What is a narcissistic sociopath?
Narcissism is about an exclusive concern with one’s self and seeing the world through that prism, every relationship, every interaction, it always comes back to be self-serving. Sociopathy is centered around a lack of empathy or caring about what happens to others. Both are self-serving, both can get caught up in lying routinely, both tend to see others as tools to use, but their manifestations are different.
A narcissist tends to think that they are fundamentally a good person, they just view the world in a twisted way, have an inflated sense of self-importance, and think everything they do is justified.A sociopath doesn’t have similar delusions, they have an inflated ego but generally they just don’t care about other people.
Narcissists crave attention, sociopaths don’t.
The way to make a narcissist angry at you is to fail to praise them or to insult them, but this doesn’t work with sociopaths. The way to make an enemy of a sociopath is to block their plans. Similarly, you can manipulate a narcissist by using flattery, but this won’t work on a sociopath.
Sociopaths tend to have clearer views of what’s actually happening, what they’ve done, what mistakes they’ve made, etc, they just have different goals and values.
Narcissists are often easy to spot because they can’t really pretend to be like everyone else, the way their ego always plays center stage makes them easy to spot. Sociopaths, on the other hand, have sufficient self-reflection to be able to see themselves through the eyes of others and to blend in by appearing to be like everyone else.
So a narcissistic sociopath wouldn’t see himself as a good or a bad person.He can admit to himself and to others he is wrong and doesn’t need to prove anything.A sociopath doesn’t need to dehumanize people in order not to feel bad about screwing them,but a narcissistic sociopath may take things further considering other people as slaves who must pay tribute to him.He is still indifferent to flattery,but he appreciates it and seeks it because it’s good for his reputation and may have an extroverted personality and feels comfortable to be the center of attention.
What are the traits of a narcissist with sociopathic tendencies?
Most of my Narcissistic clients have all the typical flaws that go with Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
- They have unstable self-esteem.
- They use what I term the GOD defense to support themselves when they feel insecure—they become Grandiose, act as if they are Omnipotent, and Devalue other people.
- They treat other people as an audience that exists only to admire them or do their bidding.
- They are low on empathy.
- They are preoccupied with status and their perception of where they stand in their favorite status hierarchies.
- They see only two possibilities: either you are special, unique, and perfect or you are worthless, defective, garbage.
They may be self-serving, they may hurt other people—but they are essentially honest. There are lines that they do not cross. They do not knowingly break the law or cheat people. You might not trust them with your emotions, but your wallet and credit cards are safe with them.
- Narcissists with Sociopathic Features
There is another group of Narcissistic clients who cross a line into actual criminal behavior and cannot be trusted. They may not satisfy all the formal criteria for a diagnosis of sociopathy, but if given the opportunity, they will plagiarize other people’s work, steal from their employers, and cheat their customers. If they thought they could get away with it, they would not pay me either.
An Example: Harry
Harry was a typical Exhibitionist Narcissist on the surface. He loved an admiring audience, tried to impress everyone he met with how important he was, and needed regular Narcissistic supplies to keep from sinking into dark, shame-based, self-hating depressions. And like all Narcissists, he was low on empathy.
Harry, however, was also a thief. When he was at parties, he would steal money out of wallets left in coatpockets and unguarded purses. He also went through his host’s medicine cabinet looking for pills to steal. Needless to say, if I left the room during Harry’s therapy session, I took my purse with me.
An Example: Pattie
Pattie is a very beautiful and Narcissistic young woman in her mid twenties. Pattie bolstered her shaky self-esteem by trying to look perfect at all times. She was perennially short on cash, so she worked out a deal with her landlord and had sex with him once per month instead of paying him rent.
She could not afford the high status designer clothing that she craved, so instead of saving up for clothing, she shoplifted items instead. Her friends quickly learned never to loan Pattie money or clothing, because left to her own devices she would simply “forget” to return the garment or never pay them back. If pressed, she would have some sob story prepared to explain how she had fully intended to return everything, but the clothing had gotten ruined by the dry cleaner and unexpected medical expenses had eaten up the money she had saved to pay them back. Pattie was a gifted and shameless liar and managed to half convince herself that her excuses were real. Patty also left psychotherapy with me after I pressed her to pay the balance of what she owed me.
SUMMARY: Clients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are generally just as law-abiding as everyone else. Clients with Narcissistic Personality Disorders with Sociopathic features often engage in various forms of criminal activity, including cheating their friends.
What makes a narcissistic sociopath differ from a narcissist?
All sociopaths are narcissists but not all narcissists are sociopaths. Let’s start there. I like the previous posters mention of malignant narcissism because I think malignant narcissism is really just a sociopathic narcissist or a narcissist with sociopathic tendencies. It is my understand these are the same disordered personality type.
But, because every single person is unique, the manner in which their personality disorder manifests is unique.
A regular narcissist can be anyone who is high on the extreme narcissism spectrum. They don’t have to have a full blown personality disorders to consistently display hallmark narcissistic traits.
