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Think You Might Be Dating A Psychopath? See If They Are Immune To Contagious Yawning

Think You Might Be Dating A Psychopath? See If They Are Immune To Contagious Yawning

Experts believe that up to 1.6 percent of U.S. residents are psychopaths. Additionally, some studies suggest that as many as 12 million Americans have sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies. In other words, it is not only possible, but actually likely, that you have met a psychopath- and you might even be dating one.

Some of the latest research into psychopathic behavior indicates that these individuals are much less likely to be susceptible to the so-called ‘contagious yawn’. Scientists discovered a long time ago that the main reason people near you end up yawning in response to your yawn is because they feel empathy for your tiredness. Of course, not everyone will yawn along with you in every situation, but what does it mean if they never do?

A research team, led by Brian Rundle, recently published the results of a study they conducted with 135 individuals. Participants who rated the highest on the ‘cold-heartedness’ scale of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised test were also the least likely to yawn in response to others. This does not mean that they never exhibited the contagious yawn. However, it does showcase the possibility that people who very infrequently yawn with others could potentially have psychopathic traits.

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According to the Huffington Post, Rundle characterized psychopaths as being “partly defined by a lack of empathy and compassionate understanding of the feelings of others.” Rundle went on to make it clear that a lack of contagious yawning is not enough to classify someone as a psychopath. To date, the research has been limited to only one study. Therefore, it is not possible to make a firm determination about anyone based on whether or not they tend to yawn along with others. It is something you should be aware of, though, especially if you have other reasons to suspect that your partner might be a psychopath.

What Are the Main Traits of a Psychopath?

If someone is a psychopath, they are likely to have a charming personality that helps hide their lack of empathy and emotional attachments. These individuals are able to gain trust easily because they are typically masterful at manipulating others. Although they do not feel the same emotions as non-psychopaths, they will learn early on that it is vital to mimic the behavior of everyone else. Due to this, psychopaths can end up in long-term careers and relationships without the people around them recognizing them for who they really are.

Is There A Difference between a Psychopath and a Sociopath?

A lot of people use the terms psychopath and sociopath interchangeably, but the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has them listed as separate conditions that are both classified as Antisocial Personality Disorders. Psychology Today says that there are numerous similarities and differences between the two conditions.

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Psychopaths and sociopaths both tend to have an inability to feel remorse, and they may completely disregard the rights and feelings of others. It is also common for these individuals to have a violent personality, and they do not feel connected to social mores or laws.

The main difference between psychopaths and sociopaths is their ability to fit in with the general public. As previously mentioned, psychopaths can have successful careers and fool people into believing that they are just like everyone else. On the contrary, sociopaths tend to have a lot of difficulty holding onto a job, and they are also prone to emotional outbursts. A sociopath can form a close relationship with one person or a small group, but they will not care about the rest of society.

From a criminal standpoint, sociopaths are much more likely to be caught and prosecuted because they tend to do things on the spur of the moment without any planning. Meanwhile, psychopaths are methodical and will have every minor detail planned out before they break the law.

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How Does Someone Become a Psychopath?

Brain scans have shown that people who are psychopaths actually have a different brain from those who do not have this disorder. Scans have shown that psychopaths have low activity in key areas within the temporal and frontal lobes, which are the areas responsible for morality, empathy and self-control. With this in mind, it would be reasonable to assume that everyone with the psychopathic brain is easily identifiable as a psychopath- but this is not actually the case.

In one fascinating instance, a neuroscientist studying the brains of psychopaths discovered that his brain featured the key indicators of psychopathic traits too. This was surprising because the man in question, James Fallon, has a stable, successful career and family life, and he has never engaged in any violent behavior. Fallon does admit that he manipulates others and is motivated by power, but he does not appear to have many of the other traits that people immediately attach to psychopaths.

Some researchers believe that people with the psychopathic brain need a trigger event such as a traumatic childhood before they will turn violent or become a criminal. It is also well-known that these individuals lack impulse control, which can lead to gambling and drug abuse. Current statistics also indicate that 24 percent of high school students abuse prescription medication. The number of psychopaths among this group is almost certainly very high, and they are also more likely to pressure others into engaging in risky behaviors.

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Is Your Partner a Psychopath?

Because psychopaths are so clever and manipulative, it can be really difficult to determine if you are dating one. So be sure to pay close attention to whether or not they yawn along with you at least part of the time. You can also learn a lot more about this personality disorder by adding a book such as The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson to your summer reading list.

Featured photo credit: Image by www.christiancrush.com via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on September 12, 2019

12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

Here are 12 things to remember:

1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

10. Journal During This Time

Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

Final Thoughts

Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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