Everyone is a sociopath

Editor’s note: Steve Becker has a very dry sense of humor, and the following post is written tongue-in-cheek. If you have a humorous story about a sociopath, feel free to add it as a comment.

Well, thanks to the Investigation Discovery Channel, the latest estimates are that 85% of the general population is sociopathic, and likely to commit a horrific, calculated exploitation of another human being within the next three weeks.

Even leading researchers on psychopathy laud this cable channel (which, admittedly, is absolutely riveting) for getting their own estimates properly realigned. Only in the last two months, just on my street alone, two of my neighbors killed a spouse (one for insurance money, the other for the chance to be with someone else); two other neighbors, separately, kidnapped and tortured hitchhikers over a two-day period, during which both missed their kids’ respective travel soccer tournaments; my neighbor across the street, a great friend, is now believed to be a suspect in eight abduction/missing children cases since 2010; and the identical twins of another neighbor, three houses down, are believed to be responsible for the serial mutilation of dozens of dogs in the area since 2011 (they are 19, and my principal babysitters since 2009; and, because it’s so damned hard to find babysitters these days, they will remain my babysitters because apparently, at least as best i know to this point, they just mutilate and savage dogs).

And let me tell you something else–the street I live on is filled with relatively “normal” people. I’m told that what happens in my “neck of the woods” is nothing compared to the psychopathic crimes being perpetrated at a newly estimated rate of every 12 minutes around the corner, on my friends’ streets. They want to move to MY block.

Last month, my best friend learned that his wife of 16 years, a strikingly stable, well-adjusted individual (I still regard her as such), while mixing herself screw-drivers at night, was mixing him vodka-anti-freezes. He lies in critical condition at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ, but his wife is still a great neighbor and, admirably, visits him daily in the CCU unit (albeit one assumes she is scoping out chances to slip him some extra poison to finish him off.)  Last week, when I visited my buddy in the hospital I warned him firmly to beware his wife’s visits, but he’s in a coma, so I doubt he heard me.

It’s gotten to the point where I, myself, have become a bit paranoid. Recently I went to my internist, feeling weak and lethargic, just not myself, and asked him, “Could it be antifreeze, doc?,” to which he replied, “Well, how much antifreeze have you been drinking, Steve? More than a glass a night?”

Ha ha. He’s so funny. A real rip.

Anyway, it’s all very sobering. It seems you really can’t trust anyone anymore, not your neighbors, friends, kids, spouses, family, co-workers, not even yourself. Everyone, or almost everyone, it seems, thanks to the disconcerting revelations of ID Discovery,  is a sociopath.


(This article is copyrighted (c) 2013 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)



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88 Comments on "Everyone is a sociopath"

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One last thing. I just told you Im living on a small place (a romm with bathrrom and small kitchen) a friend lent me. I said I dont trust her, but still Im here. Why? Because I have nowhere else to go. I dont like this situation and my mind is thinking about it non-stop to the point of exaustion. But today my alternative would be to live in the streets. I have reasons to belive her offer have other reasons and as time passes and she figures out she wont get what she wants I know I will have to leave. So this is just one more thing about not being able to find a toxic-free environment.

I just watched Margareth Heffernan’s speech on TED about Wilfull Blindness. I think there is a lot of that on my case. Many people took a distance from me because of what other people told them about me. I feel some of them are not sure what the truth is but its better for their interests and confort to just stay away from me. I became a leper.

