The Psychopathy Checklist: My Sister SANDRA METCALF MEETS IT

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UPDATE on Nov. 11, 2022: Gerard Butler M.D. seems to tell me that while it is true that psychiatrists do not differentiate between sociopathy and psychopathy and put all these under antisocial personality disorder, that basically my sister has a very strong case of psychopathy, even stronger than what Zack Knight and Loree McBride had when they were the Jesuit leaders. This makes her very dangerous and NOT TO BE TRUSTED. She is fully aware of how normal people think and feel and a master at manipulating our emotions to get what she wants. My sister also appears to have a very high pain tolerance and is basically NUMB to torture and punishment she gets at this point. I’m afraid the only way she’ll get right, if she gets right, will be a long time in hell under the most severe pain and torture. She’s so sadistic and sadomasochistic, she might actually start enjoying the pain and torture, though. We are truly dealing with a sick monster! Another thing, we need to be careful with categories. We are all individuals. Though the psychopath label helps us to understand Sandra, she is Sandra. She seems to be a combo sadist, sadomasochist and severe psychopath. I have noticed she does seem to be extremely psychopathic though, and, if anything, we should NEVER trust her and understand that she is an expert manipulator. She plays her psychopath game well.

Interestingly, I saw her cry at my stepdad Bill Fuller’s funeral in 2014. Not sure what to make of that. But it didn’t stop her from being a psychopath. I am thinking that perhaps he was the dad she wished she had. I actually sort of had him as a dad from 2001 forward. I could add another category onto her and that of borderline personality disorder. You see, when my sister and I were growing up, my mother always told her that men always abandon you. This can cause borderline personality disorder. So, as I’ve said, my sister probably is a mixed bag and we can’t categorize her. She definitely has a very strong case of antisocial personality disorder though and fits just about all the description of a psychopath. My guess is if she does have borderline personality disorder, she fights off depression by negating her emotions and becoming a very severe psychopath. In fact, her becoming a psychopath may have become a defense mechanism to overcome her borderline personality disorder, especially the depression part. Was she born a psychopath? I don’t know. I don’t recall her ever being an emotional person, for the most part. She’s always seemed detached and callous in her emotions, even when she was a child. I do recall that she had a fascination with sex when she was a teenager and I saw a book about sex in her room, which I never read. It just disgusted me, because I was a very devout Christian at the time.

Here are some insights about psychopaths and emotions:

Dr. Martens is director of the W. Kahn Institute of Theoretical Psychiatry and Neuroscience and advisor of the Forensic Psychiatry Hospital in Assen, The Netherlands. Psychopathy is characterized by diagnostic features such as superficial charm, high intelligence, poor judgment and failure to learn from experience, pathological egocentricity and incapacity for love, lack of remorse or shame, impulsivity, grandiose sense of self-worth, manipulative behavior, poor self-control, pathological lying, promiscuous sexual behavior, juvenile delinquency, and criminal versatility among others (Cleckley, 1982; Hare et al., 1990). As a consequence of these criteria the psychopath has the image of a cold, heartless, inhuman being. But do all psychopaths show a complete lack of normal emotional capacities and empathy? Like healthy people, many psychopaths love their parents, spouse, children and pets in their own way, but have difficulty loving and trusting the rest of the world. Furthermore, psychopaths do suffer emotionally as a consequence of separation, divorce, death of a beloved person or dissatisfaction with their own deviant behavior (Martens, 1997). Sources of Sadness Psychopaths can suffer emotional pain for a variety of reasons. Like anyone else, psychopaths have a deep wish to be loved and cared for. This desire remains frequently unfulfilled, however, as it is obviously not easy for another person to get close to someone with such repellent personality characteristics. Psychopaths are at least periodically aware of the effects of their behavior on others and can be genuinely saddened by their inability to control it. The lives of most psychopaths are devoid of a stable social network or warm, close bonds. The life histories of psychopaths are often characterized by a chaotic family life, lack of parental attention and guidance, parental substance abuse and antisocial behavior, poor relationships, divorce, and adverse neighborhoods (Martens, 2000). They may feel that they are prisoners of their own etiological determination and believe that they had, in comparison with normal people, fewer opportunities or advantages in life.

I can’t see her as the type of psychopath who would kill her children though. I think because she has built up this image of herself as the perfect parent. It’s part of the image she needs to project a type of perfection to the world. She didn’t believe in spanking, though. My guess on this, is because THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT SHE NEEDED AS A CHILD and she KNOWS IT. So she’s against spanking because she doesn’t like to believe that any human needs to be corrected, that we’re all inherently good. This way, she can say that she, like everyone else, would never deserve to be punished for anything they do.

You might say, how can she say that humans are inherently good, when she calls some people evil? Well, she’s playing our morality game, but she doesn’t believe in it herself. Since she enjoys suffering, both in herself and others, she thinks we all should be like her. I think she also considers those who express emotions as weak and inferior to her, because she’s so “superior” because she never allows her emotions to get “in the way”. This is how she justifies her meanness and cruelty. Her superiority alone (because she does not allow emotions to make her weak) as she sees it, justifies all she does. If people want to lump her as psychopath or evil, that’s their problem for being dumb enough to categorize people into bad and good, when no such differences really exist. This is why she gets along so well with Satan.

But I do recall that her husband Troy did employ a type of discipline with the kids. She’s certainly a sorry example of what a wife should be to them though, that’s for sure! I hope her kids don’t become psychopaths, like she is.

She is actually a sick monster now, who enjoys inflicting pain and receiving pain and gets a thrill out of it. She’s so sick, she probably saw my mother’s death as an opportunity to get the upper hand with me, which, so far, hasn’t worked. She just totally skipped over the grieving part about my mother’s death and negated her emotions there and is so used to being a cold machine, the only thing she grieved was her lost opportunity to use my mother as her instrument to go after me. This has probably infuriated her and made her more nasty and she’s trying to come up with more plots to get the upper hand with me. Above all, don’t trust her, she’s turned into a brilliant actress and con artist.

