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Q. Were you always aware that you were different?
A. Yes, though when I was young, I thought maybe it was just because I was smarter than everyone else. I saw things that other children did not see, was aware of the adult world in a way that even my smart siblings were not—awkward interactions from the end of an affair, why my grandpa treated my dad differently from his other children (he was adopted), and so on. I knew other people did not see these things because I would reference them and get blank stares in return. I learned to keep things to myself, even to pretend I didn’t see them. Those were probably some of my first attempts to wear a mask of normalcy.
Q. What are the common characteristics/behaviors shared by most sociopaths? Do they describe you, too?
A. Lack of remorse or concern for hurting or stealing; being deceitful, manipulative, impulsive, irritable, aggressive, and consistently irresponsible; failure to conform to social norms; and being unconcerned about people’s safety, including their own. You need to have at least three of these to be a sociopath. I have them all, to varying degrees.
Q. You believe that sociopaths have a natural competitive advantage. Why?
A. Sociopaths have several skills that lend themselves to success in areas such as politics and business: charm, an ability to see and exploit weaknesses/flaws (which in politics is called “power-broking” and in business, “arbitrage”), confidence, unflagging optimism, an ability to think outside the box and come up with original ideas, and a lack of squeamishness about doing what it takes to get ahead.
Q. If you don’t have a sense of morality, or feel the emotions that most people do, how are you able to operate in the world without being detected?
A. I think everyone learns to lie about his or her emotions to a certain extent; I just take it a step farther. People ask, “How are you?” and you respond, “fine,” even though you had a fight with your spouse that morning, have a sick child, or any multitude of things that make it hard for you to feel fine about almost anything in your life. You could honestly answer the question, but you don’t because overt displays of strong emotion in ordinary social interactions are not accepted. Most of the time I don’t need to show any emotion at all, and I try to limit the times that I do by begging off attending funerals, weddings, etc. When I do show up to these functions, I try to mimic the other attendees. If I’m dealing with a person one-on-one, I just try to reflect their emotions; usually they’re distracted enough by their own overflowing emotions not to notice my lack of them.
Q. Research shows that one in twenty-five people is a sociopath, yet most of us believe we’ve never met one. Are we just kidding ourselves? Are you able to spot them?
A. Statistically, everyone has met at least one sociopath; in fact, most people will have a close encounter with a sociopath at some point in their lives, either as a friend, family member, or lover. Sometimes I can tell who they are. I find that many successful sociopaths will leave deliberate clues as to what they are, the thought being that only other sociopaths would recognize them. I think sociopaths, like serial killers, often have a yearning to be acknowledged for who they are. They want people to admire their exploits, and that is hard to get when they are completely hidden, so they make small compromises.
Confessions of a Sociopath is both an extraordinary memoir and a contribution to many fields (psychology, sociology, ethics and law to name a few). Read morePublished 2 days ago by Ms. Pam Stavropoulos
Good book. Provides a good insight into how psychopathic individuals think and act. Remember: there is no hope for these "people". The book just confirms that.Published 5 days ago by Adam D. Lepczak
Extraordinary book. I bought it so I could better understand my sociopathic neighbor who is making our lives miserable. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Gene Wisoff
This book delves into an intriguing topic first hand and holds the audiences attention throughout. It gives a heart to a population that we believe doesn't have one.Published 14 days ago by Melissa Grimes
This book should have been titled,"Confessions of an insecure narcissist".
M.E. Thomas does not come across as a sociopath, but as an insecure, immature woman. Read more
Incredibly engrossing. I couldn't put this one down. Reading this from the sociopath's own point of view was one of the most interesting things I have ever read. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Lisa Lewis
Most of this book seems to serve as an extremely boring way for the author to tell us how great she thinks she is. Read morePublished 1 month ago by K. Clercq
Be cautious as these sociopath profiles are too vague and can be applied to anyone.
Also consider perspective. Read more