Narcissist, Psychopath, or Sociopath: How to Spot the Differences

[percussive electronic music riff] (Kyle)
What is the difference between a sociopath, a psychopath and a narcissist? Here to answer this intense question is doctor Ramani. Help us out here. (Dr. Ramani)
Well, it’s, you know, again, there’s a lot of overlap, but the fact is a lot of people are
using these terms interchangeably. (Kyle)
And should they be? No, they shouldn’t, they’re different things. Okay. One rule of thumb to remember right off the bat: Every psychopath is narcissistic, but not every narcissist is psychopathic. Makes sense? There’s your key difference. A narcissist is somebody who lacks empathy, is grandiose, is entitled, is constantly
seeking validation, is arrogant. It’s a disorder of self-esteem and they have trouble regulating their self-esteem. But when a narcissist does a bad thing,
they feel a fair amount of guilt and shame. More shame than guilt, frankly, because they’re concerned about how other people view them. Shame is a public emotion. So they don’t like being viewed negatively
in the public eye or by other people– that’s where the shame comes from. But they’ll feel a little bad,
like if they cheat on their wife, “uuuh, I probably shouldn’t have done that.” (Kyle)
Yeah. A psychopath’s a different animal. They’re all of those things except: no guilt/no shame. They don’t feel remorse when they
do something bad. (Kyle)
Wow. So they’re, they’re great serial killers, (Kyle)
Oh! hired assassins. People who are gonna go in and literally sort of
gut a business. These are your guys. They’re like I don’t, I don’t care who gets hurt.
They’d say that and they’d mean it. Okay, where narcissist is like,
“I hope no one gets hurt.” Okay? The difference between the psychopath and the sociopath is the one where most people get confused because the sociopath is a lot like the psychopath —
they do bad things and they don’t care. Okay? Here’s the key difference:
a psychopath is born and a sociopath is made. (Kyle)
[expresses understanding]
Mmmm Okay, that’s the key. So a psychopath in fact, we know in the research on psychopathy– which has also been called Antisocial Personality Disorder in our diagnostic manual– these are people who are actually believed to have slightly different autonomic nervous systems. Our autonomic nervous system is actually that
part that holds our sympathetic nervous system, which is our fight-or-flight system. So when our autonomic nervous system,
for a normal person, gets charged up, which it would if we broke a rule,
if we did something embarrassing or rude, if we ran through a red light–
our heart starts racing, (Kyle)
Uh hmmm we sweat, our pupils get wide, we look around because we’re
afraid of the consequence. A psychopath doesn’t have that same kind of arousal. That’s why they’re able to lie on lie-detector tests.
That’s how they get away with it. They don’t have that same kind of arousal. So where you or I may go on a roller coaster,
feel that sense of excitement, we need to get that arousal in a good way.
We don’t like feeling it when we do something wrong. They don’t feel it. (Kyle)
So do they get stressed? No, not in the same way. (Kyle)
So if they’re driving, (Dr. Ramani)
Mm-hmm because if I’m driving and I see
police sirens coming behind me. I mean it is a full-on, “Oh my gosh,
I can’t believe I’m gonna get pulled over.” (Dr. Ramani)
Oh, yeah, you’re not a psychopath. But a psychopath would see that and go,
“Oh, I’m gonna get pulled over.” Well, this could be, they could have a dead body in the trunk and they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t show that. And so they pull over, they get the ticket
and they don’t…care? No, they don’t care. (Kyle)
And they pay the ticket? And believe it or not they’ll even probably get an attorney to get him off or say yeah, you know my understanding of your state laws is you can’t really be doing this and they’ll be cool as can be. And this is, this is a
difference in their… makeup? They’re actually, how their nervous systems
are wired and their brains are. There’s actually been interesting
research done with PET scans where you can see brain function
and what they’ve shown… (Kyle)
Just a clarification, not “pet” like
dogs and cats, P. E. T. scans. No, that’s positron emission tomography, scans of the brain, which show brain functioning, if you will, and what they see is that the,
