Rated of 5
by libbybear How as a Christain I cut ties with a sociopath
What an eyeopener. This book has identified people in my past and present who have such traits and have made my life and, through that extension, my family's and friends - miserable. They are even easier to understand if you take a look at the New World Translation of the Bible and read the first letter to the Corinthians chapter 13 verse 4 - 6. When you know what love is and the incapacity of a sociopath not to show it - these scriptures spell it out loudly. They read - "Love is long suffering, and KIND. Love is NOT JEALOUS, it DOES NOT BRAG, does not get PUFFED UP, does NOT BEHAVE INDECENTLY, does NOT LOOK FOR ITS OWN INTERESTS, does NOT BECOME PROVOKED. It does NOT KEEP ACCOUNT OF THE INJURY. It does NOT REJOICE OVER UNRIGHTEOUSNESS but REJOICES with the TRUTH". In the same book of Corinthians chapter 10 v 24 it says "Let each one keep seeking NOT HIS OWN ADVANTAGE but that of the other person". This ties in with the thought "love does not look for its own interests". The sociopath is incapable of doing this.
The advice to quit all contact is hard but honest and is the correct action to take. 1 Corinthians 15 v 33 says "Bad association spoils useful habits" - in other words "don't associate with them".
Matthew ch7 v 6 goes on to speak to me as a victim "Do not give what is holy to dogs, neither throw your pearls before swine, that they may NEVER TRAMPLE them under their feet and turn around and RIP YOU OPEN".
For those who are ignorant and who have a biblically trained conscience, the clinical advice to have nothing to do with the sociopath (who could be in your own congregation) appears to run contrary to the admonition to "greet your brother" but recognising the "rocks below the waters" our creator has given us some wise insight into the need, at times, to safeguard ourselves. Therefore, as a Christain who has had two sociopathic friends trample all over my life whilst throwing the letter of the Bible with its laws in my face - the truth is - the LAW of LOVE in the bible is what will distinguish them and their "rotten fruits" from the rest of us who genuinely can love. For the Bible says quite clearly in 1 John 4 v 8 "He that DOES NOT LOVE has not come to know GOD, because GOD IS LOVE". Yes there are all sorts of laws in the bible and the sociopath will throw them at you hard, twist them and then disrupt the peace whilst failing to show, as quoted, the greatest law of all - LOVE. The fact that a sociopath is full of lies and deceit also rings true with the name SATAN and DEVIL meaning deceiver and liar. It all adds up.
My stance on this is that I have taken my doctors advice and the professional advice of a psychologist and - broken all ties. My biblical standpoint is just as I have written - I will not be a doormat to a sociopath. I choose to "hate what they do and not who they are". If they exist in my congregation, then I will let God be the judge and continue to do what the book says: Have a happy life and not include the sociopath in it. After reading the book I could have written a few chapters myself on the people who have crossed my path and who exist in our community and who are messing up other people's lives as I write. I find it a kindness on behalf of the author to warn us and inform us and now I choose to do the same. Warn and help others to find the escape I found in this book.
Rated of 5
by krazygem The Sociopath Next Door
I read this book in 2005, on the advice of a marriage counselor. If it had not been for the way in which the book was written with historical facts, supporting stories, and the author's professional expertise I may not be alive today to write this review.
This book not only gave an in-depth analysis of what a sociopath is comprised of, but a working guide on how to end the relationship, and save not only your life but your sanity as well. I recommend all women read this book as a navigational tool to a better life and relationships...both personal and impersonal.
Rated of 5
by A-LYN the sociopath next door
There are certain parts in the book that I thought were more interesting than others. I still learned a lot and would recommend it to others.
Rated of 5
by Pat I lived in fear and terror.
