- a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.
Most of us know or have known some legitimate sociopaths. They move through life without conscience or remorse, leaving a great deal of destruction in their wake.
Driven by an insatiable need for attention and power, sociopaths often exhibit very predictable patterns when manipulating others — and arguing with one? Forget about it. It’s a losing battle that’ll likely leave you frustrated, drained, and without resolution.
So how do you know when you’re arguing with a sociopath? Here are 5 signs that you shouldn’t ignore.
- Pathological lying
They lie. By the time you’ve finished dissecting one lie, they’ve already told 10 more. It’s almost like they’re doing it on purpose (they are). Evidence is meaningless. Rather than focusing on their dishonesty, they constantly pin the blame on you. For everything.
- Drama fatigue
Their behavior is so strange and outrageous that you actually become desensitized to things that would otherwise deeply upset you. Essentially, your baseline of “normal” starts to shift to accommodate their increasingly abnormal behavior. That’s when they start causing the real damage.
They say or do things, and then blatantly deny that those things ever took place. Alternatively, they reinvent history and blame you for “misinterpreting” them. This behavior clouds your sense of reality making you doubt yourself, thus becoming more vulnerable to their manipulation.
Sociopaths love to turn people against each other, especially if it results in a fight over them. By turning you against people you might otherwise get along with, you start thinking in extremes. Once your thinking slips from gray to black and white, sociopaths are able to paint “enemies”—good guys and bad guys. This keeps their victims divided and distracted.
Sociopaths intentionally provoke reactions in you and then blame you for reacting. Causing you to become “hysterical” or to act “crazy,” allows them to write you off as an unstable lunatic. They’ll often play the victim after provoking you, shifting people’s focus to you, and away from their behavior.
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