the section of the brain that serves empathy, that doesn’t naturally light up in them. And you can actually teach them to be empathic
for a minute but it doesn’t last. A lot of psychopaths who commit violent crimes
end up in jail and the ones who commit more like white-collar crimes, I guess they end up as
multi-billionaires because they’re willing to do really, really rough stuff in their business and get through, like, a cartel leader or something like that, call for the killings of other people. Now, their interesting counterpart
are the sociopaths. Psychopaths are born. They tend. . . their belief is that they may very well have. . . this might be genetic. In fact psychopaths often have fathers
who have lots of antisocial tendencies. Now how much of it is learned,
how much of it is genetic it’s a little bit harder to suss out. But we do see that there is that difference in your true psychopath. They also tend to be, have really glib, shallow charm, they tend to be really intelligent. That’s why they get away with stuff.
If they were really. . . (Kyle)
So they’ve learned behavior to assimilate into society. But there’s…it’s all a façade. (Dr. Ramani)
Oh, yeah It’s all a façade, they’re SO charming. (Kyle)
So if they’re born this way would a three-year-old, then, not get
stressed out if it got scared? (Dr. Ramani)
Might not (Kyle)
That’s incredible. So what we see when we diagnose Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is sort of our diagnostic equivalent to being a psychopath. In order to get that diagnosis you have to have shown a pattern
prior to the age of 15 of things like: truancy, violence towards other kids,
stealing, skipping school, (Kyle)
And not felt bad about it torturing animals, setting fires.
They just do it. They don’t care and that before the age of 15. So it’s a long-standing pattern That’s what makes us call them a psychopath or having antisocial personality. Now, this is different than sociopathy. (Kyle)
Yes, okay. Sociopathy, they look a lot like the psychopath.
The difference is they were made. So this…some examples here…the kid who grows up in a really, really, really, really rough neighborhood and learns criminality to get by
or learns to be a bully or like you know gets involved with sort of like
the wrong kids and uses a lot of muscle because that’s survivalism, but they…it’s not necessarily always
comfortable for them. They just learn it. It’s the person who grows up with a father
who teaches them the business and teaches them how to break the rules. (Kyle)
They, but they, they don’t, they, would they feel, would they start sweating and have their heart race if they got pulled over? They might. They may not feel so good about…
they’ll be a little bit more uncomfortable with it but in time they’ll learn it and that, that….
What it’s almost like, they, they get trained in not being as aroused by it. Listen, if you broke enough rules,
if you lived under certain conditions of lawlessness long enough,
you’d adjust to that “new world order”, if you will. (Kyle)
Um hmm, um hmm. That’s what the sociopath does and so they’re the person who someone who said, “He was actually a great kid until he got to high school and then it seems like he got in with the wrong kids.” That feels more like the sociopath. (Kyle)
Wow. (Dr. Ramani)
Okay, that’s almost like a training
that might happen from within the family, within their community,
within even the job they get. Some cases even, within
some form of military training. Have you had sociopaths and psychopaths as clients? Not really, no. They don’t tend to come in for therapy. They don’t see any benefit to it. The only time you would tend to see
psychopaths or sociopaths come into therapy with any consistency
is if they were court-ordered. So… I thought you were gonna say couples therapy. No God no, no.
No, it’s because they’re court-ordered so the judge will make that a
condition-of-release kind of thing or they’re within prisons and jails
and getting some treatment in there. This is so incredibly fascinating to me. If a psychopath goes to jail he isn’t upset about going to jail? Um, in some ways it becomes
a cost of doing business. You know, but it’s also–they, no.
They’re not happy about it. There was…. Psychopaths, and to some degree sociopaths,
don’t think about consequences. That’s why they pull really penny-ante silly crimes
