What is a Psychopath?

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RRH-GRAFITTI Psychopaths are social predators, both male and female, who are born without a conscience and without the ability to feel love, compassion, fear or remorse.

Psychopaths experience the lack of these abilities and emotions as indication that they are superior, and they consider us nothing more than prey to be hunted to fulfill their own needs. The psychopath considers life a game to be played and “won” at the expense of others. Inflicting harm, whether it be psychological, spiritual, physical or financial, is acceptable to them.

Self-gratification is the only thing that motivates them and all that they live for.

children's book cover of the dapper and charming wolfPsychopaths play their game primarily to fulfill their insatiable desires for power and control. They also play to meet their secondary needs for things like sex, money, prestige, a mother for their children…or even for children to molest. Psychopaths derive great pleasure from their victim’s suffering. While this is incomprehensible to normal humans, it’s just life as usual for the psychopath.

Psychopaths are pathological liars who will say anything to get what they want.

With traits like these, you’d never expect a psychopath to be charming, but they are sometimes extraordinarily so (with those they are targeting).

Psychopaths wear what’s called “the mask of sanity” that hides the truth that lies beneath. The Mask allows them to move through society undetected. They’re smooth talkers with a lot to say. They’re totally relaxed since they have no fear or anxiety, and this makes others around them relax. Strong social skills are their predatory edge; these skills bring the psychopath into contact with many potential victims, and make these “targets” comfortable and open to contact.

Just when you need your intuition to alert you to danger, it will be disarmed by the psychopath.

Psychopaths and love are an impossible combination. They aren’t able to experience love, and they consider it a weakness that creates vulnerability that they can use to their advantage. These predators gain a victim’s trust and love and then involve them in devastating sham relationships that inevitably result in serious harm.

Psychopaths feel contempt for normal human emotions. We show our humanness in the form of true love, insecurity, fear, remorse, trust and anxiety, and they consider these emotions unforgivable weaknesses, vulnerabilities that make us easy targets for manipulation, and deserving of it!

posterVictims are manipulated into trying to suppress any display of these emotions that disgust the psychopath, but that’s not possible. They leak out one way or another, igniting the psychopath’s contempt. In other words, there is no way to establish an intimate relationship with a psychopath. He will despise you, guaranteed…but keep using you anyway as long as you have something he wants.

Psychopaths establish a relationship with a target based on a hidden agenda from day one, the only goal being victimization. They are human predators who completely hide their real identities and create a tailor-made persona to gain the trust and love of their victim so they can dominate, control and manipulate them.

They do establish seemingly normal, positive relationships with some people for the purpose of developing a good reputation that covers up their victimization of vulnerable others. Many psychopaths are respected and well-liked members of their community because of this.

Seeing that the psychopath is well-liked makes the victim more trusting, and when or if the victim finds out the truth and comes forward, the psychopath is strongly supported by all those who think he’s nice as pie. Meanwhile, the victim gets no support or validation, by design — she was probably an unknown, new to the community or in some way a marginalized member, which is why he targeted her in the first place.

zombieThe psychopath knows right from wrong, but doesn’t care. The psychopath is a cunning and intelligent “intraspecies predator,” according to Dr. Robert Hare, psychopathy researcher and author of Without Conscience.

If you’re targeted and lured into love with a psychopath, you’ll be left in ruins while he or she goes on to the next victim. There is no easy way to detect them, but awareness may help.

Psychopaths are cunning and calculating predators. Some go for a vulnerable person who is lonely and/or has experienced multiple life stressors, such as an illness, a death in the family, or unemployment; this is the easy target. Others like more of a challenge. No one is immune. Psychopaths are adept shape-shifters and changelings able to read their prey like a book. They figure out exactly what you need and they cut the master key that disarms all of your defenses.

There are 1 – 2 psychopaths per 100 people in the population, according to estimates. And they get around. One psychopath can wreak havoc on many through serial “romantic” relationships. It doesn’t take long for the psychopath to inflict harm, and he can move swiftly and simultaneously among many victims. He can also keep one victim for a long period while having many more on the side. Some maintain a marriage to give the illusion of normalcy. Many psychopaths feast greedily on a banquet of easy targets while taking the time necessary to break down the defenses of more challenging ones.

