Do sociopaths actually know what they are?

I receive a lot of email from readers, and over the years many have asked some variation of the question: Do sociopaths know what they are? Do they realize that something is wrong with them?

The answer varies with the individual sociopath, because they aren’t all the same. Generally, though, I believe sociopaths know that they are different from the rest of the human race. However, most are not bothered by their difference. They view themselves as superior.

It’s easy to see where this attitude comes from. Because sociopathy is highly genetic, and is influenced by the early childhood environment, sociopaths usually never were anything but sociopaths. They never experienced a true empathetic connection with another human being. They did not develop a desire to love and be loved. Therefore, they do not know what they are missing.

Talking to sociopaths about love and empathy is like talking to someone who has been blind since birth about the color blue. They simply have no frame of reference.

Sociopaths have totally different motivations from the rest of us. As I explained recently in Sociopathic deceit: A Plan or second nature?, they are driven by the desire for power, control and winning. Because they become so good at manipulating others to get what they want, sociopaths perceive themselves as successful, and therefore superior.

When they are diagnosed

Here’s a key point: Sociopaths do not feel any distress due to their disorder. (It’s everyone around them, who have been deceived, manipulated, cheated on, stolen from, etc., who feel distress.) Therefore, sociopaths feel no motivation to change, and do not seek treatment on their own.

When a sociopath ends up in a therapist’s office, it is because he or she was forced to go there. The sociopath was dragged in by a parent or spouse, court-ordered for an evaluation, or was incarcerated and diagnosed by prison staff.

Therefore, sociopaths may be aware of their diagnosis. Again, this does not cause them distress. They either deny it, or figure out a way to use the information to their advantage.

Lovefraud published an article back in 2007 by Dr. Steve entitled, What does the psychopath ‘do’ with this diagnosis? The article makes the point that psychopaths (the term Dr. Steve uses) don’t see themselves as having a problem. One of the most interesting things about this article was that it drew comments from someone with the user name “Secret Monster.” He said was diagnosed as a sociopath and had been in therapy. His comments gave a good insight into how a person with this disorder thinks.

In their own words

Lovefraud has heard from other people who identified themselves sociopaths. I’ve posted a few of their emails. My objective wasn’t to give them a platform; it was to show Lovefraud readers how sociopaths look at the world and how they go about manipulating others. The more we understand what they’re about, the better we can protect ourselves.

Here are two of those stories:

Letters to Lovefraud: Female sociopath shares her experience of growing up with one and using what she learned

Letters to Lovefraud: I am a sociopath

About a month after the second letter posted, I received another email from the man who wrote it:

I was very disappointed to find that you didn’t permit commenting on my letter that you posted, I was really looking forward to the responses I would receive.

I decided to search my letter online and I quickly found that it spread to numerous sites. Some of the websites allowed readers to comment and this is what I mainly gathered from the comments. People found that I was arrogant and that I enjoyed “bragging” about my intellectual ability, mainly my IQ. People also made it clear that they feel sorry for me. Fuck them.

Many readers shared that they know me but they don’t so I assume that I represent a certain sociopathic person in their lives. An archetype of what they collectively despise.

I decided to read a couple of articles on your website which you had personally wrote and you don’t have to have an aptitude at discerning to realise that you hate me. And by “me” I mean sociopaths as a whole. You do love to quote our good friends Robert Hare and Martha Stout, who are both idiots I must add.

I’ve been reading up, hitting the books ya know?, and I’ve found that some researchers and psychologists have a theory that Sociopathy/Psychopathy is not a disorder but rather an evolutionary response. Humans were created to excel and we wouldn’t be that good at it if we felt bad about our achievements.

Some people are just so stupid. They cling to their moronic convictions and when confronted with contrary evidence they still hold on to their prior beliefs. It’s pathetic. They say things that are blatantly false such as how all sociopaths are criminals or that the good ol’ anti-sociopath people are smarter than the sociopaths. Of course there are some examples when this is true but on the most part we are smarter.

I understand that it is your hobby or maybe even job, but you do seem to dislike sociopaths. I could probably find the reason if I cared enough to read your bio that you probably have on the website but where’s the fun in that? You are extremely negative towards people who you say are “struggling” with this “disorder”. Seems quite hypocritical of you to go extremely anti-sociopath. You may not know it but you are breeding the next generation of sociopath haters. Of course we don’t really care but I’d appreciate it if your website was more about raising awareness and helping people get over traumas than going on the full attack.

Proof of my point

I’ve received similar letters from a few other people who claim to be sociopaths. They say I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m judgmental, I shouldn’t refer to sociopaths as if they are all monsters.

I look at these letters as typical sociopathic trivializing, blaming, manipulation—and proof of my point. Many sociopaths know exactly what they are and what they are doing. They know the difference between right and wrong. They know that they hurt people. But they are fine with their behavior and have no motivation to change.

So to answer the original question, yes, many sociopath know what they are, but they don’t think anything is wrong with them.

Lovefraud originally published this post on April 29, 2013.

Posted in: Donna Andersen

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About 3 years ago I joined a Facebook group thinking it was a support group for people like me who had been abused by a sociopath. To my surprise it was a group for sociopaths. I was sickened by their arrogance and immoral comments. Oh they may think they are smart with their charm and manipulation tactics but it the end they will be the big losers….and there’s a place awaiting them upon their death.


