Who is the psychopath? How does a psychopath behave?
Psychopaths are people with shallow emotions, a complete inability to empathize and an absence of any sense of guilt. They are perfect manipulators and ruthlessly pursue their goals - at work and in relationships. Which is far worse.
A common but completely wrong idea is that this is a beastly Hannibal Lecter-type killer - on the contrary, they are usually very charming, witty and charming people - that's why you usually don't recognize them at all. If it happens to be, it's usually too late...
This blog and the next few will be from a slightly different barrel than what I have written so far. Actually, I was confirmed in this by the reactions of friends and acquaintances, to whom I had my texts read. Some of them had no idea that such a thing existed and began to recognize some of their acquaintances or family members in the descriptions.
In no way do I want to interfere with the work of psychologists, psychiatrists and the capacities of Dr. Radkin Honzák or František Koukolík. So, please take this as recommendations and advice from an amateur for other groping amateurs - a non-expert, but one who has had strong personal experience and fairly decent experience in the field. So I hope my view will be a little deeper than the popularly superficial articles on the internet. Many of these articles, including all kinds of Facebook groups, confuse psychopaths with sadists, nihilists, or depressed people. Or they are just fascinated by the word itself and don't know what is really hidden behind it.
I hope that my personal experiences and what I discovered in books when I researched the topic of psychopaths can help someone who has encountered such a personality - perhaps to understand earlier, to direct, to learn to fight, or just to see and the problem in to name your surroundings. It's definitely worth it because no one has the right to manipulate you and ruin your life.
We find psychopaths everywhere. Often, unfortunately, in leadership positions or in politics, where, thanks to the power they gain, they can commit the greatest evil - which unfortunately we are currently witnessing in the Czech Republic, but I don't want to write about that. They are perfectly functional machines for today's society, whose brains work differently than the rest of the population - they are not hindered by other people's emotions, feelings and needs, doubts and remorse - they have no conscience at all.
It is estimated that there are about 1% psychopaths living among us, but approximately 12% other people (including people close to them and you) tend to be influenced by them to the point of completely adopting their anti-social behavior and attitudes…
Warning finger - what are we actually looking for?
For those who have never met a psychopathic personality, these lines are probably just a description of something abstract and completely distant. And as they say, the full does not trust the hungry, and the experience of this meeting is truly unforgettable. Without my own experience, I would never believe what a single person with this disorder is capable of doing.
A psychopath is often the person you would say the least about - everyone (including you, until you got to know them better) would say that they are charming, charming, mostly cheerful and funny. The real lion of the salon. But beware, this is the mask for the environment, under which the psychopath lives all his life.
But if you get to know him better (or if he looks for you as a victim), you will know that something is wrong. Something is weird and things that work for other people just don't make sense to you. You can negotiate with anyone, but not him. It manipulates you and the people around you - it creates a completely different reality around itself. With small manipulations, he transforms the truth and reality in such a way that you are already completely stupid, that you wonder if he is right... You find yourself doing things that you would not do otherwise. That you tolerate for him what you would never tolerate for anyone and your threshold of what is still normal is moving far.
You often ask yourself WHY - why does he do this or that. Can't he see that he's hurting you, that he's not telling the truth, does he really believe what he says and does? Do they really see reality so distorted?
While you try to find a solution to the conflict, for example, the psychopath NEVER looks for it - on the contrary, he tries to create small conflicts and thereby manipulate you. Making you feel guilty about nothing. If it's his, everything's fine - if it's not, there's a problem.
You have to constantly think about the meeting with him, you keep replaying what you did wrong and what you should have done differently.
His emotions are superficial, he will never acknowledge, even admit that the fault could be on his side - it is ALWAYS your fault. He never understands your feelings - indeed anyone else's feelings and emotions - he always sees ONLY his egocentric view of things. He doesn't know the word empathy - AT ALL. His brain just isn't capable of it.
This is a very superficial list to begin with, but if you recognize someone in this, you may be dealing with a psychopath. There are dozens of those tiny fragments and I will try to deal with them in more detail later.
Who is a psychopath?
Forget for a moment all images of a madman from serial killer movies who eats his victims. Only a small percentage of psychopaths end up in prison - professional books say that only the "unsuccessful" ones - a small visible tip of a huge iceberg - only the aggressive and mostly less intelligent ones. But most of the others are hidden and move normally among us in society. They are even highly productive and successful. If we count on one percent of the population, there are a hundred thousand of them around us, in the Czech Republic alone. One in a hundred. Surely you know someone like that, but you have no idea.
