Although many people think psychopaths are serial killers and mass murderers, it’s actually a term used for a personality type who fulfil basic non-violent criteria.

Psychopaths are all around us, including our politicians, local business men & women and that person you sat next to on the bus this morning. Anybody can be a psychopath. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to go and commit serious crimes any time soon.

In fact, only 20-25% of prisoners are psychopaths. This means that the term really doesn’t have anything to do with having a violent or criminal nature.

So what actually makes somebody a psychopath? Well, traits such as being very charismatic and charming, having little to no empathy and a grandiose sense of self-worth are clues that somebody is a psychopath. But generally, they can be quite difficult to spot.

The best way to explain a psychopath is to say that they are master manipulators who can modify their own personalities and behaviours in order to become exactly the person you want them to be.

Here are some things psychopaths commonly say to manipulate you into thinking you’re going crazy:

1. “You read too much into everything.”

If you have certain suspicions and somebody tells you that you are reading too much into it, they may be right. However, if you’re right about a psychopath and they’re telling you that you are over-analysing something, more often than not, they’re manipulating you into thinking you’re the one in the wrong so that they can get away with whatever it is you’re suspecting them of.

For example, they may intentionally flirt with somebody in front of you. Then, when you react the way they knew you would, they tell you that you’re overreacting and reading too much into the situation. Whether they do it purposefully or not, psychopaths are often making you feel insecure about things, then blaming you for that anxiety.

2. “I hate drama, you’re always arguing”

Psychopaths are perpetually bored, so they create drama and problems within relationships just to stir things up a bit. Then, once you react to certain things they’ve caused, they accuse you of starting drama and/or always wanting to argue. Again, they may not be consciously doing this, but it’s a pattern of behaviour that will play on repeat throughout the relationship.

3. “You’re crazy”

A psychopath will often do things to stir up trouble, plant seeds of doubt in your mind and leave you feeling insecure about yourself and your relationship. Then they’ll call you crazy for reacting to it.

A prime example is they will plant seeds of doubt that they are texting other people. So when you happen to glance at their texts to reassure yourself, they notice and call you out on it. They will claim that you are crazy and/or controlling. Pay close attention to the way they speak about their exes in this scenario, as it can give you a big hint to the way they behave.

Psychopaths are master manipulators and without consciously meaning to, they can create endless problems in your life. If you have somebody who is currently making you feel any of the above, it may well be time to assess your relationship. Let me know in the comments if you can identify with any of these points or if you have any of your own to add.


Christina Lawson, B.A.

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