9 subtle signs that you're talking to a psychopath

Business Insider | 2/9/2018 | Amy Morin, Inc.com, INSIDER
urbanpatrioturbanpatriot (Posted by) Level 4
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You may be able to spot a psycho through subtle differences in the way they hold conversations.

Psychos tend to speak in the past tense. Researchers think it's because they detach their behavior from their environment.

Psychos - Words - Attempt - Attention - Admiration

Psychos are also more likely to use emotional words in an attempt to gain attention and admiration.

For years, scientists have known that psychopaths' brains are different from normal ones. Brain scans show reduced activity in areas that regulate impulses, emotions, aggression, and morality.

Brain - Scans - Disposal - Ways - Psychopath

But since you probably don't have brain scans at your disposal, there are some other ways to tell if you might be dealing with a real-life psychopath.

A new study examining existing literature on psychopaths discovered that they may be detected through subtle differences in the way they hold conversations. Here are nine specific communication patterns psychopaths use:


1. They speak in the past tense.

Psychopaths use more past-tense verbs than other people. When talking about an event happening right now, most of us would say, "I think this is a good idea." A psychopath might be more likely to say, "I thought that was a good idea." Researchers suspect this is because they are detached from their behavior and their environment.

Body - Language

2. Their body language is convincing.

Psychopaths lie to make themselves look good. But their nonverbal behavior is often so convincing--and distracting--that people don't recognize they're being deceitful. In the police interview with murderer and rapist Paul Bernadino, FBI agents noticed he used powerful hand gestures to distract from his spoken lies.

Language - Dimension

3. Their language lacks emotional dimension.

For psychopaths, saying, "I love you," doesn't stir up any more emotion than saying, "Please pass the milk." They can parrot back what they've heard other people say but their facial expressions don't match their words. Their ability to verbalize feelings is most likely a learned behavior, as opposed to a...
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