Psychopaths aren’t just after control over others. By controlling others, they aspire to a sense of omnipotence. This attitude is the result of the combination of their traits: low impulse control; the intent to harm others (predatory nature); and absolute narcissism (a pervasive sense of superiority to all other human beings and of being above all the rules and laws that govern the rest of humanity). The combination of these qualities, it turns out, is greater than the sum of the parts. What you get is a human being who believes he has the right to deceive, manipulate, use, abuse and discard others solely for the pleasure and power such control give him.
Psychopaths worship their own altar. They feel smart enough to fool anyone and to get away with anything. This sense of ultimate power and superiority–omnipotence–also leads them to lie so brazenly, to play cat and mouse games with their victims and, when they commit crimes, to taunt the media and the police. Drew Peterson notoriously taunted the media, the public and the police, demanding a dating show on the radio when interviewed about the murder of his fourth wife. Psychopathic sexual predators take trophies of their victims, pose them, stage the crime scenes.
All these deviant acts create for them a false sense of omnipotence: the power of life and death over others and, what’s more, of getting away with anything they do. Even “subcriminal” psychopaths leave obvious signs of their infidelities, fraud and other wrongdoings, to see if those they duped will catch on; to enjoy their transgressions even more when they can get away with them, right under their victims’ noses.
What’s more, psychopaths tend to keep closely around them a set of individuals who worship them: be it family members or spouses they have thoroughly brainwashed and/or a set of acquaintances who are only exposed to their charming, “good side”. Such individuals live in what could be called a narcissistic bubble, whereby they feel “special,” important and superior to others by virtue of their association with the psychopath. This too feeds the psychopath’s illusion that everyone adores him; that he can get away with anything: even if, in truth, psychopaths alienate most individuals around them and have, at best, ambivalent Jekyll/Hyde reputations.
If there’s any consolation for their victims, in reality, psychopaths always lose in the end. They lose jobs, relationships and the trust and loyalty of others. With each new victim they feel invincible. As the victim starts to catch on, they move on to another that gives them the same rush of power. Psychopaths cheat on, lie to, steal from, hurt and manipulate others from a position of omnipotence. Their greatest strength is seeing other people’s weaknesses. Their greatest weakness is not seeing other people’s strengths.
Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness
Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction