The Sociopath Next Door

The Sociopath Next Door

The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us

Book - 2005 | 1st ed.
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Who is the devil you know?

Is it your lying, cheating ex-husband?
Your sadistic high school gym teacher?
Your boss who loves to humiliate people in meetings?
The colleague who stole your idea and passed it off as her own?

In the pages of The Sociopath Next Door , you will realize that your ex was not just misunderstood. He's a sociopath. And your boss, teacher, and colleague? They may be sociopaths too.

We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door , Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people--one in twenty-five--has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.

How do we recognize the remorseless? One of their chief characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths more charming or interesting than the other people around them. They're more spontaneous, more intense, more complex, or even sexier than everyone else, making them tricky to identify and leaving us easily seduced. Fundamentally, sociopaths are different because they cannot love. Sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others' suffering. They live to dominate and thrill to win.

The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know--someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for--is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game.

It is the ruthless versus the rest of us, and The Sociopath Next Door will show you how to recognize and defeat the devil you know.

Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, 2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780767915816
Branch Call Number: 616.8582 S889
Characteristics: xiii, 241 p. ; 25 cm.


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Sep 24, 2018

It would be nice if you got this book on CD!

May 28, 2018

This book was so informative and well written that I went out and bought my own copy. I have read it and underlined it several times. I wish it was required reading in secondary schools!

Nov 09, 2017

This book handles the subject matter in a little bit if an incoherent way. Some of the anecdotes of sociopaths are so distorted to protect the innocent that they do not have a logical sense. Adding some of the spiritual aspects of conscience were reaching. If you are not familiar with the concepts of sociopathy, then this book is worth reading as they are not all diabolical criminals or serial killers.

This is a very fascinating book! It contains a remarkable examination of sociopathy and its everyday manifestation.

Apr 18, 2016

Interesting topic - worth reading. be warned, this book has long uninteresting passages on spiritual and religious topics (that I just ended up skipping). lots of other good content. a good companion book to the much more readable and enjoyable 'The Psychopath Test - by Jon Ronson'.

sarahfelkar May 01, 2015

If you are a fan of pop-science books, this title on sociopathy will interest you. The author uses great examples that draw away from television stereotypes, and completes a very thorough exploration of sociopathy.

Aug 24, 2014

Good book on the subject with maybe too much fill in text but I realize this is not the DSM-5. Should be a must read for everyone to help them get through life maybe a bit easier.

Aug 01, 2014

This is the best book I have ever read on the subject. It thoroughly covers just how a sociopath is able to manipulate people in a very subtle way, usually by altering information. I really wish I had read this book early in my life. It would have saved me a lot of illness, pain, heartache and grief.

esther_12031211 Aug 20, 2013

This book is so true. There are too many of these jerks residing in this country on this planet. This book is genius.

Jan 29, 2013

Kinda scary, eh? Ravening aliens lurking among us.This book deals more with the relatively invisible sociopaths embedded in our
community.Interesting facts and insights.Author could have pared down some of her VERY detailed case studies.

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Apr 15, 2014

"When deciding whom to trust, bear in mind that the combination of consistently bad or egregiously inadequate behavior with frequent plays for your pity is as close to a warning mark on a conscienceless person's forehead as you will ever be given." p.109

Apr 15, 2014

"...I recommend that you severely challenge your need to be polite in absolutely all situations. For normal adults in our culture, being what we think of as "civilized" is like a reflex, and often we find ourselves being automatically decorous even when someone has enraged us, repeatedly lied to us, or figuratively stabbed us in the back. Sociopaths take huge advantage of this automatic courtesy in exploitive situations. Do not be afraid to be unsmiling and calmly to the point." p.161

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