How does a psychopath act when discovered?

  • May 23, 2023
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How does a psychopath act when discovered?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of empathy, impulsiveness, and manipulation. Characterized by their lack of empathy, manipulative tactics, and a tendency toward antisocial behavior, these people can be true masters in the art of dissimulation. Spotting a psychopath can be difficult, but what happens when they are found out? How do they react and act when their mask starts to fall apart?

In this Psychology-Online article we will explain How does a psychopath act when discovered?, the most frequent behaviors that they usually manifest when they are exposed and, finally, we will analyze if confronting and telling a psychopath that they have been discovered is a good idea.

You may also like: Integrated psychopath: characteristics and psychological traits


  1. Denial
  2. Handling
  3. Gonna
  4. feign surprise
  5. threats
  6. Remoteness
  7. defensive behavior
  8. try to manipulate the situation
  9. Alleging mental or emotional problems
  10. show indifference
  11. look for allies


One of the most common reactions of a psychopath to being discovered is

deny any involvement in the behaviors suspects. These people may try to convince the other person that they are wrong, or even crazy. On many occasions, the denial can be so strong that they can even convince others of their innocence.

In this article you will find information about the Types of psychopaths and their characteristics.


Psychopaths are experts at manipulation, and when exposed, they may resort to any measure to avoid the consequences of their actions. They may offer fake apologies, promise to change, or even try to make the other person feel guilty for accusing them.


Psychopaths may have difficulty controlling their anger and may resort to physical or verbal aggression when threatened or challenged. Anger and aggressiveness are common responses in individuals with psychopathic traits, as they seek to maintain control and power over others.

By showing anger and aggression, psychopaths try to intimidate and manipulate the other person. Physical or verbal violence can be used as a way to establish dominance over the victim and maintain her submission.

How a psychopath acts when discovered - Anger

feign surprise

A psychopath may try to cover it up and act surprised when discovered. They may pretend that they never thought someone would accuse them or that they never imagined the truth would come out, so it is common for a psychopath to feign surprise when confronted with her actions.

Psychopaths are often very adept at manipulating and deceiving others to get what they want, and they can maintain a facade of normality and sincerity. By feigning surprise, they may try to evade punishment or the negative consequences of their actions. In addition, it can also be part of your strategy to obtain forgiveness or compassion from the victim or from those around them.


Psychopaths may threaten the person who has discovered them with retaliation if they continue to accuse them or try to expose them. These threats can range from legal action to more serious consequences, such as violence or physical harm.


Some psychopaths may choose to withdraw from the situation and the person that she has discovered them. They may suddenly disappear without explanation, or simply refuse to have any kind of interaction with the person who has confronted them. This withdrawal can be temporary or permanent, depending on the situation and the psychopath in question.

Defensive behavior.

Defensive behavior may be a common feature in individuals with psychopathic traits when confronted about their behavior. When pointed out or questioned, psychopaths may react with aggressiveness, justifications or minimizations to avoid assuming responsibility or facing the consequences of her actions.

Try to manipulate the situation.

Individuals with psychopathic traits often have highly developed manipulative skills. When confronted about their behavior, they may try to reverse the situation and manipulate the victim to avoid facing the consequences of their actions.

They tend to blame the victim for the events, use love-bombing tactics to gain the trust of the another person again, minimize the severity of the person's conduct, or exploit the victim's emotions to manipulate him. In this article we explain How a manipulator acts when discovered.

Alleging mental or emotional problems.

In some cases, the psychopath may try to justify their behavior saying that he suffers from some mental or emotional illness, or that he has gone through difficult times that have led him to act in that way so as not to take responsibility for his own actions.

Show indifference.

Emotional indifference is another common tactic used by some individuals with psychopathic traits when confronted. They can show a cold, distant and disinterested attitude, as if what is being said to them does not matter or does not affect them in any way in order to protect themselves and avoid the negative consequences of their actions.

How a psychopath acts when discovered - Show indifference

Find allies.

psychopaths can seek allies to support your version of the facts or undermine the credibility of the victim. These allies can be people close to them, such as friends, family, or even colleagues, who can be manipulated into taking their side. psychopath and question the validity of the victim's claims to protect their reputation and reinforce their power and control over you and the situation.

Confront and tell a psycho you've been caught can be a very risky and dangerous action. Psychopaths tend to be manipulative, deceitful, and often lack empathy, which This means that they can respond in unpredictable and potentially dangerous ways when called upon. confront. However, each situation is unique and it is important to carefully assess the risk before deciding whether or not to confront the psychopath.

If you decide to confront the psychopath, it is important do it safely and with the right support. This may include seeking help from a mental health professional or seeking support from trusted friends and family. It's also important to be clear and concise in your communication and to set clear limits on how you want to be treated.

In some cases, confronting the psychopath can be helpful in setting boundaries and avoiding future interactions. However, while confronting a psychopath may provide a temporary sense of relief or justice, it may be more withdrawing from the individual and seeking professional or personal support to process the experience and recover emotionally. If you want to know more information on this subject, in the following article we will tell you How to identify a psychopath.

This article is merely informative, at Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to How does a psychopath act when discovered?, we recommend that you enter our category of Clinical psychology.


  • Rivero, J., and Arias, V. (2009). Study of emotional factors that affect the development of psychopathic personality: state of the art on psychopathy and affect.
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