Almost all Hollywood movies portray psychopaths as serial killers. Although most serial killers are psychopaths, not all psychopaths commit heinous crimes. There have been several cases throughout history where psychopathic tendencies have been found in successful businessmen, doctors, CEOs, lawyers and politicians. According to Livescience, there are 70 million psychopaths; that is an approximate 1% of the human population. A 2010 study conducted by Behavioral Sciences & the Law discovered that about 15% of inmates in U.S. prisons are considered to be psychopaths. Even though we might think that a psychopath is someone who is an axe-wielding maniac, not all of them are. Some of them lurk among us in plain sight and act like ordinary people.
As they walk among us, they calculate and wait for the perfect opportunity to emotionally manipulate us. They cloak themselves by feeding on our pain and are difficult to spot as they make themselves appear trustworthy. However, there are many ways to spot a person who is capable of manipulating you emotionally. Here are 8 subtle and hidden signs that people with psychopathic tendencies exhibit.
#1. They are smooth talkers who are excessively charming.
At a first glance, psychopaths do not appear as horrible people. They are well liked since they have the ability to say the right thing at any given time. They are also good at making small talk and are extremely witty. These people tend to exhibit their charismatic tendencies towards the opposite sex to suit their stories. Their social interaction and communication skills are extremely high; allowing them to include anyone into their game. Apart from their interpersonal skills, they are also good at analyzing people emotionally.
Their priority in life is not to make others happy, but to divert the attention towards them. They are not afraid to say anything and will convince anyone with their astounding adventures. Psychopaths always highlight themselves in a positive manner and use flattery to gain a person’s trust. In the end, it’s the person who decides to walk away from the conversation with the psychopath feeling positive.
#2. They have an excessively grand sense of self.
Psychopaths are more like narcissists, who believe that rules are not meant for them. This behavioural tendency encourages them to commit crimes since it eliminates the fear of being caught. These egocentric people consider others to be tools that can be used as they desire and discard when done. Their motivation behind this is the belief that they are capable of conquering impossible feats. A psychopath believes that they are flawless or perfect and that they are entitled to happiness, wealth and success without exerting much effort. They think of themselves as smarter, better and more deserving than the rest of the human population.
#3. They get bored very easily.
Psychopaths are generally unemotional and require constant stimulation to enjoy anything. They take chances and do things risky in search of constant thrill or excessive need for novel. The compulsive thrill-seekers have short attention spans and low self-discipline in carrying tasks to completion because of such tendencies. Most of the time, they portray themselves as being genuine by exhibiting certain facial expressions, body language, tone or voice but you will get the feeling that they’re a bit off. Their constant failure to continue working at the same job or to follow the same routine is the best sign to spot a psychopath.
#4. They invade your personal space and are highly irresponsible.
No matter how socially active we are, we always need some time to ourselves. There’s a culturally determined space that we keep between us and others which we use to disconnect from the rest of the world. Psychopaths on the other hand, will choose to invade this personal space.
They fail or forget to fulfill their obligations such as promising to do something, paying bills, failing to honor contractual agreements or exhibiting sloppiness at work.
#5. They are manipulative and fail to accept responsibility for own actions.
Psychopaths have the power to manipulate anyone with their decisions. By denying someone or something, they achieve their absence of dutifulness. They view each and everyone surrounding them as tools instead of friends or acquaintances. In order to achieve personal gain or to fulfill their goals, they won’t hesitate to use anyone as an instrument. Since the amygdala (the part of brain which is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory) is dysfunctional, they do not feel or understand other people’s emotions.
They have the capability to lie and deceit anyone. Emotional blackmailing is one of the many tactics they use on others to achieve their goals. They also use threats, violence and show power to make someone do what they want and whenever they want it.
#6. They have an excessive desire to prey on other people’s emotions.
Psychopaths are people who are able to understand other people’s emotions on an intellectual level. They use this knowledge for their advantage by using it against you. They are very well capable of using flattery and manipulation techniques to convince you to do something you normally would hesitate to do. These people are also good at playing the victim. They are convincing enough to gain sympathy from others for no apparent reason.
These acts they perform do not make them feel guilty or sorry for the countless number of miseries they inflict on others. Psychopaths will never feel remorse or change who they are.
#7. They have little to no conscience and live a parasitic lifestyle.
When it comes to lying or cheating, psychopaths do not have the tendency to think twice. If they are confronted for something they had done, they would give you a long list of excuses. They can deny and lie in a convincing way and would go as far as to blame others for their mistakes. Their main objective in life is to achieve their goals; no matter how much pain or damage they inflict on others.
Rather than living independently, they latch onto normal people and feed off of them. They will continue to depend on others for financial gain or other responsibilities and make no effort to change the habit. If you encounter such a person in life, there’s no doubt that he/she is a psychopath.
#8. They have poor behavioural controls.
Psychopaths get irritated very easily. Even the slightest of things annoy them and they often express their emotions in an aggressive manner. They have inadequate control of anger and temper and will act hastily.
In addition to that, psychopaths also partake in a variety of brief, superficial relations. They have the tendency to maintain several relationships at the same time but will have trouble maintaining friendships or sustaining relationships for a long period of time. Since they are emotionally absent and their affairs are one-sided, their relationships don’t last long. They only require friends or partners in order to satisfy their needs or to gain something from that particular relationship.
How to deal with a psychopath?
Psychopaths view themselves as the alpha and give the least importance to anyone else in their life. They exhibit erratic behavior since their ideas and emotions are extremely flawed. According to leading forensic anthropologists and criminologists, it is very hard to spot one since they are very good at acting and hiding their true self. Even if you are able to recognize one, it is highly unlikely of them to seek help. Although you can’t change the way they are, you can always be mindful of the interactions between them to reduce the impact they have on your life.
Have you ever encountered a psychopath in your life? Let us know through the comments section.