Katzu, I can really feel for you and I’m so sorry to hear how much loss you have suffered. I too grew up with some disordered family, and like you until the last couple years didn’t understand what the behaviors meant or how it had affected my ability to live an emotionally healthy life with normal, healthy boundaries in place. I didn’t have a clue, and so when I met the most powerful enemy I have ever had I opened the door wide and let her in. I was deceived, manipulated, defrauded. 5 years later I like you have basically been evicted from my life. While I’m not hated by most here I am very much viewed as mentally unstable thanks to her constant subtle slandering. Like you I reached out for help early on when her lies and machinations were overwhelming me. I being a man of faith reached out to a spiritual shepherd who ended up being a highly deceptive, manipulative person who was himself engaging in some inappropriate conduct with her. Caused me years of problems trying to clean it up by going around him. Unfortunately he is the most influential man in our region and my speaking out against him had lasting repercussions. Her paramouric alliances have served her well. I am over here. I have lost hundreds of friends and my decades long well earned place in the community has been stolen away by a sparkly beacon of deception. I am fortunate to have a small but loyal support system. My family and a few friends, and I appreciate them more than I used to. Truthfully at this point I’m seeing the value in starting over in many ways. Maybe we can rebuild our lives carefully and slowly. My escape will be soon and I will be vilified by her adoring, devoted, deluded followers. We have a lot to learn so don’t stop educating yourself. Take care.


Gaslighting and vilifying is such despicable behavior. As if the pain of the direct impact wasn’t enough, living through the loss of relationships you once treasured adds horrific insult to injury. It’s very difficult to thwart the lies a disordered person will use in order to move on with their life and cover-up for their past.

You might get some solace by knowing that those folks who fell for the misrepresentations about you, might ultimately be in your shoes one day. You are indeed fortunate to have friends and family who stick by you. The silver lining around the cloud of being victimized is that you find out who your real friends are! The opinion of the rest don’t really matter.


Thank you all again for your comments. I read everyone and felt some comfort from your words. It feels good to have you to talk to and read. I will keep on fighting and one day when this storm is over I will take the time to share my experience with you. At this moment I still dont have the time. Right now even the few moments I have to access the web are counted.
I dont want “justice” as I dont believe this is at all possible. This is one thing I learned early. I just want a chance to start my life again, and do it right this time. I want a chance to have a real life with real truthfull relationships. I dont care for money or anything I lost. I am very sad and sorry for the friends and “friends” I lost and left me but I rather have them gone than never knowing what real friends are. As a song I heard once said (and as much as this experience hurts) “…I wouldnt trade the pain for everything Ive learned…”. Of course I feel like I had enough and I am ready to give up learning! At least this kind of learning. Thank you but I had enough! I wish I had some control over these things. But I dont and it seems that there are still some tough chapters in my life for me to go through.
Once again thank you very much. You are great. I guess Donna and all of you here can be happy on the knoledge that you make the life of so many people that have no support a lot better just by being here and giving each other support.

One more thing. I still feel very insecure by everything that happened and how things turned out for me. Sure Im wiser now and everything made me stronger and less naive but I am not ashamed of admiting to you I am scared about the future. I cant get no decent work and I see nothing better coming up. Im walking on faith things will evolve for the better. I just recently accepted nothing will come from anyone in my family or friends (this was realy late of me to realize). But I feel I am doing my best and although it might not be the best someone could do its the best I can do and that should be enough. No more self punishment. I hope you all send some positive energy as I sure will need.

You have the perspective of a victim of a sociopath. When your life has been hijacked and you have been living in barely survival mode, PTSD is frequently a normal occurance, as is depression is NORMAL, and a type of agoraphobia is NORMAL and a type of paranoia is NORMAL. ALL you are feeling and experiencing is NORMAL when you’ve had a life with a sociopath. I am sorry for it, but that’s a fact.

Things CAN evolve for the better. We understand the path you must walk. It’s hard to imagine that things will get better. As sad as it is to realize, most everyone here has literally walked the same path you are on. And Yes, my dear, eventually it does get better. I was in such dire straits that I was not employable. Now I have recovered enough to open my own business and THRIVE. Just saying that so you know, again (I remember having to be told again and again, which is again, a symptom of PTSD, nerves are shot! Memory is shot!)…things will get better.

For me, the paranoia was a good thing. When in such a vulnerable state, you are an easy target for others to exploit. Keep them all at arms length, even the helpful ones. Take in what works for you. You can say thank you but it does not entitle ANYONE to assert any “helpful” control over you.

