Identifying a Narcissistic Sociopath

Sociopaths aren’t just the serial killers and rapists we see on the 6 o’clock news. They are our neighbors, co-workers, friends, family members, and sometimes our “soul mates.”

Sociopaths are the charmers and manipulators. They are the people who appear together and well-groomed at first glance, but hide many secrets and lies underneath their mask of sanity.

Sociopaths, in the early love-bombing stage of an intimate relationship, use many superlatives in order to woo and control their victims.

They say things to intoxicate you into compliance:

  • “You are the love of my life.”
  • “I have never known anyone like you.”
  • “You are perfect for me.”
  • “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
  • “I never want to leave your side.”
  • “You are the most beautiful person I have ever met.”
  • “We are perfect for each other.”
  • “You are exactly what I have been looking for my entire life.”

The following is taken from my book: Escaping the Boy: My Life with a Sociopath:


Do you know what it feels like to be locked up, placed in a dungeon of a partner’s creation? If so, you’re not alone. If not, pray you never do.

Abuse comes in many forms and affects many people in the victim’s life. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuses are equally degrading and harmful. One is not better than the other or worse than the other. They are ALL abuse.

This story is specifically about emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissistic sociopath.

According to Dr. Martha Stout’s book The Sociopath Next Door, sociopaths make up 4% of western society (Stout, 2010). That’s about 1 in 25 people walking around among us without a conscience, without the ability to measure, or care to measure, the morality of their decisions and actions. Would you know how to identify a sociopath if you saw one, met one, started an intimate relationship or entered into a business contract with one? More than likely, your answer is No, because unlike what we read on the television news or see in Hollywood movies, sociopaths aren’t just serial killers and murderers. Rather, they are members of our communities who we would never suspect of evil or wrong doing and who seamlessly blend into society with the rest of us. How? Through lies, manipulations, and more lies.

In romance, narcissistic sociopaths often appear too good to be true. They are charming, agreeable, and engaging. The narcissistic sociopath loves (or seems to love) everything about you. He hooks you. Then he breaks you. His emotional abuse is VERY subtle. The victim may not know she is being victimized until it is nearly too late.

Identifying narcissistic sociopaths

Although not all narcissists are sociopaths, all sociopaths are narcissists (Stout 2010). Therefore, if you can identify a narcissist, you’re one step closer to being able to recognize a sociopath. Below is a definition of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and a list of narcissistic traits taken directly from the website of Dr. Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self-Love. (If you know someone who fits at least 5 or more of these traits, a psychiatrist could easily diagnose him/her as having NPD.)

The DSM-IV-TR defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as “an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts,” such as family life and work.

1. Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);

2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;

3. Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);

4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply);

5. Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favorable priority treatment;

6. Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;

7. Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;

8. Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;

9. Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, “above the law”, and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy (http://samvak.tripod.com).

Once it’s clear you’re dealing with a narcissist, go through the following list to see if the narcissist is also a sociopath. (You’ll discover many overlapping traits from each list.) The list below of 20 sociopathic traits is taken directly from the book Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Dr. Robert D. Hare, Ph.D:

1. Glib and superficial charm. The tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Sociopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A sociopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.

2. Grandiose self-worth. A grossly inflated view of one’s abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Sociopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.

3. Need for stimulation or proneness to boredom. An excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Sociopaths often have low self-discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.

4. Pathological lying. Can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.

5. Conning and manipulative. The use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 in the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one’s victims.

6. Lack of remorse or guilt. A lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, coldhearted, and unempathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one’s victims.

7. Shallow affect. Emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.

8. Callousness and lack of empathy. A lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.

9. Parasitic lifestyle. An intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.

10. Poor behavioral controls. Expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.

11. Promiscuous sexual behavior. A variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual exploits or conquests.

12. Early behavior problems. A variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.

13. Lack of realistic, long-term goals. An inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life.

14. Impulsivity. The occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless.

15. Irresponsibility. Repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements.

16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions. A failure to accept responsibility for one’s actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial.

17. Many short-term marital relationships. A lack of commitment to a long-term relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital.

18. Juvenile delinquency. Behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.

19. Revocation of condition release. A revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear.

20. Criminal versatility. A diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes. (Hare 2011).


In addition to these two lists of traits, the biggest trait (or magic trick as I like to call it) that makes narcissistic sociopaths so dangerous and effective is their ability to divert attention away from these traits, hide their evil agendas, and convince everyone that they’re capable of being loving and caring. Using this trick, they establish a false sense of trust with their victims who, in turn, feel compelled to share their deepest and darkest insecurities and fears.

But how? How do sociopaths convince even the most guarded people to open up and share their souls with the devil?

The answer is: Through excessive charm, pretense, and an uncanny ability to hide behind whatever mask of lies they need to wear depending on their audience. They lie to everyone with calculated projection and transference, resulting in a false sense of absolute power and control over everyone in their lives. Armed with this false sense of intellectual superiority and the belief others will always comply with their whims out of fear of having their deepest secrets and insecurities exposed, sociopaths epitomize evil and everything that’s wrong in our materialistic and greed-driven society. And by remaining fearful and not speaking out or saying “no” to these fools, the rest of us perpetuate and allow their power, abuse, and destruction of our collective moral compass to grow exponentially.

