Unsplash | Jose A.Thompson

People Reveal What It Is Like To Be Close To A Sociopath Or Psychopath

TV is full of trendy psychopaths or sociopaths, including the likes of Sherlock, Hannibal, Norman Bates, the list goes on! However, despite the glossy portrayal that Hollywood gives these people, the tragic realities of these conditions are often far removed from these portrayals.

One person wanted to find out what it was like to be close to a psychopath or sociopath in real life. So, they took to Reddit to ask, "Friends of sociopaths/psychopaths, what was your most uncomfortable moment with them?"

Below are some of the weirdest and most uncomfortable stories that people had to share. (Please be aware that some of these stories contain instances of abuse, so please read with caution)

Setting Animals On Fire

Instagram | christopher_foxall

"This kid in my 8th-grade class. He showed us a video of him lighting a cat on fire while it was alive. He thought it was funny. We reported the video to the school and he was apprehended the next day." — Throwawayuser626

Look, having a cat jump all over you at 3 am is less than ideal, but I don't think I'd be going and setting fire to it!

Falsifying A DNR

Instagram | lifeaccordingtogm

"My sister is a sociopath, it took me a lot of years to realize this and stop rationalizing it. I’m a diabetic and have been in comas. During the last one in 2015, after a year of no contact, she showed up at the hospital saying I had expressed to her that my wishes were Do Not Resuscitate.

"About 12 of my friends shouted her down and I woke up 3 days later on my own. If I had coded during that time, however, there would have been a lot of grey area around if they were allowed to revive me. About 4 months later she took out a life insurance policy on me and asked me to sign it...I said no lol. I no longer speak to her." — SweetPotato988

This person explained that they now have their medical wishes officially drawn up and notarized, in case such a situation arises again in the future!

Abusive Partner

Unsplash | Camila Quintero Franco

"I dated one once, didn't realize it until much later when the abuse was so thick I couldn't breathe. The one situation that sticks out the most was one night, completely unsolicited, he looked at me solemnly and said 'If you ever left me I would find you and kill you.'

"Eleven years of sh*t like that. Suffice to say I'm glad I've got an entire country between myself and him now." — GlitterSqueak

While it is good that they managed to get away from this horrible person, it is sad that they had to go to such lengths to escape in the first place.

Asking How To Have Emotions

Instagram | shazarama

"I have a lot of stories about my sociopathic former roommate, but one of the most uncomfortable moments I had with him was when he stared me dead in the eyes and asked, 'Bravadu, how can I express more realistic emotions?' And then he became slightly annoyed when my one answer was 'Have them in the first place.'" —Bravadu

I mean, the best thing to do with a potential psychopath is probably not to make unhelpful, sardonic comments! Although, they probably wouldn't pick up on it so you could be sound!

Void Of Emotion

Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

"He told me when I cried, he didn't feel anything. He even laughed one time when I cried. The abuse started to get physical, so I broke up with him over text. I made sure all the doors and windows were locked, and the blinds and curtains were closed. I turned off all the lights in the house so he couldn't see me if he decided to come over.

"I had to go outside to have a cigarette and I literally brought a knife with me. I called a friend. I was that afraid of him." — lavenderflutter

People not experiencing emotion is one of the common movie tropes of portraying a psychopath; however, the reality can be much more complex.

Messing Around With Guns

Instagram | merseysidepolice

"We were cleaning our guns. This guy pointed the gun at me and ask me if I trusted him. Do you think the gun is unloaded? He asked me. I could be negligent or evil and I could leave a bullet in there. He pulls the trigger, laugh, and carry on cleaning the gun like nothing. He thought it was funny." — ImMartinez

It turned out that the person who wrote this and the person they were writing about were in the British police. Thankfully, the other person ultimately had their gun license revoked.

A Danger To Animals

"Someone in our extended family. He offered to kill my cat for me to save a vet bill. The cat wasn't sick. Or old. He was just very enthusiastic about helping us out with that particular issue.

"He's not allowed to be alone with pets anymore." — DestyNovalys

Harming animals can be a signifier of psychopathic behavior. This person went on to say that this instance was not the first time that he has hurt animals either, and that he had previously injured their family dog when taking him for a walk.

