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Manipulator and Bullies or Psychopath and Difficult Person ?

Updated: Apr 15

Have you ever wondered and or assumed that everyone has much capacity as we do for emotional experiences?   

Perhaps we have little difficulty in putting ourselves in the emotional shoes of another person, we are surprised at the callous indifference some people appear to show to the pain and suffering of others.   Individual differences in consideration, structuring, and conscientiousness are normal parts of human behaviour, however, what we often fail to realize is that there are some individuals, including psychopaths, whose own emotional life is so shallow that they simply cannot construct an accurate emotional likeness of those around them.   


Nonetheless, there are some clusters of psychopathic traits that do come across as low consideration, extreme structuring and low conscience and if demonstrated together, they could raise the suspicion that one is dealing with a psychopath. 

So, what would a psychopath look like according to these common traits?  

Many would clearly be rated very low on consideration, perhaps you have never had this many misunderstanding with anyone else in your entire life, perhaps rude, arrogant, and self-centred, uncaring, overbearing, impulsive and unwilling to accept responsibility for their own actions, blame others for their behaviour, whereas a normal, decent person will offer a genuine apology when they are wrong or when they make a mistake.    Nonetheless, these factor alone do not indicate we are dealing with psychopath, but certainly are warning flags. 

Individuals who interact on daily basis with psychopath or difficult person, and whether this is in private life and or in any organisation note some clear differences.  

These differences are described as:

More impulsive or erratic than other, they require immediate gratification and use short – term predatory strategies to get what they want.  (Arguably the less intelligent ones) are driven to satisfy the most basic needs, such as food and sex, whilst others seek higher-level satisfaction in power, control, or fame.  In both cases, they use charm and linguistic skills to get others to obey and conform, and in some cases, resorting to abusive demands when their “charm” or “soft spoken voice” does not work therefore resort to intimidation and “passive aggression” to get their way.   


So, what else does one need to look for?  

They are all self-centred, having a sense of entitlement and the assertiveness to demand it, which often makes them appear selfish in relationships.  They all have charisma of grandiosity, they insist that others give them the respect due them, they are not goal oriented, they cause chaos when trying to get a simple answer out from them, they will frequently tell others how ambitious they are, how many businesses they have, they will weave a (phony) hard -luck story about how they overcome immense odds growing up from poor or underprivileged or from abuse home. 


Yet, they are all irresponsible when it comes to attending to appropriate behaviours (making promises they do not keep), both on the job and off the job.   When confronted, they will blame others for the problem at hand, they are callous to individuals who have nothing to offer them, feeling superior yet, despite all this, the manipulators can be surprisingly successful in dealing with others and weave a believable story to influence others.  They are adept at reading situations and people, and then modifying their approach to best influence those around them – they can turn on the charm when it suits them, and turn it off when they want. 


Classic example of manipulation would be: “I’m really worried about you, I wasn’t going to say anything, but “Peter” told me he’s worried about you too.  I feel like something is going on with you, are you ok?” 

So, how can you spot it? 

Starts with complain, then move into “I’m concerned about you”

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