As you learn more about narcissism, you may uncover a distinct lack of conscience in some. You wonder, “Am I dealing with a sociopath, or worse? Psychotherapist Dr. Les Carter explains commonalities and distinctions regarding narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths.

Dr. Les Carter is a best selling author and therapist who lives in Dallas, Tx. Over the past 39 years he has conducted many workshops and over 60,000 counseling sessions.

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Comments (39)

Is there ANY hope for my father who raised two narcissistic sociopaths by adoption, but his love and generosity over 40 years has been just absolutely smashed to pieces by these two boys? All along, many family members tried to speak with him from different angles about how they manipulate him. Friends have tried, and ex-girlfriends of these two boys tried, the counselors all throughout their schooling tried to get my dad to see, laying out the facts and direct activities, behaviors, words, being a danger to others over this span of time, and my dad absolutely refuses to see a lick of it. His level of denial is astonishing. Even bringing the manipulation up AS it’s happening, he refuses to see it. Both boys were taught by my dad that it’s ok if they don’t want to take their medicine every day. He says they get to choose. Well, that puts EVERYONE else in harms way! Under the care of a psychiatrist where ne’er my dad or the youngest boy age 25 keep the bad incidences to themselves where she never hears the truth of what happens on a daily basis, she still prescribes him a mood stabilizer, not SSRI. And when he’s on it, he’s AMAZING! He’s thoughtful, considerate, happy, peaceful, optimistic, follows laws, isn’t reckless. Still grandiose of himself and manipulative, but scaled way down.

So, if my father keeps his blinders on without regard for how it negatively affects the rest of the family, our neighbors, and strangers and law enforcement, after 40 years of denial…is there any hope left?

Many people have some parts of what you mentioned and haven’t woken up to the fact. They only see it in others. Self reflection is a wonderful starting place

thanks for sharing Surviving Narcissism

I wish I could have known this in my43 yr old marriage..

My life has been changed at 3am! Thank you (thank you, thank you!!) for the insight I've been searching for. A real game changer!

Thank you for your explanation it is right on point
Now how do I deal with his kind of peopl

some of the more accomplished of these types are not "bad boys" or "wild girls". They can blend well too

I am currently realizing my wife shows all these red flags and characteristics. I moved into my spare bedroom because I am afraid of her. These are really helpful tools for dealing with this current situation and has created enough space and pause in an emotional and mental whirlwind that I am now able to think of how to proceed for my children and myself. I realize I am not the crazy one now, I am unfortunately a traumatized child of a narcissist alcoholic mother that was so comfortable with chaos I found my mother and married her. The duality of life is astounding.

Thank you, I have learned much maybe too late about my father. But , left both he and my family. He totally dominates and since my mother died, My husband and I had come to the hard conclusion we needed to pull away. There is no open discussion allowed. We and our daughter and family are much happier. After a lifetime of the behavior, at 65 I fully understand how horrible it can be. I kept putting distance between him and myself over the years as in limited contact but stayed because of my mother. Now she is gone, he is out of my life.

I am at such a happy place right now but it took me a while to even understand what's going on with me….Set boundaries and it will b over stepped..
I hv Absolutely no emotion towards these ppl or the situation they created in my life….

Them bad boys thrives on beautiful intelligent young ladies.

I was worried i was a narsissist. Yeah i am not. But i am a sociopath. Fucking great

Do alcoholics & narcissists have the same traits? Or would you say that an alcoholic can also be a narcissist (double whammy!)?

This is alarming. What happens if you have these characteristics?

Just a few thoughts regarding the 'rooting for the rule-breakers in movies' and such. I think the fact that our society is rife with criminals, corruption, and injustice at the top, really creates this yearning for some kind of 'breakout' justice, especially within the poor working-class population. Einstein once said that our profit-centered society 'socially cripples' each of us ('Why Socialism?' 1949.) It's a brutal and unjust life for millions of working people from cradle to grave. They live hand to mouth while surrounded by all this glitter and luxury in society, on TV, and in schools, etc. And I think it causes countless distortions that manifest in ways we often misdiagnose/misattribute (sometimes blaming ourselves for things that were out of our control.)

But I digress! Thanks for the videos!

I was married for 14 years to one…or all three, I am lucky to be alive, the stress was unbelievable and eventually my health broke down. I had heart conditions and cancer treatment (chemo radi) plus other issues, particulary on keeping my mental health in balance.
I finally got out but had to leave my young daughter behind with her mother and I hated that but I knew I couldn't go on and besides my daughter was learning her mothers way of thinkig and she turned against me, I was always to blame by both.
I moved to another country but… I continued to be blamed for things. I recently made contact with my daughter which helped us both but was informed they both destroyed or sold all of my possessions. A lot of personal stuff and things of value. Again I will try to let it all go and supress my thoughts but l wake many times to realise I'm always going to be injured by it.

Did satan have a conscience, no. A sociopath psychotic don't have a conscience as well

Is it possible to be a narcissist-sociopath

Dr Les,I realize this is off subject ( as I was binge watching your informative and very helpful videos) ,I couldn't help but wonder how many Shirts with square's, rectangles do you own? You must like straight lines and
I love your videos and thank you for your time to educate, bring awareness to mental health.

I know a covert who has a good job, and is below the radar, and would be considered all 3!!! And, is not seen as a bad boy at all!!!

I know that painting behind you. I've seen it before but no idea when or where

So I called the local talk radio host last week with publication on research asking "Why Dad's WW II WE WON THAT WAR Uniform is Soiled by Vietnam era Police State work policy." Bully.

I was with a narcissist for 10 years and it’s, of course, my fault for choosing to stay for so long, but I can’t tell you how true all of these things are. My guy was a level 10 narcissist but No One other than me knew who he truly is. Everyone thought the world of him and respected him. I lost a decade of my young life because of his twisted games. I am finally free.

