Narcissists and psychopaths tend to stay friends with exes

To some of us, the idea of staying friends with an ex seems crazy.

But results from a recent study suggest that's exactly the kind of person you are if you choose to keep your enemies closer.

Psychopaths and narcissists tend to stay friends with their exes, according to researchers at Oakland University.

Those who displayed these "dark personality traits" remained close to their former flames because of "practical sexual reasons."

One; they might have kids together or two; they might keep knocking boots in a 'friends with benefits' sort of way.

Related: Signs someone is a psychopath

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Tell-tale signs someone is a psychopath
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Tell-tale signs someone is a psychopath

1. They speak in the past tense.

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Psychopaths use more past-tense verbs than other people. When talking about an event happening right now, most of us would say, "I think this is a good idea." A psychopath might be more likely to say, "I thought that was a good idea." Researchers suspect this is because they are detached from their behavior and their environment.

(PhotoAlto/Eric Audras via Getty Images)

2. Their body language is convincing. Psychopaths lie to make themselves look good. But their nonverbal behavior is often so convincing--and distracting--that people don't recognize they're being deceitful. In the police interview with murderer and rapist Paul Bernadino, FBI agents noticed he used powerful hand gestures to distract from his spoken lies.

(Bloom Productions via Getty Images)

3. Their language lacks emotional dimension.

For psychopaths, saying, "I love you," doesn't stir up any more emotion than saying, "Please pass the milk." They can parrot back what they've heard other people say but their facial expressions don't match their words. Their ability to verbalize feelings is most likely a learned behavior, as opposed to a genuine emotional experience.

(Fabrice LEROUGE via Getty Images)

4. They sound charming.

Researchers have found that psychopaths talk more and use more emotional words in an attempt to gain attention and admiration. Psychopaths are really good at saying just the right thing at the right time. They know how to play on other people's emotions and they're master manipulators.

(Tom Merton via Getty Images)

5. They speak slowly and quietly.

Studies show psychopaths usually speak in a controlled manner. They don't emphasize emotional words like other people do. Their tone remains fairly neutral throughout the conversation. Researchers suspect they craft a calm demeanor intentionally because it helps them gain more control in their personal interactions.

(Ridofranz via Getty Images)

6. They talk about life in terms of cause and effect.

Psychopaths--especially those who commit crimes--talk about their behavior in terms of cause and effect. For example, one might say, "I had to teach him a lesson." Rather than show remorse, a psychopath is likely to justify his actions.

7. They focus their attention on their basic needs.

Rather than talk about spiritual or emotional needs or the needs of others, psychopaths are more likely to talk about their own basic needs, like food and shelter. A psychopath who confesses to a murder, for example, is more likely to spend the bulk of his time talking about what he ate for lunch and what he hoped to gain financially, rather than how his behavior affected other people.

8. They say, "um" more often.

Psychopaths are more likely to use filler words and sounds, like "uh" and "um." While many people use such sounds to avoid an awkward silence, researchers suspect psychopaths use them in an effort to appear sane.

9. They're great storytellers.

Whether a psychopath claims she rescued kittens from a burning building or says she was the only one at her last job who was willing to stand up to management, psychopaths tell rich stories about themselves. While some stories are likely to paint them as victims, the bulk of their stories are likely to portray them as heroes. All of their stories stem from their desire to gain trust and manipulate their listeners.

(Jacob Ammentorp Lund via Getty Images)

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Both situations aren't good, according to a dating expert Business Insider spoke with.

The love guru says you should have little to no day to day contact and remain friendly from a distance; like picking up and dropping off the kids at scheduled times.

He says going cold turkey is the best way to get over an ex.

The study asked 861 people how they got along with their ex after a breakup and why they stayed friends if they had.

There was a higher chance of remaining friends when people scored highly for displaying elements of narcissism and psychopathy.

Say you do break it off for good.

According to The Sun, you'd better remember to do one thing otherwise your ex will remain in your life.

Change your passwords! Chances are, your old flame knows them and can meddle from a distance.

As for those who can't let go, I don't think there needed to be a study about it.

It's called the ex-factor!

