The first characteristic of a psychopath according to the PCL-R is glib and superficial charm. Of course, this can be an apparently positive characteristic. This is not a trait motivated by a genuine interest or empathy for others, however, but allows psychopaths to charm and manipulate those around them, from work colleagues to romantic partners. Gaslighting — whereby others are led to question their own actions and beliefs — may be a favored strategy.
Another key characteristic is a grandiose sense of self-worth. Of course, this profound sense of confidence or self-belief may explain why so many psychopaths appear to thrive in the cutthroat world of business. Unfortunately for their colleagues and “friends,” however, psychopaths also tend to make themselves look better by belittling those around them and may lie pathologically. Keep an eye out for narcissists.
Other criteria on the PCL-R checklist include a lack of remorse or guilt, callousness, a parasitic lifestyle, and promiscuous sexual behavior. Psychopaths, in short, tend to be risk takers and may be less likely to show, or feel, fear.
But they’re not always cool operators. One characteristic that is both obvious and common is poor behavioral control, which is perhaps linked to psychopaths being more likely to have a history of juvenile delinquency. Psychopaths tend to have a good eye for seeing and emulating how others behave, but they may also have outbursts of antisocial behavior.
Based on the above, my thought is that the Joker — or at least Arthur Fleck, the man behind the makeup — is only a borderline psychopath with other mental health problems that would warrant further investigation first. There are certainly more real-life psychopaths that would score higher in Hare’s test.
The key question is, based on the above, whether you might be one of them and how you intend to use these traits and skills.