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How to detect a psychopath? 10 features

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He happens constantly.

How many times have we not heard on the news: a seemingly normal man, who enjoyed a good reputation and who had never raised suspicions, one day he is brought before the court to testify for a series of crimes that not even those closest to him would suspect that he would be capable of commit. Someone totally integrated into the community becomes, overnight, a criminal.

This kind of thing can lead us to ask ourselves a somewhat macabre question:

Would I be able to recognize a psychopath?

And it is that, although psychopaths do not have to commit criminal acts or crimes, it is true that because of their characteristics are capable of acting to break the rules of coexistence just as someone isolated, desperate and without resources. However, psychopaths do have social resources: they are charismatic and they know how to make a good impression. That is why, many times, identifying a psychopath who is about to carry out an illegality is complicated.

Spot a psychopath

So is it possible to identify psychopaths? Of course, "from said to fact there is a stretch" and it is that, regardless of the characteristics listed in the manuals of diagnosis or the number of experts who affirm that the unequivocal features of psychopathy are "X" or "Y", the truth is what

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each psychopath has a different way of coping in society. And, of course, it seems that psychopaths willing to commit crimes every day they learn to go unnoticed.

What are psychopaths like? 10 characteristic features

However, there are certain tendencies and patterns of behavior that, based on statistics, make it more possible to detect a psychopath. Here you can find 10 keys that are often useful to experts.

1. Long-term goals are not set

Psychopaths tend to lead a lifestyle based on immediacy, so that tomorrow they worry relatively little compared to goals closer in time (especially if these are very primal and impulse-based). They tend to satisfy their most basic needs (hunger, sex, housing, etc.) so they do not tend to plan their future meticulously.

They can organize to pursue an end that they consider important, but generally these goals always pursue short-term results. For example, a crime-prone psychopath might steal a fancy car to impress a girl and get her to get into it to sexually abuse her after her.

2. Mythomania

Let's make something very clear: everybody lies. Some more, some less. Now, a "small" or "white" lie is not the same as tell lies in a pathological way.

Psychopaths have a great knack for lying, and sometimes they do it to get what they want even if it means hurting other people since they do not foresee the nature of the consequences of such lies. Furthermore, they always tend to justify and rationalize their actions.

3. Irresponsibility

The classic description of psychopaths characterizes them as people who do not feel tied to "contracts" or "pacts" with the rest of humanity.

This means that they have difficulty repressing certain behaviors so as not to harm others. It is for this reason that they have the peculiarity of being sporadic in the jobs they perform, as well as constantly moving residence. In the life story of a psychopath, it is common to find that the jobs he held were held for short periods of time.

4. Superficial charm and false adaptation

Psychopaths tend to cope in everyday life with relative adaptability because have ingeniously learned to earn the trust of others with their fake charm.

These attitudes are simply devices used to hide their true intentions. Such is the case of John Wayne Gacy "the killer clown" in which the police were astonished after hearing the neighbors refer to Gacy as a kind and courteous man. Or that successful businessman who kindly shakes hands while laundering money at his company.

5. They do not establish long-term emotional ties

This point is intuited in the previous ones. The sentimental instability it is an almost unanimous characteristic in people who have been diagnosed with psychopathy.

6. They are problematic

The DSM-IV states that people with antisocial personality disorder They are characterized by their inability to understand the norms and rules of society, as well as a general pattern of contempt and violation of the rights of others.

Psychopaths they tend to be conflictive and in their history it is not surprising to find that they have been sentenced for a crime on more than one occasion. They often get into trouble and whose punishments and consequences seem not to care at all.

7. They tend to parasitic life

Things that have to do with routine and responsibility (like a stable, legal job, for example) are boring for them, so prefer to lead a parasitic lifestyle. That is, living at the expense of others.

8. They are manipulative

Psychopaths have an incredible almost innate capacity for persuasion and for the seduction, tools that they often use to manipulate others and achieve their evil ends.

They do not skimp on treating others as objects who can use this charisma to get what they want, even if it does harm or harm to other people. It is because of that they like to "associate" with submissive and dependent people to be able to take advantage or abuse them.

9. They lack empathy

This is probably the almost unequivocal characteristic of a psychopathic disorder in the person. Psychopaths they do not have the ability to "put themselves in another's shoes", to feel what the other person feels. However, psychopaths can understand other people's emotions, identify what physiological changes a mood entails, and even imitate it.

For example, a psychopath will know that someone smiling is probably happy, or someone crying is sad, however these alien emotions are unintelligible to them beyond their understanding of them at the theoretical. They cannot understand the joy or pain that the other experiences.

10. They do not feel fear, guilt or shame

Psychopaths they do not regret their actions, because they lack moral conscience since they live under their own value scheme, doing what they consider necessary to satisfy their needs. However, they know how to use blame against other "good" people and in their favor with impressive mastery to manipulate.

On the other hand, psychopaths frequently seek actions that are exciting, which is why routine tends to bore them. This leads to the search for striking and even reckless activities, since they do not experience fear or feel intimidated by anything or anyone.

Who to trust?

It is currently estimated that the number of psychopaths (their prevalence) could be in the range between 1% and 3% of the population total world. However, and although only experts can diagnose and identify cases of psychopathy, there are lessons that we can learn from all this. Among them, the fact that some human beings (although few in number) can go very far harming others, and not all of us have immovable moral restraints.

Dr. Ana Beatriz Barbosa Silva, for example, recommends that when we must decide who to trust, we must have very present that the coherent combination of evil actions with frequent scenic games that appeal to pity are What "A luminous sign planted in the forehead of a person without conscience". And is that the combination between emotional manipulation and lack of impulse control can be very dangerous.

Despite this, of course, people who meet these characteristics are not necessarily serial killers and perhaps not even violent. However, they are individuals with whom it can be difficult to form affective bonds and to consolidate a healthy and healthy relationship. symmetrical in which we can entrust our goods to the other, leave our children in the care, do business with them or share secrets. After all, not all psychopaths are criminals, not all criminals are psychopaths.

Bibliographic references:

  • Barbosa Silva, A. B. (2011): Dangerous minds. Madrid: Aguilar Fontanar.
  • Marchiori, H. (2002): Criminal psychology. Mexico DF: Porrúa.

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