like holding up a liquor store. Basically, “I need a hundred fifty bucks. Here’s a liquor store. It’s open. Let’s go get the money” kind of thing. So it’s like they act first and think later. So they often don’t plan in terms of consequences. That’s why they have a tendency to lie, cheat, steal and they tend to have very inconsistent work histories– because they, they’re not able to hold a job. (Kyle)
Yeah, of course. They use aliases…. It’s definitely like,
it’s more of a griftery kind of a space. So, we’ve talked in previous videos about
how to cope while dating a narcissist. If you find yourself dating
a sociopath or a psychopath is there any coping or you just got to get out? You’re in trouble. It could be actually be a very dangerous relationship. (Kyle)
Sounds like it. Yeah, in fact you know,
even with the narcissistic piece, um, I do, I’ve done research and work in the
area of domestic violence, or what’s also called intimate partner violence, most people who perpetrate domestic violence are either narcissistic or psychopathic
and so, so there’s a danger there. In other words, they will dispose of you
if you get in their way. I want to share a story with you to get your feedback. This was told to me by a friend and she said in college she dated a guy for a year but the guy started to get just a little weird and they broke up. For the next year he courted her and did everything she wished he had done the first year – showed up on time, brought her gifts, blah blah blah. They started dating again. He was perfect for a year. He…they went to Thanksgiving at her family’s house, he was perfect to her parents,
just became the perfect man for her because he knew what she wanted.
And after a year, on their one-year anniversary he broke up with her and said, “I’ve been playing you this whole time because I wanted to crush your heart. (Dr. Ramani)
Yep. I, I am not actually behaving this way.”
Or, “This isn’t real, I’ve been faking it for a year
just so I can crush you.” Would that be a psych…. That’s more psychopathic, you know or sociopathic is more likely, you know, um. But if they have no empathy then– why would they want to hurt somebody? Because, because, empathy, empathy is not,
empathy is a positive emotion. Okay, wanting to hurt someone
is a very antagonistic emotion. Wanting to hurt someone at some level might even give them a little pleasure– power for sure. It’s, it’s interesting to me that
someone can not be empathetic but then want to hurt somebody because to me you would have to have the empathy in order to even know
what it’s like to hurt somebody. (Dr. Ramani)
No, there’s a difference between
empathy and understanding: (Kyle)
Oh, that makes sense. (Dr. Ramani)
It’s like that’s why psychopaths make great salesmen, because they understand the person, they can read a person and immediately say I got his vulnerability. I’m gonna make him buy a car. (Kyle)
Got it Psychopaths are great salesmen. Salesman for cars, timeshares, all that, all of that stuff where they’re upselling and almost
taking advantage of someone sometimes, making them take on more money and cost of something than they really should. But no, no, no, it’s that he was
able to be superficially charming Psychopaths and sociopaths and narcissists
make great chameleons. They’re definitely able to change the situation to get what they want and psychopaths in particular and sociopaths are, they, they view the world as an instrument to fulfill their desires. (Kyle)
Mmm That’s really what they’re about,
which is what… it’s awful because they’re going to often discard a partner when they don’t have much use for them or expect them to have a very specific role, so, they may have married her and she may have had their kids, now, she’s gonna have to put up with their affairs because they want something else and too bad if you don’t like it, this is the new world order and I will destroy you in court. It’s that kind of thing. That is insane. (Dr. Ramani)
Yeah, it’s chilling. I want to leave it right there. I have learned more about sociopaths and psychopaths than I ever thought possible. Make sure you check out as well our discussion
about narcissism with Dr. Ramani Thanks again for being here. For more information on all things mental health,
make sure you go to There you can curate your own list of your preferred mental health topics. It will be delivered to you exactly when you need it. I’m Kyle Kittleson. Thanks for watching. [percussive electronic music riff]

