7 Ways To Tell If You're Talking To A Psychopath Or A Narcissist

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Rosie McCall 30 Apr 2018, 21:17

Researchers and other experts have pinpointed some key behaviors of narcissists and psychopaths in conversation.

Those behaviors include repeating the same false stories and using offensive language.

Remember though: Even if you recognize some of these signs in a friend or coworker, you should leave the diagnosis to a mental-health professional.

Generally speaking, you shouldn't walk around looking to diagnose your friends and coworkers as psychopaths and narcissists.

If someone looks over your shoulder while you're talking or seems weirdly distant, there's a good chance they're just having an off day and don't have a pathological problem.

That said, if you notice a pattern of unusual behavior, it might very well warrant more attention.

We looked into the scientific literature and some expert insights to find out the most common conversational behaviors associated with psychopathy and narcissism.

Read on to see if you've noticed any of the following in people you know — or in yourself.

Psychopaths tend to speak slowly and quietly

A 2016 review of studies, published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior and highlighted on Inc., found that psychopaths tend to speak slowly and control their speech more so than non-psychopaths.

They also use fewer emotional words, keeping a relatively neutral tone.

Psychopaths tend to use more past-tense verbs

That's according to the 2016 review.

Researchers suspect this is because they're more psychologically and emotionally detached from the conversation topics.

Psychopaths tend to use emotional language without displaying much feeling

Flickr / Ian Sane

Psychopaths' language tends to lack what psychologists call an "emotional dimension," according to the 2016 review.

From the paper: "A psychopath can say, 'I love you,' without feeling anything else than asking for a cup of coffee."

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