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Why Are People Afraid Of Sociopaths?

I've just noticed a lot of the time that whenever I happen to honestly explain something about myself, people tend to get frightened. And I'll be honest, I don't know why. I'm not really claiming to be a "true" sociopath, but I share certain traits (need for violence, lots of manipulation of others, etc).

So what's there to fear? And aside from that, why is there the hatred or disgust? I understand (somewhat) being afraid for safety reasons, but what could cause such a response that merits disgust?
flip12 flip12 18-21, F 7 Responses Apr 16, 2012

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In my opinion people are afraid of what they dont know. They don't know how a sociopath thinks unless they are one, so they don't know what your going to do next, and then don't like that. That's why I think people are afraid of sociopaths.

I think it is because people are afraid of what you might do. This is particularly true since incidences like Columbine. Eric Harris, the mastermind behind that, is pretty much the common bench mark for sociopathy. The truth is, though, many sociopaths never do anything like that. They are brilliant businesspeople, due to their ability to manipulate,control, lie to, and use people without pause. Empaths can't do that. It's a fear of the unknown, like most fears. They don't know what your lack of boundaries might lead you to do.

Right now I'm looking for myself. My lack of boundaries really do mean I don't actually know what I would do to other people. I look at others and wonder what their purpose is to me. What does one do with other people? Who cares? Why does it matter? These questions are running through my mind, and I'm tired of ignoring them.

The thing is, you have to CREATE those boundaries. Either that, or only pay attention to those who are useful to you, remember that violence is unacceptable, and ignore those who are not useful to you, since you obviously are annoyed by being surrounded by folks who are of no use to you.

Haha. I can't see why violence is unacceptable, so why should I adhere to a rule I can't even justify to myself.

Well, if jail is what you want.

Lol. I see. Violence doesn't necessarily mean jail time. :) easy. There are plenty of ways for me to have my fun and not kill anyone. Lol!!!! I will admit violence is a bit of an addiction for me. So I'm biased.

You know, I think you'd find my confession "I think I love you. You don't." Interesting. Take a quick look if you like.

I find you interesting, but not frightening. Though, I think you should perhaps form, at least on a superficial level,some sort of understanding of the fact that you have not the right to harm others.

Yeh I'm not frightening. Not until I've made up my mind at least. There's a real difference I think in understanding why something has inherent worth and blindly honoring it no? At present the latter is all I can do. Perhaps that's all I'll ever be able to do. I'm just being honest right noe of what I do not know, because I want help while seeking answers. When I'm through believe me, you will find I'm just as menacing as your worst nightmare can imagine. But for now I'm at a cross roads and I plan to stay until I understand or give up. But when I have made up my mind. I'll be extremely dangerous armed with the knowledge I acquire. And whether I used that knowledge is my choice alone. As it stands it's not likely that I'll ever really honor your statement that people have inherent worth. It has zero justification. If I asked you why you could not give me any reason whatsoever. But do not think I'm completely ignorant of the rules people lay out. Im just being extremely honest that will not last!

sorry, missed this. I understand what you are saying, but you should honor basic things like not infringing on the rights of others, if for no other reasons than to get along in the world. I noticed your guide to living as a sociopath post. It seems you have interest in getting along...

I just want to find the best existence. I want to know what sort of life is the most beneficial for me. I'm just looking for a way to test my limits and never have to worry about getting along with others. My focus isn't on people; it's on my own ability to avoid boredom and feed my curiosity. The less time I have to stop doing that to figure out how to conduct my life so that I do not get arrested the better.

Understood. A good rule of thumb is this: "Your right to swing your arm in public ends where my nose begins." In other words, don't cross the line into violating the space and rights of others when feeding this curiosity.

I actually understand the thing with finding people who are useful to you and using them accordingly. I've done this before. The difference now is that I do not play those games with people I actually come to like and care for. I still do it liberally with those who deserve it, though, namely religious zealots and people who would look to legislate their kooky beliefs onto others, and people who have wronged me.However, when I do this, once I get angry and can no longer control myself, I walk away. I think this is a good rule of thumb. It has not gotten me into trouble yet.

Also, you need jobs to make money to live your comfortable existence. Perhaps a job where you don't have to talk to people, like a security guard or something like that? Or, if you must talk to people, fake it and remember the paycheck. Hope that helps.

I've never had a problem being liked. People generally enjoy being around me. It's strange, because I hardly know most of them even exists dispute the fact that I might talk and hang with them daily. Currently I seem to be going through a quieter phase where I'd just rather not be bothered with people, but in the past I've been very outgoing. The person people look to to hear something spontaneous or off the wall (in other words I wasn't listening to what's being said and yet can respond in a way people find interesting or enduring). I really don't pay attention. And much of the interpersonal stuff I suspect I truly will never fully understand, but it all somehow magically takes care of itself. While I do get sick of people working with them is never a problem. And I could never be a security guard! There's no interest there. You don't meet enough smart people to ask questions to. You don't make enough money for my expensive impulsive tastes in hats, clothes, and food. Its not a good fit.

