Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight
by M.E. Thomas
Summary: Confessions of a Sociopath 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.
As M.E. Thomas says of her fellow sociopaths, “We are your neighbors, your coworkers, 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, noncriminal sociopaths and we comprise 4 percent of the American population.”
Confessions of a Sociopath—part confessional memoir, part primer for the curious—takes readers on a journey into the mind of a sociopath, revealing what makes them tick while debunking myths about sociopathy and offering a road map for dealing with the sociopaths in your life. M. E. Thomas draws from her own experiences as a diagnosed sociopath; her popular blog, Sociopathworld.com; and scientific literature to unveil for the very first time these men and women who are “hiding in plain sight.”
Review: A compelling read if you have ever come across that narcissistic, egomaniacal sociopath as you journey through life. With a lot of personal anecdotes, M.E. Thomas (name changed) a prominent law professor somewhere on the West Coast, cites different studies throughout the years. She defines the sociopath, discusses a spectrum, and lets it all hang out for readers to engage in her fantastical world.
As I read, and I distinctly saw the definitions posted as sociopath or psychopath, it occurred to me that Ms. Thomas is a victim of circumstance. She exhibits traits of a violently abused and neglected child, penned in her very own memoirs. Her father was quick to anger, spank, even break down bathroom doors, and her mother was a self-absorbed enabler, unable to be a support for her children. Ms. Thomas describes her parents as loving and uses her experiences to discuss how she learned survival skills, or how to manipulate people for her benefit.
At times, I found myself intrigued by her tale, searching for those signs she listed as the description of an actual sociopath. Perhaps she planned to manipulate the reader into a false sense of understanding, but honestly, I feel bad for her. Unemotional, isolated and always on edge, waiting to pounce or have her next victim in sight, she is more of a mean girl than a sociopath. I believe her to be more of a narcissist who has studied the sociopath for years before taking herself for diagnosis. This, of course, leads to a misdiagnosis, and I feel sorry for her, and what she will not achieve due to her lack of honesty with herself. By repeating over and over that she is a sociopath, “methinks the lady doth protest too much.”
Overall, an interesting book that I think most people would loathe, because, as people guided by morals, we tend to judge others by our own morality. Since sociopaths don’t tend to have a moral system in place, I feel like most people will be disturbed by sociopaths and find them and Ms. Thomas to be cruel.
Depending on your own ethics and morals, you may hate this author, be empathetic, or you might just like her. Since sociopaths think that they are smarter and better than others, reading the book knowing that the author sees herself through rose-colored glasses make it a potentially interesting read.