You might say, how can she enjoy suffering in HERSELF? Well, she actually doesn’t enjoy it. But the fact that she has such a high pain tolerance and can show it off is a source of great pleasure to her, it feeds into her illusion that she’s better than those who can’t “take it”. My sister is VERY PROUD.

Sandra is a super control freak and I’ve heard she ties her husband Troy to a pole when she’s not around. She also likes to masturbate in her car when she’s in rush hour traffic. These are all actions of a severe psychopath.

Satan has apparently given her the opportunity to play out her control freak tendencies to the max and she’s enjoying it. The only thing that stands in her way is me and my men, so she wants us eliminated. Like the psychopath she is, we are not allowed to have true love and stuff like that, because she can’t have it (so she thinks).

I perceive psychopaths the way I perceive fallen angels and clones. Some clones have turned to God. Even if you are born with some bad DNA, you can overcome it, if you really want to. I don’t completely understand all this, but I believe it. I believe that if my sister started making choices for good, that Jesus could even transform her psychopath DNA or negate it. But that is HER DECISION and hers alone and right now, she is such a sick psychopath, I wouldn’t trust anything she says or does. If she claims she has repented, she needs to show evidence of it before we believe her. Like she needs to stop all attacks against us for several months before we believe she has chosen to try and be good. Whatever you do, don’t give her any opportunities until we have SOLID EVIDENCE SHE HAS GENUINELY TURNED GOOD.

The Psychopathy Checklist article (below) is taken from

As I read it, it describes my sister Sandra Metcalf TO A TEE. In fact, we asked ex-sociopath and ex-Antichrist Loree McBride (who has gotten right) to give us insights into Sandra and all Loree said was that it was hard to do so, because Sandra did not reveal her inner life to her. A psychopath basically does NOT have an inner life, so there is none to reveal!

Gerard Butler M.D., who is a psychiatrist, has communicated with me brain-to-brain and informed me that he, too, believes my sister is a psychopath.

You might say, it’s awful mean to expose your sister like this. Well, she is a very dangerous psychopath and I believe is guilty now of mass murder, mass crimes of all sorts of things, and NEEDS TO BE EXPOSED. I owe it to humanity and those I love and care about to expose this monster.

MY COMMENT: After my men visited my sister, she became BFF with Loree McBride and ended up trying to destroy me, by writing a lying statement which she conned my mother into submitting to a judge. What my sister did, and how she became the “perfect” daughter to my mother to gain my mother’s cooperation, shows psychopathic behavior in my sister. See the statement my sister wrote for my mother to submit to a judge below. Sandra told my mother in the summer of 2012 that if my mother didn’t send me to a psych ward that she was not being a responsible parent. So Sandra wrote the statement below and conned my mother into submitting it to a judge. This happened two months AFTER my men visited my sister in her Atlanta home. So it was a cold, calculating act, where my psychopath sister decided to discard me as a sister because I had something she felt she could never have.

Gail’s Mother Misao Confessed that Sandra Metcalf Wrote the Lying Statement (RECORDING BELOW IN VIDEO):

Can view the above video HERE.

This is an old video I made in Sept. 2018 about my sister and how she used my mother to assist my sister as a criminal.

Psychopathy Checklist Traits (PCL-R) – Full Overview (With Examples)

Written by admin  in Psychopathy

Many of us still tend to be stuck in the stereotype of the psychopath as the violent serial killer, but psychopathy is actually most often measured in terms of a series of personality traits or characteristics that many more people than just murderers in prison possess.

There are actually several diagnostic criteria for psychopathy, but probably the most popular and long standing one is the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R), developed several decades ago by psychopathy expert Dr Robert Hare.

Let’s first list the traits that make up the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R), that define the psychopathic personality and distinguish it from other personality traits.

You are looking for a clustering of these traits – in other words, most or all of them hanging together within one person, and not just one or two, to diagnose psychopathy. We will go into more on this below.

Here are the basic Psychopathy Checklist Traits:

  • Glib & Superficial
  • Egocentric & Grandiose
  • Lack of Remorse or Guilt
  • Deceitful & Manipulative
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Shallow Emotions
  • Impulsive
  • Poor behavior controls
  • Need for excitement
  • Lack of Responsibility
  • Early Behavior Problems
  • Adult Anti-Social Behavior

We will run through each of these individual traits in more detail further below, providing some specific examples of how each trait can manifest in the real world psychopaths.

The Psychopathy Checklist was initially developed by Canadian psychopathy expert Dr Robert Hare

How the Psychopathy Checklist Works

According to the Hare PCL-R model, prison inmates are scored for each of these traits using a specific questionnaire, with a maximum potential score of 40/40. Different countries use different thresholds, but an individual scoring past a score of either 25 or 30 out of 40 qualifies them to be diagnosed with a psychopathic personality.

Some of the most notorious serial killers in history have scored very high (39 or 40 out of 40) on the Psychopathy Checklist. See Robert Hare’s Without Conscience in our Books section for some examples of this.

But we don’t just want to make this a dry academic article – we want to try and bring the psychopathy checklist to life a bit more by giving some real world examples of how these traits can manifest in psychopaths you meet in the world every day.

Remember, not all psychopaths are violent serial killers – in fact most of them aren’t. This site has tried to dispel that myth. The serial killer psychopath is the exception rather than the rule for this personality type.

In fact, most psychopaths have the same basic personality characteristics of these violent killers, but through a combination of education, punishment and self serving purposes, most psychopaths have learnt to curb and more cleverly conceal their destructive behavior, instead causing trouble in more sneaky, covert ways that we cannot so easily detect and punish by law.

Put differently, most psychopaths have learnt that open violence towards others is frowned upon and punished by society, and so instead they seek an outlet for their internal destructiveness by causing psychological and emotional harm to others in the outside world.

With this in mind, let’s run through each trait in the psychopathy checklist in more detail, giving specific real life examples of how these traits can manifest in both violent and non violent psychopaths we may come across in daily life.

1. Glib & Superficial

This is a crucial one to look out for – most psychopaths learn that they must put up a front or a facade to conceal their real personality from others – a so called facade of normalcy or “mask of sanity“. Many psychopaths manage to construct a very convincing facade indeed.