100 thoughts on “Narcissist, Psychopath, or Sociopath: How to Spot the Differences”

  1. Do you know any narcissists, psychopaths, or sociopaths?

    Check out our Premium Original series on all 3 types here:

  2. love how many focus on the interviewers reactions, (including myself, but quietly) and not the reason we are ALL HERE…

  3. My ex husband most definitely had what I suspect to be narcissistic personality disorder, but it was possible he was a sociopath. However I deemed it more likely that his issues derived out of severely underdeveloped emotional understanding and he was not able to truly empathize, but things that he experienced in relationship to his self esteem did trigger emotions when it came from other people. He was very controlling and used all information by me shared in his trust during our friendship was eventually used against me. He was abusive and it would become not about protecting his ego but about controlling me. He also tried to keep undergarments of mine after the separation. He did this with former lovers as well and kept every note he received from a girl and often said he fell in love easily. Very easy to rage. His family enabled him completely and when it came to the law i was painted in such a bad light even though they were outright lies from his mother and lawyer. I truly began to realize and understand something I always found interesting in topics of psychology and in humanity. I am truly an empath and I feel for anyone who is suffering even if some could say they deserve. This function brings me much joy but also a lot of pain, and in the past has made me easy to manipulate. I do think it has made me stronger as an individual over all, and even have found silver linings in my situation with him. A fire has been given to my empathy that stands for victims to those who are undeserved of punishment by those who only wish to control and manipulate for personal gain.
    On another note, I really enjoy hearing someone talk back and forth with her. These are questions every day people might have about these to better understand them.

  4. If he stop asking questions and simply listen he wouldnt have to interpret her with common sense questions.

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  6. I think everybody calls everybody narcissists nowadays because everybody engages in 'toxic behavior' somehow. You can't say that dude in the guy's story did that whole year revenge thing because he planned it for sure, he probably had it as a back-up idea if things don't work out so great when they got back together. Also having no empathy and just understanding doesn't make you a psychopath or other.

  7. I continue to refer back to your video because I was 25 years married to a psychopath he was diagnosed in college. I'm now realizing all of the businesses he gutted and took his portion of the money and invested and pretended to be broke in court.. It is genetic. my own two children are complaining that something is not right with them.

    He talked a lot about being able to beat a polygraph and I didn't know what he meant because it was when I was young married to him. He did say he would destroy me in court and after the divorce .

    I had to go back to court with all the evidence I found of what he did to multiple businesses.

    They waived the condition of latches for a different reason so we'll see what happens. It gets scarier . This is frighteningy true what you're saying because I lived almost every word of it. It never ends because I found all of his evidence in my former divorce lawyer wants to see it. Since he perjured himself and said it didn't exist. Oh what a tangled web

  8. I now want to ask. When and if a psychopath does get stressed out and scared, how is their behavior?

  9. my ex slapped false allegations against me which led to CPA placing a child protection order against me.
    i'm fighting to regain access to my son, but extremely fearful of my psychopathic ex.

  10. Interesting to note most of our government and corporate leaders have some or all of these traits.
    The lunatics really have taken over the asylum.

  11. I liked the interviewer, because he was a "lay person" trying to understand a sh*t ton of information in a short period of time. He was standing in for non-professionals, right? Right. Geez, critics…!

  12. Here are my diagnoses:

    Narcisistic – D. Trump
    Sociopath – V. Putin
    Psychopaths – The Kim Dynasty of N.Korea

  13. I dated a surgeon for a few months. After I had fallen for him, he broke up with me saying the whole thing was a lie. And he did it just for the fun of it.

  14. As far as I’m concerned, most women become a little crazy when they enter the menopause stage of their lives, so…I hope I don’t become like that. 😂

  15. This man is too much !! He is constantly butting in when she is explaining something.
    Not a good interviewer at all!

