Nod from time to time to show that you are understanding what’s being said to you. And above all else, really focus on what is being said to you—people need to feel that they have been heard, even when you can’t give them what they are asking for or can’t be of particular help.Research shows that eye contact, nodding, and smiling are the three key physical indicators of warmth.How can you let people know that they can trust you to be on their side—that you want nothing but the best for them?Well, I suppose you could just come right out and say it. For help in protecting yourself from violence in general – including sociopathic violence, I strongly recommend Gavin de Becker’s book, The Gift of Fear. Although sociopaths are great actors, and can feign hurt feelings, know that they have no feelings to hurt – they are manipulating you. Related to this: challenge your need to be polite in all situations. Second (and third and fourth) chances are for those who have a conscience. Although another favorite sociopathic trick is to defer blame and make other’s take responsibility for their behavior, “You owe me,” is another favorite phrase of the sociopath, know that you are not at fault. “’Please don’t tell,’ is the trademark plea of thieves, child abusers – and sociopaths,” writes Stout. Others deserve to be warned more than the sociopath deserves to be protected. Don’t let someone without a conscience try to convince you that people aren’t good. Disturbing, isn’t it, to think about one in 25 of us having no conscience. Disturbing to think about the ease with which a sociopath creates a swath of destruction…and that they get away with it…all you can do, usually, is steer clear. For a thorough discussion on this, read Stout’s book. That’s 4% of the population, or about 12 million Americans. Maybe it was a romantic partner you think back on and describe as evil. All sociopaths violent – some emotionally, and some physically as well. Don’t compete with, or try to outsmart, or psychoanalyze, or even banter with a sociopath. Minimize or eliminate the sociopath from your life. If you find yourself pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, chances are close to 100% that you are dealing with a sociopath. Never agree, for any reason, to help conceal the true character of a sociopath.Research also shows that people generally have no idea when they are not doing these things, so you might want to ask your friends and family if this is something you need to work on.
People unconsciously encode this free item as a gift that should be returned in kind, say, by buying the product they are trying to sell you.
So at team meetings, he made sure to put on what he calls his “active listening face” while others were speaking. Well, just so you know, your active listening face looks really angry.”Keep this cautionary tale in mind and get some feedback on what exactly you are doing with your own face when you are with other people. When you are getting to know someone, take the time to mentally put yourself in your perceiver’s shoes, to really try to grasp his or her perspective. One particularly effective, but often overlooked, method is what psychologists call the superfluous apology —saying “I’m sorry,” not as a way of accepting blame, but as a way of expressing regret over another person’s hardship.
After a few weeks of meetings, one team member finally summoned up the courage to ask him the question that had been on everyone’s mind.“Tim,” the employee asked, “are you angry with us right now? The more deliberately and vividly you do this, the better. (In other words, apologizing for something you clearly didn’t cause.) Many people do this intuitively, saying things like “I’m sorry about the rain,” or “I’m sorry your plane was delayed,” when it’s obvious they are in no way responsible for either circumstance.
But did you know that we cross paths with sociopaths on a regular basis — and often don’t even know it? In particular, I like his Pre-Incident Indicators (PINs), which reads like a menu of sociopathic characteristics: So now you have a lead on how to recognize a sociopath, and hopefully red flags will rise when you encounter one. It makes sense if you think about it – without human connection, what else is there?
Names you probably think of — real and fiction — when you hear the word “sociopath”. In fact, many researchers believe that 1 in 25 Americans fit the criteria for sociopathy. This book discusses the predictability of violence – great for avoiding sociopaths. Especially around those who claim that by dominating others they are helping a greater good. Know the difference between compliments and flattery. Sociopaths take full advantage of our social reflexes. Know that most of us do, thankfully, posses a conscience, and can love. But here’s another item I’d add to the list, something I’ve been known to say in my sessions with clients: 14) (That’s not a typo. In a nutshell, because of the unrelenting boredom they feel, sociopaths create drama, take massive risks – even, sometimes, kill.