Psychopath? 5 Red Flags and 3 Rs Test: Remorse, Remediation, and Restoration

Uploaded 10/19/2013, approx. 3 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

How can you tell if he is a psychopath?

There are five red flags and a test.

Psychopaths are too good to be true. They besiege their interlocutors with a relentless charm offensive.

There is a kind of information asymmetry. The psychopath may flaunt you with unwanted and unwarranted information or disinformation about himself, while conspicuously being incurious about you.

Alternatively, the psychopath keeps mum about his life, while there is also something I call belabored normalcy and effortless deviance.

Actions that are reflexive or effortless with normal, healthy people require an inordinate amount of premeditation, concentration, planning and laborious investment by the psychopath.

On the other hand, acts that normal folk would find abhorrent come naturally and effortlessly to the psychopath.

Psychopaths have alloplastic defenses. The psychopath blames others, the authorities, institutions or the world at large for his failures, defeats and mishaps. It is never his fault.

He has an external locus of control. In other words, his life is ruled from the outside, not from the inside. His life is the collected said outcomes of injustice, discrimination, and conspiracy of which he is the victim.

Psychopaths are said to be fearless and self-wholesome. Their pain tolerance is indeed very high.

Still, contrary to popular perceptions and psychiatric orthodoxy, some psychopaths are actually anxious and constantly fearful. That's why they are paranoid.

Their psychopathy is a defense against an underline and all pervasive anxiety, either hereditary or brought on by early childhood abuse.

They believe the world is hostile and how to get them.

Still, narcissism and psychopathy can develop late in life as a reaction to life's circumstances.

Consider, for instance, a quiet situation and narcissism. It can be induced in childhood, in adulthood, by celebrity, wealth and fame. Late onset narcissism may also occur in a variety of other situations.

Codependence, for instance. Codependence, aiming to fend off knowing abandonment anxiety, can resort to and evolve narcissistic and even psychopathic behaviors and traits. All these in order to cater to the means of their loved ones without whom they cannot survive.

In anomic societies and depraved cultural or religious settings, people with a conformist band tend to adopt anti-social modes of conduct and personal style so as to fit in, blend and belong.

So how can we tell if someone's narcissism and psychopathy are the ephemeral derivative variety or an integral, immutable and inalienable feature of his or her personality?

By applying the test of three R's, remorse, remediation and restoration.

To qualify as such, remorse has to be expressed repeatedly and must be heartfelt. It should entail a modicum of sacrifice, embarrassment and inconvenience.

Regretting one's misdeeds in public is more convincing than sending a private missive or whispering sorry anonymously.

Remediation requires making amends and offering reparations which are commensurate with your offending acts and bear some symbolic relation to them.

Thus, financial abuse can be absolved only with the aid of monetary compensation that corresponds to the damage done and suffered.

Finally, restoration involves affording one's victims the opportunity for closure, if not forgiveness, so that they can move on with their lives.

True narcissists and psychopaths fail the three R's test at every turn.

Their remorse is faint and ostentatious. They provide little or no recompense for their misdeeds and they never put themselves at the victim's disposal to allow her to achieve what she needs most.


Remember this, the familiar is tempting, but it is a trap. The unknown is terrifying, but it holds a promise.

Your only chance of happiness, even survival, is to move on.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Narcissist or Psychopath? What Are the Differences?

Narcissists and psychopaths share many traits, but there are important differences between the two. Psychopaths are less inhibited and less grandiose than narcissists, and they are unable or unwilling to control their impulses. Psychopaths are deliberately and gleefully evil, while narcissists are absentmindedly and incidentally evil. Narcissists are addicted to narcissistic supply, while psychopaths do not need other people at all.

Mental Illness: No Excuse for Abuse

Psychopaths and narcissists often use alloplastic and autoplastic defenses to mask their immoral and antisocial behavior. Autoplastic defenses involve blaming oneself for the consequences of one's own choices and decisions, while alloplastic defenses involve blaming others for the outcomes of one's own choices and decisions. These defenses often coexist and interact with each other, and individuals may use them to preserve cognitive distortions and reframe reality in a way that does not cause them undue trauma. The need to deny victimhood and maintain a sense of control can also contribute to the use of these defenses.

