We have a mindset of psychopaths already- they’re dark, evil, crazy, malicious, rapists, and murderers. They are deemed as crazy and are portrayed as some of the evilest people in the world.
However, psychopaths aren’t as violent and murderous as they are portrayed. Even though some psychopaths turn out to be vicious, horrific killers, some live extremely normal lives and have very normal jobs. But, have you ever wondered if YOU were a psychopath? Maybe you felt weird about a certain way or people call you a psychopath as a joke, but even though you laughed you always questioned that about yourself? Here are 10 signs that may indicate you’re a psychopath.
1. You Are Irresponsible
Psychopaths have a tendency of being irresponsible.
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Have you noticed that you have trouble maintaining a job, you don’t really take care of financial responsibilities, or you have a hard time fulfilling other obligations? Psychopaths normally are associated with guilt and may commit fraud at work or lie about their credentials on their resumes to make them sound like better candidates for the job. They may also have violent and aggressive behavior at work, which may make it difficult to keep a job.
Along with not being able to keep a job, they also have a hard time keeping up with financial obligations. Their behaviors of impulsivity and recklessness contribute to them struggling financially and leave them unable to fulfill certain obligations. They can become obsessed with gambling, which can exhibit recklessness and impulsivity, and that could lead to bigger issues in their life.
Psychopaths may also struggle with maintaining friendships, relationships, or family relationships because of their behavior. They can become violent in their relationships, and psychopaths have been linked to partner violence, specifically male psychopaths. Female psychopaths may engage in reckless behaviors, such as substance abuse or neglecting their family or children.
2. You Have Low Physiological Arousal
Psychopaths’ stimuli are different then ours.
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There is more to psychopaths than people think there are. Psychopaths have low physiological arousal, which means that they don’t respond to stimuli the same way other people do. Do you remember a time when you were really scared, nervous, or frightened and your heart started beating, you started to sweat a little bit, and there were goosebumps all over your body? These are completely normal physiological stress responses- the body is letting you know that you may be in danger. Psychopaths don’t respond like this, though, when they’re stressed, frightened, nervous, or scared. Psychopaths have lower resting heart beats, blood pressure, and body temperature. This type of low arousal is associated with some other psychopathic characteristics and behaviors, such as the lack of emotions and fear.
3. You Seem Kind and Charming
They always seem to be charming and kind around people.
Even though people do seem kind and charming just naturally, they are common characteristics that could be seen in psychopaths. Psychopaths often times lack empathy, but they do know the “social norms” and can mimic or fake empathy for those around them. They know how to fake being kind as well, making it easier for them to control their victims and manipulate them.
This particular demeanor separates a psychopath from a sociopath. Psychopaths have a habit of acting kind, charming, warm, and interested in you while sociopaths don’t really act like a normal person. Sociopaths make their intentions known right away and they don’t waste time acting like they care about someone or something.
4. You Lack Empathy and Remorse
Psychopaths normally don’t feel guilty or remorse for their actions.
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Psychopaths have a tendency to be self-involved and have trouble understanding the perspectives of others. They start to form a pattern, then following said pattern, of disregarding people’s needs, beliefs, and their overall safety. They often time are known to violate the rights of others, especially for their own personal gain. With that being said, psychopaths often times lack remorse or feeling guilty for the actions they have done. They are indifferent to mistreating others and they normally justify their bad behaviors. An example is that a psychopath might justify stealing from someone by the saying the person deserved their things being stolen since they left their belongings unattended. Psychopaths also have a habit of being con artists where they justify their actions by saying the victim is gullible and stupid and deserves to be conned.
5. You’re Impulsive
Psychopaths sometimes impulsively buy things.
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Psychopaths often times impulsively say, do, or buy things without thinking about their actions or the consequences that can come with them. This one particular behavior contributes to other symptoms and behaviors of psychopaths and is a strong indicator that a person is on the path of becoming one. For example, psychopaths may continuously spend money, making it harder for them to pay their financial obligations, or they may have issues controlling their anger, which leads to them acting out violently or aggressively.
Researchers have studied psychopaths and discovered that psychopaths typically have underdeveloped frontal lobes in their brain. The frontal lobes are located behind your forehead and are used for higher-order thinking as well as some aspects of intelligence. The frontal lobes help you plan what you are going to say and do by allowing you think about the consequences of your actions. Abnormalities of the frontal lobes show that people lack planning and problem solving skills, trouble with attention and concentration, and impulsive behavior.
