I have a relative (male) who I have wondered for years whether or not is a sociopath. Not doubt in my mind...he is a narcissist. This topic has come of late. Do NOT want to start a controversy. I can easily see where it is confusing and even can be frightening. The book I am reading is The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Sout, Ph.D. Seems it is easy to get the two things confused....they are similar in ways. She does advocate that a person can be a sociopath and not be like what is typically described in the literature. I believe in the end she would say a person can have "sociopathic tendencies." She gives a case study of a woman who marries a man who she tongue in cheek says married her for her house. She had a good job and bought a nice home. They married and he rarely worked and lounged at the pool all the time. When they had a son, he quit his job and did nothing around the house or to help with the son. She hired a babysitter and the sitter was bothered by his behavior. She tried talking with- him and he constantly made excuses. Things just went from bad to worse. AFter the divorce, he used the boy as an excuse to hang around the house...particularly the pool. Pretty soon, the boy felt stressed and sad....having some inclination that something was wrong. She got angry and moved. It was very hard and confusing on the boy. He shows no remorse, never helps with his son or shows the slightest interest in him. The mother and son went through great difficulties, depression and stress. The man shows no empathy, no remorse, no love...makes no attempt to correct the situation...but instead tries to get them to feel sorry for HIM. He doesn't seem to miss them at all...but does seem to miss the pool. She indicates this man has "sociopathic tendencies." She says the only emotions that socipaths seem to feel are "primitive," affective ones that result from immediate physical pain and pleasure or from short term frustrations and successes. "Frustration may engender anger or rage in a sociopath." They also get a rush from making someone a fool. She says "narcissism is a failure not of conscience but of empathy, which is the capacity to perceive emotions in others and to react to them appropriately." Narcissists, she says are able to feel most emotions, including some guilt and sadness to "desperate love and passion. The half that is missing is the crucial ability to understand what other people are feeling." "Any input from the outside will spring back (to a narcissist) as if nothing had happened. Unlike sociopaths narcissists often are in psychological pain and may sometimes seek psychotherapy." Usually when the narcisst does seek help, it is because they are upset that they have lost friendships and this has caused them pain. They can not see it is because of their own lack of empathy with others and they are feeling "confused, abandoned and lonely. He misses the people he loves and is ill equipped to get them back." Sociopaths....do not particularly care about other people, and so do not miss them when they are gone, "except as one might regret the absence of a useful appliance that had somehow been lost.