Related: Celebrity best friend breakups

19 PHOTOS
Celebrity Best Friend Breakups
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Celebrity Best Friend Breakups
They were a Nickelodeon dream team in the late 1990s, but Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell's friendship took a turn after their comedy "Good Burger." Thompson reportedly wanted nothing to do with Mitchell. However, they seemingly put their differences aside in 2015 for a brief reunion on "The Tonight Show."
Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow were famously close, but the friendship came to an abrupt end: "They don't speak. I can't tell you exactly why they had the falling out, but Gwyneth can be jealous and competitive," a source told Us Weekly in 2010.
It's no secret that Kim Kardashian was once Paris Hilton's assistant and go-to party pal. After years of frequenting LA events together, the two had a falling out, reportedly in part because Kim "stole" Paris' sex tape idea. While they're definitely not BFF anymore, they are back on good terms.
Kim Kardashian and Nicky Hilton's friendship faded when Kim stopped hanging out with Nicky's sister Paris.
Believe it or not, this 2011 photo of Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez is one of the last-ever pics taken of these two together. They were best friends through childhood and their early teenage years, but by 2014, Demi said that they'd "changed and grown apart." Despite a few glimmers of hope via social media since then, it's safe to say these two are no longer tight.
They were all smiles during their Disney Channel days, but Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato are definitely no longer BFF. In 2014, Demi was asked about her relationship with the star, to which she responded, "Um... we're like... we're acquaintances." She added, "I don't have anything in common with her anymore. I wish her the best."
Their shared simple life came to an end. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie used to be inseparable, but as they've grown older, they've grown apart. "The short answer to this is, I haven't spoken to her in awhile ... but I love her and I love her family," Richie said in 2014.
It's still unclear how much of "The Hills" was reality and how much was scripted, but the mutual distaste between Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag is 100% real. The two never got past their on-screen feuds. In 2016, Montag admitted, "My falling out with Lauren makes me sad, even years later."
Career competition drove a wedge between Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow, who were best friends for years. That is, until Gwyneth saw a script for "Shakespeare in Love" at Winona's house. Gwyneth allegedly convinced producers to choose her instead -- and ended up winning an Oscar for her performance. They apparently haven't spoken since.
Kristen Stewart and Katy Perry made a cute pairing as Hollywood BFFs, but the friendship fizzled after Katy reportedly stayed close with Robert Pattinson after he and Kristen split. Katy has since said that nothing was happening between her and Robert, but the damage was done.
Although Tori Spelling has said she and Shannen Doherty were the best of friends during the early days of "Beverly Hills 90210," she also admits that she had Shannen fired from the show. Not so easy for a friendship to come back from that.
Jessica Simpson and her ex-hairstylist Ken Paves made for an adorable best-friend pair, but rumors swirled that Ken grew repulsed by Jessica's personality. He supposedly thought she was extremely narcissistic. Even so, he made an appearance at her 2013 baby shower, signaling that while not BFF, they're back on good terms.
Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie were Hollywood party scene regulars -- until Nicole decided to put that life behind her. When asked in 2014 about the former friendship, Richie simply said, "Haven't spoken to her in awhile."
Rachel Zoe and her ex-assistant Brad Goreski were super tight -- once upon a time. Zoe reportedly felt like Brad was stealing the spotlight after he landed a coveted spot in the New York Times' Style section. The friendship never bounced back.
Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker played best friends in "Sex and the City" and were close in real life -- until money got in the way. The two ran into salary-related issues with producers, and then things reportedly turned bitter and personal. They've since brushed off rumors of any issues.
Denise Richards and Heather Locklear made for a bombshell best friend pairing, but Denise committed what some would call the ultimate betrayal -- she started hooking up with Heather's ex-husband, Richie Sambora.
Equally-gorgeous (and somewhat similar-looking) Eva Longoria and Jennifer Lopez were becoming close, but then Eva chose to get involved with J-Lo's ex-husband, Marc Anthony.  Never a good call.
The drama between Jeanette McCurdy and Ariana Grande culminated in a long social media post in which McCurdy wrote, "Where did I go? As far away from you as I can get. You won’t be hearing from me anymore because sweetheart, being a friend to you was doing so much more for you than it was doing for me. You sucked the life right out of me, and I want my life back."
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