Psychopaths are the pinnacle creatures of Cluster B — a group of personality disorders that all include pathological narcissism or NPD as a foundation. A psychopath is a cold-blooded human predator, devoid of empathy — they can be very cruel and very dangerous. They feel no shame — they consider shame the hallmark of Lesser People.

Psychopaths and their slightly-less-chilling counterparts the sociopaths (together: ASPD) make up roughly 5% of the general population — a figure which generally shocks people. That’s right — about 1 in 20 of all the people you have ever met, functionally speaking, have very little conscience. Some of them choose to behave ethically for various purposes, but many do not. They are certainly not to be trusted.

Part of the dark triad

The dark triad in psychology refers to psychopathy along with two other personality traits: narcissism, and Machiavellianism. These individuals exhibit a manipulative and malevolent style with others.

Attributes of psychopaths (this page is a work in progress):

  • no moral code beyond self-interest; ruthless
  • emotional predators
  • transactional worldview; everything and everyone is for sale
  • emotional black holes
  • they suck empathy out of the system, destructively; emotional vampires
  • emotional parasites, feeding off of others’ emotional energies and giving nothing back
  • the closest thing to pure evil in a human being

Famous examples in history and culture:

  • Hannibal Lecter
  • Ted Bundy
  • Charles Manson
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Ramsay Bolton

It’s important to note, though, that not all sociopaths are killers — far from it. These are simply the notable examples most people have heard of, to get a reference point on what these personality types are like.

Most sociopaths — unfortunately — are the guy next door, the woman at work, or the dude who took you home in his Uber. They’re someone you know.

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