An estimated one per cent of the total global population are said to harbour psychopathic tendencies, but spotting sane from the psycho isn’t all that easy.
In reality, psychopaths are far removed from the caricature presented in films and TV. Of course there are some that do unspeakable things but then there are also plenty that hold down jobs, have families, enjoy successful careers and live reasonably adjusted lives.
So how do you go about working out who are the true psychos among us? If you’re author Jackson MacKenzie, you write a book about the very subject and offer up some easy-to-understand ways of spotting psychopaths.
For example, Jackson claims there are several phrases that only psychopaths will use regularly and has offered insight as to why each is an indicator of psychopathic tendencies. Here goes:
“You’re so sensitive”
According to Jackson, psychopaths love nothing more than to push people to breaking point and then accuse them of being sensitive. “Psychopaths manufacture emotions in others – it’s what they do.” Wow.
“I hate drama”
They might say they can’t stand drama and want to stay away from negativity. This allows them to never have to talk about their own insulting behaviour and make you feel guilty about bringing it up.
But, as Jackon notes: “You’ll soon come to discover there’s more drama surrounding them than anyone you’ve ever known.”
“You Overanalyse Everything”
According to Jackson, this type of accusation is designed to trigger guilt in a person, rather than point out any potentially damaging behaviour. It might sound caring but it’s definitely not.
“Psychopaths aim to make you doubt your intuition by constantly planting hints to make you feel anxious and then blaming you for having that anxiety,” he says.
“You misunderstood me”
Someone who uses this type of phrase on a regular basis might doing this to provoke you. They want to aggravate you as much as possible before accusing you of getting the wrong end of the stick.
According to Jackson, it has another familiar name: “This is called gaslighting – blatantly doing or saying something, and then blaming the other party for misinterpreting it (or denying that it even took place).”
“You’re crazy/bipolar/jealous/bitter/in love with me”
Psychopaths love nothing more than to brand anyone who has a crush on them as crazy. But Jackson reckons there are several tricks to get out of this kind of emotionally manipulative situation.
“No texts, calls, emails, or even Facebook friendships. Otherwise, you can guarantee they’ll do anything and everything in their power to make you feel/sound crazy,” he said.
One other indicator might be their drink of choice, with research previously revealing that your choice of tipple at the pub may indicate whether you are a psychopath or not.