13 Rules for dealing with a psycho/sociopath

By Dr. Martha Stout

The Sociopath Next Door


Accept that some people have no conscience; that there are evil people in this world who do not act out of concern or love for another.
Listen to your instincts — labels (professional roles) do not make a good person. Look carefully at someone who “carries” a professional label, judging whether that individual’s behavior fits what is expected of that professional role.
Practice the rule of threes — One lie or broken promise may be a misunderstanding, two lies may involve a serious mistake, three lies — the individual is not trustworthy. Stay away from that individual.
Question authority.
Suspect flattery — when someone flatters you excessively, telling you how much they appreciate you or like it when you visit or how much they enjoy your conversations.
Redefine your concept of respect — respect must be earned. Don’t automatically give respect to an individual because of her professional role or her relationship to you.
Refuse to join the game — do not try to outsmart the sociopath. Do not reduce yourself to his level.
Once you identify a sociopath, avoid him, refuse any kind of interaction. It is the only way to protect yourself.
Question your tendency to pity too easily. Anyone who actively campaigns for your pity or consistently hurts others is likely a sociopath. Pity should be reserved for those who truly deserve it. Make sure the individual who seeks your help really needs it.
10 Do not try to redeem the unredeemable. If you are dealing with someone without a conscience, you cannot change them, no matter how educated or loving you are. Sociopaths have no reason to change; they like who they are.
11 Never agree to help a sociopath conceal her true character. You don’t owe the sociopath anything. Don’t believe that you are like her, no matter what she says. You are nothing like her.
12 Defend your psyche. Humanity is not a failure. Being kind and loving and caring is the best way to live. It is the way most people live their lives.
13 Living well is the best revenge.

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9 thoughts on “13 Rules for dealing with a psycho/sociopath

  1. Pingback: The Sociopath at Work - One Brief Moment

  2. Sometimes you can’t live well after dealing with a sociopath or two. I lost my job because co-workers used the whistleblower law to say I was stealing, when it was their own theft they covered up. They signed a statement in front of a Chesterfield VA police officer saying they’d seen me steal. I did not steal, and I got fired for their allegation. The very next day, one of the women was spotted on security camera stealing from their work area. Someone TOLD that lady she’s been caught, so she did a walk out quit, and two days later came back into that store to shop. Only CCPD officers worked that security camera room, so WHY did they tell her? What they set in motion, sent my life on a downward spiral. They deserve jail for signing that false statement.


    • Don’t be defeated! You are part of an unstoppable movement to adjust the power imbalance between sociopaths and their victims. We are many who can relate all too well to the heinous crime committed against you, and by sharing your story, others are encouraged to speak up about their own experiences of victimization and abuse. Our collective voice is growing stronger. We will prevail. Truth is on our side.


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