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In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People Paperback – April 1, 2010
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"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
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”Thank you for your book, In Sheep’s Clothing. My husband and I saw several counselors to help us through the problems we were having with my mother-in-law who is immature and manipulative. The counselors spent most of their time trying to get me [to accept her], instead of teaching me [as only your book did] ways to cope with her manipulation.”
“I've not read a more eye opening book. It hits the problem nail right on the head. If you suspect someone is manipulating you, please read this most valuable book. It will truly pull the wool off of your eyes.”
Dr. George Simon knows how people push your buttons. Your children--especially teens--are expert at it, as is your mate. A co-worker may quietly undermine your efforts while professing to be helpful, or your boss may prey on your weaknesses. Manipulative people have two goals: to win and to look good doing it. Often those they abuse are only vaguely aware of what is happening to them. In this eye-opening book, you'll also discover...
* 4 reasons why victims have a hard time leaving abusive relationships
* Power tactics manipulators use to push their own agendas and justify their behavior
*Ways to redefine the rules of engagement between you and an abuser
* How to spot potential weaknesses in your character that can set you up for manipulation.
* 12 tools for personal empowerment to help you maintain greater strength in all relationships
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1935166306
- ISBN-10 : 1935166301
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Publisher : Parkhurst Brothers Publishers Inc; First Edition, 2nd Edition, second edition is exclusive to Parkhurst Brothers pub (April 1, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Reading level : Baby and up
- Best Sellers Rank: #17,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Books like this help you understand. And I think "understanding" is unfortunately about the best you can do. I found learning about the narcissist personality and tactics they will inflict on you help you to build armor around yourself. They will make you think YOU are the problem. You have to be strong and know that you are not the problem. Knowing their modus operandi helps you to counteract it. For example, don't fall for the gaslighting, consciously recognize when it's happening so you can protect yourself.
I'm not sure anything can help you solve the problem. Every bit of advice I found said "non-communication" is the only solution. That's hard to do when the narc is a colleague on a small team and you MUST communicate. I found these helped me:
-- Do not meet with the narc without someone else present. EVER. Because everything said will get twisted by the narc and make you look bad. You need someone else (a non-narc and a non-friend of the narc) so someone else can corroborate your side of the story. Believe me if you don't want your professional reputation ruined, DO NOT EVER MEET ALONE with a true narcissist. ESPECIALLY a covert narcissist. Also the narcissist will say negative things and use body language (eye rolls, scrunched up face) that may likely make you emotionally upset. Getting upset and recovering from it is very distracting when you have work to do. This treatment might be less likely to happen if there's someone else in the meeting who is your ally and not the narc's ally. And if the behavior does happen, someone else can corroborate your description of what happened. My workplace has a team environment, so it was easy in our culture to be sure someone else was always at meetings with our "office narc." Usually several people are working on a project together. If you don't have a team environment, you may have an office best friend who might be willing to help you by sitting in on meetings with you.
-- Definitely do not ever meet behind a closed door with only you and the narcissist. Keep that door open, especially when there's people working outside the door who can overhear. You want them to overhear. If you meet with the narc alone, everything will get twisted, it's your word against theirs, and if you are not also a wolf, they will make you look bad. They're better at that game than you are. Keep the office or meeting room door open. If the narc wants to close a door, tell a white lie like the temperature isn't comfortable, you need air (who would argue with that?) etc. If the narc closes the door, get up and open the door again while saying this. It's not likely they will try to close the door again, unless they really are ridiculous. And yeah I think it's ridiculous that you have to get into games like this, but this is the destruction of reasonableness by narcissists.
-- Instead of talking, communicate through email. You will have documentation of every instruction you give (that typically isn't followed, understood or it's argued with unprofessionally). And you will have documentation of every word the narcissist writes to you. You will likely see some really unprofessional behavior come from the narcissist. They can't help themselves. You will then have this documented. You want this. Usually they are so full of themselves that they will be unable to see that what they wrote is unprofessional. They will try to frame you as unprofessional. But you will have it in writing, in black and white, and any reasonable boss or HR rep will be able to see the truth. I did this and it helped other people see the true nature of the communications between me and our workplace narcissist. I can't emphasize the importance of this enough. DOCUMENT. Try to not discuss important things verbally. When things go wrong, it will become them vs you and you will have no documentation if communications are verbal.
-- They may figure out what you're doing and accuse you of not talking to them. Our workplace narcissist did this to me. I responded very frankly (because the person's boss and a VP were in the meeting where we discussed my non-communication) that I had to communicate by email because when I didn't, the narcissist forgot things or didn't follow things. And they seemed to do better when instructions were given in email. And, to be honest, I wanted to create a papertrail about this. You can call it exactly what it is first, so they can't blame you for making a papertrail. There is nothing wrong with papertrails. Many office procedures are specifically designed to build papertrails. Our workplace narcissist's problem with following instructions was known to many. I stated a fact, I didn't get emotional in response to hist attack, and actually he admitted he had a problem remembering things and following instructions and he would try to do better. So ... know that you may get attacked for following these steps. Be prepared to defend yourself with a rational explanation. Documentation and papertrails are very rational and appropriate for the workplace.
