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1% of the world's population are psychopaths. If you worry you may be in a relationship with one of them, read on to check the signs and find out what to do.

Are you laughing? Are you saying, "No my partner is loving? He says I'm unlike anyone he's ever known, he knows me so much, and he feels things so deeply; he can't be a psychopath". But you may be wrong. Approximately one percent of the world's population are psychopaths. That's 60 millions people! If you aren't dating a psychopath, the chances are that you're working with or meeting a psychopath on a regular basis.

What is a psychopath?

Put simply, a psychopath has a mental health disorder called Antisocial Personality Disorder. They are completely selfish and egotistical beings, and they cynically believe everyone in the world is selfish. They can mimic human emotions, but they will never truly feel them. Any apparent emotions are purely for display, an act to toy with other people, whom the psychopath considers disposable. More scary than that, psychopaths lack a conscience. They never feel any remorse. A person with Antisocial Personality Disorder will use you, purely for their amusement, and they will never experience regret. If anything, they will feel it's your fault for being used.

But psychopaths are not obviously noticeable. They are not all Hannibal Lecter. They don't all keep shrines to Adolf Hitler in their wardrobe and hang dead animals from trees. A psychopath can be charming, conniving and cunning when they want to get you on their side.

So how do you know if you're dating a psychopath?

Here we explore the top nine signs.

Note: Throughout the article, the male pronouns "he" and "him" will be used, as psychopathy is more common in men. However, 1 in 20 psychopaths are female, so if you're in a relationship with a woman, don't assume your partner cannot be psychopathic. Please read on.

1. You've never known a connection like It

Your previous partners have all hesitated to express their feelings, but this guy! Wow! You've never known passion like it. He says you're perfect for him. He tells you you're the most beautiful woman; you're his princess, so unlike all the liars and cheaters he knew before. You're flattered, you're overwhelmed. It's all happening so fast.

He shares your ever hope, every dream, even your fear of spiders. You feel he knows you so much. You've never connected with someone so much, so quickly.

That is the psychopath reeling you in. Psychopaths are excellent chameleons. With no emotions of their own, they mimic yours. With no hopes or dreams of their own, they mirror yours. If you're dating a psychopath, this "amazing connection" is all an act to draw you into his net.

2. They have a sad story

Their mad ex is stalking them; their wicked ex stole all their money and left them broke; your poor guy just wants some peace. And yet you notice that, despite their protestations that they hate drama, they always seem to be surrounded by a lot of it. And you start to wonder: is he really so innocent, or is the "mad ex" only trying to get back their ten-grand?

3. Beware triangulation

You will quickly be drawn into a love triangle and your jealousy will come to the surface. Their wicked ex - the evil woman who, he told you, took all his money and left him broke and heartbroken - will come back into his life. That was all a misunderstanding, he says. They're friends now. You feel confused, insecure.

The psychopath is egocentric; he must be surrounded by adoring "fans" at all times.

More Signs That You're Dating a Psychopath

4. They lie constantly

Does your partner lie about seemingly small matters, but have problems remembering their lies later? Psychopaths lie, but lack the foresight to lie consistently. This is a huge sign you're dating a psychopath.

Furthermore, if you confront a psychopath with proof of their lies, they will become critical and dismissive. They will try and undermine you and make YOU feel crazy.

This is a big red-flag. Don't ignore it.

5. They will make you feel guilty for the emotions you feel

Remember, the psychopath will condition you to accept abuse, so that you feel your response to the abuse is wrong and not the abuse itself. If your partner mocks you in front of others, criticising and humiliating you until you become upset and start to cry, it will never be his fault. Instead, he will make you feel guilty for being "too sensitive" and for "embarrassing him".

This is another huge red-flag. Please, please pay attention to it.

6. They provoke jealousy

The psychopath is a narcissist. He loves attention. He will flirt with other women (even that wicked ex), and will show attention to other women while ignoring you. If you react, he will chide you for your jealousy. You are needy, he will say; who can blame him for talking to other, more secure, women?

7. They give you the "silent treatment"

If you displease your psychopath, sometimes for simple amusement, the psychopath may withdraw from you, becoming cold and refusing to speak to you. Attempts to engage them in any conversation will be ignored. This is designed to make you feel unattractive, insecure, and to further increase your sense of dependence on the psychopath.

Sometimes, they may simply break all contact when they have become bored with you. Having damaged your self-esteem by mental - maybe even physical - abuse and flirting with others, they cease to be interested.

8. Attention-seeking behaviour

If you're dating a psychopath, they will dominate every conversation. They will gather people around them. They have an almost-hypnotic effect on other people.

They are also prone to have sudden injuries and illnesses that require your full attention. Psychopaths love sympathy. It guarantees attention. Does your partner constantly develop Flu, mumps, mastitis, or sprain an ankle right before you have a big, important meeting, or when you're due to go on vacation without him?

If your partner appears to be more sick than well, consider the possibility that he may be a psychopath.

9. You feel depressed

Your relationship should make you feel mostly happy. It should not make you cry, apologise constantly, or feel anxious. If you're not sleeping, not eating (or sleeping or eating too much) and find that life holds little pleasure for you since entering this relationship, it might be time to give your partner the heave-ho.

Does this sound familiar?

If these signs sound familiar, there is one piece of advice. Break all contact.

This may be easier said than done. However, the only way you can begin to recover from the grip of a psychopathic partner is by breaking all contact and never speaking with your partner again. Go and stay with a trusted friend or relative, change your phone number (and be careful who you give it to), and begin counselling to try and overcome the issues you will be left with as a result of this relationship.

Psychopathy is pathological, which means it's incurable. Psychopaths will not choose to seek treatment, and - even if they are forced to be treated by court order - conventional treatment programmes rarely help them.

That's why, for the sake of your own health, it's vital you break free of a relationship with a psychopath. Psychopathic partners cause a lot of harm. Even if a psychopath has already ruined some of your past, you have a choice.

You don't have to let them destroy your future.

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