David has recently written a book, Taming Toxic People: The Science of Identifying and Dealing With Psychopaths At Work and At Home, and it left us intrigued. But most all, curious to know how to pick a psychopath out of the crowd.
Or even, how to know if the person you love is a psychopath.
Mia: Tell me how psychopaths behave in romantic relationships.
David: Psychopaths don’t change their behaviour just because they’re at home. They’re all about control, about micromanagement and reporting. They don’t trust their partner at all. They are people who need to be controlled at all times. In their mind, their partner is a possession who needs to be controlled at all times.
David Gillespie explains what happens when a psychopath has a child. (Post continues after audio.)
As soon as their partner stops being useful as a possession, a source of money or power, the psychopath doesn’t need them anymore. Either, they will just walk away or they will abuse them because there’s no reason not to.
Mia: If I’m in a relationship with a psychopath or I suspect I am, what might I notice is happening?
David: Well, it’ll be really clear in the relationship. They’ll probably be very charming at first, and it absolutely will be the most-accelerated relationship you’ve ever had.
They will seem absolutely perfect. Upfront, they will tell you exactly what you want to hear and they will be the best lover you’ve ever had.
They’re more likely to be the ones that will approach the women who intimidate other men. Psychopaths believe they are entitled to the best of everything, so it’s a challenge for them.
They will be charming. Fast. And, not intimidated by anyone.
Why not choose the best looking or most appealing possession in the room? Surprisingly, that person won't always be the captain of the football team or the hottest person, but it will be the person who moves them socially upward.
Mia: People often say psychopaths are especially good-looking. Is that true?
David: When studies are done on this, with objective testing and people don't know the photo they are looking at, there doesn't appear to be any particular bias towards psychopaths. It's, once again, them telling you what you want to hear and what you want to know.