In this article, we will focus on the Narcopath (Narcissist + Sociopath.) However, people with cluster-B personality disorder (Narcissists, Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Borderlines, etc…) fall under the Anti-social Personality Disorder (APD), which often times possess very similar traits or even all of them interchangeably.
- Do you have a nagging feeling that something is off with you current relationship? It’s been a few weeks or months and you are beginning to see signs.
- Do you feel like you are on a roller-coaster of emotions where you don’t know what one day will be from the next?
- Have friends or family told you that they want you back? Or that you are a completely different person or and worse yet– you can feel it?
- Do you feel confused, preoccupied, anxious, exhausted, or looking for answers?
If you answered yes to at least 3 of these questions, it is very possible that you are dealing with a Narcopath. Time to plan the smooth exit sooner rather than later.
Back to what you are here for…
Let’s start with the type of “relationship” you think you are in. According to researchers Narcopaths view relationships as transactions.What do you mean by that? A transaction, an Illusion or fake “relationship”. You, the target were made to believe that you were in a serious relationship — while the Narcopath had a different agenda all along.
That’s because Narcopaths are incapable of being in real relationships. They lack empathy, compassion and the innate ability to love and connect with another being. Narcs learned these emotions at an early age. They’ll get people to do what they want– so they become master manipulators and actors. This mental disorder usually stem from severe to mild childhood trauma.
They can act, and pretend that they feel sympathy, that they care about (people or pets, things) but they don’t. Those feelings are superficial– learned behavior to get whatever they want. It can range from attention (Narcs need constant attention because they are perpetually bored), status, money, sex, objects, company you name it. They will do, say and go as far as they have to, to accomplish their ultimate goal; take what they need, while they need it. Then do as much damage as possible, and either discard the victim or stay– if it is a great source of supply.
Narcopaths will damage e v e r y single person that crosses their path. One way or another, they will inflict pain, hurt, chaos and often severe damage. Be it financial, emotional, or even physical.
Narcopaths claim that they are masters at moving on, but that couldn’t be furthest from the truth. They only move forward — that’s easy (remember they lack empathy, genuine concern?). They believe that they move on, but they can’t and won’t. These type of individuals can’t let go, because of their deep-rooted need to control. Therefore, a constant supply is needed along with obsessive behavior. Their thought process is more along the lines of ownership vs feelings.
If you are here, you are either:
If you are here, you are either:
A survivor of Narcissistic-Sociopathic abuse (I am sorry, sending a gigantic hug). A victim (in a marriage/relationship) looking for answers or reassurance to get out asap. A victim (within a family circle) currently experience narcissistic abuse.
I’d like to mention that this topic is extensive and complex. Thus, I am going to focus particularly on abuse by a Narcopath. Rest assured that several of the traits are common among these individuals.
The following list will will hopefully help you identify a Narcopath or anyone under the APD disorder. Hopefully, you can get rid of that anxiety, pain, and despair that brought you here in the first place.
Without further ado let’s get to the 12 Sings that you are dealing with a Narcopath:
1. You Experienced The I.D.D Relationship” Cycle
- Idealization or love bombing, at the beginning of the transaction (those aren’t relationships-it was a mirage). Here’s where most of the grooming, mirroring, occurs. Everything seems too good to be true because– It is. It’s all part of the act and their agenda.
- Devaluation a few months (maybe even years) after you’ve been together. Here’s where the crazy-making begins. Triangulation, mind games, name-calling, comparisons, criticizing, emotional warfare, and silent treatment take place. The latter can morph into many forms such as withholding affection, attention, time, intimacy and even sex. And finally…
- Discard when the person you once knew is no more, when all your life is nothing but a living nightmare ridden with anxiety, sleepless nights, poor emotional and at times physical health. Here’s where the Narcopath has either found a new supply, went back to old ones, realized you are onto them, or you no longer have something they once got from you. Or better yet, it was by YOUR choice once you learned that you were with the definition of pure vile evil. Bye Felicia 🙂
During the Idolization period the Narc will shower you with incredible amounts of attention, and affection. The gifts, text messages, phone calls, dates– you name it will roll out too. You are the center of … Yep, picture that Target symbol. You were/are the main target for one of the most sinister games there are; manipulation. You are being used, abused and will end in devastation.
