More red flags!

Red Flag He's convinced he's smarter than you. One well-known drug dealer told me he made more in a week than I made in a year. (Sadly, this was probably true). I reminded him that he was the one sitting in handcuffs in an orange jumpsuit, serving eight to ten in a maximum security prison.

Red Flag He tries to intimidate by raising his voice, by arguing, by invading your space. He's on a non-stop power trip. Showing fear merely goads him on, and the only response is to remain impassive (Think Special Agent Aaron Hotchner on Criminal Minds. He's the master of the "never-let-them-see-you-sweat" attitude.)

Red Flag He has a sense of entitlement. When confronted with his misdeeds, he says, "every man would act this way if he had the chance."

Red Flag He never admits guilt, never apologizes and always blames others. As far as he is concerned, he is never in the wrong--never!

Red Flag He is manipulative, always trying to bend others to his will. He uses "grooming" vehaviors on his victim to convince her to do something she really doesn't want to do. By getting his victim to agree to small things, he eventually pushes his demands and she finds herself caught up in a situation that is not of her choosing.

Next week, I'll do a post especially for my fellow crime writers on "How To Create the Perfect Sociopath." Stay tuned...

Dr. Mary Kennedy is a licensed psychologist in private practice in the northeast, and the author of The Talk Radio Mysteries for Penguin. Visit her at


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