It is often politicians who rule entire countries and wage wars – affecting the lives of millions. Didn't it ever seem strange to you that Hitler or Stalin sent millions of people to their deaths and slept soundly? Saddam Hussein is said to have said before his execution "Do it doctor, this is a man's job." Have you ever stopped to think about the actions of our last two presidents and the prime minister?
It could be your neighbor whose dogs are messing up your lawn, but it's still your fault and he feels even more hurt when you tell him. Later you come to him with a bottle to discuss it and he simply throws you out the door. There are many nuances.
Hervey Cleckley, in his book The Mask of Sanity, describes a psychopath as an intelligent person with great external charm, but emotional poverty, an absence of a sense of shame, a lack of guilt and empathy, immunity to stress and punishment, irresponsibility, unpredictability, manipulativeness and a fleeting relational lifestyle .
I found another characteristic in the book The Wisdom of Psychopaths - (Kevin Dutton). He envisions a psychopath as a group of people with this subset of personality traits: ruthlessness; fearlessness; impulsiveness; self-confidence; concentration; coolness; mental toughness; charm; charisma; limited empathy; lack of conscience.
Now imagine all these features on a "mixing desk" where each of these features is a slider that can be moved up or down. Some psychopathic personalities are "fate" mixed into the criminal spectrum, others, on the contrary, into a very productive involvement in society.
Today, thanks to magnetic resonance imaging, it is already known that their brain simply works differently. Indeed, some connections and activities in the amygdala region are completely different from the general population. Some are even "off".
Unhindered by emotions, shame, doubt and guilt, they can climb the social ladder very successfully – some are even highly successful and some even beneficial… Yes, you read that right – beneficial.
The problem is that psychopathy is difficult to define as a disorder. It's just a different way of life strategy. Difference between predator and herbivore. Unfortunately, the rest of us are the hunted herd in this case.
It is the perfect balance of nature. If there were more psychopaths in the population, they would compete with each other and their "territories" would overlap. So the number of one percent is evolutionarily perfect. Good to know…
Some researchers even go further and believe that a psychopath has emotions and empathy, but is able to not perceive them in a controlled manner. It just ignores them and turns them off. Which is beneficial in some cases.
I'm talking about predators who destroy the lives of people around them, and I also used the word "beneficial".
Imagine a top neurosurgeon whose brain works perfectly precisely and without emotion during a complex operation lasting many hours. He never hesitates. Neil Armstrong, who, according to the story, could not find a suitable place at the crunch time when he was supposed to land on the moon and everything seemed to end in disaster, let Buzz Aldrin coolly count down the seconds until they ran out of fuel and landed perfectly on the lunar surface at the last second . At the same time, his heart rate did not rise even by a single point.
What does company management expect from a top manager? Fearlessness, goal-setting, tough decision-making, charm, intelligence, great communication skills, lying and manipulation to some extent.
Still wondering? You need them yourself. Our performance-based society needs them - sometimes the absence of fear, empathy and emotion is just fine. It just depends on the settings.
If it weren't so terrifyingly devastating, it's truly fascinating.
So are they dangerous?
It depends from which angle you look at the problem. Is dynamite dangerous? Sure, when you sit on it, but it can be beneficial in building tunnels for humanity.
The label psychopath isn't really used much anymore - it's too pejorative for them - it's actually a whole set of personality disorders. They are referred to collectively with the medical designation F60 and a decimal number. But for our purposes, the term psychopath is better suited, even if it is therefore inaccurate.
There is no exact boundary between "normality" and a psychopathic personality. Just as there is no sharp line between blue and purple in the color spectrum. Everyone perceives it a little differently.
In the end, it doesn't matter what you call them and whether the person in question is a psychopath 100 percent or only 80 percent, or is "just" a narcissistic or perhaps hysterical personality. It is their behavior that is devastating and psychopathic.
It's not my business to pigeonhole or judge anyone - it's not even my business. But I will talk about psychopathic behavior that is completely devastating to personal relationships and can destroy several generations of an entire family. While people know about and fear pedophiles, sadists, and other deviants, so pitifully little is known about psychopaths, and few perceive the insane threat. At the same time, their danger and influence on the disruption of society and relationships is, in my opinion, many times greater and more destructive.
This first article is mainly meant as an introduction to the issue - maybe these are common facts for some, maybe you discovered something new. The text was originally written in 2018, but at that time it was not so bad with psychopaths - mainly what regards politicians. But over the past five years, the company has completely broken free from the chain and the whole world has literally been taken over by psychopaths.
II. How to recognize Psychopaths
III. How to defend yourself against psychopaths.