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Sociopathic Tendencies - Boredom


Filling Boredom

Everyone experiences boredom or the need for additional stimulation from time to time. Most of us have a million things we can fill it with. Notice the operative word in the previous sentence is “fill”. Boredom is a feeling of emptiness, and we attempt to “fill” it with something. Maybe seeing a movie with a friend, a bubble bath and a glass of wine, cleaning the garage, or maybe just reaching out to a loved one with that phone call you’ve been meaning to make but haven’t been able to get around to. A lot of the time, we fill it with relationship elements—worrying, caring, loving, hoping, believing, dreaming—and that’s enough to fill our time.


The Plague of the Sociopath

A sociopath experiences boredom on a different level than most. While they still experience it as a feeling of emptiness, sociopaths do not have the normal capacity to fill that emptiness. In addition, it is believed that they have a much higher than normal tolerance to stimulation, and hence need high, sometimes extreme, levels of stimulation to cure their boredom. Boredom is a chronic, horrible emptiness to a sociopath and they will devote a huge amount of time to filling it. Since they do not love or empathize, and cannot sustain relationships involving feelings, they can’t fill it by spending time with people they love or care for. For a sociopath, spending time with someone they aren’t getting any benefit from feels more like a chore. Sociopaths have to pretend that others matter, fake concern and emotion, and that can take a lot of unnecessary energy. Where the empathetic individual will be content having dinner with friends to fill their boredom, a sociopath needs the equivalent of jumping on a roller-coaster and not tightening the safety belt. Then, as quickly as it began, the ride is over, the emptiness reappears and it’s time to devise a newer, more exciting way to fill it.


Trouble for the Sociopath

Boredom can cause a lot of trouble for the sociopath. While they usually realize there will be a consequence for their actions, they only tend to care if it threat is immediate. Sociopaths are very childlike in their behavior on many, many levels and most have maturity and impulse control that average that of a normally developed three-year old. They recognize and know inappropriate behaviors, but when the need for stimulation over-rides the desire to avoid an unwanted consequence, the unwanted consequence becomes a simple background thought. The need for stimulation reigns supreme. Whatever cheap thrill, or expensive thrill, depending on who they can manipulate into paying, they come up with, they are going to do their best to follow through with. The more time they have to prepare, the more twisted and devious the plan becomes.

Risky Behavior

Sociopaths will engage in very risky behaviors to cure their boredom. Some are promiscuous, some exhibit drug and alcohol abuse. Others may make a habit of stealing. Risk creates excitement for them--an adrenaline rush that comes as close as they can get to a feeling of fulfillment. One sociopath I know very well engaged in several risky behaviors at once, having numerous affairs while she was married, abusing alcohol and drugs simultaneously in a binge like fashion, and became quite an adept shoplifter. She ended up leaving her husband and abandoning her two children for another sociopath. I've often wondered how that relationship works for her. He keeps her on a very tight leash, controlling everything she does. The last time I saw her she looked about 60 years old. She is only 40. "Crazymaking", or creating drama, also is a big time filler for a sociopath. Even after abandoning her children, she continued to fight her husband for custody for a year and a half, never once sending a birthday or Christmas card or calling one of their cell phones to say hello, let alone taking them on her court awarded every other weekend schedule. It came down to creating drama, telling lies, manipulating the court system and making her now ex-husband pay.

How to Spot a Sociopath

A very common description of sociopathic behavior is the inability to connect, especially to people. There may seem like a connection, but there is no bond. Sociopaths often neglect or abandon their families, including their children. Or, the connection looks more like ownership. They see their children as an extension of themselves, and not an individual and treat the child more like an object. Do you remember the Texas Cheerleader scandal? Those moms exhibited some serious sociopathic tendencies. If they can use the child to make themselves look 'normal' and 'caring' to outsiders, they will do it. When they get home behind closed doors, it's a whole different story. They don't really care about the child's well-being, they care that their reputation is guarded. They may try out different hobbies in an attempt to blend in, but most often, do not commit unless they are reaping some unknown benefit by making connections in certain social circles. They don't even care what's on t.v. Their eyes are often described as being hollow, like there isn't anything behind them. I often compared it to my grandfather, who had severe dementia. On bad days, it was like he was looking through me. His eyes became so cold and lifeless. It is the same with many sociopaths. You will always remember the look once you've witnessed it.

The Bigger They Are, They Harder They Fall

There is a website that is run by and frequented by sociopaths. I wish I could attribute the source, but for the life of me I cannot. If I remember correctly, he was asking how other sociopaths deal with boredom. This self-declared sociopath went on to state that he isn’t really even good at acting out emotional responses and that he could easily be figured out if “empaths” (the term sociopaths commonly use to identify non-sociopaths) didn’t automatically assume everyone else was like them.

Because he can’t connect, it is easy for him to use others as a source of folly rather than companionship. He isn’t even good at pretending to enjoy others’ company, but because it is so difficult for us to grasp that concept, our mind won’t even entertain the thought. It’s easier to believe in Santa--we at least have a conceptualization of him! What eventually happens is that his disdain for what he sees as our pitiful, weak, empathetic nature encourages him to manipulate it and break it down, and then we fulfill his boredom. The more powerful or intelligent we are, the bigger the thrill.

How to Identify a Sociopath

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Inside the Mind of a Sociopath


What if You Become a Victim

It is estimated that 1 out of every 25 people in the United States is a sociopath. The true numbers will never be known, because most blend in with society and go on about their lives just as everyone else does. Remember, though, that they are many times EXTREMELY charming individuals, so it is easy to get caught up in their game. If you find yourself in contact with a sociopath, the best thing you can do is completely stop all contact. Do not become immersed in their game. If you care about people, you cannot win. Don't believe you can change them. You cannot change someone who is fundamentally and physically incapable of feeling love and empathy. Do not believe you can love them enough or that you will be enough to make them want to change. They do not know how, nor do they care enough to try. The safest, best thing you can do is break off all contact. Do not go on a mission to make other people see their true character, you will end up looking crazy. Let them go and do not look back. There are many caring communities available to help you through your struggle. Check out to start. Tell your story and begin the healing process.

