It took me exactly 3 hours at a party thrown by one of my friends to fall for him. I was literally head-over-heels. I’m normally too reserved a person to go home with someone I’ve met just a few hours back, but I did. I did, because I had no choice. They say there are always two voices guiding you at different stages – one from the heart, the other, from the head. But at this point of time, sitting next to him in his car, I could trust either. Something in me just couldn’t stop. He was the perfect man, as chivalrous as they come (you’d agree they’re few and far between). And something about his cold nature would just fill me with excitement. It was spine-tingling.
But what started as my best adventure soon spiraled into one of my worst nightmares.
People say things change after you’re in a relationship. Couples, the ones that are ‘made for each other’, slowly start becoming a reflection of one another. That wasn’t the case for me. Six months down the relationship, things did begin to change – not from his side, but mine. Thinking about it would give me sleepless nights. No wonder my friends started inquiring about my well-being every time I met them. ‘You’re thinking a lot into the whole thing’ would be the most common response. What had he done to the happy-go-lucky girl that I used to be? Was I in a relationship with a serial killer? A sociopath who just had me helpless?
Resorting to books and journals, I learnt a thing or two. Sensation seeking, a lack of remorse or guilt, impulsiveness, the need for control and predatory behavior. Common traits of serial killers have been linked to certain antisocial personality disorders, including sociopathy. I finally had it all in front of me. I was with a sociopath, who could have been, much worse, a serial killer.
Time off with my family, and most importantly, friends, helped me get out of the poisonous relationship I had gotten myself into. It was just the worst nightmare, I wasn’t going to get myself into it again, ever. Talking about it on social forums got me in touch with a number of people who were suffering the things I was going through. They too were going through the unhealthy range of emotions I had managed to come out of. Of course, not all sociopaths are dangerous criminals. But they certainly can make life difficult, given that the defining characteristic of a sociopath is antisocial behavior.
I’m here to share what I noticed. These might help you safeguard yourself from the predators lurking around. These are just some red flags you should keep in mind before committing yourself to a relationship you’ll end up regretting later.
Having a massive ego
Sociopaths have an inflated sense of self. They are narcissists to the extreme. They tend to blame others for their own failures, and walk around with a huge sense of entitlement.
Sociopaths do this on a regular basis, even if there’s no need for it. Just lying to get work done – sometimes even to check whether they can trick people into believing them. Lying, just for the sake of lying, if you know what I mean.
The lack of empathy
This is an alien concept to a sociopath. A colossal lack of the meaningful, highly emotional inner self that most people have. Perhaps because they haven’t really touched the emotional worlds of other people, or simple because they can’t imagine themselves being that way.
A lack of remorse
Sociopaths very rarely feel guilt. The sense of shame, or remorse is not something they have ever felt.
Staying freakishly calm during scary, or difficult situations in life
I’m talking about something like a car accident, or the loss of a stable income. Managing to stay eerily calm during these situations is scary and almost inhuman. Experiments have shown that while normal people show fear when they see disturbing images or are threatened with electric shocks, sociopaths tend not to.
Behaving with extreme impulsiveness
Sociopaths act in the spur of the moment. All the time. They will also be extremely irresponsible with other people, and with their finances.
Having very few, or no friends
Sociopaths don’t have friends. They don’t want friends, unless they need them. Whoever they hang out with otherwise, are just superficially connected to them.
This is what got me hooked on to him. But it’s completely superficial. Sociopaths can be very charismatic and friendly, but only because they know it will help them get what they want. They are amazingly effective at blending in, and they’re masters of disguise. Their main tool, to keep them from being discovered, is the creation of an outer personality.
Showing complete disregard for societal rules and regulations
Sociopaths love breaking rules because they don’t believe society’s rules apply to them. According to them, they are much above, and beyond all these things.
They love living by what pleasures them
Sociopaths live their life in the extreme, seeking stimulation, excitement and pleasure from wherever they believe they can get it.
Another reason why it’s so hard to keep off their advances. Keeping uninterrupted eye contact with a sociopath is just another way to land in trouble.
If you have been noticing two or more of the aforementioned traits in your partner, it’s time to break free from the relationship. ASAP. Trust me, you don’t want to go through what I did.