This individual seems needy, almost to the point that you begin to question his neediness? Something doesn’t add up… Well that’s because it won’t. This stage is usually called the grooming or hoovering period. It is important to mention that the neediness is real because Narcopaths are chronically bored individuals. Plus, they need emotional feedback whether is negative or positive.
Remember those times where they enticed a fight, argument or showed you something or made a comment to upset you? That’s one example of negative emotional feedback. Most of us can’t fathom the idea of enticing an argument or ruin a good time nor would provoke another person right? Not them! They can and do it with ease and very often. Narcopaths take immense pleasure in seeing your reaction– again negative or positive. It is a sinister, twisted and demented behavior that only their kind can savor.
Everything seems so perfect… You are soulmates… You both have so much in common. You are amazing, unique, the most beautiful, perfect, intelligent being that set foot on planet earth. That’s called mirroring, and part of the grooming period as well.
You begin to notice a few months (or if you are lucky enough weeks) into the transaction that they are like a Chameleon. For example, If his favorite barber who he’s grown fond loves cars, the Narcopath will learn about cars and everything related to it. That’s to gain his trust and build some type of rapport for his gain.
If you like chocolate, they suddenly love it too. Even though, behind your back they will despise chocolate because the new sexy supply is allergic to it. She begins to frequent a new bank. There, she’ll act like a sophisticated hard working woman, only to gain the trust of the teller. That way he doesn’t realize that she only wants a better deal on that new checking account.
You need them to be a sympathetic sibling? They’ll be that too, because supply must come from somewhere. No matter what kind! Read that a few times… They will “help” neighbors, co-workers, or pretend they are great citizens to the elder neighbor only because he’ll gain something out of them. You get the gist.
Narcissists are the ultimate reincarnation of Chameleons. Let’s not forget that some of them will voice their dislike for someone or something. Yet, they will engage the new supply to fit their agenda and then discard. It’s a cycle they know too well, and have learned to embrace their entire lives.
3. Gaslighting A Narcopaths Favorite Manipulation Tool
One of the favorite weapons of mass emotional destruction for a Narcopath is gaslighting. Since they are pathological liars to the chore, they will forget about their lies. So, when you discover them, they will do anything to convince you that it’s all in you head. The lies range from cyber-cheating, lies on their whereabouts, marital status, addictions, living arrangements. Heck, they lie about lying (Many times they lie for the thrill of it).
Simply put, it’s the ability of a Narc to make you doubt your perception or understanding of a certain event and/or it’s accuracy. It is not easy to understand unless you have experienced it first hand because we are all used to dealing with things in a straightforward manner: You ask a question, you get an answer. With gas-lighting either:
- You get a reply but its not really responsive to the question (e.g. Question: were you unfaithful to me? Answer: I love you. You are the only one I love. It’s always been only you. Why are you doing this?).
- You get the silent treatment (Why do you ask me these things when you know they’re so hurtful to me? Why do you do this to me all the time? I don’t wish to have this conversation) then you hear crickets for like two weeks because he’s stopped talking to you, or
- They suddenly suffer from selective amnesia (I don’t know what you’re talking about. Can we stop with all this drama? You always do this!)
Did you ever get a simple yes or no to your patently simple question? Nope. You got a ton of replies none of which really answer the question. That’s gaslighting. It is crazy-making at its absolute finest.
Think about it… When you tell someone to stop doing something that bothers you they stop right? Not the Narcopath. You’ll lay out your boundaries and dislikes and they’ll ignore them blatantly with the least regard.
They are selfish and do not care about anyone but themselves –unless there’s something in it for them, they’ll “pretend they care”. It’s all about control and emotional feedback.
4. Pathological Lying
(Lies, Lies and more lies in different, shapes, colors, sizes, and textures)!!!
That soul mate or “deep connection” line they talk about during the idealization period, quickly dissipates as the acting gets tiring and the mask starts to come off.
Behold darling. You will catch them in lies… You did at the beginning but ignored them because you gave them the benefit of the doubt.
Did they ever tell you a story full of emotion on how they got out of something, lied to a particular person, institution, authority figure with so much pride and enthusiasm? You bet!That’s because–that’s what feeds their ego. The thrill of getting away with anything is one of their most precious trophies. Conning, ridiculing, and tricking people gives them one of the most exotic highs (besides their addictions), because they usually have nothing but contempt for others.
