Psychopaths are known for their emotional coldness and inability to form genuine relationships.
Their unusually sick behaviors, from how they think and talk to how they gaslight and manipulate, give us a glimpse into their complex minds.
Knowing these can help you unmask the psychopaths around you, and avoid getting trapped by their superficial charm, narcissistic tactics, and impressive daredevilry.
Let’s explore the weird things psychopaths do that reveal their hidden nature.
10 Weird Things Psychopaths Do
Psychopathy is a spectrum disorder and can be diagnosed using the 20-item Hare Psychopathy Checklist—Revised, which includes traits like lack of empathy, pathological lying, and impulsive behavior.
Some weird behaviors that psychopaths show are superficial charm, lack of remorse, narcissism, fear-blindness, dominance, calmness, and deceitfulness.
Here are ten weird things that psychopaths do:
1. Do Not Act Out of Empathy
Psychopaths have a significant lack of empathy for other people’s feelings and are often indifferent to the suffering they cause. This lack of empathy enables them to engage in actions that might be unthinkable to someone with a conscience.
Why is it weird? It’s unusual because most people possess a natural ability to empathize and understand the feelings of others.
2. Put On Their Superficial Charm
Psychopaths can be charming and charismatic when it serves their purposes.
They possess a superficial charm that can make it difficult for others to see their true intentions. This charm allows them to manipulate and deceive those around them.
Why is it weird? This trait is strange because psychopaths use their charm to hide their true intentions, creating a facade that can be deceiving.
3. Manipulative Behavior Is Their Default Behavior
One of the weird things psychopaths do is be scheming and highly manipulative most of the time.
They are people who use their mannerisms and intellect to control others for personal gain. One example of this is gaslighting — a form of psychological manipulation that gradually makes the victim question their own reality and sanity.
Why is it weird? Manipulation is an odd behavior because it has underlying intentions to control others for personal gain, often without regard for the manipulated victim’s well-being.
4. Have An Emotional Coldness
Psychopaths are known for their emotional coldness, often exhibiting shallow emotions or no emotions at all.
They may appear calm, cool, and detached even when faced with extreme situations.
You can go to them to share something excitedly, and they can hear it with a flat face. Your emotions, joys or sorrows, do not affect them.
“Callousness, detachment, and a lack of empathy enable psychopaths to be highly manipulative and unremorseful.” – Psychology Today
Why is it weird? Emotional coldness is peculiar because most of us experience and express a wide range of emotions naturally, while psychopaths stay emotionally detached (but may show fake expressions).
5. Are Impulsive & Have Fear-blindness
One of the weird things psychopaths do is that they act without considering the possible consequences.
Despite their calm demeanor, psychopaths can be highly impulsive. They may look “cool” in an agitating situation and then suddenly erupt in dangerous and risky behavior.
They have these urges to act on impulse which reflect their poor patience and decision-making skills. This comes from their biological inability to process fear as the rest of us do, called “fear-blindness.”
Why is it weird? Impulsiveness is an unusual behavior in normal adults because most of us grew up learning how to delay acting on our impulses, and use that time to assess the possible fallouts. Not psychopaths; they would rather act recklessly without any fear of the potential consequences of their actions.
6. Repeated Acts of Irresponsibility
Psychopaths show a pattern of irresponsibility throughout their lives, including in their personal and professional relationships.
They frequently and repeatedly fail to meet their obligations, such as paying debts or being there for loved ones.
Why is it weird? Most people feel a sense of responsibility and obligation toward those they work with and those they are close to, while psychopaths do not bother keeping good with their promises and commitments.
7. Have A Grandiose Sense of Self-Worth
This is similar to what narcissists have. Psychopaths often have an inflated sense of self-worth, believing that they are superior to others.
Their grandiose sense of worth leads them to seek power and control over others, often at the cost of cruelty.
Why is it weird? A grandiose sense of self-worth is bizarre because it leads psychopaths to believe they are superior to others, despite evidence to the contrary.
