“Damned if you do, bored if you don’t.”


The thought of a bored psychopath is kind of scary. And yet the thought of a psychopath who isn’t bored is kind of scary, too. Seriously, though, psychopaths have a real problem with boredom. They become bored very easily, and they can’t tolerate it.

Boredom is an ongoing ‘mood’ in a psychopath’s life, one they are constantly trying to relieve. And relieve it they will, in one way or another.

Why do psychopaths become bored so easily?

They require intense stimulation in order to feel anything, to become excited, or to have fun. Because of this, nothing is really satisfying and nothing can keep their interest for very long. Their restless, relentless search for the stimulation they need is an ongoing pursuit. It hounds them continually, like the meaningless and destructive drive of an addiction.

For us, boredom is usually experienced as a passing mood of impatience and dissatisfaction, along with a vague want of something unknown. We find thoughts or activities that fill the moment.

In contrast, the conscious experience of boredom in the psychopath is a complex emotional state, one of the few they can feel. It is both chronic and acute. Psychopathic boredom is described as a continual restless and dysphoric feeling, acted out through aggressive and hypomanic activity. They experience boredom as a sense of restlessness and emptiness that is ever-present.

Boredom is felt intensely during idle moments when psychopaths have exhausted their ‘supply’ and are left by themselves after their existing sources (victims) have been devalued. During these times, the psychopath goes on an aggressive pursuit for more. Since they have no conscience, they are uninhibited in their search for relief.

When a psychopath is bored, he may recognize that his grandiosity is only an illusion. This recognition is unbearable, according to Reid Meloy, PhD., and he experiences a need for immediate and aggressive gratification to restore his grandiosity.

Psychopaths experience chronic boredom because they empty the world of meaningful relationships through devaluation.

‘Need for Stimulation/Proneness to Boredom’ is an item on the Psychopathy Checklist, a diagnostic scale that measures the presence and severity of psychopathy.

How do psychopaths themselves describe their experience of boredom?

Here is one psychopath’s description:

So what’s my problem? As I fiddle with the Sharpie in my mouth, twisting and scraping it against my canines, I ponder my own question. What is my problem? I can’t imagine what could be bothering me. Maybe it’s just the weather.

Some people sob at the softest mention of cancer within. All I can say is there is a much more sinister disease burbling in this demonic blood of mine: Boredom. And it afflicts me. Rotting my eyeballs inside, then out. Setting my skin on fire and then dousing it with ice…

Boredom is the Devil and I am fucking possessed.”

Quote from Sociopath’s Domain (Warning: Readers may find this material disturbing)

And another:

“The words ‘uninspired’ and ‘restless’ describe very well what I call boredom.

To them it looks like I am easily bored, but to me it looks very different. They think I get bored because I have a shallow emotional life and need stronger impact from sensations because of this.

But what they call ‘bored,’ I call a greater need for inspiration.”

Quote from Psychopathic Writings (Warning: Readers may find this material disturbing)

As victims, we were just temporary relief from the psychopath’s crushing boredom. We provided a bit of the ‘inspiration’ needed to relieve their endless ennui, and we restored their sense of grandiosity. Nothing more than that.



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