(Noun) A psychopathic tell is a clue, usually verbal but it could also take the form of a prop, which points to the truth being hidden by a psychopath.
(Verb) The psychopathic act of dropping hints in a veiled manner such that the hidden truth is never recognized .
For example, if a psychopath is poisoning your food, he may tell, “You would be so easy to poison because you take so many vitamins.” or he may tell, “I think my best friend is poisoning my bottle of Pepto-Bismol that I keep at his house.”
A psychopathic tell that appears in the form of a prop, might be — for example — when a psychopath is secretly pouring rubbing alcohol into your alcoholic beverages, he might casually leave the bottle of isopropyl alcohol near your liquor cabinet and then also chastise you for not being very aware of your surroundings. It’s a psychopath’s way of saying, “Get a clue and play my game.”
Even though this is the closest a psychopath ever comes to telling the truth, the 180 Rule still applies here, because his intent and expectation is that you will not believe what he said. To this end, he might employ a sarcastic tone or some other red herring to distract you from the truth of his words.
The origin of this word as applied to psychopaths, is unknown, it may have been derived from “telltale”.
1. In poker, a tell is an indicator, in body language, of the cards your opponent may be holding.
2. In archeology, a tell is a mound, especially in the Middle East, made up of the remains of a succession of previous settlements. The mound itself is an indicator that there is something hidden underneath.
Why does a psychopath use tells?
Most likely it is part of the duping delight that a psychopath feels when pulling a con or a scam on a victim. They are so convinced of their superiority that they believe you will never imagine the truth, no matter how many times they tell it to you. Psychopaths love to play games and the tell adds another level of difficulty to the game. It heightens the possibility that they will be caught.
In other words, psychopaths use tells because they are bored with the game already — and psychopaths can’t stand to be bored.« Back to Glossary Index