Staying Friends With Your Ex Could be a Sign of Psychopathy

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Break-ups and divorce can be challenging, especially if you or the other person are still at odds or have some emotional attachments left. While some people break ties, and go their separate ways, others are choosing to remain friends. The reasons for this could vary; some may hold a connection of friendship even if the romantic interest isn’t there – others may hold on because of comfortability, yet others may choose to remain friends for their own benefits. Recent studies are showing that your reasoning behind staying friends with an ex-partner could show signs of psychopathy, and here’s why:

A new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences states that staying friends after splitting isn’t a sign of maturity, but rather a sign of psychopathy. First, what is psychopathy? Psychology Today notes that being uncaring or un-empathetic, irresponsible, showing “superficial charm” or outright lying, possessing a “grandiose sense of self-worth”, narrowing of attention, selfishness, inability to plan, and violence are a few key characteristics of psychopathy. The study that was described by Independent, a UK-based news source, found that participants who remained friends with their exes displayed darker personality traits like psychopathy. Many exes are emotionally less supportive, less helpful, less trusting, and less concerned about the other person’s happiness, making their only motivation for selfishness.

The results found that individuals may keep their ex around for sex, money, or information, and some individuals exerted “false charm” in order to keep the ex around to continue reaping benefits from them. The article from Independent notes that although many of us exhibit characteristics of selfishness, those with psychopathy are un-empathetic, which is a key difference that makes them lean more towards the mental illness. Does this mean that if you remain friends with your ex, you are a “psychopath”?

Absolutely not. Everybody has their own reasons for remaining friends with someone from their past, and you very well may have the best intentions. After all, it’s the intentions that truly underline mental illness and if you can feel empathy for them and do not maintain the friendship for purely selfish reasons, you likely are not experiencing psychopathy. If you are, seeking treatment for this could be very beneficial because you can develop the tools you need to understand your motivations behind this.





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