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The Sociopath Next Door

The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us

by Martha Stout

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout X
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2005, 256 pages
    Mar 2006, 256 pages


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There are currently 42 reader reviews for The Sociopath Next Door
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Dorothy Knable

Great analysis!
Amazing analysis of a personality we encounter too often. It should help people dealing with a mysteriously unmanageable relationship or wondering why she cannot get ahead when a certain “off” though charming, person has anything to do with her. I loved the true stories. It rings true from: my experience of the world of 66 years and experience before my masters degree in a social service, a psych-tech job I held for a couple years. Kudos!
J. Dunlap

She Lives Next Door to Me
I live next door to a Sociopath. I have know she was one for years so I stayed away from her. I bought this book to be sure I wasn't judging my neighbor wrongly. This book is wonderful! It proved that the Sociopath next door to me is a pure Sociopath. Thank you!

A must read for all
I, too, was in a marriage for over 25 years with a "sociopath next door." I have a psychology background. Yet I would never think my husband was a sociopath because he wasn't mass killing people like Ted Bundy. He had a very high position in government, where his command was done without question. He also has other mental issues, including extreme ADHD, porn/sex addiction, and hoarding. Yet there was a coldness about him which wasn't explained. In the last years of our marriage as he became more mentally erratic, I started to secretly closely watch all of his behavior. I was shocked by what I found. This was the man I was living with? What I found was a Dr. Jeykll/Mr. Hyde personality. When confronted with some of the stealing behavior, he coolly denied it without blinking an eye, even when presented with evidence. I knew then, this wasn't the first time he lied. He was a master at it. Still, I didn't peg him for a sociopath, even though he passed the online test with flying colors. After all, he didn't hit me. He did charitable things for others. (It helped his career.) It wasn't until I read this book (twice) that things finally sunk in. I'm sure if they did a brain test, they would find his brain doesn't fire like others. This book has helped the healing and understanding process, although it is still difficult to understand how a human being can act as the sociopaths do. I agree that all law enforcement and those in the courts should read this.

Read this book!!!!
This book seems to be written out of a sincere wish to warn the world about the human predators among us. While it is true that some things are repeated that seems to me to be done in order to hammer the point home rather than to fill up space/pages. The author is also up front about the fact that it is almost impossible to spot a psychopath even though the title of the book suggest otherwise. The book is actually meant (I believe) to help people who suspect or know that they are victims of this kind of person to come to terms with it and save themselves. This may not be scholarly but it will save many abused people, I´m sure.
The book itself is quite well written and gets the point across in an easy to follow manner. Not because it is dumbed down but because the author writes clearly and with a certain purpose in mind.
I can see by the reviews here that this book has scared the psychopaths and this, to me, greatly recommends this book.
I want to say on slightly off topic thing before I leave. It is well known that abusive husbands/boyfriends will blame the couples problems on their spouse/girlfriend and accuse her of the very behavior he is guilty of. This often works and nets him all the support and pity that should go to his victim. These men are probably psychopaths.

I have been hurt twice by the same sociopath, the book helped me understand I wasn't losing my mind. Had no idea what a sociopath was before this. Amazing insights. I recommend this book to everyone.
Abused Father

They will steal your children guaranteed
I married a Sociopath and of course had no clue. We had 2 children. One of those (my only son) is her co-dependent and is showing all signs of the same disorder. Our daughter is surviving it and insisting on maintaining a strong relationship with me. It is soul shattering to live as a victim, and watch my son be turned into a Sociopath, while the family court enables and supports the fairy tales and lies this women tells. The family courts are in my view, filled with Sociopathic personalities, from the Judges and Lawyers, on down to the Guardians and Social Workers.

I think we need to make some dramatic changes in our Society to protect ourselves from this epidemic. No one in Family Court should be allowed to provide professional "opinions", "therapy", or legal advice or decisions unless they themselves have gone through a rigorous psychological evaluation. That would be pretty simple to do. Sociopaths are attracted to these positions because they can Control, Influence, and "Create" create their own desired "truth" and outcome. This "power" makes them feel good, and the destruction they impose on the lives of functional and healthy parents and their poor children is nothing less than the most heinous and socially destructive behavior the "legal" system enables and supports. This system is creating more Social Pathology, and destroying more lives than any war, disease, or natural disaster does in any given year.

This book should be required reading for every young adult, prior to marriage, and prior to any serious relationship. My children's mother is a very disturbed, abusive person, but charming and intelligent. She continues to fool many people, and surrounds herself with either ignorant "pawns" or similar people without conscience. The frustration never ends. I have attempted to get those who are her pawns and minions to accept the reality. Most of them are clueless. I have had some small successes. Generally those who have known her longer and had a more close relationship are more likely to be able to accept it. Since most of her relationships are shallow and kept at arms length, these people who do not know her well at all, but support the fraudulent presentation she makes socially, and are very difficult to convince that she is not who she pretends to be. I intend to write a book about my experience. The tentative title is "Domestic Terror and The Liar's Court".

Anyone going through a divorce with a cheating, lying, emotionally/psychologically abusive spouse should read this book first! I even have psyche Evals on her that would scare anyone to death, but somehow, with the support of the "pawns" in the system, she has managed to "win" control and custody of the children! Oh, did I mention she works for the County! She has been a Social Worker and now a nurse in a County hospital working with crisis patients for 20 years! The perfect job for someone who needs to control, manipulate, and feel superior to the clients she serves. Way to go Martha!

I would add to your list of Sociopaths we need to watch out for......Sara Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and many other politicians, Judges, Lawyers, and corporate oil executives who continue to distort the truth and use demagoguery to control and brainwash the average gullible citizen. Be careful because the ones using these tactics, as Martha points out, will make the very same accusations against those who are truly acting in the best interests of society. It is truly a mind boggling, stealthy, and destructive epidemic. We as a society are ignorant and vulnerable. The one thing I disagree with Martha on is this: We need to take these sick people on, expose them, create protection for the healthy citizen's, and establish laws to mitigate their ability to destroy lives. The "hate" crimes laws should be applied to these abusive people. Parental Alienation needs to be legally defined as a crime. We need to educate our children! We also need to require any and all professionals calling themselves "Guardians", "Therapists", "Psychologists", or any other so-called advocate for healthy human behavior to undergo extensive psychological evaluation prior to being allowed to provide "advice" to anyone! This is so logical and necessary! I don't understand why this has not been done. Wait, I do. There are many of the people who influence and control both political and legal (family Law) decisions that are themselves Sociopathic, that they fight against anything that might expose the true magnitude of the problem. Sociopaths, in my view, are drawn to these professions because of the "opportunity" it provides to "Control", "manipulate", and "use" their position to be malicious and experience the thrill this power gives them. Wake up America! This is the single greatest Civil and Social rights issue of modern times. If we do not address it, because of the influence of these disordered minds, and the positions they hold in society, this silent epidemic will eventually take over control of our Society. The ramifications of that, are eventual total destruction of the family, functional loving relationships, and a truly kind and caring country. Accepting race, religion, sexual preference is necessary. Those who are fighting against this healthy tide will eventually be accountable for the ignorance and abusive, sociopathic behaviors that will keep us from growing and evolving into a peaceful, mentally healthy, loving society. Their are many Sociopaths on the more Liberal side of the political agenda as well. They tend to be the spaths who are less intelligent, less power hungry, and more inclined to abuse and control passively and covertly in a smaller environment. Just my opinion, from very personal experience, and 4 years of researching, reading, studying, and dealing with a sociopathic mother of my children.

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.

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.

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