“The psychopath has a talent for identifying and exploiting the weaknesses of others,” – Robert Hare, PhD, a leading expert on psychopathy.
When you think of psychopaths, the first thing that comes to mind is someone who lacks empathy, remorse, and guilt, and who disregards all social norms.
Do you know about high-functioning psychopaths, who hide among us but do not show violent tendencies except when under extreme pressure?
However, it is not always easy to spot a psychopath, and they can often go unnoticed for a long time.
But what happens when they are finally found out?
What Do Psychopaths Do When They Are Found Out?
Psychopaths, when found out, will often deny, minimize, rationalize, and manipulate the situation to their advantage. They may even seek professional help, but this is usually to further their own interests rather than to genuinely mend their behavior.
Deny and Blame Others
One common tactic that psychopaths use when they are found out is to deny any wrongdoing and blame others for their behavior.
They may insist that they are being unfairly targeted or that others are simply jealous of their success.
This can be especially effective if the psychopath is skilled at manipulating others and has a charismatic personality.
Minimize and Rationalize Their Behavior
Psychopaths may also attempt to minimize or rationalize their behavior when they are confronted about it.
They may argue that their actions were justified given the circumstances, or that they were simply acting in their own best interests.
They may also downplay the severity of their actions, suggesting that they were not as bad as they may seem.
Manipulate The Situation
Manipulation is a hallmark of psychopathic behavior, and this is no different when they are found out.
Psychopaths may attempt to manipulate the situation to their advantage by using their charm and charisma to win over others, or by using their knowledge of others’ weaknesses to gain the upper hand.
They may also attempt to turn the tables on their accusers by making them feel guilty or ashamed.
Seek Professional Help
In some cases, psychopaths may seek professional help when they are found out. However, this is often done for strategic reasons rather than genuine concern for their behavior.
Psychopaths may seek therapy or counseling in order to learn new manipulation tactics or to gain insight into how others think and feel.
They may also use therapy as a way to convince others that they are taking steps to address their behavior.
Consequences of A Psychopath Being Found Out
“When a psychopath is caught, they will do whatever it takes to protect themselves and maintain their power and control.” – Dr. Martha Stout
Psychopaths are more likely to commit crimes than non-psychopaths. This increased risk of criminal behavior means that psychopaths are more likely to face legal consequences when their actions are discovered.
When a psychopath is found out, one of the worst consequences they may face is legal action. Psychopaths who engage in criminal activities may face punishment such as imprisonment or fines.
In severe cases, they may even receive the death penalty.
Being found out as a psychopath can also have significant social consequences. Psychopaths typically have difficulty forming and maintaining relationships, and being exposed as a psychopath can exacerbate this problem.
Friends, family members, and romantic partners may distance themselves from the psychopath once they learn of their condition. As a result, psychopaths may find themselves isolated and lonely.
“Being found out as a psychopath can have significant social consequences. Friends, family members, and romantic partners may distance themselves from the psychopath once they learn of their condition.” – Harvard Gazette
Being found out as a psychopath can lead to considerable personal repercussions.
Psychopaths frequently grapple with a sense of inadequacy, which can be magnified when their true nature is exposed. They might also experience guilt or shame in connection with their actions.
Feelings of emptiness and boredom are common among psychopaths. When their true identity is revealed, these feelings may intensify and result in further negative outcomes.
Those involved in criminal activities may face penalties, and those struggling to form relationships could become more isolated. Being exposed as a psychopath can worsen existing feelings of inadequacy, shame, and boredom.
By the way, psychopathy is not an official diagnosis, but it is often used interchangeably with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD).
Research Papers on Psychopathy
- “The Dark Triad of Personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy” by Delroy L. Paulhus and Kevin M. Williams: This research paper explores the relationship between three personality traits – narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy – collectively known as the “dark triad.” The study found that individuals who scored high in all three traits tend to exhibit manipulative, callous, and exploitative behavior.
- “Psychopathy and the Ability to Read the ‘Language of the Eyes'” by Simon Baron-Cohen and Sally Wheelwright: This research paper investigates the ability of psychopaths to interpret nonverbal cues, specifically the emotional expressions in the eyes. The study found that psychopaths have difficulty recognizing emotions from the eyes alone, which may contribute to their impaired social functioning.
- “Empathic, moral and antisocial outcomes associated with distinct components of psychopathy in healthy individuals: a Triarchic model approach” by Pedro R. Almeida and Maria João Seixas: This report found that different facets of psychopathy were associated with distinct domains of empathy and morality. In addition, every TriPM subscale was positively related to self-reported delinquency, although meanness lost its predictive power when its shared variance with disinhibition was controlled.
- “Psychopathy and Moral Development: A Comparative Study of Psychopathic and Nonpsychopathic Criminals” by James Blair, Derek Mitchell, and Karina Blair: This paper compares the moral reasoning abilities of psychopathic and nonpsychopathic criminals. The study found that psychopaths have a reduced ability to reason about moral dilemmas, which may contribute to their disregard for societal norms and rules.
When psychopaths are found out, they may intensify their toxic behavior, and come at you with threats or violence.
Worse, they are unpredictably dangerous, so calling out a psychopath can be an unnerving experience.
If you don’t know how to deal with them and what to expect from them, do not call them out after you find them out.
You need precautions to protect yourself. Keep an eye out for their sneaky tactics, cut contact, and seek help from legal and mental health professionals.
Don’t let them exploit your goodness and kindness.
• • •
• • •
Author Bio: Researched and reviewed by Dr. Sandip Roy. His expertise is in mental well-being, positive psychology, narcissism, and Stoic philosophy.
√ If you liked it, please spread the word.