10 Signs A Psychopath Is Targeting You

6. Psychopaths Will Try To Use You

The end goal of a psychopath is to get something from you. Many times, this is simply to watch you die, or to rape and sexually humiliate you. Other times, it can involve manipulating you into achieving their goals. This usually happens in the workplace, and there have been many examples of it. One example was again detailed in John Clarke’s Working With Monsters: How To Identify And Protect Yourself From Workplace Psychopaths. 

John Clarke talks about a situation where the psychopath he studied, Wayne, used his employees. He would bully and humiliate his workers for creating “substandard” work, and then he would turn that same work in, claiming it was his own. This is just one example that perfectly details the kind of manipulation that’s common among psychopaths.

7. You Might Never See A Psychopath Coming

The most disturbing thing about psychopaths might well be their ability to blend in. This makes them difficult, if not impossible to detect. We’ve already talked about how psychopaths can reach high levels in the corporate hierarchical structure. But there are many examples of other well known people in history that have since been identified as exhibiting psychopathic behaviors. One example discussed in an article about “successful psychopaths” was Lyndon B. Johnson, ex-president of the United States. He is well-known for manipulating many people and doing whatever it took in his quest for power. Some even suggest that he might have been responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy.

The point is, you might not be able to tell if someone is a psychopath. Remember, they can appear anywhere, even in positions of power and responsibility; positions that are supposed to be occupied by people that can you can trust. In fact, I would go one step further and say that psychopaths can appear anywhere – especially in positions of power. Because as you probably know by now, psychopaths are drawn to power more than anything.

8. A Psychopath Will Talk In A Certain Way

Another key feature of psychopaths is impulsiveness. This is another factor proposed in the articleThe Psychopath: Emotion And The Brain. Psychopaths have trouble controlling their desires, and this can manifest itself in a very visible way. Psychopaths often seem very impulsive, and are unable to focus on one thing for a long time, especially if they are attracted to numerous things at once. This can become obvious in the way a psychopath talks and communicates.

John Clarke points out a great example of this in his book, Working With Monsters: How To Identify And Protect Yourself From Workplace Psychopaths. The psychopath he studied, Wayne, had a very distinct way of speaking. He would shift rapidly from one topic to another, which would confuse people. But John Clarke pointed out this wasn’t just an accident, or a result of Wayne not being able to control his impulses. This was a deliberate effort to confuse his victims, and to portray himself as an expert in many areas – when in reality, he only knew one or two things about each subject.

9. Learned Helplessness

“Learned Helpless” is an interesting phenomenon. It’s defined as “a condition in which a person suffers from a sense of powerlessness, arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure to succeed. It is thought to be one of the underlying causes of depression.” This is a commonly used tactic by psychopaths to psychologically “break people.” If you can instigate learned helplessness in someone, it will destroy their self-esteem, and deeply humiliate them.

But how do you force someone to experience learned helplessness? John Clarke shows a stunning example in Working With Monsters: How To Identify And Protect Yourself From Workplace Psychopaths. Wayne would assign his employees tasks that he knew were impossible. Then, when they had devoted hours and hours to completing this impossible task, he would tell them that it was too late and all their work had been for nothing. This would humiliate them and break them psychologically. This is one thing to look out for if you think you’re dealing with a psychopath, especially in the workplace.

10. They Will Isolate You

by Jessica-Art

Another thing that psychopaths will often try to do is to get you alone. This is because psychopaths can better manipulate you or harm you when you’re in a one-on-one setting. They know that individuals, especially shy ones, will be more submissive and more likely to obey when they don’t have the safety of others to turn to. In addition, psychopaths know that they’re more likely to get away with their crimes if no one is watching.

John Clarke talks about this extensively in his aforementioned book. In one situation, he talks about Wayne bringing his shy female assistants with him on business trips, where he knew they would be more likely to accept sexual advances out of fear – both of losing her job and of Wayne himself. The fear was heightened because they were alone together. This is something you really need to look out for when dealing with psychopaths.

