11 Signs Someone is a Hidden Sociopath


While sociopathy is relatively rare in the general population, with only three percent ever recognized as sociopaths, it’s a condition that can cause significant damage if not noticed and dealt with.

Sociopathy, also known as Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), is associated with little empathy, remorse, and other harmful traits. However, many sociopaths are capable of masking these traits, enabling them to attain positions of power where they can potentially do incredible damage.

Keep reading if you want to know what to look out for when dealing with a possible hidden sociopath.

1. Impulsivity

One of the first signs you’ll recognize if you’re dealing with a hidden sociopath is that they’re reckless, even to the point of risking life and limb to get what they want.

Excessive impulsivity is one of the defining traits of sociopathy. If you notice someone always making life-altering decisions without any consideration, you may be dealing with a hidden sociopath.

2. Easily Irritated

Have you ever worked with or for someone who was always one step away from blowing up? Did you feel like you were walking on eggshells around them? While we all lose our cool on occasion, being easily irritated and struggling to control one’s emotions is a key indicator of Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Research has shown that people with ASPD tend to suffer from higher levels of negative emotion, including anger, than the general population.

The exact causes of this are still unclear to scientists, but some have linked increased activity in the amygdala to higher levels of aggression and irritability.

So, if your boss always seems to have a short fuse, they may be dealing with ASPD.

3. They Hate Apologizing

Sociopaths tend to think of themselves as superior to the average person. This is especially true of a particularly dangerous kind of sociopath—the narcissistic sociopath.

This type combines the lack of empathy common with sociopathy with the worst traits of narcissism. One of the easiest ways to recognize this kind of sociopath is to pay attention when they make a mistake.

Do they apologize sincerely, or do they get defensive and try to deflect blame onto someone else? If they try to avoid responsibility, this is a clear sign that they are an undercover sociopath.

11 Signs Someone is a Hidden Sociopath

4. Habitual Lying

One of the most common traits shared among sociopaths of all backgrounds is habitual and pathological lying. This form of lying is distinct from a bad habit in several ways.

According to Medical News Today, pathological lying is when someone lies compulsively and without any clear benefit to themselves.

Sociopaths generally don’t feel any remorse when lying, setting them apart from other habitual liars. Some use lies to get what they want, while others simply do it because they can.

Consistently lying for no good reason is one of the most telling signs that someone may secretly be a sociopath.

5. Lack of Empathy:

Empathy is one of the most powerful and complex emotions humans feel. This emotion is also vital in many fields of work and life.

However, this is an emotion that sociopaths struggle to understand, let alone experience. This inability to understand others’ emotions can be disastrous if not treated.

Research from Frontiers in Psychology notes that a lack of empathy is correlated with antisocial behaviors such as violence, drug abuse, etc.

If you know someone who can’t seem to wrap their head around others’ feelings, this could be a sign, among others, that they have ASPD.

6. They’re Superficially Charming

One of the most disarming aspects of a high-functioning sociopath is their superficial charm. When you meet a secret sociopath, they might not seem like it initially.

Sociopaths that can control themselves use their charm to manipulate the emotions of others to get what they want, and they can do so without a shred of guilt due to their lack of empathy.

This is one of the most dangerous aspects of a secret sociopath and something you should watch out for when meeting new people.

7. They Don’t Care About Rules

Sociopaths, especially narcissistic sociopaths, think of themselves as above the law. They believe they’re better than others and are therefore not bound by the rules that others follow.

This means that sociopaths will disobey rules when they think it could be convenient for them. So, if you notice someone who always breaks the rules when they can get away with it, they could be a hidden sociopath.

8. Lack of Remorse

Another key indicator that someone may be a sociopath is their lack of remorse. Even if they know they’ve done something considered wrong, sociopaths, with a weak conscience unable to stop them from acting on their impulses, lack remorse.

This absence of remorse stems from a lack of empathy. They can’t truly grasp how their actions affect others emotionally and practically.

As such, they won’t care about how their actions affect the people around them.

9. They Tend to Lack Close Relationships

If you need a rule of thumb to identify sociopaths, this is it: they leave a trail of broken relationships behind them. Sociopaths’ inability to empathize with others, coupled with their unwillingness to apologize and habitual lying, means that sociopath relationships rarely last long.

If you’re worried you may be dealing with a sociopath, ask other people who know them. Do they frequently end friendships and romantic relationships without reason?

Do they seem to move frequently? These are clear indicators that they struggle to make meaningful relationships that last.

10. They Lie to Get Ahead

One of a hidden sociopath’s favorite techniques to get ahead is to lie. Their conscience is not as hurt by lying as a person without ASPD, and they’re more than willing to lie if they think it’s necessary.

Therefore, if you know someone who constantly lies to get their way, they may be a hidden sociopath. Recovering from sociopath manipulation can take years and is extremely difficult to do alone.

11. Difficulty Managing Themselves

Impulsiveness, pathological lying, and poor relationships can be hidden with enough effort. However, even the most capable sociopath cannot hide from all of their responsibilities.

Untreated sociopaths tend to view everyone but them as suckers; therefore, they do not take any of their responsibilities seriously.

If someone you know is consistently missing bills they can easily pay, getting in trouble with the law, and making a mess where they live, that person may be living with Antisocial Personality Disorder.

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