Questions about psychopaths

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  yellowsubmarine 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #47897


    Two general questions about psychopaths.

    Why is the behaviour and modes of operation of all psychopaths so similar? The checklist of character attributes and the way they operate in a fairly predictable pattern seems to apply to them all? This seems odd because “normal” people are capable of reacting with different emotions and acting in many different and much less predictable ways in any given situation.

    Why do they spend so much time and effort on cultivating people as their victims? I mean, they don’t like people in general, I presume they inwardly despise us ordinary frail mortals, so it seems strange that they spend so much time on us and with us. A misanthrope would just avoid people if they could. Do they feed off their disgust and disdain at us in general?

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  dorabella.
  • #47900

    Donna Andersen

    Dorabella – thank you for your thoughtful questions.

    In the first question, you actually hint at the answer. One of the traits of psychopaths is “shallow affect,” which means they have a limited range of emotions. You may have seen psychopaths express anger, rage and hate, but that’s about it. They simply don’t feel other emotions — although they do learn to fake it.

    Both of your questions relate to the basic motivation of psychopaths, which is power. I explain this in the following post:

    Psychopaths as puppet masters

    Psychopaths as puppet masters

    Essentially, the only thing that provides psychopaths with a sense of satisfaction is exerting power and control over others. That’s why they spend time and effort cultivating victims — they are exerting power and control over them, and the best part, for the psychopath, is that the victims don’t even know it. So what they feed off of is knowing they are exerting power over others. It makes them feel superior.

  • #47914


    Yep. They are genetically hardwired with very few options for feeling (and subsequently behaving). They just feel only so much, and then it fizzles.

    So, the early rush of fooling someone into loving them (or going into business, or whatever) is a bit of a boost for them. Then the series of lies and manipulations give them a bit of a charge. Then really hurting other people gives them more energy. They escalate their behaviors to get more and more of a ‘reaction’ out of us, and it gives them a little bit of a thrill. It takes more and more negativity from us to keep them interested. That is why acting boring and disinterested drives them away. They NEED us to react.

    It’s like we are little supplies of power for them. Left alone their batteries don’t really recharge.

    I found, after multiple encounters with these folks, that THEY were so boring and predictable and such a total drag. Not at all the exciting, have-it-all characters they generally project themselves as being. After a very short period of time they just REPEAT their stupid behaviors over and over and over. Bor-ing.

    And yes, normal people have a lot more options and opportunities to learn, change, and behave in different ways. We have the benefit of personal insight, empathy, self-awareness, and a full range of emotions.

  • #47918


    Thanks Slimone. Mine wasn’t around long enough to see if his behaviour got boring, but his conversation certainly was. All about himself and how great he was; his ex agrees that he was very boring and also didn’t actually know what he was talking about most of the time.

    Going back to my first question, I understand that their emotions are limited but why does their behaviour all follow the same pattern too? Do they all read the manual on psychopathy (Psychopathy for Dummies)? Do they just instinctively follow the same pattern of behaviour (like wild animals, I suppose)?
    Again, all of us normals would start a relationship in different ways, some slow, some fast, some would get physical quickly, others wouldn’t, but psychos all follow the same relationship pattern, at least initially.

  • #47922



    Their behavior follows the same pattern because they share the same mental/emotional sickness. I find it more easy to understand when I think of it as a mental illness. Because of this illness they think and feel a certain way and this leads them to behave alike. They don’t have a choice about how they feel and think. They are JUST THAT WAY. Because they cannot control the way their brains think and the way their nervous systems feel, they have very limited choices about how they behave in response to those thoughts and feelings.

    Some victims of these people do not like to think of the perpetrators this way, because they believe this ‘let’s them off the hook’ of personal responsibility. Or they feel like they are ‘supposed’ to ‘feel sorry’ for the abusers. I don’t happen to feel this way about it.

    They are still responsible for the effect they have on others, and the bad things they do. They should pay a price when they can be caught and found guilty. We can feel compassion for them. But HAVE to protect ourselves from them.

    And like other people with mental illness they don’t believe there is anything wrong with them.

    Lots of folks, say, with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or depression don’t see their own mental illness, and instead become paranoid or isolated from society.

    My friend is bipolar (manic/depressive) and it took her 35 years to admit that this was the problem, get on medication, and get her life in order. No one knew, except those of us close to her and worried about her, that she had a problem. She made tons of money, was funny, smart, articulate. But she would get manic and do crazy stuff, like spend all her retirement money. And then really depressed, and not leave her house for a month, or speak with anyone. On medication none of these things happen.

    Unfortunately for people with malignant narcissism (which includes NPD ASPD) there is no medication or talk therapy that works. But there didn’t used to be treatment for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder either, and now there is. Hopefully, one day, we may discover how to more easily identify and treat this kind of mental illness.

  • #48367


    One day not so long ago we used to set onfire those who believed that the earth moved. Not too long from now we will realize finally that psychos are human beings with an illness; that their illness was caused by neglect/abuse/DNA; that they don’t have control over their behavior although they are quick at faking. Many ppl will look like fools at that moment. You don’t kill a child for his misbehavior, and psychopaths are a little bit more than children. It is true that there is one point when it’s impossible for “normal” to be exposed to their vile behavior, and many of us suffer for leaving loving mothers, for example. Yes, mothers can love at a stage in their lives and quit doing so later on in life, behaving like true witches. Psychopaths have no self-esteem, and feel personally attacked by the most minute of insinuations, exerting violent revenge in who they perceive to be the aggressor. It’s in their brains. since they have access only to a few set of feelings, most all of them behave identically, proving that this is a true illness, just like a person with diabetes behaves like most ppl with diabetes.

    • #48368


      As a bipolar patient, I’d like to note that it takes almost 10 years to diagnose bipolar disorder. Also, there are 5 kinds of bipolar disorder, making it very difficult to differentiate them. Moreover, although many patients respond positively to lithium, many don’t. Those do no respond positively to the rest of meds either. In reality, the only meds for bipolar are mood stabilizers and antidepressants. It is a known fact in the psychiatric world that only 20% of patients respond to antidepressants. For malignant narcissism there is CBT as a therapy, as long as they attend willingly every two weeks. There is a brand-new school in Vienna that treats narcissists (Vaknin) with CBT. NPD and all the cluster B disorders, I believe, are illnesses as bipolar is.

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