Assaulting Siblings

Instagram | thefeedfeed.baking

"I was making some brownies. My sister was visiting for some reason... maybe it was Christmas. Anyway, I like my brownies gooey and hot, so I'm cutting into them a little earlier than I should. Sister flips the fuck out and starts beating on me, grabbing heavier and more dangerous weapons from whatever she can reach (pans, rolling pins, etc.). Becomes a scuffle where she keeps screaming 'Stop hitting me!' while all I'm doing is grabbing her wrists to avoid taking one to the head." — KrivenRaven

That's some fight club nonsense right there. I can't imagine needing to be so on my toes for family dinners! All I have to deal with is cutting comments from elderly relatives.

Pathological Liar

Instagram | juhasz__adam

"I have a friend who's a pathological liar [...] He's 6'8, 350 lbs when he's watching his weight, 400+ when he isn't and there is a lot of muscle to go with everything else [...] he can't keep a girlfriend - apparently he can't be honest, is a pathological cheater, the lies catch up with his relationships in a few weeks at most.

"One day we were in a taxi together and he got the idea that the driver was taking a route that was unnecessarily long. He stopped the cheerful story he was telling me mid-sentence. His face changed and he barked at the cab driver in a voice I'd never heard, loud and angry and aggressive. The cab driver immediately pulled over and let us out without paying, and a good thing too - I think my friend was about to kill him. I was petrified in my seat - I felt like he might kill everyone in range, I was terrified." — sockalicious

I get very annoyed when cab drivers take deliberately wrong routes to charge more. But I do what normal people do, mutter angrily to myself then give them a bad review afterward.

Threatening Children

Unsplash | Hailey Kean

"I remember from a very early age that my mom would just stand in the entrance to my room with a knife. This didn't happen very often, maybe 2-3 times a year.

"When I was 9, I finally asked her why she would do this. I’ll never forget how she said this. She looked me dead in the eyes and said that I was a mistake and she was deciding if she 'should do what she should have done a long time ago'. I asked to move in with my grandma a week later. Thinking about how she said it still gets my heart racing 22 years later." — Sneaky_Sneakersz

Apparently this person's mother had them when they were only 16, and would repeatedly tell their child that they ruined their life.

Using Others As A Moral Compass

Instagram | chrysdesignsjewelry

"I've been long-time friends with a sociopath. He is honestly like my brother. We have developed this relationship that basically treats me like his moral compass, but it doesn't always work. He is still manipulative and cruel at times, and he does only truly care about himself, but he tries to be a good person because he doesn't want to be an asshole.

"This being said my most uncomfortable moment with him would have to be when he was telling me about watching some guy almost die. He was telling me how he knew he should have stopped watching and helped him, but he was too interested in what the outcome would be if he didn't help. It was creepy to know that as hard as he may try to be a decent person. Sometimes he still can't help himself." — MacIsOnFleek

Dangerous High School Boyfriend

Instagram | thediaryofanenglishteacher

"In high school, my boyfriend at the time and I shared a math class together [...] I broke up with him over Xmas break. Math teacher obviously still assumed we were together so he asked me to bring him his homework.

"Got to his house, wanting to drop it off at his door step. He told me to come in and explain it to him. He locked his bedroom door and started saying shit like 'if I can't have you then no one else can' [...] then the true kicker: 'if I killed you or if you died, I would keep your body in my closet or hung behind my door just to have sex with it'. He then proceeded to try to make out with me and jam his hands down my pants. He actually thought it was endearing and had no idea why I was so upset." — Kumanshu

This person went on to say that their ex has been in an out of psych wards their entire life. Also, their ex's life goal was to be a magician, according to their post.

Boring Conversationalists

Unsplash | Feliphe Schiarolli

"Honest, just normal conversation. We sensationalize it allot in the media, but really having a conversation with someone that cant feel empathy is super boring.

"Me:'hey I was driving to work today and some guy cut across 4 lanes of traffic and almost caused an accident' sociopath friend: "okay" me: 'alright well good talking to you(roll my eyes)'" — jutruth

Perhaps my favorite response that this question received. I just like the idea of this being the perfect setting for the worst sitcom ever!

Taking Notes About Everyone

Instagram | usagiursa

"In high school and college, I knew a guy who kept file folders with information about people he knew. Actual file folders, labeled with their names. He would take notes on people he knew, what he thought of as their personality traits, their strengths that he might have to overcome, their weaknesses that he felt could exploit.

