We hear the terms narcissist and sociopath a lot, right? But what really separates the two, are they interchangeable or completely different?

Well, to be honest, there are lots of things that set the two apart. Sure, both are abusive and can be quite destructive to those who are closest to them but they are nowhere near the same. Below I am going to go over the definition of each and then break down some of the more prominent differences. Hopefully, this helps really put things into perspective for you and those around you.


An individual showing symptoms of narcissism this meaning someone extremely self-centered with an exaggerated sense of self-importance. These people are often overly concerned with their appearance and rage with a sense of entitlement. They come off as snobby but are also quite charming.


A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior. These people lack a conscious and are unable to understand other people’s feelings. They often break rules and make impulsive decisions without feeling guilty for any and all harm they cause.

5 Key Differences Between Narcissists and Sociopaths:

1. Narcissists want to talk about themselves whereas sociopaths will want to get to know you.

Sociopaths are more interested in learning things about you so that they can better manipulate you than narcissists are. Narcissists still want to be the talk of the town or own the conversation no matter what. They might also manipulate but they are much less interested in you than sociopaths would be.

2. Narcissists are less aware of their issues sociopaths can be much more aware.

Sociopaths are much more likely to know that they are different from everyone else. Narcissists are usually nowhere near aware that they have some kind of psychological difference. They might think they are better than everyone else but that is much different than true awareness.

3. Sociopaths don’t mind being perceived badly narcissists always want to be perceived well.

Sociopaths don’t care what it is you think of them as long as they are gaining what they think they need to gain while the narcissist wants to be portrayed in a positive light no matter what. The narcissist cares too much what the world thinks of him or her even if they seem not to. While this can be confusing it is quite true.

4. Sociopaths do not usually get as frustrated as narcissists do.

Narcissists are quick to get worked up but sociopaths are not. When things don’t go the narcissists way he or she might get worked up but when this happens to the sociopath the sociopath rethinks things and works through it. The sociopath is much more adaptable than the narcissist.

5. Narcissists don’t mind working hard to gain approval but sociopaths do.

Sociopaths don’t necessarily care if you approve of them or not. They only do what they do to get where they want to be. Narcissists, however, will fight for the approval of others. They really care about their ‘image.’

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