The Red Flags

Think you'd be able to spot a psychopath from a mile away? Think again, girls!

Man thinking and looking off into distance

Dr. Annabelle R. Charbit, author of A Life Lived Ridiculously and, speaks from personal experience when she says that unless you're actively looking for one (which most of us sadly aren't) or have been stung by one in the past, they're extremely hard to pick out. Why? “Because psychopaths have great social skills, are charming, funny and exciting. The psychopath's greatest weapon is the ability to seduce his or her victims by winning over their pity. By eliciting pity in morally normal individuals, psychopaths can get pretty much anything they want.” Eek!

Here's how to avoid a potentially dangerous situation by recognizing all those subtle warning signs before it's too late!


He has a history of financial or occupational instability

Oftentimes, psychopaths are unable to keep jobs or uphold financial commitments, says Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, psychotherapist and author of the Human Magnet Syndrome. “Their sense of entitlement leads them to dismiss work rules, like arriving on time, staying awake or not stealing. Moreover, the reason for their termination typically includes insubordination, as they have no respect for the people who have control over them, such as their bosses.”


He wants to get too serious too soon

According to psychologist/psychotherapist Daniel J. Sapen Ph.D., you should steer clear of any guy who wants to get too serious too soon and is genuinely upset by your insistence on maintaining autonomy and boundaries as you get to know him instead of joining him in his view of things.


He tells grandiose stories

"One of the top signs you're dating a psychopath is if all his stories tend to be a bit exaggerated and inconsistent upon investigation,” says internationally renowned dating and relationship coach David Wygant. The facts simply don't line up. "For example,” adds Dr. Charbit, "he might regale you with tales of great success, asking perhaps that you invest in a new venture and claiming unrealistic returns on your money. But when you dig deeper, you're hard-pressed to find any evidence of his credentials.”


He feels like the world owes him so he…

Never tips, litters and says it's the city's job to clean up and/or teases kids in a way that frustrates them and amuses him, explains Dr. Wendy Walsh, relationship expert for and author of The 30-Day Love Detox. "Psychopaths think that life is skewed for them to fail so they must take what they can get. They also have the inability to feel compassion or guilt.”


He treats strangers unkindly

Observe his interactions with animals, bugs, the handicapped and the homeless, suggests Dr. Sapen. "There's a saying that if you want to know who someone really is, watch how he treats others who can do nothing for him. Psychopaths may regard strangers with annoyance or as subjects to be enjoyed through mockery.”


He's mastered the art of charm

Does he come off as a little bit too charming? Is he a suave, smooth talker who feigns empathy to get what he wants? "Psychopaths use charm to manipulate, control and mask their real nature or agenda,” notes Rosenberg. “This charm compensates for their inability to feel or express genuine warmth.”

However, don't be fooled. This could be the guy that tenderly wipes away your tears at a bar, points out Sapen. "He's timing his seduction to the moment you're at your least confident and your guard is the most let down. In fact, his willingness to use charm and his lack of embarrassment at presenting himself as incredibly interesting and confident might make him more obviously alluring to you than the naturally self-doubting and courteous guy at the next table.”


He believes the rules don't apply to him

Psychopaths live by the "pleasure principle,” describes Rosenberg. "If it feels good and they think they won't get caught or suffer the consequences, they'll do it. They often make statements like: 'It's a dog eat dog world. Get what you can because if you don't, someone else will beat you to it.'”


To him, sex is an accomplishment

Whether he's dynamic and skilled in bed or not, if your pleasure feels like more of an accomplishment to his ego rather than a true sense of closeness, then that's a definite red flag, says Sapen.


He can never be wrong

Psychopaths will fly into a fit of rage at the mere suggestion they're wrong or that someone knows better than they do, informs Sapen. "Also, be wary of lame excuses for any error, such as being two hours late or smelling like another woman's perfume.” Most likely, he's lying!

