I had intended to write about the eyes of a psychopath. But I stumbled across one of the most accurate, thorough, and comprehensive descriptions of what it is like to be in a relationship with a psychopath thus far — so accurate that it derailed my train of thought. So, first a short exposition on my original topic, and then more on the latter.
The eyes of a psychopath are either hypnotic, mesmerizing, and enchanting, or they are as devoid of feelings as the eyes of a cobra ready to strike. These are my personal observations. In the love-bombing phase, you will notice your psychopath maintaining unusually long eye contact with you. This will both flatter you and make you feel uncomfortable. You will be flattered because you will mistake the eye contact to be intense interest in you. You will be uncomfortable because you will feel like they are looking directly into your soul, and are seeing things you are not ready to willingly share.
In fact, they are interested in you, but not because you are anything special. They want you to mistake their gaze as them being completely absorbed in how wonderful and amazing you are. Their purpose is to hypnotize and beguile you. But mainly, their intense eye contact is to study you like a predator watches its prey. By studying you with undivided attention, they learn your hidden yearnings and they discover your soft underbelly. Psychopaths will use this information to construct their customized mask, chiseled just for you. They will reflect back to you what you most dream of, and they will proclaim that the two of you are soul mates. You will be too busy basking in the sweetness of their gaze to notice what is really happening. Then, once you are “hooked,” they will use your weaknesses, your soft underbelly, to manipulate you into giving over whatever it is that they truly want. In the case of my wife — she wanted money.
The creepy, snake-eyed stare will come later, after they have extracted from you what they want, sucked you dry, and are ready to move on to the next victim. You may get brief glimpses of it even in the love-bombing phase, because they cannot perfectly maintain the mask at all times. This reptilian stare says, “I’d just as soon kill you as look at you. You are nothing to me. You are not even a piece of dried gum on a bedpost.” You will be frightened, and you will sense evil, darkness, emptiness, danger. You will wonder where the one who loved you so much disappeared to. You will think you are imagining things. But what you are feeling and sensing is your internal guidance system warning you, “Flee, take heed!” Be careful to listen to that voice.
When my wife was in the love-bombing phase, she once made a complaint to me. I’ve referenced my vision impairment many times. I don’t have any usable vision in my left eye at all. So when I looked at her (or at anything), I had to turn my head slightly to the left so I could see her out of my “good” right eye. Her complaint was that I didn’t look her directly in the face!! I suspect she feared her hypnotic gaze was not effective on me because we were not making “direct” eye contact as she was use to. But it was as direct as I could make it, and her gaze was effective.
One of the things I most enjoyed doing with my wife was watching TV. We watched lots of stuff together. Midday, while the kids were at school, we watched Judge Judy. In the evenings, we watched Coronation Street, and later, X-Factor. Paula herself liked Dog the Bounty Hunter. I couldn’t understand why, and it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I put up with it because I relished our time together.
But I’m most remembering watching Touched by an Angel with Paula. Initially, it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea either, because I was skeptical of such stuff as angels back then. But I quickly found the plot lines to be moving, so much so that I would find myself in tears by the conclusion of an episode. Watching the show became a part of our routine that I looked forward to.
One evening, we were watching Touched by an Angel on catch-up. I was thoroughly engrossed in the story line, and just as the episode was reaching climax, with the final outcome on the brink of being revealed, tears were streaming down my cheek and I was sobbing. At that very moment, Paula, who had been snuggled up beside me, suddenly turned to me with that psychopathic stare. She kissed me. It wasn’t a soft kiss. It wasn’t an “I’m crying, too” kiss. It wasn’t a comforting kiss. It was a “You are my property, and I’m reminding you of that fact” kiss. She lunged at me and bit my lip as if we were in the heat of lurid passion. So incongruous, I was startled. That is the snake-eyed predatory stare, and what it leads to. I was so taken aback that I missed the conclusion of the episode.
Anyhow, I stumbled across this article… I’ve pasted most of it below. You can read it in its entirety at Thomas Sheridan Arts. I have not pasted the first part of the article because I wanted to give a few words of my own. Sheridan rightly warns about the pitfalls of glibly labeling someone a psychopath. His stern warning is not one I take lightly. Sheridan opines that too many people falsely label spouses or former partners as psychopaths because they are jealous, jilted, or have their own problems. Anyone reading my blog can plainly see that I have had my problems. Yet reaching my opinion that my wife was a psychopath was one of the most difficult things I ever did. I do not like to pin labels of any kind on any person. People are stardust, energy in flux. We don’t fit in tidy pigeon-holes. This is a drawing I did long before I met Paula:
So, no, I resisted having bad thoughts about my wife. I bought into her sob stories. I concluded that she was hurt and damaged, and thought that if I just loved her enough, she’d learn to love herself and her behavior would change. If I “impaled myself on trust” one more time after being deceived countless times before, as she asked me to do, I thought she’d see how much she meant to me. It was a fruitless effort of self-sacrifice for naught. Her behavior only got worse over time. But at a certain point, the lies, the deception, the betrayal becomes too glaring to ignore. I am not, not, not faultless, but I have searched my soul. I am no jilted spouse on a mission of vengeance. The wrongs done to me were real, substantive, egregious, and provable. The betrayal was incalculable. A woman who flat out refuses to return the hand-crocheted afghan his deceased mother made just for him is nothing short of evil, in my opinion. So you, my fond reader, can go back and read Sheridan’s strident warnings about casual “diagnosis” and decide for yourself. I have pasted the traits and characteristics of a psychopath he itemizes below. My wife met about 98% of his criteria, and as I mentioned, his is the most comprehensive description of a psychopath as one encounters them in a romantic relations that I’ve found thus far.