For this reason, many psychopaths will actually come across as very charming and friendly at first, seemingly very personable and easy to get along with.

This can manifest in a number of ways:

  • A superficial warmth, charm or charisma that can easily reel people in. The air can seem to buzz around them sometimes. Psychopaths can be charismatic.
  • An ability to make it seem you have known them for years, even if they have only just met you.
  • An ability to seem engaged and engaging, to seem interested and interesting.
  • A smooth talking disposition. Psychopaths can hold court and be great story tellers. Many of these stories will seem outlandish and they will always paint them in a good light.
  • Seemingly having great in depth knowledge on every single topic you can mention (Dig into this further though and you see they only ever have a great two sentence intro to any topic, and never any more than that).
  • A brazen kind of confidence and brashness.
  • A desire to constantly speak and be the center of attention (never shuts up).
  • A lack of reflectiveness or introspection. Their life is a constant search for entertainment and stimulation with no deeper reflection.
  • Extreme hedonism and aversion to suffering. See further below.

All this front act from the psychopath though is always glib and superficial when you dig deeper. There is no depth and substance there. It’s all smoke and mirrors to reel people in and throw them off the scent.

This is why critical thinking and emotional intelligence are two crucial traits that are useful in spotting psychopaths. You need that critical mind that can step out of situations and look past superficial charm and say “Does this person really seem credible? Do their stories add up? Do they really mean what they say?” And ask other pertinent questions that more easily influenced people will not ask.

A psychopath’s front game  will be the best in town – smooth, glib, charming, often well dressed. But it’s all a facade

See our article on dissecting the superficial charm of a psychopath for more on this trait.

2. Egocentric & Grandiose

This is something which will often come out later on in psychopaths you meet. The glib, superficial charm we just mentioned can easily reel people in, but before long it will become clear that the psychopath is only really interested in themselves, and considers themselves superior to others.

In this sense the psychopath is a deeply egotistical personality type – in the extreme sense that they will never do anything for someone unless it also benefits them. Kindness for it’s own sake is anathema to the psychopath. Everything they do, even if it may appear altruistic, is actually in some way benefitting them.

Psychopaths also look down on the world with a cool, superior detachment, considering themselves above others and above the normal rules of morality and ethics that the rest of humanity tends to follow.

The psychopathic personality is arrogant and entitled. A good way of summing up the psychopath’s mindset relating to the world and others would be this:

“Other people may consider these things called “morals” and “rules” important, but I don’t. No one controls me or tells me what to do. I do whatever I want”.

Here are some other ways this egocentricity and grandiosity may show itself in real world psychopaths:

  • An obsession with status and importance in the workplace or wider life. An exaggerated sense of importance regarding their own life, history and status.
  • A general sense that the world revolves around them and that the needs of others do not matter.
  • A general pattern of looking out for number one, happily screwing over others to advance their own position in life.
  • A rageful reaction whenever their status in questioned, challenged or undermined in any way. “How dare you!” would be the general catch-all way of describing their response.
  • A dissatisfaction with being in the lower ranks in the workplace. A desire to smooch their way up the ladder by any means necessary and get more status and more power over more people.
  • You may find this leaking out in comments here and there – “I was hoping for a bigger office than that” – before the psychopath catches themself, and puts the charming mask back up. The ego and entitlement will show up more often once they have some power and influence.

3. Lack of Remorse or Guilt

This is a huge one, and why Dr Robert Hare titled his book Without Conscience. Psychopaths do terrible things to others, but they don’t feel bad about it.

Of course, the more severe psychopaths cause physical harm to others – sexual assaults, murders and so on, feeling no guilt or remorse for their actions. They report doing it because they “liked it” or “felt like it”.

But as we’ve pointed out, most psychopaths are actually not violent, and instead seek to cause harm to others in more covert, psychological ways, again without feeling remorse for their actions.

Here are some ways this can manifest:

  • Using and manipulating human emotions like love and trust to build powerful but fake bonds and relationships with people, which they walk out of in an instant when they get bored, with no remorse for the damage this causes to the people who they leave.
  • Emotionally manipulating and abusing people in relationships, causing damage that can take years for victims to fully recover from, purely for their own entertainment.
  • Destroying the reputation and careers of others in the workplace, smearing and scheming against others all to advance their own position. See our article on the smear tactics they often use.
  • Psychopathic managers can also often be brought in to “restructure” a company, firing people left, right and center without a second thought for the damage to their lives or families. Psychopaths are often brought in to do this precisely because they don’t have the same emotional hangups other people do.
  • Constantly rationalizing and justifying all this behavior with any number of excuses: “I felt like it”, “Collateral damage”, “It’s just business”, “I got bored with them”, and so on.

For psychopaths, all of this poor treatment of others mean nothing to them emotionally. It’s just about getting from A to B for them in the easiest possible way. The feelings or needs of others literally do not matter to them. It’s all about them – hence the egocentricity trait we covered above.

4. Deceitful & Manipulative

This is another huge trait to watch out for in everyday psychopaths we may meet, and not paying heed to that “inner voice” that usually senses when something is wrong – when a person’s stories and history do no add up, when claims that are made are shown to be false – often costs people dearly when they get tangled up in relationships with psychopaths.

Psychopaths are relentlessly dishonest and manipulative individuals, who are constantly lying, misleading, distorting the truth and manipulating others for their own ends.

A very good marker for knowing you’re dealing with a psychopaths is this: “If their lips are moving, they’re probably lying”.

Here are just a few of endless different ways this can manifest:

  • Lying in relationships about all details, small and large, from what they had for breakfast to where they were this afternoon, to their current or past finances, to whether they cheated on someone.
  • Lying to law enforcement to get out of trouble.
  • Lying on job applications and in interviews (often brazenly so, not just little white lies).
  • Lying in the workplace to avoid punishment, or to smear others.
  • A brazen two-facedness in the workplace – able to be warm and charming to person’s face and smear them behind their back literally seconds later.
  • Lying about their past, either to cover up wrongdoing or to make themselves seem more important and successful than they are.
  • Committing fraud in any context (financial, identity fraud, lying on forms etc).
  • Lying by omission – a huge one in relationships and the workplace, where the psychopath misleads and deceives, not by what they say, but by what they don’t say, what they leave out. See our article on omission lying for more on this.