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Comments on "9 Not-so-noticeable signs you're dating a psychopath"

Eloihimdanoti April 07, 2014 | 2:52 PM

Lynda, he was far from a psychopath. By the sounds of it seems like it was bipolar disorder, and he may also suffer from black outs too. The black outs can be attributed to rage, whereby he enters a momentary fugue state, brought on by the change in emotional state. As the memory loss would be attributed to his rage and not his kindness, it's likely that he has ever been unable to successfully implement rage, allowing it to serve its biological function, and rather does the opposite of its biological function. Rage is designed to protect you and others around you. Someone attacks your child you go into a blind rage violently attacking them, and not remembering it afterwards or are fuzzy on the details. He attributes his actual personality with the kinder side of his bipolar disorder, and dissociates himself from the rage aspect. Not being able to process both aspects of the disorder, he is constantly confused, and may not be intentionally lying, or he may genuinely forget what he has done or said. It's like his good side and his bad side keep constantly flicking between the two rather than 1 being dominant. He wants to be a good person, or at the very least thinks he should be.

Eloihimdanoti April 07, 2014 | 2:33 PM

I would say that it is scary that they all apply to me, but I have known that I am a psychopath for sometime, and I don't actually feel fear. Though with regards to lying, I never lie, but say things in such a way that people will misconstrue what I say, so something with a double meaning, or using a double negative to imply a negative, knowing full well that I mean a positive. Such as, "I didn't do nothing with the X, Y, or Z." Which means that I did do something. So if I ever get caught, I admitted to doing it. Which means that I never got caught because I admitted it. We cannot feel empathy or sympathy, and in most cases were it would be normal to show empathy or sympathy we fake it. But really we feel nothing but disdain. In instances were empathy and sympathy are relevant psychopaths have the mentality: "It happened to you and not to me. Even if it had happened to me I would not care. You caring does nothing to help your situation, nor change it." We have no morals, to us there is no right and wrong, good and evil. Only actions and reactions. You don't like what we are, so you make stereotypes about us: We like hurting animals, humiliating people, are prone to become serial killers, etc. Granted some of us do do that, but they are traits of the individual and not of his condition. Just the same way that not all Christians are members of the West Borough Baptist Church, not all Muslims are terrorists, not all black people are going to steal your property. Psychopaths are more effective and more efficient. We can do things normal people will hesitate at doing, or think about doing instead of doing. We learn faster, and we are not hindered by morals or emotions. We process things faster, make decisions quicker, and we are more effective at saving lives. If a child has become infected with a potentially lethal and contagious disease, rather than attempt to cure the child, kill the child and burn the body. Threat eliminated. You attempt to cure the child you run the risk of contaminating others, yourself, and the death toll reaching 1,000s if not millions. Imagine everyone you know and care about dying, because you tried to do the right thing. Because your morals would not allow you to kill the child and burn his body. It must really suck to have emotions, to be controlled by emotions. Who really has the medical condition, people who have emotions or people who cannot feel emotions?

ur mum April 02, 2014 | 7:17 AM

women are so much worse and cleverer psychopaths than most men will be mostly and laws are skewed for female psychopaths much more to benifit for them some are scary in that nobody sees this they are quiet and horrible vampires im actually scared

Chris G March 17, 2014 | 12:55 AM

Lydia, it sounds like this man had serious issues. Possibly a psychopath but possibly not. Either way it sounds like it is best that you got far away from him. The threats and anger and issues with money and jobs are what concern me the most.