Exactly. I don’t know if you believe in God, but just this morning after a night of cruel texts berating me with false accusations, and bragging about how even after all he has done, all his familial relationships bar one have come out unscathed, I opened to this scripture in the bible:

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 20:11-15.

I knew God was comforting me, and reminding me that they do not get away with it at all. Their day is coming.


Yes I do believe in God. In my darkest moments, He was there to help me cope. Five years later I am now in a new and healthy relationship. I am healed and happy.


Dear FSUfan,

Don’t know if my reply came through, as I am new here. By the way, I am also a FSU fan, too, and graduate. Go ‘Noles!

Years ago I came across a Blog that supposedly was a Christian Blog. All the people were perverted and used foul, abusive language. They apparently hijacked the Blog.

Now I know they were most likely sociopaths.

Now I stick to Blogs and Forums within tightly moderated websites, such as this one.

Yours truly,



Hi Nole friend! The dark web is a playground for these sick people. My ex even set up a fake email to try and lure me to his way of thinking. I replied to him one day “Don’t play games with girls who are smarter than you”. Ha!


nicely put


I joined Love Fraud after a friendship started to show red flags and I wanted to prove myself wrong about the person I was friends with but only ended up proving myself right about him. He would often brag about a lot of things about himself just like the person in the email shown above and I’m also sure that he was fully aware of what he was as he used to be a psychiatric nurse.
He would brag about his sexual prowess and how charming he was, that he had no boundaries, he also liked to play on the “tragic tortured genius” line too.
It wasn’t until he engaged in a relationship with a woman that was at the university that he attended the alarm bells really started to ring due to the love bombing and just a whole litany of behaviours that I was concerned about even before this woman was taken in by him, it was amazing how fast he worked. He even once joked about how he liked to manipulate women’s mothering instincts in order to make them want to look after him, as the say “many a true word is said in jest”
Also after a conversation with another former school friend who said the line “I had to unfriend and block him because I can’t have anything to do with someone like him, because it could put my job of career at risk”(the friend who said this works in early intervention with voulnrable abused children, he also had been a victim of domestic abuse himself) that I knew that I was doing the right thing in slowly and quietly fading out of the friendship I had with the Spath, I have had nothing to do with him at all since the end of 2016.
This site has been a great help in understanding that I was right to get out when I did.


romana2….great job! You had great instincts that were ‘right on’. You say you slowly and quietly faded out of the friendship. With friends, rather than romantic partners, this is a good way to do it, it seems. I’m learning this lesson from you ….


Thank you for your work, in what you do. Education is essential. I love the part at the end, where he says: “r”. Seems quite hypocritical of you to go extremely anti-sociopath. You may not know it but you are breeding the next generation of sociopath haters. Of course we don’t really care but I’d appreciate it if your website was more about raising awareness and helping people get over traumas than going on the full attack.”

This is SO TYPICAL of a sociopath.

I also love the part of the letter, where he says he is smarter and that sociopaths are smarter than non sociopaths. LOL

It is like, “No, you are just more evil than the rest of us”. There is a big difference


Donna, great thread!! The comments are eye-opening, too. Sharing with a friend who was horribly exploited by her s-path. Hoping it will help her to read this particular thread due to some of the revealing comments that were posted. Those of us who have been manipulated by sociopaths need to see both sides of the coin and be aware of the way sociopaths/psychopaths/narcissists interact with the world, including those of us whose energy fields have been damaged by early childhood trauma, adult trauma or C-PTSD, and/or by a sociopath. It has been said that until we have been affected by a sociopath, we will have NO IDEA that these types of people even exist. This is why education is critical. That was certainly true for me. It won’t be on our radar at all, so we will be oblivious to the signs or energy of a sociopath. As gullible innocents, we are often the perfect target. Since the world is being overrun by them, your post is a must-read for everyone. Thank you so much, Donna, for all you do to help us stay aware, and protect us from harm. Have you ever thought about developing a high school education program?


and everything, I mean everything, is someone else’s fault. its NEVER their fault; they don’t do anything wrong. its YOU who screw up (in their world).

I find this group to be biased against who they admit are “disordered.” “Get rid of him at once,” is a common comment, as if the psychopath chose to become one. In fact, everybody in Lovefraud comments that these conditions who they freely interchange (without having an inkling of their true meaning, as APA declares they don’t either) are highly genetic. So psychopaths and sociopaths do not choose to be insensitive “aliens, monsters, crazies”, right? Like a diabetic doesn’t choose to be a diabetic. And we know that they can’t change. So then why the hatred toward ppl who didn’t choose to be disordered, who cannot change? I guess it’s because their despicable BEHAVIOR, which is very difficult for the disordered to control or change. I am not saying that we should nurse the torturers of children, but instead to reflect on the idea that these abusers are the result of abusers themselves. Therefore, psycopaths are VICTIMS, not MONSTERS. They are victims with whom we don’t know how to treat, how to deal with, how to humanely avoid. That the uninformed, uneducated public, freshly coming from the abuse of a psychopath calls these mentally-disordered individuals epitets of hate is acceptable. But that professionals or pseudo-professionals engage in hate to the ill FOR MONEY is disgusting. All your blogs and classes are FOR PROFIT ONLY, taking advantage of the ignorant populace who could get better info in YOUTUBE (i.e. Vaknin, Lisa Romano, Rosenberg) FOR FREE. I am immediately distancing myself from you. You disgust me as pseudo healers of the “victims” of “victims”.

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