A couple of days ago, I read a very good post from The Psych Talk about psychopathy, which reminded me of a reflection I made on a post from last year and gives me the opportunity to write a little bit about this debatable topic.

In my post Love Without Rules, I stated how my loving and caring personality paired with what I thought was emotional dependence made me a perfect victim of men with narcissistic, egocentric and psychopathic tendencies.

But what is psychopathy?

The development of a psychopathic personality may be inherent from birth or may be caused by external factors.  A psychopathic personality contains emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal traits such as lack of empathy, shallow emotional bonds with others, narcissism, apparent charm, dishonesty, manipulativeness, and impulsive risk-taking.

A psychopath can appear normal and very pleasant, but underneath lies a manipulative and unpredictable person with little conscience and compassion.

Psychopathic traits are commonly seen in psychopaths before they become adults, but psychopathy cannot be diagnosed until adulthood, making this disorder very difficult to treat.

Professor Robert Hare is a Canadian criminal psychologist, and the creator of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, a psychological test used to diagnose psychopathy.

It is hard to know exactly how the personality of a psychopath develops.  Some childhood circumstances can definitely increase the likelihood of psychopathology, but also genetic abnormalities can play an important part.

Environmental factors, negative parenting, lack of parental involvement, a sociopathic parent, or child abuse, can increase the risk of a child developing a psychopathic personality, but this does not happen very often.

However, if a child experiences these risk factors and also shows psychopathic tendencies, there is a high chance they will grow up into an adult psychopath if the right treatment or intervention is not pursued.

We tend to confuse the terms psychopathy and psychosiswhich are two very different things, and often think of psychopaths as killers or criminals, which is not always the case.

Machismo is a predominant trait in Latin American men.  Latin mothers raise narcissistic males unintentionally sometimes, and narcissism is one of the predominant traits of psychopathic personalities.

In fact, Dr. Michael J. Diamond, an American clinical psychologist, suggests that the roots of masculine traits are strongly linked to the relationship between males and their mothers growing up.

Dr. Diamond indicates that a male who strongly disidentifies with his mother is far more likely to display an extreme and fragile masculine state of mind, which is often accompanied with narcissism and, in some cases, psychopathy.

In my personal experience, when it comes to romantic relationships, I’ve always taken a very passive stance. I’ve always been chosen, a serial monogamist and handled relationships opting for the path of least resistance.

It is not that hard to fall into a psychopath’s trap, especially when having a passive orientation in relationships. Psychopaths can be very likable and a highly attractive option when being lonely and in dire need of affection.

For the longest time, I did not allow myself to see properly. I could identify the red flags in men right away, but something in me chose to idealize situations to give me the right amount of excuses to stay in a toxic and unhealthy relationship.

In the last two years, I have been researching, studying, and constructing my own interpretation of psychological theories, in order to understand many things about my past – and why they happened – and my experience with love and relationships with the purpose of achieving a better version of myself, free from psychopathic personalities, hopefully.

I don’t think I have it all figured out by any means, but I am definitely very close and on the right path.