- IMPORTANT NOTICE -
You must be adult/mature and show common decency before declaring someone to be a psychopathic individual.
There are a few internet forums and other websites which are run and moderated by hysterical and histrionic individuals which are little more than ex-Spouses and Lovers clubs declaring their ex's to be 'psychopaths' so they do not have to face their own issues in life, or in a few cases, deal with their own glaringly obvious personality disorders which the self-proclaimed 'victim' themselves may in fact possess: Erotomaina, Histrionic Personality Disorder and old fashion infantile petty jealousies and sexual frustrations/hang-ups.
A psychopath is someone who is very much more than an individual who is having sex with another person who isn't you. Please bear this in mind. Life is complicated and can't be put into child-like “my ex is a psychopath because he dumped me!” rationalisations. Most times you are dealing with a creep or just an emotionally immature person. Other times it may even be your own co-dependency which is the issue, and you and you alone needs to work on this. Sometimes they left you for a good reason. You were not the person they wanted nor desired anymore. As hard as this is to face, good people do this to their partners and spouses all the time. This does not make these people 'psychopaths' nor 'sociopaths' and by declaring them so, you will never find any inner peace or resolution.
Being self-reflective of your own life is just about the most healthy and self-empowering thing one can do. Fobbing this off on another human being who has long forgotten you and moved on with their life by calling them a 'psychopath', sociopath', narc', so you do not have to look yourself in the mirror, will only end in your own psychic implosion and social isolation. Along with a wasted and unproductive life of self-absorption within your own “me, me, me!!!” victim complex narcissism.
Having said this, there are also many very real and sincere targets of the most horrific and traumatic psychopathic mind control and abuse. Be they in relationships, subjected to bullying at work, crazy business partners, flying saucer clubs/fringe churches, and even among their own family members. There is only one site people should look to for help and that is Robert Hare's Aftermath. It's the only resource that can be trusted, and operated by the top professionals in the field. What more do you need? Stay away from groups which are constantly looking for donations, or loaded with high drama and schmaltz rides into self-pity, rather than mature discussion.
If you experienced the following behaviour while in a relationship, or working with this person—then you probably knew a psychopath:
Invented Personas to Manipulate Others
Psychopaths are a different version of themselves for every person they interact with. They also have ‘group personas’ for family, organisational and workplace interaction.
Highly Unreliable/Broken Promises
Psychopaths will make the most incredibly ambitious plans including you as their right hand man or woman—then, on a whim, discard those plans and move on to some other crusade that excludes you. Targets often alter their own life plans to help the psychopath reach their imaginary goals, resulting in appalling emotional, psychological and financial chaos for the victims when the psychopath moves on.
Idealisation Followed by Cold Rejection
At the height of their idealisation of you, the psychopath will show you obsessive ‘love,’ care and attention. However, once they feel they have you where they want you—or the relationship has ended—if you collapsed in front of them on the street they would simply step over you as if they’d never met you and continue on their way. Outrageous and very personal smear campaigns against the discarded targets to falsely portray them as psychologically unstable, self-serving liars or abusers are often undertaken by psychopaths following the ending of a relationship.
Becomes Obsessed with a Hobby, Cause, or Individual and then Loses Interest Instantly
However, as soon as the relationship is established, the downward trajectory from idealisation of their targets and towards the inevitable devaluation and discarding begins in earnest. It may take weeks. It may take months. It often takes years. Nevertheless the psychopath always begins the devaluing of their victims as soon as the relationship is legitimised and is always on the lookout for an ‘upgrade’.
Buys into either secular and non-secular belief systems to appear superior or enlightened. Will align themselves with ‘morally popular’ causes to make themselves appear enlightened and with a sense of deep moral wisdom and compassion. But it is always a pose; the psychopath’s association with these causes is a veneer to fool others into trusting them. It’s always fake; always an agenda.
There is Nothing Real Behind the Persona
Behind the months or years of perfectly-constructed performance by your psychopath is a nothing: a void, a blank, a hunger for something the psychopathic entity can never define. They now see no further benefit in playing this part and have moved on to a new role. It is just business. You are treated to a completely new, cold and emotionless persona. “Who is this stranger?” you will ask yourself over and over again. It is so bewildering.
The Sudden Goodbye
Then the psychopath finds an upgrade, changes their persona, will often change their look, fashions and even change the subject when they suspect others are figuring them out and you begin asking questions. "Hey, never mind that, it is lovely weather we are having!" Stated in a chipper and almost giddy manner (with an obvious underlying glibness). They are repressing the internal excitement at having pulled a fast one on you.
RED FLAGS AND TRAITS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Before we move on to learn how to identify an individual who may be a psychopath, I want to stress this clearly, emphatically and unequivocally—that one should not declare a person to be 'a psychopath' unless you are completely sure you have fairly and honestly evaluated that individual with as much emotional neutrality as possible. To use the label 'psychopath' is essentially to state that this individual is not a human being. Such a statement—no matter how much someone may have wronged you—must not be taken lightly.
The pathological drive of any psychopath over the course of his or her life can be anything and everything selfish, appalling, immoral and evil one can think of. However, there are Five Absolute Traits which all psychopaths (both male and female) have, and this is what you should be on the lookout for if you think you are in a relationship with a psychopath or if you have questions about an individual whom you may have come into contact with in the past who may have been a psychopath.
