Sizing Up A Sociopath

Aug 20 2013 @ 5:16pm
by Chris Bodenner

Prospero offers a brief review of M.E. Thomas’s memoir Confessions of a Sociopath:

Ms Thomas is the pseudonym of a female law professor who is also a confirmed sociopath (as confirmed as it gets, at least, in a field of notoriously murky assessment tools: she says she was diagnosed by a professor of psychology who is also a leading researcher in the field). Blending autobiography, anecdote and research, her book is less juicy for its content than for its writing style, which amounts to an uncut expression of a sociopath’s distinctive traits. There is bombast: Thomas compares herself to God, a lion tamer and a revolutionary soldier, and observes, “I have remarkably beautiful breasts”. There is calculation (“Unless I am actively trying to convey a particular message or to seduce I would rather not talk to people”). There is deceit, presumably: Thomas claims to have averaged a 9.5% stock market return since 2004. And there is plenty of charm, too.

Some advice culled from the book:

Rule #3: The best lawyers are (probably) sociopaths

“Sympathy makes for bad lawyering, bad advocacy, and bad rule-making,” Ms Thomas writes. Sociopaths are free of this burden. They are also, she says, excellent at reading people (useful during jury selection), immune to performance anxiety (useful during trial) and craftily seductive (useful for persuading juror and judge alike).

How to apply to your own life: When in need, seek sociopathic counsel.