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 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 1
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?Page 1 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
I am currently reading an excellent book written by Martha Stout, Ph.D., called "the sociopath next door". When we're on the dating scene and perhaps, hoping to find someone we can love forever, it's important to find someone with a conscience. Stout writes,"Conscience does not exist without an emotional bond to someone or something and in this way, conscience is closely allied with the spectrum of emotions we call 'love'. She describes conscience as "... a sense of obligation ultimately based in an emotional attachment to another living creature (often but not always another human being), or to a group of human beings, or even in some cases to humanity as a whole".

So when we are dating, how do we distinguish people who have a conscience... people who have it within them to truly care about another human being... from those who are just out to fill their own needs regardless of who they hurt or take from to do so?
 The Belly
Joined: 11/8/2007
Msg: 2
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 11:55:06 AM
They are called serial daters...LMAO

Right off the bat, no...

If you watch how people treat others and how they react to different situations then yes!
It is quit easy to see.. The hard part is stepping out side the box, to be looking in and not at!

~Belly~

Shelf: There are plenty of them from both sex's... Plenty of Fishy people!
 mimosa
Joined: 4/5/2005
Msg: 3
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Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 12:07:02 PM
Funny you ask, I have only ever seen, not met, thankfully.... one. I'm sure Satan would have thrown him out. Other than that no. Most everyone has a conscience..... even Hitler loved puppies.
I'm choosing to take the question literally.
 medana
Joined: 12/8/2005
Msg: 4
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 12:21:30 PM
u r talking about sociopaths.

of course u can tell, just watch their pattern of behavior,listen to their stories, it will come out. then get ur bag and RUN, u don't wanna end up fish food for 50 grand in life insurance

lol
 Moto Monkey
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 5
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 12:29:14 PM

- Overgeneralizations abound, factual errors, contradictory interpretations of behavior

I rarely pan books. Even when I was reviewing for Publisher's Weekly, I tried to emphasize the good points of the books. It seems irresponsible to identify good points in The Sociopath Next Door without pairing them with their caveats. This is unfortunate, because Stout's case studies are vivid and, while not particularly complex, illustrate a range of expressions of sociopathy in familiar contexts (home, work, and relationships).

I also don't usually write giant question marks or rebuttals in the margins, or have cause to circle egregiously inaccurate statements. My copy of this book is highly marked up. In recent years, only Edward O. Wilson's Concilience: The Unity of Knowledge has evoked comparable frustration and disgust, and in fact I put it down after only a few chapters. Rather than go into exquisite detail about my many notes, exclamations, and Post-its, I will try to summarize the major flaws of Stout's book, with an example of each.
<< That is the beginning its review at powells.com (Powell's Books).

From what I know of psychopathy, it sure would be fun having a field guide and going out in the neighborhood to identify people by psychopathic traits. Maybe mark them with a paint ball gun, from a safe distance.
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 6
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 12:48:03 PM

Most everyone has a conscience..... even Hitler loved puppies.


Mimosa... You might be surprised to find out that 4% of the population is considered to be "without conscience" and here is what Martha has to say on that topic:

"But what does 4% really mean to society? As points of reference to problems we hear about more often, consider the following statistics: The prevalence rate for anorexic eating disorders is estimated at 3.43 percent, deemed to be nearly epidemic, and yet the figure is a fraction lower than the rate for antisocial personality. The high-profile disorders classed as schizophrenia occur in only about 1 % of us - a mere quarter of the rate of antisocial personality - and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the rate of colon cancer in the United States, considered "alarmingly high" is about 40 per 100,000 - one hundred times lower than the rate of antisocial personality. Put more succinctly, there are more sociopaths among us than people who suffer from the much publicized disorder of anorexia, four times as many sociopaths as there are schizophrenics, and one hundred times as many sociopaths as people diagnosed with a known scourge such as colon cancer."

