Next time you find yourself dealing with an individual whose nonverbal mannerisms or gimmicks–riveting eye contact, dramatic hand movements, “stage scenery,” and so on–tend to overwhelm you, close your eyes or look away and carefully listen to what the person is saying.
The above is advice from Dr. Robert D. Hare.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve met psychopaths trying to do this kind of thing. These are typically the more simple minded and unintelligent, but of course, like all psychopaths they think they’re brilliant where in fact they’re so transparent it’s laughable. On the occasions I’ve encountered them – and yeah, they’ll attempt to play even other psychopaths, for they’re so stuck up their own asses and don’t see anybody else but themselves (ref. some of the idiots at some of the comment boards on other blogs kept by, or about, psychopathy/sociopathy/AsPD, who like to tell us all how pathetic we are, that we’re ‘posers’ and that they’re the only ‘real’ sociopaths (‘sociopath’ is the fashionable word that these mud-brains like to associate themselves with now adays).
I can recall one incident… I must’ve been about 12, and I had just arrived at the central railway station in my state’s capital city, and I was now looking for somebody I could approach and hopefully convince to take me in, give me housing and pay for my meals and clothes, etc.
Some psychopaths make their living by hanging out where out-of-state people and tourists first arrive, looking for someone who is lost so that they can play the helpful friendly guy and bleed them off of their possessions and money.
Now one of these guys had spotted me, so he came over and began talking, following and keeping very close to me, doing what is referred to as “intruding on your personal space”. When someone does this they position themselves so close to you it is difficult for you to look anywhere without looking at them, or to turn anywhere without turning directly towards them.
My reaction was to look away and past him, I looked around at everything else but him while I turned on a look to signal to him that I really was not interested and that I was very, very bored. But as is so very typical for this type of psychopath, he wasn’t very good at reading people. – These idiots may ‘seem’ good at reading people, but they’re not. What they do is really nothing more than follow a few very simple techniques that work only on the very insecure. They never rise above petty cons and pickpocketing.
Anyway, he failed to see my bored look, so he wasted more of both his and my time, virtually creeping all up into my face while he kept talking and talking and talking, non-stop. Even though I couldn’t see his face clearly, I could see his non-blinking stare out of the corner of my eye.
In a sense I automatically did what Hare advices, but I did it instinctively. I certainly didn’t listen to the guy, though, and definitely not “carefully”. I already knew what he was saying, and all he did was repeating himself and adding a few more “persuasive” details about all the great things he could show me and help me with, and that I of course would be lost without his help wherefore I needed him.
He eventually realized I wasn’t the easy prey he’d initially taken me for (no doubt due to my obvious youth), and at some point he silently withdrew. I had my own attention on the subject I’d already chosen before the idiot came over, so I didn’t see if he showed any signs of irritation or disappointment when he gave up. My guess is that he’s not shown much of anything as he saw he only partially had my attention, so he probably just left – or maybe he spotted another, more promising subject.
So it can attest to the fact that at least some of Hare’s advice will work, but I don’t think a more intelligent psychopath will be dissuaded so easily, and most people will also not be able to keep pretense up when pressured by a very insisting behavior from someone who stares at them intently. I can do it, and easily, but I’m in a some ways like these people and know how they think, plus I don’t get intimidated or insecure. It’s just not in my personality or psychological make-up.
This story is about one aspect of the infamous psychopathic stare. But there’s apparently more to it than what one can use decisively.
Hang on for Part 4.