Do you know anyone with at least 5 or more of these signs? Let us know in the comments below. 


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  1. Great article! Everything about this article was well done. I liked the way you open this article about how to really spot a psychopath and questions like how do I tell if a psychopath is targeting me or not? You also did a great job at providing appropriate evidence that ultimately back up your facts. On top of that you also opened my eyes to an interesting book that Ill have to check up on. Keep up the good work.

  2. This was a great article and really informative. This is such an important topic to cover, and should definitely be discussed more. Psychopaths aren’t always like the ones you see in movies, there are psychopaths we encounter in daily life as well. All of the information in this article was great, I loved that it explained how to spot a psychopath so people can watch out for the signs. I would be curious if there are specific things you can do when dealing with a psychopath though to keep yourself safe.
    Over all, it was written really well and very intriguing and informative!

  3. This article may have been informative but I think the basis of the information was a little unrealistic. The thing about a psychopath is that they operate not to be detected by their prey. If you are being targeted by a psychopath the chances are very low that you’re actually going to realize it until its too late. These are like “third- person” signs. These are signs someone from the outside can see. The way the article is worded makes me feel like these should be “Second-person” signs or signs that “you” can see. A person being targeted by a psychopath will not be able to see these signs, same as the people of Jonestown could not see the signs until it was too late.

    1. I completely agree with you !! These signs may be facts about psychopath, but I don’t see how some of them could be used to protect yourself.

  4. This is not a topic I have ever read about before, so this was a very interesting read. Most people don’t think about the fact that psychopaths are more than just villains in books and movies. I have never actually considered the idea that I may have met one at some point in my life. That being said, I feel like there are certain parts of this article that could be rewritten more eloquently, one instance that stands out being the blunt usage of the phrase “watch you die.” Although this may be true, a less blunt approach to the topic will be more inviting to the reader. Also, although there were multiple sources used, the repetitive use of John Clarke’s book makes this article start to feel like a paper analyzing his work towards the end. I would recommend using his data more sparingly. Another thing I would change would be the images used. They feel a bit too creepy and horror movie-esque for the topic. Lastly, I think the inclusion of the conspiracy theory that Johnson had anything to do with Kennedy’s assassination was completely unnecessary.

  5. These traits overlap with what I’ve read to be traits of domestic abusers and malignant narcassists. I believe that the general notion is that a narcassist may not be a psychopath, but a psychopath is narcissistic. It’s a little unfathomable to me how it is that something so volatile as the possession and illusion of power
    control is to dysfunctional behavior.

    You did a great job with explaining each trait. I noticed that you didn’t mention empathy, or behaviors that would be subtle cues of lack of empathy, such as not picking up a yawn.

    Do you believe that not being susceptible to yawning is a useful indicator for possible psychopathy?

  6. Covered psychopathic modus operandi that aren’t generally known! I am a true crime conisseur & have read profiler books, familiar with DSM manual etc, and the inclusiveness was a big surprise to me! I was once married to a sociopath who confused me so much , I had to record everything I said! I really liked the emphasis about how they are everywhere!
    What I learned from my ex sociopathic spouse is do not trust those who seem perfect, aka Bundy!
    Nobody has it all !
    I agree with some of the other comments regarding writing errors, however, the content and explanations are so strong that these errors didn’t take away from the worth of the article!

  7. JIt happened to me an independent well educated and well traveled woman. I felt very confident, and despite it all I was conned by a very attractive, intelłigegent man who took me foy

  8. An interesting read. I liked the clear way the text was written in, though I would have appreciated less of the repetitive mention of John Clarke’s book. It would have been fine enough if you’d mentioned it perhaps twice, and then after that just referred to John Clarke, and continue on with what he wrote. Having the title of the book repeated so often almost made it sound like it was being advertised to us, instead of simply putting it out there as a reference point.