Most bizarrely though, a psychopath will lie even when they don’t need to lie, even when they don’t benefit from it in that moment. They will often lie simply for the sake of lying.

There is a compulsion towards dishonesty and deception with the psychopathic personality. They enjoy duping and deceiving others just for the sake of it – see our article on Duping Delight for the pleasure psychopaths often get from deceiving others.

Most importantly though, psychopaths can lie very convincingly – looking someone straight in the eye whilst telling them a complete fiction, promising them they are telling the truth. It can be very hard to see through their act, such is the smoothness and brazenness with which they can do this.

This is why it is so important to verify what a suspected psychopath is telling you from another source. If all these grandiose stories don’t add up, seek out someone from their past who may tell you a very different story.

A psychopath can lie to you very convincingly and with a completely straight face

5. Lack of Empathy

This is another trademark feature of the psychopath – a complete lack of ability to put themselves in the emotional shoes of another person, to see their point of view, to see them as a separate person with their own needs, wants and boundaries that should be respected.

This character deficiency is often more easy to detect in relationships, since to anyone who has empathy, butting up against someone who doesn’t will start to feel very “off”, even if we don’t quite have the words to articulate what we are feeling.

Empathy is a natural emotional brake-check that puts a limit on the behavior of most people. We don’t do horrendous things to others because we can empathize that this would hurt them physically or emotionally. We realize we wouldn’t like this, so we don’t do it to others. Very simple.

A psychopath simply doesn’t get this. They can intellectually understand the impact of their actions on others, but with them there is no emotional connection with how their behavior affects others, which is what really defines empathy.

Here are some ways this lack of empathy can manifest in psychopaths:

  • The more obvious examples of the serial killers who talk about their crimes as though it’s a simple everyday thing to do. They have no emotional understanding of the suffering they have caused others.
  • In the later stages of a relationships, a psychopath or narcissist may seem strangely “tuned out” to the needs of other people. They will seem self centred and inconsiderate, though they often try to mask this early on.
  • Psychopaths often ramp up their abuse in toxic relationships, destroying a person’s boundaries more and more, without stopping, because they cannot empathize with the person they are abusing.
  • Psychopaths can scheme, connive and push others out of jobs for their own ends, without any remorse or feeling for the suffering caused by this.
  • Some soldiers can become “psychopathized” by having to kill so often – they have been shut off from their own empathy, and no longer respect the humanity of others.
  • A good way of putting this general traits is “They have feelings, but they have no feelings for your feelings” – See the Unslaved Podcast.
  • See our article on psychopaths and empathy for more on this.

Psychopaths lack the ability to put themselves in the emotional shoes of another and so it is open season for them in terms of what they think they can do others to get their needs met

6. Shallow Emotions

Psychopaths tend to have a very limited or even absent emotional range, characterized by relentless boredom and envy, with not so much in between. They cannot feel very much or very deeply, if at all.

Again, this is probably most recognized in the serial killer category, where experts have actually done brain scans on inmates diagnosed as psychopaths, and found they do not work the same way as normal people when it comes to processing emotions and disturbing events.

Psychopaths, Emotions & Brain Function

“Something is wrong upstairs”, as the old saying goes. Something that a normal person would find horrifying is just another everyday event to a psychopath. This seems to be why so many psychopathic killers can talk about their crimes in a very cold and matter of fact way, as though nothing is wrong with what they did.

Psychopaths also seem to lack the “fight or flight” response to external events that others would find threatening. They can remain cool under pressure, which can make them fantastic liars and evaders of the law.

See our article on psychopaths and emotions for more on this, including links to studies that have been done on psychopath’s complex relationship with emotions and brain function.

7. Impulsive

Psychopaths are extremely impulsive in that they tend to do things on a whim and “because they feel like it”. They appear to never have learnt to control their impulses and delay gratification. If a psychopath wants something, they’ll just go for it using whatever means they think is necessary.

The results of this impulsivity can be damaging to others and sometimes very bizarre. Here are some examples:

  • They’ll sleep with someone on a whim, without using protection.
  • They’ll steal whatever they like, from wherever they like, using violence if necessary.
  • They’ll lie to get what they want.
  • They’ll conduct transactions involving lots of money (think high level banking and trading) without thinking of consequences.
  • Violent psychopaths will mention how they go on “sprees”, killing and injuring others without thinking about it.
  • Non violent psychopaths still cheat on their partners on a whim, without thinking about consequences or being caught.
  • More generally, psychopaths tend to live a chaotic, day to day existence, not able to plan ahead in their lives and lying and manipulating their way out of any problems that do come up.
  • They’ll often rationalize this impulsive lifestyle with cliches like “Live for the moment”, “Seize the day” etc etc.

It can be very hectic for those caught up in the cross-fire of this impulsive lifestyle, with the psychopath living a very episodic and uncontrolled life, pursuing whatever they want in the moment without the same ethical restraints that normal people have.

“Most businesses are risk averse or at least try to manage risk. A psychopath will do something risky just to see what happens, making a decision that others would have taken a long time and a lot of data to come to, they’ll do it on a whim. And because they are fearless, it could even hurt them, but it doesn’t bother them”

Paul Babiak – psychologist

See our article on psychopaths and poor impulse control for more on this trait, plus the closely related one below of poor behavior controls.

8. Poor Behavior Controls

This is closely tied to the above point on impulsivity. Psychopaths are known to have a hair trigger reactivity to any perceived (or real) slights, insults or provocations.

Most normal people can keep a lid on our reactions, restraining our emotions when appropriate even though we many want to express anger or something else. We recognize there is a time and a place.

