The Big List of Psychopathy Characteristics, Part 3



Part 3

The Big List of Psychopathy Characteristics.

What you’ve seen so far in the first two lists is what lies beneath the psychopath’s ‘mask,’ or persona. It’s what the psychopath is trying so hard to hide. But that mask will crack every now and then, and when it does you get glimpses of what really lies beneath.

I’ve heard several psychopaths say that it’s really quite difficult and frustrating to have to maintain such an elaborate facade, and to do so over an extended period of time. They may be good actors, but imagine playing a role each and every day of your life. Imagine having to be “in character” during every single interaction with another person. Because of this, the truth comes out. And when it does, the psychopath’s words and actions point to what he’s really thinking and feeling.

Here’s a quote:

“Wearing a mask 365 days a year is difficult. The masks a psychopath must wear are just as chafing as any real one. All masks are stifling, and it doesn’t take long to feel that itch that can encompass you like wildfire. Skin rubbing and scraping against this superficial identity…It’s no surprise the temptation to tear it off is powerful. The effort of sustaining a semblance of normalcy is beyond comprehension. I’m positive this build-up of frustration, irritation, ire — is what lends us toward acting more sinisterly when backs are turned. Being ‘good’ is a pain in the ass. A little contrast can be refreshing.” ~ ZKM


Even so, we doubt what we’ve experienced because it doesn’t fit with who we believe this person to be. And it’s just hard to believe in general — it seems no one could actually think and feel such things. But at some point there is too much evidence to deny, not the least of which is the detrimental effect the relationship is having on us. At that point we do some digging, and we find out about psychopathy. The light bulb goes on.

The characteristics of psychopathy are divided into three groups: Cognitive (thought), affective (emotion), and behavior (actions).

So far, Part 1 covered the psychopath’s cognitive characteristics, and Part 2 covered his emotional characteristics. Today we cover behavioral characteristics.


47 Behavioral Characteristics (Attitudes and Actions) of the Psychopath


Hides his real intentions.

Risk-taking — The psychopath needs a lot of stimulation, and one way to get it is to take risks. He’s also fearless, which helps. A psychopath can engage in risky behavior sexually, financially, criminally, or in other ways.

No regard for safety — either his own or someone else’s. One example that springs to mind is the psychopathic neuroscientist, James Fallon, taking his young son fishing in Africa right next to a “Beware of Lions” sign (while the rest of his family cowered in the car).



Glib — A smooth talker. Fluent and verbose, but insincere.

Intense goal-directed behavior — Once he starts working toward a goal, he will rigidly continue toward it regardless of the possibility of being punished or of some other bad outcome. When a psychopath “locks on” to a target, his focus and attention become very narrow, and he fails to see anything in the periphery that might stop him. When psychopaths have a target in their sites and a goal of conquering it, they will stop at nothing (someone else will have to stop them). That goal could be duping you into a relationship, getting custody of the kids to hurt you, conning you out of your money, robbing a bank, or murdering someone. Unstoppable in his intentions.

Plays dirty in order to ‘win’ — Lying, cheating, manipulation and violence are tactics the psychopath uses to get what he wants.


Polite, respectful, even gracious as a facade, of course.

Defiant — because no one has the right to tell him what to do.


Arrogant — Displays an exaggerated sense of his own importance or abilities.

Expansive — Displays a grandiose or superior attitude. Acts as if his or her presence is the best thing in your life. May sometimes behave grandly or lavishly.



Not trustworthy.

Persuasive — Uses any and all means of persuasion to get what he wants.


Controlling — very, very controlling. Has to be in absolute control.

Thrives under pressure.

Relaxed — the psychopath isn’t the nervous, antsy type, because he doesn’t experience anxiety or feel stress. This was one of the things that attracted me to the psychopath I knew — he was so relaxed and so laid-back, that it rubbed off on me. Being with him felt like taking Xanax.

Smooth operator.

Treats other people like inanimate objects that only exist to be used and manipulated.

Abandons others and forgets them when someone more interesting comes along.

Out-of-Bounds — Sometimes his behavior is so outrageous and goes so far beyond the bounds of normalcy that you’re left stunned.