My daughter and I are living by ourselves now, legally married because of a mortgage issue with the house. I met him at church while my daughter was being molested by her father during visitations. After CPS removed her from my custody, he was the only person who stepped up to help. He was 51 and living with his mom and stepdad. After seeing each other for 3 years, we married at my Mom’s house and the visitations were now with me. He portrayed himself like a concerned, affable guy and my daughter liked him too. She was gone for 11 years, came back just prior to her 18th birthday when child support money ran out. My husband did a great job using her father’s despicable treatment of her to make himself look good but I didn’t see it till years later. I just learned in April 2019 (from Pinterest) that my mother was a narcissist so I was numb and blind to his treatment. He was the first friend my mother ever liked. Interesting but no coincidence. In 1999 I had my second surgery with 7 more to follow during our marriage and not once did he even call me. After I came home I was on my own’ … no help, nothing. Things started to make sense when I learned why his daughter spent 15 years in Marysville Reformatory for Women. He told everyone in church it was for resisting arrest, presumably at her custody hearing for her parents’ divorce. I happened to be looking up somebody else and found an article about Crystal that her sentencing was for STABBING A POLICEMAN. So after that I started putting the puzzle pieces together, differently than he had. I remember thinking ‘what if he realizes how I am. behaving differently towards him? But I was determined to not let it concern me. A couple times when out and about I tried to hold his hand and he stopped that by leaning forward with his arms dangling by his sides, cupping his hands and turning them backwards. He’s part ape!!! A huge problem for me was that deadpan stare of his when I would talk to him. I could never read what he was feeling because there wasn’t any. He also talked in a flat tone which absolutely drove me crazy. So I stopped talking to him. He had nothing but criticism about his first wife, his kids, his parents and his boss when he was working. The last thing I targeted about him (after watching a Jackson Galaxy video about cats) was if you can get your cat to blink, it means they trust you. BINGO! Flat effect tone of voice, no expression on his face and no blinking. That was an eye-opener. Now I knew what I was dealing with. No more contact and I am trying to weed out the little phrases and attitudes I gravitated to while with him. I have forgiven him and know that God will have His way with him if he doesn’t repent.

‘Thank You’ for doing this video.

How does one stop attracting them?

Dr. Carter: You are a very kind man and give very good advice, but I must say that your advice will not work with the narcissist that I am dealing with. She is the ugliest, mean, nasty person you could ever meet up with. She is my sister and I have done my best at forming a loving and close relationship with her for years. I might as well have climbed into a cage with a cougar. She has been so mean that I have reached the point where I not only hate her but I no longer love her. The thing is I can not just walk away as she, my brother and I are my mothers care givers. The best I can do is have as little as possible to do with her and learn to tell her NO when she wants me to do something for her. I am going have other plans. This is going to make her very angry. I am dealing with someone worse then a psychopath.

Have u done any on parental alienation?Thanks

This is one of the best breakdowns of these disorders I've ever watched! Thank you!

When my son died suddenly twenty years ago, I called my mother to tell her and she said,”well, we never saw him that much anyway.” Never mind that she saw him several times every week. When my dad was dying in hospice, she denied him pain medication, telling the nurses he wasn’t any fun when he was, “All doped up.” The doctor who was head of hospice pulled me aside and told me and my sister my mother was a sociopath. I found your YouTube channel today. Already it’s very helpful.

Dear God, HOW CAN I GET HELP. ???
My son just turned 25 years old in November. He is EVERY SYMPTOM you described, and even boarderline personality disorder. As I continue to watch you informative videos about these condition, I feel like you are TELLING MY STORY right down to EVERY single minute detail.
He showed signs of rebellion, irrational mood swings, out of control anger, excessive destruction of ALL of my property,and personal belongings. ( everything from glass lamp shades to chesterfields, and my 52” tv., 50 telephones) end tables, coffee tables, etc, and even tore doors off their hinges, destroyed rooms by punching holes everywhere he could. There hasn’t been an ounce of let up from actual age of 8 until now, 25.
As he grew older, so did the outbursts, trouble, destruction, lying, ( there hasn’t been a truthful word come out of his mouth since he could talk), manulipating , terrorizing, bullying, and intimidation, and the list goes on.
I lost my husband 12 years ago, and my son 9 years ago. Since then his demeanour has only escalated.
He has been in jail 3 separate occasions. Once for 4 years, the second time was 2 months, and just October til December 19th for 2 months.
His CONSTANT repetitive behaviour has destroyed my daughter ( she is all I have left) , and myself emotionally, psychologically, physically, and set us both in a spiraling, never ending FINANCIAL RUIN. Between the both of us, ( mostly her) in excess of 110.000.00,
THUS, with these actions, it has caused such friction between our partners that separation has been discussed on more than one occasion.
Now, he is no longer allowed in my daughters home, not allowed to see his only nephew, and has burned every bridge he has ever crossed.
He was charged with sexual assault, confinement, and destruction of personal property.
From age 10 to age 17 I have had him to 7 different doctors, councillors. , psychiatrist. He met each and every one with hesitation and rebellion. Nothing I tried or attempted worked or had any effect.
I have been seeking emotional help for most of his life.
Now ( we) my daughter and I are giving up.
I continued giving, helping, and enabling him for fear of loosing another son, but as of today it’s OVER. !


Thank you for all your videos! You get right to the point and break it down perfectly 💯

Seems like doc has a touch of the narcissism.

I recently found out I was a narcissist almost a year ago. I used the term sociopath and then I called myself a sociopath. Although, I didn’t really understand what the term sociopath meant and then it turned out I wasn’t sociopathic at all. But İ would say that İ was a narcissist. But I was one without a criminal record.

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