A narcissistic sociopath is someone who has a combination of a narcissistic personality and sociopathic traits. Could there be one in your life?
Once upon a time, people were either mad or bad, and that was the level to which we distinguished between the two. Nowadays, there are all kinds of labels on all kinds of different personalities, particularly the deviant ones, as we try to work out why people act in a certain way. One of the most worrying personality types is the narcissistic sociopath.
Sociopaths can be identified if they display any of the following characteristics:
- Superficial charm. They are glib and superficial, smooth talkers who engage an audience easily.
- Overinflated self-worth. They possess a grandiose opinion of themselves which leaves them self-assured and arrogant.
- Easily bored. There is a constant need for risky behaviour which leads them to take chances that others would not.
- Pathological liars. Lying comes as naturally to a sociopath as breathing. They can manipulate and use deceit in order to achieve their goals.
- Con artists. The goal of a sociopath is to get absolute power over their victim so they will defraud or con someone for their personal gain.
- No remorse. A complete lack of concern or pity for their victims with a tendency to be unmoved, cold-hearted, and dispassionate.
- Shallow affect. Sociopaths have a very low range of feelings and are unable to empathise with others as they cannot understand these emotions.
- Callousness. This lack of feeling towards other people allows them to act in a callous and cold way.
- Parasitic lifestyle. Many sociopaths live off other people in a parasitic form, byways of manipulation or exploitation.
- Failure to accept responsibility for own actions. A sociopath will always blame others for their predicament, and responsibility.
These are just a few of the behavioural characteristics associated with a sociopath. So what happens if you add a narcissistic personality onto a typical sociopath?
Narcissists can be identified if they exhibit any of the following characteristics:
- Feeling a grandiose sense of self-importance. The narcissist will exaggerate any small achievement, lie or deceive to make themselves look like they are superior beings.
- Has fantasies where they are famous. Overriding everything in a narcissist’s world will be their fantasies of success, power or fame, whether this is due to their minds or bodies.
- Convinced they are unique and special. Only other people of equal standing to the narcissist can ever understand them thanks to their high status in life.
- Require absolute devotion and admiration. Narcissists need a constant supply of compliments, adulation, and attention otherwise they will soon become bored with you and discard you.
- A sense of entitlement. A narcissist doesn’t have to do anything to feel that they are entitled to have it. They demand special treatment simply because of who they are.
- Cannot show empathy. Is completely unable to understand the feelings of others.
How can you identify a narcissistic sociopath?
A narcissistic sociopath will have a combination of a narcissistic personality and sociopathic behavioural traits.
Typically, a narcissistic sociopath will have a highly grandiose opinion of themselves and think that they are above any of society’s rules. They are not bound by normal regulations that apply to the rest of us, as they are superior beings.
The narcissist in the sociopath will believe that they are better than everyone else. The sociopath in the narcissist, in turn, will have a total lack of regard for others and will tend to violate these rights with no compassion for their victims.
One worrying consequence of a sociopath that has narcissist tendencies is that generally, sociopaths do not care if they are criticised by others, as they are not interested in the opinions of other people.
The narcissistic sociopath, however, will react aggressively to negative criticism as the narcissist cannot tolerate any judgement on their behaviour.
This, coupled with the callousness and lack of remorse from a sociopath, makes this combination particularly worrying.
Here are ten other traits of a narcissistic sociopath to watch out for:
- They move your relationship on really quickly
- They compliment you over and over again
- They flatter you by putting down others
- Your sex life is out of this world
- They have a lot of broken relationships behind them
- The conversation is always about them
- They use impressive words that don’t make sense
- They are charitable if it favours them
- They will sulk for days and weeks
- They will often mimic your behaviour in order to get close to you
More detailed examples of a narcissistic sociopath’s behaviours and traits:
They love-bomb you
How do narcissistic sociopaths get close to their intended victims? By love-bombing them. Love-bombing is a manipulative technique used to attract a person. The manipulator will love-bomb by doing any of the following:
- Lots of flattery
- Constant attention
- Sending gifts early on in the relationship
- Boosting your self-esteem
- Present themselves as perfect partners
The narcissistic sociopath will make you feel as if you are starring in your own personal fairy tale. You are the princess and they are prince charming. You gush at all the attention and flattery. You tell your friends you can’t believe you’ve met someone this amazing.
The problem is that the manipulator has already sussed you out. They know your weak spots and what you need from a partner. Once they’ve gleaned this information, they then come along and charm their way into your life.