If you experienced the following behaviour while in a relationship, or working with this person—then you probably knew a psychopath:
Invented Personas to Manipulate Others
Psychopaths are a different version of themselves for every person they interact with. They also have ‘group personas’ for family, organisational and workplace interaction.
Highly Unreliable/Broken Promises
Psychopaths will make the most incredibly ambitious plans including you as their right hand man or woman—then, on a whim, discard those plans and move on to some other crusade that excludes you. Targets often alter their own life plans to help the psychopath reach their imaginary goals, resulting in appalling emotional, psychological and financial chaos for the victims when the psychopath moves on.
Idealisation Followed by Cold Rejection
At the height of their idealisation of you, the psychopath will show you obsessive ‘love,’ care and attention. However, once they feel they have you where they want you—or the relationship has ended—if you collapsed in front of them on the street they would simply step over you as if they’d never met you and continue on their way. Outrageous and very personal smear campaigns against the discarded targets to falsely portray them as psychologically unstable, self-serving liars or abusers are often undertaken by psychopaths following the ending of a relationship.
Becomes Obsessed with a Hobby, Cause, or Individual and then Loses Interest Instantly
However, as soon as the relationship is established, the downward trajectory from idealisation of their targets and towards the inevitable devaluation and discarding begins in earnest. It may take weeks. It may take months. It often takes years. Nevertheless the psychopath always begins the devaluing of their victims as soon as the relationship is legitimised and is always on the lookout for an ‘upgrade’.
Buys into either secular and non-secular belief systems to appear superior or enlightened. Will align themselves with ‘morally popular’ causes to make themselves appear enlightened and with a sense of deep moral wisdom and compassion. But it is always a pose; the psychopath’s association with these causes is a veneer to fool others into trusting them. It’s always fake; always an agenda.
There is Nothing Real Behind the Persona
Behind the months or years of perfectly-constructed performance by your psychopath is a nothing: a void, a blank, a hunger for something the psychopathic entity can never define. They now see no further benefit in playing this part and have moved on to a new role. It is just business. You are treated to a completely new, cold and emotionless persona. “Who is this stranger?” you will ask yourself over and over again. It is so bewildering.
The Sudden Goodbye
Then the psychopath finds an upgrade, changes their persona, will often change their look, fashions and even change the subject when they suspect others are figuring them out and you begin asking questions. “Hey, never mind that, it is lovely weather we are having!” Stated in a chipper and almost giddy manner (with an obvious underlying glibness). They are repressing the internal excitement at having pulled a fast one on you.
RED FLAGS AND TRAITS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Before we move on to learn how to identify an individual who may be a psychopath, I want to stress this clearly, emphatically and unequivocally—that one should not declare a person to be ‘a psychopath’ unless you are completely sure you have fairly and honestly evaluated that individual with as much emotional neutrality as possible. To use the label ‘psychopath’ is essentially to state that this individual is not a human being. Such a statement—no matter how much someone may have wronged you—must not be taken lightly.
The pathological drive of any psychopath over the course of his or her life can be anything and everything selfish, appalling, immoral and evil one can think of. However, there are Five Absolute Traits which all psychopaths (both male and female) have, and this is what you should be on the lookout for if you think you are in a relationship with a psychopath or if you have questions about an individual whom you may have come into contact with in the past who may have been a psychopath.
THE FIVE ABSOLUTE PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS
(lacks conscience—shows no genuine guilt for their actions)
Invoking Pity in Others to Manipulate and Control
(sob stories of past sexual/other abuse—claims nearly all their ex’s are insane/alcoholics)
Mysterious Pasts/Vague Personal Histories
(life story never seems to make sense—contradictory pasts—missing periods in their lives)
(an actor who’ll play the role ‘you’ require from them—until they change the performance/role as they learn a new script)
High Levels of the Hormone Testosterone
(impulsive—sexually intense—upper body strength—poor
RELATIVE SECONDARY PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS
There is also a cluster of potential Secondary or Relative Traits which are often present in psychopaths. Understanding and applying these will go a long way to help you distinguish between psychopaths and everyday, run-of-the-mill obnoxious creeps and charlatans. With Secondary Relative Psychopathic Traits, not every psychopath will have all of them. Some will have most, or nearly all of them—most psychopaths can demonstrate these traits at different stages over the course of their lives.
