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A Sociopath is far from your ordinary criminal or villain. Combine a willingness to cross the line without a shred of guilt, a keen sense of other people's mental and emotional fault lines and a COMPLETE Lack of Empathy and you have the consummate evildoer.
The Sociopath displays the following:
• Lack of Empathy: Utterly ruthless doesn't begin to describe him: except for when trying to appear normal, he is Above Good and Evil and will disregard any social norms, rules and morality in pursuit of his own self-centered goals. The Sociopath will do whatever it takes: lie, cheat, steal, extort, manipulate, or use outright violence without the slightest hesitation, disgust or remorse, and does this for Kicks. Mass Destruction has no more emotional weight than eating Chinese takeout to him, and he has no concern for the direct or collateral damage he does to other people, being unable to understand why anyone should. Techniques for learning moral behaviour, such as reason, therapy, rehabilitation and behavioural reward/punishment, will not work on him or tend to only make his behaviour even worse by making it easier for him to fake it.
• Consummate Deception Skills: Not just any ordinary good liar, A Sociopath is good enough to fool any Living Lie Detectors in the cast, can pass any polygraph with flying colors and fool even you, the audience. Many crime dramas and thrillers have a plot twist that the crying victim or seemingly-insane defendant was really this Sociopath pulling the wool over the eyes of everyone involved and only the hero witnesses the truth in the last private moment or conversation between him and the sociopath.
• Superficial or Faux Affably Evil Charm and Persuasion: This Sociopath is a Machiavellian plotter, and despite his Lack of Empathy he can understand the science of psychology, knowing how emotions and desires influence other people's actions. This allows him to manipulate them using his aforementioned deception skills for the sake of personal gain.
They can eaither be high functioning and calculating or low-functioning and deranged
Either Way Neither are Plesant to have around
Incase you haven't realized how bad this is you're eaither dealing with a violent Psychopathic Manchild who is a danger to his own family and small children and attack them both emotionally and physically while getting off on it and indulges in very twisted pranks or a violent person who seems highly intelligent and can scheme and manipulate you're very life style and tear it apart with utterly horrific glee.
An example is the title character in William Shakespeare's Richard the III To the point where in a recent production, the audience was enjoined to chant his name to get him to take up the throne at the public urgings of Buckingham. The fact that he likes talking to the aduenced and acts politely makes him worse.
You see Richard, after taking a brief detour to successfully woo the widow of a man he killed, quickly has several of the Queen's relatives arrested and executed and sends the young princes off to the Tower of London. Lord Hastings, under the impression that Richard was just going to execute the Queen's relatives and leave it at that, is dismayed to find that Richard plans to have Edward's children declared illegitimate and to take the throne himself and refuses to go along.
And so, with the aid of Buckingham, Richard has Hastings executed.
From there, Richard decides that the kids will be trouble as long as they're alive, and he might as well have them killed in their sleep too as long as he's got power, but by this point even his second in command begins to get squeamish and, not having noticed the pattern, leads a failed rebellion and gets executed.
To quote Richard, "If everyone thinks I'm just a common thug, by golly I'll show them how scary a thug I can be".
MAN I HATE THIS GUY WITH ALL MY HEART AND SOUL, WHAT A SICKO!!!
Luckily for us they are not invincible and are always defeated by the heroes