Downward Focus is the hardest barrier to spot…and probably its most malignant form comes in the shape of a psychopath. If you think these dangerous characters only make the occasional appearance, think again…
“The higher you get up in organizations, the more you tend to find psychopaths”, says Dr Michael Woodward, noting that most research to date has been on prison samples, so the results are skewed – after all, those who end up in prison are the failed psychopaths… “the rest are out there in society”.
Because they keep their manipulative activity hidden, and bearing in mind they’re often charming, the best way to spot a psychopath is by noticing your own responses, to see if there are any ‘indicators’ of Downward Focus – these include feeling uncertain about your perception of a situation (even though you may be swept along by it), loss of confidence, ‘irrational’ doubt, as well as physical symptoms such as nausea or headaches.
You can’t change a psychopath’s behaviour but, if you trust yourself, you can recognise a psychopath by the barriers they build…and once you see a barrier you can break through it.