Q. When we realize we are in the presence of evil, what do we do?
A. TWELVE RULES FOR DEALING WITH SOCIOPATHS IN EVERYDAY LIFE
1. The first rule involves the bitter pill of accepting that some people literally have no conscience.
2. In a contest between your instincts and what is implied by the role a person has taken on – educator, doctor, minister, animal lover, teacher – go with your instincts (gut feeling).
3. When considering a new relationship of any kind, practise the Rule of Threes: One lie, one broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding. Two may involve a serious mistake. But three lies says you’re dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior.
4. Question authority. Once again trust your own instincts and anxieties. Do this even when, or especially when, everyone around you has completely STOPPED questioning authority.
5. Suspect flattery. Compliments are lovely, especially when they are sincere. In contrast, flattery is extreme and appeals to our egos in unrealistic ways. It is the material of counterfeit charm, and nearly always involves an intent to manipulate. Manipulation through flattery is sometime innocuous and sometimes sinister. Peek over your massaged ego and remember to suspect flattery.
6. If necessary, redefine your concept of respect. Too often we mistake fear for respect, and the more fearful we are of someone, the more we view him or her as deserving of our respect.
7. Do Not Join the Game. Intrigue is a sociopath’s tool. Resist the temptation to compete with a seductive sociopath, to outsmart him, psychoanalyze, or even banter with him.
8. The best way to protect yourself from this evil human being is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication.
9. Question your tendency to pity to quickly. If you find yourself often pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, and who actively campaigns for your sympathy, the chances are close to 100 percent that you are dealing with a sociopath.
10. Do not try to redeem the unredeemable. Second (third, fourth, and fifth) chances are for people who possess conscience. If you are dealing with a person who has no conscience, know how to swallow hard and cut your losses.
11. Never agree, out of pity or for any other reason, to help a sociopath conceal his or her true character. Do not keep secrets for them.
12. LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE.
1 in 25 ordinary Americans secretly has no conscience and can do anything at all without feeling guilty.
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, Ph.D
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
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