'How to Spot a Pro-Social Psychopath' – the psychopath's response

If you know Tina Taylor’s work, you’re probably familiar with this image:
Habits of Highly Psychopathic People Pic

How to Spot a ProSocial Psychopath

The full text that goes along with this flashy wolf-man poster can be viewed here (I hope).

In an entirely predictable and possibly excruciating way, I would like to go over each point of the full list, one by one, to give my reaction (“hell yeah, that’s a thing”), explanation (“we do this because of these three brilliant excuses that are totally not made up”) or criticism (“this list is utter shite and it should be burned on a pyre”).

So, without further ado, let the reactioning commence!

1. Be sensitive to contradictions.Yeah, she started with a strong point did our Tina. Not only is it something every psychopath does, it’s something most people don’t notice. Seriously! Without pausing for breath or changing the tone of my voice, I can hop from saying one thing to just the opposite and I’ve only been called out on it a handful of times. It sounds ridiculous, because it makes people who fall for it seem idiotic, but I guarantee it’s been done to you numerous times and you never realised.

2. Double-check their (tsunami of) stories. This one’s a zinger too. Many people are very chatty. Some people are so chatty that they’re always talking the most in any given conversation. And if you listen, just a bit, you realise most of what they’re saying is bullshit. Many of these people are psychopaths. But you can be a motormouth and a bullshitter without being a psychopath (someone in school fit this mould exactly, spouting on about how he’d been born on an aeroplane and how he was the heir to the throne of Scotland, to cover up the fact he was a pathetic little slug whom nobody liked). And you can also be a psychopath without being God’s gift to hogging all the oxygen. Me, for example. In social situations, I’m usually quiet. I observe, take stock. Then in one-to-one or small group situation I use what I learned to my advantage. I don’t create a load of histrionic hot air and I don’t like people who do.

3. Pay attention to the quick lane changes in conversation. Hooey, I can’t keep up with all these metaphors. When you want to control somebody, or impress them, conversation is all about shock-and-awe, razzle-dazzle, sparkle-glarkle (I might have made that one up) and that can involve rapidly changing the subject. Again, this isn’t necessarily indication of a psychopath but could easily be somebody with ADHD or any manner of personality disorder.


Only two of these metal things are proper robots, but at least two of them are psychopaths. Fun fact.

At this point, you may have noticed the numbering’s all over the shop. It looks absolutely fine in my special edit-only version, counting from 1 to 3 in a linear fashion, but for whatever reason in the finished article it’s all screwed up. I haven’t tried too hard to fix it, as I think it goes nicely with the general blogging incompetence I have exhibited thus far.

4. Look for cold, “robotic” reactions to what should be emotionally troublesome events. Tidal waves, lack of lane discipline, now robots. What will it take for the metaphors to cease? Anyway, these so-called ‘robotic’ reactions arise from confusion. We don’t worry / care about the same things as you guys and it’s sometimes hard enough to understand why you behave the way you do, let alone work out what we’re supposed to be doing. Any expression of e.g. empathy comes not from within, but from what I’ve seen others do, from television and from literature. Even if the performance is a bit off, instead of focusing the negative, why not think positively? “Well they may be a crummy actor but at least they like me enough to pretend to care.” Think about it; when stricken with grief over the death of your mother or houseplant, wouldn’t you rather be faced with a clumsy attempt at empathy than a wall of ice?

5. Track each time they bug you with questions about how you would act in certain (off the wall) situations: “What would you do if I…fill in the blank”. Alright, this is odd. I don’t recall ever having asked such a question, at least not with the obsessive regularity implied here. But if we accept that some psychopaths are like this, I can tell you why. You see, you and your inner worlds of emotion and insecurity are a fascinating mystery to us, to be admired just as often as scorned. When psychopaths ask these sorts of questions, or when you feel like their eyes are shooting lasers into your skull, it’s because they’re trying to get to know you. Not just superficially, but really understand you on a psychological level Anyway, why ask, when you can just take action and see what happens?

6. Take note of their scapegoating; usually associated with assigning blame, psychopaths also expertly assign credit where little or none is due. Agreed. I take exception to one of the supplementary claims though, “It’s all lies regardless”. No, psychopaths often call it exactly as they see it. The challenge for you is to discern the lies from the truth. That is admittedly difficult and easily explains why so many don’t bother and just go with the “it’s all lies” option. But those who persevere can find that home truths from a psychopaths are usually very perceptive indeed and will help you to see yourself more clearly.

7. Analyze their desire to move quickly into a close relationship; calling you endearing terms right away, insisting that you should freely bring them into your circle of trust, wanting you to share living quarters or share a business venture very soon after meeting. This. One thousand times this. So much this that I already posted about this the other week. I mean, I can’t blame you, we talk a good talk, and I like to say I have one of those faces to which people want to blurt out all their secrets, but still YOU’RE AN ADULT HUMAN WITH A BIG BRAIN AND FREE WILL! If you ignore everything you were told when you were 4 and trust a complete stranger with your money, your belongings or your life just because they have a nice smile and lots of candy in their van, you’re a sucker and you deserve everything that’s coming to you.

8. Observe the “Poor Me, I’m the Victim” tone and words that they use to get your sympathy, which can fool you into being controlled/manipulated by them and giving them stuff (time, special favors, gifts…) Yeah. Let me ask you to put yourself in the shoes of another for a minute. If you had this amazing power to cry on cue, turn on the puppy dog eyes at a stroke, come up with any lie on the spot and mimic any emotion of your choosing, can you honestly say you wouldn’t use it to get free stuff?

9. Notice a pattern of hot-cold-hot-cold-hot attraction and attention to you. This is all well and good, but if it’s got to this stage already, you’re probably too far gone. You are the puppet (and the muppet) so you might as well allow your strings to be pulled until you’re cut loose. God, now I’m doing metaphors. Clichéd ones too. Anyway it’s more of a “hot-cold-hot-warm-hot-cold-hot-hot-hot-icy-hot-cold-chill-hot-tepid-cold-cold-hot-cold-scalding” pattern.

10. Be wary of their number of claims that “There was a misunderstanding”, because they know that phrase restores your trust, and eases their way past you catching them in a lie. 

Running out of things to say and my interest in the article is ebbing away, so this meme sums it all up. Basically, the old “just a misunderstanding” schtick is just another bit of nonsense that you should be more than capable of seeing through by yourself.

Phew, that’s over.

Oh no, wait, it isn’t. There are some extra warnings for your apparent safety.

  • Never give your trust freely. Beware anyone who asks you to do so. Trust must be earned. Duhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  • The most overlooked sign of psychopathy is “Eerily calm demeanor”. Is it indeed? How does this gel with the overexcited storyteller painted a few lines up?
  • Do not confront a psychopath about your discovery of their psychopathy. That would be like backing a wild animal into a corner. That’s right. Know your place, empath fool; we’re super scary, and shit. Rawr.
  • Be careful of confiding in their “nice” family members, since psychopathy is genetic. In other words, we’re everywhere! Bwahahahaha!

If you kept with me ’til the end, thanks for reading. You deserve a nice pat on the back. Unfortunately, you’re thousands of miles away, so the best I can offer is this picture of one dog patting another dog. Heartwarming, eh?

Well Done, Boy !! - beautiful, lovely, snow, white, paw on head, well done, photo, dog

Notice the backdrop, which must be pleasantly seasonal if you live in the arse end of the southern hemisphere, as I imagine you do.

Want to take this relationship to the next level? Leave a comment below, and see where it gets us 🙂