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What I do know is that I have a tendency to curry favor and if something seems off regarding a persons mood, my first feeling is I must have done something wrong and try to do damage control when none is necessary.
I can come off as "it's always all about me" because during "episodes" I need constant confirmation that "things are okay between us". It can be with coworkers, my children or friends during the usual short time those relationships last.
I know I am draining when I am like this because the process becomes redundant and one-sided.
This is something I am working on but change is a process. Part of that process is understanding its roots. Not in a I want to quote a diagnostic manual way but in an effort to understand my own unhealthy, developmentally learned traits.

@Alice.in.Wonderland, I could've written this. I made my way to the definitions of narcissist/highly functioning sociopath for the same reasons -- it feels like they can smell the slightest chance of a nearly co-dependent "need" to please from across the room.

You are not alone in what you've describe.

And I agree -- I'm also not trying to clinically diagnose anyone so much as steer clear of specific potential threats and understand the "roots" of my own behavior.
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Many psychopaths and sociopaths are phenomenally charismatic
As are many narcissists, when they want to be. I've had a lot of conversations about this with my T. He says, as a general rule, when he meets someone with a lot of charisma, his narcissist detector goes into gear. Not ALL charismatic people fit this category, but his advice is to look closely and be suspicious.
it feels like they can smell the slightest chance of a nearly co-dependent "need" to please from across the room.
And, when you think about it, they probably can. What would appeal to a person how KNOWS they are the center of the known universe more than to be involved with someone who's sure the other person is always right? :confused: I don't know that most of these people are running around looking for people they can hurt. I think it's more likely that most of them are just looking for people who can and will fulfill their needs. A certain lack of self esteem and self worth fits pretty nicely with that.
I think it's more likely that most of them are just looking for people who can and will fulfill their needs.

I agree with that. I think most people are more interested in their own needs than they are actively interested in "hunting" other humans for sport.

But, the truth is that consequence is the same for me whether I'm collateral damage or prey. Whether the intent is to hurt me or not, I'm still hurt. I'm trying to get my needs met too. I can't see to my needs and theirs -- they're incompatible. Someone loses in that situation. What a narcissist, psychopath and sociopath all have in common is that they're not usually the losers. So, It's better for me to avoid that kind of interpersonal dynamic all together...
that to be diagnosed with NPD a person has to have 5 of the major traits.

In the DSM V its 5 or more. I didnt place the link as its a PDF and those are always long links on my phone but just google DSM V NPD and its the first one. I had to then find Nar as it started with personality disorders general and then in the As but its 5 or more.

A narcissist, according to my T anyway, is probably born that way.

Actually the real answer is no one knows. I suppose one can say thats being born that way but i like to seperate the 2 as no one knows means it could be and could not be they were born that way.
The diagnostics for the personality disorders are kind of mid-process, as far as the current DSM goes.

The easiest way I remember the key difference between narcissists and anti-socials (agreed @Ragdoll Circus - it's a misleading name), is that narcissists will cause problems for themselves as a result of their disorder. Anti-socials/sociopaths will usually navigate their life situations much more effectively.

And yes, it's a spectrum.

I know one classic narcissist, fairly well. It's the spouse of a very good friend, and I've known them for nearly 20 years. It's a horrible thing to see, it really is.
The more I think about it, I can see more narcissistic traits in my father. I started writing him a few years back. I think I was still hoping for some kind of apology. It never got past the letter stage and I would type the letters on my computer so I had a copy in case I needed proof. Yeah, I know.
I remember in one letter him mentioning that I went back to school and get a degree. He didn't say " good for you".
He related to a time when my sister quit high school in the 11th grade and he balled like a baby sitting on the side of the tub his face over the sink. I did lsay something like don't worry, I will stay in school.
The kicker is several years later the old lady left and through my 8th and 9th year of school he kept me home so much I flunked 9th grade and he did not care one bit. He actually said so what or something to that
First I am not totally comfortable with the term "disorder" becoming a label for those whose brains work differently than what is considered the "societal norm" BUT it is better than previous assumptions of being possessed

That depends where you are, though.

Some corners of the world are just fine labeling 'a disorder' because it's a 'politically correct thing to do', and then proceeding with treatment as if you were posessed, reasoning with similarly delusional logic as a 'true' reason what's happening with you.

So correct labeling does not guarantee correct assumptions, much less correct course of treatment.
I have thought about, am I a narcissist? I don't think so. Certainly not in a diagnostic sense. I do think I picked up many learned behaviors that have a narcissistic under tone and I need to change them.
OP I think you may be unclear about what antisocial personality disorder is-------many think it's about being alone, a loner, etc. It's not. What you describe could be antisocial personality disorder. People with this disorder can indeed appear to be "social" but it's all a farce.
I know I have crossed paths with a narcissist or two to say the least in my lifetime. Yes, they are the smartest people in the room always. If you went to the moon, they created the moon. They get on my nerves like a festering splinter that I can't find until I have a full blown bacterial infection. I wonder if there is any synergy between narcissism and my Givers and Takers philosophy. Givers love to give and takers love to take. They are naturally attracted to one another for this very reason; the one fulfills the need of the other. Problems arise when there s nothing left of the giver to give. They have given all they can. You see, takers are always ok. They are parasites and all they do is feed off of the good works of the giver. When the giver is laying on the floor completely spent, the taker will come and kick the giver and ask them, "What the hell is wrong with you? I am just fine." This scenario has played out ceaselessly my entire life, with me being the lonely giver. Takers most definitely are at the very least narcissists plus a whole lot more that I can't really state without mega-doses of obscene profanity. So where is the silver lining in this cloud from where I stand. Simple......" Every Dog Has It's Day." That works for me.
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