Psychopaths and antisocials rarely worry about what might happen, even in dire situations, and are rarely concerned about the consequences of their behavior. Why? Why is it that nothing worries the psychopath?
A viewer posted the following comment on one of my Lovefraud Live! videos:
Donna, can you do a video on why the sociopath acts like life is great all the time, even though he has done great evil and destroyed lives. It’s like nothing scares them and life is one big carnival ride. I know a sociopath who even when facing serious criminal charges acted like he didn’t have a care in the world and was still laughing and cracking jokes every day. It’s disturbing when an individual has caused so much harm to others over the years, but still spends all day every day of his life cracking jokes and laughing.
This lack of concern about the future, and indifference to the effects of their actions on others, are symptoms of the fundamental differences between antisocials, psychopaths and the rest of us.
Remember, Lovefraud uses the word “sociopath” as an umbrella term for all exploiters and maniplators, including people with antisocial, narcissistic, borderline, histrionic and psychopathic personality disorders. However, there are differences among these disorders, and the “What, me worry?” attitude is most common among antisocials and psychopaths.
Traits of psychopaths
Dr. Robert Hare developed the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised to determine an individual’s level of psychopathy. It’s a list of 20 traits and behaviors that psychopaths typically exhibit. In my opinion, nine of them are related to this devil-may-care outlook. Here they are:
Glibness / superficial charm
With their charm, charisma and silver tongue, psychopaths have been talking their way out of trouble all their lives. No matter what they’ve done, they assume that they will be able to escape again. Often they’re right — but not always.
Need for stimulation / proneness to boredom
To psychopaths, boredom is a fate worse than death. They are always looking for the next thrill. It could be a new toy, romantic partner, business pursuit, or death-defying adventure, as long as it gets their adrenaline flowing. If there’s nothing exciting going on at the moment, they’ll stir something up.
Psychopaths lie fluently and confidently, which is one reason why they can convince others that, no matter what has happened, they are not at fault. “I would never do such a thing,” they assert, brimming with righteous indignation. Unfortunately, people believe them.
Lack of remorse or guilt
Psychopaths believe they are totally entitled to get what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. If in the pursuit of their of their objective, they crush someone else — well, psychopaths don’t care and feel no guilt. To them, it’s just like stepping on a bug.
Shallow affect (emotions)
Psychopaths are incapable of deep emotional responses. They do not feel love, although they’re good at faking it. Even when they fly into a rage, they may scream at you, storm out of the room and then shortly return asking, “What’s for dinner?” — as if nothing ever happened.
Callous/lack of empathy
Often psychopaths can identify, intellectually, another person’s emotions. But it’s meaningless, because they are incapable of feeling what someone else feels, which is the essence of empathy. That’s why, when someone close to you dies, a psychopath can say, “She’s gone. Get over it.”
Lack of realistic, long-term goals
Some psychopaths are aimless drifters. Others have grandiose dreams, but they’re more like get-rich-quick schemes than serious plans requiring time and effort. And if plans fail — as they often do — psychopaths will just change direction and start something new. Which also fails.
Psychopaths may marry and have children, but they never put their families before themselves. They may take jobs, but they don’t necessarily do the work. Even if they accept invitations to something fun, they may not show up. Their word means nothing, and if you don’t like it, too bad.
Failure to accept responsibility for actions
Nothing is ever a psychopath’s fault. Whenever something bad happens, they will blame you, their family, their boss, the government — whomever. This is especially true when it comes to relationships — their ex is always a crazy gold digger who cheated on them, and they did nothing wrong.
Nothing worries the psychopath
In my view, these documented traits and behaviors may, in some psychopaths, underlie a general lack of concern about themselves, others or the future. With no convictions, no emotions and no sense of responsibility for anything, they roll along as if life is one big party and they’re just trying to entertain themselves.
This is all very upsetting. So what do you do? You recognize that this is what they are, and they will never change.
Don’t expect them to do the right thing. Don’t try to get them to accept responsibility for their atrocious behavior. Don’t ask for an apology — you might get one, but it will be meaningless, or a ploy to exploit you some more. Do not seek closure.
Even if they’ve broken the law and are going to prison, it’s no big deal. Prison is simply a new opportunity for exploitation and manipulation.