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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

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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