Narcissistic Sociopath (A Comprehensive Guide)

This guide explains narcissistic sociopath, which different disorders combine to make this condition and what are its characteristics.

Some believe that others have the same moral code as them.

They believe that other people acknowledge that cheating, stealing and exploiting others for their gain is not morally correct.

It can come to be shocking, though, when they end up crossing paths with someone who violates that view.

In some cases, that person may be a narcissistic sociopath.

If a sociopath is a person who lies, control and manipulates people whichever way he likes because he is antisocial without having any conscience, what is a narcissist sociopath?

A sociopath’s traits and attitudes are extremely terrifying on their own but a Narcissistic Sociopath is strengthening sociopathy and taking it to another level.

What is a Narcissistic Sociopath?

There is no official diagnosis of “narcissistic sociopath” but there are two disorders that might be present to form this condition: narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and antisocial personality disorder (APD).

Individuals with characteristics of these two personality disorders could be seen as narcissistic sociopaths or Narcopaths.

Some people assume that if they encounter a narcissist or a sociopath, they would know but a narcissistic sociopath is extremely manipulative and is not always easy to identify.

While traits of narcissistic sociopath might be shown by few people but it becomes a personality disorder only when these traits or patterns of behaviour become too severe and starts interfering in his or her life and those of others that are around him or her.

Diagnosing the Narcissistic Sociopath

As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to have aspects of both, antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder to conclude that a person is a narcissistic sociopath.

In DSM-5, both of these personality disorders are included in the group of Cluster B.

In general, the personality disorder refers to dysfunctional and repetitive thinking patterns that hinder the school, social and work functioning.

Most people with personality disorders do not know they have a problem and blame others for the problems they are causing.

DSM-5 Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder

According to DSM-5, a Narcissist personality disorder is a general pattern of superiority, lack of empathy, and a need for admiration, which begins at early adulthood, and manifest in a variety of contexts.

For an official diagnosis, five or more from the following symptoms need to be present:

  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has no empathy towards the feelings and needs of other people
  • Is arrogant in attitude and behaviour
  • To achieve personal goals exploits others
  • Exaggerates abilities and achievements
  • Has a sense of grandiosity
  • Extremely self-important and self-centred
  • Preoccupation with having unlimited wealth, power, success, love and attractiveness
  • Has a belief that he can only be understood by special or people of high status and that he, himself, is somewhat special than ordinary people or institution
  • Thinks that other people envy him or he is envious of others
  • Owns a sense of entitlement and expects from others to be treated favourably or with compliance
  • Narcissistic try to dominate conversations and are demeaning towards people who they think are inferior to them in some ways. Because of their self-centeredness and sense of entitlement, they try to take advantage of people to get what they want and they have no regard for whoever gets hurt in the process.
  • People with narcissistic personality disorder face many negative consequences of their personality disorder. Few of the examples of the problems are the following:
  • Difficulty handling criticism and opposition
  • Quick to get irritated or frustrated when they do not feel that they are treated properly
  • Easily feel insecure and might have relationship issues
  • Seek to intimidate others or respond with rages to make them look superior
  • Have trouble controlling their behaviour and emotions
  • Deals and adapts to change with great stress
  • If they fall short of what they think is ideal, becomes extremely depressed
  • They have fragile self-esteem and they secretly feel vulnerable, humiliated and insecure

DSM-5 Criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder

According to the DSM-5, Antisocial Personality Disorder is described as having a persistent pattern of violation and disregard for the rights of others.

The symptoms can be noticeable since 15 years of age.

Three of the following symptoms must be present to diagnose a person with APD:

  • No remorse or guilt of hurting others
  • Extremely irresponsible which is reflected in the failure to finish school, to keep a job or to fulfil the financial commitments
  • Very little or complete indifference towards the safety of other people
  • Engages in physical fights or assault because of extreme aggressiveness and irritability
  • No time management skills, poor planning and constantly moving around because of impulsivity
  • Constantly engages in deceitfulness like not paying off debts, lying and using aliases
  • Gets arrested because of not following social norms repeatedly

To diagnose a person with APD, he should be at least 18years of age but the symptoms can be evident by an early age and there is a history of conduct disorder by age 15.

The Narcissistic Sociopath

By now, the symptoms of Narcissistic personality disorder and Antisocial personality disorder should be cleared.

To consider someone from the category of Narcissistic Sociopath, the person should be diagnosed with the features of both, NPD and APD. 

An image of a person with a Narcissistic Sociopath who lacks compassion as he moves about his everyday life begins to emerge.

The characteristics of APD or sociopathy aggravate narcissism which intensifies the negative outcomes.

