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The Sociopath Next Door

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According to The Sociopath Next Door by Dr. Stout, the U.S. hosts 11.7 million psychopaths, and New York City is home to 320,000 of them. She knows this because people with clipboards have determined that four percent of the American population are psychopaths. Such a staggering fact obviously raises a host of questions: Who are these psychopaths? Where do they shop? Do they all vote Republican?

Well, I was disappointed to discover that psychopaths (whom Dr. Stout, every bit the Harvard clinician, prefers to term “sociopaths”) do not all spend their days sewing dresses made from human skin. They are unable to forge emotional attachments, and as a result they never form a conscience; that’s it. They are remorseless and shameless, but they are not particularly anything else. Your average psychopath is as average as your average American. Sure, occasionally a superstar like Charlie Manson hits the scene, but he’s the exception. One psychopath may spend his life lazily and shamelessly leeching off others; one may end up a pathetic middle manager whose only joy is abusing her modest power; another is a greedy, lying CEO; another is a carping old hag; still another is Vice-President. You’ve certainly met at least one in your lifetime, because it turns out that “psychopath” is merely the clinical term for the more colloquial “asshole” or “bitch.”

Although psychopaths do not suffer the burden of a conscience, they are not blind to social mores or the emotions of others. They cannot feel, but they can imitate. Consequently, they are able to expertly blend in among us feelers — even to use our feelings against us. Pity, remorse, and love are the poison tipped arrows in the psychopath’s arsenal. Robbed of the deeper human satisfactions, their motivations are basic, animal. They live to win — or if not to win, then to make others lose. With 96 percent of the population distracted from their own self-interest by inexplicable emotional impulses, the able psychopath can manipulate or steamroll anyone in the way. Even the most hardened among us are sometimes inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt, and all the psychopath requires is an opening and then it’s BLAM! POW! — a broken heart, an empty bank account, a stolen child, or your liver in some guy’s freezer. Afraid? What about that boss of yours? What’s up with the sharp glint in his eye? And that boyfriend who protests his love so fervently… is he overcompensating? Oh, and the lady at the deli: why does she always make the sandwiches out of your view? “Who is the devil you know?” asks Dr. Stout or, rather, the helpful people from the Broadway Books publicity department.

Fear mongering, while good for book sales, is bad for the conscience, and luckily, Dr. Stout (hell, let’s just call her Martha) has one. No doubt at least one psychopath knows where you live — where you sleep, even. But don’t worry! With Martha’s help, you can protect yourself from the conscienceless menace. “Spooky eyes” is a red flag, but one man’s spooky eyes are another man’s colored contact lenses, so you’re going to need more than that. How about a “glib and superficial charm?” Mix that up with extreme spontaneity, and you’ve got the trademark “sociopathic charisma.” But that’s only one breed of psychopath. There’s also the “abrasive sociopath,” who is always out to screw everyone and doesn’t bother to hide it — shouldn’t be too hard to spot, eh? But wait: there’s also the “covetous sociopath,” who is always out to screw everyone, but hides it carefully — and doesn’t even necessarily have spooky eyes! Ultimately, Martha fesses up that there is no catchall tell-tale mark. The closest she comes is the “pity play”; when they’re really in a jam, psychopaths resort to the most shameless histrionics you can imagine. Beyond that, “knowing someone well for many years” is the only way to be sure of that boss, boyfriend, or lady at the deli.

The main selling point of the book proving somewhat of a sham, readers might not find the remainder of the book much consolation, but here’s where Martha really gets her hands dirty and asks the big questions. What is conscience? Is it necessarily good? What forms conscience? Briefly: “a sense of obligation ultimately based in an emotional attachment to others”; yes; not exactly sure, but I have some ideas. After a learned discussion of historical theories of conscience, in which both Aquinas and Freud furrow their brows and complicate matters, Martha emerges with the warm fuzzies. Intellectualize it all you want, she says, but conscience is based on love. It’s only a heartbeat from there to conjecturing that conscience — “the nexus of psychology and spirituality” — is science’s name for the soul. Since her professional qualifications do not permit her to make pronouncements on metaphysical matters, Martha is skittish about coming out with it, but it’s apparent from this equivalence that psychopaths must be soulless. Science has no cure for such a thing.

Psychopaths are born, not made. Try as she might, Martha has trouble solving the nurture side of the nature/nurture equation for psychopaths. It would be nice to be able to tell parents “don’t beat your kids or they’ll grow up to be psychopaths and then you’ll be sorry,” but while child abuse does increase the likelihood of criminality, it does not lead to remorselessness (only 50 percent of violent criminals are psychopathic). Other possibilities are raised and dismissed until all that Martha’s left with is culture. American culture, with its celebration of individualism (its debauched orgy of selfishness and acquisitiveness), is rich soil for a young psychopath, who is sure to blossom into a mature terror. In China and Japan, where “interconnectedness” is a central cultural concept, psychopathic behavior is less socially acceptable, and as a result, the incidence of psychopathy is less than a quarter of ours. In America, the great melting pot, even psychopaths can be themselves.

Rather than succumb to pessimism about the 11.7 million soulless beasts that stalk the American landscape, Martha has a brighter take on things. Because they are endowed with conscience, humans are generally good; killing makes a conscience sick, and people are only capable of evil under extraordinary circumstances. Accordingly, she dismisses the “shadow theory” of human nature that supposes us all capable of the worst. Psychopaths have no inner restraint and are capable of anything. But that’s them. And like the villains in the movies, they always lose in the end. Sure, they might poison your dog or invade Poland, but eventually they go too far, and humanity prevails. So rest easy. But keep your eyes open.

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About Paul Kiel

  • Who are these psychopaths?… Do they all vote Republican?

    This sarcasm undermines the rest of your review — except for that superfluous joke, I would have said, “Wow! I gotta read this book!”

  • sydney

    “Who are these psychopaths?… Do they all vote Republican?”

    — and do they all run for public office?

  • um, wait. They’re two different things. Psychopaths dont CARE about how their actions may affect others. Sociopaths dont FEEL. They cannot sympathize or empathize.

  • This “review” is repugnant and lazy. It’s a shame it was posted to BC.

    First and foremost, there are real and important differences between sociopaths and psychopaths. For you to arbitrarily decide “I don’t care.” and to use the other term is arrogant.

    Sociopaths can understand the difference between right and wrong, but don’t care. They are sometimes called predators, because their behavior can seem predatory. Psychopaths don’t even understand the world. They have fundamental brain dysfunctions that render their world permanently confusing.

    The degree of sociopathy determines the degree of successful functioning. Guys like Ted Bundy are very, very rare. Most sociopaths just see the straightest line to want they want and go along it. They bump up against other people and the law and hence get into trouble. Most don’t ever understand why, and so eventually end up with no friends (only folks they can use) and in jail. A very, very few (either the mildly sociopathic or the rarer deeply sociopathic but highly intelligent ones) learn to keep out of trouble while still following that straightest line.

    And “spooky eyes” isn’t a joke. I don’t know how many schizophrenic or psychopathic people you’ve met, but if you’ve ever been stared at by one, you’d know exactly what Dr. Stout is talking about. It’s deeply unnerving. The hindbrain *knows* something’s wrong.

    The arrogance, insult and blithe smugness of this post really offends me. Greed and control aren’t sociopathy. Get over yourself, reread the book and learn something.

  • Eric Olsen

    I have seen those eyes

  • sydney

    I’ve seen those eyes as well!

  • No, that’s not it, sydney. (Yes, I know you’re kidding.) When you’re looking over cuts of meat or bins of vegetables at the grocery store, do you glare malevolently? Of course not. But being regarded that flatly and directly is highly unsettling.

    Intent focus, no emotion. Think of a piece of furniture or a work of art that you’re studying intently. Imagine being on the receiving end of that.

  • Sorry, this is a little confusing. If a person doesn’t know there’s a difference between a psychopath and sociopath… would that make the person a psychopath, or only a sociopath?

    And if the person doesn’t care about the difference, would that make them… uh… the other one?

    Help me out here, Doc!

  • jeanne wells

    I tend to take a lot of things very seriously…while reading this I wondered about parents who might see this in a child, what can they do? They book didn’t leave much hope.

  • melissa

    I read this book. I would recommend it to anyone that suspects they have been the victim of a sociopath/con artist. This book helps even the playing field a little when you know what a sociopath is and what you are dealing with.

  • If any of you have seen the documentary “The Corporation,” it makes a pretty convincing case that corporate America and consumerist American society are sociopathic and psychopathic based on the DSM-IV criteria.

    That is all.