Psychopaths are notoriously hypersexual and promiscuous; at any one time they may be having sex with their main victim while juggling a few other regulars, having one-night stands with people of either sex, and hiring prostitutes. Psychopaths are most likely to be those who continue to have unprotected sex despite knowing they are HIV positive.

LoveAtFirstSightWhen you’ve met someone who you believe is your soul mate and the love of your life, it’s not usually the time you think of danger or want consider taking things slowly. After all, this is someone you love and trust. But this is exactly when you need to keep your eyes open and think critically about who this person really is and what they really want. Unfortunately, feeling someone is your soul mate is one big red warning flag, because psychopaths are able to so perfectly mirror your needs and desires. This conundrum is precisely why so many jump headfirst and wholeheartedly into relationships with psychopaths. What starts out as heaven will turn into hell.

“Thank you for a brilliant and concise definition of a psychopath. This information is the best I have seen on this topic…I now know I am not crazy. Thank you.” Gail


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© 2012 – 2014 ‘Psychopaths and Love’ All Rights Reserved

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20 thoughts on “What is a Psychopath?

  1. I am a psychopath, and I can say from first hand experience, I do feel guilt, fear, love, happiness, etc. However, I do not experience the intensity of those emotions that most non psychopaths experience. I only feel guilt when I have done something pretty awful…When I love I would do anything for the person or people I love, but I have never felt there is someone I cannot live without.
    Also, not all psychopaths seek power and control…I have the tendency to hurt people because I lack the ability to understand emotions, and I lack empathy, as well as sympathy, but hurting people is not my mission. I don’t want to spend my life hurting others, instead I’d like to spend my life being happy, loving, and being loved…

    • Having been in relationships with women with antisocial personality disorders, I would agree with Jessica and with you. Jessica may not be at the extreme psychopathological end of ASPD, but even those people with less severe symptoms still have problems understanding other people’s points of view and emotions. As a result, I believe that at least some of them have genuine trouble seeing how, or caring if, they cause problems for the rest of us.
      I think that Jessica is correct to say that some people with ASPD want to be happy and loved. That was true for both of the women I dated. Unfortunately, their pathology caused them to behave in ways that were counterproductive to loving relationships.

      But all of that is only my opinion.

      • This blog isn’t about ASPD; it’s about psychopathy.

        While many psychopaths (but not all) have traits of ASPD, most people with ASPD are not psychopathic.

        The women you describe — who want to be “happy and loved” — are not psychopaths, and neither is Jessica. She might have Asperger’s Syndrome or possibly ASPD, but definitely not psychopathy. If she were a psychopath, she would have no ability to love.

        Study finds psychopaths have distinct brain structure

        “Diagnostic confusion about psychopathy and ASPD has the potential for harming psychiatric patients and society as well.” Dr. Robert Hare

        Thank you for your comment!

  2. Thank you for a brilliant and concise definition of a psychopath. This information is the best I have seen on this topic. I came her looking for validation that my spouse fits this mold – having read books on the subject, numerous web sites and articles, but this site brought it all together. I now know I am not crazy. Thank you

  3. A Question follows at the end of this post.
    I ended my relationship multiple times :-) over the last 2 years of many . I have been involved, off and on, :-) , with a psychopath for at least 4.5 years.
    I originally thought, after realizing that my ‘gut’ was talking to me, that I was dealing with a narcissist. I began reading…lots! A year of reading and giving him the benefit of doubt, led me to psychopathy. Hence, another year of reading, doing my best to keep my distance, licking my wounds and gaining strength.

    With insight gained, I have been able to separate from him with a small level of his trust. Mostly he finds it difficult to not brag. I call it “giving himself away”. He doesn’t reveal a plan (though he did previously, when I was (ignorant ) but he does share his “job’s”. Jobs are aside from his first line of work as a public adjuster. Also an airtraffic controller. His jobs: He paints homes!

    Through his sharing about “jobs” I know that he has 2 women targets in process. One of the women had a terminally ill husband. That husband died 2 weeks ago. My psycho is going to make his move on her in the next day or so. Though I assume that he has already laid the ground-work.