"These notes, along with his detailed analysis journals (because seriously, he analyzed everyone he knew), would go into his folders. I only saw these folders a single time, but I saw his note-taking almost every time I was around him. He didn't try to hide it." — yourlastbreathofair

Dead Behind The Eyes

Unsplash | Jose A.Thompson

"Married one. The last straw was the day I caught his reflection as I passed by. Pure evil and hatred in his eyes. I told him I was leaving the following week. He said, 'If I ever see you somewhere with someone else, I won't say a word to you.' I said okay. He then added, 'I'll just walk up to you and shoot you in your pretty face.' I was moving some things out and looked under the bed for a pair of shoes. Found his guns, fully loaded and out of their cases under his side of the bed. I went to the cops. Nothing came of it.

"Fast forward and he remarries before the ink is dry on the divorce. New wife shoots him in the head and kills him in his sleep. Proceeds to kill herself by ODing on his pain pills. Yeah. I sleep better these days." — getmeouttaherefast

You can tell a lot about a person by looking in their eyes, and there is nothing more unsettling than looking into the eyes of someone who is truly evil.

Working Nightmare

Instagram | dessert_feature

"He once tried to manipulate me to come in and work basically 50 hours, ten of which would be off the clock so that I didn't get overtime because he knew that if he could keep labor low on his shift he could get a promotion.

"He would also expressly lie to my face about giving me a break saying verbatim 'I'll come back here in a moment and take over so that you can go on break' then he would just never come. Then when the time has passed to where a break would be irrelevant, I.e. 30 mins before my shift is over, he'd offer again." — Pm_Me_Gifs_For_Sauce

I used to work with some people like this when I was at University; maybe not to this extent though, I don't think any of them were sociopaths! Well, I hope not, if so then my radar for that sort of thing is way off!

Able To Switch Emotions At A Moment's Notice

Sweet Ice Cream Photography | Unsplash

"The most uncomfortable thing while we were dating was the he would constantly whisper things in my ear in public (in earshot of other people) like, 'Do you think I look hot right now?' or 'Do you think I'm cool?' And the first few times I thought he was joking so I laughed, and he'd get angry. He wanted a serious answer, he wanted me to tell him how much I wanted to jump his bones right there in front of all of our friends, while they were watching and listening. I'd get lectured afterward like, 'You know, you really insulted me personally when you laughed at me in front of everyone.'

"He could also cry on cue to get what he wanted and as soon as he got what he wanted, it would instantly switch off and he'd turn very serious and tell me what a horrible person I was. The instant emotional switches are disarming [...] he is completely dead in the face and eyes until you interact with him and then it's like he becomes animated." — TightCattle

"Headlines, Headlines!"

Vincent Delegge | Unsplash

"My ex would say 'headlines, headlines' which meant I would be headlines in tomorrows newspaper because he was going to kill me." — rachel_gam

Hopefully, this person managed to get out of this toxic relationship, nobody needs this sort of abuse in their life!

"One Of The Funniest Guys I've Ever Met"

Instagram | hotelbathrooms

"I was in the mental hospital with him, he was my roommate. He was a diagnosed sociopath while I was just in there for a suicide attempt. He jizzed all over the toilet, sink, and shower handle, and laughed at it. He made my bathroom unusable and the staff thought I was trying to be funny when I reported it. He's still one of the funniest guys I've ever met, even though he was in there for making homicidal threats." — sstaygldn

Yeah, this guy sounds absolutely hilarious, a real hoot to have at parties!

Pellet Gun Pyromaniac

Instagram | birchbrostactical

"He had a gas-powered pellet gun and we were 13 years old, and it was one of my first times being high. He had me against the wall and gave me 5 minutes to choose between him shooting me in the genitals or in the head.

"If I didn't choose, he said he was just gonna go nuts. I just kinda fidgeted in place saying 'you're gonna kill me' (I was 13 and high) and at the end of the 5 minutes he told me he was f*cking with me. He also emptied a huge box of matches into the sink one time and when we all told him not to, he called us pussies and lit it all on fire. He was a major pyro. I'm pretty sure he's in jail now (I'm 19 and he's 20)" — dpewp

Now, call me a killjoy if you want, but getting high when there is a pellet gun around is just the worst idea ever! I can think of a myriad of reasons why as well.