By Daisy Grewal at
Do you know someone who is manipulative and full of himself? Does someone you know charm the masses yet lack the ability to deeply connect with those around her?
Grandiosity and exaggerated self-worth. Pathological lying. Manipulation. Lack of remorse. Shallowness. Exploitation for financial gain. These are the qualities of Almost Psychopaths. They are not the deranged criminals or serial killers that might be coined “psychopaths” in the movies or on TV. They are spouses, coworkers, bosses, neighbors, and people in the news who exhibit many of the same behaviors as a full-blown psychopath, but with less intensity and consistency.
In Almost a Psychopath, Ronald Schouten, MD, JD, and James Silver, JD, draw on scientific research and their own experiences to help you identify if you are an Almost Psychopath and, if so, guide you to interventions and resources to change your behavior.
If you think you have encountered an Almost Psychopath, they offer practical tools to help you: recognize the behavior, attitudes, and characteristics of the Almost Psychopath; make sense of interactions you’ve had with Almost Psychopaths; devise strategies for dealing with them in the present; make informed decisions about your next steps; and learn ways to help an Almost Psychopath get better control of their behavior.
Click the book cover to read more.
Paul Babiak: Corporate culture today seems ideal for the psychopath.
The very things we’re looking for in our leaders, the psychopath can mimic. Their natural tendency is to be charming. Take that charm and couch it in the right business language and it sounds like charismatic leadership.
THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENt (documentary)
The Stanford Prison Experiment - YouTube
STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT CONTINUES TO SHOCK
…or Why Do The Bad Guys Always Win?
The purpose of this blog is to help that process. You can
help by sharing your experience and spreading information.
“These people are at war with you. Don’t ever tell them your secrets or your insecurities. They will just use it against you to inflict more pain. It’s a harsh reality to accept, but some people really are that hostile towards the world that they really are out to emotionally hurt everyone and anyone. The people they are closest to are just their easiest victims.”
From the book by Dr. George Simon:
In Sheep’s Clothing:
Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
Personality disordered people regularly engage in this extraordinarily vile behavior. They get away with it time after time because they are deviously skilled at misleading others and obscuring what is actually going on. Watch out for staging and framing—or B&B!
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
The arrogant sociopath enjoys the power and feeling of superiority that comes from deceiving, exploiting, and defeating others with impunity. His motivation is an insatiable craving for domination and control. Why would he bother to play by the rules or be cooperative when he sees no advantage in it? Try holding him accountable and you will find him well prepared. Like a slippery snake he will slither out of your grasp.
Unreasonable Forms of Persuasion & Manipulation
The bystander effect refers to when the presence of others hinders an individual from intervening in an emergency situation. Social psychologists Bibb Latané and John Darley popularized the concept following the infamous 1964 Kitty Genovese murder in Kew Gardens, New York. Genovese was stabbed to death outside her apartment while bystanders observing the crime did nothing to assist or call the police.
The bystander effect is attributed to the diffusion of responsibility (onlookers are more likely to intervene if there are few or no other witnesses) and social influence (individuals in a group monitor the behavior of those around them to determine how to act). In Genovese’s case, each onlooker concluded from their neighbors’ inaction that their own help was not needed.
The Mind of the Bystander
Why Don’t We Help?
The more eyewitnesses present, the less likely people will help a victim.
Why Crowds Make Us Callous
How we become different people in the presence of others.
Why Workplace Bullies Thrive
What can be done to stop workplace bullying?
How to Speak Up
Your Chance Not to Be a Bystander
The actions of bystanders can stop mass violence.
The Mind of a Hero
What goes on in the mind of a hero who is rushing in to save a crash victim?
4 Steps For Stopping Workplace Bullies
What can leaders do to stop bullies? A lot!
Our Power as Active Bystanders
Acting to prevent suffering and create a better world.
Everyone who speaks out about their experiences with psycho/sociopaths or spreads factual information about the “cluster B” personality disorders is helping others to see themselves, their relationships, their whole lives more realistically. A realistic perspective empowers us to make the best decisions for ourselves, and also, we feel stronger when we recognize that we are not alone, that what we are going through, or have survived, is not so unusual and extreme that no one will believe us if we told them about it. It helps to learn that the abuse and the dirty tricks we have been subjected to actually are standard psychopathic behaviors. It allows us to shed any guilt we may have from being mistreated or doubts about our own sanity. It gives us the confidence to redefine and set limits on unacceptable behavior. When we recognize the patterns, we also know better what to expect so that we may prepare accordingly. We can direct our energy to where it is effective instead of wasting it on an unrealistic notion; something that will never happen, no matter how hard we try.
