This can be something we want to know if we are caught up with a psychopath, and want to know how to fight back, or we may just be interested in what a psychopath actually hates as opposed to what they like.
Anyone that’s been involved with a psychopath in a work or personal setting knows what they like – causing harm to others – but what do they hate? What really annoys the psychopath?
Here’s a quick summary of some things they hate:
- Anyone who has qualities they envy
- Submitting to the power of others
- Being outsmarted or beaten
- People who can see through them and not be manipulated
- When their victims become indifferent to them
- When they get found out and have to move on
Unfortunately, there isn’t really a magic button we can push with the psychopath, and even if there was, it isn’t recommended, since they never change their behavior patterns and will never let off once a battle of wills has started.
However, by learning what they hate, we can more easily spot these people before they do too much damage, move away from their sphere of influence and move on from any relationships with them in a way that benefits us and irritates them.
Let’s look at each point listed above in more detail.
1. Psychopaths Hate Anyone Who Has Qualities They Don’t
If more people knew this during the honeymoon phase of being charmed by a psychopathic partner or business associate, they’d save themselves a lot of trouble.
Psychopaths are envy ridden individuals, but they like to gravitate towards people who have qualities they don’t, in the hope they can “download” or install these traits just by being around the individual (parasitic personality type).
This can be anything like money, wealth, prestige, social skills, humor, vibrancy, popularity, business success, social circle etc.
Once they realize they cannot have these qualities, then the envy and hate starts to come out, and they want to destroy those traits in their target. The motif of envy is “If I can’t have it, then I’m not going to let you have it”.
This is often when the devalue phase of the idealize-devalue-discard cycle starts, where they start to viciously attack the person they had initially “cosied up to” in the honeymoon period, disparaging and undermining them at every opportunity.
In short, psychopaths learn to hate goodness in others, because they don’t have it themselves, and realize after a while that they can never have it. It’s why they seem to attack anything and anyone that’s good, in a way that bewilders normal people.
Lesson – be aware of people seemingly “honing in from afar”, trying to leech off your efforts and talents, and learn to distinguish the difference between admiration and envy. Be also very wary of excessive mirroring and schmoozing – see our article on this.
Psychopaths hate and envy others who have what they don’t
2. When They are Forced to Submit to Someone Else’s Power
Psychopaths really hate this perhaps more than anything. They are strict disciples of power and “will to power”. For them, life is about dominating and asserting power over others before they can be controlled and dominated themselves. Life is a power struggle that they have to win to feel good.
Therefore they absolutely HATE it when others dominate and force them into submission. This can happen sometimes with lower level psychopaths in the workplace, who are dominated by mid and upper level psychopaths.
“There is no doubt that if (the psychopath) had come from cold, indifferent, unloving parents, who kept on using the will to power to destroy and humiliate him, then he’s very likely to be forced into submission, and then become a disciple of the will to power.
He may become a disciple of the master-slave dynamic, because he’s trying to find the power that he was denied. He’s trying to exercise it on other people. He’s trying to be the master before he can be mastered. You’ll read this in numerous books on the subject….these specialists are always telling you that these guys want to kill before they’re killed. They do see the world as a very frightening place…..
….these are people who really want revenge on the world, because they think the world has hurt them. And in many cases maybe they’re right”
And this is why the corporate/workplace psychopath puts so much energy into charming and schmoozing his way up the ladder as quickly as possible at work, so he can be the one in influential powerful positions, dominating others instead of being dominated himself.
This is also why working for lower level psychopathic managers in workplaces that also have a toxic culture more generally can be so unpleasant, because they will pass down their irritation and anger at being bullied and dominated down to the people below them. Psychopathic organizations tend to be strongly hierarchical and power based in their structure.
Psychopaths hate being bullied and dominated by others, but are only too happy to dish this treatment out to people below them at work
3. When They Are Outsmarted or Beaten
Psychopaths are arrogant and entitled individuals who consider themselves superior and look down on the world and others with a cool detachment.
This means that they hate it when someone temporarily outsmarts or shoots them down, or uses their own grandiosity and ego against them.
They really hate to be “beaten” in this sense, and they hate losing to others in a more general sense as well. They are very competitive individuals who like to dominate and be the winner all the time, regardless of how they are treating others.
All this being said however, it is generally NOT recommended to get into a battle of wills with a psychopath, since they are relentless in their desire to chip away at someone’s self esteem once they have decided to target them. Once you start an ego battle with them, it never ends until you simply get away from them.
