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Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent…

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight (edition 2014)

by M. E. Thomas (Author)

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3972941,916 (3.1)23
"A diagnosed non-criminal sociopath explains how her charisma and penchant for convincing lies enables her to influence and seduce others, offering insight into her system of ethics while offering advice on how to manage a relationship with a sociopath."--From Novelist.
Title:Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight
Authors:M. E. Thomas (Author)
Info:Broadway Books (2014), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, EBooks
Tags:Ebooks, British Writer, British Nonfiction, Nonfiction, Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Moral Psychology, Memoir, Autobiography

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Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas



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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Very interesting, enough so that I spent over two hours interviewing her. My first talk with a self identified psychopath. ( )
  robkall | Jan 3, 2019 |
I picked this up thinking it would be an interesting read. It really, really was not. In fact, this book is intensely boring. As a sociopath (if she is indeed a sociopath which is pretty doubtful), it seems the author is incapable of introspection, and it shows. The meat of the book amounts to a few hundred pages of dry, insufferable ramblings about how naturally superior she is to not just normal people, but other sociopaths. It's like being locked in a room with a pathological liar for several hours. I barely got halfway through, and I am one of those madwomen who ALWAYS finishes a book, no matter how rotten. Unless you're a masochist, give this one a wiiiiide berth. ( )
  rudebega | Mar 26, 2018 |
To start here, I believe the issue most people have when reading this book is a dislike of the author and her voice as she goes through her narrative, and I think it really highlights the differences between sociopaths and what M.E. Thomas refers to as "empaths." There is nothing in this book that will make you like M.E., and I don't think that's purposeful, simply a result of her laying out how she views herself and the world in the plainest terms possible. She is very cutthroat about a lot of social situations, and at times I was disturbed by the flippancy in which she cared for the others around her. There is no "soft blow" language here, and what I mean by that is when most people talk about something bad they've done, they will justify it, soften the blow, lower the risk or lessen the severity of their own actions to seem more "human" or sympathetic to those listening to their story, but M.E. doesn't bother with such fluff. She doesn't try to endear her to you, doesn't justify her actions beyond the straight "I did it because I enjoyed it" or "I did it to get X result." Because of this, I can see many readers being put-off by her and shutting down anything she has to say on the subject, which is a big mistake, in my opinion.

If you intend to read Confessions of a Sociopath, you must do so with an open mind and the understanding that everything M.E. writes is through a warped view. She has some great arguments, but everything must be taken with a grain of salt. However, if you go in with the right mindset, this book is absolutely eye-opening.

Confessions of a Sociopath is part memoir, part psychological research. M.E. looks at the history of study done on sociopaths way back into the 1800s and presents it in a very wonderful and informative way. She illustrates the faults in our tools for finding sociopaths, showing that most research and testing is done on the prison population. While many sociopaths do end up in prison, this only highlights one thread of sociopathy, and neglects to look at successful sociopaths who manage to immerse themselves in an empathetic culture and stay above the law. Looking at sociopaths as all murderers or serial killers is no different than looking at all Mexicans as lazy or all black people as criminals-- it is just not reality. She goes on to show the study of the brain and that sociopaths have been proven to have a different brain make-up, and explains the theories and research behind why sociopaths are so unempathetic, looking at something such as inattention to be the cause of this lack of empathy.

M.E. builds a wonderful case for how a sociopath may be a "successful" member of society. She insists that sociopathy is not as much of a "mental illness" as a different brain structure or personality type. Her description of sociopathic thought processes certainly brought the 4% statistic into reality for me, took away the stereotype of the "serial killer" and illustrated a very real person, whose personality traits I could see in people around me. But the thing that made this book so wonderful was the argument she raised on what should be done with sociopaths. All books and journals and readings about sociopaths indicate a need to find them, expose them, and avoid them. But if we come to a place where we can identify sociopaths, what would we do with them? Would we ship them off to camps to be put to death, because they are "beyond saving" or "monsters"? How is this any different from the way Jews were treated in WW2?

Confessions of a Sociopath is a fascinating read, and really opens up this topic to another perspective. Are sociopaths really monsters, or are we the monsters for thinking of them in such a way? Are they not just another structure of the human form, like autistics or geniuses? Sociopaths, much of the time, thrive in our world. They are our CEOs, our lawyers, friends and coworkers. They are people who are doomed to repeat the same destructive cycles time and time again because they lack the ability for self-reflection and introspection, and would have to work to obtain any level of self-improvement. But when autistics need this outside help, does anyone say they should be "avoided" because of their differences? Do we toss them to the curb because of the way they were born?

If you are at all interested in sociopathy, mental illness and psychology, I highly suggest the read. However, I'd advise readers to calm that emotional knee-jerk response when reading, and reserve judgement. The experience will be so worth it. ( )
1 vote KatCarson | Nov 23, 2017 |
This started as a horror book. But at the end I realized M.E Thomas is just a nice little woman who is too hard on herself and introspective. Fine, she might not feel bad when bad things happen sometimes, and she may think about killing someone. Anyway she talks a lot about her childhood. That strange father of hers. The pedophile she had for a teacher. Her vindictive nature. You get to see her as a vulnerable girl who many might identify with. She lets you in on how she got to the place she is now in her adult life, with many accomplishments. I credit her for taking such sincere efforts in writing this book. It is not relishing or trying to glamorize the subject matter. It is quite simple to be honest. Some parts were boring, stiff and rushed, but the reading was mostly easy on the brain. In the end it could have been more interesting. But what can you do? This isn't Sherlock Holmes. This is about as academic and factual a book could get without becoming a university textbook. ( )
  Shelby-Lamb-Author | Jan 17, 2017 |
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