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Narcissistic Sociopath: How They Think, 31 Signs & Ways to Deal with Them

There are some dangerous people in this world, and a narcissistic sociopath is certainly one of them. If you’re around this person, move away ASAP!

Narcissistic Sociopath

We all have to deal with difficult people – it’s just a fact of life. There are liars, cheaters, mean people, and the list goes on. But some people are just worse than others, and that’s especially true for the narcissistic sociopath.

Everyone has some negative traits within them, but for the narcissistic sociopath and some other types of people, it’s an actual mental illness. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether this is the reason for someone’s behavior or whether they’re just plain mean.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should overlook the behavior of someone who does have a personality disorder!

Before we discuss the reasons why a narcissistic sociopath is dangerous, let’s take a look at some commonly known mental disorders for a little background information. [Read: Are you dating a sociopath? Some disturbingly obvious signs]

Mental disorders explained

We’ve all heard these terms thrown around, but unless you are a trained psychologist or psychiatrist, you may not know exactly what they are. Some of them are similar to one another, so let’s look at some of the characteristics of some of these mental disorders.

1. Antisocial personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is a condition where the person has an ongoing pattern of not caring about and violating the rights of other people.

Their moral compass is just not there when it comes to how their behavior affects others. People with this disorder will probably commit crimes because they have impulsive and aggressive behavior. [Read: Asocial vs. antisocial – How the similarities end at social interactions]

2. Narcissistic personality disorder

People with narcissistic personality disorder have a consistent pattern of behavior in which they have a distorted and exaggerated feeling of self-importance.

They need constant admiration and don’t care about other people’s feelings. They seek power and success and take advantage of other people along the way.

3. Bipolar disorder

Another term for bipolar disorder is manic depression. People who have this condition have periods of depression and then also phases of an elevated mood *mania*.

When they are in mania, they are abnormally energetic and happy, but then they make bad, impulsive decisions. During a depression, they may not even be able to get out of bed. [Read: How to deal with a depressed person – ways that honor them]

4. Sociopath

A sociopath is someone whose disorder manifests in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior. Like some of the other disorders, they have a complete disregard for other people and also lack a conscience. [Read: 25 signs of covert narcissism – A different kind of mind game]

How narcissists and sociopaths differ

It can be hard to spot the differences between a narcissist and a sociopath, but, generally speaking, narcissists aren’t considered dangerous to be around.

For sure, they’re annoying and manipulative, which can, over the long term, cause emotional damage to a person, but they’re not in the same league as a sociopath in terms of danger.

A sociopath has zero regard for other people and will do anything to twist, manipulate, and hurt others. They simply do not care in the slightest.

In that case, sociopaths can be extremely dangerous to be around because there are no limits to what they may do. Everything is done for their own gratification, which, in many cases, can be quite dark. [Read: Gaslighting – What it is, how it works, and 32 signs to spot it ASAP]

What causes someone to be a narcissistic sociopath?

There is no known cause to pinpoint for what causes someone to be a narcissistic sociopath. The debate over whether this type of person is born or made rages on, but there are some considerations.

It is thought that narcissistic personality disorder and associated sociopathic behavior are linked to both genetic and environmental factors. That means they may have some link between parent and child, but they certainly have a link between upbringing.

For instance, if a parent was extremely pushy and had unrealistic expectations of their child’s performance in sports/school, etc, that could be a factor. If a parent was a narcissist themselves, they gave too much affection or not enough; that is something to consider, as well as abuse in childhood. [Read: What causes narcissism? The facts and theories to read a narcissist]

Signs of a narcissistic sociopath

It can be confusing to understand the combination of a narcissistic and a sociopath. We know what they are separately, but what about together?

Well, first and foremost, it is a very bad combination to have. So, you probably want to stay away from these people if you see them exhibiting any of these behaviors.

1. Carefully chooses people to reinforce their sense of grandiose

A narcissistic sociopath is pretty smart. They know how to “choose” people to be around them who pump them up and make them feel like they are “The Shit.”

Usually, this tends to be weaker people who don’t really stand up for themselves and don’t have the ability to see who the narcissistic sociopath really is. [Read: 23 secret signs of narcissism that people overlook until it’s too late]

2. A strong desire to have a lot of power

Sure, there are a lot of people out there who you would classify as a “leader.” Being a leader is good. Well, being a good leader is good. Being a bad leader is not good.

And so, a narcissistic sociopath craves and seeks power so that they can be in control. They are not good leaders. They strip other people of their power because they want to hoard it all for themselves.