Sometimes violent with no hesitation if other tactics aren’t working.


Rages and tantrums.

Must have freedom — it is imperative. He will pretend to be in a committed relationship with you, but in actuality he will go out and cheat on you whenever he damn well feels like it.

Imposes, intrudes and invades.

Lies constantly — but will also tell the truth, if it works just as well.




Gathers material goods that mean nothing except to show off his status and power.

Shows no mercy to people or animals.

Cruel to others, especially the weak or those he sees as weak, which is just about everyone.

No differentiation between victims — since he dehumanizes others and does not see their individuality, we’re all the same to him — easily replaceable.

Loves praise and flattery.

Humiliates others.

Belittles others.

Critical of others.

Can’t resist temptation, at least not for long. Because he is so calculating, he can wait until the time is right. But he will eventually give in.

Cruel to animals.

Breaks promises.

Confides in no one.




Because the psychopath feels no fear and has no superego (conscience), he is completely uninhibited. He’ll say or do anything to get what he wants.

So there you have it, the Big List of Psychopathy Characteristics! 


Related Posts

“Such a great gem. One of my favorite books about this subject as the author paints such a clear picture of what these relationships are like.”

“Practical, concise, well-written and researched. Everyone should have a copy of this book. In fact, they should give one to every high school student. That would prevent a lot of people from getting involved in ‘?relationships’? with these hidden, manipulative predators. An easy five stars, I wish I could give it a hundred!”

21 thoughts on “The Big List of Psychopathy Characteristics, Part 3”

  1. zsa zsa

    Thanks for this! Your blog ROCKS! Best info on psychopathy I have found, hands-down.

    1. Admin

      Thanks, zsa zsa!

  2. Nearlybel

    Incredible, and you so deserve a holiday, xxx what you are doing is such a massive service to us all, (humankind)
    And as I read the 3 lists, and as I acknowledged some of the characteristics I have myself, I did think I was a psychopath at one stage in recovery, (my therapist reassured me not) but I now notice, how he used ( and abused) these characteristics/ traits in me. And all for his own, advantage. His business, his place in society, his family, this as well as all the personal ‘wins’he had over me and the children.
    It wouldn’t have happened without me doing, supporting, enabling him. And if ever I pointed all that I had done for him ‘ well I didn’t ask you’
    Hmmm sometimes I really do feel as stupid as many professionals
    ( especially legal) think I am. But it was productive, it was good for all. Something these psychopaths in the military, finance, politics, legal, business, medicine, health, our families, our beds have no comprehension of.
    Admin, You so deserve all the good that is yet to come to ye, the work you have done is invaluable, thank you xxx

    1. Admin

      Thank you so much, Nearlybel. I truly appreciate it. I planned to publish these lists a week apart, but you said you couldn’t wait, so here they are.


  3. Dav

    Nearltbel, The Sociopath in my life used my weakness against me as well. He was also in business as well, we were partners. I believe he did know how to act in large meetings and did not know how to treat employees. So he used me and watched me to see how I did it. I believe he used me when it came to his family also. I became close with his family. (thinking we were friends) I was around everyday. I treated his children as if they were my own. I supported him always. And when he was ready, I was forced out of the company and out of his life. I did know any warnings, until sights like this one.
    Thank you for all the hard work to help me realize it was not me but him. I am sure he will get everything he ever wants in life but to the cost of good people.

    1. Admin

      He may get everything he wants, but by doing it in such a soulless and destructive way, it is rendered meaningless. Sure, it doesn’t make a difference to him — but to all that’s good in the world, it makes a difference. They think they’re winning, but in fact they play an empty game and they lose every time.

  4. Nearlybel

    Hey Dav, that’s exactly what they do, they use our ‘weaknesses’ to disarm, disable, and destroy us. And they abuse our ‘strengths’ to their own advantages. I walked away from family home, he ‘sacked’ me from the business, he stole 20 years of my life and my savings but i am still standing, the children are with me. I now use my ‘weakness’ against him. I use my understanding about him ( thank you admin) and will not tolerate his behaviour, I speak out about his behaviour, to family and friends, and care not if they do not. I speak the truth in court, whether it ‘works’ for us or not. It’s not easy this journey, and there were many one step forwards and 10 back. And many a day I spent in bed, recovering and healing. But our strengths, and our vulnerablitys will get us through, because we are human. Stay true to you Dav and you and yours will come through all good luck to ye xxx

  5. Nooni

    Hello Admin – thanks for the three great lists!!!! I’m sure they will will benefit many people, who can educate themselves in advance, or while already involved. All the best to you!!!!

