12 Signs Indicating Someone is a Psychopath

Psychopathy is a personality disorder with different characteristics. These characteristics indicate that a person may suffer from it. In fact, studies say they suffer from a brain abnormality that leads them to a world without emotions. (1)

And, it is not easy to notice if someone is a psychopath. According to Hervey Cleckley, there are signs that indicate that someone is a psychopath. For instance, they seem normal, but they possess a great charm that fools people and they are very manipulative. (2)

Besides Cleckley’s list of signs, Lilienfeld and Andrews, have published another book with a list of signs of psychopathy, named Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI). Psychologists and psychiatrists use this book to categorize and diagnose mental diseases. (3)

In the world, there are a lot of psychopaths who are unnoticed. But, not all of them are murderers or criminals. Anyway, we offer you a list of 12 signs that may help you spot a psychopath.

1. Liars

These people always lie. They even lie about things that are not beneficial to them. But, why do they do it? Well, it gives them some false sense of power.

2. They See Themselves as Better than Others

Psychopaths feel like they are much better than other people. In fact, they believe they are stronger and more intelligent than anyone else.

3. Appealing Personalities

Usually, these people are liked by the others. They are friendly, and people can approach them. They are not like in the movies.

4. No Empathy and Lack of Fear

People are often empaths, but psychopaths do not feel empathy. They do not understand other people’s emotions, and they do not care at all. Since they lack emotional involvement, they violate the rights of others, so this may result even in fear deficiency which is the reason why these people tend to be criminals. (4)

5. They Put the Blame on Others

These people pick up insignificant things about many people, and they do that to gain trust. Also, they use people’s vulnerability to control them. They like when other people feel guilty.

6. They Never Feel Guilty

When a normal person hurts someone, they feel guilty. But, a psychopath does not feel guilty.

7. They Are the Only Thing They Value

These people are interested only in themselves. They are in love with themselves, and they are the only thing they appreciate.

8. They Are Irresponsible

No matter what these people do, they never accept the blame. In fact, they never take responsibility for their own deeds.

9. Attention Deficit

According to Newman, the attention deficit is the reason why psychopaths are impulsive, and why they have issues with processing emotions as well as passive avoidance. Psychopaths struggle in activating the bottom-up (stimulus-driven) attention while using top-down (goal-oriented). (5)

But, in other people, these processes happen automatically. That is why psychopaths perform better (6) at the Stroop task (7) in which there are printed words with conflicting color, for instance, “red” is printed in green ink.

10. Unable to Make Plans for the Future

Other people tend to make plans for the future every day, but psychopaths cannot. According to the PCL, psychopaths are unable to make plans and set long-term goals for the future; they seem careless.

11. Violent

Psychopaths tend to have antisocial personality disorder followed by aggressiveness and irritability. Due to their low tolerance for frustration, they involve in assaults as well as physical fights.

12. Abnormal Processing of Affective Words

According to a study which included a lexical decision task, psychopaths did not show a reaction to affective words. In fact, psychopaths elicit less information from affective words than non-psychopaths. (8)

Early Signs Indicating that a Child May be a Psychopath

According to Robert D. Hare, in his book The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths, he says that many parents who got their children diagnosed as psychopaths always knew that something was not right even from early school-age. (9)

Usually, children tend to develop by social boundaries, but these certain children are immune to socializing pressures. They are just different in a way that cannot be explained. As the author of the book explains, there are signs that indicate a child may be a psychopath.

Here is a list of early signs that show something is going on with a child:
  • Insensitive lying
  • Inability to understand other people’s feelings
  • Disobedience towards parents, teachers, and rules
  • Often getting in trouble and disapproving punishments
  • Petty theft
  • Fighting, aggression, and bullying
  • Truancy, absence from home, staying out late
  • Hurting or killing animals
  • Vandalism and setting fire
  • Experimentation with sex

You should know that it does not mean that a person should possess all of the above-mentioned traits to be a psychopath. People only need one or two of them, and that may indicate they are psychopaths.

Knowing how to spot a psychopath may help you stay away from them. (10)

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