First of all, not all psychopaths are criminals. Some psychopaths don’t even know they meet the definition of this condition. A psychopath may seem like your best friend that cares for you deeply, but that may just be what they want you to believe.
People often associate the word “psychopath” with an easily recognizable villain from a Hollywood movie, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth, according to Psychology Today.
The most chilling thing about psychopaths is that they aren’t as violent and frightening as Hannibal Lechter or Norman Bates. A psychopath may seem like a perfectly normal person and most of them don’t show any extreme or violent behaviors.
Psychopaths may lie effortlessly, not care about anyone else’s feelings and pretend to be someone they’re not, but they can’t trick and deceive your instinct to protect yourself.
They lie effortlessly
A psychopath is someone who can lie effortlessly and without flinching, so you should be alarmed if you meet people with the same behaviors. Additionally, psychopaths can pass polygraph tests without problems because they don’t experience telltale reactions like an elevated heart rate when they lie.
A University of Wisconsin-Madison study revealed that “psychopaths have reduced connections… between the part of the brain responsible for sentiments such as empathy and guilt, and the amygdala, which mediates fear and anxiety.”
Study author Michael Koenigs, an assistant professor of psychiatry, says the study demonstrates “both structural and functional differences in the brains of people diagnosed with psychopathy.”
They’re outstanding actors
Psychopaths are very talented actors, with the ability to play whatever role they think you want them to play so they can use you. They enjoy tricking people into believing that the image they create is real when in fact, it is just a lie, according to Inc.
They are skilled performers who hide behind masks and are known for faking emotions they can never really feel. One of their favorite tricks is manipulating others into feeling sorry for them.
They prey on people’s kindness
Psychopaths usually target people that are sensitive and extremely caring, because those types of individuals are particularly vulnerable to being played.
“Empaths’” tend to work in helping professions, like teaching or nursing, and psychopaths take advantage of their kindness whenever they got the chance. “Empaths” exemplify everything in a heightened way that the psychopath is not. Psychopaths lack empathy, and they destroy everyone that gets in their way without feeling guilty.
Psychopaths are in love with beauty, power, money, social status, and…themselves. Because they are extreme narcissists, they often suffer from delusions of greatness.
They are convinced that only certain “exceptional” minded people can understand them and deserve to be graced by the psychopath’s presence. John M. Grohol, PsyD, writes on PsychCentral that, “A delusion of grandeur is the fixed, false belief that one possesses superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence or wealth.”
They know how to love bomb
You’re being assaulted with so much attention and gifts, so it’s normal to believe this person loves you sincerely. In a column for Psychology Today, Suzanne Degges-White, PhD, describes a phenomenon she calls love bombing as “the practice of overwhelming someone with signs of adoration and attraction.”
It’s natural for you to want to believe the fantasy of intense and undying love, even though it’s not healthy or realistic. Psychopaths tend to knock down every boundary and common sense. Real love is not filled with drama, sudden, nor confusing.
They’ll be your fake soul mate
Psychopaths tend to copy the people they are targeting and they try to show similar morals and values. Their personalities and characteristics seem oddly familiar.
Donna Anderson, the founder of Lovefraud, a website that teaches people to recognize and recover from destructive relationships, explains that “Sociopaths understand the importance of compatibility.
They understand it so well that they make themselves just like you. This is the ‘chameleon’ aspect of their character or lack of character. Since sociopaths have no real internal substance no beliefs, no values, no emotional connections to people or principles they can put on a new persona as easily as you put on a new coat. They mold the persona to match you.”
They may have a traumatic past
A psychopath’s childhood is usually unstable and abusive. Psychologist, psychoanalyst and author Nancy McWilliams says, in her book Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, that “early neglect, abuse, and maltreatment can affect the development of the orbitofrontal cortex, which seems to be the moral center of the brain.”
It’s both strange and conflicting at the same time to feel sorry for evil individuals, but it’s natural to feel this way, because that’s what makes us human and different from psychopaths.
They’re often empty inside
Psychopaths go through life feeling empty inside, hiding a deep, dark secret. However, they can’t feel emotions or attachments like normal people, no one can make them sad, but no one can make them happy either.
Anna Lamden, co-founder and clinical psychotherapist at Locus Therapy Center in Chicago, explains that psychopaths are “extremely perceptive and good at reading other people’s emotions—they use their knowledge of feelings as an ultimate goal of manipulation. They are unable to really connect on an emotional level with others and lack primary attachments.”
Behind the charming mask they put on, psychopaths are empty inside. A psychopath is like a mime, constantly performing and mimicking, while missing out on the very essence and meaning of life.
They can be leaders
Psychopaths are not friendly people and they are mostly alone, but they have victims instead. Because of their need to be in control all the time, they can be both ruthless and charismatic at the same time, you won’t know if you love them or hate them, and may end up in a leadership role.
Many CEOs have psychopathic traits, according to Business Insider. They don’t see people as humans or souls, they see people as objects they can use in their own personal advantage, and their pleasure is making other people feel as empty inside as they are.
They will cheat
Psychopaths are known for their lack of loyalty, there’s no romantic relationship that can make them faithful. They only want power and sex; love is important because a psychopath excels at faking love.
However, they can’t form real bonds with others, this is why they will quickly go through friends and lovers without feelings of remorse, according to Psychology Today. Psychopaths are disloyal, impulsive, and can be very dangerous.