A guest post, by Daphne Holmes
Psychopathic behavior comes to light most frequently when inconceivable acts of brutality are uncovered in society. Serial killers, most notably, are associated with sociopathic and psychopathic behavior because the nature of their crimes is so abhorrent, casual observers have a hard time making sense of it. And while the exploits of deviants like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy do furnish high-profile examples of psychopathic behavior, not every psychopath ultimately turns to violence.
Acting out in violent ways is one characteristic of psychopathic behavior, but there are other traits, less visible, which also illustrate psychopathic tendencies. Early of psychopaths identified a moral deficiency among them, which stood among well-adjusted individuals who were better able to reconcile social aspects of their lives. Today’s clinical standard for identifying psychopaths has advanced to include specific traits, including these qualities commonly exhibited by sociopathic individuals.
To varying degrees, psychopathic behavior includes shallow or absent emotions. Notorious deviants, for example, are well-known for displaying a lack of fear. In many cases, the brazen activities psychopaths engage-in result from their lack of normal fear responses, which would halt well-adjusted individuals long before they commit atrocities. Shame and other social emotions are also diminished among psychopaths who display little sign of embarrassment in social circumstances. Love is foreign to psychopaths as well, which further distances them from normal, well-adjusted people capable of empathizing with others.
Unapologetic self-obsession is a commonly held personality trait exhibited by psychopaths. Their narcissistic tendencies prevent them from understanding their true roles in society, and they often believe there part is of significant importance in the grand scheme of things. Instead of maintaining realistic social views and expectations, psychopaths often show a sense of entitlement. By holding to their visions of self-importance, psychopaths justify their behavior to themselves. After all, they seem themselves at the center of every social dynamic, so the rules simply don’t apply to them.
Overwhelmingly, psychotic individuals are poor planners, unable to construct reasonable approaches to life. They are overconfident by nature, so psychopaths are prone to poor judgment – turning to their perceived abilities to solve dilemmas, rather than identifying the facts and influences which might lead them to make prudent decisions.
Lack of Guilt and Accountability
Rationalizing their antisocial behavior is easy for psychopaths, who simply do not adhere to normal patterns of guilt and accountability. Whereas others seek was to make amends or reconcile missteps they make, psychopathic individuals are not bound by social conventions, so guilt is simply not a part of their thinking. Since ethics and responsibility are not present to hinder their rationalizations, it becomes impossible for psychopaths to experience remorse or guilt and easy for them to blame others for their own shortcomings.
By many accounts, psychopaths are often capable of socializing, even excelling at being “charming”. Outwardly, this may seem contrary to what we know about the character of psychopaths, but seen for what it is, the reality actually fits right in with a typical sociopathic personality. Psychopaths are cunning and manipulative, so appearances may point to a glib, conversational individual. In truth, however, their presentations are deceitful, so casual observers never see the truth about what lurks beneath the surface.
Psychopathic tendencies do not always lead to explosive violence and depraved behavior. There are, however, shared tendencies exhibited by notorious psychopaths and those whose lives unfold without significant incidents. Understanding the disorder accounts for characteristics like narcissism, egocentrism, overconfidence and a host of other irregularities associated with the sickness.
Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from www.ArrestRecords.com and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Dear IRS: Please do not audit Daphne for the tasteless picture of Bronco Bama with joker’s makeup. I put that photo up. But you really can’t blame me either. I just googled ‘psychpath’ and THERE it was. So, audit Google. They gots the cash, anyways. -nuke.