My father was a sociopath and I could never explain his evil to others until I read this book. As children, my sisters and I lived in constant fear for our lives and were sexually and physically abused. My father never showed any conscience or remorse. He was without normal human feelings. He eventually shot himself after my mother finally left him. At the funeral friends came up to us and said, "At last your free". The description of sociopath fits my father to a T. Suicide is a common solution for them when they have used up all their options. I was glad the author warned about C.E.O. s and politicians. Leaders like Hitler and Pol Pol were certainly sociopaths and this mental deficit explains much of the evil in the world. The stupid ones end up in jail and too often, the smart ones end up running corporations and governments. I thought the author cited enough scientific studies of psychopathology to support her conclusions. I can't recommend this book highly enough. I found the negative criticisms of this book curious and naive. Thinking and emotions are closely tied together - certainly are inseparable for normal human beings. For sociopaths, conscience and compassion do not enter the picture. As the author says, "We need to know..." to be able to recognize these people and protect ourselves. Her advise to get them out of our lives is sound. I am grateful Martha Stout wrote this important book and I recommend it to all my friends and family.
Rated of 5
by L. Adlai Boyd, Ph.D. Hyperbole Written To Scare--and Sell!
Stout's book reveals a fine mind operating considerably below her credentials and available science. Not only does she fail to make the case for the statistics she cites (all too often), but she makes the cardinal error of absolutism, where relativism, especially in "diagnosis." She also fails to convince the reader that the very cases she cites should fall under the overvast rubric of total "sociopathology." Further, though she tips her hat to the obvious interactions between nature and nurture, she is either ignorant about, or purposefully ignores, relevant behavioral data and studies of aberrant behavior that, in vivo, might reflect some measure of sociopathology, but on a sliding scale. It is her insistance in an "all or nothing" diagonosis that is widest of reality. There is a little sociopathology in us all, some much more than others. That said, her smarmy advice on how to recognize and deal with the boogey-persons she creates (hardly describes with any accuracy, citing the Pd scale of the MMPI as something of a marker) never leaves the starting gate toward anything new or helpful.
In all, Stout has capitalized on our fascination with aberrant behavior, created a monster in our minds, and suggests that any evidence of "sociopathology" is evidence for the complete absence of conscience. Madam, you go too far!
Rated of 5
by Shell A Truly Frightening Book
I don't find the topic frightening but the authors "breathtaking callousness" in deciding who has no conscience, and her basis for this conclusion.
Stout states facts without basis. This would not be permitted in a high school essay.
She does not define terms she uses so frequently: "moral" , "decent", "good". Her definition of Sociopath appears to be anyone who acts in discord with accepted societal standard
She refers to an undefined time period when "life was hard" and children had to obey, when life got easier children could think for themselves and this was a "breeding ground for today's sociopaths"
Ms. Stout may be surprised to find out that we are as a society kinder to each other and less violent than at any time in history. The fact that we are appalled by violence, says much.
Perhaps there were fewer sociopaths as she's defined them, because cruel behavior was not considered an aberration. In fact, it was sport. Witch burning, bringing lunch to watch someone be fed to the lions, lynching, bear baiting, public hangings, was not considered anti-social. Therefore.. fewer antisocial people existed..
These children who were able to think for themselves did break laws, and those broken laws eventually gave African Americans equal rights under the law, gained women the vote, outlawed animal torture as entertainment.
Those law breakers were considered at the time to be "anti social", a threat to the good and decent law abiding folk..
Also ignored are mental illnesses which can cause people to act in heinous ways, frequently with much regret. Stout finds it her place however to decide who has "Absolutely no conscience" or "Absolutely no remorse" she in effect decides who is "human" and who is not. And according to what she has written, she needs nothing more than one of her clients sides of the story to decide this.
It makes me glad we no longer live in a time where one can have a neigbour burned at the stake simply by saying she's a witch.
Stouts unfounded statements, her "absolutism" has no place in psychology, or study of human behaviour. The superficial and treatment of a complex subject is an offense to anyone with the most rudimentary critical thinking skills. Unfortunately I think it will encourage people to use the term and it's inherent judgement far too casually.
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