I lived with a sociopath for awhile who told me herself, that she saw herself as so much more aware and intelligent than most people, that she found it entertaining (the "game" Ian mentions above) to see how simple it is to make others do what you wanted. Then when she accomplished it, she saw it as evidence that she was so much more "evolved", and felt the need to seek out people who were sharper, more of a challenge.

Many times, I witnessed her do this when someone offended her or if she found them suspect in some way (usually those she felt could see through her). She would manipulate someone to reveal personal info about the 'offender', then get another to do something that hurt the 'offender', their career or their sense of safety. Then would come the public commentary that would distance her from the whole exchange, indicating concern for the injured party, and disdain for those type of actions.

She almost never did her own dirty work, and viewed the success of each of these ventures as evidence of her own superiority. No boundaries, no responsibility, no concern for the damage to the lives of others, only the cold concern for her own welfare and reputation.

It was the sickest, most maniacally selfadvancing behavior I've ever witnessed. And quite frightening when living there, to realize how much more dangerous she became, each time she was successful, or especially so if she began to sense she might be revealed.

Source: QUORA