    I know my psycho’s family. I’ve known them 15 years before I knew my psycho. I am, in no way, concerned about my relationship with them, whatever I decide.

    I feel compelled to warn his next victim. I do not know her personally. I know where she lives and land line phone.
    Do I approach this next victim? Do I call from phone-booth and warn her? Send email? Send regular mail with printed info about psychopathy?

    My heart is heavy with this. Which is exactly the empathy that allowed me to be gullible in the first place.

    Any words, suggestions, insight will be of enormous help.

    • DON’T DO IT!!! How’s that for a suggestion?

      Here’s why:

      If he has already “laid the groundwork” and is ready to make his move, it’s already way too late for her.

      Think about it — think back to when you were falling in love with him. Would you have just walked away because you got an anonymous call or letter? Or would you have disregarded it, or thought is was from some jealous crazy ex, OR MAYBE EVEN SAID TO HIM, “I got the strangest phone call today…” This last scenario is the one you have to worry about most! You may be anonymous to her, BUT YOU WON’T BE TO HIM! And if he is truly a psychopath, you have absolutely no way of predicting what he will do next. You will live in fear. And rightfully so!

      I totally understand your feelings, but stop and consider whether your action will truly have any result, or if it will only serve to make you afraid for your life.

      If he’s already hooked her, wild horses will not stop her from wanting him.

      If you do act, if will make you feel better for all of 5 seconds before fear sets in.

      Good luck with this.

  4. That’s an inaccurate post based on your own sentiments of rejection. Everybody is different even those born differently, they want to love, can see its effects on T.V and reflected in the lives of those around them.
    Life is about filling this need, finding this experience, finding the one. At the start of the relationship they truley believe that this is the one. It’s not seeking a target or a victim they’re drawn by genuine desire.
    Unfortunately the feelings they are searching for will never be realized, it’s not weakness they’re looking for but due to their own weaknesses and manipulative nature they can sense it.
    After the relationship is over they look back, think why did I let that go, why didn’t they appreciate how happy they were.
    They lead an empty life, always looking for something but never knowing or being able to find it, constantly alienating those they are close to.

  5. I am a victim of a psychopath, never imagined that I would experience this. We meet he was everything I could imagine. Showered me with gifts, love, attention. He was a business man. Six figures! He thought I was madly in love, but on the other hand. I knew something was not right cause he had me like a puppet. He started pulling BACK no attention. Stop answering the phone. Excuses… I was so hurt. Felt lost, did not want to continue my life.. that was love bombing!! I stop going to church, I was delivered when I said I need help. Went to church got prayer, and it was broken after a few visit. I still did not come to the knowledge of the man behind a psychopath. I tried to go back but I did not feel the same. God broke the deception. Then a friend of mine said love bomb. I did research. And I was crushed but nothing like I was before PRAYER. The seen who he was. I even text him revealing I know WHAT you’re about. But a person like this has no care. I just pray God will reveal him to other. THAT he will not be able to manipulate, control another. That the mask comes off and he stop. But you can’t do people wrong and expect happiness to happen in your life. You reap what you sow. I’m delivered and set free.

  6. I think I am being manipulated, and I have fallen hard,
    our most recent communications by text after an arguement I didnt know was happening:
    Me: Do you still hate me?

    Partner: Quite a bit! twas unreasonable. Were u like that permanantly with ur ex’s? very Pauline esk (pauline being ex girlfriend)

    Me: It hurts. And you know I love you, I have been chucked out like Pauline! You see me as a bad person that doesnt deserve to be loved?

    Partner: What? who said that. I certainaly saw a vicious side, and didnt like it.

