Are you my next target?

Recommended reading: the previous post, a discussion between Tina and I about the successful psychopath.

Are you lonely, popular, caring, confident, laid back, anxious, adventurous, bored, traumatised, naïve, competitive, depressed, sentimental, accepting, argumentative, compassionate, impulsive or shy?

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“…catch a sucker by its toe. If it squeals, hold on tight; I ain’t letting this bitch go.

If there is one question all victims of psychopaths have asked themselves at some point in the period after their psychopath has moved on, it has to be “why me?” Or more specifically; “what was it that made me a target?” Such a question has little value after the fact, you were a victim and that is that (just get on with your life already… looking at you, Ms. Moscovici), but refocus it slightly on those of you who haven’t been blessed with a psychopath’s attention yet and we’ve got the infinitely more useful question: “How can I avoid being targeted in the first place?”

Well, the simple version of the answer is you can’t. As noted here, the list of exploitable traits is seemingly endless to the extent most people will identify with one or the other. Psychopaths are adaptable “jacks of all trades” when it comes to finding potential victims. Personally, I pride myself on being an equal opportunities victimiser; I don’t really understand traditional prejudices like racism and sexism which focus on arbitrary traits that have no bearing on how valuable a person is. Black, white, rich, poor, old, young, male, female, American, French or Sudanese, you’re all fair game. And I frequently pick (and drop, it has to be said) targets on a whim, so it’s really quite random and out of your control.

I could just finish there, with a “Hahahaha! You’re all doomed, fuckers!”, but that wouldn’t be very nice of me, would it? Instead, I’m going to remind you that the above is only the simple version of the answer. Yes it is true, I am omnivorous, but everyone has their favourite foods and nobody likes to work too much to get them. Think of those nature documentaries with David Attenborough, what was it he said about the sort of prey predators tend to single out? The wolves don’t tend to take on those really big bison with massive horns and muscular bodies now do they? Sure, they give a whirl now and again, when they’re feeling especially self-assured, but they tend to stick to the weaker animals. So while it is true that somebody’s confidence or competitive spirit can be used against them, it is much easier to pick on unconfident, damaged people (those who are weak).

I can detect weakness just by looking at someone. I can’t explain it as anything other than instinct; you could say I can just sniff it out. In particular, sadness, low self-esteem and nervousness are all instantly identifiable from body language, posture, expression and general aura. Otherwise, I can get a good idea by talking to a person just what their weaknesses might be. I know when someone is lying to my face, I know when someone has a mental illness (yes, really) and I can read most people’s emotions without trying.

Now I’m going to leave you, not with a “hahaha” but with a homework assignment. Think about yourself. What are your strengths and how can you play to them? More importantly, what weaknesses do you have that a psychopath could potentially exploit? You may not be able to rid yourself of weakness, but by being mindful of your own shortcomings, you are already one step ahead of any psychopath who might come a-knocking. And if somebody new to your life takes a particular interest in one of your known weaknesses, your suspicions will already be raised, won’t they?

Now I’d like to challenge you to take a step further: leave a comment briefly outlining your weak spot. By owning up publicly, you accept it as a part of you.

Many thanks to the commenter called beautifulyule, who inspired this post.

And click here to read about successful psychopaths.