Difference between Psychopaths and Sociopath

We live among different people with different psychologies. Some people are bad while others are good. There are different terms that are used to define the mental behavior of a person and two of them are psychopath and sociopath. These are popular psychology terms that are used interchangeably to describe the people who are the real monsters in our society. There is a hidden monster in every one of us, but there are some people, who don’t have the ability to suppress their inner monster. People with a criminal mind and extremely violent behavior have an antisocial personality disorder.

There are some general differences and similarities between psychopaths and sociopaths. The health and freedoms of other individuals are commonly disregarded by both sociopaths and psychopaths. Deception and manipulation are key characteristics of both sociopaths and psychopaths. A psychopath or sociopath, despite popular belief is not necessarily violent but is a huge risk for people living in our society. There are some common habitual behaviours of sociopaths and psychopaths that are same, like –

  •          Violation of criminal laws
  •          No feeling of remorse or guilt
  •          Deceitfulness gives pleasure
  •          Constantly lying, deceiving, swindling, or trickery
  •          Impulsiveness, irritability and aggressiveness
  •          Doesn’t like to meet important adult responsibilities
  •          Have disregard for the right of others

Despite similarities, there are multiple differences in the behaviour of both sociopaths and psychopaths. Following is the list of common traits of both sociopaths and psychopaths. Check them out!

Traits of a Psychopath

Psychopaths are born with their mental disorder, so basically it’s a genetic predisposition. Underdeveloped components of the brain of a psychopath make it tough for them to control their extremely aggressive behaviour. Psychopaths find it tough to develop emotional attachments with others. If you want to spot a psychopath around you, then find the following traits in their behaviour.

1.       You’ll find them extremely charming

Psychopaths are very charming and their talks are convincing. They are well-liked by everyone, which gives them a sense of being the best. Their quick wit behaviour draws people towards them. When you’ll walk away after having a conversation with a Psychopath, you’ll feel pretty good.

2.       They have a dark personality

Psychopaths are very different from normal people. They have a dark personality and manipulative behaviour. They don’t have the feeling of regret and guilt for anyone and anything. They don’t regret hurting other’s feelings. They deny taking serious responsibilities and blame others for their wrongdoings. They think that someone deserves to be treated poorly. They like spending time alone without being interrupted.

3.       They are very arrogant

Psychopaths live in a mythical world, where they think themselves as an important person. Laws and rules don’t apply to them, according to psychopaths. They have extremely arrogant behaviour towards their family and other people. They don’t have many friends, as they think that they are the best. They believe they deserve the position of CEO in a company, as they have knowledge about everything. They’ve convinced their mind to be the best in the world and no one can stand in front of them.

4.       They have toxic behaviour

Psychopaths are self-centred and have no regard for the safety of others. They often lie, cheat and steal to get ahead. Their toxic behaviour will make you feel unsafe. When they are around, it’s common to feel negativity. They love to bother others and are often indulged in illegal activities. They often do planned crimes and leave no clue behind. They have an intelligent mind when it comes to planning any illegal activity.

5.       They are extremely manipulative

They don’t have any feeling of love and care for others, but they can mimic people’s behaviour to look genuine in front of you. They can manipulate you to do anything, which is wrong for you. They have the ability to brain-wash a person and make him believe, which don’t even exist. They flatter others in a subtle manner and persuade them to do things that they normally won’t do.  They have a thirst of being powerful.

Traits of a sociopath

Did you watch Christian Bale in American Psycho, or Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs? If not, then let me tell you that both the characters have a mental condition and both are a sociopath. People who are sociopath are deceitful, liar, impulsive and cheaters. Following is the list of traits of a sociopath.

1.      Lack of remorse

Sociopaths have no feeling of remorse, guilt and shame. Instead of friends, they have victims. They don’t treat anyone with love and care. They are very careless and have no regard for other’s safety and feelings.

2.      Lack of empathy

One of the most common traits of a sociopath is a lack of empathy. Many Sociopaths do seem to lack a conscience, which makes them extremely dangerous for society. They don’t have sympathy for anyone. Other people are like stuff toys for them, they think that they can play with them and hurt their feelings.

3.      Have difficult relationships

It’s tough for the Sociopaths to connect with anyone emotionally. They can’t form emotional bonds with their partners and that’s why their relationships are unstable and chaotic. They harass and exploit their partners for their own benefit through manipulation, deceit and intimidation. They are very dominating in a relationship and that’s why their relationship doesn’t last long.

4.      They are irresponsible

Another sign that someone is a sociopath is irresponsibility. They don’t want to be financially and socially responsible. They tend to have no responsibility for the safety and feelings of others. Decision making is also tough for a sociopath.

5.      They are risky

Sociopaths do excessive alcohol, drug and smoking. They like to indulge in gambling, unsafe sex and criminal activities. They are highly toxic to our society. They tend to do serious crimes like murder, rape, physical abuse, mental abuse, cybercrime, fraud, burglary, sexual assault, etc.

There are numerous people with dangerous mental conditions around us. We need to be safe by spotting the difference in their behavior. If anyone of you is facing the symptoms of sociopath and psychopath, then it’s time for you to consult a psychologist. Minor symptoms can later turn into major symptoms and you won’t have a control on your mind. If you don’t want to get indulged in serious criminal activities, then you must consult a psychologist to get rid of Antisocial Personality Disorder.