Sociopaths will continue “winning” and wielding their power as long as the rest of us remain fearful of our own humanity.

I believe in the power of a collective consciousness and in the transformative powers of information and education. The more of us who awaken and become informed about the reality of sociopaths in our midst, the more likely we can shift the evil into good and strip sociopaths of their delusional power.

So join me and speak out without fear of being judged as weak for falling prey to one of these characters. Your experience doesn’t mean you’re weak, and It doesn’t mean you’re broken. All it means is that you trusted and loved someone who didn’t deserve either.

Paula Carrasquillo, author, advocate, mindfulness coach

1,157 Comments

  1. Shari

    I have been broken up from my fiance for less than 2 weeks after 26 months. 18 months into the relationship I knew he was lying and sabotaging me financially and socially. He denied everything- it was us against the world. His ex wife stalked us relentlessly and being in a public social work field, and with my brain injury she was fraudulently obtaining my account information and so on and so forth to the point where I may just have to file bankruptcy. And he may and probably was in collusion with her. If so, I will sue them both.
    This week that he’s been gone for the final time, he’s broken into my apartment, gone to the AA meeting I attend so I will go back to the group who saw his game and tried to warn me in my early sobriety but I was already hooked and he was doing intimidating damage control which got him banned from that AA group. Now he is trolling for his next victim, while using methamphetamine which he buys from my niece’s friends, she herself, and his acquaintances and adopted family. Evidently this has been happening for almost 9 months to a year.
    He has triggered my C-PTSD to the point where I have felt the need to carry weapons on me and I would sleep fully clothed until the sun came up. The chaos of his gaslighting has cost my son the 5th grade-I have to home school him and get us both into counseling to recover from the betrayal.
    I will not be the same, my family will not be the same, my son’s not the same, and in 47 years of living,I wish to God I had never met a person.
    All the pain he causes and caused means nothing, he is a fake,phony and a fraud, he is someone who never was who I believed he was….I loved a hoax and he loved laughing at me while he screwed other women including my niece and smoked dope in the truck my mother bought him on a payment plan to which she’s received $400.
    Two days ago my son found a silver wedding band in his laundry and it didn’t match my engagement ring. I was stunned to find out of yet another relationship. I’ve counted 3, and possibly up to 5 that I know of so I have scheduled an STD panel. He doesn’t use condoms.
    My life is in shambles but I must be strong for my son, yet I cry often and the burning in my heart is like fire…the ache for my old self is the worst loneliness and the loss of him, the weirdest sorrow of relief that I can explain it no further. This article saved my mind last night. I’m buying your book and the recommended books.
    I am astonished by my devastation and the coldness I had to step into so he’d leave. But it truly, truly, ripped me into confetti. And I don’t ever want to be in a relationship again.

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Shari. What you experienced is absolutely traumatic and how you’re feeling is absolutely normal. And you CAN heal. You’re right…you’ll never be the same…you’ll be better. You’ll soon step into who you really are and begin shedding all of the old thought forms and limiting beliefs you’ve been holding onto since you first experienced trauma, anxiety, and depression. I’m sure you’ve heard or read on other sites that the most important first step toward healing from abusive relationships like the ones you experienced is to go NO CONTACT. And NO CONTACT is more than not emailing, calling, driving by their house, or checking their social media accounts. NO CONTACT is also about cutting cords to all of the energetic influences these past lovers have on your mind and spirit. We carry and hold trauma in layers: environmental, physical, mental, and spiritual. The goal is to go NO CONTACT with them on ALL 4 levels. That means, as an example, throwing away items and even clothing and gifts they gifted to you (environment); practicing yoga and/or getting deep tissue and stretching massages (physical); writing and talking about your experiences (emotional/mental); and cutting cords and clearing away all karma and auric attachments and aligning you chakras and energetic body (emotional/spiritual). I offer a FREE toolkit on this site for everyone open to freeing their emotional and spiritual blocks using energetic mindfulness tools. Consider accessing it today and/or reaching out to me for a Clarity Call. Sending you lots of healing vibes and thoughts.

      Reply
  2. Regina

    I have been married to two different men who both classify as a narcissist and one of them a sociopath. I’ve just recently divorced the 2nd one. Both of them showed some of the same characteristics that make up a narcissist but those characteristics we’re revealed in different ways. That prevented me from realizing it after the first divorce. I waited 6 years before I committed the 2nd time and thought I had chosen an entirely different type of man. It only took me about a year to finally figure out there was definitely a problem with his mentality also. I am trying to fully recover now from both of them. My question is how do I avoid men like this in the future and is there any hope of finding a good person to love or will I always gravitate towards these type of people?

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Regina, Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I’m sure you’ve heard or read on other sites that the most important first step toward healing from abusive relationships like the ones you experienced is to go NO CONTACT. And NO CONTACT is more than not emailing, calling, driving by their house, or checking their social media accounts. NO CONTACT is also about cutting cords to all of the energetic influences these past lovers have on your mind and spirit. We carry and hold trauma in layers: environment, physical, mental, and spiritual. The goal is to go NO CONTACT with them on ALL 4 levels. That means, as an example, throwing away items and even clothing and gifts they gifted to you (environment); practicing yoga and/or getting deep tissue and stretching massages (physical); writing and talking about your experiences (emotional/mental); and cutting cords and clearing away all karma and auric attachments and aligning you chakras and energetic body (emotional/spiritual). I offer a FREE toolkit on this site for everyone open to freeing their emotional and spiritual blocks using energetic mindfulness tools. Consider accessing it today and/or reaching out to me for a Clarity Call. Sending you lots of healing vibes and thoughts.

