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For help in protecting yourself from violence in general – including sociopathic violence, I strongly recommend Gavin de Becker’s book, The Gift of Fear. Although sociopaths are great actors, and can feign hurt feelings, know that they have no feelings to hurt – they are manipulating you. Related to this: challenge your need to be polite in all situations. Second (and third and fourth) chances are for those who have a conscience. Although another favorite sociopathic trick is to defer blame and make other’s take responsibility for their behavior, “You owe me,” is another favorite phrase of the sociopath, know that you are not at fault. “’Please don’t tell,’ is the trademark plea of thieves, child abusers – and sociopaths,” writes Stout. Others deserve to be warned more than the sociopath deserves to be protected. Don’t let someone without a conscience try to convince you that people aren’t good. Disturbing, isn’t it, to think about one in 25 of us having no conscience. Disturbing to think about the ease with which a sociopath creates a swath of destruction…and that they get away with it…all you can do, usually, is steer clear. For a thorough discussion on this, read Stout’s book. Following is a paraphrase of what is written in her book. I’m curious to hear: what sociopaths have you encountered in your lives?