6 Dark Traits of The Female Sociopath


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:

READ ON PSYCH CENTRAL: 6 Dark Traits of The Female Sociopath

One thought on “6 Dark Traits of The Female Sociopath

  1. Thank you for highlighting this, Shahida. I saw this (male, often, but occasionally female) dynamic more often than I’d have wanted to in various organizational client sites where the toxicity had gotten costly enough that the organization brought ‘outside perspectives’ in to identify the issues that could be changed and healed.

    One client in particular comes to mind … precisely as you describe: always a good show of seeming to be the epitome of calm, caring, compassion, but underhandedly (yet obvious to others) weaving toxicity and sabotage. Others in her group had a hard time ‘pin-pointing’ it or calling it to her attention, because of the effective passive-aggression.

    It’s a helpful thing that you spotlight such strategies and tactics here, so people can at least recognize them, and hopefully take inner, if not outer, steps to distance from the toxic effects such people weave.

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