Additional Articles

5 Signs You've Met a Sociopath but Just Don't Know It

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Gio on January 06, 2018:

I'm getting really angry looking at these articles because you guys are saying awful and negative things about sociopaths. I came across this website out of curiosity and yes how some of this is true you guys shouldn't be calling sociopaths "vampires" . They can be nice too and resist the boredom and trust me I would know.

Leland Johnson from Midland MI on January 29, 2015:

Great hub. I really liked the term "crazy making." Is that original? It says it all. Also, I didn't realize a sociopath was plagued by boredom. I was thinking it was more of a chemical imbalance or more physiologic. Have you found therapeutic avenues for sociopaths?

sonny on October 21, 2012:

The description of an sp is spot on....i was involved with a woman for 5 years, we were g/f and b/f, or so i thought, then the mask began to slip, no matter how good the sp is the mask will slip over time, guaranteed.....i believe there are a lot more of these people than we know about......they never have mates, they don`t even consider them a friend, but rather to the sp they are just a victim........

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on June 20, 2012:

Thank you, Anna. Actually, Martha Stout estimated that in her book, "The Sociopath Next Door". There are other statistics available that suggest it could be as high as 1 in 20. The incidence in Asian Cultures, according to Dr. Stout, is less.

Anna McGann on June 19, 2012:

I too enjoyed the angle on boredom. I know that various studies report different prevalence rates (sitting with my DSM open to page 704 even as we speak) but I am curious where specifically the "1 in 25" stat came from.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on June 15, 2012:

Incredible information on the Sociopath. I have met three that I know of and they make life miserable for everyone in their wake. The saddest part of getting involved with a Sociopath, is how they use your genuine emotion to exploit you. It's sickening how they use and abuse people and situations and don't even flinch. All that matters is getting pleasure in the drama. I hit many buttons on this interesting and informative hub.

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 07, 2012:

I have never heard this before, very interesting!

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on May 31, 2012:

James--I'm not sure we do. The sociopath is extremely skilled at exhibiting many different personalities. Sort of like a chameleon--fitting their personality to the situation. A true Sociopath, however, learns behaviors and emotions. They don't come naturally like they do to the majority of the population. You have to remember, too, that an individual can have sociopathic tendencies, and not be diagnosed a sociopath. Those individuals only exhibit certain traits that a sociopath might. Thank you for your comment! I hope to hear more of your insight.

james on May 30, 2012:

There are many emphatic people and many personalities for them. Why do many of those people believe psychopaths to be of one personality?

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on February 08, 2012:

Thank you pmccray!

pmccray on February 06, 2012:

Excellent hub. Your timing is prophetic. I'm working on a short story and needed to shape the character of the villain. This outline and your others regarding sociopaths is worth it weight. Thank you for sharing, voted up, marked useful, interesting and book marked

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on February 01, 2012:

Take your time! I'll be putting my own stories up in the meantime! :-) You can send it to

Evie Lopez from Sunny Florida on February 01, 2012:

I will check out your link and will send you a little more info on what I've endured under this boss at a later time. I'm sort of press for time lately with things I need to get done, but I am certainly intrigued by what you will write from it. It's amazing how many people I've come across that fits the description of sociopaths and psychopaths; it's scary.

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on February 01, 2012:

Faithful Daughter--I feel so sorry for you. My heart absolutely goes out to you. The worse part is that she has probably charmed everyone into thinking she is perfect. Has she taken credit for others' work as well? You will never understand how someone can treat another human the way she does, because you have a conscience, so you're better off not even wasting the energy. Personally, I would look outside of the company if you can't get into another department. Please check out this article: I don't know who runs the website, but this is one of the best descriptions of a sociopathic bully that I've come across, and I've done a LOT of research. Its even more difficult for other people to believe because she is a female. Females are supposed to naturally be the more caring gender (sorry guys!). I would love to do some true story hubs, so if you'd like to send me your story, I'll hub it. People need to understand this personality disorder better. It is too equated with serial killers and murderers. It is estimated that 1 out of every 25 people has some degree of sociopathy. Some are highly intelligent, but most are average, everyday people. People you would never expect. I wouldn't be surprised if your boss has actually faked her credentials. If you can, pick up a copy of The Sociopath Next Door. You'll be amazed at how much your boss fits every description in there. I truly wish you the best of luck.

Evie Lopez from Sunny Florida on February 01, 2012:

I have read a couple of your hubs on this topic and there are quite a few things you mention that fits my current boss to a "T."

At first I thought she was a passive-aggressive individual, but after working for her for over a year, I know there's a whole lot more to this person that meets the eye. She's manupilative, uses people to climb the corporate ladder, has no empathy, will not socialize with anyone unless they have something to offer her or can make her look good, and the list goes on. I cannot and will never comprehend this type of personality, and the worst part is that I've become one of her victims. I am desperately looking to get out of my department but she's made it bad for me, so now I am looking outside the company.

Your hub answers a whole lot of questions about these type of individuals.

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on February 01, 2012:

Alastar--You are so right! An identifying marker would be fantastic! I love that idea!

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on February 01, 2012:

So 'empaths' is what they call normal folk, eh. Read much in the way of sociopaths but never from the boredom angle. Good info on the subject Virtual. Too bad they can't at least be made a little 'Spock-like.'

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