Sociopaths don’t care about your feelings. They are physically incapable of feeling any empathy towards you or anyone else. They don’t feel any remorse for their actions, no matter how much they hurt people. They are incapable of it, and they are incapable of love or any other human emotion.
Sociopathic manipulators can mimic feelings and emotional responses to manipulate and coerce, but, like everything else in their lives, it is a lie. They can be very charming because they have learned how to push people’s emotional buttons to elicit the emotional responses they need. They will mine your conversations for any emotional handle they can grasp to manipulate you or your feelings.
The easiest path to dealing with them is to avoid dealing with them. Eliminate them from your circle of friends, avoid conversations (especially private ones), and cut them out of your life as much as you can.
10 Behaviors That Reveal a Sociopath
If you can’t cut them out because they are a close relative or a co-worker, you must learn to deal with them. Handling the situation well allows you to do so without causing more problems at work or with the family. There are things you say to keep a manipulator at arm’s length and prevent them from manipulating you, but first, you must recognize them.
1. Difficulty Regulating Their Emotions
Sociopaths don’t handle emotions well, and it leads to impulsive behavior. They have temper tantrums and intense expressions of irritability. You might notice that they are easily irritable, annoyed, impatient, threatening, and aggressive.
When things don’t go their way, manipulators allow their emotions to get the best of them, quickly resorting to verbal abuse. Their behavior is often unplanned and the result of momentary urges. The unpredictable behavior makes it even scarier because you never know when to expect it.
2. No Feelings of Shame, Guilt, or Remorse
Manipulators view the people around them as objects or targets, not individuals. Because of this, they don’t feel shame, guilt, or remorse. They don’t care about the pain or suffering of others, and they are often disrespectful to victims.
3. They Feel Entitled
A manipulative person will exhibit behaviors that show they feel everything is owed to them. They will have an overinflated sense of self-worth that shows as being cocky and rudely opinionated. Sociopaths tend to feel superior to others and assume people should do things for them.
4. They Don’t Have a Realistic Life Plan
Manipulators don’t usually have or execute long-term plans, and they lack direction in life. They often develop financial dependence on someone else and lack the motivation to be self-sufficient.
Manipulative people might move around more than others and live aimlessly. They live this way because they lack self-discipline and struggle to carry out responsibilities.
5. They Need Constant Stimulation
Manipulative people need constant stimulation, so they frequently participate in thrill-seeking behaviors. They live on the edge and test people’s beliefs. When they take risks, they don’t think about the danger involved.
Sociopaths also don’t complete tasks very often. Their need for stimulation causes them to get bored and give up on what they’re already working on. They might also switch jobs frequently.
6. They Reveal Shallow Emotions
Manipulators don’t feel emotions, so they rarely show them. When they do express their feelings, it’ll seem superficial or fabricated. They won’t show feelings when they have an ulterior motive, and they often come across as cold even when pretending to be social and inviting.
7. Promiscuity and Infidelity
Sociopaths frequently exhibit promiscuous behavior, and they are rarely faithful. If you know someone who has multiple relationships at once and has had numerous affairs, it’s a sign of a manipulator. They also enjoy openly discussing their sexual encounters, no matter the repercussions.
8. They Con Others
Manipulators don’t care about the rights of others, so they con people for self-serving purposes. They use deceit and deception for personal gain, and they have no concern for the victim.
9. They are Pathological Liars
Manipulative people don’t have a problem lying, even when it’s clear they aren’t telling the truth. Confronting them on their lies can provoke intense rage or a simple smile, and you’ll never know what to expect. They might even continue lying when you present them with evidence of the truth, and they never seem to get uncomfortable.
10. They are Superficially Charming
A manipulator always knows what to say, and they’re great at putting on a front. They appear smooth, engaging, and charming, and they never get shy. The manipulator will also seem to be a good listener, but only because they want to know your vulnerabilities.
Their charming behavior allows them to gain information to use against you later. They’ll use your vulnerabilities to hurt you and get what they want.
Things to Say to a Manipulative Sociopath
1. “I am sorry, but I can’t talk right now.”
Manipulators need verbal interaction to work their dark magic. Deny them the chance, and they are powerless. Never hesitate to find an excuse to walk away.
2. “I am sorry, but I have to take this.”
Pretend your phone went off and walk away from the conversation. Use the time to get away from the conversation. Sometimes the easiest way to win a battle with a manipulator is to deny them the chance to begin.
3. “Okay, let’s talk to them right now.”
If a co-worker approaches you alone and tells you that the boss has a real issue with your latest work efforts, don’t take their word for it. Call them on their claim by inviting them to go with you to speak with the boss right then. The manipulator is just trying to frustrate you or make you angry to make it easier for them to manipulate you.
If you call them on their lie, they will be less likely to try in the future. Don’t trust anything they say until you verify it with the individual or group they claim to speak for. You shouldn’t simply go along with what they say and pretend to believe it, either, because they’ll continue trying to cause problems.
4. “Hey, did you see the game last night?”
Never talk about personal things with a known sociopath. If they try to ask questions or get you speaking, quickly change the subject and move on.
Talk about neutral topics, including sports, politics, or the weather. Any other subject of conversation is better than what is going on with you or how you feel.
5. “I appreciate the thought, but no, thank you.”
If a manipulator offers you something, especially if it looks like a gift, politely decline it. They could use the “gift” as a hook to guilt you into doing things for them at a later date. Politely but firmly decline and move on.
No is the most powerful word in any language. Say no when a sociopath tries to coerce you into doing something or giving them something. They’ll likely keep pushing, using guilt and other tactics to convince you to give in.
Stay firm, and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. It’s okay to say no, but it’s not okay for someone to push your boundaries.
7. “Let’s talk about you.”
They don’t want to talk about themselves and their emotions because it doesn’t get them any traction with you. Plus, they’re only acting when they show emotion, so it takes much more effort to talk about themselves.
Essentially, they want you to share so they can find an emotional handle to use against you. Make the conversation about the sociopath, even if they resist. Making it about them ensures that it’s not about you.
8. “I am having a great day; how about you?”
Sociopaths will ask you how you are doing to get at any issues you are having so they can use those emotions or difficulties against you. Please don’t give them anything they can use because it won’t turn out well for you.
Telling them your problems gives them the power they desperately want and leaves you feeling like a victim. Even if you are having a hard day, smile and turn the question back to their life.
9. “That is very hard to believe.”
Let them know you think they are full of it. A sociopath will tell outlandish stories to elicit an emotional response from you. They often try to trigger guilt, pity, or compassion. They want you to help them, give them something, or do something for them.
Manipulators are great at spinning convincing tales of woe. Don’t believe them, and make sure they know you don’t trust them. When you let them know, they will be less likely to try that method in the future.
Final Thoughts on Dealing with a Sociopath
Manipulative people are sometimes hard to identify, so make sure you know what to look for. When you recognize a sociopath, you can do things to protect yourself and say the right things to get them off your back.
It’s not easy dealing with a manipulator, so use these tips to help you out. It’s best to avoid them, but it’s not always possible. Speak up for yourself so that they know you won’t fall for their tricks.