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10 Things To Remember If You Love A Sociopath

10 Things To Remember If You Love A Sociopath

We see plenty of depictions of sociopaths in fiction, but they tend to be fairly two-dimensional characters and often play the villains. To make matters worse, they are often just lumped together with psychopaths, and made out to be soulless characters who feel nothing and only speak the language of violence. The problem with this is that, although sociopaths are unable to feel empathy, some respectable members of society in positions of power, including lawyers and politicians, exhibit sociopathic traits.

These people can hide in plain sight, under a mask of normal emotions, and can even be productive members of society – just a part of them are actually violent or have criminal tendencies. It can be difficult to discover a sociopath’s true face, but some of the signs of a sociopath include reckless behavior, a disdain for rules and social norms, and self-centeredness. Here are some things you need to know if you are in love with someone who is a hidden sociopath.

1. They are intelligent and logical (a little bit too logical)

Dating a sociopath is a little bit like dating Mr. Spock – sure, he’s got all the answers when it comes to science and can be a valuable asset in a crisis, but he won’t quite understand all these human emotions that keep brewing inside you. While having a partner who can keep their cool in heated situations and always look for a rational solution may seem like a good deal at first, there will be situations where you’ll just want your partner to let go and share in your excitement or sadness.

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2. They don’t really get anxious or afraid

Now, don’t get me wrong, sociopaths have a strong survival instinct and they can experience fear just like the rest of the world – it’s just that they don’t stress about things that they can’t control. They do, however, try to take as much control of a situation as they can. If tragedy strikes or there is a financial crisis, don’t expect them to break down in tears.

3. They are charming, well-spoken, and interesting

It’s tough to spot a sociopath as they do a great job of hiding in plain sight. They have a great deal of charm and can be quite eloquent, with plenty of interesting stories and a number of interests that just make them seem like an average extrovert. Sociopaths tend to be incredibly socially active.

4. They will often take risks

Since sociopaths don’t really care about the repercussions, nor do they have a pronounced fear of failure like a lot of other people do, you’ll often see them making questionable decisions. However, they are not rash and impulsive – each decision they make is carefully calculated – it’s just that they prefer high-risk, high-reward options to the slower and safer low-reward ones.

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5. They don’t enjoy the same activities that everyone else does

Gazing out into the distance at the sunset or lying on the grass and watching the star-studded sky are things that most lovers will enjoy doing together. These are the traditional romantic activities that you simply can’t go wrong with. However, for the empathetically challenged, these things can be incredibly boring.

Sociopaths enjoy activities that provide them with an adrenaline rush, something that feels a bit dangerous and engages both the body and the mind. Instead of planning a picnic, you may have to organize a hunting trip or take them paragliding. The thrill of the hunt, the wind rushing pass them – these are the things that stimulate them. In fact, it’s their love of excitement that makes sociopaths so appealing.

6. They feel comfortable lying to you about important issues

You may think that a relationship has to be built on trust, and rightfully so. There are tons of little things that you share with your partner on a daily basis, and big issues need to be laid out and discussed openly. However, a sociopath’s natural instinct is to try and tell a version of the story that pleases others, inspires respect and trust from those around them, and ultimately helps them to get what they want.

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They don’t try to put themselves in another person’s shoes, tell it like it is, or do the right thing – sociopaths look past morality and see an intricate web of events, bound by cause and effect, which can be manipulated to serve a higher purpose.

7. They don’t feel bad about the emotional pain their actions cause

Apart from a few select people close to them, sociopaths don’t really care about hurting or manipulating others to achieve their own goals. While a romantic partner may be exempt from this cold-hearted and calculated behavior, acquaintances, friends of friends, and co-workers will often be left emotionally scarred, used as stepping stones by an ambitious sociopath trying to improve their own social status. It can be difficult for a person who loves a sociopath to come to terms with such seemingly ruthless behavior.

8. They are very good at reading and faking emotions

Most people find it hard to read sociopaths, as they train their whole lives to become good actors. As far as they are concerned, they could go through life with a straight face, making sarcastic comments or just not caring, but they know that it’s not socially acceptable. If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to blend in with the crowd. So, sociopaths do their research and try to take on a personality that people around them find agreeable and trustworthy.

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This is why people who love sociopaths have a hard time accepting them for who they really are, and are confused when they see their partner’s true face. However, when sociopaths reveal their true colors to someone, it is the ultimate gesture of trust and respect – if they take a huge risk by letting you past their shield, it means that they feel that the price of your companionship is well worth it.

9. They can actually love someone, but not the way most people do

People will tell you this and that about sociopaths, and they are usually painted in a negative light. However, you’ll find that emotions have a sliding scale – just because someone doesn’t exhibit the same amount of emotion in the same way, doesn’t mean that they don’t care about anyone. I always like to use the example of the infamous mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, who was reportedly a paranoid sociopath and an extremely violent man with a few other interesting psychological issues thrown into the mix, but the way the man talks about his wife and children is truly endearing.

Is it love in the sense that most people understand? Probably not, but a sociopath can have a strong connection with another person – it’s just difficult to tell when there’s truly something in the depths of their logical little hearts when they are so comfortable with lying and faking emotion all the time.

10. They can be very self-centered and incapable of admitting mistakes

It’s not so much that sociopaths won’t admit mistakes, it’s more about them not even realizing why something should be considered wrong or bad. It is perfectly natural for a sociopath to engage in Machiavellian tactics in order to get ahead. They won’t exactly push anyone under a car, but they might give someone bad advice, use misinformation, blackmail, and manipulate people to get what they want. If you point out that these things aren’t moral, or even confront them about being disrespectful and hurtful towards others, don’t expect them to show remorse.

I hope that you can see that sociopaths are not all violent criminals, nor are they closer to a race of emotionless aliens than to other humans – they are just people who happen to be different. The way they feel, think, and live is a bit unusual to a lot of people, but that doesn’t make them monsters. It’s important to remember all the points mentioned above if you truly have strong feelings for someone who is a sociopath, as it can be incredibly difficult to get close to someone if you aren’t ready to see their true self.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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