    I would have also liked to read about the neurological differences in a person that would make them stand out and be considered psychopathic, even if it would just be a short paragraph; that way there might be a better understanding of the motives/reasons behind the points mentioned in this article [or perhaps in general merely explain what is psychopathy first].

    Otherwise, a pleasantly short, albeit general, view on how to spot psychopaths.

  9. I like the way this article was presented, with the images along with the text. However, psychopaths aren’t all dangerous or bad. Psychopathy is a personality disorder, and there are traits that can actually help people in their lives. Note, “The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success.” By Andy McNab and Kevin Dutton for information on this.

    1. I agree with what you’re saying. Many of the world’s most successful people probably had or have psychopathic personality disorder. This article was meant to me guide to spot when and IF a psychopath becomes dangerous. It is implied that the psychopath has already become a danger – we’re excluding “good” psychopaths from the discussion here right from the get go. But maybe I should have made that clearer.

  10. I wonder what country the author of this article is from ? 🙂 I am interested because, depending on where you live, the diagnosis criteria defining a psychopath may really vary ! For example, “american psychopaths” have nothing to do with the french ones. The cultures are very different, so signs do not express themselves in the same way, and the pathologies themselves may not refer to the same things.
    This could explain why I felt confused while reading this article : in my country, we hear about psychopaths in fiction, but they do not seem to be “everywhere”, and we see way more victims from abusive sociopaths than from psychopaths (but maybe there are countries where the two things are considered the same ?)

      1. Okay thanks ! I guess Canadian theory is close to the U.S. one, then ! 🙂

  11. This was an interesting article, and I liked how there were examples of when a psychopath was exhibiting different traits. It might be useful to add possible ways to get away from a psychopath in the workplace.

  12. I liked the detail and the examples that were used to illustrate the different signs of a psychopath. They kept me engaged and made things much more relevant. Although, I would suggest that if one main source is going to be used, to support every example or many of the examples given in the article, that it be written in the introduction. In that way, the reference does not need to be repeated in nearly every single paragraph describing a different idea. Additionally, I agree with the commentators that mentioned the distracting nature of the photographs used to increase engagement and emphasize the main idea of the particular signs of psychopathy. One or two striking photos would have been fine, but right now I seem to remember the ominous feeling of the photographs more than the actual sign they were referring to.

  13. I like this text, it’s good written, but I feel like sometimes it repeats too much? And the pictures aren’t really that fitting some are actually gross. Don’t turn this into a horror story. Psychopaths are still humen and some of the pictures are really unsuited and unprofessional in my opinion.

  14. Oddly enough, being in a relationship with one can really drive things awry. The funny thing about this is that once you see one, you’ll notice other ones more easily. That I’ve also seen as well, these kind of people are toxic to be around, normally through spreading of irrational and immoral behavior. These are the kind of people who always have an ulterior motive no matter what they say. They can even become fixated on you if they think of you as worth it. However, the one’s I’ve encountered hated and still hate to be confronted, especially when you know how to turn their tactics against them and stand firm, assuming you have to encounter them again.

  15. This describes my stalker. He’s a high powered Catholic priest, and has made my life a living hell for almost 4 years. Because of his position, nobody believes me. I’m crazy according to him. He’s vandalized my mother’s grave, my home (recently breaking in and vandalizing inside), there are so many flying monkey’s everywhere that I even had to leave the church, one pool, and he’s working on a second. The police are useless, because he’s so good at it, that I lack the physical evidence needed. Yeah, its going to end badly for me, and I don’t know how I’m going to stop him.

  16. This is a great article, watching Dirty John and stumbled on this, my mother an alcoholic got involved with a psychopath when i was a teenager. As you pointed out there was this extended period of grooming, he being the angel who is going to make all her fears dissipate and all her dreams come true. He spun a cocoon so thick around her i didn’t know how to reach her at the end. It was calculating and it took a year or two before his true colors came through. He isolated her and mentally broke her. I kept telling everyone there is something very wrong with him and to this day i can’t believe me and my sisters survived.
    He unfortunately murdered my mother, no proof (he had a friend in the police department) and i was 16 at the time but i know for a fact he murdered her. Just want to put this out there, i am sure not all psychopaths are killers but this man was, if you ever do come across someone like this please be careful they feed on fear and insecurity, it is an evil i still struggle to describe to this day and don’t wish it on my worst enemy. They spin this web of lies and deceit which is very difficult to get out of and at the end my mother was barely present.

