Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths: Seven ways to spot them.

Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths: Seven ways to spot them (and then avoid them like the plague!)


Together, they make up approximately 11% of the world’s population. The majority of them can be incredibly toxic influences on your life due to their lack of empathy and remorse. They are people with narcissistic, psychopathic, or sociopathic personality disorders.

They’re certain to pop up in your life from time to time. If you can identify them quickly, you can do your best to steer clear and avoid being caught up in their manipulative webs. Unfortunately, however, dealing with malignant people is part of life. Here are eight ways you can go about spotting them to make sure your guard is up when dealing with them. Beware, they can be difficult to spot.


They work hard to maintain their outward image

Part of the reason that narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are so dangerous is that many of them go to extreme lengths to make sure they’re perceived a certain way by the people they know. They work hard to perpetuate an image of themselves as being polite, well liked, and capable. A particular circumstance that causes this image to fall into doubt can cause an extreme reaction in people with these antisocial personalities, as it threatens the integrity of the image they’ve worked to build for themselves.


They seem charming

A charming demeanor is the bread and butter of people attempting to put up a false front. They will go out of their way to flatter and ingratiate themselves with others, especially new acquaintances. Buying gifts, sweet-talk, and doing people favors seemingly out of nowhere are all part of their repertoire. Contrary to what they say, gifts and favors from these people are not free, and they will attempt to cash them in like a voucher at the supermarket when they have need of you.


They lie, often

Lying comes as second nature to people with anti-social behavior disorders. They feel no empathy, no remorse for the consequences of their selfish actions. They will lie through their teeth, even with clear evidence against them. They will lie and cheat by day and sleep soundly every night.


They will very rarely apologise

Due to their lack of a conscience, narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths almost never apologise for their actions or words. If they do, it’s usually only a partial or insincere apology, often as part of a wider plan to deceive in full by apologising in part. They might intentionally lose a battle to win the war, but it’s something that they find very difficult to do otherwise. They feel no guilt. They see no reason to make another person feel better with an apology.


They’re manipulative

By far the most commonly shared trait of narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths is manipulation. To them, everything and everyone is simply a means to an end, a tool to be used to help themselves. Every person they meet is another opportunity to play the game, to further their own selfish ambitions to control and dominate others.


They love to play the victim

A large part of manipulating people is the ability to play the victim. People out to control others like puppets on strings will not hesitate to assume the role of the injured party, even when they’re the ones responsible for the situation they’re claiming to be a victim of, and all the while continuing to lie through their teeth.


They have a superiority complex


People with these personality disorders have no thought for others beyond how they can use them. They think only of their own selfish desires, and as such, feel themselves to be the center of their own little universes. They are utterly superior in their own minds.

Although there’s no way to go through life totally avoiding toxic people like those with the personality disorders mentioned in this article, you can do your best to identify them and keep them at a distance once you have. If you have reason to suspect someone you know has one of these personalities, keep them at arm’s length and be wary of how much of yourself you expose to them. It doesn’t take much for them to dig their hooks in!

Written by Maverick, Staff writter,

Lessons Learned In Life Inc.

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  2. I have worked with a classic case just like this. It’s amazing how people couldn’t see it!

  3. This is right on. I have been there. The emotional slavery comes later. Harsh words, easily offended, grandiose, intelligent, never apologetic, often good looking, warriors in not a good way, YET unsure and needing to be validated. Run!

    You cannot see it right away because your interest in them pulls you another way and once the start “loving” you, which they can and at the same time cannot really do, then the talons and behaviors come out. I knew he had serious mental issues but by then we had been friends for years… but he just got worse and worse. If I ever stood up for myself, which I did, the Franco_American war would break out once again. They also follow you all over the Internet…everything you do online…if they are after you, they will leave nasty comments about you wherever they can. I was able to break the ties with this person, but it was not easy because he would not accept that rejection.

    Like I said, if you are able to see the person for whom he really is, and he is like the above characteristics, then do yourself a big favor, get out and I know you might mourn the “good parts” because there are some, but these people eat you alive.