-- If the narc is your boss, look for another job. I'm sorry but having dealt with this personality, that is your only option to save yourself, your career reputation, and your livelihood. Wise up to it fast. It hurts but the situation won't change. Face reality and take the actions you need to get out.
-- If you want to attack the narc, be prepared for their attack back at you, and be prepared that they will be very good at what they do when they attack you. They may attack you behind your back and you won't see it coming. This is why I recommend DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.
-- Have good people in your personal life who can help support you. Focus on building and maintaining your good reputation at work with others. Get professional counseling if you must. You need to protect yourself. Work out your frustrations with exercise, try not to use too much alcohol or reality TV shows. :) I admit I wasn't so great at this last bit of advice -- bad TV is so good!! :)
This review went way beyond the book - but this was what worked to help me, and I expect you are here because you're having a problem. My advice relates to workplace narcissists because I haven't yet run into one in my personal life. I hope my advice helps you! I wish all the best for you!
Top reviews from other countries
It will help you to understand that there are damaged people out there who do NOT have your best interests at heart.
If it is a member of your family...well, I am sorry if you're just discovering this. It is very hard to accept that there is nothing you can do to make the relationship better. It is not your fault (if you are the empathetic one). the were made/nurtured this way. And, of course, if you can manage to step back, before the corrosiveness of this difficult relationship starts to cause actual harm to your health...then, so much the better. You will not be thanked for doing so, but it seems to be the only way. Trying to change/heal the relationship means the other person will be storing up info on you to use at some later date (in mine, and many of my friends' experiences).
Time to notice, accept, mourn (or whatever) this dysfunctional relationship with sociopaths, perhaps?
Whatever you do, do not try to 'expose' them (unless it is safe to do so...so have plenty of evidence to back up your version of events, and dependable people who will support you)... That could really cause them to fixate on you and cause serious damage to your reputation and/or mental health.
Read this basic book. It's very helpful, even though basic. Then pass it on to someone else that you might be concerned for.
There aren't many sociopaths in the world (well around 4 per cent so actually that's quite a lot!) and most people don't have them in their circle of relationships, so you can be greeted with suspicion when you start being able to identify them.
The message is: Be careful if you are an Empath...especially around Apaths and Sociopaths. If you can live your life without it being affected by either, you're a very fortunate person.
Best of luck.
This book is a valuable tool to those who have been subjected to manipulative people to help see the behaviour for what it is. It's educating and very well written. I commend the author for educating about this behaviour.
It explains the symptoms and behaviours of manipulatuve people well but has little about how to deal with it. It disappointed me in many ways:
Firstly, the cases were all very mild examples of behaviour, it really could have done with some closer to my own experience of being manipulated and both physically and mentally abused by my partner.
Secondly, the cases are without exception a man manipulating a woman. Again, I know from personal experience this is not always the case, at least one or two should have shown the man being treated in such a way.
Thirdly, the author goes off, as so many in this sphere seem to do, into a holier than thou type rambling about the imperfections of the human race rather than sticking to his subject.
Lastly, the section on how to deal with the issue was comparatively very short whereas this is the piece people who buy the book are presumably most keen on.
Society has changed in regard to personality and character, and the 'old' models of therapy are no longer conducive when dealing with the personality issues we are now presented with.
If nothing else, this book reminds us that although we cannot always change the manipulative behaviour of others, we can change how we behave and respond to them.
It covers different types of aggression and the desire to control especially from what is labelled a Covert-aggressor. Not to be mixed up with Passive-Aggression which is different. The CA list of operating tactics and impact on others is very similar to the Covert Narcissist but not exactly the same.
These are dangerous people with totally wrong motives who can cause tremendous harm in your life. Reading this book gives you the insights into how they tick, what that looks like, how they achieve it and identify you as a target and most importantly how to not be vulnerable and recognise the manipulative predator early...and run!
One thing that stuck with me after reading this was the comment that many of us think people are fundamentally the same. Maybe someone is a bit broken, damaged and if we try to help them they’ll change. Wrong. The book teaches that certain personality disordered people are hard wired that way and do not think the same or have the same agenda to their counterparts. Keep that tidbit handy.
Details of how manipulation looks to what it can do over time. You’ll be worn down, hopeless, confused and this can lead to depression and other issues that make you even more vulnerable to the predators need to control you covertly.
An essential read. Everyone should be aware of how these dangerous folk operate and be educated on how to avoid them. 4 stars.