The psychopath struggles to control their behavior in this way. Here are some common consequences of this:

  • Psychopaths often get into bar fights and other scuffles, because they cannot control themselves in the face of any conflict or provocation.
  • They can be extremely confrontational and aggressive characters, seemingly turning on a dime.
  • They can be hyper-sensitive, and suddenly fly off the handle with little or no provocation.
  • Some psychopaths can brutally assault other people, and then very quickly return to normal as though nothing has happened.
  • In the case of non violent psychopaths, this lack of control is often shifted into sexual impulsivity, or to the emotional abuse of others (they can’t help causing trouble).
  • They also create conflict very easily. As well as being easily provoked, they also very often provoke others in order to get themselves “fired up” and deliver some excitement to their day.

“Custer B is the .. definition of reaction seeking or dramatic personality disorders. This is not ‘I want to go away and sit on my own in my room’, this is ‘I need to annoy you to live. I need to hurt you to feel OK. I need to cause chaos and drama wherever I go just to feel basically alright’”.

Richard Grannon

Psychopaths often struggle to control their behavior and get into physical confrontations as a result. Not all psychopaths are violent though

9. Need For Excitement

Psychopaths are almost always characterized by an extreme hedonism to their lifestyle – they are constantly looking to seek pleasure and excitement and avoid pain to an extreme degree.

This means they are constantly looking for stimulation and excitement in their lives, to counteract the relentless boredom and typically low physiological arousal they experience in day to day life. The “buzz” needs to keep going constantly for them to feel alive.

Here are some ways this relentless need for excitement can manifest in psychopaths:

  • A relentless need to party, drink and do recreational drugs.
  • A need to remain immersed in the “crowd”, in shallow human interactions, with no introspective or reflective abilities at all. A need for constant external stimulation.
  • A relentless need for sex.
  • Some psychopaths are drawn to dangerous sports to feel alive.
  • Others are drawn to risky crime, again to get that “high” or rush.
  • Psychopaths will often get bored quickly in relationships and cheat on their partners, again needing constantly new excitement and novelty. They drop people cold once they get bored with them.
  • Non violent psychopaths are also driven to constantly provoke others and create conflict and drama in relationships in order to relieve their boredom and feel alive.
  • See our article on psychopaths and hedonism for more on this trait.

On the flip side though, you can be sure that the psychopaths will flee at the first sign of any legitimate suffering or difficulty in their lives. They are ultra-hedonists in that they refuse to face any kind of legitimate hardship that most adults eventually learn to face in their lives.

The result is that the psychopathic personality in the outside world is characterized by a complete lack of ability to grow, change or evolve. They stay stuck in the same shallow, one dimensional hedonistic lifestyle right through their lives. This will start to stand out if you have known the psychopath over a number of years.

The psychopath always needs to keep the fun times rolling and can never face any suffering or hard times.

10. Lack of Responsibility

This has some crossover with the point we mentioned above about hedonism – psychopaths tend not to be very dependable or reliable characters who can be counted on to do what is asked or expected of them. They tend to be very reckless and irresponsible characters right through their lives.

Here are some ways this trait can manifest in psychopaths:

  • A total lack of interest in fulfilling reasonable commitments or obligations.
  • For example, collecting child support from psychopath fathers can be almost impossible.
  • They will cheat on partners and abandon children without a second thought.
  • Some psychopaths will readily neglect and abuse their children without any remorse or guilt, refusing to properly care for them or leaving them on their own for extended periods.
  • Frequent unreliability, absences and breaking of rules at work. Often commit fraud and misuse company resources.
  • When caught breaking rules or being irresponsible, will often produce seemingly heartfelt apologies of how they’ll “never do it again”, which are routinely broken.
  • Psychopaths often run away from debts and/or have declared bankruptcy multiple times in their lives, which they often keep from their future partners.
  • Will often knowingly infect those they sleep with with STIs.
  • Will often use the resources of friends and family to get them out of trouble, borrowing money which is seldom paid back.
  • When any financial problems do arise, instead of displaying some discipline to correct the problem, they will instead increase their irresponsible lifestyle and run from the problem even more, worsening it (extreme hedonism).
  • Again see our article on the hedonistic nature of most psychopaths for more on this trait of irresponsibility and immaturity.

11. Early Behavior Problems

Many psychopaths often had signs of bad behavior even in their early years – childhood and adolescence. This has now been labelled Conduct Disorder, and is now considered a common precursor of psychopathy in adulthood.

Put simply, there is often something clearly wrong with the behavior of children who later grow up to be psychopaths. Here are some things commonly found with Conduct Disorder in youngsters:

  • Misbehavior and truancy at school.
  • Lying even in childhood.
  • Stealing
  • Vandalism & starting fires.
  • Cheating
  • Violence towards other children early on.
  • Violence and cruelty towards animals – this is a common one.

Very commonly, with Conduct Disorder, this behavior is exhibited in a very matter-of-fact way, even early on in childhood, without any signs of empathy.

This can be very disturbing for the parents of these children who feel they raised their children well, but adds strong weight to the argument that at least some psychopaths seem to be genetically born that way. The “nature vs nurture” argument regarding how psychopaths come to be the way they are still remains a hugely contentious issue.

See our own article which covers some views on how psychopaths are made.

12. Adult Antisocial Behavior

Moreover, when these children become adult psychopaths, they continue to break rules, whether legal, procedural, or simple ethical common sense codes of how to treat others that most people understand, but which the psychopath doesn’t.

Some psychopaths do end up in prison because of the rules they break; others abide by the laws but still lie, con, deceive others and break lower level rules without any sense of guilt or remorse, if it serves their immediate interests.

This behavior is labelled “antisocial” in this context because for the psychopath, every interaction with other human beings is seen as an opportunity for abuse, deceit and exploitation. In this sense, it is against the normal rules of humanity which are meant to hold society together.

This is why psychopathy has been effectively re-categorized under the Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD) definition, though this more often covers the term sociopath (we’ll consider them equivalent here).

