Emotional Wellbeing


Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

Do you interact with a psychopath?


ted bundy photo

Do you interact with a psychopath?

Psychopaths are everywhere – in your family, amongst your friends and working alongside you at the office. They often go undetected as they are very charming, know the right thing to say and they are also extremely adept at picking up on other people’s vulnerabilities. They seem caring but in reality, their expressions of sympathy are usually feigned. It’s all good on the outside but their inner emotions are not congruent with their actions and words.

How is a psychopath created?

When children develop the ability to deceive – around the age of three of four – they also develop the ability to empathise. Researchers say people with aggressive and antisocial personality disorders do not develop this ability, and therefore they have no moral compass. They say traumatic experiences and a lack of contact with understanding adults could be to blame.

Signs of a psychopath

Dr Robert Hare created the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-Revised), used to assess cases of psychopathy

In the list there were initially 20 traits, now 21 that are prevalent in a psychopath. They are,

– glib and superficial charm

– grandiose sense of self-worth

– pathological lying

– cunning and manipulative

– lack of remorse or guilt

– shallow affect — emotional reactions are short-lived.

– callousness and lack of empathy

– failure to accept responsibility

– need for stimulation, prone to boredom

– parasitic lifestyle

– poor behavioural controls

– lack of long-term, realistic goals

– impulsivity

– irresponsibility

– juvenile delinquency

– early behaviour problems

– revocation of conditional release

– sexual promiscuity

– many short-term marital relationships

– criminal versatility

Five Characteristics to look for – in a nutshell:

Here is a quick, easy guide for identifying a possible psychopath in your life:

1) Manipulative

2) Lack of empathy

3) Superficial charm

4) It’s all about them…what’s in it for them.

5) Nothing is ever their fault

Famous psychopaths in the movies:

The Jokey played by Heath Ledger in Batman.

Hannibal Lector – Silence of the lambs

Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast

Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction

Real Life Psychopaths:

Ted Bundy

Jeffrey Dahmer

John Wayne Gacy

Psychopaths will leave you drained, mentally, physically and spiritually. They drain you in such a clever way that you often don’t realise what is going on. If someone seems charming but when the chips are down, seem very self serving and seem to lack sensitivity towards others – be very wary!

Mandy X




Photo by The Orchid Club