      Reply
  3. Eve

    I’m about to move in with him, well him and his sub, he’s a dom. We’ve had a long distance relationship for 1 and half years now. I’m nervous, unsure, but everything is already in motion, moving in a week and half. I’m leaving everything behind, my job, friends, cute little apartment. He says I ask too many questions and that annoys him, apparently I do lots of annoying things. What if I’m making a terrible mistake?

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Eve, all you can do is be prepared to take ownership of your choice to move in with him if it turns out to be the wrong decision. I think you already know if it is or if it isn’t a mistake, and you’re being more curious than protective of yourself at this point.

      Reply
      • Eve

        Yea,well thanks, I’ll just hope for the best, that’s all I can do now. I’ll keep this page in my favorites.

        Reply
    • Georgia Girl

      I have been involved in a long distance relationship with a narcissist for almost a Year. I was planning to move away with him. Thank god I started reading articles on Narcissist or I may have been doomed. I have experienced everything you all have. I feel like I’m loosing my mind. He has been out of town all week and said he’ll be back on Sunday. He didn’t even tell me he was going. I’m sure he’s with his next supply. He lives in a small town in GA., but loves Savannah,Augusta,Myrtle Beach,and has lived in Virginia….I have decided to end this chapter and apply the No contact…BEWARE of this handsome black demon…

      Reply
      • Rasene Newson

        Hello Georgia Girl,

        Your story sounds familiar. Between you and I. What is his name. Did he live in New York (The Bronx) as well. My friends mother lives in Virginia.

        Reply
    • Candace Brown

      Girl, take it from me don’t do it. I’m reading articles on this because I just moved out of my ex’s apartment. It is absolute hell living with n being in a relationship with a man with this disorder. I’m lucky I got away unscathed. There is NO WINNING with a man with this disorder. None at all. Even if it seems like a glimmer of hope, its just a facade. And they have a team of ‘helpers’ that will back him up when necessary even when he’s completely wrong. If you are absolutely certain he has this disorder, only move in if ur willing to pay with your time and life. Prepare to be hurt and none of your feeling matter at all. His truth will be THE TRUTH, PERIOD. doesn’t matter what you say he will fill in the blanks for you. Move in, but if any of what I’m saying is true, be strong enough to leave because u will be gradually groomed. He can only do to u what u will allow but he WILL TEST to see what that point is if any.

      Reply
  4. Susan

    I was involved with this physco, for two n half years…from the very beginning he lied to me. He told me he was divorced which was true but didn’t tell me he was living with another woman for the last four years…he said if he told me I wouldn’t have got involved with him..in the beginning he was so loving and caring and always wanting to see me. A year later I found out he’s addicted to social media and chatting to other women…he denied everything and said it’s all in my head…he had two watts app but even denied that. Eventually he said I pushed him away because I keep fighting with him and I don’t trust him…he’s always on watts app late at night and when I question him he says he was checking to see if I was on. He was so possessive and everything he used to do he blamed it on me…he even said I’m going crazy…I couldn’t let go of the relationship because. Every week he told me it’s over then come back a few days later and say he can’t do without me and I accepted him back. In my heart I knew he was cheating he only associated himself with high flyers and said I’m the lowest from all the women he had. He called me the worst names possible and I accepted everything. He even went to the extent of sending me pictures of a naked woman in a hotel room but said he didn’t sleep with her. He said she’s a neurosurgeon and he had a kid with her 7 years ago and they went to the hotel to talk and she got drunk and took of her clothes…I even believed that…recently he use to say he’s going to his ex wife house to see his grown kids but I couldn’t call him and even if I send a message we wouldn’t open it. He spends about 7 hours or so there sometimes even stays over but there is no contact during that time. I finally realized he wasn’t at his exes house but with another lady…I tried to get professional help but still battling. The doc said he’s gas lighting me. I know he’s got a serious problem but he makes it seem like I do. I told him it’s over now he told me very bad words like he never loved me and no man will want me and he’s got a good woman now I will regret leaving him….it’s hard but I’m trying my best I know it’s not healthy to be with him

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Only people with NOTHING real to offer say things like, “You’ll regret leaving me.” If he were your son, would you be proud of him? Probably not! If he were your brother, would you think he was a great catch? Doubtful. The key is to begin your DETACHMENT from him by going NO CONTACT. Be patient with your desire to give in to your old habit of accepting him back…he’s a bad habit that became a type of SECURITY BLANKET. The chaos and drama he brought to your life was FAKE ENERGY…it was just chaos disguised as energy. I also recommend accessing the FREE Toolkit on this site to cut cords to him and take back your energy for yourself. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Gala Fernandez

    I am moving through the stages of grief after my relationship with a Narcissist. One that left me when I was most vulnerable and weak. The damage was extensive to my self esteem, my trust and my reputation. Every day is a new day but I found that writing has done wonders.

    http://www.movingthrough.net

    I hope that everyone reading this realizes that being a victim of a narcissistic person does not define your worth or intelligence.