And then there’s the bigger picture. Just think; if everyone had a basic understanding of psychopathy, you wouldn’t have to worry about your ex causing you to lose your job. All psychopaths lie. All psychopaths do hurtful, harmful things “without any reason.” It doesn’t always “take two to tango.” The world needs to know these things. We need to tell our stories, expose the evil-doers, and gain some clout and credibility. The time and opportunity is now with the Internet as a vehicle for all who have suffered. We can make a difference—we already have. Anyone can start a blog or post comments on websites. Let’s keep the ball rolling so the next generation, at least, has the heads-up we had to survive without.
If your ex follows through with his threat, show this discussion thread to your employer! What do you think would happen?
- identifying psychopaths (thejohnsmithblog.wordpress.com)
- Jobs Most Likely To Have Psychopaths (kvil.cbslocal.com)
- Inside the Psyche of the 1% – Many Actually Believe Their Ideology of Greed Makes for a Better World (rinf.com)
- 7 Signs You’re Working With A Psychopath (businessinsider.com)
- Which Careers Draw The Most Psychopaths? (kearth101.cbslocal.com)
- Does Your Job Attract Pyschopaths? (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Which professions have the most psychopaths? (theweek.com)
- Sociopath/psychopath Dichotomy (thoughtuncommon.wordpress.com)
Covert narcissists are skilled at appearing “normal”. They choose a victim they feel they can dominate or manipulate, and they choose opportunities to abuse their victim when there are no witnesses or in a passive-aggressive, underhanded manner so that their secret mean streak isn’t exposed to others. Motivated by self-preservation and self gain, they lack fail-safes, such as empathy or a moral conscience, against selfish behavior that is harmful to others. Denial is a characteristic of the disorder. They can be highly critical of other people’s behavior, but they always feel righteous about their own.
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder (psychopathresistance.com)
- Empathy and the Lack of It
- Sociopath vs. Narcissist.
- Narcissistic Personalities (angelspiritfree.wordpress.com)
- 6 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Know (psychologytoday.com)
- Test: Did you have a narcissistic mother? (lunaticoutpost.com)
- The Age of Narcissism (jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com)
- Conversational Narcissism (operaprince2013.wordpress.com)
He was just found guilty in a Utah court of murdering his wife. Evidence suggests that he also killed his brother when he was a boy and attempted murder on his mother. Mormon doctor Martin MacNeill is facing prison for life. So, why the proud look, the triumphant grin?
Because he got away with so much for so long.
Michele MacNeill was found unconscious in a bathtub in 2007. Prosecutors claim that her husband left her there to die after giving her a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs.
Red flags suggesting psychopathy can be found in Martin MacNeill’s medical career. He was fired from his job at Bringham Young University in 1999 for undisclosed reasons. Apparently, there had been accusations of rape and multiple complaints about misdiagnosis and unprofessional misconduct.
MacNeill is now awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of both first degree murder and obstruction of justice.
‘I think my dad really got off on seeing what he could get away with,’ daughter Alexis said.
- Jury: Martin MacNeill’s ‘heartless’ nature (thetrialdivas.com)
- Utah doctor’s conviction follows family’s pursuit (sfgate.com)
- 5 Things to Know about Utah doctor murder trial (azstarnet.com)
- Utah doctor convicted in wife’s “almost perfect murder” (cbsnews.com)
See also Psychopaths Rule!
In our understanding of the world around us, we are restricted by the framework of our knowledge and beliefs. When we try to make sense of other people’s behavior, our minds rationalize to avoid cognitive dissonance, or contradicting beliefs, sometimes resulting in unrealistic perceptions. The decisions we base on those perceptions will be ineffective or inappropriate at best, while in a worst case scenario; lead to a lifetime of misery or death.
- See no Evil: Why is there so little Psychopathy Awareness? (psychopathyawareness.wordpress.com)
- 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational (reasonandlogic.wordpress.com)
- Cognitive Dissonance Theory (eam006.wordpress.com)
- 14 Psychopathic Tactics (psychopathresistance.wordpress.com)
Learn to identify their tactics
Dr. George Simon, author of In Sheep’s Clothing—Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People, presents this list of 14 tactics that manipulators use to get you to do what they want. He points out the importance of recognizing that these tactics are offensive moves employed by the covert-aggressive to either maintain a position of power, gain power, or remove an obstacle from getting what he wants. You’ll be better equipped to deal with manipulators if you are familiar with this list of tactics, and can identify them when you encounter them:
- Denial – playing innocent, refusing to admit they have done something harmful.
