Let’s be real, we have to do better. Allow me to explain. According to Harvard psychologist Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door, it is estimated that sociopaths are four percent of the U.S. population. This is about 1 in 25 people, but to be fair, there are others that put it at about 1 in 100 people. There is an ongoing debate on the exact percentage, but there is agreement on the traits and who is of the majority of those traits. Men are the largest percentage of that because of their inherent nature coupled with conditioning placed upon them in childhood. I can easily recount the conversations had with women who felt that the reality of their relationship was manipulated. Women that felt that a man’s charm overpowered his obvious red flags. So, what are sociopaths? Why does it even matter?
What Is A Sociopath?
To be clear, The American Psychiatric Association does not use the words psychopathy or sociopathy for a diagnosis. The proper term is antisocial personality disorder or ASPD. However, sociopathy, psychopathy, and ASPD are used interchangeably in research literature.
Sociopathy manifests in traits such as charm, narcissism, dishonesty, manipulation, impulsive decisions and lack of remorse. Antisocial personality disorder, or ASPD, is the most hidden and dangerous personality disorder. No, this isn’t like your antisocial colleague who rarely converses with anyone in the office. ASPD is dangerous because sociopaths put an extreme amount of time into manipulation tactics to hide their true self. Sociopaths are highly effective at getting you to overlook their red flags. In dating, they appear to be loving, respectful and giving but may be secretly dating multiple other people. Sociopaths are usually promiscuous and loyal to no one. They pray on the sympathies of people, then use the caring nature of their targets to weaken their defenses. Not only do they seek to weaken their defenses so people will overlook red flags, but they demand complete submission. Sociopaths require adoration while being given the reign to lead without question.
Sociopaths are charming, fast talkers that make big promises with no intent to ever truly deliver. They coerce you into betraying how they make you feel by manipulating you to trust their words instead of their actions. Accountability is rarely ever displayed with a sincere apology. If they do apologize, it is with the intent to gain and not to acknowledge fault. They are covertly hostile, yet appear to be civil. They do so by remaining in control during disagreements and gaslighting their victims to be the source of hostility. To them, their behavior is permissible because people are objects. High Conflict People, or HCP, blame others and allow their unmanaged emotions to drive them to outrageous behavior. Sociopaths have the potential to be HCP because their Targets of Blame are typically people who do not accept their dominance and/or got in the way of something that they desire.
Are Most Black Men Sociopaths?
Environment and societal conditioning play key roles in the manifestations of antisocial personality disorder. Unfortunately, men are groomed to think that everything and everyone is at their disposal. They are told to “be a man” and lack emotional depth at a young age. The tools on how to properly handle rejection and their emotions are rarely, if not ever, introduced. Sadly, as children, they are expected to aquire the tools on their own.
In men, the primary traits of behavior are found to be linked to controlling mothers and the avoidant attachment style. Attachment style refers to how one interacts and relates to other people. The avoidant attachment style lacks an emotional connection. Therefore, the mother was emotionally unavailable to her son. Overall, she was unaware of and insensitive to her son’s needs. So, if a man never felt emotionally connected to his mother (or felt controlled by her), then women will always be a casualty in his war. He will always pretend to love and have relationships that lack true emotional depth. In order to pretend, he will manipulate and control versus being open and vulnerable.
Overall, no one can go back and change what they experienced in childhood. However, they can acknowledge it, give understanding to others and choose to evolve past it. This isn’t to point the finger and place blame because women come with their own baggage too. However, in order for us to raise emotionally and mentally healthy daughters and sons today, we have to be aware of what is ailing us. Yes, the title could definitely be worded differently, but you are here and that is what is most important.
Sound off: Are most black men sociopaths? What are you doing differently as a parent for your daughters and sons? Check out EPISODE 2 of this series: Dating and Relationships: Chemistry VS Compatibility!