What do Psychopaths do When They are Found Out

What do Psychopaths do When They are Found Out

What do Psychopaths do When They are Found Out

Imagine living in a world of illusion, where someone close to you wears a mask of normalcy, hiding their true nature. And then, one day, the mask slips. You discover that this person is a psychopath. The moment of realization can be overwhelming, leading to a whirlwind of emotions – shock, confusion, fear, even betrayal. Understanding how psychopaths react when their true nature or actions are exposed can be crucial in navigating this problematic revelation and its aftermath.

Psychopathy is a complex and fascinating area of study within psychology. Characterized by traits such as a lack of empathy, manipulativeness, superficial charm, and a lack of guilt or remorse, psychopaths often weave a web of deception around themselves. But what happens when this web unravels? How do psychopaths react when they are found out?

This blog post aims to shed light on these questions. We will explore the defining traits of psychopathy, everyday scenarios that lead to discovery, typical reactions when their true nature is exposed, and the subsequent impact on those who make the discovery. Finally, we will provide coping mechanisms and strategies for those in such challenging circumstances.

Understanding Psychopathy

To understand how psychopaths react when discovered, we first must delve into what defines psychopathy. Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by several key traits and behaviors, which help shape their interactions with others and their responses to being found out.

  1. Lack of Empathy: Psychopaths have a notable lack of empathy, finding it difficult to understand or share the feelings of others. That can result in a disregard for the feelings, rights, and experiences of others.
  2. Manipulativeness: Psychopaths often manipulate others to achieve their desired outcomes. This skill can be used to deceive, control, and exploit others, often without any feelings of guilt or remorse.
  3. Superficial Charm: Despite their lack of empathy and tendency towards manipulation, psychopaths can be highly charming and charismatic. This charm often serves as a mask, hiding their true nature and making it easier to manipulate others.
  4. Lack of Guilt or Remorse: Psychopaths typically show a lack of guilt or remorse for their actions, no matter how harmful or destructive they might be. This lack of guilt is tied to their lack of empathy and allows them to harm others without feeling bad about it.
  5. Impulsivity: Psychopaths tend to be impulsive, often acting without considering the consequences. This impulsivity, combined with their lack of guilt and empathy, can lead to risky or harmful behavior.
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These traits do not operate in isolation but interact in complex ways to shape a psychopath‘s behavior. The absence of guilt or remorse, combined with a capacity for manipulation and charm, can make psychopaths particularly adept at hiding their true nature. However, even the most skilled deceptions can unravel. 

Discovery: How Psychopaths Are Often Found Out

Psychopaths, despite their manipulative abilities and superficial charm, can’t always maintain their facade indefinitely. The realization of their true nature often comes as a result of certain situations or actions. Here are some common scenarios:

  1. Repeated Pattern of Lies: Psychopaths often weave a web of lies to hide their actions or manipulate others. Over time, these lies can start contradicting or contradict observable facts. When these contradictions are noticed, it can lead to the psychopath being found out.
  2. Emotional or Physical Abuse: Psychopaths sometimes resort to emotional or physical abuse due to their lack of empathy and remorse. If these abusive behaviors are recognized and called out, it can expose the psychopath’s true nature.
  3. Actions Contradict Words: Psychopaths may promise one thing and do another. Actions consistently contradict words can serve as a red flag, leading to suspicion and eventual discovery of the psychopath’s true character.
  4. Third-party Observations: Sometimes, an outside party, such as a friend, family member, or mental health professional, may notice signs of psychopathy that those closest to the situation may have missed. This fresh perspective can often bring the psychopath’s traits to light.
  5. Slip-ups in their Mask of Normalcy: Maintaining a constant facade of normalcy can be challenging, even for a psychopath. There may be moments when their mask slips, revealing glimpses of their true nature.

Recognizing these scenarios is often the first step toward unmasking a psychopath. However, what follows this discovery can be an intense and tumultuous period, marked by a range of reactions from the psychopath. 