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Thank you for sharing your story and site with us, Gala! 🙂 <3

      Reply
  6. David

    I am in the process of divorce, after a short 9 month marriage to a narcissistic sociopath. She fooled me from day one with overly affectionate passion, praise for there had never been anyone like me, and showered me with love. Over time she learned about my previous traumas including an assault that left me emotionally compromised for 3 years and refusing to let anyone in. She gently let herself into my heart, and used what she called “tough love” to help me move on with my life. The reality is she blindsided me, gaslighted me, and used my past trauma to convince me that I was an unlovable person (always called me names, criticized everything about me, etc). Then one day announced she wanted a divorce after I had started putting my foot down and asking her to respect my feelings. I have been suffering, confused, and convinced that I was crazy. She had me convinced I was the one at fault, never taking ownership. I even now have found evidenced that she has been planning to go out of state to visit an ex, and when I asked her about this man on her facebook (as I found later is the one she is going to see) told me to stay out of her life, and that she felt what she does is not my business. True, since we are filing divorce, but she started this “affair” apparently months ago.
    These forums and posts have helped me realize I never had a chance and that I wish I had seen the signs before she sucked me in. I’m not sure I will ever be able to trust again or date again, which saddens me. I only hope that time will help me get over what has been the most damaging thing I’ve ever experienced.
    Bless you all

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Thank you, David.

      Reply
  7. Mary

    I am currently in a relationship with someone with both these “qualities”. I myself and bipolar and in my last relationship I would hold issues in and then after a time explode. I’ve learned about how I was and with this new guy I did blow up a few times but was asked to tell him something bothers me instead of holding it in. Now when I do, it’s always “something else” (I don’t talk about bothering things to much regardless). He turns it around on me and makes me feel like I’m the wrong one and I’m crazy. He will literally tell me “he’s better than everyone” and “he knows he’s awesome.” I feel as though if I say that something is bothering me that he’ll get angry and decided he can’t deal with it anymore. Granted he does have A LOT of stress going on right now, legitimately he does and I told him today that “There’s nothing you’re doing wrong (playing into his thoughts that he can’t make me happy just so he’ll talk to me) and I think we need to just have a sit down conversation. Of course when I mentioned “to have an adult conversation” he replied with “this adult conversation stuff is silly.”. I have my own problems and unfortunately he has had to help me out financially. I talked to his ex-wife of 14 years on the phone today and she mentioned in the beginning of our relationship that he was like that but I just thought she was being a jealous b**ch and she admitted she was on one occasion but she really was trying to warn me. I’ve known this guy for 11 years but we never hung out and I knew his ex from my ex husband as they were good friends back in the day. I don’t feel like I’m allowed to have feelings or that things should bother me. I moved 650 miles away with my kids to be with him and now, I feel like it was all for nothing. What’s even worse his own daughter moved out citing in a letter that she was tired of being yelled at for having panic attacks and her mother said she is afraid to tell him stuff because she doesn’t want to tick him off. Yeah. That’s how I feel. I do love him and when nothing is wrong, we are great together but I can’t keep feeling like I have no right to feel bothered by something. He won’t say “I love you” when he feels that things aren’t right with us. He says he doesn’t say it because he doesn’t want me to think things are ok. Um. I told him it doesn’t make me think that but instead makes me feel like he loves me unconditionally, which apparently I don’t think is true anymore. He only loves me if I’m perfect and not doing bad in life and have NOTHING that bothers or upsets me. His ex even said he is not empathetic and sees what he wants to see, which is apparently me being crazy when I have a REAL reason to feel anything. I don’t want to leave him but I can’t keep feeling like I’m crazy for wanting to be treated like a girlfriend. I tell him I’m not good enough for him but then he says if I wasn’t, he wouldn’t be with me. Ugh!

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Well, Mary, if you feed the drama, the drama will continue and you’ll continue feeling like you’re going crazy. Essentially, like all of us who have been where you are, you’re too addicted to the drama to see it for what it is. Detaching and disconnecting from someone who is not capable of living free of drama is difficult. I can’t imagine how his daughter felt before she made her decision to detach, but I’m certain today she’s much happier and with fewer, if any, panic attacks. People and relationships like this throw our central nervous system into a frenzy. Our sympathetic nervous system kicks in, our heart closes, and we’re depleted of energy…quickly. Always on high alert, we react from fear rather than act from logic. Fear makes us do stupid things, like stay with a person we THINK loves us and could possibly change. “If I leave him now, what if he changes and I miss out on something?” He’s not going to change and you’re not going to miss out on ANYTHING if you leave. YOU WILL MISS OUT ON LIFE IF YOU STAY. But it’s ultimately your choice, and it starts with shifting your attention from him, cutting cords to him, and taking back your power by activating your energy, opening your heart, and using your intellect rather than fear to guide you. The FREE toolkit on this site will help get you started. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Confused in WV