3. Only cares about “what’s in it for me”

Even if you catch a narcissistic sociopath doing something nice for someone, don’t let them fool you. You better believe that there is a payoff for them doing it – or else they wouldn’t be doing it.

They are always thinking about how they can get rewarded in some way. They don’t care about being nice. [Read: Selfishness in relationships – 15 tips to do the right thing]

4. They feel invincible or even immortal

They think they are above the law and above the rules – they simply don’t apply to them. As a result, their behavior can be reckless and even perplexing. They don’t think they’re like normal people, so they think they can get away with pretty much anything. [Read: Selfish people – 15 ways to spot and stop them from hurting you]

5. Zero empathy for anyone else

Because they are so egocentric and only care about how they can benefit from any situation, they just have no empathy for others – at all. Normal people care about other people’s feelings, but not narcissistic sociopaths. They just don’t give a shit.

6. They know have to manage people’s expectations of them

In order to pull off all the things that they do, they have to be quite skillful at putting on a show. That way, it confuses people. One day, they may seem nice, but the next, they don’t.

They can manage their behavior to manipulate people quite well.

7. They are highly intuitive about which people they can manipulate and those they can’t

We know they are quite picky about who they surround themselves with. They don’t want to be around anyone who calls them out on their bad behavior and blows their cover.

As such, the narcissistic sociopath has developed a strong sense of who they can manipulate and who isn’t going to stand for it. [Read: Psychological manipulation – 16 signs and tactics real manipulators use]

8. They might seem completely normal at first

A narcissistic sociopath is the ultimate actor. They can fool you very easily because they want you to fall under their spell before they show their true selves. By that point, you’re hooked, and they can use their expert manipulation to keep you where they want you. [Read: How to quickly spot narcissistic traits in a relationship]

9. Requires a lot of admiration

And we mean a TON. They want everyone around them to think they are God’s gift to the planet. But they also want people to tell them that all the time.

They want constant attention and admiration because it feeds their ego.

10. Arrogant, condescending behavior

It makes sense that if they have no empathy for others and think they are “The Shit,” they would act condescending on a pretty regular basis.

Because they think they’re better than everyone else, they just talk down to people and let them know that they think they’re scum. [Read: Confident or cocky? 16 subtle signs that split an arrogant and modest man]

11. They take advantage of and use other people

It’s not only about what’s in it for the narcissistic sociopath, it’s about what they can get out of you before they cast you to one side. These people are the ultimate users, and they will take advantage of a person’s kindness and empathy before they chew them up and spit them back out again.

12. They have a limited range of emotions

Part of the personality issue behind a narcissistic sociopath is difficulty handling emotions. But this is because they only have a very limited range of emotions to begin with.

A regular person can feel joy, happiness, anger, pain, jealousy, the list goes on. A narcissistic sociopath will only have a very limited span, and they tend to air on the negative side. [Read: Relationship with a narcissist – What it’s like and what it means for you]

13. They have a huge disregard pile

Basically, there is a large pile of people who they have used and then disregarded. These are the people who are no longer useful to them.

This often shows up in former friends and lovers—if this person has a long history of friendships and relationships going wrong, you can usually see that as a red flag. And the narcissistic sociopath will no doubt blame the other person for their own negative behaviors.

14. They become hostile when threatened

A narcissistic sociopath does not like being called out on their behavior, so if you do so, they’re likely to react very negatively. In some cases, this can lead to very hostile behavior.

This is where the danger element comes into play, and it’s not a safe situation to be in. [Read: Malignant narcissist – 24 scary traits and what makes them the worst]

15. They feed off negative energy

We mentioned that narcissistic sociopaths only have a limited range of emotions and that those emotions are often negative. In that case, they feed off what they know – more negativity.

This isn’t someone who is all sunshine and roses, they’re usually quite dark inside, and they tend to lean toward negativity almost impulsively.

16. They get bored easily

A very low attention span is one of the features of narcissistic sociopaths. This is obvious in how they use and abuse people before pushing them away. The same goes for material items, too; they will want the latest gadgets but then toss them away as soon as something newer and shiner comes onto the market. [Read: What types of narcissism should you be on the lookout for?]

17. They are empty inside

This is another side effect of having very few emotions in your range. A narcissistic sociopath is pretty empty inside. They don’t care about others, they feel empathy, and everything positive is lost on them.

As such, they’re like an empty shell, moving from disaster to disaster, trying to feel great about themselves.

