Science

Published on February 13th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi

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3 Unusual But Effective Ways To Spot A Psychopath

Psychopaths aren’t what the TV has taught us. They aren’t this murderous looking person waiting to pounce at their next target. Just like us, most of them lead a normal life. They blend in with us, and that makes it hard for us to spot them.

Psychopaths are people who have a mental disorder. Their brain is abnormally unresponsive when it comes to areas that deal with emotions, morality, and aggression. According to research by Live Science, 1% of the world’s population have psychopathy. If you’re wondering if you have this condition, you can take a psychopath test. However, if you’re curious to find out if someone you know is a psychopath, here are three ways to spot them.

They Have A Different Speech Pattern

According to Jeffrey Hancock, a communications professor at Cornell University — psychopaths often use past-tense verbs when conversing. This behavior has also been observed by Hancock when he talked to prisoners who were diagnosed with psychopathy. For example, instead of saying “I think it’s a nice day today,” psychopaths would say “I thought it was a nice day.” Their use of past-tense verbs are apparent and most of the time unnatural. A psychopath’s use of verbs in the past-tense shows detachment or indifference from their overall self.

Additionally, when compared non-psychopaths, they also use more word fillers such as “uhs” and “uhms.” The use of these words signifies a speech interruption that’s usually observed in people who continually needs to think about what they’re saying and avoid saying anything incriminating. For psychopaths, it’s also about putting a mask on to appear normal and sane.

Another thing that researchers found out about criminal psychopaths is their use of subordinating conjunctions. Words like “because”, “although” “since”, and “whether or not” are just some of the words that psychopaths often use more than non-psychopaths. This is because they want to provide logical reasoning as to why they behaved that way and to show a cause-and-effect relationship.

They Are Manipulative

Psychopaths are manipulative and cunning in a subtle way, and that’s what makes them dangerous at times. These people often put more importance to things like money and power. They manipulate people constantly and will show no remorse or guilt in doing so. They manifest manipulative behaviors like the following:

  • They have an inauthentic charm – If you see that a person’s behavior and charm are inconsistent when they’re in front of other people, there’s a high chance that they’re a psychopath. Another way to tell that they have an inauthentic charm is when their language doesn’t have an emotional dimension to them. They might say something flattering, but their facial reaction may say otherwise.
  • They put you at fault all the time – A psychopath likes to create chaos and put the blame on you. They’ll bait you into an argument to get you mad, and they’ll act surprised when you react negatively. This kind of behavior will make you doubt yourself and feel awful for even thinking wrongly of the person at fault.
  • They make people turn against each other – Psychopaths love the attention, and when they’re present in your life, they will tell you things to make you dislike a person even without cause. They’ll make people turn against each other by acting innocent and acting like they’re someone who cares about it.
  • They will tell you rich stories – If you’re always hearing rich stories from someone about themselves, chances are these stories are lies and they’re trying to gain your trust. Psychopaths tell great stories. In some stories, they like to paint themselves as the victim. But, most of the time their stories end with them being the hero.

These kinds of manipulative behavior are done either to get something out of it or just for amusement. They’ll leverage your emotions to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do. Being a victim of someone else’s manipulation can have a negative effect on your mental health and overall morale.

They Are Egoistical

Psychopaths will think highly of themselves and aren’t afraid to show authority over others. They exaggerate their achievements and other qualities. If they see a flaw in themselves, they project it towards other people. For example, a psychopath may think that she’s not pretty enough and she will project this flaw by insulting other people’s physical attributes.

Narcissism and psychopathy are often grouped together because they have this inflated self-confidence. They thrive in an environment where they get praises, but they are also sensitive when receiving criticism. When a psychopath receives an insult or criticism, they will often react to it with extreme rage and sometimes violently. This kind of behavior stems from their lack of shame and remorse.

Conclusion

If you encounter a person with a behavior included in this list, don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that they’re a psychopath. Some people can just be arrogant but, that doesn’t mean they have a mental disorder. Furthermore, being a psychopath doesn’t automatically make a person a serial killer. In some cases, people with psychopathy are people in power like CEOs and politicians. Knowing the type of person you’re dealing with can help you avoid being manipulated.

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About the Author

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.



One Response to 3 Unusual But Effective Ways To Spot A Psychopath

  1. Avatar Jim says:

    Really great piece, interesting about the narcissism too. I met a psychopath called Sayalay Anuttara who fulfilled all these traits.

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