    I noticed the early morning comment postings of most. Early AM. It gives me a little solitude to know that I am not the only one who has been so adversely affected by this type of person. I am trying to end a 4 year relationship with a narrasistic sociopath. We have a 2-1/2 year old son together which has made it really difficult to get away. We have been separated for about a year now with the “understanding” that we were working to get our relationship back. I have finally realized that I am the only only that truly held that belief. I have finally allowed myself to know that I have been used and manipulated and I am trying so hard to get away from them. Now that they have been exposed (at least to me ), I have somehow been turned into the evil one. In their mind and as they have been telling those around them. Is this common? For a long time now, things were done behind my back and even to my face, that I just put up with because I wanted to be loved by them and honestly , to keep this family together . Unfortunately, at times when I felt very hurt from the uncalloused behavior that was projected towards me, I said some hurtful things to this person. I guess to try and make them see how much I was being hurt by them. I truly regret ever having said anything because at the time I was deeply hurt and frustrated with their actions. Now I am being blamed for the relationship turning so unbearable. I’m being told its from my harsh words. Their actions that were so hurtful and harmful (to me anyway ) are not even being considered one tiny bit. No apology ever from these actions or their harmful words said. I did and continue to apologize for the hurtful things I have said. Those times of lack of self control in saying hurtful things are now being blamed as the whole reason the relationship did not work out. I realize it takes 2 and I’m truly sorry that I wasn’t mature enough to bite my tongue at times. I am being called and projected to their family and friends as a crazy and delusional person. I have been told that before when I would voice my displeasure and hurt. I even sought and attended therapy sessions because I was so sorry and afraid that I was those horrible things. Their actions continued and even tho I worked hard to think before I spoke , it seemed they increased the disrespect until I finally could not keep from speaking my mind. It’s like they knew I couldn’t not say anything and kept on until I did. I’m so hurt and confused. The other time in therapy , we attended twice together until they informed me that it was all me and they did not need to attend anymore. I continued with two more sessions until we moved away. I was told that I needed to leave the relationship but never really did. I am once again being made to feel crazy so I’m going to find help in the city I’m in now. If there is something wrong with me I Want to know. It’s like I have even started to blame myself for all that happened, even though I can recall all of the horrible things done by the other person. It’s like I don’t want to believe that those things happened. I don’t want to believe that someone could do that to me and not see how wrong they were. Did I blow things out of perportion? Did things not really happen the way I remember and continue to see? To tell the truth, I feel crazy ! Is this just them throwing it all back in me? Since they have never apologized for anything, I’m now wondering if I made the things up in my head. The way I perceive them and see them. Anyway , I hope everyone here finds leave and can sleep through the night.

    Reply
    • Liz Rose

      Confused in WV-you are not crazy!
      It is very normal to feel and even act crazy after having endured this type of abuse. The type of abuse that is so insidious that we bite our tongues and endure it for various reasons,often not even aware that it’s abuse until long after the damage is done. The injustice is infuriating and would make anyone feel and act crazy.
      It is entirely unfair that our reaction to their egregious behavior becomes the ultimate focus. To make matters worse, many of us even find ourselves sticking up for them in the beginning, justifying and explaining away their actions to others.
      I learned only a year ago that my husband of over ten years is a narcissist/sociopath, I too have yet to leave for good. I have also done and said many regrettable things in reaction to his abusive. I have felt and acted crazy too many times to count.
      What has helped me the most is trying to not react, to take a breath and ask myself “what reaction is he looking for by saying/doing ___?”, and then making sure I do not give him the reaction he’s looking for.
      I wish you and everyone struggling with this mostly hidden and unspoken abuse all the best and lots of strength!

      Reply
    • Trying

      I am so sorry that you had these experiences.

      In your comment you expressed that you felt guilt for harsh things that you have said to this person in the past. I am just a few months single after ending a relationship (11years)with one of these people. I also find myself running over things I was blamed for and wondering…I have come to realize that it cannot possibly matter what these things were because they would’ve found something wrong with me anyway. Please be kind to yourself. You and I (and countless others) have endured a profound betrayal. What we did or said didn’t matter at all–the only single thing that mattered is that we were targeted because these people could see in us how we could be exploited. That’s all that mattered period. I don’t think you should apologize to this person ever again. They feed off of our kindness, olive branches and mostly our self doubt. We have to stop feeding them to preserve ourselves. You have a child that needs you. This person will wear you down to nothing. I don’t have a child so I realize this is much easier to say, but I believe it to be true so I will say it because we need to collect as much truth as we can. When you deal with this person, you do not have to talk, or share anything with them. Discuss the issue at hand (scheduling visits, illnesses, school meetings) about your child and nothing else. Nothing at all. You don’t have to smile at them, laugh at their jokes, ask about family, or go over your history. You do not owe this person anything and the sooner you accept that the better off you’ll be.

      What you said about buying into the ‘crazy’ label, I’m struggling with that too. Don’t even know what to say about it, I have no answers there.

      I think a lot about the words profound betrayal because I think it goes so incredibly deep that they have convinced us of these awful things we’ve done and we believe it so in a way we’ve betrayed ourselves and haven’t even noticed? Still processing that one. And I’m scared that I’ll never be able to forgive myself.

