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Chances Are You Work With at Least One Sociopath

Have you ever looked at a colleague, manager, partner, or other leader and thought to yourself it's entirely possible they could be a secret serial killer?

While it's unlikely they decapitate kittens on their days off, it's entirely possible they could be a sociopath:

[D]id you know that we ­cross paths with sociopaths on a regular basis  — and often don’t even know it?

All serial killers are sociopaths. But not all sociopaths are serial killers.

In fact, many researchers believe that 1 in 25 Americans fit the criteria for sociopathy. One in 25! Think of all the people you have met in your life. Average one in 25. That’s 4% of the population, or about 12 million Americans. Hard to believe, right?

Not really. Think American Psycho — it wasn't the tale of an insatiable killer, it was a story about how the very quality that led Patrick Bateman to success in a ruthless field also drove him to kill.

So how do you recognize a sociopath? It's pretty easy.

Sociopaths are good at making you doubt yourself. Making you do things you wouldn’t normally do. Making you do things for them. Making you feel crazy.

Sociopaths like to win, they like to dominate.

But the defining characteristic of a sociopath is a person who has no conscience.

What does this mean? No empathy. An inability – not a choice, but an inability – to care or even think about the feelings of anyone else. An ability to move through life with complete disregard for their actions: no remorse, no capacity for shame, and no guilt.

Sound like anyone you know?