THE SOCIOPATH- A DANGER ALL AROUND US. PT 6.
Unfortunately, there is currently no possible way to determine what creates a Sociopath. While there are certain things that seem to be present in many cases of identified Sociopaths, there are no universal factors that occur in all. We are unable to point at an individuals Physical Appearance or Heredity and conclude they are or will become Sociopathic. Further, while many Sociopaths grow up in dysfunctional homes, not all of them do. In fact, siblings who are exposed to the same lack of a stable Nuclear Family will often become well-adjusted adults who are able to overcome early negative influences.
While it is said that a high percentage of our convicted felons are Sociopathic, it does not mean that most Sociopaths have a criminal record. The most telling attribute that seems to differentiate the convicted Sociopath from one who manages to avoid prosecution, is the ability to maintain a guise of normalcy when interacting with other members of society. This is usually done by observing early in life, within the family, what behavior is expected of them. While some Sociopaths silently mock such concepts, they learn to get what they want by pretending to go along with the majority. This is fined tuned as they mature and grow older and the ability to expand their web of deceit grows to include all facets of their life.
The real difference between the Sociopath who is caught and exposed to all of society, and one who may stay unidentified for their entire life, seems to be self-control and functionality within society. In other words, the capacity to use others for selfish purposes, and never being caught or punished.
FEATURE ARTICLES. THE SOCIOPATH- A DANGER ALL AROUND US. PT 7.
While it's true that we cannot identify potential Sociopaths by Biological and Sociological factors present in the early stages of life with any certainty, there are warning signs that should be looked for. These are clues that could indicate that the minor child may become an uncaring, unfeeling and amoral adult. The only hope in preventing this from becoming a reality may be catching it in time, when therapy could have a positive influence on the developing personality.
Childhood, from infancy through the teen years, is a battle where the outcome is a finished product. This result enters into society as an Adult, who now has the opportunity to make an impact which affects all citizens. Whether or not this will be positive or negative may depend on our ability to identify those personalities which, at an early age, show signs of Sociopathy.
There are certain behaviors, when exhibited before the onset of puberty, that seem to be common among Life-Long Sociopaths. I will start with the following example:
Cruelty- The desire to see other living things in pain, relishing the suffering that they observe. The enjoyment of such situations is amplified if the individual is the direct cause of the torment.
FEATURE ARTICLES. THE SOCIOPATH- A DANGER ALL AROUND US. PT 8.
While many children at an early age lack boundaries, and seem to enjoy the suffering being caused to other living things, adult guidance from the nuclear family or other positive sources are usually sufficient to overcome the emotional immaturity present in the developing mind.
However, the potential Sociopath does not or cannot understand the concept of "Empathy", and identifying this becomes very important so that professional intervention can begin at an early age.
Controlling Inappropriate Behavior- This is a manifestation of the inability and/or desire to conform to expected types of behavior in both public and private social situations. Again, as with a lack of empathy, the potential Sociopath does not understand why they should control their actions because others tell them that it is wrong or inappropriate. Simply put, they feel they are doing nothing wrong and see no reason to alter their behavior.
Inappropriate Behaviors may include;
- Unwanted and Unsolicited physical contact with others.
- Mannerisms that are not age appropriate.
- Demanding special treatment that no one else can receive.
- Making and losing friendships frequently, without any sense of loss or achievement.
- The desire to punish others they perceive to be a threat, even though this perception is a consequence of their own behavior.
- Treating family activities with contempt, as a complete waste of time.
Remember, it is important that these Behaviors be identified early in life.
If not addressed at a young age, the Sociopath can learn to adapt their behavior
to what is expected and use it to deceive and exploit others.