THE FIVE ABSOLUTE PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS
(lacks conscience—shows no genuine guilt for their actions)
Invoking Pity in Others to Manipulate and Control
(sob stories of past sexual/other abuse—claims nearly all their ex's are insane/alcoholics)
Mysterious Pasts/Vague Personal Histories
(life story never seems to make sense—contradictory pasts—missing periods in their lives)
(an actor who'll play the role 'you' require from them—until they change the performance/role as they learn a new script)
High Levels of the Hormone Testosterone
(impulsive—sexually intense—upper body strength—poor
RELATIVE SECONDARY PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS
There is also a cluster of potential Secondary or Relative Traits which are often present in psychopaths. Understanding and applying these will go a long way to help you distinguish between psychopaths and everyday, run-of-the-mill obnoxious creeps and charlatans. With Secondary Relative Psychopathic Traits, not every psychopath will have all of them. Some will have most, or nearly all of them—most psychopaths can demonstrate these traits at different stages over the course of their lives.
Sexual Promiscuity/Asexuality/One Night Stands
(appears to have learned all they know about sex from watching pornography)
Staggering Levels of Double Standards and Hypocrisy/Projection
(projects their own faults onto others—accuses the target of doing to the psychopath what the psychopath is doing to them) NEVER SAYS 'SORRY'.
Narcissism/Boastfulness and a Sense of Being Born for a Special Purpose
(expects to be praised constantly and will praise themselves if they do not get it from others)
History of Brief or Failed Relationships Ending Badly
(gets engaged/married on impulse—always blames the other person for the relationship failing—if relationship is long-term, this means they have the perfect enabler)
Fight or Flight Response
(poor stress tolerance—can't debate—insults and lashes out)
(sneers, poses or smirks or 'looks away' when being photographed)
Eyes Sometimes Dead and Lifeless
(coupled with a hypnotic stare—eyes can also dart around from left to right when scheming) Very often a disturbing intense predatory stare when challenged or refused a request.
Needing, at Most, 4—5 Hours of Sleep at Night
(sleeping aids, prescriptions and alcohol used to extend their sleeping periods or to avoid boredom)
Faking Cancer or Other Serious Illness
(shaving their heads, eyebrows and body hair to fool people—will set up charities and fund-raising events—harvesting pity—looking for heroic recognition)
Does not Dream, or Fabricates Unrealistic Dream Stories
(reduced complex cognitive processes in and around the frontal areas of the brain)
Constantly Looking and Acting Busy for no Apparent Reason
(moving around, traveling here and there for no apparent reason—busy, busy, busy)
Leaves their Target Abandoned and Alone for Hours on End
(will bring target to a party in a room full of strangers and then leave them on their own)
Highly Unreliable/Broken Promises
(makes highly ambitious plans, then changes them—makes promises and never follows through)
Constantly Trying to Correct Others’ Opinions
(font of all knowledge—arrogant 'know it all'—always has to have the last word, usually an insult. VERY passive aggressive.)
Crocodile Tears and Unconvincing Emotional Responses, Superficial Laughter
('Gentle Soul' personal with ham acting—pretending to wipe/dry their eyes—rooted in frustration, not sorrow)
Extreme and Obvious Flattery, Emulating and Sycophantic Behaviour
(when targeting/scheming: whatever they think you want to hear and see, they will say and do it)
(releases large amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine, while reducing serotonin within the target's brain)
(overly complex speech and writing in order to look clever—often makes no sense—contradictory from one sentence to the next)
Claims to be the Only Person who Really Relates to Target
(in order to begin socially isolating them from their support network of family/friends)
Sets the Agenda—Never Meets Anyone Halfway
(announces, never discusses—gives orders, never asks—dictates, both overtly and subtly)
Obsessed with the Latest Pharmaceuticals/ Hypochondriac
(can include healthy eating obsessions which never last)
Has no Real Creative Talent
(can only copy—can’t innovate or be original)
(when in a long-term relationship, working with or living with, will drain the life energy out of you—long-term partners age faster and develop serious health issues.)
Claims to be Independent/Maverick
(but in reality is completely dependent on enablers to supply him/her with basic living needs)
(excellent at reading people and social situations in order to exploit them—finding and using emotional 'triggers')
Easily Takes Offence
(will often harbour a grudge for years and then produce it out of the blue in order to confuse the target, often as a deflective tactic during an argument)
Gifts Designed to ‘Buy You’ or to Mould You in a Certain Way
(their own personal taste in clothes—will use gifts to 'improve' you)
Can't Handle Criticism
(becomes highly defensive when confronted with their own behaviour—they are perfect)
(cured with con-artistry, promiscuity, alcoholism and/or drug abuse to alleviate the boredom)
Does Not 'Get' Clever Satire/Complex Humour
Laughs when they see other laugh. Child-like sense of humour at best.
(lies instinctually, even when telling the truth would be the better option—can't accept blame—will say 'sorry' that the target is hurt, but not actually be sorry for hurting them)
Feels They are Entitled to the Best of Everything and Expects to be Indulged
(only says 'thank you' to make a good impression on potential targets—soon afterwards stops and complains they are not being indulged or waited upon quick enough)
Exploits Friends, Parents, the Elderly or Handicapped
(money, free rent, altering of wills)
Claims to have a Special Relationship with God (Spiritual Narcissism) or Extreme Atheist
(both are just belief packages the psychopath will use to impress others)
Claims to be a Spy, Assassin, Special Forces Personnel or other Clandestine Agent
(will collect military and other similar memorabilia—fake medals and combat awards)
Twists Conversations and Meanings of Things to Suit Agenda
(diverts conversation to gain moral or intellectual higher ground—when stumped, changes the subject or gets angry)
Uses Dysfluencies More than Most (i.e., 'umms', 'ahhs', etc)
(does not listen to what others say after the Idealisaton stage because the psychopath does not care)
For a More Complete Understanding of the Issue from the Viewpoint of Dealing with, and Recovering from a Psychopathic Abuse Situation, along with a Basic Introductory Understanding of the Impact of Psychopathology on Individuals and Society; Please See My Books: Puzzling People and Defeated Demons.