Sexual Promiscuity/Asexuality/One Night Stands
(appears to have learned all they know about sex from watching pornography)
Staggering Levels of Double Standards and Hypocrisy/Projection
(projects their own faults onto others—accuses the target of doing to the psychopath what the psychopath is doing to them) NEVER SAYS ‘SORRY’.
Narcissism/Boastfulness and a Sense of Being Born for a Special Purpose
(expects to be praised constantly and will praise themselves if they do not get it from others)
History of Brief or Failed Relationships Ending Badly
(gets engaged/married on impulse—always blames the other person for the relationship failing—if relationship is long-term, this means they have the perfect enabler)
Fight or Flight Response
(poor stress tolerance—can’t debate—insults and lashes out)
(sneers, poses or smirks or ‘looks away’ when being photographed)
Eyes Sometimes Dead and Lifeless
(coupled with a hypnotic stare—eyes can also dart around from left to right when scheming) Very often a disturbing intense predatory stare when challenged or refused a request.
Needing, at Most, 4—5 Hours of Sleep at Night
(sleeping aids, prescriptions and alcohol used to extend their sleeping periods or to avoid boredom)
Faking Cancer or Other Serious Illness
(shaving their heads, eyebrows and body hair to fool people—will set up charities and fund-raising events—harvesting pity—looking for heroic recognition)
Does not Dream, or Fabricates Unrealistic Dream Stories
(reduced complex cognitive processes in and around the frontal areas of the brain)
Constantly Looking and Acting Busy for no Apparent Reason
(moving around, traveling here and there for no apparent reason—busy, busy, busy)
Leaves their Target Abandoned and Alone for Hours on End
(will bring target to a party in a room full of strangers and then leave them on their own)
Highly Unreliable/Broken Promises
(makes highly ambitious plans, then changes them—makes promises and never follows through)
Constantly Trying to Correct Others’ Opinions
(font of all knowledge—arrogant ‘know it all’—always has to have the last word, usually an insult. VERY passive aggressive.)
Crocodile Tears and Unconvincing Emotional Responses, Superficial Laughter
(‘Gentle Soul’ personal with ham acting—pretending to wipe/dry their eyes—rooted in frustration, not sorrow)
Extreme and Obvious Flattery, Emulating and Sycophantic Behaviour
(when targeting/scheming: whatever they think you want to hear and see, they will say and do it)
(releases large amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine, while reducing serotonin within the target’s brain)
(overly complex speech and writing in order to look clever—often makes no sense—contradictory from one sentence to the next)
Claims to be the Only Person who Really Relates to Target
(in order to begin socially isolating them from their support network of family/friends)
Sets the Agenda—Never Meets Anyone Halfway
(announces, never discusses—gives orders, never asks—dictates, both overtly and subtly)
Obsessed with the Latest Pharmaceuticals/ Hypochondriac
(can include healthy eating obsessions which never last)
Has no Real Creative Talent
(can only copy—can’t innovate or be original)
(when in a long-term relationship, working with or living with, will drain the life energy out of you—long-term partners age faster and develop serious health issues.)
Claims to be Independent/Maverick
(but in reality is completely dependent on enablers to supply him/her with basic living needs)
(excellent at reading people and social situations in order to exploit them—finding and using emotional ‘triggers’)
Easily Takes Offence
(will often harbour a grudge for years and then produce it out of the blue in order to confuse the target, often as a deflective tactic during an argument)
Gifts Designed to ‘Buy You’ or to Mould You in a Certain Way
(their own personal taste in clothes—will use gifts to ‘improve’ you)
Can’t Handle Criticism
(becomes highly defensive when confronted with their own behaviour—they are perfect)
(cured with con-artistry, promiscuity, alcoholism and/or drug abuse to alleviate the boredom)
Does Not ‘Get’ Clever Satire/Complex Humour
Laughs when they see other laugh. Child-like sense of humour at best.
(lies instinctually, even when telling the truth would be the better option—can’t accept blame—will say ‘sorry‘ that the target is hurt, but not actually be sorry for hurting them)
Feels They are Entitled to the Best of Everything and Expects to be Indulged
(only says ‘thank you’ to make a good impression on potential targets—soon afterwards stops and complains they are not being indulged or waited upon quick enough)
Exploits Friends, Parents, the Elderly or Handicapped
(money, free rent, altering of wills)
Claims to have a Special Relationship with God (Spiritual Narcissism) or Extreme Atheist
(both are just belief packages the psychopath will use to impress others)
Claims to be a Spy, Assassin, Special Forces Personnel or other Clandestine Agent
(will collect military and other similar memorabilia—fake medals and combat awards)
Twists Conversations and Meanings of Things to Suit Agenda
(diverts conversation to gain moral or intellectual higher ground—when stumped, changes the subject or gets angry)
Uses Dysfluencies More than Most (i.e., ‘umms’, ‘ahhs’, etc)
(does not listen to what others say after the Idealisaton stage because the psychopath does not care)
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