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Compliments of Fernando Stankun via Flickr

Why is it that some maintain their space looking like a disheveled mess? – e.g., things strewn about and piles stacked high: at first glance, a matted chaos proclaiming its importance. Perhaps it’s simply a time factor (a belief that messiness incites creativity), or pack rat syndrome. It’s one thing if it’s behind closed doors, but quite another if disarray is in the common space of other people.

An intriguing potential cause of uninhibited mess is personality. Sociopaths (for example) have been defined as people who are “unable to conform to the norms of society,” and who have a history of “violating the rights of others.” They also display a “complete lack of empathy for others and [for] their situation for which they are responsible,” and little concern for their well-being. It’s difficult to imagine a remorseless soul, but this is precisely what it takes to put others in harm’s way.

Sociopath – Sociopath Personality Disorderargues out that sociopaths don’t learn from their errors, and thus repeat the same mistakes time and again. Complaining about their gargantuan mess produces only temporary relief – along with a possibility that something worse will recur. Shockingly, sociopaths have an unwavering belief in their self-righteous convictions.

The combination of aggressive response, lack of empathy, and a willingness to flatten other people produces a toxic cocktail. To someone with no conscience you’re inconsequential, merely a stumbling a block to gaining conquest – an inconvenience to circumvent on their path to dominion.

It’s difficult to convince observers there’s something wrong with this person, because their lacquered veneer, con-artist tactics, and willingness to blatantly lie (and counter-blame) act as repellant to legitimate claims of those affected. Their use of “threats, aggression, and verbal abuse” creates a fortress which most people are unwilling to trespass. If you’re dealing with someone whom others initially describe as “adorable,” make them jump through some hoops before including them in your inner circle. Also look for these tell-tale signs:

  • Does the person in question speak incessantly about themselves, never inquiring about you? Are conversations solely one-sided? Does he or she lap up compliments like it was their last meal?
  • Do they seem to violate social norms? Due to their charming exterior and their sometimes exalted position, most people unwittingly provide them a long tether – one which only serves to provide more time and resources for them to manipulate (and ultimately run roughshod) across others.
  • Are they unable to sustain a long term relationship? According to “Sociopath – Sociopath Personality Disorder” promiscuity is (along with lying and cheating) a defining trait of a dyed in the wool sociopath.
  • (Lastly) Are they completely self-focused? Even a cursory awareness of those around them would incite circumspection. A narcissistic self-love promotes the opposite, and someone who is willing to steamroll opposition.

Related posts:

  1. Your garage and your personality
  2. The inner machinations of a sociopath
  3. Everyday sociopathy
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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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