What is a psychopath, exactly?
In his leading book on psychopaths, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, Robert Hare, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, says a conservative estimate of the number of psychopaths in the United States is 2 million. While it’s easy to label an unpleasant coworker or an adulterous ex a psychopath, how can you tell the difference between someone truly psychopathic and someone who’s just a jerk? Keep reading for key psychopath symptoms, but remember that a few signs does not a psychopath make. A proper diagnosis can only be given by a medical professional. “Anything else is speculation,” warns Robert Schug, PhD, a neurocriminologist and clinical psychologist specializing in the biology and psychology of the criminal mind. Take a look in the mirror because you don’t want to miss these 17 silent signs that you’re the toxic one.
Psychopaths get bored easily
A psychopath is not just under-stimulated because of an uneventful day at work or a weekend night stuck at home, but he or she faces chronic boredom across all facets of their lives. One common hypothesis is that psychopaths are hardwired to be more under-aroused than other people. “A psychopath’s nervous system is wired so they need to keep doing exciting things to feel normal and reach normal levels of arousal,” says Schug. According to psychologist Randall Salekin, PhD, this means that they’re also the ones in a group most likely to initiate fun-oriented activities, such as suggest post-work drinks.