesn’t. They don’t care if they are caught in a lie and may even brag about their ability to be deceptive. There’s a difference between that type of lying and “white lies.”

The fact that you steal money “occasionally” is also a behavior that needs more explanation. From whom do you steal and how much? There’s a difference between taking $2 out of your mother’s purse or even $5 or $10 without her permission versus hundreds of dollars or stealing a credit card to go on an unauthorized shopping spree. Again, I need more information to determine if stealing money is indicative of pathology.

Regarding your lack of guilt, you stated that you watch violent videos and feel nothing for the victims, but that is not necessarily unusual. Violence in movies and video games is so ubiquitous that many people have become desensitized to it, but that alone doesn’t make them sociopaths.

Having said that, there are concerning aspects about your behavior. Your viewing of violent videos should not continue in light of your concerns. Also, manipulating potential friends and partners will increase the probability of difficulty in relationships. If you want to attract a quality mate, then it would be advantageous to stop the deliberate manipulation. Many people simply will not tolerate abuse and manipulation.

Also, you wrote that you do not plan to seek help even if a problem exists. It’s unclear why. Most people want to better themselves. If you know that something is wrong and it’s within you power to change it, you should try.

Consider consulting an in-person therapist as they’d be in a better position to answer your specific questions. Good luck with your efforts.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Am I a Sociopath?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Am I a Sociopath?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/06/05/am-i-a-sociopath-5/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 Jun 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Jun 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.