"About one in twenty-five individuals are sociopathic, meaning essentially that they do not have a conscience. It is not that this group fails to grasp the difference between good and bad; it is that the distinction fails to limit their behavior. The intellectual difference between right and wrong does not bring on the emotional sirens and flashing blue lights, or the fear of God, that it does for the rest of us. Without the slightest blip of guilt or remorse, one in twenty-five people can do anything at all."

It's worthy to add her next comments because the commonality of this disorder has some rather excruciating effects on those of us who DO have a conscience. She writes:

"The high incidence of sociopathy in human society has a profound effect on the rest of us who must live on the planet, too, even those of us who have not been clinically traumatized. The individuals who constitute this 4 percent drain our relationships, our bank accounts, our accomplishments, our self-esteem, our very peace on earth. Yet surprisingly, many people know nothing about this disorder, or if they do, they think only in terms of violent psychopathy - murderers, serial killers, mass murderes..."

You are right when you say that MOST people do have a conscience but you can see that there is a rather high incidence of those who don't and they can wreak havoc on your life.

While it's true that Hitler loved puppies, that one redeeming feature hardly compensates for the mass murder of 100's of 1000's of innocent people...
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 7
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 12:51:41 PM

Are you talking about all the players on these sites that could'nt care less who they walk all over.
It gives all men a bad name.


AND women On the Shelf... Sociopaths exist in BOTH genders.
 missatl
Joined: 10/14/2007
Msg: 8
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 12:52:32 PM
Come on and lay with me come on and lie to me say that you love me say that Im the only one.

That is sociapath my dear
 Moto Monkey
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 9
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 12:54:16 PM

1. She casts doubt on her accuracy by using outdated references. While she has a few (mostly non-psychology) references from after 2001, the majority are references from the 1990's, and some hail from the 1960's. I'm all for an historical perspective, but research on cortical functioning from 1962, if still considered accurate, should be backed up by more contemporary studies. Most surprisingly, on page 6 she cites DSM-IV as the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. As a psychologist in practice, she ought to be well aware that the current edition of DSM, DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision) was published in 2000 (that's 5 years before her book was published). She is out of standard of practice. Further, the information she cites, apparently from the DSM, is incorrect. Stout asserts that the rate of antisocial personality disorder is 4% (p. 6, no citation given). She then moves into a discussion of the DSM criteria for this disorder. I don't have a DSM-IV handy at the moment, but as luck would have it, I do keep a DSM-IV-TR in the house. It reports the rate as "about 3% in males and about 1% in females" (DSM-IV-TR, p. 704). That would be a prevalence rate of 2%, or 50% lower than her assertion here and throughout. She also characterizes this disorder as "a noncorrectable disfigurement of character" (p. 6). DSM-IV-TR reports that it "has a chronic course but may become less evident or remit as the individual grows older.... there is likely to be a decrease in the full spectrum of antisocial behavior...." (DSM-IV-TR, p. 704). Even if she doesn't agree with this conceptualization, she needs to clarify the dispute, and take measures not to appear to suggest that DSM is the source of her information. Egregious errors like these immediately make me question the quality of her scholarship.

4% or 2%...

