When we say ‘psychopath’ or ‘psycho’ in everyday conversation, a lot of gorey images come to mind – Bundy, Bateman or that kid down your road who used to pull all the legs off a spider… but that’s not the full picture.
As I’ve already accidentally alluded to in the post Lessons from the Wolf of Wall Street, being a psychopath has a lot of upsides. Anecdotally, you may already know that a lot of senior managers and board members are psychopaths but they are also amongst our top surgeons, stock brokers and legal eagles.
In his book The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Kevin Dutton discusses the whole spectrum of the psychopathic blood spattered rainbow, and reaches some startling conclusions. For instance, he finalises a list of attributes all cases tend to have (regardless of whether they are behind bars or in some cases, responsible for the keys). Here they are:
4. Mental Toughness
6. Mindfulness (yes, psychopaths have reached the Nirvana of mindfulness, without even trying)
…who doesn’t want to be known for any of these?
It is however, the lethal combination of all 7 that leads the rule breaking devil-may-care psychopathic tendencies. Whether that rule breaking is ‘thinking outside the box’ (vomit) at work, or killing the odd hitchhiker is a different issue altogether.
An entertaining and insightful read with maybe a few life lessons from unexpected places thrown in. You can also take the Psychopath test on his website… because yes, you do wonder about your own sanity mid-read. And if you do ‘pass with gold stars’ um, Channel4 wants to speak to you.
PS I passed (whoop!)
- 20 Signs That You Are A Psychopath (businessinsider.com)
- The Pyshco … ahem … Psychopath Test (thenakedlistener.wordpress.com)
- Sociopath/psychopath Dichotomy (thoughtuncommon.wordpress.com)
- Psychopaths: Sadism as a Distinguishing Feature (ahousewithnochild.wordpress.com)
- Psychopathic traits in teenagers not cast in stone (sciencedaily.com)
- The Psychopath Next Door (punamtapali.wordpress.com)
- How Psychopaths Take Over (badtothebrain.wordpress.com)
- Why Psychopaths Don’t Feel Others Pain (sumantasaha.com)
- Psychopaths- why don’t they have a conscience? (intothelooneybin.wordpress.com)
- A neurological basis for the lack of empathy in psychopaths (medicalxpress.com)