They commit to a relationship very quickly
Moving on from love-bombing, the next stage is to declare they are in a relationship with you. The narcissistic sociopath will want to snap you up quickly if they think you’re potential victim material. I mean, why hang around?
So they’ll want to commit quickly and get you off the market. They may say things like ‘I’ve never felt like this before’ or ‘I’ve been waiting for someone like you all my life’. They’ll bamboozle you with their undying love. You might even feel a little obliged to date them because of the strength of their feelings towards you.
Once in the relationship, you could find they are demanding things you’re not comfortable with. But now that you are committed, you think that you can’t say no.
They go hot and cold
Once this person has ensnared you fully into their drama, they’ll want to test your feelings for them. They do this by going hot and heavy one moment then cold the next. You are confused by their actions.
After all, they were perfect before. Now you’ve messed everything up. But the narcissist sociopath will be watching carefully to see what you do next. If you ignore their bad behaviour, they’ll move onto the next victim. However, if you keep calling or texting asking what it is that you’ve done wrong, then they know they’ve caught you in their web. This is their version of breaking you down. They are messing with your head.
Don’t forget, they want you off-balance in this relationship because someone who doubts themselves is easier to manipulate.
They isolate you from friends and family
Now that they have you where they want you, they know that outside inference is a major problem. They will not want their bad behaviour to get back to your nearest and dearest. They need you to be isolated, away from people you trust. People that care and have your best interests at heart are an anathema to them.
They do this by occupying more and more of your time. They may disapprove of certain friends or question why you even need a friend because you have them now. This is a classic tactic manipulators use in a coercive relationship. Once they have you alone, they can proceed to the next stage of their manipulation which is total dominance.
They gas-light you
Now that you are isolated, alone, and completely under their spell, the narcissistic sociopath moves onto gas-lighting. Gas-lighting is a form of manipulation intended to make the victim doubt their own sanity.
There are lots of ways to gas-light someone:
- Say something hurtful, then when you get upset state that it was just a joke and you are being too sensitive.
- Tell you they are ending the relationship, then say that you must have misunderstood them.
- Arrange to meet you somewhere, not turn up, and then say they never made the arrangement in the first place.
All of the above examples make the victim second guess themselves.
They start to control you
The narcissistic sociopath will control you when the relationship is established, you are isolated and your mental wellbeing is undermined. It will start with small things. Comments such as ‘Do you think you should wear that? It’s a little revealing,’ to dictating what exactly you can and cannot wear.
They will question things you take for granted and give them a suspicious undertone. For example, they may question why you need to apply perfume or makeup. Who are you trying to attract? Why are you acting like a slag?
If you look at someone when the two of you are out together, they may interrogate you once you are home. Why were you eyeing up that bloke at the supermarket tills? Do you want to have sex with him? After each ‘incident’, they’ll go quiet and sulk. Eventually, they’ll ‘forgive’ you, and life will go back to normal.
You have to make sacrifices
I remember living with a controlling man for a long time. When we first met, he was charming and kind. Once we entered into a relationship, he became more and more controlling. I couldn’t wear makeup or nice clothes.
But the worst thing he did was to sulk every day I went to a local class whilst studying for my degree in Psychology. Every Monday (lesson day), he’d start sulking. It was because my tutor was a man and there were other men in the class. He told me he was ‘worried I’d go off with one of them because we shared the same interests’.
When that year finished, I gave up the course. It wasn’t worth the arguments or hassle. It was only when we parted ways I took up studying again.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Narcissistic Sociopath?
If you recognise any of the above traits and think that you might be involved in a narcissist sociopath, there are ways to free yourself from their influences:
- Keep in contact with close family and friends. They will tell you what normal behaviour is and give you valuable context on what’s going on in your relationship.
- Remember, you have control over your own destiny and can leave at any time. It is your choice whether to stay. You do have a say in the relationship.
- It is not your fault that you were fooled. These people are master manipulators. You are not the first and you won’t be the last. Pick yourself and move forward.
- Don’t start doubting your own sanity. If something seems off to you, trust your gut instinct. After all, it’s never let you down before.
- Ask yourself: Why is this person so unhappy with me as I am? Wouldn’t they be better off with someone who fits their brief of the perfect partner? If someone has to change or restrict your behaviour so much, perhaps the pair of you are not compatible.
- Remember, you have a future filled with love and happiness, they do not.
As Jill Blakeway explains:
Give – but don’t allow yourself to be used.
Love – but don’t allow your heart to be abused.
Trust – but don’t be naïve.
Listen – but don’t lose your voice.
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