“We learn much of what we know about how conscience is formed by looking at its intellectual partner moral reasoning. Moral reasoning is the thought process that attends conscience and helps it decide what to do.”
CONSCIENCE – A person’s intervening sense of obligation based in his emotional attachments.
Sometimes sociopaths appear to be the nicest people in the world; professional well-mannered, intelligent, well paid. However, they can very well be “covetous psychopaths” and with the term “psychopath” we refer to sociopathy.
Jealous of their colleagues, they make calculated blows that cripple their cohorts and boost their self-esteem.
A covetous sociopath is a person who has an inordinate desire for the possessions of others coupled with the absence of conscience.
They consider their colleagues and other people “stupid” or “losers” because they allow their conscience get the better of them by feeling “bad” about the outcome of a situation.
Sociopaths do not always have a covetous nature – some are very differently motivated. But when a lack of conscience and covetousness occur together in the same individual, a fascinating and frightening picture emerges. Since it is simply not possible to steal and have for oneself the most valuable “possessions” of another; beauty, body style, intelligence, success, strong character traits, the covetous sociopath settles for besmirching or damaging enviable qualities in others so that they will not have them, either or a at least not be able to enjoy them so much. Here the pleasure lies in taking rather than having.
The covetous sociopath thinks that life has cheated him/her somehow, has not given him/her nearly the same bounty as other people, and so he/she must even the existential score by robbing people, by secretly causing destruction in other’s lives.
Retribution, usually against people who have no idea that they have been targeted, is the most important activity in the covetous sociopath’s life, his/her highest priority. And yet when such a person is around us in our lives, even on a daily basis, we are often oblivious to her activities. We do not expect to see a person direct a dangerous, vicious vendetta against someone who in most cases has done nothing to hurt or even offend him/her. We do not expect it, and so we do not see it, even when it happens to someone we know – or to us personally. The actions taken by the covetous sociopath are often so outlandish, and so gratuitously mean, that we refuse to believe they were intentional, or even that they happened at all. In this way, her true nature is usually invisible to the group.
Sociopaths are known for their extravagant charade. They put on masks that hide who they really are and some have manipulated high profile colleagues by placing them in embarrassing and compromising conditions that they feel as if they have no alternative but to go along with the sociopath’s wishes.
Colleagues will provided a sociopath with prestigious recommendations just to stay out of the cross-hairs. They are disenfranchised by the world, and she can feel powerful, merely by sitting in a room with people who have nothing she wants because she can manipulate them to her advantage. The exception might be the occasional female patient who is a little too attractive or, worse, a little too smart. Then the “covetous sociopath” might have to bring her down a peg or two, tweak a bit of the self-hatred that is usually already there or do something else that is truly GRATUITOUSLY MEAN.
Covetous sociopaths are wolfs in sheep’s clothing. And when the people she encounters do not provoke her, she finds them useful in maintaining her sheep’s clothing disguise, a disguise that includes a presentation of herself as an extraordinary nice, caring, responsible, and pitiable overworked person.
Covetous sociopaths see everyone as a potential piece to be played in their game and will keep up warm relations with them, if they may ever be found out no one will believe them.
The ONLY difference between sociopathy vs. criminality is quite simple, it’s the difference between whether or not you get caught. *Remember there are varying degrees of intelligence among sociopaths – the really, really intelligent and sophisticated ones DO NOT GET CAUGHT. While the less intelligent ones end-up in and out of jail.
The most common sociopathic profile possesses the characteristic trait of an on going deception and camouflage, and only the most flagrant crimes are difficult for a reasonable (average) intelligent sociopath to conceal.
The result is that most sociopaths are not incarcerated. They are out here in the world with you and me, working and residing among us.
How do we detect a psychopath/sociopath? Two reliable signs of the sociopath in combination are:
(1) Consistently bad or egregiously inadequate behavior.
(2) Combined with frequent plays for your pity. “Feel sorry for me.”
This is as close to a warning mark on a conscienceless person’s forehead as you will ever get! It is important to note these behaviors should raise a red flag, but isn’t 100% a sure fire way at a diagnosis.
There are strategies to combating these types of people when and if you should encounter them. The first step is to get rid of them as soon as your recognize you are dealing with a conscienceless person. Use the three strike rule which is outlined below. Psychopaths will suck the life energy right from your veins. Do not let them do it. Do not give these people any more of your precious time and resources. The second step involves building your resilience. How do we build our resilience to psychopaths? By learning how to recognize when you are dealing with one and by living well and taking good care of yourself. Eating healthy, drinking plenty of clear liquids making sure to get your 8 glasses of water a day, get plenty of rest making sure you get a proper amount of sleep, avoiding alcoholic beverages and street drugs, avoiding excessive amounts of caffeine, and finding and practicing a spiritual belief system. Mediation or prayer helps in calming the mind, body, and soul which helps to put you on a more stable playing field when you do encounter these types of individuals.