Lydia martins March 11, 2014 | 1:33 PM

I met a man once who had the most strange personality and Id like to discover what kind of disturbed personality he had. Here are the signs he displayed- - lies and lies, and lies. -would say something and when I mentioned it later, would say he had never said that and that I needed a doctor. -would say he wanted to have a relationship and would say later he had never said that. -would not kiss or hold hands Never. Would be afraid of kissing . - would wash hands all the time. -flew into rages for nothings. -impulsive, would just decide on a course of action and do it immediately. -grandiose dreams that were obviously never to become reality. -violent many times without any reason at all, would shake a fist to me for no reason, in the middle of a normal conversation if something was not to his liking. - poor story of jobs and lack of money. - tall stories told to other people. - abusive by phone and email as well, sometimes alternating lovely emails with horrible ones in a matter of hours. -When I finally cut off all contact, continued phoning sometimes compulsively and wanting to try again. -Borrowed money and never payed back and when I asked for my money back threatened my family at the same time saying i was going to spoil a lovely friendship because of that. -Displays of temper and racial prejudice. Can anyone comment on that? Im now married and happy but I still remember the horror I went through with that man. Was he a sociopath or his sickness has another name?

Kelly February 27, 2014 | 9:28 AM

Just super. Let's put down some bullet points on why a guy is psycho. So all the wee blog readers can rate their men "knew it! 5/9, you're a psycho! How to keep the world paranoid and man hating. Jesus, take an equal measure of your female friends and your male friends (male friends, not men that have dumped you)and note, on balance, which group is more psycho?

John6907 February 18, 2014 | 10:32 AM

There are two psychopaths on TV. One is Dexter who is textbook but because Michael Hall, who portrays Dexter, is so warm himself you don't get the full flavor. The other is Frank Underwood, portrayed by Kevin Spacey on Netflix's "House of Cards". Frank Underwood is an especially lethal psychopath. I find Underwood frightening and Kevin's portrayal is incredibly convincing. I see a lot of sociopaths on "Judge Judy". It's usually, but not always, the men and they often have so little insight they don't know how to cover up their sense of entitlement thinking their behavior is reasonable and that Judge Judy's wrath is unfair. If you know what to look for they stick out like a sore thumb. One woman was angry with her neighbor and poisoned her two dogs. A man was mad because his girlfriend went into a club leaving him in the car. He broke off her two mirrors, broke the windshield and beat his hands bloody pounding the pavement. He told his girlfriend all this like she should know it was her fault and was shocked when she abandoned him. He seemed mystified at Judge Judy ruling against him.

sharon January 14, 2014 | 3:22 PM

my ex used to turn the charm on .only when he wanted something ,giving the impression he had as much of a caring side as me , which really he was pure evil.....ok i thought i found mr right at the start of the relationship , thats exactly how he conned me.he use to blame me for everything even things beyond my control , he once blamed me that his children from his first relationship were growing up . wtf i would let me think he was seeing other people , and never reassure me he wouldnt saying think what you want . looking back i was living with a man with no feelings what so ever he would deprive me of for weeks using it was away of part of his control id only get things if i behaved , .im so glad im away from him he was a nightmare

Lisa January 13, 2014 | 5:11 PM

Wow. This describes my ex to a T. But what is really disturbing is this: he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder toward the end of our relationship, and my friend was convinced he was a sociopath, which I also became convinced of after doing some more research (now there is no doubt in my mind). Your description here about psychopaths also fits him in every way. Is it possible that a man can have borderline personality disorder, be a sociopath AND a psychopath? Boy do I know how to pick em!!

Stressed Mother January 03, 2014 | 5:08 PM

Can anyone please help with my problem which is that I have a daughter who definitely fits the profile of a psychopath who for years has tried to break up my 30+ year marriage and is still trying, has wrecked one marriage (the husband is now her victim). Should I literally cut her out of our life? It seems to be the only way we will ever have any peace but it still feels like a very cruel thing for me to do as a mother. Desperately need advice.

Karl December 10, 2013 | 11:14 PM

Lol at the one about a guy wiping your tears away in a bar. So, he might be a psychopath if he wipes away your tears, but also we should observe how he treats strangers? Do you not see the massive contradiction there!?

