How To Spot A Sociopath By Listening To These 8 Bodily Clues

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mysterious man in dark

Learning how to spot a sociopath is important — before you're stuck with one.

It took millions of years for our species to evolve from apes to modern humans. During those years, we spent a lot of time fleeing for our lives.

Our very survival depended upon being able to sense danger from predators. We still have the ability to sense danger, although today, not from saber-toothed tigers, but from human predators — a.k.a., sociopaths.

RELATED: 13 Rules To Follow If You Think You're In Love With A Sociopath

In one of my books, I explain that this protective sense is our intuition, which is part instinctive knowing, and part physical reaction.

So, if you feel fear, chills, or a pounding heart, pay attention. Our bodies tell us when someone or a situation poses a threat.

Here are 8 ways to spot a sociopath, based on the way your body warns you of danger.

1. Fear

This is the ultimate warning sign.

If you're ever suddenly gripped by fear when someone is in your presence, consider it the strongest possible warning.

2. Chills

If someone looks at you like you’re the next meal, and the hair on the back of your neck stands up, you could be reacting to a sociopath’s predatory stare.

3. Difficulty breathing

When you find it hard to take deep, even breaths around the person, it’s probably because something about their behavior is profoundly troublesome.

4. Crying

When your interactions with this person frequently bring you to tears, know that this is not normal.

It’s a warning that something is terribly amiss.

RELATED: If He Has These 7 Traits, Chances Are He's A Sociopath

5. Pounding heart

This may not be excitement or attraction. It may signify that deep down, you’re afraid.

6. Upset stomach

If you feel nauseous around a person or when you think about certain interactions you've had with them, perhaps your internal compass is sending you a message.

7. Nightmares

If you have bad dreams while involved with a person or you have difficulty sleeping, pay attention.

Something is interfering with your rest.

8. Nagging feeling

If you have a sense that something is wrong, but you can’t identify what it is, your inner self knows there's a problem and is trying to get your attention.

The key to escaping sociopaths is to pay attention to warning signs.

Pay attention to physical warning signs. 

Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t listen to ourselves.

One reader told me that a stranger walked into her office who immediately made her feel terrified. Instead of recognizing the internal warning, the woman berated herself for being paranoid.

Instead of avoiding the man, she accepted his overtures and started dating him. Well, he was a sociopath and the relationship turned out to be a complete nightmare.

Most people experience warning signs early in an involvement with someone new, but don’t know what they mean.

In the Lovefraud Romantic Partner Survey, I asked the question: "Did you have intuition or a gut instinct early in the involvement that there was something wrong with the person or the relationship?"

An astounding 71 percent of survey respondents answered yes. But 40 percent of respondents ignored their intuition and continued with the relationship — much to their regret.

So if you instinctively have a bad reaction to someone, don’t chide yourself for being judgmental or paranoid. Don’t tell yourself that everyone deserves a chance and you should be open-minded.

There's a reason for your reaction, even if you don't know what it is right away.

If you can’t avoid the person altogether, at least be wary. Your intuition is probably trying to warn you of danger.

RELATED: 3 Predominant High-Functioning Sociopath Personality Traits

Donna Andersen is the author of 'Love Fraud — How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan' and founder of Love Fraud. She is an expert on sociopaths in relationships.

This article was originally published at Lovefraud.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.