Who is the devil "you" know?
Is it your lying, cheating ex-husband?
Your sadistic high school gym teacher?
Your boss who loves to humiliate people in meetings?
The colleague who stole your idea and passed it off as her own?
In the pages of "The Sociopath Next Door," you will realize that
your ex was not just misunderstood. He's a sociopath. And your
boss, teacher, and colleague? They may be sociopaths too.
We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but
in "The Sociopath Next Door," Harvard psychologist Martha Stout
reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people--one in
twenty-five--has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief
symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or
she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One
in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a
sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even
family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel
absolutely no guilt. "
How do we recognize the remorseless? One of their chief
characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths
more charming or interesting than the other people around them.
They're more spontaneous, more intense, more complex, or even
sexier than everyone else, making them tricky to identify and
leaving us easily seduced. Fundamentally, sociopaths are different
because they cannot love. Sociopaths learn early on to show sham
emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others' suffering.
They live to dominate and thrill to win.
The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more
sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading "The Sociopath
Next Door" is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we
know--someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted
for--is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm
us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question
authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all,
she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game.
It is the ruthless versus the rest of us, and "The Sociopath Next
Door" will show you how to recognize and defeat the devil you know.
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