How often do sociopaths get bored

You probably know a psychopath

Last update: 13 July, 2017

Some commit mass murders, others plan a series of individual murders. Some are your neighbors, friends, partners, or mayors, and maybe they never do anything hideous in public, just in private. These people are called psychopaths, and although it's hard to believe, there are quite a few out there. Some live in slums and abuse animals there, with others you negotiate your loan in the bank. Some are artfully portrayed on screen, such as Anthony Hopkins in his role as Hannibal Lecter in The silence of the Lambs, others act behind the cameras with just as much skill.

Psychopaths do not stand out in a society like ours. Aggression, individualism, false charm, and indifference to other people's pain are socially recognized behaviors that lead to success. Their strategies may include intrigue, ridicule, indifference, avoidance of responsibility, or belittling the successes of others, but that is how they prevail. So if you want to defend yourself against psychopaths, you first have to know how to recognize them.

What is a psychopath?

Authors such as Hervey Cleckley, Cooke and Michie, Robert Hare and Blackburn have attempted to describe the main characteristics of psychopaths, and we will discuss these in more detail below.

  • In summary, their studies conclude that some people are predisposed to psychopathy. This tendency is due to the structure of your nervous system. In psychopaths, the amygdala and prefrontal cortex work in such a way that people are less able to interpret emotional stimuli and make decisions that are geared towards the long-term well-being of themselves and others. Our environment can encourage antisocial habits and beliefs, which then bring these innate traits to light. Conversely, it can be concluded that even a person with a corresponding biological predisposition is very unlikely to express it if he or she grows up in a society in which success is not based on looks, violence, manipulation and wrong morals.
  • On the other hand, there are also psychopaths who are due to the circumstances so develop. That is, up to them no genetic predisposition but they develop these traits because they live in a highly disturbing environment.
  • There are also more skeptical, pessimistic theories that proponents suggest that Psychopathy manifests itself as early as childhood and that environmental conditions have little influence on it.

Characteristics of a psychopath

It is believed that around 1 to 2% of the population are psychopaths. The male to female ratio is estimated at 5 to 1. Those who work with criminals have a better chance of facing a psychopath, but they are also socially integrated. They are particularly active in those professions that rely on representation and deception, such as politics, economics, and spiritual movements that pursue purely economic interests. Outwardly, they usually appear extremely charming and intelligent.

Depending on the author, psychopaths are categorized differently.

Cleckley diagnostic criteria

Cleckley lists the following diagnostic criteria for psychopathy:

  • Superficial charm and striking intelligence
  • Absence of hallucinations or other signs of irrational thinking
  • Absence of neuroses
  • Little trustworthy effect
  • Falsehood and insincerity
  • Lack of judgment and difficulty learning from mistakes
  • Pathological selfishness and Inability to love
  • Inability to feel remorse or shame
  • Lack of basic affective responses
  • Lack of sensitivity in ordinary interpersonal relationships
  • Antisocial behavior for no apparent reason
  • Exaggerated or offensive behavior under the influence of alcohol, sometimes also without the influence of alcohol
  • Inability to follow any plan in life
  • Impersonal, reckless and unstable sex life
  • Specific loss of intuition
  • Suicide threats that are rarely carried out

Characteristics of a psychopath according to Robert Hare

The psychologist and scientist Robert Hare names the following characteristics of the psychopath:

  • Exceptional verbal skills and superficial charm
  • Excessive self-esteem
  • Pathological lying
  • Lack of guilt or any kind of remorse
  • Shallow, superficial emotions and emotional reactions
  • Cruelty, Lack of sensitivity and empathy
  • Injurious language
  • Problematic behaviors from childhood
  • Constant need for stimulation, gets bored easily
  • Malicious and manipulative behavior
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Lack of control over one's own behavior
  • Pathological Inability to take responsibility for one's own behavior
  • Crime tendency even in youth
  • Criminal behavior
  • Lack of realistic, long-term goals
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Several marriages that only last for a short time
  • Parasitic lifestyle

Characteristics of psychopaths according to Blackburn

Blackburn defines four subtypes of psychopaths:

  • Primary psychopaths: impulsive, aggressive, hostile, extroverted, confident, not afraid. This group mainly includes narcissistic, histrionic and anti-social personalities.
  • Secondary psychopaths: hostile, impulsive, aggressive, socially insecure, socially isolated, grouchy, low self-esteem. This category mainly includes avoidant, antisocial, schizoid, dependent, and paranoid personalities.
  • Controlling psychopaths: defensive, controlling, sociable, not fearful. There are fewer personality disorders in this group.
  • Inhibited psychopaths: shy, isolated, controlling, slightly fearful, low self-esteem. Here you can find schizoid, schizotypic and passive-aggressive people who are not overly anti-social.

Cooke and Michie psychopaths

Cooke and Michie believe psychopaths exhibit the following characteristics:

  • arrogance and interpersonal manipulation
  • Emotional indifference
  • Impulsiveness and irresponsible behavior

How to recognize a psychopath and protect yourself from him

Unfortunately, if one or more psychopaths attacked you verbally, physically, or sexually, alone or in a group, there would be little you could do to defend yourself. Unfortunately, for example, there are several cases of multiple rape in which the victim could not do anything to defend himself.

In these cases we speak of a psychopathic group mentality, which is often reinforced by drugs or alcohol. The perpetrators not only commit a brutal act of violence, but also behave in retrospect in a completely cold manner and often even joke about what happened.

Our society faces an important challenge: to portray psychopaths as emotional failures rather than associating their traits with success.

But there are situations in which you can recognize psychopaths and distance yourself from them. This can be the case at work, at the beginning of a romantic relationship, or in a presidential election. The key is to identify their sophisticated manipulation using a simple strategy: Prove that nothing they say is followed by actionthat they are indifferent to other people's suffering, that their emotional relationships are broken, whether or not they portray them very differently, and that they are cold and selfish.