8. Known For Pathological Lying
Psychopaths are known to be pathological liars, capable of creating elaborate falsehoods to deceive or manipulate others.
Psychopaths can fabricate stories with ease, often without even bothering if their version has any truth.
Why is it weird? Pathological lying is odd because it involves creating elaborate falsehoods without any regard for the truth, often for no apparent reason.
9. Have Reduced Sensitivity To Punishment
Psychopaths show reduced sensitivity to punishment, which makes them resistant to learning from negative consequences. This trait contributes to their willingness to engage in harmful or illegal actions without fear of repercussions.
Why is it weird? This trait is peculiar because most people learn from negative consequences, while psychopaths continue to engage in harmful or illegal actions without fear of repercussions.
10. Inability To Form Deep Relationships
Due to their lack of empathy and emotional coldness, psychopaths struggle to form deep, meaningful relationships with others. Their relationships often revolve around manipulation and exploitation, rather than genuine connection.
Why is it weird? It is unusual because most individuals seek genuine connections with others, but psychopaths struggle to form meaningful relationships due to their emotional coldness, and, like narcissists, a lack of empathy.
Because psychopaths lack genuine emotions and connections, we often describe them as people with “empty souls.”
What are some creepy things psychopaths say?
Psychopaths may say creepy things that reveal their lack of empathy, show indifference to others’ pain, or make unsettling remarks about causing harm. They may also use manipulative language, and engage in “creepy” flattery or disturbing lies to frighten others for fun. Some examples:
1. “You know, I can’t really understand why people get so upset when someone dies; it’s not like they matter in the grand scheme of things.”
2. “I’ve always been curious about how much fear I could instill in someone before they completely break.”
3. “Sometimes, when I see someone vulnerable, I imagine how easy it would be to take advantage of them. Actually, they deserve it.”
How do psychopaths walk?
They are usually people with cold eyes and cold hearts, but there is no specific way psychopaths walk that can set them apart from others. However, they may move with unusually confident body language, appearing “bossy,” self-assured, and poised, which may discourage people from speaking against or disrespecting them.
Research On Psychopaths and Psychopathy
Psychopathy is a fascinating and complex topic studied by researchers around the world. Here are some research papers that shed light on psychopathy and psychopathic behavior.
- Psychopathy: Clinical Features, Developmental Basis and Therapeutic Challenges: This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the clinical features, developmental basis, and potential treatment options for psychopathy. The authors discuss the characteristic traits of psychopathy, such as lack of conscience, pathological lying, manipulative behavior, and superficial charm. It also emphasizes the importance of considering the developmental basis and potential therapeutic interventions for psychopathy.
- A Broader View of Psychopathy: This American Psychological Association (APA) article provides a broader perspective on psychopathy, exploring the various factors that contribute to the development of psychopathic traits. The article highlights that psychopathy spans socioeconomic status, race, gender, and culture. It finds that individuals who score high on psychopathy scales can range from high-functioning executives to prison inmates, or even ones who show symptoms due to difficult life circumstances.
- New Study Reveals Brain Basis of Psychopathy: This study, from the University of Turku, investigates the brain structure and function of individuals with psychopathy. The researchers found that the brain areas involved in emotions and their regulation are altered in both structure and function among people with psychopathic traits. This supports the notion that psychopathy may have a neurological basis, providing additional insight into the condition’s origin.
A psychopath’s unusual traits, each of which we may find weird, do not ever mean that they are harmless to the rest of us. The truth is quite the opposite.
- Psychopaths can be found in every class of our society and in every human institution, no matter how moralistic or hallowed it is.
- They will harm you at every chance they get, or at the very least not help you when you need them after years of serving them.
- Their weird behaviors may be explained by their childhood environments and some brain dysfunctions.
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Author Bio: Researched and reviewed by Sandip Roy — a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher, who writes on mental well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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