  • Tom Grounds

    I thought the book was pretty informative; if the facts are accurate. I’ve had several encounters with sociopaths throughout my life time and have learned instinctively (through trial and error) how to deal with some of them. Some things mentioned in the book helped to clarify why some tactics work and other don’t. However, I think I am dealing with a child that may have some of these traits (though not all), and I’m also concerned about their future prospects, which the book doesn’t really address. You can extricate yourself from many relationships, but I can’t bring myself to give up on one of my own children. Informing yourself helps though, and that is the primary goal of the book. The fact that ‘interconnectedness’ teaching may seem to help offers some hope.

  • gary

    please help need help, i have a sociopath moving into our home it is my wonderful girlfriends son. this a woman who has helped me beyound all of my disabilities that are another story. 26 year old son she did not raise. her ex raised the child and did a very poor job of it. same old same old.
    OK HELP can anyone HELP> my personality is that of a neuture and a care giver. I have been fighting depression and have a ruined back. ok now this guy has brought me to violence> He is a pure sociopath . and he is having depression problems and cannot figuire out why kknow one loves him, he lived in the same town his whole life and has no friends. OK, he is a sociopath. give me advice ,Help, courage, all i know to do is to avoid at all costs! Is there anyway to help him! he is a monster. His profile is that he is smart enough to stay out of trouble with the law. and verbally abuses everyone. no respect for anyone. help please e mail me please help! i need education on sociopathy. all i know is there is little or no hhope for them. and under no condition do i believe that there is a cure. please tell me i am wrong. help i have free long distance in the usa. send me your ph# help! i would like to help make his life better, but i am not going to do it without the advice of someone that can convince me ! i am looking for help and will not refuse any advice. help. with all my love and may all victoms of sociopaths heal! and get on with there lives. Even under depression i know life can be wonderful if we make the right choices.and so can yours> Haave you been here? then e mail me .I cannot understand this is happening again! third time this has happened to me this time i know who what and why! but i do not know what to do ! forgive my spelling and grammer. gary

  • noneof yourbusiness

    Ok. I am a diagnosed sociopath. I am not violent, I do not intentionally ‘con’ anyone. I don’t intend on being particularly malicious towards anyone. I am a sociopath becuase I cannot (according to a plethera of personality and identity tests) emphathize with people and I have a abnormal idea of what a conscience is. I spend every day of my life figuring out how to be normal, so I won’t offend anyone accidentally with my ‘disorder’. The fact that people believe all people with these traits are dangerous to society really bothers me. To use an appropriate cliche, we’re people to.

  • Compassionate Neurotic

    to “none of your business”. you do remember the part in Dr. Stout’s book about the sure tell of a socio is the “pity play”. your post demonstrates this.

  • Smurfcreature

    A lousy review of an excellent book. The reviewer is more interested in glib himself than really reviewing the book. Sociopathy is a real disorder with devastating consequences.

  • Elle

    Really, if anyone out there can respond to my concern, I would be grateful. I have a teenage son and there is not doubt of his sociopathy. Now, where do we go from here? How do I address the issue with him, help him become more self aware and, hopefully, successful with future relationships? Is there a book anyone can recommend?

  • Bev

    Elle: I am in a similar situation and desperate for help. Let me know if you get any suggestions regarding books or help. Bev

  • stereo_rose

    to “none of your business”. you do remember the part in Dr. Stout’s book about the sure tell of a socio is the “pity play”. your post demonstrates this.

    I’m curious about this, too. I’ve been living with a diagnosis of borderline sociopathy/sociopathic for years (a few different doctors, a few different opinions), and have never attempted to con or (to my knowledge) hurt anyone, I have a stable job, and a few friends. I mostly keep to myself, read alot and enjoy solitary hobbies. I certainly don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for me…I don’tthink I have a reason for them to feel sorry. If I spend my life trying to just get by on my own mettle without disrupting people around me, does this make me a freak of nature?

    Of course sociopaths are ‘people’ too…everyone is a person. I may not understand conscience as some other people do, but I try to live by example. (Meaning the example of the people in my life who have ‘normal’ consciences) I may have a ‘disorder’ but that doesn’t mean I can’t try to make the best of life and learn to get by without stepping on anyone’s heart or toes.

    A blanket diagnosis doesn’t define the whole of a person’s being. It just can’t.

  • unsureOFme

    an internet chat revealed that i may be a sociopath. upon further research, not enough in my opinion, i do possess quite a few traits. this is scary to learn but at the same time good. though it seems that there is no hope of being “normal”, it would be good to know methods to remain balanced… and maybe, just maybe, be able to be successful in relationships. to form human bonds with those outside of a family obligation. there is so much to write here that most would not have the patience. if anything, don’t feel sorry for me… pity is the last thing that i need… the first being HELP!

  • Poetry

    OK i can’t take it anymore so i went to seek help they told me “what i was ” well what they think but inside i really don’t know i wish that i can just be normal I’m a girl dealing with this & all i keep reading & seeing is people saying that when you find out that a person you know has this type of of thing inside them ((( THAT THEY DID NOT ASK FOR ))) you should hurry up and get as far away from them as you can because (WE) (( THE SCARED )) (THE CRAZY) are bad people WHY DO THEY SAY THAT don’t we too still need love do we not deserve love because of what is inside of us believe me i bet that if you ask anyone with this disorder if they had a chance to get rid of it they would love to because it is sooooo scary sometimes the way you feel inside and to not have no clue why you feel that way it is so hard don’t yall think we want help or maybe you think we want to be this way lol

    I JUST WISH TO KNOW FOR YOU TO KNOW AND FOR ME BECAUSE TO KNOW IS THE KEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sociopaths should be shot

    I am being targeted by a group of sociopaths that are intent on ruining my life and drive me to suicide…. How can I stop them – or should they be shot? HELP!!

  • BooYouWhore

    Just to say…
    those of you who are pissing yourselves about thinking you maybe a sociopath…
    You’re not.
    If you were then you wouldn’t give a shit if you really were or weren’t

    -Thanks ;]

  • At BooYouWhore,

    Actually, people can seek help if they find things intrusive enough on their lifestyle.

  • Tex Mex

    Martha Stout writes that sociopathy, with its defining lack of conscience, is the result of some missing wiring in the brain. Consequently, the broad spectrum of emotions (especially love), which ordinarily enriches life with others and makes empathy possible, is also missing. What little wiring exists yields a tenuous, primitive connection to humanity characterized by envy, and manifested as a predatory, no-holds-barred compulsion to win, as if life were an interminable chess game.

    She presents composite case histories as examples of sociopathy, including the frog-killing kid who grew up to be a corporate bully, and an older woman who compulsively fussed with neighbors and yard rodents. But the most compelling example is a administrator with fraudulent credentials at a mental institution. As a “covetous sociopath,” the administrator targets those to whom she feels inferior, doing nasty, undermining things to make herself look good by comparison. This is the type I’ve had the misfortune to encounter.

    Once a “covetous sociopath” targets your life, and the malevolent game-playing begins, it is one attack after another, set-up after set-up. Their outrages are often petty and unprovable, calculated so that the victim appears crazy when describing the mischief to police. Called to account, the sociopath plays innocent victim (“the pity ploy”), easier to do if the infuriated target retaliates. These sociopaths may operate by getting information about others (stalking and eavesdropping are not always paranoia) so they can screw everything up in the target’s work or life to cause pain and humiliation — which those I encountered would feed off, accompanied by large quantities of alcohol. To end the nightmare, it is essential to cut off their flow of information about your affairs, even if it means moving away. These people are sick, although they are utterly convinced the problem is you, as they will try to persuade the gullible.

    I am grateful to Martha Stout for explaining the biology and motivations of sociopaths, which helped me put their insanity in perspective. It is NOT their victim’s fault. They want to destroy in others what they lack — like talent, character, or even the ability to love and be loved — an existential vengeance against the happiness deprived them.

  • I know sociopaths

    This is obviously spoken by a person who has never truly experienced a dangerous sociopath. Your lackidazical nonchallance toward them is atrocious with regard to the dangerous sociopaths. They are not bitches or assholes, they are extremely dangerous.

    But, few people experience them.

    I did.

  • Tex Mex

    Perhaps you should read Martha Stout’s book, particularly the chapter concerning “covetous sociopaths.” This is the sub-category which I was addressing, based on personal experience which left me with a lingering case of posttraumatic stress disorder. They didn’t just go after me in their obsessive, twisted game-playing, but after members of my family, including pets. As such, I would be the last person to have “lackidazical nonchallance” toward any variety of sociopath. A human being without conscience can be terrifying.

    You speak of your experience with dangerous sociopaths. Can you offer specific examples, or was it just said for dramatic effect?

