Every once in a while you will meet a person who throws you through a loop. You might think they are insane, or you might find them to be completely charming and intelligent while lacking empathy.
In order to identify and understand them, we must first undo what television and society has taught us. Most psychopaths are not deranged imprisoned murders. Much more likely, they are the coworker, friend, ex, or just that family member who makes your brain hurt. You might find yourself walking away from them feeling confused, self-conscious, or doubting yourself and your own intuition.
They make up anywhere for 0.6-4% of the population. This personality disorder affects men more frequently than women. Their brain is different from yours or mine; it has a much smaller prefrontal cortex, the part that regulates behavior, impulse control, and planning. It also has an amygdala, the seat of negative emotions like fear, guilt, and sadness.
They are often quite likable, at least initially. But, over time their true nature will show itself, and here is what you should look out for.
- Superficial Charm
Do not be fooled by this idea that charm must be confident or arrogant. The way they act is specifically suited to their target. Yes, many people respond well to flattery and gifts, but others might have a softer spot for the sympathetic shy routine. They are experts at making their target feel special. But, whatever persona they put on, be certain on one thing; it is never authentic.
- They Thrive on Negative Reactions
One of a psychopath’s favorite thing to do Is plant seeds of chaos and confusion in everyone’s mind, watch as a huge mess unfolds, and then play the innocent care and blame everyone else for acting in a rational way. Look for signs of them luring you into arguments, only to play completely dumb when confronted.
- Repeated Lies
Psychopaths lie constantly, even when the truth would make a much better story, and even when there is absolutely no reason to lie. They are so used to switching personas and stories that lying becomes the default mode for them. If you ever question these lies, even with valid proof, they will promptly turn it back around on you for being paranoid and over-analyzing everything.
- No Feelings of Guilt or Shame
Normal people feel intense remorse when they do things that psychopaths do, but for an actual psychopath, they do not feel any remorse for their behavior. They know their behavior is hurtful, and that is why they do it. The only time a psychopath will ever apologize to you is to save face, or if they still need something from you. It will not actually be about remorse.
- Turn People against Each Other
When a psychopath enters the picture, you will find yourself disliking people you have never even met. They are constantly whispering poison and gossip into everyone’s ears, make people feel jealous and suspicious of other people. They do so under the guise of innocence, using pity stories and pseudo-concern to warp your perception.