There are sociopaths in our midst, and some of them are high-functioning sociopaths…the kind who does the most damage.
High-functioning or not, all lack empathy. All are antisocial; they ignore the rules and laws of society so they can live by their own norms. Cold, callus, and calculating, they stop at nothing to get what they want, and they are impervious to consequences and punishment. They all have the same clinical diagnosis: antisocial personality disorder.
Despite these commonalities, not every sociopath is created equal. As with everything else in life, there are individual differences. Some sociopaths are more effective at being who they are than are others. Those exceptionally skilled are often dubbed high-functioning sociopaths.
What is a High-functioning Sociopath?
The term “high-functioning” is a descriptor rather than a diagnosis and isn’t part of the diagnostic label for antisocial personality disorder (the official name for what is popularly called sociopathy). Ditto “low-functioning.” These adjectives simply describe how good of a sociopath someone is.
Highly functioning sociopaths are adept at morphing themselves into what people want to see (Signs of a Sociopath Are Big Time Scary). They very quickly learn what makes people tick, and they know just how to engineer and oil the clock. This type of sociopath
- has superior intelligence, as demonstrated by observed behavior and IQ tests;
- possesses impeccable social skills and exudes charm;
- often comes from a strong family background;
- is driven—they know what they want, and they know how to get it;
- is calculating, cleverly assessing a situation and purposely planning action;
- is patient and willing to work people and situations until the time is right for them to make their move.
These traits make a high-functioning sociopath formidable. they remain at least several moves ahead of the rest of society, and no one suspects a thing. Whatever it is they want, they are likely to get it. The high-functioning sociopath can cause a lot of damage
A high-functioning sociopath is great at what they do. They also can cause physical, emotional, and financial damage to anyone they so choose. They are more deliberate about it, though. Whereas a low-functioning sociopath can con someone out of hundreds of dollars, the high-functioning sociopath predator can manipulate, lie, and cheat, their way into a fortune.
All sociopaths are dangerous whether labled high-functioning, low-functioning or narcissistic sociopaths. A high-functioning sociopath can dream bigger and manipulate better than other sociopaths. They can cause a great deal of damage and if you have one in your life, you will want to run away as quickly as possible in the other direction.