We will inevitably meet individuals who see life as a game. For them, life is pure fun and they will attempt to get as much out of it as they can. A person who possesses this perspective will regard everybody as playmates in this game of life. He will perceive everyone as a competitor and his goal will be to beat them.
Having this perspective enables him to do anything and everything in order to succeed. Conventional norms and society’s laws will appear merely as game rules he will have to bend or break.
Thus, it will not be surprising to see this individual lying to others in order to get what he wants. He will learn to be charming and will use manipulation as a standard tactic to get ahead. And if these do not work, then he will cheat but only if he won’t get caught. He will have to do this very carefully, sometimes perhaps even leaving evidence that will place the blame on someone else.
And because life is just a game to him, the value system he adheres to will appear superficial. He will conform to what others believe so that he does not seem different to those around him. This flawed value system grants him the ability to feel no remorse for the things he does. To him, the means will always be justified by the ends.
It is often extremely difficult to discover whether the person you are dealing with has this perspective. You may have even fallen victim to his guile and still have no idea that you did. This is because charming and intelligent sociopaths are very good at getting what they want while concealing their true nature.
However, it is believed that their one true weakness is emotion. They will appear to show emotion but only because it suits their purpose. They may say the proper things but their expressions will seem inappropriate. They are very poor when it comes to empathy.
If you have suspicions about a particular individual in your life, try telling that person a sad true story and see how that person relates to it. If his response is quite different from how you expect other people to react, then you may very well be in the presence of a sociopath. If this is the case, then he may just be playing with you and manipulating you. So it is probably in your best interest to steer clear of this person.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Fabella, PhD is a research director and a graduate and undergraduate professor in the Philippines. He is an editorial board member of the IRP international research journal and a Fellow of the Royal Institution Singapore. He is the author of Transcendence: Essays For Personal Reflection. His blog can be found at Meanings and Perceptions.