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8 Useful Tips for Dealing with a Sociopath in Your Life

Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by Ray

From a gaslighting partner to a backstabbing colleague, the world is full of sociopaths. These people are extremely adept at manipulating others for their own gain, but that doesn’t mean you have to be their next victim. Sociopaths are tricky characters, and it can be hard to see past their manipulations. They know how to read people and exploit this knowledge in order to get what they want. However, once you recognize the warning signs of sociopathy in someone else, you can inoculate yourself against further manipulation. The more you know about dealing with a sociopath, the safer you will be from their influence. Read on for useful tips for dealing with a sociopath in your life.

Know the signs of sociopathy.

Sociopaths can be hard to identify, as they rarely show their true colors from the get-go. In fact, many people are only able to identify sociopaths once they’ve been harmed by them. However, there are some telltale signs to watch out for. Sociopaths lie frequently, without shame or remorse. They can be charismatic and charming, especially at the beginning of a relationship when they are trying to reel you in. They also lack empathy and have an inflated sense of entitlement. Sociopaths are unable to maintain long-term relationships, and they often have a history of trouble with the law. Sociopaths have a pathological need for control, and they can be extremely vindictive when they are challenged.

Don’t feel sorry for a sociopath.

Sociopaths are manipulative creatures, and they feed on pity. While you should remain cautious around them, pitying a sociopath only serves to bolster their false sense of grandiosity. Sociopaths want to be pitied because it makes them feel special, above reproach and deserving of special attention. Sociopaths feed off of your sympathy and will use it against you to get what they want. Instead, show a sociopath no pity; instead, pity them by walking away from the relationship and removing yourself from the harm their manipulations might cause.

Practice self-care.

One of the first things you should do when you recognize sociopathy in a loved one or colleague is to start practicing self-care. Sociopaths drain energy from those around them; they are like emotional vampires who suck out your positive energy and leave you feeling drained. Sociopaths demand a lot of attention and special treatment; they want to be the center of the universe and refuse to be overlooked. Recognize that you are not responsible for the emotional well-being of a sociopath; you are responsible for your own emotional wellbeing. Start practicing self-care and refusing to be sucked dry by a sociopath.

Set healthy boundaries.

Sociopaths thrive on other people’s attention, time, and resources. While some people are deserving of your time and energy, a sociopath is not one of them. Sociopaths will try to convince you to invest in their scams, their lies, and their false neediness. They will attempt to guilt trip you into giving them what they want, and they will try to manipulate you into giving them more time than they deserve. Set healthy boundaries with a sociopath and refuse to give them what is not rightfully theirs.

Don’t engage with a sociopath.

Sociopaths thrive on attention, and they particularly enjoy the drama that comes from fights and disagreements. While you should set boundaries with a sociopath, you should also refuse to engage with them. When a sociopath tries to bait you into an argument, simply walk away and refuse to play along. If a sociopath attempts to engage you in any other form of attention that you do not wish to give, simply walk away. Don’t engage with a sociopath; ignore their attempts at drama and walk away from their toxic relationships.

RELATED: Covert Narcissism: How to Recognize & Respond Powerfully

Don’t give a sociopath your empathy.

Empathy is a powerful emotional tool, but sociopaths are incapable of feeling it. Sociopaths attempt to use your empathy against you, and they will try to convince you that they deserve your attention and care because they feel sorry for themselves. Don’t feel sorry for a sociopath; don’t give them your empathy. Instead, focus on the people around you who deserve your empathy and compassion.

Trust your instincts.

Instincts are important tools that every person has. They are a part of our gut feeling, and they are there to protect us from harm. Sociopaths are toxic people who want to gain from your misfortunes. When you are around a sociopath, your instincts will likely be screaming at you to get away. Don’t ignore these feelings; instead, trust them and don’t let yourself be bogged down by a sociopath. Your instincts are there to protect you, so don’t ignore them when a sociopath is in the vicinity.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones first.

To protect yourself from a sociopath, you must first put yourself first. You must put your own happiness and well-being before that of a sociopath. By putting yourself first, you are showing a sociopath that you won’t be manipulated by them, and you will be able to avoid their toxic behavior. You must take care of yourself and your loved ones first to be in a position to protect yourself from a sociopath.

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