What is emotionally absent in the psychopath is most important. More mature feelings that require whole-object relatedness and a capacity for secure attachment are missing.These include anger, fear, guilt, depression, sympathy, gratitude, empathy, remorse, sadness,loneliness and reciprocal joy – emotions that are broad, deep and complex. Instead, the emotional life of the psychopath centers on his internal management of envy (Kernberg,1984) and shame (Kohut, 1968), two affects that often precede intentional destruction of he object in real life. The damaged object diminishes envy since there are no longer any qualities worth possessing; the damaged object diminishes shame since it can no longer threaten as a source of humiliation.
Psychopathic individuals do not struggle with tensions of ego-dystonic aggression, since the impulse to aggress is either immediately acted out, or remains a source of aggressive fueling of the grandiose self-structure without conﬂict or ambivalence. Rorschach research has counter-intuitively found that antisocial and psychopathic individuals at all ages do not see percepts engaging in aggression as often as normals. They do, however, produce more aggressive objects with which they identify (Gacono & Meloy, 1994).Empirical research has established that psychopaths engage in two modes of violence more frequently than other non psychopathic criminals (Meloy, 2005). Affective violence, characterized by an emotional reaction to an imminent threat, is common among psychopaths,especially in the face of immediate frustration or humiliation. Predatory violence, characterized by a lack of emotion, careful planning and preparation, and the lack of autonomicarousal, is also frequent among psychopaths, and is emblematic of the homicides and sexualhomicides which a few of them commit (Woodworth & Porter, 2002; Porter et al., 2003)
We are just beginning to understand the brain of the psychopath (Patrick, 2006). His mind is another matter. Recent neuroimaging research has begun to functionally map the abnormalities of the psychopath’s brain (Kiehl et al., 2001, 2003), and such findings help us to biologically ground the clinical and forensic extremes of his behavior. But a theory of the psychopath’s mind is also important (Meloy, 1988). It guides empirical research. It puts flesh on the bone of empirical findings. It specifies the motivation and meaning of the psychopath’s behavior. And most importantly, it helps us understand his discrete experience of the world, and thus shapes our realistic perception of the risks he poses to himself and others.
Freud understood the psychopath, but devoted little time and thought to investigating his mind. He wrote in 1928, “two traits are essential in a criminal: boundless egoism and a strong destructive urge. Common to both of these, and a necessary condition for their expression, is absence of love, lack of an emotional appreciation of (human) objects” (p. 178). We define the psychopath’s personality nearly eighty years later in essentially the same twofold manner: his pathological narcissism and his cruel aggression. There is also a general recognition that both of these characteristics are fueled by an absence of emotional attachment to others: the bond that keeps most people from physically violating those whom they love.
Many believe the psychopath is unconsciously projecting an “annihilatory stare,” meaning he or she isn’t seeing the other person as a human being, but coldly assessing them as an object he can use, manipulate or destroy.
The psychopath’s fixated, intense stare is sometimes referred to as scoptophilia: the sexualization of looking; predatory staring. It is visual predation.
Experts also call it a “reptilian stare,” and that might be more than just a colorful description. Dr. Reid Meloy’s Reptilian State Theory hypothesizes that psychopaths are more like reptiles than mammals. The brain structure of the reptile supports the behaviors of establishment and defense of territory, hunting, feeding, mating, dominance, aggression, and imitation. Psychopaths and reptiles are missing behaviors that are products of the emotion-generating limbic system, which is absent in reptiles and markedly underactive in psychopaths.
At her core, the female psychopath may not like herself. But it rarely helps to feel sorry for her. No matter what you do for her, no matter what you give her, she will remain ungrateful. She is likely extremely envious and desires to obtain everything that she wants since she believes she was cheated out of life’s bounty, and it is up to her to even the score.
What she wants is impossible to get: Why aren’t movie producers banging down her door? Why doesn’t she have the long legs of a Rockette? Mind you, what she wants has no end and brings her no satisfaction. She appreciates nothing.
Beware if she offers you gossip as confidential information. She is telling others the same stories, many of which might be half-truths or even full-blown lies. She may be highly adept at sidling up to people. She will size you up in a moment while you are still trying to figure her out.
Your eyes, and their movements, can convey a lot of information about mood and emotions, from happiness to humor to boredom to disdain.
While your gaze might linger on someone you find attractive or appealing, you might quickly look away from something that frightens or disturbs you. Your pupils also dilate when you experience strong emotions, including fear, anger, and love (or lust).
Some experts even believe eyes can offer clues to underlying personality traits, offering support for the idea that your eyes offer a glimpse of your soul.
The various suggested characteristics of “psychopath eyes” seem to echo the general belief that people with ASPD have no emotions to show.
These descriptions include:
dead, flat, or reptilian-like eyes
very dark irises, or eyes that appear black
pupils that don’t dilate
an expression, such as a smile, that doesn’t reach the eyes
NPD almost never comes isolated. It is usually diagnosed with other Cluster B Personality Disorders (especially Histrionic PD and Antisocial PD). A single, clearly delineated personality disorder is exceedingly rare. The norm is double or triple diagnoses from various axes (with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, for instance).
But a seductive behaviour is not an NPD trait.
Here is what the authoritative “Review of General Psychiatry” has to say:
“HPD must be differentiated from … NPD. These disorders may coexist in some combination with HPD, in which case all relevant diagnoses may be assigned.”
“… (NPDs) have far greater contempt for the sensitivities of others than those with HPD …”
When your parent attempts to cross a boundary or draw you back into their twisted bonds, keep up your guard and refuse to engage emotionally. Admitting that your parent’s behavior is affecting you is feeding the narcissist. Refuse to serve as the supply for their power and pain games.