Narcissist Or Sociopath?

Six key differences.

Write Mind Matters
3 min readJul 27, 2022


Photo by elen aivali on Unsplash

A sociopath is narcissistic, but a narcissist isn’t always antisocial or sociopathic. Narcissists and sociopaths attract people easily, this is often referred to as charm, but it’s more like their hand puppet.

The “charm” of a sociopath or person with anti-social personality disorder (APD) and a narcissist (NPD) is developed from years of practice. People with APD and NPD don’t hold onto friends for long and if they do it’s because those “friends” don’t see them often or in their home context.

Also, vulnerable narcissists mostly use pity or more subtle forms of charm and manipulation such as data mining and mirroring or offering help to illicit attention.

Adverse traits of APD and NPD mean that they tend to go through a lot of people, particularly through a lot of intimate relationships. As I cover in the following stories, sociopaths and narcissists differ in terms of their intent and in their history.

Although narcissists and sociopaths can seem very similar and you would have to know them and their friends and family well enough to identify the differences, here are some key identifying factors to help:

  1. You can manipulate a narcissist; you can’t manipulate a sociopath (and expect them to care). Narcissists are codependent people, so while they are manipulative, they’re also easy to manipulate.
  2. Narcissists want you to like them; sociopaths can make you think they want you to like them. As above, narcissists are driven by what others think so they can be manipulated, but sociopaths don’t care what you think, they just enjoy making you think they care.
  3. Sociopaths plan aggression; narcissists react by



Write Mind Matters

BA(psych), GradDipPsych, DipHlthSc(NatNut)|Parenting, personality disorders & trauma.