Psychopaths In Our Lives (Review)

You have probably encountered at least one person who seems to be malevolent to the core.  Most likely this person is not an axe murderer, or a politician. More likely this person is an acquaintence who is very manipulative and always must have his or her way and will stop at nothing to get it.

The subject of psychopathy has evolved into a subculture of sorts. Psychopaths or frequently sociopaths seem to be appearing everywhere these days. Their victims have been looking for consolation and support. There is a raft of literature about psychopathy written from the points of view of victims and clinicians. Very little has been written from the points of view of self-identified psychopaths.

My friend Dianne Emerson has published an important book about this subject from the psychopaths’ viewpoint. Psychopaths In Our Lives: My Interviews goes about this task with revealing interviews of three individuals who self-identify as either psychopaths or sociopaths.

We find people who don’t fit the Hollywood version of criminally insane psychopathic villains. These three people represent the type of individuals we might actually Psychopaths-02encounter in daily life.  Perhaps he or she is a family member, a close friend, a neighbor, or someone at work.

The text of the book is presented in Q and A form.  In this way, the reader gets a less filtered representation of the thinking from the subjects. Emerson conducted these interviews by emails and not face to face. This helped prevent her from becoming influenced by any mannerisms and manipulation by the interviewees.

Emerson has moderated an Internet forum that helps victims of psychopaths.  It is this venue that also attracted her psychopath interviewees. After a careful vetting process, she conducted her communications over a lengthy span of time.  Aside from grammatical corrections, the words of the psychopaths are their own. Their names have been changed to respect their privacy.

Although Emerson is a good friend of mine, I made every effort to read her book with an objective attitude and an open mind. That said, I’m happy to say that Psychopaths In Our Lives is well worth reading.  I also found some helpful advice, provided by at least one of the psychopaths.

There is a lot of emotional punch, subtle and not so subtle, so I had to put the book Psychopaths-03down for a few minutes from time to time in order to digest the content.  Some of the interviewees’ statements triggered my own personal memories of times I have allowed myself to be victimized by sociopathic or narcissistic people.

The book is written for the layperson who is interested in the subject of psychopathy but clinical professionals will probably find much value in the content of the interviews, too.

Psychopaths In Our Lives is available online at the usual venues where self-published books are sold.  I purchased my copy at

{ Psychopaths In Our Lives: My Interviews by Dianne Emerson; 295 pages, published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; ISBN: 9781517307882 }

1984aThe Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Albert Einstein. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”


About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Books, Controversy, Friendship, Health and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Psychopaths In Our Lives (Review)

  1. BAP Blogger says:

    The scary thing is that sociopathy is curiously rewarded when channeled into specific social functions. If you put a self-driven, self-obsessed, and empathy free person in the role of a CEO or large bank, that person is often celebrated as an earner. Mix a little narcissism in there and you’ve got a man deluded enough to run for president. I’m curious what the rates for narcissistic personality disorder are at the C-level mgmt,

    • swabby429 says:

      You have mentioned some of the concerns many others and I have been thinking about. This year’s Presidential cycle is a good case study regarding your worries.

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