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

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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. I really find this interesting, I’m now considering taking psychology in college. Like I can do what I really love and passionate about

  3. I was diagnosed at a very young age as a sociopath however I've always enjoyed the traits of psychopathy and ADHD I don't understand why some people say that you cannot be both

  4. Many experts disagree with her on the fact that psychopaths are born … the environment a child is raised in is crucial in the development of their psyche…..

  5. What is he doing whit his head al the time, especially in the beginning… overacting while listening, so annoying.

  6. My father is a narcissistic psychopath. He had custody of me… I lived with that my entire life. And now that I’m escaping he’s trying to use guilt to bring me back. But I was thrown out into the world with nothing. Because everything had been taken from me as a child.

  7. Thanks Dr Ramani – this was so informative and helped me understand a situation I am in at the moment. Regards

  8. "The Lie Detective" Episode 7: "If He Passes, He's Psychotic"

    Gail is obsessed with the idea that her husband, Len, is cheating on her with every free moment. Len claims he has not returned to his ways of the past, and that Gail's heavy pain medication keeps her from seeing what"s real. Ken's investigation reveals many sides to a convoluted story. Can Ken sort through the confusion to find where the truth lies and save their forty-three year marriage?

  9. The reporter was a creep. Didn’t think his interruptions, comments or the huge smile at the end of the interview were appropriate….it’s like he was checking off a list in his head. Just weird

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  11. This is like having a Neanderthal interview a scientist 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️.. the dude is just cringeworthy

  12. Her: Some psychopaths end up being millionaires…
    Me: …Trump?…
    Her:…they are very intelligent…
    Me: never mind

  13. See, everyone has a different definition for what a psychopath/sociopath is. This woman says psychopaths are by nature and sociopaths are by nurture. Other sources say sociopaths are much more willing to act on impulse while psychopaths are much more reserved and thoughtful about what they do and how it impacts their social standing. The DSM says both nature and nurture play a part in the formation of a sociopath and says APD can simply be defined as a lack of consciousness and empathy and a tendency to show antisocial behavior and attitudes with little to no remorse.

    I mean, at this point it’s like, make up your own definition to what suits you best cuz no one really fuckin knows lol.

  14. Is it weird that I feel a bit sorry for psychopaths? If they are born this way then they have no control of why they are the way they are.

  15. Every person has some narcissistic traits. It is essential for making a life. Pathological narcissism, on the other hand, is the mode of inter-personal relating (and ‘intra-psychic’ relaying) which has the goal of preserving a so-called ‘grandiose self’. This has typically emerged in an individual who has a deficit of empathic parenting in their childhood, and in particular in early years. It is rare. It is living suffering, for the person manifesting it and those who are their intimates or depependants. It is a process (not something anyone ‘has’, but what they ‘are’). Go to primary sources on narcissism: Freud, Kohut, Kernberg, Fairbairn, Winnicott.
    Nothing makes me despair more than the cultural empiricism that renders these sorts of mental health problems a bi-product if brains, and omits to consider that they arise from social life. Where there is pathological narcissism, there is social pathology.

  16. 9:37 That is such a sad story because he could have been with her, but he chose to destroy his own life to get back at her, or at the very least wasted a year of his life.

  17. This interview was a game changer. Dr. Ramani is so intelligent and her work within the field is very eye-opening!

  18. It is a shame though that her information makes it seem like every psychopath, sociopath or narcessist is a bad person. It wi shock you to know how many people in our society have these sicknesses and havent act on it because of their family. Eventhough they may not have empathy, I think they can still love people.

  19. Why camera is every couple of seconds recording action of interviewer and his reactions !! ??? Theme is very clear…and interviewr is NOT the theme

  20. Best to just listen…with your eyes closed. The visual is waaay too distracting and annoying…. get rid of the interviewer!