  4. According to my son,he talk from a phsycaiatrist doctor that my husband had antisoscial defisciency.Hes a veri liar,insencitive, selffish , i dont know wat im going to do untill,dat ive been operated on my head becoz of stressing myself.plis if u can give me some advices plis do so
    . Thank u veri much

  5. I’m probably the BIGGEST dumb ass. I stayed with a POS like that for over 19 years. Married the scum too. Kicked him out last year and I’ve never been happier…. but he still put a MAJOR financial strain on me and I still can’t sleep the night without waking up in a state of panic. Oh, how I wish I knew all this and what I’ve been reading over the past year BEFORE I gave him an ounce of my time….and love…

  6. this is my son to a tee. My poor granddaughter we’re trying to keep her with us but hes mean and a jerk

  7. Also know that no amount of your trying to show them you really care will change them. They will always blame you. There is no need to try to reason with them in situations because stonewalling is a skill they have mastered. Been there 30+years. Wish I knew then what I know now.

  8. Yep – 6/7. What a nightmare to be married to one. He is a narcissist. He blows up at the stupidest things, is many personalities, considers himself superior, has to look perfect and spends hours doing so, struts around, family all say arrogant, and never apologizes. In fact, he has amnesia about the cruel things he says. “Did I say that?” Getting all my ducks in a row to divorce him after 4 years. He has the health insurance which I need. What to do?
    He is smart enough to try at times but the uncertainty is terrible. Who is he today? Don’t trust him to be stable. Not the marriage I signed up for and what he promised. They look for naive women who will not be on to them. He does not get it cuz he is not capable. I want out ASAP.

  9. My experience with a contractor who I thought was a friend. She made me pay in advance and backed out without finishing the house. She left me many major problems so now I have to find another contractor to clean up the mess. She makes it like it’s my fault and that I’m picky, but if you see the photos, without me talking or her talking, you will see what type of person she really is.

  10. I feel like a right till I put up with all 7 headlines mentioned for 25 years , he’s gone now for the last 3 months and after reading this I really wish I’d seen it many many years ago

  11. Wow, thank God he is my X. I knew his traits but didn’t know the technical terms for what he was. Sad thing is our 13 yr is displaying some of these traits now. I’ve been searching for the right help for him. It’s been 7 months now of obvious behaviors and traits. I will not allow him to become Him. Wish us luck.

  12. The percentage of these personality disorders is between 20% and 29% …and NOT 11%… 10_15% Narcissisist, 5-7% sociopath and 5-7% psychopath… so approx. 25% has these disorders… not surprising when you look at society today.. these are the abusers in DV cases.. these are tbe parents who alienate their kids from 5he othrr parent.. these are the bullies of the world, in private or in the workspace..

  13. Its Obvious after youve fallen into the trap of a Narc Not so much if u believe that this type of person doesnt exsist its not all sunshine and rainbows..If you have low self esteem ya a prime target..I say Love you take care of you put you First then you will Repel this kind of Parasite x

  14. Wow, this article totally describes my son’s wife. Who over about 8 years has turned him against us, being his parents & brother & sister.

  15. I was still confused after my 5 year marriage broke until i read an article similar to this. Then i sadly realized i was married to a narcissist. I never married after..

  16. Don’t feel dumb posters. They know how perceive as charming and kind, remember? They know how to use their words and others emotions to their advantage. They don’t have emotions themselves but they can manipulate and pretend fairly well. I feel for anyone caught up in these people. Sociopaths. They could murder someone and NOT FEEL ANYTHING.

  17. Was friends with someone like this for 19 YEARS! This person acted as of they cared, and maybe they did. After 19 years of friendship (like when his dad died, I was the first person that he called), we had a relationship that resulted in him impregnating me. When I refused to “get rid of it”, he disappeared, completely. We had mutual friends to whom he told that I tried to trap him by getting pregnant on purpose. I absolutely did NOT do so, to even suggest it was ludicrous. I had been a single mom for 12 of my son’s 13 years and had no plans to have any more kids. He ended up getting married a year and half later to the other woman that he was apparently involved with, breaking all contact with me and had nothing to with my daughter. Fast forward 7 years…..he sends me a text message asking how I am. Turns out the marriage was on its last leg, he was moving out and realized that he’d made a huge mistake. Mind you, his wife made a whole more money than he did and pretty much carried them financially with expendable income. Wanted to be friends again and get to know my daughter. After months of talking, he agreed to attend counseling before meeting her. We went to counseling, he said everything that I wanted to hear, he regained my trust. I gave him my trust.
    Fast forward a year later…..he is no longer around… he did it again.

  18. I know my husband is narcissist but I can’t get rid of this marriage I got two kids n staying at a place where taking divorce is a times I feel I should kill myself..

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