Do you know how to spot a psychopath?
Maybe you live or work with one.
David Gillespie refers to The Hare Psychopathic Checklist in his book Taming Toxic People, but states overwhelmingly that lack of empathy, remorse and guilt leading to become emotionally shallow, callous, controlling, vindictive aggressive and intimidating and a failure in accepting responsibility for their own actions, are the key characteristics of a psychopath.
So how do we spot a psychopath and what do we do about them?
They are everywhere. Psychopaths are charming and rewards driven.
They will want something you have. They are impulsive and are not afraid of failure or punishment. They need consistent stimulation and have a huge sense of self-worth.
Having one or more of those traits does not automatically make you a psychopath but add it to lack of empathy and remorse and you're getting pretty close.
Professions most likely to attract psychopaths include, CEOs, lawyers, media (radio and tv), salesperson, surgeon, journalist, police officer, clergy person, chef and civil servant.
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How do you manage a psychopath? Be honest and avoid secrecy.
They will use secrecy as a tool to manipulate. Psychopaths love to micromanage everything - decentralise decision making to avoid one person being in charge.
Open communication is an important key. Psychopaths hate it. They prefer to keep things secret to enable control and leverage. Set communal goals - again steer away from any individualism. Fact-check everything they say.
Psychopaths don't really care about people so you cannot expect they will understand your feelings on a matter.
The best thing you can do is leave. If you cannot leave, you need to work hard at disentangling yourself from them.
It is important to understand how they work for you not to fall into their traps. Maintain a strong network of support around you and always seek help when needed.
Jenna Woodland is a therapist with The Lighthouse
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