      You have a child with this person. I’m so sorry that it’s with this person, but I’m not at all sorry that you have a child! In that way you are blessed because if you stop going over the past (that is gone) you’ll be more able to focus on your child and maybe your child can teach you how to forgive yourself. Children are lights, and I think they are the best teachers of how to live. Their lessons seem simplistic, but I’ve been working on looking past that and have been amazed at what I have seen.
      All the best to you both, I hope you find what works best for you and your future:)

      Reply
    • xyz2352

      I am a passive aggressive male

      Before we were married, I bowed, against my wife’s wishes, to my my mother’s and sister’s directions to have a “formal” wedding. They invited cousins, aunts, and others to the wedding.Nobody on my wife’s side were able to attend.

      We were married in a church that was not of my wife’s choosing. I chose a local church that we had no history of attending. My wife wanted to marry in the church that we attended.

      On our honeymoon, I squealed “gotta have room, give me room” in the bed may wife paid for. The item that crowded me turned out to be a pillow.

      My wife wanted to go to New York our honeymoon, and I said no. Said it was too hot there. We went to south Florida instead, were the heat was even hotter.

      During the honeymoon, my wife wanted to go to a famous water show that she attended when she was young. I did not want to wait one day for the rain to stop so we could see it.

      My wife asked me to drive her back from an outpatient surgery. I bailed at the last minute and she had to drive herself.

      My wife had another outpatient surgery and I went home to eat during the surgery. I was not there if something happened.

      She was there for me when I needed her for medical issues.

      We bought a lesser house together, while my wife found a much better home in a different neighborhood that was a better buy financially.

      I made the decision to fix the house up nice, when my wife’s idea was to just paint it and move in. Her idea would have been the most prudent.

      My wife had separate bank accounts, and I made us consolidate, against her wishes, the multiple accounts. I now have separate accounts for various monies.

      My wife wants a regular drive way (like everyone else) into our house, and I insist on a pigtail into the home. We have had the pigtail for years.

      My wife wants a cover for our cars, but I say we cannot afford (see below)

      I insist we buy a piece of property. My wife tells me how much we should pay. I pay 2 1/2 times as much. In another, I buy a piece of property that she does not want to buy. I insist and purchase anyway.

      In the above transactions, she tells me it is time for her turn to make a decision. I say yes it is, but am going to do it anyway because it is a good deal.

      Ate with my wife and daughter zero times, but ate with many family members at the table a lot of times.

      Daughter baked me my favorite cake, but did not taste it.

      Wife baked me a birthday cake, and I did not touch it.

      At a local restaurant, I was rude by making out the food was bad. Showing out that I did not want to be there.

      Reply
  9. Matt

    Very interesting read. I actually just resigned from a new position as I found that my new boss was a narcisstic sociopath. I stood up to him and put my career and livelihood in jeapordy as a result, but I had to speak up as to the monster he is. It worked out in the end, but it makes my hair stand on end thinking about the amount of power entrusted in such a hollow set of eyes. I’m a combat veteran with a purple heart and have seen the most evil version of mankind sitting behind a desk, not a gun.

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves

      Matt, I currently partner with a combat veteran who also has a Purple Heart. I’m always amazed at how similar our “battles” were/are. Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s very validating for many.

      Reply
  10. Jill

    Hello, I am married to a man who has several of these traits, but they seem to come and go. Its so hard for me to see clearly who he really is, perhaps because im too close to the situation. He has been at times completely irrational, illogical, unable to take any form of criticism (says im attacking him and saying hes a terrible person when I tell him something hes done or said hurt me deeply). Yes, ive been emotionally abused for at least 4 years now and see it clear now.
    He doesnt have the inflated self image, rather, he has embraced a sense of worthlessness his farher has made him feel his whole life.
    My husband is controlling but surprising that he is not jealous of other men and has never accused me of cheating or questioned my every minute like my ex used to constantly. He knows im faithful, its me that doesnt trust him, because of his coldness and abuse, why would he be faithful?
    He is like two people and I dont know which one is real and after almost 10 years, I dont feel he loves me, or know if he can truly experience bonding and connecting with me deeply because he never has.
    But the really confusing thing for me is, when we met he had been the victim of domestic voilence, so i thought he knows what thats like he could never become an abuser. And yes I have fully seen personally that his ex is 100% a full blown Narcissist and she has not 5 but every one of the listed traits, word per word.
    So how is it he was (and still is, she has alienated their daughter from us completely) so controlled by her and with me he is abusive (not physically) and can scream at me like he hates me as I cry and he shows no empathy at all?

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Jill, Thank you for your comment. It’s very enlightening.

      Your husband has essentially taken on the “tyrant” energy of his past abuser. Tyrant energy is the opposite of Victim energy in how it’s projected outwardly. However, both are rooted in fears of abandonment and lack of self-trust and worth. The energies feed off of each other. It’s like he’s in a toxic relationship with HIMSELF and can’t escape. Everyone else, including you, is collateral damage. Did your husband receive any type of counseling or therapy following his DV experience? And how long did he wait before entering into a relationship with you? I do not sense that he is unfaithful to you physically. However, as you note, he’s not available emotionally. His heart chakra is shutdown. He’s deep in trauma but doesn’t realize it. His past abuser is still HOOKED INTO him and into your relationship. Did you access the FREE Energy Activation toolkit on this site? The three (3) exercises will greatly benefit you as well as your husband. How you present the idea of him trying them may be tricky but if you use the toolkit on your own for a few weeks, I’m sure the right action and answers will come to you. Regardless, if this relationship is breaking apart your heart and shutting you down, it’s toxic. It doesn’t matter what label you put on HIM, it’s clear the relationship is unhealthy.