Here are just some of many examples of how the psychopath displays these anti-social traits:

  • Stealing and other forms of crime
  • Assaulting others
  • Breaking work rules
  • A “win at all costs” mentality, trampling over others to get what they want in workplaces especially.
  • Frequent abuse and cheating in relationships.
  • Engaging in pryamid/ponzi schemes, stock scams, and other financial frauds, exploiting vulnerable people out of their savings.
  • Politicians misappropriating public funds.
  • Other forms of fraud and cheating in the financial, banking and business worlds.

In short, psychopaths view the world with a cool, detached, exploitative approach, seeing others not as people, but as objects to be manipulated and used for their own ends. Anything goes for them – nothing is forbidden, and everything is permitted, which explains so much of their destructive behavior once we realize they don’t have the same moral and ethical brake-checks the rest of us do.

As such, psychopaths are probably the most dangerous and predatory of all the personality types, and we need to be aware of their characteristics if we are to have any hope of spotting them and avoiding being exploited by them.

Remember also though that to be diagnosed as a psychopath, someone must tick off most or all of these traits we have detailed above, not just one or two. There is a big difference between someone having some psychopathic traits, versus being a full blown psychopath.

See our own Traits Checklist page (see article just below) for some more common traits of psychopaths that complement those found in the Psychopathy Checklist.

8 Less Obvious Signs of Psychopathy (With Examples)

Written by admin  in Psychopathy

There are in reality lots of different traits you can look out for to try and spot psychopathy in a person, some contained in more official lists and some not.

However, in this post we’ll seek to cover some less obvious and less mentioned traits that can indicate psychopathy; the ones that aren’t so obviously drawn out from diagnostic lists such as the Psychopathy Checklist.

We’ll also try to include some really broad overarching markers that will enable you to see through a psychopath’s glib facade, no matter how well they think they’ve refined it to try and take people in. Psychopaths are very capable of upgrading the act of deception and creating a more convincing facade for the next person they con, so it’s important to really step back and ask some bigger picture questions to expose the more cleverly concealed psychopaths.

Here are some more subtle and less obvious indicators of psychopathy:

  1. Provocative and reaction seeking behavior
  2. A fixation on power and control over others
  3. Abnormal and inappropriate reactions to emotional events.
  4. Extreme denial and projection
  5. Relentless pushing of boundaries
  6. No vocational traits whatsoever
  7. Extreme hedonism and shallowness
  8. Lack of ability to grow, change or evolve.

Some of these traits overlap a little, but we’ll go over each of them in much more detail below, after first quickly listing the more conventional psychopathic traits.

Psychopathy Traits Checklist Recap (More Obvious Traits)

We’ll briefly list the main traits of the Psychopathy Checklist, which sum up the main characteristics common in evaluated psychopaths in the criminal justice system.

  • Glib & Superficial
  • Egocentric & Grandiose
  • Lack of Remorse or Guilt
  • Deceitful & Manipulative
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Shallow Emotions
  • Impulsive
  • Poor behavior controls
  • Need for excitement
  • Lack of Responsibility
  • Early Behavior Problems
  • Adult Anti-Social Behavior

See our full length article on the Psychopathy Traits Checklist for a detailed overview of all these traits, including examples for every one.

However, we won’t dwell on this as they are now pretty well known. What readers are looking for is some more subtle and less obvious signs of psychopathy, so let’s dive into some less known signs below.

1. Provocative & Reaction Seeking

This is a huge one to look out for, and in a sense it will be very obvious when you come across it, but isn’t really contained within the Psychopathy Checklist, so needs mentioning.

It’s more an insight which has come from the toxic relationship community from people’s experiences with non violent psychopaths. It’s an overarching theme for all the Cluster B disorders (to which psychopathy belongs), and so is important to step back from all the nonsense and gas-lighting they engage in to see the truth:

Psychopaths are always looking to provoke reactions from the people they abuse. They are looking to generate an emotional reaction from you as a sense of gaining control, since all attention (even negative attention) from someone is a sign they have power and control over them in their minds.

Personality disorder expert Richard Grannon sums it it like this:

“Custer B is the .. definition of reaction seeking or dramatic personality disorders. This is not ‘I want to go away and sit on my own in my room’, this is ‘I need to annoy you to live. I need to hurt you to feel OK. I need to cause chaos and drama wherever I go just to feel basically alright’”.

Richard Grannon

Here are some ways this can manifest with psychopaths:

  • After the initial honeymoon (idealize) period with a psychopath, they’ll start to provoke and pick fights with you to generate a negative emotional reaction. They can suddenly start this randomly, or when they are (justifiably) confronted on something they did or said that was wrong.
  • The victim often falls into the trap of trying to debate and reason with the psychopath, growing ever more exacerbated as the psychopath ramps up the unpleasant behavior and seemingly takes pleasure in the distress they are causing.
  • Psychopaths can turn any conversation into an argument, even when you were seeking cordiality. They will manufacture indignation to turn any conversation toxic even when that was never your intention.
  • Psychopath bosses are constantly trying to provoke subordinates to generate a bad reaction, which they then sneak around gossiping about to others (the classical workplace smear campaign).
  • More generally the Cluster B disorders in general are marked by a need to make others feel bad to make themselves feel good. When they provoke a negative emotional reaction in others, psychopaths and narcissists feel “full” again.
  • More generally, as a relationship with a psychopath turns more toxic and the provocation ramps up, you will notice more negative traits like anger, anxiety and rumination starting to creep into your life when they weren’t there before. Their behavior gets you more and more agitated and distressed. You start to think about them more and more in a bad way.

2. Fixated on Power and Control

This is actually a very common psychopathic traits, but it isn’t well covered or defined by the standard psychopathy checklist, but it is so applicable that it needs covering here.

Psychopaths are power and control obsessed individuals, who need control over others and/or their immediate environment to shore up their own psychological state. Their craving for power and control comes from a lack of order within their own psyche, no matter how confident they present themselves on the surface. The term “personality disorder” is used for good reason.

