Can normal people have psychopathic traits?
Yep. It's called neurotypical.
Many NTs have psychopathic traits.
- Little empathy
- Wearing a mask (not to the extent of a psychopath's though)
It's not uncommon for a NT to have ALL of those traits, honestly. The core difference is the brain wiring.
Most of those traits can be changed in a NT through reflection and effort, however a psychopath has those forever.
Not by choice, but by design.
Disclaimer: Not all psychopaths are cold, evil manipulators only out for themselves. They can lead very normal lives with family that they protect and "care" for.
I feel like sometimes they wear masks for NTs comfort more than their own.
Psychopathic tendencies are as follows:
Coolness under pressure
The traits associated psychopathy are not limited to the psychopathic mind. They are personality traits that every person alive shows them to some degree or another in their lifetime. What sets psychopathy apart aside from the brain formation of the psychopathic mind, is that in psychopathy these traits are louder on the studio mixing board levels.
Meaning that neurotypicals might be a three on ruthlessness on average, and a psychopath might be at ten. The psychopathy makes these traits more ingrained and ferocious. Also, psychopaths will always have these traits. This is not the same for neurotypicals.
Neurotypical showings of these traits can also vary as a person ages and their life circumstances change as well. Depression can make someone lose their empathy. So can several other mental conditions that are treatable, but in the throes of them are very dramatic in their effect. These traits can lessen or intensify, not because they are psychopathic, but because they are traits of human nature. As a person changes, so to does their behavior. There is no aspect of a personality that is insensitive to change.
Yes, everyone does on some level. It varies between people and often even fluctuates as they age and change.
Of course, in order to describe a psychopath is, we must be able to describe what a psychopath isn't.
You could own a guitar, that doesn't make you a musician.
Yes, of course. Just because a person has traits of something doesn't necessarily mean they are. Mental toughness is a psychopathic trait, but there are neurotypicals who are also mentally tough.
What makes a person a psychopath isn't just the traits, its the intensity of the traits, how many of the traits, as well as the brain formation. Athena walker wrote a great answer explaining further.
Yes, in fact, it's quite common. Especially among adolescents. Everyone can be manipulative sometimes, everyone can lack empathy sometimes, etc.