Psychopathy is a superset of Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). It is comprised of many facets and is a complex disorder. It is not related to psychosis and the differences between those psychopaths that are in prison and those that are free are many. Likewise, the term ‘psychopath’ cannot be applied to what I would term ‘ordinary assholes.’ What follows is a quick and dirty primer on psychopathy that should illustrate how complicated the condition is.
Psychopaths are very superficial with their charm. While we are disinterested in the state of others, we find it necessary to charm others in order to fluff them up for easier picking in the future.
We are very grandiose with our sense of selves. We view ourselves as superior to all others and our narcissism tends to be legendary. This is not simple pride, but rather (and usually) delusion. However, we are the makers of our own fate and often our actions justify the “self-love” that we have for ourselves.
We are immeasurably bored and needing stimulation. Nothing ever satisfies and nothing ever registers as a worthwhile activity. Slaves to our boredom, we seek more and more extreme measures to satisfy our ennui.
Psychopaths are pathological liars. We lie when we want to and when we need to. Hell, we even lie to ourselves. This goes beyond what neurotypicals do when they lie. We are constantly framing stories that have little basis in reality.
We con and we manipulate. There is no greater satisfaction than to see our puppets dance to the tune that we decree. Once again, the pervasiveness of this trait dictates that we often manipulate when the stakes are high and without a thought to the frequency of such manipulation.
Psychopaths have what is termed ‘shallow affect.’ This means that our emotions are shallow and usually short-lived. This is not to be confused with a nonexistent affect, but we are plagued by emotional monochrome. This is not to be confused with the shallow emotions that one may feel while depressed, for instance.
We tend to be callous. Sadism is not uncommon and psychopaths tend to completely disregard the emotional needs and responses of those they interact with. While our actions tend to be amoral, we can treat both the moral and immoral options with a disregard that many cannot comprehend.
We are parasites. In relationships we tend to take far more than we give and the same can be said when dealing with more tangible items. Borrowing money and never repaying or time stealing can be quite common.
Psychopaths have poor behavioral controls. We tend to lash out as a result of our irritability and often do not think out the consequences of such actions beforehand. Whereas others may have filters that prevent bad behavior, the psychopath tends not to have such a guard in place.
We are promiscuous. We hold traditional monogamy in low regard though our inclinations do not mirror that of progressives that reject sexual monogamy either. Cheating and sadomasochism are common.
Our childhoods and adolescences are painted with debauchery and bad behavior. Many individuals with rough childhoods tend to pull out of their destructive orbit, whereas we do not.
We tend to lack long term goals that are defined and realistic. Instead we latch on to fantasy if we have any goals at all. At its extreme, psychopaths believe they are destined for great things without any effort or evidence supporting such.
Psychopaths are very impulsive. Tales of psychopaths blowing their entire savings in minutes are common as are stories of psychopaths engaging in dangerous and risky activity on a whim.
We are irresponsible and do not take responsibility for our actions. It is far preferable to blame another or to generally avoid taking blame than it is to be honorable or trustworthy when it comes to failure.
Those of us that remain free into our middle aged years tend to get married often and divorce often. Combined with our parasitic nature, we tend to exhaust and discard our spouses, taking far more than we give and moving on when there is nothing left to gain.
Those of us that end up in the criminal system tend to have our paroles rescinded. Unable to learn from our mistakes, we tend to fall back into trouble as quickly as it is resolved.
Finally, we are masters of criminality. We are versatile in those actions that could land us in jail and our tastes are varied. Theft and violence are common as are many other antisocial behaviors that could result in our imprisonment.
All of that said, we must remember that the psychopath has the overwhelming majority of these facets and with a pervasiveness that reaches disorder for each of them. The common jerk or miscreant, for instance, would not be psychopathic. The degree involved must reach a much higher level.