  • Been There

    Dated and fell in love with one. What everyone has to fundamentally realize is this comes down to good and evil. A conscience is ultimately a soul. With this in mind what destoy’s someone’s soul? Sin. I have read a lot of research that sociopaths are born not made. I agree but disagree. Sin leads to death and once your spiritually dead you belong to Satan and you are now souless. As time goes by your actions eventually catch up with you as evils inevitable destination is destruction.

    This is a sad % of the society and I agree are extremely dangerous, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. Their ONLY goal in life is to feed. Feed off other people’s good. Think of them like locusts or harvestors of soul’s. That is all they desire and want to do! That is all! The SECOND you mention the King of Kings, Jesus, watch these bastards squirm. FYI they are not all male, not by a LONG shot! In fact most sociopaths are female but do not make the news because men are more prone to voilence and other very noisy attractions.

    The bible WARNS US OVER AND OVER about these people!!! I feel under one’s trap because I rebelled against the lord. You can bet your ass that won’t happen again as these people are cunning enough to get ya WITHOUT the wisdom the lord provides.

    Think about it most sociopaths cannot feel but most ALL of them are addictive to sexual and lude lifestyles. Is this more about finding the only thing that stimulates them or about harvesting????

    OJ Simpson is a sociopath and although a horrible person I think he is a fascinating candidate to study about. Again Evil ALWAYS leads to inevitable destruction.

    Thank you Jesus, King of Kings for your grace.

  • Andrew M.

    Yet another highly misunderstood condition.

    It’s very easy to paint sociopaths negatively. The fact that without remorse or shame committing crimes or feeding off of others becomes far easier.

    This doesn’t mean “regular” people don’t do these things, it’s just harder for them. In the same sense, just because someone is a sociopath, doesn’t mean they -will- do these things, it’s just easier. Starting to get it?

    Don’t be so close minded about these people, some do follow their own code of ethics and do good things, even if it may only be to fit in. Really, most of us are just trying to understand all of you.

  • everyday is halloween

    Straight away I would like to agree with the other posts regarding the interchangeable use of the terms psychopath and sociopath.

    Still, my main reason for stumbling upon this article: I was looking for people posting (or boasting) that they are sociopaths; I have, however, read Dr. Stout’s book and found it to be a little cavalier toward sociopaths. Not all sociopaths should be feared, although human beings do have a history of fearing things they do not understand. I’m terribly afraid that for all her credentials and case studies Dr. Stout is merely a member of the audience. Where she offers insight into the sociopathic mind, I can give people a behind-the-scenes view, you see I personally am a sociopath, the star of the show. I am writing a book under a pseudonym about my life as “a shadow-free monstrosity”. Please note I use the term shadow to represent the conscience, you know, wherever you go your shadow is there…well, for most people. I won’t get too far into it here, sufficient to say “Everyday Is Halloween” (working title) may prove helpful to people on both sides of the quest to in any sense understand the sociopathic mind that is for most people unimaginable.

    You are probably asking why the nom de plume? Three very important reasons:

    1) To protect my identity. This one should be obvious; I am afterall a Sociopath and as the standard profile suggests, I have an extremely high intelligence level and am fully aware what the majority of the population thinks about this condition. I know what kind of repercussions being honest about my deepest thoughts would have on my life, the damage it would do to the career and world that I have made for myself. Which brings me to…

    2) Honesty. I know some of you believe that we are all liars, but it is only when we are afraid of the consequences attached to telling the truth. Only in anonymity can I be totally honest about what goes on in my mind during my day to day life. Otherwise I wouldn’t expect the readers to take my writing seriously.

    3) Last but certainly not least:
    “The Pity Party Factor”.
    Along with dishonesty this is another element that it is necessary to eliminate in order to maintain my credibility. Example: I noticed that in other posts there were sociopaths accused of posting for pity. I’m not using my real name as to minimize the chance of my book being reviewed as a solicitation of pity. If you don’t know who I am why should I care if you feel sorry for me? In all honesty, I don’t care in my normal life either, but I do want my book to be taken seriously, so I am trying to remove some of the hurdles I will surely face when I publish it.

    I will respond to one last question that I am sure is on the edge of your brain, why write the book in the first place? On the surface I have not always known that I am a sociopath, in my mind I believe I have always been aware that on a very basic level I was different from everyone else in my world. It is only in the last two years that I figured it out. Like anyone living with (for lack of a better word) a condition, I’ve done everything to better grasp what it means to be a person with sociopathic tendencies. After being misdiagnosed many times, failed medications, etc. it’s quite a relief to get an answer. As you can imagine keeping all of this inside takes its toll, even on a Sociopath like me. In short, ‘m not sure what I hope to accomplish with the book, the most likely reasons may be to have a catharsis* that I cannot have face to face or to defend myself against common misconceptions about sociopaths, or perhaps I am merely bored with being bored..

    *I know what you’re thinking, there cannot be an emotional cleansing for a shadow-free person such as myself, right? I maintain that I’m not without a soul nor completely emotionless. It has actually been my experience that a major emotional factor (where sociopaths are concerned) has been overlooked by all the psychologists and therapists alike; something that only a real sociopath would know. I also believe that there are many inaccurate self-diagnosis in regards to Sociopathy due to the fact that so many studies fail to fully understand or clearly illustrate this emotional factor For a better explanation, read the book when it comes out.

  • DCroissant

    When I read the book, I did so because I knew I had seen “those eyes” and that my life had actually been jeopardized by sociopathy. (I think that’s what the person’s problem was). The giving of love without receiving in a close relationship ends up totally draining one’s psyche to the point of clinical depression. I felt so unlovable and so unnecessary, no matter what I tried. I had been reduced to being nothing but a possession. The anger and the nastiness I had to endure as I fought for seven years to get out of this situation was horrifying. (You don’t dare leave if you are someone’s possession.)

    However, one particular passage in the book should have been expanded upon, I think. Stout briefly touches on the difference between a Narcissist and a Sociopath. I think the damage done by a Narcissist in a close relationship may be as deeply harmful; but I also think that it may be sadder; and I also wonder if the person who I dealt with may have been a Narcissist instead. Those people who have posted about their diagnoses and who have asked for understanding–I wonder if they fit the Narcissist category instead, and I wonder how that makes a difference.

    I liked the book’s examination of the deeper philosophical ramifications. There is so much to learn about human nature and so much our society needs to know as we pass laws and elect officials.

    Lots to think about.

  • gnlv

    hello all try and make this short.ok theres this girl i have been with for almost 2 years and i have fallen in love with her .she told me she was in love with me also and wanted to spend the rest of her life with me.and i beleaved her.she told me her boy friend was in prision for a year for drugs.{she is white 26 years old has 4 kids with a diff man{the bf in prison is a 52 years old black man. i am a 43 year old white man.} ok she told me she would never go back with him that she was done he did alot of bad things to her and her kids.well the day he got out she up and stole money from a friend of mine and she denies even seeing him and has bewen back and fourth to me and him ..well i guess he got feed up with it and beat her up real bad 3 weeks ago and she called me cryiing so i picked her up and the kids and they stayed for like a week and she took my car 1 day and was sapposed to take a gift to her daughter friend birth day party.and just drop it off. well 6 hrs goes by and no sigh of her i no right htere she had went and seen him even after he beat her and her son 13 . so anyways this is what really gets me.when i speak to her she talks to me like a real bi-ch and trys to blame me for what she has done or doing?? and she has never admited to doing any thing wrong or ever even appoligized for.. and she has made me out to being this bad guy to all we know and she provolks me into doing bad thing ?/i think so in her mind it justicfys what she has done?/ she has lied cheated and stolen things from me.. yoiu would never beleave that if you seen her and talked to her she carrys her self so well and she is so pretty but she has some very serius mebtal issues that i want to know is there help for this person ??? the black guy is a meth dealer she does do meth. just wanted to throw that in as well. .. so is there hope what should i do?? try and help her or run or what??/

  • Anon.

    You do realize that by this definition, all people living in and born out of a shame society can be categorized as sociopaths, right?

    Woohoo. I hope you do go ahead and exterminate us. It’ll be an amusing bout of hypocrisy before humanity either destroys itself, is destroyed by natural forces, or is obliterated by technological singularity.

  • bliffle

    There’s no hope with such people. They never change because they are incapable of change.


  • My god!!!!! so glad you posted this article. It is so real of a phenom!!!! The nature of a sociopath is that they slip right under the radar with their social crimes they commit.

    IT IS TIME FOR LAW AND PSYCHOLOGY AND THERAPY TO WAKE UP TO THIS!!! One very close to me has had a life invaded by such a person, claiming to be a ‘best friend’ (forging relationships since they are unable to have ‘real’ friends).

