Are you a psychopath? If you’re a high-powered professional, you just might be.
While listening to a recent Dexter Wrap-up podcast, I learned that actor Michael C. Hall (who plays the serial killer Dexter) along with the rest of the cast read a book called The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton in preparation for their roles on the show. The book explores the world, mind and personality profile of psychopaths and how they fit into our society.
The typical psychopath exhibits superficial charm, lack of empathy, chronic boredom (and subsequent addiction to high-risk or thrill behavior), and extreme calm and focus in the midst of pressure.
Dutton proposes that far from being psychopaths being purely Hannibal Lecter or Ted Bundy-type killers, that some psychopaths have learned to function in society without turning violent. Instead, they channel their ruthlessness, lack of empathy, charm and emotional detachment into the professional world with great finesse. Dutton argues that many high-functioning psychopaths have found professional success as CEOs, lawyers, surgeons, salesmen and even chefs (not hard to believe if you have ever worked in a professional kitchen!) without necessarily turning into a serial killer: that these professions are in fact suited and conducive to psychopathic tendencies.
I’ve always assumed that psychopath = killer. That is not always the case. They say that 1 in every 100 people is a psychopath. That means that you and I most likely personally know a psychopath.
Or you may even be one.
If you want to take the “Are You a Psychopath?” test, check out this link. I scored “below average.”