With films like Psycho and Gone Girl being ever popular the fascination in the public and on the media with psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists is at an all time high. What many find confusing is just what distinguishes a psychopath from a sociopath from a clinical narcissist. Whilst these conditions all have much in common there are certain differences.

 

See below for the definition of each one if you too have ever pondered the question what is the difference between a narcissist, psychopath and sociopath.

 

Psychopath

 

A disregard for laws and social mores

A disregard for the rights of others

A failure to feel remorse or guilt

A tendency to display violent behavior

Unable to form emotional attachments or feel empathy

Can be charming

Can learn to mimic emotions without actually feeling them

Often well educated and high functioning

If criminal will meticulously plan crimes and will remain cool and calm

 

Sociopath

 

A disregard for laws and social mores

A disregard for the rights of others

A failure to feel remorse or guilt

A tendency to display violent behavior

Nervous and easily agitated

Volatile and prone to emotional outbursts

Likely to be uneducated and unable to hold down a job

Able to form an attachment with an individual or a group

Will appear very disturbed to others

If criminal crimes will be haphazard, disorganized and unplanned

 

Clinical Narcissist

 

Has a grandiose sense of self-importance

Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, beauty, or ideal love

Believes that he or she is “special” and should only associate with other special or high-status people

Requires disproportionately high levels of admiration

Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

Is exploitative of others

Lacks empathy

Can be envious of others or believes that others are envious of them

Exhibits arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

 

Did you recognize any of these signs in anyone you know? What was your relationship to them and are you still in contact? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.