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 article, The 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
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.