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

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight

As M. E. Thomas says of her fellow sociopaths, we are your neighbors, co-workers, and quite possibly the people closest to you: lovers, family, friends. Our risk-seeking behavior and general fearlessness are thrilling, our glibness and charm alluring. Our often quick wit and outside-the-box thinking make us appear intelligent - even brilliant. We climb the corporate ladder faster than the rest, and appear to have limitless self-confidence.... Who are we? We are highly successful, non-criminal sociopaths and we comprise 4% of the American population (that's 1 in 25 people!).
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Publisher's Summary

As M. E. Thomas says of her fellow sociopaths, we are your neighbors, co-workers, and quite possibly the people closest to you: lovers, family, friends. Our risk-seeking behavior and general fearlessness are thrilling, our glibness and charm alluring. Our often quick wit and outside-the-box thinking make us appear intelligent - even brilliant. We climb the corporate ladder faster than the rest, and appear to have limitless self-confidence.... Who are we? We are highly successful, non-criminal sociopaths and we comprise 4% of the American population (that's 1 in 25 people!).

Confessions of a Sociopath takes listeners on a journey into the mind of a sociopath, revealing what makes the tick and what that means for the rest of humanity. Written from the point of view of a diagnosed sociopath, it unveils these men and women who are "hiding in plain sight" for the very first time.

Confessions of a Sociopath is part confessional memoir, part primer for the wary. Drawn from Thomas' own experiences; her popular blog, Sociopathworld.com; and current and historical scientific literature, it reveals just how different - and yet often very similar - sociopaths are from the rest of the world. The book confirms suspicions and debunks myths about sociopathy and is both the memoir of a high-functioning, law-abiding (well, mostly) sociopath and a roadmap - right from the source - for dealing with the sociopath in your life, be it a boss, sibling, parent, spouse, child, neighbor, colleague or friend.

As Thomas argues, while sociopaths aren't like everyone else, and it's true some of them are incredibly dangerous, they are not inherently evil. In fact, they're potentially more productive and useful to society than neurotypicals or "empaths", as they fondly like to call "normal" people. Confessions of a Sociopath demystifyies sociopathic behavior and provides listeners with greater insight on how to respond or react to protect themselves, live among sociopaths without becoming victims, and even beat sociopaths at their own game, through a bit of empathetic cunning and manipulation.

©2013 M. E. Thomas (P)2013 Random House Audio

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3.7 (101 )
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  •  
    Paulette Suddarth Seattle, WA, USA 05-30-13
    Paulette Suddarth Seattle, WA, USA 05-30-13 Member Since 2013

    Work in the tech industry. I like nonfiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Baloney"
    What disappointed you about Confessions of a Sociopath?

    Lots of contradictions. I think she thinks it would be cool to be a sociopath, rather than is one. A lot of what she describes is a result of living in the Mormon culture.


    What was most disappointing about M. E. Thomas’s story?

    More narcissistic than anything else.


    What didn’t you like about Bernadette Sullivan’s performance?

    Unsure - don't know if she represents the author's voice.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Confessions of a Sociopath?

    3/5 of it is repeat.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Jamaica plain, MA, United States 05-17-13
    Jane Jamaica plain, MA, United States 05-17-13
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    "I call bullsh*t. This is fiction."
    Any additional comments?

    This book seems less like a nonfiction account of someone's life and more like a movie script. Listen to it high and then it will become more interesting. I like the book on the whole, but I don't believe the author is a sociopath.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas SEATTLE, WA, United States 05-30-13
    Nicholas SEATTLE, WA, United States 05-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Pointless and repetitive"

    I don't doubt the author is a sociopath, and that many of her claims are perfectly reasonable. My issue with this book is the rambling and less than interesting way that the author goes about detailing her sociopathy.

    I was intrigued by the portrayl of life through the eyes of somebody who likely sees the world very differently than I do. Tricky to do, and I should have been suspicious, but in any case, I was interested. Unfortunatley I don't believe the author pulls it off. I like the idea that a book like this one adds something to my world view - what I found instead, was hours of rambling, repetive and unininsigtful person recountings of life events that are told impersonally and in my opinion, poorly. That aside, by the end of the book, not only did I feel that the author had simply been repeating herself over and over again, but the random and unorganized way in which the account took place made it hard for me to feel as though any sort of coherent backbone of the book ever solidified. By the end, I don't feel that my worldview has changed or I am in any way a more enlightened person.

    While I can't claim to like the author or relate to her, her alienness never made itself all that apparent to me. Maybe this was her intention all along, but in my opinion, it makes the enitre book seem a little unnecessary. And that aside, I don't really enjoy the idea that by the authors own reasoning, stated again and again in the pages of this book, aren't to make you understand sociopathy (by definition, she really doesn't care what you think), but simply to take your money. My advice: Spend it elsewhere.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura United States 06-03-13
    Laura United States 06-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interested in this book in spite of the author"

    This book was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I expected the author to tell stories of her sociopathic antics in essay format (examples of how she "ruined" people). She does include stories, but they are in no particular order and are mixed with her self indulgent delusions about herself and life in general. Her narcissistic delusions could be left out as they detract creditability. She frequently contradicts herself: she is capable of learning from her own mistakes, however she cannot use knifes because she was not able to teach herself to be careful with them; she frequently comments on her beauty, but also how plain she looks; she is a good lawyer, but she was fired from her law firm for under preforming, just to list some of the most obvious.

