When hearing the word, ‘psychopath’, most of us may be reminded of the age-old Hitchcock favorite, ‘Psycho’, serial-killers or unfortunately for some, of somebody we know or even ourselves.
Psychopaths need not have to hurt you physically but are cunning, manipulative and cause harm with full intent of doing so without feeling any guilt about it or even taking any responsibility for it, the ultimate blame-gamer, making it your fault, no matter what.
On the outside, they can blend into any social situation and are very amicable, creating a perfect screen-saver public image for themselves, so even if their misdeeds are discovered, nobody would even believe it. They have an uncanny manner of smooth-talking people giving them the image of being sweet, innocent, fun and easy-going.
But on the inside, they are actually pretty insecure, bored and always take calculated preemptive actions in case they feel threatened, almost always. Kind of like a fly to a spider’s web, you’d be driven into arguments usually rooted from something they have actually done, be it hurtful or inappropriate, but soon enough, you will find yourself having to defend yourself and made to feel guilty.
Most usually, their actions are driven by desires for money, sex, and essentially popularity or being the center of attention.
And worry not, they are said to take up only around 1% of the population and here are some tips on how you can tell if you are arguing with a psychopath and what to do to counter or flee from them effectively.1
‘Half-truths, Lies and Excuses’:
Humans do err, but with psychopaths you will find yourself hearing excuses like a recitation every time. This leaves you with false promises, words and actions that don’t match, surprised when they manage to follow-through with something, and get manipulated into thinking that something basic was a big deal.
‘Patronizing Tone or Looks Down on You’:
These people will always want to have the upper-hand and win, whatever it takes. First appearing calm and collected, they will do this to mock and provoke you, to make you react. Finally, when you have your outburst, they will just smirk, ask you to chill and look like they are upset at you, but are actually happy they could play around with your emotions that way.
‘Using Hypocrisy like it was a birth-right’:
Psychopaths have no shame in judging, pointing out and pushing your emotional buttons, during an argument, with characteristics that they themselves are guilty of. Taking a leap beyond projection, which people do unintentionally, psychopaths just want to paint you with their own flaws, to piss you off enough that they can just call you ‘crazy’ and make you look like the culprit in front of others.
‘Can seem like they have multiple-split personalities’:
Those who are all too familiar will realize that during arguments with psychopaths, you will see a common pattern of your own. For most it has been: Nice-Touchy-Rude-Lunatic-Obsessive-Victim-Baby and repeat. The second you stop reacting and back-off, you’d see them try to apologize and compliment you and if you don’t budge, they’d use those very sweet-words to insult you in matter of minutes, leaving you bewildered and maybe even scared.
‘Always the victim and drama-queen’:
When questioning them about their behavior, they’d always hold a relative, bad experience or an ex responsible, which garners your sympathy for them when they do something wrong. But actually, they’ve used that as bait to distract you and soften you up. They are always the one to cry ‘abuse’ when you react to how they treat you, but in reality you are the one who were abused.
‘Need to give them explanations on how basic human emotions work’ :
What comes to most naturally, is something you wills see yourself having to explain to a psychopath. Such as, kindness, helping nature or empathy. As you explain and let them know this is the primary reason for something you did or how you felt, they will use it to make you feel worse or say those are not normal emotions.
When arguing with them, you will feel emotionally exhausted, and may even spend days over a single argument. Whatever comeback you got, they manipulated you into saying so they can use it to victimize themselves, provoke or pin the blame on you.
Prolonged experience with such people can leave you very unstable be it in your career, romantic life, with family and they inevitably win as they use your post-traumatic reactions as weapons to show everyone that you’re the one who is crazy, escaping Scot-free with zero responsibility.
If you ever see anyone like this trying to draw you into their little mind-games, do not engage.
Just, smile, nod, and go live the rest of your life.
Many have tried to see the good in them, probably still do because they are so charmed by their false exterior and persona. And there are those that have been scarred by it and are now in a better place because they knew better or are still detoxing.
Unlike a truly naive person, psychopaths try to hurt you on purpose, without you realizing it.
So between fight or flight, choose flight to as far away as possible from them, they do not deserve a second glance.
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