18. They are adventurous and dynamic, especially with sex

A narcissistic sociopath is very adventurous, and sometimes this is very reckless. This shows especially in sex. They will want to try more and more extreme activities and often don’t take kindly to refusal. [Read: Loving a narcissist – How to tell if you’ve fallen for a narcissist]

How to deal with a narcissistic sociopath

If you feel that you have a narcissistic sociopath in your life, it’s really best to stay away from them as much as you can, but in some cases, that’s not possible.

In that case, here are some tips on how you can handle being around this type of person.

1. Don’t wait for them to give you control

A narcissistic sociopath craves control, so if you’re hanging around waiting for them to tell you what you can and can’t do, you’re reinforcing their behavior. Instead, do what you want to do and don’t wait for permission.

2. Don’t feed their ego

You might think that giving them compliments makes them happy, which in turn makes your life easier, but all you’re doing is feeding their ego and making everything worse. Don’t do it! [Read: 22 secret signs you’re dating an egomaniac]

3. Take a step back

Now you know the signs of a narcissistic sociopath, you’ll understand what you’re dealing with. In that case, take a step back to prevent yourself from being charmed or persuaded.

Focus on yourself, and you’ll be stronger around them.

4. Stay away from them as much as you can

As we mentioned before, it may not be possible to completely avoid this person, but you should do your best to stay away from them as much as you possibly can. The more time you spend with them, the more they can manipulate you.

5. Don’t let them take control of you

Keep telling yourself that this person is trying to control you, and you’ll be able to move away from their behavior much easier. If you allow them to get a hold of you, you’ll find it very hard to get away. [Read: Controlling relationship – 42 signs and ways to love without bullying]

6. Don’t be fearful

Yes, a narcissistic sociopath is a dangerous person, but only if you don’t know what they’re trying to do to you. Now you do know, you can move away from them and protect yourself against their behaviors.

This type of person loves it when others are scared of them. It’s the ultimate sense of control. Don’t allow it.

7. Don’t try to change them

You cannot change a narcissistic sociopath. This is a mental condition that requires therapy, and you cannot do that alone.

Rather than sticking around and thinking that you can reason with their kind side, just move away and focus on yourself instead. They don’t have a kind side. [Read: Can a narcissist change? Why it’s hard and subtle signs they’ll change for you]

8. If a narcissistic sociopath is your boss, keep quiet until you can get away

It might go against everything you believe in, but in this case, you need to keep your mouth shut until you can get away from this job and this person. If you speak up, they will make your working life a misery, and it’s simply not worth it.

There are many other jobs out there that won’t cause you this much stress and anxiety.

9. Don’t expect fairness

It’s not worth your time or effort to reason with this person and expect fairness in return. They don’t have that in them, and they don’t understand what it means.

10. Ask them, “what will people think?”

A narcissistic sociopath cares a lot about what other people think of them, so if you constantly call out their behavior and use this question, they might think twice. [Read: How to deal with a narcissist in the best way you possibly can]

Might. We didn’t say they definitely will.

11. Maintain your empathy

It can be hard to be empathetic to someone who is acting so badly, but that’s what sets you apart from them – you care about others and have empathy when they don’t. Maintain that empathy, and don’t let it drop; you cannot allow this person to make you bitter.

12. Understand where their behavior comes from

This doesn’t excuse what they’re doing, but try and remember where their behavior comes from. Narcissistic sociopaths need to make themselves feel better at all times, and it all comes from a place of insecurity.

Knowing this at least gives you the upper hand. [Read: 17 symptoms of narcissism that make someone mean, aloof, and detached]

13. Don’t let yourself be derailed from your goals or purpose

Keep what you’re working toward in your mind, and don’t allow yourself to be derailed. The narcissistic sociopath will do everything they can to knock you off course because they can’t stand to see other people succeed.

Treatment for narcissistic sociopaths

Any type of personality disorder requires careful treatment, but it also means that the person needs to want to change in the first place.

It’s impossible to treat a narcissistic sociopath against their will, and it’s very unlikely that this person will ever look in the mirror and think, “hey, I need to stop acting this way. I need to change.” As such, most people with this condition never seek help. [Read: How to handle a narcissist without falling apart and losing yourself]

However, for those who do seek treatment, there are some methods that may work. Psychotherapy is the cornerstone of treatment for this condition and focuses on building connections with other people that are about mutual joy and not focused on ego or what you can get out of them. This type of treatment also looks at how to raise self-esteem and handle emotions.

There are no medications to treat this condition, which means therapy will take a long period of time and will require extreme dedication from the individual.

[Read: Narcissistic abuse – 16 signs that a narcissist is abusing you]

If you think you know a narcissistic sociopath, maybe you should try to stay away from them, if at all possible, just to save your own sanity.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...