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How to Recognize a Psychopath

Updated on October 10, 2018

The Everyday Psychopath

Contrary to popular belief, psychopaths aren’t always of the physically violent criminal type. There are many psychopaths walking among the rest of us who lead successful careers, seem very popular, and engage in or attempt to engage in meaningful relationships with others. Maybe we have even attempted to have a relationship with one. Some of them may just be emotional abusers – distant or self-absorbed individuals who don’t seem to worry about the feelings of others and say cruel things without realizing the impact on others. Others are the workaholic types who seem so wrapped up in their careers that they focus on their ambitious plans rather than developing ties to other human beings.

The difference between the socially challenged and the psychopath lies in the intentions and motivations of the individual in question. Psychopaths are very cunning and designing in their actions. While they might not always be aware of or care about how their actions emotionally impact another person, they do know what to do and say to get what they want. They have a strategy to get what they want from you and know how to be charming and inviting to draw you into their worlds. In other words, they do understand enough about human emotion to know how to manipulate and take advantage. The socially inept person really has no clue about how to engage in human interactions and is coming from a place of innocence.

Top Ten Signs of A Psychopath

  • Overly charming on the outside
  • Engages in mainly superficial relationships
  • Egotistical and self-centered
  • Lack of empathy, unable to recognize or acknowledge other people’s facial expressions or emotions
  • No conscience, remorse or guilt
  • Lack of a moral compass, no values that they follow
  • Chronic lying
  • Callous behaviors
  • Unable to control impulses
  • Unable to love, uses false sense of love to manipulate and control others to get what they want

Can Anything be Done?

Unfortunately, you may not be able to identify a psychopath right away. They can be very charming. Once you have been sucked into their web, you might get hurt a few times before you recognize the behavioral patterns.

There are varying theories on if psychopaths can be cured or at least trained out of some of their behaviors. Many people would like to believe that all people can be saved. The idea that there is “good” in everyone may lead some to try to cure the psychopath. A true psychopath cannot feel remorse for anything they have done. They can only pretend to feel it. For therapy to work, you have to have an individual who wants to change his/her behavior and become fully engaged in the work of self-improvement. Why would a person without a conscience feel like he/she needs to change? Just keep this idea in mind before you decide to go trying to reform a psychopath.

It is a sad state of human affairs that we have psychopaths. Who knows really what creates such an individual? Perhaps, a chemical imbalance in the brain or a rough childhood really does lead to such behaviors. It is not our job to save everyone. You are the only one that is always going to be there for you. Take care of yourself and be on the look out for the psychopath.

Check out these articles for more information on the everyday psychopath.


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