Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 110: Signs of a Sociopath

What percentage of the population are sociopaths?  Most are amazed to discover that this figure is 4 % of the population - or about 1 in 25 people.  Sociopaths all lack a conscience and this usually begins to present in childhood. Another universal characteristic is that they lack empathy. They have is a strong prevalence of violence towards animals. They are often reckless and impulsive.  Sociopaths have an inflated sense of self-importance and often will engage in risky and reckless behavior. These are only some of their characteristics. 

Sociopaths are good to very good actors.  Interestingly, there are body language signs which they will have in common. Since they "parrot" behavior (e.g. "This is how I'm supposed to act when I'm happy", "This is how I'm supposed to act when I'm disappointed", etc.) they are only as good as their acting.  We give professional actors "permission" to pretend to be someone else, to pretend to be angry, disgusted, etc. - but not sociopaths - they are deliberately deceiving you for their personal gain.  Can you spot a bad actor?  Perhaps in a movie you don't like. But can you spot a good-to-very-good-sociopath actor? Are you about to hire one? Are you dating one? Are you sure?