Here’s the bad news: Predators walk among us, and they are indistinguishable from normal people. These differently wired humans have a predatory advantage, and they use it. This is not a plot from a scary movie; this is real.These predators are called sociopaths (psychopaths in the clinical literature). They rather seldom damage our bodies, but they make careers out of bleeding our souls.
There are a lot of things to understand about sociopaths, and we can’t cover them all in one column, but I will give you the basics, which are these:
Sociopaths have a profound lack of empathy for the feelings of others. They lack the internal feedback system by which normal people monitor themselves. (Most people call this “conscience,” which is probably as useful a term as any.) Sociopaths do not have this and don’t feel bad about abusing other people. It’s not that they feel bad and ignore it—they don’t feel it at all.
Trying to repair a sociopath tells him that you’re a ripe sucker, and nothing more.