When it comes to dating, the word psychopath sends an icy chill down your spine. In life, there are certain people that you want to avoid, and anyone with a psychopathic personality is one of them. Why do these individuals make life so unbearable, and how do you avoid getting entangled with one?
The real issue is that it’s very challenging to recognize someone with these tendencies as they often wear a mask of charm. You don’t see the self-centered and manipulative person for who they are because you’re so captivated by their charisma. Make no mistake; this is a person who knows exactly what they’re doing, and they will stop at nothing to get their way.
You can go weeks, months, or even years without an incident, but the key is that you’ll keep the peace if you don’t challenge them. If you want them to rear their head and strike like a serpent, try defying what they’ve said or done. You will see a whole different side that you wished you hadn’t observed.
Eight Red Flags That Reveal a Psychopathic Personality
Whether you’re dating online, meeting people at a local club, or have folks in your family or at work with questionable actions, how do you know if someone has a psychopathic personality? Is there a way to protect yourself from this narcissist whose mental illness is so challenging? Here are a few red flags for you to observe.
1. Someone with a Psychopathic Personality Is Haughty
You’ve noticed that Sally seems to take credit for projects that she doesn’t deserve. She appears to be a bit of a blow-hard, and she tries to degrade anyone she views as a competitor. You’ve found that she doesn’t want to win at everything; instead, she wants to dominate the situation.
She’s a little bit destructive, and she tends to have a psychopathic personality where she manipulates a situation for her good. There’s word around the job site that she can be violent when backed into the corner, but you try to steer clear of her.
2. Superficial Emotions
The very meaning of the word superficial means “fake.” Someone with a psychopathic personality tends to engage in the present moment, but their character and charm are only skin deep. They lack any real depth, and it’s soon noticed. A heartless coldness contradicts the intensity of their emotions.
Assume you’re talking to Gretchen, a lady who seems very interested in dating you. When you’re discussing the death of a family member and dealing with the grief, she changes the topic of conversation. Her blatant disregard jars you as she blew off your feelings.
Over time, you’ve noticed that Gretchen always sucks up to the management, but her goal is only to use them to get advantages at work. She’s constantly undermining those around her, even the managers. She has one thing on her mind, and that’s making it to the top.
It’s clear this lady’s mental health is not in the best shape, and something has happened in her past to make her this way.
3. A Psychopathic Personality Always Seeking Thrills and Excitement
You’ve started dating Bud, and he seems like a great person. He’s got everything you could have ever asked for in a mate, or so it appears. The only problem is that he is often bored, and he has a strong urge to find stimulating activities.
He wouldn’t dare think about sitting home and watching movies with pizza, as it’s much too dull for him. According to Richard Lettieri, Ph.D. from Psychology Today, someone who has a tendency to be bored and the urge for stimulated behavior often experiences emotional superficiality.
They can’t make a genuine connection with others, so they seek thrills and excitement to fill this void. The real problem is this boredom can lead to risky behaviors as they can’t find enough stimulating activity to sustain them. It’s not uncommon for this person to attract others who love the “Bad boy” persona they display.
They’re not afraid to take risks, and they have no issue stooping to unscrupulous levels to get the job done. However, boredom is just one issue that comes to the surface immediately, but if you stay with Bud long-term, you will uncover a lot of psychopathic tendencies.
4. Insincere Charisma
George, the new guy at your job, appears talkative and fascinated with getting to know everyone. He seems like such a nice person, at first anyway. Almost immediately, you start to get these little pangs of doubt that he’s a bit artificial.
For example, he acts like a loving husband, but all he talks about is his wife’s looks, and you can’t help but see how he flirts with other girls at the office. His not-to-subtle innuendos make many people uncomfortable. Looking back, you realize George wants to seduce and enthrall others, and he’s not looking to form lasting friendships.
5. Untrustworthiness is a Hallmark of a Psychopathic Personality
When you can’t trust someone, it’s more about what’s on the inside than what comes out of them. Having self-esteem that’s distorted makes it impossible to bond with others. They feel a need to be superior and at the head of the class.
To secure their position on the top, this person has no problem lying, cheating, and corrupting the truth to manipulate others. Greg was a team player, or so it appeared to management. He said all the right things to the leadership, but when it came time to complete the group assignment, he preferred to let others do the heavy lifting.
He already knew the pecking order at the company, and he had dedicated much of his time socializing with the powers that be, so he knew his position was safe. The managers would likely go to others on the team for reprimand and believe Greg wasn’t at fault. This individual is very skilled at the art of manipulation.
Narcissists can be very lazy, as they know how to manipulate people to do the hard work. This is not a person you want to be tangled up with, as it could cause you massive trouble.
Isn’t it terrible when someone says one thing and does something else? Due to the skillset of the psychopathic personality, their manipulation, deception, and general challenging nature are hard to interpret. Male or female, they come across as a likable person.
One of the scariest stories of a psychopath was the infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy. His game proved to his victims that he was a kind and gentle person. He was, after all, going to school to be a lawyer. He worked hard to gain the trust of others, and then he would do unthinkable things to get rid of these people.
According to an article on Crime Museum, there were more than 30 victims that he confessed to, but the number is estimated to be so many more. While not all people with mental illness can commit crimes like Bundy, you certainly cannot be too careful.
What appears to be a well-rounded, average person may be nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. No matter what the person says or does, at some point and time, their true colors will come shining through.
7. Shady Conduct
They will do anything to get a thrill, but it doesn’t mean that they haven’t had some run-ins with the law either. Sadly, you may get trapped in a big mess before you find out what you’ve got yourself into. Some psychopaths can be malignant, but it takes a lot of time before anyone figures them out.
The psychopathic personality is missing their center or moral compass that helps guide them, so they’re not afraid to take a walk on the wild side. In another article on Psychology Today published by Richard Lettieri Ph.D., he states that the relationship between violence and mental illness is complex.
While one narcissist may be violent, others will be malicious in intent, but they’re no physical threat. It’s hard to know what a person is capable of, and you don’t want to stick around to find out.
8. No Connections
Another concern about the sociopath is that they don’t seem to have any connections. If you date this person, they won’t talk about family or friends. Most of these folks don’t form any real bonds, so they burn many bridges along the way.
Be very cautious of someone who won’t talk about their past, as everyone has one. If they seem to become uncomfortable and change the subject when you mention such topics, it’s an indication that you need to do some digging. You might find a skeleton or two in their closet.
Final Thoughts on Red Flags of a Psychopathic Personality
Your mental health is essential to protect. When dealing with someone who has a psychopathic personality, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You want to ensure that you protect yourself at all costs.
Before you befriend that new coworker or go out on a date with someone you met online, please do your best to get to know them. Ask lots of questions, observe any behaviors that seem off, and always trust your gut instincts.