Do most sociopaths know they are sociopaths, do narcissists know they are narcissists? Under what circumstances would a sociopath reveal himself? same question as to narcissists?My response:
Sociopaths know that they are different, though they may not necessarily be familiar that the label "sociopath" applies to them. Narcissists tend to be self-deceived, so they think that they are the same as everyone else, just better.There's another good response here:
When I was told by a friend that there was a label for people like me and it was called "sociopath," I actually willingly accepted the diagnosis. I knew I didn't have the same emotions as everyone else, I knew I had a weak sense of empathy, I knew I was different, and it wasn't something that I struggled with ever. I feel like narcissists deny deny deny when they are confronted with their identity. They are so self-deceived, though, that it is probable that they don't even recognize the signs of narcissism in themselves.
I don't think a narcissist would ever reveal himself, mainly because he probably doesn't think there is anything to reveal. For sociopaths I think revealing oneself is sort of like revealing a secret identity for a superhero -- generally not a good idea, but sometimes unavoidable. I have revealed myself to close friends (not all, only the ones who would be accepting), and on rare occasions to people whom I suspect to be sociopaths themselves. For instance, I have only once revealed myself to someone I had just met, but it was obvious from our conversational topics that if he weren't a sociopath, he was something akin to it. Even so it was a delicate dance of "how much do you think you empathize with others?" "Do you think manipulation is an appropriate tool for social encounters?" "Does anyone ever ask you if you are a sociopath?" Even from the people who are accepting of who I am, a lot of them can't believe that I am a sociopath, or they sort of pretend I'm not by imagining emotions or empathy where there are none. My parents are that way. I am high-functioning and take pleasure in being exceptionally considerate, so it is not too difficult to believe that I am normal. Bjust because most of me seems good doesn't mean I don't have any sociopath-flavoured bad in me.
I'm sure a sociopath realizes that they are "different" from normal people, in the sense that they do not comprehend normal emotional responses and connections. I would assume they don't understand why this is unless they recognize the signs through their own research or if someone tells them.