"He will choose you, disarm you with his words, and control you with his presence. He will delight you with his wit and his plans. He will show you a good time, but you will always get the bill. He will smile and deceive you, and he will scare you with his eyes. And when he is through with you, and he will be through with you, he will desert you and take with him your innocence and your pride. You will be left much sadder but not a lot wiser, and for a long time you will wonder what happened and what you did wrong. And if another of his kind comes knocking at your door, will you open it?"

Without Conscience - The Disturbing World Of The Psychopaths Among Us by Dr. Robert Hare

 

These persons, in general, display many of the following traits:
  • Glibness/superficial charm
  • Grandiose sense of self-worth
  • Need for stimulation, with a proneness to boredom
  • Pathological lying
  • Conning and manipulating behaviors
  • No sense of remorse or guilt
  • A very shallow emotional affect - they display emotions they don't really feel
  • A lack of empathy for others
  • They are parasitic - they live off of others
  • They are impulsive, and show poor control over their behaviors
  • They tend to be promiscuous
  • Their behavior problems start early in life
  • They cannot form long-term plans that are realistic
  • They are impulsive, and irresponsible
  • They do not accept responsibility for their actions - another caused it
  • Marital relationships are short, and many
  • They display juvenile delinquency
  • They violate probation often
  • Their criminality is diverse

Essentially, they violate social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret in order to take what they want and do as they please.

It is estimated that 1-4% of the population is sociopathic, put most are able to control it within the limits of social tolerability, only beings termed "socially obnoxious".

 

 

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition.  2002.
 
psychopath
 
 
(SEYE-kuh-path) A mentally unbalanced person who is inclined toward antisocial and criminal behavior. (Compare sociopath.)

 

 
sociopath
 

(SOH-see-uh-path, SOH-shee-uh-path) Someone whose social behavior is extremely abnormal. Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.