    And i hate it when people tell a known and well circulated tale as ' my friend told me ' ! Do not like this guy at all

  16. Mad love, respect and thanks to MedCircle for doing this video. I am trying to figure out and know that I may never fully but long story short I was abused by my Father psychologically and physically, quite badly at times growing up. 10 years ago we started what seemed to be the beginning of him try to turn over a new leaf, I saw flashes of what seemed to be his old self but for very short periods but overall thing's seemed to improve and it seemed like I had a chance of having a healthy relationship with my Dad. I have been in therapy for a few years now finally over all the thing's that happened in my youth and have done a lot of healing work with good therapists and fellow survivors of abuse. This Spring though my Dad called me out of the blue and quickly turned the conversation dark and began, out of no where, to demand that I abandon my Mother and care for his new wife to which I staunchly refused and to which he tried manipulating me with taking away my inheritance my Grandparents made clear that they wanted me to have, since I steadfastly refuse to abandon my Mom and even offering to do my best to tend to his wife's needs but her family can help too he went ballastic and there was cold,vicious and hateful Mr. Hyde. All the seeming progress is ruined, he'll never take his rightful responsibility and now I can't help wondering is he a Narcissist or Psychopath?? He has threatened to end me before and has violently attacked me off and on from age 6 to 17 not since but I have spoken to him twice since the Spring and very briefly and I can hear barely supressed rage in his voice. I think it is sadly to say obvious that there is nothing I can do to fix thing's. I know he is very toxic for me and I am in process of grieving and accepting the reality of the situation. Thank you so much for sharing these videos!!!

  17. I dated one for a year he was the worst he would do things then tell me about everything she said was true he almost killed me

  18. This interviewer was so fake and fony its unbelivable. She could have analyse him,but the answer would be just desire for "understanding2 guest in order to be "grest" reporter,possibly star. If it isnt like so ,then he would act as victim,as journalist do all the time,especially if they piss you off and you react "tough" or deny their wishes etc. )
    I wonder what would you call that kind of person…and that is legitimate and legal,accepted one….
    Another thing-great payback on that girl ,from her boyfriend-time was spent,but payback ,as wel as result,will stay for a long time…..:)

  19. Assuming that humanity is still around in 100 years, it will be interesting how these labels are refined and applied in retrospect. I think many of these mental health professionals are like bird watchers except they get to make things up and stretch as far as they need to in order to get the label they can publish under.

  20. I’m a sociopath and a narcissist I’ve been having trouble holding a job and tend to lie, cheat and steal but tend to care what people think of me and tend to blame my mistakes on others

  21. Yes…she has the same filosofy of Scientology putting labels on people.
    She is a different animal…..and I bet she still good for a good fuck at 365 degrees.
    What she need to learn is the the difference between conscious and unconcious programms.
    She is dividing people.
    I would fuck her

  22. Empathy is an emotion which is able to elicit positive, negative, or neutral connotations, depending on the given situation.

  23. Narcissit have no empathy so why would they “hope” no one gets hurt. I prefer to hear people who have experienced narcissit and been In The trenches with them instead of phds who just study them in Textbooks and write scientific papers to bolster their egos and be published in an academic journal. These people rarely seek therapy.

  24. the real difference between a sociopath and a psychopath, comes down to whether you're on a british or an american tv show. the terms come from similar but distinct systems for evaluating personality disorders, but this should only be confusing if you're canadian. nature/nurture issues are ideological, and are not relevant in terms of practical evaluation.

  25. Yes I know a narcissist and the differences are very distinct. Morality, ethics and conscience make a big difference. Very lucid and eloquent, thank you.

  26. Notice how she is always refering to men while discribing psychopaths and sociopaths.
    Dont manipulate the audience please, its not professional.

  27. Sounds like a lot of law enforcement officers people from demonic agencies and most judges and prosecutors wood lawyers on a side !!!!!

  28. This describes everything as black and white as possible and doesnt really give room for nouances. Like "they could have a dead body in the trunk" well, all psychopaths dont need to be using these skills for murder. Why make it so dramatic. Tell us something that we can related to so that we can analyze ppl in our own lives that arent murderers but with similar traits 😀

  29. Would be nice with mentioning ppl with adapted psychopathic/sociopathic behaviour. And not talk about these ppl as certain criminals lol.

  30. I want to break up with you I don’t have no feelings it’s all a game that’s a freak that is a wicked sucker😩

  31. my ex-GF is a psychopath. She can absolutely lie to you with no remorse and no signs of lying whatsoever . And even when absolutely caught in a lie, she will instantly deflect my accusing you as the one at fault. It is amazing to watch……and she ruined my life…..

