Even the most well intentioned friend or family member may accidentally introduce you to someone dangerous. After all how well do our friends and family know the object of the set up? If they knew them oh so well, then chances are we’d probably know them too. This is why it is advisable to treat every date with caution, whether it is someone you picked up in a bar or someone introduced to you by your mum.
The novel, A Life Lived Ridiculously, is a prime example of how a setup from a trusted source can go horribly wrong, after Maxine’s parents inadvertently set her up with a sociopath.
So before you fall hopelessly in love with your mum’s best friend’s mahjong partner’s nephew, be aware of sociopaths (social predators who exploit just about everyone they meet). Because with 1 in 25 people falling under the classic definition of a sociopath, we need to be aware of them before they prey on us.
HOW TO SPOT A SOCIOPATH
Sociopaths have impressive social skills, thereby making them extremely hard to spot. They are charming, funny and exciting. This is why we need to be aware. If your new romantic interest exhibits all or most of the following behaviors, be careful. He or she might be a sociopath.
1) Charisma and charm: They’re smooth talkers, always have an answer, never miss a beat. They seem to be very exciting. Their manners are impeccable; they are well groomed; they fulfill the codes of romance and courtship to a tee. They are likely to be eloquent talkers who lace their speech with impressive sounding facts and figures. They may be fun, laugh a lot, sweep their partner off their feet with their sweetness.
2) Enormous ego: They act like the smartest, richest or most successful people around. They may actually come out and tell you that.
3) Overly attentive: They call, text and e-mail constantly. They want to be with you every moment. They resent time you spend with your family and friends.
4) Jekyll and Hyde personality: One minute they love you; the next minute they hate you. Their personality changes like flipping a switch.
5) Blame others: Nothing is ever their fault. They always have an excuse. Someone else causes their problems.
6) Lies and gaps in the story. You ask questions, and the answers are vague. They tell stupid lies. They tell outrageous lies. They lie when they’d make out better telling the truth. If you probe deeper, you’ll find that their stories never stack up.
7) Move fast: They quickly proclaim that you’re their true love and soul mate. They want to move in together or get married quickly.
8) Pity play: They appeal to your sympathy. They want you to feel sorry for their abusive childhood, psychotic ex, incurable disease or financial setbacks.
Dr Annabelle R Charbit
Author of A Life Lived Ridiculously: When a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder, falls in love with a sociopath, she must fight for her sanity and her life