      Reply
  11. James

    You need to switch all your pronouns to “she” and “her,” or at least make them gender neutral. The statistics show that narcissists are overwhelmingly female. You long for equality, right? Start here.

    Reply
    • Paula Carrasquillo

      Thanks for your suggestion, James. I’ll definitely consider making these changes. I write from my personal experience; I wrote this from my experience with a romantic male partner. Perhaps, as a compromise and so as not to alienate anyone, I can add clarifying language, a disclaimer of sorts, to the top. 🙂

      Reply
      • Cas

        What are signs of a sociopath mother to her newborn child?

        Reply
    • Carol B Westling

      Waaah…easy with the testosterone.You’d think they attached your name personally.Maybe they’re using the masculine form because that has been their experience.

      Reply
  12. Chris

    This describes my ex-wife to a tee she cheated on me from the time I met her til the end of our relationship and she had no conscious about doing it.She lied and manipulated me our whole relationship she had two kids from another marriage we separated but I thought we were working on our marriage she was seeing another guy the whole time and I was watching her kids and picking her up from work everyday!She cared about her kids and herself that’s it,she didn’t really have any female friends when she did she would get jealous about something pertaining to them and would turn on them if she was sick she expected me to wait on her hand and foot if I got sick she treated me as a inconvenience.After I would catch her cheating on me she would not have any contact with me after that fling ran it’s course she would start calling me and she would pull me back in then I would catch her again and the whole cycle would start again this happened at least 3 times and she didn’t care how it effected me it was all about her i’m not proud of how stupid I was but I loved her.It finally ended for good 15 years ago we have a 20 yr old son so I had to deal with her from time to time but it still effects me today I haven’t had a meaningful relationship in 15 yrs I don’t want to get hurt like that again it was much to painful I don’t know if I will ever be able to have another meaningful relationship.

    Reply
    • Paula Carrasquillo

      Chris, Thank you for your honesty and sharing your struggles. It breaks my heart knowing you’ve kept yours closed to the possibility of a true, genuine, and authentic connection with others. Until we feel safe, we tend to keep our hearts closed. We’re always on high alert and distrusting of others, including ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You deserve to feel safe, to open your heart, and to love again. Sending you lots of encouragement and peace.

      Reply
    • Marty

      My husband has continued to disregard me as a human being. He has 0 empathy or sympathy. His main goal is to look good for others, smells nice, dresses nice. Just doesn’t care. I wish I had seen the signs 12 years ago. I gave up everything and now have nothing. The sad part is we have a child and she sees his uncaring nature too. I really don’t know what to do I have no money and no family where do I go from here? I’m just venting. I need to get it out. My eyes are puffy from all the crying I’ve done.

      Reply
      • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

        Thank you, Marty. Everyone reading your comment understands how you’re feeling and most have been exactly where you are…some are still where you are. You have more options open to you than you’re allowing yourself to realize. You’re not as stuck as you think you are.

        Reply
  13. Ruby

    This is Dr William Smith, breast center in St luke’s East Hospital in Lees Summit.

    He has done to Ashley, who is radiology technician accusing her
    that she did take wrong images, which makes for him very difficult to diagnose.

    Reply
  14. Joanne

    I never knew what a narcissist person meant. I thought the 5 year relationship I was in was just him being mean.. I now know that he is a classic marcissist person through researching it on here. He has never show a bit of remorse for the hurtful things. I now understand that it is a mental disorder. He is very clever in hiding it from anyone. He has also lied to me many times. And hid his past, and I recently found out why he hid…but when confronted he gets nasty and threatens to throw me out. I know I have to leave him, we own a home together which I am on the deed. And that makes him furious as he constantly tell me its HIS house. I have to get out of this relationship a I feel he will get violent. He was so charming in the beginning, and every one of the points in the beginning of this article are all the things he said to me….Thank you….

    Reply
  15. Jack

    I’ve been reading a bunch about narcissistic sociopaths and at this point I’m very positive that my father is one. I grew up believing I was worthless because he kept calling me lazy and irresponsible, regularly yelling at me over school grades despite always getting sufficient marks to get approved in the end. Currently I’m trying to gather the strength to get him expelled from my life completely and say he should forget I’m his son.

    But one thing to add is that he seems to be a special kind of a narcissistic sociopath, that he doesn’t intend on harming people but instead convinces himself that he’s doing the right thing and that anyone harming him is being evil. He’s been working in commerce for a few decades now, overworking his employees then yelling at them when they fail to deliver and concludes that him not getting good employees is because there’s ton of lazy and ill-meaning people around. That should be something to consider.