- Selective inattention – playing dumb, or acting oblivious; refusing to pay attention to anything that might divert them from achieving their goal.
- Rationalization– making excuses or justifying their behavior, often in very convincing ways.
- Diversion – changing the subject, dodging the issue, distracting us from the real problem.
- Lying – deliberately telling untruths, concealing the truth, lying by omission.
- Covert Intimidation – intimidation through veiled threats; hints that “it’s a tough job market out there.”
- Guilt-tripping – using the conscientiousness of their victim against them to keep them self-doubting and anxious.
- Shaming – using subtle sarcasm and put-downs to make the victim feel inadequate, unworthy, and anxious.
- Playing the Victim role – playing the innocent victim to elicit compassion; convincing the victim that he/she is hurting in some way so that the victim will try to relieve their distress.
- Vilifying the Victim – making the victim the “bad guy”; pretending he’s only defending himself.
- Playing the servant role – disguising their personal agendas as service to a nobler cause.
- Seduction – flattering and overtly supporting others to get them to lower their defenses and be trusting.
- Projecting the blame (blaming others) – shifting the blame, scapegoating.
- Minimization – a combination of denial and rationalization, “making a molehill out of a mountain”.
- Video interviews with Dr George Simon
- 7 Social Hacks For Manipulating People—PsychTronics (250ideationstation.wordpress.com)
- George Simon—workshops on manipulators and character disorders (cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com)
Dr. George Simon, author of In Sheep’s Clothing—Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People (See book cover in the sidebar!)
“A manipulative person … is a covertly aggressive personality.”
“You ask a manipulator a direct question, you rarely get a direct answer.”
12-year-old Rebecca was terrorized by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months. The torment became overbearing, and seeing no other way out, she ended her own life. Two girls, the major culprits, have been arrested. One of them went to the same school as the victim and had been dating her former boyfriend. The 14-year-old bully went around to friends at school and tried to turn them against Rebecca. The girl’s Facebook comments were callous and hateful, expressing desire for the death of young Rebecca. The second girl arrested was a former best friend of the victim who was influenced by the other girl to turn on her.
Sociopaths come in many guises; they bring suffering and destruction upon us in all its possible shapes and sizes, many times multiplying the damage by influencing others to join their evil missions.
- Felony charges for girl accused of bullying 12-year-old to suicide (kdvr.com)
- Don’t Be A Minion (dontbeaminion.com)
- Bystanders and Bullying (PsychopathResistance)
- A Game of Destroying People (PsychopathResistance)
- The Psychopathic Duo (PsychopathResistance)
The Disconnection of Psychopaths
- Psychopathic traits in teenagers not cast in stone (sciencedaily.com)
- White Matter Deficits in Psychopathic Offenders and Correlation with Factor Structure (plosone.org)
- Can Genetics Predict Psychopathy? (drvitelli.typepad.com)
- A neurological basis for the lack of empathy in psychopaths (esciencenews.com)
Psychopaths and sociopaths are likely to appear friendly and generous. They are masters of deception, adept at faking emotions they don’t actually have—compassion, remorse, or humility—to win trust or gain power over others. Behind a convincing facade of respectability, intelligence, and high moral standards, they operate outside of standard ethical boundaries; recruiting lower-level psychopaths to do their bidding and manipulating normal, “good” people into accepting or supporting their shady agendas.
- The Making of a Minion (dontbeaminion.com)
- Dangerous Mind Games: How Psychopaths Manipulate and Deceive (http://psychopathyawareness.wordpress.com)
Christopher Lane, a 22-year old Australian student visiting his girlfriend in Oklahoma, was shot and killed by teenagers—because they were bored.
Two childhood best friends killed teenager Katelyn Wolfe for a thrill and then bound her body, attached it to a weight and threw it into a lake.
5 steps to change the world
1 Acknowledge that sociopaths exist. This is more radical than it may sound. For many of us, it means abandoning a belief we have held a lifetime; that “there’s good in everyone.” While that is true in most cases, it is critical to understand that there are exceptions and that they are not easily recognized.
- Aussie baseball player killed by “bored” Okla. teens, police say – CBS News (cbsnews.com)
- Australian student Christopher Lane laid to rest after U.S. shooting (cnn.com)
- Katelyn Wolfe murder 6/6/2013 Bloomfield, IN *Jordan Buskirk and Randal Crosley charged with her murder* (mylifeofcrime.wordpress.com)
- Murder suspects hijack victim’s Facebook page to throw off police (dailydot.com)
- Trial dates set for Buskirk and Crosley (wthitv.com)