The Narcopath will behave differently with each victim, depending on the level of abuse they’ve conditioned them to receive. There are cases, where these monsters conned their women, friends with benefits and lovers to take part in heinous acts or do things that they wouldn’t do otherwise. This is just to please their insatiable perverted desires and control power.
They live to break the rules and many times call themselves rebels. No! There is a big difference between being a rebel and being an Antisocial. They fall within the Anti-social personality disorder (APD) category which translates to– I can’t and won’t follow social rules, because I think I am better than everyone else and while I do that, I’ll destroy everything on my path without consequence. After all, they do not fear consequences.
Narcopaths are incapable, because of their self-centered nature and ridiculous beliefs of being above the law. Hence, their lives are chaotic. From lawsuits to debt to collections, liens, backed up child support, to bankruptcy, living in deplorable conditions. Often times they will do sexual favors or vice-versa for money.
5. Always on The Prowl
Narcopaths are always on the prowl. A L W A Y S!!! Do not for a minute think otherwise… Day in and day out — despite the lies they tell you. Whether it is power, status, prestige, sex, financial, sex, sex and more sex, emotional support or whatever it is that makes them feel good. They’ll adopt a seductive narcissistic pattern to gain their victim’s trust.
A defining characteristic of narcissism is the ability to make positive impressions which later prove to be part of a pattern of exploitation and entitlement. Says Psychotherapist Dr. Les Carter in his book When pleasing you is killingnofollow. Narcissists approach “relationships” ( transactions) as some experts refer to them as well in a different way. Their agenda is always about control.
6. Narcopaths Love Triangulation
Triangulation is the act of bringing another person into the dynamic of the relationship, and then make them play against each other. This is with the intention of longing for the Narc’s attention, love, or anything that makes him/her look in high demand.
Triangulation goes hand and had with Narcissism. This is another weapon they use to manipulate, and make their victims feel unhinged–frequently and effectively to disorient the them. They go back and forth between the targets to keep them against each other, merely to serve the Narcopath.
Here are some common of triangulation tactics:
- Flirt and deny~ Here’s where they fabricate the jealousy to extract narcissistic supply. They’ll flirt right in your face with the waiter, a co-worker, friend and then when you bring it up, they fully deny it or say they didn’t think they weren’t doing anything inappropriate. (Making you doubt your reality)
- Exclusion~ They will exclude you from a conversation, or important events to make you feel unimportant or rejected (usually during the devaluation- discard period)
- Devaluing/Idealizing~ When they tell you that someone else is better than you, or use shame about someone to indirectly shame you and put you down.
Bottom line, you will always feel as though you are in a competition. Simply go no contact and do not all this person in your life because they are masters at divide and conquer. They’ll put everyone against each other, and in the end, you won’t be speaking to your family, friend, neighbor or boss– while the Narcopath sits there and watches the show.
7. No Moral Compass
Narcissists-Sociopaths don’t have boundaries or moral compass. They do not care about themselves so why would they care about you or others? They have the innate ability to fake love, care and genuine concern for others as it suits them. They don’t have the ability to judge what is right and wrong and act accordingly. Better yet, Narcs aren’t interested in having a moral compass. They will lie, use and con others to get what they want for as long as they want.
Narcopaths do not discriminate when it comes to fulfilling their deeply twisted desires. They will sleep with innumerable people of the opposite sex, prostitutes, trans– and even same sex. They have no boundaries!
They’ll carelessly expose themselves (and sadly their partners) health to STD’s–not to mention that they are chronic cheaters and overlappers (enters one relationship while still being in another one). If you pay close attention, they were never alone for too long because they need a constant supply.
Narcs-Socios are known to have no regard for the law (remember they think they are above the law) or boundaries of any kind. They’ll sleep with you, your neighbor, her daughter, her grandmother and if possible and he allows it–the husband. Anything goes!
Rest assured they’ll do anything to get that fix no matter where or how. Some research indicates that they can even be asexual. In other words, even though they’ve slept with half the globe, there is no emotion to the actual act. It is robotic and a mere act to get that momentary high. If someone ever tells you that they don’t believe in morals… Do not walk, remember this post and RUN!
8. The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
They will use any tactic to prevent you and others from seeing their flaws. Healthy people accept that they have flaws. They know that humanity is part of — the human experience. However, most if not all Narcissists refuse to seek help to fix the root cause of their mental illness.
