Dealing with Sociopaths: 13 Rules

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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11 thoughts on “Dealing with Sociopaths: 13 Rules

  1. I’ve had to deal with psychopaths in the past. It’s really scary and difficult. The first time was the hardest because my confidence was completely undermined and they shut me off from the rest of my social group and turned me against them. Thankfully I was close enough to some other friends that showed me the light. Now I understand more about psychopathy I am better guarded against it. I think the best advice is just to cut them out of you life, physically and emotionally. There further away they are the less damage they can do. Psychopaths are smart, you cannot beat them, walk away. Thank you for raising awareness through your blog, I know it will help people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am happy to share my experiences regarding the Full blown Witch of 2003….and someone who must have been her understudy in this year…….how was I caught again? IT IS SO EASY IF YOU ARE A NICE PERSON!


  3. I have been abused by a sociopath in cahoots with a predatory psychopath…. they have my children and we have gotten little help from the legal system as the tables have been manipulated, turned around unjustly in their favor. I AM SURE THAT IN PLACING THIS VERY COMMENT, I WILL BE ATTACKED BY CLAIMING IT IS PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE AGAINST the deranged mind in question.


    • Victim blaming is integral to the toxic person’s game. You have the advantage of knowing what to expect. Find a lawyer who has experience dealing with psychopaths and understands their mindset. Good luck!


  4. This is where I made the biggest mistake of my life when I ignored my instincts, red flags and warning bells which told me to RUN when those rogue doctors lied, deceived, bullied, threatened and tricked me into a totally unnecessary radical hysterectomy..

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

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