    Mental disorders are one of my favorite topics, so a first person account was extremely intriguing to me. In all honesty, I would have completed this book regardless of how narcissistic the author was. I would recommend this book to anyone fascinated by mental disorders who want to learn more and can tolerate some nauseating self absorption in the process.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Corinth, NY, United States 05-21-13
    Julia Corinth, NY, United States 05-21-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If I could give my brain a long, hot shower"
    What did you like best about Confessions of a Sociopath? What did you like least?

    I Loved the contradictions and internal disconnect -- I've rarely seen the concept of a person without empathy more clearly acted out. For someone to express that they are broken, abused and stunted while at the same time crowing that they are the apex and possibly an improved part of the human condition -- yes, that's these people at their most two dimensional. What I liked least was the lingering feeling of pity. The mood brought on by reading hung on after like a bad smell.


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    The concepts were overexplained and the book could have gotten in and out in a much shorter time.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 05-15-13
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 05-15-13 Member Since 2011

    Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Worth the Time"

    The 'author' has a fixation on being abnormal, but her 'diagnosis' is unlikely and rather pathetic. A drama queen, indeed, and self- aggrandizing as befits a very immature personality. If anything she says about herself is true, then she could have done better in terms of authoring a book.

    The narrative is actually quite boring and the tale, itself is poorly organized. Glib quotes from various psychologists and psychiatrists. Equally glib injection of legal terms


    She probably has a personality disorder but not the one she would like to have.. Efforts to shock do not make a sociopath.

    A waste of time and not an iota of value to the study of sociopathy.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dirk K. 06-08-14
    Dirk K. 06-08-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Self Analysis is Power"
    What did you love best about Confessions of a Sociopath?

    The amount of time the author spent analyzing herself and how this is communicated to the reader/listener.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The proper conveyance of this mental type. That it focuses on how these individuals are non-violent and not serial killers but rather highly successful individuals.


    What does Bernadette Sullivan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The positive benefits of a female reader in revealing these topics, less overwhelming then a male.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    None specifically.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcia A. Greer Colorado 09-12-13
    Marcia A. Greer Colorado 09-12-13 Member Since 2012

    yawning_greyhound

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You'll be on your guard from P.1; Arias EXPLAINED"
    Would you listen to Confessions of a Sociopath again? Why?

    No. I listened well the first time. Unless I can convince the three 20-twentysomething sons to listen if I listened with them.


    What other book might you compare Confessions of a Sociopath to and why?

    Absolutely no other than I can think of, except maybe Bloodletters and Bad Men; the characters, not the presentation style.


    What about Bernadette Sullivan’s performance did you like?

    Bernadette totally deadpanned the entire performance. She came across as the emotion-starved, bored personality she was emulating. BRAVO!!!!! Bernadette. I didn't like you either! (I kept thinking to myself, is the AUTHOR reading this?) I've since separated the two of you. Whew. Got sucked in there!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I did it in about 4 sittings, I do electronic circuit board work. Perfect for listening to Audible.


    Any additional comments?

    Mothers: Make your children read or listen to this book. Mandatory reading. Get past the inconsistencies (we are talking a sociopath here, remember! Jodi Arias: Explained!) and gather the information offered about spotting these functional (and especially the nonfunctional) sociopaths. The antennae can only go up if they've been programmed. Education of our children is the best defense.

    The author said it best: Mormon boys are especially easy to fool.

    Just ask Travis Alexander.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Omaha, NE, United States 05-23-13
    Scott Omaha, NE, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW my X Wife really wanted to eat my ear off"

    Yes, I have to agree this story was written by a highly intelligent manipulative sociopath. She pretty much leads us to believe that she is the new normal, I would almost have to agree, not for sure if it genetic as she suggests or just out necessity to survive in the American way of life. We have pretty much honored the sociopath through movies, novels and well fame and fortune if you can steal enough without getting caught.

    I can't think of fortune befalling anyone that does something empathetic.

    This book will forever give me pause when I am dealing with psychopathic people, I will now know they would just as soon have me for breakfast as talk to me. I knew before they did not care about what I was saying, but I did not know they were thinking about eating me during the conversation.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janette PHOENIX, ARIZONA, United States 01-19-14
    Janette PHOENIX, ARIZONA, United States 01-19-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting and bland at the same time."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was interesting to here about sociopaths from an actual self proclaimed sociopath. However, it was not riveting. It seemed a bit insincere.
    That is probably to be expected. If someone who is a legitimate sociopath were to try to relate their experiences to someone who is not a sociopath, the descriptions would fall short despite their best efforts. That is essentially what the book is.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most interesting- learning the thought process and experiences of a sociopath that has some insight into her condition and is not trying to conceal anything to stay out of trouble.
    Least interesting- overall, because the author does not have the capability of experiencing the emotions that most humans do, she tended to spend time on descriptions of things that just were not relevant. A lot of the situations were similar but explained in the same detail over and over. Maybe she couldn't see the predictable common thread in them.


    Have you listened to any of Bernadette Sullivan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think that I have ever heard the narrator before


    Could you see Confessions of a Sociopath being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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