Psychopaths are not normal people; while they may have regular human characteristics, like passion and love, they also have distinguishing characteristics that make them a true psychopath.
Characteristics of a psychopath include pathological lying, lack of empathy, and superficial charm. Take Adolf Hitler, for example, who has been defined as a psychopath. He displayed many characteristics of a psychopath due to his charm, narcissism, and manipulative personality. In this list, we will examine twelve symptoms of a psychopath, and what makes them so different from normal people.
One of the more subtle characteristics of a psychopath is that they are animal-driven. This means that they are more concerned with basic human needs, like food, water, and money, according to research. Some psychopaths may also believe in a higher power and be more spiritual, but it is more likely that they deem basic primitive needs more important.
11. “Um”s and “Uh”s
LiveScience discussed a study in which researchers interviewed 52 convicted murderers in order to analyze their “linguistic tendencies.” They found that the convicts used “uh”s and “um”s more frequently than normal people. This may be because they mutter some words unconsciously, while carefully selecting which words to say. This could also be a result of psychopaths having little to no conscience, causing them to see a crime as the logical outcome of a plan.
Many psychopaths are extremely self-focused. They see themselves at the center of their universe. They only think of how they will be affected by someone or something else, rather than thinking about their actions might affect other people. Furthermore, while some may see psychopaths as impulsive, some researchers say that psychopaths value structure and are often more methodological.
Nature magazine published a fascinating article on the neuroscience of psychopaths based on a study done by a group of Dutch researchers. They found that psychopaths display “malignant narcissism, which explains psychopaths’ ability to manipulate any situation to their own advantage, with complete disregard for the suffering that their behavior might cause others. Furthermore, some psychopaths are boastful and arrogant, and often criticize others. This is a result of their grandiose sense of self-worth.
8. Troubled childhood
According to The Globe and Mail, doctors have theorized that childhood neglect, abuse, and trauma, can desensitive children to other people’s feelings. Not all psychopaths had horrible childhoods, and millions of children who are abused never become psychopaths. However, it is important to note that children with troubled childhoods are more likely to become psychopaths. Another doctor found that children who lived apart from their parents in the first three years of their life were more likely to become psychopaths. This indicates that the lack of a bond or connection may affect childrens’ ability to feel empathy, so they develop psychopathic traits.
Psycohpaths are often amusing, entertaining, and witty, as Psychology Today reports. They are incredibly effective in presenting themselves and they are extremely likable and charming. The reason psychopaths are able to use their charm so powerfully is because they are able to get inside your head. This is rather simple for them because they have zero distractions and intense focus, therefore they are able to create an illusion of the connection that you may feel.
One of the two steps to spotting a psychopath, according to PsyBlog, is “self-centered impulsivity.” Psychopaths are impulsive in that they constantly take risks, often with no regard for the consequences. They are also rebellious with fast-paced personalities. It is the impulsivity of psychopaths that makes them more prone to depression and suicide.
5. Pathological lying
Everybody lies. However, not everybody is a pathological liar. This is what mental health professionals call “Pseudologia fantastica.” This is considered to be one of the elements in diagnosing psychopathy, according to mental health professionals. Psychopaths not only lie about little things, like what they had for dinner, but they also lie about big things, like which college they attended. Researchers have claimed that psychopaths lie in order to control others by manipulating them.
4. Lack of empathy
One of the biggest symptoms of a psychopath is that they have a lack of empathy. One interesting study, as reported by ScienceDaily, discovered that when psychopathic individuals imagine others in pain, “brain areas necessary for feeling empathy and concern for others fail to become active.” Furthermore, when imagining others in pain, they showed an increase response in the ventral striatum, an area that involves pleasure. When imagining pain to themselves, however, psychopathic participants showed a typical neural response.
As well as being impulsive, charming, and narcissistic, psychopaths are also irresponsible, especially when it comes to financial obligations, as PsychCentral states. Even though they are outwardly seen as charming and trustworthy, and even though some have steady jobs and loving relationships, they tend to be irresponsible and engage in risky behavior.
GlobalResearch released an article that examined “masters of manipulation,” using Obama as a case study. In this article, author Hagopian argues that psychopaths are obsessed with power and because of their magnificent charm and intellect, combined with their great perceptiveness, they are extremely good at manipulating others. Hagopian also claims that psychopaths are “masters of impression management,” making them almost chameleon-like in the way that they act around people. While considering Obama to be a psychopath (it’s more likely he’s just doing what politicians do), Hagopian is definitely onto something.
Several factors – most of them mentioned in this list – cause psychopaths to be unpredictable. Pathological lying, for example, is one of these factors. Because they rarely tell the truth, it is difficult to determine what psychopaths will do next. Psychopaths’ lack of empathy also contributes to their level of unpredictability. Because they are unable to understand others, they develop shallow emotions, which causes them to get bored easily. This means that they are always on new and different quests, not knowing what they are going to do or where they will end up.