This article is designed purely for educational purposes and is not to say that any of the phrases discussed in this article means that you or anybody you might know, is a psychopath. If you suspect that you or somebody you know may be exhibiting psychopathic traits, confide in somebody you trust.
When you hear the word ‘Psychopath’, you instantly think about serial killers or characters made famous by Hollywood movies such as Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates. However, the fact of the matter is, psychopaths make up about 1% of the population as per Live Science (Tribune, 2017) however it is unlikely that you will ever come into contact with a full fledged psychopath.
Psychologists have a detailed behavioural inventory you can use to evaluate people for (non-criminal) psychopathy (Stillman, 2016). It includes things like grandiose dreams, an utter lack of remorse, and shallow emotions.
Author Jackson MacKenzie, who has written a book about dealing with psychopaths, points out specific behaviours that can class someone as a psychopath which will be explored in this article. Some of these phrases in this article may sound normal but are really red flags that you’re dealing with a psychopath.
1. “You misunderstood me.”
Psychopaths will purposely aggravate you and then accuse of you getting the incorrect information. Mackenzie states “This is called gaslighting – blatantly doing or saying something and then blaming the other party for misinterpreting it (or denying that it even took place)” (Tribune, 2017).
Gaslighting is a tactic generally used to make victims question their own sanity at the hands of the perpetrator. So if you hear phrases such as “You misunderstood me”, “You mush have heard me wrong” or “I never said that. You misheard me” then this could be an indicator that the person is using tactics to make you question yourself which could indicate psychopathic behaviour.
2. “You overanalyse things.”
Psychopaths will often use accusations which are designed to guilt in a victim instead of accepting responsibility. Mackenzie writes “Psychopaths aim to make you doubt your intuition by constantly planting hints to make you feel anxious and then blaming you for having that anxiety,” (Tribune, 2017). It will always be you who is blamed for overanalysing things or reading into things “too much” when actually, you have every reason to question the things which a psychopath says to you.
3. “You are crazy/jealous/in love with me”
Anyone who has a crush on a psychopath will be labelled as a crazy person who’s apparently in love with them (Tribune, 2017) even if that is not necessarily true. They will make out once again that you are the problem by the use of emotional manipulation. Mackenzie has a set of tricks to survive this: “No texts, calls, emails, or even Facebook friendships. Otherwise, you can guarantee they’ll do anything and everything in their power to make you feel/sound crazy.”
4. “You’re so sensitive”
People with psychopathic traits will push you to your breaking point but then call you “too sensitive” once you actually do break. According to MacKenzie, “Psychopaths manufacture emotions in others” (Tribune, 2017).
5. “I hate drama”
Often the most dramatic people are the ones who thrive on drama.; and this is true of the psychopath. MacKenzie wrote, “You’ll soon come to discover there’s more drama surrounding them than anyone you’ve ever known.” (Tribune, 2017). Psychopaths will deliberately make statements claiming that they “hate drama” in order to make it clear that they condone negative behaviour. In short, people who are genuinely drama free usually don’t have much occasion to talk about the subject, and when they do, they will direct the conversation to solutions, not patently false declarations (Stillman, 2016)
I hope you found this article useful and helps you get into the mindset of a psychopath. Psychopaths will have plenty of different phrases which they say so this article is not designed to highlight all of them. These phrases are also not always indicative of a psychopath.
Stay safe and watch this space for the next article 🙂
Stillman, J. (2016). 3 Things Psychopaths Always Say. Retrieved January 16, 2021, from Inc.com website: https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/3-things-psychopaths-always-say.html
Tribune. (2017). You might be a psychopath if you say these 5 things. Retrieved January 16, 2021, from The Express Tribune website: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1542777/might-psychopath-say-5-things