Here are some ways the controlling nature of the psychopath can reveal itself:

  • Some less well concealed psychopaths will physically control their family members or spouses, preventing them from going out or engaging in physical abuse as a way of controlling and dominating them.
  • More intelligent psychopaths understand that physical violence is frowned upon, and instead seek to control people psychologically instead (eroding boundariesinvasive/intrusive questioning, gas-lighting and so on).
  • Workplace managers with psychopathic traits will be extremely controlling and power obsessed, demanding everyone submit 100% to their authority at all times and brutally attacking anyone that doesn’t. Psychopathic bosses can be a nightmare to work for for this reason – they will massively over-manage and micro-manage to shore up their own fragile state.
  • Romantic relationships with psychopaths might start off seeming fun loving and carefree, but they quickly turn into an oppressive nightmare as the psychopath ramps up the drama and provocation to get the victim obsessing about them. To the psychopath, this is a victory, because if you are thinking about them (even negatively), they have control over you.
  • Psychopath killers sometimes keep trophies of their victims as a sick form of power control.
  • Serial killers such as Ian Brady sometimes even revisit the sites where they buried victims as a sick way (in their minds) of still exercising control over them. Psychologists who interview full blown psychopathic killers often describe their experience with them as a constant battle for power and control, with the psychopath doing all they can to manipulate and control the interviewer at every chance.

See our article on psychopaths as control freaks for some of these characteristics fleshed out in more detail.

3. Lack of Appropriate Reactions To Things

This is another huge one to look out for – by being observant, you can spot this abnormality in the psychopath and it will make them stick out like a sore thumb.

The Psychopath Checklist does cover the shallowness of the psychopath’s emotions, but here we are expanding the concept a bit to hone in on emotional reactions – displaying (or not displaying) appropriate reactions to things that a normal person would.

A psychopath will not display the appropriate emotional reactions to distressing or upsetting events that a normal person with empathy and a conscience would. There will be a general disinterest and cold detachment from such things, and even a desire to joke and make light of them.

Michael from the Unslaved Podcast on Psychopathy puts it like this:

“When you mention about some tragedy or obvious injustice, although they may feign some remorse or come out with the odd comment, you’ll notice that emotionally, they don’t give a f**k, they couldn’t care less”

And then on another of his websites regarding the psychopath/energy vampire type who pretends to be your “friend”:

“Imagine them standing at your own graveside while you’re laid to rest. They are the one looking for the coffee dispenser, inquiring when the party starts, impatiently checking their watch as every minute passes”.

These two quotes brilliantly capture the inappropriateness of the psychopathic personality, in that they don’t possess the same emotional brake-checks such as empathy, decency, conscience and remorse that normal people.

Therefore, regardless of how glib and superficially charming they can be, when circumstances demand more compassion and sober reflection, you will find them bizarrely absent from the psychopath in ways that will leave you unsettled by them.

In my experience, they are the ones who, when revelations about a (seemingly) harmless work colleague’s horrific abusive past come to light, instead of reflecting with compassion on the people harmed by this abuse, instead spends the rest of the day grinning, smirking and cracking jokes about it. See our article on duping delight for more on this trait of grinning or smirking at inappropriate times from psychopaths.

Whilst normal people are shocked and saddened at learning these things about someone they thought they knew, and feel for the people affected, the psychopath’s mood improves, as they inflate themselves on the suffering of others and take pleasure in spreading the news as far and wide as possible.

There’s just an inappropriateness there that those with more critical thinking and an observant eye will be able to spot – the psychopath’s abnormal personality means they can’t react to distressing things in a normal, compassionate way.

Note – As we move through the next few years of disclosure, and disturbing revelations about well known people/companies start to be revealed, this perceptual skill may indeed become very useful. As horrifying things are revealed, notice how people react (or don’t react). Notice what they say (and don’t say). Check for their emotional reactions, and see what people reveal about themselves.

4. Extreme Projection & Lack of Ownership

This is another trait that isn’t covered in the official checklist, but is very important as it is built into the psychopathic mindset to an extreme degree.

Psychologically, projection is when you attribute to someone else something that is actually attributable to you, such as a trait, characteristic or action. An example would be accusing someone of doing or being something when you are in fact doing or being that.

We all project to some degree, but psychopaths engage in projection to an extreme and outrageous extent, refusing to accept any ownership for toxic behavior and instead blaming others even in spite of clear evidence to the contrary.

Here are some ways this can manifest with psychopaths:

  • Nothing is ever their fault even when it clearly is. They will never accept wrongdoing, even when presented with clear, undeniable evidence. Zero ownership taken for mistakes or bad behavior.
  • In relationships, will accuse partners or cheating/lying/stealing, when they are the one cheating/lying/stealing.
  • Other cases of attributing to you things which are actually true to them (eg. moody, crazy, abusive, not taking criticism, lazy etc).
  • A constant sense of an inverted reality, where you are seen as the bad person while they walk off scot-free.
  • Regular situations where you find yourself apologizing or making up for something when it was their fault in the first place.
  • Over time, repeated projection in relationships starts to have a more insidious effect on the victim, who starts to believe they are the ones who are toxic and disordered, when it’s really the psychopath projecting this onto them. They come out of these relationships feeling they have lost their mind.
  • The psychopath boss will see themselves as perfect, never making mistakes, and always blaming others for their mistakes.
  • Projection is so woven into their psyche that you can confront them with clear evidence of their guilt or wrongdoing, and they’ll smile or laugh at you. Denial of reality is easy for them.
  • See our full article on psychopaths and projection for more on this.

In this sense, projection crosses over closely with gas-lighting and in fact the two are often interchangeable – when a psychopath is projecting responsibility for something onto you, they are gas-lighting you.

5. Boundary Pushing Behaviors

This is another one to look out for in everyday psychopaths you meet in the real world – not just incarcerated criminal psychopaths.

Psychopaths have a constant desire to push the boundaries of acceptability in their behavior, attempting to get away with more and more unacceptable things either for their own benefit, or to erode the moral standards and boundaries of those they are abusing.

In other words, they just can’t help themselves. Their grip on morality and rules and decency is pretty much nonexistent to begin with, so it’s never too much of a struggle to start “testing the waters“, pushing the norms that they at least intellectually know other people abide by, seeing what they can get away with.