    1. Admin

      All the best to you, too, Nooni :-)

  6. gia

    3 months no contact. as I read the blog and as many books as possible, I cant help but be sick to my stomach. yet I cant stop reading, he is textbook case. thank you for these blogs. I wonder when I will not have to look over my shoulder everytime I leave the house.

    1. Admin

      Congratulations on 3 months no contact! I’m glad the blog is helping you. I remember those days of looking over my shoulder. Keep moving forward, and with time and effort things will slowly start to get better. In the meantime, take care of yourself, OK?

  7. ScienceGal

    Great list, but what are your sources? Why aren’t references cited properly as they should be? I’m in academia, and when I write a research paper I have to cite my sources.

    1. Admin

      If you’re in academia, as you say you are, then you should understand the following:

      The content of this list is considered ‘common knowledge.’ In other words, every item on this list can be found in many places. As such, no citations are needed. If an item could only be found in one place, then a citation would be required. Quotes require a citation, and I always give them one.

      OK, ‘Professor’? Please go easy with that grade now that you understand how it’s done.

  8. Reality

    Hi Admin.

    the academic member that has commented about citations should know that
    1. your blog is a blog, not a scientific textso there is no obligation to put citations everywhere.
    2. Your blog is full ( i mean really full) of sources where all these characteristics of psycopathy that you mention can easily be found if somebody puts a small effort to look for.
    3. other people also are in academia but not brag about this especially when they comment about the work of another individual . it is called at least “good manners”.

    again congratulations dear admin , for your hard and enlighting work which can really help a lot of people.

    and i personally like the new form that you gave in your blog.


    1. Admin

      Thank you very much, Reality, for sticking up for me and for your kind words. That commenter must have been from the Scientific Peer Review Committee (Mobile Division), dispatched into the blogosphere by the leading institutions of higher learning to root out violations of its citation guidelines…or maybe not.

      I’m having some difficulties with this new design software, so more changes may be on the way…we shall see…

  9. reality

    hi admin.
    i find this new form of the blog okay and i became familiar to the most of it. i want to say that what gives me personally a little hard time is that i feel a little too dense the text. i mean that maybe it would be more easy for the eye to read the text if the gap between two succesive written lines were a little wider.


    1. Admin

      Thank you, my dear. I’m playing with some different fonts and spacing now. Would you please check in a couple of hours, if you can, and let me know what you think?

  10. Reality

    hi again admin,

    i think that i personally prefare when the spacing between the written lines is between 1,15-1,5. I cannot see what you use in this current page but as i see it i think that it is around this. also i think the good scale is maybe 10-11 so that the text will not look too ” agreesive ” ot too big for the reader. i am sure you will find something that you like and it is beautyful. Actually , the way i see the form now that i write the comment is quite okay.


    1. Admin

      Thank you for your input! I was able to increase the space between the paragraphs, but I’m not sure I increased the space between the lines of text, although I tried. It only worked within the bulleted lists. I have to contact the developers about this tomorrow. When you say the text is too aggressive, are you speaking of the font size? I made it quite large, thinking of people who have a visual deficit. The nurse in me, I guess :-) I kept the same font after trying several different ones. Thanks again for your help. It’s been quite a project to re-design the website! I like it, yet at the same time I miss the coziness of the old site. The software was old and no longer working properly, and since I had to make a change I decided to make a big one!

  11. Reality

    dear admin , the fond could be a little smaller in size but it is also okay like this. when i said agressive i meant the general picture you get and i think it is mainly due to the density of the paragraph.


    1. Admin

      Oh, I see. You know, I’ve looked at it in 4 different browsers and the text is a different size in each one!

      There definitely needs to be more space between the lines. The extra space between the paragraphs has helped, though.

      Thanks, Reality!

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