What is a psychopath, exactly?
While it’s easy to label an unpleasant colleague or an adulterous ex a psychopath, how can you tell the difference between someone truly psychopathic and someone who’s just a jerk? A proper diagnosis can only be given by a medical professional. “Anything else is speculation,” warns associate professor of criminology, criminal justice and forensic psychology, Dr Robert Schug.
Psychopaths get bored easily
A psychopath is not just under-stimulated because of an uneventful day at work or a weekend night stuck at home. They face chronic boredom across all facets of their lives. One common hypothesis is that psychopaths are more likely to be under-aroused compared to other people. “A psychopath’s nervous system is wired so they need to keep doing exciting things to feel normal and reach normal levels of arousal,” says Schug. According to psychology professor, Dr Randall Salekin, this means that they’re also the ones in a group most likely to initiate fun-oriented activities, such as suggest post-work drinks.
Psychopaths are VERY charming
Perhaps one of the most disarming aspects of interacting with psychopaths is their ability to conceal their true selves in order to appear as likable as possible. Salekin says that they use their storytelling abilities to draw others to them, whether that’s at work or in jail. “They’re able to gather a crowd around them at the water cooler,” he says. However, while a psychopath’s stories might be interesting, that doesn’t mean they’re true.