  32. I don't do forget and forgive, and most of pacifist who think that self-defense means being violente, then i ask them to imagine themselve in a situation with 3 options and recommand them to try to resonate with a psychopath who actually enjoy killing people compared to a sociopath who don't like that, can't control themselves and need help before they completely loses it, there's a saying that says: "a psychopath is born and a sociopath is created" that means that a psychopath is born as a person who enjoy hurting peoples and a sociopath is mostly someone who as been mistreated or by a family member, mistreated by other people (bullied, raped, discriminated, wrongly accused of something they didn't do and nobody believed in them even their friends or family and many other negative social experiment during their childhood can make someone a sociopath or like me having trust issues), look at this video for whoever don't believe me!:

  33. I am a Sociopathic individual now and realized that i felt like i lost a portion of myself than i usually was,i am one and went through whatever that woman pyscholigist said, because i have known and read the patterns before and through self research.i have been in midst among the psychopathic,narcassitic,sociopathic individuals but these individual may seem like your daily normal average joe.i have no intent on getting medication or seek counseling because this disorder is necessary to survive on this hellish of a World we live in. But an advice from me is do not be exposed to negativity and stay in that place for a long period or you will eventually start to lose yourself piece by piece, the other thing is,balance is always the key. Good bye and have a great day ahead. Hahahahahahah!

    "If you dance with the DEVIL then you haven't got a clue;you think you'll change the DEVIL but the DEVIL changes you."

  34. Why is the clock on the wall at the eye level of a kid? And why does he show drawings of (presumably his) kids during this conversation? What a psycho.

  35. This is scary that we have people around us like this. Thats ok though because I got something that will take a psychopath out his misery and it's called gunnopath I'm loading up the clips the pleasure is mines psychopath.

  36. This was like watching a human teach an ape trigonometry…
    Edit: Also, the interviewer looks like he is tripping on LSD and is trying to keep up with the conversation but really he's thinking of how many of the singing purple oranges in the background are actually edible.

  37. What if I only lie due to personal enjoyment? Like I do it only because I have fun doing it and I would never stop because it’s a blast.
    I am deeply narcissistic and that excites me a lot. I am obsessed with money and success. I know this girl which has a crush on me and I am around her, and her best friend specifically, just because I love to flirt with her best friend and I love the fact that she suffers because she kinda likes me although she can’t be with me due to her friend that has a crush on me. What I enjoy even more is the girl that has a crush on me suffering because I flirt with her bestie. I just can’t help it and I love it so much. I am writing this because it hypes me up to have some type of diagnose. I feel very mythomaniac and narcissistic and a compulsive liar. I lie about my social status, my possessions and my friendship only because I have fun seeing everybody believe me amazed. I would define myself kinda intelligent (I took several 1600 SAT) although I do not believe intelligence is measured by scholastic results. Some people suggested I might be psychopathic. I would love to be one. That would ,again, hype me like crazy. I don’t believe I am though. I don’t break the law (but I would love to and I don’t care about others suffering from it, that would really entertain me) because I’m scared to get caught, like I’m terrified by the police and stuff even if I’m always innocent. I don’t like physical harm in any shape or form, not even sexual. I love mind manipulating and making people suffer due to their emotions. I occasionally lie to get to that point but lying is mostly fun for me. I have all the psychopathic traits except physical violence and I’m also very aware of the dangers and that’s what stops me from breaking every existing law, which would be my best fun although spending my life behind bars wouldn’t be worth it. I was very irascible and I used to enjoy physical violence on my friends (I would always want an excuse to throw hands), although I stopped because I understood I could have much more fun imposing myself mentally than physically. I tend to enjoy it (imposing myself physically) from time to time but only to see “my friends” beg me not to start casual sparring with them in the middle of a party for example. I don’t think I could be defined I psychopaths but I have more than simple narcissism although it remains my main trait. Can someone suggest anything I could be?

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