13 RULES FOR DEALING WITH SOCIOPATHS IN EVERYDAY LIFE/ Martha Stout PHD
This list was taken from “The Sociopath Next Door”, by Martha Stout, Ph.D
13 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, leader, animal lover humanist, parent, child–go with your instincts. Your unfiltered impressions, though alarming and seemingly outlandish, may well help you out if you will let them. Your best self understands, without being told, that impressive and moral-sounding labels do not bestow conscience on anyone who did not have it to begin with.
3. When considering a new relationship of any kind, practice the Rule of Threes, regarding the claims and promises a person makes, and the responsibilities he or she has. Make the Rule of Threes your personal policy. One lie, one broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding instead. Two may involve a serious mistake. But three lies says you’re dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior. Cut your losses and get out as soon as you can. Leaving though it may be hard, will be easier now than later, and less costly. Do not give your money, your work, your secrets, or your affection to a three timer. Your valuable gifts will be wasted.
4. Question authority.
5. 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. In addition to reducing yourself to his level, you would be distracting yourself from what is really important, WHICH IS TO PROTECT YOURSELF.
8. The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication. Sociopaths live completely outside of the social contract, and therefore to include them in relationships or other social arrangements is perilous.
9. Question your tendency to pity too easily. Respect should be reserved for the kind and morally courageous. It should be reserved for innocent people who are in genuine pain or who have fallen on misfortune.
10. Do not try to redeem the unredeamable. Second 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. The sociopath’s behavior is not your fault, not in any way whatsoever. It is also not your mission. Your mission is your own life.
11. Never agree, out of pit or for any other reason, to help a sociopath conceal his or her true character. Other people deserve to warned more than sociopaths deserve to have you keep their secrets.
12. Defend your psyche. Do not allow someone without conscience, or even a string of such people, that humanity is a failure. Most human beings do possess conscience and are able to love.
13. Living well is the best revenge