    In the case I talk about, I am astoundied how poor the world of law, psychiatry and therapy is in not recognizing this. I see such industries (excuse my French)’sucking the dick’ of such sociopaths. The sociopath acting as ‘the friend’ trying to help the damaged victim (damage by the sociopath).

    So-called professionals, eh? And they charge you money to shove the victim into the sociopath’s control. And the victim is stuck with this ‘mental illness’ stigma when all they are trying to do is have their own life. I call that ‘accessory to a crime’

    If one goes to the website http://www.myspace.com/x15, click on the blog entitled ‘women, feminists, radical women’. It shows study results finally identifying an aspect of this syndrome. Women, free yourself!!!!!!

    I ask anyone who can direct organizations, lawyers, etc. to assist a person here in Seattle who is a poster child to this syndrome. As I said, this woman has been beaten down so much she sees no way out to escape the control and oppression of this pathological sociopath. The law and psychology world are ignorant, just suckering up to the mind of a sociopath’s control.


    Stand Up!!!!

  • gnlv (comment #32), as I have posted in other comments, go to http://www.myspace.com/x15. Below the song listings is a blog link entitled ‘women, feminists, radical women’ Read that. It might give guidance to what you (and she) are really dealing with.

    Heavy, but real stuff. Spread the word! Horribly oppressive stuff. People may not get it at first, but it is very real….

    full on, brother!

  • Duped

    I didn’t know that I had ecountered a psychopath because I didn’t know what one was. I later discovered, a person, who I thought was my bestfriend I grew up with was psychopath/sociopath while I was trying to figure out what happened. They are evil. I do believe some may be born that way, but many evolve. I had friends in high shcool that were assholes, but grew out of it. This guy just kept getting worse, but smoother with time. The proof is that they “learn” about their victims and what is normal, and use it destructively, purposefully. A good test to prove they are evil is to very sincerely call them a psychopath or sociopath and watch how quickly and naturally their indiginity and rage comes about. They feel no emotion for others, but eveything for themselves. They are dangerous and destructive. If your gut senses a person is off or is dangerous listen to it. If you grew-up with the person like I did and realize they are a psychopath/sociopath try to part ways at a natural break like leaving for college or the military. If it has gone on too long for that tell them the truth about why you’re leaving and break it off swift and clean. You’ll always be painted as the bad person by the evil person, but you can get on with your life and they will eventually crumble.

  • vividlyplain

    can say all you want about anything you want. half of you are about as on track as a slug launching a space shuttle and the other half are wetting themselves over nothing and making a big ado about nothing. dont need to be socio or psycho to be a pain. depressive people are the most annoying of all mankind. a good push off a ledge would end their trifling babble. socio and psycho are such a small percentage of anything that the failure to realize your lack of simple logic is why your life doesnt work well. No two people are purportedly the same and am guessing that would hold true for socio/pscyho. The problems in this world are from sad little people all roaming around whining about how mistreated and abused they are. Blame someone else for their short comings. Lable anyone anything you want, but at the end of the day if you are conned or taken advantage of it is your own fault. Learn to live life as the world is, not expect it to conform. Sociopaths and psychopaths have their issues. But they at least have a term for it. Whats your term? This is to all, not just one person. I doubt it helps learn more about how to deal with one or the other, but lets face it, if you need a book to help you, its too late.

  • vividlyplain,

    hhhmmm…I question the point of view of your rant (#38). I mean, sure, the world is not a sociopath. But they are out there for sure, by the thousands…

    Armchair psychiatrists may misdiagnose, so-called professionals don’t have a clue.

    some very good points have been made in this thead. for instance, that ‘look in the eye’ is a giveaway. I saw it mentioned in this thread, saw a segment about Ted Bundy. There it was, that exact same look I see in a particular sociopath that has crossed my lines.

    Nowadays, you can take a pill for your depression or bipolarity. You can get lazer surgery for your eyes. There are little things that can be put in your ear so you can hear like when you were a baby.


    hhhmmm…I wonder about your rant. It could be a sociopathic defense, blaming everyone else. I can’t say at this point, but it is showing…


  • DM, I just needed to tell you how lost you are.

    You obviously have no idea about anything you’re talking about. You are using stereotypes and malinformation to not only make your own conclusion, but to force it onto others.

    Get back into the shadows, you’re not helping.

  • Brian, I challange what you say. You have just said nothing. I know very precise what I am talking about with experience and education to back it up.

    Stereotypes? Misinformation? Where? What are you talking about?

    Get back in the shadows? Hell no, I step out of he shadows and hit a nerve in you. Caught ya! I wonder about your reality.

    You know, just to be viewed as a clinical observation. I have seen response exactly like yours out of true sociopaths. Utilizing very week points as if some major point scoring blow to a debate. You statement above actually just throws you for a loss in the gridiron of sociopathic identification/defense.

    Outa here,

  • D

    The entire paradigm of psychology is vastly incorrect. Thus it fails to provide any insight whatsoever into this “condition.” The “condition” itself is a construct which can only exist in the presence of dozens of fallacious assumptions. All of this verbal ring-around-the-rosy is just a way of saying “we don’t have a clue about any of it.” Ultimately, psychologists are forced to fall back onto mystical/irrational/religious concepts to explain that which they can’t understand.

    Furthermore, the transparent attempts to equate a “dangerous mental disorder” with capitalism and pursuit of self-interest are laughable. Using an imaginary disorder to push a political agenda… just as pseudoscientists have been doing since the beginning of civilization.

    When people think for themselves instead of allowing a “voice in their head” (conscience) to guilt trip them into kowtowing to society’s will, that’s called being an individual. Those who “fail to socialize” have merely avoided brainwashing at the hands of social engineers such as the authors of these sorts of books.

    The greatest men and women who have achieved things that others cannot fathom were only able to do so by virtue of being “sociopaths.” Self-aggrandizement? Disregarding societal norms and expectations? Those are all absolute requirements to surpass the mediocrity of the masses and make something of yourself.

    Criminal behavior and harming other people are not in anyone’s self-interest. It is not the pursuit of self-interest, but rather the miscalculation of it, which leads to criminal behavior.

    It is no wonder that so many people go astray when they feel the urge to extricate themselves from the masses when the act of doing so is viewed as inherently evil. Psychologists would be more useful if they were “life coaches,” teaching people how to rationally pursue their self-interest (including avoiding breaking the law). Instead we get social engineers bent on upholding the culturally-relative and socially-accepted norms of a particular place and time, using mystical cop-outs such as “he was born without a soul!”

  • Marcia L. Neil

    The origin of sociopathy is not secret — it originates when someone who NEEDS a certain type of help goes to school to get an academic degree and/or license to practice/set up office instead. As example, people who suffer from sudden habitat loss (say, from a dam flooding their homes or a skyscraper built where the family store once was) NEED psychological support, but might be ‘mentored’ in ways that accrue benefits/income to an educational institution that protects them, gives them a certificate, then expects them to counsel others. The result can be sociopathic behavior, usually through the telephone in this day and age.

  • article reader

    what a thread!

    ya, living with a sociopath can lead you to PTSD. Been there personally.

    don’t believe in people that don’t believe in you. if you’re living with a sociopath and it bothers you – move out! yes, easier said than done but if you’re uncomfortable better get outta there than having to see therapists afterwards.

    the worst is that they will make you feel confused, inhuman and isolated while it is them who are really isolated from everyone else, because normal people’s brain doesn’t handle well a combination of lack of reciprocity and cohabitation. seek the company of loving people who reciprocate genuinely. you know who is genuine, follow your gut.

  • Yes, sociopathy exists heavily in this modern world. Is it dangerous? Yes, of course. The way the danger is acted out is a result of the sociopath’s environmental influence.

    The result can be Ted Bundy, An abusive/contolling friend, a petty thief, etc. It’s existance must be made awatre of. It is a dangerous element in society. How it is dealt with goes with each socioplath. Those with such an element can go off at anytime, to a major degree.

    Interesting in the above thread how a few sociopath’s checked in trying to defend their behaviour.

    Good article, Paul!


  • summer

    Mine ruined my life for almost two years. He married me while he was still engaged to another woman and seeing others. He had a long rap sheet for fraud and thief. He enjoyed gambling and lying more than breathing. He also enjoyed it when I was in pain and he would talk of me dying for him. At one time I was afraid he was going to posion my drink. When I first met him he told me he was anti social, at least thats what his head doctor said. I did not know what that meant at the time, I do now! They can not change.

  • OK folks, this is something to think about. especially you psychiatrists and therapists out there.

