Psychopaths are often charming, intelligent and persuasive – but utterly devoid of compassion.
They’re also everywhere – with around 3-4% of senior positions in business occupied by psychopaths, as opposed to 1% in the population as a whole.
But how do you spot one?
Writing on Quora, Jacob Wells claims to score 34 on the Hare checklist (used to diagnose psychopathy), and be a psychopath himself.
He says that the way psychopaths present themselves may offer a clue.
1) Is the person ‘too perfect’?
Wells says, ‘I usually present myself as normal at exceptions being academic settings where I try to present myself as either or a good student or a genius (the first of which I am not, at all), dating settings where I present myself as being perfect, but unaware of it (both lies), or competitive settings where I act humble but intimidating (neither is true in this case either).’
2) Is the person very, very interesting?
Wells says, ‘If I haven’t already, I will subtly show some intelligence, I will behave a bit abnormally, as that is more comfortable, and I will try to be become the most interesting person they know by telling them a true story about myself.’
3) Does it seem like the person will say anything to draw you in?
Wells says, ‘On the outside, I’m whatever I want you to think I am. I can be normal if need be, or if I’m bored I can be eccentric, a genius, or whatever else to get some reaction or provoke interest. Now on the inside I’m different. I need controll. It hurts to be powerless.’
4) Is the person doing you a LOT of favours?