The Reaction of Psychopaths When Discovered

When a psychopaths’ true nature or actions are exposed, their reactions can be varied and unpredictable. However, some patterns and common behaviors have been observed. Here are a few:

  1. Denial: A common initial reaction is outright denial. A psychopath may vehemently deny the allegations or evidence presented, often with convincing displays of disbelief or outrage.
  2. Manipulation: The psychopath may use manipulative tactics to deflect blame or discredit the person making the discoveries. That could include twisting facts, playing the victim, or attacking the accuser’s credibility.
  3. Gaslighting: This psychological manipulation technique involves questioning the other person’s memory, perception, or sanity. A psychopath might suggest that the other person is misremembering events, being overly sensitive, or even going crazy.
  4. Aggression: If the other techniques are unsuccessful, a psychopath might resort to verbal or physical aggression. It can serve as an intimidation tactic aimed at silencing the accuser and regaining control.
  5. Charm Offensives: The psychopath may revert to their characteristic charm to sway the opinion of the accuser or others involved. That may involve acts of apparent kindness, grand gestures, or fervent declarations of innocence.
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Understanding these possible reactions can prepare individuals for the emotional and psychological onslaught that may follow the discovery of a psychopath. The psychopath’s reaction aims to protect their interests and maintain control or influence.

The Impact on Others

Realizing that you’re dealing with a psychopath can have profound emotional, psychological, and sometimes even physical impacts. The effects can ripple out to affect various aspects of your life, from personal relationships to work situations. Here are a few areas where the impact is often felt:

  1. Emotional Trauma: The betrayal of trust, manipulation, and potential abuse can lead to significant emotional trauma. Feelings of fear, anger, guilt, and confusion are common.
  2. Relationship Strains: Discovery of a psychopath within close relationships can cause severe strains. These can be between partners, family members, or even within groups of friends or work colleagues.
  3. Self-Doubt: The techniques psychopaths use, particularly gaslighting, can lead to immense self-doubt. The individual may begin to question their memories, judgment, or sanity.
  4. Mental Health Issues: Over time, stress and trauma can lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  5. Physical Impact: In some cases, there can be direct physical impacts, especially when there is physical abuse. Chronic stress and anxiety can also lead to physical health problems like insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system.

The impact of discovering a psychopath can be overwhelming. However, it’s important to remember that help and support are available.

Coping Mechanisms and Strategies:

Finding out you are dealing with a psychopath can be a distressing experience. However, several strategies and coping mechanisms can help manage the situation and mitigate its impact. Here’s how you can navigate this challenging scenario:

  1. Seek Professional Help: Reach out to a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. They can provide therapy, coping strategies, and, if necessary, medication to help manage any mental health issues that may arise.
  2. Education: Learn as much as you can about psychopathy. Understanding the disorder can help make sense of the psychopath’s behaviors and prepare you for potential reactions.
  3. Establish Boundaries: Psychopaths can be manipulative and may attempt to cross personal boundaries. It’s essential to establish and enforce clear boundaries to protect yourself.
  4. Self-Care: Ensure you’re taking care of your physical health through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep—practice stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, or yoga.
  5. Support Networks: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups. Sharing your experiences and feelings with others can provide emotional relief and practical advice. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone.
  6. Legal Advice: In some instances, seeking legal advice may be necessary if there has been physical abuse or other criminal behavior.
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Dealing with a psychopath can be an uphill battle, but with the right tools, support, and mindset, it’s a battle you can navigate. Remember, there’s no shame in seeking help and protecting your well-being. The journey may be challenging, but you have the strength and resilience to overcome it. 


When the veil lifts and the true nature of a psychopath is revealed, the repercussions can be daunting. From denial and manipulation to potential aggression, psychopaths often employ various tactics to protect their interests and maintain their influence. These reactions, coupled with the profound impact on those who unmask them, can turn lives upside down. Yet, amid these trials, there is a beacon of hope.

Understanding the potential reactions and impacts equips individuals with the knowledge to navigate these turbulent waters. The power lies in acknowledging the situation and adopting appropriate coping mechanisms. Seeking professional help, learning about psychopathy, establishing boundaries, maintaining self-care, and leveraging support networks are invaluable in managing such circumstances.

Unveiling a psychopath may be disorienting, even frightening. Yet, remember that you are not alone, and numerous resources and people are available to help. Each step taken toward understanding, self-care, and support, no matter how small, is a victory.

As we wrap up this discussion, we emphasize the importance of ongoing dialogue and research on psychopathy. This collective commitment to understanding and empathy can guide us through the complexities of such challenging situations and help us emerge more assertive on the other side.


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