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10 ways to tell if your ex is a psychopath

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This article is not intended to be used as a diagnostic tool. However, if your ex strongly exhibits several of these personality traits, the reader may or may not wish to consult a therapist for more information.

1) Lack of empathy or remorse - Was your ex callous? Did he or she lack any kind of response, reflexive or otherwise, to your expressions of heartfelt emotions, whether positive or negative? Did your ex not seem to care whether or not you were feeling sick, upset or hurt? Put simply, did they not care about your feelings or the feelings of anyone else? For example, if a family member of yours died, and you came to your ex weeping, would they exhibit little or no emotional response, fail to comfort you, or perhaps even callously dismiss your feelings or response to such an emotionally charged situation? Is your ex the kind of person who would laugh at images of victims of natural disasters on the internet?

2) Manipulativeness - Did your ex tend to habitually engage in various forms of controlling others in order to attain their own ends? For example, did they engage in seduction solely in order to obtain sex without regard to the feelings of others, or did they carefully manage the impressions of others solely in order to gratify their own needs? Did they tend to see others solely as objects to be manipulated and controlled in order to satisfy their own needs? A common example of this might be a man who runs financial scams in order to cheat people out of their money. Would your ex insincerely flatter others, for example, in order to obtain some kind of benefit from them, without regard to the person as another human being? Was this their habitual way of relating to others?

3) Poor impulse control - Psychopaths tend to act on a whim without regard to the potential consequences of their actions or without foresight. Did your ex simply follow his or her own impulses rather than inhibiting them when appropriate? For example, did your ex say and do things when angry that may jeopardize his or her own safety, without taking the time to exercise self-control? Did your ex exhibit a habitual difficulty in following through on long-term plans that require discipline and commitment?

4) Hostility - Psychopaths oftentimes tend to be unusually aggressive. Did he or she oftentimes intimidate you with threats or property damage, demean or degrade you with physical insults, or even engage in physical aggression? Was your ex predisposed towards sadism? That is, did he or she exhibit delight or joy in causing pain to others for its own sake? Did this oftentimes exhibit itself in response to real or imagined slights, even when an ordinary person would either ordinarily brush off such insults? Would your ex unexpectedly lash out in rage at an innocuous remark?

5) Risky behavior - the psychopath has a tendency to radically underestimate the riskiness of dangerous situations. For example, did your ex frequently drive while intoxicated and dismiss your concerns as an overreaction or as irrelevant? Did he or she exhibit an unusually glib attitude about situations which could have landed them in legal trouble or potentially serious physical harm? Was your ex easily bored, and prone to respond to this boredom by seeking excitement through potentially risky or dangerous activities (for example, street racing).

6) Lack of intimacy - Psychopaths tend to be exploitative in interpersonal relationships. Is your ex only interested in romantic relationships for the purpose of satisfying primitive drives, such as the desire for sex or money? Were they only interested in you in order to advance their social standing, and is this a pervasive and habitual personality trait of theirs? This is the sort of the negative aspect of 2). In addition to merely being manipulative, did your ex seem to lack any capacity for genuine tenderness or affection? Was their behavior devoid of any kind of spontaneous expression of gratitude and generosity in your relationship?

7) Ego-centrism - The psychological lives of psychopaths tend to revolve solely around the acquisition of personal power, money, or pleasure. Stated negatively, aspirations to deep and meaningful interpersonal relationships are absent from their lives. Did your ex give you the impression that what made life worth living to him or her was the discharge of his or her power and the acquisition of purely ego-based 'goods,' rather than involving the kind of meaningful interpersonal exchange and sacrifice involved in emotional intimacy? Did they care about nothing other than becoming rich, famous, irresistible to the opposite sex, without apparent concern for anything like having a family, helping others, or having a meaningful romantic relationship?

8) Lack of conformity - This may be somewhat controversial, as not all cultural artifacts may be worth adhering to in the eyes of some, and there may be legitimate differences of opinion on what sorts of cultural mores are acceptable. However, as a rule, did your ex exhibit a complete disregard for social norms? Did this tend to be an expression of a kind of an attitude of total entitlement and self-rule, according to which no one or nothing outside of your ex could impose any kind of obligations, norms, rules, standards of conduct, and your ex simply felt that he had the right to do "whatever he/she wants"?

9) Irresponsibility - did your ex frequently fail to honor financial obligations, such as paying child support, or was he or she unusually careless, wasteful with money? Did they exhibit an inability to hold down a job due to habitual laziness, failure to carry out occupational responsibilities, habitually and impulsively poor attendance at work, etc.?

10) Deceitfulness - Psychopaths tend to engage in pathological lying. Did your ex have no qualms about lying habitually, and then refuse to own up to hir or her lies even when exposed? Did they see themselves as entitled to defraud and lie to people in order to obtain what they wanted? Did they habitually lie or misrepresent situations in order to slander others, push the blame of a situation onto someone else, or obtain their own needs without regard to the well-being of others? Did your ex, for example, not only cheat on you, but repeatedly lie about having done so?

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