    Me: we all have that side if we feel we are being attacked or being made to feel stupid. What did I actually say…. that the fire in London was in a bakers a stupid thing to say possibly, but not viscious. You told me to fuck off- you weren’t joking! what I said didnt mean to come out harsh or hurtful.
    Partner: Ok. As u wish.
    Me: What do mean by that please explain?
    Just as you think. in otherwords, I think ur wrong. But im not arguing with you…my life is too short.
    Let me cool down.
    Me: Ok
    Me: Can I talk with you yet?
    Me: will you please tell me whats going on
    Me: why would I mean to hurt one of the most important people in my life. I wish I could be perfect.
    Partner: I need a break. simple..
    Me: For how long? And does that mean a total break? it seems so major. How can you hate me so much when we loved each other so much yesterday?
    Partner: Dont b so romantic. a break, means. A time of reflection…u shocked me, with ur look… and ur anger.
    Me: I didnt realise. i looked so angry. i romantic? i love you deeply. more than i have anyone else. therefore this silence is frightening, because when these deep feelings emerge i get hurt.
    Partner: Really? go and look angry, in a mirror. Sit down take your time. Then look. tel me wat u see.
    Me: Your evaluation of me does it mean you dont see a future for us?
    Not exactly….Just different
    (conversation goes on phone call)
    Next morning it continues similar tack accept he follows by
    this comment
    Partner: Yes. I do love you. you arse. x
    Me: I love you more than you will ever know x
    Partner:Just saw Daphne and Niles, having a suprise dinner on the roof of their tower block…with candles, and Frazier the waiter… and thought of us x
    Please advise I think I am being manipulated and I am very fragile emotionally and need your advise

    • First, I’m sorry you’re so distraught.
      You are the only one who can tell if you’re being manipulated. The following list of signs will help you to figure it out, and there’s a link to the blog post below it.If you’re often feeling like you are now, then something is definitely not right. And if you’re “just like Pauline,” that makes me wonder what part he’s playing in that. Also, he’s taking the focus off of himself and placing it on your reaction (anger), which can be a red flag.

      Here’s the list of signs you’re being manipulated:

      Your joy at finding love has turned into the fear of losing it. This is known as the “manipulative shift.” You will start feeling stressed at this point.
      Sometimes s/he gives you a lot of attention and love, and sometimes he gives you the cold shoulder for no reason. You’re left wondering what you’ve done wrong.
      Your feelings have gone from happiness and euphoria to anxiety, sadness and even desperation.
      Your relationship feels very complex, although you may not be sure why.
      You obsess about the relationship almost constantly.
      You never feel sure of where you stand with your partner; you feel you’re in a constant state of uncertainty and anxiety.
      You feel confused about the relationship and frequently ask your partner what’s wrong. He becomes angry or frustrated and he consistently denies responsibility for any problems.
      You feel that you just don’t know how to make him happy.
      You may frequently feel angry and resentful toward your partner, yet are not allowed to express it. Communication feels restricted or even forbidden, causing feelings of extreme frustration and even hostility.
      You feel inadequate. You don’t feel as good about yourself as you did before the relationship.
      Your emotions and moods are controlled by your partner’s words and actions.

      How to tell if you’re being manipulated

      Also, here’s some good reading about the silent treatment: http://www.powercommunicating.com/

      Good luck to you.

  7. I understand that psychopaths don’t feel love or empathy despite our culture’s sudden attraction to them and the dangerous message that they’re just misunderstood and can somehow be fixed with love or understanding or other such nonsense. My question is this: can a psychopath become attached to a person? Say the way a normal person can be attached to aninanimate object? Just a desire to have a particular person (other than a child who would be seen as an extension of themselves) around and attempt to moderate their behavior so the person won’t leave?

    • Good question. I’ll answer it from what I know.

      Psychopaths see humans exactly as they see inanimate objects. One of the most chilling things I ever read was a psychopath’s description of how a chair is made of wood and screws and glue, and how a child is made of blood and cells and bone. No difference to him at all.

      They can become enamored with a person (as an inanimate object, but only for a very short period of time, because a human is…well, human…and their “weaknesses” will start to show quickly) and then the psychopath is done with them (although he may not be done with them completely). And he will put them out in the trash JUST as he would a chair he was tired of.

      “Attached” is a strong word, and one I don’t believe is in a psychopath’s dictionary. Momentarily enthralled (because of what he can get) is more like it.

      • Sociopaths can form attachments like the one you described and sociopaths can seem like psychopaths but they tend to be slightly disorganized whereas psychopaths tend to be very neat and careful.

  8. My question is can a clinical psychologist also be a psychopath? Can someone who cares for others be so uncaring, indifferent and manipulative towards people who love them? Virtually everything I read here resonates with me about the person I was involved with until they discarded me.

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