Parasitism or a parasitic lifestyle is one in which an individual who is the parasite is dependent on another individual, who is the host entirely. He is dependent on the host to the extent where the dependency even turns to be harmful for the host. But the parasite gets habituated to this lifestyle of depending on another to survive.
Now, a parasite, here is a normal human being and you cannot separate him from another normal individual. But, if you look closely and observe the parasite and his parasitic lifestyle, you might be able to differentiate him from a normal being. We also call them as psychopaths or sociopaths in normal terms. So, how do you decide if he is one?
Traits of a Psychopathic/Sociopathic Parasite
If you feel like your friend or your partner is living a parasitic lifestyle, you need to go through the following points to be sure of it. Here is a list of traits which determine if you are, in fact, living a psychopath’s parasitic lifestyle or a sociopath’s parasitic lifestyle.
- NO EMPATHY – The parasite is hugely dependant on the host, even harming the host to some extent. Hence, the parasitic lifestyle, even when turns out to be harmful for the other person, doesn’t cause any sense of empathy in the parasite. Behaving recklessly, showing no sympathy for the other person are common traits of a psychopath or a sociopath.
- AGGRESSION – The parasite, due to no sense of empathy, tends to become more aggressive towards the host. He has no emotion, whatsoever, except the anger which is always directed towards the host.
- MANIPULATION – The parasite, in order to live a parasitic lifestyle, needs a host, always. The only way to live off another person is to use manipulation. He is a huge manipulator who can completely change the mindset of the host just by using few shallow words.
- INSINCERITY – The parasites are never sincere. One can not be honest if one plans on depending on the other person and even, harm them to survive. Hence, a psychopath or a sociopath with a parasitic lifestyle can never be honest or sincere with you. Even if he is flattering your looks or complimenting your work, he is just trying to find ways to gain your trust. Once he is sure, you trust him completely, he becomes the parasite and you become his host.
- CHARMING – The parasites are immensely charming, just to get what they want from who they want. They never fall short of words. You will find them really comforting and friendly at first. But they are actually not. That’s the way he makes you act the way he wants you to act.
How to Determine a Parasite?
It is impossible to determine a parasite from an individual if you have not known him for quite some time. It is not necessary that only a psychopathic parasite has to be a criminal or an outcast. It can be anyone you know. A psychopath or a sociopath can be anyone from your friend circle or even you partner or maybe, your own child. We fail to realise their parasitic lifestyle because we are emotionally attached to them. Even if we notice some unusual habits, we tend to overlook them as we can never term our closest person as a psychopath or a sociopath. Professor Robert Hare, who is a psychologist, and has studied the characteristics of psychopaths in detail, created a psychological assessment, the PCL-R.
The assessment shows if a person is a psychopath or not. The parasites have no emotion for the other person. They are very distant even from their parents or their friends and even, their partner. They can even go on to murder the closest person they have on Earth, without a tremble or fear. They don’t have the emotional quotient which normal people generally possess.
Is Parasitic Lifestyle a disorder?
There can be two ways to look at the parasite. Not all parasites are criminals or psychopaths. There are people who depend hugely on the other person, on many levels like emotionally or financially. There are some people who never want to work or get up from the couch. They tend to sit there, on the couch, for hours and not work and not cook and not help out the other person. We term them as “lazy”, living off of another person. We cannot term them as psychopaths or sociopaths. There is a huge difference between a lazy person and a psychopath.
Not every parasite is a criminal. But mostly psychopaths have a criminal background or they might have one, in the future. Some psychopaths even claim to like the killing of another individual. They tend to enjoy the murder, the crime. They have no feeling of guilt or empathy towards another. Therefore, a parasitic lifestyle may not always be termed as a disorder. You can only call it a disorder if he has a criminal disorder or he is prone towards committing a crime, and he doesn’t feel any remorse towards it.
Is there Treatment for Parasitic Lifestyle?
A parasitic lifestyle needs a proper psychological treatment. A parasite needs to visit a psychiatrist regularly, and its highly unlikely that he would go to meet the psychiatrist on his own. He has to be taken to the psychiatrist and that too regularly. He can only be cured if he goes through empathy training or talk therapy. They have to be shown that their parasitic lifestyle can be harmful, not only for the other person, but also for themselves. They have to feel an emotion, other than aggression. Feeling an emotion can bring them out of their parasitic lifestyle.
Everyone should be aware of being a victim to a parasite, to a victim to a psychopath’s parasitic lifestyle. My advice for you would be to not overlook the unusual behaviours if you see any. An immediate action can cure the individual from becoming a psychopath or sociopath in the future.