When we try to analyze the people we cross paths with in society,
it is possible to misinterpret our analysis for lack of a better
understanding. For those who have crossed paths with a sociopath and a
narcissist (on separate occasions), it may seem like there is little to
no difference between the two when in fact one can be mistaken for the
other. Both are considered to be social terrorists, however, there are
distinguishing characteristics that would imply neither of them are one
in the same. Therefore, I would like to explain briefly the differences
in character between these two personality disorders…
A Narcissist will
- often let you know up front what they’re about.
- They will tell you grandiose
stories of themselves of either their accomplishments (real or fake) or
of their associations with important people (real or fake).
generally do not tell these stories for any other gain than to hear
- They have an unquenchable desire to be admired, worshiped, and
adulated with no real gain from those that respond to them in this way
other than to feed their own ego.
- They need to be the center of
attention at all times in any social gathering.
A Sociopath will
- NEVER let you know up front what they are about, because they wear a mask
to hide their true identity.
- They will tell you grandiose stories of
themselves of either their accomplishments (real or fake, but mostly
fake) or of their associations with important people (real or fake, but
- They generally tell these stories to appear as a “good
person” to gain trust and as a cover-up for their ulterior motives.
have the same unquenchable desires as the Narcissist as a result of the
power and control they gain over their victims.
- They do not care to be
the center of attention at all times in any social gathering unless
doing so promises to earn them more unsuspecting victims.
Here’s a few more brief distinguishing characteristics:
- A Narcissist can occasionally have a conscience. A Sociopath has no conscience whatsoever, nor do they
have any remorse for hurting others intentionally.
- A Narcissist can occasionally be constructive. A Sociopath is always destructive.
- A Narcissist’s world can be built by their own hands. A Sociopath prefers their world to be built by someone else’s hands.
- A Narcissist is self-deceptive. A Sociopath is socially deceptive.
- A Narcissist needs admirers. A Sociopath needs victims.
- A Narcissist lacks empathy in the form of belittling, name-calling,
and defaming another’s character. A Sociopath lacks empathy in a
criminal or physically violent way.
- A Narcissist exploits themselves in a
grandiose manner. A Sociopath pretends to be someone who they are not to
hide their hidden agendas.
Both think they are superior to anyone and everyone, both think they
deserve special treatment, both process the world differently, and both
play to “win”. However, it is possible for both personality traits to be
combined into one, which is called a “Narcissistic Sociopath,” and is
more dangerous than the two of them separately.
From what I know: All Sociopaths are also Narcissists. Not all Narcissists are/or become Sociopaths.
One can be a Narcissistic Sociopath but NEVER a Sociopathic Narcissist. The spectrum only moves one way. – Barbara