6. You Engage in Criminal Activity
They’re often associated with criminal activities.
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Psychopaths engage in criminal activity because they have no guilt about their actions and do not feel guilty about doing bad things to people. Since they lack empathy, they do not have an understanding of what it would be like to violated, assaulted, or stolen from, hence why they are persistent on committing criminal acts. Psychopaths are impulsive and reckless, meaning they could commit crimes without thinking of the consequences or what will happen to them after committing a crime. Even though psychopaths are more common to commit criminal acts, most of them don’t get caught, only about 25% of people in prisons are psychopaths. It’s also known that psychopaths who have a higher IQ and can control their behaviors have a better chance of getting away with illegal activities.
7. You’re Manipulative
Psychopaths can be the puppeteers and you can be the puppet.
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One of the key characteristics of a psychopath is that they’re extremely manipulative. They often lie and manipulate people for their own personal gain and they sometimes do it just for the fun of it. People perceive them to be coldhearted because they’ll do anything they could to get what they want. These behaviors are seen as a negative characteristic, but sometimes psychopaths use them in a more positive way. There are many high-functioning and intelligent psychopaths out there that have extremely successful jobs, like a lawyer or CEO of a company, because these types of jobs require cutthroat personalities, charming dispositions, and having the ability to manipulate customers into buying your product if you’re a sales person. Psychopaths who stay out of jail have similar jobs to these and are extremely successful in life because of their behaviors.
8. You’re Reckless
Psychopaths often abuse substances.
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Psychopaths are normally self-absorbed, and that is a huge problem because their impulsivity can lead them into dangerous situations that are risking their own safety and their life. Some of the things that psychopaths generally get involved in are excessive spending, speeding, substance abuse, and sexual behaviors. They are associated as people who are extremely fearless and even though this is quite a common sign for a psychopath, not all psychopaths have this characteristic. Intelligence and personality may affect the presentation of a psychopath; for example, people who are higher-functioning may have the ability to control their impulsive and reckless behaviors and can plan on manipulating people in different ways so they don’t get caught doing it.
9. You Torture and Kill Animals
Psychopaths often kill animals that are not common to kill.
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Okay, so killing animals is not always a sign of pathology. Some people enjoy hunting and fishing because that’s how they were brought up, or children spend some time outside killing bugs, ants, tadpoles, frogs, and other insects for recreational use. When it comes to a person being a psychopath, people must make sure they understand what is culturally right and appropriate about killing animals and what isn’t right and is inappropriate about killing animals. For example, hunting and fishing are seen as normal things to do in our society, so those activities aren’t a sign that someone is a psychopath. Some examples of psychopaths killing animals are burning them, beating them, and killing cats, dogs, horses, or other animals that are not normally hunted in our society.
10. You Have Anti-Personality Disorder
Psychopaths often suffer from Anti-Personality or Anti-Social Personality Disorder.
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All of the symptoms listed in this article are associated with this disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, or DSM-5 is the guide psychiatrists and psychologists use to diagnose mental disorders and psychopathy is not a condition found in the DSM-5. It is considered a personality trait, though, and the closest diagnosis a person can receive is the antisocial personality disorder. The people with antisocial personalities are often times referred to as psychopaths, and this particular diagnosis can only be given to a person who is at least 18 years old. You can think of it as “antisocial personality” as the psychiatric term and “psychopath” as the lay term.
The reason why a person doesn’t get diagnoses of this disorder until they are 18 is because the person’s personality level, temperament, and the developmental level drastically change as a person grows up and many people believe that behaviors can be rectified in a person while they are still developing. However, there is a childhood version of the antisocial personality disorder, and that’s called “conduct disorder”. But to clarify, children who do have conduct disorder do not grow up to have antisocial personalities. If a child has several symptoms of a conduct disorder when they are young, the child is more likely to grow up and have antisocial personality disorder, psychopathic tendencies, or both.
Make sure you carefully analyze your life and the lives of those around you to look for any of these symptoms. Psychopaths can live extremely normal lives with very successful jobs without telling people they’re a psychopath while others are more violent and reckless, exhibiting common behaviors that are exhibited in psychopaths.