THIRTEEN RULES FOR DEALING WITH SOCIOPATHS IN EVERYDAY LIFE
(1) The first rule involves the bitter pill of accepting that some people literally have no conscience and they look like ordinary people just like you and me and there is no way to detect them through physical appearance.
(2) In a contest between your instincts and what is implied by the role a person has taken on; educator, doctor, leader, animal lover, humanist, parent – ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR INSTINCTS!
You are a constant observer of human behavior, and your unfiltered impressions, though alarming and seemingly outlandish, may well help you out if you will let them.
(3) When considering a new relationship of any kind practice the rule of 3’s regarding the claims and promises a person makes, and the responsibilities he or she has. Make the rule of 3’s your personal policy which follows:
a. One lie, one broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility maybe a misunderstanding.
b. But three lies say you’re dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior.
c. Never give your money, your work, your secrets, or your affections to a three-timer. Your valuable gifts will be wasted.
(4) Question Authority – Recite to yourself what Stanley Milgram taught us about obedience; at least six out of ten people will blindly obey to the bitter end an official – looking authority in their midst. Encourage those around you to question authority. Having a social support system makes people somewhat more likely to question and challenge authority.
(5) Suspect Flattery – Manipulation through flattery is sometimes innocuous and sometimes sinister. Peek over your massaged ego and remember to suspect flattery.
(6) If necessary, redefine your concept of respect. Too often, we mistake fear for respect. And the more fearful we are of someone, the more we view him or her as deserving of our respect. “I hope you do not mistake fear for respect, because to do so would be to ensure your own victimization.” DO NOT BOW TO PREDATORS. The people who deserve our respect are those who are strong, kind, and morally courageous. The person who profits from frightening you is not likely to be any of these.
(7) DO NOT JOIN THE GAME! – Intrigue is a sociopath’s tool. Resist the temptation to compete with a seductive sociopath, to outsmart him, psycho analyze or even banter with him. This will only prove to distract you from what’s really important – PROTECTING YOURSELF!
(8) The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication. The only effective method for dealing with a sociopath you have identified is to disallow him or her from your life altogether.
Sociopaths live completely outside of the social contract, and therefore to include them in relationships or other social arrangements is perilous.
If total avoidance is impossible, make plans to come as close as you can to the goal of total avoidance.
(9) Question your tendency to pity too easily. Respect should be reserved for the kind and the morally courageous. Pity is another socially valuable response, and it should be reserved for innocent people who are in genuine pain or who have fallen on misfortune.
If instead, you find yourself often pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, and who actively campaigns for your sympathy, the chances are close to 100% that you are dealing with a sociopath.
Sociopaths take huge advantage of this automatic courtesy in explosive situations.
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO BE UNSMILING AND CALMLY TO THE POINT!
(10) Do not try to redeem the unredeemable. At some point, most of us need to learn the important, if disappointing, life lessons that no matter how good our intentions, we cannot control their behavior – let alone the character structure of the other person. If you do not desire control, but instead want to help people, then help only those who truly want to be helped. I think you will find this does not include the person who has no conscience.
(11) Never agree, out of pity or for any other reason, to help a sociopath conceal his or her true character – “Please don’t tell,” often spoken tearfully and with great gnashing of teeth, is the trademark plea of thieves, child abusers – and sociopaths. Do not listen to this siren song. Other people deserve to be warned more than sociopaths deserve to have you keep their secrets.
If someone one without a conscience insists that you “owe” him or her, recall what you are about to read here: “You owe me!” has been the standard line of sociopaths for thousands of years, quite literally, and is still so. It is what Rasputin told the empress of Russia. “You owe me!” is a compelling claim but it simply isn’t true. DO NOT LISTEN! And ignore the other one that goes “You are just like me.” YOU’RE NOT!
(12) Defend your psyche – Do not allow someone without a conscience, or even a string of people, to convince you that humanity is a failure. Most human beings do possess a conscience. Most human beings are able to love.
(13) Living well is the best revenge– Taking good care of yourself, through proper diet, exercise and sleep is the best remedy to defend and ward off toxic people. STAY VIGELENT!