A narcissistic sociopath will be heartless and cold, but will also try to gain other people’s respect and will believe that he deserves it.

He would feel contempt for others and assume that it is all right to take advantage of and dispose of others in whatever way he can get benefit from them.

A narcissist only thinks about people in terms of how they are good for his reputation and a sociopath thinks of others only when it benefits him in any way.

When these qualities are combined in a person, he will have an extreme need for power and control.

Who will manipulate and dominate others to get their love and admiration?

All these extreme cognitions may make the person act in a way that might put him in trouble or jail but he will not try to change himself.

Instead, he will cast aside the people who are no longer serving his needs or a role that benefits him.

Characteristics of a Narcissistic Sociopath

To know whether you have come across a narcissistic sociopath or if there is one in your life already, read the list below:

  • An obsession to gain power: A person who cares about nothing but himself and who seems to be obsessed with gaining destructive power and tries to control other people might have this disorder
  • Excessive need to be loved and admired: A narcissistic sociopath is not after needy or emotional love but which is superficial and they see it as a chance to have the power to manipulate and dominate someone
  • Lack of remorse and/or guilt: They never apologize, have no guilt or remorse in any circumstances. They have a belief that they are a gift to the world so everything they do, no matter how cruel that is, they think is justified
  • Invulnerability: They think they are invincible, no one can dominate them. Even when they are being punished, they feel no guilt or remorse and think of it as a part of the game
  • Entirely Self-centered: The whole world revolves around them and their needs. The  wants and needs of others are unimportant for them

A narcissist may feel guilty or regret and maybe helped inappropriate psychotherapeutic care.

However, a narcissistic sociopath would possibly never feel any remorse about his actions and he is unlikely to go through psychotherapy sincerely or in a genuine way.

Therapy will be just another game for him to manipulate.

The Prototypical Narcissistic Sociopath

Most likely, in news reports, these types of people can be encountered.

The mass killings or financial scandals may be associated with them. A large percentage of these people almost around 70% of them make up the prison population.

On the less extreme part of the spectrum, they are found climbing the corporate ladder and in doing so, stepping on everyone who comes in the way.

They might be found occupying positions of power in national or local government.

The scariest part is that it is hard to spot people with this condition.

They will be charming, successful, well-dressed, and polished. They will participate in charitable causes or charitable activities because it makes them look good not because they actually care.

It could be difficult to tell the difference as an outside observer.

Generally, a person with this disorder having money and easy access to resources is extremely difficult to spot.

A business owner narcissistic sociopath may put off returning his debts or misrepresent what his business is really about.

Some might be physically aggressive to other people, others might create psychological and emotional distress in those around them destructive.

Regardless of the damage they do, they feel they are somehow exempted from the moral code that everyone else needs to follow, which makes them so hard to spot and dangerous.


The causes of having a Narcissistic and Antisocial personality are not known but few studies have found that neurobiology, genetics, and environment play a role in developing such a condition.

The prevalence rate is more in men than in women and the symptoms begin to surface in teenage years or early adult years.

Because of these facts, it has been hypothesized that a combination of genetic predisposition and upbringing, early home and schooling environment or later stressor might be leading to this disorder.


Individuals with characteristics of two personality disorders; Narcissistic personality disorder and Antisocial Personality disorder, are seen as narcissistic sociopaths.

The people on its extreme spectrum might end up in prison and those on not so extreme level might be well known successful people working in local and national governments.

They do not do well with psychotherapy as they do not have any remorse for what they do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a treatment for Narcissistic Sociopaths?

There are talk therapies that can be used as a treatment for such people but the effectiveness of those therapies depends entirely on the level of insight a person has and his or her willingness to comply.

Unfortunately, because of sociopathic symptoms, the narcissistic sociopath is likely to manipulate the therapist rather than try to get better

How to cope with a Narcissistic Sociopath?

If your relationship is abusive, you should try to leave and if it is not then you will have to set some boundaries, work on your assertiveness.

You can gain awareness and help from others.

It is very unlikely to change someone else but you can work on yourself so that they cannot take advantage of you or control you.

Do narcissist sociopaths love their children?

It has been known that narcissist sociopaths do not have the ability to empathize and hence, are incapable of loving.

Even if they become parents, they cannot learn to love and see their children as a possession that can be used for self-interests.

Do narcissists feel shame?

Yes, they do feel shame but that shame turns into narcissistic rage and they unload their shame onto others with insults and accusations.


Healthy Place

Very Well Mind

Medical News Today


Now That’s What I Call The Truth: Surviving The Narcissistic Sociopath 

Encountering a Narcissistic Sociopath (9781684110834): Angela Ellington: Books

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