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Thank you, Jack. All covert sociopaths/narcissists are “special” in this regard. They use other people’s polished and shiny personas as their mask. A narcissist/sociopath believes status and reputation are EVERYTHING but take shortcuts to gain a respectable reputation by making it their #1 purpose in life to associate and align themselves with good, hard-working people who have worked hard to establish themselves. We’ve all heard of “guilty by association”, right? Well, this tactic by sociopaths is the positive side of that idea. They’re automatically “judged” as good just because they have good, loyal friends sitting on either side of them. A thorn between two roses, one might say. But a thorn that goes undetected. And once these roses, these good, hard-working folks make a misstep (like normal human beings do), the narcissist/sociopath interprets the misstep as a personal and deliberate attacks inflicted by the good, hard-working folks. Instead of idolizing the good, hard-working folks, now the narcissist/sociopath degrades, demeans, and crucifies them…LOUDLY…so as not to be judged by others as being as careless and “at-fault” as the good, hard-working folk. It’s truly mind boggling and disgusting how easily the general public can be manipulated and brainwashed by a narcissist’s tantrums and shouts of injustice against them by the very people the sociopath/narcissist once praised.

      Reply
    • Nicole Henry

      I was in a relationship with someone just like this. I am currently in the process of getting him evicted from my house. Like your father, I truly believe he has convinced himself that he is doing the right thing at all times. He has a fifteen year old son that adores him. It’s hard to watch the way he treats him. He turns on his son in an instant. Then, other times, he allows him to do whatever he wants and forgets about all the other things he told him. He’s a contradiction, and I know it must be confusing for the boy. Anyhow, when I read your comment, I connected with your description.

      Reply
  16. Nickie C

    My ex left me 46 days ago. I don’t know if he is a narcissist or not. He is charming, we married quickly, he started to get moody and violent towards the end. We were together four years. He does not work, he gets disability from the VA and goes to school. We own an additional home, so that is where he moved to (5 miles down the road) The first two weeks of our break up he came over every day. Even spent the night a few times. When I asked him if he was trying to get back together he said no. I needed to understand we were getting a divorce. I told him he was sending mixed messages. He told me I was his family and he was going to help fix me, blah, blah, blah. I did all the facebook stalking, phone stalking, and found out he was talking to three other girls. I was hurt and mad…we broke up because he joined a motorcycle “club” and I am embarrassed him by not wanting to be part of it. Now I am finding out he talks to other girls and meets with them. When I contronted him, he didn’t deny it, he told me what he does is his business, no longer mine. I filed for divorce week 3, turned off his phone, and went limited contact…oh when I turned off his phone he was so mad he threaten me (did I mention he got abusive towards the end)…I also put a restraining order against. Okay, so here is my question…He left, BUT, he also left his 15 year old son. The mom doesn’t want him, and my soon to be ex doesn’t want him. So I have him, hence the limited contact. He signed over a 6-month parental power of attorny that allows me to have parental rights. He will need to renew every 6 months. The divorce will be finaled in June. It is getting back to me, that I am the crazy one. By the time we are divorced we would have been separated 90 days…I didn’t even give my marriage a chance. Also, now I am hearing I stole his teen son and am brainwashing him. I haven’t seen this man or talked to him in 20 days. He emails me every four days or so on personal belongings, taxes, etc. Nothing about us or his son. I always respond, but with straight to the point answers. I stopped facebook stalking him about 20 days ago as well…and I told EVERYONE please don’t tell me what or who he is doing. Back to my question…his son will live with me for the next 2 1/2 years at least. Is my nightmare over with this man?

    Reply
  17. Lady01

    I was just reading a comment and felt i would share something. The scariest thing about the whole ordeal, is when you split from a narc, they now ahve that much information on themselves onlne that they are now getting even more clever. They are actually goig around delivering themselves as the victum. Is this projecting? So before I even know what is going on, I find out they are pretending to have done to them what they are doing to me? You acnt post anything as its used against you that your nasty, evil etc and you are in fact the narc. They copy your personality, its all quite over bearing. I just pray God answers everyones prayers on delivering people from there enemies.

    Reply
    • Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

      Thank you so much, Lady01, for addressing one of the most frustrating conundrums/paradoxes we face when inside and/or attempting to explain and share what happened to us while inside the toxic relationship with a narcissist/sociopath. I encourage everyone to stay strong and true to your experiences and never doubt or question the devastating impact of someone like this and how he/she hurt you, your children, your friends and others you loved. These people don’t just harm us; they harm everyone and everything we love and hold dear. That’s the biggest difference between a REAL target and a sociopath fake crying about being victimized.

      Reply
      • Vickie

        I experience this on a daily basis. I have been divorced now for almost 3 years. My ex husband has spent more time on destroying me in those 3 years then he ever spent paying attention to anything in the almost 18 years we were married. Our 5 children are destroyed and torn. His family also facilitates in the vicious cycle of abuse towards both me and thr children. Everyone had adapted a personality of conforming because its easier than the alternative. Its so sick and dangerous. I have 4 daughters and I am so scared of who they will be or end up with and I have 1 son who I am afraid will end up the same. Every single day someone is a target. He calls the police so often the children know them by first name. He has called Child Protective Services 4 times. Each time we have to go through the stress of drug tests and an inveatigation. Even though all of them are unsubstantiated its just a brutal brutal attack each time.
        It truly is something that no one understands.

        Reply

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