All sociopaths wear a mask. What this means is the person that you see, is not the person that they actually are.
A sociopath is able to be different things with different people. They have a stunning ability to quickly assess somebody and be everything that they want/need. To do this, they use charismatic charm.
Almost all sociopaths are charismatic. But some more so than others. There are two different types of sociopath.
Whilst both are charismatic, the charismatic type is the most (obviously) charismatic of all. They turn on so much charm, it is almost obvious. If you watch them with different people they can be different people, depending what they want. They are cheesy telling you exactly what you want to hear. He plays on your ego. The bigger he thinks your ego is, (sometimes wrongfully assessed) the more compliments, he will will shower you with. Most of it is not true. He is a compulsive pathological liar, who can lie almost easier than telling the truth.
A sociopath will always assess you. You will watch them staring at you. When unnerved at why they are staring at you, they will say something like ‘I am just looking at how beautiful you are’ they say it with such sincerity, you can hardly believe that someone would use such a cheesy line and think they can get away with it. But a sociopath does. A sociopath will charm the birds out of the trees. They are masters of charm.
But there are two distinct types I have found.
The charismatic sociopath, will continue to use charm to disarm you and use you. The charisma will still be there even when the relationship is over. The mask will slip once in a while, when they go into a narcissistic rage. But usually they will lie through their teeth to tell you exactly what you want to hear. They will stay like this to the very end (at least to to your face)
The charismatic sociopath, is popular outgoing, funny, creative, good company. But always you will notice a lack of long term friends from his past. This is because he has used people up in the past, and burned bridges. The charismatic will, to your face, be delightful company. But he will almost be too charming, too smooth, too slick. It is often over the top. He will pay attention to your needs. His armour is charisma, and he has bags of it. He will charm you, and everyone around you. And he will continue to do this, to your face, until the end.
A distempered sociopath is different, in that they will also assess you, and will be very charming. Will also sit there staring, and when you say ‘what are you looking at’ will then say ‘am just looking at how beautiful you are’. But a distempered one, will once he has you lured into his web, once he has you hooked, will change. With a distempered one, you will see a different man once he has you attached to him and ‘in love’. Whilst the charismatic sociopath stays (to your face) charismatic to the end. A distempered one only remains so until he has you hooked.
Once the distempered sociopath has you hooked, the mask will slip. He will enjoy watching you confused and hurt. The man who was staring at you telling you that you are beautiful, is now telling you that you are ugly. You are so confused, and so hurt, and you think of leaving. This is not the man you fell in love with. As soon as you have had enough and are about to leave, He will then turn back on the charm, to lure you back in.
He will, for the purposes of luring you in, be the man that you (thought) you fell in love with. You will be confused. He will apologise, he will say how much you mean to him. This type of sociopath will repeat this behaviour over and over. It will feel off and on. He is sadistic and cruel. You will feel confused, so desperately wanting him to be the man that you fell in love with at the beginning. But this will never be the case. As that man does not exist, and he has no intentions of being that man. Only for long enough to lure you in, and to keep you. The rest of the time, he will emotionally and psychologically use and abuse you.
Without charm, you wouldn’t be interested in a sociopath. They need charm and lies, and the mask that they wear, to gain your trust. They use their mask of charm to continue to control you, and abuse you. Without this, if you knew the actual truth about the sociopath, you would probably never be interested in him in the first place.
He will be charming, funny, witty, entertaining. Great company. It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact, that is not who this man is at all. For the man behind the mask is the sociopath. Someone who is selfish, uses people, has no care for the rights or welfare of others. But of course, if you knew this, you would never have became involved with him.
It can be incredibly confusing, when you discover that the person you have been dating is the sociopath. He uses the mask to hide his true self, and his agenda (what he wants from you).
Often when the relationship ends, you hang on to the words that you were told, the false actions, the over the top bombardment of you, as the truth. You don’t want the reality to be true.
People around you might wonder ‘what is wrong with you?’ This person has lied, manipulated, deceived, and often cheated. You struggle to come to terms with this. After all the man that you were dating was just ‘so nice’.
Worse, is that often the sociopath continues with this nice guy act and his mask to others. So, you are led to believe that this is YOUR fault. Something that YOU have done, and therefore something that you can rectify.
With the charismatic sociopath, to your face, he will wonderful, kind, charming, right to the very end. At least to your face. `
The distempered will only keep the mask on for long enough to lure you in, in the honeymoon stage, and then give you a tiny portion of love, to lure you back, each time you try to leave, keeping you hanging on for the perfection of the initial honeymoon period, amongst this will be gaslighting, verbal and emotional abuse, and sometimes physical abuse.
See also https://datingasociopath.com/sociopath-character-traits/cunning-and-manipulative/confusion-of-kindness/