    One form of sociopathy/pathological out there has been identified by the Dangerous Relationships Institute with amazing groundbreaking studies. Take a case I am involved with for example:

    To review their studies, go to http://www.myspace.com/x15 and click on the blog entry entitled ‘women, feminists, radical women’ (appears under the song list). Very educational.

    Anway, what happens is that a sociopath and the control over their victim they have… this includes fooling the victims doctors, psychiatrists, therapists. I am stunned at how uneducated the industry is in the existance of such an element in the victims life. Usually the professional just shoves the victim back to the sociopath as the good guy trying to help. The person actually responsible for destroying our victim.

    PSYCHIATRISTS, THERAPISTS!!!! YOU ARE AN ACCOMPLICE TO CRIMINAL ACTION!!!!! Yeah, I see many so called professionals taking on cases way over their heads and treating it with generic level knowledge. Further damage ensues….

    anyway, looks like a whole new level of malpractice lawsuits could be on their way…


  • sara

    Well it’s certainly telling that this thread has the legs it does. I agree this review is a bit shallow. If the author had experienced a sociopath personally he would be writing much the same as many of the posters. And yes, those of you who are worrying about being a socio/psychpath, the fact that you are is the best sign you aren’t. I would worry more about those who seem to be boastfully excusing harmful behaviour. There’s a large gap between enlightened self-interest that has the common good in mind and “not the pursuit of self-interest, but rather the miscalculation of it, which leads to criminal behavior.” Game theory is a psychopath’s specialty.

    What to do? Psychopathy as a personality expression is more and more proving to be a permanent, hard-wired condition of the brain (see Robert Hare’s MRI studies), ie there is no cure. The portions of the brain that “empathize” simply do not function in these people. Putting psychopaths through “treatment” just makes them better at conning normal people. So the only answer to dealing with them is to educate their would-be targets. That’s you, folks. A psychopath would have a much harder time getting a toe-hold in a relationship, community, or nation (Bush anyone?) if the majority of normal people knew the facts. These people are what they are, like any other predator. The gazelles learn what to look for to protect themselves. Stout, Hare, Sandra Brown, Andrew Lobaczewski (Political Ponerology) and others are showing us what we need to look for to protect ourselves.

    The last author is very interesting as his book deals with how psychopaths affiliate and infiltrate all kinds of groups and bend them to the psychopaths’ purpose, generally an insatiable lust for power. (www.ponerology.com) Even they themselves say they can recognize another “like them” even when they are still very young. “Those eyes” give it away, among other things. You can see the pattern played out over and over again from petty street gangs to our very own neocons. We suffer at every level.

    There’s a lot more interesting information at this site too. There’s a group of articles called “Insiders and Outsiders” on the left side bar (scroll down a bit). Highly recommended. To those of you who KNOW what you’ve been through, know your opponent. Educate yourself! These books plus “Women Who Run With the Wolves” are a great start. Good luck.

  • Sara,

    Yes, yes!!!! So good of you to mention Sandra Brown. Her studies at the Dangerous Relationship Institute finally label a horrible human crime that has been slipping under the radar and basically making traditional relationship therapists look very unknowledgable and unhelpful. Gemeric therapy does not cut it with victims of the pathological/sociopath.

    Got to run. Must go visit wife who is in the hospital due to a ‘pathological friend’.

    Spread the word!


  • landers53

    It is interesting reading the comments to see that some are making light of what psychopaths and sociopaths are. This is just exactly what a psychopath does. You can see how they turn things around and blame others for thinking that there is a problem with psychopaths/sociopaths. This is one of the things that they do, blame others for their actions. Should we be afraid of psychopaths? We should be aware of who and what they are. We should learn all that we can about them so we recognize them before we get ensnared by them.

    Those who say that psychopaths/sociopaths are not a problem either don’t know what they are talking about, or are one of them. They will try to keep the rest of us from learning about them. Make us seem foolish for questioning who and what they are. This is what they want, for everyone to remain ignorant about them. For if everyone were to educate themselves and learn about just how uncaring and empty they are inside; how they have no conscience or empathy; how they care only about getting what they want no matter the cost or who they have to step on and grind into the ground to get it; they would no longer be able to blend in with those of us who have a conscience and actually care about others. They would not be able to get into positions of power over others. And this is what they fear the most – for others to be able to tell who they are and keep them from having power over others.

    I have read the books by the authors that sara has mentioned. And think that it is extremely important the as many people as possible read them also. The only way to overcome psychopaths/sociopaths is to learn about them so that they no longer have power over us.

  • One thing that stuns me is the so-called professional world in therapy/psychiatry. The world of sociopathy opens up a door that very few are actually trained in. so what happens? The therapist goes into denial when confronted with the fact they completely missed the fact that they were being duped by a sociopath.

    For those in the business, your arrogance is your stupidity.

    Every therapist/psychiatrist better go study the findings of Sandra Brown. If you don’t, that malpractice insurance of yours will be used heavily as the lawsuits spring up like dandelions as the word gets out about these advanced findings.

    Hey, any attorneys out there want to create a massive class action suit? I am amazed at so called professionals in the behavioural science world. They keep blaming the victim and driving and beating them down just like the sociopath. In a way, they are the sociopaths also. Or at least teaming up with one in crimes against the patient/victim.

    lander53, love your comment, you say it well. Hey, look out for ‘those eyes’. Any interested attorney, contact me. I have miles of hard evidence already submitted into the local courts regarding this matter. Got to take it to the next step…..


  • sociopath

    Some people can’t help themselves.

  • someone

    I agree.Some appear to be born that way and seem doomed to fail.

  • michelle

    actually, I really liked this review, I don’t understand why a hint of sarcasm is undermining. when you’re dealing with hard to deal with issues, some amount of humor is necessary.

    having lived with a FEMALE sociopath, who actually is a carping hag, I have to say one thing, your description was fairly close to truth. Freaky frozen eyes, superficial charm, assumed good traits like “generosity”

    something I would add, these people tend to also do a lot of stupid things. some things are not as offensive to the law but this woman actually committed a fairly serious felony. i filed a police report as it directly concerned me, still need to fill out a form or something with my bank.

    honestly…if you’re renting in new york city, share an apartment with at least 2-3 other people or if it’s a 2 bedroom, someone male. they’re easier to read. female sociopaths are far more adept at..overall concealment.

  • Anon

    ‘Psychopaths’ are people who have worked out how logic functions and do not base their decisions on emotions. They show you just how pitiful and pathetic you truly are. They expose your illogical emotional ties and live to do what an organism does best – Live for themselves.

    ‘Sociopaths’ do not live for themselves in the same way. They live to feed their emotions like all the normal people but do not mind exploiting others. They are no better than any other person as they are just as foolish.

    ‘Normal people’ are people with illogical emotional ties to irrelevant organisms or objects. They are the people with ‘love’ for a photo, or ‘love’ for a person, or ‘hate’ for that broken DVD, or ‘fear’ of the dark, or ‘boredom’ when alone for 5 minutes, in short a normal person is a worthless fool that fails to understand itself.

    There are no morals. There is no right and wrong. There is no good and bad. Humanity is always right because of natural selection and evolution. We are all hairless apes with no more of a purpose for existence than a dead animal in the road. If you believe anything else, you are a fool.

    Fuck your loneliness. Fuck your problems in bed. Fuck your grades. Fuck your family. Fuck your countries. Fuck your wars. Fuck your raids. Fuck your cancer. Fuck your emotions. Fuck your illnesses. And most importantly, fuck you.

    You’re on a spinning ball in the middle of the vacuum of space. There is no meaning in life. There is no reason for human existence. There is no grand purpose or scheme. You are the result of random chance and natural selection (which seems to have failed in many of your cases). If you believe anything else, you are a fool.

    If you have ever needed to utilize a hospital in order to preserve your life, you are a defective human who should be disposed of for the sake of the gene pool. If your life has ever been saved by any outside force other than the primal instincts of your family or loved ones, you should not be alive. If you cannot preserve your own life, your life is not worth preserving. This goes for anyone who requires medication to live, anyone in a wheelchair, and anyone who cannot function in society without a helper such as a “seeing eye dog”.

    Fuck all of you. Fuck the whole world for saying they are atheists and then following the morals that religion created to suppress us. They are not atheists. They are fools. I am an atheist. They are all living in a little dream-world where people matter more than the shit I just took after killing the bug in my bathroom.

    Fuck you all.

  • Grow a brain

    ‘Psychopaths’ are people who have worked out how logic functions and do not base their decisions on emotions. They show you just how pitiful and pathetic you truly are. They expose your illogical emotional ties and live to do what an organism does best – Live for themselves…” blah blah blah Randian nonsense.

    My, my, my, look at what we have here. I think “Anon” should be dropped into the wilderness somewhere. Here’s a hint, psycho: we don’t need your kind living with us normal people. I would much rather you be dead or on a desert island, you cyborg.