  21. My baby sister is a clinical psychopath. She's been this way her whole life. She's already tried to kill 3 times, sexually molested her 3 yr old cousin (whom she tried to kill when the 3yr old told on her), then she accused her stepdad of sexually abusing her bc he wouldn't respond to her advances. There's so much more. She's so beautiful and charming that EVERYONE believes her! I want to get her help but I'm so afraid of the lies she'll tell about our family. If a doctor believes her (everyone does), we could end up in jail for her amusement! She's 15 now. I'm so afraid of what's to come.

  22. The fact you have to tell people a scan is not for pets shows we are degrading as a society. I wrote this using grammarly. I know grammarly is not a word.

  23. In 2019 you will be called a narc just for acting like you love yourself…… Confident behavior is viewed as cocky or narc….

  24. I mean I know I’m one but the world is your canvas tf I’m only here for a short time why tf not do what “i” want

  25. it pains me to ask but no one might answer is Ayanokouji Kiyotaka from Classroom of the elite a sociopath? if not what is he? i am embarressed to ask this in a video like this

  26. She's wrong that they don't go to therapy voluntarily. I know some who have. The reality is that no therapist can diagnose them without the help of a third party. Therapists "treat" them, they just never discover what they're actually dealing with or actually help them beyond validating them and helping them learn to lie and manipulate more effectively.

  27. I have felt my husband well soon to be ex after 17yrs of hell in marriage is a narcissit but now im pretty sure add physco to that also

  28. Kyle I’m sorry but you look like a total dumbass on camera, specifically because you keep fidgeting around. This is not to say one should remain a statue throughout, but you should appear attentive but not so overly-deliberate that it seems fake.

  29. This interviewer is a complete clown. Dude don’t be so dramatic, let’s just hear the medicine and not how you respond to it because it appears you yourself may have a mental problem

  30. Yes we get stressed lol but she is right it's not the same. for me it's just a minor inconvenience that I am getting pulled over it's aggravating because I am getting slowed down and you are disrupting my progress or schedule .just don't arouse my anger then it's a whole different animal.

  31. My daddy is a psychopath i m 25 now and always wonder whats worng wid my daddy but now i know my answer he is making my mother's life hell my life my sister's life hell

  32. My grandmother is a narcissist. She tortured my mom all her life, so my mom married a psychopath. Now I have PTSD. Yaaay!

  33. Every serial killer starts with animals but not every animal abuser becomes a serial killer HOWEVER they do have serious psychiatric disorders and pose a danger to others.

  34. I feel no one deserves to be in a relationship with narcissist they are terrible people that feel entitled thank God for my friend who referred me to an hacker and i was able to hack my narcissist partner's phone and see all the proofs i needed for a divorce and even terrible things they had planned contact Mike to help he is a genius, you can text/call +1 (415) 323-6758 or reach him on WhatsApp +1 (724) 330-3252 and also write to geniustracker701(via)GMAIL

  35. Dude, you act like a psychopath. The overdramatize acting appears fake and your attempt to understand also comes across as fake with very little empathy

  36. The number one rule about interviewing someone is not interrupting. Fail by the interviewer. Explanations were great on the other hand.

  37. as a Person with more experience with cluster B than I would have liked,this woman has a really great understanding and compassion and ability to make analogies that can be understood by Normals and Divergent alike.Not a thousand percent true,but she is definitely the best,and a leader in this field.

  38. Have to echo what others have said, though i mainly blame the editor. The interviewers reactions are stupid. Keep the camera on the expert. I don't need to see no dumb facial expressions of someone who clearly can't keep up with what the interviewee is saying.

  39. Psychopaths project what they are themselves onto others. If they are sneaky and sly and invade people's privacy behind their backs and take things out of context in a sneaky and sly way BEHIND THEIR BACKS to incite vulnerable people to lie about strangers they have never even met, they will call the victims of their crime sneaky and sly because psychopaths project their own sociopathic traits onto others. It's called projection and scapegoating. Also, they often tell lies and lie about people they have never met out of spite and jealousy.

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