The final roundup of classic traits of a sociopath include failing to accept responsibility for his own actions; many short-term romantic/marital relationships; possible juvenile deliquency; breaking parole or just not showing up for court appointments; and criminal versatility.
Since some of these traits are self-explanatory, I won’t dwell on all of them
Possilbe juvenile delinquency? Yes, but not all sociopaths are actually caught up in the court system. Many between the ages of 13-18 may participate in activities that could land them in jail, but often don’t. Don’t forget, they’re exceptionally gifted liars and are often able to talk themselves out of trouble.
They walk away from such an encounter laughing at how easy it is to fool the authorities.
Since a true sociopath has very little sense of conscience, it doesn’t trouble him in the slightest to ignore hearings, appointments with a parole officer or other legal authorities. They know the chances are slim to none that they will be called into account, so they’re willing to accept the risk.
Criminal versatility is simply the ability to change their illegal activities from one MO to another. Often, when a sociopath becomes violent, he is very hard to find because he doesn’t stick to one particular style of assault or killing. He’s willing to try all different things to help him avoid being caught.
It’s not a pretty picture. There are some things I need to say here that I hope will encourage you, because not all sociopaths are criminals. They do NOT all rise to the level of murderers. Those are the ones we know about, and tend to believe that anyone who is a sociopath is, ipso facto, also a monster. This belief is an overstatement, and needs some clarification.
The truth is, we all have some sociopathic tendencies. For instance, we all lie. We are all selfish to one degree or another. We are all capable of enjoying someone else’s misery, especially if that person has gotten in our way. The human heart, according to Jeremiah 17:9, is deceiful above all things and desperately wicked.
The good news is that Jesus’ death and shed blood at Calvary, with His resurrection and victory over death and sin, is the cleansing agent for the human heart. It is available to all, including murderers, if they will appropriate the free gift of salvation.
Ted Bundy’s testimony, the day before he was executed, is that he had become a Christian. It is possible for a sociopath/psychopath to repent of sin and come to Christ for forgiveness and salvation.
Is it possible, however, for such a person to learn to live “normally” in society, doing no harm? I believe that it is. Much depends on the level or degree of dysfunction the person suffers. Much depends, of course, on his own desire to live as normal a life as possible. Living with a sociopath is extremely difficult, even if the level of dysfunction is fairly mild. I’ve looked at several sources for more information on this issue, and here is one article you may find helpful, especially as you scroll down to the section on How to Deal with a Sociopath.
In my work, there is one consistent behavior that shows up over and over again that enables a sociopath to continue his conscience-free existence: People who are close to him make excuses for him. They never believe he’s capable of the things he’s accused of. They blame everyone else, but not the one who is truly guilty. The enable him to go on his way undisturbed because they will not call him to account for his behavior. Strangely enough, one of their biggest worries is hurting his feelings.
You can’t. Ever.