Posted in How to Spot a Pro-Social Psychopath

How to Spot a Pro-Social Psychopath

This is the “Lackadaisical Lawson List” of pro-social psychopathic habits. These criteria are based on the life experiences of growing up with a violent psychopathic father and subsequently, being (unknowingly) married to a nonviolent high-functioning sociopath.[1] The husband had a “devil-may-care” attitude and perpetrated a fraud for over 10 years. This was made possible by the victim’s early childhood training to ignore dysfunctional behaviors that were not violent, but later revealed as emotionally damaging. If all of these criteria are met, then you are dealing with a psychopath, also known as a covert narcissist.


You probably love this “nice” person because you pay no attention to their idiosyncrasies (inconspicuous red flags) – the subtle clues that they have no conscience, and they will betray you on a whim. Socialized Psychopaths (aka Sociopaths or Malignant Narcissists) fool everyone, and only show their true colors after their schemes are uncovered, or they get bored with you.


  1. Be sensitive to contradictions. They end a conversation with a statement that opposes what they said at the beginning. They talk about the problems of the world like a good citizen, yet break the rules without apology, and are just so happy go lucky.
  2. Double-check their (tsunami of) stories. They talk (boast or demean) nonstop about the people in their lives because they (are property) are extensions of themselves. No one is off limits so they even lie about their children. Mainly they specialize in half-truths and disinformation. They have no problem keeping important information away from you.
  3. Pay attention to the quick lane changes in conversation. (One second they are talking about their kid’s party, then a half-second later, they are talking about their friend’s dead cat and veterinary history.)
  4. Look for cold, “robotic” reactions to what should be emotionally troublesome events. Ex: They will state verbally their disappointment, but it’s just words, no show of emotion nor corresponding action. They will make no effort to resolve an issue, no matter how much they yammer on about it. (They feel no sorrow. They have no shame. Their feelings don’t get hurt. This also makes the mild-mannered psychopath incredibly easy to live with. They treat spouses and family members like roommates.)
  5. Track each time they bug you with questions about how you would act in certain (off the wall) situations: “What would you do if I…fill in the blank”. Ex: “What would you do if you came out of your apartment and saw me hiding in the bushes?” *This is something a normal person would not need to ask.* If you respond like they are idiots for asking, then they act like it was just a joke. But, they will ask you another odd thing later, and again and again…
  6. Take note of their scapegoating. Scapegoating is a term that’s usually associated with assigning blame, but psychopaths also expertly assign credit where little or none is due. This gives them a saintly aura, but the reality is that it’s all lies regardless.
  7. Analyze their desire to move quickly into a close relationship; calling you endearing terms right away, insisting that you should freely bring them into your circle of trust, wanting you to share living quarters or share a business venture very soon after meeting... all very seductive, and ego-boosting for you.
  8. Observe the “Poor Me, I’m the Victim” tone and words that they use to get your sympathy, which can fool you into being controlled/manipulated by them and giving them stuff (time, special favors, gifts...). They also use this pity play when they need an excuse as to why they didn’t act responsibly, or didn’t give you a birthday present.
  9. Notice a pattern of hot-cold-hot-cold-hot attraction and attention to you. When they give you the cold shoulder, they leave you inwardly begging for more attention. When they finally bring the heat back, you experience maximum elation and feel high from the boost of dopamine (the “love” chemical) and endorphins. They manipulate you into pretty much being addicted to them, so you repeatedly forgive whatever transgressions they perpetrated against you.
  10. Be wary of their number of claims that “There was a misunderstanding”, because they know that phrase restores your trust, and eases their way past you catching them in a lie.


  • A psychopath gives 4 messages: 1. I like who you are. 2. I am just like you. 3. Your secrets are safe with me. 4. I am the perfect friend/lover for you. This is how a psychopath will very rapidly create an intimate bond with his prey.[2]
  • Psychopaths (as predators) target genuinely nice people. If you are victimized, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you, it means you are one of the best human beings.
  • Psychopaths (as parasites) test boundaries to see if you are a self-sacrificing people-pleaser. They start by asking for small personal favors that make you feel included, but inconvenience you slightly (“Give me a wake-up call”, “Help me with my job search”, etc.)
  • Psychopaths are the most fun people to hang out with because they are always looking for new forms of entertainment, and invite you along for the ride. They will take you to Disney World and tell you it’s a special treat just for you, when it really is where they were going anyway, regardless of your accompanying them. Nothing is ever for you because neurologically, psychopaths can only be self-serving.[3]



  • Never give your trust freely. Beware anyone who asks you to do so. Trust must be earned.
  • The most overlooked sign of psychopathy is “Eerily calm demeanor”.
  • Do not confront a psychopath about your discovery of their psychopathy. That would be like backing a wild animal into a corner.
  • Be careful of confiding in their “nice” family members, since psychopathy is genetic.[4]



  1. ↑
  2. Dr. David McDermott– The mind control trick is that the victim thinks the manipulator is a friend
  3. ↑ Neuroscience: An fMRI study of affective perspective taking in individuals with psychopathy: imagining another in pain does not evoke empathy
  4. ↑ “Is Psychopathy Genetic?” at Aftermath: Surviving Psychopathy Foundation

See Tina’s website for more info on this subject:




Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Biological psychology, Counselling psychology and CBT. I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦

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