Female sociopaths and narcissists are dangerous precisely because their manipulation operates underneath the radar. Although there is an ongoing debate about the definition of “sociopath” versus “narcissist,” it’s safe to say that both types exhibit the following:
- A callous lack of empathy.
- A tendency to manipulate and con others for their own gain.
- A sense of egocentrism and excessive entitlement along with blatant disregard for the rights, needs and feelings of others.
Sociopaths and narcissists on the high end of the spectrum take it one step further. Those who meet the criteria for the Dark Triad (narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism) often lack remorse for their destructive actions. They use cognitive empathy to assess their target’s vulnerabilities but they lack the affective empathy to truly care about the welfare of others. They are often sadistic in provoking and deceiving others, feeling pleasure at the sight of another’s pain. Studies show that these toxic types experience positive feelings when seeing sad faces (Wai & Tiliopoulos, 2012).
The reality of their malice becomes darker when we consider that females are socialized by our society to be covertly aggressive. As a result, they are more likely to bully others through underhanded methods such as relational aggression – abuse through sabotage of someone’s social relationships and reputation – all while mastering the guise of a sweet exterior.
Here are six signs you are dealing with a female sociopath or narcissist on the high end of the spectrum: