How To Instantly Spot A Sociopath Or Narcissist

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Ex Sociopath narcissist

A recent divorcee will talk about their ex and scathingly describe them as a "sociopath" or a "narcissist." There might be a need for justification to label an ex this way, but what is gained?

People who once were in love experience extreme emotions when they face a divorce. They act out in ways that aren't aligned with their innate personalities. They act this way out of revenge, anger, and pain. And the act of name-calling may be a way to relieve these feelings.

Is your ex a sociopath or a narcissist, or are they acting out emotionally? A person can take on these personality traits during stressful life changes and then revert to normal once the stress is gone.

RELATED: The 5-Step Process For Dealing With Emotionally Explosive People

Here's how to instantly spot a sociopath or narcissist:

1. How do you know they're a sociopath?

If they were a true sociopath, there would have been warning signs at the very beginning of your relationship.

Sociopaths are masters at deception. For instance, they may have lied about their job, finances, or family. They probably didn't have close ties with too many people.

A sociopath has little concern for another person's feelings, desires, or needs. Their primary purpose is to get what they want, regardless of how it may harm other people. They were probably very charming and charismatic, which is how a sociopath will win over the love and affection of their target (you).

They knew how to play the victim so that nothing was ever their fault and had a way of twisting it around so you believed it was somehow your fault. A sociopath continuously invents outrageous lies about their past experiences and other people.

If your ex is a sociopath, you'll see a history of their fabricated storytelling and wonder how you could have ever believed some of those absurd lies in the first place.

RELATED: If You Notice These 16 Things, The Person You Love May Have A Personality Disorder

2. How do you know they're a narcissist?

If they're a narcissist, they will be thoroughly satisfied with their mental attributes and their physical appearance. Narcissists are very vain and selfish. They need approval and praise from everyone around them and will be set off by the slightest criticism they receive.

Much like a sociopath, they'll have no remorse over hurting people. Because they have no conscience, they may be successful in a business where cut-throat behavior is essential to get ahead.

A narcissist will find ways to punish those who reject them. They constantly seek validation from others and often put down others to inflate their ego. They are addicted to the spotlight and have an insatiable need to be recognized for every achievement.

Because narcissists need constant reassurance, they're more likely to become desperate during a divorce. They won't honor boundaries — They are willing to break laws and hurt others, regardless of the consequences.

RELATED: 3 Mind Games All Narcissistic Men Play In Relationships

3. What is the difference between a sociopath and a narcissist?

A narcissist needs to be validated by others, while a sociopath doesn't. A sociopath will exploit others because they find it amusing, while a narcissist only exploits those they believe are a threat.

If you're dealing with a sociopath, stop playing his games. They enjoy pushing your buttons just for the fun of watching you squirm. If you're dealing with a narcissist, don't feed their ego and avoid falling prey to their traps.

Even if your ex isn't a sociopath or a narcissist, going through a divorce wreaks havoc on your emotions. The person who remains calm and collected usually has the upper hand during divorce proceedings (not to mention relationships in general).

During this time of turmoil, you should consider scheduling an appointment with a professional who can help you vent your frustrations and make rational decisions.

RELATED: 10 Major Can't-Miss-It Signs You're Dating A Complete Sociopath

Cindy Holbrook is a divorce coach, personal development coach, and speaker.