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This question originally appeared on Quota. Answer by Brian Ghilliotti.

Psychopaths live in a world of objects. They look at you with the same emotional sensitivity as a non-psychopath looks at the computer screen you are looking at right now. They look at people in the same way that non-psychopaths look at inanimate objects; useful, entertaining, or unimportant.

They only understand emotion as it relates to their egos. They cannot truly understand the emotional consequences of their actions on others. At best they can only understand their emotional impact intellectually.

A big part of this disorder is based on the fact that their logical capacity is so predominant that it completely surpasses their emotional awareness. They like to be in positions in power because it

  • Stimulates the only sense of emotional awareness that they have: their egos
  • They really hate mimicking emotional behavior when interacting with daily "objects," which they do not have to do (or think they do not have to do) when they get in positions of authority
  • Being in positions of authority provides them with the only source of external emotional stimulation they can understand, nurturing their egos and making other people feel miserable.

These people are the most dangerous of all the mental health dysfunctional types because they a) blend in well with society; b) they have no ethical limits because they look at you in the same way that a non-psychopath looks at the piece of toilet paper they just used; c) they will do anything required to get what they want from someone.

Finally, being in positions of authority makes it easier for psychopaths to carry out these behaviors. The favorite method of psychopaths is to get people to carry out acts for them, but if need be, they will do the dirty work themselves (this is usually the case for psychopaths with lesser intellectual capacity). However, they are usually too smart to resort to committing crimes themselves, preferring to have others do their criminal behavior for them.

I have made these observations based on observing my uncle, who is one. Trust me: These people are dangerous.

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