Most of us treat each other pretty well.
But some people totally lack empathy or remorse, and in extreme cases don’t care whether you live or die.
They have no regard for your rights. Superficially charming, they’re manipulative, deceitful, impulsive, and never accept responsibility for their actions.
Completely unscrupulous, they feel no guilt or regret. In fact, they don’t feel deeply about anything at all. They’re easily bored, impulsive, and never commit.
We call the worst examples psychopaths, and they can commit terrible crimes. But most never do. They just slip through life wreaking havoc on others.
And you can easily see how a lack of moral scruples and indifference to other people’s feelings might help you get ahead in life.
So it’s not surprising that there are more than there should be among chief executive officers, lawyers, financial traders and politicians.
And somehow we admire them. Especially their willingness to crush anyone in their way.
And the chances are you know some. The bullying boss. The friend who’s fun to be around but takes advantage of you.
Yet somehow they always talk their way out of trouble. Over three times as many men as women are diagnosed, but that’s probably because the definition focuses on aggressive behaviour.
Females psychopaths are usually more subtle. But there’ve also been some notorious female killers, for example Brigitte Mohnhaupt of the Baader-Meinhof gang.
One woman married to a psychopath described him as a “fun-loving, happy-go-lucky nice guy”, but said he had a “very dark character”.
A psychopath said that his problem was that he’s a cat in a world of mice. And mostly they don’t want to change, and rarely accept treatment.
They’re incapable of loyalty or love, so hardly ever form successful relationships.
There’s no trust, empathy, emotional connection or commitment. And when they have sex, their experience is way different from yours and mine.
For them, sex is all about boosting their ego, avoiding boredom, or taking advantage of someone. You see them at work in the bars.
Brilliant seducers, hugely flattering, creating a sense of connection right from the start. Asking deeply personal questions far too soon, and playing on every fantasy you’ve ever had.
To begin with the sex will be amazing. But for them it’s not an emotional experience. They’re just skilfully pressing all the right buttons.
And then, once you’re hooked, they become cold and abusive. Play mind games. Disappear for days at a time. And it will always be your fault.
But show signs you might be thinking of moving on, and there’ll be a thousand promises. Perfect behaviour. So in your confusion you’ll stay far too long.
If you’ve accidentally fallen in love with a psychopath, you should leave. That will be difficult. There’ll be harassment, stalking and threats. So get help.
Spend time with your family. Talk to a counsellor. But get out. Because psychopaths have no feelings. And take endless delight in destroying yours.