While movies and TV shows often portray psychopaths as villains, not all are so blatantly evil in nature; most display psychopathic characteristics on a much subtler level. So subtle, in fact, that these individuals can be quite hard to detect—you may even be friends with or work alongside one.
Although the terms ‘psychopath’ and ‘sociopath’ are often used interchangeably, there are some significant differences between the two. Namely, psychopaths don’t have a conscience, and also have much less regard for others when compared to sociopaths. And while a person can’t be medically diagnosed as a psychopath (it is instead referred to as antisocial personality disorder), the following are 14 telltale traits to look out for.
One of the primary reasons that psychopaths are so hard to detect is because they blend in so well. When you meet one, they will tend to come across as extremely charming. In social situations, Psychology Today says they are “great at making small talk” and their “quick wit tends to draw people to them.”
They also tend to tell interesting and believable stories that paint themselves in a good light. For these reasons, most psychopaths are well liked and people tend to feel good after having a conversation with them.