Was Your Ex a Narcissist or a Psychopath?

Narcissists and psychopaths differ in their emotional investment in others and their goals. Narcissists are emotionally invested in shared fantasies, while psychopaths and malignant narcissists are not emotionally invested in anything or anyone. Psychopaths are goal-oriented and do not care about their careers, intellectual property, spouses, children, parents, community, public opinion, court system, law enforcement, or anything else. Narcissists love-ball, while psychopaths groom, and narcissists are liable to stalking and hoovering, while psychopaths just vanish.

Narcissist's 10 Body Postures, Psychopath's Physique

The text discusses the body language and body image of narcissists and psychopaths. It delves into the complex relationship these individuals have with their bodies, including how they use body language to manipulate and control others. The text also touches on the treatability of body dysmorphic and somatoform disorders through therapy.

Signs You are Victim of Narcissistic Abuse, Not Common Abuse (Stress, Depression Management Webinar)

Narcissistic abuse is a subtype of abusive behavior that is pervasive, sophisticated, and can be practiced either covertly or overtly. Victims of narcissistic abuse often experience depression, anxiety, disorientation, and dissociative symptoms. This type of abuse can lead to complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) and even elements of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The way individuals process and react to trauma can lead to either regression into infantile behaviors or personal growth and maturation, depending on their emotional regulation and maturity.

The “Lone Wolf” Narcissist and His Prey

Narcissists require constant validation and attention, and their sense of entitlement clashes with their dependence on others for self-worth. Lone wolf narcissists who withdraw from society can become dangerous due to their unquenched hunger for narcissistic supply. Schizoids, on the other hand, are indifferent to social relationships and have a limited range of emotions and affect. Psychopaths lack empathy and disregard others as instruments of gratification, and they are often criminals. When narcissism, schizoid disorder, and psychopathy converge, it can result in extremely dangerous individuals.

Hermit: Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoids are individuals with a personality disorder who are indifferent to social relationships and have a limited range of emotions and affect. They are incapable of intimacy and rarely express feelings. Schizoids are loners who prefer solitary activities and are inflexible in their reactions to changing life circumstances. They are creatures of habit and frequently succumb to rigid routines and schedules.

Narcissism Virus: Genes, Deception, Brain, Mind (Compilation)

Narcissists and psychopaths are facing increasing difficulties in finding victims due to heightened awareness and stigmatization of their behaviors. As victim awareness grows and behaviors associated with narcissistic abuse become criminalized, the pool of potential targets shrinks. This leads to a situation where predators may team up to hunt collectively, as predicted by game theory models like the Hawk-Dove model and the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model. These models suggest that as the number of predators increases and the number of prey decreases, the predator population will eventually decline. This raises questions about the role of predators like narcissists and psychopaths in society and whether their decline could lead to trophic cascades, which are powerful indirect interactions that can control entire ecosystems. The future impact of increased awareness, stigmatization, and criminalization on the survival and behaviors of narcissists and psychopaths remains an open question.

So, Is My Narcissist a Covert Narcissist? Nonsense vs. Scholarship

Covert narcissists are individuals who suffer from an in-depth sense of inferiority, have a marked propensity towards feeling ashamed, and are shy and fragile. They are unable to genuinely depend on others or trust them, suffer from chronic envy of others, and have a lack of regard for generational boundaries. Covert narcissists are not goal-orientated, have shallow vocational commitment, and are forgetful of details, especially names. Inverted narcissists are a subspecies of covert narcissism and are self-centered, sensitive, vulnerable, and defensive, sometimes hostile and paranoid.

Empath and Gaslighting: Setting the Record Straight

Self-proclaimed empaths are actually narcissistic individuals seeking attention and victimhood. Highly sensitive persons (HSPs) are extremely few and far between and are unlikely to expose themselves in cyberspace. Gaslighting is often confused and conflated with dissociation, confabulation, and dissonances. Narcissists rarely engage in gaslighting, which is a psychopathic tactic. Narcissists' desperate attempt to restore continuity, introduce some glue into the disjointed parts of their personality, and dissonances are very common but have nothing to do with gaslighting.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy