Do People Overuse the Terms “Narcissist”, “Psychopath”, and “Sociopath”? Folks Responded.

These days, I feel like people overuse pretty much EVERY term…and they usually use them out of context, too.

And I think that kind of takes away from the people out there who really are psychopaths, as an example.

It’s kind of annoying, to be honest…

Let’s see if folks on AskReddit think that the terms “narcissist”, “psychopath”, and “sociopath” are way overused.

1. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

“For the past 5ish years people have been using these terms a LOT. It is getting to the point where everyone is being deemed one or the other if they are somewhat selfish or are odd in a nontraditional manner.

I’m not defending selfish people, we could all be a lot more generous to each other, but I think using these terms to describe people who are selfish or have a selfish or shortsighted moment does nothing positive for anyone.

Some people don’t show remorse the same way, or express emotions the same way, or know how to be empathetic as well as others but that doesn’t mean you should just be calling them by these serious medical conditions (I’m not a psychologist forgive me if these terms should be in a different category or if they are in different categories themselves, but you get my point).

If you’re not qualified to make this determination: call them extremely selfish or say that they have an inappropriate way of expressing themselves. If you try and diagnose something you don’t know anything about you just look like a fool. Googling articles to “prove” your point by searching for quotes that fit your definition doesn’t make you more right it just means you spent more time trying to prove to yourself that you know what you’re talking about.

Now, if you are trained in this area and you want to provide evidence that’s completely different; you’re not searching for confirmation you’re providing examples so us other folk can understand without having to go through as much training.

I’m not saying this is the most unpopular opinion out there but I see so many people throw these terms out all the time and no one ever goes “oh wait theyre just a little selfish or shortsighted” so I feel unpopular in my distaste for it. (Also shoutout to mental health professionals yall are heroes and champs in a time that I’m sure is testing your capabilities like no other).”

2. Ugh.

“OMG yeah.

I just got told I was ‘gaslighting’ my daughter because I got mad at her for leaving her dishes in the sink for 12 hours.”

3. All of ’em, huh?

“Same with everyone’s ex being a narcissist.

I mean, how are all these people able to come up with a mental health diagnosis that explains all the relationship problems and somehow places responsibility on the other without a hearty measure of narcissism themselves?

I cringe everytime I read or hear some account of “my ex narc isn’t hoovering me, whyyyy?””

4. Look in the mirror.

“Quite honestly, if someone believes they are surrounded by narcissists…..the chances certainly increase that they themselves are narcissists.

One feature of the disorder is expecting to be treated special, so being treated like anyone else, or being held accountable for your actions (without being able to identify your own problematic actions that caused the poor treatment) will seem like poor treatment to a narcissists.”

5. Just thrown around.

“Most terms like these are being thrown around like a frisbee.

Gaslighting is super specific. It’s psychological a**se where the a**ser causes the victim to question their perception of experience, reality, sanity or memories in the effort to make sure they don’t trust themselves in order to keep them in a submissive state.

I was married for 5 1/2 years to someone with heavy narcissistic tendencies who a**sed me physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. He has a slew of other sociopathic tendencies that he masked so well when we were dating and in the early part of our marriage. As an a**se survivor, it makes me mad too.”

6. Shame!

“Stupid ignorant social-media influencers spread the mis-use of these medical terms.

Shame on them.”

7. Dig a little deeper.

“Add in any form of neurodivergance in kids. People recommend kids ‘get tested’ at the drop of a hat.

There is absolutely zero wrong with being on the spectrum, and diagnoses are critical, but the idea that there might be something atypical with a child needs to come from more than a 3 sentence Facebook post about how little Timmy eats his sandwiches crust first.”

8. Agreed!

“Sometimes the person is just a jerk.

Just because they’re a jerk doesn’t mean that there is some mental illness to explain their behavior. Sometimes people are b**ches. Being an a**hole isn’t a mental illness.

Diagnosing everyone you have negative interactions with makes it harder for the people that actually have those disorders to get help.”

9. It’s not black and white.

“This is a problem I have with Instagram “therapy/advice” accounts. They tend to divide the world up into very black-and-white categories of “empaths” and “narcissists.” Especially accounts focused on relationships and codependency.

They’re always (perhaps intentionally) vague about the difference between having a few narcissistic personality traits or tendencies, and having Narcissistic Personality Disorder. And this stuff was so common that it was actually really detrimental to my progress when I started seeing an actual psychologist.”

10. Wow.

“The majority of society is a bunch of idiots masquerading as educated people. Words mean things, but you can’t tell most people that.

When 99% of people think that any synonym can be dropped in at will and mean the SAME thing, it’s not possible to have a crowd that understands definitions.”

11. Definitely true.

“Another one that is overused is OCD. People joke and say “haha I’m so OCD my desk always needs to be organized!” Like nooooo, that’s not OCD.

Usually people with OCD are actually messy, such as suffering from hoarding for example. Or they are to busy doing their rituals to clean the house for example.

When people are referring to the “clean freak” and “hyper organization” they are referring to OCPD, which is very different and a whole other thing.”

12. Here’s another one.

“And triggered. People don’t even know what the word triggered means. Being triggered doesn’t mean offended. Being triggered is a term psychiatrist or counselors use when trauma is activated.

How people act out when you’re triggered varies a great deal. It’s actually a pet peeve of mine every time I see someone call someone triggered, especially over politics I feel the need to tell them that you’re misusing the word and now that I have learned is something you should stop using it and start correcting people too.

It’s such an overused word for what it doesn’t even mean about the seriousness of the word isn’t even known.. when a mentally ill person or a traumatized person is triggered it is a very serious thing and these people need help to get through it.. it really gets under my skin..”

How about you?

Do you think these terms are overused?

Let us know what you think in the comments!