I think we all agree that a relationship with a psychopath does not contribute to a happy life. If you’re not careful, they have the ability to completely destroy your life.

But how can you work out whether someone is a psychopath, sociopath or narcissist?

The problem that arises for many people is that they can appear normal, even charming.

However, underneath, he/she lacks conscience and empathy, making them manipulative, volatile and often (but by no means always) criminal.

Contrary to what most people think, psychology has done a lot of research on psychopaths and antisocial personality disorders. These are the signs of a psychopath, and sociopath signs. There are 4 most common traits.

1) Extreme arrogance

They think they’re God’s gifts to humanity. They’re a master at everything, constantly making unrealistic claims regarding their potential.

It’s important to remember that this isn’t just normal arrogance. This arrogance is beyond anything you’ve likely encountered before.

2) Manipulative

They feed off manipulating others. It gets their juices flowing.

Sure, they want to manipulate you to get what they want, but it’s the actual act of manipulating that turns them on.

No one is safe from their manipulation, and they’ll take it as far as they can to get what they want.

3) No remorse

Forget about guilt or regret. They have trouble showing emotion, and won’t experience any emotional feeling that they’re doing something wrong.

A lack of guilt is usually coupled with passing the blame to others or denying responsibility.

Even when someone confronts them about what they’re doing, they’ll constantly create rationalizations for why they did what they did. The truth doesn’t matter.

4) Initially charming

This is where a lot of people get tripped up as it makes them hard to spot.

Even though they struggle to understand emotion, they have become experts at pleasing people to get what they want.

So initially they’ll draw you in, however they’ll lack the ability to keep the relationship going.

How to Deal With a Psychopath

So, considering the above 4 traits, what’s the best way to deal with a psychopath?┬áHere are 4 tips:

1) Don’t

Yep, it’s that easy. Don’t deal with them!

However, it isn’t always that simple. If you can’t get away from them, the best thing to do is to not join in playing their games. Resist the temptation to compete or even banter with them. Instead focus on protecting yourself.

2) Accept that some people are bad news

Yes, we’ve all heard the phrase that everyone has some good in them, or that every person can be fixed. But that won’t fly here.

Instead, accept that these are deeply ingrained antisocial personality traits and you won’t change them.

It’s more useful to get to know yourself and where your vulnerabilities lie, because a psychopath will go after them.

3) Pay attention to actions, not words

This is a huge one. Don’t listen to their excuses or lies. Pay attention to what they actually do.

One lie may be a misunderstanding. Two may involve a serious mistake. But three lies says you’re dealing with a liar and it’s time to move away.

4) Win-win agreements.

Psychopaths are aggressive personalities. They want to win. If you can make it so it’s easier for them to work with you rather than against you, you might be able to keep their ruthlessness in check.

A quick message from Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit

In 2018, the third year of Hack Spirit, I poured thousands of hours and considerable resources into creating these articles. It's a labor of love and remains free thanks to your patronage. If you found any value in these articles, please consider supporting what I do with a donation. Your support is what helps me to continue creating more Hack Spirits articles. To make a donation, click the "donate" button below and choose between a single donation or monthly.

Check out Hack Spirit's eBook: The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment.

Key highlights:

  • Learn what 'mindfulness' really is and the scientific benefits to practicing it daily
  • Learn exercises to be mindful throughout the day (even at work)
  • Understand how to meditate daily to enhance peace and clarity of mind
  • Understand and implement the 7 key steps to practicing mindfulness

Check it out here.