The primary goal when around a psychopath, especially in a workplace scenario, is to get away from them as quickly as possible, and minimize all contact while you work on that exit strategy. They are not people you want to be around long term.
4. When They Cannot Manipulate or Control Someone
This is a common one. They do not like at all people who can see through their glib, superficial charm and manipulative tendencies and immediately do not trust them. These types of perceptive, less superficial people are often called empaths.
The psychopath will immediately take a disliking to these people, for the obvious reason that they know this person can see through them and knows what they are actually about, in contrast to more apathetic people who are often taken in by the glib charm of the psychopath.
Be aware though, this hatred of strong, empathic people who do not tolerate fakeness often leads the psychopath to relentlessly plot and scheme against them. One way they do this is by attempting to turn apathetic bystanders against more empathic people who can see through them in an attempt to undermine and isolate them.
This often plays out in the form of the so-called sociopath-empath-apath triad, a dynamic especially common in toxic workplaces, where the sociopath/psychopath co-ops apathetic bystanders into siding with them against the empath, after the empath rightly calls them out on something wrong they have done.
Similarly in personal/intimate relationships, psychopaths will be actively irritated by someone with strong boundaries and self respect who doesn’t tolerate any of their nonsense and quickly calls them out on their attempts to prod and poke at the boundaries of people to see how much they can get away with.
They often disparage and quickly move on from such people with healthy boundaries and self respect, because they realize these people are “hard” targets that won’t put up with their provocative and reaction seeking behavior.
The psychopath actively hates people who aren’t buying what they’re selling in terms of glibness, and fake charm, but that’s their problem, not the other person’s!
“That’s what you find when you have that self respect and self love, that a relationship with a disordered person won’t even work, because they’ll get so irritated that they’re not able to get under your skin and they’re not able to exploit you”
Jackson Mackenzie – see here.
5. When You Are Completely Indifferent to Them
Psychopaths love attention, but the nuance that many people miss here is that they don’t care whether this is positive or negative attention.
They just care that they are getting strong attention, even if this is the form of someone hating them. They’d rather have this than the person not being bothered about them anyone.
This is why detachment and indifference are so crucial for those looking to get over toxic relationships with psychopaths. If you are still directing negative energy towards them in the form of anger or hate, you are still feeding into what they want, because you are still giving them attention.
What they do not like is when you no longer care about them or what they did to you. When you think about them, you just go “meh”. Or when someone brings them up, you realize you hadn’t even thought about them for months or years.
What people don’t realize is that this indifference actively tortures the disordered individual like the psychopath, because they are essentially ignored and seen as unimportant, and also they have lost their psychological control over the person. They hate this.
Moreover, your state transmits – this is something Cluster B recovery expert Richard Grannon always emphasizes. Those recovering from abusive relationships are communicating more about their state than they may realize.
This is why moving on from psychopathic relationships is so crucial to proper recovery, as well as going no contact. Drop them cold and act as though they never existed. This is best for you, and will actively irritate them as well.
Here are some tips for cutting off psychopaths in your life:
- Go strict no contact
- Delete their phone number and change your number if necessary
- Delete and block them on social media
- Do NOT check up on them on social media. They’ll put stuff on there to annoy you.
- Block all other communication channels, like email. Set up new accounts if necessary
- If they continue to pursue you, take out restraining orders.
- For those who cannot go no contact because they have children, limit the contact to a base minimum and set strict boundaries. See Richard Grannon’s excellent course on managing contact with psychopaths/narcissists (applies to all Cluster B’s)
“The best revenge is a life well lived”
6. When They Get Found Out
Despite all their manipulations and deceit, it is true that psychopaths always get found out and exposed eventually. Their lies, scheming and playing people off against each other gets exposed in the end, as people start to look past the glib charm, ask more questions and cross reference with others.
This is when “the big confrontation” happens, or they get caught in some act of gross misconduct, which they can’t wriggle out of. They absolutely hate this kind of exposure, because despite all the charm and charisma, the psychopath (and Cluster B’s in general) are fundamentally shame based personality type.
There usually reaches a point where the psychopath is chased out of certain areas or jobs because their toxic behavior is now obvious to all, including those who may previously have been taken in by them.
This is when they have to make their exit, only to restart again somewhere else with the exact same manipulative behaviors as before, with new, unsuspecting targets.
Nevertheless, the psychopath hates this kind of comeuppance – just don’t expect them to learn from it. They just construct a more convincing mask or facade to manipulate people even better next time.