LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

9 Signs Of Psychopaths That Aren't Always Easy To Recognize: Superficial Charm, Lack Of Empathy, And More

Date February 12, 2018 15:35

When we hear the word "psychopath", many of us picture a cold-blooded murderer, such as the real-life Ted Bundy or the fictional Hannibal Lecter. But, contrary to popular belief, psychopaths and sociopath aren't always violent. What most of them do, in fact, is using others to achieve their own ends with no qualms. What we call psychopathy or sociopathy is known as antisocial personality disorder (APD) in psychiatry. It's a spectrum disorder, meaning it ranges in severity. Some people who have it misbehave only occasionally, while others actually engage in crime.

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The terms "sociopath" and "psychopath" are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is still no general agreement whether it's appropriate. Sociopathy is seen as less severe and more obvious that psychopathy. Anyway, here's are some signs that you may notice in both psychopaths and sociopaths:

They lack empathy

If you see someone is upset and crying for a legitimate reason, you'll probably feel sorry for the person. Psychopaths and sociopaths won't be able to empathize in such situations, and while they are able to pretend they are sorry, they don't actually feel it, even if they were the source of the upset.

They don't feel guilty or remorseful

Psychopath and sociopath have no sense of right and wrong. It's considered that sociopaths may experience some guilt or remorse for their wrongdoings, but they won't change their ways. Psychopaths don't feel any guilt or remorse when they hurt or deceive others and will use every available means to get what they want.

They come across as charming

For a psychopath to use you, they will try to make a good impression on you and make you believe they are your friend to get what they want. True intentions of a sociopath may be more obvious.

They lie even when it's unnecessary

Psychopaths and sociopaths will tell you all kinds of lies, big and small. They are often described as pathological liars. It can be a small lie, such as telling they are late for work because they were helping someone in great need, or it can be a whole fabricated life story - anything that their imagination is good for.

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They play the victim

If they realize you're starting to suspect that something is off and don't want to play by their rules anymore, they will pretend that you've hurt them and you are the one who should be sorry. And some of them are able to do it in such a skillful way that you will actually believe you're the one who is in the wrong.

Being around someone who behaves this way can be very taxing emotionally. Here's what you can do to stay grounded and take care of your emotional health.

They can't take responsibility

Psychopath and sociopaths always blame other people or circumstances; nothing ever is their fault. Be it at work or in a personal relationship, there's always someone or something else that created a problem.

They have poor impulse control

A normal person weighs the consequences before doing or saying something and takes time to think whether it's appropriate. Psychopaths and sociopath will do whatever they want, whenever they want.

They engage in risky behaviors

Because they are irresponsible and impulsive, sociopath and psychopath are likely to engage in risky or morally wrong behaviors, such as dangerous driving, gambling, unsafe sex with multiple partners, and even crime.

This and some other behaviors described in the article shouldn't be confused with manic episodes of bipolar disorder, because people with bipolar disorder have no evil intent if they act out.

They think they are superior to everyone around them

Psychopath and sociopaths truly think they are better and smarter than other people and put their own goals above anyone or anything. For example, if your colleague is a psychopath, he can pretend to be your friend but will walk all over you to get a promotion.

Source: Health, WebMD, Psychology Today, WikiHow, Metro

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.