Here are some ways this boundary pushing tendency can show itself with psychopaths:

  • Ramping up abuse in intimate relationships, turning up the dial in subtle increments with increasingly unacceptable behavior, getting the victim accustomed to being treated more and more poorly but seeing this as “normal”. Getting people in a place where they are “grateful for the mediocre“, as one writer puts it.
  • In workplaces, a continual pushing of the boundaries of acceptability, breaking rules, exploiting grey areas and eroding the self esteem of targets/scapegoats. Lower level psychopaths also constantly pushing for more power and influence, often by manipulating and playing on the egos of those above them.
  • More generally psychopaths erode the morals and standards of those they are around, “toxifying” the environment around them and creating a situation where the abnormal is normalized, and poor treatment is seen as acceptable.

In general terms, psychopaths are also very good at manipulating and influencing people for their own ends. I’ve observed numerous times where workplace psychopaths seem to have management wrapped round their finger and control them in a way that others find unimaginable. “How do they get away with that?”, you’ll find yourself wondering as they swagger around seemingly untouchable, appearing to manage the people who are meant to be managing them!

This boundary pushing trait is worsened when there are apathetic, easily influenced people around the psychopath who shrug their shoulders and don’t call out unacceptable behavior for what it is. See the sociopath-empath-apath dynamic for a good model of how they exploit this apathy and passivity for their own ends.

6. No Vocational Traits Whatsoever

This is another broad, overarching trait that you can look for again by stepping back a bit from all the smooth talk, and just looking at them as a person in general. Do they have any vocational traits? Do they have any “bigger picture” insights or goals? Do they live for anyone other than themselves?

With a psychopath, you’ll find the answer to all these questions is no.

Psychopaths do not have any vocational traits or higher purposes, and instead spend their entire lives fixated on power, control and manipulating others for their own ends. This does not change even as they age and will therefore stand out over time.

So look out for this once a person starts to hit mid 30s and beyond. Most people are a bit rough around the edges and narcissistic in their teens and twenties, when it’s all about partying and having fun. But most normal people start to mature emotionally at some point; to develop some kind of depth and substance as they move through life and overcome difficulties. They start to have kids, and other things start to matter.

With the psychopath, this doesn’t happen. They don’t grow or mature as they move through life, but instead stay stuck in a power and control obsessed mindset, where they are a) looking to exploit others before they themselves are exploited (paranoid mindset), and; b) constantly seeking power and control over others, sometimes physically but usually psychologically.

There are no “higher purposes” or “vocations” with the psychopath. Ask them about this and they’ll look at you with a blank expression. They are strictly about power and control, along with hedonism (see next section). Psychopaths do have kids but often abandon them, since they lack any real sense of responsibility or control.

7. Extreme Hedonism & Moral Cowardice

This aspect is tangentially covered in some of the Psychopathy Checklist traits, and also crosses over with some of the other traits in this post about growth and vocation, but it really needs drawing out because it is a very good way to spot them.

Psychopaths live their entire lives with an extreme hedonistic mindset, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain to an extreme degree. A consequence of this is that they refuse to tolerate any prolonged hardship or suffering, and run from any kind of difficulty in their lives.

In other words, psychopaths can’t tolerate any downsides to life. It’s got to be all good and fun, or power and control, and never anything bad for them. As soon as things do turn bad, they flee from any kind of real suffering or difficulties.

Here are some ways this can manifest:

  • A relentless need to party, drink and do recreational drugs or engage in other risky activities for a high.
  • A need to remain immersed in the “crowd”, in shallow human interactions, with no introspective or reflective abilities at all. A need for constant external stimulation.
  • Psychopaths often live irresponsible lives, running into financial difficulties, but cannot display any discipline to correct these issues and instead run further from the problem.
  • Psychopaths will often get bored quickly in relationships and cheat on their partners, again needing constantly new excitement and novelty. They drop people cold once they get bored with them.
  • Psychopaths will also drop any supposed “friends” they had if the good times stop rolling and instead that person is suffering and needs some kind of real help or support in difficult times.
  • Psychopaths are also self-serving and will never stand up for what is right if it negatively affects them. No sense of values or principles and very cowardly when push comes to shove.

See our article on psychopaths and hedonism for more on this trait.

If for whatever reason you are met with some legitimate suffering in your life, something in your family, or something is bringing you down… will definitely not be met with any sense of care or support from a psychopathic character.

In fact you’ll be met with the sound of bags being packed and taxis pulling up outside and ‘adios amigo’……..They don’t value you; they value the feelings that are awakened in them when they are in your presence…….You’ll find they’ll be gone from your life faster than the Roadrunner, the moment (these positive feelings they are getting off you) starts to head south.

Unslaved Podcast

8. Lack Of Ability To Grow Or Change

This is sort of linked to the last point on hedonism, and follows on from it, but again is a great rule of thumb to use to pull back from the the smoke and mirrors and glib charm psychopaths use and just look at them from a higher vantage point and see through them.

You will find in psychopaths a complete lack of ability to ever grow, change or evolve. They remain shallow, one dimensional and emotionally stunted right through their lives. This will start to stand out more once they reach middle age and beyond.

Because they refuse to suffer any legitimate hardships or downsides that normal people must eventually face (and grow and mature from), psychopaths never absorb the lessons gained from hard times to grow and mature as a person.

They just stay stuck on pathetic, low level stuff like manipulating and deceiving others for their own benefit, controlling others and causing trouble at every opportunity. Think about the workplace psychopath who in his 40’s or 50’s still devotes all his time and energy to petty politics, sniping, smear campaigns and backbiting. “You’re in middle age and you still haven’t grown out of that?“, you might think as you step back and take a broad look at them.

When someone is young, they can get away with this to some extent, but once a psychopath reaches their 30s, 40s and beyond, and still has no traits beyond power seeking, manipulation and deception, it starts to stand out. You can pull back from all their BS and smooth talking and just ask yourself “Is there anything there beyond that? Are there any positive traits there? Is there any sign of growth and change at all?” The answers will be damning to them.

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