Narcopaths will only share the amount of information that they want. It is all calculated. Don’t ever buy the privacy story. They thrive on that mystery to keep you on the edge and far away as to be able to discover their secret lives. If someone isn’t transparent from the get-go something is wrong. Yes, at first we protect our privacy and don’t share much. That being said, once the relationship is established there shouldn’t be a problem about sharing their personal life with you. Narc’s use the privacy card in order to keep you guessing while at the same time keeping you abyss of their wrongdoings behind your back.
9. Master Manipulators
Manipulation is a Narcopaths’ favorite tool. They’ve mastered it since childhood, because they learned early on that, that’s the easiest way to get what they want. They’ve master the trade in order to gain control over their targets aka “supply”.
They will manipulate you in several ways, here are a few:
- They know how to reel you in when you realize who they are.
- They target and can smell vulnerable people with low self-esteem and self-worth, who are the ‘echo’ to the sociopath’s ‘narcissism –miles away.’ The victims of sociopaths have had trauma, abuse, or neglect in their lives.”
For example gas-lighting you… they’ll lie about their activities, then make you think you are wrong when you are right, did something they didn’t, or didn’t do something they did.” It’s confusing AF, which is why it’s manipulative.
10. Infidelity and Cheating
You can guaranty that there is always a second reinforcement aka as supply because they have to replace sources of supply. Even in long-term “transactions”, it is because of YOU. You most likely will stimulate the Narcopath in hopes that the relationship can last.
If it walks, moves, breaths they will cheat with. A common denominator among these individuals is that they also have what’s commonly called– addictive personalities. They are almost always addicted to sex, porn, drugs, alcohol, the newness of another person or all of the above.
Quinn says: They can’t help it because they are driven by that impulse. Their obsession is so deeply embedded in their psychological programming that it is impossible for them to overcome. Make no mistake that they will always have a replacement ready or Plan B. Narcopaths can’t ever be faithful, because they lack the consistency within their mental makeup, the ability and the integrity behind it as well.
The video below will give you a clear vision of this dynamic. Must watch:
11. Fake Body Language
Narcopaths, psychopaths and the like are unable to display certain facial expressions, gestures, eye movement, and genuine smiles. It is physically impossible. Psychopaths, for example, are born with an amygdala that’s around 20% smaller than the average human, which means they feel 20% fewer emotions and have a 20% reduction in facial movement.
A study conducted by Tarkin et al. from the University of Minnesota found that most psychopaths don’t even learn what a smile is until around 11 years of age. What they do learn is how to mimic those expressions and emotions depending on their agenda.
Does the occasion require sympathy or remorseful face? They can mimic that.
Accomplished something? They’ll comment but it will almost be impossible for them to genuinely be happy for you. Hence their smiles are almost always– smirks.
12. Persuasiveness and Charm
From gifts, to chivalry to compliments to empty outrageous promises. They use persuasiveness and charm to get what they want, no matter who gets hurt.
Awkwardness and ‘misunderstandings’ are some of the most common first signs in dating these sorts. So, they say something on a date and you find yourself feeling a bit confused or thrown off balance. Or they say something that isn’t quite appropriate but you dismiss it as banter. Perhaps, they seem to go out of their way to create a ‘play’ argument or a misunderstanding that feels uncomfortable. Or put you down in some way but in a way that is subtle. Basically, it all amounts to them putting themselves above you, on a pedestal by subtly hinting ‘you aren’t good enough’ or ‘there’s something wrong with you’. Or just a general test to see if you will accept their behavior.
If most or some of the signs above further confirm your suspicions, it is time to take action. Seek a counselor, attorney (if finances and children are involved), online community, recruit people you can trust and get out.
There is no way around this. Staying in a relationship with a toxic person like this will inflict more damage than you can imagine. It is time to take your mental and emotional health seriously.
Over to you. Have you dealt with a Narcopath or anyone with an APD?
Do you think you may be in a relationship with one?
I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
Pin the 12 Signs You Are Dealing with a Narcopath article, and read above.
Image by Michael Gehlert from Pixabay
Dr. Les Carter ~ Psychotherapist
The primary and secondary sociopathic personality
Aberrant functional brain connectome in people with antisocial personality disorder
Brady K. T., Myrick H. & McElroy S. The relationship between substance use disorders, impulse control disorders, and pathological aggression. Am J Addict 7, 221–230, 10.1111/j.1521-0391.1998.tb00340.x (1998
https://youtu.be/nsWE_8ZIPQg (How to Identify a Sociopath)