Dkny ???r? October 30, 2013 | 9:15 PM

Meanwhile, police are investigating an alleged sectarian incident after Rangers striker Kyle Laffertys car windows were smashed at a filling station. Dkny ???r?

fifi September 25, 2013 | 2:01 PM

JOJOE, in all my years of trying to understand this particular phenomena in people...esp my soon to be ex. After reading site upon site book upon book...I have NEVER read anything so rich and so correct in information about the psychopathic lover/friend and yet so succinct. You are a talented writer. You are spot on in your observations. Every word pertains to what happened to me...and what is now happening. I went back. Now I want out. I need now to be very careful how i go about it. He has cost me dearly in EVERY sense. I DID 'feel' red flags but ignored them as I was an ignoramus regarding personality disorders and a bigger ignoramus concerning my own weaknesses which is what made me a tasty morsel. The vampire can't get you unless you invite him in so the legend says and it is true. People like me DO invite vampires in and we don't kick them out until the spell they have over us breaks, either through our 'waking up' or the time that comes when they stop glamorizing us and force us to awaken (devalue & discard phase). When we do, it is usually once we have lost a lot (they've gained) and we are of no further use to the vampire. Thank you Jojoe, LOVED your post. FYI this is the first time I have felt so moved to sign up to something on the internet to praise someone....I have cussed a few peeps on you tube though lol. Again thank you for your AMAZING post. xx

Patricia Doyle September 24, 2013 | 9:49 AM

The information from JoJoe has been so helpful. I am still coping with being with a borderline male (I loved the illusion of the man). The tickling and holding really tight - I never thought of that before. It is like everything is coming together and reading these blogs helps so much. Thank you.

