I know a female psychopath
If you read the extensive literature, you’ll learn there is no clearly official psychological category known as “psychopath.” However, in the DSM-IV, any previous reference to this “mental condition” is now lumped in with anti-social personality disorder.
So I’ve know this female psychopath for about 7 years and initially I fell for her resounding magnetism and hard-edged joie de vivre like most other bored, foolish guys. I was her easy prey during the period of my separation and divorce because after 7 years of marriage, I was hardly discriminating or sharply perceptive in what I chose to decorate my trophy case with.
Female psychopathy is especially nebulous because it is easily misinterpreted for normal histrionic female behavior. In fact, I would assert that many of the trademark distasteful feminine behaviors we observe and tolerate in young, modern women, are merely personality ingredients that normally live on the psychopathic spectrum. Most women are not psychopaths, but the behaviors they are prone to exhibit which can be construed as psychopathic are merely cosmetic manifestations of the lack of basic grounded character. They are not inherently “evil” people. They are just women who have been molded by the dystopian social dynamics of the late 20th and 21st Centuries.
The modern self-absorbed woman, while prone to manipulation and cold-hearted appraisal of others, is nevertheless not vicious at heart. It’s her youthful ebullience and adulated persona which excuses her levels of disrepute. This is the woman who will mellow with age and much of her “faux psychopathy” of youth will wither away along with the last vestiges of beauty. These egotistical-minded young primadonnas are not psychopaths. They simply display the chameleon-like symptoms of psychopathy without truly possessing such a diseased immutable personality.
This chick who I know is a psychopath.
She displays all the common insidious attention-whorish, entitled traits which attract idiotic men like flies. But her psychopathy is only clear after years of watching her function and fuck over everyone she comes in contact with. In the spirit of self-transparency, I will be honest about my motives: she has fucked me over as well, but not in the typical sexual or relationship context you are probably guessing. I will not go into details, but I have played the part of one of her victims.
To behold her face, stare into her vacant eyes, is to study icy pools of soulless opportunism. She will manipulatively extricate herself from countless difficult situations while earnestly proclaiming her regret and shame beneath the veneer of disingenuous confession. Those who don’t know her will think she is a kindhearted person. She is kindhearted to the extent it will only benefit herself. Her callousness is shielded behind layers of artificial warmth and overplayed exuberance but is hidden so astutely that at times it appears she’s incapable of noticing it, even in herself.
According to DSM-IV, the antisocial personality is described thus:
The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder include a longstanding pattern (after the age of 15) of disregard for the rights of others. There is a failure to conform to society’s norms and expectations that often results in numerous arrests or legal involvement as well as a history of deceitfulness where the individual attempts to con people or use trickery for personal profit. Impulsiveness if often present, including angry outbursts, failure to consider consequences of behaviors, irritability, and/or physical assaults.
Some argue that a major component of this disorder is the reduced ability to feel empathy for other people. This inability to see the hurts, concerns, and other feelings of people often results in a disregard for these aspects of human interaction. Finally, irresponsible behavior often accompanies this disorder as well as a lack of remorse for wrongdoings.
I thought of all this because I have witnessed numerous interactions among graduating 8th graders recently. Thirteen- and 14-year old boys and girls embarking on petit adulthood, displaying, in miniature, all the troublesome traits which many of them will grow into perfecting over the next 5 years in preparation for the big bad world. One thing that strikes me is the extent to which girls have begun the genesis of utter self-absorption and vanity which paves the path which will lead them into the adult versions of theselves. They are psychopaths in training.
The psychopathy of young women is best described as transient or situational. Their brand of psychopathy is opportunistic because it engulfs the void society rewards pretty young females with. Most of them choose the path of least resistance and happily fulfill the role with frivolity and debasement. They are psychopaths because they can be. Our world does not demand deep character, only a simple sitcom-like charade of acting out and hysterics will work fine. Once they get older and the well begins to dry up, reality returns like a hammering blow of dismay and though it may be too late for true depth to emerge from the cobwebs of their character, women nevertheless learn that they can no longer act in the overtly self-assured and blustery manner of their younger days.
For this reason, the female psychopath is not generally discernible until she is well into her 30s because genuine psychopathy will flourish independently of reward or punishment, or its possibility.
The description of a psychopath above is very useful because it stays away from the common allusions to criminality. Much of psychopathy occurs in the absence of criminality, especially in women. The act of committing spurious acts of crime seem to be the province of testosterone-hyped, big-minded males. Women psychopaths commit gentler versions of interpersonal crime which is nevertheless destructive. Women psychopaths destroy souls, but the worst thing about their psychopathy is that they convince themselves of its non-existence by artificial displays of feminine tenderness and trite corniness. This solipsism is a self-preserving hallmark of the female mind as Ferdinand’s classic post detailed.
The female psychopath I know has indeed committed a serious crime which does not involve murder or property damage. It is a gentle crime in the respect its putative aims were noble. She diminished the seriousness of her actions behind this Robin Hood facade. Here is the thing: even though she candidly told me of her deeds, I doubt their veracity. Lest it appears I’m on a personal vendetta, there are many other people who share my opinion. In fact, a former friend of hers confided to me that this woman is a “compulsive liar.” She is, and many times she admits to lies blatantly as if taking some sort of perverse pride in her ability to spin surreptitious tales. I truly have no idea whether her “crimes” were real. And she has been in physical altercations as well where she relished the role of aggressor. Her sexuality is apparently unbridled and does not discriminate. She is unrestrained by the common hesitations of civilized society and she is dangerously impulsive. Her level of deceit is bottomless. She will turn 37 in September and she shows no signs of maturing or mellowing out of this “stage.” Of course not, she is a psychopath.
As a female psychopath, she has refined the art of sinister human manipulation. Her evil shenanigans are carried in words and insinuations and clever elicitations of behavior which she is adept at triggering by whoring her self-respect out. My favorite game which I did not realize she played until word got out from others I know, is her practice of befriending people and attaining a level of trust whereby they feel comfortable “opening up” to her. Having reached this insider level of acquaintanceship, she will frequently bad mouth or talk shit about a mutual acquaintance, co-worker, etc, and thus freed, her confidant will in turn feel emboldened and speak ill of the person as well. This female psychopath, thus Trojan Horsing out this morsel of gossipy info, will race off to the person who was spoken ill of and relay what the person said of them (without including the fact that she prompted it by speaking harshly of them as well)! She has winnowed her way into some favorable situations by relying on such duplicity. She does not use this method in a foolhardy manner and she does not trivialize it by conjuring it to sooth the most fruitless situations. She reserves it for those times she stands to gain directly.
She is my psychopathic female friend!