  • freddy

    The book is very insightful, although you wouldn’t think so reading Kiel’s jaundiced and shallow review……. although to be fair he reads like someone who has never encountered the subject matter. (Lucky him)

  • scotty

    yep the eyes are the give away, IMHO.

    The eyes are completely DEAD – expressionless. The face moves around and all that, but there NO light in the eyes.

  • sally

    I agree with the poster who said that the Kiel clearly doesn’t know sociopaths.

    They aren’t just your common or garden asshole or bitch – they are a different entity entirely.

  • Monster

    Sociopaths aren’t evil, some are just cold calculating people that don’t want to be bothered. They have normal hobbies and can find enjoyment the same as any person.

    While they feel no remorse for their actions, they still understand cause and effect.

    Hurt someone? Gonna go to jail…logic, Sociopaths don’t want chance going to jail.

    Sociopaths don’t understand why people don’t think like them… it’s effecient.

  • Marcia Neil

    We are all sociopathic and psychopathic now to some degree since the recording industry uses ‘freedom of the press’ to seize and market all original music without ‘tia’ (truth-in-advertising).

  • Anon


    “My, my, my, look at what we have here. I think “Anon” should be dropped into the wilderness somewhere. Here’s a hint, psycho: we don’t need your kind living with us normal people. I would much rather you be dead or on a desert island, you cyborg.” Blah blah blah in an overly-defensive retort.

    My, my, my, what curiously pathetic creatures have surfaced on this comment section? “Grow a brain” and I, of course.

    I think “Grow a brain” [I wonder to whom that should really directed at?] should also be dropped into the wilderness somewhere. I recommend Nye County in Nevada; particularly at_a distaste event_, if you accept ironic statements.

    Here is a hint, wretch: Intelligent people do not need your kind living with us gifted folk. We do not need your emotional responses and humourless ideals. I would much rather you learn how to think but, if that is too difficult, you can simply cut your femoral artery much like your children (assuming you have them or will) will do a similar action to their wrists while at adolescence crying about how “nobody understands them” when they finally realise that you are a bullshitter that is, in effect, a sell out. Although, I use the term ‘sell out’ in the assumption that you were once intelligent and objective but you choose to eradicate such talents for the purpose of ‘tribal survival’. But I digress, the femoral artery is located on the inner surface of the upper thigh. All you need to do is cut it. Once. One instance in the concept called time. Once. One action in the myriad of things that we call life. Once.
    Why not have a nice, deep, hot, bubbly, relaxing, bath…and cut your femoral artery? Go on, do it, you tool.

    Now_that_is a reply.

  • DagnyAtl

    First I thought my mother was a narcissist, but I now know she is a sociopath. Although I always knew something was “wrong” with my mother, it took me 47 yrs to figure out exactly what it was and I’ve been in therapy – to no avail! I concur with Douglas Mays and others who write that sociopathy (and in my opinion narcissism as well) seem to be outside the realm of today’s therapists/psychiatrists education and training. It strikes me as amazing that almost 70 yrs post-Hitler/Stalin the general population is still uninformed about sociopaths, their behavior and the havoc they wreck in the world – on whatever scale. And yes, to the earlier post, Bush is a narcissist, as is McCain in my opinion. Thanks everybody for posting, it good to know I’m not alone is this fight to get some attention regarding this scarily serious mental condition. Adios from the Land of Enchantment (NM) where I’ve come to escape the crazies. Cynthia

  • victim

    sociopaths are real, and many are very malevolent.

    It’s ridiculous ot think they are just assholes. They harm people physiclly and mentally and what’s worst is that they do it without you noticing until if you’re lucky one day you wake up and realize something is seriously wrong.

    They will drug you, slowly posion you to make you perenially sick, abuse you while you sleep, destroy your psychological balance, pit you against family and friends so that you are left alone and defenseless by being isolated. Anone trying to warn you will be their next victim or will alreat have been a victim and will be seriously harmed if not destroyed.

    If its a parent, they will always make you sick, control your life and everychance you get at independence they will ruin it, and you will let it hapenned because since childhood you will have been conditioned to not be assertive. If they knw you know they will make sure to convince everyone that you have mental issues and everything you say is a lie so that they can also control you via other people by telling them that they know whats best for you since you are very troubled and cant possibly be allowed to have control of your life.

    Sociopaths do their bet to create and mantian dependence and this involves never allowing financial wellbeing, never allowing savings, which might give you an oopotunity at independence. The posioning and beatings to your head while you sleep are so that you can no longer think reasonably but rely on reactinary emotional responses which are always how they pit you against others who try to warn you.

    You end up defending your sociopath partner furiosly like a mindless guard dog, at that point they got you.

    They only way to get yourself out is through logical thinking which leads to the realization of what happenned and has been happening. Most people will never believe people like sociopaths exist outside the movies, but the reality is much worse.

    I was raised by one, had a relatioship with one and unfortunatelly years later happened to stay with a family member who had a relationship to one. After 2 I somehow survived, after this third, I’m barely alive and havent killed myself yet because i have no monay to buy a gun.

  • bliffle

    “victim” is right. The other thing about sociopaths (and their vile siblings: psycopaths, BPDs, narcissists…) is that they are smarter than you and they spend a lot of time constructing their thought universes which feature your venality and their own virtue. Their (imaginary) stories are much more convincing than your mere truth, so you lose.

    Their stories are thought out in every detail, with every action calculated to resonate with popular misconceptions about people that are harbored by most people.

    I’m put in mind of N. She came to a party that a few in our social circle were having and said her husband B had beaten her and she was leaving him. That he had attacked her drunkenly with a cellphone after the last social party. That she found sexy pictures of women that he had taken. Etc. She cited that he had a couple drinks at the last party. She wanted us to sign affidavits saying B had attacked her and been violent (tho no one had seen any of that). Good story, and well told. Everyone was willing to sign affidavits. To help her out. Except me, I had seen this kind of thing before: it had been used against me. I told them I would not sign. I warned my wife that she was on the verge of committing perjury, which could result in civil and criminal actions. She withdrew. But about half the people signed affidavits, perjuring themselves. In response to her sincere sounding pleas, L loaned her an old car he had and allowed her to stay in a house he was renovating. Over the following weeks he grew to regret his generosity as she used the opportunity to harass him for favors. Eventually everyone realized what a manipulator she had been, and the only reason no one was seriously hurt was because she was deported.

    Sociopaths are much smarter than you or I and their stories are much more convincing than mere reality.


  • hhhmmm…just to make an analogy to paint the picture of how out of it our legal, psychiatric, medical systems are about some things…

    To compare statements, I saw a stock market ‘expert’ comment on the fall of our economy. He used the term ‘criminal neglect and imcompetence’ to describe CEO’s, etc. of major corporations.

    I use the same terms for above stated systems in their denial of the infiltration of the sociopath in our society. It is amazing the response I have heard from police, doctors, judges, etc. when such a notion is brought up. Some are getting it, but it is like they are afraid or something. Or some have no concept of the reality. They just think a sociopath is Ted Bundy or Charles Manson. Sorry, sociopathy/psychopathy is played out in many ways…

    However, there are those who do understand and are getting it. I have run across a few. Good. I had to bring that fact up to a group of Seattle Police Department officers by saying that I thought they were suppossed to be trained in recognizing the traits of a sociopath. WOW! I shocked the dudes. Their opinion of the credibility of a particular person they were sucking up to sure changed. The expression on their faces as they realized their mistake…

    Sociopathy/psychopathy is played out in many ways. You don’t have to be a Ted Bundy or Charles Manson directly, but the same dangerous, controlling games are still a factor.

    I am watchng serious crimes committed daily by a ‘sociopath next door’. It is tricky reporting the crimes. What does one do? I am watching serious felony crimes committed, I must report it. But the nature of a sociopath makes it difficult to prove. Wait till a reportable crime is committed? Like murder of the victim due to the sociopath’s reactive behaviour? The victim I am talking about is a very fine woman who has been beaten down into submission. Very sick details…

    Time to play FOX TVs new show “Are You Smarter Than A Sociopath?”. Some of us are. As ‘biffle’ said in the comment above (#65) ‘their stories are much more convincing than mere reality’ but the beauty is that it all comes tumbling down if you can outsmart it. It isn’t really that smart. It is actually really mentally ill dumb stuff. A mental illness there is no pill you can take, no cure. It is the understanding of the obtuse reality that makes them seem so smart. Once you get it, they are really dumb.

    victim of,

  • hhhmmm… reading some of these later comments, I must say to Anon (#55, #62) that ‘your arrogance is your stupidity’.

