Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Sociopath Next Door

She's your sweet next door neighbor, having an affair with your spouse; she's the wannabe who thinks cash is class; he's the accountant stealing money from elders; he's the devoted son abusing his elderly parents and selling their house. These are the sociopaths next door. Beware their cunning.

A new book says that sociopaths aren't just Scott Peterson and BTK. They are your neighbors, bosses -- even therapists.

March 22, 2005 It sounds like a treatment for a creepy psychological thriller: a world in which one in every 25 people walks through life without a drop of human compassion. On the outside, these creatures appear perfectly normal. They get married, buy homes, hold down jobs. But on the inside, they're morally bankrupt and completely unrestricted by conscience. They can do absolutely anything -- lie, steal, sabotage -- without feeling a shred of guilt or remorse.

Harvard psychologist Martha Stout, Ph.D., says this is not science fiction. In her controversial new book, "The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us," Stout claims that 4 percent of the population are sociopaths who have no capacity to love or empathize. Using composites pooled from her research to illustrate her points, Stout details the havoc sociopaths wreak on unsuspecting individuals -- marrying for money, backstabbing co-workers, or simply messing with people for the fun of it. The fact that most of us never suspect our friends and neighbors of sociopathy only makes the transgressions easier to pull off.

Praise for this important new book:

A fascinating, important book about what makes good people good and bad people bad, and how good people can protect themselves from those others.”
—Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

The Sociopath Next Door is a chillingly accurate portrayal of evil--the decent person’s guide to indecency.” --Jonathan Kellerman

WHEN CASH IS 'CLASS': Why sociopaths think an SUV is high class and they marry for money; why they have no compassion, and devise tactics to destroy and manipulate you ruthlessly. These chameleons will fool the savviest, even therapists and judges. Indeed, they might be therapists and judges - or the gardner.

They look good and to the just and the kind, they hone in and target you. Marrying a nice guy who supports you in all you do, understands and listens with a sympathetic ear? Got money? Get a prenup! These people are ruthless in what they will do to steal your money.

And this book is so popular, put this on your reading list also. This is the classic book on explaining why he yells, manipulates, lies and creates a world of chaos.

By Sara Eckel