I hope you have access to a therapist that treats TRAUMA. It helped me a lot to write and write and get the anxiety and circle thinking out of my head and onto paper. Do not watch news or violent tv shows or movies. I watched happy shows, like All Creatures Great and Small. ANY violent shows feeds stress. You must not allow anyone to add stress into your world.

You MUST be the #1 person on YOUR side. Try to do healing things for yourself, touch stuff like soft materials next to your skin, massaging in lotion, nice bath with candles/music, etc.

This is my advice for you to think about and only incorporate in your world if YOU decide it resonates and might work for your improvement.

All my best. And Yes, as a matter of fact, I am sending you Positive Energy. Realize, recovery is a PROCESS, baby steps forward and some that go back. That’s Normal. You take care, Okay?

Katzu: I can totally relate. I am unemployable now, especially in this ‘new’ world where you have to know far more, produce far more, and have customer service skills. I am so badly damaged I am going to try to get on disability. Are you a ‘healer’? Maybe whatever you did was far off the beam for you. A whole new sea change is about to happen for you …
because you were not born to suffer like that. I am meditating and praying for you. The ‘healer’ comment is just my way of sharing what I may do (because it turns out I never was a ‘company’ person or ‘office’ person). Have you read Richard Skerritt’s “Tears and Healing” on the web? I read a great blog about how we lose ourselves to others almost constantly until we discover we are someone else’s machination, or ‘hand puppet’ if you will. Become who you were meant to be (gotta figure out what that is…I am still figuring it out). It may be more than one thing. Just read a quote: “If you become who you were meant to be you will set the world on fire.”

NotWhatHeSaidofMe: SO glad to see that ‘someone gets it’ because the outside world does not. People…co-workers especially, do not understand why we are the way we are. We are abnormal to them, when truth to tell we are totally normal people reacting to the ‘abnormal others’ who literally infected us.
So they torment us and try to make us quit our jobs. We suffer AGAIN and experience the stress and bullying/manipulation that we did to start with. It is a living Hell. Someone told me to try ‘Co-dependents Anonymous’. There are great people who ‘get it’ in these groups. Wish me luck!

NotwhatHeSaid- Your words are so helpful… I really didn’t have plans on seeing anyone to deal with this situation that I’m in.
I figured, once he’s gone and I’ve made my escape all will be right with the world. but it won’t be.
I cry randomly, now.. I was never a cryer. I’ve always been a happy person, genuinely happy. I thought I was still being me but people keep asking me what’s wrong and saying I seem sad or ” not myself”
I am paranoid, because I feel like he knows I’m trying to leave and he’s waiting for me to think I’ve gotten away with it.
Once, I feel safe or relatively safe, I will seek help.


Don’t wait ’til he leaves to get help. And your anxiety, fear, depression, and all the other losses of self you feel might be helped with medication. It won’t make the problems go away, but will enable you to function better while you find resolution.


Jm- I don’t feel safe to do that now.
He’s leaving in exactly 11 days. My life is on hold for 11 days.
It’s all so unfair.

4Light2Shine: “very much viewed as mentally unstable thanks to her constant subtle slandering”.

This was my mother to a “T”. I still have her in my head and I am fighting hard to get rid of her.

Pity? Totally have it for her but she was unrelenting in her diatribes.

Hi Barb. Wacked, nuts, looney toons, jacked up, not playin with a full deck…. Feel free if anyone wants to flesh out the list more, it could be fun. Sorry to hear you had to deal with that from your mom. That would have to be emotionally exhausting . So did you learn to thicken your skin a bit ?
I wanted to share an article that I read this morning that would fit very well in subject on this everyone is a spath thread. The site is called and the article is Lance Armstrong and the character of our times. I think many of you would enjoy it. It’s about 12 pages into the blog. Sorry for not posting a link. Along with being pretty much nuts I’m also a bit of a dork with technology. 🙂

4LighttoShine: that was not the worse of it, but suffice it to say I had strength from somewhere. Unrelenting criticism, though, has caused me mental health issues to the point where I cannot work anymore. And Disability is not going to understand it. I am screwed.

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