    This blog is great! A bunch of sociopaths exposing themselves. High level intelligence can process emotion in logic. Lower level beings (sociopathic-psychopaths) with no guilt or emotional status are dangerous to all around as they are missing some software in the function of the planet. Straight logic is not advanced intelligence.

    In response to comment #55, “eat shit, maggot fucker..”

    All sociopaths must be removed from society and imprisoned. The crimes they have committed but are not even aware and society lets them get away with must end. Learn, open your eyes!

    Understand this. There is no way you could convince Ted Bundy or Charles Manson that they did anything wrong. If they ever show emotion, it is only for their own gain. Crocodile tears is what is seen. Not reality of emotion. The only emotion you might see is one ‘going off’ because he/she didn’t get their way…

    be aware!

  • Bliffle! “Sociopaths are much smarter than yopu or I”.

    Actually they are not. You get faked out into thinking they are smart. Once one understands the magnitude of sickness which their illness is wired, they become very transparent.

    You can see thru a sociopath like they are made of glass. You just have to understand how sick they are. Then it makes sense…

    protect from the sickness,

  • No Pity Play

    DM, you are adorable. Really. Thinking your silly blather about “emotions” and “liberation” and “good and evil” will have any effect on anyone. When you little cognitive peasants form your pitchfork wielding mob and try to track us down, who do you think will end up as the leader of your group, who systematically destroys all those who disagree with his leadership because they’re “psychopaths”? It won’t be pretty little bleeding heart Douglas Mays. It will be a real psychopath. You “feelers” are just lucky there are more of you than there are of us – otherwise we’d squash you like the pathetic, irrelevant insects you are.

    But please don’t be discouraged – I’d love to have a frightened mob of feelers start searching for “psychopaths.” It would make eliminating competition so much easier. So please, do try and lock us all up! Fight the good fight! Make sure the perversions that are psychopaths are wiped of the face of the earth! Up with empathy! Up with love! Up with whatever other abstract noun you like! All hail Douglas Mays, scourge of psychopaths everywhere!

  • No Pity Play

    And oh, by the way, for those in the peanut gallery, if you fell for that blatant bit of trolling, you really don’t stand a chance against a real psychopath.

  • No Pity Play.


    I am not afraid of any of you wankers. You be afraid of me. Why? I can see thru you like you are made of glass.

    The problem for you is that I am not a ‘sell out’. None of your games can lure me into a psychopath trap. You are ineffective.

    I don’t have to try. the problem with the psychopath/sociopath is that they finally make a dumb move and cave in when obsessively challenging the types like me.

    Well, the dumb moves just add up actually. Just like a house of cards, it caves in.

    I don’t have to do a thing. The trick is just don’t ‘sell out’ to the idiot level mentality of the psychopath. I happen to be in a position of witness to sociopathic crimes. I will not abandon the suffering victim of those crimes.

    I do stand up and fight oppression and injustice. It is as simple as that.

    You know, you as a psychopath made a big mistake. Some pretty serious threats just came over the internet torwards me.

    We’ll see if you hung yourself. You never know who reads these things. Reports these things. Traces it all right to your computer. Investigates your actions…

    see ya,

  • Lee L.

    The eyes are completely DEAD – expressionless. The face moves around and all that, but there NO light in the eyes.”

    Congratulations, you’ve declared most of the population with high functioning Autism sociopaths.

    As for our friend above, notice, he’s Anonymous. He’s probably part of a troll group from the website 4chan.com. If you’re not familiar with 4chan or 7chan, they’re a group of trolls who go around causing mischief on the internet. They talk a good game, but in reality, if you saw a channer in real life (I know a few), they’re all pussies. They do a lot of shit that’ll end them up in jail but most of them couldn’t last 3 days in jail, much less prison.

    He’s not a real sociopath, because a real sociopath wouldn’t care what somebody said about sociopaths. A real sociopath would probably brush it off and chuckle at the description of the sociopath and then screw somebody else over.

    I can spot a sociopath from a mile away and once they get too close, I have a switchblade waiting for them on our next meeting.

  • Mégan Lee

    okay, i am among two sociopathic children in my parents household. i am the eldest and now on my own. I am not dangerous, and not crazy. It’s hard for most to even be able to tell that i’m a sociopath. I was taught the differences between right and wrong at a young age. I do not steal, but this is not because i would feel bad, it’s because i know it’s wrong and know the consequences. Because of this, my parents never had a whole lot of problems with me, other than my selfishness, my manipulative nature and not fearing anything, including their punishments. Some people believe that i can’t care about things, this is not true. I cannot feel things, i cannot feel bad, i cannot love, i cannot hate either, but i wish that i could. I want nothing more than to be normal and so i try exceedingly hard to do so, which is almost impossible, especially when my boyfriend of 6 months tells me that he loves me and i know that if i had to choose between his happiness or mine, i’d choose me. My brother, however, was not raised in our home, we adopted him and then found that he, too was a sociopath, among other things. My parents treated him as they did me for 6 1/2 years, but because things were not instilled in his head until he was 7 years old and he is also scitsophrenic, a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome and many other harmful things, we felt as if we couldn’t help him anymore and for the past year he has been at a boarding school that helps those with challenges, he loves it there and it has helped him so much. It’s harder for my parents to deal with my brother and i, but it’s not impossible. We’ve hurt them without trying, but raising a sociopathic child is do-able. Just to clear up some questions some might have…

  • Very interesting, Megan Lee! A type of comment I was hoping to see. It brings up the question of of ‘learned response’ vs. the path a stimulus takes in the mis-wired (or non-function) socio/psychopath brain.

    You recognize symptoms and behaviour. How much of it is congentital, how much is reaction to environmental conditions? I am currently dealing with a hardcore advanced stages socio/psychopath who was raised a spoiled brat. What a combo!

    Yeah, it all is quite a challenge that must be recognized in order to deal with it. The damage I have seen, continues…


  • tom

    Psychiatrists are fools. I had one who told me I was a psychopath. There was nothing I could do to convince him otherwise, so I had to kill him with an old wrench.

  • Marcia Neil

    Diet is a definite factor in sociopathy — people who constantly ingest milk, cheese, and butter products do not behave normally. They must be ‘managed’, but any directional behavior with and towards them might cause ear-searing verbal attack.

  • Marcia Neil

    Also, there should be a list of potential ‘trigger’ foods that can provide guidance to prevent sociopathic harm.

  • Horrible Article!

    This article is full of so much wrong and made up information it should be removed! Whatever uninformed fool decided to post up a bunch of made up crap should be ashamed! Or maybe they are not, because they could be a evil sociopath!

  • Earl

    As a divorced father of two it was stunning to discover this book and the reason for all the difficulties I experienced while married. I thought I was nuts! The difficulties I now have obtaining visitation is now understood but will never be acceptable. The realization I was married to a sociopath has been a true epiphany for me. This book should be required reading before marrying someone.

  • Cory

    I can’t wait to read this book. In hindsight, I ignored all the OBVIOUS “red flags” because I was in love with this guy.

    He was someone that hid his sociopathy well, until he was drinking which sort of triggered a “truth serum” effect. I thought he was “just” an alcoholic, but realize he took great pleasure and pride in inflicting cruelty and havoc onto people’s lives.

    If you’re in a relationship with someone and are constantly made to feel crazy/inadequate/ignored/exhausted…. you may be dating a sociopath.

  • Horrible Article #78. You have been caught. Obviously written by a sociopath. Zero accountability in your statement.

  • Marcia Neil

    If a person has EVER signs-up to ‘join’ a troop, especially just to ask questions, other troop members become sociopathic if “reports” are not forthcoming with demand. Some children are permanently intimidated if they attend only one or a few meetings, thenq quit.

  • VeganMommy

    To Stereo_Rose:

    Have you been tested for Asperger’s Syndrome??? It sounds more like what you’re describing than Sociopathy.

    Asperger’s Syndrome is a mild form of Autism. Usually people with Asperger’s are brainy (love to read & learn, etc.), can hold a stable job, and they keep to themselves. They have a problem making friends because it’s very hard for them to socialize normally – they “rules” of social behavior don’t make sense to them and they have a problem being able to “learn” how to socialize.

    Even though they feel emotions just the same as everyone else, their “mirror” neurons don’t work (these are the neurons that help you mimic your parents to learn things when you are a baby).

    The best way to tell someone with Asperger’s from a Sociopath is their social life – people with Asperger’s usually don’t have a social life because they get tired of stepping on everyone’s toes (they WANT friends but every time they try to make friends they end up “queering the deal”.)They would rather leave others alone than force people into unsatisfying friendships with them.

