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10 Things To Remember If You Love A Sociopath

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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.

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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 July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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