JoJoe September 19, 2013 | 1:45 PM

Oh don't give them so much praise, "master manipulators" Not really, they're easy to spot if you're in your NOW. If you've got your values, your ethics and your self esteem in place. You are the Master, they are just someone to observe and walk away from. Remember when we date, we're always on our best behaviour. I'm talking about men psychos here. The Crazy Vacuum Cleaner Salesman at your door. First they will try to sell you their stuff. Their bodies, pea-cocking, stretching, muscle pumping. Then their lies; Climbing a mountain, chefing, world champion pool player. Whatever it is it will be grand, until you ask for proof. Then well, the tables will turn and it will be the day of the big Excuse as to why he can't preform his grandeur act he has previously professed. There can be crocodile tears during a movie. But that soon disappears as time "wears" you on. Then the gifts and acts of kindness that you see as over done and out of place and too early. Then what I call the "PUSH" Where he attempts to get you to do something you wouldn't generally do. Drink 1/2 a bottle of whiskey or anything that makes you think, "Ah, no I don't think so" Then comes the "CUT" he remarks about the way you wear your hair, the sweat he hates on you, the perfume he can't stand, the way you butter your toast, it will be small but it will be present, this is the first real sign you're headed for more of his control, abuse and toxic issues that stem from his inner self. NOT YOURS. Then comes the "I LOVE YOU" this will leave you in instant question, as it comes out of no where, it comes with smiles and kisses and it comes EARLY in the discovery stage of your relationship. It's not love, it's a ploy he'll use to get you to feel "awe". Don't let it, it's the next step in his unconscious need for power, because inside he feels weak, destroyed, needy and very un-masculine. Do not fall for it, infact get a tad upset with his gesture. Ask him how he defines love. Love is a large responsible emotion. You'll find if you ask him for his description of the meaning of love, he will back off, seem to sulk, not get into a conversation. He's been caught off guard, he's looking for an escape, he'll change the subject. This is where he may even avoid you for a week or two. Until you've forgotten about his false intentions until next you meet and if you bring up the topic, you will ALWAYS hear "Ah, do we have to talk about that now?............." Now the journey continues, if you haven't had the smarts to bolt. You're out on the town, if that even happens, these men will prefer your place or his. Keeping you a secret will be his act in keeping you close and controlled and away from his friends who will probably really like you. He will hate that. So remember dating was created to watch him in action, in public and around his pears, groups, friends, family. You need to start any relationship right here. He'll take you out if you ask, and that's a bad thing. Most guys, the middle good guy, will plan and ask you out. That's a HUGE clue to safe dating. If you have to push for a night on the town, he will reluctantly agree and take you out. Then you watch calmly and sweetly. If he's on his best behaviour great, know that. If he is a "maniplator, loser" you'll notice that too. How? You will smile more. There's your clue. You're a great catch a great gal and everything is ticky boo. Nice girls don't just up and toss drinks in faces, until of course they've spent months with this guy. But as a nice woman, you'll start to smile more if you're uncomfortable. A narcissistic will take this well, a con will sometimes notice and start to change the topic or slow down the conversation or get frigidity, start to move his hands more, play with the utensils. A manipulator will criticize you almost immediately. "So, you like your white blouse" - "Did you get to the gym today" or it goes on and on. All of the above. You can even test a guy by smiling more or more broadly. But it's generally a clue, you're not buying the smoke he's blowing and you're wanting to close the door on your Crazy Vacuum salesman. DO IT or well......... go in deep, your choice. Then will come the jealous guy. "I saw you talking to a guy on the dance floor" "Did he buy you a drink" "I think you disrespected me when you leaned into him even if it was because the music was loud" This will go on and on.. Bolt.. Yes, if not stay for the fireworks. Again, you're choice. Now if it hasn't happened before, this is about the time you'll get a form of physical abuse. Could be and YES this is SO TRUE. As simple as over tickling. Tickling is a form of torture, do not think I'm kidding. If he's overdoing almost any form of touching. Consider it a RED FLAG. Holding you close and not letting you go. Over caressing to the point you want to break free. Or just an outright slap, pinch, kick, or in my case a fist in the air aimed at my face. THIS IS THE GO BUTTON.. LEAVE AS SOON AND AS SAFELY AS POSSIBLE. DO NOT SPEAK EVEN. LEAVE or 911 ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS Stay away, forever. If you go back absolutely KNOW THIS LIKE YOU NEVER KNEW THIS He will say he's sorry or maybe not. But he doesn't care. He's only thinking ONE THING. "She came back, now I have her full acceptance that I can do ANYTHING to her." THIS IS ALL HE THINKS AND BELIEVES AND THAT IS WHY IT ONLY WILL GET WORSE. NOW HE KNOWS HE'S THE WINNER AND YOU'RE THE LOSER. THE PLACE HE WANTED YOU ALL THIS TIME. So that's it, that's all folks. Keep your self respect and values and your guard on alert. Keep your relationships on standby until further notice. Keep your head up and stand your ground.

ink August 29, 2013 | 4:32 PM

If women are so clever with their 'intuition' they should be able to sense these things already, right?

v.s July 16, 2013 | 2:24 PM

My sister married a psychopath.He turned her against the whole family and now she is a psychopath herself.

Vince Lin July 09, 2013 | 12:39 PM

Just ask Anne Hathaway. It is almost too good to be true. Psychos have this sweet smile that seems to bypass all your defense mechanisms. Time will tell. Qualify over time!

Srilu June 12, 2013 | 7:36 PM

I almost fell victim to a guy like this. He was so charming and called us soulmate and all. The attention I got was mind blowing. Less than a month he started talking me into co-signing for things, financing a car, even buying a 4 bedroom house. When I hesitated, he was like dont you trust me? I am asking you to do that for your security, I dont need your money. I then find out, his EX was a wonderful person who took good care of him (not a gold digger like he told me), but he hurt her and left her. I seriously dodged a bullet. Financially instability is a very big sign. One of my best friends actually ended up marrying a loser like this and ended up losing all her money and he still controls her through their child after the divorce.

Beverly May 30, 2013 | 10:47 AM

I have known people like this and they are successful in what they do. In most cases a person that is well diverse know how to hide who they are. Regardless they want to be in control of the situation. It's about Power. They continue to move forward manipulating those around them. They circle themselves with people they know, will believe in the things they say or do.

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