  17. I have been a victim of a psychopath at my workplace. Psychopaths target sensitive innocent individuals only. They can spot them easily. They can fake tears if needed or play victim to first get attention of sensitive individuals.. They’ll first spot all your weaknesses and try to be a super hero by helping u out and then they’ll slowly exploit you . You’ll lose your job you’ll end up looking like the worst person you’ll lose your family even or get injured . No matter how much u try to avoid them they’ll find a way to keep u in their trap. They absolutely have no problem telling lies and manipulating, lying and manipulating is like their real job. Other human beings are like objects to them or pawns on a chess board. A psychopath will not have any feeling of love ,compassion or normal human feelings like feeling sorry for someone in pain. They enjoy making people cry.

  18. If you are the one being targeted or with a psychopath, you cannot protect yourself. Anything that you may detect as being even a little “off” will be eliminated by your psychopath by means of gaslighting. The psychopath will mentally and emotionally disable you to the point that you no longer have “self”. Your natural instincts, intuitions, natural gut feelings…poof..gone. You are no longer able to protect yourself or see things for what they are. They get you to this point, suck you dry as the parasite that they are and then they are done with you. They all have the potential to kill amongst other things. They do not have normal frontal lobe activity. They don’t think of consequences for their decisions, they have no boundaries and they dont bond or feel love.
    Married to one for almost 30 yrs. When he couldnt keep up his persona any longer..he bloomed out in all his monstrous glory. To my absolute horror learned of all the things he had done an was doing. He lived a completely double life. I developed severe PTSD from living with him. I can only hope one day I will recover enough to be capable of living a normal life.
    I read articles that say they can be helped, they can be “fixed”, you can spot them and here are the warning signs. They give you no warning signs until they’ve blinded you. No one with the in incapability of feeling human emotions, regarding consequences etc cannot be “fixed”. All they can do is mimic others to “seem” somewhat socially acceptable…and that’s it.

  19. Good article.
    The biggest key is that early indication that something is “off”. This is your gut instinct. It shows up right away, in the beginning, usually at the first meeting. It may be brief, and what happens is, at the same time, the charming and grooming begins. As a result, many people talk themselves out of that feeling. Why? Because there is seemingly an incongruence between the psychopaths words and the pyschopaths facade, and that warning feeling going off inside you, the target.
    Which will win? Your internal self or the manipulators self? Who will you listen to?
    Understand this. The Psychopath KNOWs they have to bypass this warning sense. So, they choose people who will likely bypass it and trust the psychopaths. This is what makes an easy target.

    NEVER, ever, bypass that gut feeling, no matter how brief. If you feel uneasy, if you feel like hunted prey, THAT is because you are.

    Did you know that foxes actually use a hunting tactic called “charming” to lure in prey? Study it carefully, because its what the psychopath is doing to you.

  20. My soon to be ex-husband of 24 years. Had I only known then. He learned all about me because of a circle of friends over the course of a couple years. By the time he asked me out, he had my number and was able to feign being “my soulmate.” By the time he started with little snippets of abuse, I was in too deep to be able to know what was happening. Years later our son would also become his victim. It’s almost like these psychopaths have an abuse manual that they follow. This needs to be more publicly taught so that people know what to look for as it’s becoming more common it seems.

  21. My sister exhibits ALL of the qualities mentioned. She has progressively destroyed our family over the years. It has taken me a long time to learn that she is a psychopath and that has lifted my confusion and also made me unbelievably angry and sad at the same time. It seems that there is no solution, no “cure” no redemption.


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