We often think of psychopaths as cold killers or geniuses, removed from society, seemingly above us mere mortals.
But as they make up almost 1 per cent of the population, chances are you may have crossed paths with one... Or are a psychopath yourself.
Though there is a behavioural check-list of psychopathic traits, it is often tricky to gauge characteristics to spot a psychopath - such as a 'lack of realistic long-term goals' - in every day conversation.
Instead, you can look out for these phrases shared on blog mindbodygreen by Jackson MacKenzie, who has written a book about dealing with psychopaths,
1. "You overanalyse everything."
Maybe you do get too caught up in the little stuff.
But far too often, accusations like these are designed to trigger guilt in a victim rather than accept responsibility for deliberately damaging behaviour.
Psychopaths aim to make you doubt your intuition by constantly planting hints to make you feel anxious and then blaming you for having that anxiety.
2. "I hate drama."
Has that person who is a bad influence in your life been insulting, thoughtless or mean again?
Well, feel guilty for bringing the issue up because 'they hate drama'.
MacKenzie dismissed this excuse with ease:
And yet, you'll soon come to discover there's more drama surrounding them than anyone you've ever known.
3. "You misunderstood me."
Again, this is all about context.
If a boss corrects you for misinterpreting their instructions at work, you probably shouldn't accuse them of psychopathy.
But psychopaths deliberately provoke you and then accuse of you getting the wrong end of the stick.
This is called gaslighting - blatantly doing or saying something, and then blaming the other party for misinterpreting it (or denying that it even took place).
4. "You're so sensitive."
Psychopaths will push you to breaking point and then call you sensitive for breaking.
Psychopaths manufacture emotions in others - it's what they do.
5. "You're crazy/bipolar/jealous/bitter/in love with me."
Psychopaths have a tendency to brand everyone as a crazy person who has huge crush on them.
Thankfully, MacKenzie has a simple tip to survive this emotional manipulation: Get out.
This means no texts, calls, emails, or even Facebook friendships.
Otherwise, you can guarantee they'll do anything and everything in their power to make you feel crazy.