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12 Telltale Traits of a Sociopath

Sociopathy is a mental health condition that is believed to affect approximately 1 to 4 percent of adults, and is more common in women than in men, although some researchers argue that it is much more prevalent.

While the term ‘sociopathy’ is not used medically to describe a mental health condition—the closest diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is antisocial personality disorder—the average person often uses it to describe someone who exhibits certain behaviors, including these 12 telltale traits.

1. Lack of Empathy

A lack of empathy—where a person is unable to understand others’ feelings—is probably among the most well known behaviors of a sociopath. “The individual may be oblivious to the feelings or concerns of other people,” says Livestrong.com, which makes it easy for them to manipulate others for their own gain.

And when they hurt others, they tend not to feel any guilt, shame, or remorse for their actions. Dr. Axe indicates this is because “they can’t place themselves ‘in someone else’s shoes’ or imagine how someone who is hurting might be suffering.”

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