The Exactly Definition of a Sociopath

What exactly is the definition of a sociopath?... Since having sociopathic tendencies, a description of myself is in order...

I saw this question earlier and skipped past it but, since no one has answered and ugh, the answers I've seen on so many questions like this are those bullshit psychologist definitions - so many of them conflicting with each other or just inaccurate - I'll give you one and a bit of an explanation as to some differences.

So, the bare minimum definition:
A person who has a significantly reduced ability to experience empathy, as the result of psychological trauma.
To get into more detail, sociopathy arises when a deep bond shared with someone is broken by the person with whom it is shared. It's a betrayal that can never be rectified. The trauma said person caused is one that can't be rationalised or justified. We can't make sense of it, but we know we are not the ones to blame. A personal conflict arises.

We are the victim of someone who we had such trust in. We can't recover from that, so we change. We adapt to expect this behaviour from anyone - after all, if the person we bonded with can cause such a thing, what the fuck will stop anyone else in the world?... It becomes a game to us - the world, life, people. We've seen how ugly it can be, so we're prepared to be just as ugly if and when we need to. We don't feel sorry because there was no one to feel sorry for us. Fuck your feelings.

Basic HFS vs LFS breakdown

Now, there are two types - high functioning and low functioning. Each type generally operates in the opposite way. Here's a basic HFS vs LFS breakdown.
  • Controlled vs uncontrolled behaviour.
  • Skilful deception vs obvious lying.
  • Automatic (don't need to think before acting) vs manual (has to think about every step) actions.
  • I would include great planners vs poor planners, but I'm an INTJ so it's hard to tell where the planning skill ends for one and starts for the other.
HF and LF can also be applied to psychopaths and machiavellians. The natures of the function system, from what I've seen, are the same across the board and don't actually differ between personality types. It took arguing with people like Athena Walker to actually realise that.

Most studies claim the differences between HF and LF as the differences between psychos and socios but that's bullshit, and I don't know how or why Machiavellianism isn't characterised as ASPD but I suppose the ability to empathise makes them "acceptable".
Things both HFS and LFS share:
  • Extreme rage when triggered.
  • Compulsions to complete an objective when set.
  • Lack of interest in others' problems.
  • Prioritising of self-interests.
  • Ego - more than a normal person, less than a narcissist.
  • Desire for power - not usually over people but over situations, which often involves the manipulation of people. We control situations.
  • We let you in to gain your trust. We'll tell you a lot of things about us - LFSs will usually include lies, HFSs will usually masterfully tell you the truth - because it gets you to open up.
  • Make no mistake, we have trust issues and we generally won't trust you - for a good while, at least, if ever. We may give you a chance to prove yourself and we may just take a risk, whether we care about your trustworthiness or not, but don't have any high expectations.
  • Disregard for rules and social norms. We march to the beat of our own drum and create our own "code" that we live our lives by. I can't begin to tell you how annoying this code can be at times but it saves us from so much additional bullshit. (I can personally testify that every time I have broken my own rules, it has taken me down a road that could have easily been avoided.)
  • We are not rebels. We don't go against the system because a system is there to go against, we just do what we want, regardless of the side of the fence upon which it sits.
  • We can (and will) rationalise absolutely anything we want to do.
  • We are obsessive.
  • We are efficient. We don't like to do things that will take longer than necessary. This is why we are seen as "lazy". We just don't like wasting time on shit we have no interest in.
  • We plan - it helps with our efficiency.
  • We don't "practice" fitting in. It's not like we are forever feeling compelled to do crazy and horrific shit. We just do what we know as best we can. Psychopaths are the actors, not us.
  • We have the ability to not care about a great many things - this does not mean that we don't care about anything. That is a myth. What we care about depends on the nature of an individual, as well as their personality. What you do need to realise is that we tend to have a low to no level of care for the things society expects people to care about, such as death (in general), maliciousness, greed and so on.
  • We feel empathy over the weirdest shit. I can empathise with a character in a TV show for a reason I wouldn't give a shit about in real life. I've never actually understood why, but I have a theory that I explain later on in this answer.
  • We feel emotions. What we can also do is significantly suppress emotion in a given moment.
  • We can emulate emotional responses to a degree if we feel the need to, but we don't usually see the need to. What does happen, however, is that regardless of outward appearance, we absolutely never believe that shit ourselves. The feeling inside is so hollow it's hilarious; you know just how much bullshit you are slinging in that very moment.
  • Sociopaths are not sadistic. Sadistic sociopaths, however, are.
  • We give objective advice to help you fix problems so you can stop telling us about it. It usually isn't sugar-coated and may not be what you want to hear, but such is life. Unless we need to keep you in a specific state, that is.
  • Serious issues maintaining relationships. People have to accept us as we are. Most relationships are on borrowed time the moment they begin because, unlike psychopaths, we can't act like we give a shit.
  • It is possible for us to not be sociopathic with the few people we are able to bond with. The happening of a bond is never within our control, which is a bloody pain. You just feel different about the person and it can happen the moment you meet someone. Again, something I can't fully explain.
  • We CAN love in a romantic way. We can love very hard, in fact, due to obsession, but our love is not expressed in the same way as most people. It's more accurate to measure whether or not we love you by assessing how we treat you compared to other people. We can also do romantic things because we know what is considered romantic. Some sociopaths just don't make the effort, just like some "normal" people.
  • No conscience. We know and understand right from wrong... We just don't care.
  • Following on from the above point, when rationalisation/justification has been established but we wonder if it what we did was the best course of action to take, we experience something that can appear similar to guilt but it's not guilt; more indeterminable retrospective conflict. It can be a bitch on the mind, too.
  • We do anything to get what we want.
  • We are scarily consistent.
  • We are loners and exist in our own world. Whether we are isolated or in a crowd, we just look at you through the window of our own invisible room.
  • We don't necessarily hate the world; thinking we do is a common misconception. In fact, we don't hate the world at all. That would bear too much emotion in us, which isn't possible. I, for one, can like people individually but don't like people in general - that's because I'm misanthropic. We accept the world for what it is - however one may view it - and we just move through it however we feel is necessary for satisfaction.
  • No, we aren't empty inside. If you meet one who is, that's them as a person, not them as a sociopath.
  • We are neither good or bad, but we are both. Just like normal people. It all depends on the nature of an individual in question.
We share many characteristics and traits with psychopaths but the perspectives are different. The desire for power, as an example. Sociopaths want to control a situation while psychopaths, from what I've seen, want to control the people. They can both lead to the same place but the approach is different. Machiavellians, well they just aim to control everything because manipulation is their ball game above the other dark triad personalities.

Sociopathy isn't one of the dark triad personalities as it's classed as a subset of psychopathy but, in my opinion, it places somewhere between psychopathy and machiavelliansm, but within the psychopath half.

Thinking about it, the distance between psychopathy and machiavellianism may actually be the scale of sociopathy, based on the amount of empathy one can express, since sociopathy is not absolute.

I guess the nature of our creation allows experience prior to our change to have some bearing on the degree to which sociopathy changes us - I do know that the later in life you become one, the easier it is to fit in. One can assume that's based on you spending X amount of years following social norms.