Some puppies are evil. Let's not forget the 3% of puppies who are born evil! Maybe Hitler only loved the evil ones?
 Master irisheagle
Joined: 2/25/2007
Msg: 10
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Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 12:57:16 PM
i Think it takes time to see that part of someone.
i had someone once that i'm sure had a conscience
But i never saw it when we were together.
but everything WAS about her. maybe i was
just blind...of course i was all about me so maybe
it was me without the conscience... .
i doubt it though...i still worry about how ashe's doing
over all, non matter how i got treated.
 girldiver
Joined: 8/23/2007
Msg: 11
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Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 12:59:27 PM
It is a frightening read, I agree. And yes, I believe I would recognize a sociopath.
 spiritfillup03
Joined: 8/8/2007
Msg: 12
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 1:00:49 PM
With the experience that I have had being married to a social-path , I can tell you that they are very good at what they do. I'm still being affected by my ex-husband because we share a child. Social-path's will engage you into stuff that you wouldn't normally do, they are very good at deception and they play on your sympathies. Life is just one big game to them..and they are out to win at any costs. They are incapable of being a human being...Can normal ppl spot these kind of characters and be able to get away from them before being hooked into their game? Not likely, in my opinion. After years of torment and suffering, I left my abusive ex in 97....the scars I have are very deep. These social-paths have jobs, neighbors, spouses, kids, and live amongst us. I have read the book and still go back to it from time to time. Wish I could say that I would not get involved again with another...but, the sad truth is that it can happen again. I hope to be able to recognize the signs early on and RUN FAST!
 MtLoopHiker
Joined: 8/6/2005
Msg: 13
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 1:13:30 PM
wind_dancer asks:
So when we are dating, how do we distinguish people who have a conscience... people who have it within them to truly care about another human being...


That's easy! Those are the ones you want to be "just friends" with! The sociopaths are the ones you're truly attracted to, cuz they can say anything with a confidant, straight face.
 wild heart
Joined: 10/14/2007
Msg: 14
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 1:21:13 PM
It is very difficult as there are different types of sociopaths. Society hears sociopath and instantly thinks "serial killer", when in reality there are plenty of sociopaths walking around who have never done any criminal act.

I have met some men who possess some sociopathic tendencies - glib, charming, making you feel guilty for something they did, invading your space too early, dead eyes etc., etc., but were they REALLY sociopaths or just a**holes?
 girldiver
Joined: 8/23/2007
Msg: 15
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Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 1:22:53 PM
Sociopaths can be spotted with logic rather than letting them play on your emotions. Anyone who tries to play on my emotions gets rejected as needy/emotionally unbalanced. They may be harder to deal with at work where they often excel at promotion through emotionless backstabbing. Some of them enjoy setting you up.


I have met some men who possess some sociopathic tendencies - glib, charming, making you feel guilty for something they did, invading your space too early, dead eyes etc., etc., but were they REALLY sociopaths or just a**holes?


You have to be on the look out for that kind of behavior. Whether they are sociopaths or just garden variety assholes makes no difference to me. I don't like that behavior and I generally avoid those smarmy types.
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 16
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 1:25:05 PM

Social-path's will engage you into stuff that you wouldn't normally do, they are very good at deception and they play on your sympathies.


That's precisely what Stout says about how to recognize them Spiritfillup... She says on page 109:

"When deciding whom to trust, bear in mind tht the combination of consistently bad or egregiously inadequate behavior with frequent plays for your pity is as close to a warning mark on a conscienceless person's forehead as you will ever be given."

This is the person who says, "I have trouble trusting anyone because ALL my exes cheated on me" or "I have been crying all morning because I hurt you..." or "I am SUCH a loser". Sometimes their stories are enough to shock any compassionate person into overlooking the fact that they can't hold down a job, have been with 100's of partners, disappear for no reason for days and never take responsibility for a single thing.

I am amazed. Only someone without conscience could think to use someone else's compassion as a "tool" to better their own lives and get their needs met.
 LindaLou-58
Joined: 11/17/2007
Msg: 17
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 2:20:40 PM
Well, sure. There was a recent thread about true narcissists, and this is one of the outstanding characteristics of people with that disorder.