Ah, ok I see where you are going with this. I suggest business, then. You are obviously charming and charismatic, which are classic traits of most sociopaths. Go for it. Pays well, too.

I'm in technology currently, but recently I've been getting a lot of hands on experience with business. I have no doubt I can do it, and I'll probably stay with it for a little while. But I'm not sure thats what I was meant to do. I'll master it then move on as I have in all areas of my life. But technology is probably voting to be a more persistent factor in my life, as it's always changing. Good business practices don't change as quickly to be honest. I like dealing with the next new thing, whatever is the lastest. It seems to feed a certain impulsiveness my personality has.

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What scared me the most when I found out my friend was a sociopath was his revelation to me a few months before of how he plotted or planned the deaths of everyone he knew. I thought for sure that now that I knew who he actually was, and when he knew that I knew, surely he would be hell-bent on putting that death-dream about me into motion. I no longer think about that, but being reminded of it now I'm curious to know what his plan for me was/is. Another part that scares me (if I allow myself to think about it too much) is that sociopaths that have chosen evil over good have no guilt or conscience and no boundaries. They will take a very small irritation and blow it way out of proportion, go into a rage and do anything and everything to destroy the person they are upset with. That is a very scary thought and I have experienced it with 2 sociopaths that I have known. Luckily for me, both came out of their fog of rage quickly and began to see reason once again. I am hoping that the next friend I make will NOT be a sociopath.

But to sociopath completing his desires may be considered good in his eyes or if he had a plan to wipe out ****** because he thought they were immoral and corrupting the youth. He would see himself as doing a great service to the community. So how do you know they have chosen evil. Some might say not being who you are and a puppet of society is the worst crime in history. How do you know you are not being manipulated by the mass and the sociopath is resisting its evil ways? Just something to think about.

I think it's because people know that sociopaths do cause a disproportionate amount of damage in society and lives. Many of them never see jail time. And also many possess the traits of a charismatic leader which makes them great corporate managers. Ruthlessness is idealized in the business world. I myself find them terrifying and even more so normal people who actually want to replicate such behavior to gain success. This is coming from a normal person.

Hmm... I would be hesistant to come to your first conclusion that sociopaths cause more damage (just because I'm being trained as a scientist)... as I wish there were statistics to back up that fact! But alas... there's no way to have a study about that!
Though I'm not sure I'd actually find them more terrifying, but then again I wouldn't find someone sociopath or not using ruthless tactics or charisma to climb their way up the coorporate ladder as terrifying. I'd see it as completely normal. Whether I'd want to trust that person or not is beyond the scope of the question, but I wouldn't fear someone like that.

Unfortunately, the fact that you need to ask that question is part of the problem.<br />
In my experience, giving the answers, or explaining, would not actually make a difference.

:/ Ok then?

people are afraid of the unknown, what they can't understand, scares the **** out of them, as well as the "safelty" factors, and what the other guy here said...about empathy, or rather lack of.<br />
<br />
I also now afraid of China being nuked. Thanks you for that. *******.

:) welcome

Because we don't have normal built-in boundaries that empaths do.<br />
Because we could potentially see someone die and feel very little of the experience at all unless we were affected personally.<br />
That China could be nuked and we'd think '****, where are we gonna get cheap goods now?' rather than '**** me, millions of people just died, what a shame etc'<br />
<br />
People simply don't comprehend it. And no person at all NEEDS violence, don't give yourself an excuse to be like that when you still have a choice.

But still, I know MANY people who could see China nuked and not be concerned about it. They might be afraid that their home town might get nuked, but beyond that no one cares. I've seen many, many times over where "normal" people are shocked immediately by something like that and yet just go back to their normal lives right after as happy as ever! That's still not a good reason. "Normal people" NEVER have the amount of "empathy" that they believe themselves to have. They almost always have much less.

Or maybe I just have never met "normal people" LOL who knows?

Violence is a tricky thing. I crave stimulation outside of boredom. I tend to desire something that interests me like mad, but it's not just "violence" that could satisfy this need. So you're right in that sense; I can and do substitute it for other things. But I don't think I'd last very long in life without something to do.

'Without something to do'! aha, a person in which I share this trait... very easily bored. Get a better hobby to enjoy rather than violence, personally, whenever I'm unstimulated i will find something to stimulate me, normally intellectually.Also if you want to try and conquer that need for stimulation you could take up meditation to calm it. I think you know a lot of selfish people! haha, but sociopaths do tend to attract that crowd, it's the closest we tend to get to normal folks. We have our problems, but only as many as empaths do too.

mmmm.^^ smell of burnt flesh and the problem of over population solved for the time being. Not bad, two birds with one stone.

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