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The signs your friendly ex is actually a psychopath

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

Some exes insist on staying friends and that might make them a psychopath

Are you currently or have you been previously bombarded by harassing phone calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages from an ex? While it may just seem annoying to you, it could actually be a symptom of something far more sinister than a case of a scorned lover.

According to a recent study conducted by the Department of Psychology at Oakland University, that kind of negative attention is classic psychopathic behavior. And what's worse is psychopaths keep tabs on you for very specific, selfish reasons.

More: I was married to a psychopath and couldn't see the signs

Even if the split was amicable and you agree to be friends, if your ex is a psychopath, you probably define staying friends totally different than they do. When the researchers asked their subjects who displayed psychopathic and/or narcissistic traits to explain why they stay friends with exes, the majority said it was in order to maintain sexual access to them. Ugh.

The other side of a psychopath is an unstoppable ego that simply won't abide by rejection. It is unacceptable. Think Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. If you dump one, you're essentially opening yourself up to someone who will stop at nothing to get you back because they can't be in a position where someone else has the upper hand.

More10 signs you're swiping right on a Tinder creep

At first they'll be super charming and unassuming. Can your ex charm the pants off of everyone, including your mother? Then he might be a whole lot crazier than he looks. They're also masters of manipulation, especially when it comes to sexual relationships. At first, they'll make you feel like you're the only person in the room, then once they know they've got you wrapped around their finger, they'll turn off to you, pull away, even start flirting with other girls in front of you. This tactic is called triangulation.

But the manipulation goes much deeper than that. Since psychopaths are giant narcissists, they absolutely love pity, and will suck it up like a sponge. As such, they'll regale you with countless stories of heartbreak, misfortune and severe-seeming illnesses and injuries. If you do a little research, you'll likely find most of a psychopath's stories are fiction.

The funniest/scariest thing about psychopaths is they'll totally let their sane masks slip from time to time for fun. They might just flat out say, "I'm a total lunatic," after an off-color joke or comment. Since we say things like that all the time without meaning it, you probably won't give it a second thought, but if your beau's a psychopath, that there was a blatant confession you just missed.

More: 9 not-so-noticeable signs you're dating a psychopath

Hopefully, your psychopathic ex will just do what they do best before you can — dump you first for no apparent reason. Psychopaths are notorious for getting bored quickly. See Dandy from American Horror Story: Freakshow.

However, if you manage to create a clingy psychopath by doing the dumping, the only way to rid yourself of them is ignore them completely. This might fuel their tenacity at first, but over time, like bullies, they should tire of receiving no response. However they are masters of manipulation; leaving them can be easier said than done and it doesn't change the fact that their damage can leave a lot of emotional scars.

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