“About one in twenty-five individuals are sociopathic/psychopathic, meaning essentially, that they do not have a conscience. It is not that this group fails to grasp the difference between good and bad; it is that the distinction fails to limit their behavior. The intellectual difference between right and wrong does not bring on the emotional sirens or the fear of God that it does for the rest of us. Without the slightest blip of guilt or remorse, these people can do anything or take any action at all without a shred of regret.”
Sociopathic behavior is more frequently encountered in men versus women – in fact, the ratio is about 3:1. As Stout indicates, they lack a conscience. That said, their typical behavior is all about gaining at the expense of others. They can very convincingly come across as genuine and charming. However, behind the “mask,” they are cold, calculating ruthless individuals who are highly defensive, extremely selfish, power-hungry and very controlling. They have a dominating “win-lose” mentality and are manipulative, impulsive, irresponsible and deceptive. They are not fond of company policy and typically are sadistic and motivate with threats. They see other people as mere tools to achieve their goals and, left to their own devices, they can completely destroy your company without a second thought.
The best way to spot them according to Stout is the “pity play.” These people instinctively know that having you feel sorry for them is an effective way to take advantage. So “flags” should go up when you see someone always doing the “pity party.” It is a strong indicator of a sociopathic individual.
If you suspect you are dealing with a sociopath, do not attempt to expose him. Rather, allow the sociopath to reveal himself. If you do it, his anger will know no bounds and he will go to any lengths for revenge. Do not try to “connect” with the sociopath. Rather, disclose as little of yourself as possible. Sociopaths feed on victims and will seek out someone else if you disengage.