It’s unfortunate that the word sociopath sounds so much like psychopath. Because they’re not even hardly the same.
Our community and culture has rather a lot of sociopaths. Those are just people who don’t have a conscience. And all that means, is that when they say “aww, poor baby”. They don’t feel it. And when they say “I’m really impressed! You did a great job“ they don’t feel it. They’re just leveraging something or someone.
….and they’re not “mean people“ even though they act mean.
sociopaths are as “mean” as a snake eating a mouse. Or a tornado hitting a trailer park. Or a flood, knocking over a little village.
It’s the thing that they do, when they exist. We take it personally, but it is about as personal as a blizzard that happens to kill you.
Sometimes, the sociopath also happens to be a narcissist.
And that means, not only does the person not have a conscience, but they also don’t think about anything except how they come off to other people, and their own aggrandizement, and their own satisfaction.
You might be surprised to know that the *minority* of narcissists are also sociopaths. About 20%.
Most narcissists are not sociopaths, and in fact, are just big talkers, glad handers, people who over promise, and people for whom life is always amazing. “Unbelievable. Ask anyone in the world which the greatest country is and they’ll say America. Believe me.” Yeah.
But most narcissists are just annoyingly grand, not actually predatory.
And, UN-like a tornado, all varieties of narcissists can be hurtful, and very mean, intentionally or not.
I’ve come up with four parameters to use, to try to figure out if your True Love or “special other” is a narcissist before you make the mistake of marrying them.
Item 1, is that they are notoriously inconsiderate.
Item 2, is that they seldom if it ever take an interest in, or listen to the stories of other people.
Item 3 is that when you get right down to it they are some of the most insecure, vain people you know. Pardon the pun, but they are excessively self-conscious.
Item 4 is that when you dig down to it, they think they’re better than most people. It’s unlikely that you’re going to tell them some thing that they don’t have a response like “Oh that’s nothing, one time when I…“ And if you ask them, they will confide that they are better than practically everyone. They are The Chosen One. They are a gift, to any group of people, they’re working with.
What happens if you tell a sociopath or a narcissist that they have that particular emotional body odor?
They’ll say “That sounds like a YOU problem” and then: “You can quit with the psychobabble. I’m just fine. In fact, I’m better than you. You’re just jealous.”