Few people are objectively and completely oblivious or stupid.  There is only so much another can take before they realize that they are being manipulated, used, or lied to.  Subtlety means everything, especially for the psychopath and her interactions with others.  Going “over the top” will certainly ensure that the psychopath becomes a social pariah.  The trick is determining where the boundary between clever unscrupulousness and flamboyance lies.  There is a lethal dose of such behavior for any relationship in life.

When I realize that I have gone too far in a relationship and that the other person (or people) involved are on to my tricks, I usually preemptively end the relationship.  I do this in order to remain in control and to also avoid the unnecessary and awkward confrontation when the inferior call me out on my behavior.  Why would I want to ensure that my psychological status is discovered when I can just bolt?  Granted, I leave relationships for many reasons and this is the least of them, but it is still a consideration.  Over time, psychopaths can determine how much manipulation and deceit is too much for the average person in a given classification.  The trick is to maximize the reward while minimizing the risk of the target becoming aware of the true mechanics involved.

With most of my relationships I am toeing the line as closely as I can between acceptable levels of force and parasitism to get what I want and the unmasking that another person may perform.  Hell, sometimes my psychopathic traits will become apparent when I am not attempting to gain a tangible benefit.  I am conscious, however, that each relationship, each encounter with another human being, requires some restraint when it comes to my psychopathic impulses.

I like to think of my interactions as the ultimate form of networking.  Not only am I meeting new people and gaining something from those relationships, I am actively ensuring that they are there for the future and that I squeeze as much information and benefit from them as I can.  As with networking, all it takes is one inappropriate show of behavior to have the whole network crash down.  Word travels quickly of those that are to be avoided.

A goal of any psychopath, and arguably any person in general, with regard to relationships should be to identify the probable limit of bullshit that another person can take.  This can be direct use of psychopathic traits, the number and extent of favors being asked, the emotional baggage carried, et cetera.  If there is gain to be had by amplifying the parasitism in that relationship, go for it, but never cross that line you believe marks what the other individual can take.  Excess of anything is rarely without consequence.  The goal must be to identify the lethal dose of such behaviors and baggage in a relationship and never push it.  The alternative is to lose that relationship and possibly that network in full.

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Use of this image should not imply endorsement of this topic by the image author: Amitchell125 at English Wikipedia


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