    A sociopath REQUIRES a social life or they at least require people to feel obligated to them in order to get something out of them. They KNOW perfectly well how to socialize and they do it and use it to get what they want out of people (to avoid having to do work themselves.)

    In other words, people with Autism/Asperger’s are troubled by their condition because they WANT GENUINE emotional connections with other people but can’t produce them because of a neurological dysfunction. The way they cope with this disappointment is to find other things to spend their time on (reading, hobbies, etc.) and have the peace of mind that at least they’re not “bothering” anybody.

    Sociopaths, on the other hand, are not troubled by their condition at all. They don’t think there is ANYTHING wrong with them at all and they are perfectly happy with themselves. They DON’T WANT GENUINE emotional attachments with other people – they don’t even know what that is because they don’t have any GENUINE compassion, or GENUINE love. They only know how to MIMIC genuine emotions, and they use fake emoting like a tool to manipulate others. They know they are manipulating people and it doesn’t bother them. There is not “coping” mechanism or “escapism” because there is nothing to cope or escape from. NOTHING about the way they think and act makes them feel bad about themselves. Usually they do not have “hobbies” because their all consuming passion is to mettle in other people’s lives to see what they can get out of them or to screw with them.

    My sister in law is a covetous sociopath and she uses the pity-play religiously to get what she wants out of people. She is a party-girl bartender, and made the smooth transition to trophy-wife/mommy social-butterfly. She keeps the same group of high school thralls around her to protect her from people with a fresh outside perspective (and can spot her sociopathy) She used the pity-play to sucker her Mr.Got-Rocks-boyfriend into a relationship, then got knocked up and he married her.

    For the longest time I bought her B.S. that it was her mom that was making up lies and putting words into her mouth, etc. etc. (their mom is crazy – she was an alcoholic, and abusive to my fiancee and his sister growing up) But my fiancee has a conscience, he never uses his mother as an excuse for his problems, whereas his sister will never NOT blame her abuse of people around her on her mother.

  • hannibal bates

    Actually, more damage has been done in my life by people piling guilt on me. I sometimes envy the folks who lack the ability to feel guilt! How many of us have been guilted into doing things we don’t want to do? Even things we know we shouldn’t do? Guilt is quite a weapon! The sociopath is immune to it’s effects…

  • seethebright

    Interesting book. Not that it will do any of you any good, though. Most of you have no friggin clue just how far behind you are. I can do anything I want. I’ve encountered maybe 2 people in my life who “had me pegged.” And you think a book is really going to help you? Can you turn on the tears at will? Can you kick a rabbit in the head with calm, mild curiosity? Can you simply stare down a loud little child to make it shut up? Can you lie about anything to the point of beating a detector? Didn’t think so. Love & kisses.

  • There’s a lot of technical issues with this post, but it was a good read and DOES cover the myth that a “sociopath” is some glaze-eyed, drooling, mumbling, cult leader……

    As for the critiques, the technical probs with the post are obvious like comparing Sociopathic Tendencies to Psychopathic ones.

    One major difference being that most “Psychopaths” and especially Schizophrenics suffer from actual “Psychosis” and Delusional “episodes” to some degree.

    Sociopaths can be just as dangerous and never have a moment of “psychosis” in their lifetime. A Sociopath does not “need” to be in a different mental state like psychosis or paranoid psychosis to do the things that he does.

    He does them because he lives by no law but his own and his morals are whatever make (logical) sense to him. These are typically not “loose cannons” running around acting like they hear voices or have MPD. They most certainly do not.

    Furthermore, people like myself who have OCD often develop Sociopathic “tendencies” because of an underlying disorder. A person can be loving, loyal, and kind and still be a Sociopath. It’s just the level of “control” and Introspection the person is capable of that makes the REAL difference between your average ruthless CEO and a man like Ted Bundy.

  • I am a sociopath

    I am a sociopath i have been clinically diagnosed with anti social personality disorder. I spend every waking day and moment working hard building a mask so others do not find out my secret. I am of above average intelligence and because of this i am successful. I have been to therapy but only to learn better ways to hid my identity. I am not violent nor do i go out of my way to make other peoples lives miserable. However sometimes it happens not purposely but because i cannot read others emotions as well as most people. since i do not feel emotions myself I have a very hard time distinguishing others emotions. This can make it difficult not to hurt or mistreat others. Do i feel remorse after i find out that i did in fact hurt others. No However this does not mean that i go out of my way to fuck over every one in my path. In fact it is more the opposite I try hard not to hurt others feeling or to take advantage of people because i fear that someone may see me for what i really am and make it common knowledge. Making it harder for me to go about my normal existence…….

  • Marcia Neil

    Is someone using your “not” verbiage as “Knott”? Then, indeed, the continuum is ‘sociopath—-schizophrenic’, with the s-word being more pro-active.

  • Laurie H

    I worked for a sociopath who was out of control and people would only last at that office so long and then they would move on or just quit. It was an incredible learning experience on that behavior, and the sad part is upper management refuses to do anything about her as they are scared of her.

    In the end the agency loses, the people who work for this person loses and have to suffer. It is just a mess!

  • Briguy

    to 14. noneof yourbusiness

    You are people too, but only by the most textbook definition of the word.

    In order to truly love a person, you must learn to truly know and understand that person. On a very fundamental level, I can never understand you. You and I live on different paradigm’s. It is pointless, if not harmful and dangerous to care for someone who is quite literally incapable of caring for others.

    As for my opinion. Those who only care about themselves only deserve themselves.

    Best of luck to you.

  • lil ol me

    You people are …..amusing. I am a sociopath and I know what the condition means. You say how evil we are and it only shows that you do not understand us at all. I do not try to hurt people, I must be extra vigilant to not hhurt anyone for the simple reason that it is almost immpossible for me to understand all the screwed up little twists and turns that make up your interpersonal relationships. YOU PEOPLE ARE THE CRAZY ONES. Why not just be straight forward in how you act. You would be a lot easier to understand.

  • tasha

    I dated a scociopaty for a year and half. Worst year and a half of my life. He lied , cheated, lied, cheated some more, cried, and mooched. That’s all he was so controlling I lost all my friends. And his temper was out of this world. Why I stuck with him so long??? Only God knows. I was miserable, and all he did was try to bring ke down. It still disturbs me!!! I am now married And very happy!!!! Only thing is this Guy is still in my life due ti my sister in law is dating his twin brother. The sociopath and his miserable gf live at My sister in law’s house. I just found this out a week ago. I think about it all day everyday!!!!!! I want to protect my family and his new gf from him. I just dont want anyone in this world to every have to go through what he puts other people through………… I also jist a week ago figured out that whathe is , is a sociopath. It obviously gave me a lot of answers to what i dealt with in the past. I just wanted to write this to not pitty sociopaths when they try to make u feel bad for them!!! That’s what they do best. And will keep on doing it.

  • Mike

    How can we be sure that most of the posts here describing how some sociopath destroyed their life, relationship, etc. are accurate? maybe the person who caused you so much hurt was just your typical selfish jerk who was raised as a spoiled brat.

    Also, I tend to agree with some of the posters that not all sociopaths are harmful or “evil”. Most probably are not aware and just want to be left alone. Those who have figured out their condition probably are busy trying to figure out ways to coexist with “feelers”.

    The evidence is in the numbers.. if there are 11M sociopaths in the US, and all of them are “evil” to the core (as what some of the comments seem to imply), I would expect a lot more crimes and social disturbances to happen.

    Finally, personality disorders are a continuous spectrum from normal personality types. Thus, a certain poster’s suggestion to shoot or incarcerate or penalize ALL persons with a diagnosis of sociopathy would seem to be very unfair to those with only mild manifestations, especially since psychiatric diagnoses in these borderline cases can be very subjective.

  • Wow to think I even try to care, Look you guy’s it’s kinda closed minded to think all soci’s are wired exactly the same where not, for instance a over all is true what you all say;however just because we dont have empathy or sympathy doesn’t mean we don’t want to feel many of us want nothing more; we dont all imitate emotional response as a game to see if we can trick people(though it’s really not that hard to) I want to feel, I envy those who feel naturally; Want to KnoW what I do feel??? Secretly I agonize deep deep down in my soul (who im sure isn’t a sociopath) The finding and retaining of true Love and you know what? Iwanted this so bad I’ve taught myself to connect through over whelming heart pounding chemistry, you can call it what you like and no I cant speak for others but; I found a organic 100%real way to experiance some true emotion;through the chemistry of the human body and mind with the one Man who knows all of this and Loves me regardless of that which I can not change , using that chemistry allows me to also truly bond with people on a regular basis as well my children so one real feeling just of another nature.

  • aim

    This writer sounds a bit “abrasive”.