Would you know if you were dating a psychopath? Experts reveal the surprising common traits of a sociopath…

Are you dating a psychopath? Experts reveal the common traits of a sociopath… and the facts may surprise you

Opinion

Would you know if you were dating a psychopath? Experts reveal the surprising common traits of a sociopath…

A psychopath doesn't have to be a crazed and bloodthirsty serial killer; they exist all around us. And now experts have revealed exactly how to spot one...

When we're told to picture a psychopath, many of us will immediately think of serial killers in horror movies - maybe Ghostface in Scream, Michael Myers in Halloween or Norman Bates in Psycho.

However, according to FBI analysts, the true definition of a psychopath is MUCH more likely to match the traits of people we know and interact with on a daily basis…

According to Channel 4's documentary Psychopathic Night, being psychopathic doesn't necessarily mean that you're a serial killer – or even that you'll break the law.

In fact, according to clinical psychologists, a psychopath can be spotted by these personality traits...

Would you know if you were living with a psychopath - or even if you were one yourself?

Self-obsessed

They talk about themselves, they focus on what they're doing and what's in the situation for them.

Charming and persuasive

They can switch on the charm whenever they need to and have the ability to influence others.

Deceitful

They frequently lie, even about small and irrelevant things.

Sensation-seeking

They like to be the centre of attention - pretty much all the time. Expect a louder voice, a more confident demeanour and a more powerful stance (hands on hips etc).

Unable to accept blame

Even if they are at fault, a psychopath will find a way to shift blame from them onto someone else. They rarely apologise.

Controlling

They like to be in charge of the situation, to make decisions for others.

Emotionally detached

They can switch off from situations quickly and feel little empathy for others.

Fearless

Psychopaths are very focused and, to that end, are fearless - they love rollercoasters, driving fast and are generally thrill-seekers. At one end of the scale, a psychopathic arsonist may set a home on fire. But, at the other end, a psychopath may be the one braving the flames to rescue someone inside.

Ruthless

They make clear decisions and often do not waver. If you asked a high-scoring psychopath to smother a baby which would grow up to be Hitler, they would immediately do so. Someone at the other end of the scale, however, would admit the situation was a difficult one and question whether it is ever right to kill a child.

Confidence

It is rare for psychopaths to feel insecure or anxious; they often have, on the contrary, "excessive self-esteem".

You can take a test to find out if you score highly on the psychopathic scale on the Channel 4 website.

Psychopaths tend to be high-achieving members of society, such as lawyers or surgeons.
Psychopaths tend to know what they want and are not afraid to go for it – even if it means bending the rules occasionally and putting a few noses out of joint on the way.

They are decisive, self-confident and pretty much up for anything and, for them, it’s not necessarily a matter of right or wrong, but of what gets the job done.

A high-flying lawyer named Emmy Thomas, who was interviewed on the show, admitted that she believes psychopaths like herself help the world go round.

"People sometimes say that we lack remorse or guilt like it's a bad thing. They are sure that remorse and guilt are necessary to being a "good" person. But there is probably no universal, and certainly no objective, morality."

"People sometimes say that we lack remorse or guilt like it's a bad thing... but there is probably no universal, and certainly no objective, morality"

A psychopath's obsession with power, ability to make decisions quickly and charming nature does make them the sort of people we should lean on in a crisis.

In fact, psychopaths find themselves to be better suited to certain jobs. You often find them working as lawyers, bankers, surgeons and salespeople.

James Bond is recognised by psychologists as a psychopath
And, according to psychologists, James Bond is more representative of a psychopath in film than Norman Bates; he's effortlessly charming, willing to do anything to get the job done and feels little empathy for anyone.

Do you think you are living with a psychopath? Do you think you yourself could be a psychopath? Let us know your thoughts via the Comments Box below.

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