Most collequially, the narcissist is just someone who guards their ego above other interests. This is a pathological need. The narcissist needs to believe she is good and she needs everyone around her to believe she is good. In order to effectuate this, the narcissist will avoid accountability for her imperfections, and rage whenever she is criticized. The narcissist is usually a highly reactive, emotionally volatile person, prone to emotionally manipulative behaviors. I would say the run of the mill narcissist is more obvious to spot than one that has developed antisocial tendencies.
Many Narcissists eventually learn that emotional volatility is not a constructive way to lead a successful life and the higher cognitive functioning of some narcissists make them more susceptible to the sociopathic trickery you would see in a sociopathic narcissist.
The sociopathic narcissist is sadistic. She operates upon envy and contempt toward those she perceives as having more than her. The sociopathic narcissist is more capable of putting on a false identity for the sake of gaining narcissistic supply. I would say the hallmark of a narcissistic sociopath is their sadism, however. They derive energy and pleasure from the power they feel by inflicting pain on others. The sociopathic narcissist is not that reactive—at least it isn’t visible. They could be seething inside but still appear pleasant.
Many like to say the sociopathic narcissistic is a “greater” narcissist or more evolved, higher cognitive functioning narcissist. This resonates with me.
What are some good ways to deal with a narcissistic sociopath?
They can be around you and you might be oblivious. Welcome to a slightly different world. The challenge that they conquer easily is to never make you realize that. Usually we aren’t aware when we meet a Narcissist or a Sociopath. However, if you understand them, you are onto them!
Who is a Narcissist?
Basically, a narcissist has an elevated self image and sometimes detrimental self-involvement. They require admiration and have problems with empathy. They are often charming, intelligent and manipulative.
“It affects 1 to 2% of population, more commonly men. It is a diagnosis reserved for adults. Young people esp. children can be very self-centered, but this might be a normal part of development. Both medical condition and environment is responsible for narcissism. For eg: Parents who put their children on cloud nine, helps foster grandiose narcissism & cold controlling parents can contribute to vulnerable narcissism. Narcissism is also higher in cultures which value individuality & self promotion.” -Ted Statistics
What goes in their mind?
They think they know the best about everything. They think you need to ask their permission before doing anything. Their absolute certainty pulls you into self doubt. Unsure of your own judgement, you give into them.They think they are more important than you. Your life should be devoted to their needs. Their desires and jealousy should be of concern and not yours. Their feelings get hurt easily that makes you suppress your feelings.
Everyone is their pawn in the game. You add value as long as you help them or worship them. They are selfish, arrogant and demeaning. They make you afraid if you disagree.
They think their reasons are always correct. Their feelings are justification for their anger, retaliation and revenge.If you don’t agree, you simply don’t understand.
They are right and righteous- Their logic, reasoning, rules rule. They can do anything to strike or attack back but everyone else should be bounded by their rules. If your feelings are hurt by what they have said, its your fault and its your problem.They think they don’t have anything to learn. They insist on doing things their way even though they are failing. They won’t listen to you especially when they are failing.
Who is a Sociopath?
Sociopaths have anti-social personality. But they are often liked for their charm & charisma. They know how to get what they want. You can think of sociopaths as con artists who always have a secret agenda They do not usually care about other people and have no remorse for their vile actions. They constantly lie, manipulate people and generally act in an unacceptable way.
Some sociopaths go on becoming criminals though most reveal it by less deadly means. This disorder can be caused by clinical depression or anxiety.
What goes in their mind?
Sociopaths are good at manipulation. They exploit your weakness and use it to their benefit.Sociopaths are known to have difficulty with intense experiences. They are uncomfortable at gazing people’s eyes as it brings empathy.
They tend to be intelligent. Their extreme intelligence is what makes them dangerous as they are often several steps ahead of the people who are onto them. For eg. most of the serial killers have reasonably good IQ that helps them to evade police for long.
Neediness- They may want you to be there whenever you are wanted.They live their lives telling a series of lies. They love to lie about their past.
Silent Scorn- A sociopath can go through a highly emotional event without displaying a least bit of emotion. They don’t register the events as non-sociopaths. They tend to barely react in a dangerous or scary situation.They like to isolate you so that you don’t have a chance to get out of their grip or resist too much.
Now that you have successfully identified them. How do you deal?
One can deal with them in pretty much the same manner.
- Don’t wait for them to agree or give you permission.
- Don’t feed their ego or their need for excitement. For eg: Sociopaths get easily bored. So you can choose to not give them emotional entertainment.
- Get immune to their charm.
- Stay away if you can. Plan it secretly if you want.
- Don’t wait for them to overpower you, take control whether they like it or not.
- These people are predators. They go after weak, people who have trouble thinking for themselves or need too much guidance. Think for yourself.
- Give up fear. Use reason and calmness to respond.
- Realize that you can never be kind, sweet or caring enough to change them. You are not their rescuer or therapist!