No conscience, no accountability, blah, blah.
 artactive
Joined: 10/26/2007
Msg: 18
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 2:34:56 PM
This is a very interesting question. Ironically, I live next door to such a person. He puts on a very good act, but and I am not saying this as a scorned woman, but I am saying it as an educated adult who happens to have taken many college courses on phycology, not an expert definintly not, but as I see it, no at first it is very hard as some of these people can be very charming, educated, etc. But living next door to such a person I have seen him in action, he has since told me he is not looking for a relationship with another and at first I did not believe him but after almost 2 yrs of watching his behavior I realize he is very honest about that. He plays with girls like they are toys, he is into them and only them for about 2 or maybe 3 months, he used to have a FWB girl hanging around to lick any leftovers, but I think she got some self-esteem because she hasn't been around this time.
I do not know how I get involved with men like this, as my daughters father was very much the same kind of liar, smile and lie, lie so good they actually believe their lies.
Controling, abusive, mentally, and physical,
Scott Peterson, is a great example, OJ simpson, obviously to the extreem, but the charater seems to maybe follow the same kind of path. What do you think?
 ILoveLife333
Joined: 9/1/2007
Msg: 19
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 3:02:54 PM
I was married to one. Read the book "Nasty People" it really helped me. My ex was one of those men that everyone said, "he's to good to be true" and it was so true. I think women should listen to their inner voice, listen to the men they are dating, and also you can tell a lot by looking in their eyes, and understanding body language. Even though my ex was charming, and seemed to want to help others...he really had no heart. It was really about him using others. I feel more sad for him ...then all the women in his life, because he is already dead emotionally. I on the other hand got to learn what it was like to really forgive someone, and learn from the experience. I have met once since, and it only took a week to know it!! Thank God!
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 20
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 3:20:37 PM

Less, Wind Dancer, you com accross as somone intelligent enough to communicate with someone enough to KNOW their persona in general, prior to any possible meet ?..Hence a perplexing pose ?


Stevie Velvet... If I understand your question properly, it would seem you are asking if I am intelligent enough to ask questions of anyone prior to meeting them? I'm sorry if I haven't understood your question properly but I'll try to answer it as I understand it.

I don't think it has a great deal to do with intelligence Stevie. Intelligence will certainly help potential victims of a sociopath but as you are reading here, many people without conscience are charming, glib and masterful in their manipulations of other people. They are lawyers, judges, engineers, therapists, police officers, doctors, truck drivers... you name it. And a LOT of them, hone in on the seemingly "intelligent" people because after all, there is not much challenge in dominating the unintelligent.

Many of us, particularly those who have been faithfully married for many years and suddenly find ourselves back in the dating scene, are really quite vulnerable and unprepared for how to deal with the dating scene in the year 2007. How to spot someone without a conscience simply didn't factor into our concerns over the years... We will get back into the dating scene with our old-style values of "be nice to others and they'll be nice to you" ringing in our ears and find ourselves in for a real shock if we suddenly meet up with a sociopath. There is no litmus test.. no identifiers... no pre-warning...

The intention of my thread is to find out what those more experienced in the dating scene use as their "red flags" concerning people that have no concern for others.
 MrVitamix
Joined: 8/26/2007
Msg: 21
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 3:32:17 PM
a guy could tell his date he forgot his wallet, after an expensive dinner of course and see how compassionate and helpful she is to remedy the situation.

little things will tell you... asking will only bring words, which are maybe not the truth of it.
 Mr Fahrenheit
Joined: 8/16/2007
Msg: 22
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 4:48:37 PM
I find acknowledging it is less common than recognizing it. Myself included, I think a lot of people recognize it but don't want to believe it... hence second chances.
 artactive
Joined: 10/26/2007
Msg: 23
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 5:00:47 PM
I think for me anyway, I have learned to wait, play the waiting game, take it really slow, get to know that persons character, that persons friends, what their family is like. The values and morales should be equal to your own.
 yourheartbeat
Joined: 3/15/2007
Msg: 24
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Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 5:02:31 PM
That my not be entirely possible. The reason that there continue to be so many victims is because such people tend to be very adept at deception. Sometimes you don't know until it's too late. Which is probably why you hear so often what a nice person they seemed to be.

Scary
 not in KS anymore
Joined: 6/24/2007
Msg: 25
Would YOU recognize someone with NO conscience?
Posted: 12/2/2007 5:03:41 PM
In three words, my belief is: Passive Aggressive Male.
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