Everyone heard such words as a psychopath and a sociopath, but not everybody fully understands the meaning of these words and in what context they can be used. In this article, we will figure it out.
High Functioning Sociopath vs. Psychopath: What Is The Difference?
There is an opinion that there is no difference between a psychopath and a sociopath. They are both characterized as antisocial personality disorders and have similar features and traits.
Usually, psychopath and sociopath are characterized by a constant pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, as appeared through three or more of the following behaviors:
- infringement of criminal laws;
- deception for a personal benefit or a pleasure, including lying, or swindling;
- inability to plan;
- irritability and aggressiveness that may cause physical attacks;
- disregard for safety;
- failure to take essential adult responsibilities, such as job- and family-related duties, financial obligations, children raising, etc.;
- inability to admit personal guilt and a lack of remorse to the point of complete indifference.
However, there is a difference between a sociopath and a psychopath. Sociopaths can form relationship bonds, such as making friends or creating a family; however, they cannot “hold” this bond for too long. They are also unable to stay long at the same job.
When committing a crime, they act thoughtlessly and impulsively. They often express anger, get pissed off, which results in the act of violence. Due to these features, it is easier to foresee a dangerous behavior of a sociopath.
A sociopath would not feel guilty about harming a stranger; but he/she might feel compunction because of harming someone with whom they have relationships. Moreover, some of antisocial behavior patterns in sociopaths get reduced over time. On the contrary, it does not work this way with psychopaths. Psychopaths seem to have no concerns about the consequences of their actions, while a sociopath may learn to avoid effects over time by reducing antisocial behavior.
Psychopaths cannot create any relationships at all. They build artificial, superficial relationships to manipulate people with the most significant benefit for themselves. People for them are just pawns designed to reach their personal goals. And no matter how much harm they cause to others, they rarely feel remorse for their own actions.
For others, they look charming, reliable, decent people, with regular, stable work. Some of them even have families and strong relationships with partners. Quite often, they are well educated. They can learn a lot on their own. Once involved in a crime story, a psychopath will do everything to minimize the risk of punishment. They carefully plan activities and think of all possible scenarios.
Sociopath vs. Psychopath: Who Is More Dangerous?
Both of them pose a danger to society. Psychopaths are more dangerous because they do not have the slightest sense of guilt for their actions.
They can emotionally detach themselves from the actions performed. And for a person deprived of empathy, other people’s suffering simply does not make any sense. Many famous serial killers were psychopaths. But not all psychopaths and sociopaths can kill someone.
Psychopathy and sociopathy are two different facets of antisocial personality disorder, which is diagnosed in approximately 1-3% of the population. It is common in men and mainly in people suffering from alcoholism, drug, and substance abuse.
Psychopaths are more manipulative and charming. It is easier to create the image of a healthy life and minimize their role in illegal actions.
Sociopaths are more eccentric, easily enraged, and unable to lead a healthy life. They do evil recklessly and don’t care about the consequences.
Are Psychopaths Born Or Made?
Some psychologists say that sociopathy is a form of psychopathy. Those specialists who see the difference between these two types determine psychopathy as a hereditary personality disorder and sociopathy as an acquired one, which is caused by a brain injury or traumatic experiences in childhood. In other words, psychopaths are born, but sociopaths are made.
Psychopaths are born, and nothing can change this. Their environment influences what type of psychopath they become. A productive, educated environment will produce influential leaders in business and politics. A violent environment will create serial killers, severe criminals, and cruel monsters. Those in between will probably end up in power positions, such as management, military service, and law enforcement.
Sociopaths are mostly the result of environmental influence. They do have some sort of predisposition that is made worse by an antisocial environment.
What Personality Type Is Most Likely To Be A Psychopath?
ESTP people are more likely to be psychopaths. They are excellent at connecting with people, mainly focused on thinking logically at the moment. They also have introverted thinking, which means they are analyzers.
There are some signs of psychopathy. If you see many of them in yourself, then this may indicate a tendency to a psychopathy:
- You do not experience negative emotions at all. You can solve complex problems and act quickly if necessary. You stay absolutely calm and focused in extreme circumstances.
- You can be a different person at different periods of time. You act like a chameleon. You are the best actor who can adjust behavior to any situation.
- You are quickly driven into boredom by other people. You need adrenaline rush to avoid boredom. When life gets too dull, you can start manipulating people to satisfy your constant need for excitement.
- You often act impulsively. You tend to work on your whim, to demonstrate excessively risky behavior, behave thoughtlessly, or without considering the consequences.
- You usually lie, sometimes even without knowing why you need it. Even when the truth does not threaten you, you typically lie in response to other people’s questions. You are telling a lie to attract attention or appear in a better light from time to time.
- You rarely take responsibility for your actions, because you can always blame someone or something else. You seldom take responsibility because when something goes wrong, you usually think it’s not your fault. Instead, you blame other people or circumstances for your failures. You only plead guilty on those rare occasions when you feel cornered.
What Are The Examples Of Famous People With Antisocial Personality Disorder?
An antisocial personality disorder may affect anyone, and celebrities are not an exception.
For example, a famous actor known by saga “Twilights”, Robert Pattinson suffers from this disorder. But it does not prevent him from fighting it successfully, and from being loved by millions.
Victoria Beckham also used her low confidence and antisocial tendencies to develop her Posh Spice persona.
Michael Jackson was considered to be so shy that he preferred to surround himself with mannequins instead of real people.
You do not need to be afraid of this kind of disorder, the most important thing is to get help from professionals. Luckily, now you can do it easily even online.