As much as you may try to imagine what a psychopath would look like, the truth is that they don’t tend to stand out in the crowd. In fact, you may be surrounded by one even now, without being aware of their dark side.
This is so because they’re the best manipulators, and of course, their specialty is mind games. They’re social chameleons that can fit perfectly into any situation. They can transform into the perfect listener, the loving partner, the loyal friend, the supportive co-worker – the nicest people you’ve ever met.
But, beneath the fair façade, psychopaths are usually insecure people and they carefully plan their moves 100 steps ahead. They’ll pretend they’re enjoying the communication just to manipulate you and gain something from you, be it information, money, or fame.
And while you won’t be able to notice their dark sides when they’re nice, some common habits that can be noticed usually pop out when they’re engaged in an argument. What you should remember is that they know exactly what to say in order to get what they want from you, and they’ll play little devious mind games with you until you have nothing else to say but “I’m sorry” and leave the conversation.
Here are 6 red flags you’re wasting your time arguing with a psychopath and it’s time to disengage:
1. They make the worst excuses and lie excessively.
Okay, everyone messes up every now and then, but psychopaths recite excuses like poetry. And when I say lies, I’m not referring to the white lies everyone tells from time to time. In the case of psychopaths, lies are an inseparable part of their life. They get caught up in an endless chain of lies.
They always say one thing and end up doing something completely different. Additionally, they’re always ready to spread rumors about someone if they consider that person to be a threat to their ego.
2. They have multiple personalities.
They’re never consistent in their behavior and mood. Depending on what the situation requires, they can be kind, respectful, and full of understanding one moment, and then lose their temper and start shouting at and insulting you the next. When you’re arguing with a psychopath, you never know which version of them you’re getting.
They change their behavior whenever they feel like they’re going to lose the argument. So, they get out of their calm and patient mood and unleash a torrent of abuse, attacking you with everything they have in store for you. This will confuse you to the point where you’ll start wondering what the hell just happened.
What you need to remember is that you should never react to their different moods and let that affect you.
3. They dramatize your mistakes to bring you down.
These sneaky chameleons always need to look their best, especially in crowds. That’s why they’ll point out your weaknesses and mistakes and judge you for them in front of others.
Moreover, they have no shame to start labeling you with their own horrible flaws because they want to provoke your reaction and make you look “crazy” to onlookers.
By bringing you down and undermining your confidence, they feed their own ego and make themselves feel better.
4. They play the victim role.
This isn’t surprising at all because there’s nothing worse for a psychopath than to admit their mistakes and wrongdoings. They never take responsibility for their actions. Instead, they shift the blame onto you and make you look and feel like you’re the one who is irresponsible, selfish, or even crazy.
There’s no use trying to prove to them that it’s their fault and not yours because even if you introduce strong evidence about their wrongdoings, they’ll use your words and twist them to fit the reality they’re trying to create for you.
Moreover, never expect that such a person will apologize to you.
5. They have a condescending approach and a patronizing tone.
Psychopaths like to be in control over everyone and every situation, and what they only care about is to increase their low self-esteem and protect their ego. To achieve this, they’ll do everything they can to make you feel less than them, thereby making them feel and look superior to you. They know exactly how to push your buttons and make you lose your temper.
In the end, the person who will need to apologize and accept the other person’s opinion as the only truth is … of course, you.
6. They engage in circular quarrels.
It doesn’t matter how well-structured and sustained your argument is, you’ll never be able to convince them to believe you. They’ll do anything that’s in their power to confuse and make you defensive. They’ll mince words, beat around the bush, and twist your words.
Every argument for them turns into an argument about the argument. They do this because their goal is not to solve the argument, but to drain the life out of you.
Tip: Beware and always be ready to disengage!
You need to remember that psychopaths are very good at making you feel unworthy. Even if you’re aware that you’re arguing with a psychopath, they’ll still try to do whatever they can to manipulate you and to benefit from the argument.
You’ll probably try to defend yourself, but chances are – you’ll lose. So, if you don’t want to end up feeling emotionally and mentally drained and with low levels of confidence, make sure you disengage from the conversation on time and steer clear of them.