According to Psychology Today, “Psychopathy is among the most difficult disorders to spot. The psychopath can appear normal and even charming. Underneath that, he lacks conscience and empathy, making him manipulative, volatile and often (but by no means always) criminal.”
Professor Robert Hare, a criminal psychologist and the creator of the PCL-R, a psychological assessment used to identify a psychopath, said, “It stuns me, as much as it did when I started 40 years ago, that it is possible to have people who are so emotionally disconnected that they can function as if other people are objects to be manipulated and destroyed without any concern.”
Superficial charm, elevated sense of self-worth, need for stimulation, lying pathologically, being manipulative, absence of guilt, lack of control over behavior, are certain signs to determine if someone is a psychopath. Around 4% of the total population consists of psychopaths. It does not have to be a serial killer; it could be the next person you see on the street. The difference is that they don’t “feel” anything and exploit a person’s emotions when he or she is vulnerable. They are charming and hide their true self flawlessly making it easy to be trapped in a relationship with them.
Here are the warning signs that you might be in one!
1. They love-bomb and flatter you
Love bombing is a technique in which a person is influenced by demonstrations of attention and affection. They usually are believers of whirlwind romances which includes three main phases: idealization, devaluation, discarding. These stages may not occur one after the other, as the abuser might decide to jump from one to another. They will worship you one moment and abandon you in the next, leaving you completely dazed. The vicious cycle continues till the victim or the abuser quits.
2. They love to play the victim card
They may come off as misunderstood individuals who can do no wrong because it is always someone else at fault. They will carve a place in your life with their heart-rending tales of the past. You will believe them when they’ll say that drama is something they hate. Soon enough, you’ll realize that somehow they are always at the center of it.
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3. They will involve you in a non-existent love triangle
Psychopaths and narcissists indulge in self-sabotaging behavior like keeping in touch with an ex for constant validation. They cannot handle rejection as it is a blow to their sky-high ego. In the middle of this chaos, you will be confused and think they are always in demand.
4. They manifest crazy behavior and twist reality
They will never take ownership of their abusive behavior. They will use gaslighting as a tool and you will constantly second-guess yourself. Psychopaths and narcissists are experts in mind games and will trick you to believe that it is your response to their abuse that is toxic.
5. They will accuse you of things that they have provoked
For instance, they will ignore you and end up calling you needy, or flirt with a lot of people and say you’re invading their personal space. They will try to prove that you are insane and use your reactions against you.
6. They are pathological liars
Lying is their first instinct in any given situation. They will lie blatantly and show no signs of remorse even if they are caught. Instead of trying to evaluate their faults, they will rationalize every action.
7. They provoke destructive behavior but pretend to be innocent
In the beginning, they will shower you with affection and give you full attention. After some time, they will gradually withdraw and give priority to others. They will meet their ex, post pictures or tag them in social media profiles and pretend its natural. They invoke jealousy and rivalry, expecting you to be okay with it and if you say something, they get defensive.
8. They undermine your self esteem
They will underestimate you and eventually the relationship will go sour. You will look to find faults in yourself and the psychopath will be carefree, making you feel like a burden.
9. They demand validation
They are parasites who will feed on your energy, leaving you drained, both emotionally and physically. You can adore them endlessly and that still won’t be enough.
10. You get to a point where you no longer recognize your feelings
You will become anxious about everything and panic at the drop of a hat. You’ll cry, cut off important people, apologize even when you’re not at fault, and feel empty.
Such relationships scar you, but everything heals with time. Severe all ties with the psychopath – emails, text, social media – everything. Do not look back. You deserve better and will find fulfilling relationships in the future.