...being alone isn't always a tragedy... I've known more than a few people in my life who made being alone seem like a little bit of heaven -- and I'll bet that you have known a few too. Run of the mill jerks and liars, two-timing cheats, verbal or physical abusers, small time con artists and that most dangerous one of all...the charming sociopath.
Oh, you've never met one? I sincerely envy you that, but just between friends, and speaking as someone who has had the misfortune to meet and all too closely observe one, let me introduce/warn you. Sociopaths are the most accomplished liar you've ever met in your life. In fact, they lie so well, that even when every instinct within you tells you they are lying through their teeth, you still can't quite make yourself accept the truth about them. They are masters of the old adage that says...if you want to get away with a lie make it such a big one that your audience/victims will believe it is true, simply because they cannot bring themselves to believe that anyone would actually tell such an outrageous lie...and think you were stupid enough to believe it! But their arrogance doesn't stop there, oh no, they lie, they cheat, they steal and they mercilessly use the very people who try to love them, or help them and they never...ever feel any guilt or remorse no matter who they hurt...unless of course it is themselves who are hurt.
Did I mention that they have no shame, an accomplished sociopath if caught outright, or even inconvenienced by any degree of disbelief will try to overbearingly dominate the situation with words, and if that doesn't work they will cry and whine and turn into a pitiful sniveling excuse for a human pleading for your mercy, with a lot of psycho-babble excuses for why it isn't their fault.
So now that I've introduced you to the lowest form of humanity, and possibly scared you half to death, or worse yet...made you snap your fingers and say, "I'll be darned that's what HE is--a freaking sociopath!" So now that I've done this to you, now what do I intend to do about it? Well I'll tell you. I intend to give you a few useful hints about things to watch out for and how to protect yourself and your family.
Sociopaths are likely to be rootless wanderers with nothing much to show for their lives. Why? For the simple reason that they are parasites. Therefore, sooner or later they always wear out their welcome and have to skip town or at the very least find a new set of victims. Of course, they always have some grandiose tale to explain their lack of home, family, possessions.... And believe me, it will be a truly convoluted tale -- starring them of course -- as the sympathetic, innocent victim of some horrible other person's treachery, deceit, thievery, evil etc. combined with lots of bad fortune and plenty of convenient reasons why they don't have any proof and why you can't talk to anyone, anywhere who can confirm any of this. And by the way, they probably won't be able to hold a "real job", because they have been in some sort of tragically disabling accident, or have an old war wound that prevents working! Let me state here for the record, I mean absolutely no offense to any veterans out there, because most sociopaths would be 4F'd in a heartbeat, so their war wounds and their war records are almost always going to be just another in a long line of lies! Anyway, whatever the excuse, even if they could find and hold a job for more than a few days, no self-respecting sociopath will work for a living ...they much prefer -- and in fact live for -- the thrill of leeching off of others like parasitic scum.
So what do you do to protect yourself against such a monster. It's really quite easy. Take nothing for granted. If you meet someone, whether it is on the internet, or at your local college campus, or at a bar or a movie or at a political rally or even in church and you decide you like them and want to get to know them better, use a reasonable amount of caution and always make sure that someone knows where you are, and who you are going to meet at all times. Don't give out too much information about yourself, and absolutely don't bring them home to meet the family until you "know" enough solid "facts" about them to trust that they are on the level and have a verifiable history. Try not to be paranoid, everyone has little secrets, and one little area that doesn't seem quite right is probably ok, but more than one should start to worry you, and if you have any real suspicions at all, either turn, walk away and never look back or visit a Web Detective Service and learn to protect yourself by investigating anyone, anywhere before it is too late! Find the facts that others want to hide. You can find missing people, including so-called long-lost relatives, court records, criminal records, vital records and more! Do it!
(thanks to OneOfSeven for this gem! - Fighter)