Sunday, February 12, 2012


by Dr. Annabelle Charbit

What makes a sociopath?

There are people in the world who don't care about love, and who feel no remorse, empathy or emotional attachment to others. They don't even know what these feelings are. These people are called sociopaths. Most people think of a sociopath as a deranged serial killer, but, with 4% of the population having the character traits of a sociopath, most sociopaths never physically harm anyone. Sociopaths do however ruin lives, empty bank accounts, and cause untold emotional trauma, using simply the fact that they don't care.

The Absence of Feelings.  Sociopaths may seem to laugh or cry but they present with no depth of emotion. While easily provoked to frustration or rage, their display of feeling is little more than a momentary, isolated temper tantrum. To the sociopath, other people are tools to get them what they want: money, sex, a job or other possessions. They live in their own amoral world where nothing they do has any consequences and where they owe no one anything. They have no empathy. Thus, they elude all responsibility for their actions, and can easily turn the tables, blaming their partner without guilt or shame.

The Relentlessness of Deception. Sociopaths lie all the time. As they don't view their spouse as a thinking, feeling person, they do not see this behavior as wrong. Their only quest is to serve themselves and, if this entails lying, cheating or even murder, they will do so. If one catches them in lies, they are brilliant at changing the subject, placing the onus on the other person, denying their involvement or trying to make their spouse seem crazy. They are even good at deceiving the police and the court system; sociopaths rarely end up in prison for their actions.

The Impulsiveness of Action. Sociopathic individuals rarely plan ahead. They undertake actions on the basis of momentary whims, often devious ones. Every act seems isolated in its own amoral universe. Thus, they cannot keep promises or repair the damage they've caused to others. When they lie, cheat or steal, the act exists solely for them; they believe it should have no repercussions or real world effects. They often appear to have "forgotten" they did something shortly after it happened. Their need for excitement encourages them to get involved in one night stands, shady deals and ill advised engagements.  Sociopaths have no sense of commitment to their spouses, any children they may have together or the future.

How to spot a sociopath?

Sociopaths have impressive social skills, thereby making them extremely hard to spot. They are charming, funny and exciting. This is why we need to be aware. If your new romantic interest exhibits all or most of the following behaviors, be careful. He or she might be a sociopath.

1) Charisma and charm. They’re smooth talkers, always have an answer, never miss a beat. They seem to be very exciting. Their manners are impeccable; they are well groomed; they fulfill the codes of romance and courtship to a tee. They are likely to be eloquent talkers who lace their speech with impressive sounding facts and figures. They may be fun, laugh a lot, or sweep their partner off their feet with their sweetness.

2) Enormous ego. They act like the smartest, richest or most successful people around. They may actually come out and tell you that.

3) Overly attentive. They call, text and e-mail constantly. They want to be with you every moment. They resent time you spend with your family and friends.

4) Jekyll and Hyde personality. One minute they love you, the next minute they hate you. Their personality changes like flipping a switch.

5) Blame others. Nothing is ever their fault. They always have an excuse. Someone else causes their problems.

6) Lies and gaps in the story. You ask questions, and the answers are vague. They tell stupid lies. They tell outrageous lies. They lie when they’d make out better telling the truth. If you probe deeper, you’ll find that their stories never stack up.

7) Intense eye contact. Call it the predatory stare. If you get a chill down your spine when they look at you, pay attention.

8) Move fast. They quickly proclaim that you’re their true love and soul mate. They want to move in together or get married quickly.

9) Pity play. They appeal to your sympathy. They want you to feel sorry for their abusive childhood, psychotic ex, incurable disease or financial setbacks.

10) Sexual magnetism. If you feel intense attraction, if your physical relationship is unbelievable, it may be their excess testosterone.

Some doctors call them sociopaths; others refer to them as psychopaths. Either way, the terms are used to describe individuals who have a range of personality disorders. These people are NOT certifiably mentally ill; they are biological carriers of socially and personally problematic traits. Such traits may have been manifested from childhood in acts of cruelty to animals, property or people. These characteristics can disrupt relationships, create financial and emotional crises, and, at their worst, lead the person to callously undertake acts of vandalism, theft, rape or murder. Being aware what constitutes a sociopath can help one resist their charm and the errors inherent in establishing a life with them.

Sociopaths know exactly what they are doing, and most of them never kill anyone. But they are social predators who exploit just about everyone they meet. They have no heart, no conscience and no remorse.

You can’t ‘cure’ a sociopath or help them to see the error of their ways. They can’t see the world as we do, and the only thing you can do, is save yourself and walk away.♥

Dr. Annabelle Charbit grew up in London, UK, and has been writing since 2006. She holds a PhD in Neuroscience. Annabelle is also a playwright and a journalist. Her comedy play, Sound Advice, was performed by CP Theatre Productions in London. In 2010, she wrote for, an online magazine who commissioned her after noticing her blog, Crazy in a Crazy World. A LIFE LIVED RIDICULOUSLY is Annabelle's first novel. Visit her at


  1. I know exactly what does it mean: point by point, everything. Let me tell you some more, just imagine a sociopath learning human feelings,empathy and behaviour through the films he watches and working as an actor. It's a really dangerous mix. He turns your life into a lie very difficult to detect, a cinematic reality as you dreamed and as you always wanted. He can built it at your image staying by your side, hearing your stories and your hopes, studying you constantly, day after day. Wordlessly he makes you feel guilty for not being as nice and devoted as he is and for not making him the center of your universe. And you want to help him, to understand him and to make him happy. But suddenly, unespectedly, something happens and you notice among a rush of mad and cruel lies and terrible scenes that there is just emptiness in his eyes and that it always have been there. And in the end you have not even a memory that is "real". The unwanted show is over and the curtain closes.

  2. The description given for a sociopath fits my ex wife to a T. The emotional chaos that has been visited upon our family is immense. She cares only for her immediate whims being catered to. Though she outwardly seems to love our child she is on one minute and then the next off. She never was emotionally available to me and pretended love for me.
    It may take some time for me to recover from the devastation of living with her for 12 years. What a waste of a potential loving life.

  3. I lived in a marriage with a sociopath for 23 years. It is the most painful thing to recover from. It is also the most difficult thing to stay away from. It will make you insane. I am finally becoming healthy again but it has been very hard. I am have never been angry about it but I am still very sad about it all. I will probably never ever love again because of this. Alone is the safe way to go.